Lead Up To The Heartbeat Run

Well. What a few weeks it has been. In my last post I mentioned how I had the most difficult training week of my plan coming up and also a very hectic week in my life’s schedule. I wasn’t sure how (or if) I was going to fit it all in. I was thrown a terrible curveball on Tuesday of that week when my Dad called to tell me my maternal grandmother, age 95, had suffered a stroke. No matter how prepared you are by the knowledge that a family member is getting older it still doesn’t lessen the blow when something like this happens. My Mom drove six hours to be with her, and kept me updated. Thursday at lunchtime I got a text from my aunt saying that Grandma wasn’t doing very well.  She wasn’t opening her eyes, and was responding very little to the voices around her. My husband immediately got on the phone and made arragements for our kids to stay with his Mom for a few days and I left to go see my Grandma and say good bye.

I arrived early evening and had a good visit with her. She had improved a bit as I drove, and had her eyes open and said hello to me when I came in. My Mom had told me she likely wouldn’t know who I was, but she sure did. I was immediately glad I had come, and I felt that I got the closure I really needed. The next morning I set out for a tempo run to clear my head before visiting Grandma one last time at the hospital. This was a very emotional visit for me because I knew it was likely the last time I would see her, but I didn’t want her to know that’s what I was thinking and feeling. My Mom and I had a good cry together and then I drove back to Saskatoon in time for the commitment I had Friday evening and all day Saturday.

Saturday evening I picked up my kids and hugged them extra tight. I was too mentally and emotionally drained from the events of the week to attempt a run that night. It likely would’ve made me feel better, but I just couldn’t think of anything except sleeping. The next morning was Sunday, and I took the kids to the last gymkhana of the season in our town. My four year old daughter rode very well and we all had fun “playing horses” all day. It was a much needed break for us all.

Taper week. My “intense speed work” week had not gone exactly as planned. I still got in a few key runs, but I missed a few too. This made me re-think my taper a bit. I’ve never been a huge fan of tapering. I understand the reasoning behind it, and it makes sense to me, but I often feel sluggish in races, and I always wonder if it’s a result of tapering too conservatively.  I had a few minutes to read through some of the October Runner’s World that had arrived that weekend and found the article “Reload To Race” on page 30. Finally a taper I can get on board with! I had already cut back my mileage the week before (unintentionally), so I was in the right position to try out the “Turn It Up” plan for a 10K race. I followed the assigned runs for Thursday and Friday, but I decided to still rest on Saturday instead of the prescribed run. The only time I had to run that day was in the evening, and that’s not ideal with a race 12 hours later.

In an effort to keep my posts from being too long, I will write my race review as a separate post which will publish in the next couple of days. I’d love if you’d subsribe to my blog so you don’t miss it!

My Grandma is still stable, but still in the hospital. My Mom came home for a few days but is now back there with her. My Grandma has always been a very healthy, strong woman, so it’s very difficult for all of us to see her like this. She still hangs in the balance and her condition could still go either way. We really don’t know what’s going to happen, and the not knowing is hard. We’re all trying now more than ever to live each day to the fullest in her honor. I talked to my Mom a couple of days ago and she said she’d just been out for a walk “because I can.” I’ve resolved to try to let go of things that don’t really  matter and enjoy the things that do matter more.

Thank you all for your kind words and tweets these past few weeks. It’s amazing how powerful a few encouraging words from people I’ve never actually met face to face can be.

Gotta run.



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