Monday, May 31, 2010

M E M O R I A L D A Y, May 31, 2010

I didn't head down to San Antonio as planned. First off, my car was in the shop on Friday, and I wasn't sure about taking it out of town on such a long and busy traffic weekend. But it seems okay. Secondly, my hostess was still moving into her new place with her son, so she was a busy mom this weekend. So, I stayed in Austin and Max and I headed to Lake Travis for the first time. Wow, the water was perfectly warm, though not sure if I went to the best place just because it was rocky and wavy. But really no complaints as we enjoyed a good half day in the water.

Today I told Max we were going to head to a place where they say "Thank you" to soldiers who were brave and died for their service. I am pretty sure his dad being a soldier made it pretty easy to understand and we headed to the American Legion Post in Austin on Veterans Drive.

As soon as we arrived, presentations were being made, and I instantly started to shed tears. While I do think about our soldiers past and present, my brother was on my mind. I have always admired men and women in uniform, but even as an ex-wife to a soldier, I don't think I gave back to the military as much as I should have. So, with my brother's passing, came this challenge, and that's why I was thinking about him during the Memorial Day events today. Doubt was creeping back in a little bit over the past few days, because training is miserable in the Texas heat, but I truck through, even with slower running times, but 10 miles has been the most I can bare for now. I mean, I know I will be in NYC in November, and I will run, but my running confidence has lessen with summer training versus winter training. But the Lupus is doing okay. Inflammation to my face has cleared up a lot but my eyes are dried out now. Due to lack of producing tears, using drops frequently through out the day, but my joints are good, and I continue to feel like I am managing it quite well. So with that good bit of news, I focus ahead, and think about the thousands of wounded who have physical and emotional wounds far exceeding anything that I have to deal with.

It was a great time at the American Legion. Max sat next to me and listened to Mayor Leffingwell give a speech, and a couple of other veterans from years ago. The great part about Memorial Day/4th of July/and Veteran's Day events is seeing those who have served from so long ago encouraging and supporting soldier's of today. Some old planes flew over, and Max sat with me a bit to hear some music, then his favorite part came, brownies and ice cream.:) It was pretty hot today, 95 degrees, and so after a couple of hours we headed home, and as we left Max said, "Mama, I want to go there again." So, as a mother, it felt good to have him interested in an event on Memorial Day. Even if he doesn't understand all of it, I know he will want to go next year, and hopefully incorporate the act of showing appreciation to servicemen and women throughout his lifetime.

Today I give my appreciation to all those who have lost their lives for us. For some families the loss and pain is still very new, and my heart goes out to you. Bless you all.

A special shout out to my best friend in Iraq right now. "T" we all love you, and can't wait to see you back home soon. Love ya.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Merciful Weather, May 25, 2010

It's amazing what a little drop in temperature will do to make a run seems fantastic! Did my usual 7 mile loop around the lake and felt awesome tonight. Trying to keep the 30-40 miles a week base going until the final 3 three month before NYC Marathon. Won't be doing any 20 mile long runs before August, that's for sure!

As I was on the trail today, I was pretty mellow, thoughts wandering toward the fundraiser. It's definitely more of a challenge this time around. So, I was brainwashing for some ways I can generate money in order to make goal of $26,200. I am going to start working on the plans. and cross my fingers that something becomes of the ideas. I felt great stuffing envelopes all weekend and sending those mail requests out, but as I learned from the last marathon about 1 in a handful respond, so I am going to try and do some local things to help raise the funds.

Going to make this short before Max gets home, and grill some chicken I have marinating in a mystery marinade I just made up last minute...should be interesting!

I feel really good after this last run and just want to enjoy the endorphin high I am on right now and hope it carries through in future workouts this week!

Favorite song of the day on my IPod was once again, Radar gets my adrenaline kickin everytime!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

MAY 23, 2010

Austin really is a pretty unique city with Town Lake in the middle of it all and ample spots for hiking and biking and jogging. If I wasn't running to keep my base miles in tack before the harder training at the end of the summer, I would even be used to the heat. Today's 10 mile attempt kicked my butt! I was so hot and dehydrated after 8 miles, I stopped and walked the last 2. It's only in the 90's so it going to be super interesting to see how I will get a 20 mile long run in this season when the temps peak at 100 plus!

I am going to San Antonio for Memorial Weekend, I decided. Last year, as I mentioned before, Max and I headed to Ft. Hood around this time last year (I think the weekend before Memorial Weekend). Five months had passed since his dad deployed and he really enjoyed seeing all the guys in uniform... I guess it confirmed to him that his dad's absence was for a valid reason, because all these men and women were about to deploy soon too.

So, going to check out my friend's new place and show support in San Antonio this year on Memorial Day. It was actually a pretty low key weekend and I am going to sign out this time around without carrying on and on like usual.

If you are reading this, thanks! Please continue to spread the word about donating. I need to average abut $2,000 a month to reach the goal for NYC Marathon. I appreciate all the support and wish you well!

