Running to Stand Still

…busy Dad trying to make it all work

Why I Ran

To my family, friends and supporters,

I can not thank you all enough.

When I set my goals of competing in eight races, including the New York Marathon on Sunday, and raising $10,000 in support of the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team in late 2010 I wasn’t quite sure I’d make it.  Times are tough but all of you have either donated, gave me words of encouragement or both.  You’ve told me who you’d like me to run for….or who to run in honor of.  I heard all of you as I ran alone during the hundreds of training miles.

I often get asked how can I run alone.  What do you think about?  Don’t you get tired?

Yes it’s far and yes I get tired but I never really feel alone.  When it gets tough I think about the reasons why I ran.

I ran for my Father and my Father-in-Law who never had a chance to meet their daughter-in-law or son-in-law or hold any of our three beautiful little girls.

I ran for my Mother and my Mother-in-Law who took on cancer and kicked its ass.

I ran for my friend Marc who won’t be able to see his daughter Isabella grow up because cancer took her at the age of nine.

I ran for my friend Amy who has been fighting breast cancer for six years now and is one of the strongest, most determined people I know.  Amy is 34.

I ran for Marcia. The sister of one of my best friends who was taken by breast cancer. Marsha’s only daughter will be in New York cheering on the runners.  She will be holding the nine week old grandson Marcia never met.

I ran for the caregivers in the world who help, hug, administer drugs, cry with, listen to, feed, tell a joke to, hold hands with and clean the house for their loved ones who are fighting back.

I ran for the 3,400 people who will be told they have cancer today and hope that what we are doing as Team DetermiNation will help them find a cure and celebrate more birthdays.

Unfortunately this list could go on and on.

Your stories touched me.  They often would make me cry while I ran.  It’s hard to run when you’re crying.  But it kept me going.

Some people believe there’s a reason for everything.  Some things are harder to explain than others.

Last Friday afternoon, October 28th, I was accidentally hit in the face with a soccer ball while coaching my daughter’s U10 team.

Fortunately I was wearing a baseball hat which deflected the ball toward my nose but my eye did take a small hit. I am the proud owner of two bad eyes. I’ve had surgery to repair a detached retina and numerous other laser procedures for tears along the way.  I am also a worrier, so you can only imagine how the next 72 hours played out.

I did get up the next morning to run the 8 miles I had on the schedule.  I then ran the 3 miler I had on the schedule on Monday morning.  No problems in either case. But I’m a worrier.

A call to  my retina doctor led to a visit to the Northwestern Optometrist, which led to a consult with the  staff retinal surgeon and ultimately laser surgery to repair the moderate tear in my right retina that they discovered afternoon.

“But I’m running the New York Marathon on Sunday”.  The surgeon looked at me and said “No you’re not”.

“But I’m running for the American Cancer Society.  I’m running for a lot of people”

“You’ll need four to six weeks to heal”, he said and walked out of the room.

My disappointment was immeasurable.

I had just had my final training run less than 7 hours earlier.

The marathon that I had trained for and raised so much money for was over.

I asked the remaining doctor if this was caused by the soccer ball. “Absolutely not” she said.  There was no sign of that sort of trauma and the tear was in the deep lower right part of the eye.  For this reason I never had any symptoms after the soccer ball incident.

Had I run the marathon my retina could’ve detached at mile 10 and I could’ve been blind in that eye by the finish.

So did the soccer ball to the face save my eye? Who knows…but it led me to make that call to my eye doctor.

Incidentally the girl who kicked the ball was my own daughter.  Devine intervention?  Again…who knows.

This has been a very difficult pill to swallow.  I still can’t believe it happened. But I have a greater purpose in all of this.

I still plan on going to New York to support my amazing team of DetermiNation runners.  Together we have raised over $1 million in the fight against cancer.  I am so very proud to be a member of this team and can’t wait to see them all and congratulating them for finishing the marathon.

It will be a tough weekend for me but I’ll know my number one goal was to raise as much money as I could to fight this horrid disease.  At this writing I am the number 4 fundraiser on a team of roughly 350.  Mission accomplished…and this makes me very proud. And each of you should feel very proud to have collectively fought back.

I like to take my daughters to the local bakery for the occasional chocolate donut.  We don’t tell Mom about these excursions.  It’s our little secret. The other day at the bakery I looked across the table at each child and thought how can I explain to them why I ran.  I would love to tell them one day that there’s no more cancer in the world…and one reason was because one year Daddy and his friends choose to make a difference.

