Friday, October 31, 2014

countdown to nyc #6

Got it! It's so real, y'all!!

After waiting in line for about 45min, they finally let us into the Javits Center where the expo is held. I was so excited to get my bib and pick up some sweet NYC gear: a couple of posters, ear warmer, jacket and a little something for my dad. It was mad crazy in there, but once we got in, we got what I needed/wanted and got out. Ready to get my NYC on in less than 2 days!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

countdown to nyc #5

One of the things I like about marathoning the most is seeing so much of a city/place. There are things one sees on a marathon course they may never get to or notice while traveling by car. (There was even a section of Kalamazoo I had never been in prior to that marathon and I lived there for 21 years!)

Now, I've been to NYC a few times - my dear friends, the Burtons, live there - but there are a LOT of little nooks and crannies of the city I have never seen or likely would never see if not for running the marathon. And in just one day, a few hours, I'll have been through all five boroughs. That's pretty cool, I think.

Today's picture is the course map. (So if you're following my progress - see picture number 3 - you'll know just where I am!) The blue numbers are miles, the white numbers are kilometers. Up until mile 8, we are split up into three groups - blue, green, and orange. I'm in the orange group (on the upper level of the Verrazano Bridge).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

countdown to nyc #4

Did your stomach just do a backflip with a double twist? Mine did.

My two emotions upon seeing today's picture were crazy excitement and mega nervousness. I was telling a friend this morning that it's not the actual running that I'm so nervous about. I got that. It's all the logistics that surround the running that have my anxiety levels on the rise.

I know it'll all come together, and I'm looking forward to that. It's this anticipation that is making me crazy!

Missed a countdown day?

number #3

number #2

number #1

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

countdown to nyc #3

Can't make it to NYC to cheer on your favorite runner? No worries! There are two ways to find out how all your runners are doing: 1. download the app and enter your runner's bib number or last name. 2. follow along on the website on race day (Nov 2nd).

If you'd like to track along with me, my bib number is 66390. I be crossing the starting line at about 11am and hope to finish no later than 4pm.

Monday, October 27, 2014

countdown to nyc #2

Weather freak-out shot, right on schedule. Sunday looks perfect, don't you think?! It'll be in the low 40's when I start, and nearing 50 when I finish. Sunshine and no rain! Things are looking good.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

countdown to nyc #1

The countdown begins! Lots of photos for you - actually, all of the finisher photos from all my previous marathons. I can't wait to add NYC to this group! Left to right: Chicago '09, Kalamazoo '11, Boston '12, Memphis '12, Louisville '13, Maine Coast '14.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ten days. ten. days.

Yeah, so I'm freaking out a little bit here... With only 10 days left before the big day, I'm starting to get nervous that I'm completely and utterly not ready for this race. I know what you're going to say, "Of course you are!" "You've trained so hard!" "You're in great shape!" But this is when the taper goonies get in my head and make me question everything I've done up until this point.

It doesn't help that I've not had a lot of time to train this week. Things have been pretty busy and I've not had much time for as many good workouts as I'd have liked. The ones I have made time for have been great, but...there's that nagging feeling that I'm not doing enough! And it doesn't help that I follow the TCS NYC Marathon on Facebook and they are posting countdown photos everyday:

Each day the butterflies in my stomach get bigger and bigger. I think I'm so freaked out by this marathon because it's SO BIG and there are SO MANY logistics. I was not this freaked out by Maine, or Louisville...

Well, for whatever reason, the anxious excitement is getting to me. But thankfully (unfortunately?), the ten days will go by in a snap. And the big day will be here, whether I'm ready or not.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

random musings

12 Days - You guys, there's only 12 days until the NYC Marathon. 12. Days. I know what you're thinking, only 5 days until our photo countdown.

Sidewalks - Do you ever wonder why runners are on the roads when there are "perfectly good sidewalks" for them to use? Here's why - on a recent run I encountered a motorcycle parked completely on the sidewalk, a man raking leaves ONTO the sidewalk, multiple cars half parked in driveways covering the sidewalk. Not to mention breaks and cracks and holes under those beautiful fall leaves!

