Tuesday, July 17, 2012

True Confessions of a Non-Runner

So one of my many (silly) excuses for not updating this blog more frequently these last few months is that I've been busy doing other stuff. Stuff like hanging out at my all-time favorite hospital (doing "amazing things," of course), working hard to get my prograf level stable, trying to stay hydrated in the insanity of NY summer heat, and, of course, running.

Yes, you read that right.

Back in January a group of my post-tx CF "cysters" and I decided to sign up for the Boomer Esiason Foundation's 10K "Run to Breathe" in Central Park. I should probably preface the rest of this post by explaining that I am IN NO WAY a "runner." I am in no way a jogger. I am a decent enough walker, especially now that I'm no longer allowed in the subway because of germs, but that's about the extent of it. Future Olympic track superstar, I am not.

But I agreed to do it anyway because I figured 1) it would be a good way to challenge myself and my new lungs, 2) outdoor races are a good way for the CF community to gather together, since there's less potential for crazy germ spreading than at indoor events, and 3) if I could get into better shape AND raise some money/awareness for a good cause it would be win/win. Plus, you know, everybody else was doing it, and I had like 7 months to train, right?

Well, sort of, at least. Turns out my body, as so often happens, had some other plans for those 7 months. Nothing overly serious from a CF perspective, mind you, but just enough excitement to keep me on my toes. A sinus infection, some slight dips in my PFTs, a weird prograf mystery -- little stuff like that. And then, quite suddenly it seemed, I found myself at the gym this morning with less than a week to go and still a LOT of ground to cover.

Suffice it to say that by the time I stumbled off the treadmill and headed for the gym exit, I was feeling less-than-inspiring, and more than a little concerned about how I was gonna find the energy to cover a 6.25 mile run/jog/walk in just a few days. My hand was on the door handle when I felt a tap on my shoulder...

Lady: um, excuse me, but I think you may want to run to the locker room? You've got some white stuff in your hair.
Me: (touching my hair) thank you, but that's just salt. I'll wash it off at home.
Her: oh! Do you have CF, by chance? My nephew has that disease!
(I nod.)
Her: wow, how old are you? Is that rude? I'm sorry, it's just...(tearing up).
Me: it's okay. I'm 30. I had a transplant 2 years ago.
Her: And you can run?! You're a runner?? Wow! That is the best thing EVER! I'm so happy I met you! Wait until I tell Ryan I met a 30 year old RUNNER with his disease!

We hugged after that, and she left. I thought about calling after her, about catching up and explaining that I'm NOT a runner, that I'm not as on the ball with training as I had hoped to be, that I'm worried about the heat and cramps and prograf and salt and the results of today's most recent bloodwork and that I feel like pretty much anything except a role model right now because I'm hot and exhausted and did I mention before that I am NOT a runner?!

But I didn't. I just smiled after her and tried to look like the strong, CF runner she thought I could be.

And just like that, I found the energy to run all the way home.


  1. I've always said I would never run more than a 5k, but a 10k through Central Park to raise money for CF might just be enough motivation for me to actually do it.

  2. no need for her to know you aren't a "real" runner. Hope is hope! :) good luck this weekend? Next week? Whenever it is!!! <3

  3. A good athletic outfit can do a lot to fool the onlookers. I prefer comfortable, sometimes athletic clothing, though I don't play sports anymore. If it happens to come up that I have CF and my disease is severe I always get the comment, "But you look so athletic!" So keep those running shoes on and maybe find a shortcut for the race. ;) No one will notice! Or care! Have fun.

  4. It's posts like these that brings tears to my eyes and, at the same time, gives me hope that my almost six-year-old granddaughter can grow up and be "just like you."

  5. Awesome. Just awesome.


  6. what an amazing gift you gave to her and her family, just by being your amazing self...