Running to Stand Still

…busy Dad trying to make it all work

Category Archives: Marathon

The Agony of Da Feet

This is a story of my Berlin Marathon which was on September 30th but first…

Want to see something cool?

This here is an X-ray of a left foot with a broken 4th metatarsal.

Ouchy right?  Actually this fracture is called a “green branch” fracture because of the way it just spits out all over the place.  These are bad fractures that take six to eight weeks to heel.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot.  This tissue is called the plantar fascia.  It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.  It can be very painful.  Runners usually get this from going long distances in old shoes.  Plantar fasciitis can takes months and months to heel…oops I mean heal.

On August 18th I got up at 5am went down to the lakefront to get in my step back 12 miler.  I had taken my Advil prior to the run because my plantar fasciitis was killing me.  I had felt this little pinch every so often in my left foot…near the top left.  This was odd because the heel pain I’d made for weeks was on the bottom.  As I was running on the cinder path I felt a snap.  I stopped.  Shook my leg a bit and continued on.  It hurt but after a mile I got used to it.  I finished the final 4 miles and went home.

Driving home my foot was now throbbing and I was afraid of what I’d find once I took the sock off…which wasn’t good.  The foot was quite swollen on top and sensitive to the touch.

I made an appointment to see the foot doctor on Monday afternoon.

She took an X-ray and told me I didn’t have a stress fracture.  I had a fracture fracture…and it would take at least six weeks to heal.  At that point the Berlin Marathon was, of course, six weeks away.  There would be no more training.

As the doctor’s assistant was adjusting the walking boot I was to wear for the next six weeks he looked up at me and said “You’re still going to run the marathon aren’t you?”  I said “The only way I won’t run the marathon is if I tore my retina again OR you chopped off both of those feet”.

You see my wife and I run for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team (Team Schober) and we had raised over $10,000 in the fight against cancer and I was not going to let one little bone stop me from at least trying to finish this marathon.  The people I run for, and in honor of, are people who have gone through a lot worse than a little broken bone.  There are 26 bones in your foot.  The other 25 would have to suck it up.

So I wore the boot…for about four days.  The reason I stopped wearing the boot was because after four days the fracture didn’t hurt any longer.  Plus my right heel was killing me from all the extra work it was doing.  But this was a bad idea.  You see because I took the boot off the bone wasn’t really healing correctly.  Part of it was but another part wasn’t.

So I have two confessions to make.  1) That X-ray up there was taken just 10 days before the marathon.   2) I’m an idiot.

For the weeks prior to that X-ray I had been riding the bike trainer like a mad man to keep up the cardio and also taking massive amounts of vitamins…D3, calcium, liquid magnesium among others.  All along I had absolutely zero pain around that fracture.  None.  My heels still hurt like hell but not the break.

So the wife and I flew to Berlin, caught some sights, went to the expo (which was massive by the way), had a few German beers and tried to relax before the race.

But I was worried.  What if the bone snapped again at mile one…or mile eight…or mail 15?  What would I do?  What could I do?  Would the pain be too much to finish?  How much more damage would I do if I kept going after it broke again?  I had to finish this race.  I had to finish this race for the people I was running for.  An injury had kept me from running for my supporters last year.  It was not going to happen again.

So now it’s race morning.  My wife was getting ready.  This was to be her 18th marathon so for her this was cake (also she’d be running the Chicago Marathon one week later for DNation).  I taped up both feet.  I also taped up some toes on the bad foot.  Slipped on my compression socks and headed to the start corrals.

This was going to be interesting.

It was a perfect day for running.  Sunny and about 50 degrees.  There were a lot of announcements in German.  I assumed they were saying something like “Look at the idiot about to break his foot again!”

Then the countdown began.  As I crossed the start line I tapped my DetermiNation shirt for luck and started running…something I hadn’t done in over six weeks.

The crowds were amazing.  I was slapping hands and getting into a good slow pace.  I had taken my doctor’s advice and didn’t take any Advil before the run.  She said it would mask the pain and that’s a bad thing when you know you have to run 26.2 miles.

At about mile 4 I knew it was going to be OK.  I just did.  I had no pain anywhere.  Then I was at mile 10.  Then I was at the half.  Then at 17…the longest I had run all year.

