New Year's Eve 2009

31st December 2009. We were on holiday in India (one of the best holidays of my life!) and celebrated New Year’s Eve in our favourite holiday restaurant. I’ve always been extremely goal-oriented and a planner, so for me New Year is about looking forward the year ahead and setting new goals. 2010 was looking particularly exciting. Work-wise, I had already decided to take the plunge and start out as a freelancer in the spring. Running-wise I had already registered for Etape Bornholm in July and Berlin Marathon in September. We weren’t even dreading heading home to dark, wintry Denmark as we had skiing vacation to Italy booked for a few weeks later!

Well, as you know, 2010 turned out a lot different than expected. 3 days into our ski holiday my daughter broke her leg really badly and ended up having to be operated twice. We spent 5 days in a Swiss

Chemo Kirsten 18 Oct 2010

hospital before being air-ambulanced home and she was in plaster from her hip to her toes for something like 8 weeks. She wasn’t out of plaster before I found a lump in my armpit and a few weeks after that I got a cancer diagnosis – the day before I officially started my fulltime freelance career (or was supposed to). For the remainder of 2010 I was in cancer treatment – my last radiotherapy was on 8 December and I got the “all-clear” on 18 December.

On 31st December 2010 then I could once again look forward to the coming year though this time as I set my goals I was a lot less confident that I would achieve them. Cancer takes away that kind of innocence forever I guess. Nonetheless I think that my goal-oriented nature is so strong that I found it difficult to accept that I hadn’t achieved 2010’s goals, so for 2011 my goals were to start working from 1 January and get that freelance career off the ground, and to run Etape Bornholm and Berlin Marathon. Considering the physical and mental state I was in at that point (totally physically debilitated and suffering something like post-traumatic shock probably about covers it) these goals were fairly outrageously ambitious – mad even!

When I read back over my blog posts during this year, I’m not sure I have really communicated how much of a struggle it has been for me to get in shape to run a marathon in just 9 months. But as well as my goal orientation I have been blessed with a “cup half-full” nature so I mostly chose to focus on the progress is was making! Inside myself though, I have really had doubts about what I was doing and whether there was any chance I could do it.

So, it might have taken a whole year longer than originally intended, but the level of satisfaction at having actually accomplished those goals I set on 31 December is something like a zillion times higher than it would have been if it had gone according to plan. As I crossed the finish line in Berlin last Sunday, after running the whole god dam 42.2 km in 4 hours, 28 minutes and 48 seconds, it was an unbelievably, overwhelmingly, fantastic feeling.

Berlin Marathon 2011

Thanks to everyone who has backed me up, sent me good wishes and encouraging comments and not least helped me to raise 5000 kroner  for cancer support and research.

And just in case you are wondering, I already have some new goals, but that is for another blog post!