Alone In The Gym

My husband and I are complete opposites. Where he is tall, I am petite. He is blonde, I am brunette. He is outgoing, I am more of an introvert. He is vocal, I am written. He is aggressive, I am passive. He watches television, I read. He is yin, I am yang. I could go on and on and on, but you get the gist of what I’m trying to say about our relationship.

Our relationship of being opposites works. In fact, our differences actually compliment each other, so if you believe me to be complaining, you are far off base. I love my husband, I just wish that at times we actually shared some of the same passions besides our children.

I have always – ALWAYS – been an athlete, so it was always natural for me to believe that I would have a partner that was an athlete also. However, that is FAR from the truth that I live.  Athletics bring together such a sense belonging, of being a team, working together, encouraging each other, motivating each other. I need that sense of belonging, and although I feel as if I “belong,” I don’t feel as if my needs are truly satisfied.

Me and The Man - see how he looks so ... "pained"?
Me and The Man – see how he looks so … “pained”?

My husband works very hard to please me and keep me happy. He will do anything to support me in my endeavors regardless of how insane or far fetched they may seem. He has survived me dragging him, kicking and literally SCREAMING, to various gym workouts, kickboxing, CrossFit, and even running. All ventures short-lived, none actually got him in any shape. I know that I cannot “make” him do anything. I can suggest, and most times he’ll pacify me by agreeing at the time, but not really follow through. I’ve tried encouraging and motivating him, only for him to tell me that I am obnoxious and demeaning. Regardless, I keep asking and suggesting, but I know that it’s NOT going to happen – my husband is just NOT ever going to be the athlete/gym partner that I always thought I would have and have so desired in my life, and I have to learn to stop setting myself up for disappointment and let it go of my desire, my dream, and move on … ALONE in the gym/Box.

Gabe & Kirstie
Gabe & Kirstie
Andrew & Lindsey
Andrew & Lindsey
Dom & Vanessa
Dom & Vanessa

I see pictures and read stories or posts of couples enjoying themselves in the gym and I can’t help but feel a teeny pang of envy. Couples – bound together by their love and enjoyment of physical activities, glistening in sweat, smiling. More than any of that it’s the envy that they are doing things TOGETHER.

Exercise is such a HUGE part of who I am, so it’s hard to know that I am to forge on this journey alone. I feel selfish at times for the amount of time that I would love to spend in the gym because it’s time away from my family. It’s hard for me to see my husband struggle and just give up, but like I said, I can’t force him to do something that he doesn’t want to do. It’s hard for me to see him out of shape, unhealthy, and hiding his medications from me. Yes, I know that he does this because I’ve found prescriptions for medications. Yes, I know I’m a nurse. Yes, I know that I am his wife and should know his medical history, but seriously, if he wants to “hide” that part of himself from me, for reasons only known to him, then who am I to demand that he share these things with me? He must not believe that I am important enough to share these pieces of IMPORTANT information with me, right? I mean, we all have our secrets, right? It’s just that when something happens to him and the Emergency Department asks me about his health/medical history, the information that I will be able to provide will be very LIMITED and I’ll look like the countless number of idiots that give me that Kanye shrug look when I ask about their loved one’s history.

Oooooh … I’m waaaaaayyyy off subject now. How did that happen? Freudian slip? Ahhhh, I digress. I guess, it’s just harder for me to accept than I thought it would be, and it saddens and frustrates me more than I let on.

