Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Boston Marathon Training {Week 18}

Week 18!


Weekly Miles {including Marathon Monday}




Running: 52.53 miles, 7:17 hours

Cycling: 0 miles, 0 hours 

Yoga/stairs: 00:41:00 


Total Miles for this cycle {December 11-April 16} 

Running: 943.13 miles, 133:10 hours

Cycling: 186.63 miles, 14:42 hours

Yoga/stairs: 05:58 hours 


Summary


Race week! I felt very calm leading up to the big day. I checked the weather a few times to reaffirm my race day outfit- and when the weather changed Saturday (colder)  it was too late to do anything about it. This left me feeling very nervous about race day and my ability to handle the cold, rain and wind.  I checked SportTracks and it predicted that I was going to peak on the 16th- so that made me feel a bit more confident. 


I was interviewed by SportTracks about the Boston marathon- it was fun reflecting on this training cycle with them.  You can read it 

HERE





The boys are good. They have been so hyper focused on me time and self care in this season of life. I told them, if that’s all they focus on, that they will miss life and that they will eventually regret having lattes by themselves  instead of spending time with us. Constantly trying to escape your life means there’s some huge issues that need to be sorted out.  I think I talked some sense into them. 


Latte at Pavement coffee. Delicious. 

Lowlight


Seeing the weather forecast for Boston. I really thought we would have ideal perfect unicorn weather this year. I never played out a scenario of running through a NorEaster. 


Highlights


Another massage on Friday. 


Going to Boston with L on Saturday morning. The flight was full of folks with Boston marathon gear. It was exciting. 




Eating delicious food in Boston. We went to some great places- Salty pig, Scampo, and Dunkin’ Donuts. Because, Boston. 




Getting my number at the expo was exciting. It hadn’t really felt real until the bib was in my hands. 




Thoughts


Despite being in a new location, the expo was still a shit show- basically so difficult to walk because of the amount of people- and them acting all desperate for free humus and rice. (Lack of self awareness)


This wasn’t a line for free hummus. This was just one of the aisles in the expo. 

Getting to hang with L and friends was awesome and helped me focus on other things than the race. Getting out of my head was so important for me to have success in the race. 




Final thoughts on this cycle:


I wouldn’t change much. Cutting back on beer and food the last month definitely helped me have a better race- and weighing 9lbs less than the start of the cycle also played a huge role. 


MRC members from Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago. 

While I wish I could have run outside more, I know for absolute fact that my indoor runs correlated to outdoor running just fine. The last couple of weeks I ran long and some speed outside and felt great and nailed my paces. I was prepared for a warm race with all the heat training. There was no need to be a dumbass and run outside when the weather was shit and potentially slip on ice or over extend myself due to the cold. 


Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston. Spike knows the drill. 

I felt more than prepared to slay my PR by 10+ minutes had it been better weather. I know that I could have easily run a 3:15 last week if I wasn’t running through a nor’easter. On a flat course in good weather, who knows what could have happened. 


I’m at peace with Boston now- and despite re-qualifying with a solid 14 minute cushion, I have no intention to return. I have other goals to focus on next spring. 



Looking Forward


I’m taking a little time off speed work, but generally feel good so I’ll continue running easy. Since the marathon was 30 seconds a mile slower than what I trained for- I feel like I recovered pretty quick. My left hamstring has been feeling weird since the race so I’m monitoring that to make sure it’s just remnants from running in the cold for a few hours vs actual issue. 


I’ll start Ironman training soon. I’ll also be running the Copenhagen marathon in a few weeks. I’m really excited about everything. 




I can’t thank L enough for supporting me during this training cycle. Thank you Kim for talking me off the ledge and being my unofficial coach. Thank you J and G for keeping me in good spirits during marathon weekend. 


Thanks for following along on this journey with me. 


Onto the next thing. 





Monday, April 23, 2018

Boston Marathon 2018 {Race Recap}

TL;DR

Time: 3:25:57
PR by 2:30
Course PR by 17 min
My 3rd BQ by 14 minutes!




On April 16 I ran my 16th marathon. It was by far the most miserable/brutal/emotional race I have ever experienced. 

