This weekend, I planned on two long runs, a 28-miler on Saturday and a 20-miler on Sunday, but they were both cut short. The two runs had something else in common — my conversation at the end of both of them made me decide to ask you all to provide positive feedback to two good people. One is my wife. The other is somebody I’ve never met.
My long run was on Saturday, and it didn’t go as planned. I wanted to go 28, but I started feeling sick to my stomach and the sun started getting to me, so I cut it short to 25. I know, 25 isn’t terrible. But they were slow miles, and for me, a long run on the weekend has to be at least 26.2 I’ll call it a fail, but I know I’m beating myself back into shape and I’m going to have to go through a few of these.
The run I was really excited about over the weekend was running with my wife yesterday. After running a half marathon in January, she decided in early February that she wanted to train for a full. She set some lofty goals, hoping to not only run a marathon 16 weeks later, but attempting to qualify for Boston in that race. Tough challenge, although she ran a 1:45 in her 1/2, and needs a 3:40 for the BQ, so I thought it was possible if she could build her endurance.
I told her she’d be redlining, and sure enough, she got injured a little after her first 20-miler in April. She couldn’t run San Diego Rock N Roll on May 31 and was pretty disappointed. She got better, but took some training runs too hard, and got injured again. She’s been battling back and doing well, targeting Long Beach on October 11. Sunday was supposed to be one last crack at a 20-miler, and I thought she had a chance of hitting the run. But five miles in, we did the turnaround.
I felt so terrible for her. She really, really wants this. She’s worked so hard and struggled so much through her training. Part of the problem is that it’s come so easy for me, so she’s not really in touch with reality. I try to remind her that I didn’t qualify for Boston until my eighth marathon. But it doesn’t much matter. She’s really upset about this right now.
She was just about in tears when we got back to our starting point. She feels that if she could have qualified for Boston in her first marathon, she would have felt like she accomplished something. I have a special plaque from my first Boston on the wall in my office at home and she says she dreams of getting one of those, too. She was crying about feeling like a failure with running, and feeling like she hasn’t accomplished anything in life because she doesn’t have a college degree. Running a certain time in a marathon might change that for her in her eyes, and that’s totally ridiculous. Some of you know us personally, and a lot of you don’t. Those of you who do can vouch that she’s an AMAZING mother and that impact she has on our kids is a huge accomplishment.
So, that brings me to my point. I always get ideas in my head when I run, and over the last couple miles of our run yesterday, I came up with this idea. She’s a longshot to get her qualifying time. But she’s worked so hard with her training and I really want her to realize that it’s not all about a finishing time. The bigger thing I want her to realize is that long term, it’s more about the adversity you face, how you react to that and fight through it, and how hard you work to accomplish a goal, even if the journey isn’t what you thought it would be. In a way, it parallels what she goes through with Jack on a daily basis.
I know a fair amount of you read this every day, so I’m hoping I can get one of you to come through on this for Jack’s mama. I want Tiff to finish this off and go complete that marathon, even if she has to walk and crawl and spend 8 hours getting to the finish line. It’s kind of selfish for me to ask this, but I’ll do it anyways. Can I get just one of you to commit to at least a $10 pledge to Operation Jack and to participate in an race next year if she completes her marathon on October 11? You’ll be helping a great cause, and as a result, a good person will see her hard work pay off towards a better purpose than she would have imagined. Anybody? Please? Please?
Thank You, Cassie Walls!
Cassie, I met your dad at the end of my run (and the end of his run) on Saturday and he’s seen me running a lot in the past. We started talking about running and then I told him about Operation Jack and then he told me about you.
For everybody reading this, Cassie works in special education at one of the schools in our local district and works with autistic children. That job is very special and requires a very special person. It takes incredible patience and an incredible touch and I know I’m grateful for all the help Jack has received from everybody over the years. He was in your school at one point, so you might have worked with him. He’s in the first grade now, so he’s at a different school.
Anyways, your dad told me that in the past you’ve talked about maybe not amounting to a whole lot with that job. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you what I told your dad. It’s not about whether or not you can buy that Porsche. It’s about the footprint you leave, the impact you have, the lives you affect. You ARE amounting to something. You’re making a difference and helping sweet little children at an extremely critical point in their development.
I’d like to say thank you for what you do, and I’d also like to beg any parent/relative/friend of a special-needs child reading this to leave a comment here for Cassie to tell her what you think about the job she’s doing.
Video Of The Day
This is for Tiff. She loves this song and it totally applies to her right now.
That’s All For Today, Folks
I’ll be back on Wednesday or Thursday. I have a lot of cool things going on with Operation Jack that I’m totally excited to tell you about! Have a great start to your week!