Friday, December 21, 2007

"I hope 64 was enough"

If you came from here, part of this post is a repeat... but with more thoughts mixed in.

If you came here looking for a report on 12/16/07's Christmas Marathon, here it is: Out and back course, the weather was supposed to be bad but early starters got a break on that, I finished in 3:52 and did not make my race goal.

As for 2007... well, I did it. I was attempting to run 50+ marathons in 2007 for breast cancer awareness and as a tribute to a special family member.

I hit #51 on 10/21.

I've gotten to #64, and even though I have a couple weekends left in 2007, and even though I am registered for 3 more races, I am going to close out the year at 64. I have mixed emotions about that, but it'll have to do.

As my little odyssey progressed throughout the year, I had lots of time to really consider WHY I was running all these races. It became less about breast cancer awareness and a lot more about being a tribute. I said this morning, "I hope 64 was enough." Right after I said it, I realized how self-centered it sounded.

64 is a lot of running. And traveling. It was cool... and I am pleased with what I did. I met a TON of great people along the way and heard great stories about people's battles with cancer. And running stories too.

I'm fond of saying that running a lot of marathons and gaining Maniac "stars" don't make you (or me) a better person... but really? I learned a lot along the way. Hopefully that WILL make me a better person.

It started as a tribute to a family member. I KNOW what it means to battle something like that. Believe me, running a marathon is easy. Helping HER go through it, though, was a humbling experience. She's been through a lot; she's tried to control/own the experience the whole way through. The word warrior is attached to this experience, and I understand it. I wanted to run for her.

But along the way, I heard so many stories and met so many other people who have been affected by cancer. Within the Marathon Maniacs, we have a few cancer survivors. I won't list them because I don't know who wants to be listed. We have a great many more Maniacs with family members who are also warriors. And 64 times this year, I met at least 2 random people with similar stories. They tried to tell me thanks. No... thank YOU.

Some of these stories had happy endings. Some did not. Many stories are ongoing. It is very hard to know how to respond sometimes when you hear these stories.
  • For J-Lo.
  • For my mother, Sylvia MacDermaid.
  • For your mother (who know who you are).
  • For Terry Fox.
  • For Bruce Katter.
  • For all the other warriors who are battling, battled and won, or battled and did not.
For the public record, this year has been demanding and challenging. Nothing like what a person goes through when battling cancer, though. Still... along the way, I burned certain bridges and damaged relationships. One in particular was especially bad.

The cost was high. I am going to take a break from being a Maniac for an indefinite period. There are other aspects of my life that I need to improve. I want to be a better person, and I need to work off some bad karma associated with being x, y, and z (fill in your own pejoratives; I probably did them).

I was a fair runner, but sometimes I've been kind of a crappy person. Right now, I'd rather become a fair(er) person.

Run well, but please remember what I sometimes forgot: it's just running. It's more important to be well and be good.

Thank you for reading this and mahalo plenty for your support this year.

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