Going the Distance

Saturday, 8:03 a.m.:ÿ I join a group of about 70 Dana Farber Marathon Challenge runners in a few final stretches before heading out for the weekly group run.

This is my first run with the other Dana Farber runners, and I’m nervous – because A) there are some seriously hardcore runners here and B) it’s about 9 degrees out with wind chill. As we take off running, my conversations with fellow runners always seem to trail back to one topic: what made them run for Dana Farber.ÿ

In my running group, people have lost siblings, parents, children, grandparents – but just as many have stories about the ones who made it, the ones who beat cancer using the latest innovative treatments.ÿI only plan to run 10 miles, but with such great company, 12 miles speed by before I know it.ÿSoon I make it back to the gym and start to thaw out (when did I lose feeling in my face?). As I head back home, I keep thinking to myself – only 14 more miles to go until I can run a full marathon.ÿI’m not sure if this is exciting or depressing – but I’m feeling good.

Sunday, 10 a.m.: I’m standing at the starting line for my first pre-Boston race – the Super Sunday 10k.ÿConsidering I just ran 12 miles the day before, I start this race out at an easy, relaxed pace.ÿAs I time my miles along the route, I realize that my “relaxed pace” is on track to be two minutes faster than my last 10k time.ÿThis is the first time I realize that the past months of training have been doing me some good – I’m actually getting faster!ÿThe last half-mile of the race is tough – my legs are reminding me of how many miles I’ve run in the last 24 hours, and I’m overjoyed to see a friend waiting to run the last stretch towards the finish line with me.ÿTouched by the fact that she waited out in the cold after finishing her 5k, I pick up my pace and cross the finish line at a full run.ÿ

Run of the Week:ÿ Along the Charles River downtown.ÿNow, this may seem like an obvious pick (or a masochistic one, considering the cold winds off of the water!), but running along the Charles never fails to get me motivated and remind me just how beautiful a town Boston is.most of the time.ÿI’ll admit, Boston and I have developed a love/hate relationship over the past year and a half, and my runs along the Charles really have cemented this. In the summer and fall (or as I’ve come to think of it, the “honeymoon period”), I get to see the “idyllic” Boston during my runs, all warm and friendly and gussied up with sailboats, swans and warm sea breezes.ÿMost winter days, the Boston I loved is ice cold, blasting me with wind as I run until I’m convinced I’ll never feel my face again. Talk about high maintenance.

Days until Boston: 62
Most miles run: 12ÿÿÿÿÿÿ
Funds raised: $1,987.40

To support Kelly’s run for the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge, visit: //rundfmc.org/2010/kellyc

Kelly Carson is a proud member of Old A from Littleton, Colorado. When not running, you can find her singing with the She-E-O’s, walking backwards while leading campus tours for the admissions office or (most likely!) waiting in the sushi line at Spangler.