Spartan up and SAVE – AROO!

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-05-2015-05-2008

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Twitter-Post_880x440_Memorial-DayWhat does it mean to Spartan up? I’ve heard this term over and over again, but didn’t fully get it until a while ago. It’s kind of like my marathon running. I’ve been asked by people, WHY? Why run marathon after marathon. And for me, until I became sick with Lyme Disease, the thought would never had entered my mind. But there comes a point in life where you discover a reason to want to push yourself beyond your comfort level, to achieve a goal that seems impossible, that will test your mental and physical strength, to go beyond your every day norm.

Spartan Up for a Cause

For me, to Spartan Up means to find out what I’m made of. To prove I’m stronger than Lyme Disease. It means to find out how tough I am. It means inspiring others by not giving up, by training harder, by eating better, by involving my family in the challenge. It means achieving new goals. It means becoming a better person by the journey of discovery.

Whatever your reason for wanting to Spartan Up, now is a great time to register for an event because you can SAVE! That’s right, you can SAVE $40.00 by registering before May 27, 2015. Visit http://www.spartan.com/ and use this code, MEMORIAL!

Let’s do this! Let’s Spartan Up and get ‘er done! AROO!

Running the London Marathon – 4th out of the “Big Five for Lyme”

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-05-2015-05-2008

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On April 26, 2015, I completed the Virgin Money London Marathon in 3:42:20, and re-qualified to run the Boston Marathon for 2016. (Picture left: race day kit and number all laid out.) It was back in 2012, after I ran the Hartford marathon and qualified to run the Boston Marathon, that I really believed I had a shot at running what I have now dubbed, “The Big 5 for Lyme”, or rather, at that time in 2012, run the World’s Marathon Majors: New York City, Chicago, Boston, London and Berlin. (The World Marathon Majors added Tokyo in 2013). I want to do this because I want to show the world that with long-term antibiotic treatment, combined with naturopathic medicines, can help those with chronic Lyme Disease (anyone who has not responded to the standard Centers for Disease Control’s prescribed 3 weeks of antibiotic treatment) recover. I also want to try as best I can to give hope to others who have Lyme Disease, that they too can recover.

Annette Coulombe, Angela Coulombe, Joanna Connor

I’ve been fortunate enough to have run the New York City Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Boston Marathon, and now London! But London was different for many reasons, including the fact that I also ran this for my sister, Annette Coulombe, who has incurable Lymphoma and was diagnosed 3 weeks before I ran the New York City Marathon in November 2010. (Pictured right: l-r – Angela Coulombe, Annette Coulombe, Joanna Connor, 2014 finishers at the Tri for a Cure, South Portland, Maine.) Throughout the years I battled Lyme, my sister, an Occupational Therapist, would come to my house to help me move my limbs, giving me exercises to perform and large doses of encouragement and support. We planned to be together for my first marathon ever in NYC, so you can only imagine my  horror when she phoned 3 weeks before the NYC Marathon to tell me she had been diagnosed with cancer.

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I occurred to me that I could run the London Marathon to help my sister and other battling cancer. I looked online for different cancer charities to run for and found the perfect charity, Worldwide Cancer Research, namely because they are the ONLY cancer charity who give money to research anywhere in the world, currently funding 7 projects in the US including one at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Cambridge MA. (Pictured left: Marathon Sunday: Team mates running the London Marathon for Worldwide Cancer Research, Gemma Scott, Craig Scott, Angela Coulombe, Davey.) So I took on the challenge of not only training throughout the worst Maine winter yet, but to also commit to raising over $3500 for Worldwide Cancer Research.

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Conditions were perfect for the run! At the start of the run, it was about 52F, with a light drizzle keeping us all cool. (Picture right: Keeping warm in my dollar store rain poncho before the start of the marathon.) Pre-race organization was fantastic, possibly one of the best organized marathons I’ve been involved with to date.

Tower Bridge and other landmarks on the sky line of London.

The course was fantastic, running around landmarks like the Cutty Sark, over Tower Bridge, Westminster Abby and finishing out front of Buckingham Palace in the Mall. (Picture left: Tower Bridge and other landmarks on the sky line of London.) With 35,000 other runners, I set off at 10:10 a.m.

11193233_10153364478212625_426188953081429861_nThe flow of runners was steady and consistent and at times I would have liked to have run faster, but couldn’t get out of the pack. I had to let go of trying to obtain a PR and just concentrate on running with like-minded people who were all there to help others as well as themselves. Keeping that thought in mind helped me just carry on at a consistent 8:30 pace. (Pictured right: Best feeling, seeing friends Katie Wall, David Wall and their daughters Flo and Ruby at mile 25 of the run!)11096611_10206099762990075_1531728327144033367_n

(Pictured left: Angela Coulombe at the finish line of the Virgin Money London Marathon, April 26, 2015.) Of course, the best feeling, though, is when you finish the run, you cross that finish line, you achieve something you’ve been dreaming about, training religiously for, aiming for, and DOING IT; doing it for yourself, doing it for others, making a difference, being someone’s hope, hero and wonderwall, even if just for a day!

(Pictured below: Final finish time, with Worldwide Cancer Research team mate, Michael Harrison, with my VMLM 2015 medal out front of Westminster Abby, London.)