Where am I? Oh, yeah … letting go and acceptance. Letting go of the dream. Letting go of the control that I want to have over my husband to “make” him want better for himself. Accepting my husband as he is. Accepting that I will always drive to the gym/Box – ALONE. But that’s just it … I feel alone and that makes me unbalanced, sad, and disappointed among other things. I understand that life is about disappointments and picking yourself up and moving on, I just didn’t think I would always have to, or didn’t want to do it alone because it’s so much funner/easier/better when done together with someone you love. I guess, though, that if this is the only thing that I can pick apart about my marriage, then I can live with that. Mind you, it will be with a heavy heart, but I’ve done it for so long over the course of our relationship that it feels like an old hat. Like I said before though, I must STOP setting myself up for heartbreak and really let it go. Forge on knowing that my husband will be behind me, supporting me regardless of my decisions to keep running, workout harder in the box, or if I decide to take up underwater basket weaving. I just know that giving up exercise is NOT something that I plan to do ever, so I guess that my husband will just have to remain a gym widower.

What do other couples out there do when one is a gym rat, and the becomes the gym widow(er)? I wonder if there’s resentment?  What about if one looks amazing and in shape, while the other does not?  Does it tear their relationship apart or if they just deal with it? I mean, I get it, I do, I’m just so sad. I also know that most times, it’s the other way around where the husband is the gym rat, and the wife is the one who chooses to stay at home and is the gym widow while the gym is the mistress. I understand that I  I know that there’s more to life than in the gym. I just can’t fully express my guilt over this whole issue and  because I know, and because I believe that it’s what holds me back from reaching my full potential. It doesn’t make any sense to rehash it, I just really either have to accept it, live with it, and let it go, or continue to let it consume me as it has been for so long.  In the choosing to let it go, I fully understand that life just goes on …  and I just go on to the gym … ALONE … (heavy sigh).

Injury Continues To Prevail

Proud Parents with the Graduate!!! CSUF ’12!

It’s been a long, LONG weekend in the ‘No … Fresno, that is.  Over the weekend our oldest child had graduated from COLLEGE, and two graduation ceremonies later we can say that we did it.  Sunday morning found Chris and I exhausted.  Not just tired but dog tired EXHAUSTED! In addition to driving to and from Fresno twice, attending two different graduation ceremonies for the same child, then a congratulatory lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon on Saturday searching for, then purchasing said college graduate a car!!!  Yes, we were tired, but probably Chris more than I, however, I whined louder.

So, yes, Sunday morning you would have found two dead tired parents who just happened to sign up to run a half marathon before heading home from our already long weekend.  California Classic Weekend – a combination of a Century (100 mile) bike ride on Saturday, a half marathon on Sunday, and a kids run.  One could ride the Century ride and turn around on Sunday and run the half marathon. Or one could just do the bike ride, or just do the half marathon.  As I had run the half marathon last year, and as we had absolutely NO intention of riding 100 miles, Chris and I opted to only run the half marathon. It had already seemed as if we had been on the ride of our lives with the graduations and rearing of children.  The half marathon was all that we could handle.

Packet pickup for this event was held on a Thursday and Friday.  What the hell?  Really?  I can see if you were in Fresno, or if you lived in Fresno that this would work for you, however, we don’t live in the area, and even though we were in town on Friday, the expo began at 3 p.m. and we were long gone by then.  Last year we could pick up our bibs at Chuckchansi Stadium on Saturday, this year we were not able to as there was NO packet pick up on Saturday.  Really?  What an inconvenience!  We were assured that we would be able to pick up our packets and shirts prior to the race start in the morning.

Sam and his new Jetta, Miranda.

Our evening ran late as we took our child car shopping, add on the need for filling out applications for credit, insurance, promissory notes, etc., we were lucky to get in dinner by 9 p.m. Our other younger children were were grouchy and tired by this time, however we made the best of it as we dined at Denny’s!  It was an exciting night for our older son who was extremely excited and thankful to have gotten a new car!

Upon arriving back at the hotel, we readied and laid out our gear for the morning’s run.  Shorts – check. Shirt – check. Shoes – check. Everything – check, check, check. The only thing we did not have was our bib’s.  Sleep came easily for both of us, as we were both FAST asleep by the time our heads hit the pillow!

