Saturday, August 28, 2010

The 2010 CRIM: A Zombie finishes strong!

I had been really looking forward to running in this year's Crim 10 mile race.  I ran the Crim for the first time last year and had a great time.  Plus, this year my tempo and hill paces had been much faster than last summer so I was crossing my fingers for a personal best time.  Then cancer called and training stopped.  Crim fever was strong in Flint and I had been spending a lot of time there for tests and treatment.  It was like rubbing salt in an open wound. I wanted my Crim Race!

Thursday during treatment I was whining and complaining about missing the race.  One of the nurses encouraged me to go ahead and participate.  She explained that my white count would still be good this weekend and if I felt up to it I should just go and run.  She planted a seed.  Why was I letting cancer call all the shots?  I am the one living this life.  What made me think I couldn't run the race if I couldn't run my best?  I like to run and I know I'm never going to be the fastest.  Sure I like to challenge myself but really it is just about the run.

The side effects from Chemo improved on Friday, possibly due to the shot of Neulasta to help stimulate the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells.  I actually felt well enough to attend Shelby's first marching band football season performance.  So the race was on.

My shirt for the race
My friend Laura had been having a difficult time training this summer.  She wasn't happy with it and had been thinking about being a no show for race day.  Well guess what, now she was going to be my running buddy. Despite the normal craziness of starting a race with 10,000 runners, we found each other shortly before crossing the start line.  I'm pretty sure it was another one of those "God Things" either that or Laura is just a hard person not to miss ;-)

As I ran, I remembered learning that cancer doesn't like oxygen.  So with each deep breath I envisioned the oxygen taking the powerful R-Chop Zombies to all the little spots where the Ninja cancers were hiding.  Cancers cells were being destroyed with each breath.

At about the halfway point, we were doing quite well, all things considered.  Running at about a 11.5 minute mile pace, when Laura hit the wall.  She wasn't happy about holding me back but I tried to tell her it wouldn't hurt me a bit to just hang back and enjoy the run.  Finally, she convinced me to just keep my pace and run.  Well, that didn't last long.  Maybe a mile more and my IT band decided to remind me that it likes a brace sometimes for a long run.  I had worn one last year for my long runs but hadn't made it past 9 miles in my training runs so honestly I never thought about it.  So I found a good spot off course to stretch and along comes Laura.  She is looking better and I'm running a little like a Zombie, you know how they always seem to have one limp leg they drag behind them.

So we walked more than we ran those last 3 miles but we enjoyed every minute of it.  At the back of the pack, the people talk and laugh and encourage each other.  Not to mention, you can be passed by a woman dressed like wonder woman and man as Mr. Incredible, that definitely put a smile on my face.  The best part after 2:24:39, we crossed the finish line.

The Crim Bricks Finish Line!

The medal is nice but knowing that ninja cancer cells were destroyed in those 10 miles is even better!


  1. You are the greatest person I know. I want you to know I could not have done this race without you. God had us find each other and today was one of my favorite Crim races. Especially crossing that finish line with you :) We really did have fun on the last half of the run/walk. I am so blessed to have a friend in you!!
    By the way AWESOME JOB TODAY!!!! You are a winner in so many ways! Love you :)

  2. Very proud of you daughter and happy that you could enjoy this weekend. Watching Shelby, running the Crim race, and helping Zach with his tennis party. Congratulations.

    Great pictures!

  3. You are amazing! Congrats for not only participating and finishing but encouraging Laura to do so as well. I'm proud to call you my friend!

  4. You are amazing. I can't wait for the book "zombies vs. ninjas - the Danell Duff story of victory over cancer". I am so blessed to still have you in my life, even if it is in cyberspace.