Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Its eleven thirty am on Sunday February 11th and I am writing to tell you that today I have accomplished what seemed to me many weeks ago to be a task that I would never complete in my lifetime. On a very cold and chilly morning (30 degrees), I got up at 5:15am to eat some breakfast in preparation for my first 5k race. It was cold in the house and I could have easily laid back down under those warm covers but all I could think about is completing my goal in finishing a 5k race. Peggy and Tyler got up and we drove over to the hobby lobby parking lot and met up with my trainer Amber Toole and my brother Chad at 6:45am. As you read in past blog posts Amber has been my trainer and we trained together for this race. We arrived at the race start line around 6:55am and I felt really bad for Peggy, Tyler and my brother Chad for having to stand in 30 degree weather to support me in the race. My wife and son have been my rock through my training and it was so comforting to know they were there to cheer me on. I was also glad my brother Chad and sister-in-law Linda were there to support me as well. How could I fail with all the loving support. Amber and the rest of us warmed up for about 10 minutes and they called 5 minutes to race start. I was a little concerned because I never trained in weather below 50 degrees and it was 30. I was a little nervous and very excited waiting for the race start. The gun finally sounded and I waved to my family (with the video cameras) as I ran by and we were off. I think the freezing weather numbed my lungs because it never bothered me during the race. Amber and I stayed together during the entire race and it really helped me to have her encouragement. Another surprise was the number of steep hills throughout the race, I had not trained on hills this size and it was a little intimidating at first. Once I made it through the first big hill I began to gain confidence and we continued on the path. Along the way I had to slow the pace slightly to catch my breath but keep pushing on. When we saw the finish line with 2 tenths of a mile left I felt a rush of emotion and when we came around the corner and headed toward the finish line I felt an exhilarating rush of accomplishment run through my body. It was an unbelievable since of accomplishment capped off with a big hug from Peggy and Tyler. I was so thankful for that great hug and became emotional thinking back about everything we have been through together as a family this past 7 months. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with Peggy and Tyler, I couldn't made it through all of this without them.

My goal was to finish the race and I finished in 32:09. That was a personal best throughout my training times. I ran this race to show cancer that it would not defeat me and I also ran for my wife Peggy and son Tyler because they were always there for me and finally I dedicated and ran for everyone who has been affected by prostate cancer, whether you are a survivor, had a family member affected, or have just been diagnosed.

Thanks again for ALL the post and emails of encouragement. I want to leave you with this message. "Your only limits in life are what you say you can't do"


Video of my big finish:

My Trainer Amber:

Start Line at the Ocala Marathon 5k:


C Donan said...

Congratulations Darren - what a huge milestone and accomplishment. Keep it going, you're motivating lots of folks out there.


Link said...

Congratulations Darren - it's a great accomplishment and inspiration to everyone.


Bobbi said...

Congrats Darren! We are so proud of you here at Athletes for a Cure!
Will we be cheering you on at the 2nd annual AFAC Triathlon in September?

Amber said...

Darren, I am so proud of you! You did an awesome job!!! Now I'm ready to see you complete the next challenge. Stay strong and keep pushing.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Darren - I so proud of your accomplishment you my hero dude I look to you for inspiration

twupny said...

Thanks so much for posting your story. I found your blog when searching for info on prostate health. I'm currently waiting for my prostate biopsy results, and have started a blog of my own. With any luck I won't need to refer back to your postings, but if I do, it will be nice to be able to benefit from your experience. Congratulations on your fantastic accomplishments. Continued health to you and your family.
Tom W

Marshall said...

Congrats on finishing your first 5k! That's an accomplishment for anyone, but an even more impressive accomplishment for someone who has been what you have been through! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind words of encouragement. I've added your blog to my blog list and look forward to reading about your future health and successes.

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