Yep, I did it! Today I ran the Joe Kleinerman 10K, therefore completing nine official races in 2005 to automatically qualify for the 2006 NYC Marathon.
I'm not going to lie to you - today's race was hard. For some reason I never felt comfortable enough to take in the landscape as I normally do. This was too bad, as Central Park looked fabulous covered in snow.
The whole length of the course I struggled, and just before finishing mile five I walked for a bit, trying to get my heart rate down. All I could think for the last mile was "why am I doing this? Can I do this? Will I break? Will I fail?"
You know what? I finished just fine. With an average 10:37 mile as a matter of fact, which again is great for me.
Really, it is fitting that this race felt way to me. It is not like I was planning on finishing this, the last of my races for the year, in the eleventh hour. I had signed up for two others that I was forced to miss because of two separate hospital visits. Also, I missed one or two race opportunities because of having walking pneumonia. This year had turned out to be much more of a struggle than I realized. And I have only been able to notice in hindsight.
Last year, 2004, has been etched in my mind as my most horrific year, what with my two surgeries and all the doctor and hospital visits associated with them. Yet this year has been of more quiet desperation. This year had just as many hospital visits as the year prior; I just didn't get cut open. Which ironically was worse, as there is no hope that I will ever get better.
My long overdue colonoscopy determined that I have both Crohns and another adhesion. Neither is bad enough to do something about, I have to have a blockage for over 24 hours for them to fix one or the other. Most of the time when I end up in the emergency room my troubles clear up in under 18 hours, so I have occasional bouts of pain and vomiting to look forward to for some time. Not to mention having had Crohns for over 15 years means I have a 35% chance of developing cancer.
Everyone has his or her cross to bear, and in some way I am fortunate to be able to recognize mine. It is not like I have no hope; I have learned that fasting helps to heal my condition, and that drinking fresh vegetable and fruit juices aids in my health as well.
That being said, I am taking the time to pat myself on the back for competing in these races. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish in light of so many health problems, and so look forward to training for and finishing the marathon next year.
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