Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#WednesdayWisdom: Runner's Know How to Roll

It's now three weeks in my latest calf-length walking boot and I'm on my third trip. I have learned that crutches and travel do not mix, so I've upgraded to a knee scooter. Yes, that's how I roll...

Friday, June 3, 2016

Seeking Boston Marathon Social Media Vacation

"Vacation...all I ever wanted...vacation, had to get away."
(GoGo's "Vacation")

Please don't take it personal, but I'm taking a brief break from the running social media world. Hard to post and click and tweet about running when you're going through your fourth injury layoff in two years. I promise to work hard to return to running and these pages. In the meantime, if you miss me, feel free to send me a postcard at ty@seekingbostonmarathon.com. Going "cold turkey" and seeing if I can refocus and recharge without my blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

And don't forget, you can vote DAILY for me and my run buddy Liam in the Runner's World Cover Search contest HERE.
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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Planet Bullshit

Self-doubt and self-pity are two traits that are unbecoming of an endurance runner, but I have them both right now. One week ago, I had my first competitive race in nearly eight months in the Ft. Collins triathlon. Another great chapter in my (don't call it a comeback) comeback trail. Trail.."F that" word and I'm not even sure I want to say excuse the french. I podiumed in the race, second in my age group, and the best part was I didn't feel sore that evening. All was grand. The race was on Sunday and I headed out the door Monday for work and would join my wife for a little time off in Sonoma.
My first podium in my first competitive race in nearly eight months

I'll blame Marriott for the lousy night of sleep last Friday night. For the second night in a row, I didn't get any sleep with what felt like a kids soccer game going on at all hours of the night through the thin ceiling and floor--it sounded like they were in my room. Perhaps I should blame the guy I stopped earlier on Friday asking about run trails around Sonoma. He said the bike path was short, but at the edge of town above the cemetery, there was a switchback trail going up the hill with a some great views. He mumbled something about nearly twisting an ankle. I should have listened.

Top of the trail that ended my '16 season
Almost near the top, the terrain was quite rugged. I was not going fast, but I wasn't walking either. I planted my left foot and it rolled awkwardly to the left. I heard a pop, and pain immediately rushed to the side of my left foot. Same foot that I just got done rehabilitating with a stress fracture. I went a few more strides then realized this was not good. I called my wife from the top of the trail and asked her to pick me up. I took a wrong turn and ironically walked through the cemetery to find my way back to the trail head. 

The rest of the short ugly story was an unplanned trip to the urgent care for x-rays. By the time we got there, the egg-sized knot was morphing into a swollen foot. Not a surprise, the physician's assistant came back with crutches and a diagnosis of a non-displaced fracture proximal aspect of the fifth metatarsal. At this point, I think my wife was ready to trade me in. This would be the third summer in a row of dealing with "Mr. Grumpy" with a season-ending injury.

I rallied and hobbled around Sonoma the rest of the weekend and made the most of it, but all the ugly feelings were starting to creep in; doubt, pity, depression. We had phenomenal meals, rested by the pool, and indulged in some great wine. I felt I "covered it up" pretty well, but my wife knows me too well. It wasn't fair to her. She needed this trip...almost more than I did. Sorry honey. I will make it up to you.
Acting like the broken foot doesn't both me overlooking San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

Arriving back into town, I went to my normal orthopedic surgeon; Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver. Jeremy walked in with almost a sad look on his face as he knows how hard I battled the last two years to get back to running and racing. "What have you done now?," he asked. Upon review of the x-ray, he had me in "full on" panic talking potential surgery. The only good luck I had was with the holiday weekend, their foot specialist was in and able to consult my x-ray. No surgery--whew!, but another 6-8 weeks in a boot and another race season shot. The least of my worries is that I deferred the NYC Marathon last year with my stress fracture. I did the quick calendar math, and there's no way I'll be able to rehab and get to New York City. #FUBAR

I know I have perhaps inspired others that have battled stress fractures, torn hip labrums, or perhaps come back from a serious bike accident as I have, but my mental tank is empty. I'm really having a hard time putting a positive spin on this one. Who the F did I piss off in the runinverse? I question if I have the mental strength to do this once again while trying to be clever and funny and entertaining on these pages. Over the weekend, I had serious thoughts of shutting down Seeking Boston Marathon. What's the point of tweeting and Facebooking about running, when I'm back on the donut (or do NOT run) team? Somebody please slap me, or tell me this is some cruel nightmare that I'll wake up from.

And don't forget, you can vote DAILY for me and my run buddy Liam in the Runner's World Cover Search contest HERE.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Don't Call it a Comeback: Training Week in Review

Another video blog update from yours truly. For some reason, a good friend told me that I shouldn't call my comeback a comeback...perhaps because I never left, but I did. Regardless, here's my last week's training update from the video machine of Seeking Boston Marathon.


And don't forget, you can vote DAILY for me and my run buddy Liam in the Runner's World Cover Search contest HERE.
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Friday, May 13, 2016

Vote for Ty in the #RWCoverSearchContest

One of my online run buddies made it to the finals last year in the Runner's World Cover Search. I thought it was a novel idea to profile a mere mortal runner on the cover versus the usual elites (or models) that grace their publication. The stories of the finalists all had some inspirational tale. While there are some far-more interesting and deserving individuals, I figured, why not "make a run at it myself." My story is a bit unconventional as I was asked to create a hashtag to describe myself and I chose, #improbableBQrunner.  I also figured I would use it as a platform to talk about one of my run-related passions and that is the IRun4Michael organization. IR4 essentially matches up runners with individuals with typically severe health or disability issues who can't run. I've been matched up with Liam for a year now. Liam suffers from hydrocephalous, is blind, and has degenerative bone issues so he will never run. I run for Liam. My story about Liam and how you can become a run buddy is HERE.
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If you could, please take a moment today and vote for Liam (and I) in the Runner's World 2016 Cover Search Contest. You can vote HERE daily, and voting is open for another 68 days as of this writing. 

