Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:41
Temp: 52 degrees
Run For: Karla
Motivation, most of the time it’s there, but sometimes it’s nowhere to be found.
I’ve been a runner for a long time now and I’ve been running marathons pretty much since I started, so 26.2 miles isn’t as daunting as it used to be. I’ve definitely become more “comfortable” with the distance of a marathon, especially with 26.2 For You and being 57 marathons in before today’s run.
All that being said, what’s happening is the motivation, or lack thereof, to tackle the marathon distance on any particular day can sometimes be lacking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond motivated to run every single marathon in this 26.2 challenge. The inspiration behind each marathon is there and I’m excited to give 110% effort every time. However, it’s getting my mind to convince my body that we need to cover 26.2 miles is where it can be hard.
I know this is going to happen along this journey, and this weekend it was tough to get my body to want to gear up for running a marathon. Things have ramped up since the beginning of the year and my body is still adjusting to the demands I’m asking of it. I know there will be days when it’s easy and there will be days when it’s going to be hard. Motivation comes and goes and is something that you can’t rely on to be there when you might need it. So what do you do when the motivation is missing? You lace up your sneakers and you just start running. The mind will tell the body what to do and as long as nothing hurts and there isn’t anything wrong, the body will respond. It might not like it but what my body needs to understand is that we are on a mission. We are taking IBD head on and making our way to 100 marathons and it’s coming along for the ride and doesn’t have a choice.
I had scheduled to run this marathon for Karla on Saturday, but I honestly just couldn’t convince my body to do it. I was tired, I didn’t feel like running 26.2 miles and it just wasn’t something that was going to happen. So I made a deal with my body, Saturday we are going to rest, but Sunday we are running, no excuses.
Because of some late morning plans, I actually was able to break this marathon up into two segments, running half in the morning and then running the other half in the afternoon. With the lack of motivation surrounding this one, breaking it up was actually really helpful in completing the run. The short break allowed me to refuel with solid food and gave my mind a mental break, having to only focus on getting to that 13.1 mile mark during each run on the treadmill. Like I said, 26.2 just felt really long and 13.1 is a much smaller number to wrap my thoughts around.
I actually felt strong and comfortable during the first 13.1 miles and ran fairly consistently which helped keep things positive going into the break before the second half. One thing I’m always concerned about when doing a marathon like this with an extended break is coming back to running when my body is starting to go into recovery mode. I’m always very aware of my pace and form when doing double sessions on days like today. I listen to my body and try to hone in on any warning signs it may be giving me, because the last thing I want to do is get injured or risk something going wrong. I was able to ease into things during the second half and eased the pace at times just to make sure I was being smart.
Overall, it went well and I was able to get all 26.2 miles complete and I feel good, tired but good. So see that body, the mind was right and you were just fine, the marathon was nothing, you held up just great. Next time let’s all get on the same page from the start and work as a team. Sound good?
Today’s marathon was run for Karla, whom I’ve known now for quite some time. If you have ever participated in or attended an event for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation with the New England Chapter, you have seen Karla. She helps out and volunteers at almost everything the Foundation does. She is a true advocate for IBD and it’s beyond inspiring to see her give her time for a cause that is near and dear to her heart.
When hearing her story, I can’t help but feel for her, and others like her, when she mentions what “normal” meant to her. Being sick and feeling like she did was her normal and she just assumed everyone felt the same things she did. Being involved with the foundation now for 13 years, I’ve heard this before many times. It’s heartbreaking knowing that people dealing with IBD, and all the awful things associated with these diseases, have their normal be something that is anything but normal. They really don’t know what it’s like to not feel the symptoms or the side effects from the treatment options.
One of the major reasons I’m doing what I’m doing with 26.2 For You is to correct this normal and make it so it becomes the correct normal. I’m not on this quest alone because of people like Karla who are fighting just as hard, if not harder, to do all they can to put an end to IBD sooner rather than later.
Karla has become a great friend and someone I admire and look up to. I was fortunate enough to get involved with many of the programs the Foundation offers and this is where I was able to meet Karla. Even though I didn’t meet her through Team Challenge, it was because of all the Foundation offers that I was able to connect with others who are still making an impact through these means. For this I’m beyond thankful!
Thank you, Karla, for being a friend and for allowing me to share your story and run a marathon for you. Your involvement with the foundation is admirable and when we do get cures it will be because of you. Running a marathon can be hard but it’ll never be as hard as dealing with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. Karla you are an IBD hero to many and this 26.2 was for you!