I run races year-round. Twenty years on the soccer field did a lot of damage, and I deal with injuries all the time. But on Nov. 16, I’ll run the most important race of my life, and I’m not taking any chances. Early that morning, I’ll pull a blindfold over my eyes and honor the five-year anniversary of my little sister’s first 5K at Charlotte’s Thunder Road Half Marathon. So this morning – the start of my third day with an obvious limp – I took my balky ankle to see my sports medicine doctor for an exam and X-rays.
The good news is that I don’t have any broken bones, and the weird stuff my doctor saw was already there on an X-ray from 2010 (which doesn’t say much for my long-term joint health but bodes well, I suppose, for THIS race). I went home with a prescription for two weeks’ off from weight-bearing activities, running included, and frequent icing.
I’m one of the world’s worst patients, because I can’t stand to sit still. But this time, I’ll listen. I’m on a mission, and I won’t do anything to threaten it.
After my appointment, I sent a message to my mom, who has never run a race of any distance but will run the Thunder Road 5K for Taylor’s Tale. I promised to coach her to her goal of running 3.1 miles this fall, and in my message, I offered to meet her at the indoor track tonight to lift weights and provide instruction from the sideline.
Nine minutes later, she responded:
“On the treadmill right now. Someone has to run for T!”
What does a go-getter like my mom need with a gimpy coach like me, anyway? Sans instruction, Mom logged 30 minutes on the treadmill, alternating two minutes of walking with three minutes of running at 5.2 miles per hour. One week ago tonight, Mom ran for the first time; as she took her first strides, she told me she didn’t know if she could run 3.1 miles without stopping. When she hits the open road on race day and breathes in the clear, cool November air, she won’t remember saying those words.
Besides, she didn’t really mean them. Because she’s my mom. And my mom ALWAYS believes.
I believe, too. I believe in my mom; I believe that my ankle will heal; I believe in Taylor’s courage; I believe that we can achieve our dream.
You can join my mom, my sighted guide and me on the Taylor’s Tale team at the Thunder Road races on Nov. 16. Scroll down to learn how, and stay tuned for more details!
I will run the Thunder Road Half Marathon blindfolded to support gene therapy co-funded by Taylor’s Tale at the University of North Carolina Gene Therapy Center. Donations to this cause are 100 percent tax-deductible. To support my run and our fight to develop treatments for Batten disease and other genetic diseases, click here.
Join the Taylor’s Tale team at Thunder Road! Click here to register for the marathon, half marathon or 5K. On the second page of registration, under “Event Groups/Teams,” select “Taylor’s Tale” from the list under “Choose an Existing Group.” Run for us to help raise awareness on race day. Stay tuned for more details, including special shirts for team members and an informal post-race event!