Monday is the Boston Marathon Day and for the first time in 14 years It will be the second year in a row I won’t be at the starting line. All those years when I was in the midst of winter training doing long runs in single digit temps, I never thought I would miss it, but I do. It’s not just the race I miss, it’s all the activities around the race weekend, the awesome crowds on race day, and the thrill of being one of the runners who earned the right to stand on the starting line with the most elite marathoners in the world.
Running the marathon was also my way of showing my commitment to Help in the Nick of Time. If I am asking people to part with their hard-earned cash, even if it is for a good cause, I wanted to demonstrate my own commitment as well. Besides, it selfishly gave me a good excuse to blog (vent) about the ups and downs of training and running the marathon.
So, you can imagine the hole cancer has left, not only taking away the marathon and fund-raising challenge, but the ability to run at all. When I finished the first round of chemo and went into remission back in 2016, I was back running within a couple of months and did the 2017 Boston Marathon just 7 months later. I figured it would be about the same after the stem cell transplant but here we are over a year since I got out of the hospital and my efforts to jog at all resemble a toddler falling all over himself learning to walk. It’s cute in my grandchildren, not so much in an old man. I swear I can hear the kids at the bus stop as I pass by saying” get a walker before you hurt yourself” under their breadth.
It is with this in mind that I decided to put together the 7-day Marathon Challenge (26.2 miles in less than 8 hours over 7 days). I figured it may not be as impressive as running a marathon in 4 hours but it would take a similar amount of commitment given where I’m at physically.
Well, 5 days in and I didn’t underestimate the effort. It’s forced me to push myself from just walking to mixing in occasional 30 second jogs. While it feels great to have the legs moving again, 30 seconds of jogging leaves me feeling like someone poured cement in my shoes, and breathing like a lifetime smoker, with a single lung, in the midst of allergy season. Despite the challenges I’ve been able to complete almost 20 miles in the first 5 days and with a push I may make the full 26.2 in under 8 hours.
Why do this? It’s nothing compared to what the children with cancer have to go through. If my efforts motivate contributions to Help in the Nick of Time it is all worth it.
Two days to go. I’ll send and update once the 7 days are up and let you know how I make out.