Do you ever wonder, or have a burning desire to be more than what you have aspired to be? I always knew there was more to life, and I found it through my joy of running.
Before I started running I was overweight, on antidepressants and I could barely run around the block. I was a young mom and had battled some very dark moments. Since I started running I am no longer taking any medication and I have lost 20 pounds. Running saved my life.
On March 2, 2008, I ran my first marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon. I had made all the beginner mistakes. Ouch! Pretty much sums it up. I had not trained properly, and swore I would stick only to 10K’s after that. But it was not long, two months in fact, until I ran another marathon and then another. My father became my biggest fan. We had a goal, that goal was that I would qualify for the Boston marathon where he would go to see me run. I attempted to qualify for Boston 19 times. Every time I completed a marathon I would call my father and let him know how I did. He was still proud of me, even if it was my slowest time. He always encouraged me to keep going and so I did. In October of 2010, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I was devastated, but my father urged me to continue to train, to work and go on with life as usual. It was hard, but I did as he wished. On December 5, 2010 I finally did qualify for the Boston marathon and made it in 3:47, sadly it was 1 week after my father passed away, just 35 days after his diagnosis. I know he was there with me, he was the wind at my back and had the best seat in the house, my heart.
After I ran the Boston marathon in 2011 I looked deeply into the disease that had taken my father. I found that pancreatic cancer was the 4th leading cause of cancer death and the least funded for research. This was unacceptable to me. I knew had to something dramatic to raise awareness and that it should be centered around my passion for running and the love for my father. So I set out to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise $1,000,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. I recently completed marathon#52 on March 17, 2013 at the ASICS L.A. Marathon. I did all of this while holding down a full time job. I work 9-5 as an accountant. I would leave my office on a Friday or Saturday, travel to a different city, state or even country, run a marathon on Sunday and fly back home to get to work Monday morning. Almost every weekend waking up at 3:30 in the morning to get to the starting line. Not even Super Storm Sandy could stop me. I dedicated each of my marathons to someone affected by pancreatic cancer because my fight was nothing compared to what theses people had to go through. They are my heroes.
I am now 42, have two amazing kids, who are 20 and 24, my wonderful fiance, and of course my first running partner ever, my dog Jessie. I have found my purpose in life. Now, I invite you to join me in the light, embrace your highest self and start being the person you were put on this earth to be. If it speaks to you, I also invite you to join me in the fight against pancreatic cancer. The disease that took the life of my number 1 fan, my father, and so many others.
I am so grateful that we have completed this amazing journey, but we are not done yet. The goal of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is to double the survival rate by 2020, so to run along side that goal, I will run another 52 marathons, by 2020. When you do what you love, for those you love, that is when the miracles happen. The joy comes from the heart. If your love is running, I have learned that it’s not about how many miles you go, or even how fast. The heart does not have a clock, it has beats. My mission is to make sure those beats are spent on pursuing your dreams, your passions and having fun. Marathon Goddess is about embracing the God or Goddess within us all. Now I am running with a purpose, to fight the good fight against pancreatic cancer. It has become my mission, and I will not stop until we have found a cure.
Find your passion, bring out your spirit and let it shine. We got this!!