Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ebb and Flow

I'm in the middle of my peak training week-- the one that has a ten-miler as the medium length run. Not that long ago, ten miles was my long run. Now, ten miles is sandwiched between a 14-miler and a 20-miler. Ahhh... the joys and wonders of marathon training!

One would hope during the peak training week, life would be willing to temporarily cooperate in revolving around the ridiculous amount of time that needs to be spent in pounding the pavement. It seems my life isn't nearly as generous as one would hope, however. Instead, my week so far has been spent tackling, enduring, stressing, jostling, worrying, tolerating, rushing, waiting, functioning, working, mending and fussing. And let's not forget weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. So, in other words, it's really not different than any other week, except .. oh yeah... this week I also need to somehow squeeze in 40 miles on foot.

My grandfather-in-law passed away last night. He was 89 years old, had 12 children, 51 grandchildren and too-many-to-count great-grandchildren. His wife of over 60 years passed away a year and a half ago and he'd been ready to follow ever since. His passing at home in his own bed was peaceful and because it was imminently anticipated, he'd had family surrounding him in the days prior to it. My two daughters knew their great-grandfather very well, which is something rather remarkable, I think. I watched as they made memories with him time and time again and I hope they're the kind that will last a lifetime.

I thought a lot today during my ten miles about the frailty of life and the simple wisdom in living every day to its fullest. It's so easy to get stuck in a routine of daily habits that we often neglect to really appreciate the existence of the people and things around us that make life so rewarding to live. Seeing a loved one pass away inevitably serves as a good reminder of that. I've had some struggles lately with where I fit in exactly in this big, wide world and my running has been a sort of catharsis for me. I haven't solved the mystery of life by any means on a short tempo run, but I've certainly come to a better peace with a few things I've been turning over in my mind after a good hard workout.

Grandpa's funeral will be on Saturday morning, causing me to delay my 20 mile long run later into the evening. As fate would have it, if I had opted to run the Top of Utah half-marathon instead of the full, I would have been forced to miss it because of the conflict. Maybe my decision to run the full marathon was inspired in a way. Grandpa always seemed geuninely interested in my running and asked about my latest race, so I know he'll be watching as I cross the finish line in September.

So, from somebody who lost a loved one today, do me a favor and hug your kids extra tight tonight. Call your parents and tell them you appreciate everything they did for you. Tell a person you love how much they mean to you. Look out the window and notice the simple beauty that meets your eyes. Find a reason-- or two or three-- to smile.

Life, after all, is too short not to.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me. Sometimes I get caught up with the hustle and bustle of everyday life and don't think about what's truly important. It sounds like your kids are lucky to have parents that placed a high importance on building a relationship with their great grandfather.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry for your loss and for you kids' loss....

AddictedToEndorphins said...

So Sorry to hear about your loss. It can be a real eye opener

Jim said...

A poignant post and I'm sorry about your loss. I'm sure Grandpa was especially proud of you adn your running efforts.

Chad said...

From your post it appears your grandfather had a wonderful life and should be an inspiration to us all. I'm sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing.

Good luck with your long runs!

Anonymous said...

73 great grandchildren.....and 1
g-g gc. :)

The Brown Family said...

Thanks Angie,
That was a sweet tribute to Grandpa. For the bazillionth time this week, I am crying. I will definitely miss him. You are a doll.
Love ya,

See Zanne Run said...

angie, really sweet, really great post. am so sorry for your loss. i especially, right now - love your words of wisdom in your last paragraph.

take care & good luck with these last few weeks of training!

Anonymous said...

I miss him too, Angie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on a special grandpa, dad, father in law, great grandad...everything worth living for. Let the girls know to always remember who they are!!!

Grandma H

Laurel said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather.

You are so right about letting the days go on while neglecting the important things and people in your life. Thanks for reminding me, it's so easy to get sucked into daily life.

Take care of yourself and your family.