Friday, April 9, 2010

getting closer....

we're getting closer and closer to Marathon Monday and i'm getting more and more nervous! Not only have my runs been miserable lately because of the sudden warm weather, but i'm still pretty far from my fundraising goal!

the forecast for tomorrow is 58 degrees and sunny so i'm hoping for a good run to boost my spirits!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

80 degrees and sunny is no good!

After a very soggy week, the Sun God finally granted Boston with its graces on Friday. Saturday came around with highs of 78 degrees and cloudless skies. Absolutely perfect weather conditions for walking around the city, or dining al fresco, or laying out on a roofdeck. Absolutely horrid conditions for runner that's been training in scarf-hat-mittens weather.

I did the last 10.5 miles of the course, through the Newton, Brookline, and into Copley, and i was absolutely drained. The first five miles or so i was running in direct sunlight, through the Newton hills and Heartbreak Hill, and i was sweating like a pig! It's amazing how tired warm weather and sunlight can make your body.

i am PRAYING that the weather is cooler on April 19th!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pictures from Saturday's Run!

Go Team Brigham!

Right around mile 11

My running buddies and I before we headed out of Framingham on our trek back to Boston!

21 Miles - Check!

At 7 a.m. this past Saturday, the Fitcorp training team put us all on school buses, drove us out to Framingham, dropped us off at the Harley Davidson parking lot, and said "now find your way back on foot! muhahahahhaahhaaa"

So, we ran... and we ran... .and we ran.... the 21 miles along the marathon route back to the Fitcorp at 1 Beacon Street. Collecting freebies from vendors that had set up tents along the way, I made it back in one piece! No serious pain, my knees were just very sore.

When I ran 18.3 miles a few weeks ago, I was surprised at how good i felt after and expected to feel roughly the same was after 21. It is unbelievable how intensely your body feels that 3 mile difference. Ending my 18 mile runs, i felt as if i could definitely go farther. Ending the run this weekend, i was like "omg i'm going to have to go farther!?!?!"

Now it's three weeks of sweet sweet tapering down... oh and raising $1,000 ahhhh!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

thank GOD for CitySports!

I just experienced a possible shoe-fiasco. Two weeks ago, I bought new sneakers. The salesman at at CitySports suggested I buy a motion control shoe because I have flat feet. I bought the shoe... and the past two weeks have been hell! I have to run the 21 miler tomorrow and I was freaking out. I feel like the shoes slowed me down, like i could barely move my foot, and they were diggin into my ankle.

As a motion of last resort, I had to try to return the shoes (which i've been wearing for 2 weeks, i don't have the box OR the receipt for). I was nervous, i was prepared to beg and plead, i was ready to bring on the tears.

Shaking and blubbering, i explained the story to the cashier, expecting her to respond with a big fat "no way!" But instead, she just simply said "ok, you can exchange them, go ahead and pick out your new shoes." Then, two sales women helped me pick out EXACTLY the shoe i needed - having me walk and do lunges so they could analyze my needs. Thank god for great customer service!! Not to mention they were friendly and interested in hearing all about the marathon training.

That type of help and support is what creates strong customer loyalty. THANK YOU City Sports!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feeling so unprepared!

Ahh - the marathon is less than a month away and I really feel so unprepared! I know I've been training a lot, but when I look back on the past 4 months, it all feels like such a blur.

This weekend is our big run - 21 miles along the marathon course. Most of the charities participate and there's even a camera crew out to take pictures of us along the way. A bus pics us up from our typical starting point and brings us out to Hopkinton for an 8:00 a.m. start. They call it the "dress rehearsal," we're even supposed to wear our bibs to make sure they're not horribly uncomfortable on race day (although, what do we do if they're horribly uncomfortable during this 21-miler?).

I'm really excited but also really nervous - what if I don't eat a good enough dinner the night before? What if my new sneakers really start to hurt? What if I can't do it!? What if I don't raise all my money!? What if what if what if!!??

Monday, March 22, 2010

i think i'm getting old.

today i got really annoyed that i couldn't work late because i had to do some training after work. since when did i become one of those late-hour office lurkers? is it because i'm almost twenty five and a half!?

Let's calculate my age-by-typical-activities:

Typical Activities:

reading in bed
watching food shows
talking about puppies

Calculated age: 38


Friday, March 19, 2010

Follow me on race day!

Want to follow me (or anyone else you know running the marathon) on race day??

