Tuesday, July 31, 2012

fall down nine times...

ok so now that ive taken a deep breath (or a few hundred thousand), talked myself back down off the bridge (or ya know, more like the arm of the couch), drank 6 lbs in a water/gatorade/coffee/bud light mix, realized "its ok, things were out of my control, i trained hard, did everything i could...." (blah blah blah) ill try to blog about what actually happened in marathon #6 this past friday night.

if you dont know what im talking about, this should explain it:

and just incase you missed it, go back and check out mile 26. now THATS a party.
(official time: 4:30:27. i forgot to shut my garmin off at the end)

(so i can end the blog here, right?)

earlier ideas that i sent out for review and got shot down for this entry:

title: huge massive failed marathon #6, aka the day i retired from running
around the lake marathon can suck it. i ate a lot of bugs. puked from mile 23 on. mile 26 lasted far too long. lost 6 pounds. never running again. ate a lot of french fries on sunday. the end.

title: im done.
here are my splits, no words necessary. lots of puking. i retire.

title: barf tastic
felt great til mile 17. puked from 23 to the end. mile 26 blew. done.

(you see how this is going...)


friday morning was great. i got to sleep in, eat breakfast, paint my nails (a necessity, obviously) and i really wasnt nervous at all. a night marathon is a really different feeling than a morning one... i actually got a good nights sleep and could relax without having to rush around in the early morning hours. i was still unsure about what to eat so i just did what i normally would do on race morning (oatmeal, granola, peanut butter, coffee), had some plain spaghetti for lunch, and drank a LOT of water. we left the house at 2pm and i had another coffee on the way down. about two hours before the race i realized i was starving. i knew this was not a good thing, but i was nervous about how my stomach would feel if i ate something so i ate half a wheat bagel and some pretzels.

ha, no kidding. (the first part anyway...)

i felt pretty confident

we had a LOT of time to kill before the 7pm start so i decided to take a nap rest.

we also decided to model (and yes, SB is wearing shorts under there, dont worry)
SB and i sporting our not so stylish/oversized shirts
(wow. my feet are WHITE)

after gathering around and not listening to the man with the mega phone (per the norm), we headed to the start line. there was no timing mat for the start, so we started about 4 people behind the line. the announcer blew his whistle a bunch of times but no one really knew if that meant "i want your attention" or "GO" so everyone just started running. organization at its finest.


we did a small half mile or so loop around a parking lot before heading back to where our support had set up camp before the official "loops" started. i had forgotten my piece of gum (i always start races with gum) so i had yelled to eric before the race to make sure ty had one for me. i didnt know we would go by them so soon (i was planning on not having it until after 3 miles) so i was thankful to see eric holding that little blue stick when i came around.

at the start of each loop we ran through the parking lot of the clarion hotel, through the finish line tent, over the timing mats, and then past support tents before reaching a gravel/grassy part and then onto the road. the first loop was great. i felt awesome, i knew my times were solidly consistent, my head was clear, my legs felt strong. there were people cheering in random places around the loop and an aid station situatied about 2 miles in. there was a "1" "2" & "3" sign along the way so that you knew where you were in proximity to the end of the loop (3.2 miles).

what i wasnt (yet) worried about was the fact that at the end of this loop, i replaced my 10oz handheld water bottle for a full one. in those first 4 miles, i had drank the entire thing.

mile 1: 8:18
mile 2: 8:33
mile 3: 8:35
mile 4: 8:35

onto the second lap, i took my first fuel: espresso love gu. delish. truckin right along, thinking these loops arent going to be too bad (mind you i was on my 2nd of 8 haha). about a mile into this loop we started running through legit walls of little gnat/bug things. oh my god it was so gross. you had no idea they were coming until you were hit with them, and you couldnt open your mouth or really breathe until you were through them. and i was so sweaty they all were stuck to me. grosssss. i ran through about 6 of these and started thinking it was going to be a long night if they were going to be out on each loop... luckily this was the only loop this happened on. weird. i again drank my handheld and passed it off to ty as i went through, replacing it with a full/cold one. (water intake: 20oz)

mile 5: 8:24
mile 6: 8:36
mile 7: 8:27

the 3rd loop seemed to go by so fast. i knew my hard training was paying off. the sun had gone down and there was a beautiful sunset over the lake behind us, things were quiet and calm. i was excited to go onto loop 4 and for ty to soon send out my speedy halfway time to a few people who were tracking me. another handoff of an empty water bottle, picked up another espresso love gu for the next loop. (water intake: 30oz)