When we left for Boston on Saturday morning, marathon Monday weather was predicted to be 50’s with feels like of 40’s and rain/wind. I thought- cool, My singlet and shorts will be perfect. Saturday evening/Sunday I saw the forecast was revised to include snow, and temps 10+ degrees cooler. Now we would be facing significant rain and wind, with feels like of low 30’s. I started freaking out. I wasn’t prepared to run in conditions like that- I had throwaway clothing but nothing that I could wear for the duration of the race which would keep me warm and slightly dry. We went out with our friends on Sunday evening, and I told them that I was  10% on DNS. That the cold would be too much for me. They reassured me that my training was solid and that I would be ok. I felt nervous, but agreed. 

Race morning, I woke up and had my trusty belvita and got ready, layer by layer.   L and I walked in the rain down Boylston towards the finish line. I just kept thinking to myself that the race would be a challenge, but that I’ve trained my ass off and I cannot let this opportunity slip away.  While the conditions were far from ideal, it was still so much better than last year- because it was much colder. 

We passed the finish line and all I could think to myself was how I hoped that I would see it again in a few hours and not feel so shitty that I’d end up in a medical tent. I really wanted to go to dinner post race and enjoy myself. We met G and P past the baggage check and continued on to the buses. We walked together and laughed at how absurd the weather was. G and L were saints for walking J and I to the buses in the rain. We hugged and said our good byes and J and I walked the remainder of the way together. 

The entire hour long ride we chatted away. About our training, our race plans, and our future races. We noticed snow on the side of the road as we got closer to Hopkinton and laughed. We pulled into Hopkinton after seeing loads of police lining the route- standard now. Especially since it was the 5th anniversary of 4.15. We got off the bus and were directed into the school- we looked at each other in disbelief. We we really going to avoid the athlete village!? We used the restrooms and then were immediately told to go to the village. Our hearts sank, but as soon as we went outside into the ice cold rain, we started laughing again. We walked through thick mud to the village- a guy next to us slipped and fell on his back. We got into a tent and immediately found a place to sit on some mats which had been abandoned. We were cold and wet but in incredibly good spirits. 

We sat for a while and got our stuff together. The plan was to change shoes/remove the throw away layers closer to the start line- where there wasn’t any mud. We got up to head to the start about 30 minutes before our 10:50 wave start. It’s a long walk from the village to the start- I believe it’s just shy of a mile. We saw all sorts of ingenious ways runners were trying to stay warm- from plastic bags over shoes, to duck tape on shoes, to garbage bags, to shower caps, to latex gloves- I’ve never seen so much creativity in one place. We were all in survival mode. We were all in this together. 

J and I hugged and said our goodbyes close to the start. I got emotional because I was so scared of what the next 3+ hours would hold for me. I discarded my 2x pants, and my 2x long sleeves and opted to keep the garbage bag on- for at least a little bit. I changed into my dry shoes and socks. It felt amazing to have dry feet temporarily. I fumbled with my iPod which was wrapped in a mcgyvered plastic bag + hair ties and stuffed my cell phone + 5 SIS gels into my huge pockets. I walked to corral 3 and laughed. Today was going to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever done. 

I got into my corral- hung around at the back like always and drank one of my gels. A photographer took my photo, and I got my iPod ready and tried to psyche myself up as much as I could. I was about to run my 3rd Boston, and 16th marathon. Instead of cursing the weather like nearly everyone around me, I thought about something J said to me- “we are lucky to be able to do this.”

We inched our way to the start and before I knew it, I clicked my Garmin to start recording my run and I was off. Immediately I thought how crowded it was- and how densely packed everyone seemed to be. I couldn’t pass people at all. It shouldn’t have been that shocking to me because we were seeded with people who qualified with similar times. I just thought people would take off a bit quicker due to the downhill. 

In the first few miles I saw a golden reteriver holding Boston Strong flags in his mouth. I nearly lost it. 



