Dear Friends of Christi,
I know, I just wrote recently, but here’s another entry. This one; however, will start out with a piece written by Shayne:
This morning was my last long run (20 miles). Next week is 15 and the following is 10 which will complete my tapering down - leading up to the marathon. When you are out on a 20 mile run you have plenty of time to think. As I started out on this beautiful fall day my mind was full of thoughts of contrast. It took a mile to get the smile off my face from a story Angela told me about her conversation with my high school track coach yesterday at school. He was SHOCKED to hear that I was going to run the New York Marathon. I was not exactly a dedicated track athlete years ago. My buddy Irv and I would leave the weight room on sunny days to throw the shot put and discus. Mostly though we lifted weights and moved track equipment when Coach needed help.
So anyways these thoughts got me into thinking about differences and changes-contrasts etc. This week I had received a detailed marathon course description from the New York Road Runners Club. The course I ran today could not possibly any more different than what I will run in a few weeks. The first sign of life I saw on my run in rural
The first vehicle that passed me was a Tiffin Deluxe van-(local heating/cooling/plumbing contractor) that was exactly the lift that I needed! What? Why? Oh, let me tell you. When we were staying in
Back to the run…..at about mile eight I then turned down County Road 12. It is a very narrow (smaller than any
Mile 12 took me into the little
The final four miles were actually much easier. These were the “good neighbor” miles. I ran by many people who have at various times and various ways lifted us up during Christi’s cancer battle. Depinets, Frankarts, Shocks, Gosches, Fabrizios, Petrisionos, etc. we definitely have great neighbors. As I jogged passed Gosche’s, (Kaylyn is one of Christi’s best friends) I was suddenly struck by the fact that if things do not work out for Christi I will have to face her friends. I must be able to honestly say that we did everything we possible could to save her. From their perspective Christi could never let them down, but perhaps we could. I think I could lie to myself, but not them - we must find a cure. So I will continue to fundraise because it is the right thing to do. Again I thank you for your support of this great cause.
Angela here! Well, thanks to very generous donors, he’s qualified to be a member of “Fred’s Team” by raising the $2,000 needed. His “official outfit” also arrived so note the photo at the top of this entry. (Doesn’t he look cute in orange and purple?!!) Well, I think this is the appropriate place to share some “funnies” regarding Shayne’s preparations for the marathon which began back in June.
*One day in July Shayne was trying to get his 14 mile run in. They kept calling for rain and he kept waiting for it to come and get over with so he could head out. Finally, he decided he’d best not wait any longer and he’d just head out. After an hour or so I was folding towels on the kitchen table when I saw the sky darken and a bolt of lightning flash. I said, “Girls, get in the van now. Don’t even put on your shoes, we’ve got to go save Daddy!” And we did just in the nick of time! I was thankful. Just as he hopped in the van a huge downpour erupted and we were engulfed in the midst of a fierce summer storm.
*About a month ago, Shayne was going to do about an 18 mile run with a friend. He set the alarm for and he was all ready to go at when they were leaving. Well, wires were crossed so at Shayne headed out without him. I was worried about him going that far alone so after an hour and a half I loaded up waters and dry clothes and headed out going the same path he told me he’d be taking. Well, I drove it twice without a trace of him so I became quite nervous. Then on 224 I saw some “suspicious” looking folks trying to hitchhike, but tried to not stereotype and judge. Then on 100 I saw two more again trying to get a ride. Finally, I called the Sheriff’s department to report some hitch hikers and that was when I learned that “my description fit the description of four individuals who were released from jail that morning”. Then I was REALLY worried! Finally, I found him you see Shayne states, “It was such a gorgeous morning that I added an extra loop to my route.” Whew! (That actually happened again another week when I went out looking for him and he had again varied the route.)
*I learned that someone was talking to Shayne about his training for the marathon and they assumed he was training for next year’s 2006 marathon. When he learned it was for next month he told Shayne, “You’d better start training. Do you think you’re just going to go out and run this thing?” Seriously, Shayne has been following a training program since the day of Jay Barnett’s death. He’s running for a mission; he’s running to help find a cure. “Can you imagine a world without cancer?!” You see when one first enters this world everything one has ever known is stripped from them. A normal life no longer exists. There is no more control, period. There are no more choices for you to make, period. I believe that Shayne is used to taking control and solving problems. Since he’s not able to solve this one, he’s using what power and control he does have to try to help others find the answer to the problem. Knowing what other parents in this situation do to help them cope, I’m thrilled with Shayne’s healthy choices in how he manages this unbelievable stress that we live 24/7. He’s amazing!
