Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 14th, 2014 – Santa to the Sea Half Marathon

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This entry has been a very long time in coming and I am so so *SO* grateful to be posting it!!!

As you know, a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). The last 18 months have been about figuring out just how bad things were, what to do about it, doing something about it and recovering from what was done about it.

It has been incredibly rough. Not just physically and emotionally, but mentally as well.

Along with my awesome family and wonderful friends, running remained a constant companion. Even when I couldn’t sit up by myself, let alone walk across my room, running remained very close to my heart and waited patiently for me to return, much like a devoted lover.

My actual devoted lover is also cool. This guy’s my hero! This is us, lookin’ fly (Yeah… I said “Fly”. I’m a proud child of the 80’s. Gnarly!) at our Company Christmas party a few weeks ago. *KISS!!!*

He did one of the most loving things he could have done for me. Upon guessing and stressing about what I might want from Christmas, he asked me, “Do want to do a Half Marathon for your Christmas gift?”

Just like that! Like it was a matter of course that I could train ….. And finish!

I was glad that he felt so confident. I sure didn’t. I hadn’t run more than 6 miles since I was diagnosed. But once my registration was paid (Thanks again, Babe!! <3), that had to change. So, I started running. And running. And running. I ran in the morning. I ran in the evening. I ran on my lunch break, to the apparent chagrin of my co-workers! This is me after a lunch break run, supremely unconcerned that I must reek to the heavens!!

But that’s ok. I was in training. Training for myself. Training for Survivors everywhere. Training for everyone who’d been bullied by something they couldn’t control. Training for the Half Marathon. Training so I would know, really know, that Breast Cancer hadn’t beaten me.

And I did it! I finished!

It was not pretty. Actually the first 10 Miles were rather nice. It was really chilly, but one of the side effects of the Chemo (Tamoxifen) is hot flashes. So I was quite comfortable in a running tank and some thermo sleeves.

This is me with some Muddy Dragons. I ran into a whole adorable group and they were quite bundled up. Aren’t they cute?

Now, off to the Run….

Like I said, it was quite chilly. And were shuttled to the start. This is me on the Shuttle.

This was a little surreal for me. Actually surreal. The first 6 miles went by like a dream. A really pleasant, highly effective dream.

This whole race was more of mental thing than anything else. On some level, I’d kinda talked myself into not being affected by it until I’d finished the first half.

Because once I got through Mile 7, it was actually possible that I might finish!! Especially if I felt good at Mile 7.

And I felt GRRREAT!!!

Still, I knew that Mile 10 is usually when I hit The Wall.

Mile 10 came and went.

I still felt great. I’d refueled at Miles 4 and 8. I thought it might be wise to consider refueling again at the 11.5 Mile mark.

Then right as I passed the 11 Mile Marker, I hit The Wall. Hard.

But it was ok. Honest.

I expected to hit The Wall. It was comforting to find that I could push myself to The Wall. And keep going.

And keep going, I did.

My pace faltered about 15 seconds, but it never stopped.

This is me…. At “The Finish”. And it truly was the Finish. The Finish of me feeling like I’d never be the same again.