A different race week

With everything that has gone on in the past week — with my grandfather's death, family coming in and out of town, not always eating that great (still meatless though), not getting nearly enough sleep and even dealing with the crazy weather — it feels weird that I have my first race this Saturday in nearly 5 months. It also seems weird that I've been talking about my ITB issues for nearly a half year after my problems started in October. But it's here … race week. I highly doubt that I'll be "racing" the Monument Avenue 10k on Saturday. I will run it hard though. I have to … I need to … for so many reasons. I need to run hard to flush things out of my mind. I also need to run hard just to prove to myself that I can do it.

I obviously have a lot on my mind. Family deaths have a way of weighing on me and pushing me in directions that I'm just not familiar with yet. I need to listen to whatever I'm being called to do.

I started this blog nearly four years ago right after my grandmother's death on my dad's side of the family — I never talked about it at the time, but my blog was an outlet for my running thoughts. I had just been hesitant to do something until then.

My grandfather's death is having an impact on me that I never expected. As I continue to realize more and more how much of a positive influence he had on my life, I want to strive to live my life more like him. Every picture I looked at last week in our family photo albums he was smiling. He was smiling around family, with friends ... even at work. It's not that I'm not happy with my life, but I sure do need to express it more.

I've been asked how I can keep a positive attitude with running, even in recent months with my injury. Well, folks, I just laid it out there for you. Having an influence in my life like my grandfather gives me all the reason I need to stay positive.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I have my first race in 140 days this coming Saturday, but I can bet you that I'll be smiling more through it than I usually do.