“I Am Being Challenged.”

There are just 50 days left until I run Boston and I am being challenged.

26.2 miles is a tall order for someone who just logged their longest run in over two months… at just 4.11 miles!

As many of you already know, I am still recovering from injuries sustained from a skydiving crash landing this summer.

I have a fractured wrist, fractured T12 in my thoracic spine, and multiple other compression injuries in my back which are negatively impacting my ability to run long distances. I may not be able to tolerate running marathons anymore, which will obviously impact my ultimate dream of qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon someday.

Therefore, I am determined to run the Virtual Boston Marathon LIVE and in person on the official course on Sunday, October 10th (the day before the official 2021 Boston Marathon), as it might very well be my final marathon.

I did initially look into applying for a charity bib but am unable to commit to raising nearly $10,000+ and I refuse to ask for that kind of money from my friends or family. That being said, it has been two years TODAY since I joined Team RWB and, although I am not as active with the group as I would like to be, I attribute this community and the people in it for saving my life. Without them, I might never have recognized or acknowledged the things that I was going through as P.T.S.D..

In my mind, P.T.S.D. applied only to people with active or retired military experience – but those same people are the ones who made me realize that my nearly 20 years in EMS as a Paramedic was very much the same. It is because of them that I sought help – and because I received (and continue to receive) that help, I am alive and well today.

Therefore, I am dedicating this, my final marathon, to Team RWB. I am fully prepared to run this course alone but, truth be told, I am hoping that some of the Bostonian Eagles might choose to show up and support me along the way.

There are just 50 Days left until I run Boston and I am being challenged… but I welcome this challenge and I am looking forward to it!

#ChasingBoston #ForTheLoveOfTheRun

Thanks and credit to my friend, Tony Garcia – the author of these inspirational words.

“It Doesn’t Get Any Worse.”

“This is some bullshit.”, I sighed in frustration while sitting on the floor of Dr. Amanda’s office earlier this afternoon. I was attempting, unsuccessfully, to squeeze a stress ball with my left hand – the next phase of PT for my fractured wrist.

“Here, try this.”, she said as she tossed me a rubber band and began to go through the motions of finger rehab exercises that will help restore mobility and strengthen my grip.

I can hardly believe this is my life right now.

Finger retractions and stress ball gripping???

This used to be the point where I would recant my previous workouts and proceed to tell you all that I “used to do” in order to obtain your empathy and understanding for my current situation. But, let’s be honest, none of that matters now – and if you care enough about me to read or follow my blog, you already understand and can most likely empathize with my current situation. Looking back, at this particular point in time, serves no positive purpose in my journey – and I refuse to be discouraged.

Remember what I said just 3 blog posts ago: “Love yourself for what you CAN do, rather than hate yourself for what you can’t.”

About an hour later, I was on a treadmill at my local gym giving my back another test run. Up until this point, I could only go about a mile before the muscle cramping and back spasms would become so intense that I was forced to walk. But, today, I managed to run a full 5K without stopping once to walk or stretch! It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t effortless – in fact, at 0.62 miles, I nearly called it quits because of the discomfort – but I stuck it out and you know what? It didn’t get any worse! In fact, it “stabilized” and the next 2 miles flew by as if I were running “an easy 10” again! A part of me wanted to keep going, to see how far I could go, but if Shep has taught me one thing when it comes to running, it’s to simply “BE PATIENT”. Don’t sacrifice form for distance and don’t push discomfort to the point of pain – and so I stopped.

I am proud of today’s run. This run gives me hope.

It reminds me of many other runs or races where I questioned myself or doubted myself entirely too much, only to exceed my expectations on race day. Like when I ran my first ultra marathon and my training had been derailed by tendinitis in my ankle, stalling my longest training run at just 16 miles. I did what I could, when I could and, on race day, I completed all 31.1 miles! I remember a sign posted along the course that day: “It hurts up to a point…but it doesn’t get any worse”. It was true for me on that day and I am hanging my hope on this fact now.

Am I crazy to plan on running 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston when I am currently only running 3+ miles on a treadmill and rehabbing a fractured arm and spine? Perhaps… but never have I ever run a race and then looked back and regretted it – no matter how fast or slow I crossed that Finish Line. I expect no less when my feet are shuffling their way down Boylston.

“It might not get any easier, but it doesn’t get any worse.”

Wisdom derived from Lt. J.C. Stone Ultra-Marathon, 2016

#ChasingBoston #ForTheLoveOfTheRun