Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Of Mileage and Garmins and Christmas Light Runs

I really don't know what I was thinking last week...other than to say, I probably wasn't. I realized partway through the marathon that I never really tapered. I came home and checked and discovered I had logged a whoppin' 48 miles for the week - which means I went into the marathon with 22 miles. I'm kind of surprised about how good I felt.

I'm running Garmin-less this week. I mailed it off for repair on Monday. A few months ago it appeared to be dead, I called customer support and they explained how to reset it. Everything was fine till this past week - it happened again five times in eight days. Running buddy Linda's started out the same way, but hers ended up completely dead, unable to reset. She mailed hers off on Monday too. Apparently there is some kind of hardware problem. I'm not thrilled to be running with out it, but Eric showed me how to log my estimated mileage in the training log, which helped. I ran about four yesterday and the six mile hill run today - everything feels good to go!

We've got some good runs scheduled for the next few weekends - Rob is hosting a Mt. Peak run on Sunday, a 5.5 to 6ish mile run with a 1200 foot gain in the first 1.5 miles. The next Saturday I am planning on a double-hill run from the Y, which will give me 14 miles and 14 good hills, three of which are monsters. The week after that we will be having our annual Kelly's Christmas Light Run. I may have told Kelly's story here before, (and I know Rob did once) but I will share it again. This is the invitation that goes out to all our Y Runners:

Kelly Bisson was one of the founding members of the Y Run Club. She was a single Mom, a dietician at Good Sam, and an avid hiker and runner. She was also a survivor of Hodgkins. Kelly organized our first Christmas Light run - a slow and easy run through the Sunrise development to look at the displays. We had a great time and decided to make it an annual event. Kelly is the reason most of our runs are an hour - she'd say, "If you're gonna go out and run, you're gonna run for an hour!" If she was short of an hour, she'd loop the Y till she hit the mark. She's also the reason we run to the stop sign as we come back to the Y - there was no cutting short the run when you were with Kelly. During the next year, Kelly's cancer came back. She was in chemo and fighting it hard. Kelly was amazing - she wore me out every time we ran together, even in the midst of chemo. She'd say, "Michelle, I'll slow down for you", but her slow was my top speed. She was tough, she was funny and she was inspirational. Kelly picked up a virus right around Thanksgiving and was admitted to the hospital. She slipped into a coma. Members of the Y Run Club spent many hours at the hospital sitting with Kelly, her friends and family. We decided to go ahead with plans for our annual Christmas Light Run that year, beginning with a prayer for Kelly's recovery. Kelly died on January 7th, 2004 at age 39. We decided to have a Christmas Light run every year in honor of Kelly. Even though many of you did not know Kelly, this run gives us an opportunity to celebrate the Christmas season with friends, enjoying an activity that we all love. It is a celebration of life and health. It gives us a chance to remember that life is short and that we should all savor every moment as Kelly did. Please join us to celebrate life and joy and friendship at our annual run.

Kelly's best friend Karen was a founding member of our group too - she lives in Arizona now, and is a founding member of a new club there - the Havasu Hustlers. This year they are also hosting a Kelly's Christmas Light Run - to be held on the same day at the same time. There will be so many runners honoring Kelly's memory that night... If you take a run through winter streets glowing with the lights of Christmas, think about all those you love, your friends, family and fellow runners. Spend a moment in contemplation of the blessings of life, health, family and friendship, and the simple joy we share in running.

19 comments:

Journey to a Centum said...

It's sad when you have to rely on a dumb ass like me to show you (Ms. Computer Scientist) how to manually enter your runs on the Garmin software.

Kelly would light up a room with her big smile. It's only fitting that we make a Christmas Light run in her memory. Kelly showed us that it can all end in an instant. We must live life to the fullest today, and every day!

Nicole said...

What a great tribute.

Sunshine said...

Christmas lights: so many memories!
So positive to think of the blessings.

"If you are going to run, run an hour" .. Kelly's spirit shines in ever wider circles.
I cherish reading your writing, Michelle.

So many blessings of living where you live... fresh fruits & vegetables more of the year ... and you can think "joy of running" in cold rain while it is below zero in the midwest??!

Wes said...

I luv it. The right run, at the right time, for the right reasons. It doesn't get any better than that....

Sunshine said...

PS Thanks for stopping by; I left more comment for you on my blog.

Anne said...

What a wonderful way to pay tribute to someone. I bet Kelly is smiling down on everyone as they run around the lighted neighborhoods.

olga said...

I remember your post on this run last year. time flies:)

JustRun said...

That's a beautiful way to honor someone. And it's a good time to think about all the important things you mentioned.

(I hope Mr. Garmin is back soon. I'd miss mine, too.) :)

scott keeps running said...

that's a wonderful story about kelly. enjoy your garminless week.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

I am going to email my friend in Havasu who is a runner. She might like to join! How cool!
Jenny

Darrell said...

Our little group does a couple of Christmas light runs, but just for the fun of running and hanging out together. This time around I will be thinking about Kelly and all you at Y-run.

PNW Runner said...

I heard this story before and I don't mind hearing it over and over again because it's very inspiring and touching. Sometimes I think we should have more of it, paying tributes like these. It's very healthy and sends a strong message to remind us how precious life is.

peter said...

We have a Christmas Light run here in DC each year and I'll think of Kelly this year. Thanks for repeating the story for us that don't know it.

Annette said...

Kelly sounds like one tough lady! That's awesome that you guys remember her with an annual run.

My group does a "Jingle Bell Run" each year around the neighborhoods here. It's a fun tradition.

craig said...

Kelly sounds like quite an inspiration.

I'm feeling better about not having a garmin now.

Sarah Elaine said...

You can manually enter data in the Garmin software??? Who knew?!

Beautiful bit about the Christmas light run, too.

Randy said...

Michelle, kick Eric in that dumb ass of his...LOL...he can be a pain in the ass sometimes...like all us males...

What a tribute run, that has to be the most stirring of any runs I've participated in or heard about ever...thanks for sharing that with everyone....

Makita said...

What a wonderful tribute! Sounds like she was certainly an inspiration.

Vannah said...

Hi I am Kelly niece and I am just so proud to here all of the great things you said about her! It makes me appreciate her even more to know that she was so influencial! Thanks a lot