Race READY in the ‘No!
Chris and I at the start. =)

0515 came early! I was able to get up early, and ready myself without incident while my mother-in-law made coffee.  I know!  The horror of not having my regular Starbucks tall, triple, non-fat, no whip mocha!  What the hell, right?  But actually, the hotel provided coffee was fine, and it provided the jump start that I needed.  I was fortunate enough to have packed a mojo bar to have as my breakfast.  It was a very short walk to the start line, and while walking we met a very nice man who was also running the half, named David.  He and Chris struck up a really nice conversation, and he let us know of his goals (to sub 1:30! LOL!) and we talked about how inconvenient it was to have packet pickup on a Thursday and Friday! We got to the packet pickup table and were able to get our goodies without incident, put our bibs on, and head out to use the facilities.

While on my way to the porta-potties, I was fortunate enough to find my new

My newest running friend, Richelle! She ROCKS!!!

running friend, Richelle, who was stretching and warming up.  I introduced her to my husband, asked him to take a photo of us, and I was off while they chatted and waited for me.  Shortly after I was done, it was perfect timing, as there was about 10 minutes until gun time.  I worried the entire time before the start about my ankles and feet that were still nagging me, and that were still quite painful.

Miles 1-4 were fair.  I ran sub 10min/miles which was okay for me since I was still nursing injuries to both of my feet and ankles.  I was reminded of my girlfriend when I saw the Amtrak station at the half mile mark and I wondered how she was doing. It brought a little smile on my face as I noticed that even when she’s not with me, she is.

Mile 5 was just outside of the zoo gates. I was still doing okay, but I could tell it was beginning to get slightly painful.

Mile 6 was in the zoo.  It was nice to see the animals – Giraffes are my favorite.  I stopped for a minute to stretch out my calves which were starting to tighten up.  I was beginning to hurt even more – I know because I was running crooked, putting more pressure onto the side of my left foot.  Mile 6.5 I see Chris and call out and wave to him.  It was starting to get hot out there but I reminded myself to pour water down my back at every water station.

Mile 7, my left foot was starting to cry, so I stopped and removed the ankle support/brace, and I stretched out my feet once again.

I was doing okay from miles 8-10, but by mile 10.5, my left foot again started to whimper so I stopped and removed the ace wrap that was also supporting my ankle.  I left it on the side walk and hoped that some homeless person would be able to use it as it was fairly new.

I ran from mile 10.5 to the finish without much incident.  I decided to just suck it up.  I told myself that I was okay, that my foot was okay, and that I would be okay, but I was done and we needed to finish what we set out to do.  So I pushed it, slightly limping, but not.  Just kind of running a little bit crooked as I had been over the last few races since the Napa Valley Silverado Half Marathon.  I told myself to dig deep.  I reminded myself that there were worse ailments out there and that I was very fortunate to be able to run, albeit a little slower than I normally run.  And I just finished as strong as I could.

DONE in the ‘NO!
Chris coming into the finish. Waving!

I was happy to have finished strong and to have finished upright.  I waited for Chris and as I was doing so, my lovely family arrived … and I jokingly berated them for being late and not seeing my stellar finish! Chris arrived shortly afterwards and my son was able to take a few picture of him, and my mother in law and family were able to cheer him in.  I was happy that they were able to see him finish.

I love this little half … about 3500 people. We all got Cold Stone ice cream at the end, as well as a fairly stocked breakfast plate.

Overall, the course was slightly different than from what I remembered from last year.  It was still a nice run, but it was HOT.  The sun was scorching hot at the end and I was thankful to have been done and out before too long. Aside from the packet pickup fiasco, it was okay because even that worked itself out. Last year I remember that there were no porta potties on the course.  This year I saw several.

I’m not sure if I would run this race again.  It was a nice run, and right now I’m a legacy runner, however … it would be bittersweet as I only ran the race because my son, Sam, was in Fresno and I could visit with him.  This year he graduated from college and starts a new chapter of his life.  Only time will tell if I run this race again.  Who knows … I may.

