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Gid ‘er dun.

October 30, 2011

That’s ‘get it done’ in English…hehe. They talk funny here in Atlanta, I guess I sound funny to them too, being from Chicago and the Philippines. But runners—especially slow runners—are the same all over: They have same anxiety when starting a race.  But beyond the Southern accent, they are nice out here.

This is my first time to run outside of my home city. I am glad I did it here and in a small race to fully experience Georgia’s southern hospitality. The Silver Comet race was named after the trail the half-marathon was run on. It is flat and is beautifully set in tree-lined pathways big enough for the 1500 participants. Being small the crowds were limited except at the end. Race rules says no iPods or earphones in-use but nobody would call you out.  That would not be nice.

They have their own version of timers too. At each major mile marker, they have volunteers standing and shouting out your time as you pass-by. “Seventy minutes. Ten seconds,” shouted a volunteer at mile 6, then he counts for the next runner. The water stations were adequate and they have bins to dispose of your cups. Runners would take time to throw it properly in designated trash bins or piles. I told you they are nice here.

Nice but still competitive. The male winner came in at 1:18:01, while the female winner 1:26:36. I came in at 2:37:48 which is a good improvement from my last half-marathon of 2:43:56 (bye-bye, Al Roker) in August.  I got it done.  Also, I am happy with my time and felt much stronger in the second half. Stronger but still vulnerable.

When you think about it, my predicament is unbelievable, unreal, and unfair. I have confirmed cancer nodules in the very lungs (both lungs) that keeps me running. I have improved my time by six minutes in the half, finished a marathon three weeks ago, and I am not wheezing or coughing. As if my cancer is not real and yet I have to give this all up for chemo in two weeks.

I am not bitter.  I know what this disease can do and I am not taking it for granted. I take what is given; like the opportunity to run here in the Atlanta area or be with friends. Besides, it is best to deal with my cancer when I am my strongest and the nodules are still relatively small and few.

Now for the finale, my wife and I are entered to run the Hot Chocolate 15/5K race on November 5. What a better way to close my running season than eating some decadent Ghirardelli chocolate at the end of race. Yes! My cancer cells will be so happy with first class chocolates to plump them up. It will be a sugar-loading feast for them until November 8. Ha…ha…ha! Happy Halloween.

Silver Comet race in Atlanta, GA

 

Cheers.

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