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My Experience with the Marathon

A couple of years ago I started running again, purely to get back in shape. Once I got started however, my thoughts turned to the marathon. I had done a lot of training over the summer, signed up for the New York Marathon, and thought that I was on track to run it in a good time. Unfortunately, a struggle with Achilles tendonitis in the weeks leading up to the race, and then an illness a few days ahead of it, left me doubting how well I would be able to run.

Seeing the gunboats escorting the Staten Island ferries as they carried runners to the start was a stark reminder of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Being on the island also prompted memories of all of the suffering caused by the hurricane last year. Soon I found I was starting to think less about my time and more about being thankful to be safe and to have the opportunity to participate in the race.

I thought of a visit with the last patient I saw before heading off to New York for the marathon. She had come back for a one-year follow up visit after resection of a brain tumor, and her new MRI looked great with no recurrence. She explained how her experience with being diagnosed with a brain tumor and then going through surgery had totally changed her outlook on life. She was really enjoying herself and not worrying about all of the things that used to bother her. It’s easy to think that way for a short time, but she had really changed her outlook on life.

I tried to adopt her outlook. I focused on enjoying the experience rather than worrying about my time. As I ran, I took in the sights, had fun seeing my family and stopped on the sidelines to hug my son along the way. It was fun and in the end, I had a great experience and was able to finish in the best time I could have that day.

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