Here’s what I do know though … I’ve been nursing the injuries to my feet and ankles since the end of April.  Although I have been nursing them, babying them, taking them to accupuncture, soaking them in warm foot soaks, and keeping them compressed … I’m still injured.  I still hurt, but I continue to push it because that’s how I am.  I’d say on a pain scale of 0-10, I’d rate it a 5, and would go up to a 6.5 to 7 at worst.  It’s not that bad, but yet, my injuries prevail because I am stubborn! I’m so hardheaded and I beat my body up pretty good!  I just know that there could be worse things though.  I just know that my injures are minute when looking at the big picture.  I know that my injures ARE healable.  I know that I WILL heal.  I am sure of that. So while my injuries are slightly aggravated after each run, I know that it’s my own fault that they prevail.  I run when I should rest my feet, but I know that I will be okay. This will not get the best of me … I am bigger than my issue, and I know people! =)

Until next time … Train HARD.  Train SMART.  Eat WELL. And run HAPPY!

So Spoiled That I Stink

I’m not going to lie. I’m spoiled. Very spoiled. Some say so spoiled that I stink.

I wasn’t always this way, seriously. I was and still am a very independent woman. I work hard. I am smart. I do a lot of things for myself. I just happen to be fortunate enough to have a husband who loves and cherishes me . . . A LOT.

Let’s define spolied. Checking it says that spoiled is a verb. In one definition, it says that to spoil is “to become bad, or unfit for use, as food or other perishable substances; become tainted or putrid: Milk spoils if not refrigerated.” Um … yeah … that’s not the right kind of spoiled. In another definition, to spoil is “to damage severely or to harm (something), especially with reference to its excellence, value, usefulness, etc.: The water stain spoiled the painiting. Drought spoiled the corn crop.” Or better yet … definition number three … “to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of (someone) by unwise treatment, excessive indulgence, etc.: to spoil a child by pampering him.” Hmmmm … definition number three would be the most likely be the one to define the type of spoiled that I am, except, really, “to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of someone?” Hahaha! I’m by far NOT impaired, damaged, nor is my character or nature harmed because of the treatment that I receive. Or am I?

I don’t believe that I’m so spoiled that my functioning is hampered. I do believe and will admit that I am spoiled to an extent. But … BUT … I blame my husband for that. Seriously, if you ask him, he will tell you that he does it out of love. All I have to do is ask or mention it and I will find it done or given to me. I’m serious when I say that on the days that I have to work, all I have to do is wake up. My kids are cared for, dinner is made, whatever I need is done.  He knows what I need, can complete my thoughts and sentences.  Some say that he’s whipped … whatever. If I had to do something, I could. My husband will tell you that he enjoys doing things for me, and I believe him.

Many people ask me how I am able to do the things that I do … workout excessively, work the hours that I do, run different races, etc., etc. Well, for one, my husband is my biggest supporter. You can find him at all of my events and doing whatever it takes to help me succeed. Secondly, my kids are not “little,” they may be young, but not little. Even if they were, even when they were, it really made no difference they came to the events or we found someone to watch them while we were away. Let it be known that my husband was the one who tricked talked me into running my very first full marathon. He is not only my biggest supporter, he is my biggest fan, loudest cheerleader, the best S.A.G. person. He will ride his bike beside me as I run for miles and miles. All this WITHOUT whining complaints. Oh … and if you’re sarcastic enough, you will find a car in your driveway for your birthday, complete with a BIG red bow!  Well, maybe you won’t, but I did … =)

He never gets enough credit. He deserves much more props than he gets. So … to my husband, Chris, THANK YOU! Thank you for allowing me to do what I need to do. Thank you for letting me go to the gym – for knowing that I need to get there or I’d go nuts.  Thank you for taking such great care of all of us, especially the kiddos. You are a great father and husband. Thank you for driving the “Party Bus” in which you graciously pick up my friends and take us to our various runs. Thank you for running when I sign you up for crazy races. Thank you for always looking out for us – finding events, taking the kids to their various practices and games.  Thank you for being our biggest fan, our greatest source of support.  Thank you for taking time off of work. I could never thank you enough for all that you do for us.  For your unselfishness, your undying devotion, your true love for us … There are not enough words, not enough thank yous, to express how grateful I am to have you in my life. You all have to know how much this man does not just for me, but for all of us – Me, Sam, Nate, Noah, Grace, his mom, and even his friends (the ones that he cares about anyway).

