Sunday, January 8, 2012

Running Into 2012

My Boston training is now in the second block of workouts. So far I am very pleased with my progress, with few stinker runs, one of which was last Friday, and I have made headway against some of the things that conspire to derail my workouts. None of my previous marathons were completed without my slowing considerably in the final miles. The one race where I felt this would not happen due to my high mileage base an asthma attack felled me, the first big one I had had since I was a child.

21st Century Technology - Running the Boston Marathon course on my NordicTrack Treadmill

With my history, there is no way I have supreme confidence Boston will not administer an austere test on April 16. I have learned many lessons, not the least of which marathon day, like life, will likely not be the one you planned for or expected. So you plan and train and leave it to destiny, fate, or luck as to what the result will be. What you cannot expect is for this holy trinity to assist you in any way, shape, or form if you have not sold your soul to the training. Without that, you are not going to get there from here.

My training is based on a Jack Daniel's plan, the one that produced my able-bodied PR way back in 1997. On that day I ran well until I experienced some cramping that ended my dream of qualifying for Boston.

How life's colors shimmer and change.


Next weekend I am running the half marathon at the Charleston Marathon. Jennifer has had bronchitis and will likely run the 5k if she has recovered. Good friends Kelly and Brian Luckett will be here running the marathon. Long-time friend Joan D'Alonzo - all the way back to the Runner's World Compuserve forum -  will be coming from her new home in West Virginia. 

I'm sure a flood of memories will overtake me at this race. My marathon there last year took pitted me against many adversities; one after another and another. In looking back I could say I was tested...yes, something could have happened that would have stopped me in my tracks, but it did not. As long as I kept moving forward, no matter what the obstacle, I had to prove I would do it. And I did. Despite running - by far - my slowest marathon ever, I finished. 

When elitist athletes poo-poo the times of slower runners, I can attest in many cases, yes, they are slower, yet they display a toughness, grit, and determination many faster runners will never know. We are all runners, fast and slow, whole and broken. Out of many, one.

When I finished the Charleston Marathon I found I had qualified as a mobility impaired athlete for Boston. Even though I am training every day and often twice a day for this most historic race, part of me still cannot believe what I am going to do. I am going to be on the starting line for the 116th Boston Marathon. I am going to be there with some incredible athletes and friends, and truly, it will be a day like no other. I've had many days like that now, something I have been able see since landing on the other side of the fence.

From there to here
So yeah, I expect it to be an emotional, nostalgic day but I think it will be a celebration of what has been accomplished. Not just what I have done, but what so many people have done that allowed this miracle to happen. My surgeon, Dr. Blake Ohlson, and his team. The genuine, caring people at Roper St. Francis Hospital. Larry Wiley, my first prosthetist. My current CP Stephen Schulte and his forward-thinking team at ProCare. And last but first in my heart, my sweetness and light and wife, Jennifer. There are many others who do not know me at all yet prayed for and wished me well...the suppport goes into my heart and will carry me as I keep. moving.  forward.

The truth is we all must do the best we can, and depend on others to do the same. When any choose not to do this, we all suffer; when all choose to do all they can, then truly there is little we cannot overcome. Whining begets whining, and only whiners can tolerate that for very long because it validates their misery. This goes nowhere but down. 

We call that place hell.


Given my training schedule, I have not been able to blog as much as I'd like. Up at 4 or 5 am most weekday mornings to get in a workout before a 9 hour workday, then another workout that starts at 7:30 pm if I'm lucky, leaves little time for anything else other than showers, eating (on the run), and sleep. I am continuing my fund raising honoring our friend Ashley Kurpiel benefiting the IFOPA here. 

Often I feel I am not doing enough for this cause, that we are so close to bringing a drug to market that all we need is a benefactor who can end this disease for the Ashleys and Joshuas forever. Forever. Instead of a Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or this or that politician building monuments to themselves, they could do something eternal. They could help bring the end to FOP's destruction of bodies in our lifetime. I can say I very likely would have never known Ashley without my amputation, and on that level I have some understanding why others do not feel my passion for ending this disease.

So it us up to us to do great things. I believe we can do it. I believe we will do it. From running a marathon to helping others to do the same; from doing what we can to inspiring others to doing more than they could imagine.

I ask that you help us, all of us, here. And for that, I promise to give my all, here. April 16, 2012, the Boston Marathon. 

Together we will make the miracle routine; we will make the amazing seen every day.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your training has been going well! Mine has been so-so, but hopefully I've gotten enough long runs and hikes under my belt to get through the race without too much pain. See you soon!