Tuesday, May 28, 2013

17, 4, and 14

What a great Memorial Day weekend!  Even though the weather was somewhat crummy, I ended up having lots of fun plans with fun people!

On Friday I went to a wedding out in Harvard, MA.  So much fun and a beautiful setting. 

Saturday, a brave friend and I went into the city to get my bib/swag for Sunday's race.  It was a cool misty day and we made the most of it by grabbing lunch in the South End, taking the T to the Science Museum, seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls, enjoying an Omni movie about coral reefs, and walking back to the T in the rain.  :)

.5mi to the finish!!
Sunday was race day, so I was up by 4:45am.  Whoa.  It was super cool and misty but my friends and I protected ourselves with garbage bags until the race began.  I'd never done that before...It totally kept me dry and warm!  Towards the end of the race, the sun started coming out and despite still being chilly, it turned out to be a great afternoon.  Of course, after getting up so early, I spent much of the afternoon napping... 

One thing I must mention about this race is that it is a tribute to law enforcement officials, organized by law enforcement officials.  So this race was dedicated not only to those who have fallen in the line of duty but especially to Sean Collier, the MIT cop who was killed by the Boston Bombers a little over a month ago. 

The course takes runners to the edge of the MIT campus and there, lined up along the road with plenty of high-fives and encouragement for the runners, were about 25 policemen standing near their cruisers.  It meant a lot to them for us to run for their colleagues and it means a lot to us runners that they are out there every day protecting our cities and towns.  I may have gotten a little misty eyed...

Perhaps you're wondering what the numbers are for in the title of this post.  The Run to Remember on Sunday was my 17th official HM, the 4th time I've run this particular race, and the end of my 12 in 12 goal! 

(Here's how I got to 14:  One per month for May, June, July, Aug, Sept (25K), Nov, March, and May.  Two per month in Oct.  Zero per month for Jan and Feb (cancelled due to snow!).  Marathons in Dec and April.  Soooo, if we break the marathons in half, add in the extra in Oct, and take into account Jan and Feb...that equals 14 in the last 13 months!  12 in 12 was definitely accomplished!)

Monday, I headed to the Blue Hills to hike with a few new friends.  It wasn't long or super intense...it was just what we needed.  And the weather totally cooperated - 70's and bright sunshine! 

I hope you ended up with a great, long weekend as well!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

spirit of the marathon

Have you ever considered running a marathon?  Or is it something that you think you could never do?  Maybe you'd like to but you're too nervous to actually run 26.2mi.  Perhaps you think the amount of training is just too much for a thing that's over in less than 5hrs (or more!).

I had my doubts when I started training for Chicago in 2009.  That was my very first marathon and there were MANY times during my training when I thought, "What have I gotten myself into..."  It was hard, the long runs were lonely and difficult.  I second guessed my decision often.

Then I watched this movie:  Spirit of the Marathon (thanks to Meg for bringing it to my attention!).  It's a 90min film that follows 7 runners training for the Chicago Marathon.  How lucky for me!  I watched this about halfway through my training, then again about a month before the marathon.  Talk about inspirational!  All seven runners were at different levels and had different reasons for running.  All of them were awesome.  If you like personal triumph stories of any kind, watch this movie.  (It's a "watch instantly" movie on Netflix.)

Well, now there is another Spirit of the Marathon.  This one is in Rome.  Again, it follows 7 runners at different levels, running for different things.  I cannot wait to watch it!  This is my favorite quote from the trailer (because it's so true in my life):  "It's the journey that's probably the most significant, and it changes people's lives."

If you have been thinking about running a marathon but insist that you just couldn't do it, I offer you one bit of advice:  Watch these films.  You will realize that you CAN do it, and I think you should. Am I not-so-subtly trying to get all of you to eventually run a marathon?  Yes, but not just that! I am trying to get you to try to do something you previously didn't think you could.  If it happens to be a marathon...  :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

have i mentioned...

Soooo, I'm running a half marathon on Sunday.  I haven't trained for it.  In fact, I haven't even run more than 5mi/week in the three weeks since Louisville.

I signed up for this because I do it every year.  I have friends who run it.  It's a nice run through Boston.  And it's a great addition to my Memorial Day weekend.

But this year, I am absolutely not ready.  I'm not looking for any kind of PR (personal record) or anything, I'm simply looking to enjoy the day and the race.  I have this mindset for a lot of my races so I think it's pretty attainable.  There are only a few times in the past year that I've actually tried to set a new PR.

The Run to Remember always happens on the Sunday before Memorial Day.  There's the option to run 5mi or 13.1mi.  I've never run the 5mi race...I'm sure it's just as nice as the half.  The course takes us from the Seaport, through Government Center area, over the Longfellow Bridge to Memorial Drive in Cambridge.  We stay on Mem Dr for about 4mi, turn around and run back toward the bridge.  After a short distance on Charles St., we head for the Financial District, and finally back to the Seaport.

This is what the race is all about, taken from the website:
The Boston's Run to Remember has always been a tribute to law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty over the years.  It is produced by a handful of police officers and detectives, who volunteer their time to produce the race.

The race hold a bit of special meaning to me, as it was the very first half marathon I ever ran...way back in 2007.  Six years later, I'm proud to say I'm still running!

Monday, May 6, 2013

good, fun, hard, tiring, and beautiful

Well, how was it?!  I've been asked this question a number of times since I came home from the marathon, and this is not an easy question to answer!  I could give you a variety of responses and, if you care to or have time, I could explain each response.  I'd say it was good, fun, hard, tiring, and beautiful.

It was good - Overall, I had a really good experience at this race.  Pretty much everything could be described as "good."  The expo, the course, the crowd, the spectators, the finish line.  It was all just good.

It was fun - I ran nearly the whole thing with my brother!  We saw our parents at mile 7, mile 20, and at the finish line.  That was fun!

It was hard - I was feeling great until mile 23.  There was a significantly steep hill I'm not ashamed to admit I walked up.  I finished the last three miles run-walking.  More running than walking, but still...

It was tiring - Sleeping on an air mattress two nights leading up to a marathon and two nights after a marathon is not ideal.  It's fine...but not great.  I survived, obviously but by the end of my time in Louisville, I was tired!

It was beautiful - Louisville is an old city.  Not nearly as old as Boston, we have much rich history here.  But it's pretty old.  In fact, we ran through (twice) Old Louisville.  Lots of big beautiful houses that have now been turned into apartments.  We ran through Iroqouis Park.  We ran through Churchill Downs.
I am glad that I had the chance to run the full marathon in Louisville.  I'm glad I had the chance to run with my brother for his first (only?) marathon.  I'm glad my parents were able to be there.  Oh, I'm also glad it didn't rain.  :)

Finishers!  Teresa, Mike, me, Ben (brother)