The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

My training progress

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why chemo is not like running

First, I would like to give a big thanks to my cousin Edward for a very generous donation and pursuit of matching funds from his company.  I would also like to thank my Uncle Shiu-fun and Aunt Celia for their donation and to Sandi for putting together the excellent logo pictured above.  Once I get through the fun of grading 90 research papers and watching 45 student presentations, I'm going to see what I can do about getting t-shirts made.  This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting with my parents and my Aunt Edith this weekend who flew down to Ohio from Canada (the roast pork was delicious!).  I know that my mom appreciates all the support she is receiving from all of her family members.

I had plenty of time to do some thinking on the drive back to Michigan and, despite the similarities that inspired the team name, I decided to do a blog post on why chemotherapy is not like running.  Why?  I think that running is sometimes too often compared to very real difficulties.  I run willingly because it brings me joy and I find satisfaction in overcoming the personal challenges involved.  I benefit through health and wellness and increased fitness levels.  Tying on my running shoes and heading out the door is an escape from my troubles and, typically, leaves me feeling more relaxed and at ease.  Going to chemo is decidedly not like that.

Going through chemotherapy is not optional.  It is not fun.  It does not leave one feeling better afterward.  It requires a complete reorganization of ones life to deal with drugs upon drugs and even more drugs to deal with the side effects of the first drugs.  It is not an exercise that, upon completion, leaves one feeling better.  Much the opposite, it leaves one feeling worse.  The whole process, which takes months, is a losing battle against fatigue, a declining immune system, and more.  The struggle is to lose slowly enough that the treatment can continue.  At the end is not a nice clean finish line, but relief mixed with continued uncertainty about the future.

I hope that didn't sound too negative.  In fact, I am a fan of running metaphors and do feel that there are very real similarities that exist.  However, I don't want to belittle the physically and psychologically difficult, but very necessary, process of cancer treatment by suggesting that it is the same as running, which when it comes down to it is just recreation.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Off and running (and donating)

It's actually a bit strange to be blogging again after taking a year off.  I am very proud to note that Team Single Step has already collected $510 thanks to generous donations by my mom and dad, Denise, Aunt Edith, Simon and Sally, Sandi and Andre.  We are already the team with the most donations collected so far!  I've decided to purchase the domain name for teamsinglestep.com and will be redirecting it shortly so that it is easier for people to make donations.

I don't have much to say about running.  I did a 25 mile run on Saturday to burn off the excess turkey consumption.  I've mostly been putting in a few 5 milers and 10 milers here and there with no clear training plan.  I confess that I've been more focused on the Western States 100 lottery that is being held on Saturday since this will largely dictate my running in 2011 (I ran the Fall Classic 50 in October as a qualification run.)  For those of you who aren't familiar with the race, it is probably the most famous 100 mile race in the country and, due to its mountain terrain and remoteness, it has a reputation as one of the toughest.  They use a lottery system since it is so popular and space is limited.  Just over 1600 people have applied, which means I only have around a 20% chance of getting in.  Keep your fingers crossed.

On a side note, does anyone have any ideas for T-shirt designs?  I really like the link between the team name and the Confucious quote so perhaps something Chinese.  I, unfortunately, lack any reasonable artistic skill, but I would be happy to send a free shirt to anyone who can come up with a good design.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My blog is active again!

I'm back and this time I'm preparing to run the 12 hour Relay for Life event at Saginaw Valley State University on April 8th to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  I'll make more updates to the blog as I gear up fundraising efforts.  However, the first step is that I need a team name.  Any ideas?  Please post them in the comments section!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thanks for all of your support these last three years!

As anyone who has come across this blog recently has probably noticed, it hasn't been very active lately. After spending three years building up Lupus Runners and working with other dedicated runners to raise over $12,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America, I have officially redirected the domain name for Lupus Runners (www.lupusrunner.org) over to Cruz Pitre. These past few years I have been pleasantly surprised at how our group has grown and am glad to see that there are so many runners who are willing to contribute their time and energy fundraising even though my time and energy has been limited this past year.

I look forward to continuing to run in 2010 and have my sights on Burning River again. Tim Smith is also putting together a 50k in November or December to help raise more money to fight Lupus. I would love to make it out for that run. I'll also do what I can to continue to help raise money and heighten awareness. Perhaps in a year or so I will sign back on, but I'll probably take a break for 2010. If you are ultrarunner, I'd encourage you to check out Tim's race at http://www.chemsmith.net/50k.html. If you are interested in helping raise money to fight Lupus, I would encourage you to check out Cruz's blog at http://www.lupusrunner.org. Thanks again to everyone who has supported me and the rest of the Lupus Runners over these past three years. Your money has gone to a great cause and your comments and emails have helped inspire our group. See you on the trails.