Monday, April 23, 2012

Dear Grandpa,

Saturday was my last long run. I have seven miles left to run over the next three days and then I'm done with my training. Grandpa, I can't believe that it is almost here. The day that I have looked forward to with anticipation, fear, dread, and excitement. Two months after I had Makayla I started getting back into running. I hadn't done any real running after I had Hailey and then between Clairisa and Hailey there was no running at all...just lots of crying. So, getting back into running was like starting from ground zero. I had baby weight to lose, a c-section to recover from, and a whole lot of stamina and endurance to build, but I was ready. I was ready to get my mind and body back into running and back into racing. I decided that in order to get myself going again, I needed someone to run with. So I asked Jenae. A girl whom I hardly knew, but somehow I knew that she'd say yes...and she did. We began our 5:30 am runs in September. I started out VERY slowly. I would get so frustrated with myself because I could hardly run half a lap around a track that was .25 miles all the way around. But, Jenae was patient and kind to me. She often reminded me that I had just had major abdominal surgery, and that I was doing great. Over the next month, the track became easy to run. So much so, that we were ready to venture out. Near the end of October or early November, we decided to run a half-marathon in February. That's around the time that Stephanie joined in on our 5:30 am runs. A couple of weeks later, we decided to increase our goal and that's when we decided to train for the Country Music marathon in Nasheville on April 28th. Now fast forward to about a month ago. When I first found out that we were going to move, I was devastated. I was so happy where I was and I did NOT want to give up on my goal of running the marathon. I had come WAY too far to just give up on it. So, I told Cory that us moving meant that I was going to buy a plane ticket to Nashville so I could still run the marathon. He was, and still is, so supportive. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time. Thankfully, most of the time was in the early hours of the morning when my children were still asleep, but the hard part was all of the long runs on Saturdays. Especially, when we ran 15-20 miles and were gone for 3 plus hours. Moving also meant a whole month of training on my own. I really enjoyed running with friends. We wouldn't even listen to music because we talked the whole time (except on the really long runs when we ran out of things to say and needed some up beat music to keep us going). So running on my own was NOT something I looked forward to...especially for the longest run of our training that was scheduled for the first Saturday after we moved. But, somehow I did it. It was a really long, hot, and boring run but I fought my way through it. I listened to all of Priesthoood session of conference, I talked on the phone, listened to music, made all sorts of plans and had lots of time to think. I even ran to Mike and Nancy's house to get some water (my camel back was not drinkable....long story). Then the next weekend I got to run with Mike. It was so fun to run with him. He is starting to look more like you Grandpa. All of your sons remind me of you in different ways. While we were running, he told me about the first time that the two of you ran together when he was a teenager. He said that he ran faster than you, but, you made sure that it was the very last time. He said the next time you ran together, you killed him...and he never caught up to after that. As we approached halfway, at 6 miles, he told me how your 10k time was 45 minutes. I can't believe that Grandpa! My fastest 10k time is 10 minutes slower than yours, and I'm at least 20 years younger than you were. Last Saturday was my last long run before the race. As a ran, I thought about what it would be like to run with you again. The very first and last time I ran with you was in Arlington. Do you remember that? You had already stopped running but your walking pace was just as fast as my "run". I knew then that I had a long ways to go to keep up with you. Since that time, many years have past. I have ran races, improved my speed and endurance, and I'm finally ready to run the race that I told you'd I run someday. After Saturday, I will have ran close to 500 miles in three different states and seven different cities. The other day I was talking to Grandma on the phone. She told me how much she wished that she could be there to cheer me on at the finish line. I wish she could too. In fact, there won't be anybody there cheering me on at the finish line besides complete strangers and Jenae and Stephanie's husbands and children. When I first realized this, it really bothered me. And, I still wish somebody would be there cheering just for me. But, as my Grandma said this to me I quickly responded back by saying "I know Grandma, but don't worry, Grandpa will be there cheering me on." I really hope you are Grandpa. I hope that you, Clairisa, and Kelly are all cheering me on from the other side of the veil. In fact, I wouldn't mind a little nudging and help in those last six miles. :) I love you so much Grandpa. I will think of you every step of the way. I don't know if I will ever run a full marathon again, but I do know one thing. I know that this experience has been incredible....incredibly hard, incredibly painful at times, incredibly emotional (especially when I thought I wasn't going to be able to run it because I hurt my ankle and also the last couple of days as I have been trying to wean Makayla), and incredibly amazing. 5 more days..... Love Always and Forever, Melissa

1 comment:

JoLayne said...

Melissa this is so you. Always from the heart. It brought tears to my eyes as I read this. I know your Grandpa will be with you. You are so missed!

Blog Archive