Then at about 18 or 19 my quads started to really burn.  Then my left hamstring had a twinge.  So I slowed.  I ran to about 20.5 when I felt a pinch on the top of my right foot.  The right foot was my good foot!  Was I about to snap a metatarsel in that foot?  My wife would’ve killed me.  I wasn’t running smart!  So I stopped.  I had some water and a banana and ran/walked to the 1K to go sign where I started running again.  I turned the final corner and there in front of me was the Brandenberg Gate…the FINISH!

My time really sucked.  When I was told what it was I just laughed.  5:28:52

But I really don’t cared.  And neither do my wife, kids, family members, doners, supporters, co-workers or pets.  This run was for the cancer survivors, victims, care givers, doctors, researchers, nurses and scientists who fight to cure this lousy desease every day.  This was for them.  I  owed them one.

I also know one other thing.  There’s no way I could’ve finished this marathon if I wasn’t wearing the DetermiNation blue.

The spoils of war

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Cancer’s MVP – Cigarettes

A few weeks ago I was asked to join the committee for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation Team here in Chicago. I gladly accepted.

About the same time I was starting to think about the 2012 Berlin Marathon.  I’ll be running a few races this year trying to raise some more money for the DetermiNation Team and for me the final big race for 2012 is the Berlin Marathon.  I wanted to get my fundraising page together and I had a few ideas about what I wanted to say and the pictures I wanted to post.

But I needed some facts.  Cancer facts.  Facts for the committee and facts for my fundraising site.  So I went to the ACS main website and found the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2012 report.  The first thing that hit me was it was 66 pages long…and unfortunately it probably could have been longer.

What I read just blew me away.

Here’s what I found out right off of page one.

In 2012, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day.

About 1,638,910 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2012

Want a reference on that?

This year the Super Bowl is being played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  The New York Giants are playing the New England Patriots…again.  While watching the game look at the size of the crowd and think about this….

– The number of Americans who will die of cancer in 2012 could fill that stadium about 8.5 times.

– If you include the rest of the world the stadium could be filled about 88.25 times.

– The number of new cancer cases for 2012 could fill the stadium over 24 times…and that’s only for the U.S.!

Of the estimated new cases for 2012 the number one for men is prostate cancer at 241,740 (29%).  For women it’s breast cancer at 226,870 (29%).

Of the estimated deaths from cancer the numero uno for both sexes is…..lung & bronchus cancer.  The men top out at 87,750 (29%) and the women at 72,990 (29%).  Lucas Oil Stadium holds about 68,000 so you do the math.

Here’s another bit of information from the American Cancer Society AND I’M STILL ON PAGE ONE!

All cancers caused by cigarette smoking and heavy use of alcohol could be prevented completely. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012 about 173,200 cancer deaths will be caused by tobacco use.

If you’ve read a few of my blogs you know that my Dad died of lung cancer back in 1981.  He was diagnosed in 1977.  He tried to quit smoking but we’re talking about a guy who had smoked two packs a day since WWII.

He tried cold turkey.  He went to a hypnotist.  Nothing worked.  Nicotine is a very addicting drug.

I would even take all the cigarettes out of a brand new pack and use a pen to mark the point I wanted him to snuff it out.  Baby steps you know?  That didn’t work either.

What I forgot to mention here is that he tried all of this only after he had one of his lungs removed.

My father died when I was 18.  That’s 18 years of second hand smoke.

What does the report say about second hand smoke?

Each year, about 3,400 nonsmoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing second hand smoke.

I guess I should consider myself lucky.

So why are cigarettes still legal?  That’s easy.  It’s big business baby!  The only way to make cigarette companies go away is to stop buying their product.  Not an easy thing for a smoker to do.

But why not try.

Do you know someone like this?  Do you know someone who really wants to quit?

Forward them this blog.  Tell them the positive lesson they’d be teaching their kids.  Tell them about the money they’d be saving by not smoking.  A carton of cigarettes in Chicago costs roughly $85!  If my Father was still alive he’d be shelling out almost $510 a month on cigarettes.  That’s crazy.

The American Cancer Society lists well over 25 different sites that will help someone quit smoking.  You can find them here:

ASC Quit Smoking Help

There was some good news in the report…

The 5-year relative Survival rate for all cancers diagnosed between 2001 and 2007 is 67%, up from 49% in 1975-1977. The improvement in survival reflects both progress in diagnosing certain cancers at an earlier stage and improvements in treatments.

I can only hope that this percentage will continue to move up from 2007 forward.

