Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Firemen and free beer - Yes please!

So, last week I rode the high from finishing another marathon and tried to make that joy last as long as I could. Unfortunately, I caught a nasty head cold on the plane coming back to Boston and I was sick for most of the week and didn't really have the energy to celebrate. Even with an absurd amount of mucous forming in my sinuses and snot coming out my nose I couldn't help but smile ear to ear all week reflecting on how far I've come in such a short amount of time. It seriously blows my mind when I think about it.

Back in the day, when I was a freshmen in High School, I joined the soccer team to try and make some new friends. Middle school was not kind to me and was probably as much fun as spending three years being tortured in a third world country prison. Well, my brilliant plan to make friends on the soccer team didn't really work out well because as it turned out, I hated to run and I was even worse at actually running while kicking a ball. I played defense because it was the position on the team that required the least amount of running. And I tried to skip practice whenever I could to avoid doing laps around the field or worse Indian sprints around the boulevard in Portland.

If you had asked me then to run 26.2 miles I most likely would have laughed at you and then maybe cried a little at the thought of actually having to do it. So, imagine how strange it is for me now to run that distance and LOVE it. I was a little bummed at first when I finished Chicago much slower than I had wanted to run it, but in the grand scheme of things, every marathon I run no matter what the clock says when I cross the line is a miracle. It's the most amazing celebration of my dedication and determination to be healthier and truly LIVE my life instead of watching the days go by sitting on the couch and wishing things were different. I am living proof that anything is possible. From couch potato to multiple marathoner in about 5 years! Un-freaking-believable!
So, after spending last week sick and forced to rest and recover, Friday after work I went to see my acupuncturist for a post marathon treatment and a little head cold magic too. It was exactly what I needed. I felt great and relaxed and refreshed after. I went home and slept so good I woke up in a puddle of drool.

Saturday morning I did my first post marathon run with the Lowell Ladies. It was just a short 4 miler and I felt sort of sluggish and slow, but I hadn't run in 5 days and the last run was a marathon so it was to be expected. It was a perfect fall day out. Sunny, slight breeze, and brisk 55-60 degree air. It's really my favorite conditions for running. If I could find somewhere to live that looks and feels like New England but stays fall all year round I'd be in heaven.

After the run, I went grocery shopping and cleaned my house. I have asbestos removal guys coming this Friday and my boiler being replaced on Saturday so I need to remove all of my personal items from the basement. Kind of a hassle, but it made me realize I need to purge a lot of stuff and get rid of things. For example, for some reason in college I decided to start collecting PEZ dispensers and I have about 400 of them. I need to get rid of those. Anyone know of someone that might want them let me know.

Saturday night I met up with my friend Patty who was in town from NYC to run the Baystate half marathon in Lowell. We went to a sort of late dinner at Life Alive and met up with Nutter, my friend that introduced me to Patty. We sat and chatted pretty much until they kicked us out. Probably a good thing because we needed to get some sleep. Patty running the half (plus 7 miles before to make it her 20 mile training run for the NYC Marathon) and Me running the Boston Fire 10K in the morning.

Sunday, one of my favorite races of all time, the Boston Firefighters 10K. It's for fallen firefighters and it's a great event. The course is flat and fast and very well organized. Bagpipes lead you to the start along with an antique firetruck as the pace car. Then there's unlimited free beer and a band waiting for you at the finish. While they announce the awards for top finishers they also do hundreds of raffles to restaurants in the North End and sometimes weekend getaway packages and all kinds of amazing stuff. The best part about it is that they usually have so many raffles to give away that they get tired of calling numbers of people that have already left so they just start calling numbers of people in the front of the crowd that hold up their bibs. It's awesome! I won a $40 gift card to Dolce Vita!

As a bonus for the weekend too, I wanted to try and get my photo on a ladder truck with a fireman in my Race Up Boston Place early bird t-shirt to help spread the word about the event and come on, I'll admit it, I wanted to climb on a ladder truck. Going into the weekend and getting to the race I wasn't sure if I'd have the guts to ask if I could climb on the ladder truck. Believe it or not, I'm actually really shy. Well, maybe it was the adrenaline from the race or maybe it was the free beer I had (only my 4th or 5th beer this entire year!) - I DID IT!
Special thanks to the Boston Fire Dept. for hosting another amazing event and letting me climb on their ladder truck. I'm still cheering for my hometown boys of Portland Fire to win the stair climb, but you just pulled into a close second for me.

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