Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Running and Brain Tumors!!

When I am running I feel alive, that is how I can summon it all. Over the last few weekends I have been able to see some awesome and amazing views.

Ran from Redwood city to San Francisco one day just to go and have lunch there. Went to the Headlands in two consecutive weekends to re-live my Headlands 100 experience. Step out of my house and ran in the Woodside mountains a lot and this past weekend I ran from Woodside to Half Moon Bay and back. That was awesome and brutal, but awesome nevertheless.

Just recently I got an email from somebody who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and she will be having surgery. She found me through this blog and I realize that having a brain tumor and surviving it was the beginning of my new life as a runner and endurance athlete. Being able to do these runs is a blessing and knowing it is even a bigger blessing. I have learned not to take things for granted, although I have to remind myself of that.

To my new found friend in Australia, I know you will beat this tumor and you will go on. Life is a myriad of constant change, for some of us the change is drastic (brain tumor) and for others the change is so settled that they might miss it entirely. Embrace change, it is necessary and if approached wisely you will come out on the other side stronger and happier.

So for my friend Amanda undergoing brain surgery soon “Down Under”… these are the 10 top things that made my “condition” a lot more fun (literally).

1. Focus on your life, not your tumor.
2. Try to find more about the doctor rather than the details of the operation.
3. If you have the choice, have the surgery when you are the healthiest and the strongest.
4. The tumor you can’t control, surgery you can’t control, recovery?… yes you can.
5. Don’t be afraid of Change, take it as a challenge not as a handicap.
6. Stay positive no matter what, let the negativity die with the tumor. Tell people how positive you feel about your upcoming surgery.
7. Take care of yourself, exercise, be active. You cannot control the tumor growth, but you can control how you react to it. Being active will help you recover faster.
8. Make fun of your tumor; give it a funny name… Use it as an excuse when you forget to take out the garbage or pick up the milk.
9. Look for courage not sympathy.
10. Stay away from downers.

Stay strong.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I just saw this slideshow and it really hits a cord.. I have been forced to change many times, and I wish I was shown this slide show in the past.   I particularlly like #4 as we tend to focus on stopping old behaviours instead of creating new ones.   

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Say what? Kathrine Switzer all over again!!

I was driving to get an Xrays of my right foot as it is been hurting when I run quite a bit.  Last weekend, as I ran from Redwood City to San Francisco (32 miles),  I had pain from mile 2 until the end.  It was more painful if I walked, so that forced me to run more.   In any event,  I self diagnosed myself with Morton's Neuroma or a stress fracture.  I sure hope that is MN, as that is more easily treated than a stress fracture.

So anyway, as I was saying, I was driving and I was listening to NPR and they were interviewing people from Palestine as their marathon got cancelled.  It turns out that they cancelled because they (Their government) don’t want men and women to run together.  I remembered the book by Katherine Switzer describing her experience in 1968 when she ran the Boston Marathon and one of the marshals tried to kick her out of the Marathon, amazing. 

Almost half of the international runners who had signed up for this year's race in Palestine were women. Of the 551 local Palestinians registered, 266 were women, this is the type of events that will bring the country together and bring some happiness to many.  It is too bad that Hamas has decided that it is against the “culture” of the region to have men and women running alongside, but is it?