Monday, September 24, 2007

4 Run 1, Week 1 (BOHR): A Sad Goodbye & The Start of A New Running Program


At noon on Sunday, my grandfather (that I've mentioned in previous posts on both this site & my foodie blog) passed away. It's been a very sad & stressful week, as I had to finish packing tonight for both tomorrow's funeral & for my gallery show later in the week, since I couldn't return home in the interim. (Both events are in PA.) Since the gallery show had been planned months in advance, I couldn't cancel, even though it's going to be a challenge to be charismatic & upbeat for the event.


For the past few weeks, before my grandfather passed away, I'd say prayers for him during my runs. Since running is often a meditative experience for me anyhow, prayer seems like a natural companion to this quiet time of reflection. I'd often think to myself, "if I could be strong, & run well, that I would send this energy, hope, & strength to him, and maybe he could get better." While a part of me knew that these thoughts were completely irrational, I would nonetheless focus on sending these thoughts to him. I prayed for him to get better, & for his lungs to clear & his body to grow stronger, but unfortunately he lost his struggle and succumbed to his illnesses.

He was a remarkable human being, for everything he was & everything he did. Even in the hardest & most difficult moments of his illness, while he struggling to recover from his stroke, he had tried so hard to be strong & give his all during his physical therapy sessions; it was truly inspiring to witness his will to live. He kept trying to get out of bed, wanting to get up & walk. To lift his spirits, we took him outside in a wheelchair several times, so he could experience the beauty of the outdoors & the fresh air. For a while he rallied & even made a few steps with a walker. This really exemplified the essence of his character. His spirit was indomitable, & it gave us hope that he would return to his former state. We hoped against hope that his determination would buoy his strength & help in his recovery.

For several months prior to his passing, I tried to keep his spirits up by sharing my latest running endeavors with him, and by talking about his involvement with running & sports. Since he was a track star when he was younger (i.e., in high school, college, & beyond), he loved to watch any sort of track meet (i.e., high school, college, olympic, etc.) on TV, and always perked up when someone started talking about running or sports. On one of my hospital visits to see him, I told him that I was planning to run a marathon (i.e., my first marathon). His eyes lit up with excitement & pride, & he told me, "You should definitely do that."

So, I'd like to think that when it comes time to step onto the road for my first marathon, that he will be there alongside me in spirit. I would like to run my first marathon in his honor.


Squeezed in a 30 minute run tonight around 9:45 pm after hurriedly packing the car & my clothes. Around 9 pm it was still around 78 degrees, so it was probably between 70-75 degrees or so when I did my run.

The run went well; I feel like I'm getting stronger & faster, as I covered more distance in the same period of time. At moments, I did feel sad, but tried in earnest to focus on the good memories & remember my relative in better days. I kept thinking about being strong & running well for him, as that's what he surely would want me to do.


Today was the first day of my new program, Becoming a One Hour Runner (BOHR) by Kathrine Switzer. Since I'm already at the point where I'm running 30 solid minutes, I skipped ahead to the part where you do 30-minute runs for 3 weeks straight.

Here's the outline of the plan:

Weeks 1 - 3: Run 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Weekly total: 90 minutes.
Week 4: Run 30 minutes, 29 minutes, 35 minutes. Weekly total: 94 minutes
Week 5: Run 30 minutes, 32 minutes, 38 minutes Weekly total: 100 minutes Week 6: Run 30 minutes, 33 minutes, 41 minutes Weekly total: 104 minutes
Week 7: Run 30 minutes, 34 minutes, 45 minutes Weekly total: 109 minutes Week 8: Run 30 minutes, 36 minutes , 49 minute Weekly total: 115 minutes
Week 9: Run 30 minutes, 38 minutes, 54 minutes Weekly total: 122 minutes
Week 10: Run 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes Weekly total: 130 minutes

Well, even though it'll be a challenge with everything that's going on this week & the fact that I'll be on the road travelling a lot, I plan to squeeze in the remaining 2 runs for the week, while I'm in Pittsburgh. Right now, I'm planning to run on Wednesday & possibly on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, depending on how long it takes to setup/tear down for the gallery show. If I can run earlier in the morning, Saturday might be the best time to squeak in my final run of the week, as the show set up will already be done & all I'll hopefully have to do is get dressed & show up on this day. (The other days I'll be setting up & tearing down/packing up my display.)

OK, well keep running everyone & I'll probably check in later in the week. (Most likely, I'll have internet access while I'm in Pittsburgh, but there are no guarantees. ;-) )

Good night!



cymrusteve said...

Hi Corey,

A sad, but upbeat post. I'm sorry to hear about your elderly relative. Everything must seem tiny in comparison to what you're going through.
Keep his marathon comment in mind for the future when (not if) you run your first marathon!

Good luck this week,


Missladybug said...

A truly eloquent, heartfelt tribute to our grandfather. I absolutely love what you wrote. I know he continues to be proud of you and would love to see you running and inspiring others.
Much love,

Tony Hogan said...

Hi Corey

It's sad to hear about your loss, and it's quite wonderful that you see him as a 'remarkable human being.' My son died about 8 years ago so I'm no stranger to grief. But you know what Corey, those that have touched our lives live on in our hearts and become a part of us, we embody their wisdom, their compassion and all the other virtues we hold dear. I know you like music, I read your blog. I stopped playing music for a long time in public when my son 'moved on'. Last week I posted a piece of music that I dedicated to him on my's the post about Joshua. Although I've named the piece of music after a Buddhist term, I'm also a Christian and I guess many other faiths. It took me a long time to even play the piece for anyone. So if you have a quiet moment and you'd like to listen to my dedication to someone I love, please do so.

Kind regards and well wishes.

Tony Hogan

Abimars said...

Hey Corey,

Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss, he is now in a better place and I'm sure he's looking down at you very proudly as you run. Congratulations on completing your couch to 5k program, you've been a great inspiration and I plan to follow in your footsteps and become a one hour runner as well (as soon as I'm done with the 5k lol,



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