When Life Comes to a Screeching Halt
It's been quite some time since I've posted a race recap due to tragedy and the whirlwind that becomes your life when dealing with grief. I don't exaggerate when I say this. My life came to a screeching halt in March. My mom passed away on March 16th. I will never ever be able to erase that memory of her lying lifeless in that bright white room, tubes in her mouth and nose, the constant beeping of all the machines around her, the nurses coming in and out of the room giving us pitiful glances, and my family and I crying into each other's shoulders and consoling one another. I'll never forget that night where I was alone with my mom, slept next to her with her hand in mine, balling my eyes out, and trying to picture myself with no longer having a mom to take care of me, love me, fix me soup when I was sick, help bail me out when I needed any kind of help - all the things that a mom does for her children. It sucked. It still sucks. I miss her everyday and it reduces me to tears every time I think about it. I find myself crying now as I type.
I was in Virginia when I got the news that my mom was admitted to the hospital. I had traveled up there with the kids to visit my cousins, explore the museums and monuments, and to also run the Rock n' Roll D.C. half as part of my 3-pack Tour Pass. I had just picked up my race packet earlier that day and was preparing my gear for race morning when I got the phone call. I slept for a few hours and left early morning to head home. No one told me how bad it was because they wanted me to drive home safely with the kids. I drove straight to the hospital and entered the lobby to see all my family gathered in somber silence - all of them with puffy eyes. I knew it wasn't good and it wasn't. She was dying from septic shock and was in a coma. I stayed with her the night before she passed, kissing her forehead, holding her hand, and telling her over and over how much I love her. I know she heard me.
My life ended too...or it felt like it. It felt like I was in a haze for days, weeks. I couldn't operate like this. I went out for a run. It hurt. I hated it. I was tired, dehydrated. I went out for a run again. It sucked. I cried. I went out for a run again. It was better. I unleashed my pain on the pavement, exhaling grief and inhaling relief. I started running with CREW and Striders again, started making conversations while running again, and I started to smile again. This was truly therapy for me. Running with friends helped me get through the pain.
It's now September - half a year ago since my life was thrown upside down. I'm doing better. I still have my moments where I'm a hot mess, but I've gotten back in the running game and it's helped me get through my grief. So today I thought that I'd come back and recap my running experiences so that one day I can look back to see all I've accomplished. So, briefly, here we go:
I left off with the Shamrock Run on March 7th (see last post). The next day, my parents helped me throw mine and Michael's 15th wedding anniversary at their house. It was amazing. My mom made her signature egg rolls (which everyone devoured) and my dad had an array of fresh seafood to feed the masses - lowcountry boil, oysters, blue crabs. It was a great night and I'm glad my mom was able to participate in that one last shindig before she passed on. It was a late night for me and I had drank a few beers too many. I don't know what I was thinking since I was running the Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon the next day.
Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon (3/9/2014) - Since I had a late night with a few beers, I took it easy on this run. No PR and ended up at 2:05:30. Had a great time running with my TNT crew. Most memorable part of this run was our buddy Chris V. proposing to his girlfriend, Raye. It was awesome to witness.
Cooper River Bridge Run 10K (4/5/2014) - We drove up to Charleston and stayed with my cousins. Rich, Michael, and I ran, along with my friends, Larry and Wesley. This is one of my favorite runs. Charleston is really lovely and this race is always fun and the after-party is always loaded with free food and drinks! Definitely one of the perks of running it. Michael is starting to run with me now and he's doing great! We finished this one in 1:00:01 and rewarded ourselves with a bratwurst, chia pods, beer, and mimosas!
Crimestoppers Azalea Run 15K (5/3/2014) - I ran this one with Larry and Michael and came in at 1:24:46. I ended up placing 3rd in my age group on this one. I wasn't expecting anything so I left the race early. Jacy sent me a text to let me know. I was pretty excited!
Color Run 5K (5/17/2014) - I ran this one with Michael, Crystal, Will, and Kathy. It's not everyday that these guys participate in a race so when they asked if I'd run, I totally jumped on board. I was excited that Crystal, Will, and Kathy were interested in doing the 5K. We had a great time taking tons of pictures and throwing dyed corn starch at each other for the perfect picture!
Savannah Mile (5/24/2014) - Michael and I ran this one. He ran with his SWAT team in his gear with an additional 40 lbs to run in the Heroes heat and I ran with my age group. Talk about intimidating! One mile - all out. I could see the finish arch from the start line and this was the first time I was really nervous about a race. The goal is to go all out and give it all you got. I started off way too fast. My arms felt like lead and I thought my lungs were going to burst. I ran a mile at 6:53 - definitely a new PR!
Watermelon Crawl (7/4/2014) - Every year, Fleet Feet puts on a group fun run on the 4th of July. It's a hot one, but the best part is the cool, refreshing watermelon you get at the finish. I ran with Larry and met up with JinHi and Mark. She's superwoman!
XC Kickoff Classic (8/23/2014) - I placed 2nd in my age group and also have a new PR at 24:38! I'm starting to get more and more competitive on these runs!
Run for Jane 10K (8/30/2014) - Michael and I both placed in our age groups. I came in 2nd place with a time of 54:34 and Michael placed 3rd in his. This was 2 weekends in a row where I placed in my age group. This was not a fun one for me. Once again, I struggled halfway through the race. I started off way too fast and it was extremely hot and humid. I stopped twice to walk. Running through the finish line was the highlight of this one! I was ready for it to be over because I was hurting!
Peachtree City Divas Half Marathon (9/6/2014) - I ran this at 1:59:26 - a new PR! I went up with my MRTT girls - Megan, Katie, and Jacy and met up with Kim and Gail. This was a HUGE MRTT reunion bringing all the chapters together. This trip was so much fun! The course was so beautiful and shaded. I enjoyed every mile and took in all the scenery. This was the first time I ever wore a tutu to run in, but if I was going to wear one, this race would be the one. There's even a station before the finish where volunteers give you a hot pink feather boa and a tiara so you can have for the finish line - where shirtless firemen hand you your medals. And they hand out glasses of champagne! Score! We probably had the most fun taking pictures with cardboard Bret Michaels :)
Tunnels to Towers 5K (9/13/2014) - What an emotional race! Seeing all the firefighters in full gear running and the kids lining Whitaker Street wearing tributes to the fallen firefighters of 9/11 - it was so touching. I ran this with Larry and Michael. And when I say ran - I say it really loosely. I probably walked more than anything and took the time to high 5 all the kids on Whitaker Street and to just take in everything. Racing was definitely not on my mind at all. We incorporated the run into our long CREW training run.
So that's all the races that I've participated in since March where I last left off. The next one is this coming weekend where I run my first 12-hour ultra - Chase the Sun! Wish me luck!!
If you look up the idiom "on-the-run", it means to constantly travel or moving from place to place. Welcome to my life! I get asked the question - "Do you ever sleep?" at least once a week. The truth is - I am always on the run. My weeks are filled with work, training runs, dropping kids off to school and extra curricular activities, traveling out-of-town for races and soccer games, theatre rehearsals, civic duties - you name it. In addition to being an avid runner, I'm a happily married wife, mother of two, an actress, singer, a Fleet Feet CREW coach, and work full time as the Marketing Manager for Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. I love being on the run!