Fortunately for me, this was Elizabeth Bermingham’s training routine.
"I do three minutes of running," she said. "One of walking."
On one of the last few training days, I tried to keep up with Bermingham, who was injured at the 2013 race, and is now running her second Boston Marathon.
Bermingham was standing on Boylston Street, cheering on runners when the bombs went off in 2013.
"I had some minor shrapnel wounds," Bermingham said. "Perforated eardrum, which resulted in some continued hearing loss and tinnitus, which is ringing of the ear. And some really minor, really minor burns."
She’s a special education teacher, and used to share a loud classroom with three other teachers.
“But after the marathon, with the perforated eardrum and then the hearing loss, I couldn’t filter out the background noise any more," she said. "And it was really difficult."
Fortunately, she has her own office at work now. But her hearing is still a problem.
After her 2013 experience, Bermingham ran her first Boston Marathon last year, and she calls it a great ‘healing mechanism.’ As we run by, a woman calls out, “Keep going, keep going!”
She gets a lot of that.
"The best encouragers are other runners, generally," she said. "Last year we had training shirts that on the back said, 'Survivor,' and I wore it for our 20 mile run, and I started counting. I got 67 'good jobs,' 'so proud of yous,' 'keep goings.' I was so uplifted at the end of that. So excited, and I felt so supported. It was really wonderful."
This year, Bermingham is training with a group called 4.15 Strong. The group is made up of others who were injured in the bombing, along with some of their supporters.
"We have so much in common," she said. "Such a strong bond. Such a strong drive, a common motivation."
She says the same tragic experience that helped foster that bond has also given them all a greater appreciation for how lucky they are to be doing this together.
"We all feel incredibly grateful for the ability to run, to be able to continue to run, and for the opportunity to run this race.”