We finally started some hardcore training again…it was tough but definitely much stronger than last year.
For new readers, please click here for the beginning of “The Journey That Never Ends“. I can’t say that this type of journey is for everyone. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who will do as much cardio as I did during chemotherapy, save for General Petraus who supposedly (and only because I didn’t read the book) ran 6 miles on his last month of the dreadful treatment regimen. Then again, he is military and they have been known to tolerate dreadful things. That being said, in typical freakishly obsessive-that-my-heart-was-going-to-give-out-from-chemo that most Asians would have, I began training for a half marathon 2 months out of treatment. (I am also known to be fairly insane on various occasions).
That being said, I was proud to be part of a great group of family and friends all over the world (but majority being in the United States) who contributed way past my fundraising goal for Team In Training and my first half-marathon in April 2013 at our Nation’s Capital. It was by far, the most saddest and yet happiest, the greatest triumph after completing treatment.
So I signed up for another one.
I didn’t want to do it with TNT not because I don’t love the cause of funds to fight cancer by cancer research but because it is difficult for me to ask friends and family for such a large donation. However, I didn’t want to stop training because a lofty goal (that may or may not be reachable) would be to do a triathlon at some point. Maybe the most I’ll ever get to is a sprint, but I’d love to be able to do it at some point. Ideally, it would be year 5 of being NED (no evidence of disease) and thus, officially cancer-free. And then, I’d love to start that new phase with a bang.
However, you can’t just simply sign up for a marathon and then just run it! So this year, in addition to stupidly signing up for three 5k races for 3 weekends in a row (and going broke in the process), I signed up (again stupidly) for the Hot Chocolate Race in Atlanta. This is held in multiple cities over the country, and the ploy is…(you guessed it)…chocolate.
Much more expensive than your other races, the 5k goes for $45 and the 15k goes for about $65 (or is it $69?). Either race gets you a dri-fit sweatshirt and a finisher’s mug which consists of hot chocolate, melted chocolate, and an assortment of dipping items of which to coat your melted chocolate in such as pretzels, marshmallows, and bananas.
I should have realized that even though last year’s run was held in a balmy and almost warm 50ish degree weather, I am blessed to have Murphy’s
Curse Law, and the city as well as its suburbs were graced with a drop in temperatures way below freezing just a day or two before with no hopes of warming up. Needless to say, it was a frigid 20-something degrees Fahrenheit the morning of the run. In addition, my cheap@ss decided to get more bang for the buck and signed up for the 15k run instead. There is no need to remind me of my own folly as I repeatedly cursed myself that morning for having not only to run 9.4 miles but to do it in cold rivaling that of Alaska.
However, it was done. It was done and in 2hrs which was a much faster time than I had trained for. Perhaps the cold was enough of a driving factor to make me run faster. Or perhaps it was the sight of hill after hill and the drive to finish the race so I wouldn’t have to run to the top of another one. Either way, it was a great triumph. It reminded me of how blessed I am that I can still run given the recent permanent deformity in my spine, and it reminds me that I should run for those who can’t during their treatment.
Hot chocolate is great. It’s one of the recommended drinks for a post-run or even a race. Finishing the race though is what matters more to me, as well as the knowledge that with each step, it brings me closer to not just a healthy body, but a bigger goal that I am to start (as soon as I get over my fear of drowning in open water) in the future with TNT.
Run fast. Live Healthy. Go Team.