Being sick sucks! My head hurts, my body aches, and my legs feel weak. What can I do to keep training for my marathon? Nothing. If I were to train with my team mates when I'm feeling "a little better," that would only set me back even further. What am I to do?
I got it! I decided to get some fresh air and join my team mates on their run at Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay. It's a beautiful coastal run with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. Only this time, I will not be running. But being out with my fellow runners will at least make me feel like I'm doing something. I decided to help with the water stops and provide refreshments and support for the Team In Training (TNT) runners.
When I woke up in the wee hours on a Saturday morning, my first thought was, "I must be crazy." Then I got to my assigned area along the running path by the beach. The weather was overcast, cold and windy. The cold penetrated my sweatshirt and jacket. My scarf barely kept me warm. My second thought of the morning was, "I AM CRAZY." There was no one around-- no one crazy enough to be out in the cold. The only one running at this early morning was my nose!
Who is crazy enough to wake up early on a Saturday and stand out here in the cold? Apparently, I wasn't the only one manning these aid stations. Standing on the side of the path for 2 hours, I learned that the people manning these water stations for our runners are special people--- volunteers. These volunteers were, at one point in their life, TNT participants themselves. Some of them knew people who were past participants and some were people who are battling Leukemia or Lymphoma (our honorees). All of them made a choice to volunteer their time to say, "thank you," to the runners for helping to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
As the runners came by, we cheered them on. I could see that when they heard our cheers and saw our aid station, their faces lit up. That was worth seeing. The more runners came by, the more worthwhile it was for me to be standing in the cold feeling a bit under the weather myself. It reminded me how much I took these aid stations and the people that set up these stations for granted. As a runner, I love having the TNT aid stations around on my long runs. It's like a mini party to make my runs more enjoyable. The aid stations were complete with water, Gatorade, pretzels, gummy bears, energy gels, and good cheer. I often forget about the people behind these aid stations. I forget that there are people who get up earlier than I do on a weekend when they don't have to to make my runs a pleasant experience. Without these volunteers, there would be no water and no snacks to fuel me. There would also be no cheers to pick me up when I need a little encouragement on my runs. So thank you to all the TNT volunteers! (Signed: Running Nose Girl)