Good Content from: Katie Crowell
I am not fast. I used to be faster, but never fast. Middle of the pack, that’s where you could always find my blonde bun bobbing around. It takes me well over four sometimes five hours to complete a marathon these days. However, I can and have run for 24 hours straight. I have run a 100K, I have run through blizzards, nor’easters, 100-degree temps, wind chills of 15 degrees, pregnancy and cancer.
My love of running started in my teenage years. It was more of a jog/run, but pretty soon I was able to keep a good pace for 3-6 miles, five days a week. Eventually, I found the confidence to start running 5 & 10Ks, moved on to half marathons, then marathons and eventually ultra races. Since turning 30, I run my age in miles on or around my birthday every year. Marathon and ultra distance are my comfort zone, it’s where I can feel as though I’m pushing myself and also achieve the pure joy and euphoria I strive for.
I have always been able to self-motivate for any run. I have a headache … so what, get out there and get my miles in. I’m pregnant … run how far I can safely and comfortably.
At 35, while 32 weeks pregnant with my second daughter, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer de novo and suddenly term terrifying defined my life. Instantly, I was immersed into a world that was foreign to me. Cat Scans, Bone Scans, Ultrasounds, Echo Cardiograms, blood, blood and more blood every day; talks of surgery, chemotherapy, delivery options, baby planning and the list went on. My then-three-and-a-half-year-old was going to school for the first time, about to become a big sister and wondering why mommy was always at the doctors. I started chemotherapy four weeks before I gave birth: three weeks of chemotherapy and then a break week before I delivered. Luckily, she came into this world, safely, easily and healthy. Today my baby is four. Through it all I kept running. Some days I would feel great out there and others were exhausting. Not only was I coming back from having the baby, I was in active chemotherapy weekly for seven months. Once I was moved to maintenance meds it was time to get back into marathons and birthday runs again.
Turning 36 was quite a birthday. It was the first time in over a year since I had run over 20 miles, nine months post baby and almost a year to the day of my cancer diagnosis. While on my birthday run, watching my watch hit that 36th mile, I felt a happiness I hadn’t been granted in a long time. Since that time, I have completed an additional seven, soon-to-be eight marathons and three more sweet birthday runs!
Chicago is my next race in October and most likely another Boston with the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge next April, followed by a banner 40-mile birthday run and, fingers crossed, my five-year cancerversary. I run for me. I run to show my two beautiful daughters, Lizzy and Gracie, to never, ever give up! I run for those that can’t. I run for all of my sisters and friends that struggle with this horrible disease. I run in hopes that there is a cure for Metastatic Breast Cancer in my children’s lifetime, maybe even my own!
I Run For Good