Monday, December 2, 2013

An overdue post! I am back and so very grateful!

a view on my 6am run.
Hey Guys!!!

I hope everyone is doing well! I haven't been reading or keeping up in the blogosphere out here. I hate not knowing how everyone is doing. I hope your running is going well. FINALLY, mine is!! I'm in blog catch up mode now.  I can't wait to read up on you! Thanks for being patient.

I'm about to start Boston 2014 training with some awesome base and major fire! Of course I have to share or what's the point?

I know as runners we're usually not content for long after crossing the finish line. There is that moment of joy and then we're on looking for another shot to kill another goal. I've had many months to ponder how I'm going to get to the next level of the marathon. For me, that's shaving some time off my 2:58:34 in Boston this year. Right now my goal is 2:55. However, secretly I want more : ). Shhhh!

As you know, I've always focused on adding to my training. Adding miles, workouts, weights, hills, nutrition etc. This is all very helpful but at the same time taxing on my body. During my last fury of this a few months ago I put myself into a tailspin. I was fighting tooth and nail to get out of an injury. Only to stagnate seemingly forever.

Enter, John Stiner.
I was contacted by John, a massage therapist in Durham, NC. Basically, he said I've read your blog.  I've seen your photos. I know what is wrong. I bet you have X,Y and Z and are sore here and there etc etc.

As a self proclaimed professional patient of running related injuries I blew him off. I thought I knew everything. I've had 3 stress fractures, and loads of soft tissue injuries. But what he said was right on. I was confused/intrigued.  A few weeks went by. I cry-blogged some more and cross trained my butt off.  John contacted again. He said he couldn't watch me go down the tubes any more. And that he could help. He said I would feel significantly better after one visit. I agreed. I was at the end of my rope. I expected a Massage Envy experience at best.

When I first saw John 3 months ago I could not run. I had ankle tendonitis. I could not walk without limping. I was a mess. My initial visit was several hours. The first half was spent doing strength tests and assessing every fiber of my being. He said and I quote, "you will not have tendonitis after today." I thought, oh great. I'm glad he's confident but I've been in physical therapy for months 2x a week for this ankle and nothing has improved.

The next day I ran. I ran without pain. I didn't limp. Is this guy for real? I have continued to run every day since that day without any tendon issues or pain. I'm leveling out my base training at 75-80 miles a week. Running like I'm a kid on the playground. I'm still blown away but have been reluctant to give him credit until now. I thought it would come back. I was just in disbelief. I spent so much money and time trying to get my ankle right and he comes in with one visit and BOOM?! Yes.

So now, I feel it's in my best interest as a semi competitive marathoner to take care of my body with more of a preventative approach. I have seen John every other week since. He can always tell what is off before I say anything. Whether it's sore calves, a tight back I know that it will be gone when I leave. In fact, I usually trash my legs the morning before an appointment so he can facilitate my recovery.

As a former 2:3x marathoner, John understands runners. He knows what we go through. But it's his almost photographic knowledge of everything running related that is impressive. He is more in tune with the human body than most doctors I have met. And that is an understatement. He has decades of massage experience. He's worked on Kara Goucher and Galen Rupp. He's been published in Running Times. He definitely has some major bling to his CV.

The bottom line is that he is exceptionally skilled and cares. I feel lucky and blessed to have John on my side for my next shot at Boston!!! I can't wait to ROLL!!!!


  1. Found your blog from a link on John's page. I've been going to him for the past two years now and it is amazing. The times I feel the best are when I see him regularly, the times I've been injured the past two years are when I went an extended time without a visit. Like you, I was skeptical initially, but he has proven time and again how good he is. Glad you found out too, good luck training for Boston!

  2. holy crap. He nailed it? that's crazy. I've been fighting tendonitis in my foot for a few months now, even costing me a couple of weeks of important ironman training. Now I'm trying some nutrition to fix it, and it seems to work. But if John fixed you up, I may need to give him a call. Very impressive. I know you've been fighting that problem for a while, and I'm glad you're finally running free!

  3. Great to have you back, and with Boston around the corner (OK it's still a big corner) it is time to start training to get fit enough to train...

    Can't wait to read about you flying down the road

  4. That is truly amazing! I had taken off nearly 3 months from running and went back to it last night as the ice storm began to hit. I was plodding along on the treadmill. And wow, I did terrible! But what you've discovered with this guy has me intrigued. I have had numerous injuries and never had a doctor or therapist or anything who was much help. You've stumbled across a gold mine!