Sometimes that seems a little hard to believe especially because I never ran long distance before February 2009. There are moments I want to say that I do not know what possessed me to think that I could do it and then I remember. I started this path to do something to honor the memory of my father and my friend’s dad, both who had been diagnosed with blood cancer and died.
I wasn’t sure what I would do immediately following my father’s death to honor his memory and life. I still was pretty in shock several months later when Dr. Jones died. But I knew the day that I talked to Julie in November 2008, I had to do something. Sitting around was not an option. So, I made a commitment then to myself, I will run at least one half marathon a year in our father’s memory. The first would be in San Diego with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program.
I have realized each of the three times including most recently in the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, that the event is as much mental as it is physical. By the time I got to mile seven on the Disney course, I began to ask myself with each step why I decided to do another one of these 13 mile adventures. I was trying to figure out how I could teleport myself to the end of the race. I would even take an “I Dream of Jeanie” head nod that would blink me to mile 12 so that I could carry myself across the finish line. Why take away the feeling of announcers calling out your name, the lights shining on you and a crowd of folks cheering you across that line? There’s really nothing like it.
I have crossed the finish line and completed the San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon, ING Philadelphia Distance Run and the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. The pain that has come along with each of these is less than the pain that my father and Dr. Jones had to endure while fighting cancer. They both fought, under went chemotherapy and remained positive. This is the least that I could do – take one step in front of another to complete a 13 mile trek.