Baystate Marathon (Lowell, MA)
Finish Time: 3:47
Temp: 43 degrees
Conditions: Windy and Cold
Run For: Nicole
Another week, another marathon! I finally started feeling better, getting over whatever I was dealing with last weekend. The weather forecast said it was going to rain in the morning and stop around noon but the only rain I saw was on my drive to the race. Lowell was as dry as can be and it didn’t rain a drop the entire 26.2. However, the temps were cold and the wind was out in full force. This marathon runs up one side of the Merrimack River, crossing over the Tyngsboro Bridge and coming back down the other side of the river. This marathon course is a double loop so we ran this twice and it was windy pretty much the entire time, especially on the first part heading towards the bridge. I wasn’t able to get into a group to help with the wind so it was just put my head down and push through it for most of the day.
I felt very strong to start and was able to hang onto a good pace for the first 20 miles of this one before I started to fade. Maybe it was the wind, or maybe it was the 5 marathons in 4 weeks, either way I need to slow down the last few miles and my pace suffered. I still managed a good time and I still ran smart and listened to my body, letting it dictate my effort throughout the marathon. I am tired, but everything feels good and there are no issues. Just to be honest, I’m still shocked as to how well my body is holding up and the times I am running all these marathons. I’ve been getting asked a lot how I am holding up and how I feel. I really do feel great and I feel like I’m running better than I ever have. When I first started running many years ago, I never would have dreamed of doing anything like this. It really has been about an 8 year journey of endurance running that has brought me to this point. I am running smart and not trying to do anything crazy during each marathon or during my training runs. I feel great and am looking forward to the remaining 3 marathons!
Marathon #23 was for Nicole, who I met during my first season with Team Challenge in 2010. From day one her and Dave were so friendly and I knew we were going to be friends from that point on. I am lucky enough to coach with Team Challenge and one thing I get to do during the season on the group training sessions, is talk with everyone on the team. We talk about everything and I hear all the stories I have the honor of sharing with 26.2 For You. I remember during one of those early training runs chatting with Nicole and hearing just some of what she has gone through. She talked about her early struggles with Crohn’s, but she also talked a lot about the support she had from Dave, her husband. Both Dave and Nicole, have been my biggest supporters, regardless of what I do for Team Challenge and to have them both on my side means so much to me. I can’t thank them both enough for their unwavering support year after year. I’ve had the privilege of seeing them both achieve some awesome things and start their little family together. One thing Nicole said to me very early on with this challenge was that I wasn’t just doing this to find a cure for her, but I was doing this so their daughter, Andie, wouldn’t have to even worry about Crohn’s or colitis. Andie is an adorable little peanut who needs to grow up in a world where there is a cure, where IBD is a thing of the past, something her mom had but is all better now!
I didn’t just run for Nicole today, I ran for Dave and Andie as well. Thank you to all three of you for being a huge source of inspiration for me, and for so many. I am so thankful for your friendship and for Nicole for having been through so much but still being such a great person and friend. I was honored to share your story and to have you be a part of this marathon journey!
The wind may have slowed me down, but it didn’t stop me from finishing Marathon #23. This 26.2 was for you Nicole! 26.2 For You!