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.