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!
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!!
12 Mar 2012
in Fundraising, Long Runs, Uncategorized
Tags: 1000M, 1976 Boston Marathon Winner, arc trainer, bends, Black Cat, Black Cat 20 miler, blog, Boston Marathon, Cancer, cars, chelmsford, Coach, company, Concord, Dana Farber Marathon Challenge, Dana-Farber jersey, donations, donor, elliptical, email, embroidme, Facebook, gatorade, glen, honor, Hyannis Half Marathon, Jack Fultz, jersey, LinkedIN, long run, M & Ms, MA, marathon, marketing, Megan, mileage, milestone, moving, pace, recovery jog, repeats, rest, rest day, road, rolling hills, runner, short walk, speed, starbucks, strangers, stretching, Sudbury, Sunday, tapering, track workout, training schedule, transformation, Tufts University, water, water stop, Wayland, weights, winner, workout
The weeks to the marathon seem like they are flying. After I finish a long run, I am still in amazement of the transformation in my training. I am not sure if I am amazed by the discipline it takes or the strength of my body or both.
This week was exciting because my donors helped me reach the $5,750 milestone! Thank you! With every $250 raised I am raffling off a gift of appreciation to one of my donors. This week the raffle prize was a gift card to Starbucks. I had one of my co-workers pick a name from the 73 donors who’ve donated so far and Dan Z won. Thank you again to all the people who’ve generously donated to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. It means a lot…and more so to those who are looking for better treatment and a cure. When I reach $6,000 I will be raffling off another name from my donor list! Hope I get to this milestone by the end of this upcoming week…I’ll keep you updated.
I have to say (once again), I have been really surprised by some of the donations I’ve received – some by even complete strangers like in this past week. The stories people share with me are heartfelt and thank you for continuously reminding me why it is so critical to continue to support this cause. Cancer does seem to touch everyone in some form or another. I am proud to support the cancer cause by running for Dana-Farber and you are all helping me make a difference in someone’s life through your donations. Thank you!
This past week, I met with a vendor “EmbroidMe” located in Chelmsford, MA who looked at my Dana-Farber jersey and said they’d be able to print the names on the back of my jersey. I met with them a couple of weeks ago and the marketing person told me it would be best if I brought the jersey in so they could confirm they’d be able to do it for me. I went in the store this past Friday and he said he’d definitely be able to print on this material and they’ve done it plenty of times before. I am very particular how these names turn out because being able to honor our loved ones who’ve been afflicted by cancer is really important to me. I need to give the vendor at least 5 days to print the shirt. On facebook and linkedin, I’ve encouraged people who want to honor their loved ones on my jersey to donate before the end of the month so I can make sure I have a good couple weeks to get the names printed. I’ll be sure to send a picture to my donors of the shirt once the shirt is finalized! I am really excited
Here is the back of my jersey where I’ll be putting the names:
So how was my training for week 5 leading up the marathon? After my long 20 mile race this past Sunday, I took it pretty easy with mileage this week. I feel like I’ve been tapering up and down for the past couple weeks with these races I’ve had back to back. This upcoming week I’ll have to get back into a training schedule, but I really only have 3 more weeks of solid training before I start tapering for the Boston Marathon on April 16th.
Monday – 20 minutes on the arc trainer and 20 minute stretch. The day after a long run I’ve noticed it’s better to get your legs moving then just taking a full rest day. Whether it be a short walk or a short workout on the arc trainer or elliptical.
Tuesday - Speed workout at Tufts University…which ended up being around 7 miles. Glen our coach advised those who ran the Black Cat 20 miler on Sunday “take it easy” during this workout. It was a pretty tough because the repeats were long distances (1000 M). I ran with another Dana-Farber runner, Megan, who has been running a similar pace to me in the past couple workouts. It has been helpful running with her during these workouts. I thought I’d share you a sample of Jack Fultz’s (1976 Boston Marathon winner) email that he sends the team before each track workout so you get a sense of what we do during the speed workouts:
“Tonight’s track workout calls for 8 x 1000 meter repeats (5 laps each) – with a 400 meter recovery jog between each).
