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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you for all of those who came out to support Betsy and me at The Place this weekend. It was a great party and it was great to see everyone who made it out! THANK YOU! We had a great showing of Dana Farber runners (and coaches!).

I am pretty sure my tapering is beginning now. After the final really long run of the season, I think I may have minorly strained my left quad. It is not so bad that I cannot run, but it definitely hurts more than a regular sore muscle. As Jack said, the name of the game at this point is "less is more". Tonight I am going to head over to the Belmont track for the last track workout, however I think I am going to maybe jog a few miles and then just wait for everyone else to finish up and head over to 21 Nickels for drinks :).

On a side note, I have always enjoyed running because it helps me to think through different things going on in my life. The biggest topic I have been thinking about on my runs recently has been where I will end up moving in August, when I embark upon the path to becoming an MD. I have officially been accepted to three medical schools and have some hard decisions to make by May 15. Last night my interviewer from BU School of Medicine called me to Congratulate me on being accepted into their program. I also hold acceptances at (my original first choice) University of Vermont in Burlington and at the new Tufts/Maine Medical Center program (which is 2 years in Boston and two years in Portland Maine). To most, May 15 might sound like I have all the time in the world to decide - however I have been debating about my first choice Vermont versus staying in Boston since October of last fall... Regardless, I think I'll have plenty to think about in the miles ahead while I taper towards marathon week.
Enjoy the great weather today, and get outside!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Last twenty miler down! Dance for a Cure tonight!

When would you say training for Boston officially begins? Is it in October when you start to put in a few miles per week to build a base? Or is it in November, when you do an 8 miler on one weekend, maybe a 10 miler on the next? Or is it early December when you really start committing to one long run a week, building from 10 to 11.... 20... 15...20.... I think you get the idea. The only reason I was thinking about this is because I have noticed some people actually track how many miles they have put into their training. I have a training log, and have been fairly diligent about logging my miles since September. However, I have never gone beyond counting the miles I did in one week. After running my final 22 mile run this morning, I decided I would look into how many miles I actually have logged for my training for Boston...

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

Back from the Caribbean!

I got back from an amazing vacation in the Caribbean on Monday. It could not have been more relaxing and rejuvenating. My family and Fred headed down to Tortola to charter a catamaran for 10 full days.We island hopped every day and saw some great fish, a few sea turtles and ate at some amazing restaurants.

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

Three 20 miler's down... a vacation and one to go

The name of my run this morning was poor preparation. I woke up at 5:15AM so that I would have a good 45 minutes to prepare myself to head out on my 20 miler. I was not looking forward to running at all, but the warmish air last night when I went to bed made me think the run would not be as bad as some runs over this season that have been in freezing cold temperatures.

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 is hard... (cont.) and playing in the snow is fun!

I don't think I could be any happier than I am about to go away for 10 days to a place where I will be forced to relax, chill out, and not pound as many miles into my legs as possible. Rather I will be on a boat, in the middle of the British Virgin Islands, surrounded by a lot of water and little pavement :).

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

Running is hard...

This morning I decided I would get my weekly long run out of the way early (instead of in the afternoon) because I leave tomorrow afternoon to go to North Conway with my dad for a Winter Mountaineering course in preparation for our Mount Rainer climb this summer. All day yesterday I was kind of dreading the idea of running a long run this morning but kept telling myself I could do it and that I had to get it out of the way...

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

20 miles, appartment hunting and getting snowed in at Stowe Mountain Resort :)

As Betsy commented under my last posting, it has been a full week since my last post and it is about time I gave an update.

This past weekend I ran my second 20-miler of my training from the Mount Auburn Club with Dana Farber. Aimee, Betsy and I stuck together for the entire, hard, hilly 20-miler, battling the winds on our way out and (interestingly enough) a little bit on the way back as well. We managed to also negative split (meaning run the first half faster than the second half) by a full 2 minutes! My legs were definitely not so happy about the fact I decided to push them with 2 back to back 20 milers in seven days. But having Aimee and Betsy to chat with and push me along helped me to keep going rather that turn around or stop early.

After the 20-miler I did a lot of stretching and then my mom picked me up to head up to Burlington, Vermont to do some condo-shopping in hopes of finding a place to live when I move up there this summer. It was COLD up there. And looking at apartments for two days straight can be a bit exhausting, to say the least.

On Monday, my mom and I were watching the weather channel all morning and afternoon, debating about how good or bad of an idea driving the three hours back to Boston would be. We decided we would start heading south (at least to Stowe, Vermont where a friend of ours lives) and make the decision about the weather over that hour of driving. Well, the snow started to fall more heavily and there were lots of signs along the highway warning of "severe winter weather advisories". So, we decided to play it safe and hunker down at the Stowe Mountain Lodge. We got there fairly early and it was snowing pretty hard, so my mom and I took advantage of the fitness room and she did the elliptical while I did 6 miles on the treadmill. I usually hate treadmills, but this wasn't so bad. I think I had a lot of pent up energy from apartment shopping all weekend.

When we woke up on Tuesday morning the sun was shining and the mountain looked extremely inviting! We decided to ski for a few hours before heading back south to Boston. The conditions were not amazing (though I thought they would be from the snow the night before), but it was not too terribly cold and my mom and I took advantage of the enclosed gondola for our three hours of skiing. We found a couple of runs that we really enjoyed and just kept going up and down.

We left Stowe around 3pm yesterday so that I made it back to Boston just in time for ... track! How lucky.... Last night's track workout was brutal. Very difficult and I think my skiing may have made it even that much more difficult on my legs. We did 3 x [4 x 800] with 200 recovery between 800's and 400 recovery between sets... It was a long workout and I definitely slept well last night.

This morning I did an easy swim with the BU Master's swim program and I am going to stretch out a bit tonight (no running) before I log my long run in for the week tomorrow. This week I am scaling back my long run to anywhere between 13-16 miles depending on how I feel. I head up to New Hampshire for a Winter Mountaineering course with my Dad this weekend, so I have to get my long run in before that.