- setting a goal
- getting nervous
- finding excuses
- backing down, and
- ultimately disappointing ourselves.
For instance, while we love Grand Rapids...our weekend jaunt there to celebrate Moira's completion of chemotherapy was originally a week-long trip to New York via air travel. It became a week-long road trip. Then a road trip to DC instead, for only 4 days. Then, maybe Chicago....you catch my drift.
Some of this was created by the residual effect of Moira having been out of work (thanks, Dataspace...ARRGGHH). Ahem. Well, thanks to getDowntown, that isn’t an issue anymore! Regardless of the reason, it is time to stop making excuses and start making plans. I'm taking decisive action. First off, I am going to join a group of new friends from the cancer fighting community here in Ann Arbor and run a half marathon in New Orleans, with Moira in support, in February. We will be raising money to celebrate and support the Wellness Community of Southeast Michigan.
For my newer readers, I'll just recap quickly by stating that the Wellness Community is a network of non-profit cancer support organizations that provide free counseling, education, groups, and resources for cancer fighters like Moira and helpers like me. More on this later...I'll need your help (and if you can spare a few bucks, your generosity). This is a valuable organization that made a world of difference for us. I have some personal anecdotes from our Wellness Community experience that I'm saving for a new "profiles" feature I'll be adding to the website I'm building for this effort. Stay tuned.
Yeah, about that website. I was able to register a great domain name that really captures the fun and enthusiasm of what Moira and I have planned, and is super easy to spell, find, and remember. It isn't live just yet (look in a few days, I'll post a new entry for the introduction), but the addy for the Branigan cancer fighting website will be:
Now, on to the real running. I have my first real 10k this weekend. I'm feeling pretty good about it, I think, although my last training run was a little slower than I would have liked. It is so tough to stay quick running on your own. Listening to books on tape doesn't help either. What do you guys listen to when you exercise to keep the energy level high? It isn't that I couldn't run quicker...I just didn't, and didn't even realize it until I was home. Some of it was related to the lousy GPS reception in my heavily treed neighborhood (my route on RunKeeper showed me running through a few houses...either not very accurate, or the police are still looking for me). But honestly, I think I actually managed about 8:45 a mile, when my regular training pace is more like 8:15 these days, Well, I'll see how it shakes out on Saturday morning.
The good news is that I am a full 30 pounds lighter than when I started this odyssey. 235 down to 205. They say that every pound lost is like 3 pounds of pressure reduced for every footfall when running. Consequently, 30 pounds feels like 90 pounds less impact pressure on your knees. Accurate or not, I feel way better when I run and my joints are finally catching up with the cardiovascular fitness I have developed this year. With a little extra training and a few more months, I think I'll be in a great position to really run quickly, safely, and for pretty darn long distances. I'm actually going to be training at Sparrow Athletic in Kerrytown, as Josh (a trainer there and a former Wellness Community Strides for Hope participant) has offered his services free of charge for those of us in training for New Orleans. Sweet. From what I hear, he'll whip my you-know-what into real shape. Let's hope I can keep up.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. We are nearing the end of a long, dark tunnel and your love and friendship keeps our eyes on the prize. Moira is humbled by you all, and so am I. I know she'll crank through this radiation and she, Leo, and I will have more than ever to celebrate on Thanksgiving Day this year.