Boston Marathon 2014

Jessica Sowalsky's Marathon Blog

Boston Marathon 2014 - Jessica Sowalsky's Marathon Blog


When I was coming in to work today I got to talking to a co-worker who I have not seen in a while.  She asked me what I have been up to and asked me how I have been.  I told her that I got accepted to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge and that I am running in four half marathons this year (Applecrest Half Marathon in September, the Hartford Half Marathon in October, the Chilly Half Marathon in November, and the OUC Half Marathon in December). She said congratulations and asked me when I started running and I told her that I started running in High School as a sprinter in Track and Field ten years ago.  Afterwards, I explained to her more in detail about the application process for the Dana-Farber team and I told her that the Boston Marathon is being more selective this year because of last year’s events.  Once I told her all of this, she said to me that I am an inspiration to her; and that she never knew anyone who runs other than a couple of her friends who are triathletes.  She told me that I have now motivated her to get in shape.  She mentioned that last year, she had a foot issue and has not been able to be as active as she would like to be but now since she talked to me, she wants to get back into shape and become more active.

I never realized until now, since joining this team that I will have an effect one way or another on a person’s life. Having realized this, it will only encourage me to work and push harder during my marathon training. I will end this blog post with a quote:

“There will be days when I don’t know if I can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime knowing that I have.” – Unknown

My dream has come true! Boston strong!

Today my dream came true and I found out that I will be running with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team for the 2014 Boston Marathon.

After this year’s event’s at the Boston Marathon I was determined to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon. I chose to run with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team because when it comes to cancer one must focus on overcoming adversity. I took on the personal challenge of overcoming obstacles to get to my marathon goal. My second passion is that cancer itself has been an adversity that has intersected my life through my friends, my family and the family of my friends. Knowing that I can raise money through the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge to support research for studying potential cures of a disease many people in my life have had as their own adversities is another opportunity to take on another substantial challenge.

When I was younger, I had a lot of health issues that held me back from fulfilling my potential. I had trouble walking and the doctors thought that I would never become an athlete. However, in high school I got involved in track and field programs and have slowly but steadily increased my endurance. Only two years ago I could run no more than 5K, but at the beginning of September of this year, I ran 15 MILES for the first time in my life.  My personal dedication to overcoming obstacles that could be an adversity is the driving force behind my perseverance to do what others felt was impossible. A doctor told me that I could never run a marathon, and I am going to prove everyone wrong.

Although I have been fortunate not to be diagnosed with any familial form of cancer, this disease has nonetheless affect my life indirectly because it has directly affected the lives of those for whom I care deeply. Whether it was my best friend in college who lost his mother to breast cancer the day after his college graduation, my camp counselor’s sister who lost her brother to a muscle cancer or my cousin who died from melanoma, I know these people did not “give up” willingly and that they surely attempted to prove their doctors wrong as well. For those in my family who currently have cancer, whether it is my cousin with prostate cancer, my cousin with melanoma or my cousin with lung cancer, their survivorship is tribute to the amazing work of cancer researchers who have worked effortlessly to prove the impossible – that cancer is a disease that can be treated and cured.

My personal obstacles pale in comparison to those facing a cancer patient but we have something in common – that we both want to beat the odds and achieve a substantial goal. Having this opportunity to run for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge I will be taking my passion for overcoming adversity and using it to help the future needs of others, whether they are my family, friends, or people I will never meet, by providing researchers with precious dollars to make cancer something no one will ever die from again.

Please bookmark this blog and come back regularly as I report my progress training for the big day next April when I make the 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boston.