17 Apr 2012
Here is the update letter on the Boston Marathon that I sent to my donors this morning I survived! Congrats to all my fellow Boston Marathon runners!!
Good Morning Family and Friends,
I successfully completed the 116th Boston Marathon!!!!!! Thank you for your patience in my update for how the race went. As you can imagine it was a long day starting at 4AM!
It was definitely a challenging experience, but it was also life changing. Thank you for all sharing this experience with me from start to finish. I had fun sharing my stories with you and updating you with the fundraising and training. I also enjoyed hearing your stories about how cancer has touched your lives because it gave me the motivation I needed these past 6 months.
To date, you helped me raise $8,360 for cancer research. THANK YOU for you generosity…in the beginning I had some serious doubts on if I could raise this kind of money, but everyone has been so supportive. I was recognized at the Dana-Farber pasta dinner for meeting the 8k pacesetter goal and got to wear a special badge on my marathon jersey! See pictures attached of the back of my marathon jersey and the names I ran for. I have until September to complete my fundraising, in which Dana-Farber had set the high goal of $8,700 for each runner. I am confident I will be able to meet this goal by Fall. Thank you again for all your help!
As for the Boston Marathon, the temperatures were brutal, reaching almost 90 degrees. I was sweating as I was standing at the start line. Boston Marathoners train during the winter season and are not acclimated to running in these conditions. To give you some perspective: this was the hottest Boston Marathon in 13 years – typically the Boston Marathon is around 50 degrees. With numerous warnings from the Boston Athletic Association and the weather reports, I knew this was about surviving and finishing rather than trying to accomplish my time goal I originally had in mind. The Boston Athletic Association even had signs up a long the course warning runners to slow their paces down. Experts advised us to add at least a half hour – 45 minutes onto our originally anticipated times in this weather condition. According to the news there were 22,500 participants that braved the hot weather, 4,300 participants who registered opted out to run, nearly 2,000 participants received medical attention, and another 120 were taken to hospitals by ambulances. I wanted to be the one who braved the hot weather and finish without medical help! I ended up finishing with a time of 4:26:43.
||Tomc, Jamie V.
At times along the course, I questioned about finishing. People were walking and passing out besides me starting at mile 7. I couldn’t have been better prepared in terms of training for the marathon. I completed races this season that included a half marathon, 16 miler, and 20 miler race. I had training runs that included a number of 18 milers and a 22 miler. I was finishing these runs in 7:45-8:45 minute pace and I felt good. My racing strategy completely changed with these weather conditions. This race was more about mind over matter. Each time I questioned my abilities, I kept thinking about the names on the back of my jersey. Each step in front of the other was for each of your loved ones who’ve battled cancer. I wanted to do finish this race on behalf of those that couldn’t complete the marathon. I wanted to finish the Boston Marathon finish line because I wanted those names to cross with me. I wanted us to be winners in this together.
I had amazing support along the course. A number of my friends were spread out to cheer me on with beautifully made “Go Jamie” signs (although I missed a few along the way…sorry!). Seeing familiar faces at different points on the course really helped push me through. Hearing my name and seeing a smile helped me keep going when times got tough. Thank you to my friends and family for taking the time out of your busy schedules to come and cheer me on. It meant a lot to me. For those who couldn’t make it out, thank you for “virtually” cheering me on through the text message alerts and online. Each time I passed certain mile pointers, I knew you would get the alerts. This also helped me keep going because I knew if I slowed down or stopped you’d all worry about whether I finished so it helped me chug along.
It was also motivating to hear the number of supporters (who were complete strangers) that cheered for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At each mile of the course I heard numerous comments such as “Thank you for running for Dana-Farber” “I am a cancer survivor, thank you for support” “I was treated at Dana-Farber, thank you” “Go Dana-Farber, you’re making a difference” “My child is getting treated at Dana-Farber” “We love Dana-Farber” “You are making a difference running” ”Keep going Dana-Farber, you’re running for a great cause” “I am living proof that Dana-Farber makes a difference” Each time I wanted to slow way down, these people kept me going. I am so glad I chose to run for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I felt like it was a real testament to how many people are touched by cancer and by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. You all really helped make a difference in peoples’ lives by supporting this cause. Thank you.
