Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:40
Temp: 57 degrees
Run For: Brannen
Motivation is important when it comes to running. Sometimes you may not feel like running or be in a positive mindset heading into a run. Some days you might not feel all that excited to run, especially on a treadmill, especially when you know you need to cover 26.2 miles. Yesterday was one of those days!
It started on Friday when I was telling myself that I would wake up early to start running marathon #60 for Brannen. Honestly, it was a struggle to keep the motivation levels high the entire time heading into this marathon. The weather forecast for Saturday morning wasn’t ideal so I knew I was going to run this one inside entire on the treadmill. This year, that was nothing new and it really isn’t something I dread any more. I have become better at accepting any treadmill miles and they are not all that bad. Yes, I just said that and believe me, years ago I wouldn’t have ever imagined those words coming out of my mouth.
Saturday morning arrives and I do get up fairly early, however, I did NOT want to get on the treadmill and start running. I basically stalled and just kept delaying the task at hand. I honestly had no good reason to do so, because physically I felt just fine. My motivation level was just super low, which can happen. It was now late morning, close to 10:30, and my plan of getting an early start was now out the window. I originally wanted to finish up before lunch time, but there was no way that was going to happen now. I FINALLY got going and pushed the start button which got that belt moving and my legs turning over.
This was the first marathon I’ve run when just less than a mile into it, I really wanted to stop. The first half mile felt like it took forever and I thought I was going to be in for a long day. I actually had the thought of calling it quits a few times within the first 5 miles of this one. I was thinking I could just end this one at the 10K point, be done and try it all again on Sunday instead. I guess the good thing about having almost zero motivation is the thought of starting from the beginning the next day felt like the last thing I wanted to do.
So, insert new mindset here – No more thoughts about quitting or putting any thing off until tomorrow. You feel fine, you are running consistent and you actually feel really good. Focus on the positives and stop trying to create reasons not to do this.
The funny thing was that even though that first mile felt long, it wasn’t magically longer and every mile after that one felt good, really good actually. I was cruising and it felt easy and comfortable. I really did feel amazing running at a pace that felt like I could keep going at forever. As much as I didn’t feel motivated to run a marathon, I started to feel like I could easily run this marathon. Funny how it works sometimes. If you have been running long enough you have probably experienced days just like this. You don’t want to run, but once you get out there and get moving, you’re glad you did because it went better than you thought. This was one of those days.
There is really nothing more to add or report on after that. I felt great, ran really consistent and was able to cruise through this one. I did get pretty hungry around mile 9 so I ran up until I hit the half marathon mark where I took a short break, grabbed some food before jumping back on to finish up with the second half marathon. I allowed my body a short break to help digest the food and it worked because I had no issues once I got running again, if anything I felt the energy surge and the hunger was gone. Mentally, I had no problems getting back on the treadmill and covering the second half of the marathon. Sometimes your day ends a lot different than how it started.
Like every runner, I just need to look back on days like this and when the motivation is ever lacking again, remind myself that I can still have a successful run. It was a good marathon and I feel great!
This marathon for Brannen was actually a first for me with this 26.2 For You journey. It didn’t dawn on me until I was in the middle of running this one, but Brannen is the first person I’ve run for who was diagnosed after 26.2 For You began. When I started this journey in 2018, I wouldn’t have run for Brannen because he wasn’t diagnosed until 2021. He didn’t have Crohn’s then and there was no story associated with this disease. I can honestly say I didn’t think I would meet someone during this who would be diagnosed and even worse have serious issues that would require surgery. I guess I was just a little naïve and need to be reminded that more and more people are being diagnosed all the time.
The whole reason for running these marathons and sharing these stories is to stop new stories from happening. It just proves that we need cures as soon as possible.
Brannen’s story is scary and heartbreaking yet inspiring and incredibly encouraging. It’s sad that he was in such rough shape before he was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s. It’s also unbelievable when, among all he endured, including having major surgery he is then running a half marathon all within a 12-month span. That is incredibly inspiring! I was able to meet Brannen when he signed up to run the Clearwater Half Marathon with Team Challenge this past January. His first half marathon, but also his first time experiencing being a part of Team Challenge.
As a coach for this team, I was able to follow his progress, see all his training runs and basically witness this guy not let a disease control his life or dictate what he can do. I was also fortunate to run next to him for a time during the race in Florida, chatting a little with him. Like every IBD patient I’ve met through this group, he might be the nicest, most easy-going person I’ve ever met. You would never know what he went through and it hasn’t left him bitter or resentful. His journey has really just begun and I know there are no limits on what he can achieve.
Brannen, it was an honor to share your story here with 26.2 For You and I was happy to be able to run a marathon for you. It was also a thrill to see you finish your first half marathon wearing that TC singlet. I’m glad I was able to share some steps with you during such an accomplishment. You are an inspiration to many including your family who I know is your main support team. Remember, you have so many behind you, supporting you and pushing you to new heights that I know you are going to reach. Keep being amazing and thank you for showing me what tough and determined really means.
I can’t wait to see you crush your next race soon! Thank you again for being an IBD hero and for all you do for the Foundation. This 26.2 was for you!