Call me spoiled. I really don’t care. It’s something that I am proud to be. I am very blessed to be in the position that I am. My life is better because of Chris.

Chris ... The Culprit. Ultimate Husband & Father. Spoiler.

Festival 500 Indy Mini Marathon 2011

Wow … Where do I begin with this post?  The Festival 500 Indy Mini Marathon.   This half marathon was chosen on a whim.  I saw it, I

This was taken by Brightroom. I love this pic!

thought about it, I asked my husband if it would be okay, then I registered.  I didn’t put that much thought into it which I should have.  I know!

My travel buddy!

Everyone always asks me, “Why Indianapolis?”  Well, the answer is easy … my brother, Joe, lives in Indy, so I made it a run with a dual purpose – visit my brother and run a half while I’m there!  I hadn’t been to Indy since 2006, and since then my brother has bought a new house and has a new girlfriend, etc.  The decision to go was easy,  just the logistics was not, but I made it work.  I was fortunate enough that my husband had some frequent flier mileage that he got on his new SouthWest Visa Card, and that my daughter’s ticket was fairly inexpensive.  So we were off on a girl’s adventure!

We left on a Monday so we had plenty of time before the race on Saturday.  We didn’t do much while in Indy, just hung around my brother’s house because he had to work and it would’ve been crazy to ask him to take vacation days off to spend time with us.  Besides, I didn’t want to do much other than chill out, and neither did Grace (she just didn’t know it then).  We loaded up of groceries and necessities and just holed up for a few days!  It was nice to just do nothing!

Course map ... where's my GPS?

My brother and his girlfriend, Lucy, did take the day off on Friday so we could explore the expo.  The expo was held at the Indianapolis Convention Center as it was a large event with many (try 30,000 runners).  Packet pickup was well organized.  They sent out postcards with our bib numbers already on them, so all one had to do was head to the correct line with your bib #.  Fast and easy.  I always love perusing the vendors at the marathon expos.  They almost always have great deals and there are always good race discounts.  The last time I went to one, I entered all of the drawings because my running BFF did, and I ended up winning a bunch of stuff so I did it again, and once again won a bunch of stuff – Free pizza, a boat trip down the Ohio River, a stay at a resort,

Checkered flag! =)

water bottle, etc.  Not bad.  It was while I was at the expo that I learned that one of my Twitter buds, @alamarcavada, was running this event.  Unfortunately, I was literally walking out as she was walking in, so we didn’t get to meet.  We were able to exchange numbers and were going to meet at the start or at the finish for sure!  I wanted to meet @halftrain while I was there also, but that didn’t happen either!

Carb loading happened at one of my favorite places … Buca di Beppo!  Love that place … tons of carbs, and more carbs.    The food is awesome, and you know that carbs and I are BFFs … well, except my hips don’t think so!  Lol!  Oh well … I love their food!  The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  My brother and Lucy took out Grace and I just chillaxed some more after I laid out my race gear.

Race day, game face on!  Heehee!  It started at about 0500  I had my ususal reheated Starbucks Mocha (Triple, tall, NF, no whip), and my toasted bagel with peanut butter.  Start time was 0700 and we weren’t sure about parking downtown, so we left at 0600.  Parking was not an issue.  Downtown Indy had lots of parking!  There were TONS of runners and spectators.  I expected chaos, but surprisingly there was NONE!  I thought I’d get lost trying to find the start, but I didn’t.  Everything

Hundreds and hundreds of porta potties!

was well marked, no one was panicking.  I met a really nice lady while waiting to use the porta potty who told me that this was her 10th Indy Mini race.  That was another thing … there were tons of porta-potties!  When I had to go right before my corral reached the start, there was no issue, no long ass line like there usually is at races!

