Tuesday, February 8, 2011

True Grit

...and I am not talking about the movie (neither of them).

You know I give credit where credit is due, whether someone does a triathlon, or their first marathon, their first race of any kind really.   Then there is some awe that I reserve for those that are called elites, whether its truly elite (professional) or just a local guy/girl who can run faster than everyone else most of the time.  Or at least in the top 3 or so.  I even know someone (a couple of them actually) that aspire to make the Olympic marathon trials here in January 2012. 

Then there are those that I know that are (or have done) an Ironman, sometimes quite a few times.  A couple of people I know have done 50K's (31 milers). 

I know a lot of people with a lot of guts and determination and dreams as big as they come.

But does anyone really know when they set out for a dream or a goal know deep down inside what they are made of?  What they will sacrifice?  That they will persevere above any and everything that strays them off the course; whether that is mentally or physically?

And then there is Karen.  Karen is miles and miles above the level of awe and respect for most people in my life.

Karen is the only person I know that has done a 50 miler (a true ultramarathon in my book).  She is married, has kids, and is not a 20something, not even a 30 something (I dont think ;o)...She is the finest Christian I know.  And she has only been running for about 4 years and has only done 1 marathon.  She has been 'training' for the run (race) of her life all of that time, and this past weekend she succeeded.  I would have given anything to have been there (but momma duty prevailed) and I even missed the weekend of her longest run for the same reason.  I was indeed sad about not being able to run with her for however long I could during both of those.

Anyway, you know I could go on and on about Karen and what she did this past weekend in the cold air and woods of East Texas.  Something that took her over 26 hours to complete, but with the guiding hand of God, she did it.

Here is her story:   Rocky Raccoon 100

I checked Facebook off and on and off and on and off and on all day Saturday, into the night for the updates from her husband and other friends that were accompanying her along her journey.  It wasnt until one friend of mine had posted a status early Sunday morning that I truly knew she had done it.  My comment to her was:  Does this mean what I think it means?

I started crying.  For someone the dream had been realized, and I felt like just a tiny part of it in some far off way...

Thank you Karen for the inspiration, not necessarily for the runner you are, but for the woman you are.


K said...

You are so very sweet! I know we've yet to meet IRL, (is that even a correct term to use anymore... my kids get onto me about stuff like that! LOL), but I do feel we are kindred spirits!

I look forward to running with you someday, and we will laugh! That's what it is all about, running with joy, running happy.

What I find most amazing about running is this... I am inspired by most everyone I meet. I care not how far or how fast a person is. I only sit in admiration of the one who goes against all odds to run that first mile. To run that first 5K. I remember my first moments and they were by far my most proud. I am inspired by those who everyone says can't or shouldn't and yet they do. I am inspired by those who overcome situations, such as disease, family tragedies, or other such circumstances, only to achieve their personal victories.
Thank you so much for your encouragement and your prayers. I felt every single one on those final two loops. There is no reason "I" should have been able to complete that race, especially when I compare myself to the talent that didn't finish. So I am only left with the confirmation that you and friends like you carried me when I could no longer run.
And as a daughter who sat at the bedside or her mommy, never forget that this is exactly where you are supposed to be. Obviously, your presence there helps her, helps your sister, but I can tell you from my own experience, there are lessons there for you, which I am sure you already know. You, my friend are an amazing woman. A terrific sister, and a blessed daughter!

Anonymous said...

great post June!

I am in awe. What a rockstar and stand-up gal!