Posts Tagged With: boston

Prelude To A Race

Last Thursday, my family got on a 5:25 am flight from Wilmington to Boston, via Charlotte. Let’s just say that I don’t get up before 3 am very often, and there’s a reason why I don’t. We landed on time in Boston, and by noon, we were peddling our bags at our hotel, off to wander our blurry eyes around until 4 pm check-in.

There was a make-up Red Sox game that afternoon, and Fenway was a stone’s throw from our hotel, so we headed to the famous Bleacher Bar, where the hostess scored us some amazing front row seats to the Sox pre-game practice. My husband and I had a few Sam Adams 26.2 brews and a good sandwich, before we headed off to look at some new Sox gear at the stadium store and conveniently, the Target next door to our hotel. Who doesn’t love a giant Target????

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My boys at the Bleacher Bar

Soon, we headed back to the hotel and napped on the lobby couches, and finally, were led to our room. Then we headed to get groceries and hang out at the hotel until our early bed time.

On Friday morning, after a long, glorious sleep, my hubs and I headed out on what would be my last tempo run. I didn’t realize you could barely go a block before having to stop for traffic, although any amount of common sense would tell you that, so I was easily frustrated (nothing new) until we got to a really pretty park trail around Jamaica Lake. The first mile didn’t feel great, which is what I expected, but my tempo paces came easily to me after the warm up, and I felt like I could run forever. I didn’t know whether to feel good or bad about that since normally, the week before my marathons, I feel like complete crap and that I have never strung two miles of running together before. 5ish miles later, we were back at the hotel, ready to take on the day.

The first order of business was the expo. Three years ago, it was such a mad house, I went through by myself, which is boring and sad. This year, I drug my entire family along as we shopped for Boston gear and other essential items stuff we didn’t necessarily need but really wanted.

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My son and Me

Then we headed to see about the insider Fenway Park tour, which is only held three hours before game time. Yes, scored tickets for that! It was pretty fun to learn a little more about the park, that Yawkey was the last name of the person who essentially saved the Sox back in the 30’s, sit in the oldest seats in the major leagues, and hang out on The Green Monstah watching the players as they had batting practice. Several balls were hit in our area so, considering my nerves were a little shot anyway, I was glad when the tour was over.

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My favorite support crew

Next up, Red Sox game!!! We had a few beers, walked around, and sat in front of a couple who knew each other but I know her favorite word is any version of FUCK. It was fun, but I know my mind was on food and running and weather and almost everything else but the game.  Sleep came easily that night.

On Saturday morning, we headed to Boston Common for the BAA 5k. I signed the entire family up, mostly so my husband and kids could run across the same finish line I would have on Monday and they would get to experience the “right on Hereford, left on Boylston”.

We saw a lot of thongs things while wandering around the common….

 

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Geez. I really wanted to submit them for an episode of “What NOT to Wear” or “Don’t Stretch While Wearing This”. But I don’t know of those actual shows.

Anyway, my youngest and husband ran the 5k, and my oldest, who had foot surgery in January, and I walked the entire thing, just chatting it up. It was fun, and although we were close, we did not finish last.

My son and moi

After that, we headed back to Fenway for our second and last Red Sox game. We hung out for quite a while on Yawkey way, listening to a really cool band, watching a guy on stilts, and feeding off the energy of the crowd.  It was a good game, but unfortunately, all I could think about was marathons and food and weather. I knew I had missed the boat on eating well that day, so I wanted to be sure I could get a really good meal. We stayed to the end, but lucked out and got a seat at the restaurant right next to our hotel and got the meal I was looking for. Whew.

The best family a girl could ask for

On Sunday morning, my husband and I headed out for my 25 minute shake out run, which thankfully felt like crap, and then we headed to the finish line, where we would meet with the other runners from Wilmington. It was great to see so many familiar faces, talk to my friends and training buddies, and see the finish line, up close and personal. We headed back to the hotel, where we watched the Sox game on the roof deck of our hotel. It was cool to hear the crowd live when the Sox won.