Go here and register your cell phone so you can receive text message updates about my progress! My bib number is 27063 :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

update on strengthening the core

... ab work done since monday: none.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Last night during our hill runs (repeats up a long sloping hill in the Boston Common), I was yelled at! Like i said earlier, everyone runs these at their own pace. The runners are at MANY different levels, and I think of myself as smack-dab in the middle... not the fastest, not the slowest. I really don't try to race anyone and I'm not in competition, I just try to give myself the best workout I can.

Last night, my friend Marissa and I kept at the same pace through all 20 half-hill repeats. We actually did really well for ourselves... thanks for pushing me Marissa! When we were going up hill on number 9 or so, we passed one of the guys. I was the one right next to him, Marissa had to run a few feet over to get around someone else.

When I passed this guy, he yelled "SHOWOFF!" I laughed, thinking of course he was joking... then looked at him and saw the stone-faced look on his grumpy mug. The rest of the run he gave me dirty looks when we passed each other going up or down hill!

Honestly, I am not bragging - I'm very much not the fastest in the bunch, I'm not sure what I did to annoy this guy. I have to take it with a grain of salt, though, because later he was fist pumping as he ran to the beat of whatever motivational music he had coming through his ear buds.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Strengthening the Core

The most recent advice I've gotten on the marathon - make sure you work your core every day; solid ab muscles will keep you stabilized and will help you pull through those last few miles.

I think I've made the commitment to myself that I would work on my abs every spring since I was 13. And, every summer since I was 13, bathing suit season has snuck up on me and my undefined core with a taunting heat that says "feel comfortable in a bikini YET molly!?" to which i respond "i want pizza."

Maybe this spring will be different since my life basically depends on it - I know I can make it to mile 18.3... I'll need my rock hard abs to pull me through to mile 26.2.

Monday, March 15, 2010

no more injuries!

Thank God, knock on wood, fingers crossed, I've managed to overcome my injuries early on in my training. As long as nothing acts up from here on out, I'm feeling really positive about April 19th.

I just don't want to hear about any more injuries from my friends that are running! Feet, legs, hips, ankles... it seems like everyone I talked to is trying to get through one kind of injury or another during their training. I want everyone to have a happy, healthy run the day of the marathon, not a painful, miserable one!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are we in competition?

Like i said in my previous post, once a week we do hill runs. We run with other members of the Brigham team and also the Liver team with our trainers from the Fitcorp on Beacon around the common and the garden to the stretch of the common that runs along Beacon street. It's a long, slow sloping hill and it's great conditioning for the hills along the marathon route. Each week we do a few more repeats than last week (either half hill or whole hill). The idea is to give it 85% going up hill and take your time heading back down to get your body in great condition for our weekend runs and marathon monday.

I sort of see us runners as a true team - one big group of strangers meeting twice a week to accomplish something together - not one just joined by the charity that got us our numbers. I'm pretty competitive, but when it comes to working within my group, my competitive drive fades and I just want to do my best. BUT i have to admit - last night i was forced into competition.

As you go through the hill repeats, you tend to stick around the same group of people. I typically go faster up hill and let myself rest a bit going down. In doing that last night, it ended up that this one girl would pass me on the way down, then i'd pass her on the way up. I thought nothing of it - I'm not racing her, we're both just out to train. I think she was getting a little frustrated... each time i went by her on the way up i'd hear "UGHHhhh"

eeks!! I hate introducing negative energy into a run. Besides the need to have your muscles ready and your endurance up, running is SO mental. I don't want to ruin my run with the added pressure of trying to beat a teammate's time, it brings the whole experience down.

(that is, if you finish last... i couldn't help it - i had to win in the end!! ;) )

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hills Hills Hills Hills Hills

Sometimes I kick myself for picking Boston as my first marathon... I could have gone for a flatter course like Chicago and avoided the hills (not to mention the snow, sleet, and freezing rain) but, in a way, I guess my ignorance is bliss. I don't know any other way to train for a marathon than with long hilly weekend runs and hill repeats once a week. When I think of running, I think "hills hills hills hills!"

If I plan out a route and it ends up being fairly flat, I feel like I'm missing something. It's not enough of a workout, I'm not preparing myself for what's ahead of me if my quads aren't burning at some point in the run.

Every Saturday, we run Heartbreak Hill and I'm starting to feel like I'm going to be okay. BUT it hits at mile 20ish on the Marathon route, compared to mile 12 on our longest runs. I haven't even run 20 miles yet, never mind running uphill at mile 20 and then going 6.2 more!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

6 weeks to go!

