Remembering Mick, a friend and great supporter of mine!
One week remains until the Las Vegas Marathon that I will be running "for Mick." Over the past few months, I have tried to prepare myself as I would for any other race, but to race the marathon is truly a new experience for me. I have coached several athletes to great success in this 26.2 mile event, but never myself. What I have learned from my athletes is that the marathon is as much "mental" as it is physical. It is a very long race if one does not have one's head on straight.
Most do not know the obstacles that I have been dealing with while trying to prepare myself for this race. My last true test in a race was the Boulder Half Ironman which ended in the Boulder Community Hospital. Training for this race, doing 99% of my runs by myself, has also made it difficult to feel confident, especially since I have been battling a cold for the past 3 weeks that has trashed any kind of consistency in my training. Emotionally, I have been "off keel" as my grandmother is in her final round in her fight against cancer. The cancer has spread, and she is on the downhill slope. With all of this going on, I have been lacking the confidence needed to attack such a race as the one that lies ahead of me.
Then, earlier tonight, I was informed that Mick “TreeKiller” Rule passed away. At the age of 54 he was an older friend, but one of my longest and greatest supporters. I can look at my history on Facebook or old messages and find countless instances of him wishing me the best or congratulating me on a race. Mick and I first met when I was asked to join a bunch of kids from Kiowa, CO, to race a 200 mile relay across Colorado. After great success, we then raced in the Green Mountain Relay where we won the 200 mile race by many hours. Mick was a driver, a runner, a coach, but most of all he was the ENERGY. Over twice our age and he was rolling, couldn’t wait to get out of the van and race and didn’t sleep if someone was running, because he wanted to support them. Mick is a husband and a father who will be missed by his family, but most importantly to me is the fact that he has been one of the greatest influences I have ever had.
All that has happened and is happening this fall is a reminder that God is in control. All the preparation and planning mean nothing without taking into account God's will. I may not understand what happens or like it, but I trust that Mick is in a better place, and that God is working in the lives of his family and in my life as well. Mick has touched many lives, and this coming weekend I make no promises about my projected time or place in the marathon, only that I will be racing for Mick! I know he would have wished me luck and congratulated me regardless of my finish. Mick, you will be missed.
Mick Rule: May 29, 1958 – November 25, 2012.