Strava Marathon (Franklin, MA)
Finish Time: 3:51
Temp: 40 degrees
Conditions: Kind of Cold and Rainy
Run For: Cara
Where to start with this marathon? As most of you know December 1st through the 7th is Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week. When I log onto Facebook all I see are posts raising awareness for IBD and I love it! It was only fitting that I scheduled a marathon to run during this important week. Sharing a story of someone battling Crohn’s or colitis is raising awareness and I’m so happy to be able to do this during this time.
Running this marathon today also had a significant reason behind it, as Cara is set to have her second major surgery tomorrow. I met Cara when she joined Team Challenge to run the season we went to New Orleans to run the Rock N’ Roll half marathon a few years back. She was originally going to run Napa the season before but ended up getting sick and decided it would be best to not go. Her disease tried hard to derail her plans to run, but Cara wouldn’t quit or let her Ulcerative Colitis win. She felt better and was able to run in NOLA and I had a front row seat to see her crush the half marathon. Her IBD tried to take her down, but Cara showed that she was in control of her life.
This past summer, I was excited that Cara was going to join Team Challenge again, this time to run the Chicago Marathon, her very first 26.2! I followed her posts about how her training was going and she was really doing great! Again, her disease was about to get another dose of Cara’s strength and determination. However, her disease fought back with vengeance this time and in September, just a month before the marathon, Cara had to undergo surgery in which she had her entire colon removed. Of course this meant that running her first marathon was not going to happen. This was devastating news as Cara was pretty much ready to go, running great and also fundraising like a champ leading up to this setback. Like so many who deal with these diseases, Cara’s attitude never wavered. She still remains so positive and her outlook on this whole situation is really something I admire so much about her. She refuses to let her disease win or decide how she is going to live her life. She so determined and ready to do everything she can to get better and get back to feeling pain free. She is an IBD warrior and one of my IBD heroes with a doubt. I am beyond honored to run 26.2 for her during Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week and the day before her surgery.
As for today’s run, it was hard, mentally hard. I really didn’t feel 100% before heading out and the weather wasn’t really ideal. The temperature was 40, which wasn’t too cold, but it was raining, a lot! Now, I do love running in the rain, but cold rain in 40 degree temperature for hours gets old pretty quick. I was wet and cold from mile 1 to mile 26 and there wasn’t much I could do about it. The first couple miles were ok, because I wasn’t too wet yet and I actually felt pretty good during miles 3 through 8. Around mile 8 the rain picked up and all I could think about was how many more miles I had to run in this weather. Miles 8 through 16 were hard and it really took all of my focus to keep pushing through. I thought a lot about Cara and what she was going to be going through tomorrow and how this was nothing compared to that. I ran back to the house at mile 16 to grab some Tailwind and to be perfectly honest it was really hard convincing myself to go back out and finish the last 10 miles. Mentally I did not want to go back out, I don’t always feel defeated but today it was hard. A lot of people have told me they enjoy reading what I go through during the marathons so I’ll admit that today wasn’t my day mentally. Some days you feel great and other days you don’t and it doesn’t always reflect and injury or anything else. Today was a real struggle for me mentally, but I knew I couldn’t quit. I went back out and decided to breakdown the remaining miles into two 5 miles runs. I did a 2.5 mile out and back one direction, refueled with some more Tailwind, and went out the other direction for another 2.5 mile out and back to finish up. Breaking down the last 10 miles into smaller segments helps but the very last 2 miles were probably the hardest I had to do today. I just wasn’t feeling it and I struggled with the final steps today. I knew I would finish those last couple miles but I was riding the struggle bus for a majority of the day today. Not every run is going to feel great and today was one of those days. Nothing hurts and physically I feel just fine so I’ll be good to go for marathon 26 in a couple weeks. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I’ll take the next couple weeks to prepare myself to crush the last one in this 26.2 For You journey.
Marathon #25 is done and I’m beyond honored to run this one for Cara! You have the best support system consisting of your family and friends and I know we will all be wishing you a speedy recovery after your surgery tomorrow. I also know once you recover from your final surgery you’ll be itching to start training to run that first marathon again. I’ll be one of many who will be cheering you on when you do. Thank you for your determination and your positive attitude no matter what it thrown at you. You are an IBD Hero and I’m honored to be able to share your story. Stay strong and keep fighting Cara!
This 26.2 was for you Cara! 26.2 For You!