When I was a kid, at my own birthday parties, my mom would have to pull me aside and either, a.) tell me to calm down, b.) tell me to stop being bossy, or c.) tell me to stop being so bossy and calm down or you’ll have to go to your room.
I’d like to say this has changed now that I’ve grown up and am, myself, a mother. I don’t know what happens when I get around a group of people — especially other girls, I mean, women — I turn into that loud, bossy, hyperactive kid again that’s focused on one thing: being silly. Girl just wants to have fun, that’s me.
So I’m sad to say that I completely forgot about the moment of silence part of the run for Sherry yesterday morning before our group began running. Tiffany (Musings of a Runner Girl) reminded us as we were running, I said “this group is not the silent type” or something stupid like that, and then in a last-ditch effort yelled out, “Let’s run in silence,” but it was too late. Everyone had sort of broken into their running rhythm. I think we had a few short moments of silence, though.
Writing about it now, I feel bad. But I
think hope it’s okay. I didn’t know Sherry, but I imagine she would be chatting along with her girlfriends on a run, too, or with her cousin Beth of Shut Up and Run, the person who organized this national (and probably international) virtual run to remember Sherry, a wife/mom/teacher/runner who disappeared during an early morning run. I have, however, been thinking about Sherry a lot during my regular runs. She just pops into my head and I think about how it’s not fair.
Why do some people think they have the right to take away someone’s life? To take someone away from their kids? From their husband (or wife)? From all the people who love that person? What is wrong with you if you can do that? I’m getting emotional. We’ve had some real bad people in the news lately. I don’t even want to write the name of an evil man who was in our local news way too much, in my opinion. Sometimes I just get so upset with people — bad people. It sometimes overwhelms me. In fact, it’s kept me up at night this week. But then I remember there are good people, too. Like all the people who ran for Sherry on Saturday or Sunday or whenever they were able to get out there.
We have a group of good people here: the Women Runners of King County (WeROKC). On our Facebook page, we posted about meeting up and running for Sherry. Several people were interested and so I made it official, picked a place (Seward Park along Lake Washington — part of the now-old route of the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon and Half) and a time (8 a.m.) and sent out an event request to the private group. About 8 people said they could make it, we had a couple maybes, and a couple people say they could and then life happened and they couldn’t.
Still — it was looking like a nice turnout for our group, and I was excited to meet some WeROKC members in real life for the first time. We had Tiffany, Zoe (Run, Zoe, Run), Alma (The Average Woman’s Running Blog) — who I already knew — and Sybil (Musings of a Milk Maker) — who I had met once — and then J (who I’ve also met once!) and her friend J2, Lindsay (Lindsay On the Go) and S. We fastened our Run for Sherry bibs to our shirts and chatted. (Thanks to S. for printing one for me since I didn’t have color ink!)
The plan was to meet in front of the playground at the park, but since Zoe and I got there first and I had to use the bathroom, we sort of unintentionally ended up hanging out in front of the restrooms when others ran up and found us. Zoe said something about the playground, but I didn’t think it was a big deal. “I think people can see us over here,” I said. We stood around, took some pictures and wondered where Sybil was. We checked Facebook, text messages. Nothing. At 8:20, we decided to go.
A minute later, I spotted Sybil over at the playground! Where we were supposed to meet. I felt awful. We gathered her up and got to running.
It’s been raining here in Seattle (surprise!), but it stopped for the run Saturday morning. We got a few sprinkles during the run, but that’s all. There were a TON of runners out. Runners and walkers! We even saw rowers on the lake! The trail from Seward is pretty popular — paved and it runs right along the lake. We saw hardcore runners, joggers, people pushing strollers, dogs running with their owners, runners alone, runners in big groups, nice runners, sort of rude ones — the whole spectrum! Many of them asked what we were doing when they saw our bibs, and we told them.
From the beginning we sort of broke into three groups. I had 8 miles at an 8:43 pace on my Run Less Run Faster plan. Tiffany had 8 miles at a similar pace. We agreed beforehand to split the time difference and run together. But on the way to the run, I realized I wanted to run with more people, and Tiffany agreed, so we threw our plan out the window. (I also forgot my Garmin!)
We did need to move to the front of the pack after a little, though. We wanted to keep it closer to our prescribed times if we could. A few of us broke apart from main pack. At mile 4, we found another woman runner to take our picture, we chatted with her for a bit and then headed back. Lindsay and S had more miles to do, so they kept heading north.
After a couple miles on the return route, we saw a big group stopped and looking in a tree. A huge hawk was perched up at the top. We stopped, too, chatted with what turned out to be the Columbia City Runners and eventually got to running again.
Finally, we were making our way back into Seward Park and the parking lot. Upon entering the park, an older gentleman runner we’d seen earlier (who had complimented my Team Sparkle skirt, by the way), shouted, “40-13 women runners!” We all laughed — guess he’d been keeping count.
Zoe’s feet hurt, so she stuck them in the lake while we (me, Tiffany, Zoe, Alma) ate the spinach-raspberry bars Alma made. They were delish! I had two!
It was great to meet up with a large group of women to run, and we really enjoyed the route along Lake Washington and being around so many other runners. Even though we didn’t have a very long moment of silence, we ran for Sherry and the other female runners that can’t get out and do what we love to do, or were tragically harmed in the process. Seeing the updates and photos of other people running for Sherry on Facebook and Twitter and on blogs across the country has been truly inspiring. So, thanks Beth, for hosting the race.
And I hope Sherry’s family, friends and community heard the love loud and clear.