Also I’m a firm believer that if you get someone away from the cigarettes and into a workout program you’ll be helping someone break the suicidal habit that nicotine brings.  They’ll lose weight, want to eat better, get in shape and reach goals. Have them run for the ACS DetermiNation Team! There are countless stories of people putting the cigarette down, lacing up some running shoes, training for a few months and finishing a half marathon or even a full marathon AND NEVER LOOKING BACK!

I’ll be forwarding this blog to a few friends of mine who still smoke…I really don’t want any of them to become just another statistic.

Keep Moving Forward

It’s been a little over five weeks now since my laser eye surgery to correct a tear in my right retina.  It seems like five months.  My recovery calls for four to six weeks so my doctor told me I could put the bike on the trainer and ride sometime around December 15th.  That day can not come soon enough.  I need to sweat!

This has been a very long five weeks.  Much has happened.  Some good.  Some not so good.  Some unexpected.

So what have I been up to? That’s easy… I got very depressed, gained about 7 pounds, had another eye appointment, drank a lot of beer, walked a lot, watched sports on TV, lovingly looked at my new running shoes I was to run the marathon in, drove my wife crazy, had my annual physical with Dr. Funny Finger, joined a health club I really can’t use yet, found out my company might be for sale soon, had an ultrasound I’ve been putting off for almost 14 years, realized my running watch stopped working, booked my hotel for the Berlin Marathon in September even though I still don’t know if I’ll be able to run that distance ever again and I turned 48 on November 17th.

Yep…That just about sums up the past five weeks.

One thing I really wasn’t ready for was the depression. 😦  It was bad during marathon weekend but it really started kicking in on the flight home from New York.  I just could not yet believe I did NOT run the New York marathon.  If you don’t know my story you can check out “Why I Ran” over there to the right.

The good news is I’m finally starting to feel like it’s behind me.  It’s been hard.  Everything reminded me of the hours I put into the fundraising and training this year.  The incredible support from my family, my friends and my Twitter/dailymile/Facebook pals was really helpful.  I am blessed to have you all as friends.

But it’s time to remember my favorite running mantra…Keep Moving Forward!

I really can’t run until I get the final final OK from my doctor that the scar tissue in my eye is strong enough for the pounding of running.  That doesn’t happen until December 30th.  I might call to ask her if one or two 5ks would be fine before my visit. I figure I might as well see if it’s going to be a problem before I see her.

If she does say I’m good to go I’ll be running four miles on the morning of December 31st.  The last run of a very emotional and fulfilling year.

Anyone want to join me?

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.

Take 2 Taperafed and Call Me in the Morning

There’s something wrong with me.  Really.  That’s what my wife has been telling me over and over lately.

I pester her, ask her the same running questions every day.  Then ask her again. I’m driving her crazy…and she’s a runner!  All runners are crazy!

What is my problem you ask?

I’m convinced that I can’t run any more.  I have no idea what I’m going to do on the morning of November 6th.  None.  Zip.  Zero.

On that morning I’m running the New York Marathon.  An event I have been training for since January.  Well training for this marathon and seven other races I’ve competed in as a member of the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team.

I have over 800 training miles under my belt so far and I can’t remember any of them right now. I have run over 8 half marathons both racing and training. Don’t recall any of them.  Hill work on the treadmill?  Me?  No way.  I’ve run a marathon before? Are you crazy?

I have something called taper madness.  For you non-runners out there this occurs when someone who has been running 35-50+ miles weekly is told to drastically reduce the miles three weeks before the big race.  Those three weeks are called the taper.  It’s something every distance runner needs to do to allow the body to heal before making it run 26.2 miles.

Is there a pill I can take to make me feel better?  A Taperafed? Tapervil?

This all started last Saturday when I had my last double-digit run in this training session.  My legs were dead tired from the runs I had on Wednesday and Thursday (and the whole summer).  I wanted to get it done and after about six miles I just wasn’t into it.  I sped up a bit but that was a mistake.  I didn’t have my usual GU and I had to run the last three miles up Wilson Avenue which sucks.  Trust me.

I’ve had only two bad runs this year and that was one of them.  Not the way I wanted to finish my last long run.

I know every runner goes through this.  Even people who have run many many marathons.  Except my wife of course.  Who is one of those people who can roll out of bed and run a marathon still half asleep….fast.

Oh well…10 more days until the race.

I have a six mile run planned for lunch today to feed the taper monster.

It’s left..right..left..right..left..right…    Right? Right???

Wish me luck.

If you would like to help rid the world of cancer please click on “Why I Run” above.  It would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You Mr. Jobs

Steve Jobs died today.

