Monday, May 18, 2015

You're Grounded

The one word that a pilot, teenager, and runner does not want to hear. "Grounded."

As I've been writing here, I had a tumble back in March in San Diego over a buckled section of sidewalk. Tumble sounds too gentle. I biffed it hard. It locked up my lower back, but I finished that Saturday run and went out again the next day to go long. It's hard to say if the hip was already weak from my accident last July, but the trip, tumble, and roll definitely triggered something "not right" in my right hip. The following Saturday wound up being my last long run before Boston and my hip was sore before I started the training run. The following four weeks up to the marathon itself, was a "back and forth" between short runs, aggravating the injury, and rest.

I tried to convince myself that the rest right before Boston would benefit me. I tried to convince myself that my hip didn't hurt, but it did. Two days before Boston, I had a three mile jog along the Charles River. It should have been an exuberant run, but the hip hurt and the energy was just not there. If you read my Boston Marathon race report, you know it was a challenge to say the least between the training setback, the hip, and the weather conditions.

Thinking that a couple weeks rest after Boston would take care of the hip wasn't happening. I haven't run since the marathon and finally decided I needed my orthopedic doc to have a closer look at it. Last week was the MRI on Monday, and consultation on Thursday.

You want the good news or the bad news?

Good news is no stress fracture. Bad news is I have my second torn labrum in eight months. I'd torn the labrum and separated my right shoulder (along with the four broken ribs and collapsed lung) in my crash last July. Further bad news is the Dr. said "no running." Good news? No surgery, but physical therapy which is the route I went with the shoulder.

I haven't dealt with this one very well. I think with the accident, I knew I had a long road to recovery, but I somehow put my head around the idea that it would take time.

I'm signed up for my first triathlon in early June. That's likely not happening. I start P.T. today. Yesterday was the hometown crowd favorite, Colfax Marathon. I didn't want to be around runners. Odd to type those words. I am trying to put a positive outlook on this, and I'm sure I'll get there, but I'm mentally down. I had worked so hard to get back to decent running shape and had a phenomenal confidence boosting twenty miler a few weeks before the hip thing popped up.

I try to keep this blog entertaining, upbeat, and sometimes funny. I'm not feeling any of those today.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Determination and the Boston Marathon

I'm two hours away from a consultation with my orthopedic surgeon on the hip that's hampered my running since a month before the Boston Marathon. I have not run since Boston due to the hip pain that I felt throughout the race.

Believe it or not, I haven't really looked at my MarathonFoto shots other than the one I posted shortly after the race with me draped in a space blanket. Perhaps being reflective, I looked at my shots and found my favorite part of the race; turning from Hereford onto Boylston. I'd tossed the space blanket just before the corner. I was not about to walk down Boylston, and despite being soaked to the bone, I didn't want my finish to be wrapped in a blanket.

If you look closely, you can see rain in the photo that looks like snowflakes. I would have gladly taken a light snowfall over rain and wind. Determination seemed to motivate my training coming off injury, and despite the outcome this afternoon, determination will likely define where I go from here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I Don't Like Mondays

Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
I want to shoot.
The whole day down.
(Sung to the the tune of Boomtown Rats, "I Don't Like Mondays.")

Monday, bah humbug. Two days away from "hump day," and five full calendar work days staring at me. Five days away from weekend running, or will it be? Nothing against Monday, but you're not as fun as Friday night, or Saturday. Yes, it's back to work, and on this particular day, I also have an MRI scheduled today.

That pain that started in California in my right hip a month out from the Boston Marathon has not gone away. The same hitch in my giddyup I had in the race itself. The same little nuisance that wiped out the last month of my training. It's not too bad, it only hurts when I run, after I run, and when I sit...especially those really comfortable airline seats I frequent. #FUBAR

Today is three weeks removed from the Boston Marathon, and I haven't run since the race. When rest didn't seem to dissipate the situation, I went in to see my "go to" ortho at Steadman Hawkins in Denver. Steadman Hawkins tends to the "world famous" athletes, but takes care of "regular Joes" like me too. The consultation last week lead to the MRI this afternoon, and results meeting Thursday this week. There are three possible things they might find; femoral acetabular impingment (FAI; which I've had before in my left hip,) torn labrum (similar injury I had to my shoulder in my accident,) and the worst of the three...rhymes with "breast tractor." I don't want to utter the actual words.

