Monday, February 20, 2012

conquering heartbreak

If you're not a runner, it may sound cliche to say that it's mostly a mental game.  But the truth is.  Training your mind to run 26.2mi might be harder than training your body to do it.  Train we must, body and mind.

So this morning, when I headed out to meet my friend John to run 18mi on the course, I was mentally wrapping my head around the fact that I would run 14mi and then run the 4mi stretch that is the Newton Hills, culminating in Heartbreak Hill.  In fact, all week I was trying to wrap my head around it.  I was psyching myself up for it.  And even as John dropped me off in Ashland, with a wave and a "see you in Wellesley!!" I was still trying to figure out if I might be able to beg off before we got to the hills...

However, I was feeling really good.  I was feeling awesome coasting out of Ashland, through Framingham, into Natick.  I felt great passing Wellesley College thinking about the throngs of girls that will be lining the streets and the sweaty dudes who will stop for kisses.  I was thinking about how lovely a day it was (40, sun and moderately windy) as I passed through Wellesley Center, dodging shoppers and dog walkers.

It wasn't until we got to Newton (John met me just before Wellesley turns into Newton) that I started to feel...well, less than awesome.  I started to get nervous but was still feeling okay.  It was after that first hill, when I had to stop for a minute because I thought I might throw up (first time I felt like that in my 8yrs of running...), that I seriously questioned signing up for this marathon.  I literally said to John, "WHAT was I thinking?!?!?!?!

I was able to keep the Gu and few sips of Gatorade I had down and we carried on to the next hill...which wasn't as bad, I started to think maybe, just maybe, I could do this.  And then we came to Heartbreak.  It wasn't so much steep as it was long.  I was daunted but I wasn't going to let this hill, or any hill for that matter, beat me.  I struggled, but I didn't stop moving.  And finally I was at the top!  I had beaten The Hill.  The hill that everyone talks about.  It felt awesome.  As we made our way past BC's campus and over to Cleveland Circle where John had left the car, I began to feel like maybe I hadn't made such a foolish decision.  The fact that I ran 18.3mi with a 9:58min pace blew my mind and further solidified my confidence.

The Boston Marathon is going to be incredibly challenging...but it is going to be SO AWESOME.  And after today, my mind is prepared:  I CAN and I WILL do this.  There are still some grueling workouts to do, but I'm ready.

For your viewing pleasure, I documented a bit of the past 12hrs in photos.  Enjoy!

 Dinner the night before - pasta with butter, parm and basil.  Breakfast - coffee, water and oatmeal with peanut butter and bit of brown sugar.

What I wore - maybe my Kalamazoo shirt brought me some luck.  :)

Cool thing about the training on the course - the miles and all water stops are marked, year round.  
Also, notice how happy I am to be finished!!!!

  My running buddy and the lunch he made for me when we got back to his house.  AWESOME.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentine's schamlentine's

It was this day in history back in the 1st century that St. Valentine was beheaded.  When you buy your roses and chocolates and stuffed teddy bears for your sweetheart, that's what you are celebrating.  Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, right?

When I was in high school, Valentine's Day was a big deal.  Every one wanted to have a Valentine.  The student council even sold roses leading up to V-Day that people could purchase and write a note to go with it.  On V-Day the student council representatives would go into the lockers of those with roses and leave them while the rest of us were in class.  Those girls who didn't get a rose?  We all got carnations.  It was obvious who had people who loved them and who didn't.  My friends and I dubbed our yearly carnations as Loser Flowers.  To this day, carnations remind me of being lonely and unhappy in high school.

Fast forward a few years:  I'm now a healthy, emotionally adjusted adult (most of the time, ahem!).  Now V-Day is no longer about the boy who doesn't give me flowers or the candy no one brings me.  It's not about reminding me that I'm single (it is NOT single-awareness day!).  It's about celebrating all kinds of love in my life.  Especially the love that I receive from my heavenly Father.  His love knows no end and He will love me more than anyone else could and more than I will ever comprehend.

One of my loves is running - duh.  And tonight, I've got a 6mi date with these new bad boys - and I cannot wait!!  Flowers fade, candy has empty calories...but a pair of new running shoes will never let you down.  ;)