A few days ago, I signed up for another half marathon. Usually, I plan my races months in advance so I can have plenty of time for training and that strategy usually works out great!
But this race is different.
After the Boston terror attack, I’ve been having trouble sleeping and eating consistently. Not because I’m worried about random attacks at races or standing in line at Walmart. I’m not wringing my hands during the day thinking of all the “what-ifs”. But at night, when I’m trying to sleep, it’s a futile effort.
And when you combine Boston with the fast approaching anniversary of the devastating Tuscaloosa tornado, I’ve given up on trying to sleep. And again, it’s not so much the actual storm that keeps me awake at night. It is the memories of the things we saw the first few days we were providing non-stop disaster relief. It is the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that tried to creep in while we were handing out food, water, and supplies. It’s the many days we saw the same debris over and over again and wondered how we would ever recover. (and we ARE recovering..with fascinating efficiency.) With all those feelings combined, I am dreading all the media coverage of April 27th.
I was reading some reports about Boston runners who didn’t get to finish their race. They were looking for another race that was coming up and was still open for registration. The Rock N Roll marathon series had a race in Nashville. The St. Jude Country Music marathon and half marathon was going to be on April 27th. When I read that, several things clicked for me.
1. It’s St. Jude. That is my favorite charity and St. Jude Memphis was my first marathon. I thought St. Jude had only 1 race. I had no idea they ran in Nashville, too!
2. It’s Rock n’ Roll. It’s a HUGE race series. I’ve had a RnR race on my running bucket list. I’ve looked at Savannah, GA for the past couple of years, but it never worked out. Here it is, within driving distance, in Nashville. I would finally get to see what a large expo is all about. I would line up with many other runners there for their own reasons.
3. It’s Boston recovery. Nothing helps more than jumping back on the horse. Or in our case, lacing up the shoes.
3. It’s on April 27. I would much rather wake up on that day in another state, making some great memories to replace or counter-balance some old memories.