Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Run to Remember

A few years ago, my SIL Pam was at the YMCA running on a treadmill when suddenly she just fell off of it into a seizure.  She said it was the weirdest feeling because she was perfectly aware inside her body but was completely unable to express to the emergency responders what was going on. They thought she was having a diabetic seizure or something and were asking her questions to which the only way she could respond was to shake one finger. The seizure subsided a bit and she was able to gasp out "Cancer Patient."  They rushed her to the hospital and her team met her there.  In doing scans they found a teeny, tiny spot of cancer that had metastasized just above her ear.  By teeny tiny I mean this thing was no larger than the end of a sharpened pencil according to the doctors.  She ultimately had surgery and chemo and it got rid of it, but Pamela was never able to run again.  In fact, it took her quite some time before the leg on the seizure side would cooperate enough for her to walk for exercise.  When she came home that Christmas after that incident she pulled me aside and said, "Helen, I am never going to be able to run again so I'm passing the Lancaster Family running torch on to you.  Run for me, will you?"

This morning, I ran 8.02 miles for Pam.

Normally I do my long training runs on Saturdays but we will be in Michigan on Saturday and I'm not sure how or if I will be able to fit in a run of any distance.  Since today is Pam's memorial service here, I thought it appropriate to flip my long run to today.

I think Pam was powering me too because once again I finished minutes faster than I had planned on and my pace on this run was a few seconds per mile faster than my 7 miler last week.

I'm pretty sure Pam approves.

So, after my revelation last week of taking it one day at a time from Mrs. Fatass, taking baby steps from Shelley, and making deliberate choices from Miz then putting that all together in a necklace of "One Good Days," I have now had 8 good one days strung together in a row.

I got a lot of comments about the 1000 calorie thing on the blog yesterday - most of them being horrified.  After doing some research on thyroid patients and weight loss, I actually have been eating a bit more than I was before - not a lot - but good, clean, healthy choices - 150ish extra calories per day.  This result would be why I told my doctor I want to think about what she's asking:

That would be a 3.2 pound loss in the last week.

I think I want to keep trying my new way of putting together my one good days for a bit longer before I try something so drastic.

Besides, Pam always used to say that the race doesn't always go to the swift, but to the strong, to those who endure.  


  1. Pam would be proud. What a loving tribute to her from a very loving and giving person. It's been a pleasure getting to "know" you, Helen.

    Nice numbers.....

  2. That is such a touching story, it really makes you appreciate everything people take for granted in day to day life. You're on your way, keep up the great work. Congrats on the weight loss and the run.

    Much love~

  3. You have a "running angel!" How awesome! Someone to always run with you, walk with you, inspire you, encourage you! You are blessed!

  4. Pam was definitely with you on your run today - and what an amazing run it was!!! I was thinking about you today and I'm glad you posted. Hope you all get through the memorial service ok.

    Congrats on the loss - I think you know your body better than that doctor - and obviously you've come across something that works! Easy choice in my opinion.

  5. Very nice run and very nice loss. One day at a time looks like a good path forward.

    I love what Pam said "the race doesn't always go to the swift, but to the strong, to those who endure."

    How true is that!

    Was thinking about you this morning and wondering how your day was going. Was actually surprised to see a post! Thoughts are with you today.....
    take care

  6. Helen- That made me tear up. I am so pleased to hear about you carrying the running torch. AND stringing those one day at a times together...I am with you, today will be a second one dayer for me.
    I am thinking about you and your family.

  7. Congrats on both your amazing run and weight loss. Such a rock star! Stay strong today ...

  8. I teared up too. A very nice memorial run, Helen. :)

    Great loss!

  9. Beautiful. I think Pam will be with you when you run the half this summer...coaching and loving you along.

  10. What a great post!!! Thank you for sharing her story as well as your own!! I appreciate your openness about some of the pain you and your family are having to endure. Sounds like you have found a way to stay focused, thankful, and motivated! Good for you mama!

  11. What a wonderful motivation for your running. And congrats on the weight loss!

  12. Yes, Pam would definitely be proud of you Helen!! I am sure she was there cheering you on in spirit!

    Woot on the -3.2 and making that string of necklace of good days longer each day!

  13. That run was a great way to honor Pams memory. I sure she would be proud of you not matter what your time was although it was awesome.

    Also, wanted to let you know I received your lovely package of books today. It was a much needed boost to my day. Thank you Helen.

  14. Wow, this is a great post. I really needed to read this!!!! I love the one good day at a time theory, such a good way to see things. I can't express how awesome this was to read. Thanks a million for making my day!

  15. Wow Helen, that story really touched me. All I can say is run Helen run!

    I am glad to hear of all the good days strung together. Good work!

  16. Now I wannna make you a necklace with 8 beads.
    and room for a ninth.


    xo xo

  17. "Pam always used to say that the race doesn't always go to the swift, but to the strong, to those who endure."

    Pam sounds like a very smart woman. I may have to put this on my monitor at work. :) Congrats on a great run.

  18. I have tears in my eyes! What a lovely way to remember her!
    Congrats on the loss! One day at a time is a good plan.


  19. Inspiring post. Thanks for the boost! xoxo

  20. Just wanted to post again to let you know I'm thinking about you today. I got my giveaway book in the mail (that was quick) and spent some time reading last night.

    I hope the memorial brings you all some peace. What a lovely woman, that Pam.


  21. Thank you for sharing Pam's story with us! This sure made me tear up. That's awesome you have her memory to run for. ♥

    I got those books today! Thank you so much!!!

  22. Just came across your blog. What an amazing story. I don't know the history since this is the first post of yours I've read, but I'm sure your sil would be so proud of you.

  23. What a great story and fantastic ongoing tribute to Pam. Keep it up!

  24. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. You rock lady.

  25. What a nice way to honor our SIL with a great run!

    Congrats on your big loss this week! You are doing something right so keep up the good work.

  26. What an incredible story...and an incredible thing for you to do as well. 8 miles is AWESOME!