Boston Marathon 2008

Boston Marathon 2008
Coming thru Coolidge Corner Boston Marathon 2008!

Progress towards the Boston Marathon

  • Money raised: $6782.00
  • $ needed to reach goal: $1218.00
  • Miles run since December 1, 2008: 720
  • Longest run: 26.2 miles
  • Miles run last week: 17 + Marathon Monday = 43.2
  • Days until Boston Marathon: All done!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Icy sidewalks, watery roads

We had our first track practice on Tuesday night. It was great. We did 4 x 400m four times. It is shocking how painful 1 minute and 35 seconds can feel. After going through our first set, I was coaching myself through the second lap of one of our 400's. As I was telling myself to keep pushing it, we crossed the line and Jack yelled out 'one minute 35 seconds'. ONE MINUTE, 35 SECONDS. Really? I am coaching myself through that small amount of time. I am training for a THREE HOUR, 30 MINUTE (at least) race!!! Anyhow, I thought focusing on how short of an amount of time it was would make it easier... it did not work quite like I thought it would. Regardless, I am glad to have that workout in my weekly schedule. It is a good group of people and it definitely helps push my limits.

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

Another snow storm!?!

The weekend of skiing at Sugarloaf was great! Cold, but great.

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

7:00PM - 16.3 miles....

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

A few extra red blood cells...

Ijust returned yesterday from five days out in beautiful Southwestern Colorado visiting my friend Kate. I had to fly out fairly early on Thursday morning, so Fred and I fit in an eight mile run from my apartment (in the freezing cold temperatures here in Boston, although it looks like the 10 degrees we were running in was actually fairly warm considering the temperatures that followed over the weekend). It felt good to get a long run in before a very long flight to Phoenix and then another flight to, my final destination, Durango.

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

Back out to the hills

Last night I had a great run with my friend Dennis on the hills out in Brookline. We met up at the Reservoir leading up to Boston College and did a loop so that we could run up Heartbreak Hill (Mile 21 of the marathon) and back into Brookline. Last night was the best I have felt so far on the hill. What makes it so difficult is specifically where it falls on marathon day, however there is something psychological that also makes it difficult for me. However, as I continue to train in Brookline, I am sure I will become more and more comfortable out there over the next few months.

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

Warming up to running in the cold

This past weekend I did my longest run so far in my training - 14.5 miles - mainly on the river. I had two nights of fairly difficult hill workouts out in Brookline last week so I thought I should run on a flat route. My roommate Betsy and I headed out early on Saturday in order to fit our run in, once again, before the snow storm was supposed to hit on Saturday night. Sure enough, the snow did come in. I was very glad about my choice to motivate on Saturday when I woke up to icy/ snow covered roads on Sunday morning.

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

Fitting in a solid run before the 'wintry mix' hits

Typical southern New England Storm today, the 'wintry mix'. This type of weather is the most miserable to run in, not only because it is really cold but also because of the enormous puddles along all of the sidewalks. They may not look deep, but then you accidentally run into one and it is ankle deep and then you find yourself running with a soaking wet shoe and your toes start to freeze...

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

Back from vacation - and warm weather


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!!!!!!!