Sunday, October 31, 2010

Running For Ryan and Pete, and our Heroes

Runner's world nite, Expo center, with coach, in a NY Taxi:)

Abdi, Ryan, Meb

(soldiers taking a break overseas; Ryan May 4, 1979-Nov. 3, 2007; Pete Feb. 3, 1979-Aug. 14, 2010)

NOVEMBER 5, 2010
Exhausted! Got into hotel about 5pm then headed to the Expo to get bib number, yeah! Next, headed out to meet some great heroes and athletes at the Runner's World gig, and now about to hit the sack. Tomorrow I will take a solo trip to "Ryan's Rock" and a little jog around Central Park. Everything is going well so far, but hopefully don't get too tired on all the adrenaline I am on right now!:) Thanks for your suppport! We can/will get to the goal!

NOVEMBER 3, 2010
$20,000 of $26,200 Goal Met! Thanks!
I just finished making the running top for the race. I used my top from the Austin Marathon and tweaked it a little bit. I want to give thanks to a lot of people before I leave Austin and this could be the last night I have time to write. Gary Brimmer, from San Antonio, was the very first person to contact me about getting the word out about my first marathon. I posted a little blurb on a running message board, and he contacted me right away and got me in contact with John and Stacey Conley of Conley Sports. All of these individuals continue to be very supportive. Also, Sente Mortgage of Austin, TX. Their dedication to the cause for the Austin Marathon was heartfelt and an amazing act of kindness. Pam LeBlanc, from the Austin American Statesman, the Notre Dame Club of Austin, Notre Dame Alumni office head quarters, especially Mark LaFrance. Ryan Posanby and Mark Floreani from Flotrack (and my tenants...ha ha) Bumping into Bart Yasso at the Austin Marathon really took this fundraiser to a new direction. Bart introduced himself to me, and went back and asked Runner's World to follow up with me. That lead to the November article, which has opened the doors for a lot of positive attention and donations to the cause through various other current media. A special thanks to Mary Wittenberg and the NYRR club!

Erin O'Mara is my new hero. Erin is from Michigan and is an excellent distance runner (2:50) marathoner, and has her own story to tell that will touch any one's heart. She barely knows me, and joined up to help raise $2,000 with me in just the last month. She is running NYC too, and I can't wait to see her do well!
I had an awesome support group in Austin from my son's family to great friends and co-workers who all chipped in to help entertain Max while I got in the longer runs. Most importantly, my siblings for always being there and never doubting me, and taking the time to hike it to NYC again for this occasion. Alicia and her family and really everyone who has supported Running For Ryan by donating money, training products, or encouraging words to get to the finish. Thanks!

Most of all, I give my appreciation and thanks to our troops! As an ex military spouse and getting Max through his father's deployment, I do know it's the hardest job in the world!

NOVEMBER 3, 2010

Today is the 3rd anniversary of Ryan's passing, and I awoke with some great energy and instantly thought about being in NYC in a few days. Today an insecurity I had a year ago about completing one marathon, let alone a second one seem to be hiding somewhere in the back of my head. Today, I remember Ryan with a smile on my face. I saw a miniature pug the other day and it reminded me of the last time I was with Ryan at his Flagstaff home in August of 2007. I probably mentioned this in an earlier blog, but Ryan's main goal at the time was to get my son,Max, and his dog to wrestle around on the floor the entire night...running down the stairs saying, "Guys check this out! It's so funny! You gotta see Max wrestle the dog."

That night, as Abdi was in his room, and another runner in her bedroom, and my brother Nate on the couch, Max and I camped out with Ryan and Alicia upstairs cracking jokes, and talking about old school stories from growing up and picking on each other through out the evening. That was the last night I spent with my brother before heading on the road to drive back out East the following morning. That weekend was precious, and I should of had my camera out, but as usual, you just don't think it will ever be the last day...

Today I give thanks to my mom and dad who have been supporting me through this year of running and fundraising. I have seen how they have changed in the course of 3 years. My father especially, softening his ways, and while they are still very active in the Northern Michigan running community with coaching and mentoring, running doesn't seem to be the top priority these days as well as peace of mind.

My dear sister-in-law, Alicia, you are thought about today. I look forward to seeing you in NYC and taking in the beauty of Central Park in the fall and taking in the excitement and wonderment of such an event in such a huge city!

OCTOBER 31, 2010

Someone forwarded me an article of Alicia Shay that was in the New York times today. Alicia was Ryan's wife. In the article she describes what the last 3 years has been like for her, and as his wife, I cannot imagine what it has been like dealing with the ups and downs since his passing. She also talks about how her future won't be that of a grieving widow, but of someone who wants to pursue her running dreams and continue to live her own life and get through this in her own way.
As his sister, I know what the last 3 years have been like and mean to me. What I got from her article was that no one can tell you when to stop grieving but with a loss that has been great for my entire family, we have learned to appreciate our current relationships and have found happiness among the moments of sorrow.
I too once loved someone so much, but at the time we were together, I did not lose him to death, our paths just went separate ways after college was finished for the two of us. When my college sweetheart Predrag "Pete" Dakovic did die in a car accident in his hometown of Porgorica, Serbia on August 14 of this year, I was still shocked as if I had just said goodbye to him when he left America to go back home. The world is made up of loss, but it is how we choose to honor those who have died that I believe will make us better humans while we enjoy what and who surrounds us while we live each day in appreciating the moment.
So, on November 7, 2010, I am going to run this marathon in NYC and do it for Ryan and Pete, and all the service men and women who have left this world too soon. As quoted on the Wounded Warriors Project homepage: "The greatest casualty is to be forgotten".

No amount of time can fill the void of a lost loved one, but it does certainly help us to treat living as precious and hopefully encourages us to always let those in our life know how special they are before it's time to go.

One week before the BIG day!!! I hope if you are reading this, you continue to spread the word and help get us to our goal of $26,200. It's never too late to donate, and it would be a great honor to see us reach or surpass this amount. We are at $19,000! THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
100% of donations for the fundraiser go to the Wounded Warrior Project

CREDIT CARD DONATIONS MADE BY CLICKING ON DONATE ICON ABOVE, then click on Sarah Shay, or any team member and follow online directions


Running For Ryan
c/o Sarah Shay
P.O. Box 300766
Austin, TX 78703

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