Wednesday, June 3, 2009
In the past few weeks, I have made some big decisions. I am officially going to the University of Vermont for medical school, moving up to Burlington in the beginning of August. I have a condo and already moved my big furniture up there with my mom. Slowly, I will be transitioning out of Boston. I stopped working about a month ago (May 1 ) and have been enjoying my time off. My days consist of the Today Show, yoga, a little bit of reading (though I still have yet to finish Angels and Demons and I started it about a month ago), some other sort of exercise be it running, swimming or biking, making to-do lists, cleaning up, dinner.... those are the more consistent activities of each day.
My big adventure starts on Saturday! I head off to Colorado for ten days to visit my friend Kate. It will be trip #2 for this blog, it's the same friend I visited back in February. I am very excited and I am going to use the 10 days there to get some high altitude exercise in in preparation for my Mount Rainier climb. Then I head off to Seattle, two days before my sister is due to deliver her first baby, my first niece!!! Who knows when she will actually deliver, but I am hoping she won't come too early. Then, July 8-11 my Dad and I head to Mount Rainier to attempt to summit with Rainier Mountain Guides.
I'm excited for my adventures, I am sure those weeks are going to fly by! I will keep you updated on my exciting adventures.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I have no words of wisdom. All I know is that "the hay is in the barn", as Jack says. Between when my training began and now I have logged 4 runs of 20 miles or more, almost 700 miles total, many track practices, made many new friends, and managed to raise $6451.00 for the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge!! With all of that hard work and all of that support how could I not be ready? I'm ready... Very ready.
If you read this before tomorrow afternoon, I'm in the first wave of the marathon, starting at 10:00AM. My bib number is 10449 and my DOB is 08/04/1982 (in case you want to use the athlete tracker to track me.) I will be wearing a black running skirt, a red patterned Dana Farber Singlet and a light, bright blue visor.
Again, thanks for tracking me along the way!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Regardless of how many marathons I have run, I always get the pre-race jitters. For example, when I ran my last marathon (Philadelphia) with my old roommate Mo she was laughing at how ridiculous I was acting when it was my second marathon in three weeks and it was her first EVER. I couldn't decide what to wear - pants...no, skirt...no, pants..! then two minutes before dropping off our bags I had to duck behind a truck to take off my pants and wear my skirt. Oh, and yes, Mo had to listen to me debate about whether or not that was a good choice as we waited in line at the Porto potties, where I was also kind of freaking out about the close proximity to start time and the long long line... I like to think I was distracting her from allowing herself to be nervous for her first marathon...
I think my nerves pop up because I all of a sudden realize that 26.2 miles is actually a really LONG run. Another marathon experience that helped me to understand that factor was when Fred and I ran the Sugarloaf marathon together. We were staying at a hotel at the 10 mile mark of the marathon, and the morning of we were supposed to drive to the finish line and take buses out to the start of the course. We thought we had calculated enough time to get up, changed, fed and in the car to the start line... but we kind of forgot that 16 miles on windy roads in Maine does not take 10 minutes... it can take up to 30 minutes! I have never seen Fred drive so fast in my life. We were flying around corners in order to make it to the buses on time, all because we didn't realize how far 16 miles really was - and we were about to run 10 more than that!
Anyhow, I guess this is about the time I realize that the marathon is a huge accomplishment. It is a long run and all of us have put many hours, dollars, and thought into the months, weeks and days leading up to Monday. I suppose the nerves are completely understandable.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
1. Sleep more - since I am not waking up at 5:30AM to swim, I get at least an extra hour of sleep a day, which has caused me to second guess why I ever thought waking up at 5:30AM was a good idea in the first place.
2. Spend more $$$- this happens in multiple different ways. First, I like the idea of shopping, and I usually don't really have the time to do it. Now that I have that extra hour after work, the idea of walking over to Copley on my way home seems even more appealing. Second, this is the time I decide I should catch up with all of those friends I have left to the wayside during these months of training. As it turns out, the best way to meet up with friends is either over lunch, coffee or dinner. Hence, spending more money along the way.
3. Worry more - I find that when I am at the heart of my training, small aches and pains come and go and I generally can overlook them, mainly because I have another training run lined up that I don't want to miss. Now that I have a week off, aches and pains actually seem to stress me out much more. For example, yesterday I decided to enjoy the beautiful, yet cold, spring day by walking to and from work and to meet up with a friend for coffee (all of which I did in clogs). At the end of the day, I couldn't stop noticing that my right shin was bothering me. I decided to ice it last night, ice it this morning...and then continue to think about it through until, well, right now. Knowing the marathon is only one week away, little aches and pains seem much more stressful.
4. Read more - I am just about to finish A Thousand Splendid Suns, (great book, btw, highly recommended). I started reading it at the end of my time in the Caribbean, a little under a month ago. I was one-third of the way through when we got off the boat... and I am finally actually finishing it.
