Last fall, as I sat in the initial consults with my doctors, I imagine they were surprised by my questions. I wonder if they thought I was in denial as to what I was about to go through. In fact, maybe I was in denial. I remember asking my oncologist if she thought I would be able to run a 5K with Emma Clare days after my second chemo infusion. I didn’t ask whether my hair would fall out, how severe the nausea might be, or whether my immune system would be so compromised that I shouldn’t go to the kids’ school on occasion or to church every Sunday. I wanted to know if I could run. Emma Clare and I had planned to run that race, and it was (frankly, probably inappropriately) important to me that I run it. Breast cancer was not about to take that experience from me.
Earlier that fall, Nike had teased the announcement of their inaugural half marathon in Washington, DC. Sally and I had decided we would enter the lottery to run that race in the spring. Having met the authors over the summer, I had my autographed copy of Train Like A Mother already dog-eared to a training program and was looking forward to the race. In my initial consult with my surgical oncologist in October, I was already asking whether the prospective surgery dates would allow me to be recovered in time to run the half marathon. And I remember standing outside Ray’s Hell Burger, while my parents and brother ate inside with Sally, talking on the phone to Cami from my plastic surgeon’s office. I listened to her lovely French accent as she informed me that I would not be ready for a spring half marathon.
I’ve been having a hard time getting my mojo back when it comes to running, I’ve gotten a little too used to sleeping until 7! But perhaps making the cut for this year’s Nike Half Marathon is just what I need. I am now officially registered to run the race. Breast cancer took away my 2013 half marathon goal, but this is my year to make sure that breast cancer doesn’t steal that goal completely. Perhaps I need to look at this race the same way I looked at last year’s Girls On The Run race. I planned to run this race, and I will run it. Breast cancer may have delayed my plan, but it can not take this experience from me.
And so I’d better finish this post and get to bed. I’m going to need to get up early tomorrow. I’ve got some running to do.