Sunday, September 11, 2011

God Bless America

I woke up on the same side of the bed I always do, but for some reason, today it was the wrong side.  I knew it as I pulled on my running clothes at 5:30.  The coffee was helpful for the tiredness, but the foul mood was not budging.  My body wanted sleep.  Very, very badly.  I told myself that running tired was something I MUST do.  My legs weren't sore or heavy, nor did my feet hurt.  But my body was just not right.  I had logged 64.7 miles last week and by all accounts, had the right to a day off now.  But I wasn't taking one.

This morning John was up too.  He and I had agreed we would do 12 miles today.  Poor John.  Today would have been a good day for the guy to sleep in and a good day for me to run alone.  "Did you get our stuff out of your truck from LAST week?"  I snapped as he drank his coffee.  I was referring to our hydration belts as well as the bottles that I never recalled washing since our last long run.  "Nope.  Thought maybe you did."  God I was irritated!  Why do I have to do EVERYTHING around here!  He sensed my mood and headed out to get our stuff.  Meanwhile I thought how nice it would be to just head out alone, put in my music and run.  But we were possibly going to have company and I would need to at least act a little cheerful so I wouldn't lose friends!  I didn't want to talk though.  I was so damn grumpy today!  I did say the simple, yet effective prayer of "Lord, get into my head before I do..." but being that it was Sunday, God was asleep because I remained in quite a mood (I had forgotten that on the 7th day, the Lord rested).

We got in the car and headed to the park.  I informed John that if no one came, I would be listening to music, not conversing with him.  He seemed more than happy to get his own head phones!  Once he got a taste of my mood, he was probably ecstatic that I didn't want to "talk" (aka "YELL at") him.  On the way, Kim texted that she would not be coming.  Late night, no sleep... not doing 12 miles.  I am being totally honest when I say I was glad.  Not that Kim wasn't running, but rather that I wouldn't have to pretend to be in a good mood.  If Suttan was meeting us, it would be a bit later and I figured that I'd be a bit better off with a few miles under my belt.  If Sarah were coming, we'd say our hellos, run maybe a 1 mile warm up together and she'd be off at a faster pace.  I think I'd also warn her I was in a mood and then she wouldn't think twice about being insulted that I was bitchy.  So knowing I was going to get a little time to sweeten up was good.

We started off in the darkness and I had my headphones plugged into my iphone.  I was listening to Pandora radio and unfortunately, could not get it to change from Lady Gaga radio due to the weak internet signal on the running/bike trail.  That music did nothing to change my mood.  I could hear John's shoes heavily hitting the pavement, so I turned up the volume so that I wouldn't be annoyed that he wasn't lighter on his feet when he ran (I think I am going to lose a bunch of running friends after this blog.... everyone will be afraid I'll pick them apart.  But don't worry, no one else's running form bothers me a bit.  I only save that for the person who loves me no matter what!  Lucky John).

Finally I was able to switch the Pandora station.  I'm going out on a limb when I admit that I changed it to Celine Dion Holiday station.  I did.  Yes I know I am getting so laughed at, but the right music can always change my demeanor and this morning, that was the right music for a little bit.

I'm not sure which mile, or what song was playing, but I suddenly remembered that it was September 11th.  I was immediately brought back to that day in 2001... where I was, what I was doing and what my then 10 month old baby girl was wearing as she crawled across the living room floor while I stared in disbelief at the television.  I was to meet Krista at the zoo that day.  We walked around in silence at a very empty zoo.  Most of the time, that place was packed on a beautiful fall-ish day.  It was the most surreal day ever.  I knew how horrific it was, but yet felt very disconnected from it all.  Almost as if it was happening in another world.  It was as if it would not impact my world as I knew it...  wife, mother of two little ones, labor and delivery nurse.

Over the course of 10 years, I no longer feel that way.  I thought about how life as we know it can change in a split second.  I was tired this morning, but not because I was up all night mourning the sudden loss of a spouse, like my little sister had done.  I was tired, but not because I couldn't sleep because I ached for my three year old son, who ran across the street at just the wrong second, like the family whose baby I ran a race for yesterday.  I was tired, but not because I was up with  my 13 year old son who was fighting for his life on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Children's Hospital.  I was tired, but not because I was working and raising a family on my own because someone I loved was killed on September 11th, 2001.  No, I was tired because I am healthy enough to train for an ultra-marathon.  And in the course of doing so, running next to the person I love most in the world, who was also running to spend time doing something that meant so much to his wife.

I was suddenly keenly aware of the extreme sacrifices that our service men and women make to keep our country safe.  I was trying to imagine kissing my husband/wife/child/parent goodbye as they leave to go fight for freedom.  I can't imagine.  And so I will just pray for those that do and for the safe return for those that are leaving.  One of them being my cousin, Matt Corey, leaving very soon for Afganistan with the Navy.  I hadn't seen Matt in over 10 years until this past spring when he came out to run the Flying Pig half marathon for Team Mitch.  I thank God for the opportunity I had to see him, joke with him, and even run with him for a bit during the race.  I pray for his safe return when his mission is over.

When our run was over (which we cut short by two miles because I just wasn't feeling it today), I came home and got my family ready for mass.  Yes, I remained mostly tired and grumpy today.  But at certain points during the day, there was heightened awareness of the many blessings in my life.  Listening to Deacon Meyer preach on the topic of forgiveness, watching my 10 year old daughter play an awesome game of soccer in between rain and lightening delays.  Today these moments were huge for me.

This Saturday I will get to run the Air Force Marathon with a group of my running friends.  I think I will look at the whole experience differently given the timing of this marathon.  Running on Wright Patterson Air Force base will have a deeper meaning than it would if this race were in the spring.  I imagine it will for all those running in or spectating the race.

Thank you, God, for getting into my head today.  And to think I thought you were sleeping in!

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