Hal ran the Disneyland half-marathon a week ago. His 4th half-Marathon this past year – and objectively, his worst overall performance – but it was a triumph. I am proud of him. It was the first real race he did since his injury in February. And he really ran it – not walking, not jogging, and not using Nordic poles.
The first few months were tough. A series of cautious steps, with frequent slips backward. I ran for him – to the degree that I was able. (That’s not saying much!) Every solo run I did (missing my training partner), I did for him. Every Grand Prix race I entered was for him. We pool jogged together at the Y. As he recovered, he ran at the beach with Nordic poles while I jogged beside him. He stretched. He worked his core. He got frequent massages – both from me and from Kim Bleth, a sports massage therapist.
Little by little, Hal started relying less on the poles and the water, His first run without poles was Chuck’s Beach Run. His back hurt afterwords, but he recovered within a week. Then Hal started running carefully without poles. And then he started to build back his mileage. By July he was able to up his mileage well beyond what my body tolerates.
So maybe Hal won’t qualify for the Boston Marathon this year – but he’s up and running again, and back on his way!