Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:46
Temp: 71 degrees
Run For: Jackie
Associated Virtual Marathon: TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon (E. Moline, IL)
Today’s marathon was run for a true IBD Warrior, Jackie. I first met Jackie at her first Team Challenge group training run when she signed up to run her very first half marathon. When we went around the group introducing ourselves Jackie was so open and honest about her disease and also about her running to that point. She confessed about how nervous she was about being able to run the half marathon distance. She also said that she had wanted to participate with Team Challenge and run the half marathon before that particular year. She ended up talking herself out of it, but when she found herself in the same position this time around she took a leap of faith and didn’t give her mind the time to try and convince her not to. Obviously she made a choice that would send her down the road of becoming a long distance runner. I know it was choice she was glad she made.
The wonderful thing about being a running coach for team challenge is that I get a front row seat in seeing people achieve things they never thought possible. They don’t know it at the time and definitely don’t always believe it, but I always tell them that they can and will, without question, finish the half marathon. I then spend the next 16 weeks reinforcing a positive mindset and I try my best to help distract them while logging the miles every Saturday. I had the opportunity to touch base with Jackie at every training we had and was able to run some miles with her. During our time running I am pretty sure I saw every emotion that Jackie has. I’ve seen her feeling better than she’s ever felt running. I’ve seen her feeling like she couldn’t take another step. I saw her use every ounce of energy to keep moving forward. I’ve seen her smile and I’ve seen her cry. My favorite though are the times when I would catch up to her and I could see the pride she had for herself. Each week she would run longer and further than she had ever gone and I could see just how proud she was of that. I know I was proud of her, but seeing her do hard things and accomplish them is what makes me love being a running coach.
Since Jackie completed her first half marathon she has stuck with running and recently completed a self-created running challenge. Jackie originally plan to run for 30 consecutive days but ended up adjusting that goal and last weekend she completed her 100th consecutive day of running. Her plan was to just get out there and log at least 1 mile a day, but again, made an adjustment and in the last month of this 100 day challenge she set a goal of running 100 miles within the month of August. I’m happy to say, and not to my surprise, that she crushed all her goals and finished up on Labor Day achieving 100 consecutive days and also running 100 miles in one month.
Jackie accomplishing hard things just seems to come naturally but I know she works hard at it. I also know this is something she will continue to do when it comes to anything in life. She doesn’t let her fears win and I know she fights hard to succeed, it’s not easy. One of the things we talked about while running together was her story with IBD and I knew I needed to and that I wanted to share her story with all of you. Jackie is so open and honest with her story and I truly believe that because of this, it will help us raise more awareness which will lead to the cures we need.
As for today’s marathon, I felt strong and my legs felt good and the weather was perfect. I had to break this one down into two parts because of time, so I ran almost the first half outside before transitioning inside to finish up the second half on the treadmill. My body felt good the entire time and I actually only took in water and a little Gatorade for this one. No fuel at all, but the cool temps and the pretty consistent and comfortable pace helped. I’ve been training pretty consistently over the summer experimenting with fueling and hydration so running the marathon this way was something I’ve been preparing my body to do. Another highlight was getting in some miles with Sharon during the middle portion of the run. She also jumped on her bike on her indoor trainer and was able to get some pedaling done next to me as I was on the treadmill.
I often get asked “what do you think about?” The answer always varies depending on the run but today, I didn’t really think about anything. I don’t plan out what will happen on the run when it comes to my thoughts, I just let things happen and if I feel the need to solve the worlds problems, I’ll try, but if not, that’s ok to. Today was just running and letting my mind go blank and it was nice. The world is still in a chaotic state so running and having a few hours out of the day to just go run and think about nothing was a good thing and probably needed.
Overall, today did feel good and I was happy to be able to run for Jackie. Forty marathons are now complete with ten more left to go before the end of the year. Thank you to everyone for the encouragement and the support. It always means so much a I’m truly grateful.
Today’s 26.2 was for you Jackie! Thank you for sharing your story and always being so willing to do so. Keep being fearless and keep achieving all the hard things!