Local. Community. Running. Inspiration. Encouragement.

Like many runners, I track my mileage. I used to do this haphazardly. [As in, I tracked my mileage when I was doing well, but didn’t bother when I was slacking off.] Now, I capture it all—the good, the bad, and the next-month-will-be-better.

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For information about our running program, check out runnerpeeps.com.

Our friend Steve suggested that doing a 1000 Mile Club would be a fun activity for our group running program, Runnerpeeps, and he was even willing to track individual mileage. We were thrilled with the idea. Steve had an excellent response, and soon we were encouraging all our Peeps to participate.

Together, we discussed it more. Running 1000 miles in a year is a fun challenge. But for many Peeps, a thousand miles is not an appropriate goal. Some have a single race goal in the fall or spring, others are working toward their first 10K, and still others love the half-marathon distance best. Averaging 83 miles a month is not in line with many of these goals. There’s also the implicit suggestion that more miles = better. We wanted to be collaborative, rather than competitive.

Our vision as a company is this: Peeps work hard to achieve their individual goals, while encouraging and inspiring others to be their best.

Run around the world with the Peeps!

See the world with the Peeps!

How could we use monthly mileage to inspire all our Peeps to work together as a team? Steve had a great idea—make it fun—set a goal for the Peeps to run around the world, an impressive 25,000 cumulative miles. We started in Singapore, and he usually has a guessing game each month for the next city we make it to, mileage-wise. Who wouldn’t want to play?! [As of April 1, we’ve made it to Cairo.]

I kept thinking about another incentive tied to this common goal, one that would inspire everyone to participate. One that would tie into our company ideals and vision. Our group is LOCAL, it’s about COMMUNITY, and we work together to use RUNNING as a source of INSPIRATION, to ENCOURAGE ourselves and each other to be our best

The idea finally hit me.

Runnerpeeps will donate a penny for every mile run by the Peeps in 2013. We have not yet decided on a charity or project. We are small, there are ~70 Peeps, and we want our donation to make an impact. The donation needs to tie closely with our ideals: Local. Community. Running. Inspiration. Encouragement.

1000 miles or 500 miles, 100 miles or 50 miles. Our goal in this, really, is to pull each other along, to be better versions of ourselves through our running. I read something recently that said it well: “Fitness is not about being better than someone else…It’s about being better than you used to be.” Or even thought you could be.

I hope all our Peeps are as excited about this as we are. Because when we work together, we can accomplish amazing things. Rock and roll, Peeps!

Quite possibly our largest gathering of Peeps, at our 2012 Jingle Bell run. There’s something special about a group that gets together on Christmas Eve morning to share each other’s company and celebrate the chance to run.

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Joy and laughter at the Medoc Spring Races.

Overheard yesterday:
“Jon’s at the Starbucks in Brier Creek. He’s as bad as Gordy!”
“Why would we all want to ride in one vehicle?”
“I can’t wear a hat anyway. I have chia hair. I had it in a braid this morning and it exploded.”
“There is a SWORD as a prize? No one told me there was a sword.”
“For some reason I thought my #200 bib number meant I had to start first with 199 runners behind me trying to catch me.”
“Check out that pond, Mom. It looks very froggish.”
[Why won’t this guy pass me?] “Heh heh…hey Steph.” “OMG, if you want to catch Steve you better hurry up. He passed us ages ago.”
“This is the farthest I’ve ever run!” “WOOHOO! THIS IS THE FARTHEST HE’S EVER RUN!” “Mom! Be QUIET!”
“And the 50th runner, the final winner of a coveted hat…from Raleigh, Jon Armstrong!”
“Hey Steph, your hat looks a lot like mine…only yours doesn’t have a number. Ha HA!”
“And so it begins.”
“That was awesome. Who’s in for next year?” “I know at least two…me and Steve.”
“Actually? I don’t think I want to see Dad in a tutu. Now Mr. Steve…well, that’s different.”
“This will be a great running joke. Get it–running–what Jon wasn’t doing this morning. Bwahahahaa!”

It felt good to laugh on Saturday.

It’s been a rough week. Bombs going off at the finish line of the Boston marathon shook our faith in humanity. Add the drama and heartbreak at the TX fertilizer plant explosion, plus the bizarre ricin terrorism scare, and I felt like crawling under my bed and hiding there until the week was over.

