This site is kept in loving memory of Trish Reske, who passed in October of 2021.
Trish was a writer - this site captures a bit of her incredible sense of humor.
You can read Trish's full obituary here.

Ready to Fight

Feeling Victoriously Joyful

Feeling Deliriously Victorious

 “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”   2 Timothy 4:7

Sometimes, just when you least expect it, you meet someone who changes the way you see life. You can’t plan it. It just happens. It happened to me the past October, at the Newport Breakers Marathon in Newport, RI.
I choose the marathon for lots of reasons:  It was a relatively small field of runners, the course covered many scenic landmarks, including downtown Newport, the Bellevue Avenue mansions, and sweeping ocean views, and it happened to be on a weekend I could get away by myself. I didn’t have any specific finishing time goal, since I had already qualified for Boston in last year’s BayState Marathon, but I thought it might be fun to try to qualify for 2010. But I wasn’t going to push it.
Then I walked into to the pre-race pasta dinner at the Atlantic Beach Club the night before and walked out a different person.
It started with Adrienne. Not knowing a single soul when I arrived, I wandered over with my plate of bow-tie pasta and salad to a table of runners. Turns out I picked a table with elite athletes, their coach, Mike Barnow and his partner Adrienne Wald of the Westchester Track Club. I started to make conversation, but what do you say to Kassahun Kabiso, who went on to take first place the next day with a time of 2:29:50? “How’s the pasta?”
They were a great group of athletes, and Adrienne befriended me immediately. She a “mature” runner like myself, but like all spirited runners, she exuded enthusiasm that made her seem years younger. She asked what my time goal was for the race. I told her I thought maybe I’d try to run a qualifying time.
“MAYBE?” she said. “What did you do Boston in last year? 4:10? You’ve got this race, girl! Boston is much harder. I’m going to look you up and congratulate you when you qualify.”
Adrienne was my cheerleader. She was amazing.
The race organizer was Don Allison, Editor-in-chief or, publisher of UltraRunning Magazine, author of the Ultrarunning book, “A Step Beyond, ”and a lifelong runner and enthusiast. Don had invited elite world-class runner Patti Catalano Dillon to the dinner, who had made her running debut by winning her first marathon at Newport in 1976. She went on to set the women’s American record for almost every distance in the 1980s, and was the first woman to break 2:30 in the marathon.  The Newport marathon was close to her heart, and she went on to win four more years and set a course record of 2:33:31 in 1981. She was recently inducted into the National Distance Hall of Fame.
At the time, I didn’t know all of that about Patti. If I had, I may have just shook her hand and asked for an autograph. But, being the chatty person I am, I moved to the table where Patti and her two kids were sitting, along with Don, his wife and his sister.  I listened to the stories Patti told, not just about running, but about kids and homeschooling and pets. Mom stuff. Her two children were absolutely a pleasure to speak with.
Patti was so easy to talk to. Her passion and enthusiasm was infectious.  At one point, she was telling a story about setting a new record, yet being in the moment, just wanting to beat the guy that was running neck and neck with her. Summing up the story, she said something that I will never, ever forget:
“If you want something bad enough, you have to fight for it.”
Those words hit me out of nowhere, and have stayed with me to this day. They made me think. How many times have I tried something halfheartedly? Or set self-imposed limits? Or settled for “good enough” Or maybe been afraid to try? Maybe I didn’t want it bad enough.
How badly do you want something in your life? Are you willing to fight, really fight for it? It could be winning a race or setting a PR, sure. But what about other areas in your life that requires a fighting spirit? It could be fighting financial difficulty.  Tackling a terminal illness. Saving your marriage. Overcoming an addiction. How different would your life be tomorrow if you gave it your best fight today?
Let’s just say after that night, as I headed back to my room, I knew I couldn’t just “go out there and run” the marathon the next day. I was way too inspired. So I decided to qualify and more.
As it turned out, it was my best marathon ever. I sailed along, enjoying the gorgeous scenery, making some friends along the way, checking my pacing wristband, focused on my goal of qualifying.  I was ten minutes ahead of making my goal halfway into the race.
Then came the hills. The really big ones, starting at mile 17, with the steepest at Mile 25. I knew they were coming. On another day I would have slowed down. After all, I had 10 minutes in the bank.
But instead I decided to fight. I wasn’t going to slow down, even on the hills. I pushed up those hills, determined. I wanted to give it my all, not just my some. I’ve never done that in a marathon before. It was hard. But it felt good.
I crossed the finish line in 3:50:40, a new PR, placing 14th in my division with an 8:36 minute mile average. I had achieved something I didn’t even know I had in me. It was thrilling. And it gave me the confidence that I could experience victory in other areas of my life. I just had to want it bad enough to fight for it.

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