Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Funny thing about focus...

Sometimes you can be so focused on a particular goal you miss really obvious things that are right in front of you. This morning I went out for a nice easy 6 mile run in the rain. I had my hat on to keep the rain out of my eyes and my headlamp to light the way. Within the first mile my feet were soaked, but I felt good. I had a nice rhythm going and I was thinking only 20 days until Boston. For the first time ever on my 6 miler I even had a tail wind on the way back. It's ALWAYS a head wind. I should have known this run was too good to be true and Mother Nature had something up her sleeve. About 4 miles into the run, on the home stretch back to my house, floating downhill one foot after the other, looking down to avoid as many puddles and potholes as possible and then...."THWACK!" I ran right into a half fallen over tree right at head height. Like someone swung a baseball bat right into my face, except I was the moving object and the tree was stationary. Not exactly sure what life lesson to take away from this, but maybe it's something like while focusing on a big goal in life (Boston) don't forget to enjoy (or watch out for) the simple things in life (like giant friggin trees). Afterall, life is about the journey, not the destination.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Hard to believe there are only 21 days to go until Marathon Monday.

OK, recap of the last week of training. Monday and Tuesday I rested fromthe busy weekend (and honestly when I woke up Tuesday I had planned to run until I saw it was raining, again!). Wednesday, I just did an easy day on the eliptical. Thursday I did what was probably the last Crossroads run, an out and back on the course, about 8 miles based on time because my garmin didn’t get a signal. Friday, I rested and relaxed.

Saturday, I did a nice easy 6 miler and then met my friend Kristen to drive the course. We headed to Hopkinton around 11:00, the sun was out and it was in the mid 40s; A beautiful day for a drive (or run for everyone that was out running the course). I got a picture of the start line. Worn and faded, it was impossible to even make out the word start in the paint. I wonder if they repaint it every year. Anyway, I got a great picture of me near it, on race day I doubt I’ll even see it as I pass over it with thousands of other runners. I got a picture of the port-o-potties already set up. Then we hopped in the car and headed down 135 towards Boston.

We stopped on the side of the road to get a picture of the “Entering Ashland” sign. Winding down the road, trying to take in the landscape and absorb as much as possible, we honked at runners and cheered them on for their last long run before Boston. We pulled over again to get the “Entering Frammingham” sign and continued on. I missed the Natick and Wellesley signs. We got the Newton sign as a drive by. There was no place to stop. Kristen took a picture of some volunteers at the corner of Washington St. and Commonwealth Ave. They had a mile 17 sign and tent with water and snacks for the runners.

From there the landscape looked familiar, but it is going to be weird to run on the road and not on sidewalks. I can only hope that I still feel good when I hit the hills and I can power up them like I have so many weeks with the Crossroads group. We turned at Walnut St. to get a picture of the John Kelly statue then got back on Comm. Ave. By now we were starving so when we got to Brookline we stopped and ate lunch. It was so much fun, and so exciting to see the whole course before I’m sweaty, suffering, and running the Boston Marathon.

Sunday was the Eastern States 20 miler. I got up early, ate my breakfast, and headed to Hampton Beach to get the bus to Kittery. Got to Kittery and picked a spot on the gymnasium floor to chill out and rest before the race started. I actually fell asleep for a bit. Then the announcer woke me up and I saw some of my friends from my Reach the Beach van last year. We caught up and waited together for the race to start.

The walk to start line seemed longer than it was last year and last year it was pouring rain and freezing cold so it was a little weird and a totally different experience. It was sunny and in the mid-40s. I felt like I might be a little over dressed with my jacket on but reminded myself that once I reached the coast it would be windy and colder. The race started and the runners took off. I settled into a comfortable pace and kept telling myself “it should feel like you’re holding back”. It worked. The first 10 miles went by in a flash and I averaged 10:00 miles with ease. I kept repeating to myself, “Nice and easy, one mile at a time”. The next 5 miles were inland and over rolling hills, pretty and oddly familiar. I wonder if it was just the half in Hamptons course backwards or the Rockfest half backwards. I struggled a little in mile 15 and 16, but then took a gel and got a nice kick of carbs and caffeine. At mile 18 we reached the beach and there was a ridiculous head wind coming off the water. I put my head down and powered through it. I thought to myself “thank you Mother Nature, can I have some more wind please”. With a big smile on my face, I took her challenge and destroyed it. I ran the last 2 miles the fastest and passed a ton of people. I did a 9:20 and an 8:50 for my last two miles. Finished strong and still had gas in the tank. PR’d by about 10 minutes in comparison to last year’s time. Totally pumped and ready for Boston.