My bio as listed on Runner's World;

I like to consider myself the most unlikely of marathon runners. When I was thirteen, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis—a form of arthritis. I was embarrassed to be the last kid that completed the lap around the baseball field. I put sports on hold for several years and even made fun (in jest) of my friends in high school on the cross country team. In 2000, I was going through some life changes and decided to “get in shape.” I found the treadmill in the gym and became addicted to fitness. With my (AS) under control, I quickly discovered that they had races for adults and got hooked. In 2007, I got the “bug” to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon. It became my passion and obsession. I finally qualified for Boston and ran in 2010 while raising money for Leukemia. I have also raised money for the Arthritis Foundation, and for lung cancer research. Feeling fortunate that I’m able to run, I’ve decided to “give back” and run for my buddy Liam through the Irun4Michael charity. Liam suffers from hydrocephalous, is blind, and has degenerative bone issues so he will never run. I run for Liam.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mixed Emotions on My First 2016 Podium

I'm not even sure where to begin. Perhaps to start with a question, "is there ever an asterisk on a podium finish?"

Let's back up a minute. I realized last week that I hadn't pinned a bib to a singlet in nearly eight months. I literally kept counting the months on my hand thinking, "this can't be right." Sure enough, my last race was last September at the Highlands Ranch Half Marathon. That was supposed to be a tune-up race prior to the New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015. The foot stress fracture phone call a week before New York, put that and my foot on ice.

Since then; it's been the walking boot, the time off, the physical therapy, the strength work and lots of swimming and biking. Perhaps being somewhat superstitious, I've been a bit quiet about my "don't call it a comeback" with respect to running. I finally decided, I need to put my "big boy pants on" and "shake the rust off" with a 5k.

Start of the 2015 Girls on the Run 5k
In parallel, my college-aged daughter has started to run more and asked if we could run a race together. My answer was an emphatic "for sure!" We talked about doing the infamous Bolder Boulder Memorial weekend, but as usual, I was going to be out of town. We settled on the Girls on the Run 5k in Denver. Her sorority is one of the race and volunteer sponsors and she's helped out the last three years. Last year, I "crashed the party," and helped fill water cups in the rain for the race.

For starters, Girls on the Run is a fantastic organization promoting fitness and introducing run racing to (largely) young girls. Their mission is to "inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running."

Sounds perfect, but this is where the story breaks down a bit. Above-said daughter said she wasn't going to run this year, but volunteer again. Nevertheless, she lives out of town, and I wanted to see her. Her youngest brother needed a tune-up 5k for his upcoming triathlon season and his manager (aka Mom) signed him up for the Girls on the Run 5K Denver.

Son came in first, daughter and second place dad.
I debated back and forth between volunteering again, or racing with my son (and daughter handing me water from the water station.) I went to the race website the night before and the image of the race is inspiring, but there's a sea of young girls lined up for last year's race and ONE GUY with his fingers on his Garmin ready to bolt out of the start.

This is a good time to point out, I've tried to chose my words carefully writing this post without sounding like a complete jerk.

I decided to race based on the following; my daughter will be there, my son will be there, and I need to get over my fear of racing again. I figure all the right reasons and just go out and have fun. My son and I line up for the race and it looks just like the race website. Ton's of excited little girls; some racing with mom, or dad, or their volunteer coaches. This definitely (no offense intended at all) had the makings of a 5k run, not a 5k race. My son and I didn't even inch up to the front of the start leaving probably 50-75 young girls ahead of us.

Once the gun went off, I forgot it was a run, or that there were a lot of young girls perhaps racing for the first time. I careened off to the side and slowly moved to the front of the pack. There was definitely some rust as my breathing was off, I was sore, and overall felt pretty sluggish. My son jumped out front around the one mile mark and I slowly slid from sixth, to fifth, to third by mile 2.5-3. The other adult runner that was racing in the second spot missed a turn and ran straight through a row of cones.

I was thinking, forget that I'm beating 2,000 little girls, this might be the highest placement I've ever had in a race. In the last three tenths of a mile, the guy that wandered off, had caught back up to me and passed me. He was (in a playful manner,) looking behind and slowing down and speeding up taunting me a bit. At that point, my race adrenaline kicked in, and I sprinted the last stretch towards the finish. Like some kind of idiot, I leaped across the finish line mats. Perhaps I was thinking of the Kentucky Derby that would happen later that day. Red Zinger wins by a nose!

In the end, I forgot who I was racing against, and was happy to have crossed my first finish line in eight months. I'm hoping there was no video as I think I did the "washing machine" and "Charlie Brown" dance. No, I wasn't gloating about being faster than the largely young girl entrants, but thrilled that I ran a race again. Son came in first, dad came in second. My highest overall placement in a race with my slowest 5k time in a long time, but a near-perfect day.



Catch my BibRavePro review on BibRave HERE.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Travel Tips for Runners

My day job (no...it's not running,) takes me all over the world which presents some fantastic running opportunities. Who could forgot the local Moscowvites mumbling "Americano" as I ran through "Red Square." While there are many trips that present great opportunity, there's quite a few more that present challenges. With that, my VBLOG on "Travel Tips for Runners" including the five things I keep in my travel bag at all times.