Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:47
Temp: 50 degrees
Run For: Carey
Associated Virtual Marathon: New York City Marathon (New York, NY)
Another weekend… another marathon. This was the sixth marathon since basically the beginning of September which averages out to about a marathon every other weekend. This has been a good “warm up” because with six more marathons remaining and a month and a half remaining in 2020 that means I’m running a marathon every week until the end of the year. My body is ready and even more importantly my mind is up for the challenge. Running is more mental than it is physical and that’s especially true when it comes to endurance and long distances, like the marathon.
With this marathon journey over the past 3 years I’ve learned a lot about myself when it comes to endurance running. To be honest, it physically hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. That being said, yes, I’ve had challenging days for sure, but overall those runs where I’ve struggled have been a lot less than what I originally expected. I’ve been tired and ran with my fair share of body and leg fatigue multiple times, but the plan was always about completing this, speed was never a goal. I’ve run smart and have run almost all of these marathons based on feel. As a runner for many years now, I’m learned to listen to my body and I have been able to pull back the effort (learned the hard way when I was first starting out) and I definitely don’t go all out for every marathon or every run really. That is a recipe for disaster as every runner knows so being smart and staying healthy has always been the main objective.
I’m competitive by nature and to be honest, this past year has actually helped keep those competitive juices in check. Running in actual organized marathons with others is a true mental test to not want to run as fast as I can and place high overall. Being able to get into the mindset of just running my race in those marathons was hard. There was a trail marathon (marathon #18) where I placed 3rd overall and I knew I was close to the front of the field and maybe I pushed a little harder on the second half of that race trying to keep my place. That was an exception and I still ran within my limits but that can be tricky. With all the marathons this fall being self timed with Strava I don’t have to worry about racing anyone or where I place, always first one across the finish line, and last one across too! I am dealing with the solo runs and all the marathons being around the streets in my town but I do miss the big races.
Today’s marathon was great and I actually ran the first 4 miles with Sharon before taking off to get in some more miles with some elevation to help break up the distance. The weather was cooler with wind but it wasn’t bad at all and made for some comfortable running temps. I ran outside until the day light was gone and then quickly transitioned to the treadmill for the remaining miles. Breaking today’s marathon into the two parts helps with the mental challenge of 26.2 total miles. I don’t want to run all 26 inside but know that this is might happen with one or more of the remaining six marathons. I’m preparing now by breaking these past few into a combo of indoor and outdoor running. Hopefully it’s just that and the winter weather will cooperate but I’m not going to plan on it. Prepare now and be ready for anything!
My legs feel good and I’m recovering really well after each marathon. My mind and my body are in a good spot and that is helping get me through the miles feeling strong and confident.
Today’s marathon was for Carey. I first met him at the Chicago marathon a few years back running with Team Challenge. We met and hung out with a group prior to the race and that’s where I asked to hear his story with IBD. Carey was so open and honest about his story and was very willing to share with me what he’d gone through. To hear how close he came to not making it through surgery was really scary and I knew once I heard his whole story that it needed to be shared. IBD is no joke and is not something that should be ignored or left unaddressed. My hope is that others will read these stories and not only relate to them if they have been through something similar, but also see them as an example of just what can happen and how scary Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are and can be.
After the Chicago Marathon I got the chance to hang out again at the hotel bar with Carey and we shared our day on the course over some celebratory drinks. I’ve met some of my best friends through Team Challenge and at each race event weekend more and more keep getting added to that collection. Carey is a great guy who has been through a serious journey with Crohn’s disease and I’m so glad our paths crossed in Chicago when they did. I was honored to be able to share his story and run a marathon for him, on his birthday no less. If you are ever looking for a great person to hang out with, post marathon, Carey is your guy. I’m looking forward to catching up and hanging out again after another race down the road. Also it needs mentioning that Carey and his wife Kate recently welcomed their first little one to their family with their adorable daughter being born over this past summer. Congrats again to the both of you!
Marathon 44 is done and this one was run for Carey and I couldn’t have been happier to run for him and share his story. Thanks again for allowing me to do this for you, it was my honor to run 26.2 for you. Happy Birthday Carey!