Being that apologies via the blog are all the rage right now (Mark Cuban’s, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, apology to K-Mart’s, Power Forward for the Denver Nuggets, mom) I would like to apologize to my readers because this blog you are about to read isn’t what you might expect and it isn’t the blog I wanted to write. So please bear with me for a minute or two while I complain. Two weeks ago I wrote about how running has changed me. How I was so excited to run in a half-marathon here in Guatemala. Well, shortly after I jotted my last blog, the half-marathon was canceled. Why? Swine flu. Wow! Swine flu must be really bad down there, you may be thinking. Well, in Guatemala there has been one case and that was about a month ago. Did you notice the “has” and the “one.” They both indicate singular and the “has” indicates past tense. So why cancel the race? I know that the swine flu isn’t something to joke about, but I think the Guatemalan government over reacted by canceling the race.
I want to look at some international happenings really quickly. Mexico, the nation that had it the worst, allowed its fine people to start attending soccer games the same week Guatemala canceled my race. Maybe Guatemala just cares more about its people. I doubt it. If you’ve been following the world news you might know that President Alvaro Colom is in trouble for the suspicious death of a lawyer. I’d say more but I don’t want to end up missing. (Just google search Alvaro Colom and you can find out more for yourself.) So how does this connect with the cancellation of the race? Well, they said they canceled it because they did not want to allow large gatherings. I mean a thousand or so people were going to run the race, many from other countries, all gathering at once could cause a pandemic. That could explain the cancellation except for the fact the government paid 30,000 people to rally their support for Colom and then they allowed another 30,000 to protest him. The government allowing 60,000 people to gather on the same day my race was scheduled to be doesn’t make me think they really care for their people. But maybe they all were safe because they’d bought hand sanitizer and masks. I guess you can’t quiet run in a mask, so I just wouldn’t have been safe.
I wanted to write a blog today about how the race went, all the sights I saw, how my legs kept pumping even after my mind said stop. Instead I spent my day writing a test and watching the Lakers bumble past the Rockets. (Boring!) I guess you could say I’m slightly depressed. I don’t think I’ve trained so hard for anything and then just to have it ripped away at the last moment really sucks. But aren’t there other races you could run in the states? I know you’re asking that right now. Yes there are. There is actually one on the 14 of June, but it’s not the same. I just trained for 12 weeks to run this race in Coban. Coban is eight hours away and a beautiful place, from what I’ve been told. Part of running there was being able to visit a new part of the country I live in. I can’t say that about the race in Denver. And with all of the training I put in I feel like I should be able to race now. I’m going to lose a toenail and I lost ten pounds while training (okay my intestinal infection helped with that). But it’s just a race. I think I can read your minds now. It’s not just about the race though. I never thought I would run a half-marathon until Yasi, my school’s secretary, convinced me to run with her. Yasi is probably the most helpful person in the world and loves to run more than I do. All of the races in the states wont have my training partner in them, she’s got to stay with her husband and kid in Guatemala. I don’t want to run alone.
The moment I found out that the race was canceled I felt awful. I can only relate it to what it feels like to end a relationship. My blood, sweat (gallons), and other bodily stuff were lost to this race only for it to be torn away from me. I’m still very mad about it being canceled and it doesn’t help that I should have run the race today. Instead I went to the gym this morning and ran seven miles on the treadmill. Lame. I wanted to achieve the goal I worked so hard to attain. Now I have to say, maybe next year. But maybe I need to look at what good things training for this race led to. I’m in the best shape of my life; I keep on being able to say that because I keep on getting in better shape. Training for it gave me an outlet for the stress of teaching 12 year olds. And lastly I’ve made friends because of this race. Along with Yasi, I’ve gone running with a couple other people and now when I go to the gym I can have small conversations with them in Spanish. The race may have been canceled but it has opened my world here in Xela. I guess that’s a good thing and I’ll just have to be patient and see where God takes this.