Eggs - I love, love, love eggs! Buuut, I ate eggs before my long run on Saturday. Not cool. By mile 4 I had an upset stomach. I should know by now not to eat eggs... Ended up with 9 miles and tacked on another 5 miles on Sunday.

Baystate Half Marathon - Well, my friend, Lauren, TOTALLY rocked this race. She not only hit her goal but beat it by at least a minute. I, on the other hand, TOTALLY forgot to register and ended up not running with her. Which I'm quite sure helped her out - I wouldn't have been able to keep up with her!!

Packing list - What am I going to wear?! What do I need to bring? How will I pack everything I'll need during my hours long wait in the start village into the clear bag they give us? Long sleeves? Sleeveless? Tights or capris? Colored shirt or black shirt? Where will my fuel go? I'm definitely going to be overpacked, but I think that's okay.

Retreating - This weekend, I'll be helping out at my church's middle school retreat. Me, 10 8th grade girls, and a cabin in the woods - along with another 120 people. Should be a really good time - it's been a reeeeally long time since I've been on a middle school retreat. I'm looking forward to getting little sleep and eating lots of candy.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Today, 45,000 runners take to the streets of Chicago to run the marathon. I can't help but reflect on my experience in Chicago - my very first marathon. Good luck to all those running this year, it is an awesome race!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Remember a couple of posts ago when I mentioned I'm due for a rainy race? Yep, happened today! But that's cool, because I got to run with more friends, fun even in the rain!! The Freedom 5K took place this morning at the lake, and despite the cool temps and steady precipitation, there was a good crowd that came out to support what Route One Ministry is doing in the Greater Boston area.

Here are (most) of the Grace Chapel runners: Ryan, Jared - recognize him from Smuttynose?, me, Sarah and Josh. Not pictured: Robert and Beatriz.

This 5K was not the only running I did today - I don't typically run only 3mi with a Camelbak. I started the morning by leaving the house at 8am, getting in a full 10mi before getting to the race. Sarah and I ran the whole thing together, that was super fun. :) After the race, I hung out long enough to tell these guys, "Good job, that was fun!" before heading out for another 7mi.

Today marks 22days until NYC and it was now or never for these 20mi. I wasn't excited about doing it in the rain (and 45deg temps) but I figured if Nov 2nd is rainy, it's good practice. Despite the rain, I was stoked to get the mileage in - and to feel good nearly the whole time! I started feeling rough around mile 19, nearly at the finish. And it wasn't even like a wall, it was just that I'm-getting-hungry-and-am-starting-to-not-feel-my-legs type of rough. 

After such a good looooong run, I'm feeling more ready than ever for New York. I seriously cannot wait - and you might not read about much else these next three weeks. My apologies in advance. :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

oct 11th

So, um, hey...whaddarya doin' tomorrow morning? If you're local and are looking for a way to get outside, get some fresh air, and get active - I've got just the thing for you!!

The 4th annual Freedom 5K will take place in Wakefield, MA around beautiful Lake Quannapowitt. It's a flat, fast, fun course with the majority of the race taking place right on the lake. You can walk, jog, run, heck - you can skip if you want to! No matter how you get around the lake, it's sure to be a good time.

Oh, and there's prizes!! There are prizes for the top male and female finishers; and there are a bunch of raffle prizes. So when you come, bring some cash with you to get raffle tickets - each one is $1, or get 6 for $5. Lots of cool stuff to win.