The Wilmington Road Runner Team

I pretty much sat on my butt the rest of the day, got all my race gear ready, and honestly, I didn’t panic when I kept seeing the temperatures for race day getting warmer and warmer.  I talked to my coach about hydration, and then my husband and I came up with a very solid race day plan. He has been with me through all my marathon bonks, knew the drill, so we planned it down to a pretty clear picture of what I HAD to do to make this race successful. I wasn’t that nervous, but I would get waves of excitement, nerves, and whatever else that pre-race feeling is, but then it would pass, and I just did my thing. It was weird, but maybe that’s what happens when you gain experience and there’s very little expectations. I mean, I had expectations, but I wasn’t gonna win the race, so there’s just nothing THAT important to freak out about. Haha, yeah, right. That’s what I keep telling myself.

It had been stalking me the entire three days. I knew it was there and I knew it was going to stare me down on Monday.

I went to bed around 10:30 that night, after eating a baked potato and chicken sandwich, hoping upon all hope I had done my nutrition right and that my plan was going to work.

At 5:20 on Monday morning, my friend texted me, wishing me luck, just 5 minutes before my alarm went off, and I knew it was a good thing to wake up to a good luck text. Thanks, Stacey!

Game. On.

Categories: Boston Marathon, boston red sox, follow your dreams, fueled by base, learning from failure, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, running, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’m Shipping Up To Boston

So I sit here, wondering what to say. I’m channeling Santa Claus, making my list, checking it twice. I’m checking the weather every day, knowing it’s futile since we all know the weather will do what it wants, when it wants, no matter what. I’m packing everything I can think of, and more, for my epic trip up north. Y’all, I’m shipping up to Boston. F*** yeah, I’m SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are getting the house cleaned, playlists finalized, last minute stuff before we head out at the butt crack of dawn Thursday. I randomly burst into tears, thinking about qualifying day, thinking about the last time I was in Boston, how good it was, how bad it was, how badly I want this race to just go well.  I’m making my race plan, checking it twice, but of all the feelings I have, I’m grateful. I GET to run Boston!

running homer

This race is something I’ve worked very hard for.  Of the nine marathons I ran with the goal of getting a BQ, I achieved that goal twice. There were a lot of failures along the way, but I learned something from them all.  Good Lord, do I have to learn so much?? And Pah-LEEEZZZEEE, don’t make me learn anything on Monday!!!!!

The quest began in 2009, and here we are, 8 years later, and I’ll be running the race of my dreams for the second time. Well, if things go my way, it will be for the first time, if you take the “running” part literally. For those who don’t know, the 2014 Boston Marathon did not end well for me. Yes, I finished, but I spent about two hours on the last 5 miles, desperately trying to put one foot in front of the other just to cross the finish line. I don’t remember much about the end, but I do remember lying on the ground next to the port-a-jon, crying because I felt so bad. I also remember lying on the cot at the med tent listening to the man next to me hurl his guts up while I was handed a Muscle Milk. Gag.

I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve become and Ironman since then. And I’m not going into this race with a rigid plan, either. You can’t control the weather, you can’t control the crowds of runners around you, but you can adjust to it. I think that’s the best thing that’s happened since I started the quest for Boston – I’ve learned how to hold on, but I’ve learned how to let go. I’m taking the ashes of my last Boston Marathon, dropping them on the finish line, and I’m letting the bad stuff go, no matter how my race turns out on Monday. It’s done, I healed the wounds, I’ve let all the mean stuff people said to me go, I’ve let all the mean stuff I’ve said to myself go.

I’m going in with a goal to get my third BQ, but the main goal, the number one (ok, three things) thing I want out of Monday, is to 1) remember the entire race, 2) finish with a smile on my face, and the most important thing, 3) RACE SMART. Any race you run smart is a good race. And oh, yeah, don’t forget to be a bad ass.  And BQ. Haha. Yeah, I want it.

a race

Stay the course, KICK SOME ASS!

So excuse me as I finish packing, listen to some Dropkick Murphy’s, do a little dance in the kitchen, attend a few Red Sox games, drink a beer (or two), and eat a hot dog, but I’m shipping up to Boston, and I’m gonna have an awesome effing time!

