Sunday, October 12, 2008

The End Is the Beginning

Yesterday morning, my training with TNT ended exactly where it started: in the parking lot of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society offices. Twenty two weeks ago, I showed up full of joyous optimism, ready to train for a half marathon. The end of that training day put my physical abilities into perspective for me. I could barely run more than a mile, even at 5-2 intervals. Since then, I have had horrible runs and I have had some amazing runs as well. Exactly one week from today, I will be at the starting line of the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco, ready to run my first long distance event.

I ended the training season, much as I had started it: with a little bit of lost dignity and attempted humor. During my first weekly run, in what seems an eternity ago, I drove to Torrey Pines Lodge and met with my team. Considering how early in the morning it was, I double checked that I had turned off the car lights, locked the door and put my purse in the trunk of my car. After returning from the three mile run through Torrey Pines park, I found most of my team standing around my car (how sweet!). As I walked up to them, I realized they were staring at the wide open door. Doh! Fortunately for me, there are so many fancy cars at the lodge that my car would be an insult to potential car thieves. Unfortunately, most of them remember me as the "Open Car Door Girl" and not by my name which is clearly written on my jersey in neon green.

Yesterday, I finished my run and wanted to grab a couple of things out of the trunk and join everyone for instructions about race day. Paper, pen and cell phone in hand, I slammed the trunk shut--just as I saw my keys in the trunk. I tried to casually ask Coach if he knew of anyone on the team that could break into my car. To his credit, he kept a straight face and suggested AAA. By the time I called and someone came, everyone was quietly gathered and listening to the coaches. And the someone who came was a rumbling tow truck driver with a flatbed truck that could easily fit two cars on it. To open my car door. In a tiny parking lot with a rapt audience. No subtlety there. With his arrival, what tiny shred of dignity I had maintained was gone. Everyone had a smile, chuckle or comment for me. As one runner who witnessed both of my adventures commented, "It's like you had bookends to the season. Symmetrical and well placed." Thank you very much.

I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me with your kind words, suggestions and very generous support. I am very well aware of the economic realities these days and know that every dollar donated matters. While I have met my minimum fund raising goals, I ask that you continue to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with any donation you can afford either through my site or that of others trying to raise funds. I know many of you have expressed the desire to donate and may have to donate less than you originally intended. The important thing is to continue to support the thousands of patients and their family members who benefit from your support of LLS.

Thank you again for sharing this experience with me.


A Bowl Of Stupid said...

Maybe the next thing you should challange yourself with is learning how to pick locks and such -- while the running thing is inspiring and all, you may want to look into a more 'practical' undertaking.

Just kidding (but not really ...). Congrats for all your hard work!

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Thank you for confirming my father's lifelong theory that I have no 'practical' skills. Of course, had I broken into my own car in front of a bunch of respectable people, they would have wondered where I got such skills...