Happy Monday, everybody! Its a new start to a new week which means fresh chances to kick some butt at your runs this week! Today i bring you the promised guest post from my amazing SIL, whom i absolutely adore. I really hit the jackpot when I got married (not just because my husband is a cool dude!) and fell into a family that welcomed me in and made me a part of their own! In my SIL i found a new best friend—> and i know from others around me, that isn’t always the case with in-laws. I don’t know what i would DO without my SIL! She is my rock, my go-to for advice, and she grounds me when I need it. I’m so proud of her that she is undertaking this incredible journey and I love sharing her story!
I’m super excited to being doing my first ever “guest blog entry” for one of the most inspirational/amazing people I know…
The Girl Who Ran Everywhere, who also happens to be my sister in law. So I’m lucky and honored and so very thankful to have her.
As a first time marathoner (Boston 2015), I have all the nervousness and excitement I can possibly collect inside one person. I have it all. But most days I try to push that aside and focus on what needs to get done.
But maybe I should introduce myself, my name is Tara and I am running the Boston Marathon for Dana Farber this year. Running Boston has been a goal of mine for some time now and running for Dana Farber is so very near and dear to my heart. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, her sister continues to battle thyroid cancer and we just lost my aunt this summer to colon cancer. Cancer has broken our family so many times but we have always gotten back up and fought harder and stronger each time.
One thing I’ve learned is that while cancer can do many things, cancer cannot stop our courage, our bravery or our commitment to finding a cure.
I’m on it.
I’ve always been an athlete. I was a competitive swimmer from the time I was 10 until I graduated college. Training was my life. 2 hour practices every day, often times double sessions, I was a year round swimmer. So I get it. I know what it’s like to train, to want something, to set goals, to work hard. Sidenote: I was a sprinter. Total opposite of marathon runner. And I think having a sprinter mentality you just get out there and give it 1 million % but it’s over before you know it. With this, I’ve found myself not knowing how to even pace myself. But I’m getting better at that. I’ve always run as part of training. 5k’s and 10k’s and I just completed my first 13.1 at The Baystate Half Marathon in October and I loved it. It was at that time that I applied to run Boston for Dana Farber and honestly thought I didn’t have a chance with all the people that apply and when everyone has a story, how do they even choose?
I got an email saying I had been accepted to run for Team DFMC just a few weeks after Baystate (and I’d survived that so I thought, what’s another 13.1?) I was soooooo excited. I am still. So. Excited. And the mission itself, I am honored.
I’ve really loved training so far. I really do love running. I love the solitude. I love the time spent with myself. As a wife, a mom of 2 little ones, a teacher of 23 seven year olds and a photographer, I don’t often have solitude. Or rather, I am never, ever, ever, alone. I’m alone 4 mornings a week with my running and I’m learning so much more about myself than I ever have. Running allows for so much mental and physical growth.
Dana Farber is an amazing team to run for. I had my very first team run of 10 miles the weekend before Christmas. It was awesome to get out there and meet people who share my mission. Everyone was so nice. That was a huge take away for me. The support & love they have for each other on the team is just awesome to be a part of. Hearing the stories have made me realize that no matter what, I can do this.
When I think to myself…
“I’m too tired.”
“I’m too busy.”
“I’ve had a long day.”
“I don’t have time.”
I stop and think of what cancer patients have to endure. I think of my mom, of my aunts, of my beautiful former student who just lost her battle at 17 years old, 2 days before Christmas. I think of my beautiful friend Sandy who lost her son Matty and after running Boston in his honor now volunteers so much time to Dana Farber and their team runs. I think of so many people….
Running Boston is something so important to me and when I look back I think of how far I’ve come in such a short time and I while I have such a long road of training ahead of me, it’s only going to allow for more growth within myself both physically and mentally and most importantly in my heart.
I am lucky enough to have a huge support system. HUGE. My own family is incredible and they are super excited about this. I am lucky enough to have the best in- laws and my SIL is one of my biggest supporters. From day one she has told me countless times that I’ve got this. When you take something on as big as this, you question yourself every day. It’s only natural. But when you have amazing people in your life telling you that they believe in you and reminding you that you can do this, that you can do anything, you believe them. And you do it. So here I am, I’m doing it. Somedays I can’t believe I am doing it, but I am. I’m loving every step of the journey even the ones with aches and pains. Even the ones with a few tears. Even the ones where I look at my husband and am just so thankful for his patience, his picking up the slack, his constant support. He’s a rock in my world. Literally. He’s a really big guy, kind of like a rock. My very own rock. And I know I’m lucky.
I’m also so incredibly thankful for family, friends and complete strangers that have reached out to support me in my mission. Cancer needs a cure. That’s the bottom line. I would run to the ends of the earth to help find a cure, never mind 26.2
The journey continues at…
I thank you so much for reading my guest post! Wishing you a Happy & Healthy 2015.
What are some new marathoner questions you have for Tara? (I am hoping to hook her for another few posts because I think she is just the bees knees :))