Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Race Reflection: Grace McDonnell

There has never been a more perfect run ever logged on the books then the run that I ran for Grace McDonnell. Not in the history of running has there been better weather conditions, better scenery, a better sense of well being and ease.  Even the music that streamed through my ipod was perfect that day.

I picked the "Run the Route for Youth Race" specifically for Grace because it was to be held on the beautiful Silver Sands beach in Milford, CT.  Every picture that I have seen of Grace, she's always on the beach. Smiling and happy.  Blending in with the scenery like she was born to run through waves.  When I saw this race, she was the first person that came to mind.

The day was overcast and cool.  But to a runner, that's a recipe for a great run.  Zero humidity and no sun beating down over head.  And from the moment I arrived at the race location, there was an undeniable calmness that washed over me, which isn't usually the case.  I get jitters when I race.  Mostly because I'm afraid of not doing my absolute best for those that I am trying to honor.  The further I get into this project, the more responsibility I feel to do right by them.  The more people stop me to say that they recognize me from my blog or facebook posts.  So I start to feel like I have eyes on me, mostly to cheer me on.  But the eyes hold me to stand true to my word that I will do my best to honor each and every person as best as I can. So I worry that I will trip on my shoe laces, or that I will pass out in the heat.  Not finishing a race is not ever an option.

But, like I said.  There was an undeniable calm that day.  I have never in all my life, felt so incredibly at peace during a run.  Running is stressful on your joints, your chest constricts, your throat gets dry, your stomach cramps.  But there was none of that that day.  I felt like I was running on pillows.  I fell into a pace that was above average for me normally and I did it with comfort and ease.  I usually run with a preset playlist on my iPod, but my battery was drained so I had to run with Pandora on my iPhone and wouldn't you know it, but every song that played was exactly what I needed.

The day was perfect.  And I'm going to let myself believe that Grace gave me that.  As if she slipped right into my head and said, "Hey.  Let's just enjoy a beach day together, yeah?"  And we did just that.  A day at the beach with Grace.  Perfect.

Here is Grace McDonnell.  The 17th angel I have no run for:

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