5. Review past marathon results - Apparently this has become a new habit of mine. As the marathon approaches, I start to look at how I did in past marathons. How much time did I lose between the first and second half? How fast did I run the first 5K? What did I do the week before...? I'm not sure if this really makes me more neurotic, or if it actually helps calm me down with the knowledge that I have done this before, and I will do it again.
6. Stretch more - well, this is something I should do. I suppose I will add it to my list, and attempt to actually do it over the next... FIVE DAYS!!
OH, and in case you don't have a chance to check the weather yourself... the forecast as of today for Marathon Monday is:
Sunday, April 12, 2009
And, on the weather note, the chance of showers in Hopkinton on Marathon Monday have gone down to 20%!!!! And the high of 56 is holding strong!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I get this question a lot. Well, I have to say, it is 11 days until Marathon Monday and I would not be excited to run the marathon tomorrow. However with each passing day I feel a bit more motivated and excited for the run. When I look back over my training for Boston, I have logged over 500 miles since January (probably more weekly miles than I have ever run before a marathon), received over $6000.00 towards my fundraising for Dana Farber (also a PR for my fundraising efforts), and had many great running partners along the way. I have had a few nagging injuries here and there, but none that amounted to anything at this point in my training. I feel very fortunate, and I am starting to feel more and more ready for the marathon.
So, how much more do you run before the marathon?
All of us marathoners are in 'taper mode' now. When I say that to a non-marathon runner they kind of nod and smile. In other words, we are in rest and recovery mode, logging less miles than we have over the bulk of our training and allowing our bodies to get ready for the trek from Hopkinton to Boston. The funny part of this question is that when I tell a non-runner than we don't have any more long runs and that I will only run 8-10 miles this weekend, I get another look of yeah, right, that's not a long run?? However, when you put it in the context of how many miles we have been running on the weekends since January, 8-10 miles seems like a walk in the park.
This week I accidentally ran 8.5 miles in Newport on Monday because of construction on the Ocean Drive that made me reroute my run. Tuesday I did a great 4 miler with Betsy, last night, Wednesday, I did a great 5-miler with Dennis, tonight I will do 4 with Betsy with a little bit of tempo running thrown in, tomorrow-rest, Sat- 8-10, Sunday - rest.
Then next week I will try my hardest to stick to only a few short runs, mixed in with lots of reading and lots of rest.
Do you have a goal time?
I never answer this question. Mainly because I don't really ever have a goal time, I have a goal range. And, I often don't even like to admit what the range is, because most people automatically forget the range and focus on the lowest number. I will admit, I am not aiming for a PR (personal record). I am not feeling that this time around and I don't want that added pressure. This marathon is about running for my supporters and all of those people affected by cancer. My goal is to make them proud and to finish feeling strong and good!
Friday, April 3, 2009
Tonight Glen is having a fundraiser at Game On! for all of us to hang out before Shifter's race tomorrow at the Local Bar in Newton. The race tomorrow is a 3-miler, so Fred, Aimee, Betsy and I are going to go out and do a solid 9-mile run right before the race itself.
And the countdown continues to the Boston Marathon - 16 days, $5,301.00 raised, and $2,619.00 left to go towards my fundraising goal.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The problem is, I don't know when I went from recovering from my fall marathons to training for Boston. If you count the second week of December (a week after the Philadelphia marathon) as my first week of training, then I have run 623 miles so far in my training. If you count January 1st as my first day of official training, I have done 480. Regardless of what I consider to be my total training mileage, it makes me feel good to know I have that many miles logged on these legs as I enter into the three week taper to Boston.
As for today, today was a great day. I was hesitant about how I would feel running 21.5 miles, after logging quite a few miles this week and coming off a "week of mai tai's on the deck" as Jackson commented on in one of my posts. Aimee, Betsy and I met up to head to the Joints in Motion bus this morning at 6:40AM. Victor, the Joints in Motion organizer, was dressed in a overweight hula dancer body suit directing us on to the bus and letting us know all about the run. There were many different charities heading out to Hopkinton to drop off their runners and then set up water stops along the way back into Boston. Children's Hospital, Team in Training, Liver Foundation and Joints in Motion are only a few of the many different support groups and volunteers who were out there with water, Gatorade and snacks for us along the entire course. It is amazing how supportive the volunteers of all of these groups are. We had water stops at every mile!
We started the run around 8:30AM, Betsy, Aimee and I, and we kept a great, consistent pace throughout the whole run! We did not take it too fast down the hills so that we were burnt out come the fire station where the real hills start. Around mile 13, Sarah Nixon showed up and ran the last 8.5 miles with us. She was super energetic and a great addition to our group, helping pull us up the hills and into BC. My legs are sore now - no doubt about that - but my confidence in running has returned. After 10-days in the Caribbean without logging even one mile in my running log, I still managed to pull out a strong effort for my last long run - a lot of that is thanks to my supporters, my donors, and my training partners (especially Aimee, Betsy and Sarah). THANK YOU!