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, go for your dreams, learning from failure, marathon, marathon training, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It’s All About Boston

Anyone watching the marathon?  I have to admit, I’ve never watched the Boston Marathon before. I’ve got it streaming and I’m so excited to see how everything plays out today. I’m definitely on Team Shalane! I’ve had so much fun seeing people’s posts, articles, and blogs about their Boston experience, and it brings back so many memories from being there last year. I’d forgotten a few things that came back to me today. Some have brought tears of just plain joy, reliving an unforgettable experience, one that was so beyond amazing that the word amazing seems very inadequate.

Yeah, Boston!!!!

Yeah, Boston!!!!

This morning, I ran for Boston. I think of everyone making their way to the athlete’s village, how crazy it was there,  making their way to the start line, the nerves, the excitement, the crowds of people yelling “You’re my hero”.

2.62 for Boston

2.62 for Boston

I remember crossing the start line, I remember the short part where there really wasn’t a crowd and how quiet it was.  I remember seeing a sign along the course that read, “Meb won” and almost crying. I’m tearing up thinking of this right now actually. I remember seeing people jumping on a row of trampolines, people grilling out, sitting on the top of their roofs watching us run by. I remember seeing so many people getting kissed, getting high fives, the screaming, the yelling, the amazing support. I remember the hills, the beer I drank on heartbreak, the fun, the support, the love coming from the people in Boston. I remember someone offering me potato chips for the salt, I remember people asking me if I needed help, I remember laughing with them, thanking them, and feeling so lucky to be surrounded by amazing people. I remember knowing when my BQ, PR, and a sub-4:00 race was over, but I remember wanting to absorb as much of the race as I could. I remember the Citgo sign, of turning onto Boylston Street. I remember crossing the finish line and thinking how lucky I was to be there. No, the race didn’t go my way, but I felt an amazing sense of pride. I’m hoping everyone racing today has that feeling.

I’m so excited for everyone there today. And I’m planning my return. I’ve already got my hopeful BQ race picked out and I’ll be able to sign up for it next month.

So much epic stuff coming too….. as for now, I’ve got a marathon to watch!

 

It's all about this.

It’s all about this.

Categories: Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, go for your dreams, marathon, qualifying for boston marathon, running | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s Go Time

I’m running a marathon tomorrow. I normally get quite a bit of performance anxiety, but it’s amped up quite a bit with this one. I’ve actually given myself a headache. I know, I know, just ENJOY the moment, the race, the crowds, feeling like a rock star. Trust me, I am. But I’m here to kick ass. I’m here for a PR and another BQ. I’m here to run my best race. I’ve paid for coaching, for PT, for tons of shoes, this trip. I’ve trained six days a week. I ran in the ice, the snow, the cold rain, the hot rain, the humidity, the early hours, the evenings, the afternoons. I put up with an allergic skin reaction to chlorine so I could cross train.  I missed ONE workout in over six months. ONE. And it wasn’t even a run, it was a swim. And I did housework that day so I consider that a workout 😉

I’m scared. I don’t want to admit it, but I am. I’m scared of the hills. I’m scared of having a bad run day. I’m scared of bonking. I’m scared of it being a little too warm, too windy, too crowded. Maybe I’m the only one who will admit it, but I’m not the only one who’s feeling that way.

So instead of letting it get to me any more, I’m going to focus. I’m going to channel all the positive thoughts sent from my friends. They’ve been priceless and I truly thank you. I’m going to focus on what tomorrow WILL be, which is the best race experience I could imagine. I’m going to push through the fatigue, the pain, the anxiety. I’m going to run my hardest.  I will keep this in mind “In the first half of the race, don’t be an idiot, and in the 2nd half, don’t be a wussy.”

We are heading to our downtown Boston hotel now.  Good luck to everyone running Boston tomorrow.

