The ING Miami Marathon & Half Marathon holds a special place in my heart. It was my First (and only to date) full marathon in 2010, it’s my hometown and it’s an amazing course that showcases the BEST of what Miami has to offer.
It’s the run that’s the non-negotiable in my itinerary of runs, it’s a sure thing. This year I did the Half again, and it was humid, hot & thankfully overcast. But the reward at the end was pretty cool, a beautiful 10th Anniversary spinning medal.
But I did it! With my friends. I don’t run with headsets, I don’t need a play list, I have my friends that I run with… I actually talk to them and we laugh, we bitch, we run!!! When I started cramping at mile 10, they slowed down, they stayed with me.
Sometimes it takes a village for someone to achieve, and add to their collection of race bling!!! Thank you…
With the ING Miami Half marathon 2 days away, I wanted to share why I run. (This was first posted on the Wellness Blog at work in October of 2010, but it still holds true)
I’ve always enjoyed working out, but I had never really run, even though I enjoyed cycling and had done the MS 150 bike ride (150 mile bike ride from Miami to Key Largo) about several times. I had always had in my ‘Bucket List’ to run a marathon and I figured that ‘one day’ I would do one. I also figured if I can ride 75+ miles in one day then I could do a marathon without a problem.
Then around June of 2009 I was talking to my Aunt Lili, who a year before had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. In the course of the conversation she said that one thing she always wanted to do was run a marathon, but that now, she knew that she would never be able to. So I told her that I would run it for her.
Without thinking about it I volunteered to run a full marathon, 26.2 miles, for her. So I had to figure out how, so I signed up for marathon training at Footworks. Week after week, after all of my trainings I would call her and tell her of the miles I had run. After every conversation, she would say “Loren, you’re CRAZY!!!”. I told her that she had to be waiting for me at the end of the marathon, she had to hold up her end of the bargain. I would run it for her, she had to cheer me on. So on January 31st, 2010; as I turned into the finish chute at the ING Miami Marathon, the first face I saw was my Aunt Lili’s! She had heard my name announced and was cheering me on. She held on to her deal with me. I had pushed on the final miles of that marathon with what felt was concrete attached to my legs. But it was her beautiful smiling face that greeted me.
Sadly on subsequent races, I won’t see my Aunt Lili’s smiling face, she passed away September 28th, 2010. She never had her ‘one day’, but I did. I know that not everyone will do a marathon, I read somewhere that only 1% of the population will ever complete a full marathon. And a marathon is not for everyone. But I’ve taken a liking to running, now I’m actually a group leader with Footworks Fitness 101 group. It’s great to be able to inspire other folks to get out there and do something. I know that I’ll never win a race, I’m happy with my 13-14 minute miles. When anyone asks me what my time is, my answer is “I finished!”.
As I run and meet new people, I’ve discovered that everyone has a story. Everyone has a reason why they run.
What’s your story???
If you’re so inclined after reading this… Feel free to donate to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke (In Memory of Lili Valladares)