Thursday, June 28, 2007

Running time is my time right now

Since Dori was diagnosed with leukemia nine days ago, which seems like a few moons ago, I have had precious little time to myself. I've either been at the hospital, with the kids, cleaning or running errands, on the phone with our friends, or answering e-mails.

The good news is I am equipped for this. Through my faith, military training, good health and good parenting, I'm focused on one mission - seeing Dori to remission and a cure. This blog and CaringBridge have been as therapeutic as some of the wonderful phone calls I've had with friends. My training runs for the upcoming Virginia Beach Half Marathon have been equally as therapeutic.

My run today was 10 miles. I was going to go eight, but I saw Dori get on the bike for her 20-minute ride. She pushed herself, however, to 29 minutes - all with a mask on, breathing her own hot, foggy breath. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. When I went to see her with the kids this afternoon, she was back on the bike for another 15-minute ride. She said if this is what it takes to get better, she will do it.

I hopped on the treadmill at the Green Hills Y today feeling good. After four miles, however, I started to tire. Damn. I had brought an energy gel, but had intended to use it at mile six or seven. Oh, well, I figured ... down the hatch a little early and see how far you can go.

I averted my eyes from the mile and time indicators on the treadmill, and actually switched them off. I cranked up the iPod and heard some great "Dori" tunes, like my favorite - Right Down the Line by Gerry Rafferty - and Got a Hold on Me by Christine McVie. Good running songs. When I checked the indicators again, I was at 8.25 miles. "Good job!" I said to myself.

Even though I was on fumes, I had a little drill sergeant talk with myself and said I will go 10 and I will finish strong. My last two miles were faster, and I even sprinted the last half mile to ensure I ran under a 9:00 pace. Final time: 1:29:59 and I wasn't wheezing after the run. My pulse hit 165 at the end, but was back at 126 one minute after the run. I'm sore and tired, but pleased. Treadmill runs are easier runs, but I feel like I'm not far off from a good half marathon if I stay on it.

Yesterday, I did some strength conditioning. I hadn't lifted or done sit-ups in two weeks, but did OK, especially on stomach stuff. Hamstring and legwork was tough, but I'm glad I did it. About six weeks ago, when life was a lot simpler, the gals at the Donelson Y, Suzanne and Harriet, gave me some new training exercises. These have helped me significantly, leading to better times and quicker recovery. Glad I listened to them.

Please say some more prayers for Dori and all leukemia patients. Ask them to get strength from the Lord.


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