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25 Days and Counting to the New Orleans Marathon. Time to Finish Strong!

February 8, 2012

My 2012 DetermiNation race — the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon — is 25 days away.

I wish it were tomorrow.

To be honest, I wish that partly because I’m tired. Marathon training seems harder this time out, for some reason. Or is taking longer, even though this year’s race is nearly two months sooner than the race I trained for last year. Even fund-raising seems harder this year — and I’ve never been concerned about the fund-raising side before.

I’m doing everything right on both fronts. I’m training with my long-distance running group on Saturdays, getting in three or four good runs during the week, doing a little cross training (Zumba, spinning, weight training) once or twice a week, and taking a knock-out yoga for endurance athletes class on Wednesday nights. Let me tell you, the Pigeon Pose alone makes me love that class every week.  On the fund-raising side, I’m fund-raising with Facebook, sending messages to everyone I know or have chatted with on some form of social media in the last six months. I’ve done e-mails and a paper letter to friends and family.

I’m doing all the right things. It’s all just harder this year. I don’t really have an answer for why.

Let me state for the record, however, that the challenges of this year haven’t dulled my enthusiasm or commitment to DetermiNation. This is the first time I’ve really put words to what I’ve been feeling this time out. And, wouldn’t you know it, I was once again starkly reminded why I love this program so and why I put my body and spirit through this process every year.

It was a phone call from my friend Jeffrey.

I love talking to Jeffrey. He’s a great guy — husband, father, motivational speaker, and 20-year brain cancer survivor who was diagnosed with a recurrence in 2009.

He was calling with a professional question, but Jeffrey also said he and his wife are taking a long weekend trip to New York City. He was excited and I could hear the smile in his voice. Then came the dark undercurrent: Scans have revealed a fifth tumor in his brain. The cancer is growing. He’ll be taking a break from chemo, which I swear he’s been on forever, in a couple of weeks.

“We need to get together,” he said.

Indeed we do. And we agreed to celebrate in a few weeks, after I’ve crossed the finish line and he’s started his chemo “vacation.”

In the meantime, I’ve got the rest of my training to do.

By the way, if you’re at all inclined to support me with a donation to the American Cancer Society, click here.

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