But then, stuff happened. It started after Shelley did her 10 mile long run, with an achey ankle. She nursed it, cursed it, and finally ended up going to the doctor who told her "no running!" and to rest it. But still, we clung to hope that our plans would come to completion.
You know one of the things I've learned in life is that sometimes when a wrench gets thrown into your plans, sometimes it's just the first sign that maybe the universe has other plans for you and is just choosing not to reveal them yet. But with time reasons are revealed, and the next thing we knew, Shelley's mom was diagnosed with cancer. Then, on her next visit to the doctor, because her ankle wasn't getting better, he said, "No running for 6-8 weeks!"
Ahhh, there it is. As you know I'm a big believer in signs and although it sucks, I feel like Shelley's ankle "happened" because she was going to need to be sidelined and not even have to worry about thinking about her training or her planned races because ultimately she would need to be with and care for her mom. And so, the best laid plans....
But then, suddenly, last week I had another secret. I didn't tell anyone except Mr. Helen and even then I only told him right at the last minute because I didn't want him to slip and tell anyone.
There is a Half Marathon race here that is run every February and it's done no matter the weather. The race director is a local guy who just loves running. It has the feel of a guy that wants to throw a big party and he asks some of his friends to help with the party and some of his friends to come to the party. Just a few years ago it only cost $2 to enter it - probably so he could pay for the Gatorade. the cost is up to $12 now but even then on the application it says if you can't afford the fee, just come and run and maybe next year you could pay a little extra. This is a 'no frills at all' race. No medals and only 3 water/Gatorade stops (in 13.1 miles!), although they have added part chip timing. You do it for the glory of saying that you did it. This race is known to be hilly and to challenge even the best runners. No PRs are set on this course. I've never run it and have pretty much actively avoided it because I've heard the stories of the hills.
So last week a couple of my runner friends contacted me and started poking at me about running the race since my plans had gone awry. Even though I was about 90% trained to do a half marathon (didn't get in my last long run) I had every excuse in the world, "I can't because I'm undertrained. I've been on a treadmill too much - no hill training at all. My longest run was only 10.2 miles that's not long enough. I've been under super stress with my inlaws lately! What if I'm last? What if the sweeper car makes me get in? What if I totally suck?"
But my friends just kept after me, even offering to pay fee, telling me I needed it as a stress reliever and one finally said, "well you're all trained up and nowhere to run so why not?" and that made me cave. But why did I give in? I was still feeling all those terrors... but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was what I should do. Do it for Shelley because she couldn't run and also because I wanted to do it for Judy (Shelley's mom). To show them they could face the unknown and conquer it. I'm not kidding people, I was terrified of this race. So, I kept the secret and I didn't even tell Shelley. It was hard, but I really wanted it to be a surprise for her. (Also, just in case I backed out at the last minute. Shhhhhh.....)
Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story!