So let's get real here.
Why am I doing this?
Cancer, specifically Lung Cancer is my motivator, my driver, my nemesis.
I started running to get back the body I had as a 24 year old girl, really, let's face facts why does anyone truly start an exercise program if they haven't been mandated to by their doctor. They start because they don't like what they see, they continue because they realize they are in control, they persevere to feel better about themselves and give back.
My running is giving back, motivating other people, bringing awareness about Lung Cancer, being a positive light in someone's otherwise dreary day. It is also a selfish addiction, but we won't focus on that for the moment.
My first big running challenge was a 1/2 marathon in May of 2011. I bonked, I failed, I really felt like I made a fool of myself and a mockery of the Team Lung Love jersey as I dragged myself across the finish line. The picture may show a very victorious looking face (and yes, a skitch pudgy) but what was going on in my mind was a horror show.
It as a horror show because I felt like I had failed, I was so unprepared for what lay ahead of me. I had NO idea what I was getting into. Krikies I could barely run a full 5K.
In retrospect, isn't this what the Lung Cancer patient deals with? 80% of all new Lung Cancer diagnosis are in people who have either never smoked or quit decades prior. Those who never smoked are mad, mad because the first question they get asked is '"Did you smoke?" Those who quit decades ago are embarrassed, embarrassed to say yes to the first question they get asked "Did you smoke?" Those who smoke now are mortified, mortified that they should say yes, and I still do to the first question they get asked "Did you smoke?"
Let's address this smoking stigma. No one DESERVES to get Lung Cancer, and No One DESERVES to DIE. Let's let the smoking stigma go, you only have to have lungs to get Lung Cancer, you don't have to smoke, period.
Yep, smoking is a risk factor in Lung Cancer, it is also a risk factor in 13 other cancers.
Are we clear on this smoking business. If you smoke, please quit, if you quit years ago or today HOORAY, if you never smoked KUDOS, but it doesn't eliminate this disease from the possible diseases you can get.
So why do I run with the Lung Cancer Alliance's Team Lung Love?
Honestly, I feel like I found my people. Even after my first race, where I was mortified I had embarrassed the WHOLE team, I still felt like part of a community. A community of survivors, a community of care givers, a community of grievers, a community where no matter what you would be treated with respect and compassion. That is what the Lung Cancer Alliance means to me: Compassion and Respect.
The pride I felt, this past May, for my SECOND run with Team Lung Love, when I crossed the finish line hand in hand with Carrie, at a respectable 2:17, was amazing (I beat my 2011 time by more than 1 hour)
But really this picture at Mile 8 tells the story. I love to run, I love to run with Team Lung Love. I run with my Mom close to my heart.
I am blogging about my training and running adventures and misadventures to bring you with me through this process of training for a full marathon, that is 26.2 miles or 42K. To increase your awareness of what it is like to train for a marathon, what it is like to be the daughter of a mother with Lung Cancer, what is Lung Cancer and what it takes to live every day of this life we have, to really live it, to not waste it or wish it away.
I would be ever so grateful if you would consider supporting my fundraising efforts. Yeah, there I said it, I asked. It is easier to put my trials and tribulations out on display...