I am dedicating my run in the Pasadena Marathon to Marine Corps heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that in my own small way, they may be honored, acknowledged, and remembered.
Action 493 – Honor Heroes (Final Distance). I will run the last two-tenths of a mile and cross the finish line in honor of 2nd LT James Blecksmith, born on September 26, 1980, in the city of Pasadena. A member of the famed Third Battalion, Fifth Regiment, Dark Horse 3/5, Blecksmith was killed during Operation Phantom Fury. On Veterans Day, November 11, 2006, two years to the day after Blecksmith’s family heard he’d been killed in action in Iraq, the Marines renamed Pasadena’s Marine Corps Reserve Center in his memory
I will complete my run and finish the marathon in honor of this hometown hero. Semper Fi, Lieutenant.
Marine 2nd Lt. James P. Blecksmith, 24, of San Marino, Calif, died Nov. 11, 2004, as a result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Blecksmith was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
(Photo and summary courtesy of militarytimes.com.)
There is definitely something to the idea of making a plan and sticking with it.
I’ve dropped thirteen pounds since I started ProjectOneFive. That’s going to make the marathon that much easier for me to run. (Well, not sure a marathon is ever easy. Maybe less difficult is the better description.)
Action 492 – Run Lighter. And I will. Because 185 is lighter than 198!
I love it when I see that my efforts translate into results.
This morning was my last scheduled run before Sunday’s marathon. I wanted to run at least six miles, but I wasn’t sure how much farther than that I would go.
Action 491 – Rev It Up!
I decided to start at 6.0 and work up every mile. The first mile felt awkward, sort of uncomfortable, like I was running on a new pair of legs. For a moment, I thought, “I should bail on this run today and save my energy for Sunday.” And then I thought, “shut up and run.” And that was that.
At mile 1, I kicked up the speed to 6.1. And I continued that way until I got to mile 5. I decided then that I would kick up the speed at quarter-mile intervals.
- 6.5 mph until mile 5.25
- 6.6 mph until mile 5.50
- 6.7 mph until mile 5.75
- 6.8 mph until mile 6.00
Then I kicked it up to 8 mph and ran like a crazy man until I hit mile 6.34 at 60 minutes.
It felt good. And once I stopped over-thinking everything in the first mile, the rest of the run was comfortable and almost effortless. And yes, I was a complete sweat monster by the end of the hour, but I still managed to look good.
My confidence is high. My training will be enough. I AM ready for this marathon on Sunday.
Nearly 500 actions into this project, and this may be the single most shocking thing I have done to date. But it’s true.
Action 490 – Make My Own Dinner.
I know it’s hard to believe, but yes, tonight, I had to make my own dinner. My husband was at work since early, early this morning, so he fell asleep as soon as he got home. I didn’t want to wake him up, so it was up to me to find something to eat.
Back in the day, this would be easy. I would hop in the car and drive to Taco Bell. No problemo. But I am running 26.2 miles in a few days and fast food isn’t going to help.
Instead, I whipped up a little pasta and meat dish. Nothing too fancy, certainly nothing difficult, but it was just right for me.
It was touch-and-go there for a while, but I survived the night.
My Grandfather turned 90 years old last week. I went to Austin to celebrate his birthday, but he was in the hospital and unable to enjoy a party. I did see him in ICU, though, and was able to talk and visit with him there. Back at my Uncle and Aunt’s house, I found pictures of my Grandpa and I knew immediately what they meant.
Action 489 – Be A Chip Off The Old Block.
The first picture is my Grandpa competing in the Senior Games in Texas. He was a menace in that wheelchair if you made the mistake of getting between him and the finish line. And really, it’s not like they were specific and actually prohibited the use of your own feet to move you faster across the course. I like to think that Grandpa just applied a very loose interpretation of the rules.
And this photo is him afterwards, sporting his medals. And now I know where I get my love of cheap, shiny jewelry. Here I thought chasing medals was something new that I was doing. Turns out, it’s an old family tradition and I am just the next one in line to do it.
Thanks, Grandpa, for passing down the “I must have that medal” gene. Now I can blame genetics and heredity when I find myself signing up for a race just to get the finisher’s medal!
For the most part, I am aware that I am a very lucky person. As I wrote earlier to a friend,
My burden is light and my troubles small.
I take that for granted. My life is pretty good, my basic needs are met, and I have no worries that a good night’s sleep doesn’t seem to solve. I’m very, very fortunate in this regard. And today, I’m going to acknowledge and remember that.
Action 488 – Count My Blessings.
Today, I read about a baby diagnosed with cancer. I was immediately overwhelmed with a sense of sadness for the little girl and her entire family. The news they received this afternoon about her condition was as good as could have been hoped for, but it’s still a serious situation with dark, scary days ahead. And this is a baby. A baby. I can’t imagine how those parents will be able to do anything but break down and cry, but they will. They will carry on because their child depends on them to be strong.
And to think, yesterday my complaint was that running was uncomfortable because I had a few mosquito bites. Imagine what suffering those parents would endure if it meant their child could be healthy again.
I still struggle with my spirituality. Is God real or a wish made by people desperate for a reason to have faith? I really don’t know. But one thing is simple and obvious. Whatever and wherever the good things in my life come from, I am grateful for them. Each day brings with it another reason to smile, to laugh, to love and be loved. Whether it’s random chaos of the universe or a divine plan, it doesn’t matter. It makes each day a joy to experience and I am going to bask in that knowledge.
I will count my blessings today. I will continue to keep others in my heart and hold hope that they will know the same simple joy of the day that I do.
In the end, what else can I do?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a snacker. And sometimes, the snack I want is salty and crunchy. But eating a big bag of potato chips is never a good idea.
Action 487 – Find Something “Special.”
I don’t know how long these have been on the market, but I am just now discovering the Special K Cracker Chips. For 110 calories, I get about 30 chips. I went with the Sea Salt flavor, and they were worth every single calorie. I’m definitely adding these to my list of go-to snacks.
And a note of caution to myself: Yes, they come in packages larger than the single-serving, 100 calorie bag. No, we will not be buying those larger packs. Because we will eat the entire big bag in a single setting.
Oh, yes. I know my weaknesses, and a bag of salty chip/crackers is among them. I’ll only buy the sizes I intend to eat completely. Experience tells me anything larger is a mistake.
And tomorrow, I may try the Cheddar Cheese variety. Bring on the chips!