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On not running March 28, 2011

Posted by Merrilee in LMJS.
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Today, I got up early, had my usual pre-running breakfast (coffee and toast with avacado!), got dressed in running clothes and a few extra layers then drove to the start of the race and didn’t run. It was a weird feeling.

I was a little ambivalent about going to the race. Maybe seeing everyone would be too painful? In the end, my strong volunteer spirit overruled everything and I decided to hang out in the LMJS tent. As I saw first the marathoners and then the half marathoners prepare themselves for the race, I realized I didn’t have even a bit of regret. I’d made the right decision for me and I was genuinely excited for all of them and so proud of all that they had accomplished in their weeks of training.

When I knew “my” group (those who had been in my pace group) would be getting close to the finish, I left the tent and joined the crowd lining the route. For me, this was almost as good as being in the race myself (maybe better because there were no regrets and no sore muscles!). As each person approached the finish, I was so proud of each of them.

I wasn’t sure how long I would stay, but at around noon, with my face hurting from smiling so much, I decided to take off. I had been thinking that as long as I was registered for the race, I might want to cash in on one of my two free beers, but then I found out that it was MGD. I admit it, I’m a beer snob. Not having actually run, a beer didn’t sound as good as it might have otherwise.

On a more serious note, in the last week, I found out that a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and a former coworker died of cancer. I’m keenly aware of the impact that cancer has on all of our lives, so I’m glad I put myself forward to raise money for the United Cancer Society. Even if I wasn’t able to follow through with all of my intentions, I’m glad I was able to contribute to the cause and to raising awareness. Focusing on cancer makes me realize how much I have, in terms of my own health and my tremendous personal support network. Thanks to you all for taking care of me, in all kinds of ways.

This will be the last posting on my experiences with the 2011 Oakland Running Festival. For those of you who have been following along the way and for those of you who donated to the cause, thanks for your support. I’ll continue to blog about running (and the road to recovery), but also probably horseback riding (I’ve just started taking lessons), yoga, and my amazing daughter Karydis.

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