Friday, May 05, 2006

Life is Good

Add to my training for the week:

Thursday, 5:20 am, 4.6 miles, 55:19, one big hill
Thursday, 6:30 am, 36:57, guessing about a 5K, flat

That gives me...about 20 miles in three days. All my distances are estimated using the gmap thingie. I'm guessing at last night's distance, because the maps are too old to show the new park, plus there was some track time too. The plan for this weekend is four to five miles tomorrow morning, then a hilly 12K Sunday morning (Sound to Narrows course) and an easy three Sunday afternoon. The runs are going really well and I'm feeling really, really good. Both times I ran yesterday, and especially on the hill, I kept thinking "Okay, I'm going to get tired any minute now," then "I'm almost to the top, I should be tired, why aren't I tired?" - and I never did get too tired. This is a hill that was kicking my butt on a regular basis before surgery! So, then I went through the same thoughts as we were running in the park last night. Sonya and Jenny are chatting away, and I'm running self-checks to see if I'm tired. Nope. Didn't happen!

Sunday morning is my first big test. I ran the STN 12K for five years in a row and then started having a whole host of health problems - leading to restrictions. The sixth year I ran the 5K - really, I walked most of it, as I was deep into trouble then. The next year I thought I was good so I tried the 12K again. By mile 5.5 I was in trouble and knew I shouldn't be running it. I pretty much walked the rest of the course. Last year I ran the 5K - very reluctantly and with much whining. Now that I've had surgery and am feeling so terrific, I figured I'd try again. I'll use Sunday as a decision maker for the 12K/5K question.

Tomorrow night we are going to a wedding. My cousin Andy is getting married - at the ripe old age of 26. (I have a younger set of cousins due to my Grandma's second marriage). This is a love story. Andy met the beautiful Michelle (nice name, don't you think?) a couple of years ago. She is a sweet and funny young lady and fit right into the family. Last summer my sister and I spent a little time working on Andy - you know, that whole older auntie (even though we're really cousins) thing - Michelle needs to be a part of this family, when are you going to get married - that whole thing. (I know it's not nice, but hey! It was my first chance to harass someone, just like his parents harassed me!). Anyway, Andy was reluctant, he was dragging his feet and pretty much running when he saw us coming. Wasn't really sure he ever wanted to get married, they were happy living together, yadda, yadda, yadda. Oh, and for added pressure - this was happening at my parent's 50th anniversary party. In January, Michelle discovered a lump. She has breast cancer. They had to remove 24 lymph nodes. We just lost my cousin Donna to breast cancer last summer. Michelle and Andy were at the hospital with the rest of us as we held vigil. Now Michelle has it, and is undergoing chemo. Life doesn't always work out like we want it to.

The wedding is tomorrow. The bride is in the midst of chemo, she has lost all her hair, and it doesn't matter at all. The only thing that matters to either of them is that it is their wedding day. It is just a few weeks shy of the last family gathering - when the seven kids graduated and we celebrated the 50th anniversary. That was the last family gathering that Donna was able to attend. It brings me to tears to think about tomorrow - about Michelle and the challenges she faces, about Andy's willingness to stand beside her through the battle, about the love that they share, about this wonderful event occurring without Donna.

I love to think about what I will see tomorrow - from baby Hunter, through all the ages to the oldest, my Aunt Betty, in her late 80's. I love knowing that Michelle will be gathered into the family fold, and that she will be a part of all our celebrations to come. I love the concept of family that my children have developed as they have grown up - that this wedding is so important to them, and that they are still so willing and excited to participate in these family events. I love knowing that there is this incredibly wide safety net waiting to catch any family member that might fall. I'm not able to find the words to adequately express every thing I'm feeling. It's not just that it is a wedding, though that deserves celebration and contemplation on it's own, but it's the juxtaposition of cancer and life moving forward, the loss of a loved one and the gain of another. Andy is the oldest of the next generation - of the set of young cousins and all the nieces and nephews, sons and daughters. His was the first High School graduation, the first to go off to college and now the first wedding. It is continuity and life moving forward.

Once again, our family will gather to celebrate life and love. It's going to be a good, good day.


Donald said...

Very well said. Enjoy the wedding and the weekend.

TryAthlete said...

Those are good two-a-days. Have fun at the wedding and enjoy the time with the family!

D said...

Your post made me happy and sad at the same time. What a lovely family you have.

Keep up the good work running!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

wow, what a beautiful, bittersweet and lovely moment that will be for you and your family.

good job on the two-a-days!

robtherunner said...

Enjoy the wedding and the time with the family. It may be one of your sons that is next on the marriage list.

Anne said...

That really is a wonderful love story. You were right to play the "harrassment card" the way you did. Sounds like it'll be a beautiful event.

Liv said...

What an amazing story. I'm sure that will be a very moving wedding.

Yay for not being tired! Your training is going great!

Thomas said...

That is a truly amazing story, and I can only hope that it will end well. Enjoy the wedding, and I'm glad to hear the running is going so well.

PuddyRat said...

Good job on the training, Michelle. I have to say I don't think doing the 12k is going to present you with any particular problems.

On a side note, it sounds like Andy's wedding will be VERY special. I wish them both a long and happy life together.

E-Speed said...

awwe you brought tears to my eyes. Weddings are quite a lovely way to celebrate family.