October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Year after year, I Race for the Cure to do my part in helping to find a cure. Seattle and Denver are the two cities I have raced in over the years. Denver is by far the largest – over 50,000 people participated!
This year was different than the rest, for I was unable to run it, I had to walk. Lets go back in time… June 26, 2010 I completed the Rock n Roll Seattle Marathon. After the marathon, I have severe pain in my big toe, upon removing the nail polish, the bruise is revealed. I may lose my toe nail. A week later I am still in pain, so I have to have a hole drilled in the nail to relieve the pressure – NOT a fun task. The hole did help a lot. Several weeks later I start running again.
Next toe stop: Leadville 100 in August. I’m pacing my runner, who has already ran over 60 miles. We are in the pitch black with nothing but our headlamps to guide the way. Three miles into the 10 mile journey… BAM! I slam that same big toe into a tree root. “Oh, that is going to leave a mark” I say to myself. And that it did. As the days and weeks wore on, it started hurting more and more. The pain gets to be too much and I head back to the doctor.
Thinking that it is the nail that is causing all the pain, I am ready to hear that it will have to be removed. Upon examination, my doctor says that the nail looks fine, except for the fact that it may come off, and what I may have is a fracture in the toe. An MRI is scheduled (after a trip to Urgent care and an X-Ray) to find out the cause of the pain.
The doctor says I have to stop running until we find out what is going on. I tell her, but I’m training for the Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon on October 17th. Mmm she says, well you may have to sit it out. I had not registered yet, which really seemed like a good idea at that point. She saw my face drop and then said, lets wait and see what the results say.
The day AFTER the Rock n Roll Denver race sells out, I get my MRI results. It is NOT a fracture, but a bone bruise – which she says is just as painful. There was also soft tissue swelling at the end of the toe. So what does that mean, I ask my doctor?! She said, well you need to rest for several weeks, no running. “You can run the half marathon, but you must ice it immediately after the race”, she says to me. “I’m not going to lie to you, it is going to hurt” she says. She put me on 600mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day. All I am allowed to do until the race is ride my bike and swim. I walked the Race for the Cure, which she told me I had to do slowly, but I wanted to do more.
Now I need to find an entry for the half marathon. I Google for free entries and the only ones available are for charitable entries. Those entries get you registered for the race, but then you must raise $1250 for the charity by November 1st – uh NO WAY, too impossible. I start scouring Craigslist. Answered several ads, but heard nothing back. Posted an ad of my own stating my case and adding photos of me running. That was Thursday, over the weekend I hear nothing. All I see on Craigslist is postings for others wanting entries too. GREAT what am I going to do?!
Monday is here and I drag myself out of a cozy bed to go to work. I am very busy right now at work, which is great, so I didn’t even see that I received a new email… There it is! A response to my “Wanted” post on Craigslist! It read:
My sister lives in Aurora and was looking to do her 1st ever half at this race… but due to some training injuries and work demands, her training hasn’t been what she wanted and she is looking to get her bib to someone who would put it to better use. Her work blocks craigslist, so I am helping her find a suitable buyer…
SCREAMING for joy, I jumped out of my chair! I answered him right away (he and his wife were coming from Omaha to run the race too), and we worked out the details for meeting at the Expo. I was on cloud 9!
NOW, I want to make a difference with this race. This was a sign that I was meant to run this event and pay it forward. While looking at information on Race for the Cure, I stumbled upon Marathon for the Cure. Google found it for me once again, so I read more about it. I would need to raise $500 for Susan Komen for the Cure. This was an obtainable goal and I was determined to make it happen. Here is a little information about Marathon for the Cure:
Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure® is a grassroots fundraising program offering fitness enthusiasts the chance to join in the fight against breast cancer by running or walking a full or half marathon.
Marathon for the Cure expands the reach of Komen for the Cure beyond the Race for the Cure 5K Series and offers participants the opportunity to raise much needed funds in support of Komen’s vision of a world without breast cancer, while training for and running or walking in some of the most elite distance events in the world.
Right away I set up a participation site and a Facebook page fund-raising efforts. My excitement for this entire event is not describable with words. This years Race for the Cure touched me more than any I have done over the years. Seeing all the names of survivors and those that were lost to breast cancer really hit me hard. I want to make a difference, I want to help, I know others that have it, have survived it and have died from it. In my 20’s I had a scare when a lump was found, but I was one of the lucky ones, it was not cancer. I had never been so scared in my life over those agonizing weeks of tests and waiting for results. I cannot even imagine what it is like to get the news that you have breast cancer.
We are all in this together, we can ALL make a difference. Every donation can help find a cure for this terrible disease. Cancer does not care what race you are or how much money you make. I am going to fight cancer 13.1 miles at a time. I dedicate the Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon on October 17, 2010 to fight against Breast Cancer. And I am going to kick it one boobie at a time! Lets do it for the girls!