(Hurry....click far far away from here while there's still time!)
I am not a runner.
I am simply not a runner.
Yes....I even run races.
But....I am not a runner.
In my mind....a runner is someone who loves to "get out there and pound the pavement."
Someone who pushes themselves to the ends of their limitations....and then begins planning the next run while they're picking themselves up from a puddle of exhaustion.
Someone who wears shirts that say, "If I collapse....pause my Garmin."
A runner gets those "runner's highs"....and strives to go farther and faster.
They are anxious to start and thrilled to finish.
Runners properly carb load and do recovery drinks (usually involving some weird protein combination) and actually know what "interval training" means.
I run because I'm getting older and I want to keep eating Shakes.
I sign up for races so I HAVE to train and therefore have "street therapy" time with my running buddy.
I don't go if it's too cold or too hot or raining.
My carbs usually include some variation on a mixture of bagels, cadbury cream eggs, mac & cheese, and probably Shakes.
(But not Thai food. Never Thai food. I learned that lesson....trust me on this one.)
I walk when I'm tired and my only "intervals" involve speeding up until I get to a shady spot.
In fact...the majority of the races I sign up for involve a fun destination....and that is how I
My next races is not so much a "destination" one.
In two weeks I'm going to run in the Joplin Memorial Race.
It's commemorating the tornado last May...and dedicated to those who lost their lives as well as those who came in by the thousands to help us.
And as much as I'm not a fan of running....I usually just gripe and moan and make it through without actually going off of the deep end
This time though....I think I may be a little more emotional.
Today I got an email from the race site with a link to THIS VIDEO showing the race course.
There are a few spots during the video where the tech-savvy crew put up a simultaneous side-by-side picture of what the road looked like BEFORE May 22nd next to what it looks like now.
Quite a bit of the race route goes along the exact streets where we run.
Now we've been running these streets for several months now...and gotten
But as I watched the "before" pictures ......
Then just after "mile 7" (at about 5 minutes) the route/video goes past my old neighborhood.
My friend and I have been purposefully running through our old neighborhood since a few months after the tornado.
Although both of us had been "displaced" from that neighborhood...that's where we'd run for sooooooo long we didn't want to
Besides....it was a good way to keep up on the rebuilding of the 'hood.
Point is....I'm used to it now.
What I'm not used to is seeing a "side-by-side" of how it used to look.
How I remember it....even though I have almost forgotten it.
So all of this blather is a long way around to saying....
I think I may be a bit emotional this race.
It's been a year.
That's a long time.
But not that long.
Things still hurt.
Things still seem "off".
Things still aren't quite settled for everyone.
Me, at least.
Tuesday the furniture restoration place came to get my bedroom furniture.
Parts of it had big scrapes and gouges and water damage....but we'd waited until everything else was done so that I didn't have to go too long without dressers or a bed.
Before they came I had to clean out all of the drawers.
Now mind you...I've been using these drawers.
We taped them shut after the storm when we moved the dresser....and I just kept using them when we moved it into our current house.
On Tuesday...when I realized they restoration people were coming in 15 minutes.... I dumped all of the drawers out on the floor.
Amidst the cascade of mismatched socks and old workout shorts came pretty little tufts of insulation and random twigs and gritty things.
I've been USING this stuff.
These drawers were closed during the tornado.
How did I not notice this junk in my drawers???
Then I dumped out my night side table.
Then that same night Ethan and I went looking for a book.
It's a book I had as a kid (and the kids loved that you could still read my name where my mom had written it) that we all enjoyed reading together...we just hadn't thought about it in a while.
Then this weekend we needed the camp chairs which were buried in the warehouse....
Then I discovered that my kid's special photo books I thought were ok (because I finally had time to look at them for the first time in 11 months) were actually moldy....
Then I argued with the contractors that I didn't want my new kitchen desk the practical way they were suggesting....I wanted it the same way as my old house....
Nothing (Certainly!) salvational.
Just little snippets.
Little "side by side" comparisons of what normal used to be.
I think that as we near the one-year anniversary....memories may come closer to the surface.
Today as Bennett was climbing out of my car to go into his fiddle lesson he randomly said,
"Mom....know what's weird?"
"I don't want to think about the tornado....but I really want to remember the tornado. That's weird, isn't it?"
I kind of get what he means.
I'm not dwelling (writing about it is NOT dwelling....it's more of ....well....debriedment. Yeah.).
I'm moving forward....
But I want to remember.
So I answered, "No. I don't think it's weird. I feel the same way. I think it's just that everything has changed so much....including us....that maybe have to remember what it is that made all of these changes."
And he moseyed into fiddle and I wondered if I'd answered correctly.
So.....what's my point?
I guess I'm just realizing that underneath all the day-to-day normalcy around this city....there are still a lot of small little "side-by-side" comparisons to the "old normalcy" in our minds.
Maybe it's just me.
But I kind of doubt that I'm the only one who is going to be needing kleenex during this race.
Now I realize that many of the runners will be giving their all....running their hearts
That's awesome for them...and I applaud them.
Those guys and gals have WAY more discipline then I can even imagine having.
But if you happen to come out to spectate this race...
And you see me slowing down
Or crying when I read the "In Memory Of....." shirts around me....
Or wiping my eyes when we pass St John's.....
Or more tears as we go past the street where all of the nursing homes once stood.....
Just hand me some kleenex.
My shirt will probably be soaked by then and my running partner will be incredibly grateful to you.