This morning's run was b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l... 50 degrees, sunny, and smooth. I've been feeling blasts of energy at the last quarter mile thanks to my sports beans, so I've been finishing the runs faster than I start, which is always my goal.

With the marathon 6 weeks away and the gorgeous weather, the runners were out in swarms today. The support from strangers is so strong, it's so encouraging. Group would pass by us on our way, cheering and fist pumping and we'd do a quick "good job!" exchange. I can't wait for the marathon to come.

I'm off to take advantage of this sunny day with a bike ride!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Runner's High

It's March 2nd and the days are beginning to tease us with snippets of warm weather, assuring New Englanders that we are NOT crazy to live here. There's a quivering feeling of anticipation in the sidewalk crowds, everyone's energies sensing the season change.

Walking off the bus to work this morning, there was a taste of warmth in the air and my stomach butterflied in excitement for the soon-to-come spring runs. There's nothing better than that first warm day, leaving the gloves, headband, and running jacket at home, feeling the sun and the breeze on your bare arms and legs, knowing the days of the winter frost are behind you. It's a once-removed runner's high, one that stems not from the adrenaline pumping through your body, but from the seasons past.

Runner's high follows you - its what makes you feel "good" when you're quads are sore, what makes your body feel healthy and your mind clear. It's more than the extra energy a few miles in, it's the impact running has on your entire outlook. It's an addiction.

Monday, March 1, 2010

i do solemnly swear...

I do solemnly swear not to drink until race day with the exception of the St Patty's day parade in Southie on March 14th.


Friday, February 26, 2010

a great FUNdraiser

To boost our fundraising efforts, my girlfriends and i held a little fundraiser last night.

It was really low-key, just at a local bar with the celtics game on and some live music played by our friend Mathison but it was a great way to stir up some fundraising dollars from our friends and co-workers while being to give them something back (well potentially give them something back).

The prizes ranged from gift certificates to sports gear to hotel stays and it was so fun giving them out! I did, however, go to home with a sad and guilty feeling weighing on me because I felt so bad for the people who donated and didn't win anything. I think this is my last time orchestrating a raffle... i can't take the emotional agony associated with it!

I was the one to read out the winners name and i am NOT a fan of public speaking so i was really nervous. I get awkward, overthink what I'm about to say, and then just spit something out (like when I was announcing the winner of a night's stay at the Liberty Hotel, i so smoothly described it as "... a hotel that used to be a jail, and now just looks like a jail.")

I'm half way to my fundraising goal, so a big "THANK YOU!" to all of you who have donated so far :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Social Roadblocks

Keeping on a training schedule is really hard when theres just other stuff to doooo...

Heading to the Celtics game tonight and to Killington for the weekend, so I'm not quite back on track yet but after this weekend I am in total marathon-mode... sticking to my running schedule, eating healthy, and nixing alcohol (well for the most part) until April 19th!

Monday, February 22, 2010

the funny man in the middle of the street

I went on an adventure to visit friends in San Diego and go to my friend's wedding San Antonio (the first one of my friends to get married!) last week, so I haven't keeping up on my posts. The trip was amazing and totally worth it. I got to see friends that I love love love love, spend a lot of time with my amazing boyfriend, and see a LOT of Texas country side in a road trip from San Antonio to Dallas. Did you know that there are over TWO HUNDRED Chili's locations in Texas? I literally think we saw one every mile.

Even though I managed to get in a 16 miler during my trip, the vacation left me feeling horribly under-trained and very nervous for this weekend's 18.3 mile run. So I did the best I could in training during the week and ate a good healthly meal, drank a lot of water, and got a lot of rest the night before. Saturday a.m. I woke up with butterflies in my stomach and headed out to meet the running group.

No matter the length of my runs, I always fall into the same pattern. I feel like I'm not getting anywhere for the beginning of the run, right up until I hit the halfway point. Once I get to there I start feeling pretty good, but I don't really hit my stride until I'm roughly 60% of the way in. From there on out, as long as it's a good run, I'm golden. I know I have more behind me than I do in front and my competitive edge comes out. Whether the route is 4 miles or 14, its always the same thing. It's amazing how mental physical activity ends up being.

Saturday was no different. It was an absolutely amazing run - thanks to the company of my friends that are training with me, the amazing weather, and the extra energy of delicious sports beans, we finished with smiles on our faces and (just a little bit of) extra energy.

