Marathon 39

Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)



Finish Time: 3:42
Pace: 8:30
Temp: 91 degrees
Conditions: Outdoors/Indoors  
Run For: Lisa
Associated Virtual Marathon: Running Is Not Cancelled (Virtual Event)


So many things to cover in the recap with this marathon, I’m not even sure where to begin. I’ll start by talking about Lisa and the warrior she is. I first met Lisa early on in my involvement with Team Challenge, which was right around the time of her being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I had quite a few conversations with Lisa, at our team group trainings on Saturday mornings where she told me her story which involved her dad having Crohn’s Disease too. I never want to see a friend deal with a new diagnoses and I can only imagine the emotions her parents went through when hearing their daughter was diagnosed with IBD just like her dad.

On a more positive note, by getting involved in Team Challenge I was able to see Lisa and her dad run on the team together and go to event weekend both completing a half marathon. Not only are both Lisa and her dad stronger and tougher than Crohn’s Disease, they proved it then and continue to do so year after year. Lisa is a pretty fast runner and by doing races and raising money as many times as she has since her diagnoses it’s just so inspiring and amazing. I’ve always looked up to those participants in Team Challenge who are also patients and Lisa has always been one of them. Today’s run was hard, mentally and physically, but I channeled my inner Lisa and was able to push through completing 26.2 miles. When I asked Lisa to share her story, I was so happy and just so honored when she agreed.

Speaking of the marathon today and how I felt, lets back up a little here first. After finishing the 12 marathons in 2019, the plan was to run the next 12 this year in 2020. I wanted to take a small break in both January and February before starting back up with them in March, but that’s when things got a little hectic with COVID-19. To be honest, the world was a crazy place and I honestly didn’t feel like the timing was right to be running marathons and continuing this journey as normal. I really didn’t know what to do so I waited and just kept running on my own but no marathons. As it turned out a lot of races in April then started to cancel or postpone until the fall. I had a couple marathons I wanted to run but they were all cancelled so again, it just didn’t feel right running 26.2, even running them on my own didn’t seem appropriate. States were shutting down with quarantine restrictions, people were being let go from their jobs and so many people were sick.

As it turned out these feelings lasted through May, June and July where I just didn’t feel comfortable running and sharing the IBD stories of those I would be running for. In the early summer months I noticed a lot of Virtual Races being advertised and was even able to set up a few associated with the 26.2 For You campaign which helped bring in some much needed donations to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Even when there is a pandemic going on in this country and around the world the unfortunate thing is that Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis don’t care, they don’t get put on hold or wait until things are better. If anything it becomes even scarier for those who have IBD because they are usually more susceptible to getting sick from other viruses or illnesses. Most IBD patients, especially those on medication are at higher risk because their immune systems are already suppressed. I know a lot of friends and even some of my family who are patients and are really scared when it comes to COVID-19 and it’s understandable.

This is just assurance that we need cures and we need them now. I can tell you now that the feelings I have to get back to this journey of running 26.2 For You – Race to 50 are stronger than even. I feel the timing is right now and I’m more than ready to run the next 12 marathons before the end of the year.

Today’s marathon was a hard one mainly because of the heat. I started late in the morning and the temperature was in the 70’s, but so was the humidity, which made for some tough miles. Running in the heat and humidity have never been ideal for me and it really takes all I have to push through physically. I suffer in the heat and humidity and today I was really feeling it out there. I got to the halfway mark and the temperature was now at 91 which was really just too hot for me. Mentally I tried to push through but I was sweating a lot and having a hard time being able to get in the fluids I really needed. As a coach, I always talk about being a smart runner and playing it safe so today I took my own advice and after another hot 3 miles I made the call to end the run outside at 16 total miles. After a quick few minutes to transition, I moved inside to the treadmill now with easy access to water and Tailwind as well as a strategically placed fan set on high blowing directly on me. Running on the treadmill isn’t always fun, but this set up was needed to help get in the last 10.2 miles. No music, no TV, no distractions.. just time to think and 10 miles to cover which thankfully, was not in the heat or humidity. I’m sore and a little stiff but overall feeling good and looking forward to those cooler New England fall temperatures very soon!

2020 has been a crazy year and one that has a lot of things we’d like to forget and move on from. However, one of the things we need to hear and see are the stories of those battling IBD because it will help us get a cure for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. These diseases won’t rest or take a break in 2020 so neither will I. Together we will continue to raise awareness, talk about what we’ve been through or are currently going through now and it will help. Marathons and races are being cancelled this fall but running itself is NOT cancelled. 26.2 For You – Race to 50 took a slight pause but it’s back and there are a lot of miles to cover between now and the end of December.

Thank you Lisa for allowing me to share your story and run 26.2 miles for you. Also, thank you for playing an important role in this marathon journey, it’s really means a lot to me. It was my honor to run 26.2 for you!

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