running: hurricane sandy running team world vision training for a marathon training for the New York Marathon
by Mommy Hobbies
In my napsack stash
This past Sunday I was set to run the race of my life.
Friday, we packed up and headed off to New York. My body was so ready. My mind had run the race a thousand times and I knew it was going to be a piece of cake.
Unfortunately, earlier in the week a hurricane had ripped through New York city devastating areas, leaving people without electricity, water, food, homes, taking lives and shutting down a huge portion of the city’s transportation. Hurricane Sandy they called her. But in New York fashion, the mayor stated that in spite of the circumstances the marathon would indeed proceed.
We arrived at 4pm, changed clothing, caught an express bus into the city and made our way up town to meet with some of my team members for a Team World Vision dinner. By the time we exited the subway, a text came through asking if we knew that the marathon had been cancelled. Shocked. My heart plummeted. Total disbelief. I was hoping it was going to be a hoax or something. Not so.
We met up with some of my team for the dinner. We enjoyed a tasty pasta dinner. The mood was somber yet comforting. We were all there trying to accept the change in events, trying to focus on the positive. Our team leader, Juan, and his sweet wife Rachel, had words of encouragement for us and kept the atmosphere light. It was nice meeting people from around the globe, listening to sponsorship stories and feeling a sense of unity throughout the evening. Runners truly do stick together.
But, by the end of the evening my eyes wanted to burst with tears. When I first heard the news I was in shock and didn’t really connect with the reality, and then slowly my mind started shouting, “WHAT? Omg, I worked so hard. What about the people who sponsored me? Oh my goodness, why am I thinking this way? So many people are suffering right now, right outside…” I felt guilty and so selfish for wanting to run this race. I was angry and disappointed. My heart was breaking for those who lost their lives during the hurricane, their homes, family members. It was too much. I was so overwhelmed. Somehow, I managed to keep it all in until the next day when I was sitting on the bus making my way back into the city. I couldn’t help it and started sobbing, quietly. Who knows what the lady next to me was thinking. Whatever, I needed a *moment* to release my emotions. My head pounded, “All those people who believed in you, who sponsored children so you could run, who sent notes of encouragement, you’re letting them down. You’re letting them all down. My mom, my dad, the money they’ve put into this to help you. You’re not doing the work you said you’d do.” Oh, I cried so hard and deep on that bus ride.
Then I hated running. I hated all of the miles, sweat, time and energy I had put into running. “What a complete waste,” was all I could think. I’ve run two years of hardcore committed running, plus the 18 weeks of training for this marathon. Irritating. I couldn’t bear the thought of lacing up my shoes. Horrible thoughts were in my mind. I felt like I betrayed myself this past weekend.
But now that a couple days have gone by and I’m not as emotional, I’ve managed to refocus and set myself on a new course.
“Runners are persistent,” my husband likes to say. He’s not kidding. Because, as quickly as the news came out that the race was cancelled, runners were scrambling to find races in the area, myself included.
So, yeah, I may be have been knocked down, but I’m not out yet.
I, and a lot of other displaced runners, will be running a marathon this weekend in Richmond Virginia. So, while I may not be running the race of my life down the streets of New York City, but I will be running the race of my life through the streets of Richmond, VA wearing my Team World Vision shirt, running for those less fortunate, running in honor of the victims of Hurricane Sandy and running to realize a dream this mother runner has had for quite some time.
I run this race for you.
*As I finish this post, I can’t help but cry. Life is not ever going to be a sure thing. What is REALLY important?*