Flat Running Buddy # 3: The May Family

As part of my fundraiser and half marathon training for Team Challenge for Crohn’s and Colitis, I’m creating Flat Running Buddies. What’s a Flat Running Buddy? It’s kind of like a Flat Stanley. You send me your picture, I go running with flat you, and then I post the story of our run here on my blog.

Yesterday morning, I went running with a special group of friends: The May Family. The May’s will be running in Chicago, too, all four of them: Mary, Charles, Patrick, and Will. They run with Team Challenge because Patrick, who just turned twelve, has Crohn’s disease. They recently reached their goal of raising $6,000 for a cure for Crohn’s and colitis, you can read more about their story on their fundraising page. They ran with me today because Will organized an awesome event called Scoops for CCFA at Bruster’s Ice Cream. I was unable to make it to the event, but Will generously donated some of the profits from the fundraiser to my Team Challenge fundraiser. Thanks Will!

I’m visiting Ithaca right now, so I decided to take the May’s on a run along Cascadilla Creek, which runs through the residential neighborhood of Ithaca I’ve been staying in. We set out early, it was a little cool but humid and I was grateful that a light mist began to fall a few minutes into the run, perfect weather.

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We made a quick photo stop at Ithaca’s First Fire Bell, it now sits in Thompson Park, no longer functioning as a fire alarm.

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I was feeling pretty well at this point, maybe running a little faster than usual because I knew it would be a short run or maybe because I was with the May’s who are all faster runners than I am. Mary often slows her pace to run with me on weekends and Charles has done so, too, on our most recent run. Will and Patrick both run far ahead of me, every time, but Will often stops on the way back to cheer on those of us behind him at group training and Patrick always has a big smile for everyone when we spot him the the end of the run.

Since I was feeling so well, I ran further than I initially planned, maybe another quarter mile, not too far because it was then that the cramps set in: a harsh pain on my right side like someone had punched me in one of my inflamed sections of bowel (thanks Crohn’s). So I turned around and strolled along the creek for a few.

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We saw some graffiti:

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After a couple minutes of walking, I felt good again and started jogging. I mixed running and walking the rest of the way back because I didn’t want the pain to return. Luckily, it didn’t and I dubbed run/walk a good pace for “taper time,” when we run at an easy pace to maintain our fitness and prepare for race day.

As we ran and walked back to my place, we enjoyed the sounds of the quick, quiet running of the creek, the smell of spring flowers in the morning, and the sight of all the trees at the edges of Cascadilla Creek.

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I returned to my temporary home a little tired, but happy and excited about Team Challenge. I can’t wait to run with the May’s in Chicago! See you soon friends!

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