I usually write a race plan prior to each marathon. In doing so, it helps me to think about how I want my race day to play out. It’s more than just the finish line goal; it’s about the whole experience. Putting it down has helped me to get into the right frame of mind for race day. My race plan for Napa Valley 2004 was, by far, the best race plan that I have written to date. It also lead to my best marathon performance so far. I hope you all will enjoy reading it.
On a cool morning in San Francisco I awoke early to dress for the San Francisco Marathon. While Tom & the boys slept, I contemplated on if I should be racing that day. Just 4 days before I twisted my ankle but today it looks fine. I hooked up with a SFRRC pace team & set out at a quick pace. It felt good to run for the 1st time since my injury. We were on target for my 3:45 qualification goal.
It’s hard to know how I would’ve felt had I not lost the pace group. I began slowing pace. Although my ankle didn’t hurt, my foot didn’t feel so great. I just felt funny. By the time I reached the 10K mark I was getting cold & the ”wall” was already coming on strong. By mile 10 I knew I could not meet my goal & miqht be destroying my foot & ankle. When I reached the Half-Marathon point I finished my race & took the bus back to the hotel.
This was the 1st race I’d had the kids at & I was so sure I was going qualify-before my ankle sprain. Tom BoBo & YaYa were waiting at the finish line with the camera when I called. I was crying, but they cheered me up with much needed hugs and a non-fat latte. They reminded me that maybe I could do it “next time.”
Dear Dr. K:
It’s been nearly 6 years since we last sat in your room discussing the prognosis of my late husband’s cancer. In our visit, you informed us that he had a year to live – with or without palliative treatment.
The night after our visit with you, we met with the children and told them the news. He and I were relieved as, based on my previous experience with cancer patients, I was expecting you to tell us 3-6 months max. Much to our surprise, he went downhill fast from there. We soon found out, at an ER visit, that there were multiple notations in his medical record that a hospice referral was warranted once a confirmatory diagnosis was made. He died two week later.
I have done a lot of soul searching and healing since then. The kids, who were angry with us for “lying to them,” have done much healing as well – thank God. Still, I wonder why you didn’t tell us that he had less than 6 months (as hospice would imply) or, at least stress that we had a year at the maximum. Unfortunately, you did not.
I tell you all of this, not because I am still mad. I certainly was for a long time. I am telling you because I feel the reminder is important for all healthcare providers. It is not just about the person who has been diagnosed; it is about the family left behind! Moreover, I write this because I feel that this letter is the one thing left that I need to do for my own healing. It needed to be said – for me. I am sorry that we were not fortunate enough to have even a chance to have you help us fight the cancer. I understand that you are quite skilled in what you do. My prayers go out to you in the efforts you put forth to help all of those who do have a fighting chance.
Thank you for reading.
After 16 weeks of training, Tom and I dropped the kids off with their Aunt Carol & Uncle Marcelo and drove to the Napa Valley. During the training, I ran my weekday runs with Michelle, Mark and Melanie from work. The weekend long runs were with my husband. We often would push YaYa in the job stroller, while BoBo would ride his bike ahead of us. We would stop, along the trail, at the playgrounds to give the kids a break. It was tough because the long runs too a really long time. We got a sitter when the run reached the higher mileage, and the weather was rainy. It was fun to compare aches and pains after the runs. Even though we didn’t run the same pace, the training still had a way of bringing us closer together.
I don’t remember every detail of that race, but I do remember the feeling of crossing the marathon finish line for the first time. If you haven’t had this live experience yet, it is well worth the training and the pain involved with that. There is nothing like it. But let me go back to the start and tell you the whole story – at least as much of it as I can remember.
While searching through boxes of photos and such, I came across these old photos of Tom and I. Talk about bringing back memories…
The year is 1997.
I haven’t quite got my running bug yet.
This is a time in my life where the Bay to Breakers event was still considered a “race”, instead of a zoo, in my mind.
Tom and I stand relaxed at a packed starting line awaiting the gun.
We are amazed and thrilled by the vastness of the crowd.
I’ve done races at the this point in my life, but none with as large of a turn out as this.
After miles of meandering around the people who are less into running than us, Tom and I make it into the middle of the sea.
From the middle of the highest hill, we see a sea of people ahead of us and behind up.
I am in awe with the idea of racing and with the man I am with.
Later in the race, I see cool costumes and ugly naked bodies. Eew!