Bring on the Taper!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Great, a little bit Goofy weekend

Finally, Mother Nature gave us a nice weekend to enjoy. I took a much needed rest day on Friday and did a little shopping. I bought my marathon shoes, a fresh new pair of Asics GT-2150s in bright turquoise. Then I went to REI and stocked up on gels because my online order was backordered and hasn’t shipped yet.

Saturday, I eased into the morning with a few cups of tea and some breakfast. Then I decided to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather. I laced up my new sneaks and headed out my front door at about 10:30, the sun was shining and there was a light breeze. It was perfect. About 8 miles into my 18 miler I realized, I forgot to put on sun block and chose to run during the peak sun hours of the day, stupid mistake on the first day of spring, but my runner’s tan had to start somewhere. I felt really good and was averaging a really great pace, and then I ran out of water with ~4 miles left to go. DOH! I had to walk a little until I passed a Mobil station and could buy a bottle of water. Then I finished the last 2 miles strong and went in my house to check out how bad my sun burn was. It feels worse than it looks. A short trip to Rite Aid, 4 bags of ice, and a soak in the tub followed by a hot shower and I was good to go.

I was suppose to drive the course with a friend and then get dinner in Boston, but she bailed so I just ended up hanging out at home with my neighbors and cooking dinner for myself. Hopefully the weather next weekend is just as nice and we can drive the course Saturday and get some cute pictures of me not sweaty and suffering.

Sunday morning was the Half of Quincy. I left a little late and got there with about 20 minutes before the start. I usually like to have a little more time so that I can throw stuff in my car and relax a little before a race, but it was ok. I was really glad I threw an extra shirt in my bag before I left because it was a LOT colder in Quincy than it was in Lowell. And it was very windy. I’m horrible with geography and had no idea that Quincy was on the coast. What a pretty course. There were a few parts that could have been more clearly marked and I wasn’t sure I was going the right way, but overall it was really challenging and scenic. More hills than I expected and a lot more wind, made for a tough run, especially after running 18 the day before. OH, and after all that hard work, they ran out of medals and I didn’t get one!!!!!

So, to recap the weekend: Awesome weather, not so awesome sunburn, race with no medal, and about 31 miles in two days. I’d say it was pretty decent.

Friday, March 19, 2010

One Month to go!!!!!

You know you're a distance runner if...

...you're always hungry, even if you just ate.
...you combine the words "6 miles" and "easy day" in the same sentence.
...you have more miles on your running shoes than on your car.
...you wear less clothing while racing than most swimsuits have.
...all you eat is carbs.
...your calves are twice as large as your biceps.
...the term "off-season" means the week between one marathon and training for the next one.
...you know who Steve Prefontaine is and he's your idol.
...you drink less than 2 liters in a day, and you're dehydrated.
...you use the bathroom multiple times in the same hour.
...you wish you were Kenyan.
...accelerating up hills has become second nature to you.
...you schedule dates around long runs or races.
...you're running clothes cost more than your work clothes.
...you know what it's like to consistently come close to passing out.
...the next race is on your mind from the moment the last one finished.
...your water bottle is like a security blanket to you.
...you run more miles in a week than you drive to work.
...people call you a masochist.
...you run in the snow, rain, 100 degrees, pretty much anytime and all the time.
...you've rolled your ankle countless times.
...you've rolled your ankle more than once in the same run, and then just kept going.
...your summer consists of waking up before 6:00 a.m. and running 10 miles before 8:00 a.m. and then running at least three miles after dinner.
...your motto is eat, run, sleep, repeat.
...when you're not in pain you feel unaccomplished.
...you get honked at a lot when you're running.
...you actually draft while running.
...your warm-up is longer than most people run in a week.
...the majority of your Christmas and birthday presents are running items.
...you're glad when you're half dead at the end of a race.
...you have archenemies whom you've never talked to.
...when you finish a race you feel like nothing can bring you down...until you see your time.
...you know what PR means and you know all your PRs
...when you get a PR you feel like you could fly...if you weren't so tired.
...as soon you get a PR you start figuring out splits for a new PR.
...You have running shoes in varying degrees of decomposition: used, well-worn, spent but still good, and useless-but-I-still-wear-them-because-they-still-feel-good.
...Your fridge contains two types of drinks: electrolyte replacement drinks and recovery drinks.
...You sleep in running clothes so you don't have to change for your morning run.
...You wear sandals despite having the ugliest feet in the world, along with several missing toenails.
...You have chafing in strange places.
...You've been banned from all-you-can-eat restaurants
...You consider anything you're wearing on a run a tissue.
... You’ve been asked more than once, “how long is THAT marathon?” EVERY effin marathon is 26.2!
... You’ve lost multiple toenails, but still keep them as badges of honor or trophies.
... You’ve self-diagnosed every running injury you’ve had.
... You’ve taken ice baths and LOVE them.
... You’ve complained about how much a racecourse sucked and then signed up for the same race again the next year.
...Unless your friends are runners too, you don’t see or speak to them for months especially if you’re training for a marathon.
... You plan your vacations around which marathons you want to run.
... The third Thursday in April is “Marathon Monday” NOT Patriots Day.
... You eat to run and run to eat.

