Mary's Going with Guts!

Track my progress as I train for my next Team Challenge half marathon for the CCFA

Virgina 13.1 and DONE!!!

Posted by msdon9 on June 5, 2011

As I sit here and attempt to begin this blog post, so many things are going on with me physiologically. First of all, my stomach KILLS from all of the carbohydrates I’ve been pumping into my system for the past week or so, and I’m sure the chicken & broccoli roll I ate at Sbarro today didn’t help one bit either. Secondly, my lower extremities are so tight and sore that taking the stairs is compromising to my health and well being. Thirdly, the physical and emotional exhaustion sustained from the weekend has rendered me dumb and almost useless, as anyone who ran into me at the grocery store earlier this evening can likely attest to because most of my time there was spent staring and wandering around aimlessly. But, the most important thing going on right now is how FULL my heart is from two things:

1) The incredible HIGH from a wonderful Team Challenge race weekend witth the ever-amazing Team LI.

2) The large number of friends and teammates who supported my efforts by donating to the cause!

Last week at our team sendoff brunch, one of the dedicated members of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Long Island chapter spoke to the team and explained how important our work is. She also mentioned that with all of the efforts we’ve been making to raise money for medical research and patient education, it’s POSSIBLE that doctors might find a cure for IBD by the end of the decade. Even the possibility of this is huge…. as IBD is a chronic and serious illness that greatly diminishes the quality of life for hundreds of people. I myself have been VERY LUCKY so far… I haven’t had to withstand multiple hospitalizations and countless surgeries like many other Crohn’s and UC patients have, but, I’m certainly not out of the woods. I’ve been feeling mostly good for the last 12 years or so, and as long as I’m physically able to handle it, I’m going to keep fighting to support the amazing folks I’ve met since joining Team Challenge last year.

So about this Virgina race…

I tried to stay with the Wolfpack right at the gun… but trying to keep up with them took too much of a toll on me, and I fell back around mile 3. Once I mentally steadied myself and came to grips with the fact that I was going to have to deal with most of this course by myself, I relaxed and allowed myself to ENJOY the moment. I wasn’t trying to keep up with anyone at this point, so I ran when I felt like I could (the downhills were big helps there!), I walked when I felt fatigued, I used a port-a-potty at Mile 5, I noticed llamas on the side of the road, I stopped running and walked a few moment with some teammates I encountered on my way to the finish, and when things weren’t busy – I turned up the headphones and thought of so many things: the keynote speaker at the pasta party who raised thousands of dollars in support of her 4 year old son who is too sick to play in a ball pit with his friends, the dad on our team who ran with his teenage daughter because his son is sick, my good friend Christina who runs for her husband, my new friend Jill who runs for her best friend, our “team Dad” Bob who blew everyone away with his enthusiasm and desire to make a difference for his daughter, the teammates that couldn’t come to Virgina because they’re recovering from flares, and a ton of people who run for themselves… whether they have IBD or no connection to the disease at all…the fact that they were awake with me at 4:15 am, dressed and ready to board a bus to run 13.1 miles – that speaks volumes.

Despite how slowly I thought I was moving… I still came in approximately 10 minutes faster than last year!

(I just erased a paragraph that was a gushing love fest for our coaches Dave and Loretta, our endurance manager Brian, and the die-hard TC participants who have taken me under their wing. I think they’re all incredibly awesome, and I’ll leave it at that for now).

So the Virginia Wine Country race weekend is over… to date I have run exactly 43.6 miles of races with my team (not counting practice runs), and some very generous people helped me raise approximately $4, 550 for the CCFA.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who contributed. It did not have to be with money… maybe it was with a smile, a word of encouragement, or a warm thought. Thank you.

Till the next challenge…….

You can count on me to find humor in any situtaion.

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