Like any new concept a teacher learns, running has quite a few of them as well. First there is the right type of running shoe and not just one but many. You must be fitted for the proper shoe. This determines how you run and what your feet are doing while you run. I know, I said the same thing..huh?? Then comes the proper clothing ( don't get me started). My apparel is quite colorful and extensive. Back to school shopping consisted of running skirts and new running shoes. Then you begin to ask questions or hear words like volume, which means how many miles a week one runs when you start increasing your distance. Then there's "the long run", that dreaded long run which boosts endurance and prepare your muscles for the challenges ahead. Here's a new term for me, LT (lactate threshold) or the point at which you start accumulating more lactic acid in your bloodstream that can be used as fuel. Of course tempo runs, intervals and repeats are ways to raise your LT. Hydration is key to your training and so is proper diet. Carbohydrates become your very best friend and you will learn to appreciate them very fast. Power foods like oranges, bananas and pretzels are your go to snacks. You can never have enough water as your body begins to crave it. How can this language have such rich vocabulary? Well, its the same in my classroom. The rich vocabulary that I need to teach my students in order for them to be successful is no different than the vocabulary I need to learn to be a better runner. But like anything new one tries, there will be setbacks. You begin to lose toenails, blisters appear, face breaks out around your mouth area, stretching is your new past time event when watching T.V. and that foam roller is your new best friend. But let's not forget to mention the amount of food you eat when you run like this. It's a bit frightening and a little out of control. Its the same in my classroom when a strategies does not work or the students do not seem to grasp the concept. We practice again and again and that can be a little frustrating. But you never give up and keep trying new things. I have learned so much these past nine months and the language of running will forever stay with me!
But ironically, when I began running nine months ago, my sister, who had been a runner for a couple of years, heard about my new language and family. I invited her to join our family and she did! She has been running with the club and has loved every minute of it! So here we are, nine months later, running our first full marathon in 1 week in Ft. Worth, Texas. I never imagined that this would have happened in such a short time but I'm thankful that it did. We will run side by side, give each other a hug and wish each other good luck. Talk and pray to our god when times get tough. We will think about our families both at home and at work. We will think about our students and our patients what more we can do for them. We will nourish our bodies along the way thanking god for this glorious opportunity. Our eyes focused straight ahead, listening to our breathing, singing our cadence in our head and checking our Garmins from time to time to be sure our pace is on track. We will give each other cues along the way, a thumbs up or down, a certain look, a nod to check how we are doing. These little gestures will keep us going and give us hope!
So I dedicate this story to my family who I love dearly and for all the times I have been away and supported me through this kind of training (and there were many). To my WRC family, my coaches, new friends, who have taught me this "new language" of running and have inspired me in so many ways. Your friendships I honor and respect. To those who have been on this marathon journey or soon will be. Your support means the world to me! Lastly to my sister Dina Hernandez, who I love to the moon and back. Your support and love I hold dear to my heart! Love you to pieces. Our friends and family will be waiting for us at the finish line and we will look forward to that day! I heard a quote not to long ago about this kind of running so I would like to end my story with this quote and my favorite bible verse. "In the end a runner will run 20 miles of hope and 6 miles of reality when it all comes down to it". Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".