In addition, I had more injuries before that one race than I have had in all my running since then. Weird things like the day I was doing my first nine-mile with Team in Training, I stepped on a really large round rock bruising the bottom of my foot and rolling my ankle. Both knees, my Achilles Tendon, and a score of other nagging injuries kept me from training for the entire three weeks before the Disney race.
You think I would have given up at that point, but I think the one thing that really kept me going was knowing I was asking my friends and family to donate money to the cause, which meant that I was running for others and not for myself. I am more willing to let myself down than to disappoint others. When I wanted to quit, I kept remembering that people were depending on me to complete this race: my donors, those struggling with blood cancers, my family and friends who were following my journey—I couldn’t let everyone down.
So with that at the back of my mind, I focused on cross training to keep me fit before the race. Instead of running, I used the stationary bike in my bedroom while I watched my favorite TV shows. I swam lots of laps in my swimming pool, sometimes focusing on just arm or leg work, and at times swimming laps for speed to keep up with my cardiovascular training. I was determined to not only finish the Disney race but to complete it in under three hours.
The other thing that kept me going was that we were doing this race as a family. I was the only one working with TNT, but I passed along all the good advice I got from Brian, my TNT trainer, to my family. While I ran long miles with my team on Saturdays, Sean would run the long miles at home when I got back. My oldest, Niall, and his friend, Brent, had their own training going as well. Siobhan started training with us, but when her knees started hurting, she had to back out so as not to ruin her chances for HS volleyball. We all took this journey together in one way or another, and we have all benefited from it in the end. We are a healthier, closer family, and I will always be thankful to my Team in Training family for helping change us as a family.