Dom Update …. Story time

Posted: July 27, 2010 in Motivation, Training
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been thinking about Dom a lot lately. 

I’m not sure if it is the fact that my long runs are stretching back to that 10-12 mile range and I have more time to myself, or if it is because we are approaching the time last year when we first learned of Dom’s cancer diagnosis.

Regardless, as I was contemplating my scheduled 12-mile training run Sunday morning, Dom was front and center in my mind.

I had competed in the Cougar Country 5K just nine hours earlier as the race was held at 8:00 p.m. Saturday evening.  The distance was not the issue as I would have normally run twice as far the day before my12-miler Sunday morning.  But the intensity of racing at 5:50/mile pace in posting that 18:12:61 PR was certainly going to come back and “bite me” just a bit on Sunday. 

It was not a matter of if, simply a matter of when.

I thought of Dom as I was stretching in the early morning darkness of our family room.  I reminded myself that marathoning isn’t “easy”.  It’s not supposed to be. 

So “Cowboy up” and get your ass in gear I thought.

The fact is that Dom has really been struggling since his last Hospital stay.  Over the last year he has had plenty of “bad days”, but right now, things are as bad as they have ever been.  He has faithfully undergone every procedure, followed his Doctors instructions, battled back from numerous chemotherapy treatments and rounds of radiation therapy most recently.

As Dom has done so many times before, his courage and bravery set a great example for me.  So what if it’s hot and humid out there.  So what if your legs are tired and 8 miles sounds more appealing.  I could almost hear his voice in my head telling me to enjoy every minute of what I am doing every day.  Every day is a gift – start acting like it.

Get off your ass and get going I thought as when it comes to my passion for running there are two things I know with absolute certainty.

1.  There will come a day when I will not be able to run.

2.  Today is not that day.

So I loaded up my hydrabelt with two bottles of water, one of gatorade and took off at Marathon pace with a goal of finishing those 12 miles in 1 hour and 30 minutes (7:30 pace).

As I started up the hill leaving our driveway I began thinking about all of the readers, friends and supporters who ask me about Dom each and every week.  How I really need to do a better job in sharing stories about Dom and helping them really get to know him.  To help them understand why those of us who have been fortunate enough to have Dom in our lives, know what a tremendous gift that has been.

So with that I thought I would share two stories about my boy Dom.

Dom is tight with a buck.  By tight, I mean TIGHT.  My wife tells a story that when Dom was just starting out after College he would actually “time” his bathroom “needs” to coincide with his being at work to save money on toilet paper.  Truth.

The ridiculous irony in that story is that the same guy who can be so tight with a dollar is so generous with everything else in his life. 

There is not a single person you can find that upon meeting Dom would not tell you he was one of the nicest guys they had ever met.  His honesty, caring and loyalty are traits that are simply woven into Dom’s fabric. 

Not only is it impossible to find someone to say anything bad about Dom.  It is impossible to find anyone to say anything “neutral”.  He remains to this day someone that I try to emulate when it comes to interacting with others.  He is a tremendous role model for all of us.

There is another story that my wife tells about Dom that makes me smile whenever I think of it.  When Dawn and Dom were kids it turns out that my wife had a little crush on Dom.  I don’t want you guys to think I have a Man-Crush on him or anything, but I can see why Dom was popular with the ladies.  It comes naturally to some of us Italian guys.

To my good fortune, Dom was not interested in Dawn at the time – and they simply remained great friends through the years.

Dom, I don’t think I’ve ever formally thanked you for that – so I want to do so now.  There aren’t too many guys out there that I would shy away from fighting over a young lady for, but you my man are one of them. 

Pretty hard to compete with the nicest guy anyone has ever met.  I’m glad I never had to try.

So as the miles ticked by on Sunday and 2 became 4 which became 8 leading to 12, I found myself lost in thought about the journey Dom has been on since last summer.  He has done anything and everything that his Doctors have asked from him to take the fight to his cancer every day. 

It has been remarkable to watch as through it all Dom has remained true to himself, his family, all that he cares about and those that love him back. 

Proud is the feeling I feel most these days as when it all started Dom set out to give this disease all the hell he could.  I’m not sure that anyone would have been able to fight any harder than Dom has.  He remains the bravest man I’ve ever known.

As I hit the driveway at our house I realized that I had hardly glanced at my watch throughout the run.  I hit the stop button at the 12-mile mark with a time of 1:30:11.  Just :11 seconds off of my goal time after Saturday’s race. 

