This morning was a beautiful day with bright blue skies and no humidity. Unfortunately, I had to attend a funeral for a colleague who passed away last week of cancer. She was young–only in her 40’s with four children. I really thought she would beat this horrible disease; she fought so hard but it spread and took over her body. One of the special memories I have of her is the fact that she loved running so much! She would stop by my office on Mondays to tell me of how many miles she logged that weekend. I would offer her advice to incorporate cross-training into her routine and I encouraged her to sign up for a race. After all, if you are logging 8-10 miles every weekend, might as well put it towards a goal.
As she went through rounds of chemotherapy she would tell me how much she missed running. Remarkably, as things started to improve she shared with joy that she was running again with a friend much older than herself–she could keep up that way, was what she told me. She even managed to run in the June Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure here in Washington, DC. Then things took a backward slide and running was soon a dream of the past.
It’s always shocking when someone so young leaves this world, but at least she is in a better place and out of pain. I decided that before this morning’s memorial service I would knock out my six miles and focus on her and do this training run in her honor. My mind swayed a few times but overall I did my best to keep her in my thoughts for the 52 minutes I was running. And you know what? I felt strength in doing that; this run was just a small way to keep her and her family at the forefront of my thoughts.
Later, back at work we had a 5.9 earthquake in DC that was felt all the way up the East Coast and down through parts of North Carolina. It was quite possibly one of the scariest moments in my life but all is well. I like to think that it was Susan announcing that she made it home to heaven and it was time for a much-needed run.