Wednesday, December 31, 2014

26 reasons to run... reason #1

A marathon is 26.2 miles.... that's a lot of miles, and since I'm not a fast runner, that's a lot of time to be out there running. When one is logging long miles (and long hours), there is plenty of time for sight-seeing, plenty of time for making new friends or enjoying the company of old friends... and plenty of time to get lost in ones thoughts.

When the miles start to take their toll, and I start contemplating all the reasons that I don't actually need to finish this darned run anyway... I bring my thoughts to the reasons that I find myself out on the course, and raising money to help find a cure for cancer.

I meant to start this 26 days before race day, but life got busy and I forgot... so I'll do an extra  "catch up" post at some point, but in the meantime... here is reason #1 that I run, and that I am trying to help find a cure for cancer.

I run for MY MOTHER

My mom is one the primary reasons I ever started running... in 2002 she told me that she had always wanted to run a marathon. I didn't think that I could run a marathon, but with a little perseverance and support I thought I could probably manage a half... so we found a 16 week half marathon training schedule in a Runner's World magazine, tore it out and stuck it on the fridge. Then we found a half marathon that was 18 weeks away, so we'd have a couple extra weeks training time in case we had a down week or two... And then we spent the next 18 weeks running 3-4 times a week together. We ran on the local track after work. We ran trails on the weekends. We ran in the pouring rain. We ran through the woods and by the ocean... And on race day, we ran every step of the (half) Marathon de Deux Rives in Quebec City together. The next day I left the country for two years... but that was not a reflection on my mother!!

It was such an amazing thing to experience with my mom. And to this day, she remains my greatest running supporter. She regularly calls me during my long Saturday morning runs. She and my nephews call me a couple hours into a race, to cheer me on... and she came down to Virginia to cheer me on in person during my first full marathon.

Last year my mom was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma... that is, cancer of the eye. She had four surgeries to remove parts of her eyelids, eye socket and the conjunctiva of her right eyeball...

We were so fortunate that they caught it early, and were able to treat her cancer with surgeries alone. Not everyone is so lucky...

In Mile #1 of my next race (and every race, really)... I think of my mom, and run in her honour.

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