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!!!
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!
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!!??
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:
running working cooking reading in bed watching food shows talking about puppies
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.
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.
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!
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!! ;) )
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!
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!
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.