Most of my “run inspired thoughts” are the result of toeing that starting line, whether it is an actual race or just an interesting training run. My last blog entry was mid June. I have not raced in a while; not since my 36th birthday back at the end of June. That was the day I placed second overall female at a 10K on Daytona Beach, spent the weekend at the beach with my sweetie, and capped it with fireworks on the beach that night. Then just before retiring for the night I found out that my grandfather, “Bepa” to all of us, passed away.
This is a huge loss for my family. I have never lost anyone that I was so close to and loved so deeply. To say the least, I have had a bit of writer’s block this summer. I have managed to continue training but no racing. I have been focused on family. Visiting Grandma and my family several times in Massachusetts took priority over all else. I seem to have lost interest in racing.
I know the grieving process takes time and some day I will be able to think about Bepa and not feel so sad. I know he is in a better place and he is no longer suffering from cancer. It is just missing him that hurts so much. When I run hard I cannot cry so that is why I have had some really great training runs the past few weeks. I think about Bepa, feel sad, run hard to avoid the tears, and then end up running a great tempo run or hard long run over steep hills. When I finish I feel better. Bepa loved to run and he was fast. He always told me that he loved to run but when he was young they didn’t have things like cross country, track, or road races where he grew up.
I started running competitively in seventh grade. Grandma and Bepa went to almost all of my high school cross country and track meets. They even drove hours and hours to watch me run in some of my college meets and traveled with me to the Boston and Hartford marathons. I know he had a great life and I am so blessed for all the time I spent with him. I have this one photo of us from my junior year of high school at the WMASS (regional championship) meet. It was my first year running track and my dad, who was my coach, could not make it to the meet. My mom and Bepa took me to the meet where I won the 1600 meters in 5:20 and qualified for State. That was my fastest 1600 in high school. Another photo I cherish is of my grandparents on either side of me holding my Brown University diploma. We were all cold and soaked from the rainy outdoor graduation ceremony but we all still managed a smile. I knew how proud they were of me since I was the first grandchild to graduate from college.
When I train alone or just have a quiet moment by myself, I reflect on all the wonderful moments I had with Bepa. I still cannot help but feel sad and miss him like crazy. I am hopeful that in time it will not hurt so much. I am happy for him because he is with the Lord and I know I will see him again some day. But for right now, I miss him.
I have started planning some races for this fall. I know it will not always hurt this much and with a little time, I will enjoy racing again. I mean, I have not lost my competitive spark. I still find myself doing silly things like trying to beat someone walking to the door of a store so I know it is still there.
Putting these thoughts down on paper feels like it might be my “starting line” to get back on track with some of the things I do enjoy like writing, blogging, and who knows maybe in a few weeks even racing. In the mean time, I plan to continue training hard so I will be in shape when I do toe the starting line again.