Last week I decided to do something I have never done before- I signed up to run in the Komen Denver Race for the Cure on October 4th.
This is actually my first running race too. Running is not my first choice for exercise. However, I have always wanted to run in a race, and after seeing my friend, Erika, had formed a team, I signed up on her team.
In March Erika was diagnosed with breast cancer, and because of a strong family history, she opted for a bilateral mastectomy. Erika finished her last round of chemotherapy in July, and the cancer is in remission now! Erika has two young children, and while I was recovering from my thyroid cancer surgery, Erika was reaching out to me, and was a great source of encouragement and strength.
Another friend,Nicole, is planning on running too on Erika’s team, and we are going to run it together. Even though my first thought was to walk the race, I decided if there was ever a time to push myself, this was it. Cancer just flat out sucks. It doesn’t matter what kind it is, or if you have a survival rate or a remission rate. It is a powerful feeling to have beaten cancer, and it is a gift.
On a personal level, engaging in an activity (even running) that can help find a cure for cancer, will be empowering- kind of like a “take that cancer!” It is eerie how many people I know, or have heard about through friends, who have been diagnosed specifically with breast cancer this year. Most of them are younger women- women in their thirties- with newborns, infants, and toddlers. These women are so incredibly strong, brave, and inspiring.
Preparing myself to run in a 5k race is nothing compared to just one round of usually five chemotherapy sessions that most breast cancer patients have to endure. I can prepare for a month, make the 7am race time start, and I am grateful I am healthy enough to do it.
It was a bit humbling to ask my world class triathlete friend,Sonja, who has ran 50 miles before, and just competed in an Ironman Competition, for tips on running 3 miles. But Sonja has given me some great advice, she will be running in the race too, and will give me a running day pep-talk/advice on the day of the race. The race is not timed, so my goal is to finish it and hopefully be able to run the entire course.
I’m having some interesting experiences trying to run 3 miles while watching the boys. There isn’t a time where someone else is available to watch them, so we are figuring it out. I’ll be writing a few updates on how this experience is going, and how the coaches, (Ryan and Cole) are helping me. They have been great!
The Susan G. Komen race for the cure is in hundreds of cities. You can click here to find a race in your area. If you don’t want to run or walk, you can donate to the organization or to your local city’s chapter. If you would like to donate to Erika’s team, please e-mail me and I will provide you with the link.
I am excited to run in this race, and to support the women I know with cancer. If you have, or are planning to run in your area’s Race for the Cure, I’d love to hear about your experience.
Cancer is a word, not a sentence. ~John Diamond
Edited on 9/17/09: Thanks to Mama Bird for reminding me to share the link, in case you wanted to sponsor me, which in turn will go to Erika’s team. Here is the link. Thank you!