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Posts Tagged ‘Race

I recently sent this email to all of those who supported my run for the MMRF through their donations.  I thought others might like to read my thoughts about my marathon experience.

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of my donors one more time.  The final number for money raised for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation was $2800.00!!  That is more than $100 for each mile of the marathon!  Way to go everyone!! We also learned that the total amount of money raised by the entire Chicago Marathon MMRF team was over $125,000.00!  All of this is very exciting, so glad I could be a part of this and all of you were there with me!

Before the run on Sunday we had a chance to meet others who had raised money for the MMRF.  There were some amazing stories.  Including one man who had come through his second Stem Cell transplant in March, and ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.  A doctor who was inspired to do something for his patients.  Sisters who were walking through treatments with their middle sister.  A man who was running in memory of his father in law.  A team of researchers who were running to continue the research they have been doing for Multiple Myeloma.  Many sons and daughters running to extend the lives of their mother or father.  It was a great uplifting moment to share with people who knew all too well what our family has been experiencing the last 15 months.

The marathon was an amazing experience.  I am so thankful for your support and prayers getting me through it all.  For a long time, I have said that I wanted to do something that communicated my support for my mother and her fight against Multiple Myeloma.  But it was not until the actual marathon that I realized that running a marathon would change my life and perspective on what my mother is going through.  It has been said that running a marathon mirrors what it is like to journey through cancer treatment.  At the start, you have a plan, you feel good about your plan and you have cheerleaders who have supported you and rally around you to get you started down the path.  You feel like you can conquer the world.  Nothing can stop you.  Midway through the race, you realize you still have a long way to go, but it seems so far and maybe impossible to do.  Negative thoughts, aches and pains really become the enemy and a challenge to combat mentally.  Then for the last quarter of the race,  the crowd becomes thinner.  Your closest family and friends are still there but the path becomes a little more lonely and harder.  You are left to your prayers and will to get you through.  You are so close to the end but still so far away.  The miles seem longer, fatigue has set in.  And then you finally see the finish line, and you realize that you are FINALLY about to celebrate the end of the journey.  You are a finisher, with the medal to prove it.  And now, as mom’s stem cell transplant begins, we feel like we are in those last few miles.  They are sooooo long, it is sooooo hard.  But I know that mom has the determination to be a finisher.  And we will be there at the finish line to celebrate with her.
Thank you all for your prayers, support and encouragement.  If all goes well, I will join another MMRF endurance challenge in the future.  For now, much needed rest!!
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When we were deciding which marathon to run, at first, I was looking for places I want to visit that I had never really been.  My first choice was a marathon through Calafornia Wine country.  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?  A tour of wine country, on foot?  Then I remembered how hilly the wine country can be, and nixed that off the list.  So my next criteria was to do a run that was “flat.”  ruling out much of Washington (which is ok to me because I wanted to go somewhere “new”).  Then the description of the Chicago marathon caught my eye.  It is known as a flat course good for runners to PR and sought by many to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  I have been to Chicago, but not for an extended stay.  We’ve always just been driving through.  My husband spent some of his formative years outside of Chicago.  So I am looking forward to my foot tour of Chicago.  If you would like to see where we will be running, check out this map of the BofA Chicago Marathon: http://www.chicagomarathon.com/CMS400Min/uploadedFiles/Chicago_Marathon/Runner_Information/11%20Course%20Map%2009-26-11.pdf

Last weekend I ran my first official race. I’m glad I had the opportunity to run my first 10K close to home. I am also glad to have just had the opportunity to experience, albeit on a smaller scale, running a competitive race.

First, I learned that I have to ditch the iPhone. I thought it would be handy to have my music and time/distance keeper all in one place. But not really. Trying to get the thing in and out of my fanny pack was a hassle – I didn’t even bother. So I didn’t keep track of my pace the entire race – I never even started it. I did have the music though- which was a useful distraction, but it leads me to my next lesson.

Second, I have horrible ear buds. When I started running I went out and bought ear buds that said “sport” on them thinking that would mean they would be good for sports… wrong! They were also the cheapest ones available. So I spent the entire time pushing them back on my head, annoying!

Third, not everyone knows running etiquette. While I have been reading Runner’s World articles about the rules of the road, others must have been reading the national enquirer instead. There was a bit of trail hogging and some near collisions on the course. I know this won’t be a problem at the marathon, but I found it interesting that some common courtesy went out the window. A nice “on the left” would suffice when passing someone on the left. Just sayin.

Fourth, I got a little burst of energy at the end. A “kick” of sorts. I felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest as I got a little extra adrenaline for that last length of the course. I was even passing people! That was fun.

Fifth, Even though I thought it didn’t matter to me, I did care about my finishing time and place. I have to say I was a little disappointed that I finished in the back third of the racers. Granted, I didn’t have a way to keep track of my pace (lesson #1) and I really wasn’t trying to break any PR or anything (this was my FIRST race).

These lessons taken to heart, I can do something about most of them. I am thinking about getting a Garmin watch and maybe an iPod nano. Less to mess with and easier access. Though I don’t know how I will feel about having something on my wrist collecting sweat. I’m also looking for the best running ear buds. No more 10$ buds for me! And as for the time thing, I have a PR now, something to work with. These little lessons from my first race made every inch of that 6.2 miles worth it. And best of all, I have my first bib for my new collection of race bibs. 🙂

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Run Cancer Run

Interested in my journey? Please check out the "About" page and my first post: https://runcancerrun.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/am-i-crazy-maybe/
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