Training is for suckers! 26.2 Easy breezy, baby!

Ronan. I might be awesome. I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. and thought to myself, “I’m running this marathon today. It’s going to be easy.” I showered, dressed, tucked a baggie full of your ashes, inside my little carrying belt and woke up your daddy and brothers, to drop me off. I had your daddy take a sharpie and write your name all over me as well as Ava’s and our little dragon friend, too. Because you are all worth fighting for. They dropped me off at Balboa Park and off I went, alone, to wait for my race to start. While I was waiting, I sat in the grass, took my sharpie and wrote some more things on my legs like, “Fuck Cancer.” I had some girl come over to ask if I would write on her too, so I did. I put her friend, Christy’s name on her arm, her mom’s and then I asked her if she wanted your name on there as well. She said she would love that so I wrote “RONAN,” in huge letters on her arm. She told me she was only doing the half marathon and thought it was awesome that I was doing the full. She asked how long I had trained for and I told her I hadn’t trained at all. She looked at me like I had 3 heads and said, “What?! That’s crazy!” I just smiled and told her I knew. The funny thing was, I wasn’t nervous at all. I hadn’t set any expectations for myself except for I just wanted to finish, and have fun. I secretly in my head had thought to myself that I would like to finish in 5 hours, but I didn’t put a ton of pressure on myself about it.

I got to my corral and before I knew it, we were off and running. I was running, running, running. My pace felt good and I felt relaxed and almost as this was a little too easy which did not make any sense because I really have not been running at all. I kept my mind focused on you most of the time with bursts here and there of everyone who I knew, that was rooting for me. That made me smile and pushed me to run harder. Heather and Sam were waiting for me around mile 9 which I loved. Heather was all dressed up in some crazy purple outfit and they had about 20 purple star balloons for me. I carried those balloons for about 3 miles. People kept yelling at me that the balloons were slowing down my pace and to let them go. I didn’t care. They made me smile. I kept holding on to them until I found a little kid on the side of the road, to give them to. He was so excited and it made my day, to make his.

I think the first half of the marathon, I totally kicked butt. I do remember thinking around mile 10, “Shit, how am I really going to run this whole thing?” I quickly pushed that thought out of my mind which wasn’t hard when I remembered the reason that I was running. For you and all the other kids out there dying from or fighting this disease. I thought about you and all that you put up with. The surgeries, the chemo, the broviac dressing changes, the bone aspirations, the radiation, the traveling back and forth, and being torn out of your perfect little 3-year-old world and transformed into hell, in the blink of an eye. That was the only reminder I needed to shut the “oh my god this hurts,” voices off in my head. I knew that nothing was going to stop me. I hit the halfway mark and started to have a lot of fun. There are P.F. Changs photographers everywhere, I ran past one of them, flipped him off and he yelled out back to me, “HAHA, hey fuck you!” He was cracking up, which made me crack up. I yelled back at him, “That was to cancer!” He yelled back, “I like your style, Rockstar Ronan!” This got me to mile 16 and by this time, my left toes were numb and hurting. I looked down and the entire front of my left shoe was covered in blood. I pulled over, took off my shoe to reveal bloody toes galore. Ouch. I quickly decided there was nothing I could do about this, so I just put my sock and shoe back on to continue on running. I was in a lot of pain so I walked when I needed to. I had a dance party in someones front lawn. I drank a beer around mile 19. Some kids had a table set up outside their house, with cups of beer in it. Why the heck not, I thought and I chugged it. It made me laugh and think of you and how you used to love to sip on your daddy’s beers. Somebody else was passing out Otter Pops. This may have saved my life! Never has an Otter Pop tasted so good! I think I had about 3 of them, also while thinking about you as this was one of the last things that I fed you. I maybe got a little emotional at one point, but I pushed my tears aside because my sadness turned to anger which pushed me to keep running. I saw Heather and Sam again and they covered me in silly string. I stopped to talk to them for about 5 minutes. I wasn’t really concerned with my time as the fun of it all, made me care less. Around mile 20 Becca and Holly were screaming for me. I stopped to talk to them for a while, too. They asked how I was, I yelled, “This is easy! Fuck cancer!” They both looked like their eyes were going to pop out of their heads. They told me they were expecting meΒ to be hurting and hardly walking. They were expecting to see a whole different Maya then the one who was smiling back at them. After I finished chatting with them, I ran off to finish my last 6 miles. The last six, were the hardest. I walked a lot. My left foot, was throbbing and I was limping. I had no clue of my time but I was thinking I was well past the 5 hour mark. I walked for about 2 miles, then once I knew I only had a couple more miles to do, I started to run again, but my running only lasted for bits here and there. The last mile I powered through and ran as fast as I could with my bloody and blistered toes, telling me to stop. I didn’t listen. There was no way I was walking through that finish line.

