Tuesday, March 31, 2009


With a blog name like Running Into Life, I expected to be writing more about my running activities and less about life. At least until that phone call that changed so much back on March 20th. This has been one time when life has smacked me around hard--and as bad as my family has been hurt, we didn't get the worst of it. I think this is going to haunt me for some time. However, life goes on for the rest of us--and that is something I would expect Allison would be first to tell us. It is certainly something that Allison's parents have let my daughter know.

I had planned to attend the Lone Star Triathlon in Galveston this coming weekend to cheer on some friends, but I have since decided that I will not be doing so. I will spend the time closer to home with friends and family locally. I have also signed up for a local race, the Muddy Trails 5K, which is on April 4th. This race will also by run by a number of friends locally. After that, I can turn my attention to preparing for the CB&I Triathlon in The Woodlands in early May and the Hog's Hunt 25K Trail Run in Huntsville, TX in mid-May.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This has been a tough week for us and I will put aside my various training comments to engage in a bit of self-therapy and recognition.

Last Friday, around 7PM, while travelling to the Houston Rodeo to see the Taylor Swift concert, my daughter and her friend Allison were involved in a terrible collision--while stopped in traffic my daughter's Chevrolet Impala was struck from behind by a Ford F-250 pickup truck at a high speed (I have been told that the on site officer said over 55 mph and the wrecker driver believed it was more like at least 80 mph, although I only really learned the extent of the damage late the following day). The damage was extensive, the rear end of the car no longer exists, the trunk was crushed and pushed into the back seat, and the back seat pushed up and against the front seat. My daughter walked away from the vehicle badly shaken up and with no real injuries. However, Allison was knocked unconscious and transported to the hospital.

My wife and I, plus Allison's parents shortly thereafter, met up with Amanda at the hospital about 8:30 PM. [We would later have to take Amanda to another hospital to be seen more quickly, since she was not considered to be seriously injured she was placed at the back of the busy ER line after being ignored for several hours by the ER staff.] For the next several hours we were given isolated bits of information while Allison was scanned, examined, etc..., and we waited anxiously for real news. Given my daughter's condition, we were not expecting, nor were we prepared for the news regarding the severity of Allison's injuries. Going into detail beyond this is too painful, but suffice it to say she was in a deep coma and never woke up. Less than 24 hours later she was gone.

I wish to honor Allison here by letting everyone who reads this know that she was a great girl, who became a wonderful young woman during the years she was one of my daughter's best friends, and was a friend of the whole family. I suppose one of the best things that I can say about her is that she is the person you want your children to be friends with. Many people say wonderful things about people after their passing, but in Allison's case none of the stories are exaggerated, she really was that good!

I am sure she would appreciate that at least five patients have received her organs and will hopefully go on to lead full lives due to her passing. I know that she would be happy to know that Amanda survived relatively uninjured (even though Amanda has had a tough time reconciling guilt over being the survivor, and I am having trouble reconciling how I get to take my daughter home while Allison will never go home again).

Allison's story was the subject of this front page article in the local newspaper: http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2009/03/23/conroe_courier/news/fatal0323.txt
I really appreciated that her family took steps not to name my daughter to protect her from attention in this tough time. Her family has been so wonderful to mine, and they have gone to great length to make sure Amanda is going to be fine, I can see that Allison learned her strength of character from some very fine parents.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Fever 5K

The Spring Fever 5K is a very nice local event in The Woodlands [very local, as in 3 miles from my house!]. It is a generally well-run event that goes through a very nice neighborhood locally.

This year it seemed that the event was a little smaller. In truth although the were about 100 fewer runners than in 2007, there were still about 60 runners more than in 2008 (when the race conflicted with another popular Houston area race). So, I can't really say whether it really was smaller, or just seemed that way.

The course is a mostly-flat circle, ending at the same park where it started. They had water stops at mile 1.0 and mile 2.0, which were well-manned and well-operated. My only real complaint is that the weather was 15-20 degrees higher than I would have liked on an unseasonably warm morning.

This being my third year to run this particular event, I was looking to set a new PR. My 5K PR time was set at this same race last year in 33:19. This year I cut over 2 minutes off of last year's time with my run of 31:09 (not to mention trimming more than 7 1/2 minutes from 2007's time of 38:45 in this race); meaning I not only set a new PR, but I am now in definite striking range of reaching my long-term goal of going under 30 minutes in the 5K!

To round out the event experience, I won a $25 gift certificate in a post-race drawing to my local running store, Luke's Locker! (A nice surprise since I pretty much never win anything!) Best of all my nephew, William, finished 3rd boy in the kids 1 mile race!