So, I know you're thinking, "She never runs 5Ks..." and you would be right. I very rarely do, but this is one I have done every year since it began. It's an organization that is doing work I very much believe it, and they are the only ones doing it in this area. The organization is called Route One Ministry. They work with women and children in the sex/trafficking industry to help them see their value and worth. This is their vision:

The vision of Route One is to minister to women exploited by the sex industry on the North Shore and around Boston. Through building relationships with the women, we hope to be the light of Christ and provide for physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Providing for their physical and emotional needs might include helping them leave the sex industry and securing employment. Further, our goal is that they have the tools to establish a healthy lifestyle, redeem broken relationships and have a fuller view of who they are as women created in the image of God. Ultimately our desire is that the women would experience the breaking of chains and healing of wounds through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pretty cool, right? Well hey, if you're not doing anything around 9am tomorrow morning, come on down to Lake Quannapowitt. Registration will be set up near the bandstand on the green by Church Street. I'll be there, hope to see you!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Time for another race recap! This one is from the past Sunday at Hampton Beach in NH. A couple friends and I did the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon. Overall, it was a great race; and as usual, it was so fun to do it with friends.

I drove up on Saturday in the cold, misty rain to pick up Brenda's and my bibs, shirts and pint glasses (what else do you expect from a race sponsored by a brewery...). The whole time I was there I was hoping the forecast was right and we would not be running in this weather the next day.

Sunday dawned clear and cool - not a cloud in the sky! After an early breakfast, Brenda and I began our drive up to Hampton just after 6am. Luckily, we arrived when we did because traffic was already backed up for a mile and a half. Thankfully, the wait was quick and we were soon parked - in a lot that cost us each $5... Part of me understands that they want to charge people, part of me thinks they should just let the runners park for free. While we were in the parking lot, I spotted my coworker, Jared! I had just found out he was running this race a few days before and out of 4000 people running, I was glad we ran into him.

We all headed to the baggage claim to check our warm clothes for later - then froze our noses off while waiting for the start in the corral. The starting corral is where we said good luck to Jared (in a faster wave) and found our way toward the back of the pack for our slower wave.

Once the race got going it was PACKED. The little street was flooded with 4000 people all running together, elbow to elbow. There was a lot of "sorry, excuse me, pardon me, whoops, sorry"as we made our way through the first mile. But the scenery sure did make up for all jumble of bodies! Most of the first half of the race was along the ocean at Hampton Beach. The sight and sounds of the beach made me wish summer would have lasted just a little bit longer.

Halfway we wound through some neighborhoods, and up over a couple of hills before heading back down to the beach for the final few miles. We had maintained a pretty good pace, one that might have been a bit on the fast side for Brenda. Over the last few miles I told her I wouldn't tell her our pace anymore - if it felt good, just keep at it. And she did!! The last mile was one of our fastest miles and she crushed her previous PR by 5min!! We crossed the line in 2:13:44, a 10:13min/mi pace.

Our next priority was getting our warm clothes, and then beer! It was a race sponsored by Smuttynose after all... We met up with Jared - who ran an incredible 1:42 for his first half - and enjoyed some tunes by the most punked-out 80's band I've ever seen and a couple of well deserved adult beverages.

Thankfully, we had amazing weather! The past three years have been cold, windy, and rainy. I'm a little nervous that I'm due for a really gross day of running...I'm just hoping it's not in NYC!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

the ho-hums

The past few days in the Boston area have been grey. We've had rain, cool temps, and cloudy skies. Any my attitude has been much like the weather. Dull, unmotivated, blah. I've got a case of the ho-hums and I just can't shake it.

I've been feeling less than motivated to do any kind of working out, let alone go for a run. I've just got no pickup, no drive, no mo-jo! Monday I worked my way through a T25 with a coworker, Tuesday was actually quite fun - zumba with a friend. And Wednesday, I modified the entire T25 speed workout - with the thought that I'd run 6-8mi in the evening. Well, in the evening it was raining, so I talked myself into folding laundry and watching Netflix...I'm such a pushover.

Last night, I knew I needed to run even if I didn't want to, even if I had to drag myself out there. Which I did. And I pushed myself farther and faster than I wanted to go (6mi at an 8:55pace). I'm glad I did it, but man, it was a bit of a battle.

I'm hoping with a break in the weather will come a break in my mood. Sunday is the Smuttynose Half Marathon - and (hopefully) a sunshine-y day. I am considering tacking on 7mi later in the day to get a daily total of 20...but we'll see what my motivation is like that day!

For now, it's back to work. least it's Friday.