Sometimes the moments that challenge us the most, define us

Deena Kastor

Monday, January 24, 2011

Your ride is here

A few weeks ago I ran my first back to back 20 milers and it  went surprisingly well. The second run was actually ten minutes faster than the first. I even felt like I could have run another 20 on the third day but that would have been too much mileage to add at this point. The following weekend I ran one 25 miler and that went great as well. I was tempted to run another 1.2 miles to make it a marathon but I held back.

So far the most difficult part of these long runs is not having someone to run with. Actually, there are people to run with, I just need to break out of my anti-social shell and ask someone to join me. Normally I enjoy the time to myself but I have added so many more miles now and I have  spent a fair amount of time talking to myself.

Sometimes I talk to my sister Alisha. She is planning to run ten miles each day with me in April and I am so excited for that. She has four young kids and a full time career in law enforcement so I know it could not have been easy to find a way to take time off. I hope someday I can do something for her in return. I am confident that it will not involve snakes because she is just about as afraid of them as me.

We are very close and I think she knows just about everthing there is to know about me. Some people have said we look alike but we don't see that. We probably have some of the same mannerisms or facial expressions. I think  some of our most memorable times together were from when we shared an apartment together in our early twenties. Everything was new to us right down to filling out the paperwork for a rental agreement and getting a phone hooked up. Our only transportation at the time was unfortunately, a bike. We both worked at the same grocery store which was less than two miles from our place. The tricky part was bringing groceries home. And on the nights when only one of us worked the other would ride "the bike" to the store to "pick up" the other. So, if it was your night to work you got "a ride" home. It was a great workout for both. Either you were building strengh in your legs from the extra weight on the front of the bike, or you practiced your balancing skills by keeping yourself from falling off the handle bars. We will never forget our apartment manager showing us our parking space and saying, "Now don't go squealin' yer tires".  No chance of that happening.

There was a time when she tried to get me to run with her and I would do my best to avoid it everytime. Then at some point, about fifteen years ago I just decided I wanted to be a runner and ran around the block. That was pretty much all it took. The first race I participated in was a five-miler in the small town we lived in. Alisha ran the race as well. We didn't really train for this run. If I remember correctly, we ran five miles the night before just to see if we could run five miles. Then, without  a car (we didnt' have furniture either) we had to walk three miles just to get to the start of the race.  But we both did very well and placed in our age group. I've been running ever since.

I have plenty of stories to tell you all about my life experiences with Alisha. Maybe next time I will tell you the "Carrot Cake" story. She might not remember that one but I do. Time and memories with siblings is diffferent than that with anyone else isn't it? They seem to know just when to call or write. They know what to say when you are going through tough times. Alisha and I have some kind of invisible-energy-connection- like thing where we can read each other's mind from thousands of miles away. I am sure there are many of you who have the same experience.

I wish you all well and I hope that your life is moving in the right direction. I know that sometimes we want life to move much faster than it does, especially when we see great things ahead. But I know from experience that often our only means of transportation forces us to take our time and carry some extra weight. The pedals are harder to push. However, it all seems worth it in the end. Before long you will be cruising along with only memories of that time.....just don't go "squealin' yer tires".



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