I happened to show a friend at work the photo of the double amputee running Boston, and she said I should try to find out who he is, and send him the picture. Well, I did a little investigating, searching the Mobility Impaired list for Boston, and it turns out, he's Richard Whitehead. He ran that year at 3:02, and has since set the World Record at 2:45, and 1:14 for the half.
That is one tough dude.
Well, this is it, the week before Boston. Lots of time to think, not too much running. I feel like I am in a good place for my running. Although this has been one of the most lackadaisical training sessions which I have ever attempted, I have kept my weekly mileage decent, my speed workouts have been about as good as I have ever done, I had a PR last weekend in the Cheshire Med 5K after being up all night at work, and I had a solid 30K a couple weeks ago. Most of my running has been by myself in Buckland/Shelburne, or with Frank (the dog), with the exception of Wednesdays with the Keenyan Crew. I've been running, or at least tagging along with, those guys for over two years now, and if that won't make you a better runner, nothing will. The Buckland running has been fantastic for hill training. My typical 6-10 milers, any way I go, are at least 45% uphill, 45% down. I know the uphills have been good for my strength and endurance, but I think the down hill portion is what will make a big difference at Boston. While this certainly hasn't been my most focused training, and last summer/fall I was doing a few more miles, I think the cumulative miles, no running injuries (except falling on my shoulder, which finally feels about 95% healed) and all the hills should help to carry me through. In my last 3 races, Stu's 30k, Fast Friends 4 1/2 mi, and the Cheshire Med 5k, I've been able to hold my pace till the end, even though they all have a fair amount of hills.
I sent this photo to the Tufts Marathon Challenge Team. Whenever I think I need a little kick in the ass, this usually does it for me. No matter how bad things might hurt during the marathon, there's no way it could hurt as bad as that guy's stumps. I don't know KG, but I got the photo from his blog. To me, it says just about everything you need to know about running. Sure, there are great runners, and they have certainly worked hard to achieve the level of success they have. And they deserve every accolade they receive. But others have overcome adversity which most will never know. I mean, you look at the runner on the left, and he has definitely worked as hard as anyone else to get to where he is, in the lead at The Boston Marathon. But the guy on the right? Is there anyone who could say any less about his determination and hard work? Check out his friggin arms. He's diesel to say the least. And how about the guy in the middle? He doesn't look like a slouch either. Not too many people would give up a day to run 26.2 miles as a guide/aid. No matter what the pace, it ain't a walk in the park. It would be pretty cool to sit down and have a beer with all three of them. Till then, I'll try to carry a little piece of their spirit through the streets of Boston. Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston.
WED.:-9 mi w/ workout. I had thought about doing 3 x mile, at something a little faster than my 7:15 marathon pace. At the start of the first rep, I was tucked in a little behind Greg, Josh and George doing 2 miles, and Fyffe hanging with me. Ended up doing the first mile in a fairly comfortable 6:10, with Fyffe coming in just behind me at about 6:14. I tried to slow the next one down, but on the last repeat, it started to hail/rain, and I just wanted to get it over with. 6:10/6:26/6:17
WED.:-10 mi w/ workout. Again, I wanted to do 8x800, and today it was cool, so I thought I had a good chance. Plan was to keep it to about 3:00. Started out too fast as usual, but after that, 2:54 was feeling ok so I just tried to go with it. I was able to hit it most of the time. On the sixth rep I got a pain in my side that felt a little more than just a cramp, and with just 2 1/2 weeks to Boston, I decided to not do any damage. I still felt good about the workout. 2:50/2:53/2:54/2:54 2:54/2:55/--/--
THU.: -6 mi, w/ Frank
FRI. : -9 mi, w/ Frank. Frank's toughest run yet.
SAT. : -12 w/ Fast Friends 4 1/2 miler @ 29:33. 1st in the 40's. 14th overall. I was about 9 seconds slower than last year, but the course was a little longer, so I'd say it's a wash. This is a course where you just have to hang on and do the best you can in the end. I did ok, I kept boj and Larry Sayers in sight through about 4 miles, and ended up just a minute behind them. Cool to get the age group win, with Larry being the only one older to finish ahead of me. Glad George didn't show up, or I would've had to settle for the silver. Hope he's feeling ok, but gold is good. Splits: 6:17/6:49/6:28/6:39/3:16
SUN. : -RIP (Run In Peace) Caballo Blanco
TOTAL FOR THE WEEK:52
TOTAL MILES FOR 2012: 559
Frank's Miles For The Week: -21 (making up for last week)
MON. : -19 mi, w/ lots of hills. Last day of "Winter".
TUES. :-First day of Spring. Had a Shunji massage. Some light gardening. Friggin bugs, first mosquito bite and tick kill. WAY too early for that. Gotta take the good with the bad
WED.:-9 mi w/ workout. I had wanted to do 8x800, but it was just too hot, and I got totally dehydrated. My face was caked with salt almost as much as after a marathon, and my mouth was bone dry after the first 400. Ended up doing 3x800, then 400/800/400 and I pulled the plug. I was able to keep my paces consistent, so I was pleased with that, even if I wasn't able to do the whole workout. It was good to have boj out there with me, but I hope to God I never get passed in a race with someone in those shoes. 2:54/2:54/2:54 1:25/2:54/1:20
THU.: -8 mi, 6 w/ Frank
FRI. : -5 mi, 4 w/ Frank
SAT. : -9 mi, To The Dump. Went to see Michael's play at the high school, and I completely bonked during the second act of Hamlet. WTF?! No snacks at intermission?? If it wasn't for a smashed up Fig Newton in my pocket, I don't think I would have made it.
SUN. : -
TOTAL FOR THE WEEK:50
TOTAL MILES FOR 2012: 507
Frank's Miles For The Week: -10 (he's not a total slacker)