My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Village of Support

Saturday I will be running my next marathon with my two amazing friends and running guides - Brenda and Suzette.  I am so very grateful for their friendship and their willingness to run tethered with me for a full marathon.  As if running a marathon isn't enough - their willingness to also guide me is inspiring!  Love these beautiful women!  (We will miss you Melissa).

My first marathon two years ago was a wonderful experience.  We worked hard in the training and did well.  Looking back, I didn't fully appreciate the blessing of training and running a marathon without an injury!  Well, there was a concussion in there to heal from :) but otherwise simply a lot of hard work and yes, fun.  

Last year, in training for our next marathon I broke my foot on our 16-mile run.  Instead of running a marathon, I spent a couple months in a boot and further healing my seismoid fracture.  Thankfully, after three months I was back running 10K's and a half marathon.   On to this year to begin training once again for another marathon.  Just before leaving for Guide Dog for the Blind for training with my new guide, Georgie, I broke my foot (different bone)!  We were in the middle of training for the marathon.  So, instead of continuing my marathon training at GDB on the treadmill,  I spent the evenings icing my foot as it healed from the latest break.   I returned home and after a couple more weeks was able to resume running.  A couple weeks later I began to have challenges with my IT Band.  Did I need to turn in the running shoes for a while?  Oh, the balance of being driven to a goal and listening to my body's needs.  I decided I would do everything possible to run this marathon while being wise.  I also agreed that if a doctor or other professional told me not to run, I would listen to their advice.  There are other marathons ... however, this one was in place with my two friends training as well.  I have spent the last two months with a physical therapist team, a podiatrist, and an orthopedic doctor as well as awesome friends helping me reach the point where I am excited and ready to run the marathon on Saturday.  I have been inspired by the professionals who have believed in me and have done everything possible to make this happen.

We are grateful the doctor, physical therapist and podiatrist are all in the same building!  Some days have even been able to coordinate appointments.  Georgie knows the routes well to their offices!  She has learned that find the elevator means not the first one that is the freight elevator.  She has even learned the routine of machines at physical therapy.  She has learned that I'm okay while x-rays are being taken.  She has become my cheerleader waiting on the entry way rug until I return from a run.  She is part of the team!  

I don't know if the IT Band will act up at mile two, mile ten, mile twenty or not at all.  Perhaps there will be something else totally different that will flare up.  I know that I have put in the preparation and given 100% for this goal.  Whether I cross the finish line in the time we hope for or reach a point where I am injured, can't walk and have to call for help; I am grateful for the journey.  I have learned much.  I have gained a deeper appreciation for the blessing of being able to run.  I am grateful for the incredible village of support that have helped me along the way.  Husband,  forever cheering me on; doctors and physical therapists who have helped me have a 'game plan' throughout the process and amazing friends.  They have walked me back to the house when the pain flared up - been willing to stop and stretch or walk up the hills to keep the healing process going.  I recall going in to one of the doctors and telling him - I know I'm injured and I don't want to do anything crazy.  However, I really want to run the Boston Marathon for my 50th birthday and need your help to make that happen.   He said: We will support your determination.  I love that and thought ... do I support others determination?  

I have returned from each run to two yellow labs sitting on the entry rug eagerly waiting.  They will be there greeting me at the end of the marathon no matter what the outcome.  They seem to know Its about the journey and being a part of the support.
Rounding the corner back to our house.  Final run before the Marathon on Saturday with Suzette.   Steve was just pulling out and took a quick picture :).  


pattib said...

Way to go! I've run three marathons myself and I can attest that training (with a running partner) was the most fun and best memories of the entire experience. However, there is nothing quite like finishing those 26.2 miles, as you know. Godspeed to you, Becky, and your guides!

Carlin Smith said...

Awesome! Good luck! This past weekend I was at a triathlon and there was a blind athlete participating. He was using a tether like you do to run, and rode a tandem bike. I am not sure how he and his partner did the swim. I didn't see them during that leg. Such awesome teamwork!

Karen said...

Go Girl Go!!!! Here's hoping that NONE of the injuries flare up and there isn't a new one. So admire your determination.
love you Mom

Starman said...

The best of luck to you, Becky! Hoorah for taking on such a challenge! (May you enjoy loads of your favorite treat in celebration afterward! :-) )

3 labs 4 me said...

Wishing you a fabulous marathon without injuries. Every day you inspire me to keep on keeping on…..

Becky Andrews said...

Thank you so much for your sweet wishes :)!!

Lablove said...

Run, Girl, Run! May it be an awesome day -- and a wonderful memory afterward -- for you!

Kamao Poot said...
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