Feel free to add onto the list. :) Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I got my numbah!

Tuesday I looked up the BAA website and searched my name and there it was. 22742, my official bib number for THE Boston Marathon. I got chills. It’s getting so close and the days are flying by.

Quick recap of the week so far, I lifted on Monday (upper body and abs), ran my 6 mile out and back Tuesday morning before Jury duty, yesterday I lifted (lower body and back).

The US Flag opportunity drawing is ongoing and starting to get some responses. I got a bunch of my fellow jurors to contribute (might have helped that I brought in homemade cookies for them). I’m trying to get the last couple of people that have said over the many months of training that they plan on donating, but haven’t yet. It’s frustrating. I don’t want to be a nag, but don’t tell me you plan to donate if you don’t plan to or if you can’t. Just say up front, that you can’t. Holding out hope for these people to come through in the end is stressful.

For some reason this week, it’s like all of the months of training suddenly caught up with me and I’m EXHAUSTED. I can barely hold my head up and my eyelids feel like little lead weights. I have had my resting metabolic rate tested so I know I’m eating enough (that was what made me exhausted when I trained for my first marathon), I’m sleeping plenty (although the quality of my sleep may not be great considering the nightmares of my crazy neighbor recently), I’ve taken it easy and backed off the cardio a few days now and my resting heart rate is still high (has been around 66bpm for a few days). Not sure what is going on, but I hope it passes and I feel better soon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Enough already Mother Nature

Seriously, I’ve had enough challenging training runs in ridiculous weather conditions and I’m prepared for anything, but enough is enough. This weekend was a soaking wet mess. Saturday I did my soggy 16 miler with DFMC in Lexington, then yesterday I had the last of the Wild Rover Series in Lowell, the Hynes 5 miler.

As soon as I woke up yesterday I was grumpy and did not want to go out in the nasty weather to run a 5 mile race. No matter how many times I told myself, “It’s just 5 miles” I still felt like my brain was dragging my body kicking and screaming out the door to go to the race.

I showed up and got my bib number and the race shirt (which is wicked nice) then I found a few crazy friends that showed up too. We all huddled together and talked about how much it was going to suck and how wet we were going to get and how none of us wanted to be there, but we all were there.

With about 15 minutes to go before the start we walked to our cars to put our stuff away and then headed to the start line. The start was next to a small building with covered entry ways so we squished as many runners as possible into the entry ways and waited. We weren’t the only ones seeking refuge from the rain there. There was a homeless man sleeping against the wall in one of the entry ways. I bet he was a mixture of pissed that we were being loud and happy that we were blocking the wind for a little bit.

The announcer called “5 minutes to the start” and asked people to line up, but no one moved. We all wanted to wait until the last possible second to get out of the shelter and into the monsoon. One minute to go, we gathered in the street and grumbled collectively about the weather. The gun went off and away we went.

