It was 1:15 a.m. I awoke to minor chest pains. I laid in bed contemplating if my mind was once again overpowering my body. I am guessing it was heartburn. You see, I typically have trouble sleeping the night before a scheduled long run.
At 7 a.m. I awoke again, ate breakfast, and prepared myself for a long run. The plan was to run a 12-miler. Before the run I had already created excuses, including lack of quality sleep and tired legs from the previous day’s 3-miler at a quick pace. Ninety minutes later I escaped the house. As I had anticipated, my mind won again and this long run was reduced to an 8-miler.
But the 8-miler itself isn’t my running memory of the day. After, looking at my Twitter feed, I discovered a news story about a teenager in Virginia who collapsed only 50-yards after the finish line of her first half marathon, when her heart stopped beating. Her name was Cameron Gallagher. Her heart never restarted.
Her family asked that we, “Please use Cameron's story as an inspiration to set goals, overcome obstacles and fight the good fight.” For me, running is an escape. It allows me to decompress after a long day. It pushes my body to new extremes. It has saved me mentally and physically on many occasions. It has allowed me to set and accomplish goals. I hope running continues to do this for me. And if my thoughts from last night ever come true, let me cross that finish line with a smile on my face…just like Cameron.
Check out Andy's profile and links to his other posts on our Contributor page.
Read the NY Daily News story about Cameron Gallagher.
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