Monday, November 5, 2012

Running a Double Life

This past Saturday ( November 3, 2012) I was able to do a run that was super special to me. Yes, I love all the runs that I participate in, but this one was close to my heart. I ran in the Sickle Cell-ebration 5K, in memory of my best friend Kyla Hodor. Kyla lost her battle with sickle cell during our junior year of college, I can't even begin to explain the pain, confusion, and emptiness I felt when I got the phone call that Sunday morning. For those of you who didn't know Kyla, she was always full of life and the happiest person in the room, you would never know she was sick or had just recovered from a sickle cell crisis a few days ago or anything. I really loved how she lived every moment of her life with a smile on her face. I went through my mourning period, and as I was coming out of it I had to remember that it was not a time for me to sit back, but it was time for me to get out and live my life, not only life, but hers as well. There are many things that I have done and accomplished because of Kyla, and I know she was right there next to me when I did them, and I know Saturday wasn't an exception.
Even before I started running I always told myself I wanted to do a Sickle Cell walk for Kyla, but always seemed to miss the dates. So I was very happy when I was able to find one that was right here in my neighborhood, I signed up right away, whatever I already had on my calendar would have to be pushed to the side because I wasn't going to miss this opportunity. Well, it was race day, and I really did not sleep the night before I had so much on my mind, this was the first race I was running without anyone from BGR, I knew I had to do this one "alone", this was me and Kyla's race. When I got to the park my nerves settled a little bit as I registered and started to scope out the competition, there weren't as many people at this race like the others I have attended, but enough for me to know I had to make sure I did my best. As the race started I felt a little blah, like I wasn't into the race. As I said before my mind was everywhere, so I got into my groove and found my happy pace and I was off! About a half a mile into the race this chick comes out of nowhere and passes me. I'm definitely caught by surprise because I didn't see her before the race started so she wasn't in my radar to beat until that moment she passed me. She led me the whole way, even when she stopped for water and I was able to get in front of her she always came back and passed me. I was starting to get frustrated, until I remembered I was not running this race alone, and like me Kyla is very competitive and would fuss if I let this chick beat "us" at a race I was doing in her memory. Remembering all that I learned I gave myself a mini pep talk and said "you've got this, let's finish strong and win this race". Suddenly I went into turbo mode about the last half mile and took the chick on and what do you know I eased right past her, as I was approaching the finish line there were people cheering me on, none of which I knew and it made me feel great and gave me even more energy, and a running coach was at the very last stretch yelling "turn it up finish strong you haven't crossed the line yet", I crossed the line and beat my competition by a minute!
Yes, tears did flow cause I knew I had won, and I knew I had made Kyla proud. At this race I placed for the very first time and I have been in about 9 races since February 2012, and I couldn't have been happier that I placed for Kyla. I came in first in my age group and 3rd overall for females.

Kyla, I hope you are proud of me, and I know you were there with me through the whole race and especially that final stretch. I will continue to live every moment for you, I love you and I miss you!

1 comment:

  1. Hmm not sure if my comment ever submitted so I'll repost:

    This is beautiful Apryl!! I'm so proud of you and I'm sure Kyla is smiling down on you as well! Love ya sis!! :-)