Tomorrow I’m making my first attempt at an ultra distance race at Whispering Pines in Tyler, Texas. No, I’m not really ready. No, I’ve not been training on trails. Yes, I’ve considered dropping several times, even just a few minutes ago I was having the argument with myself yet again. This week has been really tough at work, physically and emotionally draining; and running and I have not been on the best of terms since OKC. But as I watched my niece at her gymnastic showcase tonight, I decided that I couldn’t back down. My niece is 8 and has suffered from stage fright in the past. Last year she participated in the showcase but I was not invited. This year I was in and I watched her step up and face her fears. How could I back down?
So as I was sorting through my gear and packing up I pulled out my hydration vest. I last wore it at Oklahoma City and had yet to remove the “In Honor” bib a volunteer had given me at the expo with the name Blake Kennedy written on it. I decided to Google his name and learned he was 18 months old when he lost his life in the bombing. Blake Kennedy should be graduating from college, running his own races. So I’m leaving the bib pinned to the back of my pack in the hopes that he might also get to experience the joys of running through the trees at Tyler State Park.
So who knows what tomorrow holds, I’m going to give it my best and if I fail, I fail; but I’m not going out without trying.