Hey guys, a lot has happened since I last posted. It has been unfortunate that I sort of disappeared off of the map. So what happened? Hmm, many things. It mainly has to do with life. I have found it very difficult to train at the level I wanted to. My children are getting older and my wife is such a sweet heart. I love them all with a passion and time with them and time at work has consumed my time on the roads. Also, to tell you the truth, I have been somewhat of a lazy butt the past few months. Although I don't have the time to train at a very high level, I do have time to train and I simply have not been doing that at all. I've also used a couple of injuries to give me an excuse not to run. Many friends around me simply find it unbelievable that I stopped running completely. But it isn't so hard to believe once you really know me. I am an all or nothing guy who is very passionate about the things he cares about. I started running only as a tool for me to get in shape. I used races as a way to keep me inspired to keep training. Then racing became the be all and end all. Once I wasn't able to train the way I wanted to, I simply lost interest.
Now I am ready to start training again. I know I will be limited in what I am able to accomplish but you know what? The running community and the people and friends I have made over the years are much too precious to give up. That is the main reason why I'll be back. Oh, and I don't want to be that buy who gains 40lbs after quitting running. Who wants to be that guy?
I don't know Chuck personally but I ADMIRE how he was able to persevere both mentally and physically in his fight against cancer. I know this can be the most stressful thing that a family can go through. I am also proud that he has decided to choose running as an avenue to maintain his health. Good luck Chuck! I will be cheering for you this weekend! His story below:
This Sunday, Houston-resident Chuck Martinez, like many others, will be running in the Houston Half Marathon. However, unlike many others participating, Chuck Martinez is a lung cancer survivor.
His story, from the beginning of his journey through cancer:
In 2007, a year after surviving bladder cancer, 37-year-old Chuck Martinez received devastating news at a follow-up appointment. A routine chest X-ray revealed a mass in his right lung, which turned out to be stage IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer.
During a second opinion appointment with a team of cancer experts at MD Anderson, Chuck learned about proton therapy and the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. His radiation oncologist Dr. Ritsuko Komaki, the director of MD Anderson’s Thoracic Radiation Oncology Program, explained how proton therapy can precisely deliver high doses of powerful radiation directly to his tumor with less damage to nearby healthy organs.
“Knowing that proton therapy would allow my team to target the radiation directly to the tumor in my lung and protect my esophagus, spine and heart was extremely encouraging and all I needed to hear,” said Chuck, who was concerned about treatment-related side effects and how they might affect his life. “I knew I was going to receive the most advanced radiation treatment technology.”
Dr. Komaki, who has treated many lung cancer patients with proton therapy, agrees that proton therapy can be an excellent option for patients who have tumors located in sensitive areas of the body like the lung or in the chest.
“Chuck was a perfect candidate to receive proton therapy,” she explained. “With the location of his tumor, it was critical to limit the radiation dose to surrounding areas of his body, especially since he was on concurrent chemotherapy. Proton therapy allows us to precisely target the radiation just where the patient needs it.”
Every weekday for about seven weeks, Chuck received chemotherapy at the MD Anderson main campus and proton therapy treatments at the nearby MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. He tolerated both therapies well and was able to maintain his weight during treatment. Plus, he enjoyed spending time at the Proton Therapy Center, bonding with other patients.
“The Proton Therapy Center is a huge state-of-the-art facility. I liked the fact that I was going to a place where they were experts in cancer and proton therapy,” said Chuck. “Everyone at the Proton Therapy Center was there for that type of treatment, so we all could immediately connect. Listening to each other’s stories and sharing what we were going through was an everyday occurrence. The camaraderie among patients and their family members is unlike any other – that’s something that I won’t forget. And the staff and therapists were fantastic to all of us.”
Chuck’s last treatment was on September 24, 2007, making him cancer free for four years. These days, he is mindful about his health and takes good care of himself, but he still wonders what may have been the cause for his lung cancer.
