Monday, December 12, 2011

Roller Coaster Ride, Hold on Tight

I have had a great 14 months as I look back. I ran the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10, followed by a trip to see my daughter in New Orleans, a family trip, in a rented van with 6 of us packed like sardines in a van to drive the 22 hour trip. Upon arriving I was able to get in a Half Marathon, Ole Man River. We had a great visit and then headed back to Nebraska with 7 in the sardine can. My son had taken the train from Birmingham to NOLA and rode back home for Christmas break with us. We survived an ice storm and somehow by  the Grace of God made it home to end 2010. We were nearly in a serious accident in Kansas as a fuel tanker went into a skid on an icy bridge. Wichita is a 4 hour drive normally, that night it was 8.5.

On to 2011 and the news I had gotten in to the New York City Marathon. I ran The Gambler Half Marathon in Council Bluffs, Iowa and then a trail run at Quarry Oaks. The summer was filled with 5K's and 10K's. I also ran in 2 relay events, a 66 mile relay called the BFE that started in Hastings, Nebraska and went via gravel roads to several small towns and back to Hastings. Then the Market to Market Relay from Omaha to Lincoln. What a blast. Then in November I ran and finished NYC. A truly great event. I have ran 2 Boston Marathons, in 1996 and 2000. New York was every bit as fantastic as Boston. In a couple of weeks it is back to NOLA for New Years with my daughter. This year we will make the trip in 2 cars so we should have more room. But someone decided my daughters 2 Chihuahua's and our new golden doodle puppy should make the trip. Should be interesting! Then in February of 2012 I will fly to California and run the Surf City Marathon.

To get to the moral of my story. I didn't mention times. Aren't times the important thing. PR's, you know, the reason we run. I have learned a valuable lesson this past 14 months. I ran my two slowest Marathons of my life. I have ran 3:05 twice in my life. In Lincoln, Ne in 1980 and in Pensacola at The Blue Angel Marathon in 1998. My first Boston in 1996 was in 3:25, I redeemed that time with a 3:13 in 2000. I had a 3:11 and two 3:12's as well in my running resume. I ran 4:04 in Chicago, I felt like I needed redemption in New York. But I ran much worse and ended up with an IV and a 4:19. I also found out my blood sugar was high. The Med Tent doc said I needed a follow up when I got home.

I turned 55 in December and at my annual physical was told I am borderline diabetic. I have withdrawn from people since that news. I know genetics play a roll, mom, dad, brother, grandparents, all diabetics. But me. I can't believe it. I am in denial. It must be a mistake. I am in great shape. I have ran 19:56 in a 5K this summer, 43:30 in a 10K. I am as thin as I have been in years.

I know it is silly, but I initially viewed my medical news as a weakness. I saw a loser in the mirror. I wanted to talk to no one.

Then I realized, I am still a runner. I may have to fuel a bit different. Drink a few less beers, (like my on bottle of 312 a night is an issue), and poke my finger a few more times. I may end up on medication or insulin. But I can still run. Just yesterday I ran 18 miles in 2:34.

So I vow to begin enjoying the run, the finish, the sites along the way. Time is no longer an issue. I took a Runners World poll today. Why do you run. My answer was not a category winner. Only 3% of the respondents agreed. The reason I run, it is to be around fellow runners.

In 2012 I will enjoy the moment. I will breath the salt air at Surf City, enjoy the Ocean and the people I run along with. I will notice corn fields and wild life along the way. I will load the old Chicago song, does anyone really know what time it is, does anyone really care. I am just glad to run. Happy Holidays and may you all have a Prosperous 2012!

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