I was a little disappointed that I didn’t improve my time in the fifth race of the Adams County 5K Challenge. After cutting more than 2.5 minutes last time out, I was hoping to be at least a little faster. But my time was nearly identical: 33:26.
What helped put my race in context, though, was discovering that a relative I’ve sometimes spotted at local races over the years was running his first race since finishing up chemo just a few weeks ago.
I’m sure it was frustrating for Jeff to be running so slowly – he finished a couple minutes behind me, which had to feel weird as he’s generally much closer to the front of the pack. But the fact that he was running at all, so soon after chemo, was kind of incredible.
Talking to his wife after the race, I discovered that he had the same kind of cancer Dad did: non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the fast-growing kind. He’s about the same age Dad was when he was diagnosed (62 vs. 64), and both of them initially thought the problem was that they’d torn their rotator cuff.
Dad has enjoyed more than 10 cancer-free years since then, so there’s plenty of cause for optimism. It sounds like Jeff is already making plans for his comeback, having recently signed up for a 200-mile bike race.