Celebrate Week #9: Cap City Half Marathon Training Report

This week, Celebrate ZOMBIES?!?!? 
Zombie Buffet 5K – Click image for details
That’s right, Zombies! THIS is coming to Columbus on 10/06/12! Seriously, I’m excited and it’s not too often that I get excited about Zombies. Here are the rules:
Zombie Buffet 5K – Click the image to find out more!
Who wants to come run it with me? How awesome would it be to have our own team?! Eeek! Make sure you visit the Zombie Buffet 5K to find out if the race is coming to a location near you!
My Weekly Training ReCAP:

Yet another week when my non-running life took over. Yet another excuse that I feel very guilty about. Just running my long run on Saturdays is not okay! Back. On. Track. This. Week.
How was your weekend? Did you run for Sherry?
Until the next mile marker, 

My Run for Sherry

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 1:42
Yesterday, I ran in memory of Sherry Arnold. No I didn’t know her personally, but she was a fellow runner that died in a horrible way and left many behind who loved her. 
Yesterday, it was bitterly cold in Central Ohio – for the first time this winter. It was about 17 degrees outside, but it felt more like –5 degrees with the wind-chill. It was the first time the Lucky 13’s had ever run in such harsh conditions and they excelled – they got out there and got it done! It was miserable, though, my thighs and right side went numb from the constant icy wind. Both are “burned” and bruising from nearly two hours of constant battering. It is days like these that make me wish I ran a whole lot faster.
To be honest, I wanted to quit more than once during this run. But I didn’t. Because it wasn’t an option. I even had an out. I could have waited at the Mile 2 water stop  for Duane and the rest of the group to circle around and lead them back from there. But I didn’t. Because I was running for Sherry. I ran every step for her. I shared most of my run with my friend Keri and we talked about Sherry for a little while. When the cold was really getting to us. I thought about how I could handle –5 degrees when Sherry will never get to run again. That hit home pretty hard. And I stopped complaining. I was running, and I wasn’t going to stop.
Me and a few of my fellow MITers.
This run was for you Sherry Arnold. We will never forget.
Did you run for Sherry? If you did, stop by SUAR’s blog and take about 30 seconds to complete this survey. And let her know how your run went too.  
Until the next mile marker,

Running for Sherry

I was in Florida the day Sherry Arnold left her quiet home in Sidney, Montana for her normal early morning run. It wasn’t until several days later when I returned home and was getting caught up on blog posts when I read from her cousin Beth at Shut Up and Run that Sherry never came home. I didn’t know much about Sherry, but my heart fell into the pit of my stomach when my mind immediately thought, “She’s not coming home.”  I knew even less about Sidney, but I was pretty sure nothing like this ever happened there.

Still, I continued reading all the updates I could find and praying and hoping that maybe everything would turn out okay. Maybe she was struck by a car and it was just a matter of time before someone at the hospital could identify her and call her family. Maybe she was hurt and moved away from the road and someone would find her nearby if they kept looking. Maybe Sidney was just a whole lot bigger than I thought and she had to be somewhere.

Sherry Arnold has been presumed dead. Two men charged with aggravated kidnapping are being held. All the authorities have found was one of Sherry’s running shoes near the spot where she disappeared.

I know first-hand what it feels like to have someone close to you ripped out of your life without warning. I can’t imagine what it feels like to have that person ripped violently away. My heart aches for her children, her husband, her family, her friends, her students, her neighbors and her community.

I think of Sherry often, in fact. My mind wonders and I pray that she somehow found peace in her final moments here on this Earth. Was she scared? I know I would have been. Did she fight? For her life. What was she thinking? I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Was she strong? Without a doubt. Why? There has to be a reason, right? Did she know someone would look for her? Absolutely she did.

This type of thing always happened to someone else’s mother, wife, sister, cousin, friend, teacher or neighbor. And it certainly didn’t happen to a fellow runner. My heart was filled with sadness for the person that was lost. How could this happen?

Still, the news of Sherry’s death really hit home when I started thinking of my own safety and the safety of those around me. We take so much for granted everyday. We become one with our routine and we throw caution to the wind. It will never happen to me. It will never happen to my friend. That kind of thing doesn’t happen around here anyways.

I was standing in the kitchen talking to my husband about what happened to Sherry and I said, “At least you always know where I run.” He stopped what he was doing and said, “No, I really don’t.” I stopped what I was doing. He wouldn’t know where to look for me. So many times I run out the door without even saying what direction I’ll be heading. I just assume he knows. Not anymore.

Within the last few weeks, there have been multiple reports of a suspicious person on the trail where I run at least once or twice a week. He is making people feel uncomfortable; getting too close to them, mumbling unclear things, walking just off the regular path. The police are aware, but nothing as happened. Yet. I hope nothing ever does. Yet, I think about the people that use that trail every single day. I think about the people who haven’t heard the warning, who aren’t paying attention, who don’t think they have anything to worry about because they run there all the time. Run alone? Not anymore. Not for awhile. What happened to Sherry could have happened to any one of us.

I have also experienced first hand the love and support that the running community harbors. We are an amazing group of individuals. We’re not selfish and we don’t shy away from tragedy. We dive in, head-first and help those who are left pick up the pieces and try to carry on. We remember. And we want the world to remember too.

Beth has organized a virtual run for Sherry this Saturday, February 11 and all she asks is that you run, walk, skip, hop, skate, bike, roll, or glide a little ways to remember the beautiful person that Sherry was. Sherry was a runner. And what better way to remember her than to go for a run. Wouldn’t she do the same for any of us?

Click to print your own bib!

I will be running seven miles this Saturday, and I will be thinking of Sherry as I run. Not just of the horror that was her death, but of what I know about the goodness she brought to those who knew her. I will be thinking of her children, her husband, her family, her friends, her students, her neighbors and her community. I will be praying t hat they might find some small comfort in the fact that she was so loved. Even by those who have only known her through words. Like me.

The next seven are for you, Sherry. May you rest in peace.

Until the next mile marker,