A couple of weeks ago, I was traveling with an engineer I had recently hired to Philadelphia.  After boarding, I was looking through my schedule for the week and realized that she and I had a scheduled one on one meeting later in the week.  Since there was plenty of open seating in the plane, I quickly texted her to see if she was interested in having the one on one during the 1 hour flight.  She agreed and promptly moved next to me on the plane.  We discussed the concept of ‘Firsts’.  This was her first business trip.  This was my and her first in flight formal one on one meeting.  We continued to discuss this concept each time either of us recognized another ‘first’ during the two day trip.  She had her ‘first’ business dinner later that evening with the company we were visiting.  It occurred to me then and again today how memorable ‘firsts’ can be if you take note of them.  Yesterday I had a ‘first’ of my own.

You may have heard that back in June, I had my first DNF (did not finish) in a race due to a torn calf muscle.  I am not including the Boston Marathon as that was not a DNF in my opinion it was a WATF (wasn’t allowed to finish, i guess it was also a WTF :-)).  It followed with my first ever 10-week stretch of no running due to injury.  In preparation for this race, I organized a fund raiser (previous post) for ‘Wylder’s Research Project‘ where people donated $5 and a song to my race day playlist.  People from all over the country donated songs and it was a wonderful fund raiser.  Unfortunately, my 24 hour race turned into a 6 hour race and so went my opportunity to listen to many of the donated songs.

I am now fully healed and have been back running for about 3 weeks.  Yesterday, I decided last minute to bring my iPod and listen to the race day play list during the run.  For the first time this summer, I was able to experience the magic of being on the trail.  Every one of those songs gave me energy.  I felt like I could run forever.  My sister Kristin donated “Every Little Step – Bobby Brown“.  I used to dance in my kitchen back in the day showing off my ability to do the  ‘running man‘ or what we affectionately called the ‘bobby brown’.  Then came “Mack the Knife” which brought me back to my karaoke days.


Then came “I am a Warrior – Patty Smyth“, a song many people donated in honor of Wylder and is on the playlist many times….awesome.    Song after song, a new story came to mind, a thought of the person who donated it, and an incredible boost of energy.

What I realized, for the ‘first’ time, is that this playlist was not just about race day; it is an opportunity any day to allow every person who was involved with Wylder’s Research Project to get in my head and join me for a run.   I suspect that many of the Running for Rare Diseases team will be using the PlayList fund raiser idea (an idea from Dan – team member 2013) for the upcoming Boston Marathon.  My recommendation is to not wait for April 21, 2014 (marathon day).  Get the playlists started early and experience the energy during your training.  It is magical.

I haven’t quite figured out when I will use this particular playlist for the 100 mile goal race but rest assured that it is prepared, now in use, and ready to go when that day arrives, when Wylder and I will get it done! ….stay tuned!

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2 comments on “Firsts…
  1. Annemarie says:

    “Awesome” was the first word that came to mind when I read this. The next word was “inspired”. Phil, you and your running team are both.

  2. Phil says:

    Thank you Annmarie!!! Funny, while we are on the ‘Firsts’ theme, I was just running at Mill Pond continuing to listen to the 100M playlist when I came upon 3 women on horses. It seemed as though the last rider was pulling over to let me pass. As I started to pass she had just realized that I was there. The horse had decided to stop and take care of business ‘projectile style’ (sorry for the visual). Let’s just say she and I were both surprised!!!! Firsts’ come in many forms….. sometime projectile :-).

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Archive of posts from Marathon runners dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of people with serious disease.