Beach ball warm up! So cool. I tossed my daughter one when I took off!

I was in Corral M … so you can imagine how many people there are.  The corrals are arranged in the order that you registered, NOT by how fast you are.  I registered “late” in November for this race.  I loved how there was time to warm up and get acclimated to the weather, and how my family could find me easily.  I love how we played beach ball while we waited at the start!  It was fun!

Mac imposter, but she made me feel as if I was running with her!

I was worried about running “alone,” however, I was able to spot a girl that had a “Mac-do”  – the crazy ponytails that my running buddy Mac sports at our races!  Too much fun.  It took about 15 to 20 minutes to get to the start once the gun went off!

While “racing” I’m not really racing.  To me it’s just running as I am only competing with myself.  I only strive to improve my own times as I know that that is where the real competition is … inside my head!  Running thru the streets of Indy was amazing!  The weather was perfect – cool in the high 50’s to 60’s with some drizzle.  I had no issue with crowding in the beginning … just running.

Super cool to be running on the track!
I'm not a good runner & photographer, but I tried.

I hit the midpoint on schedule as discussed with my awesome Coach @SpeedySasquatch.  My times were spot on, and I felt really good.  Mile 7 is where we were actually

On the Speedway!

running on the Indianapolis 500 Speedway!  It was such an awesome,awesome experience!  I even took a few self portraits of myself while running … !

Miles 9 – 11 is where it got a little “weird” for me.  I know, what am I talking about?  Well, I’m not exactly sure what happened.  It was almost as if I blacked out for those 2 miles or so because I don’t remember them at all.  Seriously.  I just remember that I was thinking that my playlist was kinda weird at the mile 9 marker, then the next thing I knew, I was at mile 11 with a huge gash on my leg bleeding.  I don’t remember falling, but I don’t remember how I got to mile 11 either.  It was as if I just blacked out, but kept moving.   So … not to worry, I’ve been working with my doctor on trying to figure out WTHeck happened.  I’m thinking that it’s either my thyroid that’s off, or my electrolytes were really off.  I really believe that it was my electrolytes.  I dunno.  Just know that I’m okay, and I’ll figure it out.

So … since I lost two miles, my times were slightly off.  Even though I somehow managed to keep moving, I guess I was

I love this pic!

moving slowly.  Oh well, at least I was upright, and not vertical or on an ambulance gurney, right?  And the gash wasn’t bad, but it did scar.  I wasn’t going to try to even make up the time difference.  At this point I just wanted to finish.  My finish time looks weird, but remember that I started like 15-20 min after the gun time, and I lost time when I passed out or something.   I looked good at the finish though … smiling for the camera …

Post Race Cheezin'!

The end was fun!  Lots of people!  Lots of crowd support – from random people on the street, to cheerleaders from every school, volunteers, bands on street corners.  There was more than enough water, and porta potties throughout the course.  While running to the finish, the announcer made

Team Sasquatch reppin' in Indy!

it seem as if you were racing each other to the finish!  You know, like you were a race car.  Fun!  It took awhile, but finally caught up with my Twitter friend, Alamar … OMG, she’s awesome and beautiful.  She finished that race like it was nothing, and she looked fab!

Would I run it again?  Heck yeah!  That race was fun!  I’m thankful that my brother let us stay and chill out at his house.  I’m thankful that the weather was nice.  And I’m thankful that whatever happened from miles 9-11 were not that serious.  I loved that race!  Just don’t tell Chris that I already signed up for 2012 and am hoping that things workout so that I can make it back there again. =)  Thanks for a great race, Indy!!!

