Hi! Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been sick. My lymph nodes took a beating from some bacterial infection in my throat. No lie… I looked like I had a small alien sleeping on both sides of my neck. The infection even went down to my glands on my back, and I couldn’t walk. The last time I had something like this, I was in eighth grade with a kidney infection. Both times, I walked like a hunchback. Not fun. It was very painful.
So I’m almost better. The alien is gone, but I cannot swallow really well, and I talk like I’m mute because my voice box was apparently affected. On the positive note, I had enough energy to run the 2017 Gate River Run.
It was mentally hard to run this race when I knew I didn’t have it in me to go for a “Top 10% Finisher” hat. There was a time at the start of the race when I pushed myself to 100% level (7’15” pace), but then I pulled back because my fingers started to tingle. I had to keep telling myself to let folks pass, telling myself that I’ll have another race to use to qualify for next year’s Gate River Run, and reminding myself that I’m still sick. It was better to be safe than sorry, right?
Man, it was hard. My sister was waiting for me at mile 7 and I was so happy to see her. Seeing her gave me more energy, but I couldn’t help but to cry. I missed her. I haven’t seen her in a while. But of course after my brief hug, she pushed me back into the race and said, “GOOO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” And yup, I cried again as I ran off.
When I came upon the Green Monster, I thought I was ready, but I started walking. My brain fought with my body. My body was so tired. There wasn’t energy left. I was sicker than I thought. I’m going to have to walk this bridge, I said. But then, an older gentleman touched my shoulder and motioned me to go along. It was God giving me a sign and energy. Don’t give up, Lei. You got this. He and I ran together up and down the Hart Bridge, then down the exit ramp and through the finish line together. We high-fived each other. I was so happy. I got my energy back.
And then, I saw my family at the finish line. That was special. And a finish line beer with my friend, Lisa, was the highlight (Congrats on your first Gate River Run, Lisa!!! You know why you ROCKED IT!)
This was my second race of the year, and it was the second time that I struggled in a race. Both times I persevered because I saw signs from God pushing me to not give up. If I can run 7 miles and finish a marathon with a sprained ankle, and if I can run bridges at a 9’20” pace while sick, then ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Cures will be found for cancer and other illnesses. Don’t give up. We got this.
If you’d like join my mission to end blood cancer for my 40th birthday, please donate at my GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/running-to-cure-blood-cancer. I’m raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As soon as I hit my goal, I’m shaving my head LIVE on Facebook for my friend Chantha, who is going through cancer right now. Please give. Any amount is welcomed!
Another way to help is to get registered on the National Bone Marrow Registry at http://www.BeTheMatch.org. The process is easy! Four quick swabs in your mouth and DONE! I’m a member!
Would you like to raise money and get help training for a future race? Join me at http://www.TeamInTraining.org! LLS’s Team In Training (TNT) has become the leader in endurance sports training for charity, funding significant therapies like chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, which have a significant impact on blood cancer patients.
Today, LLS funds only the most promising advances; targeted therapies like imaginic, bortezomib and ibrutinib take aim at cancer cells, and destroy them. Immunotherapies use a patient’s own immune system to kill cancer.
TNT and LLS fundraising efforts through marathons, triathlons, cycling and hiking really are making cures happen. Coaches will expand your fitness level with workouts, nutrition and hydration clinics. And you’ll have staff members to help with fundraising support.
I hope to see you on the road soon. Run for those who can’t. Be a role model. Just be a good person. Happy running and many blessings!