Saturday, March 16, 2019

St. Pat's race: going the distance but not running the course


I’m still recovering from my finish at the Saint Patrick’s Day Road Race two years ago, so I didn’t try to run it today, though by the end of the day I felt like I had done it.

South Hadley friends and their friends 

With Ben after the race
In fact, between dog walking and a run at home, and then parking a good distance away and walking to the finish and pushing through crowds and milling around and trying to find Ben, and then finding him and his friends and wandering around some more and then walking back to the car, while juggling a beer, French fries and a hot dog with mustard and relish oozing off of it, I went further than if I had run.

It felt like a great accomplishment to find Ben and the rest of the group in front of Francie’s Tavern, as planned – yes, it could be accomplished without cell service – and be their official photographer. What a crew!  I went dressed as a runner, not as a spectator, so I was a little colder than I would have liked.  At home I had done my little run and then gone pretty soon after that to Holyoke. I didn’t change. Maybe I wanted to blend in…or maybe I was in a rush.

A while back I considered maybe trying it again, but I wasn’t running any further than three miles and wasn’t liking it enough to increase my distance. I still think I might want to try it because there wasn’t anything like it. I get a kick out of picking the older runners out of the pack because they’re proof it can be done. Maybe if I find the right balance of THC and CBD it will go to my feet but not to my head.

The race is always a thought-provoking day. If you’re just dropping in here, the reason is that it led to my leukemia diagnosis. My claim to fame used to be writing about it for the Lives page of the New York Times magazine, but that claim was eclipsed by my accomplishment of finishing last and writing about that and a comeback of sorts for Women’s Running Magazine.

Since I’m into this 10-year retrospective thing, I went back into my archives and found my post from around the same time  of year, March 18, 2009, when I had been in the hospital for three months and wasn’t walking normally yet. While I was scrolling through, I got stuck looking at some of the photos. I was really skinny.

Here's some of what I wrote:


“I can make it up and down the hallway with a walker and that is getting easier as I am losing more water weight, but I still I look longingly out my door at the people who are just walking without giving it a thought. It is interesting what we take for granted.  I am due to go to rehab after I leave here so I assume that walking will be second nature in the near future.”

A little perspective goes a long way.
It was a super fun day.

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