Today while throngs of people gathered on the Mall to rally to "restore sanity," I decided to reject sanity completely. You see, my cold is back, with a vengeance. So far the symptoms remain mostly above the neck, but they are fierce, including a nasty sore throat. But I'm running tomorrow anyway.
I'm sure my runner friends are now thinking "Well DUH, of course you're running tomorrow. Why wouldn't you?" But anyone who understands me, or has ever been anything like me, would realize that usually a bad cold is a legitimate excuse to stop everything in my world. Taking on my first 10K under these conditions is going against my habits and instincts. I'm so out of my element at the moment that I feel a little insane!!!!
I know that running with a cold is not THAT huge a deal in the grand scheme of things, but it feels significant to me. It is a sign to myself of my commitment to this sport. I'm not running tomorrow out of a sense of obligation, or just to prove something to myself. I'm running tomorrow because I've been preparing for this and looking forward to it and I'm just really really excited about the event!! Going to the expo today to pick up my race packet today was so much FUN!!! I'm completely in love with runner culture and I'm so proud to be a part of it. The expo even had me thinking I might actually want to run a marathon someday.....even though I know I really don't. So see....I've caught some of the crazy. :)
Anyway, if I'm going to be functional at all tomorrow, I'm going to need a decent night's sleep, so I need to wrap this up. I just want to state my goals, and then make a dedication for tomorrow's race.
I'm taking the three-pronged approach to goals that my friend Tyler uses: a reach goal, a realistic goal, and an easy goal. I've adjusted my expectations to reflect rounds 1 and 2 of my cold. For this race, my reach goal is to run the first four miles before needing a walk break. My realistic goal is just to run more than half of the total distance, no matter how many walk breaks it takes. My easy goal is just to cross the finish line upright and uninjured. :)
As for my dedication...I'm not sure how often I will dedicate races to particular individuals or causes, but I'm doing it this time because the race happens to fall on a very significant day. Two years ago tomorrow, my dear friend Amy lost her precious son Jack to severe congenital heart defects, just two weeks before his third birthday. Jack was an incredibly special little boy, who touched a lot of people in a profound way in his short life. I will never forget him, and especially not on Halloween. My thoughts and prayers will be with Amy and her family tomorrow, and it just makes sense to dedicate my run to them and to Jack. I will wear a red t-shirt in his honor, and will also wear some of his favorite symbols: a star, and a cross. The cross is of particular significance, because he had the deepest faith perhaps of anyone I've ever known...and it was his faith that brought me back to mine after a few months of personal spiritual crisis. In gratitude, in grief, and in love, I will remember Jack tomorrow.