In less than 10 hours, I, along with Team Mb4M, will head out and pound the pavement. For the past few days, I’ve been thinking to myself, “Gosh, now that the 1/2 marathon is here, what am I supposed to write about?? After all, this IS called MARATHON before Mastectomy!”
I got to realizing, though, that this is just a small part of the journey. That the training was a small part, the pre-race nighttime jitters (which I’m having right now!) are a small part, and the race is a small part. Don’t worry – I’ll still have plenty to write about as I reflect, experience, and embrace the “mastectomy” part of this journey. Then, of course, Life After Mastectomy!
I’ve said it before, but it’s so hard to believe that the day is here. And, for one Mb4M member, the day has already passed — Congratulations to Emily Cobb Henry who just finished her first 1/2 marathon today! Pouring rain, funky timing, and training without all the other Mb4M peeps by her side (physically), Emily kicked serious @$$ and paved the way for the rest of us! I read the following from Emily posted to my Facebook page today (after I’d been stalking her ALL DAY to find out what had happened during her race!):
Thank you for inspiring me to do something I never dreamed I could do. Thank you for helping me get into better shape. Thank you for helping me see myself through different eyes – as a competent, strong, kick-ass mama. 😉 Thank you for giving me the courage to try, and the self-worth to do this for myself. Thank you fo…r showing me the world through new eyes. Thank you for helping me look at my children in a new light, and for wanting to be the best for them that I can. Thank you for connecting me to something so much bigger than myself; although I ran alone, I never *felt* alone. I know you’ve said that everyone has done so much for you on this journey… But Liza… What you’ve given me has been tremendous. I will be forever grateful. ♥. Good luck tomorrow!! It will be hard, but you will rock it and feel SO good at the end! And I’ll be with you every step of the way. 🙂 Rest, peace, and happy running… 🙂
While this was so incredibly beautiful, it was this photo that took my breath away:
Emily had made her own race numbers — a beautiful combination of numbers that represented her age, her husband’s age, and the ages of her children. Emily also had a handwritten “Mb4M” sign. Are you kidding? WOW.
I was already so amazed and inspired by Emily’s journey, to see my own journey represented on her shirt, yeah, just took my breath away. No other ways to say it, so it was worth saying it twice. Thank you, Emily….
I also heard from a beautiful friend of mine, Seema, today. She sent me an incredible reflection about how she went on a very early morning grocery run and bypassed a person soliciting funds for breast cancer research. Like many of us — I do it all too often, I admit — she walked by the person. Then, she stopped. Thought, “So, what if it’s MY $5 that helps find a cure for breast cancer? What if this is the $5 that helps Liza? Helps her family? Helps to save her daughters?” Seema turned back around, gave what she could, and did her part. Seema, thank you for this wonderful reminder of the blessings we have and the unknown ways our spirits cross paths.
This evening, my phone has been lighting up with text messages:
“I made it to the hotel!”
“See you in the morning!”
“Let’s meet in the lobby at 7:15am!”
“Feeling nervous, but see you tomorrow!”
Another big thank you to my amazing husband, Jorge. We had all planned on staying at the hotel tonight, but he decided that his “gift” to me would be to keep the kids at home while I got a good night rest at the hotel by myself. For anyone with kids, what Jorge is doing is a huge sacrifice and contribution. He essentially has to get all the little ones out the door by 6:00am! I love you, Jorge! See you tomorrow!
Shirt is out. Shoes are ready. Running bib is pinned.
I am so proud of the Mb4M team. Of all of the people who have been by our side – emotionally, physically, spiritually. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, your stories that have inspired me, and for allowing me the great honor of being a part of your own journey.
This race is the beginning — the beginning of a longer race towards reducing my risk of hereditary cancer. I have a 90% chance of developing breast cancer. I have a 60% chance of developing ovarian cancer.
Thanks to all of you and your support, I have a 100% chance of finishing this 1/2 marathon.
Peace, love, and running to start,