Seven weeks ago, a race was cancelled, the St. Jude Marathon. This was a race that I was so excited to complete just like so many others! This race is so special to me because it becomes so much bigger than just a marathon, it's about the kids of St. Jude Hospital. The race course even exemplifies that as we run through St. Jude campus and past Target house (where many families with children being treated at St. Jude reside).
We trained for 18 weeks, now what? As the weeks progressed following the cancellation, we all had to decide if we were going to give up our race entries or defer to another race. We were given a choice of three races to choose from. All of the GRT901 girls chose to defer to Country Music Marathon in Nashville, with the exception of myself. I chose to defer my entry to the soonest marathon that worked for Cecilia's and my schedules. We decided to do the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon.
Once that decision was made, we had to get back to training, and it has been hard. My body does not feel as strong as it did in the weeks leading up to St. Jude. The holidays took it's toll on my running schedule, and it's been difficult to get back to a routine. We have been trying to make a training schedule that won't over train us to avoid injury, but also get us across that finish line.
But since that day when we ran our makeshift St. Jude race anyway, I have lost focus on why we are running.
The other day Cecilia asked me if I was planning to wear my St. Jude singlet on Race Day and I said no, and spent the next few miles wondering why she asked. In my mind I kept thinking, we aren't running St. Jude so why would we. It didn't even occur that she never got to run her race and wear it, looking back, I feel awful about that! Later that day Janell sent me a message asking if I had seen a post on Facebook by Fellow Flowers. You see, Tori from Fellow Flowers has trained hard and planned to run St. Jude. From talking with her at the expo, we found out she had raised money and felt the same sense of the race being bigger than a finish line as well. Tori deferred her entry to R'n'R Phoenix and raced this past weekend in her heroes singlet!
Reading her posts from before and after the race was a wake up call for me! Even though we won't be covering those miles in Memphis, we are still running as St. Jude Heroes! We raised money to benefit those families suffering, we trained for 18 weeks because we were "Running for a Reason" and that reason has not changed!
So in less than 2 weeks we will run for the kids of St. Jude, every single mile! This race is bigger than a finish line, and worth all those extra weeks of training.