The pace you want to aim for is again, your marathon goal time converted from hr/min to min/sec. Divide that by 4 and that is your per lap goal time. i.e. If your goal happens to be 10 min pace for the marathon that’s a 4:22 finishing time. To be in that kind of shape (and I know we’re still getting to where we want to be next month), a runner’s approximate 5K PACE would net about 4:22 / 800 meters or 8:44 / mile. This runner would do our workout aiming for 4:22 / 4 = 1:05+ (or 65+ seconds / lap). 5 laps at this pace would total about 5:25.
Two laps recovery jog will probably take a runner at this pace about 2:45 (about half the 1K time but no more than 3:00). So total time for this 1K in 5:25 and 2:50 for 400 recovery jog gives a total time for 1 repeat and 1 recovery of 8:15. Aim to start each successive 1K every 8:15 – or thereabout . Or even bring that time down gradually over the course of the workout. this will help to keep your mind in the workout even during the recovery portions.” (Jack Fultz email)
Wednesday – 45 minutes of weights and stretching at the gym.
Thursday – fast 3 miles on the treadmill, 30 minutes stretching
Friday – REST!
Saturday – 16 mile run with Dana-Farber team that started in Wayland and went through Sudbury and Concord. There were some rolling hills and a course weaved in and out of bends of the road. It was one of the most serene and gorgeous courses that I’ve run in awhile…mainly because it felt like we were off the beaten path and we didn’t have to worry too much about cars.
The long run was also great because I saw Megan, who I have been running with the past couple speed workouts at Tufts University. In the beginning of our run, I asked her if she would mind if I’d tag along with her because we run at a similar pace. (Check out her awesome & inspirational blog here: http://meganrunsboston.blogspot.com/). It is so much easier to run the longer runs with someone, especially when you find someone that runs at the same pace as you. The first couple miles I was pretty tired, but I would get a second wind and pick it up, and then get tired again, then pick up the pace, then get tired. I told Megan that I was thankful for her keeping me company during the run because it motivated me to keep on going. We also joked along the course that we were glad we were running with one another because at some points in the course it felt like we were literally in the middle of nowhere. We passed by some swamps and horses. No big deal. Between water stops we’d switch off with who ran closer to the sidewalk, so that the person closer to the middle of the road would tag behind when cars came. The Dana-Farber volunteers were awesome again and were ready with Gatorade, water, M & Ms and pretzels at every 2-3 miles along the course.
Considering how windy it was, we actually ran pretty decent timing. (Thanks Megan for sending me the times via email if you’re reading this ) Here are our mile splits…overall we finished pretty strong. So I am happy with it!
#4) 8:43 (with water stop)
#6) 9:01 (with water stop)
#9) 9:31 (with water stop)
#12) 9:44 (with water stop)
#14) 8:41 (with water stop)
Sunday – some stretching, but mainly rest day.
To wrap up the week, I’ve been feeling really good with training. I hope I feel this good or better the day of the Marathon! Fingers Crossed!
Here are few pictures from my Hyannis Half Marathon a couple of weekends ago. PS: wish I could see the cameras while I was running so I could give it a nice little smile I look WAY to serious in these:
05 Feb 2012
in Running Experiences, Training Schedule
Tags: ankle sleeve, appointment, arch, arch trainer, avoid, birthday, bumming around, compression socks, confident, course, Dana-Farber, doctor, elliptical, emotions, exhausted, Foam Roller, foods, foot, gatorade, Greater Boston Running Company, hip, hot bath, ibuprofen, improving, injuries, journey, Lexington, long run, loops, marathon, mental, moderately flat, nutrition, outside, party, physical therapist, pizza, pretzels, PT, run, runner, sodium, sole, speed workout, Superfeet, training, treadmill, Tufts track, water, water bottle, workout
10 weeks to go!!! Getting so close to the actual Marathon, it is becoming too real.
My week’s workout ended up being pretty decent, despite having some pain in my right leg.
