I went back to work about 5 months after John left. It was tough, as the insurance company was being a complete douchebage while i was off work. I still rage when i think about their absolutely inappropriate comments, and how they treated my broken heart and very messed up head like it was a broken arm. (right over Christmas, too)
I’m not done with them…
However, i digress. When i was still off on ‘crazy leave’, i could sign up for the 5 or 10k runs no problem. They were all on the weekend. I did 4 Santa Runs. There is something very strange and surreal about seeing a swarm of Santas just chugging along.
Once i was back at work, not so much on getting weekends off. I don’t have a standard 9-5 schedule (who does?) so holding weekends off without sacrificing the rest of the components of my schedule was a challenge, including not missing my weekly grief support group meeting.
Then i discovered Virtual Runs. whaaaa? Yes. Virtual Runs. you sign up as you would normally, pay your entry fee and then by mail you receive a finishers’ medal, and for some reason, a bib. I don’t wear the Bib, and i don’t look at the medal until i finish my set distance. I time myself, as you are supposed to submit your time on line to the group that organizes the runs. Very Cool.
So far i’ve done 5k runs for the following; Earth Day, St. Patricks Day, Autism Awareness and am signing up for others – certainly ones for mental health. Gives one motivation, i think.
Group runs are fantastic, tough; The pre-race pep talk, the T-shirts, goody bags and the whole atmosphere are an event on their own, no arguing that. I did one run, not too long after John took his own life for fundraising for a group called “Cameron Helps”. This race was started by a father who lost his lovely son, Cameron, to suicide. He now raises funds to promote fitness through running for kids, so that they can open up and talk about anything, reminding them that they are never alone.
Although, not quite the same feeling, Virtual runs do give you the chance to still feel part of a running community. (no goody bags, though)
The online groups i have participated in are Moon Joggers and Virtual Pace series. There are some really fun, silly and fabulous medals, and for good causes. You can pick and choose and rock them at your own pace when you chose.
I don’t bother with the bib, because, well… that would be weird right? “OMG i am sooo far ahead of everyone else!!!” i could say to others… i don’t think the chipmunks on the trails would care.
My cousin (whom i’ve never actually met) also does a really fun thing on Boxing day every year. It’s called a run across the world. You run, and then you let her know on the Facebook group. As our family and friends are scattered everywhere from Europe, South Pacific, North America, it truly ends up being a world run. Made me happy this year that i could participate and add my 8km distance on December 26th.