I have a positive outlook (or at least I try and tell myself that) on this. I have overcome a lot in the last year, and this too, I will figure out...but why did it have to be on Monday?

I would have got this post out sooner, but my internet was down...did I mention I don't like Mondays?

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Daughter's Speech

The only thing bloggers like more than writing about themselves is someone who they respect writes something about them. I have one daughter who has always been on a pedestal to her father. We take turns with our admiration. This week during a rough time on the road in my hotel room, I received an email from my sophomore daughter in college. She had something she wrote and delivered in her speech class on Thursday. This might be my proudest post yet to have graced the pages of Too awesome not to share.

26.2 miles. 26.2 miles of footsteps pounding on the ground. 26.2 miles of vital breathes to get to the finish line. 26.2 miles of time to accumulate, like the hand of the clock sweeping up moments as each second passes (metaphor) (repetition). Keep going, keep pushing, keep dreaming (parallelism). Running is Ty Godwin’s passion. Running is what gets him through the rough weeks and the long days. Running is what he lives for. My dad found his passion when he was 40 years old. He completed his first marathon in 3 hours and 42 minutes at the age of 45 in 2007. Ever since then, my dad started a popular running blog, competed in multiple triathlons, has ran 13 marathons, and has also ran in the prestigious Boston Marathon 5 times. All of these acts exemplify the passion he has for the sport, and if anything his passion amplifies his bravery, creativity, and courage.

Bravery. This past summer I received a phone call from my stepmom telling me my dad had been in a bike accident during his triathlon. I didn’t even think twice and sped to the hospital in Colorado Springs. I walked into the ER, and saw my hero laying on a table. Seeing the one person you look up to the most lying on a table, is like ripping the cape of off Superman (simile). Bravery. My dad broke four ribs and collapsed his lung. He was in the hospital for a total of 11 days. 11 days of pain. 11 days of embarrassment. 11 days of not fulfilling his passion. 11 days of not being a hero in his eyes (repetition). One night during his stay, a nurse overdosed him and he woke up on the verge of death all alone in a hospital bed. His oxygen level was at 50, when it’s normally supposed to be around 90.

Bravery. After 11 days, my hero was sent home with a bandaged cape and some pain meds. The next day, he took his first walk.

Creativity. My dad had an itch that he could not scratch. The doctor ordered no running for 8 long weeks. 8 weeks of being miserable. 8 weeks of not being able to do what he loved. 8 weeks without that runners high. 8 weeks of not feeling the earth pounding beneath his feet (repetition). Instead of dwelling on the what he couldn’t do, he focused on the could. Creativity. He began intense physical therapy and he researched ways and different exercises to build up his strength. He wanted to become the hero again. He wrote more blogposts on what it was like recovering to let his readers know about his progress. He whipped out the bright colored pencils and felt tipped markers for his blog to draw depictions of his experiences. Not only did he receive support from his family, but so many others encouraged him and were there for support. After two months of no running, he ran for the first time since his accident.

After a while of light running, my dad decided to start training for his 5th Boston Marathon. At first it was really hard. He was not as fast as he once was. He was trying so hard to get that superhero cape back on, but it kept falling off (personification). My dad is hard on himself. He did anything and everything he could to train. A couple weeks before the marathon, my dad injured his hip. As if the accident this summer wasn’t enough of a setback, now he had to deal with running 26.2 miles with an injured hip. He was in complete denial. He wasn’t going to let this one thing stop him from running in the Boston Marathon. Days leading up to the big race, he did a light mile run, and even then his hip was hurting, but he decided to stick with it. On Monday, April 20th, my dad completed his 5th Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 48 minutes.

