Saturday, August 21, 2010

Facing Reality

Today is the Hobble Creek Half Marathon... my favorite race.  I anxiously watched the clock on April 30th, waiting for midnight on May 1st to register online and secure my spot.  Last year the race filled up in less than 2 days.  This year it filled up in less than 10 hours.  I was so excited to run HC and my goal was to PR and get sub 2 (my time last year was 2:05.)  Here is my post from last year's race

When I woke up this morning, my first thought was "I should be at mile 6 right now, almost halfway done."  Instead, my good friend Heidi, is running in my place.  I found this e-mail from her today:


I just made a white and purple ribbon to pin onto my bib tomorrow.  White for lung cancer, purple for surviving, or as I like to think of it, kicking it in the butt.  I'll get you your sub 2:00.
Heidi

And she did.  She came in at 1:56 despite dealing with GI issues.  She's a rockstar.  (Thanks so much, Heidi!  Means more than you will ever know.)  Reading her e-mail this morning made me bawl.  One, because I was so touched by her doing this for me, and two, because I was sad it wasn't me.  I don't expect many of you to get this.  If you're not a runner, it's hard to understand.  Why would someone want to pay to run 13 miles? or 26?  And all the training.  The long runs.  Speed workouts.  Hills.  (I could spend a whole post on that, and maybe I will sometime, but not today.)  My point is, I'm sad.  Very sad.  It's hard to even talk about it without getting teary-eyed.  Running, exercise, it has become apart of me.  It's my therapy.  Some people take Xanax, I run (and do Body Combat!)  I love how I feel when I sweat a little every day.  And to not be able to do that the way I used to kills me.  I didn't get to run even one race this year!  It is painful, realizing my body is so far away from where it was a year ago, and that I might never be at that level (or better) again.  Jake tried to remind me that I just had surgery 2 months ago, but I guess I just thought by 2 months I would be back to my normal self.  A few days ago I had a goal to run at a 10 min/mile pace for 5 minutes.  That's not that fast, or that long.  I thought for sure I could push myself long enough to get to my goal.  I cranked up the speed and realized 6.0 was too fast, so went down to 5.8 and couldn't even keep it up for two minutes.  I felt like I was sucking air.  My lungs couldn't handle it.  I'm worried my lungs will never be the same again (silly to say, because obviously they will never be the same with nearly 40% of my lungs gone.)  I guess I just thought I would defy the odds and be the one person who would bounce back quickly and be better than I was before.  Reality is quickly sinking in.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.  I'm human, though, and have hard days.

Today is a hard day.

13 comments:

Ksenia said...

When I read the note from your friend I started crying too, which surprised me. I can imagine how sad it must be for you, but I too thought that her remarks were so touching.
Jamie, you have been INCREDIBLY strong through this year, much stronger than one needs to be to run a half marathon in a sub 2hr time. You'll be able to do some amazing things, just giver yourself a little time :)

Megan said...

I'm sorry that you're having a hard time. That's totally understandable. You'll be there next year. YOU WILL!!

Crystal said...

Heidi is such an awesome friend for running this race for you. She did your name justice. Next year you and I really need to do a race together. I am sorry you had such a hard day. Totally understandable. You will be back in no time.

Nurse Heidi said...

Sorry - all those deletes were me. My 'puter froze up, then freaked out and multiple posted. Let's try again:

Jamie, it was an honor to run for you. I know it was not easy for you to sit this one out, and I'd be crying my eyes out if it was me. It was a hard race for me, which felt silly because I've run so much farther this year already. I think I needed the mental and physical battle on this one to get just a smidgen of what you're going through.

We are most definitely running a race together next year, whatever it takes. I'll go your pace, and we'll show cancer who's the boss.

Lynette said...

Oh Jamie, I'm so sorry. You will get there again. Your body will adapt and you will be strong enough again to run and PR. Just don't give up yet. Jake's right, you just had surgery. Next summer will be your summer of running!!! And you will amaze us all. But for now it's ok to cry and be sad. I love you.

Becky said...

Don't have much to add except some huge ((((HUGS)))) You really are amazing. I'm so very sorry it's been a rough one today. Just know I'm here and still thinking 'bout and prayin' for ya!

<3 Loves!

Ashley said...

When I'm working with a patient and they are having a particularly hard day, and I don't know what to say the only thing that comes to mind is that tommorow will be a better day. So that's what I say to you today as are feeling sad that you aren't able to run a race that you really wanted to run. Tommorow will be a beter day, and a year from now will be a wonderful day as you cross that finish line, because I have absolutely no doubt that you will.

Tyson and Jen said...

oh my gosh, i totally know what you mean about not being able to run your race. IT IS HEART BREAKING! i broke my foot after running 17 miles, training for the st.george marathon. i was so so sad. i think it's way okay to have down days - but honestly in the long run as i am sure you know, you will get back to it - and your lungs will learn to adapt and so will your body. i am sure 2 months just isnt enough just yet. but you just wait till your doing races every other month ;) you will get there. and hey, at least you tried to run faster on the treadmill instead of being afraid to try and go faster. :) seriously you should pat yourself on your back for everything you over come and achieve. embrace it! your amazing!!!!! xoxoxoxo

Jason and Melanie Fida said...

I am sorry you are having a hard day! Remember I love ya! And if it makes you feel any better, my lungs are at full capacity and I was sick for 4 days after I ran a 5k:) (and it took me 40 minutes...) bet you are laughing now;) Let's go to lunch soon! Miss ya!!

Corsair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corsair said...

Jamie, you're amazing. Healing takes time and, while you cannot run like you want to right now, you can do so many incredible things because you freaking beat cancer. That is a huge accomplishment worth celebrating. You will you gain strength and you will continue to recover and you'll slowly get to return to what you call normal--though what you call normal, running a half marathon, is far from normal for most people! Hugs, and like Ashley said, tomorrow will be a better day.
-Chelsea

Cansas said...

Jamie! I'm sorry you're having a bad day. I can understand how frustrated you would be after all the training and hard work you've done! I've learned more and more as I've been running that there are just going to be really good days and really bad days no matter how much you've been training - kind of a life lesson too I guess! You just have to pick yourself up and keep going. If running has taught me one thing it's the incredible power of positive thinking. Even this morning I ran just three miles and I felt like puking the whole time. UGH! Knowing I have 13.1 to go this Saturday it kind of messed with my head. Anyway, give yourself a break woman! You JUST had major surgery! Seriously, pat yourself on the back. You'll get back into running for sure - for now give yourself a little breather. I'll be thinking about you this Saturday while I run - I want to try and be under 2 hrs....I really shouldn't say that out loud because I'll feel like I failed if I don't make it, so let's just keep that between us:) I'll let you know how it goes!

The Thornocks said...

I guess there isn't much I can add to everyone else's comments, but you sure do inspire me. You have more motivation and drive than anyone I've ever met. Seriously, I'm just pregnant, and I have convinced myself that I "can't" workout because I'm too tired, or too uncomfortable, or blah, blah, blah. Goodness, I'm a wimp! You're so strong, even with 40% of your lungs gone! I feel like a jerk for calling you on Saturday and not even knowing that you were having a crappy day. I was just going on about myself and my "mystery mole" when you're sitting there feeling depressed. I hope you're doing better. We love ya!