26.2 With Donna, The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.
A picture from my iPhone of the sunrise this morning on the beach.
So not only did I get up at 5:30 am this morning to go run on the beach to the sun rising, but I just did something else insane.
I just signed up to run a marathon.
Like, a full marathon. 26.2 miles and all. (I've always been an all or nothing kind of girl!) I've never run more than 10 miles, barely, and I just signed up for 26 miles. What was I thinking?
It was actually something I wanted to cross off my bucket list early this year for the 2009 race, but, well, life got in the way. Local newscaster Donna Deegan is a breast cancer survivor times three times it came back, and she now hosts an annual breast cancer marathon called "26.2 With Donna, The National Marathon to FINISH Breast Cancer." It is also sponsored by Mayo Clinic where both my mom and dad got treated.
So here's why I'm doing the 2010 race...
My mom and grandmother are both breast cancer survivors, so of course, they are the first reason I'm doing it. Then, at the end of 2007, I had my first scare with a mysterious lump that, praise Jesus, turned out negative after much worry and rounds of tests. That's when I decided I wanted to do a marathon. Something about having a scare like that totally shook me up and I wanted to do something powerful (and insane!) to remind myself how blessed I am to be alive each new day the Lord gives me. I changed to Raw eating and started running about 5-8 miles a day. I never felt better.
But then 2008 hit even harder with the news that my dad had lung cancer and was given six months to a year to live. So needless to say, there was no way I could focus on training for the February 2009 marathon.
But this year, there's a more special reason why I'm doing it. I was in the grocery store flipping through a runner's magazine and I saw a big ad for the marathon which peaked my interest again. And then I saw the date.
February 21, 2010.
That will be the one-year anniversary of the exact day when my dad passed away.
When I saw that, my eyes filled with tears and I knew, 2010 was my year to run a marathon. For my dad. For my mom. For my grandma. For my aunt Ruby. For my mom's friend Helen's husband. For Mark's mom. For my mom and I's sweet friend Connie. For everyone else out there who has survived, still fighting, or been taken by cancer.
In comparison to the battle and fight each person has endured, 26.2 miles is nothing for me. So, uh, that means as of like yesterday, I need to get serious about training. Any local Jacksonville peeps want to run together? Or any national blog readers want to join me in the marathon? People come from all over the country to run in this. It would be fun to get a group of people together and all deck out in pink (of course!) and run the race together. Email me if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org
I used this bible verse in my dad's slideshow video that we showed at his funeral:
I'm going to make that my mission verse in running my own race. Sure, I'm not expecting to win, but the real victory for me will be to FINISH my course.
Also, for participating, I've created a fundraising goal of $1,000.00. I ask that you pray about if you would like to support it in honor of someone you know battling cancer or taken by it. Through the power of this world wide web and blogs and Facebook and Twitter, I know we can reach the goal together. The money doesn't go to me, it goes straight to Mayo Clinic to help meet the needs of women going through breast cancer. You can donate through my runner page by clicking here:
I would love to know others I can add to the list of who I am running for. Will you leave a comment here on my blog with the name of your loved one and what kind of cancer they had? And if you want to share the story about them and how you know them, even better! :-)
(When my blog imports into my Facebook account notes, please still leave the name of your loved one on my blog, not Facebook, so I can keep it all in one place, thanks!)