At our pre-race dinner and social at Milton’s on Friday night, forty-plus Peeps came together for fun and fellowship. Although conversation was lively, it was hard to feel celebratory as the drama of the bombers’ capture in Boston unfolded on TVs above our heads, while sheets of rain buffeted the windows. I was relieved to see an end to the chaos, but the bewildering question of why a malicious few would cause so much heartache and loss remained.

Saturday morning came early in our house. Andrew left quietly to join 20+ Peeps in Chapel Hill for the Tar Heel 10 Miler. And Stephen and I dropped Simon off at fellow Peep Will’s house at an o-dark-thirty hour so we could catch the carpool for the Medoc Spring Race.

It was a perfectly beautiful morning, calm and chilly after the storm the night before. I was excited to see Stephen tackle his longest-ever race, a trail run, no less, which was 7.4 miles. He was excited, too, but a little apprehensive about the distance.

We met Becky, Mimi, Kellie, Steve, and Jon at Starbucks and piled into Becky’s minivan to head to Medoc. I’d never been there before. We arrived and headed to packet pickup. On our way back, we found our other peeps, Shellie and Debbie. Caught a group pre-race photo, shivered a little, and headed to the start for the pre-race meeting.

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Peeps at Medoc Spring Races!

Medoc, I’d heard, is just a little bit different. And when I’d interviewed the race director, Michael Forrester, for an online write-up for Trail Runner magazine, it was easy to catch his enthusiasm as he described his vision for this new race. Basically, the race was modeled on the famous Dipsea Race, where the playing field is leveled by staging runners by age and gender at the start. The top 50 finishers receive hats with their finish number and have the chance to choose a prize from the prize table. Among the free race entries and gift certificates were a luxury toilet and a sword. I said it was quirky, didn’t I?

There were many personal touches that made this race special. One volunteer had spent hours making Boston ribbons for runners to wear, using blue, yellow, and black ribbon. There were several runners wearing Boston jackets, some of whom had run on Monday. The race director’s daughter sang the national anthem, and there was a moment of silence to honor those who had been affected by the week’s events.

Stephen started a minute ahead of me, and I caught up with him and we ran together. Stephen is keenly attuned to the natural world—so we scoped out likely spots for salamanders and pointed out wildflowers as we ran along.

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Lovin’ the trail mojo! (photo by Shannon Johnstone)

Because of the format, there was a lot more passing than usual, as we caught some runners, while others flew by us. The competition was stiff—among the competitors was the guy who’d posted the fastest race time at Dipsea four years running, the women’s Umstead marathon winner and course record holder, and last year’s US 10K Trail Champion. It was going to be fast and furious race once all those runners hit the slightly wet and muddy course.

And yet…

The encouragement and goodwill out on the trail was outstanding. Faster runners called out “way to go!” and “great job!” as they passed, especially to Stephen. He got into the spirit as well, cheering those he passed and those who passed him. Our friends came by and we high-fived each other. Runners are a great group, and trail runners are even closer-knit, with smaller venues and familiar faces at every race. Lots of laughter and jokes along the way, and the course was beautiful.

Stephen did great, holding a strong, steady pace of sub-11 minute miles for nearly seven and a half miles. He had enough kick for us to sprint across the field toward the finish, high-fiving his buddy Steve along the way. He was thrilled and I was thrilled with him. It was cool to see the mix of ages and genders who placed in the top 50 (equally interesting was that the sword was the second prize chosen and the toilet third). Our friends Kellie, Steve, and Jon had all placed in the top-50, and we were a happy, silly, smack-talking crew when we hit the road for home.

steph and stephen finish medoc2

Can there be a better feeling than running the home stretch of a trail race with your child? I sure don’t think so. (photo by Ron Fleming)

For me, the Medoc Spring Races illustrated how runners come together form a strong, solid, and supportive community. One that draws together in sympathy during tough times, one that cheers each other on, one that celebrates accomplishments big and small. The running community is like a big family, one that has the power to restore hope and overcome tragedy.

I’m proud to call this running family my own.

Celebrating my first DNF.

With all the turmoil of the past two weeks, I didn’t have the chance to jot down my thoughts about the MST 50K on April 7. I didn’t finish the race. It was my first DNF, but a great experience overall. Here’s why.

