Most mornings I wake up by 4 am and am out the door before 5 am — well before the sun rises. I own Knuckle Lights and lighted hats to light my way. I use Pandora and Runkeeper to keep me company and my mind off the bitter wind and the possibility of running into any number of critters. I’ve been running forever, and that time in the morning has always been my time. It’s a chance to tune out, think about my day, or not think at all. It’s about running out and back. The runs lately though — and every run since November, when I began preparing for the Boston Marathon – will be more than just my time. I will be training alongside my girlfriend Amy, working to raise $10,000 for South Shore Health Systems.
Getting to the marathon
Every September, the Boston Athletic Association opens up a lottery for runners to enter this extraordinary and extraordinarily popular race, so long as they meet certain qualifying paces in previous marathons. However, most available bibs for runners depend on fundraising — highlighting the community building and unifying power of the event. Amy was selected to run for Team South Shore Health Systems, and I will run alongside her — we’ll train together every morning, work together towards this fundraising goal, and cross the finish line in April.
Why we run
South Shore Health Systems has made a huge impact in our lives. In September of last year, Amy lost her father to squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder. Throughout his long battle — he had overcome prostate cancer in 1994 — he received treatments at Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center at South Shore Hospital and was cared for by South Shore Hospice, who made it possible for him to spend his final days at home, surrounded by family. Her family’s experience here reflected South Shore Hospital’s attentive, compassionate, and well-rounded care during a difficult time for any family.
I, too, have faced my own cancer battle, and have undergone treatment at Brigham and Women’s in Boston. In 2014 I was diagnosed with papillary renal cell carcinoma, which was treated by surgery. I currently have another spot on my other kidney, which we’re monitoring now.
Running with a purpose
I’m used to running a lot, but now when I run there’s a purpose for it – supporting the mission of South Shore Health Systems. Over the next three months, I’ll be out the door running by a quarter to five every morning, doing long runs on Saturdays, foam rolling while watching tv, eating Gu’s whose primary quality is viscosity, and fundraising and community building for South Shore Health Systems. I hope you’ll follow me on this adventure. I’ll be posting periodically about some of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs. For example, have you ever tried to dress for a long run where it’s 20 degrees to start and 45 to finish? I have, and by the time I finished I had experienced the range of temperature extremes — it turns out that your hands can, in fact, be both numb and sweaty at the same time…
Mostly, I’ll be sharing some insights that I’ve found carry over from marathon training into daily life. Check back here for monthly updates, and please support us if you can.
Eric Fagerlund is the Regional Sales Manager in Boston for SiteSpect.