It's been a truly unpredictable week, and at the end of it all I find myself packed and getting ready to board a plane at o-dark-thirty tomorrow, eventually landing at Logan International Airport in the mid-afternoon. As of now, it looks like I AM going to be running in the 115th Boston Marathon.
I'm cautious in saying that, but the test runs yesterday and today were very promising for the most part. On Thursday, Bryan was off but told me to come in, warm up the ankle with some stretches and exercises he'd dictated, and then head out for an out-and-back from his office down to the lakes on our riverfront trail, to be followed by 20 minutes on a spin bike, and another out-and-back run. I had about ten seconds of pain that forced me to alter my gait on the first run, but it went away and never returned for the second run.
Today, I popped in the door to tell Bryan that I was about to start my 7 consecutive miles test run, and he again told me to stick around, do some of the prescribed exercises, and even did some work on the ankle and foot before I ran. This time, I think it got me fully loosened up and there was no pain whatsoever during the run. Besides being pain free, it was a gorgeous day out there. Bird sightings aplenty, including an owl nesting in a tree along the trail. I love the wildlife sightings available down in that area, so that was a real treat.
After the run, Bryan and I had a good, quick strategy session. Then, I was out the door with some loaner gear for stretches, and all of Bryan's phone numbers so I'd have that emergency lifeline "phone-a-PT" option once in Boston. I asked Bryan what he'd like me to bring him home from Boston and he said "cheesecake." That could be more than a little problematic and challenging, but I will figure it out. If it were not for his phone call, I would without a doubt be standing on the sidelines and watching the race take place rather than getting ready to run Boston. If he wants cheesecake, Bryan will get cheesecake. The ankle feels far better since ditching the boot, doing the exercises and therapy, and finally getting to run again for a bit.
With that, I'm going to try to get a few hours of shut-eye before catching a flight to Salt Lake City (yeah, wrong direction but I scored good airfare on Delta ages ago), and continuing on to Logan International Airport in Boston. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends who are racing, and just getting a bit of a mini-vacation. I don't assume anyone has any interest in following what may be my slowest marathon ever after all the time off, and needing to baby the ankle. I do like to track my friends, though, during races, so I'll just throw my stuff out for those who enjoy that sort of thing too, or are just bored and wanting to escape work duties for a bit on Monday (Patriots Day in Massachusetts). The BAA should have a runner tracking link up that morning here on their website, and plugging in my bib number, 14913, or name, should do the trick. There will be red, white, and blue waves of runners, and I'll be in the middle wave, starting at 10:20 EST in Hopkinton, MA.
It's also going to be exciting for many of us to get to follow the legendary Joan Benoit Samuelson on the course, winner of the first women's Olympic marathon in 1984, and Olympic trials qualifier every four years since then. At 52 years young, Joanie will be going for the trials standard again on the Boston course. This video from her 1984 win just gives me goose bumps, so I think that's a fitting way to wrap this up before I sack out.