“I’ve never been a smoker, so it has been one of the big mysteries for me – why did I get lung cancer in my thirties having never smoked?” said Chuck. “Before I was diagnosed in 2007, I was a drummer in a few cover bands, and I spent a lot of time playing in bars. Was it the second-hand smoke? Or was it the air pollution of the big city? I’ll never know for sure.”
Chuck still enjoys getting together with his old band mates and playing every now and then, but he spends most of his time with his family.
“My wife, Lora, and I both work, so we juggle our careers with raising our daughter, Mia,” said Chuck. “She’s nine years old and keeps us busy. She’s the center of our lives.”
Through Chuck’s cancer journey, he has gone on to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. He lost 30 pounds and ran his first half marathon in January 2011, raising money for the charity, CanCare, Inc, an organization whose volunteers regularly visit cancer patients.
“It was one of the hardest and yet most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” said Chuck, who is training with his wife for another half marathon. “It is very meaningful for me to be here and to be able to share such an accomplishment with my wife after all we’ve been through.”
In addition to running in the Houston Half this Sunday, Chuck will also return to run the Aramco Half Marathon in January 2012.
I have my own feelings about this. What are yours? Basically this 11 year kid is so physically gifted that he is almost guaranteed to score a touchdown every time he touches the ball. So basically the league has adjusted by not allowing him to get the ball once he scores 3 times and they are up by 14 points. Is this fair to the kid? Does this cause the kid to become embarrassed of his own talent that he limits his own effort so he can just sort of blend in? Trust me, I have known kids that have become so embarrassed by their own talent that you would have never even known it was there. On the one hand we tell kids to go out there and give their best and on the other hand we tell some to tone it down for the good of the team. I would hate for this kid to grow up and have the appearance of someone with great talent but never performing to the best of their abilities, or worse, given the label of a lazy player.
I've always liked to find out interesting tidbits about a celebrity's athletic prowess. I think it's interesting when you unravel the onion and you find other impressive qualities about a person that you may not be aware of. A person that shows a trait of being good at several different things gives the impression of being well rounded. In that vein I provide the following link for your amusement.
So I went through the week thinking we were going to do 6 x 1 mile with "2" minutes rest. I was pretty amped up because I would be testing my strength and getting a chance to do some quicker pace work. So Sean and I did the workout. The first 3 reps were not difficult but it wasn't comfortable either. Sean and I took turns leading during each rep and it did help that mentally I could fall asleep for a while sitting behind him. The 5th rep was the hardest as I had to lead while being a bit fatigued but we still hit our times. By the 6th rep we were mentally released of any thoughts of future reps so we picked up the pace a little bit. By the end I came to find out that we only had "1" minute rest. During the workout I did think the rest was kind of short but I didn't dwell on it since I was saving all of my energy for the next rep. But Sean and I laughed about it and I told him that I thinking the recovery was 2 minutes definitely made the workout seem less daunting. Whatever you have to do to get you through workout! Here is how the workout turned out.
Goal 5:10 each mile 6 x 1 Mile, 60 secs recovery 5:06, 5:04, 5:05, 5:03, 5:07, 4:59
This will probably be my last workout for quite a while. Things are going to be picking up pretty soon as October will have quite a few races. So it is very likely that my next post will be a race report. So until then I hope your training is going well!
I ran this workout with Sean. The intention was just to get an easy introduction to some quicker pace work as we start to sharpen up for some racing action next month. Mentally I was really up for the workout as I had noticed I had struggled a bit at 5 minute pace during my 3 mile time trial last week. So we ended up doing the workout and after being a bit uncomfortable in the beginning I started to open up a bit by the end of the workout. Hopefully this will prep me for a quicker workout we have planned for next week. So the workout ended up as follows:
Goal 5 reps sub 2:30, 60 second recovery 2:28, 2:29, 2:27, 2:26, 2:23