Originally posted to Blogger on August 12, 2012

I am not sure of the exact time, that will be posted for me from today’s YMCA Summer Scamper, but I know I set another PBR. A couple of weeks ago my PBR was 39.07, and I had a hard time believing that one! Today depending on where they clocked me, at the front of the chute, in the middle or at the end. Where is the place they clock you? I was either right under 39 or right over. Between 38.56 or 39.01. I couldn’t believe on this difficult course I improved my time. There were hills, pavement, hills, gravel, hills, heavy grass and hills.

My PBR could have had something to do with the longer legged young woman in front of me who kept walking till I got close and then took off jogging to stay ahead of me. This view, I have seen on more than one 5K race, I have become comfortable with it. It is much harder when they have all passed me and I see no one in front of me.

The young woman’s friend kept urging her on. I could see her looking back, talking to her. I am grateful for the music that was playing in my ears allowing me to not hear how the friend was urging the walker to run. Even not hearing the conversation, they were making me a little terse. I kept playing the conversation in my head of what I would say to her if I caught up, “hey you’re not going to let me beat you now are you?” I never had a chance to say it. Although I did catch her, it was only for about 2 seconds while she was trying to drink her water. I had waved off the child who was running to get me some, the finish was too close. As my toe came even with her heel she dropped the cup and ran, and they were once again ahead of me by 15 feet and this time, they never looked back. This last gasp to the finish of about a 1/4 mile and there was Aden walking to me and turning around running with me, yelling, “come on, you can do it!”

I don’t think I will ever forget the back of this young girl’s shirt. I wish now I had my camera to take a picture of her back. I have no idea of what the message read, but the symbols motivated me to keep her in sight. It was another language, most likely Chinese. I like to think it was a message from a young man who died too soon, but in his death has pushed so many to be better than they thought possible.

I am happy to play the part of, “I beat that curly-headed, old lady”. I like to think I gave her hope today, to go out and run again, because she wasn’t last. To be more than she thought she could possibly be.

I walked the hills, ran the rest, but I’ve always known I could walk faster than I run. During the run, my 10-year-old son was only by my side till it was time to go and I quickly lost sight of him on the first beast of a hill. Seeing him ahead of me, kept me running up that first hill for the first half of it and not giving in till my throat and lungs were screaming at me. “PLEASE WALK!” I lost sight of him, but knew he was running, knew he was ahead of me, knew he would do what it would take to get to the finish.

My son,for his second ever 5K did better with a time in the 33 minute area, about a 2 minute improvement for him. I am so proud of him, but I wonder will his running career come to an end after his next week’s goal of running the Andrew Kuebrich 5K Hero Run? I love being able to do this with him. I know how hard it is. I can only hope he will want to keep doing it, but it is his decision, not mine. I will keep running, no matter that no one will run with me.

This Summer scamper 5K was the first race I did last year right after my Mom died. I was thinking of her and Andrew today, wearing my “In Memory of Andrew I run” shirt, and well, once again the emotion got the better of me. Tears came last year at the finish, this year it started with tears at the finish, but they quickly turned into a bit of a quiet sob from my damaged heart.

I looked for the clock coming to the finish. I could not believe the time I saw. I realized I had a new PBR just a couple of weeks after what I thought would be my PBR for the year. After they took my bib slip at the end of the chute, I had to just keep walking away from everyone, the tears belonged to me, alone. I needed this moment to be alone with thoughts. By the time my husband caught up to me I was in a good place overfilled with the excitement of accomplishment. It did not and never does matter that I was the last of the 5K runners to cross the finish line today and it did not and never does matter that I wasn’t fast enough to earn a medal. I did my own race. I made it to the finish once again and this time with a new personal best record. I was not alone. As I put one foot in front of the other, Mom and Andrew were on my heart, my 10-year-old baby boy pushed me to the finish and my husband Keith was there to record my historic moment. I did not give up. I crossed the finish line.


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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