Sunday, March 30, 2008

Do You Think Running 16 Miles is Impressive?

It sounds impressive until I was reminded that today my friend’s father is starting a trip across the US on a bike to raise money for two great causes – Spinal Bifida and Melanoma. My friends, Lauren and Chris, were just blessed on Valentine’s Day with their second child Grace. She was born with Spinal Bifida, which is a debilitating birth defect that affects spinal development.

I owe a lot to Chris and Lauren, mostly for putting up with me for the first month I lived in Columbus at their house. And for all the support they gave me while I was in the hospital for my collapsed lung and once I was out of the hospital but still had months of recovery. But, then – I partly hold Chris responsible for getting me to move back to Ohio. He appealed to my young, liberal naiveté to get me to come back to the state that I love to work for political change. Now, I may be here forever!

But, back to Lauren’s and Chris’s family’s story. Lauren’s sister is in remission from Melanoma Cancer – so her father decided to bike from San Diego CA to St. Augustine FL to raise money and awareness for Spinal Bifida and Melanoma. Pretty amazing considering he is in his late 50s and has to bike 100 miles a day to complete his goal of finishing within 45 days!

To learn more about his ride, visit his website here:

Okay, I’ll get to my long run this week. Micah (my running partner) and I decided to run on Sunday instead of our normal Saturday run. We left at 8:30 am and the wind was biting as we ran into downtown Columbus to Bexley. The first 4 miles were a bit rough considering they were mostly uphill and since Micah is recovering from the flu – yuck! I felt great after the first 4 miles, but poor Micah was feeling sick again. He hung in for another 4 miles before deciding it was better to take it easy and get completely better – so he stopped at 8 miles. I can totally understand his frustration, since I’ve been sick through most of my training for this marathon. I have another doctor’s appointment this week to find out the cause of my chronic cough.

While running, I was reminded about running “easier” from my running book (“The Non- Runner’s Marathon Trainer”) and concentrated on keeping myself loose and trying not to over do it while running. The next 4 miles were a joy – but once I got to mile 13, my body was telling me “no more!” Well, so there is it “the wall.” You just have to learn to push through it – have your body adapt and keep moving. My right leg was incredibly tight at the hip and I was having problems moving that leg – so I adjusted my running stride.

I like running with a partner, but there is something about the solace of running by yourself to help you work through what’s going on in your life, too. There are no distractions like cell phones, computers, blackberries (crackberries). It is just you and the road – with the occasional hello or nod to another runner or biker. Since starting to run, I’ve learned to turn things off in my life (electronic things) and find solace at home and I’m less distracted when spending time with family and friends. Running has enabled me to connect or reconnect to other important things in my life.

The 8 miles alone today enabled me to contemplate things going on in my life – the loss of a relationship, figuring out different strategies to get the message out about the Joliba Trust and thinking about my dear friends Chris and Lauren who have their own unique journey with their daughter, Grace and son, Lincoln. And next weekend I’ll have 16 miles to myself while running in Youngstown near my parents’ house to contemplate the things I hold close to my heart.


josiette said...

The fact that you find comfort in turning off the blackberry has inspired me to donate today!

Anonymous said...

I ate two bags of cheetos this morning before work and rode my segway to the end of the driveway to get the paper.

A DC Tri-ing Athlete said...

I think runs such as that are really great because they give you such a sense of confidence that you have the mental toughness to deal with long miles on difficult days! Great job!