What a great
Of all the memorable moments I could easily write about, none fall in the category compared to a letter my family received this year from our good friends Bill and Cheryl Quam from
An Unexpected Gift
“Excuse me, Sir!……..You in the yellow shirt with the blonde dog. Sir, I need your help!” I looked up and saw a 60-ish woman waving her arms frantically from the second story balcony of
My dog Kelly and I had just finished visiting with a large group of children at the first annual Romp and Read Festival. We were invited as members of our local Therapy Dog group. Kelly and I decided to take the scenic route back to the car. I didn’t exactly know where I was, but it was a beautiful November afternoon and I figured we would have no trouble finding our way back to the parking garage. I was smiling and thinking about Kelly’s playful encounters with several children at Romp and Read when we walked upon “the crazy lady.”
I turned toward the balcony and pointed to my chest as if to say, “Are you talking to me?” The woman nodded her head. “How can I help you?” I yelled to her. “My daughter is a patient in this building,” the woman replied. “She is very ill and has been bedridden for three weeks.”
“I’m sorry to hear that ma’am,” I persisted. “But I don’t know what can my dog and I can do for your daughter”
“My daughter loves dogs,” the woman pleaded. “If you just meet me in the front lobby, I know she will get out of bed to meet you and your dog…….Please!!” I placed my hand on my forehead and stared at the sidewalk. I was tired and wanted to go home. How were Kelly and I supposed to get this woman’s daughter out of her hospital bed? They were strangers for god’s sake. I finally looked up and yelled, “Okay. We’ll meet you in the lobby.”
Kelly and I walked through revolving doors into the lobby of the
I learned that Paula had been on the balcony for two hours before Kelly and I passed by. Paula leaned in closely and whispered, “I was praying for someone or something to help Lisa out of bed. When I saw you and your dog down the street, I knew my prayer had been answered.” I shook my head and mentioned the incredible coincidence that Kelly and I just happened to be walking down the street. “I don’t think you realize what just happened,” Paula stressed. “God brought you and Kelly here today.” Her response stopped me dead in my tracks. I sat in stunned silence. Why me? My eyes filled with tears.
“Oh no no no!” exclaimed Paula. She handed me a tissue. “We can’t have any tears. You must be strong for my daughter.” I dabbed my eyes and pulled myself together. Moments later, the elevator door opened. Sitting in a wheelchair was a frail wisp of a young woman, wrapped in blankets and wearing a surgical mask. Her husband wheeled her toward us. Because of her condition, Lisa could not pet Kelly, although I could tell she wanted to. For the next twenty minutes, I listened. Lisa was barely audible through her mask as she told me how she missed her three dogs, her house in Conway, her students and her former life. If Paula’s beaming face was any indication, Lisa would soon be back to good health.
As Kelly and I walked to the parking garage, I couldn’t help but think how twenty minutes could brighten the spirits of a worried mother or inspire a seriously ill woman to get up from her hospital bed. I pondered the coincidence of meeting the “crazy lady” yelling from the balcony. But Paula answered that question. I knew she was right.
Weeks later in mid-December, my wife and I were preparing for bed. Cheryl noted that she had yet to purchase my Christmas present. “I already got my gift,” I said. “What was it?” Cheryl inquired. “It wasn’t what I asked for, but it was just what I needed,” I laughed. I kissed Cheryl’s forehead and said good night.
With all this going on, I didn’t log the running mileage I would have liked to, but still maintained my base and long runs. My long run last week was very cold and I got a chance to experiment with clothing options. I know it sounds slow, which is the intent of long runs, and was able to consistently maintain a 10 min/mile pace and keep my heart rate down in the lower 130 bpm during the entire long run. The focus of the long run is to train the body to burn fat calories, and not the easy to get to short lived calories that are burned in faster tempo runs. This felt very comfortable while consuming about 300 cal/hr using Gels, Boost, and Perpetum. Physically, I felt strong and could easily maintain this pace for a long time. The real challenge was balancing water and salt intake. With it colder (20-30 deg and windy) and not sweating as much, I found myself drinking too much water (same rate as a warmer day) and had to stop and pee all the time. I also had to adjust my salt intake which made for a good reminder that conditions during the middle of the day compared to middle of the night during a race requires adjustment with water and salt intake. Last week looked like this:
Mon – 10M and jump rope
Tues – 5M on the stepper and weights
Wed – 8M tempo at 7:30 min/mile
Thru – 5M stepper and weights
Fri – 9M and jump rope
Sat – 7M easy
Sun – Long run 37M
I have this week and next week as hard training weeks before the taper. My body weight is on target, and no injuries other then an ache here and there which is expected.