In August, I regularly ran about 55 miles a week. This week, I was allowed to run two miles…across two days. I feel blessed, frustrated, grateful, annoyed. Mostly, I feel happy that I’m running again. Every minute running, even if it’s just one, is a minute more than I was able to run at this time last week.
I’m in this place because of me. I went balls to the wall training for the Twin Cities Marathon when I was hurt. I pushed to the point of almost fracturing another bone. (This isn’t my first time to this rodeo, as I’ve joked with my latest doctors and physical therapists.)
After I finished my first run back from injury Friday and walked back to my car, I didn’t have a pity party over the short run. I hardly thought about the mile I had just run. Instead, I thought about my colleague Ruben, who’s fighting multiple myeloma, the same cancer that claimed my dad. And, I thought about my dad.
It was about 6:15 a.m., so it was still mostly dark. Most of the light came from the Minneapolis skyline, which was like glitter on Lake Harriet. It hadn’t hit 40 degrees yet.
So, in the cold, calm dark, I thought about these two men — one who’s still fighting cancer and one who lost. I thought about how Ruben works throughout his chemo treatments as he prepares for a transplant. I thought about my dad, whom I feel closest to when my feet are moving or when I’m behind the wheel of a car.
My return to running is going to be slow, which is out of character for me. I accept that. The alternative sucks. Not running sucks. Cancer sucks even more.
I need to run. Not just for me. For the next several months, running is about those men. It’s about honoring my dad’s memory. It’s about honoring Ruben and his battle that’s underway. It’s about reaching the start line of the Big Sur International Marathon healthy, so I can honor everyone who supported me and donated to my cause.
I can’t run if I’m injured, as my sister-in-law pointed out today. More importantly, I can’t run for Dad and Ruben.
***Warm thanks to Wayne Horsman, a fellow runner and a Tracy, Minn., native, whose donation put me over the $1,000-mark this evening. I’m grateful for his generous contribution and his kind words.