Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting Back to My Happy Place

I ran a big 2.3 miles this afternoon. But it was the most relaxing and necessary run of the week, wrapping up a lot of emotion and a fitting way to close out the business of my day. After my run, I felt like I could melt into the floor. I finally took a nap, and was able to just close my eyes and sleep.

This morning was Ornella's funeral. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but for me it was a calming, reassuring way to bring closure to an important chapter of my life in a peaceful way. The chapter closing doesn't mean the book is over, though.

I'm not going into a lot of details here, but Ornella was, still is, and always will be a huge part of my inspiration to run Badwater, along with other ultras, and raise funds for the Cancer Center here. Ornella was married to my friend Troy. She fought ovarian cancer for 10 years, all the way to the end, and I've never seen anyone with a tougher spirit than her. She left behind a beautiful family and a legacy of love and kindness.

When I crossed Death Valley in 2008, and in my double crossing in 2011, I carried Ornella in my heart. I thought of the desert crossings as a metaphor for her struggles. One of these days I'll write a more detailed blogpost about that story.

After an emotional week, lots of intermittent meltdowns and not much sleep, I feel like I can now return to the business of my life. I need to start getting organized for my race next week.

Tomorrow I start out the day with a video session, with two runners I know who inspire me, and then I work the weekend. After my weekend I start an 11 day break from work that couldn't have possibly come at a better time. I have lots of exciting stuff planned in the next few months, including my race, the Double Mick, and being on the medical team at Badwater again. I'm also getting started on some new projects at work, related to community health, that will keep me busy.

I feel like I'm getting back to my happy place.


HappyTrails said...

Happy places are good! Down times are good too because they refine and strengthen us for challenges of life ahead. Rest, recharge, and get ready for your exciting weeks coming up! :-)

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thank you for your comment Kathleen, and for your concern. I am looking forward to getting some good sleep!
I always say that the bad races are the ones that make us appreciate the good races. Same with life events.
Wishing you the best in your return journey to health!

Ultra Monk said...

Running works for grieving. And almost anything else I have a problem with.

You inspire me. Thats why I communicate. I'm definitely not fast and can't go as far. But I take up your fortitude and enthusiasm.

I have an ultra friend "Tiger" who is losing the cancer battle after a number of years. I miss seeing her at 24 hour events.

I am going to Missouri tomorrow for a 50k on Saturday. Then, I am "forced" by work to go to Massachusetts. So I unexpectedly got signed up for a 24 hour run: 3 Days at the Fair.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thank you, Ultra Monk, it doesn't matter how fast or far you go, the process of moving forward is part of why running is so therapeutic. Along with so many other reasons.

I'm sorry to hear of your friend's struggle with cancer. Being there and keeping a connection beyond running will mean a lot to her.

I hope you enjoy your upcoming running adventures!