Thank You & 10K Race Update

Filed Under: Misc.

Once again, none of this has anything to do with miles & points, so by all means skip this if that’s what you’re here for.

I wanted to post a quick thank you, a message from my mom, and a recap of my first-ever race of any sort. This is a follow-up to my post from a week ago, about a well-timed race.

I’m writing this from the surgery waiting room, as my mom is currently in the middle of a 10 hour surgery. It has been quite a morning, as we got here at 5AM:

  • Winston is usually great alone in hotel rooms, but not this morning; he was crying so loud that the hotel called us, so we had to come up with alternative plans
  • There were two politically like-minded people in the surgery waiting area, who said that all the politicians belonging to one party should be “shot,” and that a former presidential candidate should be “executed for treason”; when the guy’s wife told him to be quiet, he said “she’s just afraid of a _____ hater” (fun times!)

Dads, you’re Bonvoying me!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I wanted to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers for my mom, I really appreciate it. Also thanks to all who generously donated to the organization behind the race, as we raised over $5,700.

This put a huge smile on my mom’s face — this not only helps with ovarian cancer research but also helps those in the Tampa area who are going through this with their financial needs.

I’ve been so happy that Ford and I (and Winston) have been able to spend so much quality time with her in the past week. She has been in such amazing spirits ahead of this, and it has been inspiring. This morning as she was about to go into the operating room she said with a big smile “I’m excited!”

Mom, Winston, and Ford’s knee

A Message From My Mom

On the day of the race my mom found out about the blog post, and in the days leading up to her surgery she apparently spent two hours writing the below (which she wanted to post as a comment on the previous post, but she didn’t know how to do that, so I’ll just post it here):

Hi, my name is Barbara, and I am Benjamin’s (Ben) mom. I wish I could write to each one of you, it might be a little time consuming, I also want to spend time with Benjamin and Ford before the operation. Thank you all for your kind words, prayers, and donations towards the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation!

Reading Benjamin’s blog about a “well – timed race” which was a surprise to me, brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful that he is my son and so happy he found Ford. They are both a blessing to me, loving, caring, and always there for me and others, besides taking me to beautiful places in the world. On top of reading your responses on his blog made me feel full of joy but I also found out that some of you are going thru cancer as well or have relatives who did or do!

Wendy, Brian, Steve, Jason, Jared, Robin, and Virgil, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

This weekend Benjamin and Ford participated in the 10 km run for “one step closer to the cure” of ovarian cancer. It was held in downtown St. Petersburg, and hundreds of people participated. It was a beautiful day with sunshine and lower humidity than the days before, perfect for the runners. It made me so happy to see so many people running for his cause.

Thank you again for all your positive thoughts!

Ford, mom, and I

How Was My First 10K?

Not that my race experience is at all consequential, but in my ongoing effort to overshare, I figured I’d provide an update. With this race you could go either one mile, 5K, or 10K. We figured given what my mom has been through we could do a 10K.

To be honest I was apprehensive. My exercise routine is typically strictly limited to being in the gym indoors, ideally while watching reality TV on the elliptical (I try to do less running, because of how high impact it is).

Ford and I had a bit of a debate about how best to go about this. Ford is basically half cheetah when it comes to running, so I knew he’d be way faster than me:

  • On the one hand, Ford is incredibly competitive and wants to be the best at whatever he tries, so I knew he’d want to finish quickly
  • On the other hand, I figured it would be more fun if we ran together, though not really, because I knew he’d basically spend the whole time “encouraging” me to hurry up

So in the end we ran the whole thing together, and I definitely slowed us down. Our time for the 10K? 61 minutes apparently… Ford set the goal of 60 minutes (even accounting for my slowness), so we missed that goal by a minute. As I asked Ford to read over this post, he insisted I add that he would have done it in under 50 minutes if it weren’t for me.

All things considered I was pretty proud of that, given the different conditions outdoor — running on concrete is rough, and with it getting increasingly sunny, that made it tougher than being inside.

By the end of it my joints hurt like crazy, but again, I’m so happy I had the chance to do this. Besides, I guess the 61 minutes gives us a chance to beat our current “best” at the race next year.

Thanks again to everyone for your thoughts, and let me know if I should start doing reviews of hospital food — they might give airline food a run for their money!

  1. Ben, well done. Events like this put life in perspective. Best wishes to your mum. Anybody going through what she is is brave. And seeing someone you care about deal with those issues is never easy. No matter how bravely they face it. It’s nice to see such a human side to the blog. Many have followed your adventures, but as much fun as first class travel and amazing experiences can be, sometimes other things are more important.

