Tagged: Citgo

Running Down Hill Was My First Mistake

Hi Brendan,

I’m sorry to hear you have been having a tough time being able to have your chemo treatments.  I talked to your mom on Friday and she said hopefully you will be able to start up again this week.   I planned on coming with you to the JFC on Wednesday, so I’ll call tomorrow to confirm it with her.

I got to run part of the marathon course yesterday.   The met the LSRC for our 20 mile run.  Buses took us to mile 11 in Natick and where we ran back to South Boston.    Even though it’s just another training run, this one is a little more exciting.  The distance is longer and I’m on the course for most of the run which definitely builds anticipation for Marathon Monday.  It also allows me to start figuring out a game plan for the marathon.

Most of the Boston Marathon is running downhill.  It sounds like a good thing but if you don’t pace yourself it can ruin you by the time you get to heart break hill.  I learned that my first year running it.  I ran the first half of the marathon too fast.  I started to tire at the Newton Fire Station and by the time I hit the hills I didn’t have much left in the tank.  Just before mile 25 I stopped running.  My leg muscles started to seize up.  I stood on the side of the road which felt like an eternity as I stared at the Citgo sign.  I thought there was no way I would be able to finish, and just wanted to quit.  I’m not sure how but I started moving, slowly, toward Kenmore Square.  The next mile was the longest mile I have ever run. My legs hurt with every step.  My body kept begging me to stop.  When I got to Hereford St for the final turn on to Boylston St, my calf muscles contracted in to a tight ball and I had to stop yet again.   I stretched the muscle by using the sidewalk curb with only 600 yards to the finish line.  Then with one more mental push I was able to complete the 26.2 miles.

Every marathon isn’t a tragedy like my first Boston.  I’ve learned my best lessons by making mistakes. Two years later I am a smarter runner.   I start slow, watch my pace, drink and fuel along the way, and save myself for Heartbreak Hill.  If I feel good when get to Boston College I know I’ve done a good job managing my run.

I know I owe you some pictures from the cruise (which was a lot of fun!).   After I get them off the camera I’ll email you a few.  Take care and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.


RM: 20.15 (Natick to South Boston)
WM: 20.15
TM:  283.75

Citgo Sign

Hi Brendan,

Welcome home!  I hope you had a great time on your trip. You will have to tell me all about it.

My week has been way too busy, for my life seems a little overbooked.  Trying to get my training runs in has been difficult.  Today I had to be in work a little early and knew my schedule was full until 8:30 p.m. tonight.  But I also needed to get a run in before Saturday.   (I had to switch my next 2 Sunday long runs to Saturday)   So I decided to drive into work and run in Boston this morning.

It was a unseasonably warm February morning, for it had to be around 40°F.   I ditched my hat, gloves and coat as I left the Boston Sports Club and headed towards Beacon St.  There was a lot of stop and go at the intersections through Back Bay thanks to all the commuters in their rush to get to work.  It was tough to get into a rhythm, but I finally did as I entered Kenmore Square.  I looked at the Citgo sign as I do each time I’m there.  Since my childhood, the sign reminded me of Fenway Park and the Red Sox.   I would get excited each time I saw it.   Over the past few years it also represented the Boston marathon to me.   When I would see the sign, it would let me know I’m almost finished.  It provided me with a comfortable feeling that I’m almost home.  It gave me the confidence that I was going to finish the marathon.

This got me thinking about of how comforting home is for someone with cancer.  All of the doctors, treatments and surgeries they must endure.  Constant trips and overstays at hospitals.  Through all this distress, I hope as they turn into their neighborhood and see their familiar landmarks, it offers a feeling of security and relief, at least for that moment.

On Patriot’s Day, as I reach the mile 25 marker and see you, the rest of the patient partners and all the DFMC volunteers having a white canvas with shades of blue lettering and an orange and red triangle as a backdrop, I will have another positive memory to reflect upon each time I see the sign.


RM: 9.0 (Kenmore Run)
WM: 32.0
TM:  193.35