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Archive for April 14th, 2013

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This morning I ran the BAA 5K. For those not familiar with it, it is 3.1 miles along Newbury St., Commonwealth Ave., and starts and finishes on Boylston St., by the Boston Public Library. In fact, it ends at the finish line for the Boston Marathon, which happens to be tomorrow. While the Marathon has been consuming much of my time – helping our Genzyme Boston Marathon Team with events and fundraising for NORD – the 5K has been looming in my mind.

As many of you know, I only started running in October 2011. I always swore I’d never run. I was the non-athlete who thought she was going to die when they demanded we all run a mile in school. But inspired by both our Genzyme Running Team and my cousin Tara, I ran my first 5K in December 2011 – the very fun but very cold Jingle Bell Run – and participated in Genzyme’s first Rare Disease Day Relay (last three miles) on February 29, 2012. Then, of course, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in March 2012 and with the ensuing surgery, treatments and side effects, the running pretty much stopped.

I tried numerous times to get started again – and each time I did, something happened like:

  • I was signed up for the Newport Half Marathon in October, then found out I needed more chemo, so that was out.
  • I signed up for the Jingle Bell Run in December, thinking that was a good way to start over (repeating my first race), then found out I needed radiation.
  • I signed up for the second Rare Disease Day in February, and then got sick just before.

So it was declared that it must be the lingering effects of the 2011/2012 hell year combo and I was cursed. I simply couldn’t sign up for any more races until I successfully ran one again – and luckily I had signed up for the BAA 5K before that third bullet, so we were just holding our breath that nothing would happen before it…

Th BAA 5K is significant to me for multiple reasons:

  • This was the first race I saw Tara run, in April 2011. I took her kids to cheer her on and watch her cross the finish line. I was so proud of her, and it never even occurred to me that I could do the same thing – 3.1 miles seemed like forever! And at that point I hadn’t quite made the connection yet that if I ran, I could eat and still lose weight, so I was still swearing off running.
  • I’ve been supporting our Boston Marathon Team since I joined Genzyme and they are such a fabulous group of compassionate, committed people. While I have no desire to ever run the Marathon (sorry Phil), I love the idea of doing something that ties so closely to the team.
  • It’s one of my favorite courses – it’s basically home. Since it’s right between my last apartment in Beacon Hill and my current apartment in Brookline, it’s one of my main running paths, especially at night. When I first started out, I mainly ran along the Charles River, along the esplanade, but then some runners were attacked there, so I started running up and down Boylston, Newbury and Commonwealth – all busy streets with wide sidewalks – if I was going out after dark. And there’s nothing like window shopping and people watching to make a run fly by!

It’s been harder getting back into running than I thought it would be. I think that’s in part due to the season and the cold – I am always so much more motivated to run when it’s nice out. Lucky for me, spring is now here: the Swan Boats returned to the Public Garden on Saturday, so now it has to be nice!

And the last few weeks I’ve been having shin pain, which I’ve never had before, and have really just been slugging along- much more walking than running… but I was determined, no matter what my pace or if it hurt a bit, to do this race.

And I did (even remembered to wear my compression sleeve), with such an incredible group of supporters: Tara (who in just three years has graduated to running her first Boston Marathon tomorrow!), and some of my Genzyme Marathon Team family: Jessi, Colleen, Kyle, Andrew, Sean and James – and Cian and David from Ireland not only cheered me on, but ran, too! I look forward to cheering you all on at the Marathon tomorrow!  And Nick and Shay even joined us for a celebratory brunch (complete with mimosas for a few of us…) after the race. Thank you all so much for being there for me – it meant more than you know!!!

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So now the curse has been lifted, and I am mulling a new goal: Disney Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World in February. (If it wasn’t the end of kid’s February vacation, I would definitely do it – but must weigh pros and cons before committing.) In the meantime, I’m going to sign up for a few more 5Ks…

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