Originally posted at Blogger in March of 2012 – This last Saturday I had my best time ever on a 5K race. I’ve left the gum at home even though my mouth situation has not improved, I don’t want the other runners to think I am foaming at the mouth due to the white residue left on my lips.

Today I was able to get my second run of the week in, but instead of being on the treadmill at the fitness center I was outside running my street on a gorgeously hot day. I haven’t been outside to run in several months. I knew it would be a tough adjustment, first of all coming from the treadmill, but also that I’ve only logged a bit of running. Some of you may know that I am logging in one mile at a time for a young man who died recently. I am running 50 miles for Andrew, in my own timing. Today was my 4th mile for Andrew. Knowing it would be difficult I ran my street, because this is where I started my “outside” running a few years back. I had driven my street and knew that leaving my house and going north to the dead-end was a 1/4 mile and leaving my house and going south to the last mail box (remember when I was pushing myself to run mailbox to mailbox) was a 1/4 mile, which means if I left my house and ran the whole thing I could log a mile (hey I have some math skills).

It’s been awhile since I ran my street. I had graduated myself year before last to running in a neighboring subdivision, where I could run on the sidewalk. I could log 2 miles, around a loop and back home. I had no idea where the 1/4 mile marks were and I didn’t want to overdo it today, so here I was back running my street. It’s been too long to push for anything more. I am content not to push it and build slowly. It was hard and I did have to push myself, but not as hard as I thought. I did NOT want to fall short of the 1/4 mile runs, because I promised myself, right now, 1 mile by way of 1/4 mile run, 1/4 mile walk. Did I happen to mention it was hot? 77 degrees! I would never have thought 7 1/2 years ago at almost 52 (my birthday’s coming up, hint, hint) I would be outside on March 15th in Capri pants, a tank top and sports bra, running up and down my street, actually sweating and chewing Biotene gum to combat the dry mouth from the radiation treatments 7 1/2 years ago. Have you ever tried running with a piece of drywall in your mouth? That’s sorta what it feels like for me, every time, so it’s the only time generally you will see me chewing gum. I’m sure I am quite attractive while I’m running my turtle pace, mouth open to breath and a piece of gum to one side. I listen to my MP3 player to not only boost me along, but so I don’t have to hear the remarks of passing motorists (which I’m sure are quite pleasant). So here I was back to the beginning so it seemed at first, but then I realized it’s not the beginning, so much has changed in my life since I put one foot in front of the other out here a few short years ago. More importantly this time, I started it at 1/4 miles and NOT mailbox to mailbox. I realized now more than ever, for this day, I’m going to be okay, and if I’m okay today, I’ll be okay the next time.

It seemed, to me, quite fitting that as I approached my house to start the last 1/4 mile run that a song came on from one of my favorite movies, “Waking Ned Devine”. The song is called, “The Parting Glass”. I had thought off and on of Andrew throughout the run and well, this song, really just seemed to fit this situation and that last 1/4 mile was easier physically but started to play on my emotions for sure.


At the conclusion of that song I skipped ahead over some songs and stopped when I came to the song, “Afterglow”. Well I have to admit I was glad to be on the walking leg of this promised run and walking to my driveway because this song made me think about this new journey that I have been on since my Mom’s passing. The words really just are on the mark for me. So a few more tears were shed, but not so many. My tears were just a little for Andrew and my Mom, but more for me, knowing I’m going to be alright. I’m sure it seems crazy to some of you how I’ve linked Andrew and my Mom into this journey I am on, but it is helping me heal. I have a task that must be completed for someone other than myself. I know that Andrew is surrounded by his own family that have gone on before him and so is my Mom, but I like to think that they have become good friends and they are looking after each other up there and looking after us down here. It’s been a good day, for a journey, mailbox by mailbox, of a Hundred Thoughts down the street.


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About jlturtlerunner

12 plus Years Surviving Stage IV Oral Cancer. I have become a "Turtle" runner since that diagnosis, as a way of saying, "Take That Sucker!" After 12 years of being a Turtle Runner, I'm adding a new title, Turtle Rucker!

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