Courage. It was his slowest race ever. He was beating himself up left and right. He was more disappointed in himself and definitely was his worst critic. I gave him a phone call that day and he kept saying how he “bombed it” and it was “his worst marathon ever”. See, this shocked me because, to me, this marathon was his best one. I told him on the phone, “Dad, I can barely run a mile, and you just ran 26.2”. I told him, “I was afraid you were never going to run again. The fact that you just ran a marathon 6 months after a huge accident and you ran with an injured hip, is an inspiration. You should be proud dad.” It took him a while to see it through my eyes, but soon enough he realized what an accomplishment this marathon was. Courage. Letters and emails were coming through his mailbox faster than the speed of light (metaphor). My dad, was an inspiration for anyone who had setbacks in their life. For anyone, who had their hero cape ripped off. For anyone, who said “I can’t”. Instead of saying, “I can’t”, my dad was the one that said “I can”.

26.2 miles of love beaming in all directions. 26.2 miles of pain, but each step closer to the finish line. 26.2 miles of support. 26.2 miles of running with the superhero cape flying in the wind. 26.2 more miles to add in to accomplishments. My dad will always be my hero. His passion for running amplifies his bravery, creativity, and courage and there will alway be 26.2 more miles in store for him (repetition).

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mike Rossi: The 2015 Boston Marathon Story That Won't Die

Okay. You don't know how much wrath I've endured with merely reporting that this story was developing in its third phase. I can't relate to the runner nor can I relate to poor Principal Marbury. I'm not comparing my stress to theirs, but I'm beginning to understand. Most of you cached the original post and others have labeled me a coward for pulling it down, but let me catch you up with things. For the bulletin board anonymous, I do know the difference between principle and Principal and unless I'm drinking wine, I know how to spell both.
First off, I make like 72 cents a month off my blog so you kind of get what you pay for. Yes, the internet jumps to conclusions, but so did Frank Reynolds on ABC when Reagan got shot and didn't have all the facts compiled and he didn't have social networking. Yes, I'm that old, and no, I'm not Frank Reynolds.

"Let's get it straight!"

What I do know is I've been dragged into this mess as I've become associated as the blogger that "broke the story." Um, no. I did not break the story. The bulletin boards were lit up like Clark Griswold's Christmas tree as it became a story about the validity of the original BQ. Supposed facts started piling in including photos and previous Athlinks race results.

I pulled the original post for four reasons; 1) This turned into an angry mob, and I wanted no part of it. 2) I have kids and so does the runner. I put myself in his shoes and regardless of his marathon times, his kids look up to him as mine do, (my son was also in Boston to see me run my fifth Boston seven months removed from the hospital), 3) A run publication dropped me from their community and quite frankly that hurt, and 4) I hear a whiff of a lawyer and unless he's settling my oil well proceedings I want no part of it. Other than that, it became a giant nuisance to my personal life so I again became sympathetic to their situations. The first two thirds of my post was recapping the story in already published facts. Once through what everybody already knew, I offered;

"I'll interject here that if...(he) ran a 3:11, I'll send him a commemorative pair of Brooks 2015 Boston Marathon "laaabstah" shoes (size 11.5) along with a sticker." 

I also offered a YouTube apology if this is all a big misunderstanding. Those offers still stand. I'll offer the written version early as this spun far out of control. I wrote about the woman who kissed the man in Wellesley and tried to track him down to find out he was married. His wife was a good sport at least in the press, but rumors are he's sleeping at his bowling buddy's house (note the sarcasm.) I also wrote about the gentleman who was the last finisher of the Boston Marathon who suffers from a muscular condition, Maickel Melamed. No one picked up either story with the fervor as this one. 

Maickel deserves a lot more ink than this one that should simply fade away. There are questions that remain unasked, but I'm not the one to ask them since Lehigh will and others far more qualified than I will ask them. Perhaps I crossed a line with my Cheech and Chong reference, but you should have known better after my "Fifty Shades of Marathon Grey" or "Why Triathlons Are Like Frat Houses" posts to consider the tone and accuracy of this 72 cent a month blogger. Sorry to any I've hurt or offended, but I will continue to write about the Boston Marathon all year long. It's my passion and I could not resist writing about this story the first time, and hoping it will be the last.


Move over Rosie Ruiz, you may have some competition from Mike Rossi. At least that's if you believe the runner bulletin board material.

