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  • On Path to New York City Marathon II

    Posted on August 24th, 2014 Michele Sun No comments

    Last night I was invited to a New York City Marathon party hosted by Mike, and it felt like I have walked million light-years from last year’s NYC Marathon party. This time, it actually looks more promising that I would actually make it to the start of NYCM. And I can’t thank Mike enough for  all the supports he has given me, and in a way I owe him my life!!


    It was at last year’s same famous “Mike’s dinner party” that he reminded (nagged) me to have my breathing problem checked because he worried, and he constantly followed up with “did you see your doctor yet?” “did you have test done yet? And what did they find?” After I was diagnosed with cancer, he was furious because he felt my family doctor has misdiagnosed at the beginning and wasted two weeks. I can understand why he was so angry, and I would act the same if it happened to my friends or family. No one likes the word cancer!  I was told by my oncologist that this particular type of cancer I have accounts for about 2%, and it’s rarely got discovered at early stage; this type of cancer cells are hard to detect but grow very aggressively. I can’t imagine what situation I would be in if it’s not because of Mike; he is truly a life saver.

    After Mike came back from NYC Marathon he brought back a NYCM shirt for me, which I wore proudly at the party this time. And he also ran Nike Women in Oct while I was hospitalized, then gave me that Tiffany necklace that I never taken off since I got it. I told him I didn’t deserve the necklace since I didn’t run it, but he said that race was ran in my honor. What have I done to deserve friendship and cares like this?

    At the dinner party, we talked about my health condition and marathon training progress, and it’s comforting to know that he would run with me the whole way. I actually am feeling very strong and positive about this season, even though my speed hasn’t come back completely yet. Since I kicked off my NYC Marathon training on July 1st, I have paced the SFM 1st Half, raced the Brazen Summer Breeze Half at 2:08, and most recently I did that challenging Cinderella Trail race. In a typical week, I usually do a 6ml group run on Tue evening, track workout on Wed, and 6 to 8 miles trail run on Sat, then on Sunday I do my paced long run.

    This morning I did my longest run, 15ml, at Los Gatos Creek Trail, and with this 15ml I happened to have logged 100.1ml in Aug, the longest distance (in a month) I have done since last summer. Since I haven’t done this kind of distance for a long time, I asked friends to join me. Marcia immediately agreed to start with me at 6:00am, and we ran the first 4.5ml together. With the amount of wine and food in my system, that was a very challenging start and I really had struggled hard. Lesson learned — never party & drinking the night before your long run.

    Then I ran with Paul who was doing his 12ml training run this morning for his Marine Corps; this is the first time we ran together and I liked him being a quiet runner. I explained that I am not fast, but he was cool about running at my pace. Los Gatos Creek Trail was less crowded on Sun morning, but still several runners said “Hi, Michele” or “Looking good Michele”, and Paul was amused and commented “you are very famous!” I laughed and almost wanted to tell him that I have heard about this “famous” part way too often.

    I haven’t run at LGCT for quite a while, and it seems no matter which day, distance, direction.. that I run here, I always got greeted, received high five and hugged by many runners. And it’s interesting to find that from the greeting you can tell how close or how well we know each other. “Michele, you are super speedy” — you don’t know much about me I guess, but thanks for the encouragement. “When/what is your next race?” — this person knows I am a crazy runner. “Where is your next race? ” — very good, you know I like destination races. And the best ones are the hearty hugs!!

    The special treat was running into Coach John and Anant this morning, and we ran pass each other twice on the trail; the second time Anant stopped and gave me a hug asking how my treatment goes, and he said “you have strong spirit” with confident tone. I am moved and happy to see them because they were my TNT coach and teammate when I first started running many years ago, and that comradery is always there. None of us would have guessed that “cancer” would impact one of ours life, and I appreciate their continuous morale supports. Most of my close friends are runners, and the best supports I am receiving are from my runner friends. To me, true friends are not the ones you  hangout with or party with all the time; they are the ones that you may not necessarily see often but make an effort to stay in contact;  really care about you and will  be there for you when needed.

    Besides marathon training, I am also moving toward good direction with my treatment. There have been some side effects that I need to deal with, for instance I get dizzy often and they have been  serious spinning in my head. My vision got very blurry that I almost could not read anything. But they are slowly diminishing with the new medications I am getting now, with out of pocket expenses. With all the medical bills keep piling up, honestly I am grateful that I can take care of myself financially and still can afford new running shoes and traveling to destination races.

    With all things considered, I am very lucky in so many ways!


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