 

 

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Thank you WCSH6’s 207 for telling the story of “The Big 5 for Lyme”

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-05-2015-05-2008

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Four down, one to go… a quest that started in 2010….

In October 2007 I was diagnosed  with Lyme Disease. After month’s  of being ill, and knowing nothing about the disease, when I got the diagnosis my first word was, “Hallelujah!” I said that because I believed with a positive diagnosis, an Infectious Disease doctor telling me that with 3 weeks of doxycycline I’d be fine, that I would be fine in 3 weeks time. Again, I knew nothing about Lyme… I had all the symptoms and displayed the symptoms 3 months prior to the diagnosis. Again, I knew NOTHING about Lyme Disease and was just ecstatic to think I could / would once again feel like my old self prior!

Three weeks later, I was anything but fine. Unable to turn my head, lift my arms up over my head, lift my legs, dress myself, climb stairs, get in and out of bed unassisted, well… living fell very, very, very short of the sort of miracle I’d been hoping for or was told would happen.

Okay, I won’t go into all the details, but from that moment on, I was somewhat forced to face the disease on my own and figure it out. I was alone in my search for answers and treatments to get better. Angered, frustrated and feeling betrayed by the medical establishment, I was determined to get well. I spent two years in alternative treatment,  thinking about how much I wanted to play with my children (3 and 8 at the time) again, run again, work out again, and wondered if if would ever happen. Then I thought about what would be a great thing to do to help others with Lyme have hope. I thought about recovering enough to run a marathon, something I had never done before and considered to be quite a crazy thing to do (after all, people sometimes end up, well, dying from running marathons, right?!?). But, I had this goal in mind and by golly, I wasn’t going to rest until I at least did what I could to accomplish it, or discovered I was just never going to be physically fit enough to do it. I’m kind of like that; put the word “challenge” out front of almost anything and I can’t resist!

I’ll let WCSH6 tell the rest of the story. Watch the video below, or click here for the details:  http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/207/2015/04/22/angela-coloumbe-042215/26204945/

#NYCMarathon2010, #ChicagoMarathon2013, #BostonMarathon2014 #LondonMarathon2015, #IneedToGetIntoBerlin2016!

 

You never know where your run will take you… or who will notice

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-05-2015-05-2008

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Being named one of 15 of the most inspirational women who have run the Boston Marathon in Self Magazine

Back in 2012 my friend Karen Fortier and I had the chance to run with Joan Benoit Samuelson around Back Cove in Portland, ME. During the run, Joan told us a story about how people would notice first her running around the neighbourhood, which then others told her inspired them to run. When they started running, she in turn noticed. And so it goes. I first met Karen when I saw her running around our neighbourhood and I couldn’t help but think, when seeing her, how strong, confident, and fast she was. I wanted to train to run the NYC marathon post Lyme Disease. I had no idea how to run a marathon, but somehow thought Karen would know; she looked the type and looked like she had runner’s knowledge. I eventually plucked up the courage to ask her if she would run with me, and surprisingly to me, she said yes! And so started a running relationship that has lasted over the years and still endures; all based off what I noticed in my neighbourhood and what inspired me.

BostonStrong1MY Heroes – the women who bravely paved the way for me and made the world take notice

All along my journey to recover from Lyme Disease, a disease that left me a near invalid for 2 years,  there were heroes I looked up to along the way. There were runners such as Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run officially enter and finish the Boston Marathon in 1967, or Bobbi Gibb who ran the whole route, sin number, in 1966. Along with “Saint Joan” (okay, that’s just my name for Joan Benoit Samuelson), these were people I looked up to, not just for being female runners, but for being runners who laid the way for me to do what I so enjoy and what brought me back to health.

Honoured alongside my heroes

So, here I was in London, England, on Saturday, April 25, 2015, the day before I was set to run the 35th Annual Virgin Money London Marathon as part of my mission to run the “Big 5 for Lyme Disease”, getting ready for bed and just checking my phone for messages, when a Tweet came in from Lynn Crisci telling me I was included in an article titled “#BostonStrong: The Most Inspirational Women Who Have Run the Boston Marathonhttp://www.self.com/fitness/fitness-news/2015/04/boston-marathon-runners-female-inspiration/

BostonStrong2To say I was gobsmacked to make this discovery was putting it mildly. I didn’t know this article had come out,  yet the honour of being included with such amazing women was, and still is, nothing short of humbling. My recovery from Lyme was hard, but of course, my desire to recover was aided by a strong belief that I needed to give hope to others who had the disease, my desire to advocate for those still battling,  and by my wonderful family and friends. If I can inspire just one person, help one person, reach out to one person or make one positive change in someone’s life, what greater joy and sense of accomplishment could I gain from life?

As Joan Benoit said, people notice…

All the women featured in the article published by Self Magazine have inspired ME. I don’t really feel worthy of being listed along side them; they all really seem to have done something incredible, something that moved mountains, something that paved the way for others, something that made people stand up and take notice. But, in the fight against Lyme Disease and in the battle to fund research into it, find to find reliable Lyme tests, to find preventive measures and treatment for long-term, chronic Lyme, the Lyme community needs the world to take notice. And in that fight, I’m happy to have Self Magazine notice!