December 10, 2008

Four Weeks and Counting

It’s been a bit insane here the last few days. I’m hoping for things to calm down… soon.

Last night I saw my friend, Joan. We were at a school function/fundraiser at a local store and she was there with her husband.

I immediately showed her my wristband, as I always do, the one I wear with her name on it. I’ve written before that I keep her name on my wrist.

It has saved me.

My wristband is very worn now, it is cracking and the snap is rusted. I’ve worn it nearly every day since I started training in August. The Team in Training logo is nearly worn off now and I’ve had to rewrite her name in Sharpie no less than 10 times… as of now it’s in blue and seems to stay better than the black did.

I had thought in the beginning I’d create a new one before the race, but now I know that this is the one I’ll wear… it’s been through training with me and it will go the 26.2.

Anyway, I told her last night, that there are times I only function through training because of her… that I think to myself, “Joan was never able to say, ‘I feel like crap today, I’m skipping chemo’. She never had that option…” and I went through my mental steps of “Joan never had the option to skip chemo because…”

She was laughing, I was clowning, but serious, because it’s all true, and her husband, a big bear of a guy with a wonderful heart, watched and then started to tear up.

I had not paid attention to the fact, she endured it, but he watched it. He’s still living it. He’s been with his wife through cancer THREE times.

That is no longer lost on me…

Meanwhile, I dropped my mileage time today down to 12:30 per mile which is a full minute off my race time. The entire thing sucked and had no redeeming qualities and I can only hope that tomorrow morning’s will be better because as of now I’m dreading it…

There was a man at the race on Sunday that had a t-shirt I want… it is my motto:

“If you think running a marathon is hard, try chemotherapy”.

Four more weeks. I’m nervous, and still injured and am having to take care. I’m taped AGAIN as he doesn’t want me to do 20 on Saturday not taped and this race did cause some inflammation.

Joan is talking about coming to watch my girlfriend and I run. I'm running for her... she's in remission, and she's thinking of driving 2.5 hours for me? It makes me want to cry.

I don’t want to fail her… I don’t want my body to fail.

I guess that’s what’s mainly on my mind…

Posted by Boudicca at December 10, 2008 11:04 PM | TrackBack

The fact that you've done all this training, that you have her name on your wrist, that you're prepared to give this thing a go ... I'd say you've already succeeded. May we all at some stage in our lives have such a good friend.

Posted by: Amanda at December 11, 2008 06:20 AM

Well, thanks for the tear induced endorphins... Amanda is spot on. Bou, you cannot fail your friend, because you have already delivered far more than you know. The race will simply be the icing on the cake - but know that your support has meant the world to her. And I am not surprised that you touched her husband. To me it seems harder to stand by and watch someone you love go through tough things. We would rather switch places anyday.

You should also know that you have inspired us, your readers. Your commitment and drive to do this wonderful thing, with so much pain and sacrifice that is absolutely not required of you, is an example of truly living up to your potential as a person. Would that we all were so brave and committed.

Posted by: jck at December 11, 2008 08:29 AM

Exactly what jck said. She is thinking of coming to cheer you on because you have cheered her on. Like us, she believes in you!

Posted by: oddybobo at December 11, 2008 09:41 AM

I don't know why I'm struggling so much emotionally with all this lately. The ups and downs perhaps... the fact I'm taped AGAIN and am realizing I need to really watch it because the goal is to COMPLETE this FOR HER, not reach a personal goal for me... its not about my time, but doing this for her.

I guess its about perspective. I'm so damn goal driven and competitive and I have watched the race tape and looked at various photos provided to me, and thought of every mile and what sucked and what didn't, and have been concentrating on faster, better, harder... and seeing her and her husband, and being taped AGAIN, kind of put it back where it belongs.

Its not about me but about completing for her. I can set goal times the next go round... if I can keep doing this.

But I've been struggling with them... Joan and her husband... and all they've been through.

I'm in my running clothes now. I've got to do 65 minutes on the pavement today and its humid and windy and warm and my calf is twitchy and achy and it would be so easy to say, "I'm just going to skip today", but I'm also looking at her name on my wrist thinking, "Joan never said, "its warm, humid, and windy today. I feel kind of crappy... I'll skip chemo.'" And so I'll go.

I'm off to start pounding in 5 minutes... and maybe a good run will help me work through all this shit in my head. The first 40 minutes always sucks as it hurts every step, but the last 25 minutes should be good for processing.

I just feel... heavy. Hearted. I guess.

And thank you for what y'all have said. Its not lost on me and I thank you...

Posted by: Bou at December 11, 2008 09:50 AM

You are a rock, Bou. Amazingly tough.

Posted by: Richmond at December 11, 2008 02:54 PM