Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bouncing Back

My mother and step-father Dan recently stayed in Beersheba, our little rejuvenation corner of the world. They took some great photos of the nearby Savage Gulf State Natural Area, one of my favorite spots on this planet. Mom has given me many gifts. One of them is a deep appreciation for the outdoors.

I started this morning's Team In Training run alone before 6 because I was concerned about the heat. Most of those solo four miles were hard because of the intense humidity, but mile four was not bad.

I returned to TNT "Base Camp," where I changed my soaked shirt and socks. One experiment that helped today was to put wristbands above my ankles to stop the squishing shoes. I joined the marathoners in Centennial Park, running a one mile loop before we headed down West End to downtown and later up Music Row. At the downtown water stop, two transients who smelled strongly of alcohol asked us questions about our running. One, a 43-year-old African-American, said he was too old and too out of shape to run that far. I said, "You could do it. I know you could."

Most of the marathoners, who were running 14 miles, started pulling ahead, though I kept them within one-tenth of a mile until my turn for home after eight miles. Despite the rising heat, I felt strong. The humidity was burning off and shade protected me for much of the run. I finished 10 miles, time unknown, but the pace was probably just under 10:00/mile. I almost decided to squeeze in another mile, but decided not push it.

My takeaway: I know the month of August holds some bumps in the road, but after today's good run I feel confident the trendline is where it needs to be. Total weekly mileage: 26.1. Total since training started: 195.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society folks put together a social after the run. Dori, the kids and Pepper joined me and about 25 fellow TNT-ers. Dori was introduced with young Charlotte, who is battling ALL, and her nice family. We knew about Charlotte's fight through some friends. The runners applauded Dori and Charlotte when they were introduced, and many spoke with her afterwards, thanking her for being there. Dori said she owed them the "thank-yous" for all their hard work. Many TNT-ers have a connection to blood cancer, but others are running without a direct tie. I could tell that group appreciated seeing folks involved in the fight and recovery.

Speaking of people involved in the fight, Dori, the kids and I visited the good folks on 11 North at VUMC Thursday morning. Dori was at VUMC for her monthly check-up. First, a progress report: Dori's blood counts look good, with red blood cell counts finishing in the "normal" range for the first time in more than a year; platelets are OK, just not in confetti territory yet. The staff says that count will improve in time.

Dori groaned when she walked on 11 North. Her first sight was of a bald middle-aged woman walking the halls with her husband. Flashbacks. That changed when the nurses and staff hugged her and thanked her for coming back to say hello. It meant a lot to them to know someone they had cared for is doing well. I'm glad Dori did it.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Great news about the counts! They'll all be normal before you know it. :)