Twice a year I visit my dermatologist… Well actually it’s usually four times a year because I almost always have to go back and get a basal cell removed after my doctor calls with my biopsy results. You see, I’ve had one melanoma and 43 basal cell carcinomas removed in the last 15 years. Today I had my skin checked by Dr. Ha and he did two more biopsies. (Note:  Both biopsies were positive for basal cell and had to be removed.  Make that 45 basal cells…).


Why is it that we think that we look so much healthier with a tan? I am fair skinned with blue eyes and I burn easily. I can get a really nice tan (nice tan = oxymoron) if I go at it slowly, but when I was young I would start every spring with at least one bad burn, and that’s when the damage was done. Today I carry sunscreen with me in my running bag, my handbag, my car, etc; in college I applied baby oil…

I promised Dr. Ha that I will run early in the morning before it gets too late and the sun is the most damaging, but when you’re going on a 20-mile run, even if you start at 6 AM, you’re in the sun for part of your run. I do the best I can by applying my sunscreen 30 minutes before I leave my house, and reapplying it on my run. I wear sunglasses, sun visors, and sun screen; and for the most part schedule my runs as early as I can during the longer summer days.

I was very fortunate to find my melanoma in its earliest stage. I am so thankful for the skin cancer awareness my sweet Uncle Bill left with me when he lost his battle with melanoma at the young age of 47. I am also thankful for the many basal cell carcinomas I had prior to my melanoma, because they brought attention to me that I needed to constantly check my skin for changes.  I become so aware of anything new on my skin, that I actually found my melanoma between appointments and made a special appointment with Dr. Ha to have it checked out. It looked quite benign actually, and nothing like the “typical” melanomas you see in pictures (ABCD’s below); however, it just didn’t look right to me…


My melanoma scar reminds me of how lucky I am to have found it in such an early stage.


Since runners are out in the sun so much,
they should be aware of the ABCD’s of melanoma.

I use Neutrogena sunscreens and as you can see, I just happen to have several different ones laying around the house. I use the Sport Face on my face so it doesn’t run in my eyes. I know from experience that there’s nothing worse than going on a long run and having the sunscreen start running in your eyes when you break into a sweat, and stingy for the next ten miles! I like the Body Mist because I can use it when I’m alone and can’t reach my back by myself.


Several of my Cruiser friends and I are planning to run in the TKO Melanoma 5K on May 11.  If you’re local to the area, come join us to fight against melanoma and bring awareness to this deadly cancer!  All proceeds will go to the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Sorry for the rather gloomy post tonight, but with spring approaching, now’s a great time to talk about keeping our skin safe on those long, wonderful runs in the sun.

So if you’re ever out on the trail and need to reapply your sunscreen, look for me, and I’ll share!


  • Questions:
  • Do you use sun screen as often as you should?
  • Do you get your skin checked by a dermatologist?
  • Have you ever tried wearing SPF clothing?