Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Where He's Been and Where He's Going

In 2014, Matt made the excellent decision to focus his sights (no pun intended) on the 2016 Paralympics.  Since then, he’s done a whole lot of running!  He also began the arduous paperwork process to even make the team.  For those of you who haven’t read all of the postings, here’s a recap:
  • Travelled to Mesa, Arizona, in May to obtain his International Paralympic Committee classification and to compete in two events (1500 Meter and 5,000 Meter) and WON both of them.  The kids and I had a mostly uneventful week while he was gone (other than the bee that wouldn’t die and ended up flooding our half bath—no joke!).
  • Placed third overall in the StarKid 5K race right by our house.  It was a great day for a race, it was very well organized, and he received a very generous prize award.  Woohoo!
  • Won the USABA Half Marathon Championship at the Woodrow Wilson Half Marathon in October and set a new personal record.
  • Won the Race to End Women’s Cancer 5k (as in he was the fastest person in the race, not just his division) which was totally awesome. 
  • Received some amazing running gear compliments of Brooks Running.  He loves all of it! 
  • Travelled to Sacramento, California, and placed third in the USABA Marathon Championship at the California International Marathon.  After some Achilles pain in the lead up to the race, his hamstring crapped up at mile 24 so he didn’t break 3 hours, but still had a fantastic race and weekend with his fellow visually impaired competitors. 
Matt is one of those people that must run.  A little black rain cloud follows him around if he has to go more than a day without even a short run.   So he wasn’t the happiest when he came back from California because he knew he needed to not only recover from the race, but also to address the pain he was still having in his leg.  In the nine years I have known Matt, this is the longest he has ever gone without running.  The day after Christmas he saw a sports medicine doctor who prescribed physical therapy.  He was completely expecting this outcome and almost welcomed it because he knows it is necessary to get him back to the shape and condition he needs to be to meet his goals.  Unfortunately, our favorite physical therapist Lyn at Capitol Rehab is no longer in-network with our insurance.  She’s seen both of us through several injuries over the years.  Thankfully, Matt found Jamie at Bodies in Motion near the house and so far so good!  I can report that he’s been doing all of his drills every evening while the kids play and he’s been stretching and foam rolling, too.  So although it isn’t ideal that he has an injury, we’re pretty sure 2015 is going to be another awesome year for Matt.  He has started running again and no pain!  

Here’s what you can expect to hear about in blog posts this year:
  • Lots of shorter distance races.  His goal is to run a race every month to help with his speed and leg turnover. 
  • Track events.  Matt needs to run in certified races, which could include an open NCAA track event, so that he can get a qualifying time on the books this year.  We’re in the process of working on this one and I hope to have some good news to report in the coming weeks.
  • Marathon v. track.  Matt is still wrestling with what he wants to pursue.  After California he is leaning towards focusing his energy on the track.  He was happy with his times in Mesa back in May, but those times won’t secure him a spot at Rio so he has some work to do.
  • Treadmill.  Matt and I have never been big fans of the treadmill.  Running outside is so much more enjoyable and the best way to train for a road race.  Unfortunately, where we live there isn’t sufficient (or any) overhead lights at night so there is nowhere safe for Matt to run.  Having a treadmill would give Matt more flexibility in when he can run and peace of mind (mostly for me).  Although we don’t have one yet, it is looking like a 2015 necessity. 
Thank you all for your support this past year and for reading the blog.  Life gets in the way and I haven’t posted as many updates as I would like, but I love documenting Matt’s journey and I particularly love getting your feedback.  Since I started the blog last April, I have had more than 6,000 visitors come and read about this quest.  (Disclaimer:  I don’t know how many of them our parents were!).  For me, Matt’s running is just a part of our life and family and I am honored to share a bit of our everyday with you.  

This really has nothing to do with Matt's running, but I love this picture taken during our family photo session.  We spent most of the time chasing after the girls.  They are fast!

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