On March 2, my ITB started giving me trouble around mile 16 of the Umstead marathon. I’ve had ITB issues before. The problem is caused either when I run fast and/or aggressively (for me) on trails or run really far. I love doing both.

On March 17, two weeks before the race, I started a great family run on the MST. However, the last 7 miles (which I ran solo) were a misery of ITB pain. Ruh-roh.

The next day, I couldn’t run 4 miles. Double ruh-roh.

For the first time ever, I went to a physical therapist, my friend Mimi, for a running-related injury. In the past, I just stopped running for an extended period. Nowadays, however, that would guarantee a quick trip to Crazy-Town. You can read a little bit about my cross-training and PT here.

I was discouraged. I tried to switch to the 12 mile race, but it was full. I contemplated my first DNS.

Between the Umstead marathon and the MST 50K (one month), I ran 43 miles. In the three weeks prior to the race, I ran 4 times—15 miles. But these runs were flat, slow, AND pain-free. I wondered if I could at least start the MST 50K. Maybe???

The voices inside my head launched a serious debate. Andrew, Ann, and most of my friends know that I’ll do what I’m going to do and don’t waste energy trying to sway me one way or the other. Andrew once said, “I realized a while ago that it’s better for you to reach conclusions on your own.” It’s true. Sometimes I take a long time to reach a decision, but I never look back once I get there.

Voice of Reason: Why would you risk all your hard work in PT for a race that you signed up for spur of the moment? You had a great spring racing season. Let it go and get ready for Medoc.

Runs with Scissors: Why wouldn’t I start? I feel great, and I’ll drop out as soon as I have any pain. I know the trail and can call Andrew to come pick me up at any point along the way. I can at least run to the start of the 12 miler and see my friends off.

Volunteering at the Umstead 100 the evening before just fueled my resolve to start the race. If you’re looking for running inspiration, spend some time at a 100 mile race. As I left, Danny had no sooner said “I know you’ll be smart about your run tomorrow, Steph” when I get a text from Steve saying “See you tomorrow. Don’t be an idiot!”

I felt mentally prepared to drop out, but less prepared to run 50K if I felt good. Still, I hurriedly packed a drop bag for the turnaround at Falls Lake Dam, just in case. If I felt good at the halfway mark, I’d continue, but my gut feeling was that I’d be lucky to make it to the dam.

MTS Falls Map

The Falls Lake section of the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail. The 50K course starts at Blue Jay County Park, goes to the Falls Lake Dam, and back. The 12 mile course starts at Bayleaf Church Rd and finishes at the dam.

I arrived at Blue Jay Point County Park knowing that just being there was a gift.

I saw my friend Melina and her family. Melina had trained intensively for the race, but had also been plagued with injuries. We had emailed back and forth debating the merits of starting, but we were coming to the race from different places. This was Melina’s A race. She is an incredible athlete and I was glad to see her there.

It was a beautiful morning to hit the trails.

The 50K started out surprisingly fast. I found myself running with a couple of guys I’d run with at the Umstead marathon, Scott and Cameron, and we wondered if we were last. We came past the start of the 12 mile race and headed on. Not long after, I hit the ground hard. I jumped up quickly and felt that numb, burning  sensation that promised swelling and a strawberry forming. I decided not to look.

I felt great, and had no ITB pain. Ahead, I saw Scott Lynch’s electric green tick shirt, which I followed for seemingly miles before I finally caught up to him. We traversed a rocky section and just as I said “This is the Uwharrie section of the MST trail,” WHAM! Oh, it was rich.

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Kerry took this as I came out on one of the road sections. Thanks to her, Audrey, and Anne for cheering us on!

I emerged at one of the road sections and saw my friend Kerry cheering everyone on. Just before Raven’s Ridge Rd (mile 12), my ITB started hurting. Still, I was only 3 miles from the Falls Lake Dam, where the 12 mile race would finish and the 50Kers would turn around. I decided to press on and finish my race there.

Funny, running faster actually makes the ITB feel better. Knowing that I was dropping at the dam made me pick up the pace. As I ran the last mile, I saw Melina headed back toward me in 3rd OA female, looking strong and with a big smile on her face. She was rocking it! Then Steve came up behind me and we flew to the finish.

