Saturday, May 7, 2011

Leaving a Legacy

For those of you who have now become accustomed to my normal shenanigans, I want to warn you that this might be the most serious post you read here. Well...at least until....I dunno maybe next Mother's Day.

Many of you I've known for most of the time that I've run. For those of you who don't, I'd like to take a little slice of the blog this weekend, and tell you about my mom.

Our family's lives were changed in June of 2007, when Mom was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, called Glioblastoma Multiforme or GBM for short. It is quite possibly one of the ugliest words and it is an even uglier disease. Mom valiantly fought the tumor for 32 months, in spite of being initially given about 18 months to live, and sadly, she passed two days prior to her 64th birthday on December 18th, 2009.

Although cancer overshadowed her life for the last 3 years of her life, it didn't define her, but like the refiner's fire it only brought out the best and most inspirational parts of her. Mom had always been a bit of a rebel, or a free-spirit...a 70's hippie if you will. Anything anybody else could do, she could too, and better. She could be very stubborn (no clue where I get it from) and driven when she had something in her mind to do. Cancer tried to kill all that, but it could not. It could not hide the beauty and strength that this woman had inside her. She simply would not quit, she would not give up, she would not stop fighting. That was how she lived her whole life, and cancer only made it more evident to everyone around her. She instilled in me a belief that I could do ANYTHING I put my mind to (if I would only apply myself). And you know what? She was right. Her legacy of stubborn resistance to letting anything beat her lives on in me. When I feel like quitting, I can hear her saying "C'mon Randy, you can do it!" as I heard so much as a kid.


I think of what a legacy she has left on me, and what an impression her attitude towards any obstacle has made on my life. Now that I'm a parent I can now see another very special person leaving the same kinds of impressions on three special kids...my wife Christy.

Everyone who meets my wife inevitably says something to the effect of "I don't know how you do it all." She literally has something going on all the time; raising and schooling three children, volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem, helping out with our homeschool co-op group, plus working out, swimming practice, gymnastics, field trips, plus keeping up with a 38 year old adolescent...heck I don't know how she gets it all done. She'd say that she doesn't have it all together, or she doesn't do a very good job most of the time, but when its all said and done I think our kids are going to look back and remember what an amazing treasure she is. All jobs have good days and bad days, and sometimes parenting can really beat you up, but when I see her with our kids, I can see that she is living her passion...she was put here on earth to be a Mom.


Every time my wife goes for a run, the moment she walks in the door, our 3 year old son will ask "Mommy ye, yun?" (Translation: Mother, did you go for a run this fine morning?) I think about how just the mundane things of life can leave an indelible impression on our children. He may not understand now why we run, but the seeds are planted so that one day he'll look back and see all the beautiful facets of his mother and reflect fondly on how she never gave up, she kept putting in the miles day after day, and kept striving to be better. 

Quite strange that these three things that are so crucial to marathon running, seem to be the same aspects of being a good parent.

Happy Mother's Day to my wife Christy, and all of the moms out there who won't give up, keep putting in the time every day, and keep striving to be a better mom!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cheatin'

As a runner have you ever went on a bike ride and felt like you were somehow "cheatin' on running"?

No? Anyone? So just me then? Oh boy...

As I've mentioned on this blog before, I am NOT a cyclist. I don't have any fancy skin tight shirts that are eye-bleeding yellow, or any of those shorts with the cushion in the butt, or those shoes that lock in and make you fall over and skin your knees and elbows. When I go, I dress exactly like I would when I run. On Monday night I decided to go for a bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail while my son was at swim team practice. I've done this before, but a strange thought process went through my head as I was getting ready to leave the house.

Perhaps its from watching too many Disney movies with my kids...one of the most recent is Beauty and the Beast, where all the household inanimate objects take on a personality. I imagined that my clothes and my shoes took on the attributes of puppies getting ready to go out for a walk. If you've ever had a dog, you know that this is the greatest point in their day, except for possibly the first thirty seconds you walk in the door. Dogs just can't contain themselves...and they start doing that weird dance at the door while you're trying to put the leash on them. So I imagined my clothes doing the same thing,  getting so excited..."we get to go outside! We get to go for a run today!"  They were so excited to get out on a lovely Monday evening (not usually a day they ever get to go run, as I'm a Tues/Thurs/Saturday kinda guy)

Can you imagine their disappointment when I get the bike out and start rolling down the trail? The shoes saying "so this is it then...I'm not even doing anything.." my shirt asking, "are you ever going to even work up a sweat? How can I wick any moisture with all this wind doing my job?!?!" My poor visor didn't even get to go. It had to stay in the car the whole time.

On the other hand..my bike helmet thought it was Christmas...so I guess it all evens out.

I am certifiably insane aren't I? Blogging is cheaper than therapy I suppose. You people listen for free.

Anyway, I wrapped up another good week of training last week. Including the race, I hit just shy of 24 miles for the week. My goal is to keep building to around 30-35, and let that be my base for this year's marathon training in the fall. Just as a comparison, last year my highest week ever was 35 miles, and at the end of the marathon I regretted that I didn't feel like I was as strong as I could have been. I'll keep running with my group on Saturdays, as each of them have been to Boston. Who knows, maybe they can get me there too. (maybe like a Big Brother/Big Sister program for speed-challenged thirty-somethings...it could happen). I haven't decided on a marathon program for this year, but that is probably another post for another day.

As always...thanks for stopping by my little corner of insanity, and be sure to tell your friends.