The miles actually went by pretty fast. My legs still a little tight from the 16 miler the day before, but I watched the clocks at each mile marker and maintained my pace for the first 2 miles then got into my groove and started to pick it up a little each step. In the 3rd mile we had a tail wind for a little bit so I made up some time. The 4th mile was like running through a wind tunnel, 30mph gusts fighting us the entire way. Then the last mile and my brain and body were in synch, knowing the end was near. I kept thinking hot shower and a cup of tea. I had negative splits and finished the race with a strong kick across the line, grabbed my medal and kept walking straight to my car and my dry clothes.
Another insane training run in the books. Now please, Mother Nature, could we have just a few weeks of nice weather followed by a little bit of a cold spell in the middle of April. 50s and overcast with the sun coming out later in the day would be nice. We’ve all put up with the challenges you’ve thrown at us this training season, now be nice and give us a great race day forecast. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Crossroads and a soggy 16 miler

Thursday night my running buddy was sick. I still wanted to get a run in on the Newton hills so I went without her. :( It was a nice night, not too cold, but not quite "warm" either, spitting a little rain here and there. We took the T out to Newton and started running. I was running with Jack (?) from Boston Fire Dept. We made a pit stop at the Newton Fire Station, he just walked right in. I felt a little strange, but he said it was cool, the firehouse is a public building. Still felt a little weird just walking right in, not knocking first or anything. No one even really noticed we were there and before they could we were gone, so I guess it was cool. Then we hit the hills. Running a little slower than normal, but trying to teach Jack to hold back and start slow. He always attacks the hills like a mad man and I end up passing him on the last hill and beating him back to Crossroads. So, we made it to the top of the hills and I said, ok the tough part is over, now cruise into Boston and let gravity help you out. He hung with me for a few more miles and then I got a little kick in the last 2 miles and took off (I asked first if he minded). Finished and just hopped in my car and drove home. I was hoping to get to bed at a decent time and get a better night's rest than the night before. I succeeded. Woke up Friday morning refreshed and recharged.

Friday I just did a some lifting at the gym, got a new program from my trainer. Hopefully, I stick to it and start doing strength training with some consistancy. I hate it and would rather run or do just about anything but lift.

I also announced my next fundraiser this week. I'm doing an opportunity drawing for a US Flag flown over the Capital Building in DC in honor of whoever the winner chooses. It's a really cool and unique item and I hope people are interested. It comes with a certificate stating the date that the flag was flown and who it was flown for. $5 a ticket or 5 for $20. Make a donation to my webpage and I'll enter you in the drawing. www.rundfmc.org/2010/alicial

This morning I got up for the group run in Lexington. Had some tea and breakfast and headed to the greater boston running company store. It was 40 out, but felt a lot colder and then it started raining. I started out really slow, my legs were sore and heavy. After the first 3 miles I locked in my pace and got comfy. Felt really good even though I was soaked to the bone and freezing and running into a headwind. I just kept going and going. I usually end up taking a few walk breaks on this route, but I managed to run the entire route today and finished strong picking it up in the last 2 miles. Not sure what my splits were because my garmin lost satelites, but I felt good and that's all that matters. I learned a lesson though, squats, lunges, and deadlifts the day before a long run are not wise. My muscles are a little more tender than usual.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mean people suck, but they make me run faster

This week has been CRAZY and on a whole new level of crazy that I didn’t even realize existed. It started out so good. 6 weeks to go, great weather, sent out my last email update before the race, and participated in Spin for Hope event for American Cancer Society. I’ll start this little ditty with the good stuff and end on a positive note after the yucky part of the week because it was REALLY yucky.

So, Spin for Hope. What a great event. I rode for 2 hours, some people rode for the full 3 hours, some just for 30 minutes, but everyone was there for the same reason …… to raise money for the American Cancer Society and all the great things they do. People opened up and told their stories and some people just rode in silence remembering loved ones that have passed. It was moving and motivational. I laughed, I cried, and I sweat a lot. I didn’t raise more than the entry fee and my company match, but the team was able to raise almost $5000 together.

Tuesday I got up early and did my favorite 6 mile run while the sun came up. I’m not going to lie, my legs were a little heavy after spinning for 2 hours the night before, but it was gorgeous out and I had to take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy it. I got into my groove after the first 3 miles and cruised home averaging a comfortable pace. Then I headed into Boston for Jury Duty. I really think that Jury duty just needs better marketing. People hear “Jury Duty” and cringe and think it’s like torture, but if they called it something cool like “Law and Order LIVE” everyone would want to do it. It’s really not that bad. I kind of enjoy it.