On another note, if you do not already have plans tonight, head on over to The Place in Boston for Betsy and My fundraiser "Dancing for a Cure"!! It should be a great party, with some free drinks until 10pm and an open dance floor! Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I even got Fred to aqua jog (also known as "zooming") with me five of the days we were down there. I think aqua jogging in Caribbean waters with amazing views is far more enjoyable (although still pretty monotonous and boring) than jogging in a pool.
Since I have been back, my fundraising has bumped up from $3700.00 to $5302.00!!!! Thank you so much for all of your support! I am so excited to have bypassed the $5000.00 mark. Betsy and I are throwing our Dancing for a Cure fundraising event at The Place in Boston this weekend, which hopefully will be a great success and a great time!
As for my training, I jumped full swing back into running right off the plane... I was feeling a bit antsy after taking so many days off. (A full 10 days!) Monday night I did 8.5 miles from my apartment. It was chilly out, but felt surprisingly good to be out running. Last night was a bit more difficult. I decided to head to the track and the workout was a bit more than my legs were willing to handle after having had some time off. My goal was to get through at least half of the workout (or until I started to feel myself really slowing down) and then to run the portion I was unable to do at a moderate pace. I was able to do just that. Aimee and Betsy pulled me along through our first six 800's and then I pulled back for the last 6. It was hard, but felt good all the same.
Today I did my first lunch run! It is BEAUTIFUL out, so I headed out to the river for a very easy 5.5 miles. I was jogging the whole way, trying to keep my pace down and just enjoy being outside and not sitting in front of a computer for an hour. The temperature seems to be going up here in Boston.
Tomorrow I plan to do Crossroads and bypass my early morning swim. I think getting a good night sleep and not overdoing my training will be the name of the game for me for the next three and a half weeks leading up to the marathon. This weekend is our 22 miler from Hopkinton to BC which I am really excited about and want to feel refreshed and ready!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
My Internet was not working so I did not check the temperature before heading out. I assumed it would be just as nice as yesterday. I put on my running skirt, a long sleeve shirt, gloves, a hat and my camel back. I had my Garmin all set up and charged and I headed out the door by 6:15.
Everything started to go down hill after about 1.5 miles into my run. I felt tired, which of course had me convinced that I have low iron and that it had nothing to do with the fact that it was dark out and 6:30 in the morning. My legs were also FREEZING. When I stepped outside of my apartment I recognized it was cold, although I was not sure how cold it really was and I assumed I would quickly warm up. That was definitely not the case. With no sun, and bare legs, I felt as if my legs were slowly becoming ice cubes. By the time I made it up to Cleveland Circle (1.5 miles into my run), I was debating as to whether or not I should run home to change! I decided against that, in hopes that when the sun finally came out I may warm up.
The next problem I encountered was that my Garmin stopped working at about 1.9 miles. In some ways this was a blessing because I was feeling a bit lethargic and it was nice to not be able to see the pace that I was running. On the other hand, I was depending on my little electronic device to let me know when I could turn around - when ten miles had passed. Now all I had was the time, no record of distance. At that point I decided I would run out for about 1 hour and a half and then turn around. I was feeling fairly tired so I figured I couldn't have been running all that fast but that I should still be able to make it to 10 miles within 1.5 hours.
I ran out on Beacon Street into Wellesley and a little bit past a turn around point for one of the Dana Farber group run 20 milers. I decided to turn around at 1 hour 28 minutes because I assumed at that point I had to have run the initial 10 miles. My route back was directly down the marathon course, over heartbreak hill and into Coolidge corner.
The name of the game for me for the past couple of weeks has been that running has been a bit tougher than usual. I am not feeling the normal bounce in my feet. Today made me feel a bit better though. My energy level ebbed and flowed throughout the run but overall I felt pretty good. And, I thought I had only done 20, only to find out that I actually did 21.8!
At work now I am definitely feeling a bit exhausted and extremely excited by the prospect of warm weather and vacation. I'll be back in 10 days to fill you in on my last four weeks of training before the 2009 Boston Marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Running over the past 10 days has been far from a walk in the park and I am hoping it is just because I am in desperate need of some R & R and I will feel the bounce back in my feet when I return from vacation. Here's hoping.
After my hard run on Thursday of last week, I ran an easy 3 miles on Friday morning and then headed up to North Conway, New Hampshire for a weekend of winter mountaineering with my dad. We signed up for a two day course through the Appalachian Mountain Club. My dad and I were thinking that we could get comfortable walking around in crampons and using our ice axes for the climb we are doing on Mount Rainer this summer. The guides for the course were from the well renowned International Mountain Climbing School and they were great! On Saturday we spent most of the day on the base of a rock wall working on walking in deep snow on steep terrain in our crampons and walking on steep ice. Then we progressed into sliding down the snow and practicing stopping ourselves with our ice axes. We essentially were playing in the snow in 50 degree weather for most of the day. It was great! At the end of the day we got a taste of ice climbing.