I continued to run an even pace and tried to cut through the crowd whenever a spot opened. I felt oddly calm and like I was out of body- watching myself from above. There was always a constant drizzle and wind. Then every 20 minutes a significant heavy band of rain and wind would come through and I would laugh to the point of almost crying. The cold rain + 30mph wind stung my skin. I was soaked to the bone and also had to keep pulling my shorts up since they were heavy from my phone + gels and the rain. My hands were completely numb within a few miles- it was so difficult to pull my shorts up and get gels out of my pockets. 

Around mile 6 the herd got thinner and I was able to start running a little faster. I knew at this point I was on track for a PR and was excited to see what I would end up with. I had decided pre race that my goals would be #1 have fun. #2 don’t end up in the med tent. #3 PR. I had no idea how the cold, wind and rain would affect me, but I knew I was in great shape and that I shouldn’t waste this opportunity. 

 The miles flew by and soon I was nearing the scream tunnel of Wellesley. I made a point to go to the right side and high 5 the gals spectating, and kissed one one on the cheek. This gave me a huge pick me up and pep in my step. I drifted back to near the center of the road and kept my head down and continued on. 

I passed the halfway in 1:40.xx and thought “wow- I just clocked my 3rd fastest half ever. I’m on track for a decent PR.” But that it also meant I’d be in the rain for another hour 40ish. I tried to keep a positive outlook on the day- I knew the moment I started complaining that I would break down and put myself in a position that would likely require medical assistance. As long as I kept moving, I would hopefully be ok. 

It felt surreal to be passing people the entire race once the road opened up around mile 6. It made me wonder if people were just treating Boston as a victory lap (and didn’t train as hard for it) or if they were injured, or had simply thrown in the towel and were just going through the motions to finish. The mood at the expo/ interactions with other runners pre race indicated that many had already called it a day before the race even started. I also have no doubt that the conditions played a huge role in slowing people down- it was incredibly brutal out there as we battled 30mph headwinds along with the cold and rain. 

Every mile I passed after the halfway made me happier and happier. I usually go out of my way to high five people and interact with the crowd- but during this race I just tried to conserve energy and get to the finish. 

Once I got to 9 miles left, I felt elated. Single digits! And just over an hour of running left until I could take a hot bath! The hills didn’t bother me. The rain and wind took my mind off of everything else going on. There were a few spectators along the hills this year (thank you November Project Boston for coming out in full force!) but otherwise it was pretty empty. Last year the hills were lined with spectators. 

I felt like I was alone in this race. I felt detached. I was happy I brought my iPod this year- hearing my playlist and singing along helped pump me up and take my mind off the conditions slightly. 

I made the decision to take the garbage bag off just before mile 25. I wanted good finish line photos! Until then, if I saw a course photographer, I would make sure my number was visible. I figured 10 minutes of running without my trusty bag would be ok. When I took it off I instantly felt much colder. I was already soaked- but I underestimated how much it was keeping me warm. 

With one mile to go I spotted G and we high fived. It was so nice to see a familiar face out on the course! I can’t imagine what it would have been like to stand in this garbage weather for hours on end. I told L, to not even bother coming out. It wasn’t worth it to see me run by for 3 seconds. Right after I passed G, I saw some members of the Boston PD, and said thank you to them and became ridiculously emotional. I couldn’t control the ugly cry- and it was so hard to breathe. 

I got myself together and pushed towards the finish. As I was making a right on Hereford a girl got too close to me and clipped the back of my shoes almost causing me to go down- I grabbed onto the back of the girl In front of me and stayed upright. 

Left on Boylston. I could see the finish down the road. I ran near some of the photographers and found a nice empty spot in the middle of the road to trot it in to the finish. I started crying as I approached the sacred finish line. I’ve never been so overcome with emotion like this before at a race. I was crying uncontrollably. It was so hard to breathe. After a few minutes I got myself back together got my heat blanket, and collected my medal and water. 

My hip flexors were in an incredible amount of pain once I stopped running. I never have problems with them- so I attribute it to being tense from the cold. My left hamstring was also feeling tender. I shuffled slowly back to the hotel and was able to text L something about where to meet-it was so hard to text while shivering and shaking. While walking through the mall a girl asked if I had run the marathon. I said yes. She said it is a goal of hers but that she doubted she could ever do it. I told her (through chattering teeth) that she could certainly do it if she wanted it. That my first marathon was 5:30 and with consistency I’ve taken 2 hours off of my time. If I could do it, anyone could. 

