The idea of running a marathon has always been a flat no for me. I'm usually looking for some type of challenge to keep me healthy, but training for a marathon has always seemed to be too much stress on my body. I did a Tough Mudder about 5 years ago that is basically a half marathon in terms of distance and that took it's toll.
So why a marathon and why now? The biggest reason is my Mom. I lost mom to cancer when I was 25, I turned 50 this year so on top of looking for a new challenge, this particular marathon being a breast cancer charity caught my eye. It also falls almost exactly on my mom's birthday (Feb 12th) and it does fall on my mother-in-law's birthday on Feb 10th who has been like a mother to me for the last 17 years.
Mom was a two-time survivor of breast cancer prior to passing from cancer in 1994. She raised nine kids and I'm the youngest. She loved to go for long walks, although I don't know if that was a love of walking or just getting the heck out of the house. So a marathon being a long run seems an appropriate way to honor her memory.
At a very personal level, the split of 25 years in my life around mom passing has reminded me of a painful missed opportunity for me. Who I was at that point in my life had to be a little disappointing to her. I managed to get a degree (after 6 years), but I was closer to homeless than getting a real job when she passed. I moved to Florida in a 20 year old car with first month's rent in my pocket and nothing else about a year before she passed. She was crying in the kitchen when I pulled out of the driveway. I was able to spend more time with her the last couple months of her life and witnessed first hand the strengh, courage, and grace she maintained to the end.
Since then, I finally borrowed some of that strength and courage to earn my masters, move forward professionally, meet the love of my life, raise some awesome kids, and stay healthy-ish....all good. I'm not too hard on myself, but i just wish I'd had a chance to show her more before she died. I do believe that her spirit stays with all of us kids and she's been right there for all of the good and bad. That's why I want to do this . Running has always been an activity that brings solitude and focus for me and that's when i feel closest to mom. I want that feeling of her walking next to me the whole way. And heck, I run slow enough she could probably walk next to me anyway.
It's also been a rough year for so many friends and family that I feel like I've been blessed to be healthy and doing ok. The timing of the marathon and connection to mom were enough, but it feels like I need to pay it forward a bit through the fundraiser. So, although it is out of character for me, I'm going to push for donations on this one.
So many of us have been touched by someone with breast cancer or cancer in general, we should take every opportunity to kick cancer's ass.
So hit the donate button and give whatever you feel you can. This is a great charity that provides financial assistance and support to families living with breast cancer and funds ground breaking breast cancer research.