There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays

Well, this morning’s run left me with my first knee-scrape and bruised patella of the winter, so you know what that means! Marathon season is upon us!

Marathon season begins!
Hard. Core. (Clumsy)

A lot has happened since I last hit your inbox with a plea for money and good running mojo. Most importantly, you guys came through in a big way with both the money AND the mojo; I not only exceeded my fundraising minimum last year, I qualified on the course for this year’s marathon! This is great for a few reasons. One, although cursing at everyone I saw between Miles 22 and 26 – including children and the elderly – is not among my proudest moments, hitting that finish line in 3 hours and 37 minutes certainly is. Two, as a qualified runner, I am not required to raise quite as much money as I would be otherwise. Since I am currently a broke grad student (that also happened!), this takes a little bit of the pressure off.

Actually, as a qualified runner I’m not required to raise money at all. Technically, I could just train on my own and hop in with the thousands of others who make the pilgrimage to Boston every April. You’ve been reading these updates for years, though. You know that was never really an option. Coming back to the Wellesley Community Center every November for the start of the season with Team in Training is like coming home. I get fed (an all-you-can-eat Skittles and pretzel stick buffet every three miles), hugged, and caught up on everyone’s lives. The only thing missing is free laundry!

Team in Training gives a lot of people a place that feels like home. My teammates, definitely…there are a good group of us who have been doing this for years now and keep coming back for more than just the Skittles. But also, the people battling blood cancers who come to practice to talk to us, or who know that there are people on the team running for them. Hearing that you have cancer can be a terrifyingly lonely, isolating thing. One of the most important things that Team in Training does, I think, is to let people know that they’re not alone – that they have a kind of extended (albeit sweaty) family willing to do what they can to help.

So now, since I’m at my actual Barkhamsted home for that most important of holidays (solstice), it’s time for me to go help chop wood. But while you’re housebound tonight in this apparent STORM OF THE CENTURY, please take a minute to check out my website and consider making a donation: http://pages.teamintraining.org/ma/boston10/cdeschenesdesmond!