Along the way during these long runs, we often have to scoot around pedestrians, block out comments from crazy Brookline residents, and motion "sorry!!!" to the oncoming traffic as we run in front of it. It's not fun. We don't try to be obnoxious, it's just that, when you've got your pace, it's so important to keep at it. Little up and downs really mess up your stride and can even seriously hurt you. I adjusted my stride quickly when training for my first half marathon and it triggered serious knee pain.

All the negative energy from the grumps we pass along the way can totally be outweighed by just one fan. So today I want to thank the man that stood in the middle of the street in Brookline as we ran by that was clapping and cheering us on, screaming "These girls are getting ready for April 19th!!!!!!!!!!!!" Little did you know that we were just coming up on mile 14 and that was exactly what we needed to hear to keep us going.

peace, love, and sports beans.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

punched calves

Ok i halfway take back yesterday's post on the wonders of running on the balls of my feet. my calves feels like strong and tiny fists delivered rounds and rounds of powerful blows all day yesterday. Ouchh!!

On a positive note, how cute is this baby sloth!?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Keeping Me On My Toes

My previous post mentioning my foot problems has spurred a media explosion of investigation on the best way to run. Just last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article on the benefits of running barefoot (or in shoes with less cushioning and more flexibility). Apparently, barefoot runners alter their form naturally to hit the ground at higher point in the foot, almost at the ball of their feet, thereby allowing the body to more effectively absorb the impact.

I've been experiencing intense pain on the side and back of my foot, most likely stemming from the way I land when running on uneven ground. The pain subsides after icing, ibuprofen, and rest, but comes right back with each run. Because of this, over the past few weeks I've been stressed out about whether or not I'll overcome this injury and if I'll physically be able to run the marathon.

The trainer suggests a brace, stretching, and sleeping in this thing called the Strassburg Sock. My god! I really don't want to pay $40 to sleep in some sort of medieval torture device, so I've decided to test out this whole barefoot theory out. I couldn't bring myself to go really go barefoot, my little feetsies can't handle the cold pavement, so I tested the waters by running on the ball of my foot in my regular sneakers this morning.

And the initial verdict is - SUCCESS! I just did a short run so it's not definite that this form will work for the long runs, but I think I'm headed down the right path. Not an ounce of pain in my foot and my goodness does it give your calves a workout! The only downside is that I'm pretty sure I look like a fool tiptoeing around... but I usually don't pick my legs up that much and it looks like I'm gliding on an invisible nordic track so I guess this could be an improvement.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Beer vs Running Shoes

Oh beer oh beer oh beer
You make me grin from ear to ear.
As soon as you're gone, a replacement is near,
Then in the morning, for my life i fear.

A weekend away
the runner will play.
Laughing and lounging all day,
"More beer!" I say!

A three hour trip,
Into the condo I slip.
I'll eat more than one chip
and lots of chili cheese dip!

Beer, gin, and blackberry Vodka,
Into the van and off to the bar horrah!
Barkeep what's that? No! No soda,
We want Beer, and more beer, and more beer - ha!

The weekend is over and now I'm back home,
Back to emails, meetings, and calls on my work phone.
From kitchen to mail room to cube I roam,
Feeling lethargic like a lazy lump of loam.

Leaving the office I decided on a whim
That life would be better if I skipped the gym.
So tomorrow morning, while the light is still dim,
I'll be running down Broadway, not looking or feeling so slim.

But in the battle of Beer vs Running shoes,
it's not that either one will really lose.
I'll deal with the running after the booze,
Accepting the consequences as my Drinker's Dues.

Friday, January 29, 2010

trainging - by the numbers

1 - the number of women runners i've seen pop a squat in someone's front yard in Newton. that's what you get for having an unreal house on comm ave i guess.

161 - cumulative miles run so far!

2 - pedestrians i've seen eat pavement, one of whom fell face first but, displaying an unbelievable dedication to her coffee, managed not to spill a drop! i pointed it out to her as i ran by but she didn't find it funny... pretty sure her chin was bleeding.

5 - old men that absolutely SCHOOL me every week on our runs.

6 - days i'll be on vacation in san diego next week!!!!!! i might "forget" to train...

3 - children under 6 that i've seen walking down the sidewalk legit completely alone. Not lost or sad though, completely confident in their street prowess. One was dressed like an adult, purse and all, at first i thought she was just a tiiiiiny old woman.

