I haven't ran this course in awhile, even though it's one of my favorites. It's a rather hilly 9-mile course. One short hill at the beginning, a long gentle hill at the middle, then a steep long hill before the final downhill finish.
Today I went for it just because. But as I got into the last, most challenging hill, I remembered why I like this. I also remembered why I run.
Ten years ago in 2000 my wife was diagnosed of breast cancer. She fought it tooth and nail. She went through surgery, radiation, and a series of chemotherapy. The cancer was in semi-remission for quite some time. However, in 2006, her cancer came back. And it has spread to her lungs, liver, bones, and her brain. She had another surgery, another bout of radiation, and more chemotherapy. It's been a long uphill battle for her. Today she's still fighting. Every week she goes into chemotherapy, and every day she takes some more oral chemo pills.
She wasn't this ill before the cancer recurred in 2006. As a matter of fact, she took on running. She started training and then joining races. She ran a few Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure races and other local races in our area. She also did a 40-mile 2-day Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Eventually she wanted and felt ready to run a 10k. I supported her all the way, and we trained a few times together.
One of the training courses we ran was a shorter version of my favorite hilly course. I just told her to run along with me while I ran with her pace. As I noticed that she was feeling good, I decided to take her to the most challenging hill before she finishes it off with an easy downhill. She wasn't expecting it, but boy, did she dig deep to conquer that hill. She was so proud of herself after she got to the top of the hill without stopping. I was so proud of her.
Little did I know that she would use that runner's fighting spirit to face her most important battle in her life. I am so ever proud of her.
As I ran that same hill today, I prayed fervently for her. I offered my gift of health and running in prayer and in honor of my wife. To my wife, Jinky, I will always cherish you. I pray that you will be able to run again. I believe in miracles and I believe in the power of prayer. I love you, Jinky!