I immediately told the timers I was dropping out before I could change my mind. What I wasn’t prepared for was the encouragement from several fellow 50Kers to continue. Both Scotts came in and said “C’mon, Steph, you can do it!” My resolve started cracking, because I felt great as soon as I stopped running. Very reluctantly, I shook my head and said I needed to finish there.

Why do some people get tattoos?

Ouch! Why do people get tattoos?

I was suddenly aware that my right leg was feeling sore and bruised. I peeked at it. Oooh, it was ugly. I’m hoping I paid my dues to the trail gods this spring, after more than two years without a tumble.

I stood in the sunshine, cheered in Stacy, Joanna, and Ken as they finished, and felt incredibly lucky. My DNF put so much in perspective. Running is a gift!

Memories of Suzie.

Friends and readers of my blog know that I lost a lifelong friend, my best friend from childhood, Suzie Wetzel Seemann, last September. She was killed by a man who murdered a woman in her home, stole her car, then ran down my friend and her two running partners. Suzie died at the scene. Her friends Terri and Jessie survived, with grave injuries from which they are still recovering. I don’t know that I will ever get past the senselessness of this random, malicious act.

If you didn’t know Suzie, you missed out. Here are her husband Hank’s beautiful words describing her life: http://www.seemann.com/suzie/

This past Saturday, I helped co-lead the memorial part of her service in New Jersey, with Suzie’s sister-in-law Caroline. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. In the days leading up to Saturday, I felt overwhelming sadness, and I worried about how I would handle my emotions during the service. I didn’t want to just get through the service–I wanted it to be personal, warm, and welcoming, reflecting those traits in my friend.

Sometime last week, I wrote that I felt crushed by the weight of a thousand mountains–when I knew that I needed to BE the mountain.

But that introspective time somehow helped me prepare to do what was needed. The memories shared brought together snippets of Suzie’s life in a way that showed the depth of her character, and the richness of her too-short life. And I was grateful to have the opportunity to honor my friend and help her family.

I’ve been asked to share the words I spoke at the service, so they are posted below, along with some photos of us. I kept the tone light, so I could read them at the service. I hope they bring a smile, and convey how important our friendship was to me, from the time that we met all the way into adulthood. We were friends for more than thirty years.

I think this kind of friendship is rare, and I treasured it.

~
Memorial Service for Suzie Wetzel Seemann
Church of the Nativity, Fair Haven, NJ
April 13, 2013

The most memorable part of Suzie and Hank’s wedding for me was their inclusion of stories. So I wanted to share a few stories with you today, from different points in our lives. Each story says something important about Suzie and our lifelong friendship.

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The first story surprises even me in its clarity, because it happened so long ago. We met around the age Simon and Malcolm are today, so this story is for Stephen, Simon, Malcolm, Evelyn and Belle. My parents kept our sailboat at the Atlantic Highlands boat yard over the winter. Bill’s friend Steve Schoggen also had his boat there, and Bill would come on weekends, bringing Suzie and Becky with him to play while he helped Steve.

My mom and dad encouraged me and my brother Alec to introduce ourselves when we saw the girls one weekend. I wanted to, but I was terribly shy and could not bring myself to even say hi. Instead, I spied on them, peeking around boats propped up on land. The day ended, and I left feeling bad that I was too shy to say anything.

The following Saturday just one of the girls was there. My dad told me not to come back until I had introduced myself. “Don’t be silly,” he said. “She looks like a nice little girl about your age.” Again, I was tongue-tied as I followed her around. And because I was so afraid that she wouldn’t like me, I decided that, most certainly, I was not going to like her. I studied her deep brown Dorothy Hamil haircut, green eyes, blue jeans and sneakers, and convinced myself that she looked like a pretty tough customer. I’m not exactly sure how I reached that conclusion, because she saw me spying and hid behind her dad. If there was anyone shyer than me as a kid, it was Suzie (or possibly Becky).

Luckily for both of us, Bill finally broke the ice. “My little girl’s name is Suzie. What’s your name?” I don’t actually remember the rest of that day. Memories of roller-skating, playing at the playground and the beach, and pizza parties at Steve’s house have blurred together. But I learned that it’s important to take risks, and to find the courage to keep your mind and your heart open. Because you just never know when you might meet a lifelong friend.

The earliest pic I could find with us in it. We're on the bottom left of the pyramid--Suzie on the left, me in the middle.

