Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shut Up and Dance

Well the Boston marathon playlist is finally complete... it is the marathon with by far the most dance songs ever so I might be getting confused as to what I'm actually going out there to do... It's also got the most comical songs I've ever had on a playlist since I know I'll be smiling on that course but thought I'd reinforce it throughout the course... With that said, the final song I added on the playlist was Shut up and dance.  Unlike previous road races I don't have it in any order but will just be putting it on shuffle like I do on Spartans, accepting that something life being random can be a pretty good thing.

I'm honestly more excited about this marathon than any marathon in quite a while. There's been some incredibly happenstances that have made me look forward to it... the person who got the invitation to me, Megan, is someone who has connections to both the cancer community and was one of the people who had to be resilient to get through the Boston tragedy. From the tea party to the most recent response to those bombings, Boston has shown for a couple of centuries that it's not a town to be messed with or in. She's kind enough to host me during Boston. She's going to be on heartbreak hill with a sign she made that I honestly teared up when I saw it. I hope I catch it on the course itself but either way in my heart I know it's there.

Running was never how I fought cancer nor will it ever be... it was there long before cancer and it's nice to have something from Life part I that has continued to get better after it. But it is something I still try to utilize, like that music on that playlist during the race, to both focus and disconnect from difficulty; albeit the marathon is one I signed up for and cancer is not. However, I know it's a silly symbol but it made me happy that Duke, where I went for brain surgery. won March Madness and while it took some doubling down on bracket bets... I won something that really got my spirits up. I tried to teach Kiana how to slam dunk that day and she played along but mostly rolled her eyes at me.

My lumosity scores are still solid where I won the war of 1812. That was the highest LPI I'd ever achieved there and had never gotten anywhere near it till earlier this year and I've been on an upward trend to where it sits now with 1815...

And the fundraiser with First Descents, I signed up to do got 26 donors so in my heart and damaged
mind, every single mile is covered and don't you worry, that last .2 that one's for me. I've gone out and broken in the new shoes and watch that I'm going to be using. I got the special Boston shoes for it so that no matter what direction I'm looking even in my own two feet I can be reminded that once upon a time I put off brain surgery to try to qualify for Boston and I did though it would be 14 months before I could run it. It took 2.5 years later to qualify again but this time I'm doing it only 8 months later my kind of time frame. It's the habit of our running group to call the time and I honestly usually call a shot, often an over ambitious one and only once have I even been close. Still, I was the last one to call it and despite the jokes someone made on the worksheet about how the cameras would slow me down it's just the nervousness of starting later, it being more crowded I finally called one of 2:58.08 mostly cause that would have more 8's. That's the most ambitious goal because it would beat my fastest marathon by over five. The next goal is to get a PR which would be anything with a 3:03. And as I've stated before I really really hope to be able to say I qualified for Boston at Boston which would be anything that's 3:09 or under... (If you're one of those tracker stalker types my bib number is 5629) Predicting your time exactly right is not a science since there's too many factors but I gotta say that I'm actually fairly certain that no matter what this will be the most fun I've had for 26.2 miles because this is the relaxed I've been a few days before a marathon for a while. (Not to say that I'm relaxed just more relaxed and more excited and more grateful the second time around)

There will be meals and hugs and moments with a variety of people. Brain tumor survivors who while we're officially friends since we're friends on Facebook I get to see them in person. There will be friends I've made through media, through Spartan, friends from Austin we're joining up. The girl who I kissed at a finish line better be about as close as security will let her after this one if she wants another dehydrated kiss.

I said something during the ESPN interview that I don't know whether or not it'll make the cut (nor am I worried about it if it does). But I said that when I qualified for Boston on the race I'd put off brain surgery for, worried that it would be the last one, at the end I felt like that was the best race of my life. Then when I did Boston I called it the best of times even though it was my slowest one because that was the first my mom, little brother and Kiana would come watch. Then when I would do one besides each of them those were better than Boston. Still I said in the interview that somewhere I dare to dream now that my best race is somehow ahead of me... It doesn't have to be the fastest (though anyone who thinks I'm not gunning for that doesn't know me very well) but I get to do the Boston marathon in 5 days! And a couple of weeks after that I'm doing my cousin's first Spartan race in Austin, then the friend I've had the longest I'll be joining them in Dallas, then for the first time since before brain surgery I'm celebrating my birthday this year by having tons of the family do a race with me... I've woken up in ambulances too many times to assume that those days will absolutely arrive. But waking up in those ambulances somehow reminds me that you gotta put some bright things in the future and it makes me work harder to enjoy the present. It's a fine teetering act not unlike spartan balance obstacles or taking the right pace at a marathon to where you don't crash and burn too hard. So yeah my best races are in the future with the marathon in Boston being the one I look forward to and yeah Boston is on there because it'll be nice running where no one knows my name and yet those spectators definitely cheer like they are very glad you came.

I've had two friends die in the last two weeks of cancer and I'll be thinking of the privilege I had of being their friend while I run. They didn't lose to cancer in my book because they sure went down with conviction and they certainly never quit. We had an unexpected late freeze here which killed some of the outer parts of the tree. I worked on lawn work due to the excess energy of tapering and all the branches except one were dead all the way to the tip... That one had a few leaves at the end. Neither aesthetically nor organically was it the best decision but somewhere in me I just couldn't cut if off while it held onto the beauty of life. I can't promise you time but I promise you I'll be hanging onto till the very very end and I can't imagine anything that would stop me from getting across that Boston finish line.

But again, the playlist is mostly dance songs even if the only move I get for 26.2 miles is a very lame interpretation of the Texas 2step. And when it's over... no matter what the time is... I'll have a beer, a smile and I will shut up and dance.

1 comment:

  1. You seriously rock... you inspire me, and I am humbled to even know you! Yes they know your name in Boston..... the will hear us cheering from all the way up here in Canada.... #StillStrong ..... And if you had the chance to sit it out or dance? Ya knew you'd dance. ;)