Monday, July 4, 2011

#346: Pennsy's First 10K, For All of Them

1:11:35 (official). Fastest mile, 5K, and 10K I've ever run.

I had a mantra prepared, it was a gift from a friend on "The Loop", a runners' forum on She told me to "Run Happy." I reminded myself to do just that many times during the race. I was so happy to be able to run. So happy to be running with 3000 other people. So happy that people in the neighborhoods came out to ring cowbells and wave signs (my favorite: "Suck it up, Princess.") So happy to run under the water when some homeowner stood at the curb offering to spray us with a garden hose. I was so happy to be alive, upright, running. Yeah, I ran happy.

And I had another mantra. One I hadn't prepared. the last thing Mrs P said to me when she dropped me off as close to the starting line as we could get was, "Run it for Doug." Doug was "Brother." He fought cancer hard, harder than I ever had to. He did not survive the battle, but he never gave up. Doug was a winner. He was a finisher. He ran a great race. He helped me to run my best.

As I ran, I thought of all of them. Catherine, who never stopped praying for me, even as lung cancer ate her up. Alan, who wrote me and followed my blog even as cancer destroyed his pancreas and finally ended his much too short life. Elvin, who fights even now, as the tumors in his brain rob him of his humor and his memory, but not of his spirit. The men and women in my head and neck cancer survivors group who have lost the use of their arms, their sense of taste, parts of their jaws and faces, their teeth and hearing, but not their courage. They are still fighting, still running, still winning. I love all these people. Cancer gave them its best shot, and they spit in its eye. A little over 2000 people finished the race ahead of me this morning, but cancer didn't beat me. It didn't beat any of us. We are not just cancer survivors, we are cancer fighters, and we will fight it to our last breath. These people are fighting for life. I felt them all around me as I ran today. I ran for them all.

Next comes a half-marathon. I have one picked out, and will register as soon as the glow from today's race wears off. I'm going to use the race to raise money to fight cancer. It's the least I can do for them. They carried me 6.2 miles today, faster and farther than I could ever have gone on my own.

We are running for each other's lives.

Peace, and LIVESTRONG, y'all,



  1. Great Job! You are such an inspiration!

  2. Dude, you rock! Wonderful to hear you did so well. Let me know when you start raising money for that race and I will definitely contribute some $.

  3. Saw you on ViewsHound and I am LOVING your blog! Keep it up, my friend. :)

  4. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Keep running, y'all.


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