The following images are medals I am making... why because I completed these and I want something to see on my rack of race medals, there are many, most have no meaning other than I started and I finished, but there are three running/walking events in my life that are packed with so much meaning that I feel like all I am doing now is chasing a dragon.
In May of 2010 I belonged to a Relay for Life team with my mother and other family members, when you participate in those events someone from your team is to be on the track at all time... I started walking and didn't stop... I made it to 5 miles and felt fine... I will keep going.. 10 miles.. still fine... keep going... 20 miles.. getting a little tired but kept going... at mile 23 I was so tired my gait was way off and it caused blisters and muscle aches that I wasn't sure I would finish... I kept going. At mile 26.25 I stopped. The final lap was walked with my mother and many other friends and family. At the beginning of the event I had my mom write on my leg who I was walking for.. in honor and memory of. There is a sadness in me that some of those I had written in honor of are now memories, they did not survive the battle with cancer.
As made my way home that night, I obviously had to sit down, Deanna was with me but she did not have her permit at the time and could not drive me. As I pulled in the yard and parked, I could not move. My legs, my feet, the hair on my head was in pain. Deanna helped me, even at one point I felt like I needed to crawl. As I tried to take my shoes off to get in the shower as I was covered track dust, tears and a bit of blood, I realized my socks were pretty much stuck on my feet. As Deanna gently helped me take them off, I muttered. "Why did I do this to myself?" Deanna paused and looked at me and quietly said "Mommy, look at your leg, you did it for them... you did it for them."
I walked all night... some with friends.. some with family.. some alone.. some with my angel. When I got home that night I could walk out of the car, my socks were not stuck to my feet, although I had one pretty large blister that burst at about mile 20. No one had to help me to bed, or shower, or take my shoes off. I had no questions in my head as to why I would put myself through this... I did it for my baby.
As I sat and thought about the run yesterday I had the thought "those people used to be my friends". It took me a minute to realize that about a handful have stood beside me completely, making sure I am ok... making an effort to stay in contact, and that is ok. I understand I am not who I used to be and I have changed not you guys. While I want to be healthy I just have no drive to run. I have tried... I have run a couple of halves this year.. I have run a few 5k's .. but none of them feel right. There is no sense of accomplishment, there is no feeling of doing it for a cause. That's where chasing the dragon comes in.
I miss my Bootcamp Friends and I appreciate ever ounce of encouragement that you all gave me and I will never forget the belief in me that Matt, Christine, Todd, Jay and the other coaches had in me. This does not mean I won't be back... It just means I won't be right now. I have to follow the path that God has laid in front of me, and running isn't on the radar right now. I hope you all understand and do not feel less of me for making this decision.
I will still run for charities and events that are dear to me.. but anything over a 10k requires more effort emotionally and physically that I have to give. I had to be honest with myself about this and now I am being honest with you all.
I am proud of the work and training each of you put in and the accomplishments you made, I can only hope you felt the same pride in your hearts as the days I finished my 3 most important events.
May you all be blessed with the wind at your back and an angel on your shoulder guiding your way.
Much Love to you all.