I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. I even had a race number for Boston once and my training was up to the seven-mile mark when I blew my knees out while running Heartbreak Hill.
Apparently the heartbreak is available all year long, not just race day. After a tussle about healing and running with my physical therapist, he finally said to me, “You can run the marathon and then go straight to surgery. If you’re lucky, you’ll finish.”
So, yep, running a marathon is still on my bucket list.
I have other fitness bucket list items too:
- Hike the Appalachian Trail from one end to the other
- Compete in a Mrs. Massachusetts competition (it’s really looking a certain way … all about fitness to get there)
- Go skiing in the Alps with a bunch of rich people and feel really posh
- Spend a week at Canyon Ranch … pretty much like the Alps, except jacuzzis and massages
- White water rafting on the Colorado River (not the scary kind, just the thrilling kind)
It’s not a bad list, I think. The reason I bring it up is that my marathon quest has started up again. All because of a guy named TC Cheever.
TC was diagnosed last March with pancreatic cancer; it’s pretty much one of the worst kinds you can get, aggressive and almost always lethal. He lost his battle last week at the age of 43, leaving behind three kids, ages 7 to 14. Yes, I know, it’s hard to read that … it’s even harder to watch a group of people, close friends of his (my husband was one of them), go through the process of watching a great guy die.
How does this tie into marathon training? Well, TC ran the Disney Marathon 10 years ago, and a bunch of his friends felt the need to do something to honor him. One thing led to another and suddenly there’s a Facebook group and more than 25 people committed to running the Disney Marathon and Half-Marathon next January. The group is scattered across the country, but there’s a hefty contingent here in Boston, and we had our first two-mile run yesterday to start the training process. (We’ve got 52 weeks after all.)
A few are seasoned runners, but most of us are dabblers and wannabes. This is exactly my crowd: a lot of enthusiasm, no judgment, and a lot of laughs. I couldn’t be happier.
My knees still have a tendency to get cranky if I start adding miles, so I’m hoping that with a whole bloody year I can ease them into the idea. If I can’t make a full marathon, there is the half marathon and even a 5K that weekend as options. I can do at least one of those. One way or another, I’m running, and so is my husband.
My son is just happy he’s finally going to Disney World!
I’ve already had a bit of incentive. I was loping along the track and feeling cranky about the half with a headwind that felt like running through a wind tunnel. But then I remembered … I was running for TC and his kids. We’ll be raising money to set up a trust for them, so when I’m feeling whiny, I can reflect on that. The best part is, if you knew TC, you know he’d be one of the runners signed up, doing the exact same for you.
Peace TC. And thanks for the kick in the rear on your way out the door. I know you’re enjoying this from up there.
photo credit: mguertin