It’s probably premature to be reflecting on the season already, especially since I haven’t even run my first event yet (t-minus 9 days till that!), but it’s been a season like no other in more ways than one, so I can’t help but start to reminisce about it now, before it’s even over.
When I look back on this season ten, twenty years from now, I think several things will stand out about it. For one, it was a season of many, many triumphs: I set PR’s in my half marathon time, my 10K time, and my 5K time (and hopefully in a little over a week’s time, I can say that I set a PR in my marathon time as well :)); I ran the furthest distance I’ve ever run without taking a walk break (18 miles!); I moved up an entire pace group.
An entire pace group!!
But for every triumph, there have also been several difficult moments. As you’ve no doubt read in my entries, I lost a dear friend to cancer earlier this year. It was not the first time that a loved one had been struck by this disease, but it’s hit me harder than any other loss I’ve yet to experience. Maybe it was because she was so young, or maybe it was because she was such a bright, vibrant, full-of-life person, or maybe it was that we had been out of touch for nearly eight years and had only recently gotten a chance to reconnect, much to both of our excitement; maybe it was all of those things put together, but her passing has been a very heavy weight that I’ve carried with me this entire season.
Meeting the Honorees and listening to their stories has always been an incredibly important and inspiring part of my involvement with Team In Training and LLS, but this season, it’s never been more moving. I can’t count the number of times I cried listening to an Honoree’s story these past few months–both sad tears over their ordeals and happy tears over their triumphs, and then always, always, bitter tears that Siobhan could not be here to tell HER story of winning her battle.
She fought hard and I know she continues to fight hard, but just in a different way. And I know I owe it to her to continue her fight so that her passing isn’t in vain.
And just as she did in life, she’s still doing random acts of kindness. One of the biggest ones she did for me was giving me the opportunity to bond with my running buddies, strengthening friendships that were already good, but got even better as we all made great strides and experienced the same improvements in our training. We’re all planning to run the marathon together and will hopefully get to stick with each other throughout the full 26.2 miles, but even if we don’t, I’ll be incredibly grateful for every minute we trained together.
Summer 2010 will be a season I’ll never forget, and its impact on me will be with me for the rest of my life. I can only hope that I will continue to make Siobhan proud in the coming seasons and make the most of the gift she left me.