Monday, April 20, 2009

Boston Marathon

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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:

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