Wednesday after work I went to the Greater Boston Running Club in Lexington and got fitted for the superfeet inserts (which helped raise the arch in my foot and create a harder sole), an ankle sleeve, and compression socks. I’ve been wearing the compression socks faithfully almost all week after I run and at night when I’m sleeping. The superfeet inserts seem to be helping by eliminating my right foot turning in while I am running (that I noticed last week). I also wore the ankle brace a couple of times this week at the gym. Trying to see how all these things work and if they are improving how I feel or not. Overall, seems to be helping (not sure how much of it is mental).
SUPERFEET – I like the name of it!
Pro-Tech Ankle Sleeve – please note, these are NOT my feet and I do shave my legs
CEP Compression Socks – expensive, but make a HUGE difference
I had a doctor’s appointment Thursday morning in hopes to get a referral to a physical therapist. The nurse practitioner said she could definitely feel some “popping” in my right hip and encouraged me to keep switching from heat to ice on my right leg where there was any pain. I’ve also kept up with the foam roller. I’m hoping the PT can help give me some tips on how to help ease the hip pain. I’ve never been to a PT before, so my appointment this upcoming Tuesday should be interesting. The PT I am going to is one that a fellow runner from Dana-Farber had recommended to me when she had similar hip injuries.
Here is a wrap up of this week’s workouts:
Monday: 8 mile run outside. I posted about my experience earlier in the week. Not feeling the best during my run, but got it done.
Tuesday: 2 miles of speed workout on the Tufts track – leg started hurting, so continued workout with 45 minutes on the elliptical
Wednesday: 3.1 miles (5k) on the treadmill, stretching, weight training. I tried the ankle sleeve which seemed to help support my leg a bit better during the short run.
Thursday: 5 mile run outside and tried the ankle sleeve again. It was my first run in the dark in a while. I was training primarily on the treadmill during the week the past couple months. My hip was bothering me a bit, but I felt ok.
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 45 minutes (sweating bullets) on the cybrex arch trainer. I went to a birthday party earlier in the day and ate WAY too much pizza. Tried to burn as many calories as possible so I could eat at the next party I had that evening. I also did some stretching/ foam roller
Sunday: I was honestly not sure how I was going to feel today. I let myself sleep in (I’ve been exhausted all week) and when I woke up I felt like I was bumming around trying to avoid my long run. I took 3 ibuprofen and wore my compression socks before my run. I wanted to get in around 15 miles since I am going to be away next weekend and probably won’t be able to run as much. I told myself I would see how I felt and made sure the course was a series of loops so I could turn back if I had to. After just under 2 hours and 30 minutes, I made it to 18 miles! My 2nd longest run ever. The course was moderately flat around the Charles River. My hip was the only thing really bothering me, but the ibuprofen and compressions socks seemed to help. I took two gu packets during my run and switched to Gatorade (instead of water) in my water bottle. I felt like I should have eaten a little more before I went for a run, but I left around noon time, so I didn’t want to eat too much. I am still trying to figure out nutrition wise what the best foods are to eat…any pointers from runners out there on what to eat before long runs? Right when I got home I took a short walk around the block and took a hot bath. I haven’t taken a bath in years, but it seemed to help A LOT. Note to self: take hot baths after long runs. I actually kept the compression socks on in the tub and am still wearing them now. Before I hopped in the bath I noticed my face had a white salty look to it – which reminded me that I was probably lacking sodium. I even tried eating pretzels this morning!
Total mileage for the week: 36 miles.
Overall, feeling a little more confident today than I did in the beginning of the week. It is amazing how many emotions you go through as you are training. I’ve come to realize the journey of training for the marathon is probably just as challenging as the marathon itself.
Now just in time to watch the superbowl…made some Tomato Tortellini. Yummm. Go Pats!