mile 8: 8:30
mile 9: 8:41
mile 10: 8:43

the 4th loop went by just like the previous one, took my gu, got lost in my music. i knew i was slowing down by a few seconds but overall i felt great. i was getting thirsty though, and i was HOT. i dumped some water down my back at the aid station half way around. the cup was almost full so i was soaked. i contemplated taking my tank top off when i came through as it was heavy, but i decided to keep it on as it was nice to use the front to wipe off my face. i was sweating like i have never sweat before. coming in to the end of this loop i again switched handhelds. halfway point at 1:52 ish. (water intake: 40oz, plus a stop at the water fountain)

mile 11: 8:41
mile 12: 8:59
mile 13: 8:50

so now it was dark. really dark. there were parts of the course that were lit but a lot of it was not. and runners were spread out, so i was all by myself for the majority of the running. i dont know why this bothered me so much, im used to running alone. but i was really lonely. and i started to feel sick. i kept drinking water and it was sometime on this loop that i realized i had been drinking a LOT of water. a lot more than i am used to. but i was sweating it all out, so i knew i probably needed it.

about a half mile before coming in to the end of the loop, i started crying. i havent cried in a race for a long time (this used to be a huge problem for me). its tough to breathe when running and crying so i tried to stop, but the tears wouldnt stop. i dont even know why i was crying! i came in and saw ty and he was like "whats wrong?!" i just lost it. i bent over, stretching, and bawling. i couldnt talk. he handed me a new water bottle and a gu, encouraged me, and i walked off. julia came up beside me and tried to cheer me up ("ITS SO FLUFFY!!") and i blurted out "im... just... so.... lonely" through my tears. she asked if i wanted her to run with me and i said no, that i would be alright (despite knowing i wasnt ok). (water intake: > 50 oz. each lap i drank the 10oz handheld, and i started taking cups at the aid station and stopping at each of the two water fountains along the loop....)

mile 14: 8:59
mile 15: 9:03
mile 16: 9:14

the 6th loop went better mentally than the previous, but physically i was breaking down. my stomach hurt bad. ty had given me a few pretzels at the last transition and as i tried to chew them they turned to paste in my mouth and i spit them out. i decided to at least chew them all up and keep spitting them out, swallowing them was out of the question. i opened my 3rd gu, tried to eat some of it and immediately spit it out, thinking i was going to throw up. i knew this wasnt good, having all this water and now not being able to eat anything but i didnt know what to do. id heard terrible stories about the "heed" product they had at the aid stations so i definitely wasnt going to try that for electrolyte replacement. i significantly slowed down over this loop min/mile wise, but i knew i was still on pace to go sub 4 (i had built a solid base through the first 14 miles). i think i did some vague math at this point (while i was still thinking clearly) and knew if i did 10 min miles i was still ok. (i dont know know if thats true or not and im not going to try to figure it out now, but it kept me feeling happy about what i was doing out there at the time.) another transition and water bottle hand off. (water intake: > 60oz, more or less closer to 70oz at this point im sure).

mile 17: 9:53
mile 18: 10:07
mile 19: 9:38

shortly after going through the transition we hit mile 20. i knew this was the point where i should step it up. a 10k was all that was left. but i had nothing to give, and my body showed it. instead of switching off for another handheld at the previous transition, i had ty give me a 20oz poland spring water bottle. somewhere along the way a woman was throwing up next to a telephone pole and i asked her if she needed any water which she declined. a little ways further a woman was on the ground with two people, waiting for the ambulance to come. people were having a tough time, and little did i know i was not far behind myself. i drank the entire water bottle. (water intake: > 90oz)

mile 20: 9:50
mile 21: 11:08
mile 22: 11:09

when i came in for the final lap, things felt really bad. i handed off my water bottle and didnt take anything with me. i just wanted to finish. i walked for a bit, talked to ty (still encouraging me that i could make it sub 4... the clock read 3:30 something as i ran through...) but i knew i wasnt going to be able to do 10 min miles for the last loop. i was ok with that, but i really thought a PR was still in the cards (4:15). i kept thinking "PR or ER" thanks to eric and andys little mantra. little did i know that if i tried to PR i would have ended up in the ER for real....

i walked through the transition and headed out for the last 3 miles. i felt like i needed to use the bathroom but figured that i would be ok. whoa was i wrong. once it was too late to turn around, i really felt sick. i knew there wasnt a port a potty until after the aid station at mile 2. trouble. about mile 24, i threw up. what was happening? i felt a little better so i tried to run/shuffle. i felt light headed and walked along the path holding onto the railing. i couldnt stand upright. i walked a little ways with two guys (one doing the 12 hour ultra, one was his friend there for support) and we talked a little in between me thinking i was going to be sick or crap myself (running a marathon sounds so fun, doesnt it?!)

