Running and Grieving…

 I made a commitment to run my first half marathon on December 31st in Indian Wells, CA.  My daughter was going to join me and we would begin training. 

When we found out it got canceled we switched to the Phoenix half marathon on January 15th.  Training began and when the Palm Springs Tram Challenge came up I registered for it as I wanted to challenge myself for October.  I couldn’t say it was a run for me because although I foolishly started out by running within just a short distance I found myself so out of breath and walking.  They call it a challenge because it is a 6K and straight up about 2,000 feet in elevation.  As I huffed and puffed and felt my legs getting rubbery, what kept me going was my friend Teresa who was battling cancer at the time.  I thought of all that she was going through, so her inspiration helped me get through it.

November I did the Turkey Trot in La Quinta, an easy run, but I did get my best time and dedicated this run to my dear friend as well.

My next goal was to do my first (practice) half marathon before the one in January with my daughter.  The papers were filled out and I got all registered for the December 10th 1st annual skyborne half marathon.  I have been making daily runs preparing for my big day when I got the news that my dear friend passed and that her memorial would be on December 10th. 

So Sunday I decided to run my own 13.1 miles in honor of my dear friend Teresa Thomas.  It took me a little over 3 hours, but I did it!  I ran each step in remembrance of a special friend.  I ran straight for 11 miles before my legs starting seizing up, but during the last 2 painful miles I finished.   I went through many emotions during my run, I went through all my memories of my time with Teresa.  Part of my run I was crying, some of my run I was smiling and sometimes I was laughing as I remembered fun times I had with her.  But when I finished I felt grateful that she had been a part of my life and that I will forever be touched with her memory.

I plan on dedicating my runs to Teresa and the memory of our friendship.

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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