Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another Leap of Faith

Well, I'm all in! I signed up for the Shamrock Half Marathon yesterday. Now, all I have to do is finish getting over the plantar fasciitis, and start doing some serious running.

As I've written before, 2011 has been a year of minimal running, even though I did manage to get in two 10K's - the first coming off of foot surgery, the second with continuing plantar fasciitis and coming off the Komen 3-Day 60 miler. And even with the foot pain, I have done hundreds of miles of walking this year.

2012 is a big year for me - my ten year mark of surviving lymphoma. Now technically, I almost surely had cancer 10 years ago from right now. It wasn't detected until late April of 2002, but it didn't just spring up overnight. So you could say that I have already survived 10 years. Cancer survivorship is measured from diagnosis, though. That would be late May for me, because it took them a month to figure out what it was and give it a name - a specific type of Hodgkin's lymphoma. But March 18, the date of the Shamrock, is pretty close to that official 10 year point, and I wanted to make a strong statement at the start of my 10 year mark.

I was wavering. The race is 100 bucks, right at Christmas time, with my wife's birthday just two months later. Plus, I still have heel pain. Will it ever heal completely? It is a fraction, maybe 10%, of what it was in May. But how will it be after a lot of running? I was not sure I wanted to find out.

Then two nights ago, I was at an LLS function, and Kate wanted to chat. Kate is the Team in Training Coordinator. "How would you feel about doing Shamrock for us? And how would you feel emailing some local alumni and telling them that you are doing it and trying to convince them to join the team? Our recruitment is really suffering, even though the season has already started." I told Kate that it was too soon for me to fundraise, just two months after Komen, but that I had been thinking of doing the race on my own and, sure, I'll do it. I am still going to hold off on fundraising because while I could probably raise the minimum for this race, I want to do an event later for my 10 years and raise even more money. Hopefully, my note will convince some alumni to re-up once again in the battle against cancer. Maybe it will even convince you! Come on, join the team - you know you wanna! We need you!

So now, I'm all in. I have to really start running, and doing all the stuff needed to stretch and continue to get my heel to heal. Shamrock, and 10 years surviving, here I come!

Here is the note that I wrote and sent last night to over 400 TNT alumni:

Hello, Fellow TNT Alumni -I've felt for a long time that I have the luck of the Irish. Anyone who has survived cancer almost certainly feels this way. And for me, coming up on 10 years surviving Hodgkin's lymphoma this spring, I feel doubly lucky to still be on God's green earth! I could easily be pushing up shamrocks right now, but instead of pushing 'em up, I plan on running for the shamrocks! That right - my plans are to run the Shamrock Half Marathon on March 18, so close by in Virginia Beach. I've had a rough year with foot surgery in January, and then severe plantar fasciitis in the same foot in April, and I am still trying to get past that to see if my foot will hold up enough to run the race. But I am hopeful, having gotten my foot to the point of being able to walk nearly 60 miles in September for the cause of fighting breast cancer in memory of my sister Ann.

As a fellow alum of Team In Training, I am asking you to join me for the race, and fundraise for the cause of ending incurable blood cancers. I know that a lot of people associate TNT with heavy-duty fundraising, and that can happen if you are doing the West Coast or Alaska. But the Shamrock doesn't fit that category - it is a local race, and you are not going to find a sweeter deal to do an amazing TNT event for a very reasonable fundraising minimum: just $1,250 for alumni such as yourself. As alums, you already know the great fun, camaraderie, sense of accomplishment, and mission of TNT. Now, combine that with Irish stew, people decked out in green, cold beer, and Coach Bob dressed up as a leprechaun! What more can one ask for? So what do you say? Are you ready to Train, Endure, Achieve, and Matter once more?

Ten years ago from right now, I certainly had cancer growing in my body, but I had no idea. I was living my life, going to work, feeling completely healthy. Cancer would not have crossed my mind, not even as an afterthought. Just months later, I was in the fight of my life, facing all kinds of weird things and consequences that were all new to me, and quite often amazingly miserable to boot. My life has never been the same, even though I have been fully healthy for all these years now. I try to give thanks for surviving almost every day, while at the same time mourning my friend Judy, who died from myeloma last January, and my sister Ann, who died in May from breast cancer.

With a decade of surviving cancer ccoming up shortly, I want to start my celebration of living strong these last ten years by running the Shamrock Half, foot willing. I hope you will join me and Team Richmond again, to fight cancer and save lives! The team and cause need you! Sign up TODAY by calling Kate at the Richmond office (xxx) or by email at xxx. Thanks for all you have done for this cause, and I hope to see you wearing purple in Virginia Beach in March!

Go Team!

1 comment:

TNTcoach Ken said...

It's those leaps that continue to make you who you are. Congrats and 'Go Team'.