Note: It’s a bit delayed, but below is the yearly recounting of my effort in the second part of the Earned Runs HONOR SERIES which has been posted on the HOME page. Going forward the postings for this series can be found on a separate website page.
THE FIRST PORTION OF THE TWO-PART SERIES is the "11k Race to Remember 9/11". The “7K PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY” effort is the series SECOND EVENT, run several months later on December 7th each year.
Since 2015, these September and December events have been solo ‘competitions’ for me (see the HOME page). I so very much enjoyed the quiet of the pre-dawn hour sessions that first year that going forward both have been planned as individual efforts.
I’ve used Earned Runs bibs, to design events on occasions that are meaningful to me, yet at the same time observed by a much greater number of people. In effect, regardless of everyone's location, we remember together. On these days I am able, 'in spirit', to join with the entire country in honoring the heroes without traveling to New York City, Washington DC, or Pennsylvania in September, or in Oahu HI in December. And in solitude, personally remember loved ones and past events.
DECEMBER 7, 2019 The morning was cool, cloudy, and dry similar to 2018. Again, this year no rain or snow was falling. But I awoke with anticipation and excitement. The previous two years I had walked 7K to commemorate the date; today I planned to walk/run 7 miles! This day was very near the 2nd anniversary of the 2017 NYC orthopedic visit that convinced me to forego my favorite sport of 42 years. Walking instead, to preserve knee function. However, in May 2019 I made a decision to try running again
My training plan leading up to this event included alternating walking with running on distance days, usually 3 minutes vigorous walking then 3 minutes easy running after a 1mile warm-up, progressing from a 30-minute session to 48 minutes total. On this day my goal was to average 12-13 minutes per mile, with at least one mile covered in 12 minutes or less (5 miles per hour). The challenge was to hold to a ‘safe’ running speed without pushing too hard, and work with greatest intensity during the walking intervals.
This annual memorial event was to be my longest distance effort in more than 2 years. Because of this I spent roughly the same amount of time concentrating on my movement as remembering the day’s history.
The lakeside course I used at Ottawa Beach Michigan was breezy with drifting sand. Wind-chill temperatures felt low enough that I dreaded having to endure a 3.5-mile return leg of an out-and-back course facing the wind head on, so I ran loops in a campground parking lot instead. [ I thought of the coincidence that the beach’s name matched the American forces landing location on D-day in World War II.]
Without music playing, a phone conversation going, or an audible book electronically delivering content into my ears (not allowed in my ‘rules’ for these 2 challenges) there was an opportunity to remember my parents and the other members of their generation. To recall that time in history and acknowledge the daily courage needed to join the war effort and fight, or stay behind and work at vital and non-vital jobs on the home front. To muster optimism and not concentrate on dreaded outcomes.
I resolved to meet my 2020 challenges, personal and greater, knowing my parents had managed harder times.
In this quiet environment I initially felt the heaviness of this history, but my mood quickly lifted with the real time physical effort and lightening sky. I was so happy and grateful to be running again, even in a limited way, and for a time, reaching my goal speed of 5 miles per hour!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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