I got home Tuesday night and threw some laundry in and loaded the dishwasher. Made myself a cup of tea and decided to sit on my porch to enjoy the nice weather and play with a little feral kitten that I leave food out for. I was sitting on my doorstep half in my house and half on the porch, holding the screen door open a crack so I wouldn’t scare the kitten away. Then my neighbor’s porch light came on, he’s not the friendliest guy in the world and everyone pretty much tries to avoid him so I slunk back into my house a little. He poked his head out onto the porch, went into his house and returned with a bottle of antifreeze. He uncapped it and poured a puddle of it on his porch!! I almost threw up. Antifreeze is extremely toxic to pets and they are attracted to it because it tastes sweet. It only takes about a teaspoon of it to kill a small cat, a few licks to kill a small dog. All of my neighbors have pets. I immediately called everyone to warn them. Then I called the police.

There is no rational reason to pour a toxic chemical on your own porch other than to deliberately poison the animals in the neighborhood. I was disgusted and horrified that he would even think to do that. The police came, took a report, interviewed him and made him clean it up. He actually tried to pick a fight with the Lowell PD Officer. Afterwards the police officer came around to the back of my house and came in to talk to me and my other neighbor that came over as soon as I called her. He said that the guy claimed he was just “cleaning out his trunk”, so although he admitted to dumping antifreeze on his porch, it would be difficult to prove that he did it with the intent to kill animals. Animal control was notified and the police will keep an eye on him. It’s just scary that I live next to such a psychopath. The Lowell PD assured me though if he does anything else, I can just call them and he will be arrested.

Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night. Shaken up and disturbed, not to mention terrified that my neighbor would now come after me for reporting him to the police. I had nightmares all night that he was trying to break into my house and kill me.

Wednesday, I was exhausted and still sick to my stomach over the events of the night before. Lucky for me, work went by really fast and it was a relatively quiet day. After work, I went to the gym and decided to go for a short run in my DFMC singlet. As soon as I started running I felt better. Fueled by my frustration and motivated by the fact that I’m a lot taller and stronger than my psycho neighbor, I ran FAST. It felt really great. The run was cathartic and refreshing. I got back to the gym and did 30 minutes of strength training, upper body and abs. Looking at myself in the mirror, I had renewed confidence and reassurance that although there are psychos in the world, they are far out numbered by the heroes of the world, like the Lowell Police Department and people like me that stand up to them.

Today is a new day. As I left my house for work, the feral kitten was waiting on my porch to say good morning. The sun is shining and it’s going to be a great night for a run in Boston. I can’t wait.

On the fundraising front, the Lowell PD Officer is going to make a donation to my page and other donations are still coming in. I also started a new opportunity drawing for a US Flag to be flown over the Capital building in D.C. to honor a loved one. I delivered the cheesecake to the winner of the "Winner's Choice" drawing yesterday. He picked the double chocolate cheesecake. I'm still trying to get someone to pledge a dollar per training mile for the month of March, but I don't have any takers yet. I think the fact that I'll be running ~150 miles might be scaring people off, even though I offered to bake cookies for anyone that pledges.

Monday, March 8, 2010

6 weeks to go!

WOW! There’s so much to do and so little time before race day. I can’t believe I only have 3 more long runs before the taper. That’s incredible. I remember this time last year preparing to cheer for my friends that were running Boston. Making signs and buying their favorite candies for a mid-race boost. Now, it’s my turn to run.

This weekend was great. The weather could not have been more perfect. It was in the 50s and sunny both days and I ran both days. Saturday I went out for my long run, 18 miles. I started a little faster than I should have, but with the weather so nice, I was chomping at the bit to run and my legs just wanted to go fast. The first 10 miles were nice and easy, rolling hills, mostly downhill and some small climbs. Then I turned into the wind and headed home up the monster hills on Tewksbury back to Lowell. I slowed a little and struggled a bit in the last few miles, but still managed to hold a decent pace and finish strong.

Sunday I ran the Claddagh Classic 4 miler. It was another beautiful day for running, but I was not looking forward to this run. It may be a short run, but it is a TOUGH run. The course goes up a long gradual climb and then a giant mountain of a hill that is probably a 12% grade. The good part is the second half of the course is all downhill and you are pretty much guaranteed negative splits. I ran the race in my DFMC singlet to test it out. I even pinned a sign to my back that said “Running for a cure and Accepting Donations”. I didn’t get any donations, but it was worth a try.
Tonight I’m participating in Spin for Hope, a spinning event for American Cancer Society. I will ride a spin bike for 2 hours to raise money and awareness for Cancer research. I can’t really raise money since I’m already asking people for money for Dana Farber, but I made a donation and had my company match it. It will be a fun event and I can’t wait to go.

