Post Race Ponderings and Shout Outs!

April 21, 2010

What is the best strategy for finishing a race that you aren’t really prepared for? Start slow, then ease off (motto for the Greater New Orleans Runners Association circa 1984).

2010 Marathon Start

It was a perfect day for running and my experience with the Boston Marathon significantly lowered the pre-race anxiety levels. The day started a little before 5:00am in order to make it to MGH and the bus to Hopkinton by 6:05 and the starting gun at 10:30. Amy Flynn and company at MGH really go to a lot of trouble to make the pre-race ordeal less Spartan than the independent race experience. We had a nice bus, a warm tent, plenty to eat and drink and some entertainment to round out the hours. The Boston Athletic Association deserves a shout out as well, in my experience, everyone and everything BAA is well planned, cheerful and helpful.

Crowd getting ready in Hopkinton

If you have read prior installments of this blog, you probably know that knee problems essentially benched me for most of the winter and I wasn’t really prepared this time around, at least not as prepared as I like to be. This may actually be the first time I started a race wondering if I was up to finishing it. It wasn’t easy but I crossed the finish line after 4h53m32s. That’s not as fast as I fantasized about but about where I expected to finish this year. I am satisfied; besides, it will make achieving my sub 4 hour marathon goal seem more dramatic. I also want to express my gratitude to the experts that helped eliminate my left knee from the list of barriers to success; Dr. Bradley at High Performance Sports Medicine and Jill and Sara at Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation.

GO WICKED

It was great to see the Wicked Running Club at mile 17. Apparently, the Wicked Gel Stop has become a motivational milestone for me. From the start, I kept thinking “if I can just make it to the Wicked Stop”. Once I passed the halfway mark and started ticking off the back side miles, my confidence grew as did my longing for some Wicked Gel. I spotted Colin and Rachel first, then the long Wicked line including Beth O’Grady, Doug Bollen, I think I saw Shari Hewson and Adam Fitch; you know I was moving so fast, it was just all a blur 😉 . The Wicked Stop definitely helped catapult me up that series of hills on Comm. Ave. that in years prior did not seem to me to be that big of a deal; I suspect the gel was helpful too. Thanks for saving me some chocolate.

Halfway Mark of the Boston Marathon

GO MECHE FAMILY SUPPORT

Kristin, Atticus and Alexander were great and this was the first year I actually spotted them near the finish line. I lack the skill to capture in words just how powerful that moment felt; it was better than the finish line just a few hundred feet away. Thank you Allison Brooks, Paul Durand and Sarah Nelson (listed alphabetically—I lack the courage to try and rank their contributions). Needless to say, without your support, tolerance, nagging, etc. our outreach would not be so effective or so darn interesting ;-).

Meche Family Post Race at MGH with Support Poster!

After a quick shower at Fitcorp we went to MGH to get my car and took a brief detour into the lobby to see the poster that MGH put up. Next was the post race dinner; we seem to have developed a tradition as this is the third year in a row at Finz in Salem. I want to give them a particular shout out for the extra hospitality (thanks Joe, Jen, Kate and of course Geo).

SUPPORTERS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY

I get more credit than I deserve for the running part of this enterprise; the truth is I find running to be a selfish and enjoyable act (usually). The people who are making the most difference are those of you supporting this Cancer Care for Children program by writing a check or pressing that www.FirstGiving.com/Meche_Marathon_Team button. Thank you for all you do and give. I promise to keep running if you keep giving.

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No Pain, No Gain

March 8, 2010

So you think running a marathon is painful; the truth is it’s only painful running those last 20 or so miles. Physical therapy – now that really hurts. My new bi-weekly appointments are underway and they have this particularly resourceful form of torture where I balance my body weight on a piece of foam. The single point of contact is my IT band and then I have to
roll up and down. Kristin says it sounds like it would “hurt so good”. I say bring on Heartbreak Hill any day. However, I think it has helped, but then it may just be the meds.

They won’t let me run yet and now that the sun is shining, I am getting quite antsy. Doc Bradley will make the call on the 18th.  I am getting worried about not putting up miles. I suppose the trick will be to restart the running and get the mileage up fast without re-injuring my knee or any other essential body part. I did order some fancy new headphones in anticipation.

On the news front; we have a new URL – MecheMarathonBlog.com and we have some snappy new wristbands coming.

-Mark



Visit to the Knee Doctor

February 26, 2010

My Knee Doctor

Just returned from High Performance Sports Medicine—yeah they agreed to see me despite my modest performance status—Dr. Bradley has offered a diagnosis; Quad Tendonitis and Patello-Femoral Syndrome, AKA jumpers knee.  I asked him point blank about my chances for being able to run 26.2 miles in April and he didn’t say no; he said that I would know soon enough. He did step up the treatment plan a bit. I am now taking some anti-inflammatory meds and will begin physical therapy ASAP.

Doctor Explaining What is Wrong with My Knee

I am going to check Amazon to see if there is an “Orthopedics for Dummies” volume. One of the treatments prescribed is VMO ( Vastus Medialis Obliquus) / Patella mechanics; I think that’s the technical term for stretching my legs properly. Other treatments include Myofascial massage, Electrical Stimulation, Ultrasound and Ionto/Phonophoresis, not to mention Strengthening and Stretching. I feel better already!