Sunday, January 31, 2010

6 more miles - DONE

That brings the monthly total for January to 91.5 miles. Not bad considering one wee was the Goofy Challenge and then a recovery week and slowly building back up to the big numbers.

Today was slightly warmer than yesterday, ~10 or 12 degrees. Still felt pretty nice though. I just need to get something to cover my chin and some good moisturizer for my nose. I did my favorite 6 miler at a pretty decent pace. First mile was the slowest, just warming up and getting comfortable. Then even on the big hill I managed to push it, pump my arms and power up it like it was nothing. And on the way back down the hill "Gonna Fly Now", the Rocky theme song, came on my ipod. That song always motivates me. Especially in the cold today, I only wish I had some stairs to climb at the end of my run and triumphantly dance at the top punching the air. That would have been awesome.

I have to say in comparison to yesterday's really flat group run on the bike path in Lexington, it felt good to do some hills. My average pace was faster on the hills than it was on the flats. Granted I ran half the distance and it was warmer out (only a little warmer), but still I love hills and this proves that my body loves hills too. That should be really good for me when I get to Newton in April.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another rest day and a great DFMC group run

So, I woke up yesterday and my resting heart rate was still really high and I still felt sluggish and when I got home from work I had a wicked bad headache. I decided my body was screaming for some rest and I gave it exactly what it needed. I got about 12 hours of sleep and got up refreshed and ready to run.

Had breakfast and hopped in my car to head to the Greater Boston Running Company in Lexington for a DFMC group run. The temperature reading in my car said it was 6 degrees out and it warmed up to a balmy 7 degrees as I drove to Lexington. With the right layers and preparation and training cold doesn't really feel that cold. I didn't realize exactly how cold it was until I took a gel at mile 8 in the 12 mile run and went to wash it down with some water from my fuel belt and quickly realized my water was frozen solid. Then to really put the exclaimation point on how friggin cold it was a guy from the team that finished the run shortly after me approached the final water stop with icicles on his hat!!! I'm not talking just a little sweaty frost. I'm talking a good inch and a half chunk of ice on either side of his head near his temples. WOW!

Anyway, it was cold, but it felt really good. I ran strong and finished the run in a little under 2 hours. Could have kept going, but didn't want to over do it. It was my first double digit run since the Goofy and it was AWESOME!

This week ended really well for my fundraising too. I posted a message on my company's message board and immediately got 5 new donations and company matches! Thank you Pfizer colleagues! It's a company board and I'm not really sure what it's purpose is, but people post everything on there from complaints about the options in a particular vending machine to gripes about the smoking policy. Someone told me it's not suppose to be used for fundraising, but I figured putting a more positive message out there and actually taking action for a good cause was worth the risk of having the message deleted. Turns out a lot of people agree with me. I hope it stays up and gets even more positive feedback (and donations). I'm sick of reading about the smoking policy. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rest, Run, Runner's meeting, Rest, and a blah day

Monday I rested, I packed my gym bag and brought it with me to work, but by the end of the day I was exhausted and just wanted to go home.

Tuesday I got up early and did an awesome 6 miler. Felt great, sprinkled rain/sleet a little, roads were clear from the rain and my pace was good too. Tuesday night was the runners meeting. Lots of injury prevention info and some fundraising ideas. I got a cheer shirt and gave away my clif shot blocks from Disney. Talked with another runner that did Disney and then went home. Made the mistake of having a cup of coffee before the meeting and couldn't sleep.

Needless to say I was dragging a little Wednesday and I was stuck in an all day long meeting about statistical trending of assay controls, about as interesting as my brief employment at an inventory control company that counted nails at home depot. It was a LONG day and although I brought my gym bag again, all my mind and body wanted was sleep so I went home.

I could have taken a nap, but the guy that made the movie Food Inc. was on Oprah and I had to watch it. Seriously, if you haven't seen the movie add it to your netflix que or go out and rent it. It's a movie EVERYONE should see. I didn't believe the hype until I watched it myself. Some of the information is horrifying and uspetting, but the message at the end of the movie is incredible and empowering. Anyway, I didn't get a nap and I went to bed early, but for some reason I woke up at 1:00am and felt sick to my stomach and my heart was racing. I fell back asleep after an hour or two of tossing and turning, but then it was time to get up. So, I'm still a little sleep deprived.