4 - the number of different snacks suzanne liedel, the Brigham & Women's fundraising coordinator, puts out for us at Newton Corner to fuel up - trail mix, pretzels, swedish fish, and some other candy i can't remember!

1,224,213 - Hasidic jews that roam the Brookline sidewalks every Saturday

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Knight in a Shining Black Maxima

First off - hi mom! thanks for becoming a (the) follower of my blog. my mom writes a really funny blog for her pug Paco, Paco's Pugtails.

Contrary to popular belief, not every 10.5+ mile run in the middle of the New England winter is easy breezy. Every now and then you wake up and know that that day is going to suck. Instead of heading out in a cloud of "i can do this!" you shove your feet into your sneakers and reluctantly bumble out the door. I had my first today-is-going-to-suck morning last saturday.

I tried my best to get excited and pump myself up, putting reggae on my ipod, wearing my favorite running outfit, and taking my camera with me to snap some on-the-run pics, but i knew i was in for it when, a good three minutes into my run, i had a flash of genius thinking i could just stop to "tie my shoe" and then by accident get knicked by a slow moving car's bumper and roll myself down Beacon Hill straight into Starbucks, treating my wounds with a iced coffee treat. I pictured a lot of Starbucks customers and employees circling around me, someone yelling "GET THIS GIRL AN ICED VENTI NON FAT NO WHIP 2 PUMP MOCHA ASAP! AND A CROISSANT!!" while others ran to create a fort for me with couch pillows and blankets from concerned neighbors, setting me up with a laptop and free wifi so i could sit in there for hours watching arrested development and its always sunny reruns drinking coffee on the house.

I had to shake that lavish and totally realistic day dream and go on. I persevered through Kenmore Square, past BU, Coolidge Corner, and finally into Newton Center before my emotional struggle turned into a physical one. Every now and then over the past couple months my foot has fallen victim to the plantar faciitious monster - an evil, unrelenting pain that can only be compared to the feeling of stepping on a rolly-ball mouse and doesn't go away if you ignore it.

So, at Newton Centre, I had to call it quits. Crying like a pathetic little girl, i asked the high school girls working at a nearby bakery named "Pie" (read: "Tortue for Runners without Wallets Dreaming About Coffee and Pastry Therapy") to use their phone so i could wake up my boyfriend and beg for his rescue. A little groggy and with limited enthusiasm, he answered my call for help and drove to Pie to save me - my knight in a shining black Maxima.

I got in the car and cried like a pathetic little girl, apologizing for making him come get me, and, through my tears announced like the emotion-eating female i am "im getting dunkin donuts because im sad."

So, moral of the story is:


The Cold, the Pale, the Ugly

If you've lived in Boston during the winter, you've seen them... lycra-clad shadows coming out of the woodwork early on weekend mornings. Not a deterrent exists in their world - not cold, not wind, not sleet, not snow, not rain. They take up space on the road when the sidewalks are covered in ice and travel in packs, practicing their sadistic Saturday ritual trudging through Newton, Brookline, and Boston. Bundled up in hats, scarves, mittens, yet leaving little to the imagination in body-clinging spandex, they are Boston Marathon trainees.

For years I would look out my window during snowstorms, cursing the psychotic runners slipping and sliding along the unplowed roads. "Jesus Christ, just take a break!" I'd say, climbing deeper into the pillows and blankets in my bed. Why would anyone ever want to train in the miserable New England winter weather, with their eyes bloodshot from the whipping wind, hands blue from the cold, so far from anything warm and cozy.

But, suddenly as the flip of a switch, I turned 24 and I felt envious. I wanted what they had - drive, ambition, a goal. I wanted to run down Boyslton in mid April, exhausted, trembling, my winterized legs exposed in the early spring day, so typically Bostonian - glistening white from months of hibernation.

I've joined the cult. Now it's me, running down Beacon street at 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays, one amongst the pack, nose red, breath steaming. There's something inside pushing us, tricking us into thinking a 7-miler isn't enough of a workout. It wakes us up in the morning, pushing us out the door and down the street. It starts the fire inside at mile 13, causes the anxiety at a missed workout, leaves us wanting more. It is pure masochism. We are sick, sick people, looking forward to weekly bouts of self-invoked torture. And all the while, we do it with a smiling eyes.

So here I am, in with the cold, the pale, and the ugly and looking 26.2 miles ahead.