The earliest pic I could find with us in it. We’re on the bottom left of the pyramid–Suzie on the left, me in the middle. I have no idea who the other girls are–guessing this was a birthday party in Neptune, where the Wetzels lived.

Suzie, Becky, me and Mary Jude. Guessing we're 12 or 13?

Suzie, Becky, me and Mary Jude. Guessing we’re 12 or 13?

**
The next set of memories is for our gang of high school friends. We were good kids—kids who would ride bikes before dawn to the 7-11 in Sea Bright to get bagels, then watch the sunrise over the ocean. But then we’d actually go to school, and make sure we got there on time.

suzie and the gang on boat

Some of our high school gang. I like this one because it isn’t homecoming, prom, or someone’s graduation. Just a bunch of us hanging out, which is what we did best.

suzie and gang rbr graduation

RBR graduation, 1990. Our group of friends included siblings and spanned a 5 year age difference.

Suzie and I were partners in crime and rarely could you find one of us without the other. Together, we negotiated the sometimes bewildering social melee of high school—sometimes we did this well, more often we did it poorly. And we spent many weekends choosing a park as a destination and then relishing the adventure of getting there, sometimes riding 30 or more miles on our 10 speed bikes. The longer the ride, the better we liked it. Sometimes friends joined us, but more often it was just the two of us. By the end of my junior year, we had ridden to every park within a 25 mile radius of Little Silver, including Allaire State Park. [An aside to all our friends who now have kids of their own, remember: we were 14 and 15, and there were no cell phones. But we always carried a few dimes in case we needed to use a pay phone.]

Our opposite personalities meshed well on these adventures. Suzie was the planner and mastermind of our rides, figuring out the details and making sure we had everything we needed. I happily went along for each ride, which was usually longer and much more difficult than I’d bargained for. If things went awry and Suzie’s worry gene kicked in, my seat-of-the-pants intuition about what to do often helped us form Plan B. Once, I talked us out of being arrested when we decided to take a shortcut on the off-limits military road to Earle Pier.

We became passionate about ocean pollution, and volunteered for what was then a small grassroots organization called Clean Ocean Action. It was the height of the ocean pollution crisis in the 1980s on the Jersey Shore, back when it was perfectly legal to dump trash and sewage 12 miles offshore. Beach cleanups were organized by t-shirt color to designate which type of trash you would be picking up, as COA tried to quantify the types and sources of pollution. My friends and I all knew not to get the pink shirts, because that meant you would spend the day picking up plastic tampon applicators.

suzie hypodermic

Suzie, Nans and Becky

Suzie and I spent a summer canvassing beaches with petitions and helping organize clean-up events and rallies. And one Halloween Suzie dressed as a hypodermic needle, with a sign that read “Jersey Shore Hospital Supply Company: From our beaches to your bedside.”

Just last summer we rode bikes out to Sandy Hook like we had so many times. The Sandy Hook of today is noticeably cleaner than it was when we were in high school. The 12 mile dumpsite was closed in the early 90s. And the water is clear, attesting to nature’s resilience. But what floored me more than anything was that I saw a type of boat I’d never seen before—they were clam boats, with their short little sails, all over Sandy Hook Bay. In all my life, I’d never seen these boats, because shell-fishing was illegal when we grew up. Although there is still work to be done, the transformation truly amazed me.

Suzie and I were so different, yet we shared so many of the same passions. She was unwavering in her convictions. And together we learned that some things are worth the time you put into them.

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Milestones: My wedding, August 1995, Charleston, SC

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After high school, Suzie and I only saw each other sporadically. We rarely talked on the phone or exchanged email. We were too busy doing things that mattered to us. But when we did talk or get together, it never mattered how long it had been since the last time. When you have a connection this deep, and you don’t see each other often, you don’t have time for idle chitchat.

I visited Suzie at Woods Hole when she started there, and we shared a passion for science—for her, it was oceanography, then meteorology, with its data-driven models of storm prediction; for me, it was ecology, with its big-picture understanding of organisms and their environments. Last summer I told her I finally understood the Coriolis Effect. She listened to my explanation, then told me that it was totally wrong but that she would help me understand it. Alas, we didn’t have time, and I still don’t get it.

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Milestones: Suzie’s wedding, September 2000, Green Lake, WI.

Steph and Suzie Yosemite

Simon, Steph, Malcolm and Suzie. Tuolomne Meadows, 2005. One of my favorite pictures of the two of us.

