Idiots, I need your help.
Today is Memorial Day and it happens to be the 8th anniversary of my dad’s death. I am in the process of writing a book to honor him. He fought an 8 year battle with colorectal cancer. He truly hung the moon for me. He was the type of man that lit up the room. He was hilarious and always had a story and a smile for everyone he met.
After he passed away, I traveled to my hometown of Kansas City to help my mom with funeral arrangements. I stayed in his room and unearthed a treasure. While going through his closet, I found a box of his artwork. He loved to doodle, but I never realized how talented he was. I want the world to see his art, and read stories that offer encouragement and motivation to all who pick up the book.
I wrote about this last year. If you would like to read it, and see some of the artwork please click here.
The last time I saw my dad, he told me to remember we each get one life. That has stuck with me. I think of his words every day, and I even have it tattooed on me (in French) along with his art). Those words have helped me to accomplish more than I ever dreamed…like running a marathon. Of course, I wrote about this too. If you would like to read more, click here.
So, here is what I need from you. I am looking for stories to fill the pages next to the artwork. Specifically, the types of stories I would like are:
Because we are the Idiots Running Club, I would prefer that the stories have a running aspect to them, like mine (never running 1 mile, getting pissed at cancer, then running a marathon within 18 months just because my dad put those little words in my head). You don’t have to be an ultra or a marathoner to share your story. You just have to be an Idiot.
I hope to receive many submissions. I anticipate that I won’t be able to use them all, but I look forward to reading every one. My goal is to continue to work on this throughout the summer and have a complete package by my dad’s birthday (October 24). Yes, that’s a lofty goal, but I have learned I can do anything I put my mind to and I will accomplish this with your help.
I’ll admit, I have never published a book before. However, I have written and illustrated several children’s stories, and hope to self-publish my first one this summer. My life-long dream is to be an author. My dad’s words helped me learn just how strong I can be and I owe it to him to make my dream come true and honor his loving spirit. Proceeds from the book will go to the American Cancer Society from the Idiots Running Club. ~Amie LongstaffIf you would like to share your story please submit it using the following form.
You know you suck at running when the people you care about encourage you with phrases like these:
I'm not being sarcastic when I say that I love that one the most. Because, truthfully, there were a few times that I have felt like giving up. But I keep hanging in there despite the injuries, the slowness and the nasty little voice inside my head that repeatedly asks "What are you thinking? Running? Are you kidding me?"
I've been running the same 12-minute mile almost since I started. I still breath like freight train and I almost always feel the need for a little walk break every half mile or so. To be honest, it has crossed my mind that I really should be a walker, not a runner.
But I don't want to be a walker. I want to be runner. I'm not sure why it's so important to me. It's so important to me that more times than I can count, I've found myself in tears on my training runs. Joyful tears if the run is going well and bitter tears if I'm struggling. Why does it matter so much to me? I've never been athletic - never played organized sports. I'm not all that competitive. So why is running such a big deal to me? Honestly, I don't know for sure. It just is. Maybe I want to run because it's so hard for me. If I can run… well, then, I can do pretty much anything.
I began running when I was 49 years old, and to say I didn't know what I was doing would be a major understatement. And to say I wish I would have started running when I was younger would be an even bigger one.
In theory, running seems simple - lace up your shoes and hit the road. Run until you can't run any farther and do it again tomorrow. Then the day comes when the little twinge you've been feeling for a couple of days explodes into a full-blown injury and even walking is painful, regardless of the ibuprofen you shove down your throat. When that happens, you can't run for a long, long time. I've done this repeatedly in my short wanna-be running life.
So, through the Idiots Running Club, I found Coach Jeff at PRS Fit to walk me through this field of running ignorance. Someone to guide me, to help me get strong so I won't get injured so much. Someone who knows how to help me build an aerobic base so I won't sound like freight train wheezing down the track. I'm lifting weights, riding a bike, doing lunges and squats and using the elliptical. I can even do push-ups now. My muscles are sore, and I've never sweat so much.
I like having a plan, and I like having a coach to help me learn to run. Because, if I can run… well, then, I can do pretty much anything.
April 28, 2012 I ran a full marathon in Nashville, Tenn. I ran this marathon with a lack of training and I had no real conviction going into it. My nerves were running full steam ahead, and I felt horrible. Prior to the race starting, I was seriously second guessing myself. I knew that I hadn't properly trained and that I was not anywhere near ready for the run, but I couldn't back out. Starting the race was great and running with family made it better.
My early jitters decided to fill my bladder so quickly within the first two miles that I began cramping very bad. I tried to fight it off, but had to stop for a pee break. The short, but grueling line felt like it took three hours to get through (really only about eight minutes). I decided that I couldn't run this thing alone because I would never finish, so I stretched out my strides and zigzagged in and out of traffic like a drugged taxi driver to catch up with my running "team." Everything seemed to be going fine when I caught back up with the group. We ran for awhile at a nice comfortable pace. At a water stop my cousin Jenny and Uncle Tim stopped to fill their drink containers.....I being unprepared had no water container. I instead chugged a few glasses of Gatorade and water and continued on my way.
I ran by myself from this point out.....really crappy idea with no iPod and no one to talk to. By mile 8 the sun was hot and my endurance was fading quickly. I decided that I could not finish 26.2 miles and intended to take the turn-off for the half-marathon. From the 8-mile point to the 11-mile point I was able to maintain a jog, but every step solidified my resolve to take the half-marathon turn at the 11.5-mile mark. As I approached the turn-off, spectators started yelling at me...a lot of them actually. Now at first i really thought it was weird that I would get singled out, but looking at this later i am quite sure that being 6'4" 225 lbs. and wearing a neon pink shirt and neon yellow leggings probably made me stick out a bit from the other runners. The fact that the spectators were yelling did not phase me. What they yelled, however, changed everything about me at that point in time.
People who I never met and don't know started yelling and cheering, screaming "run for Cara" and "REFUSE to give in." When I heard these cheers all I could do was think about a little girl who I had never met fighting a fight that I could never imagine fighting. I saw that little girl's mother at the starting line so full of emotion and I COULD NOT turn right for the half-marathon finish. My body wanted to quit, my mind told me to turn right everything about me told me to stop, but I couldn't. I don't know why and I can't explain it, but I turned left...full-marathon bound. For the next 14 miles, a little girl I have never met and her unknown support team in Nashville, Tenn., pushed me forward. Everytime I wanted to stop, someone would read my mind and yell those same two lines "run for Cara" and "REFUSE to give in". By the 18th mile I had no steam left, I had no drive left, I had no motivation, I had no will, but my legs never quit. I did not run again until the last two blocks of the race. I walked in pain, agony and worst of all heat, but every time I wanted to quit, a new Cara supporter rose up from a curb, a porch, or right behind me as they made their way past me, and they pushed me to continue. This little girl who doesn't know me from Adam would not let me quit, she refused to let me give in.
I finished my marathon, it was not a graceful finish or a fulfilling finish, but It was probably the only finish that I will always remember. I have never been a very spiritual person. I have went to church and I have read the Bible, but have never really known what my position was and I guess I still really don't. I do, however, know this, at 27 years of age I did not finish a marathon because I was in the shape to do it. I did not finish a marathon because I had the will to finish. I DID finish a marathon because a little girl who I do not know pushed me harder than any drill sergeant was ever able to. I wish that I could do more for that little girl than just run wearing a shirt with her name and picture on it, because she has done something for me that no one else has been able to do. She gave me faith.
Adventures and Races Submitted by Idiots