The Boston Marathon course in itself was an amazing experience. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon on behalf of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team. As a runner, it was a dream of mine to complete Boston, but having the cause that was beyond myself was what really motivated me to go for it. There were people cheering from Hopkinton all the way to the Prudential Center. The entire 26.2 mile route was lined with people cheering, yelling my name (because it was written on the front of my jersey). I felt like a celebrity for a day! I enjoyed seeing the key landmarks along the course including the Fire Stations, Wellesley College, Boston College, Boston University, Newton Fire station, Heartbreak Hill (OK, maybe I didn’t enjoy seeing it while I was running up it), the Citgo sign, etc.
Starting at mile 10 I felt the effects of the heat and had to walk during certain points to cool off and get re-fueld. I would pour entire cups of water on my head and on my body and stick ice cubes between my hat and head to keep me from getting over-heated. People had their hoses out and cooled down the runners. I was drenching in water pretty much the entire way, but it helped me manage the heat. This race really gives you a sense of community and compassion. So many people along the course were sharing orange slices, their own water and Gatorade, ice cubes, water clothes, tissues, etc. Talk about feeling loved. Towards heartbreak hill I started to really slow down my running, but I saw a fellow Dana-Farber runner I had run with during speed workouts and long runs – he encouraged me to keep with it and get up the hill. We had run heartbreak hill during our 22 mile practice run and he knew I could do it. From mile 17 to 26.2 we pushed each other through the end. At mile 25 I got my second wind – we saw the kids from the Jimmy Fund with their families. Seeing these kids who are batting cancer was reason in itself to finish the race strong. People were quite excited to see two Dana-Farber runners run side by side to the end.
I had the most amazing experience running Boston yesterday. Even though the conditions were not ideal, it wasn’t about running the best marathon time. For me, it was about running for the experience and knowing the people I was running for and the impact it would make in peoples’ lives. Thank you for supporting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the cancer cause, and me. It means the world to me and to others impacted by cancer. Thank you for sharing this experience with me. I can’t thank you enough.
15 Apr 2012
I don’t have a lot of time to write tonight, but thought I’d share my last email I sent to my donors!! BOSTON MARATHON HERE I COME
Dear friends and family,
I sit here writing this email as I prepare for some much needed rest before tomorrow’s big day (nerves are in high gear). Days and months of preparation are past me and tomorrow I will be running for all those who’ve fought and battled cancer. It is well worth running the 26.2 miles…every last bit of it.
A couple of hours ago I went to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Pasta Party…almost 1000 people were in attendance. It was a really moving experience and at some points I felt choked up (especially when they shared stories of the young kids that have been afflicted by cancer and lost their battle to this disease). Your donations mean so much to so many people and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. You helped me achieve the 8k pacesetter goal set by Dana-Farber! Thank you – and I was recognized at the dinner tonight for raising this amount! Not in my wildest dreams did I think I was going to be able to raise over $8,000 for this cause. THANK YOU AGAIN! This cause means so much to me and as I take each step tomorrow I will be thinking about all your loved ones.
I also want to thank the donors who’ve donated in the past week and sorry if I haven’t had a chance to personally thank you yet (it is coming soon), this week in preparation for the marathon has been a busy one, but I want to make sure you know how much I appreciate it. Thank you.
Many of you may have heard that the weather for tomorrow is forecasted to be 88 degrees! It will certainly be one of the hottest Boston Marathon days in history. Luckily our coach, Jack Fultz, who won the 1976 Boston Marathon when it was nearly 100 degrees, has prepared us with many tips – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The Boston Athletic Association has sent the marathon runners numerous heat warnings which have advised runners to think about not running and to defer their race entry to next year. For a few of you that have asked…I am going to still plan on running tomorrow. I’ve come too far and raised too much to look back! I will run to finish and feel good. I had a time in mind (around 3 hours 45 minutes), but as the Boston Athletic Association has pointed out, with the heat being as close to 90 degrees, that it is no day for personal records (however, since this is my first marathon – anything with be my personal record – lucky me)! According to what I’ve read and our coach advised us, experts say to add at LEAST a 1/2 hour on top of that in weather conditions like this. My plan is to run smart and run safe.
Also, If you want to track me run, but didn’t get the directions on how to do so, you can text RUNNER to 345678. You will get a text message to submit my bib number to track my times for the 10k, 1/2 marathon, 30k & finish marks. My bib number is #23450. Or you can visit the BAA website www.baa.org
which can give you more directions. Attached is a more detailed explanation on tracking online.