Your daddy and brothers were waiting for me. I started to tear up for a few reasons. One being because I was so happy to see them, but I was so sad that you were not waiting at the finish line for me, like you should have been. A mix of emotions, filled me. Happiness, sadness, excitement, disappointment, anger, and relief. I also felt pretty proud of myself. I looked at your daddy and said, “Worst time ever, right? That had to be well over 5 hours.” He goes, “No way. You finished at 4:51. That is a great time, for not having trained at all.” I smiled. “Really?! No way!” I could not believe my time was under 5 hours. I totally winged this marathon, stopped a bunch of times to just hang out/take it easy/drink a beer/eat some oranges/pound some Gatorades/have a dance party in some random persons yard. I didn’t take anything about this marathon seriously except for the reason I was doing it and the reason I was going to finish it. I had a BLAST. When I trained for the New York one, my time was 4:27. If I wouldn’t have spent all that time, goofing off for this one, I would have beaten my old time! But I think that would have taken the fun out of it for me. I think I will always do marathons this way, for the rest of my life. No training. Just enjoying the experience of it without any expectations or build up. After I ran the NYC one, I said I would never do another one again because I was so burnt out. After running this marathon, I am so ready to do another one! What a difference a good attitude and a little perspective can make in one’s life. This right here is proof that it really just is mind over matter. If you want something badly enough, and you have a big enough reason to go after it with all that you’ve got, anything is achievable. ANYTHING.

So today, I am sore. But not as sore as I thought I would be. Today, I am filled with a proudness within myself, that I have not felt for a while. I know you were there, with me yesterday, pushing me when I needed to be pushed, but also reminding me to have fun. I felt your spirit filling me throughout the day, whenever I would laugh, giggle, or do something a little naughty like flip off the photogs. I ran that marathon for you and all the other kids who won’t ever be able to run a marathon because they were cheated by cancer and death. I’m so sorry for that. The only thing that would have made this better, would have been you waiting at the finish line, for me. Your brothers and daddy looked so proud. I know you are proud too. That’s all I want in life, besides a cure for that asshole called Neuroblastoma; is for you to be proud. I think you were yesterday. I think this is why I know I am going to do amazing things for you in life. Just to make you proud. I promise you this.

I miss you, I love you, I hope you are safe. Thank you to everyone who helped support me with this little crazy idea of mine that turned out to be something amazing where our goal was achieved. I will be talking to Scott from Solving Kids’ Cancer tomorrow or Wednesday and we are going to get the show on the road to fund Dr. Mosse’s trial as enough money was raised. This was also for her. For her dignity, grace, braveness, and compassion that she fights for every single day in doing the work that she is does. I am thrilled to be able to support her. Love you, all. Thank you, again. None of this would have been possible, without you.



34 responses to “Training is for suckers! 26.2 Easy breezy, baby!”

  1. So friggen proud of you and amazed by you!

  2. So proud of you. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to..look at the marathon and what you are doing for kid cancer research, plus all the powerful awareness. Relax and enjoy your beautiful family.

