Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hey! Shouldn't I be in Hawaii?

Well, here it is, December 9, 2012, the date I thought for years I would running the Honolulu Marathon to celebrate 10 years in remission.  And here I sit, in my home in Virginia, drinking a mug of tea and updating my blog - an increasingly rare event.  (updating my blog, not drinking hot tea.)  So what happened?

I had lofty goals for 2012, ten years after cancer.  I wanted to run the Shamrock Half Marathon and the Monument Avenue 10K.  I wanted to consider TNT again.  I had the idea of forming one of those 48 hour, 200 mile relay teams - maybe of cancer survivors - and doing a relay race.  And the crown jewel was to have been today, my 10 remission date: the Honolulu Marathon.

Ah, the best laid plans!  Well, I did the Shamrock and the Monument races, tying my personal record in the 10K to the second.  But in the process, I have caused pain that would not go away in my left knee.  I stopped running, which helped some, but didn't fix the problem.  I did PT religiously, which helped some more, but didn't fix the problem.  I did PT a lot less religously, which didn't help at all.  Even walking and hiking ends up causing some pain - but not nearly as much as running.  I dropped the idea of TNT.  I dropped the idea of a relay team.  And as the year progressed and my knee pain stayed and my bank account balance did not grow, I slowly came to terms that I would be not going to Hawaii.

I've never been to Hawaii.  I had decided that if I went, it was not going to just be for the race weekend.  I wanted to do a 10-12 day trip, culminating in the marathon.  And you know, that takes serious money, money I am not willing to borrow.  I wanted cash in the bank for this trip.  There is a lot of competition for that money.  And with the knee pain, it seemed foolhardy to try to train for and run a marathon.  And I was not willing to go to Hawaii and not run.  So since I wasn't training, I wasn't setting money aside for the trip.  If my knee had been good, I would have found a way to set the money aside, but it wasn't, so I didn't.  Therefore, my goal of being in that race today faded as the year churned by.

Instead, I celebrated 10 years remission this morning by making a donation to a friend doing Team in Training once again.  She and I were partners for much of the rainy Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage going on eight years ago.  And yesterday, I gave the mission moment to the local run team, and I walked with the walkers.  That felt really good.  It was a very small team but the typical good bunch of folks that always seems to gather to do Team in Training.

It feels a little sad not to have accomplished so many of my lofty goals this year.  Would I have done so without the knee pain?  I'll never know.  But on the whole, I am just happy to be here on God's green earth 10 years after having had cancer, and to say, for the 10th time, "Remission Accomplished!"  That is just going to have to be good enough.  But I know that later today, as the runners start moving in far-away Honolulu, I will feel a little wistful.

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