Monday, May 16, 2011

In the "Spotlight" with Jane

Jane a grandmother from Washington State is awesome!  She runs ultra marathons!!!
Hi, I’m Jane and I'm 48 years old.  I’m a mother, grandmother, wife, boss, employee, abuse survivor, knitter, reader, and much, much more.

Why do I run? Because I can. Because I always have. Because it is a constant. Because it is how I maintain a small hold on my sanity. Because running mirrors life.

I have ran for as long as I can remember. I ran track in junior high and high school. I ran cross country in high school. I ran through abuse, I ran through marriages, divorces, pregnancies and raising my children.
 I have completed 61 marathons, 14 ultras, a handful of ½ marathons and 20ks, and countless 5ks and 10ks. I’m not fast (any more), but I can keep going. My favorite runs are the trail ultras. Mostly because I love to be out in the woods. I love to hike and backpack – but running these races is almost better. All I have to do is show up and someone else has marked the trails to minimize the chances of me getting lost. AND the best part is there is food and water along the way! I don’t have to carry all of the food I will need or worry about where a good water source will be; it’s all provided. Also, if you get injured, you know there will be someone out there to look for you. I know. In 2009 I slipped and broke my ankle on a trail run. The biggest thing I learned from that is if I am ever running off road I make sure to carry an emergency blanket with me. No matter how close you are to civilization – it can take a long time for you to get out (I was 2-1/2 miles from a trailhead – it took 3 hours for rescue to get to me and 3-1/2 hours to get me to the trailhead). It was a hot day and I did have an emergency blanket with me and it made the wait much, much more comfortable than it would have been without it.
 Running is when I get “me” time. My family knows that if I am running at home on the treadmill . . . don’t talk to me. It’s my escape. I treasure the time alone. Even when you run with others, you can have times of silence – with just your breathing for company. I run to reflect and think and clear my head. Or confuse myself more with all of the thoughts.

Running mirrors life. Some days it is good, some days it is horrible. Some days it seems like you just can’t go on. Others, you feel like you can go forever. It is as integral a part of my life as breathing. I can’t imagine not running. When life sucks, I run. When life is great, I run. When depression hits, I run. As long as I can move and put one foot in front of the other, I can feel that there is some hope and possibility of life left.

If I eventually become too old and incapacitated to run, I know I will still be running in my mind. As long as I can still imagine the feeling; and feel the “high” from running – all will be possible and well. I can no more imagine not running than I can imagine not breathing.

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