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The Anniversary Approaches

Grief. It’s a s*** combination of trying to move on, not wanting to, and doing your best to survive. This is the painful reality of loss.

Mark Lemon, @marklemonofficial

I was just scrolling through my Facebook feed when a post about an upcoming race caught my eye. It is a trail race with a 10k or half marathon option that you can run in the morning or at night (or both!). It’s called Carpe Diem / Carpe Noctem. The person who posted mentioned she only had 6 weeks to train and wondered if it would be doable. Since the race intrigued me, I clicked the link to see when exactly it was.

April 9th. The race will be on the one year anniversary of my mom’s death. The one year anniversary of my mom’s death is only 6 weeks away.

Now that I’m finally writing this blog, the anniversary is only 5 weeks away. I had a brief moment of wanting to do that day and night race, but then I came to my senses. I don’t run on trails ever, and my longest run recently has been 3 miles. The race did inspire an idea though – if there was another race on that day maybe I would do it. Specifically a 10k. It’s my least favorite distance so it will be more challenging to me, but it would still be a do-able distance to train for while working full time and taking a class.

I went to my favorite race search website and put in that date and distance, and what do you know… a race I have been wanting to do for years popped up: the Martian Marathon. They have a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon option. I messaged my best friend and told her my crazy idea – pending life craziness, it sounds like we’re doing this.

I hadn’t thought until now how I would spend the first anniversary of my mom’s death. Running a race just clicked. My mom was my biggest fan when it came to running. Before her breast cancer diagnosis, she traveled to as many of my races as she could. She was the person I wanted there at the start of every race to send me off, just like she was the person who brought me into this world and sent me off.

I certainly don’t expect this race to be awesome. The weather is very unpredictable that time of year, it’s my least favorite distance, and I’m probably going to be an emotional mess. But I think my mom would be proud of me. I think it’s a way for me to do everything it says in the quote I started this blog with. My mom would want me to move forward, stay strong, and survive. I don’t want to let go – and I won’t – and although I won’t see her standing there to see me off and to cheer me in, she’ll be with me every step of the way.

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