Thursday, April 16, 2015

CancerBirthdary: 37, Off and Running!

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Marky told me back in October that the Ragnar Relay was on my CancerBirthdary this year. Meaning, it fell on April 10 and 11. I was diagnosed on April 10 2012 and my birthday is on April 11. While the timing seemed unfortunate at the time, I have a huge appreciation for it now. Somehow, it just seems appropriate to celebrate the fact that I'm still alive the day before I celebrate that I have life.

For the last few years I have celebrated my CancerBirthdary by rallying 5-10 friends to come climb halfway up Mt Baldy to the old green ski hut, stay the night there - celebrating by making stew on a wood-burning stove, drinking, playing cards, and relishing in the clear, noise-free, starlit sky. It has become an awesome tradition. This year it included rallying 14 people to come run a 30ish hour relay race with me.
A few of us at the hut a couple years ago
We did it right. We dressed as Richard Simmons, didn't take ourselves too seriously. We had experienced, well trained runners and brand spankin' new runners. We were separated into two vans, six runners and one driver in each van, each of us running anywhere from 10-23 miles. I was responsible for a whopping 16 miles (separated into 3 legs). 16 miles is not a problem for me, but I hadn't really run much in the past month - so it scared me. When I initially began my Leadville training I made a point to keep running during the week (because of a pesky little thing called osteoporosis, which I am now at high risk of because of that whole cancer/hysterectomy/aromasin/can't-have-estrogen-in-my-body thing - the impact exercises are super important) and I was running pretty fast and feeling pretty strong! Until I came home from Costa Rica feeling a lot more relaxed and interested in eating during lunch than running... So I was worried about my 16 miles (which turned out just fine).

One super cool part of the whole thing is that I was projected to run just after midnight on my birthday. I was really  hoping I would be able to start running around 11:30 and run (literally) into my birthday... but that's not the way it happened and I'm just fine with that. My second leg of the race started at 1 am on April 11, was 6.5 miles long and lasted exactly one hour. I listened to The Airborne Toxic Event (TATE) while I ran and thought the whole time (in a sing-songy voice) "it's my birthday... it's my birthday... it's my birthday..." Bring on 37! I can't imagine a better way to start it...

I'm so stinking happy to be alive. So thankful to have crazy friends to join me in an adventure like this. And - as always - grateful that my body continues to put up with me. Feeling stronger than ever and overwhelmed by the ability to do what I can, I'm ready to hit the trail for Leadville training.
Team Richard Simmons - in all our glory

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