Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - Ending On A Positive Note

I’d had such high hopes for 2013 – PRs, BQs, completing 365 days of run streaking, travel, and fun. Cancer threw a wrench in my plans to PR and BQ but I did some streaking, some traveling, and I had a lot of fun. :)

I am not going to let Cancer turn me into a whiner so I am posting my top 5 moments/memories of 2013 so I can end 2013 on a positive note. Here’s my best of 2013:

1. Fontana Days Run 5K - I didn't PR but now that I know I was dealing with Cancer win I did this, I am VERY happy with being just 20 seconds off my PR. Especially with not real speed work prior to it. I am proud of myself for running so hard it hurt and I thought I'd puke! And getting 3rd in my Age Group was icing on the cake!

2. Bataan Memorial Death March - The memories from that weekend in New Mexico still give me chills. It was an amazing experience made even better by sharing it with my friends Cliff and Jeff. This is definitely one of my top 3 marathons. I was slow but it didn't matter.

3. Horseshoe Lake Trail Marathon - I celebrated my 45th birthday with a trail marathon in San Jose. I had a fun running adventure that weekend. And even though that marathon was SO slow that my friends Josh and Naresh were afraid I'd died, it was a beautiful place to run and I enjoyed it. Getting to have dinner with Naresh (who bought me a birthday cake) was a great birthday present too.

4. Run Under The Stars 10 Hour - What happens in Kentucky, stays in Kentucky! ;) LOL, seriously, I know most people would think I'm crazy to include a race where you run in circles around a half mile track for 10 Hours but...I did this race with 70ish of my Run It Fast friends. I loved seeing everyone and running with them throughout the night. It was my first trip to Kentucky too.

5. Thanksgiving Run - This wasn't a race but it was my first day back running after not running for 11 weeks! It felt so good! This is me on that day. Do I look satisfied or what? Woo!
Even though I know I have a long way to go to get back to where I was, I am excited to be able to put my running shoes on again. I've been running 3 to 4 times a week and have been able to run trails again. I can't tell you how happy that makes me! I'm a runner again! Now, here's a summary of my 2013:
Can't complain about being able to do 19 races, right? And 1539.2 running miles is nothing to sneeze at. I was also able to streak for 337 days. Oh so close to a year but will have to try that again soon.

Let's see...I got a lot of cool medals in 2013 but these 2 are my favorites:

The RUN medal for my 3rd AG at Fontana Days Run for the reasons specified above.
And my Snoopy Coaster Run 10K because this one also hurt and I am Snoopy! And it's cute!

There were a lot of other great memories, too many to count or recap here. But one of the best things to come out of 2013 was all the great support I received from my friends and family. I definitely felt all the love and prayers and it was a great comfort to me during the scariest and hardest moments.

This year, I learned that running gave me the strength and knowledge to tackle life's problems head on. At each stage of my journey through Cancer, I've felt overwhelmed and scared. But running taught me to take things one step at a time. To worry about and take care of what you can and deal with the rest as it comes up. I treated Ovarian Cancer as an ultra and instead of running away when I didn't want to know what was wrong, I took the first step towards health. And then the next. And then the next. Now I'm halfway through chemo and I'm doing the same thing. One chemo round at a time. Don't think about what's to come. Run when I can. Rest when I need to. Just keep going.

The biggest lesson I learned about myself in 2013 was that I am stronger than I thought. I am also more stubborn than I thought. Okay, that's a lie. I knew I was VERY stubborn. :) But the next time I toe the line for a race, I won't be as scared or nervous as I was before. I will do my best and have fun but racing is not something to be afraid of. It's something to celebrate.

I plan to celebrate a lot in 2014.

Happy New Year! See you on the roads and trails!