In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 16, 2018.
Name: Kaylene Murphy
From: Moscow, Maine
Bib #: 25238
A few months ago I thought I would never be able to run the marathon this year. After undergoing major surgery in December, I spent seven weeks in the hospital. Many setbacks made my goal of running this year seem impossible.
From the day I was admitted I kept my marathon acceptance letter hanging in front of my bed, and I wore all my Dana-Farber shirts. The whiteboard at the end of my bed kept a countdown until the marathon: 136 days.
One day during my admission, I ambitiously decided to walk from the 10th floor of Children’s Hospital to Dana-Farber, totaling 0.3 of a mile. When I reached the Dana-Farber building, I was exhausted, winded, and discouraged. Days until the marathon: 106.
Standing outside the Jimmy Fund clinic and being inside DFCI was a reminder that my problems paled in comparison to those being treated there. It reminded me of going to my mom’s chemotherapy treatments when I was 13. It reminded me how many people fight to live every day. It reminded me of the reason I run.
I changed my training plan, goals, and attitude. I realized how lucky I was to have legs that work and lungs that breathe. I walked 2 miles around the hospital a day, many times to Dana-Farber and back. I did lunges down the hallway and walked up and down the piano stairs more times than I can count. Days until the marathon: 100.
After 46 days I was finally released from the hospital to begin my recovery and training. I was determined more than ever to run Boston. I will be proudly running for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of my Mom who taught me what true strength and resiliency are and for Spencer, a kid I met at the hospital who taught me to not let anything in life slow you down. Days until the marathon: 33.
Editor’s note: Entries may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.