Last night, this marathon journey became real! The kickoff meeting for the DFMC was held on the campus of Dana-Farber.
As October was a wash with running and working out, I was really nervous in the hours leading up to the meeting. I've run 13 miles on numerous occasions, but 26.2 is double that. Could I handle it? Is it too late to drop out?
As I parked my car and started walking over to the meeting, I had to walk by the majority of the buildings. Looking through the big glass windows, I saw a woman about my age pushing herself in a wheelchair. In any different situation, that could be me. Cancer does not discriminate and she and I could very well swap positions. Just seeing that made me put all doubts behind me and upped my desire to want to raise money for this cause.
I walked into the auditorium and glanced around at all the people. As predicted, it was filled with amazing athletes. I felt so out of place as people talked about 8 minute miles and running 6 days a week. My mind channeled back to watching the race last year as my friend Shelley's friend ran for Dana-Farber. She was a solid 12 minute miler and posted how supportive everyone was during the runs. Remembering that made me calm down a bit and stay focused on the meeting. They talked about the 3 groups runs a week and our fundraising goals. Knowing that we will have support network really helped. I now realize I can tackle 26.2 and will focus on the fundraising. I am super excited to try and figure out innovative ways of raising as much money as possible.
After the meeting ended, the team reconvened at Boston Beer Works. I will honestly say, I got the most out of the night there. We all discussed our race history and our fundraising goals. A veteran was beyond supportive and talked about his journey over the last few years from a just about 6 hour runner to a now 4:30 runner. He also talked about his fundraising efforts and creative ideas to go about it. I'm pretty sure he did not realize how much just talking to him helped, but it went beyond anything those 8 minute runners discussed in the actual meeting. It was also great to talk with others and see that they too had done halfs, but not really anything further and that they too were 10-11 minute milers. It felt like the start of tri season years ago, I had found my back of the packers. I left while the party was still going strong confident that I had found a village to reach my goal with.