Today, work was more exciting statistics and trending talk and my brain felt like mush at the end of the day, but I figured I should try to go to the gym and do something because it would make me feel better. I was wrong. I did 30 minutes on the eliptical (I usually do 60 minutes) and I never increased the resistance from my warm up levels of 15/10(I usually do intervals of 20/15 resistance) and the strides per minute I could barely keep at 100 (I can usually push at 140s on the lower resistance and 110s on the higher resistance). But even with the lower resistance and strides per minute, my heart rate was high and I felt like I was really working. So, I stopped and left. I must be getting sick or just really need to catch up on my sleep. My resting heart rate this morning was really high, but I figured that was just because of the crappy night of sleep I got and when I finally settled back to sleep my alarm clock scared the shit out of me.

So, I'll try to get to bed early again tonight and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Building miles back up

I did a nice easy 8miler today. On my way to building up my mileage after Disney and ramping up for Boston. It felt great to do a sort of long run. 8 miles really isn't that long, but I guess anything that takes more than an hour is long. I just can't wait to get back in the 15-20 mile range. Not too fast though. Too much too soon and I'll just get hurt. So, I have to do a few shorter long runs first. 15-20 really is my happy place though. I love those long runs.

I went out shopping for scrapbooking stuff yesterday. Someone should go into the business of making marathon scrapbook supplies because there was NOTHING out there. Not even anything running related. I couldn't even find anything Boston related. I found Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, but do you think they had a Massachusetts??? NOPE!!! Anyway I was able to find some stuff after several hours of searching and the first few pages of my scrapbook look amazing. I look forward to filling in the pages with my fundraising progress and pictures from running the race and DFMC team events and maybe even some training run photos. It will be really nice to have at the end of this whole journey. Although the journey never really ends. And I hope that I will get to run Boston again sometime. Maybe even qualify. I'll have to do it when I'm 65 and the times are closer to my pace, but it could happen.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Only 3 yrs ago, I remember seeing people running in the middle of the winter, early in the morning, in the middle of a blizzard, in wind and rain and whatever New England weather had to offer and thinking "those people are NUTS!" Now I'm one of those people. I see them now and I think, "right on!", "way to go!" or "I wish I was running right now".

I finished off the week with some more intervals on the eliptical and some light stretching afterwards. I pushed myself a little and cranked up the resistance and kept my cadence high. I was dripping by the time I got to the cool down. It was a good sweat session. Slept in late this morning and waited for the sun to come up before heading out the door for a short 4 mile run. It is so nice out. I hope April is just like this. It's beautiful. I ran strong and felt great. Today was the first day since Goofy that my resting heart rate was 60 (it's been in the 50s). I guess I'm either getting more conditioned or really well rested and ready to go hard or go home. :) Either way it's awesome.

I think today I'll go shopping for a scrapbook to put all my Boston/DFMC stuff in. I want to remember every aspect of this journey for years to come.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Almost at $4000!!!

As of today my fundraising is at $3933.70!! If you put that into miles on the course relative to my $5000 goal it's mile 20.5, just at the bottom of heartbreak hill. I just need to get over the hill and on to Boston and I'll be past my goal before I even start to taper for the race!! :)

Speaking of training, this week is flying by. I did 6 miles Sunday, rested Monday(but shoveled A LOT, so not totally a rest day), quick easy 4 miles Tuesday morning with yak trax and head lamp, rest day yesterday because I was at work for 11 hours and too tired when I left to go to the gym, then an hour of intervals on the eliptical today and some stretching and tomorrow is Friday already!

I registered for the Eastern States 20 miler today as my last long run before Boston. It's March 28th and goes from Kittery, Maine to Salisbury, Mass. Last year it was freezing cold, windy, and pouring rain. It was an epic run. I hope the weather is better this year, but the run is just as epic. I tried to find a half marathon to do the next weekend, but it's Easter so there are no races. Boooo!

