Two years ago I ran my first half marathon: It was suffocatingly humid, my feet, legs, hips, and back hurt in a way I’d never before experienced, and it took me well over three hours to finish. Yesterday I took on the same 13.1 miles at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon, and guys — I killed it!

The first seven miles flew by (not that I was flying). That has never happened. Usually I’m ticking off the miles one by one (“I’m only at mile four!?”) But I felt great.

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The heat finally caught up to me between miles 8 and 10. THE STRUGGLE WAS REAL.

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The only hill on an otherwise flat course is the General Booth Boulevard overpass at mile 11. I knew once I crested that sucker I could let go and barrel down the other side. I grabbed at everything the blessed volunteers and good people of Virginia Beach were handing out — ice-soaked sponges, Gatorade, freeze pops — biding my time till I could gun it.

As I rounded the final corner onto the boardwalk all I wanted to do was stop, walk, catch my breath. But my legs kept doing that one foot after the other thing, propelling me forward to set a new PR: 2:30:43! Running is a mind game.

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It blows my mind to see how far I’ve come — especially on days when it still feels hard, and that is why I especially love answering in a gaffaw when asked if I was always a runner. Two years ago I couldn’t run two miles without stopping to walk.

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There’s so much power in just taking that first step to start something. That’s why I love all that Still Easier Than Chemo represents. It amazes me that I get to see how that simple message has touched and inspired so many.

So get out there. Say no to can’t. Find your strong. After all, it’s still easier than chemo.

UPDATE: David was not able to continue his cross-country trip. Thank you so much to everyone who showed us support and especially to those who donated — your kindness and generosity will not go to waste. In David’s own words:

“Dan and I were not able to continue our cross-country trip. Day 1 was far tougher than we imagined, and after 9 hours of cycling we had only made it 55 miles — half the distance of our first day goal.

The Oregon hills were incredibly difficult and completely sapped the energy out of us. On top of that, the roads were shockingly dangerous; we were climbing hills with zero shoulder with semi-trucks whizzing by within a foot of us.

It became immediately obvious that it was going to take closer to 10 weeks rather than the planned 5 to complete our trip. We decided to throw in the towel early rather than attempt to only go half-way.

Thank you to everyone who showed us support and donated to Massey. We’re sorry to have let you guys down after such a lofty goal.”


…for his bike!

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That was a terrible joke, but what my husband is setting out to accomplish is no such thing!

You may remember David’s journey from noob to Ironman (catch up here, here, herehere, and here). Now, he’s taking on his biggest challenge yet: Beginning Sunday, David and his good friend Dan will attempt the trans-America bike tour to raise much-needed funds for VCU Massey Cancer Center. They’re biking from Warrenton, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia: 3,400 miles in 35 days. The two of them are doing this completely unsupported, carrying all of their supplies (tent, sleeping bag, food, water) with them on their bikes.

It’s going to be tough, but it’s still easier than chemo!

David and Dan are sharing updates here. You can also track their progress at the end of each day here.

Please consider making a donation here in support of this crazy awesome adventure and the fight against cancer!

All go. No quit. Cowboy up.

That is the battle cry of our amazing marathon training team. We all owned that mantra during yesterday’s 12-miler; some were running that distance for the first time, others were coming back strong from injury.

I ate sidewalk.

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As I was going down, all I could think was, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?” More annoyed my run was interrupted rather than concerned with the blood gushing from my wrist, I got up. And then I kept going.

So here it is, friends: your Monday motivation.

“In rodeo, to ‘cowboy up’ means to suck it up in times of adversity and carry on when you are injured or down and the prospect of doing whatever you’re about to try is so bleak that the best you can hope for is to live through it.”
— Tuff Hedeman, World Champion Bull Rider

95 days till the Richmond Marathon.

Cowboy up.

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