I sent out my last pre-race email update today. There was lots of information in it and a few fundraising ideas. I hope that I see a spike in donations this week as a result. My two fundraising ideas are sponsor my training miles for the month of March and get some homemade cookies and an opportunity drawing for a US flag flown over the capital building in D.C. Not sure if that will get any takers, but it’s worth a try and it’s a really cool opportunity to honor a loved one in a really unique way. If you’re reading this and you want in on the opportunity drawing email me amleeman@hotmail.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just for Fun on a Friday

Here's a list of explanations of how English differs from "Marathon girl-speak" in the world of relationships.

"I am an outdoors type of person." Really means: I run in any type of weather; rain, snow, monsoon, blizzard, 90 degrees w/100 percent humidity, winds gusting at 30 mph, mid-day sun blazing down, middle of the night with a head lamp. If you’re not up for the challenge, I’m not that into you.

"I enjoy riding my bike." Really means: When I’m not running, I like to cross train on my bike. If you can't do a spur of the moment 30 miler then you're not my type. I will draft off you, but if you go too slow, I’ll blow past you and leave you in my dust. I know how to fix my bike, but if I know you do too, I’ll let you fix it for me.

"I enjoy jogging." Really means: Tempo runs and fartleks, if you don’t know what that means, I don’t want your phone number.

"I enjoy fine dining." Really means: I enjoy eating - A LOT. If you want to go out for dinner don’t be late, unless you bring some food with you. I get cranky if I don’t get food every couple of hours; forget that, I need food all the time. Don’t ask me questions during pre-breakfast snack, breakfast, mid-morning munchies, lunch, afternoon snack, late afternoon snack, pre-dinner appetizer, dinner, dessert, after dinner hors d’oeuvres, or bedtime cookies and milk, I’m shoveling food in my mouth and it is impossible to respond.

"I enjoy quiet walks on the beach." Really means: Doing sprints in sand, the only sound I want to hear coming out of your mouth is breathing, although gasping or wheezing is an acceptable alternative.

"I find fulfillment in charitable work." Really means: If I am not running, racing, training for a race, or resting before a race, I am volunteering and I expect you to be there as I stand out in 90 degree weather for 8 hours handing out water and Gu to runners that don’t want to lose time walking through an aid station and will trample you if necessary.

"I enjoy sharing quiet moments together." Really means: It's taper time or I over-trained and injured myself. Just back off because I am in a pissy mood because I can't workout.

"I am an active person." Really means: Aside from my 40 hour job, and the 8 hours of sleep a night. 20 hours a week are devoted to running leaving us ~6 hours/day. 4 of which are spent inhaling food and you not talking to me, so let's make the best of the 2 hours we will spend together on average each day. If you are a licensed massage therapist or doctor this would make the most optimal use of our time together. Nutritionist or athletic trainer is also acceptable, but I probably already know just as much as you.

"I enjoy site seeing." Really means: I like to go for long runs in unfamiliar areas so that if I get lost, I get a few extra miles in.

"I like stimulating conversation." Really means: While we are running, we can talk about food, best places to get food, where we are going to go for food after the run, what the best food is before a run, and favorite flavors of carbohydrate replacement gels. Then we can talk about how we decided what to wear on this run based on the temperature at start time versus the temperature at the time we expect to finish, how many miles we did last week, and how many we will do this week and next week. Then we can talk about food.

"I enjoy relaxing soaks in the tub." Really Means: I'm going to stop on the way home and buy 6 bags of ice, throw them in the tub with some water, and sit in this torture chamber for 30 minutes.

"I'm into in technology" Really Means: My HRM and GPS are my best friends. Until you can give me some hard data that can improve my training, don't bother trying to buddy up to me. You could one day break into the top three if I find you as entertaining on long runs and rides as my mp3 player.

I'm such a spaz

I wonder sometimes if it's possible to have running induced ADD. It's nearly impossible for me to focus on one thing at a time. I met this week with my trainers to go over my 2010 goals. Right now my ONLY goal should be to run Boston, but I'm constantly thinking about what's next. What do I do AFTER Boston? And I haven't even run Boston yet. I guess it's not a bad thing that I'm so driven and active, but really? Could I just focus on one event at a time?

