This will be my last blog entry as a tribute to NyAnn Smith for the time being. Although probably not my last one ever. Yesterday, I ran 7 miles. That put me up to a total of 1514. I know that doesn’t quite follow from two days ago, but when I posted two days ago I was one mile short. Today I did another easy 5. That puts me aat 1519. Still on US 54 in my virtual pilgrimage.
When I was running yesterday morning, I actually found the seven miles relaxing. Monday I had a very long day. Very early workout. 3+ hours of lecturing. Long meeting. Dinner at the boss’s house. Fun—but long. When I got home, I was ready for bed immediately, although I didn’t get a chance to go to sleep immediately.
Yesterday morning, I did not wake up as early as usual. In fact, I slept as late as possible, washed dishes, and then went for my run. After my run, I walked the dog and was still ready to be out the door before 7:30. I was teaching by 8:30. And had a shorter day. The only day that I don’t have an evening commitment this week. Monday was a paper writing session. Tuesday dinner. Today through Saturday will be three nights of teaching.
But yesterday morning’s run was a break. A time just to concentrate on one thing—running. A time to just experience the somewhat cooler outdoor temps. Although not really cool. A time just to enjoy running 9:14 to 8:04 for my mile splits. A time just to look at the world going by as I took it easy. I realize that not everyone thinks of 59:17 for seven miles as easy, but it works for me.
The key tribute to NyAnn today is thinking about my tattoo. One nice thing about having a tattoo with a very flexible theme is that I can reinterpret over time. There is no doubt that the two women who are more clearly represented by Irene in my tattoo are Sherry and my mom. Sherry because of having to live with me and our three sons deserves all kinds of credit for her strength of character, strength of body, and strength of mind. My mom in raising her two kids and surviving cancer also deserves all kinds of kudos. Over time, I have listed many others whom I think of as being represented by Irene. Women who by their strength have helped me. This includes professional mentors, professional peers, fellow runners, and those who are seeking spiritual fulfillment or seeking the meaning of life or seeking to share of themselves in positive ways similarly to me.
NyAnn would be in the running and positive sharing categories. Probably also in the meaning of life category. The key is that she had an incredibly positive outlook. And even in the short time that I knew her—or even knew of her—she was positive about everything. Posts. Likes. Comments. Sharing her positive nature.
So, my last honor for right now—I will see if I can participate in anything that is being organized in her memory or dedicate a race to her at some point—is to note that she is among the women who are represented by Irene in my tattoo. A forever memory of a special runner.
One final thought during my run this morning, a new opening line:
As he closed the door and got ready to begin his run, he looked skyward and saw the thin clouds blowing quickly, illuminated by the near full and very bright moon; his view of the moon was obscured by the clouds and that reminded him of how his view of his life and his goals had been affected by the rapidly changing and advancing events over the past year.