When Joe was ill with cancer 2 years later and in what would be his final months of life, Christon ran the NYC Marathon with ACS' Team DetermiNation and raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society, honoring Joe with every mile she ran. Three months after he died, I turned to running as an outlet for my grief and found in it so much more.
Tomorrow morning, I will wake up at a crazy hour and board a bus full of other Team DetermiNation runners bound for the start line of the NYC Marathon. Just typing that gets the tears to well up in the corners of my eyes. Since that very first text message conversation with my friend Melissa in April during which she started "recruiting" me to run the marathon, it has been an amazing journey.
Melissa: When your head feels better I'm going to try to talk you into running the NYC full with us. So that's a thing that will happen.
Me: This fall?!?!
Melissa: Shhhh. Your head hurts. This isn't really happening. It's a dream. Zzzzzzzzzz. (Yes, this fall.)
And, now here I am sitting in Joe's friend Scott's apartment in NYC having just finished my last run before the big race and all those question marks and exclamation points hardly seem like they were necessary. The fall deadline was, after all, not such a big deal. I had a kick ass training season which included Team Determination runs along the towpath and hill repeats at Rutgers, muggy and buggy training runs while traveling for work in Florida, and a whole bunch of fun races with friends and family.