Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:28
Temp: 63 degrees
Run For: Zibby
Running is such a wonderful and amazing sport. It is a part of my identity and who I am as a person. I am a runner and have been for over half my life. I love running and what it does for my health, both physically as well as mentally.
However, with running comes injuries and some are more severe than others. I have dealt with my fair share of running injuries, mostly when I was younger and first starting out. I was naive, inexperienced, very stubborn and just not that smart. I made mistakes with how I ran and how I recovered (well in reality, didn’t recover). I have learned so much and gained a wealth of knowledge since those first few years running which has transformed how I run now and allowed me to see immense progress and achieve incredible results.
Running smart and listening to my body has allowed me to do things I never dreamed were possible. The 26.2 For You challenge and all these marathons is just one of the many larger goals I set for myself and have been fortunate enough to achieve along the way. This journey has been incredible on so many levels, not just with running.
Unfortunately, no matter how smart you are and how many good choices you make, sometimes injuries happen and there is nothing you could have done differently to avoid them. All that being said, a few weeks ago, on a tempo run, I just pushed a little too hard with my effort going up a slight incline and this resulted in my butt being sore. This wasn’t a normal sore, but something a little more painful and uncomfortable so I did what every smart runner should do and took a couple days off. On the next run, after the required rest, I felt better but not 100% so I just went easy and tried to run relaxed while being as safe as possible. Unfortunately this didn’t help and it turns out I aggravated my piriformis muscle pretty good. It was tight, sore and at times just flat out painful and really uncomfortable.
I have dealt with more injuries than I can remember, thankfully most of them minor with only a handful of serious keep-you-sidelined-for-a-while- kinds, which were a long time ago. My plan was to manage the discomfort, run super easy when I could and see if I couldn’t get through this pain in the butt injury, literally. One thing I noticed was that if I ran uphill or on a road with an incline, I felt great and it didn’t hurt as much allowing me to run close to my normal pace. However, running downhill was still pretty uncomfortable and not fun at all. Even when the surface was fairly level and flat, I could still feel the discomfort and tightness. So how could I just run uphill without having to either run down or on a level flat surface? What goes up must come down, right? Wrong, if you run on a treadmill set at an incline you don’t have to come down at any point. You don’t even have to run flat either, you can run the entire time going uphill! It’s a good thing I love hills! So now I had a plan for running this marathon for Zibby. 26.2 miles run entirely on the treadmill with it set at an incline. Torturous for many, but something I could do and even possibly enjoy.
Now I’ll admit I’m crazy but I’m not that crazy, because I was not going to set the incline at some ridiculously high number. In order to feel “comfortable” I only needed the incline to be set between 2 or 3 on the treadmill so this wasn’t going to be like climbing a mountain. It just needed to be pitched slightly which allowed me to run normally without feeling any pain or discomfort with the piriformis muscle. So this marathon was done completely inside on my treadmill, in my temperature controlled house, with a fan aimed directly in my face and with my fully charged iPod cranking music while I hammered out mile after mile until I got to 26.2.
This marathon was a special one because I was able to run it for Zibby. What Zibby has accomplished for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is nothing short of amazing. I was fortunate enough to witness this first hand a few years ago when I was introduced to the Young Professionals group that Zibby helped found in 2013. The members of this group do so much for the IBD community in and around the Boston area, so getting to meet them and see their dedication and hard work firsthand was impressive. Every year they organize their “Night in White” event where everyone dresses in all white, while raising money for the foundation. At this event each year the committee recognizes a rising community leader and a rising healthcare leader. I couldn’t have been happier to see Zibby be recognized and presented with the rising community leader award in 2021.
Zibby says that being a counselor at Camp Oasis for multiple years changed her life and I know that she has made an impact on and changed the lives of so many with her roles at both Camp Oasis and with the Young Professionals Committee. Her impact on others is immeasurable and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the award that she received. It was only fitting to ask her to take part in 26.2 For You, being able to share her story and allow me to run for her. She has done so much for so many and impacted countless lives with her generosity, kindness and leadership. She is the definition of an IBD hero and it was my honor to run a marathon for her.
Thank you Zibby for all that you have done over the years for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, not only for yourself but for the millions of others fighting the fight just like you. We now have better treatments, even more research and a better community support program because of the money you helped raise and the impact you have had on the foundation. Thank you for all you do and have done for all those dealing with IBD. We will get those cures soon and it’ll be in large part because of people like you.
This 26.2 For You was for you Zibby. Congrats again on the award this past summer and thanks for being a friend and a fighter in this battle against Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.