If you read back through my blogs you’ll find one entitled, “I’ve Got a Thing About Feathers” I bring this up for the back story about today’s run. I’d like to urge you to look for it and read it, before reading this one.


This morning I went out to run 7 miles. By all my thought processes I should not have run 7 miles today, more like, “well if I feel like it, I’ll go run 2 miles, to stay in shape for my upcoming 5K’s. I ran 7 miles several weeks ago, and told myself I NEVER have to run 7 miles again. That was before my first half marathon last Sunday.

It was a very hot, humid day in Chicago and I really struggled to get through those 13.1 miles. I’m not sure what kept me on my feet and not my hands and knees to get across that finish line. The good news was that I did indeed make it across the finish. As most of you know I got into my friend Carolyna’s car and said, “Thank God I never have to do THAT again”. By the very next morning I had changed my mind and in that moment of losing my mind I decided to sign up for ANOTHER Half marathon just about 5 weeks away.

So I MUST stay in shape, I know this. I signed up for this one, because I believe I can do better than what I did last Sunday. I am proud of what I did that day, but if the circumstances had been better I know I would not, I believe have struggled as badly as I did. I can’t call this a “do over”. It is what it is, as my husband always says, a little more often than I like to hear, but I want another chance, with different circumstances and see if I can in fact do better. I’ll take whatever happens on Sept. 14th and I will be happy even if I have the same outcome as Sunday, I just want another chance.

I knew today would be tough mentally. I wasn’t overly worried about the physical, but I knew my brain was going to beat me up, mostly because I told myself I only had to do this once. It seemed to take forever to get that first mile down and then my iPod messed up and I had to reset it. I plugged along. The miles ticked off slowly and I resisted the urge to keep checking my distance in fear I would mess up the iPod again. I had a small section of time where I was able to get my mind off the distance to go and thought instead of the distance gone, but that was pretty short-lived. I tried to concentrate on my new shoes I bought and see how they were doing, but then my left foot started screaming at me. I just really wanted to get home. I had things on my agenda to do in the evening and they couldn’t get going till I made it home. Granted I was out at 7am this morning and my activities aren’t until 7pm tonight, but yep all that stuff plays with my brain.

I finally was within about 2 miles of being done. But still I felt the heaviness of getting done, and my head dropped. This is a common problem of mine, but this time it was what I needed. There lying in the grass beside me was a pretty Blue Jay’s feather. I smiled and stopped dead in my stride. It was a struggle to bend over to pick it up. My legs were tight, and aching. I worried about just toppling over on my noggin, which my noggin probably needed to be knocked around a bit, but I got it. I stood there and just looked at it for a bit, while I adjusted my attitude and placed it carefully in my belt. I wanted to carry it in my hand, but I knew I would destroy it in my sweat and snot covered hand. I forgot my paper towel for my nose, so left hand for wiping my nose, right hand for wiping off the sweat. I didn’t want the snot and sweat to get mixed together, but then I forgot and well that was yet another worry for my brain.

So with an adjusted attitude I like to think was a kick in the pants from those above who love me my brain stopped thinking about doing this journey all over again and I enjoyed the ride. I was still just as slow and aching, but my heart was once again smiling.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all” Emily Dickinson


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this whole running thing would be a whole lot easier if I could hear Colin Firth’s voice tell me how many miles I’ve completed! Seriously iPod Nano people, get your act together and help me out here!


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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