Cheesecake drawing is going good so far. Slow start to selling tickets, but I'm not doing the drawing until February 10th so there's still plenty of time for people to get in on it. I've already raised $150 and then I'm planning on having a party in February too so hopefully that will put me over the goal and I can focus on running in March and April. I'll still remind people to donate and remind them I'm running for Dana Farber. I really like to overachieve so hitting the goal will be nice, but exceeding it will be even better.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I still can't believe I ran 40 miles last weekend

I did spin class yesterday morning and went for a nice east 6 mile run this morning. Legs are fine, pace was good, weather perfect, resting heart rate this morning good (58bpm), feel pretty good. Insane.

I went to the book store yesterday to check out the new Runner's World cookbook that is out, 'Athlete's Palate' and see if it had anything worth trying in it. The book was more of a running book about chefs that run sprinkled with a few recipes, very disappointing. So, I wandered over to the running section of the store and triathlon books happen to be in the same section. I bought an Ironman training book. I've been talking with a few friends about doing a half ironman next fall. So much for focusing on one thing at a time. I did buy a Boston Marathon book too.

Anyway, I'm also trying to collect some things to create a scrapbook of my experience, but I don't know if I should start the scrapbook at the beginning of my running journey 3yrs ago or if I should make it only Boston Marathon stuff. Tough call. I'll probably end up doing a small Boston only scrapbook. I want to put the letter from Dana Farber saying I made the team in there and the entry form for Boston and my acceptance card and eventually my bib# too. Hopefully, lots of pictures from the course too. I can't believe it's only 3 months away.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Time to focus

Back at the gym yesterday, just did 45 minutes on the eliptical and some stretching. Felt good. I am truly amazed at how great I feel after running ~40 miles in 2 days. I took today off, not because I'm sore or tired or anything, but because I know I just did A LOT of running and I should let my body recover. I feel recovered, but my brain doesn't believe my body. It's insane.

Now, I have to focus on Boston. It's my top priority now, although there are already a few events under consideration for after Boston that I will most likely sign up for. April is so early in the year. In May of last year I ran 2 halfs and did a duathlon, but I was also severely overtrained and wiped out afterwards and took most of June off. I don't want to repeat that, but there are a few races I'm seriously thinking about registering for. I kind of told myself not to sign up for anything until after Boston and to enjoy the experience and celebrate afterwards instead of continuing the neverending cycle of training, racing, recovering and starting to train again for the next event, but it's addictive. I'm always thinking of what's next even before I've completed the event I'm currently training for. I wonder if there's a 12 step program for runners addiction....who am I kidding, I'd never quit.

Anyway, the plan for the weekend is to do spin class tomorrow, deliver some Disney presents and show off my bling, then I'm cooking dinner for an old friend that I reconnected with through my fundraising efforts. Then Sunday I want to do a nice easy 6 mile run. It will be my first run since Goofy and my first run in my Boston training plan. I call it a plan and not a schedule because it is subject to change. A lot of people worry about following training schedules and I did too the first time I trained for a marathon, but I know better now. I follow my body - rest when it needs it and build in rest so I can recover before I need it. It has made me a stronger runner, training smarter and knowing when to back off and when to push myself. Monday I will either rest or go for a shorter easy run, depending on my resting heart rate which was 52bpm this morning, another indication that I'm totally recovered from Goofy - AMAZING!

I also started the final round of the cheesecake drawings this week. Winner's choice - any cheesecake, anytime. Already sold a bunch of tickets and I'm up to $100! If this one is as successful or more successful than the first two drawings I'll be over my goal of $5000 way before April.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Goofy Challenge - DONE!

I just flew home from not so sunny Florida last night after completing Disney's Goofy Challenge race and a half, half marathon and full marathon, 39.3 miles in two days. On Saturday I ran the half marathon and it snowed at the start (technically it was sleet, but according to Florida weather reporters there may have been a "random snowflake"). It was really cold and wet, but so much fun. The course starts in Epcot and gos to the Magic Kingdom and then back to Epcot for the finish. Disney Characters line the course and staff are there to take pictures of you with the characters. I ran dressed as Tinkerbell. Of course I had to modify the costume a little to a few layers because of the crazy cold weather, but it still worked out.

