The phone rang. I picked up. My mom said, "Do you want to go to Alaska?" I said, "Of course I want to go to Alaska. You know I've always wanted to go to Alaska." She then told me my uncle and aunt had booked, she and Gary were about to, and I needed to right away.
I asked when we were leaving? She said May 10th. "Mom! That's the day of my race!" My mom asked, "Would you rather go to Alaska or run?" I wanted both. I tried for both, but it wasn't going to work.
It's a long story but in the middle of March, after about 18 years of being unable to run outside (suddenly started wheezing out of nowhere, couldn't breathe and an inhaler didn't help) I had once again become able. Because of this, I became a running fool.
I really wanted to start signing up some races. My friend Sara knew and soon asked if I wanted to run my first 5K with her. I was really excited, but asked if we could do the 10? She took some time to think about it (I knew she would, because rises to any challenge) and agreed. I immediately signed us both up!
I was ready. I had usually been running about 4 miles, but increased it to 6.2 to make sure I could complete the whole 10K. Then, 6.2 turned straight into 10 miles. I couldn't stop. I used to dread every moment of running. I could break a run down like nobody's business. I would dissect them by how many songs I had run, and further break that down by how many minutes an average song was. I'd then calculate to figure out how close I was to done, because God forbid if I looked at the time! If I did, I might quit all together. I used to run only as a means to an end. Now, I understand all those who love it! It's become infectious. It's therapy. It's much like writing for me. It clears my mind and makes me more able to carry on in a better and more productive way. I am beyond grateful that I was given back the gift of running outside. There's nothing like it. It's freedom - to go, to explore, to experience the world with all your senses.
It was a complete impromptu trip. We had two and a half weeks before leaving. I like when trips come along in this way. We were looking forward to spending time with these four! The only times we had ever traveled with them previously was to go back and forth to the brain injury institute. We knew it would be wild, but for different reasons this time!
And of course, there will always be other runs...