An ultramarathon (also called ultra distance) is any sporting event involving running longer than

the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres (26.2188 mi).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Knowing Cancer - Coach Mama Lisa

True Inspiration!

"At Saturday run, I was told by several mentors to speak out and let runners know what is
going on with my health. They didn’t ask me to speak out (I don’t believe) because I was
running slower than anyone else on the course or I looked ill (did I?) or a lack of nutrition
or the last one on the trails (I am a Sweeper for goodness sake!) but mentors thought
everyone needed to know about my health condition

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on December 23, 2009. A diagnosis of breast cancer is
startling, almost incomprehensible news. I will have my first dose of chemo on
Wednesday, March 17. I hope that treatment for breast cancer is the most difficult thing I
will ever have to face in my life. It is very difficult and part of the difficulty is the
unpredictability of side effects. My doctor said, while handing me a long list of possible
side effects of treatment, “everyone gets something; no one gets everything.”
One of my greatest miracles thus far is the overwhelming love and support from
ultrarunners, friends and family. I am sustained by the love ad support of those who are
taking this journey with me. I know that Craig, Mark and Laura feel the same too. Thanks
to you, friends and family for providing strength, comfort, laughter, companionship, and
unconditional love.

Ultrarunning has always been a huge part of my life since 1992. I brought the word ultra
running to Team in Training in 2005 and 4½ years later Team in Training approved ultra
as part of their program. For the first time in the history of TNT you and I are making it
happening. Even though it only took me 6 weeks to write the training schedule, it took 6
months to write the program, including rules and regulations of trail running, layouts of
trail running, mentor/captain guideline booklet, guidelines of training runs, the do’s and
don’ts, nutrition facts, clinics, choosing a race for your first best, talking and meeting with
dozen of the greatest ultra runners ever lived and many of which are in the book called,
“Born To Run.” I wanted to know their thoughts and ideas about training first timers. It
is hard to believe but no one knew. It surprised me as much as I surprised myself. I
started by running a little more each week until I could run a 50K, 50 miler, 100K and
eventually 100 mile.

As an up and coming ultra runner, your ability to grow at a rapid pace on trails for hours
amazes me! Ultra did not come easy for me. I was a lot like Stephen, trained on streets,
around lakes and anywhere I could run for a few hours. Trails came later into my life after
running over 200 marathons I wanted something different and a difference came with over
110 ultramarathons later. I enjoy trails and street running but most of all trails running
teach discipline, how to except and appreciate pain, how to dig deep, and never wait too
late to think what’s next. Body language teaches us to think, to eat, to drink and to sort
things out as we run. Trails can either break you or make you stronger. Have fun, because
trails humble you; respect the hills and they will respect you and remember: listen to your

-Mama Lisa

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