Bright and early in the morning, I will set out for my 20 mile run. It will be the longest run I do before June 12th.
The last three months of training have been emotionally and physically challenging.
The week I decided to sign up for the Utah Valley Marathon, I injured my leg during a trail run.
For a few weeks, I couldn't run. But, getting further and further behind in my training, I decided to go ahead and start running on it. Mile after mile, I limped my way through, barely being able to put weight on my injured leg.
Some days were worse than others.
Some days I finished in tears.
But, I was hell-bent on being ready for Utah.
So, I kept running.
And, when I finally admitted to myself that my injury was not improving, I decided that some intervention was in order.
For the last five weeks, I have been going to physical therapy. A terribly tight IT Band has been to blame. And, week after week, my runs have felt better. My stride was coming back and the annoying limp was finally disappearing.
Then, I ran my 19 mile long run last weekend and somewhere between mile 3 and 4, a sharp pain began in my knee... on the other leg. And, a couple of miles later... pain in my ankle. I was waiting for this.
All of that limping took its toll on my good leg and now it was mad...and, it was yelling at me.
With only one long run left before tapering, I know I can endure the pain and get through this training.
I just don't know how well I'll run in Utah.
All runners second guess their training toward the end...Did I put in enough miles? Too many miles? Enough hills? The right pace? The right shoes?
In my case, I can't question any decision I've made. My legs dictated my training. Sure, I thought about throwing in the towel a thousand times.
But, if I'd quit, all I'd ever remember from this was that
Over the weekend, we took a short day trip to Globe, Arizona to watch Lance ride in the Cat 3 Arizona State Road Race Championships. He was having a great day and was one of the five break-away riders, but with only about 6 miles to the finish line, a flat tire took him out of the lead group.
He still finished eighth and I couldn't be more proud.
And...what else is there to do in Globe besides watch a bike race...
Well, there's El Rey Cafe...some of the best Mexican food you'll ever have.
Elle successfully completed preschool and soon, my youngest will be off to kindergarten.
Oh, the years pass too quickly.
Although there are days that I grow tired of having my little shadow following me around, wanting to spend every second by my side, I know that in what will feel like an instant I will blink and she will be grown.
The days of make-believe, princesses, and baby dolls will be replaced with boys, cell phones, and school dances.
Not long before my mom died, I found myself in a dressing room at Dillards. Standing in front of a mirror, I stared at the price tag and contemplated the cost. $125 for a dress I will only wear on one day, one dreadful day, and never again.
Choosing a dress for your own mother's funeral is a surreal experience. I needed to get it done before she was gone and there was no telling how much time she had left. But, I thought scribbling this errand down on my to-do list along with stopping at the post office and picking up dog food might minimize its significance and make it a little easier.
I slumped down in that sad black dress in the tiny dressing room and cried quiet tears of exhaustion and hopelessness.
I could have stayed there
I reluctantly bought that overly priced dress and two weeks later, wore it.
It's been two and half years since my mom's funeral and I've worn the black dress only a few times since. It always reminds me of that day, the day I sat in it and cried in a mall dressing room.
It really is the sad black dress.
With Mother's Day approaching, I've thought about dragging it out of my closet. I may even wear it on Sunday to church. With all of the talks, prayers, and blessings about mothers that I know I'll hear that day, maybe I will be able to erase the sad memories I associate with that dress and replace them with gratitude...
gratitude for the mother I was fortunate to have for 33 years.
And...my mom would never want a good dress to go to waste.