Sunday, January 22, 2017

Run with Purpose

I have not run for 4 weeks. For three weeks, I was in New Bern with my Mom and Dad. There was no time to run. My Dad was in his last days with cancer. Mom is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Being with them was 24/7 for me, my brother Tim, and my daughter Rayna. I would not have wanted it any other way. Those weeks were hard, but the memories will be treasured for the rest of my life.

Last week, after my Dad's Celebration of Life service, I returned home. I did not run because I was exhausted mentally and physically. I also had this twinge of guilt when I thought about going for a run. With my Dad passing and my mom now living in assisted living, I felt guilt for running. Even though I knew that running would be good for me, relieve some stress, as well as give me time to think through and process the past several weeks, I just could not bring myself to do so.

This morning I received a wonderful instant message from one of my runners, Bobby Gettys. Like many runners during marathon training, Bobby was struggling to get past a particular mileage point. Bobby had a great 15-mile run a few weeks past, but was now struggling to get past that 15 miles and feel strong. I talked with Bobby to get a better idea about his sleeping, fueling (the night before a long run, just before, during, and after the long run) as well on what he was doing for hydration. I gave him some tips to try based on the info he shared.

This morning, I received this message from Bobby,

"I want to thank you for the advice you gave me last week about really helped... I took a GU gel every 45 mins and I felt stronger throughout the run yesterday. I got in 18 miles yesterday... my furthest so far this training... I think sometimes my biggest problem is mental.... the long runs are so painfully long.... especially when you do it alone... when you are doing something and you know you are going to hurt afterwards.... your mind tricks you into wondering if it's really worth it... but I feel like it will all come together... thanks again for all your help and especially the good advice last week."

Bobby's note reminded me of a couple things. First, yes running (as well as many things in life) are "mental." We can sometimes be our own worst enemy. I too have to remember to "Trust. Believe. Conquer." Second, we are not alone. Even though at times we may physically be alone, we can't forget that there are so many around us ready with support. That was no more evident than when I was in New Bern receiving so much love and support from the Greensboro running community.

Bobby helped me remember my purpose. I don't only run for me. I run for others.

I will be running this week.

1 comment:

runningmyselfragged said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Yes, running helps us through so much in our life. And when we can't run for whatever reason, family, health, injuries, work, we just appreciate it so much more. Thank you from another runner for your advice and good words.