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The medal I never wanted

In 2009 I had signed up to run with Team in Training to raise money to find a cure for Lymphoma & Leukemia and support families that battle these terrible blood cancers. Within a month of signing up, my father in-law was diagnosed with NonHodgkins Lymphoma! Of course I made him my hero, the person I was fundraising and running for. Every hill I tackled during training became nothing. Because compared to what Roger was going through, what was a hill that I needed to overcome?

With the help of my employer and some very generous people, I was able to raise a good amount of money. Enough to receive this plaque.

The Plaque

 

When the race came near, we weren’t sure if Roger would be able to watch, because he was having more bad days than good. Turned out he was able to make it! That race, the 2009 Capital City Half Marathon was one of the most emotional races I had ever run. Seeing him at the sideline, skinny as a rail, holding up a sign is forever etched into my brain.

The Sign

Roger had been at some of my races before to show his support of my running, but this time it was different, I was running for him! After the race was over I met up with him, his wife, and my husband. During the race I had decided to give Roger my medal to show him that he’s a winner in my book and how much he meant to me. That medal since then had been adoring the mirror on the dresser in his bedroom.

If you have followed my blog, you will know that Roger passed away almost two weeks ago from a second battle with NonHodgkins Lymphoma; one that he was not able to win.

Today, my mother in-law gave me the medal I had given to Roger. It was an emotional moment for me, because when he tackled cancer a second time, I was hoping that he’d walk away a winner again. To me, receiving the medal back made it somewhat more final that it wasn’t meant to be.

The medal that I really never wanted back will be the one I will treasure the most. It now hangs proudly in my office and as soon as I get the chance, it will go into a shadow box to be properly displayed.

The medal & the shirt

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Running, Team in Training, TNT

 

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Cap City 1/2

Ok, so it seems (at least to me) that writing a race report about your 9th ½ marathon is like taking pictures of your 4th child. It is something that’s just not high on the priority list. 😉 But here it is:

The alarm didn’t go off. The husband told me that he set it the night before to go off at a certain time, but we forgot that it only goes off during the week. Luckily my internal alarm clock works just fine and we got out of the house with plenty of time to spare.

We picked up my parents-n-law on the way to Columbus. Roger was in a good mood and feeling well. They dropped me off at work and I walked to the Hyatt Regency where the Team was meeting up. The hubby and Co. went to Tim Hortons to get something to eat before standing outside for several hours.

We all (the Team) met up before the race in a conference room, had some refreshments, a team picture, and then walked together to the starting area. I stood in line for the port-a potty and then worked my way towards the starting corral part that matched my projected finish time. The weather was great! After about ten minutes of people watching the gun went off and the ‘race’ was on.

The first 2 miles flew by. I ‘ran into’ a co-worker and we silently ran next to each other for half a mile or so until we got to the first water stop. He was on a mission so away he went. He ended up finishing 9 minutes ahead of me, which was a great accomplishment on his part.

Around mile 3 my left food started to hurt; on the bottom, right below the toes. Damn shoes, I knew they wouldn’t hold up! That’s why I switched away from Asics in the first place; they don’t have the front cushion support that I need. I should have known better than to switch back to them. Around mile 5 the other foot started to hurt too. *sigh*

But, I kept on trekking. The race actually didn’t become hard until about mile 9. I saw the father-in-law just shortly before that. He had made a sign for me. (I was running in his honor). At mile 10 I saw some friends from MiT that cheered me on and then a co-worker and his wife at mile 11. That was such a nice surprise and really lifted my spirits.

Shortly after that one of the TNT coaches ran with me for about a ½ mile. While we were running a couple came up behind us and the guy said, “Give my best to Roger.” He had read the sign on the back of my shirt “Running 4 Roger”. I told him that I would do that for sure and thanked him. The coach knew I would have no problems finishing the race so he turned back to help some other TNT members.

The last mile was tough, but it helped that I saw the family again about a ½ mile before the finish. I was not able to kick it in, but I knew that I would not be completely dead afterwards.

I finished in 2:29:05 (my goal was 2:30) and received my medal. I walked to the TNT tent and received my 13.1 TNT pin from a Leukemia survivor, which was really touching. I then went to find my family and gave my father-in-law my medal for him to keep. I had been debating on giving it to him then or to wait until his chemo therapy was done. But, I thought that it would mean more to him getting it now. He was very touched and I was glad he was able to watch me run.

Overall it was an emotional experience, from raising the money to running the race. I ended up raising over $3100 and received a plaque from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society honoring my efforts. I am glad it is over, even though my worrying about Roger will continue for months. However, just like in the race, you charge forward one step at a time.

I have already decided which race is next on my agenda; the Spirit of Columbus ½ marathon August 30th. This will be my 10th ½ marathon!!! The schedule is written and training will officially start after we come back from vacation. I am looking forward to our yearly trip of a week of quadding at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

There will be no running for me this week. I did get on the bike today and everything felt fine. My left foot is still sore underneath and I will get me a new pair of Saucony’s before I go back out again on Saturday. My legs just have a trace of soreness, but that should be gone by the time I go out and run.

 

Strong 4

It was not nearly as cold outside today as yesterday. 8 degrees and sunny.

The run was good and solid; I felt strong and the end time showed it. I hadn’t run that fast since the beginning of January. Perhaps less is better. Who knows.

We had our TNT event at work today. It looks like it all went really well. We made a ton of money in the morning and perhaps 1/2 that much in the afternoon.

FIL update: If his blood count is good (which he’s having done tomorrow) he’ll be receiving his 3rd round of chemo next Monday *crossing fingers*

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2009 in Running, TNT

 

3.1 plus 4

Yesterday was almost like spring time. It was 37 degrees out…that was so nice compared to the -1 I ran in on Wednesday (I think).

Today was a TNT group run. My running buddy wasn’t able to go, so I ended up running with one of the coaches. I know him from work, so we had a few things to talk about. I don’t think I would have gone as fast as I did if it wouldn’t have been for him. Dangit, why am I so competitive? And now I sit here thinking “Maybe I shouldn’t run 6 to 8 tomorrow, because my legs are tired.” lol. I ran 5 days this week, I would like to make it 6.

We stopped by my father in law’s today. He looked good, except he was sporting no hair. It has started to fall out, so he shaved the rest (not that there was much to shave anyway, but it did look different, actually he looked younger!). Intersting to see your FIL without eyebrows! lol Hopefully his blood count is high enough for him to receive his second Chemo treatment on Monday.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2009 in Blogroll, Running, TNT

 

Team in Training

Greetings dear Family, Friends, Visitors, fellow Runners and Bloggers; 

 

In order to make my running more of a challenge and give it a deeper meaning I have commitmented to running the Captial City 1/2 Marathon for/with Team in Training, which is know for its fund raising efforts to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.

 

My pledge to The LLS is to raise between $1,500 to $2,000 by April 8th.

 

I am currently waiting to receive the information to set up my my personalized website to accept donation. Once I do I will update this post.

 

I am looking forward to this challenge and hope you join me, motivationally and financially, on my quest to help people in need, while doing something I enjoy. 

 

Thank you in advance for your support.

 

– Penny

 

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2008 in Team in Training, TNT