On Sunday we spent the entire day ice climbing. I had never done any other climbing than rock climbing and I thought I would be more nervous on the ice. Surprisingly I felt great and really enjoyed it. By the end of the day my arms were killing me from using ice picks as my hands to climb the ice.
We came back from New Hampshire on Sunday night and I headed straight to bed. The whole spring ahead thing is hard to adapt to. Monday morning I somehow convinced Aimee that the weather was not too bad for an early morning (7AM) run. When I checked outside at 6:30AM it seemed to only be drizzling so I saw no problem in sticking to our already scheduled pre-work run. The weather quickly detiorated within the first couple miles of our run and by the end we were being pelted in the eyes with huge snow flakes! It was quite the treacherous run but all I could think was that you practice what you play in. If it were snowing on marathon day we wouldn't stay in and call it a day. So, I like to think that Aimee and I are now that much more prepared for whatever weather is thrown at us for the Boston Marathon.
Last night's workout (on the track with Jack) was what really killed me and was a bit of a bruise to the ego. As per usual, I woke up early and did my 1.5 hour swim in the morning. It was a pretty hard workout, but nothing out of the ordinary. Then I tried to stay well fed and hydrated throughout the day in preparation for our track workout. Betsy was feeling under the weather so she had to stay in and I trekked over to Tufts on my own. The workout called for 8 x [1000m fast, 200 recovery, 200 fast, 400 recovery]. Jack said that people not doing the Bedford half this weekend only had to do 5. (I don't' think I fall into that category seeing as on Sunday I will be sitting on a boat, sun bathing). Regardless, I could hardly pull out five of those sprints without feeling really really tired, and like I had to work overly hard to make it through the sprint. I tried to coach myself through them but I just could not keep up with the crowd. I decided to just do five and then I ran 3 miles separately around the track to make up the distance.
Today I am taking the day off in hopes of having a good rest before my 20 miler that I plan to do tomorrow AM.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I woke up at 5:55am, had a bar, puttered around for about a half an hour and finally forced myself out the door and to the river. The run officially started around 6:30AM. As I crossed over the Science Museum Bridge I was starting to tell myself that 12 miles would be enough and I didn't really have to do that many more. I even started to think 10 miles might do it for today (mind you I was only at mile 3 of the run). When, all of a sudden... I ran into Marissa on the Dana Farber Team! I asked her what she was out running and she told me she was also getting her long run out of the way because she had plans for the weekend. Her plan was to do 14, and she was on mile 3, just like me! It was perfect. We ran together back around the Science Museum and out to Elliot Bridge (which was about mile 10 for me). At that point she went a bit further out because she would be ending at Harvard and I had to head all the way back into town. It was so helpful to have someone to run with! She definitely pulled me through and managed to get me to finish my 15 mile run at a faster pace than I had originally planned to run (we averaged about 8:22s). The river was plowed very well and pretty much clear the whole route out to Elliot Bridge, which was pretty impressive.
That said, I think my body might hate me right now. My legs are definitely feeling sore from the back to back long runs without a full week of recovery between them. Luckily, my next long run will not be until next Thursday (a full week) and the day before I head to the Caribbean for ten days! I think taking it easy this weekend will be very beneficial for me as well.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Wednesdays are days that I like the idea of running an 8-10 mile run but that generally turn into my regular 6.5 mile loop because of time constraints between getting home later from work than expected and having to tutor in the evening. There is also that whole lack of motivation factor... which sometimes pushes me to turn over to Comm Ave from Beacon Street a few streets too early when I am alone and the weather is not so pleasant.
Tonight I have great motivation to run a longer run though. Tonight I am going running with my good friend Christian! He is the type of runner that may not have run in three weeks, but will still be up for going out for a 10-mile run (and in all honesty sometimes I think he might actually prefer the longer distances). So, he is trekking over to Brookline tonight and I am going to bring him down Beacon to Walnut Street over to Commonwealth Ave, along the course over heartbreak hill and down into Coolidge Corner. It should be a good one!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Even with the bad weather and Mo's sudden illness, the weekend was a blast. After getting home we all cozied on up at Sandal's resort (aka 79 Park Street) to watch the Oscars, eat sushi, drink wine, and celebrate our second year of a great race and a great weekend!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday night - I had NO idea it was supposed to really really snow, so I headed out my door around 6:00pm to run. When I started, it was flurrying a bit, but nothing too bad. About two miles into my run it was full on snowing. As in I had to run with my head down and I still could hardly see because of the large amount of snow coming down. It was a fairly dangerous and difficult run, but I logged about 6.2 miles.
