Run Happy . . . Walk Happy . . . even at the Boston Marathon!

"Run Happy" . . . but I've been injured and it's 89 degrees!

"Run Happy" . . . those were the words Desiree Davila wrote for me on her finish photo at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Great mantra, but I was 3 months away from my 12th consecutive Boston Marathon and plagued with a hip injury.  I experienced a shooting pain in my hip every time I tried to run and limped when I walked.  This just couldn't happen...or so I felt.

Through the support of a Sport's Doctor, Physical Therapist, and a Chiropractor, I was able to start back running 4 weeks before the Boston Marathon.  I knew that was not enough time to "safely" build the necessary miles to prepare for the 26.2 miles of the hilly Boston course.  

A runner friend suggested I try the walk/run strategy from Jeff Galloway.  "Walk" during a marathon? Prideful as it is, that was very difficult for me to consider. But, I knew that was the only way I was going to FINISH my 12th Boston and that was very important to me.  

I was able to contact Jeff Galloway and he shared this valuable information that I hope will also help others.

Use a mantra to shift your thinking into the conscious brain--the frontal lobe: "Walk breaks are my strategy"  "My strategy will get me to the finish"  "Walk now, finish strong". 

So....my new mantra going into the Boston Marathon was "WALK HAPPY."  

Who would have thought we would have 89 degrees temperatures the day of the marathon on April 16?!  I ran the Boston Marathon several years ago when the temperature was 86 degrees.  Heat exhaustion is a very serious situation. 

That morning I knew I would "walk" with a purpose that was more than just finishing.  I looked for runners in distress by the heat.  I walked with some and got ice and medical attention for others.  Over 2,400 runners were taken to the medical tent!

I was able to run (slowly) the last 1/4 mile....past all of the cheering spectators and across the finish pad to receive my medal.  And you know what?  I felt just as proud of this medal as when I received my other Boston Marathon medals.  

Everything works out for the best!

Run Happy!  Walk Happy!

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Dr Claudia Daude April 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Great job Nancy! We are all so proud of you!
Lisa Di Pirro April 23, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I love how you took "lemons" and made lemonade. You truly embody the mission of UEA Staywell and are an inspiration to many. Stay well!
Michelle April 24, 2012 at 03:07 AM
You are such an inspiration, Nancy! You overcame huge challenges and finished! That medal represents your determination and hard work. If you think you can, you can- right? Awesome job!
Jack Riley April 24, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I'm proud of you Nancy. The toughest part of the marathon for me has been the mental fortitude...and you never lost that to an injury.


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