Bittersweet…

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

During an interview last evening the reporter asked me to run so she could take several pictures.  I haven’t run for nearly two weeks in an effort to rest an extremely tender hamstring.  I ran an extremely hard 8 mile workout on the hills of Newton with the Marathon Coalition TEAM several weeks ago and my hamstring felt like it was in a vice during the closing miles.

I’ve been riding the spinning bike to maintain my fitness and had little doubt that I would be able to run on Monday.  I had made plans to meet several runners that I coached for 12 Boston Marathon’s each at the Expo later today and had all my things packed and ready for the weekend.  Most importantly, I was really looking forward to the test of covering the 26.2 miles on Monday and securing another qualifying time that would have represented the 5th consecutive decade of qualifying for Boston at Boston.

The moment I took my first step I knew my Boston Marathon effort was in peril…very disappointing.  Thankfully my running the past 15 years has been focused on helping others achieve their goals.  My marathon effort was a small aside to my primary focus for the 2011 Boston Marathon… doing everything possible to ensure each of my runners complete the marathon in ‘relative comfort’.

I will now be able to station myself just past 15 miles in Wellesley where I’ve spent the last 15 hears offering encouragement to each of the runners.  I have had my moments at the Boston Marathon and I’m hopeful that I will have many more.  My disappointment will soon be replaced by the incredible excitement of seeing so many runners achieve their goal of completing Boston.

The interview will be posted on the Grafton Patch (grafton.patch.com) this weekend.  This interview reminded me how fortunate  I am to be a coach, particularly one of so many incredible people.  My brief moment of disappointment was soon replaced by the excitement I feel for every runner on the Marathon Coalition TEAM.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I’ve learned and benefitted more from my failures and disappointments than I have any of my successes and this will be no different.  It’s time to experience all the Boston Marathon has to offer and I’m filled with anticipation for my runners…I will see you at the finish line!

Comments
  1. Gina says:

    Oh no! Rick, I am so sorry you won’t be able to run on Monday!! 😦 While I will be thrilled to see you during the run I can imagine how disappointing this is for you. You have been an amazing inspiration to me & so many others this year – you will cross the Finish Line on Monday in the hearts of each of your Marathon Coalition runners! Go TEAM!

  2. Joanne Q.R. says:

    You have been an inspiration to all of us — thank you for your encouragement, guidance and willingness to share your heart and your experiences. I am disappointed for you, but something tells me you will make the best of it! We will look for you at mile 15! Joanne

    • Terri says:

      Rick,
      sorry to hear about this. But- I guess things happen for a reason. I am happy to be looking for you and your words of encouragement at mile 15. Just remember that you ROCK!
      Terri

    • Hello Joanne,

      Thank you for your kind words! You’re right, I will make the most of this temporary setback. And the next time I run Boston I will have a much greater appreciation for the opportunity.

      Please look for me on the left side of the road just past Mile 15.

      Rick

  3. Chris says:

    Coach Rick,
    I am terribly disappointed that you won’t be out there running with us (albeit well ahead of us), but so impressed by your attitude — no bitterness, no regret. Just remember — you will be out there on the course, in spirit, with each runner on the Coalition TEAM. And the decade is young — plenty more chances.
    Chris

    • Hello Chris,

      Yes, I have plenty of time to attain my goal of another qualifying time at Boston. My focus is now on you and your Marathon Coalition teammates. Then I will focus on recovering from my injury and embarking on an entirely revised fitness plan to get as fit as possible.

      You are going to do great on Monday!

      Rick

  4. sara says:

    Coach Rick –

    I know how hard it is to make this decision, but this is what makes you a good runner and coach. We have to listen to our bodies even when our hearts say otherwise. This will keep you running for many, many years to come.

    I hope to see you in Wellesley on Monday.

    Be well,
    Sara

    • Sara,

      Your words are very insightful. The scale of desire and knowing what is right is completely out of balance right now. But it won’t take long to balance it and get right back to focusing on far more importants tasks. Please look for me at Mile 15 on Monday.

      Rick

  5. Meghan says:

    Coach Rick! You WILL qualify for Boston at Boston in the 2010s! The decade is young and so are you!! Can’t wait to see you at the pasta dinner and now at mile 15 as well. Also, my parents are really excited to meet you this weekend. They’ve been following your blog, too!