He died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.

He was a visionary who started the world’s largest tech company from his parents’ garage back in 1976.

All this year I have been fundraising for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team.  I dedicated myself to running eight different races with the final race being the New York Marathon on November 6th.

I set a lofty goal for this fundraising endeavor.  I told everyone I would raise $10,000 for ACS.

To help raise this much money I knew I had to not only show my donors that I was serious about the races I was competing in but also that there would be something for them.  An iPad.  I told them that for every $25 their name would go into a hat for a chance to win an iPad at the end of the marathon in early November.  Everyone liked the idea of possibly winning one of these incredible devices…and it helped raise more money to fight cancer.

This morning I found out that by tomorrow I would be within $344 of my goal.

So before I left work today I ordered that iPad.

An hour later the news came out that Mr. Jobs had died.

The good really do die young.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

The $1,000 Haircut

Every once in awhile you’re thrown a curve ball in life.  Something comes out of left field.

A few weeks back I was sitting on my deck having a cold boat drink when I got a phone call from a co-worker/ex-boss of mine, Joe Cappelletti.  He simply said “Go check your email…I just sent you something.  You need to help me fill in the blanks.”

So I go and read the email and I’m floored.  I quickly finish the email for him and send it back.  The next day the following email was sent to our entire Chicago office and eventually made it to our San Francisco office:

From Joe Cappelletti:

As many of you know, for the last few years, Ron Biamonte and I have made a non-cash wager on the Cubs/White Sox inter-league games.  Best of six determines the winner and, once again, the White Sox were victorious this year.  Sad to say, I’m the loser.  For 2011, the winner gets to shave the loser’s head.  Shave is an overstatement.  It is more of a cut with a very short blade (a number 1!).  Many of you have expressed interest in watching this event so here’s what Ron and I will do:

For a mere minimum donation of $10, you can buy admission to this once-in-a-lifetime event.  All proceeds will be donated to Ed Schober’s fund raising efforts.  If you don’t know, Ed is a charity runner with the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team.  He will be competing in eight races this year including the New York Marathon in early November.  You can check out his blog at www.edschober.com, which this month includes an interview with our very own Amy Keilman.  You may also click the “Why I Run” tab on this site to donate on-line.  Remember, our company will match your donation.

My haircut is scheduled for Tuesday at 3:00 in the Main Conference Room.  “Tickets” can be purchased from Ron or Joe.  If you’re donating via the website, bring proof of your donation. 

It’s tough being a Cubs fan isn’t it.

Because we thought this event should include alcohol (for Joe’s sake) the venue was changed to Streeters Tavern who graciously offered some drink specials.  The manager told us they’ve had many guy’s shave their heads in the bar.  I guess that shouldn’t surprise me for when Ron started cutting the bar started playing Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” followed by Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy”.  Hilarious.

As Ron was cutting you could tell he has done this before.  He must win a lot of bets.  He started on the sides and after about five minutes Joe had a very nice mohawk.  At this point I was very tempted to snip the cord on the clippers just to see the look on Joe’s face but I decided against it.

When it was all said and done the haircut didn’t look that bad.  I had offered up my hair for a $500 donation but there were no takers.

All in these guys raised $1,000 for my American Cancer Society DetermiNation team.

It was something they wanted to do to help out and I can’t thank them enough for there support and kindness.

You can help out too by clicking the “Why I Run” tab at the top of this page.

After the haircut we moved on to beer pong and pool…we do have our priorities…

A Cancer Ass Kicker

I’m a charity runner for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation Team. For me it brings a great deal of pride and satisfaction knowing that the endurance sports I compete in can bring someone that much more closer to being cured of this awful disease. At least that’s what I dream of….then you hear the stories. The stories that people tell you after they find out your a charity runner. The stories of pain and suffering and loss and hopelessness.

Then you hear other stories. Stories from out of the blue. Stories of hope and inspiration and courage. This story is about someone very close to me…literally…she sits in the office next to mine. Her name is Amy Keilman.

In a nutshell Amy is a cancer ass kicker.  Everyone knows one.  Amy is one of mine.

In March of 2005 Amy was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer that had metastasized to her bones. She was 28 and newly engaged.