I know many of you are planning to watch me run the Boston Marathon. In case you are out there, I am planning to wear my Dana-Farber jersey which has my name and bib number (#23450) on the front and those I’m honoring on the back. I also plan to wear a black hat and black shorts and socks. My sneakers have purple in them (This might be too much detail, but her there are a lot of us out there!) Please see pictures below for my jersey.
That is all for now. I better get to bed and rest. I will keep you posted when I finish the 26.2 miles! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!
Boston Marathon…here I come!
14 Apr 2012
Tags: advisory, B.A.A, Boston Marathon, hot, precaution, temperature, weather
With the warm weather expected on Marathon Monday, we just received this email from the B.A.A. this morning. Hope everyone is smart and runs safe! This is about finishing!
Advisory From Boston Marathon Medical Directors to Entrants in the 2012 Boston Marathon
Saturday, April 14, 2012 as of 11:30 a.m.
We are looking closely at the current weather situation which is projected to be quite warm. The B.A.A. is closely monitoring this situation for for race day decisions. If the temperatures reach certain levels, running will put even the most fit athletes at risk for heat injury.
We are now making the recommendation that if you are not highly fit or if you have any underlying medical conditions (for example-cardiac disease, pulmonary disease or any of a number of medical problems), you should NOT run this race.
Inexperienced marathoners should not run.
Those who have only trained in a cooler climate and who may not be acclimated (for at least the last 10 days) to warm weather running conditions should also consider not running.
For those very fit athletes who decide to run, you should take significant precautions:
Run at a slower pace and maintain hydration.
You should frequently take breaks by walking instead of running.
This will not be a day to run a personal best. If you choose to run, run safely above all else. Speed can kill.
Heat stroke is a serious issue and is related to intensity of running as well as the heat and humidity.
Good hydration is important but over hydration can also be a problem. Thirst is an indication that you are under-hydrated. You should maintain hydration levels slightly greater than your hydration program in your training, but not excessively so.
Even the fittest athletes, that take precautions can still suffer serious heat illness. Recognizing symptoms of heat illness in yourself and others is critical , this may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. If you experience any of these, stop running immediately and if symptoms persist seek medical attention.
Boston Marathon Co-Medical Directors,
Dr. Pierre d’Hemecourt and Dr. Sophia Dyer
13 Apr 2012
Tags: 80s, Asics, Boston, Boston Marathon, Boston Marathon expo, CEP, energy, exhausted, expo, fun, Monday, North Face, Poweraid, race jitters, running gear, salt tablets, seaport hotel and conference center, stomach, thank you, veteran teamates, weather
It is gonna be a hot one on Monday…any one else nervous about the forecast of low 80s? With this kind of weather, I am definitely going to have to see how I feel as I go. I am hoping I can still run under 4 hours with this heat wave coming in! I’ve been intaking salt tablets to see how they feel with my stomach…so far, so good!
I picked up my bib number at the Marathon Expo today!!! WOO HOO. The expo was located at the seaport hotel & conference center. It was so fun! I loved the energy of all the runners. We got the hot orange sports bags filled with goodies and our 2012 Boston Marathon runners shirt (YIPPEE!!) The expo is a runner’s shopping dream with vendors ranging from Adidas, North Face, CEP, Asics, Gatorade, Poweraid, etc. etc. I bought a couple memorable items (including a race medal display rack), but didn’t get too crazy….I just enjoyed walking around and looking at everything. Any type of running gear you’re interested in was there. SO FUN! I was pretty exhausted after I left and am glad I was able to do it on the Friday. I see how someone could easily spend 3-4 hours there. Veteran teammates suggested that the earlier we can get to the expo the better.
This morning I got super anxious thinking about the race (even more so than earlier this week). My friends have been sending me emails to wish me luck and it brought reality to the forefront that the race is literally in a couple of days. Everyone has been awesome with their support. THANK YOU.
Here are some pictures I thought I’d share from the expo! Fun stuff!
Only Saturday, Sunday….Eeek, then MARATHON MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11 Apr 2012
Tags: blog post, Boston Marathon, Charles River, hamburger, man, running, smile, tonight
I am making up for my lack of blog posts the last week…please see my prior two blog posts that I just posted earlier tonight.
