Since I started “semi-serious” running in 2005 – running is something that I always did alone. Back when I owned one pair of running shoes (I have 10 right now honestly), ran in cotton T-shirts (because I didn’t know any better) and didn’t own a GPS to track my training (I set the kitchen timer when I left on my runs to track my time) – I was always alone.
The only time that I logged any miles with anyone else was when I started racing. Running was my time, my escape. It allowed me to think about things with no distraction. Sometimes I might think about what I can do to be a better husband to Dawn. Should I make homemade Lasagna this weekend or bake Kayla her favorite homemade peanut butter dog biscuits? Is it time to spread fertilizer yet? When is the last time I washed the Harley? What was the name of the lead guitarist for Journey? Am I going to have a waffle at the diner after my run or two eggs, home fries and toast? Definitely a waffle.
Sometimes I even solved problems without being distracted by ringing phones or e-mails. I could think about work uninterrupted or about how I would replace that light fixture 20 feet above our foyer.
Sometimes I would just run. Not a care in the world, just me, the trail, a hill, the wind, light rain, a sunrise – and just be.
Strangely enough it was on one of these solo runs that “running” changed for me – and changed forever. I’ve told the story in the past about when my wife and I first heard about Dom’s cancer diagnosis – and just how serious it was – I felt absolutely helpless. I was going through the motions and the emotions of wondering how, why and when.
I couldn’t make sense of a 38 year old man in the prime of his life with a loving wife, 3 year old daughter and a 3-month old son at home could be dealt such a serious and unfair blow. It didn’t make any sense. It made me feel small, weak and powerless.
Damn it, there had to be something I could do to make a difference – and on a 10-mile Sunday run along a trail I had run literally hundreds of times in Austin – the idea for Run for Dom struck me like lightening. Could I train to run not only the Boston Marathon this year as I had planned but also return to the Pittsburgh Marathon in Dom’s hometown 13 days later and race again in his honor? Two Marathons in 13 days to help my friend and his family fight this terrible disease.
From that point forward I would never be running alone again.
After telling my wife what I intended to do – which always makes something “real” in my life – I began the journey to Boston and Pittsburgh. Dom at the same time was starting his journey to treatment, surgery and recovery. What started out as a small circle of close friends and family members who knew about what I was planning to do has grown over the last several months into an incredible support network.
There have been over 6,000 visitors to this space since the blog was launched in November. Well over 600 Run for Dom friends follow, support and motivate each other’s training on Daily Mile every day. Another 605 followers on Twitter are keeping up with my journey toward Boston and Pittsburgh.
I have met amazing people from literally all over the world who are doing amazing things – and they tell me that I have inspired them or motivated them in some way – Me. Unbelievable.
Well this week I made a new group of friends from the Pittsburgh area who know Dom and the D’Eramo family and want to help. Collectively they are “Moms for Dom” – and they will be running the Relay Marathon at Pittsburgh on May 2, 2010.
Becky Adams, Stephanie Giusti, Heather Hunter, Chrissy Liberati and Kelly Waldron are the wonderful women of “Moms for Dom”. All of these ladies according to my friend Becky were athletes in their “former lives” – I got a great chuckle out of hearing that one. Once an athlete, always an athlete in my book. Their taking on the streets of Pittsburgh on Sunday May 2nd is proof enough for me.
Each of the “Moms for Dom” runners are training hard for the upcoming race balancing careers, husbands, children and and what has been an amazingly chilly, snowy, wet Pittsburgh winter that is finally giving in to Spring.
Having run the Pittsburgh Marathon last year I can tell you that this is not a “lay-up” marathon course. There are hills to be run, rivers and bridges to cross and winds to navigate. It’s a hard course, but then again – it’s supposed to be hard. It is the hard that makes it great.
The relay portion of the marathon course is broken down into 5-legs, each of our Moms for Dom will be responsible for their own leg.
Leg 1 – Distance 7 miles – Exchange at Mile 7
Leg 2 – Distance 4.4 miles – Exchange at Mile 11.4
Leg 3 – Distance 4.6 miles – Exchange at Mile 16
Leg 4 – Distance 5.9 miles – Exchange at Mile 21.9
Leg 5 – Distance 4.3 miles – Finish Line
The women of “Moms for Dom” will be raising money to support Dom and his family just as we are here at Run for Dom. Support of their effort is being accepted through our secure site here at:
You can also click on the Donate via our secure site link under the How You Can Help area of this blog in the right tool bar.
I am proud to call Becky, Stephanie, Heather, Chrissy and Kelly “Amazing Friends” joining Bailie, Danica (Chic Runner), Lara, Ashley (MS Run the US) and all of the “Go Girls!” who have done amazing things to help this cause over the last several months. You can read about all of the RFD Amazing Friends underneath the mile sponsors listed in the right tool bar of the blog.
It is great to know that I will have 5 more friends with me on the course at Pittsburgh on May 2nd both literally and figuratively. What you ladies are doing to help is so inspiring – it is an honor to be running with you in May. Thank you!