As for me….

fearless

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, training for marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

10 Things to do While Waiting to See if I Get Into Boston

This week is the longest week EVER and it feels like Friday (and beyond) will NEVER EVER EVER get here.  YES, it’s anoooother post about Boston and I swear it will be one of the last (for a while).  I registered for Boston on Monday and people can register until Friday.  We still won’t find out until they verify everyone’s race, which will be sometime next week.  Hopefully.  There’s many more registrants than spaces available so it makes the entire thing really difficult.  More waiting. Sheesh, so what’s a person to do while waiting for news? I just want to know. Now. I read Mark Remy’s article in Runner’s World titled “6 Ways to Pass the Time While Waiting for Boston Confirmation” and I decided to steal his idea.  Here’s my list of “10 Things to Do While Waiting to See if I Get Into Boston”. Thanks Mark!  At least it gave me something else to do!

1) Math – I have dusted off my calculator and freshened up my math skills this week.  I’ve twisted all the Boston numbers around so many times, it’s kind of crazy/bordering OCD. There’s 5,000 spaces available. Based on equal spacing in finish times with the people who have registered (I was using a lower number at first which made me happy but it’s now at 7,900 which makes me unhappy) I have a faster time than 34% of the finishers who, theoretically speaking, finished less than five minutes of their qualification time. Blah blah blah blah, at this particular time, I would miss making the cutoff registration by 214 runners. Of 22,000 runners. Now that’s a punch in the gut!!! Then, I had to figure out that I would miss it by less than 1%. So it’s kind of a big reminder next time to be sure to kick that last few miles in the ass and just haul it til you cross the finish line. Or throw up.

2) Learn to Knit.  Read a good book. It’s fascinating how blankets and clothes are made by some yarn/spun stuff but I really have no interest. I wanted to, but I just don’t. So reading a good book is a great way to pass the time.

3) De-clutter a room.  I moved 1,200 miles in July/August. I’m tired. But I have one “catch-all” room that is desperately needing a de-clutter.  It’s called a bonus room because once you clean the entire regular house, you get to clean another room – A BONUS!!! Yeah! So it took me a few days, but I cleaned out my room. See?

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Ok, this is totally not my room and I found this picture on the Internets, but that’s how I feel.

4) Practice spelling and vocabulary. My son’s school in Texas stopped spelling tests just into his 3rd grade year and never had vocabulary. And from what his papers show, it’s quit quite obvious. Since we moved to NC, he now has spelling and vocabulary (thank you, NC!!!) so might as well brush up on that stuff yourself, so when you’re kid asks you what “exquisite” means, you know the real answer without distracting him while checking Google.  Mmmhmmm, I’ve never done that.

5) DVR and watch the new fall TV shows. I watched the new Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Andy Samberg. It’s hilarious. Dr. Phil’s new episodes. Am I the only one who feels really good about themselves and their parenting skills after watching his show?  Duck Dynasty.  Makes me want to drink tea.  Food network.  How do they make such good meals in 20 minutes using Spam, vegetables I’ve never heard of, and a can of icing?  House Hunters.  Ahhhh, to be able to just pick up and move to the islands.  Many more shows are starting next week, so if I feel the need to distract myself further, there will be plenty to see.  Sleepy Hollow. It’s fantastically evil but I have a little crush on Ichabod Crane. I like the other characters too.  Well, not the headless guy trying to kill everyone in order to find his head and start the end of the world. And that leads me to….

6) Watch Hollywood.  They shoot a lot of movies and TV shows here in little ole’ Wilmington.  Sleepy Hollow is shooting downtown today, so guess what I am going to do? Try and see Ichabod Crane, played by Tom Mison.  I watched the show and realized that I need to only watch it during daylight hours and when I know I won’t be home alone at night.  For me, the creep factor is pretty high up there, but it’s really good and I’m still going to watch it.  Especially if I can see them filming it.

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Tom Mison plays Ichabod Crane

7)  Be depressed and plan pity party.  I tried depression on for size and it really doesn’t fit. I know I’ll be upset if I don’t make it in, especially since I found out (using my wonderfully toned math skills) that the timed entries were only increased by 400, not the thousands that the BAA had announced.  THOSE spaces were for the people who were not able to cross the finish line last year due to the bombing (kudos to the BAA on that one) and for charity runners (totally missed the boat on this one BAA, totally missed it). It’s not fair, but really, there’s just things in life that aren’t fair, so get over it and move on.  I’ve sort of moved on in my head already since once I realized that my chances of getting in are basically impossible, I have already done a lot of grieving this week.  And if I had a pity party, we would have chips. Lots of chips AND dip. And beer.

