22 June 2009

Marathon Training | Week 3

This is technically the beginning of week four, but I missed the first week for Kateapalooza, so for me (and for you) this is week three. And it was an important week, because it made it more personal for me.

Saturday 20 June 2009

We ran in Sausalito, which meant showing up across the bridge an hour earlier. Still, there were about 100 people there. There were 3 running options: 3, 4, or 5 miles. I opted to do 4, because I did 3 twice last week. I don't always think I'll add a mile per week, but I felt ambitious.

The path was mostly beautiful, although there were parts that went through some industrial storage areas. Our path was marked with flour sprayed from a water bottle. I wish I had a camera along. It really was a genius idea.

I'm always nervous when I first start a run. I'm afraid I'm going to be the first to have to walk, or that I'll hit some kind of wall, and just not be able to continue. My fear isn't based on any real event or in any sense of embarrassment. I'm just nervous for at least the first half mile. This Saturday was no different, and I stayed at the back of the pack. I'm not fast, and I don't like to be in the way, so I start myself in the back and eventually (as I get into a rhythm, and as others start walking) I end up in the middle. I do my best not to walk at all, so I can say "I ran four miles," without asterisks or footnotes.

There was an Honoree Brunch after the Saturday run. Each group brought part of the meal and the end result was a feast. I could have gotten my camera then, but dove into the blueberries instead. I ate myself into a fruit coma and was presented with even more motivation.

I heard from a single mother diagnosed with lymphoma in 2004. She went into remission, but was re diagnosed in 2006. She was hospitalized at Stanford, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society reimbursed her family for the costs of traveling to see her.

My team won a trivia game. My prize was a nalgene bottle.

Another woman was 9 months pregnant when she was diagnosed. She was treated with a drug that only targeted her bad cells. She thanked us for training and raising money, saying her family's life would be a lot different if not for the work of the LLS.

Another woman was just diagnosed a year ago. She's been in remission for eight months, and she's on my team. She's training to run / walk the half in October. She thanked us for just being there, and helping her get active again.

Another honoree didn't know he was sick until it was really close to being too late. He trained for his third marathon and had what he called a really poor showing. When it was over, he and some friends went to Spain and then to England. He said one day he woke up with a second chin. He went to what he described as the worst hospital in the world and they told him it was the measles. He couldn't swallow even water, but they sent him home. He developed a third chin, and they said the same thing, but took some blood as a precaution.

The following day a doctor called and told him to report to the 5th floor of the worst hospital in the world. On the 5th floor he saw a pediatrics ward, a geriatrics ward, and an oncology ward. He said that's what told him he had cancer. And he fell to his knees and cried. Within a month he was back in the United States, treated, and training for his next marathon. He says the key was the type of chemo used. I don't remember the name, but it didn't cause hair loss, didn't
cause nausea, and was created through research funded in part by the LLS.

There was nothing overly dramatic in any of the story telling. It was more that these people were there, and for every one of them there's someone who isn't. The leukemia survival rate is 49%. In the 40's, it was 0.

Someone told me that someone told her that Team in Training is a scam, that the money doesn't all go to cancer research. I can see where some who don't listen can get confused. The money I raise (from you) does not all go to funding a cure. Some of it goes toward finding new drugs, or new forms of chemotherapy, or even to getting someone's
family to visit them. It goes to people, and to help people. And it's working - for all but 51% of the people diagnosed with leukemia.

Please donate.

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