Saturday, March 1, 2008

March 1, 2008 Haines City, FL

Today was a special day. We met with friends from Michigan, Tom and Angie, and had a great time. Tom and I used to run together and when I ran my first marathon, The Detroit Marathon in about 1984, Tom and his new bride, Angie, followed me around almost the entire 26.2 mile course on their bicycles. Since this is truly an international marathon, traveling through the tunnel under The Detroit River to Windsor, ONT and back across The Ambassador Bridge, they covered the entire American side of the run. They still talk of almost knocking people down with their bikes in an effort to keep near me and give much loved morale boosts. That is true friendship. I am addicted to almost everything including, in this case, running. I had gained a large amount of weight after quitting smoking and started walking and dieting. This led to walk and trot and then I called Tom and several friends to join me in January or February in a race alongside Lake St. Clair, a part of the St. Lawrence Seaway. This was a 5K run where all entrants received a medal or ribbon. Of course we all won our age groups and got medals. We were all in our mid 40s and 50s. I saw fliers for The Detroit Free Press Marathon on a table near the finish line and thought "If I can run a 5K, I can do a marathon." That is typical of my kind of thinking. I told my companions that day that I was going to do the Detroit Marathon. It was scheduled for that October. I then proceeded to tell all that I knew that I was going to do the Detroit Marathon. After blabbing to all of my plans, there was no way that this hard headed
Irishman could back out and so I trained and prepared to run the race. I dropped from over 300 pounds to about 190 over the spring and summer. Tom and Angie talked very supportively but then showed it by actually following me around most of the course. We laughed at that a lot tonight. A footnote is that, when the finish line came into view, several hundred feet ahead on Belle Isle, I began bawling like a baby because it was then that I realized that if I wanted to do it, there is nothing that I can not do. It is so refreshing to see our children and grandchildren as they go through the same realizations in different facets of their lives. Thanks again, Tommy and Angie, for the great memories.

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