Tuesday, May 5, 2009

October 2008

All the work laid down in September was put to the test on October 5th. It turned out that the day was perfect. My apprehensions about weather evaporated. I'd felt that my pads wouldn't last 15 miles in lashing rain, so the only thing I had to contend with was keeping my spinchter tight and, maybe, if necessary, swapping my pads en-route (i had a spare pad, in wrapper, in a back pocket in my shorts. In the event, it turned out that I wasn't to need it, but better safe than sorry. I don't know how i was going to change it discreetly on the run, but I hadn't intended stopping.

Anyway, some 500 or so starters lined up on Summer Hill in Cork. I didn't do any warm-up, deciding that my endurance was at it's limit anyway. This was to be the acid test. I chatted with a few before hand and got lots of well wishes. One of my clubmates nearly frealked when he saw me but said little. After the race, he said, "Jesus Johnny, I really thought I see you crawling into Cobh, in last place..a sorry sight...not just 14 minutes after PC"

I ran steady all the way, running all the miles at around 8:40 pace, except for mile 14, past the old Verolme dockyard. There is a rotten hill there - it's not bad really, but after 13.3 miles, it is tough. Looking at the photos of those finishing around me, i appeared to be the freshest. Fresh I wasn't though, but it was good. I was really a one-paced runner and running close to the margins of my delicate "membrane". I'd finished a 15 mile race in 2:04:44, just 131 days after major surgery! Wow! Acid test passed!

The following Sunday I turned out for my Club, Eagle AC, in a 4 mile cross country race. This was a much more competitive affair than the previous sunday. The day was very foggy and, after only about 300m, I was left stranded, well adrift of the pack. I ploughed on nevertheless and, after 2.5 of the 4 laps, caught up with the second last runner, one of our own new members, running in his first ever race. I ran behind him for the next lap - I hadn't the energy to pass and he thought I was staying behind him to "encourage him". With half a lap to go. I did what any gallant cross country runner does to a flagging clubmate - I left him in my tracks!


Marky Mark said...

Hi there-just came across your blog as I being my own journey and with the desire to continue runnning....hope you're still well and enjoying running.

John Quigley said...

I'm afraid my Blog doesn't live up to it's name. Well over a year without an update.

However...yes..I'm doing pretty well. Just got my latest bloods last Mon -undetectable (<0.02 ng/l) and am back with my Uro on Fri 26th for his 6 monthly once over.

Two years on (well nearly! - 22 months, but who's counting!) and I'm still gaining strength and confidence, however age is chipping away too! , but I'll do what I can to keep it at bay.

My running isn't up to the standard it was before surgery, but it's improving. Getting back close to my peers again.

I'm running about 60 miles a week at the moment, as I'm aiming at a key local 10 miler, the Ballycotton 10, on Sunday week - my 26th consecutive attempt at this annual event.

I'm also organising teams of Cancer Survivors to run in the Cork City Marathon Relay on June 7th. The aim of the team members is inspire others and push the message that Cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence.

I wish you well Mark, on your own journey. Your fitness and conditioning will stand to you in a big way..

Marky Mark said...

Many thanks John and 60 miles per week is spectacular at any point! I'm so glad you've done that well. I'm not looking forward to next Thursday but am going to chip away at the recovery one day at a time. Mark

John Quigley said...

You'll be fine Mark.
Having been through it, I can say that it's certainly not a 'Walk in the Park', or something I'd like to do again in any form. But it's gone (touch wood!). Hopefully yours will too.

Make haste slowly afterwards - but not too slowly. There is sunlight at the other side of the tunnel!

Best of luck on Thurs and with the recovery!

Marky Mark said...

Many thanks John! I had a heart attack (with an arrest) 10 years ago and bounced back from that, ultimately running a marathon, and I blogged about it and was able to help others new to that disease. So I will try to use the same skills here. There is a 5K walk/run 16 days after my surgery and I'm hoping to do it as a stroll but we'll see. My surgery isn't open-it is being done with four small incisions assisted by a robot arm, so the recovery from the incision itself should be easier than in an open surgery, but all the internal stuff is the same.

I won't get the pathology results back for some time-I'm hoping not to also need supplementary radiation and according to some algorithms there is only a fairly small chance of that, but we shall see.

Good luck on the 26tth and congratulations on organizing the Cork City event-if I were closer (I'm in Toronto) I'd come out!