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Today marks a year since I finished the World Major Marathons. It was my way of flipping off cancer. You know, you can't take my life, cancer!

Fighting back is a healthy outlet.

That last marathon I was so incredibly miserable. My head was pounding, my stomach was nauseous, and I had no idea that a giant kidney stone was going to try to give birth.

Ah yes, and it was raining.

That day, I thought about this young kid, Kevin Lunsmann. He had escaped captors in the Philippines. I remember watching the documentary. He just kept running despite fear, lack of food, tropical weather, injury, and exhaustion.

I was like that. Giving up was not an option.

The truth was I would have been just as happy to die that day. For today, the skin cancer is back. I am having surgery to remove it March 12. I had a long day of testing at Duke UMC yesterday. The doctor didn't give me very much, but did slip in that the "headaches appear to be disabling."

So what can I do?

I am regrouping and working on being healthy. I can't stop cancer and I haven't found a cure for my headache, yet. Despite the roadblocks, I am still working on doing all the right things. If I ever get cured, I will not want to restart my life, lose weight, get beck to running and all that.

Here are some of my thoughts on what you and I can do.

Self Perception: I have been in the weight-loss running world for a while now. When I started out I was almost 100 pounds overweight. The number doesn't mean anything. What mattered is what I thought of myself. I hated looking in the mirror, I thought for sure nothing good in life would ever happen to me. Even after I started running, I was sure I would never get faster, and surely never be able to do more than a 5K. It took me a year before I was able to run the first 5k, an entire year! My first miles were 13:00+ minutes.

Don't Think, Do: What I did in spite of what I thought about me was a food plan, a strict food plan without cheats and that feel good mumbo jumbo. I wanted to be the best me I could. Sure there was always someone faster, skinnier, and younger, but I stopped limiting myself by deciding what my future would look like. Instead, I focused on the things that would make me leaner and faster and then the light came on, I had to think differently about myself. Every meal, every workout, everyday.

Have A Goal: The most important lesson I learned from my marathon was that I could do way more than I thought I could do. Folks kept saying "you can" and I believed them enough to register and finally run a marathon. I completed 10.

Can I suggest that you stop making judgments about yourself, your times, your weight, and your looks? Today is a day to invest the simple things which will change your future. You can eat well, you can run, you can workout, you can stick with your training plan instead of making excuses. You can.
I read today, that you either inspire people, or you wear them out. Chronic pain makes it really hard for those close to me to ask how I am doing. I hope I haven't worn everyone out.
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