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  • My 2014 Recap

    Posted on December 31st, 2014 Michele Sun No comments

    Google+ has annual year-end video with music that makes everything look happy & wonderful, and personally I found it a bit deceiving because not everyday comes with ribbons and bows!! And funny that Facebook also has similar feature now, lots of friends are sharing those on their walls but I refused and was a bit afraid to press that button. I decide what memorable moments are in my life and what pictures to pop-up, not social media. 2014 has been a great year with many special moments and important milestones!

    Jan, this year started with a MMMs birthday party with Marcia & Michael, who have been so supportive in so many ways and in so many things I do. One cannot ask for better friends!! Right next day I ran 9ml in Pleasanton which was the longest since Aug 16, 2013. What a wonderful feeling that I was able to lace up my running shoes and kick some dirt. And how I missed the sense of freedom and physical fit. On Jan 12th, I ran to JD’s bench and brought him flowers and during this solo run I heard a calling, I saw a sign.. I decided to join TNT Pen Summer Team as a Training Captain. This is also the month that Andy left suddenly at a very young age, and I could’t stop thinking about how uncertain and fragile life is.


    Feb, the season kicked off with TNT and I spent most of my Saturdays marking courses, driving my car with water & GUs in my trunk, and because it’s Pen team so the runs are in areas that I have never been to, i.e. Redwood Shores, Woodside, San Mateo..etc.. all new playgrounds. And I came to meet lots of strong & dedicated runners, regardless of their speed & physical shape they are the strongest in my opinion. And thanks to GU for sending me lots of gels, so our runners could train for their races with proper sports nutrition. On Feb 15th I paced a Brazen half marathon and I was so nervous the night before, because I hadn’t been running such distance for 6 months already, though I was confident that  2:30 was totally doable. Another worry was the nausea, dizzy and blurry vision I had but I didn’t tell anyone. Pacing job completed and I could tell  I probably was looking awful from the worry look from friends.


    Mar, I ran my first 25K trail race, Run for Amma, on a blustery windy and rainy day. I was touched and moved by this group of brave and dedicated Stevens Creek Striders; especially the race director Mike who put together this run in memory of “Amma” and to raise funds supporting Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Originally I was going to volunteer at the run, but Mike said “I am glad that you will come to help, but I would rather see you running.” I would not think a 25K trail run being possible, not even when I was healthy, but because of people believed in me and saw me as a strong fighter, therefore I challenged myself! Thanks to Hans and Peter for running with me that day and endured the blasting wind and rain together. And thanks to Mike and Usha for the slideshow at the post run party, I missed seeing the smiling and lively Michele so much!!  On Monday after the run, I received a gold pendant from J which came as  a complete surprise; it’s a blessed token from his grandma since he was a teenager, and now he is passing that blessing to  show how much he cares. I was deelpy moved…  After a long 2 1/2  year separation, I never expect our path would cross again and in such unfortunate way…


    April, on the 14th I learned the exciting news that I got into Chicago Marathon. My goal this year was to be healthy, regain my strength, not getting beat up by cancer, and hopefully return to New York and complete my dream race. I wasn’t thinking about speed or time, just wanted to run a marathon again (in this life), THE marathon. So do I really want to go to Chicago? Will that rob my New York experience? After finding out several friends also getting into Chicago as well, I decided that I would tag along and run it as a last long run before New York. Plus I would not be traveling by myself, which made me feel safer and worry free, but little did I know nor  prepared for what actually happened in Chicago. Later that month I did Big Sur with Marcia and Michael again, and funny that I was photographed during the race and now featured in Big Sur Marathon 2015 calendar as Miss Oct 🙂


    May, TNT training continued on and I didn’t have much opportunity for my own training runs, but that’s OK with me. This season I met the strongest runner and fighter whom I wanted to give my 100% support, and I put whose goal as my goal. May 18th, went to Bay to Breakers with Kiyoko, Vinh, Michael, Venkat, Chad..etc, and can’t believe 100 tortillas could bring so much fun!! After the run got very sick and almost puked at MUNI. It was an alarming and later doctor sent me to a neurologist. Was I scared?? Yes. Was I worried? Not too much. I had come to accept whatever challenge and obstacle life have for me. Be strong, be positive!


    June 1st, I ran Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon and it brought back so much memory as San Diego was my first Marathon.  This time without much training I did it in 2:20, missed my goal by 5 mins. In the finisher village, I waited for hours for a participant to come back and I have never been so worried for anyone before.  In this Half, I ran in honor of those strong warriors fighting cancer, and in memory of those we have lost to cancers. At the end of June, I had the opportunity to volunteer at Western State 100, THE epic 100ml ultra-marathon!! Seeing so many super fit and strong endurance runners was exciting and inspiring, it’s just amazing to watch them run. I kept telling my friend that I wanted to crew his first 100 miler, and I wasn’t joking about  he got to make it sooner than later. If there is anything I have learned since last Oct, it would be to live each day the fullest and cherish everyone in my life. That night of gazing at stars and camping in the woods is forever imprinted in my memory….