Not too shabby, but I thought again about Dom 1,500 miles away. 

Next week I’ll do better.

Give ’em hell Dom.

  1. Connie says:

    Joe Through my tears I thank you for all the information about Dom.
    The updates don’t come as fast as they once did. Just emailed Helen to ask her about Dom.
    Hope Dawn is doing well. Will not be long now but this is when it starts to go slow. Can’t wait for Landry to find out what wonderful parents she has.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Connie – thanks for the visit and the message. Dawn is doing very well, just 5 weeks left until the due date as of this Thursday – wish Dom was feeling better as things are definitely getting tough for him now. We keep hoping and praying that things get easier for him. He’s hanging tough – so proud of him. Best from Austin, J

  2. tbrush3 says:

    I really appreciate the thoughts and notes on Dom. It is great to get to know someone I have never met with such an impact on others. Nice run as always Joe.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Trey – So great to hear from you! I’ve been reading about your Ultra Marathon in Philly – sounds like you really battled some tough heat and elements to that 50-mile finish. You are the man Trey – simply amazing.

      Thanks for the visit, I really wish that I could convey just how special a person Dom is. I feel like I fail misreably everytime I try. We are so blessed to have him in our lives. Take good care, J

  3. Jodi Higgins says:

    Amazing stories about Dom. Thank you for letting me “get to know” Dom a little more. He sounds like a friend everyone needs. As always prayers in Ohio for Dom and his family as well as you and Dawn. And by the way, you are a great writer. Ever consider writing a book about your journey? I realize you have the blog, but ever consider a book?

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jodi! I’m going to make a point to try to share more stories about Dom as we move forward – truly an amazing guy. I really appreciate all of the thoughts and kind words from Ohio. We can use all the love and support that we can get right now for sure.

      Thanks for the comments on the writing – I’ve had a couple similar questions posed over the last few months. That is something I am strongly considering – I think that would be a great project and a lot of fun as well.

      Are you volunteering to “proof” the product?

      • Jodi Higgins says:

        Well, I specialize in nutrition as I am a Dietitian, however, I would be willing to “proof” the product because I know it would be a fantastic read!! In the end, I am not sure I would be the best at checking the grammar….

  4. tricia says:

    Lovely,just lovely

  5. onelittlejill says:

    I love your Dom stories! I agree with Jodi and was thinking the same question…why not write a book? It would be a great way to further raise money for Dom and his family!

    As always hugs from NJ 🙂

  6. joerunfordom says:

    Jill – thanks so much for the visit and message! I think you and Jodi have me convinced! A good friend of mine actually has a publisher that he is working with on a business book – I think I need to take him up on an introduction ….

    Thanks for all the support and kind words from NJ! You are the best, J

    • onelittlejill says:

      I hope you do take the adventure of writing a book! I hope even more that when it is all said in done, a signed copy will be on its way to NJ 🙂

      • joerunfordom says:

        Jill – you will absolutely be receiving a signed copy! Just the “thank you” area of that book would be an undertaking to write.

        It’s amazing how many truly great friends we’ve made over the last year and how much of an impact has been made for Dom and his family.

        You guys are the greatest!

  7. Lara says:

    Joe, even though I haven’t been on the Internet much this past month, you and Dom have been in my thoughts. How wonderful to log in and see this story. I have to laugh at Dom wanting to do his business while at work to save a few cents on t.p.; sounds like something my grandfather would have done. Who knows, maybe he did!
    12 miles is a good time to reflect on those who matter to us the most; a prayer, if you will, or meditation. Either way, it’s time well spent.
    Thinking of Dom, and wishing him continuing strength to fight the good fight.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Lara – Thank you so much for the message and the visit! You have been doing a lot of traveling and sounds like fighting the flu bug, hope you are feeling better!

      So many great stories about Dom, I am going to try to share them while I continue to update everyone on his battle. He is such a great source of strength and inspiration.

      Best from out here in TX. Looks like a trip to Boulder is in my future in late September — hope we can hook up for a run while I am out there! Best, J

  8. Robert Ranzer says:

    Hey Joe. Liked the story about Dom. I get the feeling he is very generous of “spirit”. Has to be the best way anyone can show their generousity. Once again I am wishing for better days ahead for your friend. All my best!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Thanks Rob for the visit and for the message! Greatly appreciated regarding Dom. He is hanging tough – we’re all hoping things turn for the better right now. Take good care, Joe

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