Monday, April 20, 2009

I never thought I'd be standing here:

Hopkinton?  That didn't seem possible.

I started training for Boston in late December...and felt good all through January as I improved my speed, endurance, and ability to run hills.  But in mid-February I injured my back and couldn't walk.  Even three s-l-o-w steps were painful.  More than three were impossible.

Friends asked, "How's your training going?" and I'd shake my head.  "Training?  I can't even walk!"

I tried massage.  Heat.  Cold.  Rest.  Nothing helped.  Instead of getting better, my back got worse.

Finally, after weeks of being unable to walk, I got lucky.  A gifted physical therapist identified the problem.  (My SI joint.  Who knew I had an SI joint?)  He yanked on my leg and straightened the SI joint, then showed me what I had to do to keep it in proper alignment.

He got me walking again.

But by then Boston was just five weeks away.

No one can train for Boston in five weeks. I knew that. But I went for a run anyway.

Just an easy jog on a nicely-cushioned dirt trail.  My back didn't complain.

So I did it again the next day.  Still no complaints from the back.

...maybe I could run.

My physical therapist told me I could train, if I was willing to quit at the first sign of pain.  You bet! I said.  But I'd lost six weeks. a time when other Boston-bound runners were tapering, I had to start running, building up from a base of zero. 

I went from nothing to 5K in a week...then to a half-marathon 2 weeks later...and decided I'd give Boston a shot.

So here I am at the start line:

As you can see, I've got a camera in my hand.  I don't want to miss a thing!  So for the next 26.2 miles I'll be taking pictures as I run.  (Yes, I take photos as I run.  I don't stop or slow down.  After all, I;m in a race!)  If you click on the center of the photo below, you can view my slideshow, and get a first-person experience of my 2009 Boston Marathon:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Race #5 in the Locorunning “Will Run For Beer” Series)

These are photos I took at the 2009 Great Bay Half Marathon in Newmarket, NH:

Early in February I suffered a back injury, which made it impossible for me to walk. For a number of weeks, I could not take more than a few, very slow, very painful steps.

Three weeks ago I was finally able to walk, so I put on my running shoes and went for a short run. Just a jog, really, for a third of a mile--but it was a start. In the last three weeks I built up my distance to six miles. So this half-marathon is a litmus test for me. If I can run 13.1 miles and feel okay afterwards, then I will enter the Boston Marathon. (Just two weeks away!) But if I can't finish, or if I'm limping afterwards, then Boston is out of the question.

So my goal today is not a particular time...but just to finish, without limping. I'm carrying a small camera as I run, and I take lots of pictures during the race. My goal is to give you a "runners-eye view" of my race experience.

(Yes, I take photos as I run. I don't stop or slow down. After all, I'm in a race!) If you click on the “Play” button in the center of the photo below, you can view my slideshow, and get a first-person experience of the 2009 Great Bay Half Marathon in Newmarket, NH:

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