Monday, February 11, 2013

Virtual Run for Sherry Recap

Last year, a horrible incident happened in the running community. A woman named Sherry went on a run in her home state of Montana and never returned. She was murdered by two men and it took months to find out what happened to her. I read Beth's blog called Shut Up and Run (read about the run here with more details) pretty regularly and she posted about her missing cousin. Beth organized a virtual run to raise awareness and donations. I could not participate last year, because I just had surgery on my ankle. But I was not missing the 2nd Annual Run for Sherry this year planned for February 9, 2013.

And then I got sick. I was feeling down that 2012 is starting to happen all over again and it's only February. Unfortunately, I was not able to run on Saturday; however, I started to feel good on Sunday. I tested out my stomach with a quick jog in my apartment and it didn't cause any pain. So, I got my outfit on and took some pictures to send to Beth.

On a side note, I was supposed to run The Red Dress run with Keelan on Sunday, but alas, I could not only not keep up with mileage, but I could not keep up with the pace (see below).

It's hard to take this shot. Naturally, I wore my Shut Up + Run shirt to show support.
I'm so glad my room was cleaned.
This was not an easy run for me. In fact, it was slow. I decided to just run up to the little track by my apartment in case something went wrong and I needed to get back home. My run was slow, so very slow, insanely slow. But I just couldn't push myself too much. The wind hit me hard on parts, but it felt good. It was a surprisingly humid day (getting ready for the rainstorm coming in, I guess). I stopped at one point to do 25 squats on this balancer thing. I wanted to work on my abs, but I know my tummy wouldn't allow it.

So goofy, I had to include it.
I couldn't even run a mile without stopping; the walk came around 0.65 miles. I knew there was no point in getting mad at myself, so I just accepted it and moved along.

I made it to the gate at 0.80 miles and knew that it wouldn't take me 0.20 to get home. I was determined to at least run a mile. So, I ran around the short part and ended at 1.10 miles total. Did I mention how slow this was? Well, not convinced...I ran a mile in 15 minutes. That's right 15 minutes. Wow! That is just painful writing. But it's okay, I know this is a temporary setback and will get better again. I hope.

During this run, I thought about Sherry. I thought about my surroundings. I thought about how my music affects my ability to be aware. So, I turned it down (only in one ear) and I made sure to say hello to the two people I saw. They were out exercising, too. But then I started to think about Sherry saying hello to those men beforehand and it made me think about my fears. She didn't have fear and I didn't have fear saying hello to those strangers. But would I have said hello to them if they weren't obviously exercising like myself? Probably not. I am working on saying hello to more runners out there, but I'm not sure I say hello to strangers not running/walking. After knowing what happened, I'm not sure I want to either.

Since I had 15 minutes to really think, I then started to think about my fears for the year. Since 2013 didn't start out the way I hoped it would (Groundhog day anyone?), I worried about my first marathon in October. I fear that I'm going to get really sick or injured or something else causing me to miss it all together. It's really getting to me and I'm trying very hard to not let those fears creep in, but they are there.

But in the end, I was happy to get out there even if it was a less than stellar run for me. And I have to work on pushing those fears aside.

Did anyone else do the Virtual Run for Sherry? I thought I saw two runners on Saturday with their bibs, but it turned out no. And no, I didn't stalk them for a quarter mile to get a better look.

Does anyone have fears out there regarding running? Any advice?

I decided not to write a list of all the safety stuff I could do or add more details about the murder since it was done in so many posts on so many blogs. I guess some of you may not have read that and it was a fault on my part. Maybe that will be another post.


  1. I just read your link to "Shut Up and Run" blog about Sherry. How sad, and in a small town in Montana. I thought her safety tips while running were right on target. My only suggestion would be either wasp spray or have a gun in the car. Apparently, Sarah was attacked when she returned to her car. Its a dangerous world out there, and you don't have to live in a big city to experience those dangerous. My advice would be to never let your guard down.

  2. Yes, it was a shock for that to happen in a small town. I am pretty much in the ghetto where I run and some of the parks were made famous for rapes and murders, but I always keep an eye out for everyone.

  3. This story continues to haunt me. I often go out for runs at 5 or 6 in the morning with headphones when no one else is out. I think nothing of running along the Hudson River in the early morning, which is actually very dangerous! I guess I don't think about it since i) it's deserted and ii) nothing has happened to me yet. However, that's the point where something dangerous can happen. Thanks for reminding me to be more careful.

    1. Same for me, too. As I was telling my mother, I don't live in a stellar area of Houston. My parks have signs encouraging us to not run alone, especially at night. So, I'm always on alert. But I do wear both headphones at the parks only when there's lots of sunshine and people. One of the parks, I share the running path with the zoo people. THere are lots of families there on the weekend. If it's close to sun setting, then I go down to one earphone and turn the music down low.


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