  3. Its simple, you are incredible. I’m balling reading this and cheering all at the same time. You are going to be ok. I promise.
    Always for RO! Xoxo

  4. So proud of you RoMama. You are a beast!! In a good way πŸ˜‰ I was cheering you on from afar! Ro is very proud of you!!! Love that picture of you and the boys !!

  5. You are one amazing mother. And one bad ass woman. I’m so stoked that you had fun and finished the race. πŸ™‚ Ronan is definitely proud of his momma.

  6. Mariana Barnard Avatar
    Mariana Barnard

    You are incredible! I just knew you would make it and and nothing would stop you in your fight for Ronan and all the cancer kids! Great run walk run……..

  7. Wow, you completely rock. You should be incredibly proud. Ronan is smiling big time.

  8. Amazing. You are such an inspiration. You have inspired me to run a tiny one in comparison – to raise money for neuroblastoma research for my friends little boy here in Australia.

    I will probably have to train though!

    Loved this post Maya x

  9. Congratulations, Maya!! You are an amazing woman, Mama, fighter and badass cancer fighter. I know you will help find a cure. I know that b/c you have inspired me to do my first half marathon. I have the chouice of many different charitied to raise money for…… …….. (scroll to bottom to see full list of chaities)
    I will raise money for our local BC Cancer Foundation in honour of Ronan and all of pediatric cancer.
    Thank you for inspiring me, and the rest of this world to FIGHT for a cure!!

  10. Congratulations Maya!! I never had a doubt that wouldn’t kick ASS and get er done. Good job!!
    XOXO. Cheryl

  11. Todd and Kara Avatar
    Todd and Kara

    WOW!!! YOU are SO amazing!

  12. You are by far the coolest person ever! That is amazing, I felt so excited for you when I read your final time! Sounds like you had an absolute blast too! I know Ronan is so proud and Liam and Quinn and Woody too! You are going to kick that asshole cancer’s ass so hard, it will be cured before your time is up, I just know it and I know Ronan knows it too. Keep on rockin Maya!

  13. Awesome job maya! πŸ™‚ way to go girl! Xoxo

  14. P.S. I totally want a shirt like that and a shit ton of the bracelets!

  15. It is such a privilege to be a part of the community you have created here. Through the most tragic of circumstances, you have pulled together what can only be described as THE most generous, beautiful, kind and FUNNY AS FUCK people in the world. People gravitate to you because you’re honest and that has got you a very long way.
    You are a force to be reckoned with…If anyone doubted you before, they’d better watch out now because I think you’re going to be freakin’ unstoppable.

  16. Oh you are….awesome that is! No doubt about it from Day 1, but marathon madness has put you on a whole new level. Only you could run a frickin marathon in under 5 hours WHILE having fun and glowing….seriously…Ro was following you the entire way and sprinkling his hot, gorgeous, glow dust all around you. No clue how someone can look so beautiful with 26 miles under her belt–and bloody toes! Ewwww! πŸ™‚ Love you so much Maya, which is probably pretty creepy since I really do not even “know” you–but I do mean it in the least creepy way possible! I am so grateful to know Ronan’s story and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing so openly and fighting so fucking hard each and every day. Rest your sweet little feet for a few, will ya?

  17. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to witness your journey. You are truly amazing!

  18. I cried reading your post. I think your an amazing mommy. I picked up one of Ronan’s bracelets at Hissyfits and thought of you all day. Congrats on finishing

  19. So knew you could pull this off!! That’s AWESOME… xoxo

  20. You should be proud of yourself! Be proud that you can run a marathon, be proud that you can be so honest, be proud that you inspire so many people and be proud of the fact that Ronan would be proud of you. My son was born one month after Ronan. And sometimes I hug him just a little bit longer – give him a bit more compassion because I think about Ronan. I appreciate both of my children more because of your inspiring words and heartbreaking journey. Very proud of you for all you do and glad I could support such a wonderful cause!!

  21. I read the following in an article on today and immediately thought of you and I figured I would share it.

    Everything Happens For a Reason
    What It’s Supposed To Mean

    All this suffering is part of a cosmically divine plan.

