If you would’ve told me just a few months ago that I’d be running a half marathon this year, I would have laughed at you. And then if you would’ve told me I’d be doing it as a way to celebrate my birthday? For fun? Yeah, forget about it.
Since we’re on the topic of birthdays, I want to backtrack to my 25th birthday for a minute. It wasn’t exactly exciting because I spent the entire day in my car travelling from Wyoming to Virginia, but I didn’t care because it was supposed to be the best year ever. I had just accepted a new job that I couldn’t be more excited about, I was going to be living much closer to family, and I couldn’t wait to enjoy my summers at the beach. I felt like I was on top of the world.
A cancer diagnosis about 6 months later quickly turned what was supposed to be my best year yet into the worst.
My following birthday wasn’t any better. I rang in my 26th year on this planet with my 9th chemotherapy treatment. With that said, I’m long overdue for a good birthday and I have a feeling 27 may finally be my year. My upcoming birthday, October 7, also just so happens to be the same day as my first half marathon, the Crawlin Crab in Hampton, VA.
Running 13.1 miles wasn’t something that I had ever wanted to do. In fact, the morning before I committed to running a half marathon I actually told a friend of mine that I would NEVER do something like that and I didn’t understand what the appeal was. I thought people who run distances like that were nuts! Fast forward just a few hours to that afternoon when I was meeting a different friend for coffee. This friend just so happens to be a running coach. With that said, we were not meeting to talk about running at all. I actually just needed some life advice and we ended up having a great conversation. Right before we were about to head out, the topic of running came up. He told me about a training team he coaches and invited me to join. The catch? I had to pick a race to train for. The available options were a 5k race, a half marathon, or a full marathon. This friend of mine is incredibly motivating and at that instant, I let go of all my opinions on running that I had expressed just that morning. Without hesitation, I decided that I was going to start training for a half marathon.
Since then, I’ve been strictly following my half marathon training plan and getting myself ready for this race. I’ve faced more than my share of setbacks, but I never let that stop me. You WILL see me crossing that finish line this weekend and it’s going to be the best feeling ever. Not only is it a great way to ring in my 27th year on this planet, I also can’t think of a better way to prove that cancer didn’t win.