8) Cook.  And eat.  I am almost two months into my training and the longest run I’ve been on is 9 miles and the most mileage I’ve done in one week is just about 30.  That isn’t very much YET, but when you add the cross training I’ve done with swimming and biking, plus the strength training, I’m burnin’ up some serious calories. I. Love. This.  On Monday, I was so hungry all I wanted to do was eat. I knew I had to be careful so I didn’t get that “oh sh*t, I just ate an entire chicken and now I feel like one of those big huge Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons” feeling, but I ate as much or more than a huge man would eat. My husband runs and my kids are in football, so this family goes through some serious food. What better to do than to cook something good and then get the pleasure of eating it? A lot of it, too. I love the way my body changes to be stronger, leaner, and faster all while I’m shoveling down hundreds of calories. Snacking? It’s a must.  And I get bored with the same old things, so finding healthy and hearty recipes is always something to do while distracting oneself. Chicken Ole anyone?

9)  Write or call someone.  Write a letter to your grandma. Write your long-lost friend where the only communication you’ve had is “Liking”  their pictures on Facebook. Talk to people.  Call someone. It doesn’t always take much for me to be able to hit the RESET button on my day and one nice person in Harris Teeter startled me into realizing that I probably looked like the Wicked Witch of the West when I was standing there getting my fresh fruit and veggies scanned with a frowny wistful look on my face.  Oh poor me, I can’t get into a race that I spent three years training for and attempting.  Well, that’s a first world problem if I’ve ever heard of one, so get the hell over it. (You know as much as I do that I won’t totally get over it, but just get over it at that moment.)  Then I felt guilty for being all grinchy and always resort to gratefulness, because I really am lucky to be standing there buying fresh fruits and veggies. Then I smiled and decided to get the hell over it (at that moment).  The moral of this thing-to-do is to reach out to someone because maybe that contact can be what they need to hit their RESET button.  Hmmmm, I wonder if I could install a RESET button on my grumpy cat. He’s always going around biting people and whining about how he doesn’t want the food in the dish, he wants CANNED food and that the water in the bowl is stale, he wants it as soon as it comes out of the faucet and will stand there looking at me until I turn the faucet on and then he takes two licks and is done. Hmph.

This cat does not want to have a RESET button.

This cat does not want to have a RESET button.

I got him a really nice RESET button and installed it but he immediately de-installed it. We went round and round until he ate the RESET button, which I had to remove from his mouth because everyone should know that you just don’t eat RESET buttons. The good thing is that there were about 300 seconds that I didn’t even think of “that” marathon. Success.

10)  This is kind of obvious, but necessary: Go out and run!  I’m not one of those people who hates to run but does it for the exercise or to be a triathlete. I really truly love to run and it’s a part of who I am. It also allows me to drink more beer without gaining weight, but that’s not the point.  I think I’ve only had about five times EVER when I went out for a run and then regretted it. One time, it was because my leg was really hurting so I shouldn’t have done it. Another time I got over heated and yacked. I kind of laugh about that one because it was when I was living in Iowa and I wouldn’t run if the temps were over 70 because it was “too hot”.  How ironic that a year later, I would live in southern Texas and it wouldn’t get BELOW 70 for five months in a row.   Then two years after that, I would move to the jungle where the humidity is always 1,000,000% (and some days it feels like more).  I digress.  I know I can improve on my marathon time, so besides continuing my training, I’m reading about nutrition and how I can fuel better for those longer training runs and races.  It’s time to put my game face on and get this thing done.  Again.

So anyway, it’s never fun to be stuck in what seems like the time stopping abyss of ???????  but there could be worse things to deal with. Just look at it all with a sense of humor, distract yourself, and the time will come when all the questions are answered. Is it freaking Friday yet?

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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