Saturday, January 20, 2007

Travels with my Mom

The choice I made to run many years ago has led me down several paths. Some that had dead ends while others opened doors to places I may have never entered. I feel most blessed in the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to share some of these open doors with my mother. The running adventures I’ve participated in have taken me across the country from New York City to San Francisco. I’ve brought my mom along many times to be a part of some of these adventures to not only enjoy what the cities had to offer but to witness the feats of some extraordinary athletes. Truth be told what she remembers most from the trips is not the Golden Gate Bridge nor the Sears Tower, or even the Olympic Villages in Squaw Valley and Salt Lake City but rather the grit and determination demonstrated by people her own age competing in endurance events. The result of our trips has been fruitful in that it has strengthened the bond between us and also allowed us to expand our horizons and never worry about what is on the other side of an open door for it could be life itself. The world has a lot to offer and the memories I share of the travels with my mom put a smile on my face. I’m hopeful that I will be able to one more time bring her along to witness the impressive ability of regular people from many walks of life as they compete in the Western States Endurance Run in June 2007.

Last year two very nice people moved to the State of Delaware from Washington increasing the ever growing population of ultra runners in our area. In the year since they moved here the husband and wife team successfully competed in several grueling events one right after the other. Our state is generally unrecognized amongst a nation of ultra runners but I can assure you that the people here are just as tough and talented as anyone anywhere. Most, like our two newest residents, are humble and unwilling to make a big deal out of their accomplishments. In respect to the wishes of our new Delaware ultra runners I will not reveal their identities. I will however make mention to the fact that the young lady culminated a year of tough ultra-runs by successfully accomplishing her goal of running both the Disney Marathon and half-marathon in the same weekend which awarded her the Goofy Medal. She was beat up and tired but still made her way to Orlando to help a friend accomplish a lifetime goal.

An update on my running…… Last week was an up and down week but it ended with feelings of progress rather than doubt. Severe pain returned to my leg during a short run on the road Monday. The pain led to confusion as I feel I’ve done everything I can to get better. The confused period was short because I don’t give up. Giving up is not in my nature and even though the leg is battling hard it won’t win. Immediately the next day I started to stretch the leg in different ways in an attempt to relieve the pain. I started warm ginger compresses and started wearing a shin splint wrap. I took Tuesday off from running and then hit the soft trail instead of the road. I was in significant pain for about 15 minutes but then proceeded to run another 1:15 pain free. After almost a year with this same leg condition I’m hopeful that I’ve hit on something and am now on the path to recovery. I ran another 10 miles on Friday and plan to continue to slowly ramp the mileage up while running only every other day for now. If it continues to respond positively over the next two weeks I’ll make an attempt to run every day and then make a decision on whether I’ll make it to Western States in June.

Those who try can never fail no matter the outcome.



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