In October 2014, I ran my first and only half in honor of my dad as he battled lung cancer: the Lake Health Northern Ohio Marathon/Half Marathon. His fight was my inspiration to cross the finish, especially during the times I thought I'd never make it there. After than race, I swore I would never run a half again, especially not that one for two reasons. One, let's be honest, I love running and I love racing but 13.1 miles? Not really a fan of that distance. Second, knowing what this particular race meant to me and the reason I ran it in the first place, yep, I swore never again. It's really a great race though and last year, they changed the course a bit. They moved the start and finish to Headlands State Park/the beach/my favorite place and it's a relatively flat course going through the streets of Mentor so last year we put together a team for the 5-person marathon relay they offered instead. Well, this year the plans to run the relay fell through and left me with either not running the race at all and kicking myself later or sucking it up and running another half, the race and distance I have vehemently sworn I would never run again. I chose to suck it up and go for round two.
So if I was going to do this again, I needed to make it personal and have something to push me in those moments When I feel like I can't take another step. One morning on a run a few weeks ago before sunrise it hit me. The race is in October. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was in October four years ago my cancer roller coaster began and it's because of cancer that I started running in the first place. Good motivation but making it about me wouldn't be enough. So then I started thinking about the people who have crossed my path from the moment God put me on it and the answer became clear: run this race in honor of my sisters in pink: the fighters, the survivors, and the taken. I found my inspiration.
7:30 a.m. today in the rain…it's round two. This one's for you, "sisters."