i finally made it to the port a potty at mile 25.6. i wont describe any more, but i felt better. i came out determined to just get this damn race over with but within not even 100 yards from the port a potty i knew i was going to throw up. i took a little detour off the path and stood there puking for like 10 minutes. it was awesome.
mile 23: 12:45
mile 24: 12:50
mile 25: 16:54
mile 26: 22:28

have i ever had a 22 minute mile? cool.

i actually felt really good after i was all finished getting violently ill. everyone that went by was really nice asking if i was ok... yes im ok, just embarassed. carry on. i was able to run to the finish, but it wasnt record time (approx 12 min mile). when i came around the corner and saw ty i had a huge smile on my face cuz i was freaking done. he and the crew had been pretty worried, especially when they could see the ambulances heading out onto the course so they were happy to see me. ty ran me in to the finish and as i came through there was no fan fare, i didnt really know what to do. i walked up to a lady holding the medals and was like hey im fucking done, medal now please k thanks. dutch and julia were there and i chatted with them for a second, but i needed dry clothes and a blanket, i was freeeeezing.


we headed back to the car and SB was all bundled up eating goldfish. i told her congrats on her BQ before wrapping myself in a blanket and curling up in a ball on the pavement feeling like i was going to die. SB ran away to throw up in the bushes and eric took her to the med tent, and we all decided it was best if we took off for home. i had seen maddy throughout the race who was not feeling well either. at least i wasnt the only one.

on the drive home i went from feeling alright, to bad, to omg pull over im going to be sick right this very moment. we visited rest areas throughout I-95 north and i couldnt hold anything down. at one point the emergency room discussion came up, and i declined. (i think this would have probably been the best idea, but alas im still alive...)

we got home around 2am and i went straight to the scale. the number i saw was not what i was expecting after weighing myself earlier that day:

i weighed 126.4 on friday afternoon
then refueled the best way i know possible on saturday, thanks to an awesome friend

it took me two days to get back to my original weight (and mental status). what a mess. according to the results, 14 people didnt finish. it was definitely a tough night out there, i cant imagine how people ran 12/24 hours. i learned a lot from this race that i can take with me, and despite being all grumpy pants the last few days, i know i did the best i could and this is more than some people can do. so im not really retiring (obviously) and i want to run mount desert island in october & enjoy running it.

i still dont know what happened out there, but i know the humidity had a lot to do with it. i usually drink about 20oz for a half marathon (if that) and i take in 5 gu's during the marathon.... so the 100oz of water and only 2 gu was not what i was used to. hyponatremia at its finest. but i know theres nothing i could have done about it, and i think thats what was most taxing on my whole mental breakdown about it all. 18 weeks of hard training is tough to stomach when the one night doesnt go well. but ill carry on....

the number of texts, tweets, messages on fb, etc that i have gotten is overwhelming, and i sincerely thank each and every one of you for your kind words. its funny that i should hang my head and be all upset over an arbitrary number/goal time. i finished the marathon. i didnt give up. and for that i have succeeded.

"fall down nine times, get up ten" - japanese proverb

Friday, July 27, 2012

its here...

im not sure if you know... (cuz i havent really talked about it that much....ha) at 7pm tonight i will be running 8 loops around a lake equaling 26.2 miles. its currently raining. the humidity is high. a chance of thunder & lightning is looming... but i cant do anything to change that. all i can do is trust my training and RUN. and hopefully run fast. (i do have a few plans...)

unlike my other 5 marathons, i actually really followed a solid training program this time (and i was pretty close to what i was actually supposed to). my lowest week (other than this taper week) was 24. thats 24 miles more than one of the training weeks i had last year. my legs feel strong and my mind is focused. i know that anything can happen when i step up to the starting line tonight, but i am better prepared than i have ever been, and perhaps thats why the butterflies are still here this morning. (and ive cried twice this morning already... oh boy, were in for a long day)

i know this distance. i know it very well. i even went out and did 26.2 during this training cycle "just because". but theres something about racing this distance that im just not sure about. yes, i've done 5 marathons. i cant say that ive actually raced a marathon. tonight i will not have my phone on me to text, call, take pics, check out whats going on in the world. i wont have to carry any gu or snacks or water with me. all i have to do is focus on the road beneath my feet and run run run.

its funny that the one thing ive really been focusing on doing is whats actually scaring me: running a marathon.

the last 18 weeks havent been for nothing. ive taken my body, my mind, and my soul to places they have never been before. my friends and family have stood beside me through it all (despite thinking im crazy, which is fairly accurate) and i couldnt ask for anything more. i know the marathon is a personal journey with a fairly selfish outcome... tonights race isnt going to benefit anyone other than myself but i couldnt do it without everyone supporting me.

so despite "knowing this distance", tonight is going to be a very different experience for me. ive never run a night race. ill be in a different state. and im gonna run this marathon in a way ive never done before.

but i know im ready. "it will be hard, but it will be worth it".


