Today was one of those days when it was just really hard to get my run in. One it was Saturday, a rare day when I get to sleep in and for me that means I slept until 8:00 am. After having breakfast and easing into my day it was time to get dressed for an easy three miles. As soon as I got dressed it started to thunder and lightning. It was pouring but eventually it stopped lightning so I was getting ready to head out the door again when I got the weather alert that there was a tornado warning for my area of Westchester. I ate lunch and finally around 1:30 I was able to get out apparently during another tornado warning. Oops.
I don’t like taking my runs for granted. As many of you know, I wasn’t planning on running the marathon this year mostly because I didn’t want to deal with the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that was really bad for me last year. My mother had wanted me to run again but I said no. Then she got sick. For two weeks I sat by her bed in the ICU at Greenwich hospital. During that time the person in the room next to her died and I saw more people who had legitimate reasons for not running a marathon. My reason was looking more wimpy by the minute. It was during that time that I registered for the marathon. This will not be my last one.
It has been a long seven months for both my mother and me but the marathon my mother is going through has more challenging than the ones I have ran. She went through a period when no one would believe that she was still ill and was told that she would never walk again. It was such a challenge to get people to listen to us when she was nauseous, loosing her appetite, and losing weight to believe that something was indeed wrong. It wasn’t until she actually started throwing up blood that they paid attention and sent her to the hospital. That was Memorial Day weekend.
During that time and now my mother made great progress and then something else would happen that would keep her in the hospital. I seriously hope that no one has to get that scary phone call in the middle of the night. One was enough but I got two of those. But the odd thing was it gave her more time to get completely healthy. The infection that she had been dealing with since February finally left and she got stronger. I think this put her in a better position when she got to rehab. She’s walking now, something the other facility said she would never do again.
Everyday she walks a little farther. She’s confident about what she is doing and believes she’s going to get better. The interesting thing is that the tips I have given her from my running experiences have helped her tremendously (so has the anti-anxiety meds). The mental tricks that we runners have to use to get through our long runs also work for people trying to learn how to walk again.
Watching my mother go through everything she has gives me strength to push harder and not complain about having to do hill or speed work. Long runs can still be challenging but so can trying to walk down a long hallway when you haven’t done that since February.
How can I take running for granted when I know my mother would give just about anything to be home right now and walking around her house. I can do things that others legitimately can’t do and I owe to to myself to never ever take that for granted.
Running has helped me celebrate the great days, feel normal on the ordinary days, and heal me on the really bad days.
Oh, and a really large glass of red wine helps too. I will never take that for granted either.