It’s race week runners! I met with 24 clients this week, talked to a few potential new athletes and have one athlete racing the Newport Half Marathon and 3 athletes racing Boston. It’s Thursday night and my head is full of feelings from the day job. My belly wants all the carbs. My heart just wants to fast forward to Monday. Ahhh beautiful taper psychosis is in full effect but not just for me… for my athletes too! My inbox is FULL with back and forth threads from my Boston bound athletes pertaining to getting buses to the start, pacing, fueling and hydration plans (it’s going to be a warm one!). I love all of my athletes to pieces, but yes, sometimes I do feel like preparing marathoner’s for Boston is like trying to soothe a pair of triples to sleep in the same room. You soothe one to sleep and the other starts chirping! Haha we runners are so neurotic and I love it! Talking running is what I dooooooo! 🙂 I LOVE MY CHICKADEES!!! <3.
This training cycle I had the honor of training three athletes for Monday’s Boston Marathon. You, my readers, have an insight into my running story but I wanted to give you the opportunity of hearing some of the other amazing stories that are out there. I have asked each of my Boston runners to write a short post about their Boston story, why they run and what they hope to accomplish on race day. I’ll be posting their stories in the next few days along with their name and bib # so you can follow them along on race day.
Laurie S. (left)
Laurie is a long-time blog reader who approached me last November via a FB message. She expressed interest in getting a coach (I’m listening...), things didn’t go well for her in her last Boston (because we weren’t training together, duh!!). Then she dropped the bomb: she is running for the mobility division, ran over 5 hours at her last Boston while limping to the finish and getting through training and the marathon injury-free is her number one priority (Whoa whoa whoa Miss. Lippy- tv time out. Whaaaat?!?). Number two? KICK ASS, TAKE NAMES AND PR (done and done). The combination of priority number one and number two gave me heart palpitations.
I talk a lot about coaching athletes to bend without breaking but this time I was TRULY worried that I might break Laurie. I’ll be honest- part of me was extremely apprehensive about taking Laurie on as an athlete. She was placing her marathon dreams and physical safety in my hands and I respect that as a huge responsibility.
One Friday afternoon in early November Laurie and I had a long conference call as I drove my bum down to CT to meet my guy. I drove and we chatted while I made my way from Boston to the CT border. Funny how when you start talking running you can talk to a complete stranger for hours :). While our back and forth emails helped me get to know Laurie I needed to hear her voice. Her voice was steady, her passion was powerful and she was determined one way or another to take revenge on the Boston Marathon course this year. During that phone call I became entranced with story and I wanted to be the one to safely coach her to her marathon dreams. So we brainstormed on how to ride the fine line of keeping her running safely, while also breaking down the walls of what she thought she was capable of. Holy wow! The results have been astounding!! Here is her story…
What running this Boston Marathon Means to me:
My story? What is my story?!? Hmmm. Well, I was born with a severe clubfoot, and my parents were told I would never walk. I have had too many surgeries to count and grew up mostly in a wheelchair. My parents drove me to be like everyone else, and would not allow me to feel sorry for myself. They signed me up for whatever the other kids were doing. I would drag my leg, I would be in pain – but I never gave up.
Five years ago I started pushing children who had disabilities through road races. I pushed my girlfriend’s child during a race that went from New York to Canada and by doing that I qualified for the Boston Marathon Mobility Division.
Laurie and her son at the 2015 Boston Marathon
At one point in my life I was told that I would never walk and yet I have now run the Boston Marathon twice. Monday’s race will be my third and final Boston marathon. This time around running Boston means something entirely different. At mile 6 last year, I ruptured a disk in my back, fell to the ground in pain and I lost feeling in my leg and foot. The medical team came to my aid and tried to pull me off the course. I immediately looked to my son (who was my mobility division marathon guide at the time) and said
“In life you can choose to give up or keep going; let’s finish this.”
I have never experienced so much pain in my life as during that marathon. Out of sheer will and determination four and half hours from that moment we crossed the finish line. Due to that injury, I still have yet to regain feeling in my thigh and cannot feel my foot hit the ground on my bad leg. In fact I had to relearn how to run without these feelings and unfortunately even more weakness in my already bad leg.
This leads me to my REVENGE TOUR! I am doing Boston ONE MORE TIME! This time I knew it would be the hardest thing I have ever done, mentally and physically. But I am determined to show my children that you can do anything in life you put your mind to, as well as the children born with my disability that they too can accomplish anything with no boundaries.
Kass has pushed me beyond my comfort zone and has helped me become comfortable being uncomfortable. She has shown me that I am capable of more then I ever thought possible and I am slowly believing it one step at a time. I have improved in such a short time, I was running 10:50 minute miles when I started training in December , my last long training run I did 20 miles with an average of 9:37 even with only running with one leg and the other leg just comes along for the ride. I will hit the starting line on Monday with my son by my side and I will take down Boston one mile at a time.
Boston HERE I COME!
Laurie (bib #25171).
Isn’t she amazing?? Laurie, thank you for letting me coach you during your self-proclaimed Revenge Tour. No matter what happens on Monday it has been an absolute honor coaching you this training cycle- together we’ve seen you run your fastest mile, break your half marathon PR by over 10 minutes and safely push harder than you ever imagined for your body. Thank you for trusting me to coach you!! So. Much. Love. – Kass
FOLLOW LAURIE on Monday: bib #25171.
Never stop running,
We are Boston Strong.