Just checking in this morning to let you know that today I will run 18 miles, God-willing. I've done half-marathons, I've even done 16 miles, but today I do 18. This is the kind of distance I've always felt incapable of attaining as a runner. I'm anxious, nervous, lazy, curious, excited and privileged.
I like to break up the mental challenge by saying to myself "Well, it's just 9 miles out and then 9 miles back," because 9 miles seems manageable to me. WHAT?! Sometimes I just have to stop myself and think of how far I've come, because 2 years ago there were days that 1 mile seemed unmanageable! It's truly incredible where a little training can get you.
Currently I am training with Team in Training, an endurance training group that runs fundraisers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Last week I had the very moving experience of an "Honored Teammate Picnic," where a few area teams meet over coffee and snacks after their training run and listen to leukemia/lymphoma survivors and their family members tell testimonies about life with cancer. We also heard from people who lost loved ones from this terrible sickness. I met 8-year-olds who've already survived cancer. I had a bad day at work last week.
Needless to say, it was an incredible time. I had tears in my eyes repeatedly, especially when I heard the story of the mother whose 18-month-old was diagnosed while she and her family were living in England for military service. She was one among many to thank US, the athletes, for raising money that would help others going through what she and her family survived. They were thanking US! We should've been thanking them for their courage and hopefulness, and the openness to share their stories without bitterness.
|We always have a moment of reflection before runs|
|Honored Teammate Picnic, and Carsten|
Through my fundraising website, you can donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and enable them to continue their massive research efforts which regularly empower new medications with improvement on side effects, new training plans for previously untreatable forms of these cancers, and more. You can provide money for travel and treatment for people whose insurance can't foot the bill. You can fund support groups where young cancer patients can talk with each other and gain encouragement, or caregivers can find much-needed empathy from others walking in their shoes. Here is the link to donate electronically: Sydney's LLS Fundraiser. You can also send me a check or cash -- just email me if you need my address.
I'm going to try and post a more thorough photo journal soon so you can see some of the conditions of my past training runs and fundraising events. Until then, say a little prayer for me. 18 miles in T minus 90 minutes. Go Team!