Why am I posting for a 3rd time in just an hour…well because today I was driving along the Charles River in Boston and noticed this…
You might say, what is this that you are posting?
Yes, it is a running hamburger man by the Charles River. I had to snap a picture and share it with you.
Just made me smile, thought it might make you smile too. Especially if your nerves are getting to you with the Boston Marathon being around the corner…we all need to lighten up a little
11 Apr 2012
Tags: 5 mile, acquaintances, anxious, arrange, bad day, better person, bigger, body, Boston, Boston Marathon, Cancer, cause, cautious, clarity, compression socks, condition, confidence, CT, customers, Dana-Farber, Dana-Farber jersey, distance, dollar, dreams, EmbroidMe of Chelmsford, emotional, endurance, family, Friday, friends, fundraising, heart, hills, hometown, humble, impact, individual, jersey, jerseys, journey, leader, life changing experience, long run, loops, Marathon Monday, meditation, Middletown, mind, motivates, names, neighborhood, nervous, pain free, picture, post, posts, pre-marathon, printing, realize, reflection, relax, resistance, rest, right, screen printing, singlet, Sister, solution, spin, sponsorship, story, strangers, support, taper, tapering, thankful, training, treadmill, update, week, Wesleyan University, wildest, word
Sorry for being so behind on last week’s updates (I’ve been a little late the past few posts)! So much has happened since my last post, but of course it has now that we are only a week away (now less than a week away) from the Boston Marathon!
My donors have been SO amazing and I have officially reached the $8,000.00 fundraising mark since my last post. WOW. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I was going to be able to raise this much money, and it was all done because of each of you. Thank you so very much again from the bottom of my heart. I’ve had close friends and family donate to this wonderful cause, but also some strangers, customers, and acquaintances. I am so thankful for every dollar, every kind word, and every story you have all shared with me. I get emotional just thinking about the outpouring of support people had towards me and towards the cancer cause. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in research cancer institute and your sponsorship will impact many people. I will never forget the people who have supported me a long this journey. It has been a truly life changing experience for me. Not only has the training showed me the meaning of endurance through the hours, days, weeks, and months of training, but it has also helped me build confidence in my abilities and showed me that I can do anything I put my mind to. It has allowed me to grow as an individual and provided more clarity than any reflection or mediation could have for me. It has made me realize there are causes, like cancer, that are bigger and more important than myself. It has made me realize life is too short to take anything for granted. It has made me a better person because of this experience. So I want to thank you not only for your donations, but for sharing this experience with me over the past 6 months.
This past week was pretty easy on the training now that I started tapering before the big race and the taper has really paid off. I was telling my dad today on the phone that my right leg is almost completely pain free (knock on wood). I ran without compression socks last night and I felt good. Here goes last week’s training:
Monday – 45 minute spin class, stretching and weights
Tuesday – Rest Day
Wednesday – 60 minute power spin class. This instructor is a fire cracker. I’ve taken her class before and she is this petite girl with the loudest voice and more energy than you’d imagine. I like it because it really motivates you to push yourself. She also tricks you into thinking you’re almost done with a hard hill and then 20 minutes later you still realize you never put down the resistance. She also plays some awesome jams (some I have to add to my iPod before the marathon).
Thursday – 5 mile run on the treadmill. I was going to run outside and then decided against it just because I am super cautious now to make sure I don’t get any injuries before the marathon. I also did some stretching.
Friday – Rest day (mainly because I had a bad day – read more below to hear why). I also drove home to CT to be with my family over the Easter weekend!
Saturday – Ran 10.5 miles in my hometown of Middletown, CT. I had in my calendar to avoid hills the past 2 weeks before the marathon, which was a bit hard to do since my hometown is rather hilly. My dad reminded me of a different course I could have taken after I got back from my run…oops was too late. So I ran a few hills during this last “long” run and it was a good humble reminder that I will have to respect the hills of Boston come Marathon Monday. I felt pretty good and maybe a wee bit tired from the run, mainly because I didn’t really eat a good breakfast (my sister and her boyfriend were coming home to CT and I wanted to get back from my run in time). I ran around Wesleyan University and around my neighborhood. I had to do a lot of smaller loops, but got the distance in.
