Chicago Marathon – Here we come!

2 days  21 hours to go!  
Start time: 7:30 am
Date:  10-10-10  (Schuyler’s birthday!)
Location:  Grant Park, Chicago IL

What?: 26.2 miles – a marathon – my 27th marathon

Why:  Because I can!  It hasn’t been easy training or actually sticking to this goal after being diagnosed in July, with some doubters out there, people thinking I am pretty crazy (which I may be!) and just the struggles with having chemo all summer long and dealing with how to actually TRAIN for this marathon.  I signed up, was diagnosed with cancer, started treatment, figured out that I could still run and train long miles (although – believe me NOT easy miles…) and now the day has come!  The marathon will be the ultimate test of my will, my body and my DETERMINATION to live, to run and to complete this distance!  Yay!

For the American Cancer Society — I have raised as of right now – $1809.60 – and our team (Judy & I – “Boston or Bust!) – has raised $3329.60!  I am thankful for my friend Judy for encouraging me to sign up for Chicago (before diagnosis) and for sticking with me as I continued the quest in training through treatment.  Her support of me has been unfailing throughout this and as a friend for more than 11 years now.  She has missed me at the national meetings, calls me almost every day to check in and make sure I am not down or stressed.  Laughs with me and cries with me too.  πŸ™‚  There have been quite a few true friends that have really shown their light strong through this battle and she is truly one! πŸ™‚  I love having a “team” in DetermiNation, because then it is not always all about you, but also as a team you can celebrate eachother’s efforts.   And Judy has rocked this one!   I also love DetermiNation because it is a chance to make a difference in the fight against cancer and spread the good word of the work of the American Cancer Society.  As a participant and fundraiser and volunteer – it gives me such pride to support the organization that I work so hard every day to reach others and promote Relay For Life corporate involvement and the mission of what we do at the Society to fight this dreadful disease that I now have the experience first hand to say that with more meaning and MORE passion.    Photo above is one of Judy and I at the Applefest Half in NH when she came to visit in 2009.

You have read about the Dream Team in an earlier post — well we are getting together on Saturday – which may be the only time I see Charlie because he is SO fast!  πŸ™‚  David is bringing cake and Cara and I are going to be partners through this thing…..  BatGirl and Wonder Woman!  Yes – my sister made the costumes and they are awesome. All lycra, short skirts and insignia and the capes to match.  Can’t wait to share photos with you all!  We are going to get the crowd’s attention and are actually planning on bringing a camera for scenic shots!

Although a personal note – I am sharing Cara’s response to me trying to get her off the hook from running with me the whole marathon (I really don’t want to hold her back because she is SO fast and I will drag her down ….)

Cara Turano
September 30 at 3:35pm Report
You are fine! I keep up with you through FB and blog and I have been worried because you seem less vocal. Take your time and I know you are feeling crappy. I am SO glad that you don’t have treatment next week – that will make this whole marathon thing a lot easier and you are tough enough to beat this nasty thing without something even nastier hurting you.

As for the race, I am completely disregarding that paragraph! Girl, I have paced other people all summer. I am just as ready to run a 3:30 as I am a 5:20 and I am going to race Huntsville in December. Nancy, Chicago is about giving Steve a 4 hour or so break and letting me be your rock. I figured we could sign autographs and maybe have a fan club when we cross the finish line. πŸ™‚ If we walk, or fly, or skip, or stroll, or cartwheel, you are stuck with me…congratulations to you!! I even bought an eye mask and Charlie is worried about me running in it. I am going with you every step, cowgirl, and I will carry whatever you need to get through 26.2 miles in my utility belt. Did you really think you could get rid of me that easily?? Psshhhhh….I refuse to hear it. I have to many things to tell you and learn from you. We start together and we finish together….PERIOD.

I love you too!! I cannot believe we get to reconvene in Chicago in a few short days…I am gonna be right here every step of the way through the cancer battle and the Chicago Marathon. It is who I am and it is what you deserve.


Wow – that totally had me in tears when I read that note.  She is such an amazing  person and has sent me cards EVERY week.  I feel like we have been friends forever and I really only have spent time with her that one experience at the Boston marathon.  Yes – I do NOT have to have the Methatrexate treatment anymore, it was determined that there is not benefit from continuing that after meeting with the medical director at Baystate.  A HUGE RELIEF for me in readying myself for this marathon.  I feel so much better this week and the taper has been good for me to refuel and regenerate so I am in top/peak condition for a chemo ridden patient running a marathon.  πŸ™‚
Whoo Hoo!

The Schedule: 
Friday:  5 PM direct flight to Chicago – staying at the Hilton Airport Hotel
Missing the ACS DetermiNation dinner

Saturday – ACS DetermiNation warm up run is at 6 am which is too early for us to get into town so I am missing that too.  I was bummed to get the schedule and see that all the events just didn’t fit.
Expo – morning
Meet the Dream Team at the ACS DetermiNation booth at the Expo
LUNCH with the Dream Team!
Staying at the Palmer House on Saturday and Sunday so we will check in after lunch
Lay out clothes and get prepared for the marathon
Rest & relax
Dinner with my sweetie

Early wake up – call Schuyler because it is his birthday!  He turns 9!
Meet Cara dressed in Wonder Woman costume.
Check clothing bag with bus
Find Elite B coral
Stretch and ready
7:30 am start – on your mark! get set! GO!
11:30 am finish — I set my goal to qualify for Boston (even though I have qualified with my Boston 2010 time) – which for my age group is a 4:00 hr marathon.  I think it is do-able and with Cara’s help and support – it is a slam dunk.  But of course I will listen to my body and slow when I need to and honestly will enjoy every mile of feeling alive, hearing the cheers, feeling the strength and just finishing this marathon will be enough for me.  πŸ™‚

Steve will be on the course taking photos and meeting us at spots along the course.  We were here in 2007 and he was so wonderful to be there encouraging me, he knows the course and is ready! πŸ™‚
Find Steve at the finish – go to the ACS DetermiNation tent – CELEBRATE!
Pizza Party for ACS DetermiNation – hope to be there after relaxation at the hotel.

Photos are from 2007 – last time I ran Chicago with a tiger tail and tiger ears in the “heat wave” when they “cancelled” the marathon. 2007 results: Chicago Marathon (3:26:13)- 896 overall – 128 female – 15th in age group

Monday – Recovery day –  10 am flight home!  πŸ™‚
Tuesday – Blood tests and see Doc Mullally
Wednesday – Treatment
Thursday – Treatment
Friday  – Recovery day!

Thanks for stopping by — stay tuned for more updates and photos from after the marathon.  IF you wish to track me here is a link and my race number is 4399.  Think of me, send me strength and power thoughts!  Please leave a comment if you stop by!  I read ALL comments and am thankful to all of you for your prayers, concern and love.

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Nancy Cook 2021

About Nancy

Nancy Peck Cook is a trainer and speaker who has presented in front of large and small audiences for the past 25 years.Β  Her work as an executive and volunteer trainer for the American Cancer Society during the growth of the signature activity Relay For Life trained professionals to be more confident and successful in their roles.Β 

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