Sunday, February 28, 2010

Giving Back

This week didn't start out very good. At work, 8 people in my department were laid off, part of a company-wide layoff. I had survivor's guilt and felt overwelmed with the burden of missing them and more work than I could even comprehend.

Tuesday morning my neighbor didn't get up to run and the other guy we run with had just had a funeral for the unexpected death of his father and he was headed out to California. Since I fell a couple of weeks ago, I don't feel safe running by myself. I finally got to run on Thursday and had a good run although my neighbor frets everytime she hears my feet shuffle because she is worried I am going to fall.

Yesterday, I did not do a long Saturday run, actually, I didn't run at all. I volunteered at the Post Oak Trail Marathon by working the aid station at the Pole Barn, directing weary runners to the aid station and then directing them back out to the trail, cheering them on. This was a whole lot of fun, observing the different running attire, looking at the various running bodies, young & forever young, some lean, some mean and meeting other people in the running community. This is an inagural event and Tulsa Running Club went overboard to get this event off the ground. The weather was perfect, almost 50, clear skies, light wind. About 200 people signed up for the trail marathon and there were 300 signed for the 10, 25 and 50K on Sunday. These trails are new, they had to be marked, and then there's the aid stations to be set up and manned. Then they have to do it all again on Sunday for the 10, 25 and 50K races.

Trail running is a different running event, very slow. They didn't even take off fast from the starting line, one of my friends, just stood there fiddling with his Garmin, since the satelite hadn't kicked in, he didn't seem one bit concerned that he was the last person to start. As many of the runners came out of the trail to go to the aid station, they took their time. This was not a race, it was an event to finish, without regard for time. The trails are rigorous and to complete these events, without injury, takes focus and endurance. The main reason I volunteered was to support some friends of mine and I was totally impressed as I saw them come out of the trails, looking like they were having a very good time, at least at that point in the event which was 12.5 miles. Look at them, don't you agree? By the time I needed to leave (12:20), I had seen almost everyone-Jason, Lisa, Carmie, Chris, Donna, Mary, Teresa, Carolyn, Ken and Charlie. The only one I missed was Greg, the Garmin guy.

I was a little torn with not running, but this was not the weekend for me to tackle this. I needed to be available for phone calls on a database conversion at work and I think I would have ended up getting injured but I was a little envious as I watched my friends making their way on the trail. Well, missing this one and next week's Little Rock will make the next marathon, Oklahoma City, all the sweeter. There will be many more marathons for me, for now, I will pray for my friends as they recover from this race of endurance, actually, 2 races, they were daring enough to do the 10K on Sunday too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Black Eye

Last week we had one of those treasured running days. We ran 20 miles and had a really good training run, felt great when we were done. We started at the Jenks bridge, ran north to about 56th street. This was my first time on this part of the redone Riverparks and it looks so nice. Then we went back out and up to Turkey Mountain, the parking lot up there is so pretty now with all the rock work.

On my Tuesday run, I fell and got a black eye. I was running with my neighbor and when I went down, she said a prayer for me. My only injury was the black eye and it didn't hurt. I'm very grateful that I didn't break anything. On my Thursday run, I fell again and received just a couple of scrapes, thank God. I don't know why I fell 2 days in a row, I was probably too tenative in my Thursday run, fearing that I was going to fall.

Yesterday's run was Poker Run day. I always look forward to this, an easy, untimed run, get cards at different pick up points, end up with 7 and see what kind of hand you have. Runners World brings a bounty of free merchandise, with the best going to those who have a Royal Flush.

We started out an hour early to get extra miles in. It was much colder and windier than we expected, the air was very damp and this put a dismal shadow on our running. We saw Simone and her group ( a big turnout) as well. Carolyn, who completed her first 50 mile ultra last week, joined us. We went thru downtown Tulsa and were thrilled to take a water break at the Adams Mark where it was nice and warm. We were so cold and it seemed to take forever to get back to Veteren's Park. We registered for the Poker Run and headed out for another 5. I met up with Janet Burgess, who I haven't seen in months. She will be running Boston in April 2011, I wish I could run with her but I don't think I'll be that fast this year. I managed to get thru this run with no falls, yay!

When we finished, we looked at our cards and decided to turn them in since they weren't very high and we didn't want to stand around forever for our prize. I am getting tired of the cold, this is so untypical of Oklahoma but I know shouldn't complain. The east coast has much worse weather than us.
Coffee at Starbucks, can't go wrong there, we discussed our future marathons and how I am going to get fast enough for Boston. My running buddies encouraged me, as they always do, together we'll make it happen. Their next race is the Post Oak Trail Marathon. I'm pretty sure that I am not going to do this. I think my recent falls are a warning that I should heed. I'll have a fun time volunteering.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone, I hope you either get a hug or give one and tell those dear to you how much you love them.