I have missed the last two Saturday team practices due to other race events.  I have missed the mission moments and the long runs.  I am not sure if I am responsible for a mission moment at some point during this season.  I hope not because I don’t have a story to share like the mission moments I’ve heard so far.

This morning we were introduced to Mrs. M, a 4th grade school teacher.  She was diagnosed with cancer before this past school year started.   She returned to teach in October and shared with her class what she had been going through and continued to share with them the process as the school year unfolded.  From losing her hair, to growing it back to being in remission.

Besides a touching story between this teacher, her students and their families, I learned something else, more important. Like kids do, her students asked questions about what Mrs. M was going through.  Adults don’t always do that; in fact, I think most of us avoid the subject altogether.  How sad is that?  It makes what a cancer patient goes through incredibly lonely.  I learned so much from my good friend KP and his wife Mousie when she was going through chemotherapy.  But even then, it wasn’t necessarily because I asked questions but because they were incredibly open.

A lesson I’m going to take with me.

So, after the mission moment and the tears, it is time to run.  My schedule had me out for 60 minutes this morning.  Sixty minutes seemed like a long time when in the first mile, my calf started to cramp up.  Keeping my fingers crossed while I write this: I haven’t had any pain or injuries for the past 2 months.  (I’ve been training for 2 months!!)  I wasn’t sure if I didn’t warm up enough this morning.  Or maybe because I ran longer than I was supposed to Tuesday through Thursday.  It was enough pain, I considered calling it a day.  My motto: the best way to deal with pain is to ignore it.

Instead, I continued up the hill and noticed two paths that veered toward the water.  It was not our planned route & there was the possibility I would get in trouble for veering off the map.

But how can a girl resist this?

I had no clue where I was going but to the right of this trail was a tall fence posted with No Trespassing signs.  I ran into a guy walking his dog who told me the trail ends at the old observatory.  My first thought was “great, I bet I will get some good photos.”  Unfortunately, I think observatory really meant observation area.  There was an opening in the fence with a laminated map and instructions on how to get to the water (safer then taking the steep trail I never found).  I ran through the fence and was hoping to cut across the golf course back to the main road.  Instead, I was closing in on my 60 minutes, so I retraced my steps.

Wrecked ship hull in the middle of the Sound

It turned out to be a really good run.  My calf loosened up and after the first mile, the cramping disappeared.  I have been worried my mileage is not where it should be but I have 16 weeks to add eight miles.  Several of my teammates ran the Seattle Rock’n’Roll half marathon this morning and I cannot wait until it is my turn!!

(p.s. If you’re in the Tacoma area on Sunday July 10th, some of my teammates are holding a car wash at the Tacoma Mall by Good Year Tires from 11a-4p.  All donations go towards their Team in Training fundraising!)

Speaking of fundraising: a huge thank you to some lovely ladies who made my horrific mudrun photos worth $226.  And in under 24 hours.  Y’all ROCK!!  (The photos can be viewed on facebook but you have to be my friend…)