Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coming into the home stretch...

With only 40 days to go, there is still a lot to do with both fundraising and training!  Here's the skinny...
Through the support of numerous generous individuals, we are 60% of the way there!  Thank you so much to Becka, Stetson, Mr. & Mrs. Eaton, Murray & Diana, The Howards, The Sepes, Julie and Jeramie, Craig & KT, Chris, Jules, Ms. Forni, Devon & Derek, Dave, and the amazing Chatterbox Drive-In Patrons!!!

To continue the Boston Marathon course analogy, we have run past the screaming (and kissing) girls at Wellesely College.  Yes, that's right, I said kissing.   Random Boston Marathon fact: Many of the Wellesely students crowd the marathon course around the college and kiss some of the less experienced runners as they go by.  As one DFMC teammate who ran last year explained, it is meant to provide additional motivation, especially to the men.  He mentioned that it really seemed to help the Boston PD runners, in particular.  I expect that I will just have to rely on my power gel through this section.  Back to the course... we have passed by the half-way mark and are travelling through the beautiful town of Wellesley, on our way towards the Newton Fire Station. In terms of mileage, we're almost at 16 miles and running 16 miles is nothing to scoff at.  Speaking of running 16 miles, on to the training update... 

As you may know by now, every weekend there is a Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team long-run.  Under the tutelage of Jack Fultz, our coach and fearless leader (although sometimes when I tell him how little I have trained I sense fear), our team embarks on some pretty challenging runs.  While some of the more experienced teammates ran a full 22 miles this past Saturday, I only worked up the courage for 16.  However, I will give myself some credit because the course was extra hilly.  No, Jack isn't trying to torture us.  He just likes to prep us for race day by showing us terrain that is harder than what we will see on Marathon Monday.  With that being said, Boston is known for Heartbreak Hill, which is the last of the four "Newton Hills."  Although these hills have a relatively low increase in elevation, they come at a point in the course where muscle glycogen stores are likely to be depleted... thus the name "Heartbreak Hill."  

Heartbreak Hill (aka "The Hill") photo by Richard Dale
This past Saturday, I had the honor of running with a marathon veteran who has run in many different marathons all over the US.  We spent much of the run chatting about cancer (we are raising money for cancer research) and marathon strategies.  He introduced me to the "Run/Walk Strategy"  made popular (and acceptable) by Jeff Galloway.  It may sound taboo, but walking during a marathon can be a very acceptable strategy.  It allows you to not only process oxygen better (something that my body struggles with as a result of chemo and radiation), but it also allows you to reduce fatigue.  As Jeff Galloway explains, "By shifting back and forth between walking and running muscles, you distribute the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity. Walk breaks will significantly speed up recovery because there is less damage to repair. The early walk breaks erase fatigue, and the later walk breaks will reduce or eliminate overuse muscle breakdown."

This Saturday, the DFMC team will be running around Lexington and Arlington.  Since Jack continues to remind us 'never do anything on race day that you haven't done before,' I will be trying out the "Run/Walk Strategy."