Meaghan: This is not a typical BITR blog post, but here it goes… I’m running a half marathon in February with my best friend, my mom. It’s her first half. In August 2014 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In October 2014 she underwent surgery and in July she signed up for 26.2 with DONNA. It’s the only marathon in the U.S. dedicated to breast cancer research and care. We’re running and fundraising under the Team “All for Love” and would love your support (come spend Valentine’s Day with us!). From 0 to 13.1 miles, here’s a little background on how everything started…
How did you get involved with Donna & the 26.2 with DONNA event?
Robyn: I became involved with the marathon through my association with Donna, her passion for helping others, and her vision for health and wellness. My initial exposure was at a speaking engagement where Donna’s inspirational story, her knowledge regarding natural health and the fact that we both had encountered breast cancer (coupled with the fact that she was a marathoner like my daughter) peaked my interest. It was just one of those defining moments when you know there’s a reason you’re sitting in that room on that particular day. When faced with the type of life challenge that Donna and I had both encountered, you not only have an almost immediate bond, but your priorities line up very quickly as do your thoughts on life in general. With me, I felt a strong need to do something worthy, to find a way to help other people, and to challenge myself both mentally and physically. Because of Donna, her foundation, and the amazing work she does in the natural health field, all three of these parameters were met simultaneously! The fact that I also have the opportunity to run the Donna 26.2 with my daughter, Meg, is by far the biggest blessing of all…
What’s been your biggest challenge with training & running?
Robyn: I think I’m pretty disciplined as far as keeping fit, but never having run more than the 200 yard dash, overcoming the distance factor was my biggest hurdle. I can now attest that without a doubt the best way to venture into any type of race as a non-runner is to join a Galloway group. Former Olympian Jeff Galloway has devised a program for both seasoned runners and beginners that allows you to gradually work up to distances that would otherwise be daunting. The walk-run program has been amazing for me, and although I have definitely encountered some aches and pains along the way, I went from zero miles this summer to 12 in a little over 4 months.
What inspires you to get up and run at 5am on a Saturday?
Robyn: At first you wonder what in the heck you’re doing getting up in the dark on a Saturday morning, but you feel so good after a run and you meet the greatest people. I love my running buddies and mentors and I am now at the point where I’d be hugely disappointed if I missed a Saturday morning outing.
Has this experience changed your perspective on life? If so, how?
Robyn: I think anytime you do something that you haven’t done before – especially something that you thought was totally out of your realm, it gives you more confidence to try different things, to push yourself a little more than you might have before and to truly believe that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. It sounds cliché, but it really is true.
How can people support DONNA?
Robyn: For those who wish to support Donna in her quest to help women in need during their cancer treatment and to support continued research for a cure, please visit Meaghan and my team site, Team All for Love.
About 26.2 with DONNA
26.2 with DONNA is a private non-profit organization in Northeast Florida producing the only marathon in the U.S. dedicated to breast cancer research and care. Its mission is to passionately produce world-class events to raise funds for groundbreaking breast cancer research and women living with breast cancer.
26.2 with DONNA net proceeds go to breast cancer research, care and awareness.
Since its inaugural year in 2008, 26.2 with DONNA has contributed more than $4 million towards its vision to finish breast cancer. Funds go to the Mayo Clinic for bench top breast cancer research and to The Donna Foundation to provide financial assistance to those with breast cancer.