The heart of Saint Clare’s is the many dedicated and passionate
employees. Treating patients as though they were family is something many
employees pride themselves on, and like ourselves and many family members,
they have other interests and talents. Mike McHugh, physical therapist,
Saint Clare’s Dover Hospital assists patients in healing after injury.
That healing touch comes from his compassion, training and years of experience,
as well as being an athlete himself and understanding the stresses we
place on our bodies. Here is a little about Mike and his experience as
a marathon runner.
“I began running the New York City Marathon in 2005, and have run
it every year since. During my life, I aspired to do at least one marathon
and made my decision to jump into that world while standing in the crowd
watching the 2003 New York City Marathon at mile 24. I was impressed with
the "sea of runners" putting out the effort. I tried but did not qualify
for the 2004 marathon, so I ran the Philadelphia marathon instead. With
that marathon under my belt, I gained entry into the 2005 New York City
Marathon and I was hooked!
The 2019 Marathon was extremely special to me. Completing the marathon
brought me into the "Streakers" category. This is for those who have run
at least 15 consecutive New York City Marathons and guarantees entree
for the ensuing year.
Preparing for a marathon takes some forethought. As with most who perform
marathons, two of the greatest challenges to preparing is finding the
time to train and staying healthy.
Early mornings and weekends are the primary times I utilize for training.
It is important to properly warm-up prior to running and I feel stretching
after a run is important. Another important aspect to training is to get
a base under you before you begin progressing your mileage. It is important
not to progress quickly with the 10% rule as a good guide - do not progress
long runs or total weekly distance > 10% from week-to-week. Lastly,
I feel it important not to be rigidly tied to a training schedule. Listening
to your body and taking time off, or easing down for a day or two if needed.
Being a physical therapist, I am quick to address any minor strains or
issues to ensure they do not blow-up into problems that might sideline me.
During the actual running of a marathon there are a few key things I feel
are important to getting to the finish line in good spirits:
- Do not go out too fast! The New York City crowds can amp you up and you
can get too excited and fatigued more quickly.
- Much of competing a marathon is mental. If you have done the training,
you can use this knowledge to boost your confidence in your ability to
complete the run.
- Fuel early and often with fluids and nutrition. Practice with what you
will use on the course during training runs.
- Enjoy the crowd and have fun! Running the five boroughs brings you through
many different neighborhoods and the crowds are always super encouraging.