So in just a few hours Bib# 21619 is off to the Boston area to take another stab at the mother of all foot races. Monday morning I will attempt to finish my 3rd Boston marathon in a row and my 8th full marathon since starting this incredible fitness journey 5 years ago.
May not sound like a big deal to walk a marathon,but put in perspective; only 1% of the population will ever walk or run a marathon in their lifetime, and most of those people will be totally healthy. The number of people who have completed 7 or more marathons is astronomically small. So, even if I don’t finish the race this year, I’m still ahead of the game.
Btw, Y’all know that the Boston marathon doesn’t actually start in Boston, right? It finishes in Boston, but it actually starts 26.2 miles away in a quaint little New England town called Hopkinton. For the last 115 years on Patriots day, the towns’ population explodes with tens of thousands of some of the fastest runners in the world as they gather at athletes village to make their way to Boston. Some will finish the 26.2 mile course in less than 2 and a quarter hours.
And then there’s me……..
In 2010 , I became the last official finisher to cross the finish line. Out of the 22,672 people who completed the race, I came in dead last! In other words, I finished up in 22,672nd place.
Don’t ya just love it!
But regardless of how the race turns out, I probably wouldn’t be here at all if weren’t for the help of some generous and caring individuals. So let me take this opportunity to thank in advance, the officials at the BAA and my support crew, affectionately known as Team Wheezy . Helping me out again this year are Tom of Caire Inc, plusJon and Chris from the BAA. Jon and Chris will be spotting for me on bike and Tom will be providing logistical support on the course as well as transportation to and from the event. As a disabled athlete, I’m also allowed to have someone accompany me on the course, but this year I will be doing the race alone.
I also wanna thank some of the folks that contributed behind the scenes…. The wonderful folks at the Runningwarehouse for providing me with the shoes I’ll be wearing during the race, the very generous people at Rabbitair for providing me with clean air in my home, so that I could stay healthy while trained for the race, the Sony corporation for providing me with a bunch of their portable music players, which came in handy during those long training walks, to and to Microlife for providing me with the state of the art peak flow meters. Last, but not least, my Pulmonologist and dear friend, Sally Wenzel for supporting my fitness endeavors, no matter how extreme they might me.
While in Boston for the marathon, I’m also going to be participating in a medical study for runners over the age of 40 who take statin drugs (statin drugs are used to treat high cholesterol). The study is titled “The effects of chronic statin therapy on markers of skeletal and cardiac muscle damage in Marathon runners”.
They’ll be drawing my blood before and after the race and then a 3rd time 24 hrs later. After the study is complete, they’ll send me a detailed report of my lab results, including Lipid Panel, Liver Function Test, Muscle Myoglobin, CK Isoenzymes, Hemoglobin and Hematocrit and Cardiac Troponins. It’s basically a bunch of tests I need done anyway, so might as well contribute to science and get paid at the same time ($100 if you complete the study):-)
As far as the lungs go, I’ll pre-medicate with the usual bronchodilators. I’ll also have my portable neb with me on the course, along with a couple of epipens and a pocketful of inhalers. The riskiest time for me is usually not during the race, but afterward. The symptoms I experience in the hours immediately preceding the race will dictate how severe the flare will be. There’s really no way for me to stop or prevent a flare from occurring after exerting myself to this extent, but to increase my chances of keeping the flare at manageable levels, I’ll up pred to 50 mg the day before the race and then rapidly taper.
Depending how the day goes, I’ll try to post or tweet. If you’re dying to know how I’m doing, you can follow my progress via the AT&T athlete program. My bib# is 21619 (Not sure it will work if you live outside the US)