Monday, November 16, 2009

Running for a Cause (is still hard)

Earlier today I covered 18 rocky miles with the sexy grannies. (aka Beth McHoul and Lisa Buxman) If I am still running these sorts of long distances at 50+ years of age, please come slap some sense into me. I really want to be in their sexy granny club some day, but without the torture of so much stinkin running.

A short run (5 miles or less) in Port au Prince almost always means at least one peculiar "you're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy" moment. As you can imagine, 18 miles can mean lots of odd and unusual.

Beth is hilarious to run with because she is beyond optimistic. Lisa is hilarious to run with because she tries so hard not to be pessimistic - specifically about her own ability to run far. I fall right in the middle of the two of them - the hard-core realist. It makes for interesting banter.

Beth says things like, "We're almost there" at mile five of 18 ... she means we are almost done with the first one-third of the run, but she just keeps it waaay positive at all times. I like when we're all limping and she says "All right you guys - we've got this! We have SO got this!" She makes me smile. Lisa, who was not very sure she could do it, Buxman - KILLED 18 really hard and hilly and rocky Haiti miles today. That was the furthest she has ever run. It was fun to be able to see her enjoy that victory. Congratulations are in order for sexy granny number two.

Today's odd/unusual/interesting/sad things along the way were:
  • Naked lady on the road stopping traffic (usually it is naked guy that we see)
  • Funeral procession waiting to enter graveyard, woman lying on filthy ground grieving
  • Jordanian UN soldiers saying "Good-job yoooou - dooo - it!" out of their giant truck/tank thing in broken English
  • Being grabbed fairly gently with two hands by a guy, turning around and watching him grab Beth too - very odd - he acted like that was a normal thing to do to a stranger - he is lucky he was not maced
  • Having a guy on a motorcycle try to convince me he needs my water more than me - I think I scared him with my death-glare
  • Many vocal protesters on our path outside the Mayors office in Tabarre - Beth grabbed our hands to hold and protect us :)
  • Two cute water boys (also known as two of our husbands) showing up at the right time with refills
  • Seeing the cute and happy fruit basket ladies on their way to market (see them most long run days -they march in a line with such purpose with their giant baskets on their heads - they ALWAYS make me smile)
  • A guy (who I assume was American or Canadian) stopped his truck to ask us if we were okay - appreciated him checking on us - very kind
We spent a lot of our run lost in our own thoughts - most of it actually. When you're physically exhausted you tend to have some really weird things come into your mind. I was listening for the umpteenth time to these lyrics ... Where there is pain, Let us bring grace. Where there is, suffering, Bring serenity. For those afraid, Let us be brave. Where there is misery, Let us bring them relief. And surely we can change - Surely we can change - Oh surely we can change Something
That song is a prayer that always causes a lump rise in my throat. Always.
I listened to that song and I played a conversation with God through my head ... you know for when I meet Him fas-a-fas (face to face).
Me - Hi Lord, I am so happy to meet you.
The LORD- Yeah, yeah. No need to be formal with me. I know your thoughts.
Me- Oh. (awkward 7 second silence) Okay then. Well, uh ... question for you.
The LORD- Right, I figured. (using His no-duh voice)
Me- Haiti ... What was that all about?

Later in the run when we did meet up we talked a lot about the Women's Program and the growth and things we need to make it better. I was thinking a lot about the birth yesterday and how differently it could have turned out - there was a bit of a scare for the midwives. I am going to write about it over at the Runner's Blog later today. I think I finally figured out how to really explain how important - scratch that - TOTALLY NECESSARY - the emergency transport vehicle is going to be. If you object to our cause. Please come read.

I used to sell tight socks for a living. (I'll just give you a minute to soak up that fabulous random tidbit.) Selling plungers would be less weird.

Selling anything at all, you learn all about "overcoming objections" - but ... selling uncomfortable socks that cost $25-35 a pair - well, that REALLY requires the ability to overcome objections. Unless of course you, the customer, have crazy bad venous and lymphatic disorders - in that case my work was easy. But I digress. The point is, I am going to overcome your objections and you are going to want to help us buy this emergency transport vehicle like you've never wanted to do anything before in your entire life.

For now, I need more ice for my throbbing gams. I guess you'll need to wait until later to be convinced.