Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Running for Lyle Anderson and Chasing My Dream of Having More Joy Through Running

Race #28 of 2013
Meet Lyle Anderson. He is a member of a Facebook group I belong to, Runner's Anonymous.  He has MS and has been battling hard to stay healthy and compete in tri-athlons.  Awhile back he submitted a video to try and win a spot to compete in the Iron man in Kona, Hawaii.  Well, with the help of a lot of friends and family voting over and over again in our Facebook group (and other spots on the internet) he was awarded that opportunity.  I've never met him in real life but from the comments of so many others who have it's obvious he is a genuine, kind person.

Our awesome leader, Kevin Kunz, of the Runner's Anonymous group made a special effort with his wife to go meet Lyle in person.  Lyle lives far away in Hurricane.  Kevin decided to spearhead a fund raising event to help get Lyle to Hawaii.   A virtual run was set up and many of us signed up for it.  If you build it they will come, right?  Jessica Thurber, another RA friend helped with the organization and medals. We donated money for whichever distance we wanted to run, 5K, 10K or Half Marathon.  Over the Labor day weekend we were to go do our run and then report back.  We will then get a sweet medal in the mail that looks like this.  You can better believe I was all in for the half marathon.  I began formulating a plan for the route I would run.
My running has been sort of lukewarmish lately and so I needed some fresh mountain air and some nice downhills to help rejuvenate me.  My hubby drove me to the top of the Alpine Loop and was the best bus driver ever.  I much prefer riding in a car to the starting line than a big yellow bus.  He kicked me out as the road started heading down into the other valley and I was as happy as a lark to be high up there in the mountains. The sun was starting to lighten the sky and off I went.
Initially, I was thinking I would just take off and try for some great speed records (haha) but that just hasn't been in my drive and motivation for the last few races.  I was hoping that determination would come back today.  As I got going down the road though I started seeing too many pretty things and would have to stop for photos.  If I was going to be concerned about speed then I would have missed all of this:
The cool morning air, the beautiful leaves already changing colors, and the adrenaline rush I was experiencing was just all more than my senses could handle.  I was just so happy and giddy with the joy I was feeling and had nobody to share it with me in that moment, so I just continued running with a big cheesy smile on my face.
I wandered in and out of different campsite areas and was super grateful for these little buildings.  I've heard it said a few times before, "Never pass up an opportunity for a restroom".
I even saw a few early morning fishermen and women.  The weather really was just so perfect.
One of Porter's favorite songs was "Somewhere Only We Know" and a line from that song says "Sat by the river and it made me complete, Oh simple thing, where have you gone?"  I truly was feeling like sitting by this river just felt so amazing, yet simple and comforting and complete.  You better believe Porter was in my heart, mind, and possibly right by my side.  Oh how I miss that cute boy!! 
Well, at this point I was around mile 8 and couldn't sit by this river all morning, although I was tempted.  I ate a little snack for some nourishment and got up and at it again.
I had already run in and out of various campsites up higher, Timpanooke, Mutual Dell, and a couple others.  Now I would head over into the Little Mill campground where our family went camping a few times when the kids were little. It made me wonder why we stopped doing that?  Camping is so much fun! 
There were people out cooking breakfast and enjoying a relaxing cool morning.  Some of the smells were heavenly and it was tempting to wander in and pull up a chair for some delicious food.  I'm really not that bold and would never do it but it definitely crossed my mind.
I came upon some pretty sunflowers that were lining the main road and had to stop for a couple photos.  I'm still learning and playing with my camera.
When I saw this sign and then looked at my watch they were the same.  I was pretty surprised after all my wandering around this mountain. 

I then continued on down this main highway of American Fork Canyon so that I could call my hubby to come pick me up.  The plan was to do a half marathon, and after all my exploring and discovering I ended up doing 16 miles.  It took me about 3 1/2 hours which is definitely no speed record, but it definitely boosted my spirits and made me happy to run again.

I owe a great big Thank You to Lyle for chasing his dream of getting to Kona, Hawaii because in turn it helped me chase my dream a little more of discovering more joy in this sport. 

This was truly a  perfect morning and a perfect run!! I can't wait to do it again.


Josh said...

I love this post. I definitely wish I had more things to look and explore during my jaunt around Syracuse.

I am getting EXCITED for Mt. Nebo!

Amy @ Run Mom Run said...

Finally - a race we did together! Of course, I only did the 5k distance (though I ended up running a 10k). Those medals are sweet, and usually I think virtual race medals are lame, but this one is for such a good cause it's going on my wall!

Your run was full of beauty and serenity. I'm glad it was a peaceful run for you. My running has been hard lately too, so I understand the beauty of a run that has more meaning.

Jenny Lynn said...

Great inspiring post. I am so glad I got a chance to blog hop over to see how you are doing. I am proud to see you still running. :)

"This is Living" said...

Beautiful!! I would love to run that someday :)