|With tennis friends at Hot Chocolate Run|
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.