Enjoying these moments

“we’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are”

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22 MILER DONE!! done… finished… finuto… over with! I will never EVER ever in my entire life have to run that distance again until marathon monday!! then really, never again… EVER! ever. the happiness that brings me is off the charts. I am welcoming the next 3 weeks of tapering with a big huge hug. I could not be more thrilled with how my longest run went. it was definitely challenging but a huge reminder of how incredibly lucky I am to be a part of this day. getting dropped off in hopkinton was surreal. well, the scariest part of the day is actually being the car driving out to the starting line knowing that you are going to be running the entire way back. no ride… just running – that’s kind of scary. it’s a long ride.

there were more people at the start line in hopkinton that I have seen at some smaller races I’ve done. lots of busses carting charity teams… people waiting for porter pottys, news cameras, groups of runners similar to us snapping pictures & taking it all in. I was really nervous happy. the run itself took us just under 4 hours. I did not listen to a single second of music (aside from whatever the cheering fans were playing in their front yards). I really hope I can run the entire marathon without headphones. I know there are going to be so many spectators and I don’t want to miss a single second of the yelling and cheering and drunk people of boston. we thought a lot about how we are going to break down the race… last year i thought of it as 4, 10K’s then with another two miles tacked onto the end… this run we really focused on getting through to the next town. every time we saw one of those street signs was a mini celebration between the 3 of us. it also took us a few miles to remember all 8 towns that we actually touched. hopkinton, ashland, framingham, natick, wellesley and newton were the ones we hit on saturday – all that was left is brookline and boston!

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I have always believed in the power of positive thinking but this long run is what really proved it to be true. i usually hit a wall around 15-16 miles – just anything beyond that distance is too much for my body. everything starts to hurt – and I mean everything from my toenails through to my shoulders… just pain all over. it sucks and I still don’t know why people would really want to run marathons all the time. just don’t get it! any time I wanted to drag or quit or take a walk break I made a conscious effort to say outloud to myself or the girls “i’m feeling good”. and they would respond the same. that simple statement helped more than I could imagine. to hear myself say something positive in a time where I was definitely feeling less than okay is what made all the difference. I truly believe this was able to convince myself to move on. the body believes what the mind says… I know this mental strength is what will get me to the finish line in three weeks. If I hit coolidge corner feeling as run down tired as I did last year I will simply convince myself otherwise. After finishing 22 and feeling good I know I will make it across that finish on the 21st… such a cool feeling.

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I spent the rest of saturday and half of sunday indulging in absolutely anything i wanted to…  piled all of my favorite foods on at once. those burt calories were hard earned and i’ll be damned if I was going to let them go to waste. bring on the cadburry eggs, spinach dip, angry orchid’s and buffalo chicken nachos. based on my stomach ache yesterday I probably won’t be doing that again any time soon

tonight we are going to get our shirts screened with the awesome design sharon came up with. this weekend is a 15k followed by an 8 miler next weekend. I promised to wear my taco costume if we could raise another $1,500 to Mar’s charity… I half hope we raise $1,450 just so I can avoid my promise… 🙂

oh! we also got our runner passports and everything else in the mail this week too! photo below

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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. 🙂