Monday, June 04, 2012

13.1 + 13.1 = Awesome

The last two weeks have been busy for me. Besides getting my head in the game for my Johns Hopkins appointment and wrangling boys through the end of the school year, I also tacked 13.1 miles. Twice. Not exactly the best plan I've ever made, I do not recommend running two half marathons so close together, but it was awesome!

The first half I took on was the Marine Corps Historic Half on May 20th. I ran this one last year and had a good time. This year I LOVED it! I just had fun and felt very strong nearly the entire race. I PR'ed (or PBR'ed - personal best race - as my brother, the beer lover, would say) with a 2:29 and was thrilled to get in under my goal time.

Homestretch of the Marine Corps Historic Half

My dear friend Jody and I trained for this race together. She is faster than me but we trudged through our training runs side by side with strollers and kids. Jody, one badass mother runner, too had an awesome race, cruising through the finish at 2:03. a couple minutes short of her time goal, but awesome nonetheless. I mean, who pushes a stroller for 8 miles up and down hills and will runner slower just to hang with her friend? Only a badass mother runner!

It was during the training for the Historic Half that I learned my thyroid cancer had returned after a 6 year hiatus. Boo. Jody spent many miles listening to my fears, concerns, and giving voice to my irrational thoughts. One of those irrational thoughts was to sign up for another half. Not usually a bad idea, but doing it 13 days after the Historic Half? Why the hell not!

Two happy BAMRs - Historic Half- I do love the port-a-potty scenery

The next 13.1 I took on was the ZOOMA Annapolis Half on June 2nd. (Jody was smart and took on the 10k.) I wanted to do this particular race because the authors of my favorite running book (Run Life a Mother) were going to be there. For the 13 days in between the races, I wondered whether running both so close together was such a good idea. I PR'ed (or PBR'ed - personal best race - as my brother says) at the HH and thought I probably could PR again since Annapolis is a less strenuous course. Sure it has lots of rolling hills, but those were easy gentle hills compared to what I'd run on May 20th. I'd settled on getting in at 2:30 or better, but ultimately I wanted to prove to myself that even if I have cancer I could tackle it.

Jody and I drove up to Annapolis the day before so we could get our bibs and visit the expo...and meet Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. We brought our books for them to sign and while they were signing them I threw out the idea of one and/or both of them hitting the pavement with me. At first it was a no, then a let me think about it. I then threw out my cancer card, I was willing to use all my tricks!

Dimity accepted with a condition of taking some video and being able to write a blog about my story. I was delighted that not only would she be accompanying me on the course (without properly training, but that's the kind of BAMR Dimity is!) but she felt my story was worth putting out there.

Dimity bringing me home at ZOOMA Annapolis Half

I could go on about how great it was to have a cheerleader every step of the way and how easy conversation came with my new friend, but you really should hop over and read what Dimity wrote at Another Mother Runner. I am very touched and humbled by her thoughts and the comments left by others. If I am able to encourage even one Survivor to get up, get moving, and be strong then the all pain and soreness I felt after the second race was worth it!


genderist said...

You are so awesome.

eLBie said...

You are an amazing, inspiring woman! We met at the packet pick up. I was telling you how my youngest daughter, who I was holding, ran like Phoebe from FRIENDS. And you told me you were from North Carolina =) So glad your races were both good experiences.

ButterBean said...

Cant do anything but smile! Wish we lived closer - Id get my running shoes out and run with you ... humm maybe I should get them out anyway and just run ... good plan, think Ill do just that :)

Jessica said...

I read your story on another mother runner and had to tell you thank you for sharing your journey. I too was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 6 years ago and I know every scan I have I fear that it will come back. I am glad to see there is another thyroid cancer survivor out there running and living life to the fullest. Best of luck to you and your family.

Cynthia said...

Thank you ladies!

eLBie, it was great to meet you and your sweet little girls! Hope your hip gets healed up.

Jessica, I am so glad that you are out there running! I like to be reminded that my body CAN do what I want it do even if it's trying to do something else.

Laura Cardner said...

My Hero indeed! I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things post chemo/last surgery, and this just gives me all the more umpf! You rock! God Bless.