Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:35
Temp: 60 degrees
Run For: Pete
The last marathon was for Christine and this marathon was for Pete. Although their two stories are vastly different, they became one story as IBD impacts their family and really their life. I can’t even begin to know how it felt for Pete to go through what he went through not knowing what was happening and then ultimately what the outcome was going to be. Scary is a word I’d heard too many times when I do hear their stories dealing with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Pete and Christine’s story was definitely scary at times and I’m so grateful that Pete was able to have a positive outcome with the help of so many.
Not every outcome is positive and many are still “waiting” for their story to take the positive turn. After hearing Pete’s story I hope those who are still battling can gain some hope, knowing that they can regain some of that “normalcy” they had before getting sick.
These diseases really are deceiving because, for the most part, when you meet someone who is and IBD patient, you don’t always know or see the signs of struggle. They look fine, but inside their body is a mess. Also, like most of the patients I meet through Team Challenge, they come to the organization after their struggles have subsided, not everyone but a good number. When I first met Pete at the cycle event in Maine one year, I had no idea of what he had been through not all that long before this ride. He looked fine and looked normal but the ordeal his body and his mind and well his entire life had gone through was about as serious as you could get. As an athlete I know how hard it can be to come back to running and exercise after being sick or dealing with a setback health wise. The loss of fitness after just a couple weeks off is immense so I can’t only imagine what Pete felt like once he was on the road to recovery. He lost it all and his body was weak from fighting as well as the trauma from procedures and surgeries.
As hard as it was to basically start over, training to gain back all the endurance and strength he lost, I’m sure he welcomed this fight with open arms. He was able to take back control of his life and his body and do what he wanted to do without his body fighting him every step of the way.
I am in awe of Pete and what he went through and even more inspired by him after hearing his story and seeing the person he is today. Both Pete and Christine are IBD heroes and I was honored to run for them both and I’m so glad I was able to share their stories with 26.2 For You.
Pete’s marathon, like the previous one for Christine, was run entirely on the treadmill again. That is two marathons, 52.4 miles run completely on the treadmill in the last 3 days. Why would I willingly do something like this when the weather outside was mild and almost ideal for running? The answer makes sense because I had a plan knowing what other things I have coming up in a few weeks.
As most of you know, I am an endurance coach for Team Challenge and one of the programs I coach is the local half marathon training program we have here in the Boston area, with the New England Chapter. Our team has been training all winter to run the Key West half marathon in a few weeks down in Florida. During the event itself, as a coach, I am running all over the course not only helping our local teammates but all the other Team Challenge participants from all over the country that will be there. Along with the other coaches, we will be on the course encouraging and supporting our runners to help get them across that finish line. In total the participants will cover 13.1 miles but the coaches, with the constant running back and forth, will cover much more than that.
As a coach I give my athletes this advice: you can optimize your performance by preparing for and acclimating to the conditions that you will face on race day.
The weather in Key West in January is much different than the weather in Boston in January. During the past couple days here we have had temperatures in the 30s but running outside in that would not prepare me for the warmer weather we will experience in Florida. Unfortunately, heat is not something you can “beat,” so I thought it was best to run on the treadmill in a climate controlled environment. Although the indoor temp was 60 I felt it was better than 30 and would allow me to get in some hours running in “warmer” temps. Will this work? I’m hoping 52.4 miles with no elevation change will help me be out there, as prepared as I can be, to help all those who are running for cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
I felt great and again put on some music while the miles passes and I ran in basically the same spot for over 3 hours. As daunting as it seemed, running 26.2 miles isn’t as bad as it used to be. Your body definitely adapts to the demands you place upon it and after running as many marathons as I have I think it’s safe to say I’m getting used to the distance. I wouldn’t go as far as saying “it’s getting easy” but my body has adjusted and adapted to running them that they are not as bad as they used to be. Maybe setting the speed on the treadmill and then zoning out to song after song helps but overall I feel great. Of course knowing who I am running for and why I am doing this is really what gets me through each marathon. Overall this was the 12th marathon this year and the 38th since the beginning of 2018.
My body feels good, my mind is in the right spot and my heart couldn’t be happier! Thank you for all the encouragement and support to this point so far. Let’s keep it going and let’s get those cures!
Thank you Pete and thank you Christine for allowing me to share your stories and run 26.2 for each of you! These last two were for you guys and I was honored to do them.