I met L near the lobby of our hotel and gave him a huge wet hug. I was so happy to see him! Once back in the room I took an hour long hot bath and after- finally felt back to life. Hearing that Desi had won was icing on the cake to an amazingly challenging day. I was just shocked that I didn’t find out she had won while on the course. Maybe my headphones were to blame?

A few hours later we went to dinner at Row 34 with G and J and ate some of the most delicious seafood ever. I also had a couple of beers. We talk about our races and had a fab time. Post Row 34, we went to Bukowski to continue the celebrations. More beer was consumed as well as tater tot poutine- J and I were starving. I’m usually not hungry after marathons, but I’m sure being in the cold made me work even harder than normal. 

Post race thoughts- I’m really happy with how everything went considering the circumstances. My goal going into this cycle was to not be in fear- I trained for an aggressive goal and told people about it. I wasn’t scared of failure. I know without a doubt that had the weather been favorable, that I easily would have run 10 minutes faster. To see Desi run 17 min off her best time made me realize just how heinous the conditions actually were. I’m at peace with Boston now and will take a few years off to focus on other goals. 

Splits 2017 vs 2018

Other thoughts/observations:

•IPod wrapped in plastic stuffed in sport bra. No ability to select music. Didn’t bother me. 

•When the iPod wires popped out of my shirt around mile 9 it was Insanely hard to stuff them back into my shirt due to numb hands

•Chaffing from my shorts where the seam hit my legs. 4 dime-quarter sized spots where the skin rubbed off. I had no idea until I got back to the hotel and L asked “are you bleeding?”

•Feet intact not a single blister or hot spot. 

•Nose bridge in significant pain due to the hat putting pressure on my glasses during the race. 

•Felt like an out of body experience. I went on auto pilot and just ran. 

•saying thank you to all the service members I ran near. 

•I stayed positive the entire time. I continually thought “this all you got Mother Nature!?”

Housekeeping:

Sis Gels- 1 pre race, then miles 5,10,15, couldn’t open the one I planned at mile 20. 

Ran with Sis electrolytes until the half (500ml)

Drank water at every other aid station starting at mile 16. 

Wore: 
MRC blue singlet
Coeur shorts with huge pockets
Boston Rabbit Hat
Blenderz glasses
Arm warmers
Garbage bag until mile 25
Nike Zoom elite shoes
Pro compression ankle socks
Saucony mittens. 

Takeaway- I should have worn my nice nike jacket because of the low temps. I also should have figured out a way to keep my hands warmer. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

16 April, a very good day

I love Timehop and seeing memories from years past each day.

Instead of bitching about the weather- I’d rather focus on something more positive.  Being in a great mindset heading into a race is so important!

16 April. It’s a date that for the past few years has brought me immense joy. 

16 April 2016

The date of my first BQ. After 3 failed attempts- missing by a few minutes to 12 seconds, I finally punched my ticket to Boston at the Carmel, IN marathon with a 7+ minute cushion of 3:28.34. When I got to the start line I just knew it would be an amazing day. 


“I F*CKING DID IT!!!” — me to L at mile 26 

Read about that race {HERE}



16 April 2017

Sweet baby Ze Pequeno was born. I knew that one of the pups born that day would be joining our family- it gave me a boost at Boston the next day knowing my future running partner was here. I feel bad we will be missing his birthday this year- but we will make up for it when we return. He’s been a great addition to our family. 

From butterball to big nose. 



16 April 2018

My 3rd Boston and 2nd as a qualifier. I have no doubt that Monday will be magical and amazing and everything I’ve hoped for hell or high water. 


All smiles for 26.2 miles 

2017 Boston Race Recap {HERE}

Monday, April 9, 2018

Boston Marathon Training 2018 {Week 17}

Week 17!


