Once you run one race, you will start receiving emails from all kinds of race promoters. I’m used to it by now. Most of them are deleted due to time and distance constraints. There are some races I know I want to do, and some I’ve been interested in for awhile. I usually keep those emails and check stuff out. After my last half marathon in May, I was deleting all race emails. Then in July or so, I received one for the Berkeley Half Marathon. It stopped me for a minute, chills running up my arms. I kept that email for a few weeks, pondering the possibility. Then I ended up deleting it like all the rest of the emails.
In early November, my mom – who lives in Northern CA – will have a procedure on her heart. I’m going up to be there for her and support my sister. The procedure happens to be the Thursday before the Berkeley Half. When I got a second email from the race promoter last week, it peaked my interest again.
There’s something about Berkeley that draws me. I didn’t go to school there. I never lived there. But I’m drawn to it. You know why? That’s where Big Man did his NICU time. I spent three months driving back and forth between our home in Livermore and the hospital in Berkeley. I usually took the back roads in. I remember the shady residential streets. I had my favorite houses amongst those I drove past every day. I watched the leaves turn and fall, rain pour, fog roll through, Christmas decorations and lights go up. I didn’t ever explore the town around the hospital – I only knew the road in, the hospital parking lot, and the world inside those walls. But I feel a connection with Berkeley. It represents such a huge part of our lives.
It would be somewhat inconvenient to run this race. And the course isn’t optimal, with tons of turns and a 200-foot elevation change, with a 150 foot rise the last two miles of the race. I would have to drive home after the race, 7+ hours, after a long weekend dealing with an ailing parent. And yet, I’m drawn to it. I want to do it. I can’t help but picture running the roads I drove every day for 93 days. Somehow, I want to give them a different meaning than they hold in my heart now.
I’ll need to make a decision on the race within the next few days. I’m running out of training time – no pun intended. Six weeks, give or take, isn’t much time to rack up the miles. I’ve done it before. My runs lately have been decent, with the exception of a couple during our extended hot spell. My fabulous brother has said he would run it with me. The email is still sitting in my inbox, taunting me. I will likely run it. I want to run it. Maybe it will help chase away some of the ghostly memories of those three months.