I run to breathe fresh air…

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“I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.” – Dean Karnazes

I’ve thought about updating this several times in the past few weeks but just couldnt quite find the motivation. A brief recap, mostly for myself, of the past several weeks…

This polar vortex of a winter really sucks. I was injured for the past two weeks after my 15 miler at the beginning of February (12.5 outside, 2.5 on the treadmill). A horrible pain on the outside of my left foot had me limping for days… running was almost out of the question. After struggling through 4 miles on that Monday I immediately started to WebMD and self-diagnose myself with a stress fracture. In tears I immediately called my doctor and was recommended to see a podiatrist. Fast forward from that visit, some perscription pain medicine, an X-Ray, and several trips to my new physical therapist office – I’m really fine. I think it was just a combination of running the longer miles on snowy, uneven sidewalks that really irritated my foot. I took a few weeks of rest and a few extra spinning classes and have successfully completed a 20 miler on the 1st and half marathon last Sunday…Image 

I love half marathon’s. I remember specificically around mile 8 or 9 thinking how great of a distance it is. I was very comfortable running about 10 minute miles the entire time, and lucky to have my running girls to push me to do about 9:30’s over the last 3. We finished at 2:11, not a PR but very happy with how I felt and my ability to speed up the last 3 miles and use the rest of my juice. I am hoping that speeding up these shorter long runs that I will be able to keep a comfortable 10:30 pace for the entire 26.2 on marathon Monday. No time goals this year… but that would be nice.

As April 15th is approaching I am starting to have some of those marathon-related emotions resurface. It’s easy for me to be emotional over just about anything – say yes to the dress, the season finale of the bachelor, the piece of cheesecake I lovingly devoured last night… I am most definitely a crier. This year’s rules have been outlined for runners and spectators – no bags in Hopkinton, added security, no bandits, no costumes covering your face, it was all very expected. With really only 3 weeks left of hard training everything is starting to feel so real.

The marathon outfit is on its way (bright blue singlet and neon yellow arm warmers). My last few runs are scheduled and fuel plan is in place. I am scared and also looking forward to that last long run on March 29th where nearly everyone is out on the marathon course. I am hoping we get dropped in Hopkinton and are able to run the first 20 miles into Boston with all of the other’s training together. I’ve been very lucky to train on the course and am more than looking forward to the real thing.

 

It’s so wonderful reading all of the articles about Boston from the runners, but I have especially enjoyed some pieces from spectators as well. The below is something I came across when reading about the tribute on Aptil 15th that I especially connected with:

“To be in Boston on Marathon Monday is to feel a buzz in the air, like it’s the last day of classes before summer break, or it’s 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and your boss just sent out an email that you can all go home at 3. It’s feeling a sense of excitement, euphoria, electricity, and to know that sense is shared by everyone you pass. It’s high-fives from strangers, it’s sidewalk barbecues, it’s families enjoying a day together, it’s even sometimes Red Sox fans celebrating a win. It’s what DisneyWorld pretends to be.” Katie Lannan, Lowell Sun

Everything she said could not be more true. Although I know I will enjoy the many marathon monday’s as a spectator after today, this Patriot’s day will be something special to everyone who was affected by last years tragedy.

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the expert in anything was once a beginner

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there has been so much time to think… too much time. the next 6 weeks are taunting me in a way I never thought possible. I know I promised myself to “trust the process”, but it is proving to be harder than I had ever imagined. (and I haven’t even started training yet)

I understand that the hype surrounding the 2014 Boston Marathon will be huge, it already is. The publicity and support will start well beyond April 21st, and I really need to prepare myself. Many are already starting to ask about my training schedule. “are you ready for those cold mornings?” and to sum it up… I most certainly am NOT ready…

this has also lead to a number of other conversations about running, training, and working out in general. I have friends who would do anything to run a mile without stopping, some who have set goals to just finish a 5k, and others like myself, who want to complete a marathon. so quickly in these conversations those who are new to running often downplay their ability to do anything… “i can’t run that fast, it’s hard to breathe, I have the wrong sneakers and so on.” so quickly we put ourselves down. almost immediately the focus is on the negative. something is standing in the way of where we want to go. we are not improving at the rate we imagined we would.

I learned to run on a treadmill in 2010. At a max speed of 5mph, anything farther than 2 miles was out of the question. I can’t exactly remember if I even enjoyed it, but I showed up almost every day and did my time because I wanted to get better. granted, the barbie doll speeding along next to me without breaking a sweat was sometimes discouraging, but I kept quiet and stuck with it. very slowly I improved, and it was only with a positive mind and consistently showing up for myself that got me to where I am today.

“you don’t have to see the whole staircase. just take the first step.” – I am by no means an expert runner, or even in all that great physical shape. My proficiency truly lies in my mental game. Pinpointing our negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones has proven, for me, to ultimately be the most difficult exercise of all.cf5a188fad1fda70701e20dbb3855c5d

On the treadmill, the road, the bike, at work, in our relationships, success depends on the quality of our thoughts. and sometimes a really great playlist. 🙂