My mileage went way down this past week to just over 15 miles. This upcoming week will be similar and if anything less in miles. Hope my body continues to condition itself in prime condition for Boston!
I want to quickly touch on my “bad day” from Friday that I refer to above.(and bare with my slight venting). If you’ve been following my prior posts you may have read that I had arranged for a vendor to print up names on the back of my jersey. I am putting the names of our loved ones’ who’ve been afflicted by cancer to honor their fight with cancer. This is something that is extremely important for me to do and to do on behalf of those that have had friends and family affected by this disease. In the beginning of February I spoke with a sales rep EmbroidMe in Chelmsford, MA to talk about the possibility of printing on my Dana-Farber jersey. We discussed the type of material, that I was looking to get 40-50 names printed and that I’d bring in the file of names on a word document to make the process easier. The sales rep assured me that this was something they’ve done before and even showed me the type of technique they’d use in order to print on the shirt. He said that I could bring in the jersey just to confirm the material was ok to print on (totally understandable). I went back at the beginning of March with my jersey and in less than a couple of minutes he confirmed that he’d be able to print on my jersey. I left satisfied and confident that this would be the perfect place to get my jersey done because they had supposedly done this many other times. The sales rep said he would need a 5 day lead period in order to ensure printing would be done on time. Since I had finalized my list of names, I went to Embroid me last Tuesday with my jersey (again) and a word document with the names arranged as I wanted them on the jersey. The sales rep downloaded the file, looked at the jersey again, and assured me this would be fine and he’d call me back as soon it was ready (however he said it may take 10 days to complete). A little worried about the 10 day lead, instead of the original 5 day lead as he first told me, I went with it – because it would be done Saturday before the marathon. I got a voicemail on Friday (4 days after I dropped off the shirt) …I thought “oh good, this must mean the shirt is done” – instead they called to tell me that they would no longer be able to print on my shirt. I was devastated, upset, and frustrated by the customer experience. Not because they weren’t able to print on the shirt, but because I went two times prior to dropping off my jersey last week to confirm they’d be able to do it and now, 4 days later from dropping off my jersey, they call me to tell me they no longer want to “take the chance” of printing on my jersey. I was really upset because I didn’t want to disappoint any of my donors and because this was really important for me to do. I knew I was getting a little worked up because my donors were likely more concerned with donating to the cause, but when I promise I am going to do something I don’t go back on my word.
After some cooling down over the weekend, my dad helped me come up with a great solution. While I called a number of other screen printers, I was debating whether the week before the marathon I wanted to “chance” it and go with another vendor who may “mess up” my ownly singlet jersey or put the matter into my own hands. My dad helped me buy all the materials I will need to be writing and arranging the names myself. Now I promise you this will look just as good if not better than having the names printed. Remember, I was an art minor in college, so I do have some skills Anyways, thanks to my dad for helping me come up with a great solution and thanks to my donors to understanding that not everything goes as planned. But the names, I assure you, will be carried with me on my back and displayed proudly as I run 26.2 miles. I will post a picture before the marathon so you get a sneak peak!
Now that my jersey is all set and my training is all done…it is time for me to try and RELAX before the big day. Is it just me, or is anyone else just as nervous/anxious/excited as I am?….and the marathon is 5 days away! My first day of nervousness actually started about a week ago…I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it. Way too early to be thinking like this! Hopefully this nervous energy will drive me through the Boston Marathon!
05 Apr 2012
Tags: cancer cause, cancer research, challenge, Dana Farber Marathon Challenge, donors, encouragement, exchange, generous, gifts, goal, gratefulness, grows, help, honoring, included, progress, prospect, quote, spirit, support, update letter
Last week I surpassed my original goal of $6,500 for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge with your help. I can’t believe it. Thank you so much! Now I am approaching $7,500 in donations (just shy of 8 dollars away!) I had a few very generous donors donate in the past few days. I feel overwhelmed with gratefulness from everyone’s support in the cancer cause. 100% of the donations go to cancer research.
This quote describes my gratitude best:
“When we become more fully aware that our success is due in large measure to the loyalty, helpfulness, and encouragement we have received from others, our desire grows to pass on similar gifts. Gratitude spurs us on to prove ourselves worthy of what others have done for us. The spirit of gratitude is a powerful energizer.” — WP
I wanted to share with you my last update letter (pre-marathon) I sent out earlier this week to my donors and prospect donors. Like I’ve said in an earlier post, it is really important I keep all my supporters up to date with my progress – it is the least I can do in exchange for their kind sponsorships. I feel like I am doing this challenge not just by myself, but with all donors help. I want them to feel included in the process from fundraising to training and honoring their loved ones.
