I registered back in July, and since then I've experienced things I had never imagined: the intense pain of shin splints worse than any I could have imagined, the exhilaration of finishing an 11-mile run all by myself, eating 'gu', and so on. Many times I've been a cheerleader at the end of a friend's half-marathon. Only recently have I dared to believe I could be the one cheered!
The Dallas White Rock Marathon (check out the link for more information) is a local, annual event. You can choose from the half or full marathon, participate in a relay, or run shorter "fun runs." I have been a spectator before, and I know many people who've completed this race more than once. Fr. Henry has completed the marathon 17 times, and will run again the full 26.2 miles this coming Sunday (he's 64 years old, by the way!).
The Texas Scottish Rites Hospital for Children is the beneficiary, although participants are not required to raise any money to be able to run. According to their website, "TSRHC treats Texas children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia." I know a few friends here in Texas who've greatly benefited from the unique services provided by this hospital.
If you're curious about my race, here are a couple things I'd like you to know:
- Sunday, 11/28/10, I ran 11 miles. This is the longest distance I will complete before attempting the entire 13.1 miles on Sunday, 12/5/10.
- On Tuesday, 11/30/10, I fell while running a short distance in pretty cold weather. A slab of the sidewalk jutting upwards caught my toe, and I landed on both knees and one hand, sustaining some pretty painful abrasions and bruising. I haven't attempted any cardio since Tuesday -- I've been trying to take it easy, stretch, and heal from my little fall. (Fr. Henry says I'll be ok!) I'll post some pictures below, so here's your warning to look away if you're squeamish:
<--This is how the knees looked lastnight. The swelling and bruising around the abrasions is pretty evident, I think. It hurt a lot worse than it looks. Not gonna lie. Still, I was able to run 2 more miles after picking myself back up, many thanks to my friend and roomie, Jessica!
Today the pain is a lot lessened! I am so thankful that nothing really terrible happened, and that I'll still be able to run on Sunday! It smarts, but it's SO much better than a fracture or sprain that could've immobilized me in more serious ways.
If you'd like to follow my run live, I'm hoping to use the GPS on my iPhone with the RunKeeper app to keep track of my progress. Here is my profile page: http://runkeeper.com/user/sydneyjb/profile. I'll be posting live on Facebook when I begin, but if you're not a FB user I'm hoping you'll still be able to track my progress on my RunKeeper profile page. The race begins at 8:00 am CST on Sunday!
WFAA, the local news channel, will be airing live footage of the White Rock Marathon on Sunday morning, so if you're local you can catch it there. If not, you can try their webpage to see if there is any live streaming.
Why am I doing this to myself?
When I think about running, I think about Heaven. There is no sensation that I long for more than that complete freedom to move and live and breathe completely unfettered and unburdened by anything in life. I certainly don't feel that on days when I run, but I know when I get to Heaven I'll be able to run without ceasing, experiencing depths and heights of complete freedom from all earthly pain and entanglements. I'm doing this to spend a couple of hours close to the heart of God, and remind myself of my greatest Hopes. Perfect for the Advent season, I think!
When I think while I'm running, I think about everything in life that we experience that has ups and downs. We have "high" moments and terribly difficult ones. I think about jobs, gifts and talents, and most of all, relationships. These are the true marathons we're all called to complete. I love pushing myself to run further when I just want to curl up in a little ball in the gutter, because I know I've felt like giving up in certain life-a-thons, too, and I will again in the future. I like reminding myself that the end will be worth the suffering along the road, and that a low passage is soon to be replaced by a more rewarding stretch.
Why am I drawing your attention to what I'm doing?
Because I need your help! If you're the praying kind, I need your prayers. If you're the practical kind, your suggestions are welcome. If you're the kind who likes to send funny jokes or inspiring messages, I need that, too. If you like to cheer from near or far, I desperately need to know that you're cheering, because my desire to gratify your support will keep me going when I want to give up.
If you're struggling, I hope to encourage you. If your life is filled with joy, send a little of those positive vibes my way. If you're training, too, I want to help inspire you. If you've surpassed me in your prowess, I seek your advice!
Here's hoping I'll keep on running, and maybe my next race will bring me to a trail near you!