Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:46
Temp: 63 degrees
Run For: Kailey
“It inspires you to get out of bed in the morning. You know the time you have dedicated to that end goal, to the finish line. You know the experiences you’ve gained through the process as well as the tough times you endured to make it happen. It is a very personal goal and one that will fulfill a soul.” – each marathon run with 26.2 For You
Running a marathon is a journey, a personal journey where you are proving to yourself that you can take on hard things and achieve them. I have learned that sharing this journey with someone else enhances the experience. 26.2 For You is a way for me to share this experience with others, friends and family that not only inspire me, but enhance each marathon I run.
Even on days like today where I am running alone on the treadmill, I’m not alone, I am running with others and even more importantly they are running with me. I am taking them with me on each marathon and they are pacing me through each mile. Each marathon is dedicated to them, but their willingness to allow me to share their story, that has a deeper meaning and I know it helps powers me through the marathon.
Kailey is the friend who I ran for today and I was honored to be able to share her story. Like many of the friends I’ve run for, I have actually run with Kailey in person. I met Kailey last year when she ran with Team Challenge in Oregon this past fall. She ran the half marathon and I was able to get in a few miles with her during a portion of the race. We shared our stories, talked about how we first became involved with Team Challenge and why we are still doing what we can to make a difference.
As a coach for the team, I get to experience the race in a way that is unique. I get to run with participants, offering advice based on how they are feeling at the time, distract them from the “hurt” they may be feeling, and finally help motivate them to keep pushing towards that finish line. They get “coaching” out of me when we run together and I get “stories” out of them. That was the impetus to do something like 26.2 For You, all those stories I was hearing.
With Kailey, I got to hear about what she went through and how she found out about Team Challenge. I learned all about the struggles she had to deal with when Crohn’s tried to take control of her life. However, Crohn’s didn’t realize that she was a fighter, an IBD warrior who won’t let this disease dictate what she can or cannot do.
Kailey is as tough as they come and she has a passion to help others. Those patients that are dealing with Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis may feel alone at times, but it is because of people like Kailey they are never alone. There is power in numbers and Team Challenge supplies some of the best people who want to be on your side.
Running this marathon on Easter was great because when I think of this holiday, I’m reminded that spring is here which means warmer weather is coming. Even though I did this one entirely on the treadmill, I know I’m ready to transition back out onto the roads and trails for a majority of the remaining marathons. There are still a couple goals/challenges I want to accomplish before ditching the treadmill for a while, but more to come on that later.
One thing I’ve noticed about the treadmill miles is how I feel after completing the marathon. The softer, more forgiving surface is definitely easier on my body and even though I’m sore, it’s a different type of sore compared to running outside. Almost four hours on the treadmill is a long time, but my body is appreciating it more than my mind is. Distraction is key and I’ve been using music to help pass the time which has worked. I’ve also repeated this manta in my mind… “Be Relentless” I just softly utter this phrase over and over again to myself. It works for me and is perfect to just quietly say these words in my mind.
I’m inspired by Kailey and all those I have already run for with 26.2 For You. They are relentless in their drive to lead a life that they control. They refuse to let a disease make all the choices for them and fight like crazy to do so. They are some of the toughest people I know and I draw from their strength to help me push through each marathon. Kailey, thank you for being one of those people and allowing me to share your story and run a marathon for you. This 26.2 was for you!