Last night was Crossroads, and the Dana Farber running coach (Jack Fultz, winner of the '76 Boston Marathon) told me that I should run hard for the first portion of the run and then take it easy for the remaining miles in preparation for my long run/race this weekend. I did just that and ended up having one of my best crossroads runs this week. I ran hard from Woodland to Washington Square (about 6 miles) and then brought my pace down for the remaining three miles into Crossroads.
I'm feeling a tiny bit under the weather today (which is not surprising seeing as I feel as though everyone around me has been sick). Hopefully I can fend off whatever this is, at least until after Sunday. Tonight will be a short 3-4 mile run up to Cleveland Circle and back in Brookline. Then I plan to rest up tomorrow before the relay on Sunday.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I chose not to swim on Thursday morning because I figured it would make the long run too painful. So, instead, I swam on Friday morning at 7am. It was a hard workout, but nice to be in the water. Then Friday night I logged an 8.2 mile run in Brookline on the hills. My shin and my hamstring seem to be feeling better! I used my Garmin for this run and was pleasantly surprised to see that I was able to do negative splits for the run when I wasn't even thinking about it.
This past week I dropped down from two weeks in a row of 51 miles to a 38 mile week. I figured my legs could use the rest. There was no running for me on Saturday or Sunday while we were in Montreal.
While in Montreal we went to the Biodome. You might be wondering why I am posting a a blurry picture of a bird here. Well... this bird was in one of the four Biodome environments and it was AQUA JOGGING!
As you can see, it's body is above the water and it is using its feet to run. This was not a momentary exercise. This bird was doing this continuously. He would start running for about a minute and then take a little break and then start running again. It was quite amusing.
After visiting the Biodome we went into Old Montreal and explored the area. It was really cute with quaint little shops and cobblestone streets. We got crepes at a great creperie so that we could escape from the frigid temperatures for a bit.
Yesterday, on our way back from Montreal, Fred and I stopped in Burlington, Vermont, to go for a run along Lake Champlain. I am most likely going to be moving North this summer to start medical school at the University of Vermont in the fall. I wanted to give Fred a little tour of the area. We did about a 5.5 mile run along the lake for a bit and then through town, down Church Street (a pedestrian walkway with lots of shops and restaurants) and along the water front. We had lunch at the Red Onion. The sandwiches were great but HUGE. I could not actually fit my sandwich in my mouth because of the size of the bread with all of the filling inside as well. We then got desert at a new restaurant (well, new to me) called the Skinny Pancake. Stopping in Burlington for a run was a great way to split up the trip.
Now I'm "back to the grind". This morning I had my 1.5 hour swim and tonight is the track workout. I am hoping to up my mileage again this week and still run a good pace at the Hyannis Marathon Relay that I am doing with Mo, Betsy and Kiirsten on Sunday.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday was our group run with Dana Farber out of the Wellesley BSC. It was a challenging 18.2 miles, with the Boston Marathon Newton hills on the way out and the big hill up in to Wellesley (which I have learned is called Grossman's Hill) on the way back. I ran with Aimee and Betsy for the majority of the run and it was great. The weather could not have been more perfect. I ended the run in a short sleeve and my running skirt. That is the kind of long run I enjoy most!
Then, after our long run, we went to one of the greatest fundraising ideas I have heard of. Two Dana Farber runners had a haircutting fundraiser at the salon Acote on Newbury Street. $30.00 for a hair cut and all proceeds went to Dana Farber. They must have raised at least a couple of thousand dollars. After stopping for Bloody Mary's and appetizers at American Joe's after our run, Aimee, Laurie, Kristan, Betsy and I headed over to the salon for our cuts. There was food, coffee and good music and we all got great hair cuts. It could not have been a more perfect Sunday.
Yesterday morning I went out for an 8.2 mile run on the river to stretch out my legs from the long run the day before. I really enjoy getting out in the sun early as opposed to waiting to run in the dark after work. The river has finally, mostly, defrosted.
Tonight we have track. Tomorrow night is Betsy and my bowling party!!!!
Friday, February 6, 2009
I ran Crossroads last night. I definitely started the run too fast. I am slowly learning the HUGE benefits of starting out slow, warming up into a run, and then really pushing the pace towards the end. My run last night was kind of the opposite - start really fast, keep pushing, and struggle to maintain the ending pace for the last four miles... Anyhow, sometimes it is good to do that just to remind myself of how much better it feels to finish strong.
My right leg is still bothering me a bit - my shin and hamstring - so I am taking the day off of running today. I swam this morning with the Masters swim group at BU. It was a good 2650 meter workout.
