Thursday, January 7, 2010

Moving through Week 3....

OK, so maybe I won't write after every run. That goal may have been a little ambitious! Week Two of training was bitter, bitter cold. Although, with the right gear, running in the cold isn't that bad. You just get a frozen face. My third week of training has been thwarted by the dreaded stomach bug. If you know me, the simple utterance of those two words sends chills down my spine. Just an example of how having 3 kids can make training a challenge. So, today I set out for my Week 3 long run...7 miler.

Things that I have been thinking about over the past few runs:

Thought #1
You know how you have things in your life that just really boost your confidence? Running does that for me on many levels. I can look down at the ground in front of me and see my shadow. It is like I am watching myself run and I feel proud of that person! Dorky? Maybe...but this is a forum for my uncensored self-expression! I just get a kick out of the fact that I am intensely involved in a sport that has a reputation for being strenuous, tough, and intimidating for many. Growing up, I shied away from sports when they became intense. Quit tennis when everyone started the topspin. Quit softball when the pitchers started that fast pitch. I tended toward dance, drill team, cheerleading and aerobics--which people constantly underestimate for their athleticism, by the way. But if you were to tell me that one day I would have several marathons under my belt, I would never have believed you.

Thought #2
When I am running, I feel really connected to my Mom. This association began long ago, before I joined the Dana-Farber team in her memory. I started running a lot in my early 30s. As a matter of fact, one of my 30th birthday presents to myself was making the decision to run the Marine Corps Marathon. Training for that race was a TOTALLY different experience. I had a job, no kids, lived close to really great running trails. I imagined that Mom was my running partner. I am not sure if running is anything my mom was ever interested in, but I sort of think she would get a kick out of me doing it. I imagine she would be that person on the sidelines with the huge sign that said, "GO AMY!! You are an inspiration!!" She was always my biggest cheerleader. So, I always feel her there with me. Trotting along. I visualize that she pulls me when I am feeling slow or tired. By a rope tied around my waist. I probably sound nutso, but if you have ever lost someone you love, you do anything you can to feel connected to that person.

Joining the Dana-Farber team was just so obvious for me. For those of you unaware, my mom was treated for endometrial (and eventually liver) cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. I was in college during her illness and only made one trip to Dana-Farber and it was a total blur and is really an awful, awful memory.

It was during a long training run for the Philly Marathon in the fall of 2007 that I wondered if I would ever qualify to run in the Boston Marathon (answer: no way!). But while on the Boston Athletic Association website, I noticed two things: a link to the Dana-Farber Marathon program and the date of the 2008 Boston Marathon: April 21. My mom died on April 21, 1994. I HAD to be on that team--it felt like fate! And the rest is history. I ran the race in 2008...took a year off to have Alice and am now BACK.

OK, just got back from my 7 miler. Beautiful day out--endorphins flowing. Song of the run: "Praise You" by Fat Boy Slim. I like to pretend that my mom is singing this to me. "We've come a long, long way together. From the hards times to the good. I want to celebrate you, baby. I want to praise you like I should!" Nice to feel like my mom is proud of me. And this song always just pops up on my iPod at the appropriate times. My second song of this run: "Gotta Get Through This" by Daniel Bettingfield. Nothing like a song to remind one of Sarah Ford modern dancing while dressing in Michelle Brown's Aunt Ro's clothes. AHHAHAHHAHAHHA! And nothing like making yourself laugh when running!

Enough for today...