It’s officially official! I will be running the Boston Marathon on behalf of the American Liver Foundation! I was accepted to their team on Thursday. I am truly honored to be on the Run for Research Team and look forward to meeting all of my teammates, coaches, and everyone else involved with the ALF. The American Liver Foundation promotes liver health, disease prevention, and does extensive research into the ways to help aid liver disease. Did you know that your liver is the largest organ in your body weighing in at 3.5 pounds? This eclipses your puny brain by half a pound! For those of you wanting to know more about the ALF, I strongly encourage you to check out their website. Very shortly, once everything is more concrete, I’ll be giving you more information about our mission as a team and what you can do to help us. Accepting their invitation to the team just made it that much more real. It’s one thing to say “I’m running the Boston Marathon” it’s a whole other thing to be running for a reason, to be running for research, and be part of something so much larger than an individual chasing down mile after mile. All in all, if I was excited before, I’m more so now!
That Thursday night, I immediately came home, tore off my suit, laced up my shoes and set out for a quick night run. I ran down Winchester, up to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir (the origin of all my Boston running) and ran back to my apartment. It was just a quick little run, as I wanted to get some more miles in on the week. That night, though, I started trying to tweak my running style a bit. Anyone who has ever run with me will tell you that I much prefer running on trails over running on asphalt or concrete. When I run on trails, my gait is far more natural and I land on my forefoot predominantly and then kick back hard. On harder surfaces I rely too heavily on the padded heels of shoes and roll my feet more before kicking back, which irritates my ankle. On Thursday I tried to duplicate my trail technique on the harder surfaces, I was mostly successful. By doing this, it brings my calves and shins more in to play and by the end of the run, my calves felt like knots.
My calves were still sore this morning when I set out for a longer run. I don’t know what it is about the Emerald Necklace that every time I decide to run along the Muddy River the air is like breathing molasses. It was a generally overcast day, much warmer than expected, burdensomely humid – the kind of day you look up at the sky and plead for rain. But, alas, no rain fell. I rain across the BU campus down on to The Esplanade, over the Longfellow Bridge (yes, I made the cut off for it this time), back up along Memorial Drive, over the BU Bridge and back home. These longer runs are starting to get a little lonely, and I’m really looking forward to the runs that Run for Research will be doing as a team. Different personalities, running styles, conversations, and observations will make these ever increasingly strenuous runs much more fun.
Tomorrow I am running the Brian Honan Memorial 5k. The starting line is a ten minute walk from my apartment on a bad day, so I had no excuse not to sign up for this race. I intentionally held off from doing more distance today so that way I would still be somewhat fresh for the race tomorrow. Then, next weekend I’m running the Somerville Homeless Coalition 5k in Davis Square. I ran this race last year, and it was a lot of fun. A nice flat, fast course that ends with a brunch by all the local restaurants. Getting t-shirts for races is great, but getting fed is even better. This, however, does not end my race schedule for the fall! Two weekends later, I will be heading out to the Wellfleet Oyster Fest on the cape for an encore of last year. The final day of the festival they have a 5k that runs out along the harbor. Oysters and running? Sounds like a perfect weekend to me. But, no – we are not done yet! My birthday weekend I will be sojourning down to Baltimore with my friend Katie for the Zombie Apocalypse! Yes, you read right. This is a 5k obstacle course where you are given a belt with flags. Throughout the course there will be an army of flesh hungry Zombies trying to strip you of your humanity and your flags. If you can make it through the race, all the obstacles, and the undead invasion with some flags you win some undisclosed prizes, if all else fails and you become a zombie yourself, there is still an after party. And that will end my independent racing circuit for the fall before Run for Research Team events kick into full gear at the beginning of November.
Now that this is real, now that this is truly happening, I just want to say thank you to anyone and everyone who I know (or may not know) for all of your support. April isn’t that far off, keep me in mind, and invite me over for lots of pasta dinners.
Song(s) stuck in my head: The Distance — Cake, The Engine Driver — The Decemberists