Sunday, October 14, 2007

Running Among Us

We added a new member to our team this morning: Kristen's husband, Paul.

I've run with Kristen a few times and learned that Paul went through treatment for lymphoma a few years ago. In May, doctors found that his lymphoma had returned.

The news prompted Kristen -- and now her husband -- to join the TnT program. Both are training for the Seacoast Half Marathon that will take place in a couple of weeks.

They're running now, she once told me, because he's healthy enough to do so. His lymphoma is in the beginning stages, so much so that doctors aren't even treating it yet.

But Kristen and her husband, along with their two children, have been through the treatments already and they know what might lie ahead.

When you hear about someone with lymphoma, you might picture someone who looks sick. I know I did when Kristen told me about her husband.

But Paul looked anything but sick. He was muscular and looked strong. And he came ready to run this morning, right down to his brand new running shoes. He joined the team for our usual stretching and warm-up lap. We went around the circle and confirmed our distances for the day.

Most of the group, including myself, would do 9 miles.

Our run coach, Jack, quietly asked Paul if he was up to speed. Paul said he was. And we were off.

As with most Sunday runs, the team soon split off into various groups. For a while, I ran with Amy, who just completed her first marathon last weekend, and another woman, who ran 20 miles last weekend and will complete a marathon in Ireland in a couple of weeks.

Both had good words of advice for us first-timers.

Soon, I found myself running with Kristen, Paul and Scott. We ran along the New Castle shoreline and on the route that's become a familiar Sunday run.

We made a stop at the old Mobil for some Gatorade, and Scott convinced me to try my first taste of GU (a gooey energy gel designed to give your body the boost it needs during long runs).

It was just like the name sounds. Gooey and sticky. The taste wasn't bad, but the consistency will take some getting used to.

Kristen described the taste and texture of the vanilla flavored GU as "what it would taste like if someone chewed up chocolate and caramel and gave it to you." She wasn't far off, but I'm thinking that this shouldn't be their marketing strategy.

Full of GU and Gatorade, we made the turn in Rye, where Kristen and Paul pulled ahead of Scott and me around Mile 7 or so.

It was inspiring to see Paul, someone who we're out there running for, running among us this morning -- or, in my case, running ahead of me and kicking my butt on the 9-Miler.

Have you donated to my fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society? If not, please consider doing so. You can donate online at Please pass this link to everyone you know. Every dollar helps me get a little closer to the Disney 13.1!

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