Friday, May 7, 2010

***M A Y***

(I almost took off the Looney Bean Coffee sticker off a few years ago to make the computer less cluttered, but I am glad I didn't, as it represents Mammoth, CA where he lived and trained)

May 21, 2010

Ok, so I made it through a pretty hot week of running. Well hot anyway for this Michigan girl. With the sun blazing, it was in low 90's but felt close to 100 when running. I have to run after work because it's the only time I have available for help with watching Max while I get the hour or so of running in during the week. So, it's going to get pretty tricky when we are in 100 degree weather for the next few months. The good news is my most critical months will be August - October, and temps drop in September. The great thing about not being an elite runner, I don't have to focus too much on time, but rather finishing. However, of course a part of me would love to break 4:30 and maybe get near 4:15 this time around. I can only hope for the best, and more importantly manage any inflammation that will pop when my body is running ragged.

It's Friday night, after midnight, and I am restless. I have a bunch of envelopes to be addressed for donation requests that I want to get out in the mail tomorrow, but I always get a little more restless when it's Max's dad's weekend time. I go through a little withdraw of not having a cute and cuddly kid running around to keep me on my toes. It is a good time to get better running in though, and focus on mail outs for donation requests. This time around is definitely harder as I have begged everyone I know to donate already for the previous marathon. So, I am thinking of fundraiser ideas and mailing VFW posts and businesses I feel will be happy to make a donation.

Admit tingly I also viewed videos of Ryan tonight on You Tube as a few of them were made by my brother Case and they just have so much meaning to them and of course I am crying, but I also just like to see Ryan's beautiful face and remember the last time I hung out with him and Alicia in Flagstaff and wishing I would have taken more pics together.

If you have had a loved one pass away, you may understand what I mean when I say, "he always comes to me when I need it". There is no way on Earth I would ever in a million years be running in freaking hot Texas weather on my own will. I have this desire to honor his name after saying I would run to raise $26,200 for WWP. And as cheesy or emotional as it may sound, I really love our troops, second to my son. Sometimes I joke about not having luck in dating, or holding my breath for when my car finally drives it's last mile, but all that really seems so trivial compared to knowing we still live a cushy life while men and women are still over there. A little story about I was getting out of the Army and pretty much unemployed and with a few bucks, a laptop arrived at my front door in California. He sent his Apple IBook to me and told me he was upgrading anyway and I should have it. The computer stopped working a couple of years ago, but I still have that Mac and I will never get rid of it. He supported me when I needed it, and I am taking that feeling of his kind gesture and giving it back to men and women fulfilling an obligation that I didn't finish. It's almost Memorial Weekend, please keep our servicemen and women in your thoughts and prayers, if you pray.

May 18, 2010

Support and Love

Sunday was a great run day! I ran my longest run since Austin Marathon, 10 miles around Town Lake. The heat was do-able and I felt awesome as I crossed the pedestrian bridge to finish. Then, Monday afternoon I was greeted with some emails from well wishers finding out about this challenge through Runner's World face book page. Thank you so much for your support! The great thing about running is that it can introduce you to so many people around the world who feel connected because for whatever the reason, running has been his/her outlet for whatever may be going on individually. A special thanks to a woman who wrote to tell me about her brother who died in Iraq two years ago, but who also followed Ryan's story as a runner, and offered kind words of support. Reaching out to show support is not always easy and I appreciate your email. Looks to be a pretty good day for a run after work, and I will use all this positive energy to get through another hot and sweaty work out. Please continue to spread the word, and give if you can, no amount is too little, and every donation is greatly appreciated!

