The first mile felt good – nice and easy.
The second mile was better; my muscles were warm, I was into the heart of my playlist, and I coasted.
Two laps into the fourth mile, an invisible demon struck a match inside my shoes, and the balls of my feet caught on fire. My Achilles whined. Everything else felt good, though. So I pushed on.
Seven laps later, I glanced down and discovered that the entire toe area of the shoe on my right foot was soaked with blood. I never stop in the middle of a mile, though. I had three laps left. Just a quarter of a mile.
As I rounded the third corner of lap 60, I sprinted the length of the last straightaway and right into a chair by the water fountains. I was only halfway through my 10-mile run. But I knew I was done.
In the months after Taylor’s diagnosis, I ran to get away from Batten disease. No matter what, running always felt better than crying. I still cried. But I ran more. And after I discovered that I just might have a say in how the story turned out, I ran harder than ever.
Blood-soaked shoes and all, I’ll never stop running. Next Saturday, December 11, I’ll cross the finish line of my second half marathon, even if I have to crawl. I could never let myself quit. That’s not Taylor’s style, and it’s not my style either. So, to bloody feet and weak ankles and Batten disease, I say bring it on. You may knock me down. But you’ll never knock me out.
I’m not only running for myself – I’m running to save Taylor’s life. Please consider supporting my efforts through Miles to a Miracle, a new campaign inspired by Taylor’s great courage on the race course and in life. Email me to learn how.