Archive for April 15, 2013

The Boston Marathon will never be the same, but for the families of the two people who were killed and the dozens who were injured at the finish line on Boylston Street – their lives are forever changed.

I can remember the first time I turned onto Boylston Street running perhaps the greatest 3/10 of a mile in road racing for Dom back in 2010.  Enjoying the spotlight, the rockstar treatment as spectators lined the street and yelled encouragement.  Those spectators make the pain that has manifested itself over the last 26 miles fade to the recesses of your mind and for at least a few moments, you feel whole again.

Those cheers fuel runners on when everything in their mind and bodies is screaming at them to stop.

It should be a celebration for so many.  Not only for the runners themselves, but for the families of those runners who put up with all the lunacy that goes along with training for an event like Boston.

The early nights to sleep.  The earlier alarm clocks on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Missing out on “fun things” as runners are preparing for their training runs and especially those 20 mile+ training runs.

I think of the marathons I’ve run to date and Dawn has been there at the finish line of every last one of them.

Waiting there patiently for me to finish.  Hoping to see me make the final turn and speed toward the finish line.  Never once did we ever worry about her safety or that of Landry who was at the finish line in Austin, New York and Boston in her first 2 years on the planet.

So today we are faced with a new reality.  Just as we were after 9/11.

It is times like these when you know making proclamations is a fools errand.  I’m going to run again.  Heck, I’m going to run tomorrow morning.

I’m going to race again and I’m going to run marathons again.  Boston III?  New York II?  Chicago?  Berlin?  All races that I pondered either making a return to or running for the first time such as Chicago or Berlin.  I’m just not sure that I want to put my loved ones in situations like that going forward.

It is a shame as I know that changing the way that you live your life after moments like these are exactly what terrorists want.  They want to create fear and chaos.  They want to strip away of freedom.  Rob us of those experiences.

As much as I don’t want to let that happen, or contribute to that response to what happened today in Boston – as a Husband and a Dad I need to take the long view here and make sure that I am making the right decisions that are best for everyone.  Boston is more than likely no longer in my future – which is truly sad.

For those families effected by the events of this afternoon – my heart goes out to you.  I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers here in Austin and tonight Landry will add you to her list of people she asks God to bless before drifting off to sleep in her big-girl bed.

As for the cowardly pieces of human garbage that are responsible for what took place today in Boston – I hope you get everything coming to you.  Karma is a bitch and I hope that it rains down on you with furious vengeance.  I wouldn’t waste a squirt of piss on you if you were on fire standing in front of me.

One of the, if not the, most celebrated foot races on the planet is happening right now while I sit here in Austin, TX half a country away from where all the “action” is this morning.  It’s funny how things change as in 2010 and 2012 I was mixing it up out there, fighting the good fight from Hopkinton to Boston.  The first year I ran Boston I had a second marathon looming just 13 days later running for Dom and his battle against cancer.

Last year the marathon Gods had a little bit of fun with us dropping 87 degree temperatures on race day and we simply trotted it in along the storied course.  Never really “racing”, just hanging tough in survival mode and gutting out a very pedestrian performance, but one that given the conditions on the course were just fine with me.

After finishing the race last year I think that I finally got “Boston” out of my system.

It’s an amazing event, attracting fabulous runners from all over the world and I am very proud to have been a part of the race not only once but twice.  But right now my focus is on more personal, measurable goals.  It is not important to me where I run my next marathon or next 2,3 or 5 – but how I run them.

I want to be fit, focused and fearless.  I want to prepare in such a way that I am in position to maximize every bit of my ability and channel it into a one-day performance where I peak for 180 minutes (or hopefully less) of racing.

Steamtown, Austin, CIM, Charleston, SC – the destination doesn’t really matter it is all about the journey.  A healthy outlook for a lot of things – racing aside.

This morning two runners who I have a ton of respect for are having a very different Boston Marathon Monday.

One is having surgery to address a nerve issue he has struggled with in his foot for well over a year and a half.  He is one of my best runner-buddies here in Austin and I have missed seeing him at runs and races over the last year+.  Although before his injury the only thing I saw of him at races quite often was the back of his shirt.  Brendon has a long history of thumping me pretty soundly in most local races in our age group.  But seeing him struggle with injury and knowing the lengths he is willing to go to get out there running healthy has been inspiring.

Physical Therapy, Active Release Therapy, Rest, Rehab, Acupuncture (seriously) – I’m pretty sure Brendon prayed to various tribal lords and even tried voodoo and witchcraft to get healthy.

If his surgery goes as expected, Brendon will be back to training in about 8 weeks and hopefully he and I can wage a few epic battles this fall and winter as Brendon 2.0 takes on Joe 3.0 as a pair of aging 46-year-old top age groupers.

I also thought about my friend Richard Blalock from Charleston, SC who is actually battling it out on the course today in Boston.  Richard a life-long runner who suffered an unfortunate accident when he was a young boy had a deteriorating condition that was making it impossible for him to run.

After exhausting ever method and treatment possible, Richard missed the sport so much that he had elective amputation so that he would be able to run again with a prosthetic leg.  Yep.  Elective surgery to remove the lower half of his leg so that he could run again.

Richard today is running Boston as a 60 year-old amputee runner – you can read about his journey at – http://iiagdtr.blogspot.com/

IIAGDTR stands for – It is a good day to run.

Yes it is Richard – congratulations on making it all the way back and to the grandest stage in the sport for an amateur runner.

So on Boston Monday – this everyman runner from Austin Texas is spending some time not thinking about my own journeys from Commonwealth Ave. to Hereford Street to Boylston Street.  But of a couple of friends who I wish the best for and hope that they are able to stay out there doing the best that they can as long as they want to.

In the end, that’s what it’s all about.  Fast or slow, it hurts just the same.  It’s just important to be out there giving your all and trying your best.

I’m going to remember that on October 13th up in Scranton, PA.  I have a feeling that is going to be a special morning.