23 Jan 2012
in Races, Uncategorized
Tags: 1/2 marathon, 10 mile, 13 miles, 13.1 miles, 16 mile, 5 mile, ankle, arc trainer, Boston Marathon, Boston Prep Run, cadence, calve muscles, chapstick, Charles River, comparison, competitive, course, cross time, cross-training, Dana-Farber, Derry, ease, elevation, energy, fastest, February, first-time marathoner, flat courses, fuel, goal, hill experience, hills, hilly, hip, Hyannis Half Marathon, hydrate, injury, long run, marathon, massage, mental strength, miles, New England, Newton Hills, NH, pacing, physical strength, pointers, posture, practice, racing, Reach the Beach, recovery, runners, running, snow, spasm, start, stride, tighten up, timing, trainers, uphills, vaseline, visualize, walking, weather
The big 16 mile Boston Prep race, done!! Woo Hoo! (please take note of the “Moderately challenging” and mountain peaked looking course as illustrated on the shirt we received at yesterday’s race)
I’m not sure where to even start with this post, because there are a lot of thoughts going through my head. But why don’t I begin with what my body wants to tell you: I am sore. My roommate told me yesterday that it looked like I just got off from riding a horse for 5 days. Between my glutes and calves, my legs need some serious rest for a day or two. Luckily I have today off from work…and I’m getting a massage later this afternoon at a local massage school ($35/hour…not so bad for a recent grad student’s budget). Hopefully it will help relax some of the muscle soreness in my legs. I might also take a nice warm bath later today. I really don’t remember the last time I’ve been this sore from a run – EVER.
After being away from running for almost 2 weeks after an injury, it was definitely nerve wrecking to get back into training with a race….a 16 mile, very hilly, competitive race (with many runners who’ve qualified for Boston) to boot. It was a great learning experience, which is why I understand (as a First-Time Marathoner) why it is so important to get the racing experience prior to the actual Boston Marathon.
The good news is my ankle was holding up pretty well during the race, however my hip is still bothering me a bit today. I can deal with that part – just will making sure to stretch it more regularly.
Some lessons learned as I was running yesterday’s course (many re-enforced from what experienced marathoners told me along the way):
Lesson #1: Listen to your body when it isn’t feeling good. This was actually something I learned before running this race, but I realized my legs needed a full 2 weeks off to actually be back in recovery mode. I probably could have healed much sooner, but I kept testing my body by running a couple miles here and there and then go further into injury mode (and never really allowing myself to fully heal). Ideally it probably would be better to have eased back into running after having these 2 weeks off…starting with 5 miles, then 10, etc. rather than jump right to 16 miles, but I appreciate the need for recovery time much more now. Fingers crossed no more injuries!
Lesson #2: Practice on more hills. I’ve been training on primarily flat courses along the Charles River. Let me tell you Derry, NH – the complete opposite elevation level then what I am accustomed to training on. NH has hills of its own and I remember them fondly when I ran Reach the Beach. I will be venturing to Newton Hills soon to get more hill experience. I think cross-training on the arc trainer for the past few weeks weakened my calf muscles. Never in any of my running experiences (even in my 18 mile run last month) did I ever have my calf muscles tighten up so much to the point where my legs literally spasmed and gave out while I was running. It was so painful that there were portions of the run at the end that I had to actually walk (I hate walking during races). This occured probably around 13 miles.
Lesson #3: Familiarize myself better with the course. In many of the 5ks I’ve run, I never had to walk through the course, but it was probably never really necessary. Going forward it is a good idea to run part of the course for the more difficult/longer runs. I should also really get more training on the actual Boston Marathon course. Many of the Dana-Farber runs train on the course, so I will be sure to do that in the coming weeks. I am also going to do a drive through of the course a couple times so I can visualize where in the marathon I will need to fuel/hydrate before approaching the more challenging parts of the course. I was lucky that Mike from work had offered to do a drive through of the course yesterday before it started because he gave me pointers on when to get ready for the uphills and that was when I took my gu.
Lesson #4: Pace myself to leave energy for the end. I was actually feeling pretty good most of the run and I was proud of myself that I started off slower than I normally do. Pacing myself has been a learning experience since I ran my first 1/2 marathon a couple years ago (I got caught up in the starting excitement and went out WAY too fast and have been better about pacing since).