Weekly Miles:


Running: 54.58 miles, 7:55:39 hours

Cycling: 0 miles, 0 hours 

Yoga/stairs: 00:31:00


Total Miles for this cycle:

Running: 890.60 miles, 125:53 hours

Cycling: 186.63 miles, 14:42 hours

Yoga/stairs: 05:16 hours




Summary


I’m ready for Boston. I’m ready to run this race and move onto the next things- Copenhagen marathon for funsies and IM Louisville. 18 weeks is a long time to focus on one event, and I’m reaching the end point of my mental endurance for this training cycle. I need more sleep which I’ll get this week during my 10 day taper (which started Thursday after my last hard workout.)


Everything went well this week minus when I slipped on ice. I’m down 6.5lbs since I started this cycle (a constant roller coaster of up/down) but down now due to eating well and no beer - except the handful I’ve had in the past 6 weeks. 





Ze and CB have asked to have a photo session once every 4 months so they can just reuse those stale pictures instead of creating new content for their social media channels. I said that’s lame. People will notice and not take them seriously. 



Lowlight


I had to document where I fell. It was .25 into my 2nd interval. 

Slipping on the ice during 10 miles worth of intervals at goal pace and almost going for a swim in the lake Thursday. I got too close to the ice-I should have known better. By the time my foot hit the ice I knew I was toast. Luckily I only ended up with a bruised elbow and some soreness in my neck and side for a few days. I’m ok now. And I’m sure people are sick of me talking about it- but it was the most *exciting* thing in my life this week. Lol 


Highlights




Running 6x1 mile repeats outside. I also chatted with another runner out on the path during one of my recoveries which pumped me up. 




The 10 miles of intervals at goal pace on Thursday despite the fall. I felt good and In control and my splits were right on target. 




Running 8 outside on Sunday. I stayed away from the ice. 


Running with my run club on Saturday. They are amazing!






Another massage!




Getting a new camera with the money I won from getting 1st in the March madness bracket at work! I know 0 about basketball. 


Thoughts


I still feel there’s no way I’ll be able to maintain 7:15’s for 26.2 miles. (I said that about the half marathon too and I slayed that goal). The weather is looking pretty much ideal minus some rain, so luckily it won’t be a factor this year. I feel like the 3:10 is a stretch probably because I’m tired and my legs need to fully recover- which what taper is for. It’s also because I haven’t been able to fully adjust my mindset from being a 3:30 marathoner with all the paces (easy/hard whatever) associated with that to a 3:10 marathoner wannabe even though I know my paces are much faster than all my previous cycles- despite feeling great. 


 Looking Forward 


I need to make sure I get more sleep this week. My weight is at a good place and I’m sure I’ll lose another pound or 2 during the week from eating well.  I just need to continue to take care of myself- can anyone recommend self care tips? (JK, I’m good!) Hot baths have been helping with recovery too. I’m so blessed I can sneak away from my dog mother runner responsibilities so I can soak in salt and essential oils. 


The countdown is on for Ze to start running with me- after Boston when he is one year old. (Fun fact, his birthday is 4.16, the date of the Boston Marathon this year- he was born on Easter last year, the day before Boston) I ordered Ze  a running leash which connects to me at the waist vs handheld so that I will have more control- I spoke with 2 dog parents at MRC who recommended this leash so I hope it will be good and I won’t get knocked on my ass and break something due to Ze Pequeno. I also ordered Ze a no pull harness because he’s crazy and won’t listen outside. It’s my fault for not being more consistent- taking time in the winter to work on walking properly was not a priority- getting him to go to the bathroom outside was bigger. 




For this next week I’ll be doing more yoga, going over my race day plan, and making sure I eat appropriate amounts of food - my problem is that I eat way too much. Closer to Wednesday I’ll check the weather and decide what to pack- but I’m set on race day kit regardless. I’m really excited for this race!




I’m enjoying cooking new to me recipes and am currently at 25/52 for 2018. A continually  updated list is 

{HERE}




Days to go: 7!!  One week from today! 🙀🦄 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Boston Marathon Training 2018 {Week 16}

Week 16!


