Thanks so much for the comments about Jerry reaching Lifetime--he loved reading them ;) He's going to work on answering the questions many of you had, and I'll post those when he's done.
Last night, we went to my parents' house for dinner, even though Jerry and I didn't plan on eating (still full from La Pita and the frozen yogurt we'd had that afternoon). My parents are hosting a young man that they met through their church--he lives in Tennessee, but is here for a week or so visiting.
His name is Jared, and he's blind. My parents wanted us to meet him, so they invited us over for one of my dad's famous fish fry dinners, along with the pastor and his wife, and a few friends. I was a little nervous to meet Jared, because I don't know anyone who is blind, and I didn't want to be awkward in what I said or how I acted around him.
When I walked in and introduced myself, however, I was immediately comfortable. He is very friendly and funny, and had no problems getting around; I'm not sure what I expected, but I probably wouldn't have known he was blind if my mom hadn't told me ahead of time.
I chatted with him for a little bit, and he told me his story. He had a brain tumor when he was young (I believe he said he was nine years old). The doctors were able to remove the tumor, and it hasn't grown back or anything since; but he has some residual problems as a result of the tumor.
He said his hormones are a little out of whack, and his body can't get the signal that tells it he's not thirsty anymore. He said he feels thirsty all the time, but no matter how much he drinks, his body never recognizes that he's not thirsty anymore. As a result, he drinks upwards of seven or eight gallons of water a day!
He showed me a couple of cool little gadgets that he uses for daily tasks. One of them tells him what color things are. You just put one side of it up against something, and press a button; it will say "dark brown" (for my hair), or "light beige" (for the shorts I was wearing), etc. Another gadget tells him whether it's light or dark in the room; it makes a really high pitched noise if it's light, and a low pitched noise if it's dark, plus a whole range in between.
Jared said he would love to be a writer, and has written a couple of children's books, but they haven't been published (yet). I hope he's able to get them published! I talked to him a little bit about blogging, and that a blog about his daily life would be very interesting (to me, at least). I was pretty inspired by his independence. I think I expected him to be very dependent on others while staying at my parents' house, but he got around very well--he was even in charge of grilling the corn on the cob, and it was great.
Anyway, my dad is famous for his fried fish around here, and by the time dinner was ready, I couldn't help myself--I had a few pieces of perch. He and Jared caught the fish just hours beforehand!
I talked to Pastor Tony for a little bit about melanoma; my mom recently told me that Pastor had melanoma several years ago, and against all odds, beat it. My friend Sarah was diagnosed with stage 3C, which is pretty bad (a 5% survival rate). Pastor Tony said he was given a 1-2% chance of survival. He had a very hellish year of treatment, but he he's been cancer free for over 10 years now. It was good to hear his story, and it gave me some more hope that Sarah will beat her battle with melanoma.
I finally got around to writing up a training schedule for the Chicago Marathon. I'm going to continue running five days a week, with Wednesdays and Saturdays off. Long runs are still on Fridays. Basically, it looks like this:
Sundays- Tempo run (8:02-8:18/mi pace)
Mondays- Easy run (8:55-9:53/mi pace)
Tuesdays- Intervals (400's and 800's, hills and no hills)
Thursdays- Easy run (8:55-9:53/mi pace)
Fridays- Long run (8:57-10:16/mi pace)
Because I'm not necessarily focusing on getting faster anymore, the paces aren't that important; but I usually try to run too fast, so I'm going to stick with a recommended easy run pace for most days that I run.
It's kind of crazy to think that in 133 days, I'll be running the Chicago Marathon with Andrea!