Athlete, trainer and cancer survivor KC Carlberg is orchestrating her seventh Straub/Kapi’olani Women’s 10K Run, which is in its 32nd year of operation. The race starts at 7 a.m. March 1 at Kapi’olani Park.
“It’s actually a little bit easier,” says Carlberg of planning the logistics this year. “I also do a little bit more in terms of auxiliary events, like a pre-race dinner.”
Carlberg appeared on MidWeek‘s cover in February 2008 during her battle with ovarian cancer, which in the end claimed her uterus. “If I were 30, or if I were a lot younger, I think it would have been a painful choice,” she says. “The recovery from the surgery was phenomenal, and my body will just never be the same.”
Carlberg credits her competitive nature as a reason why she was able to mend so quickly. “I think often, even in business or in life, when you run into a situation, you can either overcome it, or change it or make it happen,” she explains. “Because I am competitive, this is just a bump in the road.
“My experience (with cancer), as I’m sure a lot of people say, it’s something just to be lived through,” she adds. “You get it, you have it, you figure out what you need to do, do what you do, you try to carry on with your life as much as you can while you’re in it, and when it’s over it leaves you a different person.”
After taking a brief leave of absence from her training company Try Fitness to recover, Carlberg came screaming back to not only lead her company and direct the race again, but also to compete in the Xterra Trail Run Series last December. “It felt good to be able to get out. It was really hard,” she says.
Like most cancer survivors, Carlberg maintains that regular checkups and early detection are the best ways to combat the disease. “We always need to get our checkups, and always make sure that medically we do what we need to do,” she says. “What I’ve also learned out of all of this is that the stress we undergo in our life is very damaging to our bodies in many ways.
“If we can do things to reduce or minimize it in our lives, like yoga or meditation, I think that’s one of the important things to convey,” she continues.
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