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After running 12 half marathons in 12 months then capping it all off with my first full, I was pretty burned out. I had given this mission everything I had — mind, body, soul. I took some time for myself (hence the crickets on the ol’ blog here) and gave a lot of thought to ”What’s next?” — for myself and for Still Easier Than Chemo.

Whereas my race plans for 2014 may not be as epic as 12 half marathons in 12 months, I’m happy with what I aim to accomplish. Plus, I’m able to take a step back and spotlight some other pretty amazing people, like Sarah Pierce, who will be taking up the 12-in-12 banner starting January 11 (read more about her story here). So without further ado, here’s what’s on the race docket (with a few surprises along the way):

#1 — Massey ChallengeMassey runs with me, I run for Massey, and Massey can’t run without YOU.


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I hope to raise $255 (a modest homage to the $25,519 raised during my 12-in-12 campaign) before running the Monument Avenue 10k March 29. Accept the challenge, and help us put cancer on the run! Join Team Still Easier Than Chemo today or donate on our behalf!

#2 — 24-Hour Ultra Run: I’m still trying to figure out how I got conned into this. Actually, I’m kind of in denial about having signed on; I’ll circle back around to this.

#3 — Richmond Marathon: Of course I’m running Richmond again! My first marathon was an awesome experience I can’t wait to repeat.

What are your 2014 race plans? Let’s hear some firsts! What new challenges are you tackling? Anyone else crazy enough to run an ultra? 

*UPDATE: Although I’ve temporarily taken down the Still Easier Than Chemo shop, I still have several t-shirts available (size small, medium, and large). If interested, email me at briana@stilleasierthanchemo.com, and I’d be happy to get one to you!

2013 was a year of many firsts — first Monument Avenue 10k, first Cancer Hater Challenge, first skydiving adventure, first TV interview, first marathon. Along the way there was a lot of miles and even more donations. So on the last day of the year, I thought I’d look back on 13 favorites (they happen to be in chronological order, because I’m OCD like that).

#1 — Still Easier Than Chemo Goes National: Last January, I got a media “bounce” from USA Today for my fundraising plan to run 12 half marathons in 12 months — one helluva way to kick off the new year! Check out the video:

#2 — Branding: Since the beginning, I’ve been serious about Still Easier Than Chemo becoming bigger than me. Part of that goal was to create a movement with which other runners and cancer haters could identify. It took a bit of trial and error, but we finally came up with the art to match the message:

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#3 — Monument Ave 10k: This RVA native had never ran the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k before (blasphemy!), but plans to make the event an annual tradition (more on that later). You can read about my first experience here, here, and here.

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#4 — 24 Hour Cancer Hater Challenge: 24 hours. 24 runners. 2 treadmills. (lots of coffee) $8,155 raised! Read more about Point 2 Running Company’s amazing inaugural event here.

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#5 — I jumped out of a plane: Skydiving may not exactly be related to the theme here, but this one’s been on the bucket list for a while. While adventuring in the Pacific Northwest, I took the (tandem) plunge. Yes, it was awesome. No, I wouldn’t do it again (my ears popped something horrible). Call me if you ever go bungee jumping though!

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#6 — Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon: Speaking of Portland, the Foot Traffic Flat was probably my favorite half. The sights were gorgeous, the course flat, the weather perfect.

#7 — Patrick Henry Half Marathon: I have so much history with this race, or at least that’s how I feel. First, there was the infamous DNF. Then, the redemption. The sponsors. Finally, the less-than-epic-comeback.

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#8 — 12 Half Marathons in 12 Months: Check! Done! Finished! Whew!

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#9 — The running community: This is the not-so-secret society of really incredible people. I’ve met some of the most amazing, kind, and generous runners (meet Bigdock, Judy, Luigi, 24 cancer haters, my sponsors — and the dozens more I didn’t blog about), some of whom I’m lucky enough to call friend. That saying, “If you are losing faith in mankind, go out and watch a marathon.” <– true story

#10 — My interview with WTVR CBS 6: Kinda geeked out over this, you guys. Having reporter Chelsea Rarrick follow me around Sportsbackers Stadium with a news camera  made for the most exciting packet pick-ups ever! But seriously, it was an honor to be recognized — and I have my good pal Casey to thank! Relive the excitement with me, here.

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#11 — Cheered the hubs to Ironman victory: I didn’t blog about David’s epic finale in his from Noob to Ironman journey (you can read more about his story here, here, here, and here); I dropped the ball there. He swam, biked, and ran all 140.6 miles of the Florida Ironman in under 14 hours.

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#12 — Richmond MarathonI think sharing this 26.2 victory lap with those I ran alongside (looking at you, Pink Nation) meant more to me than actually finishing the marathon. Of course, there was the hubs, who, just like in my first half marathon, ran by my side every step of the way with love and laughs. My good friend Casey, whose support and encouragement this past year has left me humbled and grateful. The ever-amazing Kaity Kasper and Taminator (thanks for calling me out around mile 4, by the way — I needed that!), and everyone’s favorite running buddy: James, who always has a high five and a hug for you at the finish-line.

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#13 – Raised $25,519 (and counting!) for VCU Massey Cancer Center: That’s 25,519 big ones closer to a cure, and it’s all because of YOU. If you remember, my original goal was $10,000. That mark was shattered again and again and again. So give yourself a pat on the back, you fabulous donor you! A big thanks to you all.

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I can’t wait to continue this crazy running thang with you all in 2014! Happy New Year to you and yours!

Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite life moments / running milestones / cancer hating adventures of the past year? What are you excited for in 2014?

I write today, dear readers, to finally share some really exciting news: I’m taking on the Richmond Marathon!

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Yes, I am still running (and it’s still easier than chemo).

A couple weeks ago I piggybacked the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team’s route and ran 20 miles through the beautiful streets of my hometown with one of my favorite running buddies.

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Hands down it was the best training run I’ve ever had. The sights were beautiful, the weather was perfect — everything just fell into place. I can only hope for a repeat on Saturday.

It’s been a crazy adventure, and I’m looking forward to some time off from training, but not until I take (as a friend of mine so generously put it) my 26.2-mile victory lap!

Anyone else running Richmond? Shout it out in the comments!

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