Strava Marathon (Franklin, MA)
Finish Time: 4:08
Temp: 58 degrees
Conditions: Cold to start, then warm
Run For: Tova
As 26.2 For You – Race to 50 continues, the more and more I learn about myself as a runner! As most of you know, I don’t listen to music when I run and it’s been years now since I’ve done so. I enjoy running and the freedom it brings me, especially during the longer distance runs. Today, distractions from technology are everywhere, and a person without a phone in their hand is a rare site. Running is still a way for me to think, to process things, to get outside and just enjoy being out there. When I get out for a long run I feel at peace and calm and in today’s world that is something I really look forward to. One of the many things I think about are those inspirational IBD heroes I am running for and Tova was on my mind yesterday for sure.
I first met Tova while running, literary running into her at the Team Challenge event in New Orleans a few years ago. She was running the half marathon and we started talking and I instantly knew I had just made a great new friend. We talked about running stuff of course, but I also heard some of her story during those few miles we ran together. I heard about her struggles, the ups and downs with her long battle against these diseases. I also could clearly see her determination and her drive to not let this disease control or dictate what she can do. She is the ultimate IBD warrior and has been long before I knew her. Tova is amazing and she inspires me (and I know many more people) to never give up and to push through when things aren’t the best. She is the storm, she does persevere and she is always smiling. I am the blessed one to have friends like Tova in my life.
Nutrition and Energy are the key words to describe this marathon, the twenty eighth of fifty. I was able to run the first 6 miles with Sharon and I know she was happy to be a part of this one for Tova. We got off to a later start waiting for the weather to warm, as it was still fairly cold in the morning. It was about 38 when we started and the temperature didn’t start to rise until I was on my own after mile 8. It rose quickly and was close to 60 within an hour. Because of the later start, breakfast was now a while ago and I didn’t have anything else to eat since. Once the weather warmed I’m made a turn back towards the house to grab some more water and Tailwind and to discard a few layers I no longer needed. I didn’t eat anything before heading back out for a longer loop. I was at 14 miles and ended up running another 7 miles before making it back to the house. As I was about a mile away, I noticed that I was going to be at 21 miles and I was drained from the lack of food and zero energy. I was also feeling the heat, having not really run in anything that warm in months. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage the last 5 miles feeling as tired as I was. I know it sounds strange to say the thought of 5 miles felt overwhelming when I set out to run 26 at the start, but that is what happens when your energy levels are hovering around zero. I made it home and happily took down some Tailwind (with caffeine) and two sleeves of Cliff Blocks. The next 3 miles went a lot better and even though I didn’t pick up my pace, I felt like I could finish with no problems. Sharon came back out and was cheering me on for the last couple miles which helped as well. Proper nutrition and making sure you maintain your energy levels while running can make or break your day. I usually run these marathons early in the morning so this later start really messed up my food intake for the day and I was feeling it for portions of this run. Sometimes our struggles out there are because of stuff we do, or in this case don’t do. Staying hydrated and staying fueled are two important aspects of having a successful day on the roads.
Marathon #28 is done and I was honored to run this one for Tova! She is one of my heroes and to be able to share her story really means a lot to me. Thank you for all you continue to do to raise awareness and funds, helping us get closer to cures, not just for you, but for all those who are fighting.
This 26.2 was for you Tova! 26.2 For You!