04 Apr 2012
Tags: 2012, advice, arc trainer, attendees, B.A.A. clinic, bad running days, Bill Rodgers, blog, body, bored, Boston Athletic Association, Boston Marathon, Boston Marathon jacket, Cancer, cause, chaffing, challenges, charity, charity runners, Charles River, compression socks, course, covet, cross-train, Dana-Farber, dancing, donations, donors, doubts, early, elastic, feeling, first-time marathoner, fitness, fuel packets, fundraising, fundraising goal, gatorade, glide stick, gu, happy, instructor, jackets, leg, long run, longer run, loops, marathon runners, Marathon Sports, marathoners, michael jackson, mileage, money, motivate, multi-marahton winner, new sneakers, New York Marathon, nutrition, official Boston marathon gear, olympic marathon qualifier, physical, pocket space, powerade brand, pre-race food, prospect, prospect dinners, re-energize, reading, relief, resistance, rest day, runner, running coach, running shorts, scenery, schedule, Seven Eleven, shaking, silly, skeptical, smell, spin class, stretching, support, sweaty, taper, tendonitis, treadmill, update letter, weights, workout
This week was super exciting for me because you all helped me reach my initial $6,500 fundraising goal. What a HUGE relief. Thank you again! I might actually have the chance to reach Dana-Farber’s goal for each runner of $8,700. This past week I just raised my fundraising goal to $8,000 on my fundraising page. Let’s see how I do! I am very happy and grateful for reaching my initial goal…that was my hope! I had some serious doubts about the challenges of fundraising when I first signed up to run for a charity, but you helped me realize that supporting a great cause is worth every bit of effort I will keep on trying to raise more money because cancer is cause that touches way too many people. I am planning to send out one more update letter this week to my donors and prospect donors. I will be sure to share it with you after I do so.
This past week has been a bit lighter with training because I am slowly starting the taper process, which will actually officially start for me this week. I am ready for the taper, although many runners tell me it can be a challenge running nearly 30 miles a week and then cutting mileage in half a week later. I personally think I might like it I will continue to cross-train to keep my fitness up.
I am a little bit behind with posting a blog about last week’s workout schedule, but here it is:
Sunday: Rest Day (Ran my longest 22 mile race the day before…so it was well deserved )
Monday: 60 minute spin class. This instructor was nuts. Since I had the day off from work I went to a morning class….so I had this instructor for the first time. He had some awesome music, which always motivates me in class, but he was doing a lot less spinning and a lot more dancing on the floor. It was hilarious because he was REALLY into it…I couldn’t help but think of Michael Jackson’s moves (RIP Michael). He was groovin’ to the music and shouting at us to ride harder and up the resistance. I love when instructors keep telling you to add-on the resistance when they aren’t actually doing it themselves and see how tired we are getting. I looked around the room while I was on my bike and I guess I was the only one that thought it was funny, or maybe it was too early in the morning (6 AM) for people to laugh. I had a nice smile on my face during the whole spin class. I hope I get the chance to have him as my instructor again.
At night, I attended a B.A.A (Boston Athletic Association) clinic about the Boston Marathon. There were a lot of first time marathoners and a lot of charity runners. On the agenda was: how to taper (depending how we were currently feeling in our training), nutrition before and on marathon day, and general questions about the Boston Marathon. There was an olympic marathon qualifier and a running coach that helped give the presentations for the night. The special guest was Bill Rodgers – who won the Boston Marathon 4 times and the New York Marathon 4 times. Pretty awesome if I may say so myself…it is truly inspiring. What I learned is that everyone has their good and bad running days. He shared with us that there were some marathons he didn’t finish despite being a multi-marathon winner.
