Things have been fast furious the past couple of weeks so it's been harder than I thought to keep up with my blog. I'm sure you were all biting you finger nails with anticipation for my next post. Well ladies and gents, the wait is over.
This weekend I went to San Antonio to see my good friend and coach run the inaugural Rock'n Roll San Antonio marathon. I have a lot of athletic friends. Friends who run marathons and compete in triathlons, duathlons or were collegiate athletes. But this was different, Liz just turned 50 a month ago and running 26.2 miles was what she wanted to accomplish for herself at the half a century mark. I guess I should mention she's a wife, a mother of a Jr higher and two grown sons and amazingly a grandma aka "Memaw" to two grandchildren. She's on the board of her daughter's private school, active in multiple non profit organizations and oh she has a highly stressful day job here at LCRA where she is a project manager. I have always been amazed at how well she does a lot of things. Nothing with her is halfway. Before my injury, she and I have been running together for a few years. I jokingly refer to her as my drill Sergeant. I'm easy on myself but she challenges me to run a little harder and run a little farther during races and tri's or just training during the week on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail (Oh how I miss those days).
But in an somewhat unexpected reversal of roles, I went to San Antonio to return the favor of years of her constant support. When my friend was killed by a drunk driver in February of 2004 the thought of doing my first triathlon without Kimberly seemed impossible. She was killed during the time we were training. After her death, Liz sought me out and encouraged me and helped train me. She cried with me but gave me a constructive outlet for my grief. Liz is the whole reason I fell in love with the sport of triathlons and road racing. I feel like I owe her so much.
My friend Megan and I set up chairs and poster boards and waited for Liz at mile 15. Even though the course was generally flat (unlike running in Austin) she said her legs had started to feel heavy and she was worried if she could really go another 11 miles. We hugged and I said the same encouraging words she's told me countless times before and she was off again. We meet her again at mile 19 and walked her to 20. The race route at this juncture went through the national park with all the old missions. It was quiet (very unrace like) and somewhat discouraging so we decided to stay with her until she had the strength to run again and she did. She crossed the finish line a little over an hour later. As I saw her struggling but determined to finish strong. The final half a mile was a brutal uphill climb but she did it. When I hugged her I could help but cry. I was so proud of her and so happy that her 12 year old daughter was there to see it. I was inspired and motivated once again. I can't relay how bad I wanted to run and race again. I secretly thought to myself, maybe I can do this. Next year, this same race. If she could do it at 50 I can do it at 30. Maybe 30 isn't looking to be so bad after all.