Suzie was my maid of honor at my wedding, and she flew to NC to help when both my boys were born. One summer, before we had kids, we did a camping/canoe trip up in Wisconsin. We plotted way more adventures than we ever had time to do. We talked about gathering all our favorite girlfriends together one day to do the Title 9K in Boulder, but didn’t get the chance.

While we lived in Phoenix in 2005, we made the trip to Yosemite National Park, where Suzie and Hank were working as seasonal park rangers at Tuolomne Meadows. Simon and Malcolm were toddlers, so they rode in backpacks for short hikes and filled toy dump trucks with stones at the lake’s edge. While we were there, Suzie planned a “mom hike” for just the two of us. She wanted to show me her favorite flower, the sky pilot. And I couldn’t wait for our next adventure.

We started early, because she needed to be back by mid-morning, since Hank had a ranger program scheduled. Six miles, round-trip, seemed reasonable to do in a few hours. As usual, I didn’t really pay attention to the details.

I remember emerging from a forest of lodgepole pine and crossing a lush drainage, filled with beautiful wildflowers. As a forest ecologist, I could have spent a happy hour botanizing there and catching up. But Suzie urged me not to linger, because we had some ground to cover to see the sky pilots. And she insisted that I simply HAD to see them.

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Sky pilots cling to the scree at Mt. Dana. Photo from yosemitefoothills.com.

The trail started switch-backing up a steep slope strewn with boulders. Trees disappeared altogether as we marched up the mountain’s flanks, covered with nothing but barely stable scree. I was gasping trying to keep up. Just before we hit a big patch of snow, we found our first clumps of the flowers we sought. Clusters of clearest blue flowers perched on upright stalks, so fragile, and growing in the harshest of environments. They were perfect.

We reached the summit and signed the logbook. I was ready to kick back and take in the views, but Suzie said we needed to hurry. She wasn’t kidding—we had less than an hour to get back. We started running down the steep trail. I did my first glissading that day and managed not to break my leg. We made it, just barely, and laughed about it later. It was another one of Suzie’s overly ambitious adventures, and I had walked right into it yet again, just like old times.

It wasn’t until afterwards that I discovered that the mountain we had climbed was Mount Dana. Mt. Dana is the second-highest peak in Yosemite National Park at 13,067 ft, and the 3 mile climb to the top had an elevation gain of over 3000 feet. 

Suzie was never one to shrink from a challenge, and she didn’t waste time on unimportant things. She embraced life fully—a life filled with her family, her friends, her work and her passions.

Suzie Malcolm and Simon 2006

Malcolm and Simon watering Wendy’s garden at Becky’s wedding, 2006.

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The same boys last summer–2012–concentrating on a chess game at Bill and Wendy’s kitchen table.

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Suzie and I always ran a deficit of time. Even when we were in high school, we wrote pages-long letters to each other every week, sometimes nightly, with lists of additional topics we had to discuss. Suzie was the first person I trusted completely with my feelings, and there are things about me that only she knew. I am so grateful for the time we shared last summer, especially for the 10 mile run we did one morning, just the two of us, where we talked about running, our families, our work, and our lives. Our friendship weathered time as well as distance, and in some ways, we led parallel lives on opposite coasts. I had always imagined that we would celebrate life’s mile markers together. Hers was a life too short, and yet, so well-lived.

2013 Boston marathon

So much to say about Boston, but I don’t have the brain space to put words together. Yesterday I put on a special running shirt, a gift from Terri Little, and read the latest about the news in Boston. I was struck by three things:

1) How much senseless heartache can be caused by a malicious few.

2) How that evil is washed away by the outpouring of love from my fellow humans. Everywhere you look, people pull together to overcome and overwhelm the evil in the world. Don’t be discouraged by the human race. There are stories of triumph and compassion everywhere you look.

3) The quote I read this morning: “If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target.” -The Mighty Brighties

Seize the Day.

???????????????????????????????Tomorrow I will see what the day brings–
All the promise of the sunrise
With the uncertainty of a looming thundercloud.

Tomorrow I might run thirty miles
Or maybe just a few hundred steps;
What I seek is serenity, rather than distance.

Tomorrow will teach me to accept my limitations,
To celebrate every step that I can take,
And to find joy in whatever adventure awaits me.