I hate to admit it, but I have been struggling. I’ve gotten the majority of my runs in, but I’ve missed more this time around then my last marathon training stint 11 years ago. In 1999, my first go at this crazy event, I maybe missed 2 runs in the 7 months leading up to the Austin Motorola Marathon. For the record I was 29 and had no kids. Jim and I worked different shifts so my time was my own. If I missed a run there was no good reason for it so I didn’t miss them. For the past month I’ve felt slow and sluggish and found myself wondering why I was doing this. I wasn’t scheduling my time in the best way to ensure I got my run in each day. I told myself I’ve nothing to prove. I’ve run two of these things before. I don’t really have a goal like beating my best time. I don’t care if I set a personal record. But then, in the way the universe tends to work I got a little boost!
Now don’t think I’m nuts, but I’m pretty sure Big Ben was on my last run with me. Why me and not someone else who he was closer to? Who knows and maybe it was just my subconscious kicking me in the pants. I’ll tell you the story and let you decide. It was an 8 miler and I was only two miles in and I began to feel light and happy and then tears starting falling down my cheeks for no reason I could think of. It was an odd mixture of emotion and just like that I knew why. Big Ben was striding with me. I also knew why I was doing this marathon. It was because Ben couldn’t. I was doing it so maybe others wouldn’t have to hear the words you have cancer. The rest my run felt great. I cruised the remaining 6 miles easily and finished the distance averaging 12 minute 12 second miles. Yep, for me that is cruising. I’ve never said I was fast.
So was Ben with me in those miles physically? I don’t know, but I do know that I will carry him every step of the way. I’ll think of him a lot on my 20 mile training run coming up this Sunday. I’ll be struggling to get one foot in front of the other by mile 18 and by mile 20 I’ll be in a lot of pain. Although what I’ll think of most is that this is temporary self inflicted pain that will subside and go away. A little Advil and I’ll be good to go. We haven’t found the “Advil” yet to make all cancer go away. So I’ll run this marathon and raise money so the American Cancer Society can fund cutting edge research that will make all cancer patients good to go! I’m determined to make a difference and this is one of the ways I know how.