Tonight I am heading down to New Hay Hay with my roommates Kiirsten and Betsy to visit our old roommate, Mo, for the night! It should be fun! We are all doing the Hyannis Marathon Relay together so we may venture out on a short run tomorrow in Mo's neighborhood if we are feeling particularly motivated. Then on Sunday I will have my second group Dana Farber run out on the hills in Wellesley. The temperatures are supposed to get up to 50 on Sunday!!! (which is hard to imagine with the temperatures today...)
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Otherwise, my desire to keep my mileage higher than usual is going fairly well again this week. Monday I had a 6.9 mile run on the river. It was a good run, minus the fact I woke up 15 minutes late and really had to rush in my last few miles in order to be on time for work. Tuesday I did my regular swim in the morning with the BU Masters group, and then had the 8PM track workout with the Dana Farber Team. I noticed that my right hamstring and shin were really starting to tighten up on me at the track workout. After debating about whether or not it was the direction we were running on the track, I realized that Tuesday morning we had done a swim workout with a flipper on our right foot and a paddle on our left hand. I am assuming that the flipper on the right foot for about 1600m on top of the track workout may have contributed to the sore hamstrings and shin. We did 4 by 600 meters three times. I have a really great group to work with at the track, so even when I feel like I am ready to pass out and give up, I have Betsy, Laurie, Aimee and (this week) Jess to pull me along and keep me running.
Yesterday I headed out for a, very slow, 6.5 mile run in Brookline. I am realizing that if I want to have my mileage higher, I need to take it really easy on any of the extra runs I may be adding to my weekly mileage. Once again, my hamstring and my shin were bothering me on my right leg. I decided that I should rest my legs and I chose sleep over my usual Thursday morning swim workout this morning.
All in all, I am getting more and more into my training as the weeks go by. I really am enjoying running with Dana Farber. The people are great, the workouts are fun, and the support from my donors and the people I am running in honor of are a great motivation!
Monday, February 2, 2009
As for my training, last week was one of the best training weeks I have had so far. If my schedule would allow me to log the miles I logged last week every week I would be very excited. I managed to log a total of 51 miles. I did my first group DFMC run on Saturday. We started at the Mount Auburn Club and ran out to the top of Grossman's Hill in Welesley (backwards on the Marathon course) and then back (on the marathon course) to the club. It was so nice to start early (8:30AM), have water stops every three miles, and to run with other people. I ran with Betsy, Chris (another Bowdoin grad) and Ben. We ran a bit faster than I had planned, but it felt really good.
Yesterday and this morning I ran on the Charles River (something I have not done in quite some time). It has been warm - 42 degrees today and similar yesterday - which has been a huge treat given the temperatures we have been having over the past month. However, the Cambridge side of the river is still very treacherous. The melting ice has a layer of water over the layer of ice making it especially slippery and difficult to navigate. Though the river is beautiful in the relatively warm, sunny weather... I think I'll be sticking to the roads in Brookline for now.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Last night (Wednesday) is exactly the type of night that I wish I belonged to an actual gym. It snowed all morning and then by 1:00pm turned to rain. Then it proceeded to rain until well into the evening (stopping around 8:30pm). When the snow stopped I realized that there would not be too much snow to run in the road, and since it was raining none of the melted snow would have turned to ice. Running on wet roads has never really stopped me (even if it may be raining out and fairly cold). My next idea was that if I saw anyone else running between leaving work and arriving at my house, then I would have to run because clearly the conditions would not be bad enough if someone else was out there.
All my justification for trying to get out for a run failed after walking home from the BU shuttle in the rain and extreme slush. Walking down Pleasant street was like wading through where the waves have just finished crashing on a beach (except it was not warm, I was in boots, and my pants were soaked up to my knees). I did pass by one guy running. That was supposed to be my rationale for pushing myself out my own door, but I saw him much too early in the walk home. The rest of the walk home gave me more rationale as to why NOT to run in those conditions.
Needless to say, yesterday was a day I had kind of wished I could have walked to the gym and gotten on a treadmill for forty-five minutes. I wanted to run, but I felt as though I couldn't. In my ideal world I could run six days a week. But, with this weather, I am hard pressed to get four days of running in before the weather channel launches the next winter weather advisory.
So, yesterday was a rest day. And, in all honesty, is probably a good thing because today I have my second double session of the week. I swam this morning and I will be heading out for a 9 mile run along the marathon course with the Crossroads group tonight. The extra rest yesterday probably was not such a bad idea.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I did not fit in any running during the weekend, but came back strong yesterday with an 8 mile run out Beacon Street and back on Commonwealth Ave over Heartbreak hill. I felt great. I think having the few days off of running and just skiing may have really helped me.
I also started up with my swimming again today. It has been two weeks and I always get nervous getting back into the pool when I have been out for a few weeks. But, it actually also felt pretty good. We swam about 3500-3700 meters. Tonight I have my first track workout with the Dana Farber Team! I am very excited. Although I must admit that I am not a particularly good sprinter. Distance is my forte, not short spurts. However, I recognize the enormous benefit there is to sprinting and I always feel good after the workout is over.
