Thursday, December 2, 2010

Preparing for Marathon #2...and my list to Santa

So here I am again…3 days until another marathon. I am not as nervous as I was for my first one (a month ago) because now I know what to expect. This is what the start lines looks like in big marathon...and it can take 20 minutes for the final group to cross the START line...that's alot of runners and walkers!

I know the day will be long. I know it will be bitterly cold in the morning while we wait for the race to start. I know my feet and body will ache after the first 20 miles. I know my eyes will search the crowd for Will waiting for one familiar face. I know my tummy will grumble for pretzels and then want to reject anything I put in it. I know that every time I see another purple jersey I remember I am not alone in my mission to help find a cure for blood cancers or any cancer for that matter. I know that I will see signs like the one in the picture below that will make me laugh out loud at just the perfect moment. I know that I will see amputee runners (even children) who will inspire me to continue pushing no matter how tired I am. I know that I will smile, cry and scream (inside my head) while I’m on the course. The range of emotions on a single race day is overwhelming. Sometimes it isn’t running 26.2 miles that worries me…it’s my mental state for 26.2 miles!

So am I prepared? Honestly, I can’t really answer that this time. I’ve been sick and felt crummy for the last several weeks but this morning I saw something and my inspiration has come back. God has a funny way of doing that. Besides the bronchitis and sinus infection I’ve been battling, my IT band started to ache a couple weeks ago so I’m trying out this new ROCK TAPE. No need to go on about what it is but the back of the rock tape has all kinds of quotes and as I put my tape on this morning the word “difference” GLARED at me….

“When it’s all over, it’s not who you were. It’s whether you made a difference!”

Perfect. Brilliant. Inspirational. Sub “who you were” with “my finishing time” and it is exactly what I need to get me to Sunday!

On this blog I try to be real…but we all hold stuff back. The last thing I want to do is complain about how I don’t feel good or that I had a bad run or I’m disappointed in my finishing time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I SIGNED UP FOR THIS…no one makes me do it. I signed up to train. I signed up to wake up every Saturday morning at 5:00am or earlier. I signed up to run 18 miles in blistering heat. I signed up to meet new friends. I signed up to raise money. I SIGNED UP TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

How I’ve felt these last couple weeks…sick, run down, bummed, tired…is how I think my honored heros feel when they are going through treatment. They feel that way EVERY DAY for months on end sometimes. And to make matters worse, most of them are children. Small tiny humans…just like my two children at home, who can’t possibly understand why their tiny bodies have been evaded by “bad guys.” And their parents…battling along side of them – heros in their own right!

So as I prepare for another marathon...I have also made out my LIST to Santa. I think I’ve been good this year so I’m hoping my (prayer) list comes true… with the help of God.

1. Continue to help Georgia, Morgan, James and Phillip fight their battle against Leukemia. Heal their bodies quickly. Bless their families and keep them healthy (and home) during the holidays.

2. Bring peace to my teammate Monique and her family as they celebrate another holiday season while Griffin watches from heaven. May he and the angels make plenty of snow-angels, build snowmen, drink hot chocolate and sing carols.

3. Keep Allie’s body and mind strong as she runs her first half marathon… and keep her in remission as she grows into a beautiful young lady.

4. Ease the anxiety and fears of all my teammates as they approach race day. May they have the race they have dreamed about since they signed up for TNT in August. Bless each of their honored heros.

5. Bless Abi and Beau (my kiddos) with good health and happy days. Guide Will and I to be good parents and a strong family. Help us show them how much they are loved each and every day. .

6. Keep my mind focused...remind me why I run when I begin to doubt myself.

My final note…yes I know this is a LONG POST. But I have to tell you the story of the picture above of the child in the wheelchair. Her name is Ryanne Carr (age 7) of Mineola, Texas. She is the Junior Race Director of the White Rock Marathon this year. Ryanne is a double amputee and is missing part of her right arm. As part of the orthopedic care that she receives at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, the hospital provides Ryanne with prosthetic limbs, which allow her to do the things she loves. Scottish Rite is the primary beneficiary of the marathon. The runner pushing Ryanne is Amputee Amy Palmiero-Winter (37-year-old mother) from Long Island, N.Y. Amy lost her leg in a motorcycle accident in 1994. But, using a customized prosthesis, she's become a three-time triathlon world champion and holds 12 world records for amputee athletes. In October 2009, she was named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week after winning the 10th annual Heartland 100-mile endurance run in Kansas. She posted the second fastest time of any runner in the event's history.

Last year at White Rock Marathon (2009) Ryanne couldn't pass up the opportunity when Amy Palmiero-Winters offered to push her in a wheelchair for the race. In the last mile, Ryanne got into her racing wheelchair so she could finish the race on her own power.

What more inspiration do you need than that?

Good luck to the entire Winter TEAM! Each of you have a made a difference…so you’ve already won!

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  1. Oh Dianna! Your posts always make me cry.

  2. Great post Dianna! I am so inspired by you and all that you continue to do :) You are going to dig deep and you will rock the rock girl!!! I have faith in you.

  3. Beautifully written, I love the Santa wish list and thanks for sharing Ryanne and Amy's story.

  4. Wonderful post and very inspirational!! I am very excited and anxious about Sunday!!!

    I think you should be a writer!! ;)

  5. Great, motivating, meaningful post, Dianna. I wish I could be half as eloquent as you. The thoughts are there for me, but the words don't come as easily. I'll just say thanks for saying it for me.

  6. Dianna, i love to read everything you write about. You put so much feeling to every word you write. One could tell that your words come from you heart and you make all of us feel what you feel and that a great touch. Thanks for you. Your very special.
    I love you more than you'll ever know