Friday, May 25, 2012

Preparing For SF10

I am ready to toe the start line at Soldier Field 10 in the morning. This week has been tough because I came down with a sore throat followed by sneezing fits. Thankfully, my body temp is not in flux as it was at the the start of the week. After one day off to start the week, I managed to put in a solid week of training. I even had the chance to go on a five mile run with Michael Crissie, the young man who will guide me for the event. This is the third consecutive year Michael will be my eyes for this ten mile race. The excitement to run through that players' tunnel and on to the stadium field to cross the finish line at the 50 yard line remains as high as it was the first year we achieved the experience. I am nervous due to my body not being in tip top condition. Then again, some of the greatest athletes in history perform best on the days they were ill so hope I can focus all positive energy throughout the race and deliver a solid performance. In years past, Michael has received dirty looks from other runners as we pass them. A few times, I have even heard a curse word or two directed at us. Although we are tethered together, there are still plenty of people who probably think we are cheating to obtain an unfair advantage. Maybe they think Michael is faster and I am merely going for the ride. I do not believe many of them realize that I can not see. I do not wear a sign which reads Blind Runner. Michael does not wear one stating he is a Guide Runner. I do not like to single myself out that way. I do not want to draw attention to myself as a blind runner because I do not view myself as one. I am simply just another runner enjoying the fun and pushing myself. Yet tomorrow, Michael and I have decided that he will wear something on the back of his shirt to make others aware. Maybe that way, he will not receive so many dirty glares. Maybe people will display a bit more courtesy as we navigate through the crowd. Hopefully that will be the case so that Michael can focus on informing me of turns, aid stations, and other obstacles. Doing so in real time to ensure our safety is tough enough without others making it difficult. We will then be able to put our attention on pushing our physical limits on route to the third consecutive year where we break my ten mile personal record.

Best of luck to all those running the Soldier Field 10! I will be sporting a top from Imerman angels non profit which on the back reads: SEXY ISRA. Thank you again to Jemma of imerman Angels for writing that on my top. If you see me, please say hello. If you see Michael, please let him know how wonderful of a job he is doing. I know for certain that guiding a runner who is blind through any race is a responsibility at which I would be bad. I could never do what these amazing athletes do who volunteer to be the eyes for those who can not see. Time for me to relax and speak positive thoughts to myself. Come what may on Saturday morning, thank you to Michael Crissie for volunteering once more to guide me. Special thanks to the fabulous Jenna for all you do to inspire, motivate, and prepare me. I hope to make you proud of me over the next ten miles I will run! Best of luck to Jenna, who fresh off a fourth place finish in KC last weekend, will be racing in Austin this weekend.

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