spring races and the Amy Thompson run

Trying to blog, but I’m watching this Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, and it’s very distracting! šŸ™‚

Lately I’ve been in the process of planning my spring racing schedule. Last year I ran two half marathons in the spring, after a 10k in the winter and a 4 mile and 5k in the fall. This year, I backed off on my racing schedule, largely to give my pocketbook a break.

I am already signed up to run the Rock the Parkway half marathon in April (same race I ran last year). It’s early, but my training for this race is going VERY well. I honestly feel like I am a stronger runner right now than I ever imagined. Yesterday, I went to the gym and ran two miles on the treadmill- without struggling. If anything, it was difficult mentally to keep myself going, but physically, I had no trouble. It feels like just yesterday when I couldn’t even run one minute. I never imagined that I would be able to do this.

Anyway. One week before this race, there is a 5k at my mom’s school which I will probably run- it will be a good pre-race tuneup. One week after the race, there will be a local 5k not far from my home, which I will also probably run- it will be a good post-race cool down. It’s a small race, put on by our local health department to encourage fitness and getting active. I don’t even think they’ll have chip timing. A friend of mine works in the health department and is involved in putting on this race.

Last year, I ran the Hospital Hill half marathon on the first Saturday in June. It was a tough, tough race, and it was hard to finish. I would actually love to run this race again this year– maybe it’s an ego thing, maybe I’m just desperate to add to my collection of finisher’s medals. However, it was really hard on my family to watch me go through last year’s race. They’re not accustomed to the “sweet agony” of racing, and it just tore them up to see me struggle. So, while it still hasn’t been completely eliminated, I’ve toned down my hopes of running this race this year.

Instead, I’m looking into a reasonably famous 8k, held on Memorial Day, called the Amy Thompson Run. It used to be called the “Amy Thompson Run to Daylight”, now it’s the “Amy Thompson Run for Brain Injury”. It’s named after a woman named Amy Thompson who suffered a brain injury and survived three years before succumbing to her injuries. The race benefits the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City.

This race would actually be kinda special to me, since I suffered a brain injury and have gone on to recover in a way that was and is totally unexpected. The BIA was very helpful to my parents while I was in the hospital and rehab.

Here’s what I’m debating. This is only 8k (5 miles), which would not be a terribly difficult distance. If I run this race (and it’s looking pretty likely that I will), I could send them an email- something along the lines of, “Hey, remember me? I’m the one that had the brain injury and wasn’t supposed to be able to walk. BTW I’m running your race this year.”

It would be easy to just go and run the race, totally anonymously, but I do want to send the message to the BIA that I appreciate the support they provided while I was sick. The risk is that they might ask me to become some sort of spokesperson for their race. I’ve told my story enough that I know it’s pretty inspirational to a lot of people, and I’m glad that I can do that, but the idea of possibly being asked to represent the race scares me a bit. I mean, I’m a decent enough runner, but nothing mind boggling. I’ve lost some weight, but I still have a few pounds to shed. I am strong but I’m no bodybuilder. I can run, but I run slow. I’m proud of who I am, partly because I know that I’m not supposed to be able to do what I can do, but it is hard to be around people who don’t understand that.

Silly me. I just re-read that paragraph and realized how dumb it sounds. Here I am, fretting over something that may not even happen. Tomorrow I’ll send that email, and whatever they say, I’ll let you know!