    Why I Hate It

    I suppose this cliche wouldn’t be intolerable if it were merely meant to be taken literally. Everything does happen for a reason. People die young because they get hit by trains or get cancer. People are maimed and disfigured in wars because of bombs. I mean, if that’s all this cliche were trying to convey then it would just be vaguely annoying. You’d assume the speaker were just some mental deficient who says things like “water is wet,” “ice cream is yummy,” or “Tosh is funny.”

    But the annoying thing about this phrase is that the speaker believes he/she has some inside track to God or Fate or whatever mystic unseen hand controls the universe. As if there is a power and that power decided there was an actual reason to inflict a newborn baby with Trisomy 18 or have a woman get gang raped. And given the existence of this rational force –that operates only with justification and reason– who are you to question why someone ravaged your wife, or blew apart your son, or took your leg? This cliche insists that either happy endings always exist (“see, they never would have found that tumor, unless they were repairing that machete wound to your abdomen”) or if there is no happy ending for you then your suffering was part of some greater plan that benefited another (“don’t be sad that you were imprisoned for twenty years by a racist jury for a crime you didn’t commit, I mean, think about the valuable lesson you’ve taught us about bias in criminal juries!) I’m not saying all suffering is random and pointless, or that nothing good can ever come out of a bad situation, but the arrogance that comes from the belief that tragic events are always justified as part of a larger plan is just intolerable. I don’t know why bad things happen, but I do know that no one who throws this cliche around knows either. So to everyone keeping this miserable expression alive, please leave people to their misery and save your cliche for yourself the next time you’re walking in the woods and step into a bear trap after getting shot in the eye by a drunken hunter.

    Read more: 5 Popular Phrases That Make You Look Like an Idiot |

    1. absolutely luv it

  22. You inspire me. Love and strength to you…

  23. Debbie Forrester Avatar
    Debbie Forrester

    Your burning tenacity and fierce drive to actually do something to end this madness amazes me. CONGRATULATIONS on finishing what you set out to do, YOU truly are a ROCKSTAR!! Ronan always knew what the rest of the world is about to find out. LOOK out Cancer, Maya is coming for YOU!!
    I know you did not ask to be in this position, but YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE for your beautiful boy and so many other kids.

    ROCK ON Maya, you are incredible!

  24. Amazing!!!!!

  25. You are fantastic and SO inspiring! Rockstar Mama, you are changing the world!!!

  26. Thank you for being so god damn amazing!!!! I cried happy tears today reading this post. I think that was a first. Ronan is kicking cancers ass through you every fucking day. What an amazing beautiful boy you have.

  27. So proud of you! I feel so honored to be part of the community that is all of your blog readers! You are a ROCKSTAR! Sending you thoughts of PRIDE and JOY (I am so happy to see that you might even be able to receive a little joy now πŸ™‚ – one step at a time) and CALM and LOVE today!

  28. You are AMAZING!

  29. WOW, great job, and you had some fun. Take care of those toes. Hope you get some new running shoes! Your Ronan is always with you.

  30. You’re amazeballs, inspiring, and just all around freaking awesome. You crack me up, you make me cry, you make me think, you make me wonder, you make me dream, you make me dare. It’s amazing the things that you have accomplished and the things that you will continue to do, all in the name of RO…always RO!!!

  31. Way to go Maya! Proud of your accomplishment! Loved all the pictures of you flipping off the camera! And, I do believe Ronan gave you little signs, seriously the beer? Who the hell hands out beer? I am glad you pushed through, sorry I could be there to witness it. We got stuck in the hella traffic of marathoners and buses. By the time we finally got somewhere near the sidelines of the course, you had already passed by (at the 13.1 area). 😦

  32. Damn girl! You are amazing!!! I finished my first Marathon just a few weeks ago and the training was hard, I mean the time it to ok to train for it. I will have to do my next one the Ro way πŸ™‚

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