Charles River Running store in Norwood offered a free supported 20 mile run this past Saturday. About a dozen runners were there at 8:00 am ready to run. Two of the runners were ultra-marathoners who were planning on running another 20 miles on Sunday as well! I pair up with Melissa - she is half my age, a great athlete, but has never run this far before. She was able to run the first 12 miles with me and really made those miles fly by! Many thanks to Jim who supported us through the run with water and Gatorade and made sure we stayed on course and finished. I finish the 20 miles knowing that I can run another six miles but it will be all that I have left.
I have often tried to equate the endurance required of long distance running with the endurance required to undergo cancer treatment and have come up with this comparison (which only approximates my experience but will be different for every cancer survivor):
Running one marathon every week for a year (without training) = completion of one round of cancer treatment to get back to baseline. The parallels are: it is impossible to complete without supporters offering assistance along the way at regular intervals, it looks insurmountable at the start, and requires a complete fixated focus on reaching the finish line. Still, all things being equal…I’d rather run a years’ worth of marathons.
Every contributor to the NWH Vernon Cancer Center is like a water station on the Boston Marathon route. The vast majority of those runners would not be able to physically complete the 26 miles without you. Those undergoing cancer treatment here will find the energy to run another mile in their journey with your help.