Picture of Bill Rodgers winning the Boston Marathon
After the B.A.A. clinic I stopped by Marathon Sports (running apparel store and official Boston Marathon gear store) because they had a special discount for all B.A.A. clinic attendees. I wasn’t going to go because it was pretty late already, but I really wanted to check out the Boston Marathon gear…this stuff gets me excited. I bought another pair of compression socks and a Boston Marathon jacket that I told myself I wouldn’t wear until AFTER I finish the Boston Marathon (I don’t want to be a poser). I was there for an hour or so and spoke to a number of the store staff and an Adidas representative who all gave me some helpful tips for marathon day. I will take any and all advice I can get!
2012 Boston Marathon Jacket
These are coveted by Boston Marathon runners (you see everyone in these jackets training up to the Marathon).
Tuesday: Rest Day, busy bee at work!
Wednesday: Another Rest Day, woo hoo.
Thursday: Ok time to make up for my 2 rest days. I hit the gym and ran 5 miles on the treadmill with some stretching. I wore my new sneakers to try to break them in more before the big race.
Friday: Ran another 5 miles on the treadmill, weights, stretching.
Saturday: Went on the arc trainer for 30 minutes and ran 1 mile on the treadmill. I wasn’t wearing my compression socks and for some reason (whether it be mental or not) my right leg was bothering me a little bit so I stopped. I think I have a little bit of tendonitis and the compression socks have been helping a lot with that. We are too late in the game to chance running if anything feels a little uncomfortable.
Sunday: Went on my last “longer” run which ended up being a little over 15 miles. I stopped once at a Seven Eleven to buy a Gatorade and fill up my portable water bottle. The poor ladies that work there must think I stink when I stop in to re-hydrate. I give them my money and step far away from the counter just in case I smell sweaty. They’ve seen me a couple of times during my long runs and I told them I was training for the Marathon…so they just smile now when I come in. It has been tough not being able to run with my Dana-Farber team mates this past week…it just really helps having teammates push you through long runs. At this point long runs are no longer hard physically, I just get a little bored…probably because I pretty much run the same few loops when I go out for runs on my own. I usually run along the Charles River. The fun thing is there are always a lot of other runners out which helps motivate me. When we run with the Dana-Farber team it is usually a different course each week, which is fun to see the new scenery. Nonetheless, I felt good and I felt strong during my long run. I practiced with a few things during this longer run that I wanted to get a better handle on for marathon day (like pre-race food, glide stick to prevent chaffing, wearing my new sneakers, and Gatorade). Also, wearing the compression socks on marathon day is going to be a must. It might look a little silly, but I don’t care – it helps!
One thing I tried during this longer run was a tip that the Marathon Sport staff shared with me on Monday. Since the Boston Marathon provides a different type of gu (I think it’s the Powerade brand) than the one I’ve been practicing with all during training, I’ve decided it is best to keep with the GU that I am use to. During my 20 mile race a month ago I took the Powerade brand gu provided by the race and I didn’t love the taste nor did it sit well with my stomach. Since most women running apparel have limited pocket space, I wasn’t sure where or how I was going to carry these GU packets with me. I also don’t like running with extra packs and bands when I run…I know they have special “fuel belts” that you can attach gu packets to, but when it comes to running I try to be a minimalist. Little things shaking around my body would bother me…especially during a long run like 26.2 miles. I shared this concern with the Marathon sports staff members and a couple of them shared with me this trick that I thought I’d share with you in case my fellow Marathon runners find this helpful:
First, apply glide to the part of your waist/skin that touches the elastic band of your shorts or pants.
Second, pin the gu packets with safety pins to the outer band of your running shorts. Make sure the pin doesn’t go through the entire elastic (i.e. you don’t want the pin actually touching your skin). You just want to make sure the pin is holding the gu packet to your shorts.
Third, tuck the bottom part of the gu packet into the band of your shorts to prevent the gu packet from moving and shaking around. I was skeptical with how this would feel when I was running, but applying the glide stick prevented any chafing. It was also really easy access to rip off my shorts when I was ready to re-energize myself during my long run.
I practiced this technique with one gu packet, however I will probably take at least 3 with me during the actual marathon. I’d recommend it to any other runners that might be worried about how to store their gu packets. I know this might sound silly, but if it helped me I thought I would share it!
Anyways, I had a really great week overall with training and fundraising. I can’t believe we are less than 2 weeks away to the real thing! Every day of training of fundraising has been so worth it! Tomorrow or Friday I will post my last update letter I sent to my donors and prospect donors so you can read it! Thanks again for reading, for your support, and your donations!!