Great example, I met a guy at the Crossroads run that happens to work as a Boston Fire Fighter and after talking to him, he suggested I take the Fire Fighters exam at the end of April (technically that IS after Boston). I looked up the test online and had flashes of myself taking the exam, but not gracefully completing each task, more clumsily fumbling through them like an "I Love Lucy" episode. Which would still be really fun and entertaining at the very least. So, now I'm torn, do I take the test as a fun challenge or am I just drawn to it because it gives me something to do after Boston. Or is it like exercise ADD and I'm running and running and running and all of the sudden, oh look a fire fighter exam.
What am I thinking?

Anyway, the 2010 goals are as follows:
1. Run Boston
2. Don't Over Train
3. Relax and enjoy more "me time" that doesn't involve exercise or running
4. Increase strength training (for real this time, it was a goal last year and I failed to make it part of my regular workout routine)

There's a whole list of races I'm already registered for too as part of my goals, but I call that more of a "to-do" list than a list of goals. :)

One of the bigger races is the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. I know it's only a half and it will be super easy. But it's all about the bling, since I did the Goofy in January, if I run the half marathon at Disneyland I get the Coast to coast medal. Much like the one in the photo. Except mine will have 2010 at the bottom. Plus, I get the actual race medal too! And another awesome trip with friends to a crazy race destination which will most definitely make lasting memories worth more than any medal.

Speaking of ADD, I originally started this post to talk about how awesome my run from Crossroads was last night. Got a little off topic. Back to the run. The weather was perfect, sprinkling a little and in the 40s, light winds, but nothing like the previous week in the monsoon. I got a slow start because my Garmin took forever to pick up the signals, but once I started I was FAST. I didn't feel like I was running hard or pushing myself, but I caught up to the fireman and my running buddy Susan and passed them, then I caught up to another group of DFMC runners and stuck with them for most of the hills in Newton, but once we got to the top, I picked up my pace and lost track of them, then I was on my own and in the zone. I just cruised all the way back to the bar. Someone must have been watching over me because I got every walk signal and every green light and weaved in and out of the people on the sidewalks like a salmon swimming up stream. It was amazing and when I stoppped, I looked down at my Garmin and I finished averaging a pace almost a minute faster than my normal pace. I'm convinced I found the secret to running fast effortlessly and I will share it with all of you......get ready for it......this will blow your mind......it's like rocket fuel and will put a little kick in your step and make you run like a Kenyan...... GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! I had a handful of Tagalongs before the run and I'm sure that is what gave me the go juice. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Group run and Frozen Shamrock

Saturday I got up and got dressed, had some breakfast and some tea and headed to Lexington for another DFMC group run. It was pretty nice out, sunny and in the high 30s, almost 40 degrees. I made homemade chocolate chip cookies the night before to bring for the volunteers because the previous weeks at Greater Boston Running Company have been REALLY cold and windy. Before the run started, I gave the cookies to the volunteers and one box to the store owner to thank him for allowing us the use of the space. I ran 16 miles. I ended up running the first 10 with a fellow DFMC runner and the time flew by. we were running a little faster than I expected to run, but I felt great and we were able to hold a conversation the entire time so I know I wasn't pushing too hard. Then I ran the last 6 miles by myself. It was a weird run overall, started out with snow squalls and near white out conditions on the path and then the sun came out and melted all the snow that fell and turned it into a beautiful day. By the time I finished I think all the cookies were gone. :)

I made a few stops on my way home, Trader Joes, naturally, and then to visit a friend and deliver an "In Honor Card" for her to decorate. Then I finally made it home. I should have stopped on the way to get ice, but so much time had passed after the end of the run I figured I could skip the ritual ice bath. I should have just done it.

Sunday was the first race in the Wild Rover Series, the Frozen Shamrock 3 miler. I was sore from the run the day before so I wasn't expecting any PRs or anything crazy. Just figured I would run real easy and see how my body reacted and get the medal and t-shirt. Someone asked me before the gun went off how fast I planned on running and my response was "As fast as my legs will take me." I started out slow and got comfortable and then picked up the pace. Let gravity do the work on the downhills and pumped my arms on the uphills and powered through it. When I crossed the finish line I looked down at my Garmin in disbelief. I PR'd by almost a minute! And I ran 16 miles the day before the race! It was incredible.

Monday I took a rest day, I earned it. :) Yesterday I just did a nice easy 6 miler in the morning. It was so nice because at 6:00am the sun was coming up! As I ran, the sun came up over the horizon. It was beautiful. Pinks and yellows and oranges painted a perfect landscape at the top of my favorite hill. Absolutely amazing. I barely even needed my headlamp and blinkie lights.