Saturday, February 11, 2012

Running for Sherry!

Today was a day of meaningful running for me... the biggest reason? 

Most of you have heard by now the story of Sherry Arnold.  She was a devoted mother, wife, and teacher who went for a run in her small hometown in Montana and never returned home.   Two men have been arrested in connection with her disappearance and charged with aggravated kidnapping.  Apparently one of the men has admitted to killing her... unfortunately the authorities have yet to find her body.  Beth over at Shut Up and Run decided to put together a virtual run in her memory.

This story hit me like a ton of bricks when I first heard about it.  As a runner who does 99% of my runs alone, it gave me chills that this could have been me.  Since this announcement, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Sherry and pray for closure for her family.  Hopefully she can be brought home soon.

Today, we had a local 5k race, the Fanny Freezer, and many of us decided we would make this our "run for Sherry."  There were 5-6 of us who wore bibs in her memory and a few more who were running in her memory but were unable to print the bibs.

 Before the race I stepped aside to have a moment of silence and say some prayers for Sherry and her family.   I don't have many details about the race because for me this race was about remembering Sherry (and not falling on my butt).   But, I do want to mention that about 3/4 a mile into the race while lost in thoughts of Sherry I had a whoosh of "peacefulness" come over me.  It was almost like Sherry was there with me as I ran, it was very powerful.  Even though I never met her and didn't know of her before this happened, I feel a connection to her and will always remember her.

This was also a pretty meaningful run for me because it was the anniversary of my first road race!  I ran this exact race last year as my first ever race, so I was interested to see how I had improved.  Last year I ran the 5k in 30:06, this year my time was 25:06.  While it was not a PR, the conditions were less than ideal... it was FRIGID, there was snow and ice, and of course I am dealing with slight injury.   It was good enough to take second in my age group... hooray!  So, I definitely can't complain.  My shins did okay, but I did have some slight pain today, but the biggest complaints I have are my calves have totally seized up since the race and my lungs hurt SO bad for about an hour after the race, I just couldn't catch my breath!

about half way done

For my records, my splits:
mile 1 - 7:34 (WHY do I always go out way too fast?!?)
mile 2 - 8:19 (see, I died!)
mile 3 - 8:11
last .1 - 0:42 ish (somewhere around 7:00 min/mile pace)

waving at the finish

pushing to the finish

On the subject of my shins:  I went to the ortho and it was a total waste of my time.  He basically said "come back in 3 weeks if it still hurts."  Grrr!  He believes it is probably just shin splints and said a stress fracture wouldn't show on an xray at this point anyway.  So, I am taking some anti-inflammatory meds and resting this week.  Next week I will get back to training, I feel like I am going to be behind, but I may have to cut back the long runs for now depending on the shins!  The worst part of all this?  The meds I was prescribed keep me from sleeping at night, the last two nights I have been awake til nearly 6 am!!  Makes it really hard to take care of kids when you get that little of sleep!

Hope you all have a great weekend.  Did anyone else run in memory of Sherry?  I would love to hear about it and/or see your photos! 


  1. What a fantastic post! Wasn't yesterday great?!?! Congrats on your 2nd place - how awesome! I can't believe a year ago you ran it in 30 minutes - dude, I did 42:00 - you have always been fast!!! But to improve over 5 minutes in a year in a 5K is really really really impressive. Feel better, friend!

  2. Awesome job! It's amazing you shaved 5+ minutes and placed second in a year. Take care of yourself so you can keep doing it!

  3. Great job with the race and a great cause. It's a sad story and I too run alone 99% of the time and stuff like this always freaks me out...I hope they can find closure for the family too.

    Yeah - the stress fracture thing is tough. I went through the same thing. You can get an MRI and if it's a stress fracture it will show up on there, but it doesn't show on an x-ray until after it's healed. I hope the pain eases up for you. Did the doctor give you any exercises to strengthen your calves and shins?

    Take care of yourself and keep going you're doing great!