Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:53
Temp: 83 degrees
Conditions: Humid and Warm
Run For: Ali
Another marathon is done and this one was a tough one for me. Sharon joined me for the first 6 miles in the late morning, which was nice but the humidity was high and the temperature were climbing. This marathon got tough for me mentally around mile 11 which meant physically I was starting to struggle. Knowing I had 15 more miles to run felt overwhelming and I really had some doubts on whether I could seriously finish this marathon. Once doubt creeps into your head it can become very hard to convince your legs to keep turning over and keep going. I just kept telling myself to focus on running a couple miles at a time, small segments and slowly chip away at the remaining miles. I was thirsty and tired, but I ran 2 miles at a time and before I knew it, I was at mile 18 and it wasn’t until then that I started to get my confidence back. Once I got that close to mile 20 I knew I was going to finish. This was the first marathon that I really did have some strong doubts about whether I was going to finish or not. 17 marathons in 8 months is a lot and today I really felt it. Maybe I was still feeling the effects from running in the heat and humidity from the last one, or maybe the previous 16 have all started to catch up to me. Either way, this was the toughest one, but finishing helped just reinforce the fact that I will not quit because all those who I am running for won’t quit battling either.
Back in 2010 Ali gave me the opportunity to coach that season for Team New England and that was my very first experience with Team Challenge. I can honestly say that opportunity changed my life and I owe a ton of it to Ali. She was one of the first people I had met who was dealing with the disease. Her drive, determination and positive attitude are second to none and this was evident the moment I first met her. Ali was just one of many that I met that incredible season and she was our leader with a team that was over 120 strong! Being able to coach that season, and many more, with Ali as our leader was something I felt so privileged to be a part of. She is a natural leader and she quickly became a great friend during that first season. Like most dealing with Crohn’s and colitis, Ali didn’t look sick when I met her, and I learned that looks can be deceiving when it comes to these silent diseases. I never would have known she had Crohn’s and had it for so long. The statement “You don’t look sick” is what I learned when I met Ali and she told me she had Crohn’s since she was little. Running and raising awareness for those who “don’t look sick” like Ali is so important because there is no cure. Getting a cure would mean she wouldn’t look sick because she wouldn’t be sick.
Marathon #17 is done and I was honored to run for one of my hero’s! Thank you Ali for all you have done for me and for those who were lucky enough to meet you through Team Challenge! This 26.2 was for you Ali! 26.2 For You!