One month from today…
Today is February 21, 2010. In addition to being my cousin Jenee’s birthday, this also marks the one month mark until the marathon. Sometimes life gets so chaotic that it is hard to know what you will be doing in the next 5 minutes, let alone 30 days from now. However, I am quite confident that on March 21, 2010, I will be crossing the marathon finish line for the second time in my life. Running a marathon is a pipe dream for most and a reality for few. I realize that I am not only fortunate to say that I was a finisher once, but twice! However, like any achievement, it comes with a price tag.
I had the pleasure to go on a little get away this weekend with my in-laws to Palm Springs. Joe and I were going to head over there on Saturday morning after my planned 18 mile jaunt. On Friday night, it was raining here in L.A. and I contacted my partner Leanne and we both agreed that if the rain didn’t cease by the morning, we were going to forgo our run. Because of last weekend’s run, which was the hardest of my life, I had to admit that I was kinda hoping that the rain would continue through Saturday. I didn’t want to have to have to experience the physical pain, illness and mental defeat that happened the previous weekend. Mostly, I didn’t want to fail myself and I didn’t want to fail all of you. You see, it is very easy to continue to push yourself when you are able to conquer your goals easily. However, when you throw a little blood, sweat and tears into the mix, it is natural to have some second thoughts.
I first woke up to learn that Leanne wouldn’t be able to join me. I looked outside and saw that it was drizzling lightly and I went back to bed for a little more. I was secretly hoping that by the time it was light outside that the rain would be in full swing and I would have an excuse to not run. At 7 am, my alarm rang and I looked outside to see my worst nightmare, a perfect L.A. weather day. Crap! There was no stopping me now. Before I knew it, I was out the door with 18 more miles left to run.
When I got to mile 13, physically I was starting to hurt. I could feel the pounding of every step take hold of the muscles in my legs. I started to go on autopilot. I did something very weird that many runners do when they are in pain: I separated my body from my mind. I started to imagine that I was laying by the pool in Palm Springs drinking a Cosmo and it worked. I was able to push through the pain. I was able to finish very strong and even though I was sore afterwards, this run did what it needed to do, it restored my confidence.
When we got to Palm Springs, my body was fatigued and I was feeling a lot of muscle and joint pain. As I was getting into my mother-in-law’s car, she asked me if it was all worth it? Although I didn’t have an answer just then, I was able to reflect on this piece for the rest of the weekend.
What motivates me to put my body through so much physical anguish just to say that I ran yet another marathon? I think it is the same thing that motivates me to do everything else in my life at 100%. It is a combination of pride, determination and an unwillingness to accept failure.
This is not so different from the mindset of our GOTB families. They deal with many hardships, but they don’t stop. They keep pushing through. They fight to give the children they are caring for every opportunity possible to make them the best people they can be. Despite the odds, they are the real heroes. Every day they are overcoming the odds.
This made me realize that what I am doing is worth it. Is it hard? Yes. Does it hurt? Yes. But, to raise this money and this awareness for the children is worth every single hard moment. After March 21, 2010, I will go back to my normal life. However, they will continue to live without their parents. They will continue to have to fight every odd to make it. I owe it to them to do this.
I have two very special thank yous. The first is to my best friend Marylou. Thank you not only for your generous donation, but for walking with me through this journey. You are the best friend a girl could ask for. The second is to Joe’s grandmother Becky Kraus. Thanks so much for all your support and your generous donation to help the children. It will go a long way.