Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:36
Temp: 58 degrees
Run For: Marija
Today’s marathon was run a little different that all the others, due to poor road conditions, mainly the snow still covering the sidewalks and making the already narrow shoulder on the roads even smaller. Conditions were not being ideal for running a full marathon outside near the house, so I decided to run the entire 26.2 miles indoors. Yes, you read that correctly, I ran today’s marathon entirely on the treadmill. I actually ran the first 13.1 miles this morning and then after a short break, finished up with another 13.1 effort to reach the full 26.2 miles today. Running on the treadmill is not something I enjoy so I had to adjust my mindset and make sure I was ready to tackle this long run entirely indoors. I never want to go into a run with a negative or bad attitude. Your mental approach to running has such a huge influence on your performance. Going into this marathon dreading the treadmill before even taking one step on it would have made for a very bad game plan and that’s the last thing I ever want to do.
My goal and approach was to embrace the run and find the positives in the situation. I would be inside my house, so the temperature was perfect for running, not the 10 degrees the thermostat said at the time I started. I could have my water bottle, watch, and a towel all within reach right next to me the entire time. I also knew that running and trying to zone out might be a little difficult so for this run I decided to wear headphones and listen to music. Whenever I run on the treadmill, music is a must just to help keep the boredom at bay. Today was no different and it definitely helped.
As for the actual running itself, I felt good and strong the entire time. I didn’t adjust the incline all that much and kept things fairly flat. I also set the speed at around 7 mph and didn’t adjust things too much there either. My plan was to keep it simple and just focus on a nice consistent pace while the miles ticked by. What did I think about for hours on end while I was actually going nowhere, working hard but never leaving the 2 x 5 foot rectangle in my house? The answer is actually the same as when I’m running outside, everything and nothing. I did have a lot of my mind today and I think running today actually helped a lot and I’m grateful for today Marathon, even if it was all done on the treadmill. Running is a great form of therapy and you can work through thoughts more often than not.
One thing I did think about at times during the run was the IBD hero I ran for today, Marija! I actually met Marija just a couple years ago when she was training for her very first half marathon. I can honestly say that she is one of the nicest people I have ever known. Her kindness and smile are as genuine as they come and I know I’m not the only person who would say that. Like she said in her story, she was only recently diagnosed with her disease but fortunately she found Team Challenge very quickly after her diagnosis. Not that I ever feel happy when hearing about someone’s diagnoses, but when I hear this and see them find this community, this family, I do smile because I know they are going to be surrounded by the biggest support group they could ever need. Marija immediately got involved with the foundation and this program and I can see the effect it has had on her life. Not only did she makes a ton of new friends within the IBD community but I’ve been able to witness the progress she has made with her running. I couldn’t be more proud of all she has accomplished with running and all the races she has finished, with TC and on her own.
I know Marija will not quit and even with all she has on her plate she works harder than anyone. Her determination and constant positive attitude are two of the many things I admire about her. She is incredibly strong and she sets such a great example for others especially those dealing with IBD. She is a role model and and IBD hero to me each and every day. I also loved being able to run a marathon today at the end of IBD Awareness Week. Each year from December 1st through December 7th is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. This week is important to the IBD community so being able to run a marathon at the end of this week for 26.2 For You just seemed right. I’m so glad it was for Marija!
Marija, I honored to run for you and share your story but I’m also proud to call you a friend. Your constant support with all I do is greatly appreciated and means so much to me. Thank you for doing all you do and for being a great person, teammate and friend. I can’t wait to see what you goals you accomplish next and I’m going to be cheering you on the entire time!
This 26.2 was for you Marija! 26.2 For You!