There are some fantastic stories that came out of the 2015 Boston Marathon including Maickel Melamed from Venezuela who was the last one to complete the race in 20 hours suffering from a rare muscular condition. Then there's Mike Rossi.

Mike got his 15 minutes of fame by writing a letter to his children's high school principal in response to the letter he received from their Principal (left) regarding their "unexcused absences" due to attending dad's race at the 2015 Boston Marathon.

He wrote back that their experiences were invaluable with passages including;

"they learned about dedication, commitment, love...overcoming adversity"

"they watched their father overcome injury, bad weather...and many other achieve a personal goal."

Heartbreaking, passionate, I nearly formed a lump in my throat, and started to "tear up" (#Sarcasm). I also took my high school senior out of school for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see me race in Boston. His absences were unexcused (since Dad neglected to call until we were in Boston.) I felt the same way as Mike about pulling my son out of school. My story didn't go viral, nor did I go on television to defend my honor. Mine was a non-story as Mike's should have been. I too overcame injury, and felt fortunate to be at my fifth Boston Marathon.

People came out of the woodwork to defend this guy's position and how could the principal dare question the kids trip.

These are Mike's if he's a 3:11
The first curve in the story is that it sounds like the letter was merely a template sent out in these situations, not the cold, callous, and heartless letter that social media first made it out to be. Principal Rochelle Marbury's name and motivations were called into question and became vilified in the social media world prompting his son to post to Facebook with a "stop the madness" plea. Rochelle received hundreds of scathing emails, prank phone calls which brought tears to the woman who dedicated her life to education. Viral story part II.

Just when we thought this was a big misunderstanding blown way out of proportion, people started to look at bit closer at how Mike got to Boston in the first place. It seems that Mike has only been running for 27 months, and is a 47 year-old that ran a sizzling 3:11 at the Lehigh Valley Health Marathon in 2014. Impressive. Or was it? Conspiracy theorists start by pointing out that the race photo site only shows one photo of Mike...crossing the finish line. There were no timing mats throughout the course; just start and finish. This is starting to sound like Paul Ryan (POST HERE); the politician who claimed a sub three hour marathon.
I'll interject here that if Mike legitimately ran a 3:11, I'll send him a commemorative pair of Brooks 2015 Boston Marathon "laaabstah" shoes (size 11.5) along with a sticker.

Why do runners "smell blood in the water" and want answers? It also seems that none of Mike's previous races (5K and up) have any indication that he was capable of running a 3:11. He ran a 4:01 in Boston (due to injury,) and a 3:43 in the Philly Marathon which is more in line with his Athlinks previous race results. A 3:11 marathon is a 7:19 pace. Less than two months earlier, he ran a similar pace (7:13) a 5k. If he can maintain the same pace in a marathon that he has in a 5k, I'll eat my run hat, and issue a public apology on my YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube, he posted his 2015 Boston Marathon race recap on YouTube (I can't knock that as a blogger who's done it before) but it fundamentally comes across as some sappy shoe commercial about running or some guy that crawled out of a hospital bed (oh wait, that's my story,) to race Boston...or that he actually won the darn thing.

He shut his blog down to invite only (what blogger would do such a thing?,) still has his twitter account, and the bulletin boards (like and Runner's World) are lighting up over this. Just like the wrath poor principal Marbury received, Mike is now on the receiving end. Demands for answers; photos on the Lehigh course, his Garmin file from Lehigh, or even a long run prior to Lehigh that resembled anything close to this amazing leap in performance have gone unanswered as far as I know. I can get over the t-shirts idolizing Dad and Mike for running Boston...I see lot's of families that do that for a runner, but the YouTube video makes him look like a narcissist jerk. There was no story in the video (other than he ran Boston) but I'm afraid he's got a real story now.

I will quote the wise prophets Cheech and Chong, if it "looks like dogshit, smells like dogshit...must be dogshit." Or...I owe Mike a pair of Brooks.

About Me

My photo

Average guy w/ an above average appetite for marathon racing and triathlons. Ran my 5th Boston in '15. 3:21, 1:29, 19:21 PR;full/half/5K Opinions & wit are mine