Boston Marathon One Week Away: Tears and Air Drums

The race I write about all year long on this blog is here in one week. There have been many twists and turns over my training and even more over the last few weeks. A month ago, I took a "tumble" on a Saturday long run on the road in San Diego. I had traveled to Seattle for work that week and caught up with my family for Spring Break. As I took off that morning in San Diego, I was tired. I had "lazy legs" and as I entered downtown Ocean Beach an old buckled sidewalk section caught my toe and I fell...hard.

Fortunately, I took the brunt of the fall with the butts of my hands and a slight scuff on the knee. It torqued my back but I was happy I didn't land on my ribs or right shoulder which still ache at night from my accident. After a couple witnesses asked if I was alright, I got back up and headed out but struggled mightily with the intense tempo run. I had no energy, and my back continued to tighten up. I was scheduled to go long the following Sunday morning but I crawled out of bed like an old man. I emailed my running coach and told her I wasn't going to run that day. I headed down the hill in my rental car to pick up donuts for the house that hadn't woke up yet, and moving around just a bit gave me unsubstantiated confidence to give the long run a try. Not the smartest thing, but I ran twelve miles along the San Diego harbor at a 8:27 pace.
Advice from Meb

From San Diego, my wife and I went on to Palm Springs for the rest of our break. We focused on getting rest and spent a lot of time by the pool. I continued my Boston Marathon training and the back started to feel better as the week went on. Friday, we had a long ride in the car to the airport before flying home; three hours in the car, three hours on a plane, then an hour in a car. Things were starting to tighten up again Friday night, and I woke up Saturday morning back in Denver with a twenty mile simulated Boston run. The pain in my back had migrated to my right hip. I quite often go ahead with a run even when my body is slightly tweaked thinking, it will loosen up.
Hard miles in Palm Springs

This was not the case and my hip was wretched in pain by the end of the run. Since then, I've been the chiropractor, massage therapist, and running physical therapist...multiple times. The pain was not going away, and panic started to set in. I ran twelve the following Saturday (after the 20) on March 29th. Brutal. It was not happy. The following weekend, I opted for a long bike ride (April 5th.) Same outcome. At this point, I started taking two days off at a time and figured, this is basically a three week taper. Heal that hip. My moods swung wildly (translation: grumpy.)

Last week, I tuned into Runner's World, #ChatRW with Meb Keflezighi. I knew the answer, but I asked anyway, "what do i do?" "PT, Stim, and Rest." I continued to listen to Meb and my coach. With the hip feeling slightly better, I went out last Tuesday (April 7th.) Crappy run, wonky hip, and same outcome. I went to the chiropractor again on Wednesday for adjustment, stim, and ice packs. My hip was still purple from the physical therapist that dug down to the bone around the hip and glute area. I took another rest day, then seemed to feel better than I had since the San Diego tumble. Despite Meb's advice, I wanted one decent length run before Boston. Even though I'd already logged over 700 training miles, "mind games" messed with me and I didn't want to lose the endurance I'd built up for this race.
Leaving the "air drums" studio

On Saturday (4/11,) I laced up my new slightly broken in Adidas Ultraboost and despite the nice weather in Denver, I took it indoors to the treadmill for an eight mile run. (Don't be a treadmill hater.) I wanted the softer landing of the treadmill. The hip felt loose. As I started into the miles, my energy felt fantastic. I was certainly rested so that likely had something to do with it. A mere 2-3 miles into it, I realized my hip was better. I started to become reflective and thought of how far I'd come since my accident in July. I started to realize, my training was done, and that barring any further setbacks, I'll be racing in my fifth Boston Marathon. I got a little choked up...tears welled up. Not because my hip hurt, but because I was happy. My worst fear from my accident was that I wouldn't be able to return to the sport I loved. I realized I was back. Tears didn't advance beyond watery eyes, and likely motivated by my new iPod and playlist, I turned the music up, and went into "full on air drums."

Yes, I was "that guy" at the gym who was doing air drums. I didn't care. I went out for an anniversary dinner with my wife that night at Flemings. The steak was fantastic, the wine was even better, and I was with the woman I love who'd help nurse me back to health and dealt with all my ugly mood swings getting me back to this place. My ribs still hurt at night when I sleep on my right side, so I simply roll over. The good news was that when I woke up on Sunday, my hip didn't hurt.

Seven days to Boston at this point, and only three nights left in my own bed before I head to "beantown." Bad hip, bad ribs, sore shoulder. Don't count me out.


  1. Glad to hear your feeling better and I hope you continue healing as quickly as possible..Have an amazing Boston experience


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