Thursday, November 29, 2012

Seems to be the cool thing to favorite running shoes

Sneaker Report's list of The 100 Best Running Shoes of All Time has recently been making the rounds across the Twitter-verse, and several people have been weighing in with their opinions on the list, as well as their own personal favorites. Definitely some interesting choices on that list...some I'd agree with, and plenty I most certainly would not agree with, but hey, that's part of the fun of making your own list, right? Pete Larson just posted his list, so I figured, what the hey, I'll play.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Race Report: Philadelphia Marathon 2012

As some of you may know, I spent yesterday in Philly running the marathon (and if you don't know and are here via Google search looking for a course description, skip down a few paragraphs past the fluff...I'll get there). This is the second marathon I've done, and the first that wasn't a complete disaster (brought on by being the first 88 degree day of the spring and terrible pacing for my first marathon). Not somewhere I really expected to be given where I was last year at this time, but my friend Molly, who agreed to coach me, was convinced that my body would be better able to handle the high mileage and long tempos of marathon training than the fast intervals and tight turns of the track at this stage in the game, and considering her propensity for coming back from her own injuries faster than before, I figured I'd listen. So at some point in August, it became time to stop messing around and actually begin marathon training (which meant taking a week off first, but downtime is pretty necessary, you know). And now, about three months and nearly 1300 miles later, here's what I have to show.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Progress, Thanks, Hope

I have been relatively fortunate in that since 1999, I've only really suffered two running-related injuries, despite doing a boatload of stupid stuff, including, but not limited to, jumping from 30 mpw to 70 mpw freshman year, wearing shoes for 2000+ miles before replacing them, pacing 38 miles of Leadville off of 5K training, covering 45 miles of a 24 hour race also off of 5K training (which is where injury #1 came from), etc. However, the second injury, a tendon torn suddenly during a track workout during the summer of '10, was a doozy. Two years ago, I was in the midst of going from doctor to doctor, desperately searching for one who would tell me something other than "Your running is over." A year and a half ago, I finally found a podiatrist willing to operate. Nothing was guaranteed, as few things in life are, but he told me that he'd do what he could to at least allow me to do a bit of jogging pain-free. On 8/1/11, nearly a year after the original injury, I went under the knife. On 9/19/11, I began physical therapy, which originally consisted of nothing but range of motion exercises, because I was pretty much completely unable to move my foot. One year ago tomorrow, on 10/5/11, without telling my physical therapist (do as I say, not as I do!), I went for a "run," which was what I approximated to be about a tenth of a mile, probably at no faster than 15 minute per mile pace. When I got to the bottom of the "hill" in front of the house I was renting (which is less than a 1% grade), I turned around and walked back up, because I didn't have the strength to toe-off to get back up the hill. I was overjoyed to be able to "run," but was filled with uncertainty that I'd ever be "back," fears that haunted me for months and months during the time that I had dubbed my "comeback."

A year later, I've just finished off a 108 mile week, which was my fifth consecutive 100+ mile week and the last week before my taper for the Philly Marathon. My comeback's not done...not by a long shot. I still have places to go and goals to accomplish. But it's huge progress for which I'm infinitely grateful.

So I want to thank all of you who have supported me in any way through these past two years. They've been some of the most trying years of my life, and I appreciate all of you who have stuck with me and encouraged me through my journey back to running. Thank you. It would have been a lonely and most likely impossible road without you.

Finally, I want to offer some hope. It saddens me to know that there are people who still have yet to encounter that one doctor who will finally help, and that there are some who never will, whether because of insurance limitations, or their spirit finally being crushed, or some other reason. Keep fighting.
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