Friday, October 30, 2015

Race Report: Providence Marathon

No, I am not all of a sudden back to running...I wish!

BUT if you remember, earlier this year I blogged about being a part of the Running for Rare Diseases 2015 Team (read here). This team was formed with rare disease patients and running partners pairing up to raise awareness and fundraising for the Undiagnosed Diseases Program at NIH. I was paired with Fran Crofts as my running partner (meet her here!) who ran the Providence Marathon at the beginning of May.

I know it's 6 months later (and Fran is about to run her NEXT marathon!!), but here is her race report for the 2015 Providence Marathon from May 2.

This was my 3rd marathon start, and first marathon run on behalf of another. I found out about this opportunity through my employer and joined the team. The Genzyme Running Team exists to raise funds for the National Organization for Rare Disorders, specifically to fund additional testing of patients who seek a diagnosis for a rare disease. The GRT connected me with my patient partner, Kylene, whose name I wore proudly on my singlet. It was great to hear the cheers "Go Kylene" throughout the race, which reminded me of why I was running on this particular day.

It was a beautiful day, about 50 F at the start. I started very slowly based on my most recent marathon experience in New York City in November 2014, where I went out much too fast and struggled miles 12-26. For this race, the first mile was 11:30, second 11:45, third 12:00 - yikes, time to pick it up. By mile 7 or so, I picked up the pace to about 10:30 and was able to keep that up until nearly mile 21.

The race wound from the picturesque downtown, past several hills until a big hill at mile 6, then entered a residential area near the water where there were good, cool cross breezes and it was overcast. Around mile 10, the sun came out from behind the clouds and it was suddenly much too warm. Much of the second half was on a flat bike path. The hardest mile was mile 20 due to heat and fatigue. I slogged on a while longer and at mile 21.5 got a bit of a 2nd wind, and for the first time in any race over 10 miles long had a feeling that I had some gas left in the tank. I started getting excited around mile 23 when I realized it was completely within my grasp to beat my goal of 5 hrs. I finished in 4:50, thrilled to have beaten my goal. Thank you, Kylene for inspiring me!

Thank YOU, Fran for helping to raise awareness and funding for those of us that deal with these rare diseases every day! Being at a point right now where I am unable to run makes it even more real that we need awareness to get funding for research and ultimately find treatments and cures! It is cool to be able to "run" with the team even if I am not there in person and be cheered on by spectators. It is a reminder that just because living with a rare disease can feel isolating, I (we) will not be alone in this. THANK YOU to the Running for Rare Diseases team for encouraging us as patients as you run for us and the rare disease community!

Help me cheer Fran on this coming Sunday, November 1 as she runs the NYC marathon!

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