When my brother ran the Philly Marathon back in November, he told his friend Steve and I that at mile 24, he felt tired and that he was at an “anaerobic deficit” but then remembered his training and kept on going. I think he said he even felt a little bit stronger toward the end. (I later found out that some of his speed training consisted of running 2 miles at a clip, 5 times in a row, (that’s 10 miles total for those of you that are counting) and that the goal was to keep running each of those repeats, faster than his actual marathon-race pace.) Ok, I’ve already told you his race pace is around 6:30-6:40 something. So, now try to imagine doing that in repeats, but FASTER. Yeah, I’d be dead on the ground after about the first quarter mile, if I even got that far at that pace. My little legs just don’t go that fast!

By the way, Steve and I asked Jamie what he meant by “anaerobic deficit.” (I’m not even sure if I am spelling that correctly or not but I hope you get the point.) He said, it’s kind of like “you’re so far in the deficit of oxygen intake that anything that runs across your path looks good.”  We were like, “even that squirrel?!” and he said, “yeah kind of like that!” (Those of you who know Jamie can appreciate his sense of humor and can probably even picture the way he said it.)

The day before, I went to visit my grandmother’s gravesite, which is located a little bit over an hour from Philly. I try to visit it once a year, but since I had made the extra trip last year to watch him run, it was the second time in a few months.   I’ve never told Jamie this, but before I left, I asked her if she could give Jamie a little extra push the next day, and if she could watch out over him. I really think that at mile 24, she looked down, saw he needed a little bit of help and did give him that “push.” (Thanks, Grandma – you always did take great care of us.)

I think it’s quite appropriate that she’s in a place called Hope Cemetery. I’m writing about this today because it was 6 years ago this past Sunday, April 6th, that she died. She was always happy to watch Jamie run in his cross-country races in college. I think she’d be quite proud of all that he’s accomplished since he started running again.  She was always so supportive of us, I’m sure she’d even be proud of me, the person running in the middle of the pack. We didn’t have to come in first for her to be proud of us.