    • Hello Meghan,

      Thank you for your confidence in me. I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow evening and, most importantly, seeing you become a Boston marathoner!

      I cannot wait to meet your parents and share with them how I feel about you!

      Your Coach,

      Rick

  6. Paula says:

    Coach Rick, ATTITUDE determines altitude! Easy to see you are in it heart n soul for the coalition TEAM! YOU are in my thoughts and I cant wait to see you at mile 15!

    • Hello Paul,

      I’ve never heard that phrase (Attitude determines altitude) before but I absolutely love it! I really appreciate your wonderful thoughts and I cannot wait to see you at Mile 15. I’ll be on the left side as you pass through a large Team In Training cheering section.

      I know you’ll see the finish line on Monday!

      Rick

  7. Petra S says:

    Rick, I’m so sorry to hear you won’t be running on Monday, but I look forward to seeing your friendly face at mile 15. There’s always next year! and the next, and the next….
    Petra

    • Hello Petra,

      You’re absolutely right…there’s next year…and the next …and the next! I’m looking forward to seeing you accomplish your goal on Monday. You know what it’s like to deal with setbacks so I appreciate your encouragement!

      Rick

  8. Moe says:

    Rick I have tears in my eyes reading this. I am so crushed. But again you are always such an inspiration with your positive outlook on things. That’s what I’m going to remember and keep with me on Monday…focus on the positive. As always I look forward to seeing you and listening to your encouragement at mi 15. You’re amazing

    • Hello Moe,

      It was great to see you at the Expo this afternoon! I know that you’ve had a long and challenging journey to make it to the starting line. I’ll be sure to say something that will carry you to the finish line…just like old times!

      Rick

  9. Casey says:

    Coach Rick,

    Again, I am in awe of your ability to take an optimistic stance on any situation! In addition to all of the excitement and nervousness I am feeling, I am extremely appreciative and proud to have had you as a coach for the past few months. You are a role model for all!

    Casey

    • Hello Casey,

      I am always inspired by runners that confront and overcome challenges and you’ve certainly done that this year. It’s been an honor to be your coach…the best part of our journey will occur on Monday. I look forward to seeing you at Mile 15.

      I’m so proud of you!

      Coach Rick

  10. Heidi lindert says:

    I’m SO sorry to hear that you wont be able to run! That’s quite a bummer. I must admit, however, that I’m relieved/excited to know that you will be out there on the course cheering us on. As someone who doesn’t have any family that will be watching the marathon (they can kiss their Christmas presents goodbye), I’m thrilled to know that I can anticipate seeing at least one familiar and friendly face. Your support during our 21 mile run was so energizing. I’m going to need it on Monday 🙂

    • Hello Heidi,

      You can definitely expect more encouragement at Mile 15 than you’ve ever received 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing you during the marathon, encouraging you and meeting you at the Westin afterward!

      Monday is going to be one of the most amazing days of your life!

      Coach Rick

  11. Cheryl Reed says:

    Rick, I can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear that you have had to make this decision. I can only imagine how difficult it was. You have been so supportive of me, and the entire team, so we are also feeling the disappointment with you. I wish so much I had the guidance that you have given when I did my first marathon. I will so look forward to having that support from you at mile 15 on Monday! I know you are going to come back next year, though, stronger than ever!

  12. Hello Cheryl,

    Difficult decisions seem to become easier with time, particularly when my individual goals seem so insignificant to the goals of others. Nothing I would have accomplished on Monday could compare to being on the course and encouraging the Marathon Coalition TEAM to the finish line!

    Rick

  13. Matthew Allen says:

    Rick,

    I’m sorry to hear that you were on the sidelines during this year’s marathon, although I’m certain many runners appreciated your support in Newton. I’m no longer in Boston, but am glad to see the Coalition is running strong! I have no doubt that you’ll be crossing the finish line at another race in short time. Until then, enjoy the spring and make sure you spend lots of time on your motorcycle to help speed your hamstring’s recovery.

    Best,
    Matt Allen

  14. Hello Matt,

    It was so nice to hear from you. Please e-mail me @ rickmbmw@aol.com and let me know where you are and what you’re doing. You were on the first Marathon Coalition TEAM so I’m sure you would be impressed how much we’be grown and progressed in just 3 years.

    Now it’s time to spend some time on my 5 motorcycles before I start training for a fall marathon.

    Your Coach,

    Rick

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