Thursday, July 29, 2010

Start Again At Your Beginnings, And Never Breathe A Word About Your Loss

My doctor lost his wife to ovarian cancer and founded the Marsha Rivkin Center for ovarian cancer research. Among the main events, he and his daughters promote a race "Swedish SummeRun" that has reached its 16th anniversary with 100% of the proceedings going to the center.

When he invited me to participate in 2009 I said "no way". Why? One pretty day in June 2008 I ran the Race for the Cure, 6 months later I was diagnosed. I don't want to get the remote chance of getting ovarian cancer. Then he goes: "Silly you! You are not gonna get it just for racing it." I said: "I know that. I don't believe in witches, but I know they fly". So, consistent with my words I didn't race it.

This year he invited me again. How could I say no to a doctor that treats me as if I was his only patient, and is concerned about me as if I was his family?

There I went to run a 5K with fears for not having raced in the last 3 months and because I knew I've lost all my speed and endurance. I was aware that I'd clock a time far from my regular pace. When I was about to finish my registration paperwork I marked 10K. What the heck, if I am going to battle my fears better do it with a longer distance. I sent me a personal message "I can run, I have the magnificent opportunity of engaging my feet, lungs, heart, arms, and rest of my body into a journey that gives me nothing but satisfaction. Forget the pace!!!"

And there I went and ran a 10K at my marathon pace, which translates to slow. But what is certain is that I have been firm to my beliefs, the teachings of my favorite poem: If, Rudyard Kipling: the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools...

...Start Again At Your Beginnings,
And Never Breathe A Word About Your Loss

Dr. Rivkin. More than a doctor.
My daughter told me to get rid of the watch, and so I did. Not only that, I also ran w/o Ipod... Liberating

Monday, July 12, 2010


When I see or hear the number "10" I think first of Nadia Comaneci, then, Bo Derek. But this "10" doesn't refer to either one. It is just the number of weeks I have been sidelined. And though I tried to wash my brain with aqua jogging and my stationary bike, brain couldn't be washed. 

It is noteworthy to say that in these 10 weeks I have exercised the equivalent to 245 miles of walking. That's quite a bit... and these activities certainly helped to keep myself entertained, or aerobically fit (not!) but there was no replacement for my favorite running activity: Racing.

The last race I had been registered but had to withdraw was Seattle Rock & Roll Half Marathon on 6/26. Still, I went to the expo to feel the race atmosphere, pick up my shirt & bib, meet blogger friend Charlie and his buddy Tom, try everything that was offered, and get a new pair of my Asics Nimbus 11 for 50 bucks. Not bad.

After 10 long weeks the bone bruise seems to be totally gone. However, a pain in my right foot and in my left hip that I dismissed during my marathon training, cannot be dismissed any longer after 10 weeks of doing not much and still hurting. I have been sent to a podiatrist. Initial diagnosis: I am possibly developing neuroma (inflammation of the interdigital nerves of the foot). And as a possible compensation, I put more weight on my left side (90 lbs vs. 45 lbs - yes double!!!!). The hip pain could be a result of that. "Could" because two opinions say that left leg is longer than right and that's the reason of the problem and other two opinions say that I am just compensating. Who to believe? I don't know, but f or sure I need to improve my bio-mechanics, and for that I will have a gait analysis plus a bunch of new procedures that will start this coming Friday.

All in all, I have been cleared to run. Just completed two miles that felt an eternity but it meant freedom. Freedom to build, little by little, my running blocks to be back in the racing game. A game that will start... how soon?