6 miles for Granddad Mills

My sweet granddad passed away very early this morning.

I woke up to a text message that relayed the news. I had known that message would be coming at any moment. Luckily, my uncle alerted us yesterday that his time was near, and I was able to say my goodbyes to him over the phone as he slept peacefully. Who knows if he actually heard me, but I like to believe that he did.

So this morning, I cried in my bed. I cried in the shower. I even cried a little at my desk, when no one at work could see my crumpled face. I was a very sad girl all day.

The six-mile run on my marathon training plan was just about the last thing I wanted to do tonight. I intended, instead, on crawling into bed and attempting to sleep for about three days straight.

But when I got off the bus and walked the few blocks back to my house, I realized what a beautiful evening it was, and thought that maybe a good run would make me feel better. A few minutes later, I quickly changed into my running clothes, grabbed my fuel belt and slammed a chocolate Clif Shot before I could change my mind.

You guys, this run was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.

Although I started out feeling sluggish, my pace picked up… and up… and up… and I achieved negative splits for each mile. It was one of those super-sweaty, soul-cleansing runs.

I thought about the choice I had made. One of my options was to mourn my granddad’s death by crawling into bed and crying, which would have made me feel very sad and small. The other option was to throw down six miles in celebration of his life, which made me feel strong and happy.

I’m very glad I chose to be strong and happy.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s perfectly fine to mourn, and I’ve spent my fair share of time feeling sick with sadness as I watched my granddad’s health decline over the past few years. I’m sad as I write this, and I’ll be sad about his passing for a long time.

But while his life ended this morning, mine goes on. He would want me to enjoy living it.

My granddad rocked his time on this planet for 92 years. I intend to keep on rocking mine in honor of him.

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