Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A little party never killed nobody

AH Summer has given me such a breath of FRESH AIR. Sometimes I can get so caught up in my daily routine and life that I forget that I am so observant and the small things in life really make me the most happy. After a 3 mile run with a friend we sat in the grass and just talked, watched people running and walking by and it was so great. When I hang out with her I feel like a kid again with being able to just go out late on a summer night and run just like when youre a kid and you meet your neighborhood friends out as the streetlights come on to play manhunt. It was so beautiful and nice to watch the buildings nearby light up for the night and have people walking by socializing in the warmth, getting ice cream. It just makes me so darn happy! That is what life is about and I shouldn't have to remind myself that is what it is all about! It is just so great to be happy and thankful for what you have in life. I sometimes don't embrace every minute that I have the most AMAZING people in my life and the most amazing things going on and I do appreciate it all but I feel like I am awakening again with the summer, and being a child of summer I think that can only be natural right? The Winter here in New England makes us all feel life is lost and dead and the thing that is amazing about New England is that when the warm weather comes around again instantly everyone becomes more friendly and gets the life back into them. Hooray!!!!! 

This definitely calls for one of many of my favorite quotes from a certain favorite book which I had the pleasure of seeing on the big screen two nights ago and have been listening to the soundtrack on repeat. 

"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
f.scott fitzgerald, the great gatsby

Thursday, May 16, 2013


It's true what you hear, that running 26.2 will change who you are. It did for me. I didn't cry for 4 years, weird right? Must be some deeper emotional issue I have, hmm, But since the Marathon I have cried countless times. I cried before I ran, during the race, getting the medal placed around my neck, eating post race pizza, driving past where the race was. You name it, I'll cry over it (only about running though of course). My race recap will be blurred since it was my first one so there was a whirlwind of emotions working through my body but I will try my best!

At 7:30 us runners lined up at the starting line, waiting for the gun. I was in between the 9:00-10:00 pacers (finishing time of 4:10-4:30) so I moved up to my normal pace of 8 which I would eventually find out was not the best decision. The gun didn't fire until 7:40 (que immense waves of frustration, nerves, jiggly legs etc) and then were off. We took off to the East Side of Providence and I was feeling like a million bucks. It was a rainy day but turned out to be humid so my pullover came off before we even hit mile one, so I had to tie it against my waist eh. I was running 8-8:30 min. miles until about mile 15. I was ahead of the 3:10 pacers for most of the race and thats how I knew I was going way too fast for my own good. Since that is normally how I run I felt good but It would eventually catch up to me when I hit the wall at Mile 17. I had heard it countless time 'Don't let the adrenaline get you' , 'Start off slower than your regular pace' but of course I didn't heed them. It is so hard, all the buildup and the excitement, I kept telling myself to slow down but I was just too excited. 

I stopped at almost hydration station to ensure I was properly hydrated because I am always paranoid of dehydration and collapsing. Surprisingly I did not have to stop to pee once! Which usually I do on a 3 mile run because of my ridiculously small bladder. There was not a crazy amount of people cheering on the side, there are times when we were completely alone but when there were spectators it was amazing and they got me through a lot. A few people at several miles had the sign "Boston Strong, Do It For Boston" - which brought my to tears each time and pushed me harder.  At mile 17 I felt my legs losing their energy and my mind began to wander to I took a Clif ShotBlox, which I never trained with and I KNOW that is the cardinal rule to follow, not do anything different on race day but I did and I learned the hard way. Mile 20 my stomach was on fire, I was in so much pain from my stomach to my ankles and I had to walk. I was not dropping out no matter what, I would have crawled if I had to to finish.

I also always heard stories of amazing encounters on marathons and speaking to other runners who will encourage you, which is 100% true of almost anyone you talk to. Around mile 15 a man gave me one of the water bottles from his belt because the next station was not until another 2.5 miles. At mile 20 I met Leslie, a Marathon Maniac who was currently in the process of completing her 26th Marathon and 21st of many states. What an inspiring and amazing woman and runner. She knew I was upset and encouraged me to keep going, she kept my mind off the present moment by telling me stories and different things about her, her kids and husband and life in general. She told me what I needed to hear that it was my first marathon, don't worry about the time and once this is over I am going to go home and register for my next one. I will say she was 100% right about everything, I owe my last 6.2 miles to her, If I hadn't met her I am not sure what I would have done. I am forever grateful for you Leslie and I am so lucky to have met you. 

Totally ignoring the sharp pain in my left ankle and my stomach, I sprinted the last 1.2 miles because I'd be damned if they took my finishing picture of me walking! I was finishing strong. And I did, in about 5 hours but I did it. I know if I had kept running at my beginning pace I would have qualified for Boston, making my first Marathon a truly amazing marathon to remember but once I was off of that time I didn't care, I just wanted to finish. And it still was the truly most amazing experience of my entire life and I am counting down the days until my next chance at crossing that marathon finish line (which is October 13th). 

26.2 has a permanent place in my heart. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

7 Days

I started this post yesterday but apparently it did not save! Oopsies. 

I am, well was (yesterday) a week away from running my first 26.2. I am not going to lie, I am nervous as hell. There are times of my normal calmness about big events and then there are (more frequently) spurts of nerves and the butterflies literally make me sick. I just can't believe I am here. I used to not even be able to run a mile without huffing and puffing, stopping to walk let alone run a sub-7 minute mile. I never thought I would be a runner, a marathoner, an endurance athlete but here I am. And with my mantra which is to inspire at least one person a day to run, which is happening quite frequently already I found out. My passion is clear and running has changed my life forever, I no longer look at things as difficult or a challenge, and when something is a challenge I accept it and I strive to accomplish it and win. My goals are scarier, more radical and exciting. I am fully present all most of the time and I cry when I read Runner's World (please tell me you do to?!?) But honestly, don't ever think you can't do it, whatever IT is and whatever your goals are. Do not think you can't go from running a 16 minute mile to a 6 minute mile, because you can. If I can, you definitely can. 

As the minutes go by and the 12th is getting closer I can't say I am not shaking from my nerves. My goal is to qualify for Boston (what runners isnt) but my ultimate goal is to finish. It has been brought to my attention that, that goal is a pretty audacious one and I think it is feasible but if I can finish in 4:00:00 I can't say I wouldn't be happy. I would rather finish at that pace than collapse at mile 17 from running a BQ pace. And now that I am officially in taper time I just want to run FOREVER, it is so hard to sit still! All this energy I need to get out, which I know I can't (with a projected 7 miles total to run before the big day, that's it!) I am learning, this whole life is a learning process but running has given me so much advice, life lessons, it has taught me to approach and look at life completely differently than I ever had before. To become a runner, which I always wanted to be but never thought I could be, it does mean a lot. I need to take this time to rest, recover and get excited to finish! (qualify :p) but really, this was and is my goal and it is going to happen. 

end note: I am aware I have not made a post acknowledging the Boston bombings and it is for a number of reasons, number one being I was there. I am still processing, and mapping my way through these scattered feelings. I will write about it, I am just not ready to put my feelings effectively into writing.