Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Big Picture

Sometimes when things aren't going well, it's good to take stock. As I embarked on this morning's 5.5 miler, I felt deep soreness I knew wasn't going away soon. Rather than focus on the discomfort, I decided my time would be better spent in the 5 a.m. darkness thinking about what I've accomplished and where I'm going.

Here's the big picture of my training to date and my half marathon race scheduled just 25 days away.

*I've run 366 miles since early June. That's the equivalent of running from Nashville to Knoxville and back or from Nashville to Greenville, SC (plus 16 miles). That's not bad.

*I'm injury free, knock on wood and break out a rosary. That wasn't the case last summer before the Virginia Beach half marathon.

*Most of my runs have gone well. Only two long runs have been duds, and I've emerged from another hot summer lighter and fitter. My resting pulse is in the high 40s, and I haven't spent Fridays making poor nutrition decisions.

*To date, we've raised $12,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with another $2,000 in corporate pledges. We may very well get to $20,000, or darn close to it.

*Through this site, we've raised tremendous awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and encouraged (successfully) many people to register on the National Marrow Donor Program. We're just starting on cord blood donation. This site has registered about 15,000 visits since its inception last June. What a blessing to have this impact.

*I've made many new friends. Great people, too. Mark, Sammie, Jessica, Stephne, Heather, Margie, the LLS staff ... the list is a long one.

*Most importantly, Dori will be with me at the October race. Last year, she was recovering from consolidation chemo and preparing for a bone marrow transplant. Certainty was not in our vocabulary. This year, I have a hot date in San Francisco.

*My faith in God has been tested, but it's stronger. I was never worried about wavering, but you do have to go through it to see what you can and should do. You look at some very dark places when you go through this battlezone called cancer. Emotions can bubble to the surface (I cried in church twice), and your wife and children are always on your mind. Whatever happens, as I said at a recent Gilda's Club meeting, I believe this brief life of ours is simply a test to earn the right to enjoy everlasting life.

Funny how the pain dissipated as I worked through these.

The run ended in 54:55, a blistering 9:59/mile pace.

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