Isabella’s wish was to BEAT Cancer, GROW Hair and LIVE my Dream – for any supporter of ISF, these words are never far from our hearts. As a Dream Team Member in the middle of marathon training, these words hold additional meaning:
BEAT: Any runner will tell you, we always want to beat our PR (Personal Record). I’ve had a goal set for the past 2 marathons – 4 hours and 30 minutes. In 2014, I missed my goal by 8 minutes. Last year, I crossed the finish line at 4:34. Yes, it was a PR for me, but missing my goal by 4 minutes was discouraging. This year, I remain steadfast in my goal and am determined to break 4:30. I’m training harder this time around. Instead of training for a 4:30 finish, Coach Tom has advised me to train for a 4:15, so I give myself a little leeway during the race. I’ve added cross training and speed work to my training and I’m confident that this is the race I’ll finally BEAT my goal.
GROW: I find myself pushing myself far past my comfort zone during marathon training. A few weeks back, I met up with Coach Tom and joined him for hill repeats. It was the first time I had ever done them. To race up a giant hill, only to run back down and do it again, was definitely a challenge. I thought nothing could be harder, but last week I found out I was wrong. I looked on the training calendar and on Tuesday it said “4×800”. The numbers looked easy, the reality was hard. I met my teammates at the school track early in the morning. We sprinted 2 laps around the track, then recovered for a lap and repeated 4 times. It was no joke, and I don’t know if I could have completed it all if I didn’t have my teammates with me. I left that morning feeling exhausted and empowered. It’s hard training mornings like those that help me GROW as a runner.
LIVE: Marathon training can be all consuming. I plan nights out based on what the next morning holds and I don’t commit to weekend plans until I know my Saturday morning mileage. For some, it may seem constricting; by I find comfort in the calendar. There is a satisfaction in crossing off each completed run – getting closer and closer to race day. For 18 weeks, we LIVE by the training calendar.
Every time The Dream Team runs, we do it for Isabella and other children fighting cancer. We Beat, Grow and Live Marathon Style, so that we can help make Isabella’s dream a reality.