After a few consultations with doctors and specialists, she decided to begin her battle with hormone therapy and radiation versus traditional chemotherapy based on the make-up of her cancer cells.  Hormone therapy requires you to suppress your ovary function (as her cancer was fueled by estrogen) while taking a hormone pill.  Prior to having her ovaries removed in early 2006, the ovary suppression was accomplished by a monthly shot to the stomach. Each hormone treatment is effective till the body builds up a resistance to the drug – on average each treatment will last anywhere from 6 months to a year.  Hormone therapy is less destructive on the body and the “good” cells and the side effects are not as intense as traditional chemotherapy.

In December of 2006, she had surgery on her right arm where a large tumor exists. The doctors inserted a titanium rod into her arm bone to secure the bone and prevent it from breaking.   This also allowed her to have radiation treatment to the tumor in her arm.  In 2008, she started chemotherapy with a pill called Xeloda and underwent intensive radiation treatment for three months.  Once the Xeloda stopped working, she switched to a weekly IV chemo treatment that’s side effects did not include hair loss.  Eventually, she reached a point where she had to undergo chemotherapy that resulted in hair loss.

This is when she sent out an email to the department basically saying “Hey all…I might be losing my hair soon because I’ve had stage IV breast cancer for a few years and I’m starting a new kind of therapy and who wants to go to the Hawks game and drink some beers?”

At the time I had been working with Amy for about 2 years never knowing what she was going through. I had noticed that she had been out of the office for longer periods of time lately but most of us thought she was pregnant. Her attitude definitely did not give it away.

I thought you’d like to hear from Amy herself so I sat down to ask a few questions…

1. Back in March 2005 how did you know something was wrong?

I found a lump in my breast a few months previously which I ignored while trying to get my insurance set up to go see a doctor. The doctor’s initial thought was that it might be a cancer tumor and scheduled additional tests right away. I wasn’t shocked by my diagnosis. My father had been diagnosed with a rare form of male breast cancer that ultimately defeated him. I had never given too much thought to the genetics of cancer since I was only 28 at the time but was not surprised by the reality of it.

2. Have you seen any major advances in cancer treatments in the past 6 years?

I know that there has been continued progress on chemo medications, treatments, scanning equipment and medical care however I approach my treatment on a drug by drug basis. By that I mean that I focus on the drug / chemo that I am currently taking and don’t dwell on how many drugs are left to treat the kind of cancer that I have. I don’t know if there are 3 more drugs left that I can take or 30 drugs left. I don’t want to live with a period at the end of my sentence. I want to live with a …… (a little Bachelorette cliché!)

3. Your attitude toward your cancer is really inspirational. Have you always been this way?

I am guessing that there are many people out there that would say that I am more of a pain in the ass than I am inspirational. My approach has always been to “just be normal”. I don’t want the fact that I have cancer to change or define me in any way. I am the same person I was before I was diagnosed except that I have some physical limitations and I hang out at the hospital more than the average person.

4. What advice can you give to anyone fighting cancer right now?

The only real advice that I have is to be well informed. There are so many hospitals, doctors and treatments to choose from so it is important to do your research and to be prepared with questions. Everyone needs to be comfortable with what treatment they get and what hospital they receive it from.

5. Have there been any positives in this whole experience?

Of course! At the time I didn’t think it was a positive, but I changed jobs a little over a year after my diagnosis. I wasn’t looking to leave public accounting but knew that I needed to reduce the stress in my life. My current position became available and with mixed emotions I took it. It worked out – I love my job and love the people that I work with and have so much more time and less stress. I have been able to spend more time with friends and family and have picked up a bunch of hobbies over the years. I am much happier and love the change in career challenges.

6. How are the treatments going?

The treatments are going as well as can be expected. I just recently started a new chemo drug called Doxil (or Kool-aid as I call it because that’s what it looks like) because the last chemo stopped “working” on the cancer that is in my lung lining. I will have my second round of Doxil tomorrow and will likely have another one or two doses before I have tests to make sure that the drug is working. Fingers crossed that I will stay on this chemo for a while!

7. I know the answer to this but I want to ask anyway….How has cancer affected your career?

In some regards it hasn’t affected my career but as I said I changed jobs because I needed to reduce stress. I am happy with the change and like what I do now so much more than public accounting. Sometimes I think that I would be more proactive with my career if I didn’t have cancer but at the same time I don’t know. It’s a hard question but I would like to think that I haven’t done anything different just because I have cancer.

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8. If cancer was a physical person what would you like to do or say to him (by the way I purposely used “him”)?

Leave us alone!

9. So do you want to run the New York Marathon with me on the ACS DetermiNation team in November?

Probably the easiest question yet – um no! And I mean that in the nicest way possible!

