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!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Marathon Recap

First and foremost, thank you so much to everyone who has supported, encouraged, coached and cheered me on throughout this training season. I cannot describe how much it helps to know there are so many people rooting for me as I put in the hours of training and then run the actually marathon. So, thank you once again!

So, Marathon Monday... Betsy and I woke up bright and early (5:00AM). I had my coffee, a slice of toast with peanut butter and honey, and we headed down to the Boston Common to take the BAA buses out to Hopkinton. This is the first year I have made it to the buses before the huge crowds arrive. The lines were not too long at 6:15AM. Fred found us and we made it out to Hopkinton by 7:30AM. This is a HUGE improvement over my 9:30AM arrival last year, 30 minutes before the start of my wave of runners.

We headed over to the parish hall refuge, where we DFMC runners get to stay warm inside before lining up for the start. It was great to see all of my running buddies before the race. Jack Fultz gave us a little speech, Jan let us know that Dana Farber has raised 3 MILLION dollars so far from our efforts, and I got to say good luck to all of my close DFMC friends as I headed out the door at 9:40AM for the 10:00AM start.

The race itself has all become a bit of a blur. I kept reminding myself throughout the first half of what Jack kept telling us "if you don't feel like you are running too slow, then you are running too fast". I was keeping about a 7:40-7:45ish mile pace throughout the first half marathon. I was nervous that that may have been too fast, but I felt good and like I was not expending too much energy. In some ways I felt like I was risking hitting a wall, but by the time I was at mile 16 and I was still feeling strong, I decided that I was not going too fast, I was doing alright.

Mile 17-18 are when we finally hit the Newton Hills. At this point I was running with an older man who had run Boston 11 years earlier and told me thank you for running for Dana Farber because his wife had been treated there for breast cancer a few years before. I was feeling fairly strong over the hills and so I pulled him along at my 7:45/7:47 minute per mile pace over the first two hills. The "Katie" on my shirt was attracting lots of attention and I felt the crowds yelling my name throughout this section of the course. At one point, some of the runners around me looked back and said "ohhh, so you are who everyone has been cheering for!". I was glad my name was so visible.
When I finally made it up over Heartbreak Hill I was starting to feel my legs quite a bit. I hit mile 22 and kept trying to remind myself that there are only 4 more miles to go and that I was very familiar with this part of the course. The big hill was behind me, my co-workers and friends were only 1.5 miles away...all of these thoughts kept passing through my head. I had completely forgotten what mile Dana Farber was cheering from... and for some reason I had mile 22 stuck in my head. I wanted to look good for them so I was trying to stay as strong as possible until I at least got to wave to my coach and friends. After I didn't see them at mile 22 or 23 I assumed I missed them.

Coolidge corner came quickly and I got to see my co-workers and then my parents and then my AMAZING roommates!!! My brother, who is about 6'2" saw me and held up a big sign that said "I"... my mom and dad shot a bunch of pictures and I was back on my way towards the finish line. Apparently Dennis saw me and was screaming my name, but I was so focused at that point on A) seeing my family and B) making it to the finish in one piece, that I did not hear him at all.

As I approached mile 24 my legs hurt, my body ached and all I wanted to do was walk. I don't feel like I have ever felt like I wanted to walk so extraordinarily badly. I kept trying to think of Al (my grandfather in whose memory I was running) and asking him to pull me along. I kept thinking about how little 2 miles really is... but it was HARD. Just as I was coming up over the little hill into Kenmore Square I was just about to give up and walk, I was really struggling. When...all of a sudden... I hear Jan (the head of the DFMC) yelling through a bull horn : "Katie, look to your right, Katie look to your right!" Sure enough, there I was at the Dana Farber cheering zone, looking about as weak as can be... Regardless, they helped me to pull myself together and realize that I only had 1.2 miles left to go! I didn't walk, I picked myself up, and I pulled myself through to the finish line in 3:29:14! I was hoping that I could do the marathon in 3:30, so I made my goal!