Lesson #5: Train in all types of weather conditions. We’ve been lucky as Boston Marathon trainers this year that the weather has been incredibly cooperative with us. We have experienced a mild winter by all New England standards. However, training in this mild weather has also allowed me to be complacent. I have trained outside in rain once during the past couple months and that was a 5 mile run. Yesterday’s circumstances had me running on a snowy ground for the first time in awhile. During the run I had to adjust to sliding on the ground, quickly picking up my feet to avoid snow puddles, and feeling a very cold wind against my face (side note: should have worn chapstick/ now I know why a woman was smothering vaseline all over her face before yesterday’s run).
Lesson #6: Pay attention to my posture and cadence/stride. I could feel my body curling up towards the end or while I was going up hills. While it was doing this, I remembered what I read in my book about checking this periodically (and even walking if you had to) and quickly tried to straighten up and widen my stride to ensure a better running form. In my longer runs, I will have to keep an eye out for this. I noticed once I corrected my posture, I felt stronger.
So now that you have my lessons learned, you are probably wondering how I did. I have to say I am proud that I finished coming off an injury. My goal for this race (as I posted on Saturday) -was to finish safely and watch my starting pace. That I did…so a success story in my book. It was definitely not the best run I’ve ever had, nor the fastest – however as you can see I learned a lot from yesterday’s run. The good thing about the run was that they had split times along three points of the course which helped me compare some race time’s I logged in the past. The bad thing was that the start time was confusing. I started further in the back of the starting line then I normally do (so I was behind hundreds of runners) because I didn’t want to get trampled on and slip or twist my ankle. I don’t think there was a starting strip that logged when you actually crossed the “start,” so my watch time was about 3 1/2 minutes behind the time the clocks displayed along the course. Looking at the results it appears that there was no official starting cross time, so I believe all runners had the same start time.
The clock times on my results reported (with my notes/comparison to other races in red):
5 mile: 42:55 (pace 8:35)
- 5 mile race back in 2010 was at 38:05
10 mile: 1:24:22 (pace 8:27)
13.1 mile (half marathon): 1:54:20 (pace 8:44)
- Half marathon time in 2011 was at 1:45:09
16 mile: 2:21:11 (pace 8:50)
Granted comparing these past race times to this 16 miler is not a fair apples to apples comparison since the longer the distance, the slower your pace should probably be. Also the elevation, weather, course, and my body’s mental and physical strength all play a factor in each race.
Given the conditions, I was happy with my performance at yesterday’s 16 miler. I am looking forward to training for the Hyannis Half Marathon at the end of February, but for now I am going to rest up and get geared up for the next long run!
08 Jan 2012
in Running Experiences
Tags: ankle, challenging, Dana-Farber activities, distance, donation, foal roller, fundraising, generous, holidays, January, long run, miles, october, pace, pain, stretching, weekend, working out
I took it easy today and ran 5 miles…slower pace and shorter distance than I normal weekend long run. My normal loop took me 4 minutes longer than it usually does when I run it. A little bit disappointed with time, but the goal of today’s run was to get through it. I was happy I could get back on my feet without as much pain in my ankle. I did still feel some discomfort when running, but not nearly as bad as it was last week. Right when I got home I did about 20 minutes of stretching/foam roller. I think this helped, since my legs feel ok now and I can be out and about with the rest of my plans for today. Last weekend after my long run the only thing I wanted to do was stay on the couch and ice my leg…I had to cancel any plans that I had that evening because I could simply not move. Hope this week I can get a few more runs in and then get back to my marathon training schedule.
I am also going to get back into working out in the morning. Last week was so hard to get up in the morning because I was off a few days for the holidays. Everyday next week I have something after work…doesn’t take long to get busy even now that school is done.