    Camp fire

    July, I started my training for New York and also new medicine to deal with the nausea and dizziness in my head. My training included Tue evening run at Sports Basement, Wed track workout with Go Far, and on weekends I mixed shorter trail runs and longer road runs to keep them interesting. This month two of my favorite persons in the world got married!! I was in tears when Vinh and Kiyoko walking hand in hand into their beautiful ceremony, and wasn’t just giving speech when I said “I have waited this day for 2 years” at the toast. So glad and honored to be part of their growing love since 2 years ago. The day after the wedding, the newly wedded Vinh and Kiyoko ran SFM in a white tutu skirt I made for Kiyoko, and whole bunch of us paced the SFM that day. As I am typing this very special race, can’t help to get teary again and so glad that I got to be a special “mile-marker” in their lives and wish them all the happiness in the world. Now I understand why parents cry at their children’s wedding :-p



    Aug, now 13 weeks to New York and I wanna see my training progress, so I signed up a Brazen Half as a test run. It’s a small and well organized race, and I knew the course well. Finished in 2:08, very happy with the result because I was comfortable with the distance now and I wasn’t tired after the race.  The 2nd week, my grandfather passed away, at age 92 he had lived a good life and he wasn’t in pain when he left us. Aug 16th, I ran CTR Cinderella to celebrate a special birthday, which has become my annual ritual and it’s also the last race I did last year. Running in beautiful trail in memory of my grandpa and in celebration of life!! I made a promise to my friend that I would be strong and be well, and wish to run his birthday run  again next year. Being able to stand at the start and look at those beautiful tall redwoods was very mesmerizing, and it’s really good to be alive. And thanks to Mike Williams for the New York City Marathon party!!! Everyday I was getting closer to New York!!


    Sept, training runs were getting longer and I was feeling pretty good. I was no where near the pace I used to be before, but my goal for New York was to finish the race with no walking and no suffering. Went for a trail run that’s part of the Skyline to the Sea course, and flying down the ascending trail after seeing waterfall made me feel like Peter Pan. Got a different medicine and it seemed to  help, though I had to pay out of pocket for that. So that’s one more thing that I had learned, being financially stable is a great deal when one is sick. With all the kind and professional medical staffs, supportive friends, strong legs, and new Newton shoes, I was pacing myself to New York!!

    Big Basin

    Oct, I scheduled one more Half Marathon to test how ready I was for New York. Thanks to GU’s support, I ran the Rock n’ Roll San Jose, and finished at 2:06. A complete surprise popped up and I got really stressed prior leaving for Chicago, but couldn’t back out now and I didn’t want to. Running away isn’t my style!!!  I would just have to face it and deal with it, and I think I did it with cool and gracious style. Don’t know how to thank Albert and Venkat for saving me, and I would be in much worse shape without Vinh and Kiyoko. I started holding tears about 1000 meters to the Finish, and was crying un-controllably when I crossed that finish line. Finishing Chicago Marathon on the “birthday” of my 2nd life was beyond my imagination, such emotional moment. And finding out my closest friend had no intention and plan to see me finish nor having that celebration beer after race with me was beyond my imagination as well, and it’s v.e.r.y. heart broken. Oct 12, 2014, I celebrated a new life but at the same time I lost my dearest friend.


    Coming back from Chicago with bitter-sweet feeling, really glad that my family were here to be with me and saved me. I took my lovely parents to Campbell Park to run their first race Oktoberfest 5K 🙂 Saying “mom, I am off to work” made me feel loved and cared again, having the hot and favorite dish cooked after work, or shopped for coffee beans jar together…etc,  all the little things were so warm and wonderful,and the power of love healed the hurts and wounds I have. Love you all~~


    Nov, the long overdue, forever anticipated, dream race, THE race, New York City Marathon finally came. The race that I have been dreaming for years, the race that was so close yet so far for me, the race that I couldn’t make to the start last year finally came. I flew into New York and Marcia was already waiting for me. We explored the Expo and pigged out at the best ramen place in East Village, and after the carbo-load dinner by Mike… I was set out to run my NYCM. On the ferry ride to Staten Island I watched Statue of Liberty passing by with my every own eyes, and I kept shouting in my head and my heart “Gosh, it’s such a wonderful feeling to be here. I am alive and I made it this far!!!” (Good that this is screen not paper, otherwise it would be soaked with my tears now.) Yes, I made it this far plus 26.2 miles in gusty wind!!! Never give up, Michele!!!


    Dec., I did the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot last week with my friends again, and they really are my family now. Over the post race brunch I kept telling Michael and Marcia that “I don’t think I can finish North Face.” Right, the very stupid me signed up the North Face Endurance Challenge (50K), and the never done trail marathon me was going to run my first Ultra, at North Face on Dec 6th. The trail was muddy and slippery after the nonstop pouring rain, so it made the hills even harder to run. But after 9 hours and 45 mins, I finished!! No DNF!! I am an ultra runner now!! To escape the cold & rainy Bay Area, I spent Christmas in sunny Cancun and for once I didn’t pack running shoes with me 🙂 It’s time to unwind, relax, and be a complete beach bum. Coming back from a very warm and relaxing Cancun and back to very cold Bay Area, not that I wanted to but needed to come back for lab works yesterday morning. The tech drew 7 tubes of blood and I gratefully said “Thank you.” Back to reality….

    Chichen Itza

    2014 has truly been a great year,  lots of unique experience, check off many from my bucket-list, learned so much about myself, and even amazed myself couple times!! There was one loss with heavy heart, but sorry is part of life as well. As we wrap up this year, I must say “thank you” humbly and gratefully to friends far and near, readers of this blog, my sponsor GU Energy Lab, my running buddies, my doctors and all the angels in medical field.. without your hands carrying me  and guiding me, I wouldn’t be able to make this far. Thanks for those being very straight forward with me because you truly care and you look out for me, and for that I thank you for  being in my life, standing by me, and I look forward to our 2015 together!

    The heart asks pleasure first
    And then excuse from pain
    and then those little anodynes
    that deaden suffering.

    And then to go to sleep
    and then if it should be
    the will of its inquisitor
    the privilege to die.

    ~~ Emily Dickison


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