18 responses to “Why I Ran

  1. runnergirl training November 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Great post! Good luck to you!!

    • Noreen McGowan November 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      Ed,
      You have raised an incredible amt. of money and you are such an inspiration to all your neighbors. Just soak up the ambieance of New York this weekend. Love, the McFitters

      • ed schober November 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm

        Thank you to one of my biggest supporters. I couldn’t ask for any better neighbors. The support you guys have given me is an inspiration in itself….even though I can never figure out all the odd amounts!! :)

  2. thetortoiseruns November 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    So inspiring, thank you so much.

    I’ve started a new blog about running and I’m looking for feedback. If you have a minute, please feel free to check it out and let me know what you think:
    http://www.thetortoiseruns.wordpress.com

  3. Rachel Arambula November 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Ed: I’m very greatful and proud of you for taking this journey for all of us who want to fight as hard but can’t. I could never endure the training and miles that you run. My donation was put in good hands with a very valuable goal to help fight cancer. Thank you for your dedication and hitting that goal. I hope you heal completely and fast. Hey! There is always 2012! You got my number and donation for next year. Again, Thank You. Enjoy NY.

  4. Sue Gelber November 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    As upsetting as it must be to go through all that training, right up until the very end, and then not get to race, at least the news on your eye wasn’t worse. Glad it was caught in time. And you are still an inspiration!

  5. Mark Roeser November 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Ed. I’m so glad you followed through on your concern and went to the doc.You have a beautiful family and they’re best viewed in 3D.

    Your commitment to the cause is well established with your posts, daily training (complete with status tweets), and formidable fundraising. I know it must suck to not be able to wrap it up with the NYC run, but you have every reason to feel a great deal of satisfaction for your accomplishments.

  6. Tiffany November 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    All I can say is WOW! I am in tears after reading this. Your story mirrors my story over the past year. I am actively involved in Team in Training and was supposed to run my second event with them several weeks ago (Nike Women’s Half Marathon). I, too, often find myself in tears as I run and think of the lives that I am running in honor of. I found out two weeks prior to the race that I would be risking a much more severe injury to my leg if I chose to forward with it, as my injury was not healing fast enough to safely run. I felt so devastated in the moment.

    The other piece of my story is that I am a pediatric oncology nurse and consider it one of my biggest reasons for being on this earth. I love what I do and love working with such amazing little warriors and their families. All it took for me to adjust my “devastation” was to remember the hurdles my patients have overcome and the true devastation that they face daily. I actually had a little “visit” from one of my little angels, reminding me that this is a minor set back and that I have so much reason to heal and continue my training.

    Thank you for sharing this and thank you for taking the huge initiative to commit to this very important cause. My patients, their families and I thank you for the difference you are making. Hopefully you have marked your calendar to do NY next year, as I have marked mine to do Nike next year!

    • ed schober November 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      Tiffany..Your reply brought me to tears. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I also thank you for being such a great caregiver. You are truly blessed. Sunday will be difficult but not as difficult as what some people, young and old, are dealing with every day fighting this disease.

  7. thewholekitchen November 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Ed, thank you for stepping up, running for the team, writing your thoughts on who you’re running for and sharing your journey to kick cancer’s ass on the blog and on Determinators. You are a true inspiration, and I’m proud to call you a friend and teammate. Giving up the marathon is a so hard…as I know, but I’m thankful for that soccer ball and your surgeons for saving your eyesight. Now go right that cowbell with all your heart, and enjoy the DNation spirit!

  8. Chanthana (@chanthana) November 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Oh, Ed. I wish I could be there to give you a big hug. I’m in tears. I can imagine your disappointment in not running one of the biggest and arguably the best races in the world. I am blown away not only by how much money you’ve raised to beat cancer, but also by the amount of love you possess. You are surrounded by love and will never take that for granted. I can’t wait to see you on the path again when I’ll throw you a sweaty high-five. Enjoy your time in NYC.

    • ed schober November 4, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks CT. It really does suck. I can’t argue that but as you know there’s always disappointment with marathons. Either before, during or after. Mine was before and in this case that’s a good thing. I’ll be back. Don’t worry. There’s always a sweaty high five with your name on it.

  9. Susan Klawitter November 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Ed, you really show heart and dedication to this wonderful cause and what a great accomplishment your fundraising is! I am so sorry you couldn’t run the marathon and hope for a complete recovery for your eye. Nice to stay in touch too.

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