Why I Chose Team-in-Training

12 May

I started regularly running about a year-and-a-half ago. You can read my full running story here. For the first year or so I focused simply on building my endurance and just getting back into shape.

Running started as a way for me to lose weight and get back into shape but  it morphed into something more. It was something I did for me, it was a way for me to get away from stress, sort through issues I was dealing with, and just to be on my own for a bit.

About six months ago, I started thinking about running a race. Not a half-marathon or a marathon, just a short, manageable race. After talking myself into and out of it zillion times, I finally took the plunge in March and signed up for my first race, the St. Patrick’s Day 8k.

This is way I'm hot!

Even though the race didn’t go particularly well, I learned a lot and had an absolute blast! I wasn’t happy with my time but I couldn’t wait to sign up for another race to see how I could improve.

I signed up for three more races, including the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon (which I will run on Sunday, ahhhhhhh!!!).

But somehow that just didn’t seem like enough. I started researching marathon training plans and races. One day I was standing in line at Starbucks and saw a brochure for Team-in-Training. I picked up and browsed through and didn’t really think much of it. I found the brochure at the bottom of my bag a few weeks later and decided to do some research. I figured if I have to train to run 26.2 miles I might as well train with other people.

Oh s#*$

Training for a marathon is going to suck, I know this. It’s going to hurt and it’s going to be a hideous mental slog, and there will probably be some days where I hate it, but it sounds easier if I have the chance to train with others who are going through the same experience.

My desire to have partners-in-torture wasn’t the only thing that attracted me to Team-in-Training. All participants have to raise a certain amount of money (it varies by event) to help those with leukemia and lymphoma. Sadly, cancer has had an all to real impact on my life. I last my best friend and one of the most wonderful people I have ever known to cancer in 8th grade. He truly was an amazing person- always positive, never had a bad word to say about anyone, a willing friend to all.

Two years ago I lost my godmother to ovarian cancer. My godparents were a constant source of joy and inspiration in my life when I was kid. I can’t imagine my childhood without them. Losing my godmother was so painful. She was an inspirational woman. Unbelievably intelligent and strong she served for 30 years as an auxillary officer in the NYPD. She was promoted to captain (for the first Chinese-American female appointed to such a role) right before she died. I miss her desparetly every day and feel so lucky to have had the honor to call her my godmother.

Yes I took a photo of a photo, I am that awesome

Cancer is a horrible disease. It causes so much suffering and every year takes thousands of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers and aunts and uncles. It brings nothing but pain with it and watching those you love suffer through the disease knowing there is nothing you can do is heartwrenching.

I chose to run the Marine Corps Marathon with Team-in-Training in honor of my godmother and my best friend. They both maintained their strength, courage and good spirits to the very end, true heros. I know their memory will help get me through the next few months of training and the actual race. Alone, I don’t know if I would be strong enough to run a marathon, but with their memory I know I can make it through this:

This is what mass hysteria looks like

So, enough of the sappy, touchy-feely talk. I promise it won’t happen again.  But in all seriousness if you’re thinking about training for marathon (or century ride or triathlon) but don’t want to do it alone, definitely consider training with a charity team. My experience so far with Team-in-Training has been extremely positive, and I have feeling it’s going to get even better!

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2 Responses to “Why I Chose Team-in-Training”

  1. Larry Huffman May 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Nice post. What a great way to honor your godmother and friend. Good luck to you.

    • feetoffancy May 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

      Thank you Larry, it’s a small gesture, but it’s the best way I can think to honor them both.

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