Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:46
Temp: 56 degrees
Run For: Laura
Most of the time when it comes to going out for a run, we tend to be on one end of the running motivation spectrum. You’re either excited, ready to go or it’s the complete opposite where you just don’t feel like running and it’s not something you really want to do. Luckily I tend to always feel excited and ready to go for a run. It is rare when I’m not in the mood to run and it has not happened that many times during this marathon challenge.
Today was a first for me because I wasn’t on one end or the other, I found myself right in the middle, straddling the line. The strange part was that I kept going back and forth just over that line, in one moment feeling like it was time to put on my sneakers and head to then a moment later, thinking I’ll put it off, I’m not really feeling it. The overall feelings were not strong one way or the other which had me in this weird funk. For example, overall the idea of running 26.2 miles felt tiring and long, yet the weather was perfect, being in the mid 50’s with plenty of sun so I know it would feel great to be out there. I just kept going back and forth with my feelings towards running today and it’s not something I’ve really dealt with that much and was a little strange.
Ultimately, I made it out the door and I knew I needed to run and more importantly I wanted to run this marathon for Laura. I first met Laura during training for her first half marathon with Team Challenge in 2016. One trait that is consistent with a Team Challenge participant is their determination and refusal to quit or give in. It was clear to see that this was pretty evident from day one with Laura. Not only with her training and preparation for the half marathon but later when she decided to run a full marathon a year later, no long after her second half marathon.
Not only do people like Laura fight and push through all that stands in their way with endurance running but they show these traits when fighting these diseases. It’s no wonder Team Challenge is full of inspiring and driven people who accomplish great things. They have literally been spending years of their lives fighting and overcoming significant obstacles so it translates easily to endurance sports.
Laura is the perfect example of what Team Challenge is all about. She works hard, digs deep, shows up, and puts in an effort that is unmatched. As a coach, I have a front row seat seeing this in action more times than I can count. I was able to spend a lot of time during training runs with Laura, hearing her story which includes her sister as well. I knew I needed to include her story as part of 26.2 For You and was happy that she was so willing to share.
Once I finally got out there running this marathon I thought I’d finally make it off that middle ground, but that wasn’t the case. Sharon joined me for the first 5 miles and it was great having some company to start out. My body, and more specifically my legs, felt good and I managed to run another 8 miles outside before losing the light of the day. The idea of running another 13 inside on the treadmill wasn’t very appealing but then again, is it ever? The same unsure feelings were still hanging around, but I was halfway there and hopefully some indoors miles would help sway me to the more positive feelings. I ran the next 8 miles fairly well with the time seeming to pass by reasonably fast. It wasn’t until the last 4 miles where my “I want to do this” feelings came rushing back. Some may call it a ‘second wind’ or that they ‘found another kick,’ to be honest I’ve never really had those experiences running. I’ve heard of it before, other people having them but I’ve never gone through something myself, not like this. The best way to describe it is to compare it to feeling this surge of adrenaline. I really felt energized and my legs actually wanted to turn over faster so I went with it, adjusted the pace and picked it up. Like all of the marathons in this challenge, I’ve run every single one based on feel. With 4 miles left to go I felt great so I figured, here it is, let’s go with it.
Not only did I feel great until the very end but it even lasted for a while post marathon, I just felt really good. I honestly could have kept going and at a pretty decent clip. I’ve never felt so good after a marathon or after running for almost four hours. The only explanation for this must be that I was able to channel my inner Laura, pushing through and not giving in. Coincidentally Laura made it a point to get outside today as well and covered almost 5 miles on her own. Well, almost on her own, she was joined by her dog Merry! I’m almost positive that is where my final kick came from, knowing that I was being joined virtually by them. Thank you for getting outside and joining me, from a few towns away, for some miles today Laura (and Merry) today’s 26.2 was for you. I couldn’t have run for a tougher person today and I’m honored to have been able to do so and to share your story.
Marathon #45 is done and even though this one was strange it ended on a positive note. I feel great and ready to take on the next one! This one was for you Laura! 26.2 For You!