Wednesday, December 7, 2016

With changing situations, adapting goals

With tennis friends at Hot Chocolate Run
I've decided that since 60 is the new 40, the 5K is my new 10K. At least for now.

It was great to be in a crowd of runners again — 6,500 of them — at Sunday's Hot Chocolate Run in Northampton. It was great to go with tennis friends and to support Safe Passage and to be in such a spirited scene at a time when the national news is so depressing.

As for the run itself, well...

Due to the problem with my toes, I hadn't run very much. And when I did run a little, it was on mostly flat ground around the Mount Holyoke lakes. But when it appeared that my new chiropractor had fixed my toes by working on (OK, killing) my calves, I decided I try it. But I didn't realize that the run through Smith College and Northampton had HILLS. They wouldn't have been hills to someone who has been running, but they were hills to me.

I leaned into them and did my best. I was so slow that I wasn't even sure if I was walking or running. At one point near the end as I passed two spectators, I asked, "Am I running?"

"Yes, you look good!"

They were nice.

Coming into the chute, I wasn't dying or anything, but I couldn't straighten up. During the walk through, I mentioned that to some women I thought I recognized. One of them asked if I wanted to go to the first aid station. No I didn't; I didn't go to first aid when I nearly fainted at the end of my infamous/famous Saint Patrick's 10K when I had leukemia in 2003 and didn't know it, so I wasn't going to do it on Sunday.

I picked up my purple hot chocolate mug and leaned against a tree. I wanted to see how the chip reader worked when you stand in front of it with your bib on, so I went over and tried it. It was a little over 50 minutes for three miles. About the time that at one point I could have run twice that much.

I shrugged it off because the point was to see if I could run without pain. I did, and that was the victory. Now maybe I can run more and get in shape for some other 5Ks. A friend from the tennis group said she would do it with me. I have to admit that the thought of another St. Pat's race did flash through my mind...

I went home and lay on the floor and stretched. Then I took a shower and went down to Bev Bloomberg's "Brunch and Buy," where I joked to people that I was eating as much food as though I had run a 10K.

In my dream that night, a group of us took turns lying on the ground and trying to catch the string of a pink balloon that someone down the field was shooting into the air. My turn came and I caught the string. It was a little difficult to see but I got it. I looked up into the sky and saw another pink balloon floating, then another and another. They were all disintegrating and falling down in little pieces. At first I thought that they were going to hurt me, but then I realized that they were light and wouldn't bother me and I would be OK.

I looked all this up but it is too complicated for me to put together.

Today and tomorrow I got to Boston for maintenance.

Today is photopheresis and tomorrow a checkup with Dr. Alyea at Dana-Farber.

A friend asked me if I ever went a whole week without a doctor's appointment. I said probably not.

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