Monday, May 20, 2013

Boston Marathon Healing

I ran a great race and I executed my plan. I had a ton of fun whiling away the miles with Marie. I dug deep and absolutely crushed the last miles of the race. I ran my race as I'd planned it. I finished in 4:00:57 which was not my sub 4 goal but, as my wife likes to point out, it was not 4:01:00.

I finished one minute and forty seconds before the explosion. I was at the finish line looking back down the course when I saw the first bomb go off.

I'm incredibly lucky. I thank God it wasn't my time and I wasn't hurt. I thank God my family was not in Boston. I thank God that I got word to them before all the cell communications were shut down. I thank God I did not witness any more of the carnage first hand. I thank God that I was able to come home and hug my family.

I've tried to write this blog post about a dozen times in my head or actually on the computer. The fact is that until now, I couldn't do it. My attempts to write immediately following would leave me basically curled up in the fetal position sobbing. My attempts after that would never get off the ground because I didn't want to relive the day. Even now as I type I can feel beads of sweat forming and my body temp rising. But it is much better than it has been.

In the weeks following the marathon, I saw a wonderful psychiatrist who has worked with me to untangle the events of the day. Dr. Brecher used EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing to do this untangling. EMDR was the therapy used to treat the first responders at Newtown immediately following the tragic events.

Wikipedia defines EMDR as:
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro, which emphasizes disturbing memories as the cause of psychopathology [1][2] and alleviates the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR is used for individuals who have experienced severe trauma which remains unresolved.[3] According to Shapiro, when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm normal cognitive and neurological coping mechanisms. The memory and associated stimuli are inadequately processed, and stored in an isolated memory network.[4] The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering effects and allowing clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. This is done by having clients recall traumas while following the therapist's hand movement.[5] The use of EMDR was originally developed to treat adults suffering from PTSD, however, it is also used to treat children.[6]

That's a whole lot of words and clinical mumbo-jumbo, but, basically, you focus on a negative thought while watching a light move back and forth across your field of vision. That's it. And it worked incredibly well for me. Within minutes, I was feeling calmer even though I was focusing on very painful images and thoughts. It was emotionally exhausting at first but after 3 sessions, Dr. Brecher was basically able to unwire most of the bad stuff in my brain from that day.

I'm normally very private and I don't like to show my vulnerable side despite what you may believe from my facebook posts. I have a hard time sharing my most intimate feelings even with my closest friends and family but I have seen so many people out there who were or are badly effected by the events of that day that I felt like I needed to open up and tell you that there is hope and there is help.

I am by no means an expert on this therapy but if you are interested or have any questions, please leave a comment or drop me a line through my email. durtyfeets at gmail dot com

Please feel free to share this with anyone who you think may benefit.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Announcing the Durtyfeets Trail Series with MRA Multisport. Subtitled: "I might also be a little Tri-curious."

I am pleased to announce that I have teamed up with a great organization in my area to bring help bring a trail race series to the Blackstone Valley.

MRA Multisport is a grassroots company that specializes in providing personal and small-group coaching, a club of like-minded athletes, and a variety of year-round local endurance events to challenge the novice and seasoned athlete alike.  By providing these 3 opportunities to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities while partnering with local businesses and organizations, the goal of creating or maintaining a healthy lifestyle and promoting physical fitness can be achieved.

MRA Multisport is owned and operated by Megan and Alex Rogozenski.  Megan is Head Coach for MRA Multisport and Alex is the Race Director and Operations head.  They have put on a couple of really well organized races already this year.  All of their races feature training sessions in the weeks leading up to the event.

In 2012, I joined their MRA Multisport Club which is a USAT Sanctioned Triathlon Club and member of the RaceReach Club Network.  Based in the heart of the Blackstone Valley in New England, the Club is the area’s premire training, racing, and social club for athletes of all abilities and ages.

The underground motto of the club that has been occasionally stated is "Win or Lose, we still booze." You gotta like that.

I have to confess that I didn't join the MRA Club to do a triathlon though I am tri-curious.  I joined so I could try to infect more of our community with a pathological love of our local trails.  I'm happy to say that it worked and the infection is spreading.  That only proves correlation and not causality but I like to think I had something to do with it.

Really stoked to see my foot logo up there.

Note:  The below stuff was lifted more or less directly from the MRA Website (unlike the above stuff, cough cough, wink) and looks a whole lot more polished and usable there.

Newest Trail Running Series in Central MA!!!  3 dates confirmed, with a special “championship” one still planned for a late October/early November weekend.
To keep costs down and not force a t-shirt or other race schwag on anyone, we’ll be offering durtyfeets Trail Series line of apparel for individual sale shortly.  This branded apparel will be sold at around cost and won’t be the cheap items that we all have stock piled in our garage as rags.
2013 durtyfeets Trail Series (click on date below to register)
Thursday evening 6:30pm June 6, 2013 –  7k through a variety of terrain at Wallum Lake in Douglas, MA
Thursday evening 6:30pm July 11, 2013 - 5k of challenging hills at Goat Hill in Uxbridge, MA
Saturday morning 9:00am August 10, 2013 - 10k of sweet trails around Hodges Village Dam in Oxford, MA
Late October/Early November weekend trail race to be announced soon!

Aid Stations:  All races will have at least one on-course water stop and will have traditional post-race food and drink.

Fees: All races are $15 on-line only ($12 for under 15 years old).  Day of registration is $20 ($15 for under 15).

Awards: Top overall male/female of each race will get some sweet 2013 Trail Series Champions clothing at the end of the season. Race day awards presented to top male/female in following divisons: Junior, Open, Master, Senior.