|photo credit: Brightroom Photography|
This was my 6th marathon. I look pretty
pumped about it, right?
This marathon was very different than any other I had ever run (which was 7 if you haven't been following). Over the 6 years I have been running, my goals, training plans, training partners, inspiration and motivation have all changed as time progressed. I started off so fresh and new. I didn't know ANYTHING about running in 2008. I ran as therapy after the loss of my friend. If I was sad, I would run. Simply put, this means that I ran a lot. I soon joined a running group and for the first time in a VERY long time, I had friends. Friends that weren't related to me. I ran with other moms, grandmothers, college kids, old friends from high school that I hadn't seen in years. I had friends that talked me through tough days and inspired me on each run to go farther, run faster and really, just believe in me. This was the beginning of my running chapter and I loved every step of it.
|ECU Relay for Life 2012. My job looks pretty tough right? |
I always give 110%.
|This is me at the END of the Relay season. |
I'm trying to make it all fun, but man, I need a nap!
Over the years, this group kept me going, but I left the corporate world in 2011 and moved over to non-profit. I worked at the American Cancer Society and I mean WORKED! 60+ hours a week. The job was personal to me. It was emotionally taxing and it would seem I could channel that emotion just as I did when Emily died and pour it into running to burn it off, but it just didn't pan out like that. I have tried for years to figure out the difference and the only thing I can figure is, I didn't have a say in Emily's death. She was dying of Ovarian Cancer. I couldn't fix her, I couldn't change the outcome. We lost her and I could never change that. The emotions I dealt with at the ACS were much different. I HAD a say. I could raise more money, more awareness, bring in more volunteers... I had a say and my say meant that hopefully, I could make a difference. I could save someone's Emily. And so I worked, and worked and worked. My runs became less important. It began to get hard to wake up at 4:45am to make my 5:30am runs because I was up until 2am thinking about everything I wasn't getting done and how I could fit it all in the next day. It's safe to say, I worked too much. I never saw my kids or my husband, my friends, my family, everyone I cared about got put on hold and I realized very abruptly with the thanks to my 6 year old daughter that I had to stop. I attended an ECU Relay for Life event (that was one of my Relays that I was in charge of) and they had a large white board with the words "If cancer didn't exist". Kids (as in college kids) wrote what that would mean to them. My 6 year old picked up the marker and her first quote made my heart skip a beat as it read, "I would remember Miss. Emily". To her, Miss. Emily wasn't a memory as she was only 3 when she died. She was only someone I had told her about in stories. It was her second quote that STOPPED my heart. It read, "I would see my Mommy more". My six year old got it and I was missing it. I was missing her grow up, missing my son grow up, missing my husband, missing my runs, missing my running group and missing my friends. I submitted my resignation as soon as I saw all of my Relays through that season helping to raise just under $600,000 for my 4 communities and really, I never looked back.
Now I am the part time Executive Director at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. Non-profit work has a way of draining your emotions. I am MUCH better at balancing my work life balance at the HSEC. I still work more than the hours I am paid to work (and I have NO issues with that
|Photo credit: Capturing Canines|
This is Tilly and I can honestly say, I helped save her.
|Spoiler alert. |
This is more my running style these days.