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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


He will still run faster than me.

Clay and I are training for a half marathon in October. When we go for a run I’ll start first because I know he’ll pass me. He runs by and then I see him quickly pull ahead, his strides make two of mine. Sometimes it makes me think I can’t run as far as he has, sometimes it makes me determined to go faster and taker longer strides. I don’t like it when he fades away in the distance or turns a corner because then he’s gone…I can’t see him.


He’s not sure if he’ll be able to run the marathon. He might be too weak after the treatments.

My friend Carmen is the one that started the half marathon thing. She wanted to know if I would go watch her and another friend run and hold their stuff. I told her, “No! I’m running it too!” then I told Clay, “Hey, let’s run a half marathon.” I never thought we would do this as a couple. But, it’s the year 2013, we are 43 years old and why not run 13 miles? Totally logical, right? All the threes lining up like that, we must run!

Hopefully, he’ll be able to keep training a bit over the next few months. I worry that he’ll lose too much weight and need a feeding tube. I’m pretty sure he can’t run with a feeding tube.

We started training in April. It still doesn’t seem like I’ll be able to run 13 miles. I run so damn slow.


A week ago we got up and ran together before his surgery. He knew it would be the last time he could run for a while and he wanted to get one more run checked off the training schedule. The app that he uses to see how far he’s run stopped working so he slowed down and ran beside me. I liked having him by my side for a change, but it felt strange. He should be ahead of me. He’s stronger, faster and has mile long strides. Having him beside me made me think that he was not capable of pulling ahead. I choked back fear and tears through the rest of our run. I wanted to stay positive for him.

I’ve been working on getting up this one hill. It’s a little over 1/2 a mile and steep. At first I could only make it a few yards before I had to walk, then slowly I got a little farther up, but was never able to make it to the top. It’s so frustrating, mostly because I talk myself out of it. One time I stopped to walk and was only 25 steps from the top! Who stops when there are only 25 steps left to go?!

The doctor told me this would change us. We would be different. He told me to prepare for the worst.

Two days ago I ran by myself. That damn hill was coming up and I was dreading it. Then I thought, good grief if Clay can face the next few months then I can get my ass up that hill. I think a granny using a walker could have passed me, but I didn’t stop. My legs were on fire, I was breathing heavy but I made it. Now I have no excuses. I will have to keep running up that damn hill.

Clay has cancer. It’s real. He’s recovering from surgery now. His treatments start soon and they are going to be rough.

The doctor told him to hold onto something that he can control because during treatment he’s subservient to doctors, tests, medicine, schedules, treatments and his body. Clay wants to keep training for the marathon.

His cancer is treatable and if all goes well he shouldn’t have anymore surgery or ever meet this disease again in his lifetime.

I will continue to stay on the training schedule. My thoughts are on my husband. When I run now, it’s because I need to…for him. I need to prove than I can do this stupid race because he has to prove that he can survive radiation and chemo and all the horrible side effects.

I hope that he’ll be able to run in October. He might be still recovering, but my guess is that he’ll still be able to run faster than me.


I’m going to ask you all to kindly refrain from asking questions or giving treatment advice. I know I didn’t give all the details. Something in me says I need to protect that part of his illness. I don’t want any doubt to invade what we are doing for him. He is getting great care from awesome doctors and sweet nurses and his family. He is a very loved man and cancer sucks.

Thank you for praying for Clay. You can pray that he will stay strong through treatments, that he won’t lose anymore weight, that the treatments will work, that he will recover fully. You can pray that he will be able to keep running!!!! God is good to us every day.

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