*Finally, my last “funny” happened just yesterday. Our former high school health teacher and Shayne’s former track coach subbed in the classroom next to mine. After school he stopped by to chat and he also told me to ask Shayne if he’d attend a fundraiser that they’re trying to get started as an Alumni Track Team Member. I responded, “Of course! And actually he qualified for the New York City Marathon and he’s running in it next month.” Ohhhhhhhhhhh, you should have seen the look on Coach Schar’s face!!!!!!!! He was completely stunned! You see Shayne wasn’t exactly a runner. He was on the team, but he threw disc and shot put. It’s amazing what cancer can make you do. Now I recently told Shayne’s Jr. High track coach, who was also substitute teaching in our building, about Shayne’s upcoming marathon and I chuckled to Mr. Jones saying, “You probably never let him run on your team did you? I think he just threw shot and disc.” Mr. Jones surprised me by saying, “He did run and I remember a race where he fell and actually crawled to the finish line.” Paul went on to tell me how bad Shayne felt and how proud of Shayne he was for doing that and showing his commitment and drive.
I know, I know, you’re really checking in to inquire about Christi’s health; I will put just a quick final note here to let you know that Christi continues to feel very well. She’s been going to school every day as well as taking horse riding lessons, ballet, jazz, religion and piano lessons every week. She had a fabulous time with her friends at the sleepover. Her hair is still here although I’m truly not certain if that will remain. Dr. Maris told me this summer “after a few rounds of the irino/temador it is highly likely that it will fall out again”. She just finished her third round and she’ll start her 4th round on Thursday. I think if/when it does fall out again, she’s not going to take it well this time. I guess what is funny to a five year old isn’t funny when you’re in the fourth grade. Regardless, she’s alive, she’s treasured and she’s oh so special to us!! We have been richly blessed by this cherished little princess. "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Thanks for checking in and be certain to hug your loved ones today! You don’t know what tomorrow may bring.
Parents of: Christi (now 8) NBIV, dx.
The American Red Cross and the Community Hospice Care will be sponsoring a blood drive in “Christi Thomas’s Honor” on Friday, October 21st from
. The bloodmobile will be at
So this will be the outline of the course:
Segmenting the course in your mind is a great way to break it down into more manageable pieces. After all, 26.2 miles not only sounds like a long way to runit is! So take it one borough at a time, enjoying all that
The second mile is all downhill. Be careful not to pick the pace up too much here or you will not only waste energy, but you could also overstride and cause an injury as you are not fully warmed up. It is best to disregard your time splits for the first 2 miles, as they are not accurate readings of your pace. Average your time for the first 2 miles for a more accurate reading.
Use the huge Williamsburg Bank clock tower to guide you to the 8-mile mark and the first ING Cheering Zone at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. A bit past that point, you encounter a few uphills that aren't too nasty, but after running along the relatively flat sections for 6 miles they can upset your ryhthm. Then, from 8.5 to about 10 miles you get some nice downhills, followed by some moderate ascents over the next mile. From 11 miles to the 20K mark it is mostly down or flat. Look forward to a nice downhill at 20K as you turn right. Then you go left, toward the
From 60th Street to 70th Street is up, then down from 70th to 74th - past MSKCC and the Ronald McDonald house where you will see the pediatric patients and their parents cheering you on in your orange and purple uniform. This is followed from 74th to 86th, down from 87th to 90th, then a flat stretch to 96th. From there begins a difficult stretch. It is uphill almost all the way to
However, from here almost all the way to
You turn right onto Central Park South by the Plaza Hotel and go a quarter-mile slightly uphill, flanked by huge crowds. At
But so what! You can't even see the grade. All you can see are marathonersyour fellow heroes and heroinesbordered by the massive cheering crowd. And soon all you see is that wonderful, long-awaited sight: the finish line clock. You may have felt and looked awful a few yards back, but now is the time to look great for all your fans, and for the finish-line photo that will stir memories for many years. Painful memories, for sure, but proud ones. Because conquering a marathon is a serious accomplishment. Beating the New York City Marathon is even more special. For more info on what to know before you go, visit-- http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/training/coursepreview.php
Congratulations to each of our runners as you anticipate crossing the finish line of the 2005 ING
The Fred's Team Staff
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Shayne & Angela Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org