I told you she was a cancer ass kicker.

It’s stories like this that make marathon training easy. What I do is nothing compared to what people like Amy deal with on a daily basis. Her story is uplifting. Unfortunately there are many more that aren’t.

My goal is simple. To one day find that there’s no longer a need for the American Cancer Society or Livestrong or the Susan G. Komen Foundation or any of the dozens of cancer charities all fighting against the same enemy. As long as I’m fit enough to help I’ll be at the start line.

Please help if you can by making a donation to the American Cancer Society.  Just click on “Why I Run” tab at the top of the page or use the link below:

http://bit.ly/llRjEa

Thanks…Ed

ps – Also you can follow Amy on Twitter @amostbass

Yeah…I ran Boston…sort of.

I met my wife in May of 1999.  We had met through Kris, a mutual running friend.  I was biking a ton back then so I became the friend who took Kris and all of her running girlfriends out for their once a summer long bike rides. I wasn’t really a runner at that point.  The occasional 5k/10k but that was about it.  I had no problem helping out since it was me and about nine women riding bikes.  I used to call these rides the “Bike of the Dead” because they really didn’t want to ride.  They wanted to do what they did when they ran…talk….and talk…and talk.

Anyway on one of these rides I met my future wife.  I thought I had met all of Kris’s running girlfriends but on that Sunday morning this girl showed up who I didn’t know and who Kris had never talked about.  Her name was Donna.  She was a little late getting to the ride.  I didn’t mind because I was a bit “tired” from the Cubs game the night before.  So we start the ride…and they’re all just gabbing away.  After awhile I couldn’t stand going that slow any longer so I took off.  I figured they lived here…they can find their way home.  Anyway I’m riding for a few miles and I turn around and there’s Donna right on my wheel!  No one else is in sight.  It was love.

So we started dating.

The spring of 2000 rolls around and Donna and a few of her friends are training for their 3rd Boston Marathon.  They all had these shirts printed up with their names on the front and their motivations on the back.  Donna was “Discipline” and her best friend Julie was “Strength”.  She and Julie ran the exact same pace, so they planned to run the race together.  I was going out to Boston with Donna that year and she asked if I could jump in and pace her and Julie a few miles at the end of the race.  “Sure…no problem!”

Remember I had never run with her before this point.  I figured I meet them at about mile 22 with food, drink and some encouraging words.  I thought they’d be exhausted at that point and running at my pace which at that time was about a 10 minute mile.

She told me they’d be at mile 22 at this specific time and I’m like “OK no problem”.  Well they were there within 30 seconds of that time.  They were robots.  I jump in with all my gear, long cotton sweats and a long sleeve cotton shirt, and start giving them bananas, water and candy.  Not really noticing at this time how fast we’re running…which was between a 7:20 – 7:30 pace.  A pace, at that time, I can run for maybe a mile….maybe.

Now the Boston Marathon is run on Patriot’s Day.  The Red Sox always play an early day game that let’s out when the marathon is going past the left field wall of Fenway Park, which is one mile from the finish.  Because of this there are large storm fences put up to keep the drunks off the course.  The fences also keep the runners in until the finish.

I made it to about mile 23.5 when I realized I might drop dead.  So I told Donna and Julie go power on and I’d see them at the finish.  I’ll never forget the image of them just disappearing into the crowd.  I slowed to my normal pace.  I was quite bummed.  But then I heard a voice.  A drunk voice, but a voice.  It kept yelling “KEEP GOING…YOU’RE KICKING ASS DUDE….YOU GOT THIS FUCKING THING”  Then another drunk yelled something else, then another, so I started running down the side of the street, staying away from the runners,  high fiving these drunk baseball fans who thought I had run the whole thing.  I was having a blast.  I turned the corner on Boylston street and there’s the finish line.  I raise my hands in victory as I cross.

A volunteer puts a mylar wrap around me.  Another attempts to hand me a medal which I, of course, decline.

I find Donna and Julie about a block up and snap this picture…my absolute favorite running shot.

So it turns out that the girls here decided to run negative splits that year.  At the time I had no idea what that meant.  I do now.

Donna ran the 2000 Boston Marathon in 3:27.

I didn’t.

But I had so much fun running the last few miles of the race that I did the exact same thing the following year!

Once again I couldn’t keep up with her.

In April 2001 she ran the Boston Marathon in 3:24…her PR.

We were married a month later.

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