|Run for the Cure - 2013|
The year I was diagnosed with breast cancer I had been training to run a half-marathon and since I never got to do it I needed to get that crossed off my bucket list. So when I started running again in the spring of 2011 it was on my mind. Those first few runs of 3 kms were brutal. However, I slowly was able to build up the distance and it actually started to become something I was really enjoying. I almost craved it and with the Nike plus I could track my runs and they would upload to Facebook. As crazy as it seems, the fact that the run total would be posted on Facebook really encouraged me. It was like I was then accountable to something or someone. I mean let’s face it, nobody on Facebook really gives a crap that I was running but it meant something to me. Plus I really did enjoy the encouraging comments I would get. So I kept running and following a program by the Running Room so that I would not get hurt and it would be a gradual build to the final distance.
|Run for the Cure - 2012|
I had a goal to do the Army Run in Ottawa in September but when I tried to register it was already sold out. The next run was a bit too far away time-wise and hockey season was starting up which of course meant I would have less time to devote to running. The shorter runs are fine but the long runs on the weekends were a couple of hours. So one day it occurred to me that I did not need to sign up and pay to do an organized run. Really I just wanted to do the distance. I didn’t need a medal or any other acknowledgement. I just wanted to do it. So, when I got to the end of my training program I just did it! I set out on a late afternoon on September 25, 2011and I ran 22kms! Man it felt sooooooo good to finally do it! When I got back home I rang the victory bell loud and proud! It was such an amazing feeling of accomplishment and I was smiling from ear to ear. Then I sat in the hot tub and let it all sink in. I was pretty darn proud of myself. My forty something body that had endured surgeries and chemo and radiation and medications that caused me to not be able to hardly move and now I had made a comeback! I wanted to enjoy that amazing feeling for as long as I could.
|Run for the Cure - 2012|
So after the ½ marathon I took a break for a little while. Not for long though because in October Tasza and I had signed up to do the Run for the Cure for Breast Cancer in Ottawa. We raised $2,000 between us and the support from friends and family was amazing. I was really excited to be doing this run with my daughter by my side. Since most participants wear crazy pink outfits, I did a bit of shopping for us too. We ended up with pink and gray toques with long ears, our run t-shirt, pink short shorts over running shorts with knee high pink socks. Tasza was a bit concerned and kept asking me, “Are you SURE that there will be other people dressed like this?” Since I had done the run before when I was in treatment, I knew what to expect. Although during treatment I had to walk most of the way, this time I was going to run the 5 kms.
|Run for the Cure - 2011|
The day of the race was quite chilly but we still went in our shorts. There were nearly 10,000 people at the run and the atmosphere was so exciting! Tasza seemed really happy to be a part of it with me. We ran side by side the whole entire way and we talked and laughed and huffed and puffed. Then about 1 km before the end she says to me with a grin, “Wanna pick it up a bit?” I think we sprinted the rest of the way! When we neared the finish line both sides of the road were lined with supporters cheering and clapping and encouraging the runners! Especially those of us wearing the race shirts designed for survivors. I looked at my beautiful, young, healthy daughter and she grabbed my hand and we lifted our arms to the sky and ran across the finish line together. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life. I hoped with all my heart that she would never, ever have to go through what I did.
In subsequent years Mike and Alex also joined us for the Run for the Cure. The support from my family has always been my source of strength each and every day. I must admit that hockey and other activities sort of took over most of our time these past few years and walking has become more of my thing. However, who knows I might get back into running again one day. As long as I keep moving!
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen