The last two days, I have run feeling strong and happy and like I am meant to do this. It’s a welcome change.
Saturday, October 12 I ran the St. Joe’s 5K with my friends Lesley – who is recovering from choriocarcinoma, a very rare cancer – and Melissa – who started running a few months ago. I was nothing short of humbled that Lesley would ask me to run her first post-treatment 5K with her, and overjoyed when Melissa asked if she could join us. We met at the start area. Lesley wanted to run the race at an 11:00/mile pace; Melissa said she’d be behind us and we said we’d cheer her across the finish.
You need to understand how dear Lesley is to me. When I first started running, she encouraged me. She ran with me during 5Ks. When I was training for my first half marathon, she would be out there on Saturdays, doing long runs with me. Plus, there are countless dinners and farmer’s market Saturdays and Jaycee meetings and other years of fun. Her cancer was devastating and I am so happy she is recovering. There was never a doubt in my mind that she would run again.
I told Lesley I would help her get through the race. I tried to keep her mind off it. I talked about work and travel and upcoming fun. We ran every step of it together. I could see how hard it was for her by mile 2-1/2 and I wanted to stop and hug her and tell her she could do it but that would have slowed us down, so I kept talking. You know what? That tough, amazing, wonderful woman crossed in her goal time. We just gave each other a big hug. She was teary-eyed. I was crying. That was the best run ever.
We watched for Melissa and couldn’t miss her tie-dyed t-shirt rounding the bend a couple minutes later. That woman was all focus and we screamed until we were hoarse! I’m so proud of her for picking up running and sticking with it. I hope it changes her life like it changed mine.
Then, last week I took a trip to Charlotte, NC for one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s a nerd convention (PASS Summit) and I love it. On Monday I got time to run with my friend Rob, from Australia. We have run in races together, but never side-by-side, just the two of us, chatting. It was wonderful.
Then there was #sqlrun. The first year I went to this conference, I organized a 3-mile run the first day for everyone who wanted to run but didn’t want to do so alone, in a strange city, in the dark – like me. I had something like 40 people show up. It’s now tradition – this year we had around 70 runners and walkers. It’s amazing to see the camaraderie, and how the motto “no geek left behind” is picked up. Everyone is welcome and everyone finishes; no one alone. It’s even better to know people meet running buddies to go with other days. If I leave nothing else behind in that technical community, I’d take that event alone.
So now I am full of joy and happy memories. I don’t have any races on the calendar or goals in mind. Just run, and run, and run.