After the marathon I headed over to the Dana Farber recovery zone and was able to see, and congratulate, all of my fellow runners on their finishes as well. I loved that! Yesterday I was extraordinarily sore, and I am slowly recovering into today. Now I am extraordinarily excited to take a few more days fully off and then to dust off my road bike to start a new season all over again... :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

And... I did it... It's done.

The race is over. I completed the marathon in 3:29:14. Now my legs hurt a lot, my stomach is a bit queasy, and I am more than happy I am done. Tonight I'm going out with all of my other rock star runner friends! CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE WHO RAN!!!!! And, again THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN A SUPPORTER ALONG THE WAY! I will write up a race report when I have a bit more energy tomorrow.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Almost there...

So this is my final blog before the marathon. Less than 24 hours to go. Between now and the start I plan to cook dinner for my family, Fred's family and my roommates, watch a new episode of Desperate Housewives, and desperately try to get to sleep early for my 4:50AM wake up call.

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

Pre-race jitters

As I was finishing my final run before the marathon, a short 3 miles to Cleveland Circle and back, I started to think "at this time, 48 hours from now, I will not have even reached Coolidge Corner yet, and I will have been running for 2 hours and fifteen minutes". Wow, that's soon!

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..! 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

Taper Madness...six ways I spend my extra time.

On my way to work today I started to think about all of the things I do when I am in this 'taper' time. Of course, that also led me to calculate how much more free time I really have now that I have decreased my mileage from my peak at 54 miles one week to a mere 12-15 miles this week. Between the time it takes to get ready for a run (between driving to meet up with people, rushing home, showering and changing after a run...etc) I would say that when I am in the peak of running mode I spend about 7 total hours running per week. Then add the before and after run organization and it probably totals about 9 hours per week devoted to running. I also am a swimmer, which I have decided can fall to the wayside in this final week before the marathon as I try to prescribe to Jack's saying that "less is more". So, that frees up another 3 hours of swimming and about 30 minutes of preparation... so 3.5 hours more of free time. Since I will only run about 15 miles this week, I have about 8 hours more of free time in this final week before the Boston Marathon. That is actually kind of a lot... so this morning I started to think about what it is I do with those 8 extra hours of time.

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:

Not bad, not bad at all.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Last long run down... 9 days to go!

Yesterday Betsy and I ran our last long run before Boston together. It was a great 10-mile loop out Beacon Street and back along part of the marathon course so we could have one more climb up Heartbreak Hill under our belts. I think tapering has been treating me well. I was telling Betsy during our run that Heartbreak Hill has kind of been my nemesis during this year's Boston training. In years past, I have to admit that I kind of felt like it was built up to be more than it really is. Maybe I jinxed myself and that's why it's been tougher this year. Regardless, there have only been a handful of runs this year that I have felt like I could maintain my pace up the entire length of the hill without giving into my pounding heart rate and heavy breathing. Luckily, yesterday was one of those times and it makes me even more excited for Marathon Monday!

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!

Apr 20
Cloudy - 56°/42°
Chance of showers: 20%

Saturday, April 11, 2009

10 days until the Boston Marathon means...

That you can officially start tracking the WEATHER for the Boston Marathon!! Yes, the 10-day forecast is up and running. Currently the forecast calls for 60% showers and 56 degrees as the high in Hopkinton, 54 as the high and 60% showers in Boston... Fifty-six degrees sounds PERFECT to me. Showers.. well, the weather forecast is never really accurate 10-days out, so we'll see what is says over the next week....

Apr 20


60% Showers

54° 43°

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The three most common questions as the marathon approaches:

How do you feel, are you ready?

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

Fire up for the Local 3!

So my leg seems to be on the mend. After a massage on Tuesday morning, taking Tuesday night off and then swimming and elliptical on Wednesday, I seem to have allowed my quad ample time to heal. Last night I ran Crossroads with Betsy. She pushed my pace, which felt good, and we ran all the way into town over the finish line of the marathon. Man would it be nice to feel that good crossing the finish line on marathon day!

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.