And, finally, a huge snow storm is approaching once again tonight. I hate this because now the roads are going to be covered and it is going to be impossible to run outside tomorrow...
Friday, January 23, 2009
I am headed off again this weekend to go skiing. Although this time I am not flying, but instead making the four hour trek up to Sugarloaf in Maine. Hopefully I wasn't too spoiled by last weekend's skiing adventures and will enjoy northeastern skiing just as much...
Since I will be gone again, I had to fit in a long run before the weekend this time. Fred and I originally planned to start around 6:15/6:30 and run 16 miles going out Beacon Street to Woodland, and then following the marathon course back into Boston along Commonwealth Avenue to the bar, Crossroads. (The Woodland to Crossroads route is our typical Thursday night run, but we usually take the T out). Between getting out of work late, and waiting forever for the Green Line, Fred finally made it out to Brookline for the run around 7:00PM. So... we were off to a fairly late start.
I must say, running for a cause really has helped motivate me. At first I was not excited or motivated to log so many miles so late at night. But, when I got home last night I had three letters in the mail with donations and ribbons. Having the support of others and a reason for running helped push me out the door.
The run itself was good. A little bit tiring towards the end. We stopped at Crossroads around 9:15, had a beer and then had Thai food for dinner while watching this weeks episode of the Office. All in all it was a great night, and I was especially glad to have run last night so that I didn't have to wake up at 5AM this morning. :)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
While in Colorado, I had to miss my weekend long run for two reasons. One- the altitude kills me when I am running out there and most routes that I try to plan start on a hill and end on a hill. Hills + altitude are simply too painful and discouraging for me when I am only out there for five days. Two- I was skiing and snowshoeing the majority of my time out there, making it very hard to fit my regular runs into my days.
However, I did manage to log two runs. Saturday, after a full day of skiing at Purgatory right outside of Durango, I headed out for a 3.5 mile run from my friend Kate's house. I was kind of stuck to the side of a major road because I was trying to get my run in before dark and that was the only real option without driving a couple of miles into town from Kate's house. The 1.5 out was mostly downhill and I felt great, like I was cruising along. The 1.5 miles back were all up hill and my pace dropped significantly as I huffed and puffed back up the hill and recognized why I had thought to avoid running while out there...
Sunday I went for a beautiful snow shoe at Deer Hill (the outdoor wilderness camp I used to work for) with Kate. We bushwacked up a hill behind the base camp and sat on top, gazing out at the La Plata mountain range to our Northeast and Mesa Verde to our southwest. It was nice to get an alternative type of exercise for the day.
Monday was another amazing day of Colorado skiing in Telluride. The ticket prices are either the first or second highest in Colorado ($92.00) BUT the skiing is amazing. We skied all day in beautiful weather (a blue bird day with crystal clear skies and temperatures in the mid 40s to 50s). Definitely more comfortable temperatures than the east coast has been feeling.
Finally, I made it out for a decently long run yesterday morning in Mancos, Colorado before heading back on my flight to Boston. Mancos is where Deer Hill (the old company I used to work for) is located. I have been on many runs in that town during the summer months but never during the winter, when the open landscape is coated in a layer of bright white snow. I headed off for my run before the inauguration (at 7:30AM) up Road G. I did not completely appreciate how it really does go UP the entire way to Road 41... where I turned left on to a few rolling hills before making my way back to Road G and down hill all the way back to where I was staying. The sun was just rising and creating a glow on the La Plata Mountains and shadows along the sides of Mesa Verde. On my way back down Road G (when I really felt that I had my stride because I was essentially running down hill) I could see my shadow as I ran down the open road with the snow covered Mesa and wide expanse of land in front of me. I wish I had my camera because I would have loved to send a photograph of that into Runner's World as one of the "Rave Runs" that they feature every month.
And now I am back and hoping that my two runs, two snowshoe days and two ski days paid off in the end and that I may be carrying around a few extra red blood cells for my run tonight. If not, hopefully the rest from a long run this weekend will not hold me back but give me more energy towards the rest of my training.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Today is a day off for me. Tomorrow the predicted forecast is 11 degrees with snow at 6AM. I was hoping to fit in a run before my 9:45 flight to Colorado to visit my friend Kate for the weekend. 11 degrees is REALLY cold. Hopefully that won't stop me. It is very hard for me to run in Colorado because of the altitude. I will be in Durango which sits at 6525 feet in elevation. When I have run out there before, it takes a few days for me to adjust and even then a five mile run feels like 10. Hopefully I will be able to log a few miles - otherwise it will just be skiing for me :).
