I first heard of Team in Training many many years ago when my brother trained for the Anchorage Marathon. It seemed like a nice idea - raising money for cancer research and all...but I didn't really "get" the whole fund raising thing that he was trying to do :-( ...but by the time 2005 rolled around it became really personal ~ Mom was diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma. At the time we had really no clue what this cancer was, what her prognosis would be, really not a lot of info other than stuff I found on the internet that really really scared me. I decided to join up with Team in Training as I really had no other way of feeling strong about the situation. I had run a marathon the previous year and it was pretty painful. With Team in Training, I not only had a great time, but I made some friends and I crossed the finish line feeling like I could keep running and running and running - here I am in purple leading Robin into the finish line...It was seriously a GREAT race.
|Look how little wee ones were!!|
The hardest thing about that first year wasn't training for or even running the marathon...it was trying to keep my tears in check. At the first team run, I bawled. At the second team run, I whimpered. The thing with TNT is that it is about fighting death. No matter how you boil it down, you are either crying over loss or crying with joy over life.
I took a year off, but in 2007 my cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. He was 32 and had two little kids and again I felt like the only thing I could do to keep some power was raising money for research. This time I really stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to try a triathlon. I thought my tear ducts would be a little dryer this time around, but I was wrong. When you are thinking about those close to you in pain, it just stays raw as you continue about your day. It doesn't make sense that you are racing triathlons and they are fighting for their lives, but that is. how. it. is.
In the 2008 season, our honored teammate was a beautiful little girl named Natasha. As she faced her treatments, my tears just kept coming. I felt withdrawn at many points during that training year. It was hold myself back or just break loose and breaking loose wasn't very pretty for me that year. Either was the finish of my race, but I look pretty happy in this picture ( I think I was actually delirious :-)
|Look at that background. Who could ask for more??!!|
That is my Paint It Purple Week story.