  2. Very good! No matter how fast you run the sport is for fun and health. I run a 33ish 10k and love every minute. But I have far fewer minutes to love than you.

  3. Well done. Under 10 minute mile..that’s pretty good for someone who doesn’t usually run. I ran the Marine Corp Marathon way back in my youth.. I’ve done it. got the medal to show that I did.. and . I never ever have to do it again 🙂

  4. Sending lots of positive thoughts and hoping mom’s surgery is a great success! Winston is a smart pup and definitely knows what is going on!

  5. Congrats on finishing the race, and all the very best to your mom especially today! It’s amazing that she is in such positive spirits, it makes a huge difference and I’m sure all will go well 🙂 . Keep us posted!

  6. Thank you for sharing this – your mom’s note brought happy tears to my eyes 🙂
    Thinking of your family today, hope all goes well with her surgery.

  7. Thanks for sharing this, Ben. Sending lots of love (and a speedy recovery) to your mom! Not a bad race time 🙂

  8. Best of luck to your mom in the surgery, she looks very healthy and so should do great. My mom was Stage 4 colon cancer but was healthy enough (in her late 60s) to endure a huge surgery and came out of it very well. So please expect nothing but the best for her from the surgery portion of this struggle.

  9. Yay! That was great of you to fund-raise and run a race in honor and support of your mom! Congrats all around on your victories.


  10. Great article. I especially loved your mother’s note. She sounds like a wonderful person. Thank you for the update on the race and mom.

  11. Great job guys! This post brought tears to my eyes. You’ve got an amazing mother and I wish her a fast recovery.

  12. @ Ben …. retired military and prg’s time is realistic. We had guys that ran those times. Yes they are running machines.

  13. It’s awesome to see your mom smiling and upbeat. Awesome that you left your Comfort zone to do this 10K….. Wishing her all the best. You’re all in my prayers

  14. @Lucky – I’m also retired Military and I had a guy in my unit run 2 miles in 10:06 in a Physical Training test which followed pushups and sit-ups. There are plenty of runners, even in the Military, that are just shy of World Class.

  15. Thanks for sharing. Good work! My best wishes to your mom for a speedy and complete recovery. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Fantastic Ben. Of course many of us come here for the reviews but for someone like me who reads your page daily it’s like you’re a friend I have never met.

    Relating to your mother – the AA Stand Up to Cancer airplane was here at LAX the other day. I went out to the gate and found your mother’s name on the side. Is there anywhere in particular I can send the photos to? Very powerful airplane and I’m glad to have found your mom’s name.

  17. Ben, Ford, and Barbara.
    A lovely post that should remind us all of what is really important in life. Family, friends, and those we love. Ben, your mother wrote us all a heart warming note, and it shows the generosity of her spirit. My best wishes to all of you and your family, for a speedy and complete recovery for your mom.

  18. Posts like this make us appreciate what’s really important. All the best to all of you and hope your mum makes a speedy recovery.

  19. Awww your mom’s post made me cry. I am hoping her recovery is fast and long lasting. I’m convinced Winston knew something was wrong and that his dads were stressed out. Animals know! Thank you for the update. Sending love 🙂

  20. If you want to try a marathon located in a cool climate surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery check out Jungfrau Marathon to be held Saturday Sep 12, 2020.

    The grueling race draws about 4000 runners from around the world and commences in Interlaken switzerland -app 1800 feet above sea level- and finishes at kleine scheiddeg -app 6500 feet altitude.
    There are many videos online that give you an idea of what you will see.
    Sep is a great time to exit hurricane- prone florida.

  21. Hi Ben thanks for sharing what your family is going through at the moment. Very brave of you. Mums are very precious. Sending her and you and Ford my thoughts and fingers crossed for a successful op.
    I enjoy your blog and have found myself visiting it more often. Thanks for all the good work. You’re a great writer. Must be tough at this time for you.

  22. While my thoughts and prayers go out to your Mom, you, Ford and Winston, promise me you will grab your father and hug the daylights out of him and tell him how much you love him! Speaking as a spouse, the waiting during surgery is murder! My heart goes out to him!
    When the person you have chosen to spend your life with goes thru this kind of experience, it is heartbreaking! Regardless of all the positive thoughts you stockpile, now is the time there is never such a thing as enough hugs and love! Shower each other, you have all earned it!

  23. Well wishes for your mom and great job on the race. And kudos to Ford being such a great partner to run with you! I would never be able to run a race with my wife – I would just be like I’ll wait for you at the finish line! lol

    But in all seriousness, my dad went through cancer surgery 2 years ago and is now fully recovered. Hoping the same for your mom.

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