Boston MarathonAs you probably know, I'm heading to Boston for a much-needed vacation. This vacation was supposed to include running the Boston Marathon. This is the most prestigious marathon in the US; you can't just run it - you have to qualify for it. I qualified for with my 3:38:35 finish in the 2010 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, just squeaking in under the 3:40:59 cutoff. I felt like Cinderella!
Then, for the 2012 marathon, they changed registration process to give priority to those with the fastest times, which effectively reduced the qualifying cutoffs, but to unknown times - it depended on the times of everyone who registered. So I then spent about 12 months stressing over whether or not I'd actually get in; I tried to requalify faster but experienced an injury that led to a DNF, then plain ol' stress that led to a DNS. Despite it all, I got in; the registration cutoff for my age group ended up being 3:38:46 - 11 spare seconds! I felt like Cinderella!
However . . . training did not go too well for Boston, with stress and an old injury kicking in. I was struggling mightily on every long run, and facing the likelihood of needing to do a walk/run combination in order to complete the race. But I was still sure I could do it up until I did 20 miles on March 11th - and then that injury completely shut me down. I was crushed. And yep, I still felt like Cinderella. The sad version.
Here's the scoop: I've been tentatively been diagnosed as chronic exertional compartment syndrome, to be tested on 4/23, and I'm still in the acute phase. I spent 2.5 weeks hurting with every step I took, which has finally improved to no pain in daily life. But I can't take a long walk, and I certainly can't run - I can't run even a single pain-free step without pain at this point. CECS is something I cannot run through under any circumstances, not even for the most prestigious marathon, lest I cause permanent damage.
So I just barely qualified in my first marathon, I stressed for 12 months, I ended up squeaking in under the modified registration cutoff, and I still can't run it. Crushed. Like you-know-who.
I'm still going to Boston, no sense canceling the planned vacation w/ hubster & parents just because I can't run 26.2 miles while I'm there, and I will certainly enjoy it! But it was temporarily devastating to lose the dream. I went through the whole damn grieving process, and probably annoyed the crap out of everyone around me in the meantime. I'm determined to heal, to beat this injury, become a better runner because of it, re-qualify for Boston - and then actually run it! It will likely take a couple of years, but damn it, a Cinderella story by definition always has a happy ending!
[I'd throw in a picture of Cindy running away with her prince, but, well, that's taking the metaphor too far past my firmly-drawn feminist boundaries.]
Relay for LifeYou may also know that I am heavily involved in the Douglas County Relay for Life. The disease of cancer has not actually had a huge impact on my personally, but I know so many people for whom it has.
You may be one of them.
The Relay is an incredibly moving experience that keeps me motivated to kick cancer's ass. This is my 4th year participating, and this year I am also the co-captain of Tastefully Simple's Relay team. I've set a goal of personally raising $1000.
This year's Relay is on July 13th, and I'm hoping I'll be able to log some miles running around that track, starting at midnight. (Ideally, I'd be doing a mile for every $100 I raise. Realistically, I might still be recovering from CECS, so I can't make any promises right now.)
My injury may have destroyed this year's plans to run Boston, but I'm still healthy and happy and cancer-free. Too many people can not say the same, and for them I will keep moving and keep fundraising.
The point of this post: What you can doWhile there isn't anything you can do for my injury, there is something you can do for my brain: donate to a cause I cherish, or celebrate your health. Or both!
If you have spare cashDonate to the Relay for Life on my behalf. Donate online by clicking here or go here to send a check. My goal is $1000 total. I'm excited to see how much of this can be raised based on one single blog post!
Funds are automatically tracked on the right sidebar > > >
If you have an able bodyLog some miles on my behalf on Monday, April 16th, the day of the Boston Marathon, and let me know how many you do. With all the runners I know, I figure several marathons is pretty doable. (I already know one runner who will log 26.2 miles that day in Boston - go, Shannon, go!)
Not a runner? You don't have to run - you can walk. Take your iPod, take your dog, take your kids, go as far as you can and make it fun!
Miles are tracked on the right sidebar > > >
But for this one, I will need you to tell me how many you've done. You can message me via the comments below, on Facebook, on Dailymile, via email, whatever; you obviously know how to get ahold of me, or you wouldn't be reading this!
If you have both spare cash & an able bodyBe a rockstar and do both!
If you have neither spare cash nor an able bodyI'm very sorry. I will devote my next marathon to you! Take a moment to send out some positive vibes, or prayers, or whatever you believe works, that my next marathon is not that far away.
Thank you!No matter what, I want to thank you so very, very much. I've had a lot of support from you, my wonderful friends and family who've held my hand through the grieving process. It's especially humbling when I don't have a "real" injury; I'm not facing anything that affects my daily life - only my hobby. But you folks understand that I love this hobby and it is one of the few things that keep me sane!
I almost didn't post this, didn't want to come off as "needing" you to boost me up. But what the hell, I can admit it: I do need the boosts. I'm simply not strong enough to deal with this setback without the help of my peeps.
And furthermore, I know many of you feel deeply for me in this crappy situation and wish there was something you could do. So I've given you some options: please, take one.
I appreciate each of you so very much.