May 12, 2010
Bart Yasso

On February 13, 2010, I bumped into Bart Yasso at the Austin Marathon Dinner the night before the race. I saw him wearing a Runner's World jacket, and he looked kind of familiar but really didn't know who he was. He graciously introduced himself to me, and I said something like..."So you work for Runner's World?" He kind of grinned, and said, yes, for about 25 years now. I was thinking, oh boy, I am an idiot. But he did not make me feel like one. The truth is I didn't know who Ryan Hall was either a few years back. He was at my brother Ryan's wedding, and didn't even know it. I guess I was too busy keeping Max out of the dirt (the only kid rolling in the dirt with his bow tie and cumber bun destroyed). I also didn't know who Ryan was when he entered our hotel room with his wife, Sara, to give condolences while I was in NYC with my family. I didn't know who Amby Burfoot was when I poured my heart out about Ryan for a Runner's World spread about his life and death. But all of a sudden I felt uncomfortable with the interview. What is he doing? Am I saying too much? Will they tell the world how much I love him, or do they want any kind of dirt I can scoop? In the end, I was kind of bitter with Amby. I really didn't have a reason to be. But it was so close to the time he passed away that I felt raw with emotion, and regretted talking about anything. It was the first and last time I spoke about Ryan until 2 years later when I started running in his memory.
I am not the only one who slipped away from the weirdness of it all. We all did. Personally my divorce was right in the middle of it all, and that's when I just went away. My mind went numb and I felt hidden away from the world.
So, when I decided to run and start Running For Ryan it was due to a switch that just went on in my head. I have no regrets, as it as healed a lot of my emotional wounds, and it brought me in contact with an awesome community in Austin. A community that reached out and helped make my first Marathon an extraordinary experience.
Back to Bart. As I said, I didn't know who he was, but he was so gracious. After the race, he came up to me and said, "It was cool to see you finish the race", and we chatted for a bit as I could not stop from crying from all the emotion gushing out from months of anticipation and Ryan's spirit hovering over my head. Shortly after the run, Bart emailed me to let me know what an inspiration I was. I kind of stared blankly at the screen because I honestly did not think of myself that way. Here's Sarah's thoughts: "I should have run faster, I should have been skinnier, I should have done it this way, I should have done it that way, and so on..." Bart was encouraging, and he hoped I would do another race. So, when I mentioned the NYC Marathon he emailed me once again to tell me how awesome that would be. All this time had passed since the Austin Marathon, and I still didn't know too much about Bart. So today, I finally learned he has lived with Lyme Disease for quite some time. Suffering physically, but you would never know it. As someone who was just diagnosed with Lupus last year, I felt an instance connection. This disease is new to me, but I just kind of shake it off, as I have to in order to keep up with doing what I have to and want to do. But knowing Bart is about to embark on a great journey while heading to the 2010 Comrades Marathon in South Africa gives me a new found motivation to keep going with my running. I mean I only have one under my belt, and I am trying for a second. This is chop liver for a pro like Bart, but he wouldn't let you feel that way. Since becoming my friend, he has made me feel like I can run to the highest mountain and back if I wanted to. So, Bart, I hope you have the greatest time of your life while completing a race you have always wanted to complete and I hope you continue to encourage and inspire all those fortunate enough to "run" into you!

May 7, 2010
Memorial Weekend

Whew, as far as weeks go this past one was a little on the not so fun side, but got through it and I continue to keep trucking along. Started the week off with Ryan's birthday on the 4th, and though it was less emotional than the very first one with out him, I did continue to think about him often, but I took these thoughts into my evening runs. They were HARD this week. I felt like I was running in place with the nasty heat we have been having...I mean 97 degrees in May, what the heck!? Secondly, work was overwhelming, and I didn't feel so hot physically. The day ended with a client asking if I got in a "bar fight" due to some Lupus marks on my face, and I was like....ughh! Really, I just smiled and said, "No it's Lupus." He asked how I got I picked it up somewhere...oh boy...we do need to be a little more sensitive and educated as a whole don't we? Well, I don't like to talk much on my Lupus, but the sun has started to take a toll. However, I still feel very lucky to maintain it the way I do. I guess to a stranger it's visible, but I am used to it and move on with daily business.

Well, as Memorial Weekend approaches in a few weeks, I think about where I was last year. I cannot believe it's been almost a year that I was at Ft. Hood watching/listening to the Lt. Dan Band Play W/ Gary Sinise. Max and checked it out as his father was currently deployed at the time, and I thought it would boost his spirits to see the band perform for soldiers getting ready to deploy. It was a great treat, as they were awesome, and very entertaining for all ages. I was even handed a fruit basket by on of the band's escorts and passed it around like a was at a picnic with one large family.

Well is this Memorial Weekend approaches, I wonder what I will do to show support...besides the usual running for this fundraiser. But I hope to be a part of an event like the uplifting concert Max and I attended last year.

I hope if you are reading this that you will be able to show support where you live. Unfortunately it's easy to forget about our men and women while we are wrapped up in our daily lives, so please show appreciation for them when you have the chance.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 4, 2010

It's Sunday...a great weekend ending and another workweek ahead. There are 3 things in life I know right now and they are, I love my son more than anything in this world, not a day goes by when I don't think about my brother, and I am very thankful of our servicemen and women. As Ryan's birthday approaches on May 4, he would have been 31 this coming Tuesday. Of course, due to his birthday coming up, I have been thinking about him more than usual. I have also been in constant contact with my best bud overseas right now, and another dear friend about to depart for more work overseas on another continent. So Ryan's spirit, and the connection with friends abroad, I was extra motivated to run today. Unfortunately, I started too late in the day and made a scheduled 10 mile run an 8 mile run. It was pretty sunny and 90 degrees felt pretty hot today. But I trucked through and let the songs on my IPod sway my thoughts from one emotion to the other. I love 80's music and well the song, Forever Young by Alphaville popped on. This song was kind of my song for the last marathon, and it flows into the next one, because it's my "Ryan" song. He will be forever young in my head and my heart but he will also be the biggest reason I ever had the guts to start this. So tonight my thoughts go out to my brave friends, and on Tuesday I will smile when I think about my brother and the last time I gave him a hug, for that precious moment re-plays like an old movie in the back of my head all the time. :)