I also emailed a number of my friends yesterday to request donations. I was holding off for a while because I know how tight everyone is with money before the holidays – I was too! A few of my friends have already been so generous and have donated to the cause this past day. I am really blessed with how supportive people are…and I will never forget it. Right now my donations total $4,669.00. So close to my goal for $5,000.00 for January!
I’ve posted every day since October, but I am going to start posting an update at least once a week with all the training for that week and then post throughout the week if something interesting comes up that has to do with training, fundraising, or Dana-Farber activities. It’s been a little challenging updating every day, but I want to make sure I keep you all updated!
01 Jan 2012
in Running Experiences
Tags: 12 miles, 2012, ankle, Boston Marathon, breathing, bucket list, bummed, cardiovascular, cheering, confidence, cross-train, crowd, doctor, endurance, foot, goals, heel bone, ipod, lesson learned, long run, MapMyRun, muscles, music, new years resolutions, plantar fasciitis, self-diagnose, shoe, strain, stretching, tendonitis, tissue, toes
After a week of “taking it easy” I ran 12 miles outside today. I ran at about an 8 minute 12 sec pace per mile. My mom told me growing up that whatever you do on the first of the year is a reflection of how the rest of your year is going to be. So I tried to be productive. I went to church first thing this morning and thought about the things I want to do in 2012… I am still working on a list of new years resolutions. They might be more like goals/bucket list items or things I want to improve on myself.
My leg was still in a little bit of pain today, but it was extremely warm and beautiful out …especially it being the 1st of January. I was feeling bummed not running all week…it actually makes me a little depressed not being able to do what I love most. I mapped out 12 miles on Mapmyrun and went for nice steady jog. My leg didn’t bother me much while I was running, actually my knees hurt more than my ankle/foot area that has been bothering me when I am not running. I noticed my shoe was untied and stopped quickly to tie it and felt some pain shoot up my leg when I stopped.
A couple of things to note about the run: 1) My cardiovascular endurance is stronger than ever. I don’t feel tired breathing during my long runs anymore. My running muscles are also very use to running longer distances. I feel strong. If anything, it is my joints that are feeling the pain when I run. 2) I didn’t run with an iPod today, mainly because I need to find my charger in my room. I also want to get use to running without music because it would be ideal not to run with music in my ears while I run the marathon. I want to soak up the entire experience and hear the crowd roaring while I run Boston. At first it was somewhat difficult because music pumps me up while I run, but I actually paid way more attention to my running form and breathing without music today. I noticed my form and my posture better and would straighten up as I felt my shoulders “drag” and listened to my feet hit the pavement to make sure I wasn’t “pounding” too much.
I got home and was feeling great after my long run. Took a shower and came downstairs and used the foam roller. 1/2 hour after icing my legs, I got up and felt a sharp pain shoot up my leg. Any pressure on my heel or ball of my foot evokes pain. Yikes. I walked upstairs and it felt horrible. I laid in bed and got pretty upset at myself for pushing it today. I thought I felt fine, but I spoke too soon. I called my parents to express my frustration… It kills me not to run, but my dad suggested to stay off it for 2 weeks. He thinks I am over-doing it. And frankly I agree with him now…sometimes I am stubborn and think I know my body better than I do. I also have a 16 mile race Jan 22nd, so hopefully it heals by then. I am not going to work out tomorrow other than some stretching. My dad said once I do add some running to only for 2-3 miles and only every other day. I thought reducing my mileage today from 14 to 12 miles would help…not smart. I know I can do the mileage, but I don’t want to push myself so hard that I injure myself. I don’t really know what’s bothering me…I think it might even be plantar fasciitis instead of the tendonitis that I originally thought it might be.
According to what I read plantar fasciitis is the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. If you strain this, your heel or bottom of your foot hurts when you stand, walk or run. It can occur if your feet roll inward too much when you walk (which I think might) or if you have flat feet (which I kind of do) or if you have tight calf muscles (which the trainer alluded to during our training session). I guess I can’t really self-diagnose myself as to what I have so I think I will set up a doctor’s appointment just to make sure it isn’t anything too serious.
