Well, not quite. But it is official – I have registered for the SMUTTYNOSE ROCKFEST MARATHON! As many of you may have guessed, I am hooked on running the Boston Marathon for Dana-Farber for as long as my body will allow, which hopefully is a very long time. However, you may not have predicted that I’d be running more than one marathon a year. Well, it occurred to me the other day that I have not run since Marathon Monday. Yes, a lot has been going on but running 3 miles doesn’t take that long. This is when I realized that I am a goal oriented person in every aspect of my life and that I simply require a concrete goal to motivate me to lace up my running shoes. Thus, I started shopping for fall marathons. Through the recommendation of some good friends and possibly through the lure of a good microbrew, I decided to register for the Smuttynose Marathon. Luckily, I have already found a running buddy – or at least someone who will wait for me at the end and toast to all 26.2 miles. The speedy, Lynda Nijensohn (see previous post), has said she is up for the challenge as well. And Team Living Proof continues…
|A quick shot for the camera with Lynda
during the infamous long-run.
|Lyn-Deez, in all her glory on
|Living Proof Team group shot with the entire DFMC team.
Lynda and I are standing front and center (I’m rocking the pink hat).
Although I had two names on the front of my singlet on race day, only one of those names truly mattered to me as I ran the 26.2 miles – DANA-FARBER.
I ran all 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon course proudly displaying my team Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge singlet. It was a sign to everyone, both runners and spectators, that I was running with a greater purpose. Yes, running 26.2 miles is noteworthy accomplishment as my recovering legs can attest to that. But, running those 26.2 miles with the primary goal of increasing awareness and actively fighting a devastating disease- now that’s something you can really be proud of. I did have my name printed on the front of my singlet as this is a Boston Marathon tradition, especially for the charity runners. I will admit, I got a little emotional when an adorable little 5-6 year old boy yelled “Go Hilary. You’re doing great!” around mile 13 as he stuck his hand out for a high-five. However, nothing could compare to the overwhelming feeling that washed over me as literally hundreds of people yelled out “Thank you for running for Dana-Farber!” Maybe it was because these reminders of a greater purpose occurred at least every 10 minutes throughout the entire race, that I never felt any sense of urgency in reaching the finish line. Speaking of the Dana-Farber Team, here’s a shot of all 550 of us before the marathon.
Since the marathon was so much more than a usual long-run, it is going to take more than one blog post to give a full recount. Thus, I am going to update the blog with a new marathon story every day or two.
Marathon Mention for 4/24:
Somewhere between miles 22 and 23, as my legs started feeling like I had been running for a couple hours, I saw a family on the right side of the road. There was a teenage girl who was bald, with some peach fuzz growing in and she was wearing an N95 mask (the mask I wore for months after my bone marrow transplant for infection prevention). I instantly had a flashback to the days of mask wearing, post transplant and that amazing feeling I got when I was given clearance to head out into public again. After months of isolation due to infection concerns, being somewhere other than the hospital or my house was complete euphoria, regardless of the mask. I smiled at the girl and waved to her family. Though most of her face was obstructed by the mask, I could tell that she was smiling. That smile will undoubtedly stay with me for the rest of my life. To that amazing cancer fighter, keep kicking ass!
Though it’s hard to believe, it is time to taper the runs! No, that doesn’t mean two weeks of sitting around eating bon-bons – I’m still running and actually not eating any bon-bons. I have switched over to a low fat diet to gear-up for race day. As if it isn’t hard enough ignoring the several boxes of girl scout cookies that taunt me every time I visit the pantry (damn you, thin mints!), I also have to pass on the red wine and microbrews. I know what you’re thinking, wouldn’t that be great carbo-loading? That’s what I said too! But apparently, the goal is to super hydrate these next two weeks and alcohol isn’t necessarily known for doing that (exhibit A: your first hang-over).
This past week proved to be a little challenging in terms of getting runs in. Between organizing this weekend’s fundraising event (see below for more info) and getting filmed for the news (!), free time has been non-existant. With that being said, I was able to squeeze in a good 15.5 mile run yesterday. Since I had not run the end of the course yet, I decided to run from the house to the Prudential building (where the course ends). I then ran to Boston College and reversed the entire run. As it was a gorgeous day, at least in the morning, and still two weeks before the marathon, there were a fair amount of fellow Boston Marathon runners out there. This was the first time I ventured out on a long-run by myself, so I was not sure what to expect. Even though I ran out of water, it turned out to be a great run and good learning experience – hydration is key! On the run I bumped into an old friend from Buffalo and received a high-five from a very enthusiastic homeless gentleman. Despite my loathing of the Red Sox, I’m really starting to enjoy Boston. Provided everything goes as planned, this week’s training includes a 3-4 mile, 5-7 mile, 7-8 mile, and 10-12 mile run.
While the running is tapering-off, the fundraising is doing the exact opposite! Over the past two and half weeks, an astounding $3,030 has been donated by friends and family. Thanks to 25+ generous cancer fighting parties, over $13,500 has been raised! A HUGE THANK YOU to the Buckinghams, Nanci Haggerty, the Mudricks, Rabbi Mason, The Callans, Andy Forney, Kristie DeFalco, Nancy Korte, the Chambers, the Krumms, the Lonettos, Phyllis Maguire, Victoria Que, Michelle Lewis, Mich & Igor, the Ranzenhofers, the Aikens, Megan & J, Nicole Stockey, R&C, Dougan and of course, the amazing Patrons of the Chatterbox Drive-In! I would just like to point out that to date, the patrons of the Chatterbox Drive-In have contributed over $2,700 to fight cancer! Amazing!
Although $1,500 still need to be raised to reach my $15,000 goal, we are not worried because we have a plan! Starting on Monday or Tuesday, some amazing prizes can be won! Similar to a chinese auction or ‘tricky tray’ as Donald calls it, we will have an opportunity drawing for each of the prizes. The winner for each prize will be selected on April 9th, my official 15 year bone marrow transplant anniversary and cancer-free date. That evening, Donald and I will be hosting a fundraising event at our house with food, drinks, and great music. If you can’t join us, I will be posting instructions on how you can get in on the prize winning. We’re talking vacations, hand-made jewelry, original artwork, and more! More information to follow.
|I can’t wait to see this sign on
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend my lunch break outside, running down Riverway and soaking up some sunshine! With only 17 days left until Marathon Monday, we have pulled out all the stops with our DFMC fundraising efforts and are trying to spread the word as much as possible. One of the most successful ways of doing this – the evening news! So Dana-Farber’s communications department sent me out with a videographer to capture some training. Needless to say, I probably didn’t run more than a half-mile, but it was nice to get the legs moving – especially for such a good reason. Once DFCI gets a chance to film the miracle baby (Gus) and a short interview, they will try to convince news stations to air the DFMC video. The hope – to publicize the DFMC mission and recruit more cancer fighters! Here are some shots from the filming…
|Showing off my team jacket!|