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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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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