Lesson learned: cross-train more in 2012. Have more confidence in my abilities and don’t push myself too hard. I did get 12 miles in on the first day of 2012, hope this means I will keep running well the rest of the year.
18 Dec 2011
in Long Runs
Tags: 18 miles, 26.2 miles, 5k, Bentley University, body, cancel, Charles River, confidence, cross-training, CT, gu, hands-free, holiday, icing, Jingle Bell Race, logged, long distances, long run, loop, mileage, presentation, rest, running, Somerville, thoughts, training, water bottle, weight
I am in my bed right now icing my legs as I write this. I ran 18 miles today!! Can you believe it? I can’t, but I did it!
My intention before going out on a run today was to complete 14 miles. My goal was to learn how to run with the small water bottle (I bought this week) and take the “gu” while running. Mission accomplished. It look a little getting use to the weight held in my hand during my run – since I am used to running hands-free.
My plan was to run the same route as I went out last week which brought me to 13.77 miles, but add another small loop to bring up to 14. I went out on my run with a little delay this morning knowing I’d have to be out for about 2 hours. It’s not that I don’t want to run, however just knowing how much time training takes is something I have to get use to. Even when I went out last night with some friends, I had to be responsible and leave earlier than I would have liked to so I could get up at a reasonable time this morning to run.
I forgot to add I had originally signed up for a Jingle Bell race today in Somerville, however decided to cancel last-minute when I felt I had too much going on this weekend (I had to work Saturday and have a final presentation for class due tomorrow) The race was also a 5k and I am pretty much out of commission for a couple of days after race because I don’t know how to slow down my pace on 5ks. I run these races all out. I also wanted to get in a long run before the holidays because when I go to CT this weekend I am not sure how much running I will really get in. I had to really justify it to myself that it was OK not to run this race, since I hate canceling things I sign up for. Also I knew a few people running the race and I hear it is really fun – I guess every year it gets sold old months in advance. On a positive note, I feel good I got a long run in though to make up for it.
In terms of my 18 miles, I felt pretty happy about the run. I’m not sure if it was because it was so cold out that my body almost became numb and I didn’t even think about how I felt until my body de-frosted from my hot shower.
How did it go from 14 to 18 miles you ask? Well there was a point in my run that I could have turned left and finish the loop I took last week or continue to go straight and see where it led me. I have to be honest, I didn’t really know where I was going, but I figure if I keep following the Charles river, I couldn’t really get lost. That is the good thing about training where I live. So I kept going as far as I could and when I got home I mapped my run – it came out to 18 miles and I logged a time of about 2 hours 26 minutes. My run included a long loop around the Charles, a smaller loop around the Charles, and a last loop around Bentley University.
Funny thoughts go through your head as you run long distances. Everything from what I needed to do on my “to do” list today to reminiscing about college to realizing I am 26 this year and will be running 26.2 miles at this age.
Immediately after the run I felt pretty good and proud of myself for finishing. I excitedly shared my accomplishment with my roommate when I got home and called my dad to let him know of the mileage I logged. Even though my body felt the effects shortly after (about an hour later), I realized its better to move around a bit after long runs, rather than lying around and letting your muscles tighten up.
One nice long run under my belt. A total of 39 miles this week (way more than my 28 planned). It definitely built up my confidence I needed for long distances. My body is begging for break day or a low-key cross-training day tomorrow. My legs and joints are starting to feel the effects of the long run. My toe nail feels like it’s about to fall off (sorry, too much information)! But overall I am very proud of proving to myself that I can do it.
17 Dec 2011
Tags: arc trainer, cross-train, doubts, logged, long run, mileage, miles, stretching, weights
So this week I had some doubts if I was gonna get all my mileage in, but I proved myself wrong. SCORE.
I’ve logged 21 miles and hoped to get to 28 miles this week. I’m confident I will get my long run in tomorrow.
Today I cross-trained for about an hour – 30 minutes on the ARC trainer and 30 minutes stretching/weights.
Gotta run since I’m meeting up with some people now, but will post more tomorrow. Have a good night friends!