Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Highs and Lows of Running

Today was the day of my Team in Training race.  I have been raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since October last year.  I will end up raising a little more than $1600, which I am incredibly proud of, particularly since last year I raised less than $1100.

Spent the night at my brother's house on Friday so we could be at the start line early.  That ended up being a great idea as the lines for the restroom ended up being about 250 deep in the 30 minutes before the race began.

And the race was... good.  I am not a road runner anymore.  I'll run 5-6 miles on the roads out of necessity, but I don't love it.  This was the most distance I've done in my barefoot Merrell shoes.  I had no pain at all.  I also had the experience of running with a group for the first time.  I found that by mile 3, I was hanging pretty well with the 2:10 pace group (which was my goal) and the person pacing that group talked nonstop.  I took off my headphones and just let myself be dragged along with the group listening to different stories about running.  It was intoxicating and the miles flew by.  By the time we got to mile 9, another girl and I ended up breaking away and leaving the 2:10 group.

I finished in 2:08:23.  Incredibly pleased with that as it was my fastest half marathon in two years and definitely the fastest since I began focusing on trail running.  Needless to say, the topping on the sundae that was my race was getting to give my grandfather a hug at the finish line.  I run this race for him.  I raise money so more families can hear the fantastic news that their loved one is in remission.  I can only hope that my efforts will help that happen for a family.

While the Team in Training race was such a positive part of my day, my heart is heavy as I write this because Micah True, one of the central characters in the book "Born to Run" had been missing since Tuesday after going out for a 12 mile run.  32 search teams were organized with over 60 volunteers.  Today they found his body in the desert.

Caballo Blanco (as he was known in the book) was a giving man, organizing a race in his adopted region that would benefit the people who lived there by awarding winners of the race with corn.  International participants would donate those winnings to the locals.

While I did not ever have the opportunity to meet him, Micah seemed to be someone who wasn't impressed with himself or his surprising fame.  Many hoped that he was just trying to slip back into obscurity when he went out for his run on Tuesday.  The ultrarunning community lost a great man.

Run free, white horse.

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