Running For Dad

Life changes you when someone close to you dies.  It’s almost as if in some way, somewhere deep down inside of you dies with them, but in another way, it’s as if a part of you awakens.  To some, that awakening may not be noticible because of the fact that life just gave them this terrible blow and they believe that somehow it would be “wrong” for them to live life when their loved one just died, therefore, that little flame that may have sparked an awakening gets extinguished.  Many people are like that after someone they loved passes – they feel guilty for being alive, for being happy, for moving forward.  Here’s my take.  Here’s what I believe.  I believe that those that have died would NOT want us to be guilty.  I believe that they would want us to move forward and carry on with life.  I don’t believe that they would want us to forever mourn their death, feeling guilty that we’re still alive while they are not.  I believe that they would have want us to remember happier times with them, and to cherish the time that we were able to spend with them while with us here on Earth.  I believe that life should be celebrated, and regardless of the death of one’s loved one, it should not be perpetually mourned.

My father was not one of “those” people.  His unexpected passing on Valentine’s Day, 2008, reached down and shook my core.  It was a wake up call of sorts that I should have heeded long, long ago.  You see, I always believed that my father would live forever, and I took him for granted.  I never believed that his life would just end so abruptly, leaving me to regret things I never said that I should have told him, and just leaving me with a feeling of rawness that I had never experienced.  I didn’t like that feeling.  However, knowing my father, I knew that he would not want me to feel guilty.  I believed that he knew what was in my heart, that he knew that I never meant to hurt him with my callousness, that I loved him dearly, and I knew that he loved me.

My father had suffered from leukemia since 2004.  I never believed that diagnosis.  Don’t ask me why … call it my defense mechanism or whatever you want to call it, I just couldn’t fathom it.  I guess I just wanted it to go away.  It’s funny for me as a nurse to say that … I know that things don’t just go away and disappear.   This didn’t.  It wouldn’t.  It stayed.  For four years, my father fought the good fight.  He learned this disease inside and out.  He asked questions of all his doctors, all his friends who were doctors, anyone who had the same disease or similar.  He researched.  When he died, and we were going through his belongings, I saw all of his handwritten notes, highlighted articles, collected lab results, doctors findings … and it made me sad that he fought so hard and lost.

When the opportunity arose to enter a lottery to run a marathon shortly after he died, I only entered because never in a million years did I think I would be one of the chosen.  As my father did, I played the lottery every week, sometimes twice a week, for years and I had never won.  I thought I would only enter the lottery for the half-marathon, but my husband, who knows me so well, stated that I would finish the half and say that I could’ve run the full thing.  So, I placed my name in the full marathon lottery.  Imagine my surpise when I received the email that stated, “Congratulations!  You have been selected to run!”  What the heck?  I laughed!  What else could I do?  I just laughed because there was nothing that I could do about it now, I was selected.  Not being one to shirk off a challenge that I had gotten myself into, I would run it!  When I learned that it was a marathon benefiting the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, I knew that it was a sign.

My father had always know that I had a passion for running.  As a high school track and cross-country runner, I can remember him cheering me on in the stands.  I knew he was proud of me because I heard how he spoke of me to his friends and relatives.  He believed in me.  So when this opportunity to run the Nike Womens Marathon, Benefiting The Leukemia Lymphoma Society arose, I knew that I would rise to the occasion and run for my beloved father.  I had a sinking feeling that my father had much to do with my name being selected to run …  remember, he knew my passion, believed that I was strong,  and he always wanted me to win the lottery!

For a third year now, I am honored to once again run for my father.  As I have said time and time again, running a marathon is definately much easier than the fight that he was up against with leukemia.  I believe that my father would not want others to suffer as he had, and I will help as best as I can to raise funds and awarness. 

Thank you, Dad, for waking me up.  Know that your passing was not in vain, and that I will fight hard to raise awarness and funds for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.  I love you, and I miss you.