New challenge: Challenge Myself.

Now that the 1/2 marathon is done, I’m getting lazy about running (yes, it has barely been 7 days since the 1/2 marathon). I don’t want to get lazy about running. I began this whole journey because I wanted to be in the best shape possible before the surgery. I’m doing this surgery to reduce my risks of hereditary cancer, so it only makes sense that I’d reduce my risks, too, of surgery-day complications. I gotta lose a ton of weight before the surgery — even though “body image” isn’t necessarily my focus.

But, reading a few blogs about women who have done the surgery awakened me to a new conversation about body image. Not the body image I struggle with (big thighs, jiggly stomach, tree trunk arms….) but the body image that comes post-mastectomy. The physical scars. The absence of nipples. The knowledge that the lumps on my chest are made of a polymer and not my tissue.

I caught up with a wonderful blog by a woman named Steph who writes at I love it. Thank you, Steph, for reading here and for leading me to your blog! It’s really helped me! Susan is celebrating her 6-month anniversary since her mastectomy, and she, too, attended the FORCE conference (where I’m heading next week).

So, here’s where my challenge to YOU comes in.

Join me as I continue to get healthy, get stronger, get more focused for my surgery!

My new goal is to run a 5k, 10k, and 3- 1/2 marathons before my surgery!

I ran my 2010 5K in February, ran my 1st 1/2 marathon in June, will run a 10k on July 4th, and plan on doing the Run to the Rock 1/2 and the Lowell 1/2 marathon all before Thanksgiving. My plan is to have the surgery just prior to Thanksgiving. I know it’s rough math, but that would mean I would have run a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, and a total of a marathon.

Now, if you know me, you KNOW that I’m not a runner. Never have been. I’m 186 lbs, short, chunky, and awkward. I have a “more than full time” job, am raising 3 kids under the age of 6, and somehow still manage to do laundry….  most days.

You are not too busy! You are not too fat, too short, too un-coordinated, nor too out of shape. Seriously. If *I* can do it, you can too.

During this 1/2 marathon, I wasn’t fast. I wasn’t cute. I wasn’t anything but determined to finish. And, honestly, I questioned whether or not that was going to even be a part of my story. There were many, many times when I wanted to quit — I wanted to quit training, I wanted to quit the race. When the Burke family drove by me on the race course, I wanted to jump into their car. When I saw Lisa O’Donnell at the 11th mile standing by her car, I wanted to jump into her car. And, somewhere around mile 12, I wanted to jump in front of a car.

I will never say that this journey has been easy. It has been everything but easy. But, I know that it’s important. Doing this has been important for me, for my future. It has been important for my children, my marriage, and my family.

I was never doing all of this to prove anything to myself. I never needed to prove I could run 13.1 miles. I never desired to compete with anyone  — not even myself.  I honestly think the BRCA gene replaced a competitive gene 🙂

Rather, I did this because I know I need to be healthy. I owe it to myself, my family, and the future of my family.

I don’t want to develop cancer.

I don’t want to die.

I don’t want to spend anymore days wondering “what if?”.

So, this is the challenge to myself.

Join me. You won’t be disappointed. You will struggle. You will hurt. You will question whether or not you made the right choice.

But, how will you know if you don’t try.

I’ll be trying right along side you.

Peace, love, and challenging myself,


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  1. Jade says:

    Yay, can’t wait for the 10k on July 4th!
    See you there!

  2. Tina says:

    I went for my first run yesterday morning since the 1/2 last weekend…I was a little nervous, but fell right into the groove. Gotta keep it up…. I’m going to check my calendar and see which 1/2 I can come to…I signed up for the 1/2 in Hartford on October 9!

    • Liza says:

      Tina! Hurray! I haven’t signed up for Hartford because we might actually go on a trip for our 10year wedding anniversary. But definitely doing Plymouth and Lowell!!

  3. Steph H says:

    Hi Liza,

    Thanks for the shout out! I’m in the middle of my own challenge this month: 100 miles in 30 days. So far so good. I should hit triple digits tonight! So, not only can you run before your mastectomy, you can run after it, too.

    See you in Florida!


    • Liza says:

      Hi Steph!

      Sorry about the name — I fixed it in there 🙂

      I’m so excited to hear about your running challenge post-mastectomy! That gives me such hope! See you next weekend, hopefully!

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