I am making my post late in the day on Memorial Day (although my page, for reasons best known to itself, says it is tomorrow already). Never mind why-all I did not post earlier. I wrote a post in my head as I went for a run. I will attempt to recreate it now.
I had already intended to run every day of my three day weekend. Then a Facebook friend posted that she and her son were running in honor of fallen soldiers under the auspices of Wear Blue Run to Remember. You sign up on line and commit to a certain distance, one meaningful to you, and they assign you a soldier to run in honor of, if you don’t have someone in mind to run for.
My only problem was that I do not know how far I run. I run for a set length of time. It would be nice to think I was doing at least a ten minute mile, but that is by no means certain. Additionally, I was not sure how hard core my Monday run would be. I have not been running days in a row lately. My body might rebel by the fourth day.
Finally I signed up to run two miles. It was meaningful to me, because I learned to run in the army because of the two-mile run on the PT (Physical Training) test. I felt a little foolish putting such a small distance, especially since my friend and her son were both doing 10 kilometers. However, it seemed important that I actually do the distance I had committed to. I knew I could eke out two miles, even on a very bad day.
My run did not start out auspiciously. I wondered if I was having an every other day thing, because my Sunday run was terrific, my Saturday run was terrible, and I don’t remember my Friday run. But I was running for a soldier. I had to keep going. I made up my mind to run up the hill to Herkimer College. It is an impressive hill to many people. I feel it is good to run an impressive hill when you are running in tribute.
I did not know which soldier I was running for. Wear Blue had not emailed me back. I wondered if I had made a typo when I gave them my email address. I later found out that I had registered too late for them to assign me someone. There were places I could go and pick someone to run for, but I did not do that. I just ran for a soldier.
As I ran, I worried that the soldier I was running for might feel a little cheated, since his runner was running such a short distance and running it very slowly at that. I pictured the soldiers up in heaven, discussing it over a beer (I don’t believe the polka that says, “In Heaven There Is No Beer”).
“Who’s running for you? I got this soldier’s wife who runs marathons. She’s doing 10K.”
“Cool. I got some middle-aged lady, used to be in the army. She’s doing two miles. Oh well, I guess the old ladies like to feel they’re doing something for us.”
“Yeah, better luck next year.”
I made it to the top of the hill and it sure wasn’t easy. Since I was only doing two miles, I had thought I would just go back down the back way. But halfway up the hill I remembered the little Veteran’s Memorial Park up near the athletic fields. I should run to that, I thought, since I am running in tribute. Then I felt so tired I thought I wouldn’t make it. Then I realized that I could not possibly write in a blog post that I had thought about running to the Memorial and decided not to.
“This is how writing a blog helps runners,” I said to myself. I continued, utilizing the determination that had gotten me through Basic Training.
When I got to the Memorial, I stopped the CHRONO on my watch and walked through it. It is a small area with trees and benches. Marble slabs are engraved with the names of Herkimer veterans. Some of the benches and trees have plaques saying who sponsored them. I would like to return to the Memorial and spend a little more time, really pay my respects. Today, however, I soon started my watch again and headed back down Reservoir Road.
Somewhere along the way, I realized the run had stopped sucking. I had not noticed when that happened, but I would hazard a guess that it was about the time I started downhill.
For more information on Wear Blue Run to Remember, you can visit their website at www.wearblueruntoremember.org. They also have a Facebook page.