|Finishing first lap, Chestnut Hill Reservoir|
I drove to Newton last night after playing two hours of tennis. I'm still a little under the weather – this cough/cold that's going around is a long one – but I wanted to do it. I haven't been running very much but thought I could do 3.1 miles, and I wanted to do my small part in raising some money and showing up to honor The Gift of Life.
This morning around 8:30 or so, we went over to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, where I got my number, shirt, and an orange ribbon reading "Recipient."
Over at the Dana-Farber booth (they were a sponsor), it was exciting to meet two women who work in the department that finds matches for patients. I said hello to Dr. Corey Cutler, Dana-Farber's director of stem cell transplantation, and a speaker at the event. I told someone else the story of how Denise ended up donating for me after getting swabbed at to a donor drive for the late, great jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker, who, sadly, could not find a match.
I had been watching the forecast and expecting rain, but it was just cloudy and cold, with a little wind. We did group warm-ups to music – lunges and jumping jacks and waving our arms around, very festive – and then the runners and walkers (and some dogs with their people) went up to the track so we could go twice around the reservoir.
I can't say I really trained for this event, but I figured that 3.1 miles would not be so bad. The first time around was pretty easy, but I was feeling it the second time around. I thought of walking for a couple of steps, but my mind, and my momentum, was attached to my slow jog. I'm kind of strict with myself. "You didn't walk when you had leukemia during a 10K, and you're not going to walk when you DON'T have leukemia and are going half that distance." Plus, the tiny bit of momentum kept me from walking; it was easier to keep doing my so-called run.
I was kind of bent over and not looking so great when I finished. I motioned for Diane to come over so I could hold onto her shoulder while we walked away from the track so I could get some water and a very welcome bagel with cream cheese. That Diane sure has a good shoulder, literally and figuratively.
If I do another 5K, I think maybe I'll practice a little more. I miss the way I used to feel on those long runs, but the neuropathy in my feet makes them harder to do.
When I lamented my slower pace these days, Diane pointed out that I'm the only four-time stem cell recipient who played two hours of tennis, drove two hours to Boston and then ran three miles. As our father would say, "Good clear thinking."