Love, Loss and Running

It is no secret that I absolutely adore ocean views while I run. So, when I discovered the Run in the Name of Love 5k race that was held in Carmel, Californa, I was sold. The scenery though, was not the only selling point, for what also attracted me was the fact that you could get personalized bibs in memory of someone you love. 

Being that I lost both my grandparents and my pseudo aunt (my mom’s best friend who I have known since I was born) this year, all within a two-month time frame, I felt this race was what I needed to help with the mourning process. I also just found out but a few days ago that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and though she is going to kill me for mentioning such, I also ran for her – Even if her name was lacking on the personalized bib. My poor mom has possibly had one of the worst years she has experienced in quite some time. But through it all she has remained strong and I cannot imagine how she does it really. I thought of her every stride of the way, and because of her, I pushed harder.    

It was overcast in Carmel, but perfect weather conditions for running as it was not too hot, or too cold, but just right. There were a lot of fast runners in the race, including a 4 time Olympian. The first mile was quick for it started downhill. Oh how I love running downhill, as I feel weightless with the wind blowing through my hair. That first mile was at a 6:35 pace and it all went downhill after that…Pun intended. While 3.1 miles certainly goes by fast, it was those last two miles where  I struggled the most. I was tired and in pain. Perhaps it was running three races in a row within the month, or maybe it was the long run I had done the day before, but I felt pretty fatigued. As I mentioned above, I thought about my mom and how courageous she is throughout all the difficulty and ran harder. While my finish was not as strong as I would have liked, I was proud of my performance overall. My Garmin read 21:40 as did the clock, but the chip time stated 22:10. I placed 69th overall, 7th Female overall, and 3rd in my age group.

Performance aside, it was beautiful to look around and see others who love, who have lost, and who run. The world that day suddenly didn’t seem as lonely when others who have had similar experiences gathered to celebrate life and do what we all seem to do best – Run a damn good race!

I ran in memory of Grandpa and Grandma Gularte, and Peggy Reichmann, all whom I loved oh so dearly. And I am sending positive thoughts and prayers to my fabulous mom who will be going into surgery soon.

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