Weekly Miles:


Running: 60 miles, 8:26:42 hours

Cycling: 0 miles, 0 hours 

Yoga/stairs: 00:22:19 


Total Cycle Miles: 


Running: 836.02 miles, 117:57  hours

Cycling: 186.63 miles, 14:42 hours

Yoga/stairs: 04:45 hours </b>


Summary


Another 60 mile week! I also ran 266+ miles for March- another monthly PB. Taper starts soon-although looking at my training for next week, I’ll still be around 50, then the week leading up to Boston will cut to 26. Hanson is a 10 day taper because they believe cutting back too much/reducing too much intensity makes you feel dull. I’m feeling really good lately and excited to run Boston again! 




This week the boys didn’t want to post on Instagram if they didn’t have something “instaworthy” to share. I put an end to that quick. I don’t told them that they should put stuff on the ‘gram that makes them happy, or pics they want to remember and to forget about whatever perceived “audience” they think they have. They should never feel their life isn’t “instaworthy” enough because what good is it to add the pressure of only posting omg curated pictures from photo sessions (and recycling said photos for months)  just to keep up a front of a fake perfect life? (We see through those miserable people anyways). Why make yourself feel bad you don’t have some staged photo to share?  Double tap if you agree!




Lowlights:


The 10 mile tempo turned Into 6x9 minutes at 7:15 with one minute recovery. I  felt tired and hot (and woke up late again). The day before I turned off my alarm and fell back asleep for a while- I needed sleep more than a tempo I guess (can’t be upset at that). 


Feeling guilty if I eat a large portion of food. I’ve worked hard to stop binge eating- mainly by having multiple smaller meals a day so I don’t get to the point where I eat a huge meal due to lack of self control. But with Boston around the corner, and wanting to stay at a lower weight, I irrationally get upset if I eat too much. Whatever. I guess it’s not too irrational- you cannot out exercise a poor diet. I attribute my half PR success to eating well, no beer and being at a lower weight. I’m only being mindful of my food intake for a month, instead of the whole 18 weeks, because balance. 


Highlights: 




Running 4x1.5 miles at 10 seconds less than goal marathon pace OUTSIDE! It was my first speed sesh outside this year and first run before work in a while. I felt really good. 




Running 10.6 miles outside on Saturday. It was textbook easy, nothing special. I had fun seeing the gorgeous sunrise and then running into the headwind for the second half. Luckily I only encountered sleet for the final half mile. Felt like shards of glass cutting my face. 





Dyeing Easter eggs with my boys! Can you believe they’ve all never done that before?! I’m excited to have hard boiled eggs and rainbow egg salad. 




Getting my 2018 Boston jacket in the mail! I love the color combo!





Thoughts


Boston feels months away despite it actually being 2 freaking weeks away! I do know I’m nearing close because I’m ridiculously emotional when I think about the race and the goal I have. When certain songs come on my iPod I get emotional because they remind me of my first BQ, or other highlights of my running. 


I’ve also gotten to the place of incredible self doubt. Like- my new shoes aren’t good and I need to change the brand etc. or I need to get new race day outfit (despite it never giving me problems) and regardless of the weather I’ll be wearing the same thing I already picked out. It’s so dumb. I’ve been re reading my old race recaps (and getting emotional!) to put an end to these stupid thoughts-because what I’ve done in the past works perfect for me. 


Looking Forward


I just need to keep my head down and continue pushing towards Boston. No stupid “taper crazies” here- it’s not like I’m going back to have a significant extra amount of time to obsess about the race (and the slight extra time I’ll have will be for sleep). I refuse to waste energy on things like that. It’s not productive.  I’ll check the long range forecast soon to get an idea of what I’ll need to pack- but I’m set with my race day outfit and that’s the only thing that matters. There’s nothing I can change about the weather.


Spike and I are ready for Marathon Monday!

My run club meets this week- so I’ll drink one beer with them. Because it would be sacrilegious to not partake in post run beer. It will be nice to see everyone.  Then I’ll refrain from beer until the afternoon of April 16- or if the Boston College kids have something good around mile 22, I’ll drink that.  


I cooked new recipes again!




I made honey glazed carrots and split pea with ham soup yesterday!



I’m enjoying cooking new to me recipes and am currently at 25/52 for 2018. A continually  updated list is 

{HERE}




Days to go: 14! 🙀🦄