Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Running of the Birds

This morning I am not doing something I usually do with relentless precision on a Saturday: I am not going to the office. Nope. Instead the Missus and me are road tripping down the Shore (where even on a Saturday morning everything is alright) so I can run in the Manasquan Turkey Trot.

The Turkey Trot is a 5 mile run that a number of local businesses in 'Squan sponsor and from which they donate the proceeds (the entry fee was $25.00) to local charities and not-for-profit organizations. All participants also are asked to bring a non-perishable food item with us, which is going to be entrusted to the good people from local food banks to help ensure that those who are in need will have food on their table on Thanksgiving. It is a little thing but it reminds me that for all we have endured in our family during the past twelve months, we can be thankful that are fortunate enough again this year to be in a position to help another family whose fortune has been more "mis" than hit.

I have only run this distance - 5 miles - one other time in my life. I did so Thursday morning. I stretched out my pre-work run 'NTSG to the race distance. I did so because - as a firm believer in the power of the mind to control the body - I wanted to have completed it at least one time prior to this morning so that my mind now knows that my body is capable of making this distance. This morning there will no doubt be times when a lot of different parts of me will hurt and ache. My knees ache even when I am sitting at my desk so I am confident that I shall hear from them on more than one occasion during the race. But having already made this distance (albeit with a lot fewer people around) my mind will be able to keep my body moving forward.

We who shall trot have caught a break. It is supposed to be in the mid 50's and sunny at race time this morning along the Shore. Ideal weather for chasing all those silly New York virgins and the other 1500 folks who will no doubt be between me and the finish line throughout the race.

And in my mind's eye I shall carry a picture of my inspiration. When I am feeling tired and wondering how far I am from the finish I will simply ask myself, "What Would Tammy Do?" knowing in my heart the question's answer before the question itself is even asked: Run.

I shall Tammy. I shall. Maybe after the holidays, we will come visit you at the zoo.

-AK

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