Sunday, March 25, 2012

Light at the end of the tunnel.....

First, the warning.....this might be a bit of a long post.  Nothing that new from me in that regard, particularly when it's been a week since my last post.....meaning I've probably got a lot to say.  So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and I hope you'll enjoy my latest installment!

As you already know, I don't deal well with being on the shelf........and this past week after running the Half of Quincy (btw, I LOVE the picture...probably one of the better pics of me after 11 miles!) has been difficult for me to deal with.  Mentally, I could wrap my brain around the fact that I needed to take a little time off to allow my sketchy tendon issue to resolve itself, but it was the emotional side of things that gave me fits.  The frustration of getting this close to my date with the Boston Marathon and not really being able to run was much more powerful and hit me harder than I could have imagined.  My mood was not at all improved by having to deal with probably the greatest week of springtime weather we've ever had here in Boston....I'm not sure how many records were set for high temps, but it was in the 70's and 80's every day here last week.  While it's at the high end for running a marathon, it's probably my most favorite temperature range for all of my shorter (week-day) runs, so as each perfect day unfolded without me out there to enjoy it, my funk deepened.......

But on Friday afternoon, things started to look up...........when I opened up my mailbox to find this waiting for me: the BAA had already sent out an email alerting us to the fact that we should be expecting this in the mail soon.  But it's one thing to read about it.....and quite another thing to have it actually jump out of your mailbox, give you a big hug and a kiss and tell you "here I me up and just TRY NOT TO GET EXCITED!!!!!".

So even though I still hadn't run since Sunday, I was reminded once again of the adventure that's waiting for me in 3 short weeks.  And if I wasn't already excited enough, as I tore into the packet, I came across this which, I must admit, caused me to pause to regroup my emotions.....

I already knew what my number was going to be, as that information has been available on the BAA website for a few days already, but actually seeing the pickup card......well, again, it's all about this dream actually coming into focus and the dawning realization that I'm actually going to be running the Boston Marathon on April I've said before, every day, it just keeps getting "realer and realer" (I know.....forgive my bad English, but I'm a Social Studies teacher!  LOL).

It didn't make my tendon feel any better, but it sure put my mind into a much better place.

Yesterday was a bit of a tough day, as my teammates were out on the course, putting in their last long run, going from Framingham into Boston (20-21 miles), and I wasn't joining them.  Since I started running in 2008, this was the longest I'd gone without running without being sick, so I remained hopeful that the rest would eventually start to take hold.  I still could feel some twinges in my right foot and as long as it felt different from my left foot, I wasn't going to try it, so this wasn't going to be a running day.  Instead, we drove into Boston to visit the New Balance Factory Outlet Store in Brighton, as they were having a 30% off sale (with the provision that you bring in gently-used athletic shoes to donate).  As we've got LOTS of athletic shoes here at Fine Manor, that wasn't going to be a problem.  The donation allowed me to pick up a new pair of 860's (my everyday training shoe) for $35 and a SWEET pair of 890's (super light.....can't wait to run a 5k in them!) for $50.  From there, it was off to visit my parents for lunch (from the Cheesecake Factory....yum yum!) and then back home, as Ben had a sleepover to get to.  That meant it was the ever-rare and ultra-valuable Date Night for Barb and I, and we were going to make the most of it!

Dinner was casual, at the British Beer Company, and then off to see "The Hunger Games" at the local googol-plex........REALLY enjoyed the movie (in spite of having read the book), but mostly just really enjoyed the company of my lovely wife without interruption.  Don't get my wrong....I love my son more than life itself, but every now and then, it's nice to be able to remember what it's like to be with the other person responsible for that life, and to be able to reconnect with the love of my life without hearing "MOMMY" every 5 seconds.....

When I woke up this morning, I reflexively flexed my ankles and knees, getting those first cracks out of the way......when I noticed that manipulating my right ankle didn't produce any unusual (but over the last 2 weeks, all too usual!) twinges.  I worked it through a complete range of motion....left...right.....up....down.....round and around.......and it felt fine!

Needless to say, it was better than Zoloft....or whatever mood-elevator you like!  I had no plans to run today, so I didn't......and my schedule this week will make it difficult to get out on the road until Tuesday at the earliest, but that's ok.  I don't think another day or two now is going to make much of a difference, but I know that I'm going to be able to try again soon.  The way I was looking at it, as long as I could get out ONCE before the Marathon, I'd be ok.  Now it looks like I might be able to do more than that, but I'm definitely not going to push it......again, my sole focus has been April 16th and that's not about to change any time soon.  It just sets my mind at ease that while the issue may not be completely gone, it's at least starting to subside!

Tomorrow evening, I'm heading into Boston to attend the BAA's Marathon's a Q&A session with experts about everything Marathon-related.  Even though I've already run a marathon, this is the BIG ONE, so I'm still very much in "sponge mode", just soaking up any and all information I can.

To all of you who've been so supportive of me throughout this whole process (particularly this past week!), I can't thank you enough.  Even though we haven't met, I still consider you friends and feel lucky to know all of you.  You're the best!!!

So I hope to have good things to report this week........and I wish all of you a terrific week ahead!


  1. Great news! I hope you continue to be pain free as you finish out your training for the BIG ONE!

    I love that you had date night with your wife...there is something extra special about those moments now. I'm planning to see the movie some day - just finished the book today and loved it! Maybe it was the tough chick protagonist??

  2. Crossing my fingers that you get TOTALLY pain free.

    I hope you have great weather for Boston!

  3. 3 Weeks away! I bet it feels "realer" everyday. I'm excited for you!

    I know all too well how good it feels to spend some alone time with the wife. We have 3 kids. It's hard to get that alone time, but it feel extra special when you do.

    Is the sale at the NB Outlet still going on?? I didn't know about this :(

  4. Pain free is great news!! Cannot believe it's just 3 weeks away!

    It's important to get those date nights in! I'm really looking forward to seeing that movie - finishing book 3 now.

  5. Much love and support sent your way!!

  6. 3 weeks! So excited for you!

    and date nights are the best :)

  7. I couldn't be happier for you Bill...and so glad that the foot is starting to behave. Coming off an injury that sidelines you for a bit is always nice, like opening a window to a beautiful day with sunshine, gentle breezes, and birds singing. I hope your first "trial run" goes well. This is going to be a great event for you, and I'm wishing you all the best !

    1. thanks, man.......the operative word there is "starting"......I don't think for a minute that the problem is gone, but it is starting to feel more normal again. I'm trying to not get my hopes up, but am curious what will happen once I actually go for a run. Worst comes to worst, I'll just shut it down until the marathon, and then just deal whatever happens.

  8. Sounds like race day is shaping up the way its supposed to! And that marathon clinic sounds really interesting!! i wonder what kind of insights they will have!

    1. That's my hope, doubt I'll be blogging about it soon!

  9. I am so excited for you for getting your Boston packet pickup info. while I will never run Boston, my husband did 2 years ago and I can remember his excitement when he got his. Glad to hear your injury is hopefully starting to get better. Fingers crossed you will feel gret by race day!