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Over the past week I have had a few people mention to me how they cannot believe I can run outside in the cold or snow during the winter. I guess a lot of runners subject themselves to the gym once the winter arrives, and spend their time on the elliptical or treadmill or whatever other machine is to their liking. To me, that is more insane and miserable that layering up and walking out my front door in freezing weather to run for an hour. I tend to feel as though the more excited you get about running, the less cautious you become with the weather conditions.
I am pretty sure one reason that I don't mind running in the cold is because I went to school in Maine and I still ran through the Maine winters, which tended to be even more snowy and cold then winters in Boston. My real motivation was so that I could gossip with my friend Katie. We would meet up at least three days a week to go on a 5-6 mile run so that we could chat and catch up on what was going on in each other's lives. I was playing squash at the time and this was well before I started running any sort of races. For Katie and I, our run was analogous to two people going out to coffee or getting a drink. Our runs were very social.
Now that I run marathons, the distances required of me make it impossible to be picky about the weather that arrives. I tend to look back on my runs up in Maine and am happy that my transition into cold weather running was so enjoyable.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Thankfully, I knew this was coming and was able to get out on a long-ish (7.5) mile run on the hills out in Newton/Brookline/Brighton. It was not too terribly cold and it was good to get out on the hills again after running in Florida on completely flat terrain over the last couple of weeks.
Tomorrow was also the beginning of my Tuesday/Thursday double sessions. I swim for 1.5 hours in the morning with the BU Master's Swim program and run in the afternoons. Soon I will have track workouts with the Dana Farber team on Tuesday nights and Thursday nights will be the Woodland Hill run followed by Crossroads. The first day of a double session in a few weeks definetly hit me hard. Although I am sure I will adjust again soon enough.
Needless to say, I am resting my feet today and staying out of this cold, wet weather. The rest of the week looks good.
Monday, January 5, 2009
It has been quite some time since I have posted. I could go thru the play by play of each of the past 15 days, but that would be an even longer, tedious post than what is to come... :)
The last time I posted was after my run with Betsy in the treacherous conditions during the December 20 snowstorm. The next day I came down with laryngitis and my developing cold turned more severe and kept me off of my feet for a few days. My next run was in Savannah, Georgia, where I spent Christmas with my family and my sister's husband's family. The weather was in the mid-sixties and my sister's mother-in law's house is right on a golf course on an island right next to Savannah. It was a nice break from the snow to be down in some warmer weather. As I was recovering from my cold (and still literally had no voice), I decided I could handle getting back to running. I was able to get two runs in while I was down there. The island they lived is a gated community with many winding roads that cross each other and look exactly the same. I was able to navigate the area easily on my first run because I had company and was just following my sister's brother-in-law as he paved the way. The day after Christmas, when we were headed to drop off my grandmother at the airport on our way to Florida, I decided I could easily fit in a run on my own. No one else was willing to wake up at 7:15... so I figured I would take a map and navigate around the island, sticking to one road that circles the place. I had to be back by 8:45AM so that we could leave by 9:10 to drop my grandmother at the airport. As I am cruising along towards the last mile of my run, I started to feel as if I may have overshot the road where I was supposed to turn right. I stopped to check my map, and sure enough I had overshot the road by a good 3/4 of a mile and it was already 8:40... I had to literally sprint back in the direction I came in order to make it home in time for a five minute shower and then to jump into the car for our drive to the airport... followed by the seven hour drive down to our next destination - my aunt and uncle's house in Stuart, Florida. Miles logged in Savannah - 13.
My next run was in Stuart, Florida. It is amazing what the heat can do to you when running. Here in New England, I can run 8 miles without water easily at a good pace. At 9AM in Florida, that is not quite as easy. I ran my first six feeling pretty good. As soon as my dehydration kicked in, I dragged my feet back to my aunt and uncle's. Miles logged in Stuart, Florida - 8.5.
The following day we headed down to Hollywood Beach, Florida for the week of New Years (Dec 27-Jan 3). The weather was gorgeous everyday. And, I was sure to take advantage of this weather by logging a run every morning, either on my own or with my sister. My Dad even has taken up running as part of his training to climb Mt. Rainer in Washington this July. He has not run in over 26 years and started going on run/walks, using his heart rate as an indicator of when to start running and when to walk. He alternates in order to keep his heart rate in a specific zone. He managed to make it out on to the Hollywood Beach boardwalk every morning by 8AM... I wasn't quite as successfully at beating the heat. I made it out each morning between 9-10AM and my pace and distance was dictated by how much the heat beat me down. Miles logged in Hollywood Beach - 40.
Now, I'm back in Boston, and promise not to have any more posts this long... I did my first cold-weather Boston run of 2009 yesterday. 12 miles on the river. I definitely did not miss running on ice and snow when I was down in Florida. However, it is amazing how much farther my body can go in the cold compared to the heat. Running 12 miles without any water was not very difficult at all up here in the cold. Running 4 down in Florida without any water was painful for me.
Anyhow, that is a long synopsis of my last two weeks. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!