Members of Team SJS just minutes before the start of the 2010 Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's Do or Die Time!!

Holy crap!!!! There are only 7 days until race day! Oh man! I'm starting to wonder what the hell I was thinking when I decided to attempt this thing!! Seriously, Kendra? Really? You know it's 13.1 miles, right? You know you have never run more than 10 miles and that the last time you attempted 11, you got so sick you quit after 7, right? You have such a sensitive stomach that you are not allowed to eat dairy for three days before the race, no red meat or tomatoes the night before and that even chicken soup is too greasy for you. All you are able to eat is a grilled chicken breast and plain pasta!! Who eats like that? You remember that 2 years ago you nearly died? You remember the intense pain you had in your feet that caused you to wake up in the middle of the night to put socks on so the tingling would stop, right? And you know you can only see out of one eye. Did you forget that part? For all intensive purposes, you are blind in one eye! How about the months of physical therapy you needed to do in order to get out of that wheelchair? Or the balance exercises to get rid of the cane? Oh, and the hats you wore to cover your bald head!

Yeah, I remember all that. I remember my limitations every day. I fight the joint pain every day and wake up every morning coughing the junk out of my lungs that has collected over night. I have a special routine of eye drops, cleaning lenses and praying that when I get the lens in I can still see. I have fears of one day losing my vision all together and what that would mean for me and my family. So yeah, I remember all of those things.

But I also remember that I am not alone in this! I am not the only survivor of this terrible illness and I am beyond excited to know that I will be meeting three of them in less than a week! I can't wait to pick Rachel up at the airport after her flight from Boston. I can't wait to get Kate's call that they are at their hotel after their flight to Milwaukee from Atlanta and their drive from the airport. I can't wait to see Ethan with his mom and dad, brother and sister from Val Paraiso, Indiana. Although all of these horrible things happened from my SJS experience, there are also blessings that came after it's passing. I am thrilled to be a part of the SJS community. I wouldn't trade that for the world! I just wish we all knew each other under different circumstances.

Today was my last long run before race day. Although I was very unsure about how I was going to feel, I tried to remain as positive as possible. I had taken most of last week off of running because my schedule wouldn't allow it. With my increased hours at work and the kids activities after school, I struggled with not having the time. So today was a pretty big test for me. Mike and I set out to do 7 miles around 10:30 this morning. The sun was shining and there was a pretty strong breeze. There was no humidity in the air and it felt great! A beautiful fall day in the amazing midwest!

Because of the miles I missed last week, I felt sluggish. I knew we were running a pretty good clip, but it took effort today. I had a few brief moments where I thought maybe I was going to have some problems, but the moments passed and Mike and I just kept going. Our conversation went from the houses we were running past, the plans for the weekend and books we are reading. And when we had run all but the last few blocks, I felt a wave of emotion that I have not felt before.

This was it! All of the training and preparation, the frustrations, the ice, the reading up on what to eat and what not to eat, the phone calls and emails with Rob to figure out my insides, the sweat, the Gatorade, the time, and the climb. That is what this was for me. A climb from the bottom to the top and all that that has entailed. And today, "I can almost see it, that dream I'm dreaming."

Thanks for taking the ride with me through all of this. I have so many loyal readers and I am so grateful that you have been here with me the entire time. We have made it to this point and now it's do or die! Let's get 'er done, shall we?


  1. good luck Kenda. I know you can do it.

  2. You are amazing! And you can do this...have faith in yourself. I'll be cheering for you along the race route!