1 hour 58 min.

1 hour 58 minutes
It was a building block to remember my old sense of self-confidence.
That’s how long it took me to run my first half marathon.  That’s a pace of just over 9 minutes per mile, and the best part was I never felt tired.  I had planned to stop at every water station and walk, but I never felt the need.  In truth I took some joy listening to the lady behind me chuckle as I followed my usual practice of taking two cups of water at every stop and promptly pouring over over my head.   I guess some people don’t do this in 34 degree weather, but it felt good.
The best part was the sense of being able to do a physically demanding activity, and do it well.  I know these races are against only myself in reality, but…it was also against the self loathing and the sense of helplessness.  Does anyone wonder why sports can play such a role in a participant’s life?  For me it’s because for a long time they were a source of self.  I was an athlete, one who was fit enough, smart enough, and coordinated enough to be good at any sport with a little practice.  For one morning, I was able to feel that sense of self esteem which comes from participating in a sporting event.  Running in the race was a way stop the devaluing in my head of what I can accomplish.  It’s interesting because the run isn’t one of my life’s greatest accomplishments, but sports in general are what gave me the confidence to deal with everything in order to live the life to which I aspire.  At least for now, the day after the race, the runner’s high lingers, and the attitude adjustment/reinforcement is probably as valuable as the 45lbs. lost in training.
One of my favorite parts of the run was all of the signs and people cheering.  For any who have ever considered going to an event like a marathon with a sign, please do.  If you feel particularly kind, put some humor on your sign.  My three favorite signs were:
“Your training for this event probably lasted longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage.” – Mile 6 or 7
“You go random stranger.  You got this.” Mile 2
“Smile if you peed yourself even a little while running this race.”  Mile 11
(continue for MS notes and family notes)

On the MS side:
It appears NIH is investigating a test to look at t-cell responses.  The quote from the paper of interest to me was
“The potential of such screening of JCV-specific T cell responses to identify a small number of individuals at risk for the development of PML could be complementary to stratification strategies based on antibody levels that are currently being tested to identify approximately 50% of treated individuals who are at increased risk [2], [39] . Second, the unique IL-10 response to JCV in two PML cases and the increased levels of IL-10 in the CSF of subjects with PML suggests that IL-10 or the IL-10 receptor may be potential therapeutic targets in natalizumab-associated PML [26] . Finally, the poor magnitude or quality of the memory T cell response to JCV in subjects with PML suggests that a vaccine which boosts JCV-specific T cells that produce IFNγ, TNF and IL-2 could play a role in the prevention of natalizumab-associated PML.”
It is important to note this was a small study and as such is subject to all kinds of measurement errors.  My question after reading the paper is how difficult/costly is it to test for the T cell responses for JCV proteins since it looks like the predictive value of the tests lay in a single outcome of heightened IL-10 production?  From a graphical standpoint, Figure A and B tell pretty starkly different stories.
On the home front, my favorite moment came Sunday night as O grew ever more hyper.  I was ale to focus him on cooking with the simple appeal, “O, please come over here.   I need you to hit this with the meat hammer.”  Once he had pounded the chicken, it was easy to get buy-in for helping prepare the rest of dinner giving him some choices about what we were going to put in it and how we were going to present it.  He now has a dinner’s worth of cooking experience, and it was good enough for all of us to get seconds, twice the rarity considering the amount of vegetables in it.
O’s Chicken recipe:
Step 1: pound flat ¾ pound of chicken breast.
Step 2: place in glass baking dish, cover with BBQ sauce, flip and cover other side.
Step 3: cover with tin foil and place in over at 400 degrees for 5 min.
Step 4: Remove foil.  Cover chicken with cheese (we used Swiss).  Recover with tin foil.
Step 5: Make broccoli and spaghetti. (Breaking the spaghetti was a highlight of the middle steps, but draining ranked high too).
Step 6: Take out chicken when done (for our oven 15 min.)
Step 7: When all three parts are done, a parent can cut the chicken up, and all three were stirred together in a large bowl. 
Step 8: Call everyone to the table and eat!
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