Sunday morning we got to the start of the marathon a little late because it was so cold out that everyone tried to show up as close to the start as possible. Well, by the time we got through the parking lot and walked to the start area, the race had already started and they closed the access road to the start line. We had to run back to the parking lot and climb through the woods and over some palm trees and then run backwards on the side of the course where the spectators were and then across the course where people were already running and finally across the start mats. I think we did an extra 3 miles, but it was a good warm up because it was so cold out that the water at the first few water stops was frozen solid. Did I mention the race was in FLORIDA!!!?
Anyway, I finished both races in decent times, 2:33 for the half (stopping to take pictures with the characters) and 4:54 for the full marathon, I'm not gonna lie, the last few miles were pretty painful. Overall, it was an amazing trip and a super fun race and a half(I still have my wristband on and I don't think I'm going to take it off). Now, I've got a week of recovery/active recovery before I start right back up with my training for Boston!

I sent out a reminder/update email today and instantly got about 10 donations. I'm over the minimum fundraising requirement and well on my way to my $5000 goal. I really hope I go way above and beyond it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nervous, anxious, excited, scared, psyched - ALL OF THE ABOVE

The Goofy Challenge is this weekend!!! Saturday morning I did a nice recovery ride in Spin class and then Saturday evening and Sunday I relaxed on the couch watching the snow fall and keep falling and then fall some more and then blow around and fall a little more. Sunday night I figured I should probably start packing for Disney and it hit me - OMG I'm going to run a half marathon AND a full marathon next weekend!

I'm getting really nervous. I know I'm trained and ready and nothing I do or don't do this week will change how I perform in the race this weekend. The weather forecast is PERFECT! Mid-50s and partly cloudy both days. It's like the stars are aligning and everything is falling into place, but I'm freaking out. I don't even remember if I was this nervous before my very first marathon. I don't want to forget anything. I don't want to over do it. I don't want to get hurt. I don't want to get dehydrated like I did last year (the weather should help a lot with that).

I'm also REALLY excited. I can't wait to go to Disney. I can't wait to run. I can't wait to take a ton of pictures with all the Disney characters along the course. I can't wait to see how my Tinkerbell wings impact my running. :) Hoping they won't be an issue if anything I hope they help me fly through the course. I really can't wait for the victory lap celebration at Hollywood Studios. And I can't wait to come home and show off all 3 of my medals!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - Lowell's first run 10K

While some people were out partying like crazy and spending tons of money on over priced booze or even at home counting down the clock to the new year with Ryan Seacrest, I was snuggled cozy and asleep in my bed. I took a year in review spin class yesterday and suffered through Lady Gaga and some of the other club hits of the year. The class was good and some of the music was good too. I definitely worked up a sweat and even fogged up the mirrows a little. Afterwards, I went home and settled in with my favorite pre-race meal Newman's Own thin crust cheese pizza and some ice cream. I flipped through the channels and watched end of the year reruns of various shows and went to bed by 10:00pm. Oddly enough I woke up almost exactly at midnight, then rolled over and went back to sleep. Boring, I know.

Today I started off 2010 with a 10K road race in Lowell. I was surprised by how many other people were there too. The weather was actually really nice. Cool and overcast and the sun came out after the race. I was secretly hoping it would be raining or snowing and a lot of people would bail on the race so that I could have a chance of placing in my age group. When I showed up and realized my bib# was 849 and there were a lot of higher numbers walking through the crowd, that hope disappeared like the clouds in the sky. Oh well. It was still a great run. Mostly flat course that was two laps, just one lap for the 5K. I hate that because you see the 5K people finishing and you're only halfway done. The second half of the race the course was a little different too, went down some side streets I wasn't expecting. It was a weird surprise, at first sort of nice because we skipped part of the only hill on the course, but then it was a bit of a mental blow because when we rejoined the first lap part of the course I thought we were further than we really were. I picked up the pace in the last mile and passed a few people, but definitely didn't have much gas left in the tank when I crossed the finish.

Overall, I'd say it was a pretty great way to start the new year. I feel so much better than all the hungover and tired people in the world feel today. I don't really drink anymore because I've learned that if you put junk in you get junk out. If you had a high end sports car you wouldn't put regular unleaded gas in it. I know I'm not an elite athlete and I'm not the fastest person out there, but I care about what goes into my fuel tank. Happy New Year - health and happy running!