Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The running chronicles, the passing of Grete Waitz

With just a couple days until my next race, I did a nice run back at the hamster wheel with a coworker.  We just met today, and had a good time chatting while we ran our short two miles.  I ran without music in my ears for the first time in nearly a year, and it was OK!  When I started running last year I got winded after like two minutes, maybe less.  Tonight was totally different.  We talked nearly the whole time, although my coworker was more winded the closer we got to two miles.  In her defense, she hasn't run regularly in a while.  She plays soccer, so this whole longer distance thing isn't exactly her bag.

Anyway, it was refreshing not to hear myself gasping for life as I ran the wheel with this girl who is younger than the kids I grew up babysitting as a tween and teen.  I realized that I'm now conditioned for longer distances and it feels really good.

Time to update my play list.  I've decided that for each run, I'll try to change the play list.  The all women artist run, the all indie label run, maybe an R&B run and some runs in the decades.  Whatever, I guess I'll start with this weekend, but, I will have to check out my play list and see what I can do with it.  After that, I'll have to ask for suggestions on what is should run to in each race.  Are you game?

Resting 'til race day when I try to meet or beat my PR of 26 minutes and change in the 5K.  I think as long as we do a sub-27 minute race, I'll feel pretty good about it.

I did learn some sad news tonight, however.  Grete Waitz, Olympian, record breaking marathon runner, and ambassador to the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge (among many other things) has lost a six year battle with cancer.  She died yesterday at a hospital in her home country of Norway.  She was 57 years old.

I met Grete a couple of times when she was visiting team tents at the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Chicago, and she even stood in for our team picture several times.  Grete was an incredible runner and opened many doors for women in the sport of running. 

I am relatively new to the world of running, but have known of Grete Waitz for many years through her work with the Corporate Challenge.  It will be a much different event this year without Grete's words of encouragement before the race, and her smile and support after the race.

I will run this weekend and remember Grete Waitz, all that she accomplished, and all that she went through as she battled  the evil of cancer.