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.

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing. I remember watching those Olympic trials in disbelief that such a beautiful healthy young man could be taken down in the blink of an eye--I went out and ran the next day for him. I also bought the cookbook that was out for the memorial fund. In fact I bought LOTS of them for gifts.
    I lost 2 brothers of my own to a rare disease. One was 33 and 20 years later lost my other one at 53. I ran my first marathon in 2004 to fight off the depression and sadness that I couldn't get through. I just finished #23 along side Bart Yasso for part of the time in the Ogden Marathon on Saturday. He is a wonderful and courageous man. I love what you are doing! I ran the Austin marathon this year too! Wish I had known you were there! My son lives in Austin--hopefully we will meet around towne Lake sometime! Happy runningand let me just tell you-- running will heal you if you let it.
    God bless you!
    Joan Nelson,Ut