If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
'Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
Time. Something I rarely think about when I'm running ... other than if I have enough time to get in as much run as I can before I have to go to work or clean the house or whatever other chore is on the list. Not thinking about time allows me to enjoy just being. Unfortunately, when I am actually in a race not thinking about time can be detrimental. After all, the point of a race is to compete against the clock, mostly to try to reach a goal I have set for myself.
A little over two weeks ago I ran the Rock The Ridge 50 Miler, a benefit for the Mohonk Preserve. I had been wanting to do this event for a couple of years now and this year decided to go for it. The pictures of the area struck me as stunning and with the terrain that the course is held on (carriage roads) I had hoped to run a reasonably fast 50 miler (fast in my world). I did have a fun time and I did reach my goal of running sub-10 hours, but in the process I did remember how stressful it is for me to run against the clock. Because I was focusing on the time I didn't really take in the beauty of the area, one of the major reasons I had wanted to run this race. And Joe was not with me, as he had his own race to run in Salamanca that day. I never have as much fun when he's not there. So despite my "fast" run, the day just seemed long. Very long and hard.
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you
But time doesn't always move so slow. And the reality is, there is not always enough time. And sometimes you have to pay attention to time; there are times when this is absolutely crucial. And the days after my race never made me realize this more. I debated whether to tell this story but if only one person reads this and it makes a difference, then I guess it was a good thing to tell.
My husband Joe is a runner. He golfs, mows the lawn, plows snow, and is just generally a very active person. And Joe had a stroke. Now there are ads all over television about smoking and its consequences. I don't think you can get through a 30 minute television show without seeing at least one of the stop smoking ads. I have never seen a single television advertisement on the signs to look out for if someone is having a stroke. There is a single radio ad that I hear only at night when I am driving home from work about the importance of time and getting someone you think is having a stroke to treatment. But that is the only time I hear this ad ... after 11pm when I am driving home. But this is important information and people need to know that TIME is so very very important. It can make a difference in possible treatments and the quality of outcome for the person.
Fortunately Joe was very lucky. But he did not know the signs of stroke and when his symptoms started I was at work. When I did notice what was happening we got straight to the hospital so that testing and treatment could get started.
Joe is doing very well now and finished The Rat Snake 18K trail run just 9 days after the stroke. He is an amazement. Some may question if running a hilly 18K trail run was a wise thing to do after having a stroke. But the reality is, why not? You never know what time will deal you; use your time doing what you love. I ran the run with my sister, her longest run ever. It was all time well spent.
I don't want to get preachy, but when Joe said he did not know what was happening to him, that he didn't realize he was having an emergency, it made me realize that I take my medical knowledge for granted. Some of what I think is common knowledge is not. So if you get nothing more out of this post, please take note of the signs to watch out for if you think someone is having a stroke. And don't hesitate to get straight to the EMERGENCY ROOM. Every minute counts.
F - Face. Is the person's face symmetrical? Is one side drooping or not moving the same as the other side?
A - Arms. Can the person move both arms equally? Is the grip strength equal in both hands?
S - Speech. Is the person's speech slurred?
T - TIME. Seek EMERGENCY medical attention immediately. Call 911.
So we will continue to do the things that we love to do. I don't feel the urgency of the clock in terms of running/racing finishing time; I feel the time urgency to enjoy as much as I can in the time that I have.
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you
- Time In A Bottle, Jim Croce