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18 for the 18th, then 18

Posted by Rich Horgan  March 9, 2011 06:45 AM

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This year's Boston Marathon training season (my 18th) has been a bit of a challenge to say the least.

Trying to train these past few months involved having long training runs canceled, dodging cars behind six-foot snow mounds, and cursing out people that didn't shovel their sidewalks.

Now that there is a little over six weeks to go before the Marathon I've run out of "wiggle room."

Our Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge coach Jack Fultz always tells us that he builds in a little wiggle room in our four-month training schedule. I should learn to treat this like vacation time, i.e., don't use it all the first few weeks of the year.

As runners ramp up their mileage, a lot of strange sounding words start to dominate post run conversations at Crossroads on Mass. Ave.: Plantar Faciitis, Iliotibial Band Syndrome ( I.T. Band), and patella tendinitis to name a few.

Treating an injury when you think you should be running is a delicate balance. Thank God there are people like Jake Kennedy of Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy out there to help. In addition to annually organizing the "Christmas in the City" event, which makes sure that hundreds of underprivileged Boston children receive a warm coat and a special Christmas gift, Jake helps dozens of runners make it to the starting line every year.

Despite the fact that his clinic is constantly booked, Jake never says no to anyone. Two weeks ago, two of my running companions met with Jake after they were sidelined with patella tendinitis and were barely able to walk, let alone run. One of them commented that the clinic looked like the Land of the Misfit Toys, but this past week they both ran outside and are feeling a lot more confident about the third Monday in April.

This past Saturday I was able to complete an eighteen mile run on a hilly course. And Sunday I played 18 for the first time this year.

The Marathon must be getting close.

Speaking of I.T. Bands, the I.T. Band of Somerville will be entertaining the crowd at my annual Shifter's 5k run to benefit the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge. The run takes place on Saturday April 2 at the Wave Sports Pub in Waltham.

You can sign up at www.shifters5k.com. Hope to see you there.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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