1. maine marathon 2009
3. maine marathon 2010
4. maine marathon 2011

...im also kinda sick of seeing the number 4...

sorry maine, i think its time to give another state a chance.
hey massachusetts, lets do this!

i gotta feelin...


Monday, July 23, 2012

oh how i have come to despise the word "plan"

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
-Patti Sue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

a few days ago i had this conversation with a soon to be ironman (always good to have friends who are just a bit more stupid hardcore than you are, helps keeps things interesting):

me: just picked up my race day fuel #omgfreakingout
a: what are you worried about? this is like your 5th marathon
me: 6th
a: see... youve done all this before
me: but this time im really running a marathon. this is the first one that im not going to just be dicking around and taking pictures and texting and making silly phone calls and bringing along snacks and taking walking breaks and stopping for jello shots...
a: just relax and kick ass.
me: sure.
a: what did you get for fuel?
me: doritos and bud light? ...ugh. gu and chomps.
a: alright... do you have a race day strategy yet?
me: strategy? of course i have a strategy: just run.
a: just run? there is no way i could do that...
me: whats wrong with that strategy?
a: i need to have a plan... and sub plans... and backup plans... and backup backup plans... and super awesome plans if things are super great and super bad plans if things go to shit. and a plan of when to initiate each plan. i think a lot... potentially too much...
me: whoa. my plan: just run. if that doesnt work for me, im kinda screwed
a: im just going to pretend you have plans, youre making me nervous
me: what makes you nervous?
a: you not having a plan...

alright. so i guess i need "a plan" (or apparently six hundred plans). ive been in denial of wanting ONE plan (let alone eight trillion...), despite knowing a specific region of time that i would like to finish around (ya know, within 25 minutes of a specific time, plus or minus. its still a plan, right?). of course i still think my "just run" plan is pretty stellar. i mean, hi, have we met? do you think i ever have a PLAN for anything!?

plan: run a marathon/finish the marathon
    when to initiate plan: 7pm, friday july 27th, til hopefully sometime before sunday?

sub plan: run/walk the marathon
    when to initiate sub plan: when i get sick of running (who runs marathons, seriously?!)

backup plan: dance, sing songs, get my phone from ty and take pics, call friends, text, order a pizza (delivery of course "address to where we deliver?" "uhhh the lake?")....
    when to initiate backup plan: mile 6? (its a friday night, who runs a marathon on a friday night?!)

backup backup plan: (seriously ?) stay home?
    when to initiate backup backup plan: friday about 2pm before leaving would most likely be a good time to initiate this backup backup plan, would definitely save some gas (although clearly chips probably has a huge party planned with the neighborhood strays so i dont want to spoil her fun.... thanks for the reminder, meg!)

super awesome plan if things are super great: run the marathon real stupid fast!!
    when to initiate super awesome plan: when things are feeling super great, duh (hopefully 7pm, friday night)

super bad plan if things go to shit: cry. i do that pretty well.
    when to initiate bad plan: when things go to shit (ie- probably when im stuck in the port-a-potty)

alright, there. so now that ive pleased a certain someone with my "planssssss", lets get real.

coming upon the final days leading up to fridays race, a lot of things are going through my head. one minute im all "i cant wait for friday, friday cant come fast enough, omg im so excited for this race, is it friday yet?!" and the next minute its "i dont want to run. today, tomorrow, friday, EVER." excitement and anxiety mixed with denial. i think the only thing that is certain right now are the sneakers im going to wear (note to self, do NOT forget those!)... i have yet to finalize my top, shorts, socks, sports bra, hairstyle (yes this is important...), should i carry water or not, etc. im kinda a mess right now, which shouldnt surprise anyone.

butall in all, i know ill be alright come friday night.

things i need to remind myself:
1. breathe
2. clear my mind
3. do not fear the unknown
4. be confident
5. you cant change the weather
6. shit happens
7. expect the unexpected
8. just breathe (this whole thing aint happening if that doesnt....)

goal #1: "Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes his mind to do. We are capable of greater than we realize."


goal #2: "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"

-sub 4

goal #3: "Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."

-PR (4:15:24)

as you can see there is no 3:34:59 on this page (well, except for right there when i just wrote that). i never had that as my goal for this marathon. maybe one day in the future it will be, but right now is not the time. do i get jealous each year in april of everyone running? of course. i really dont think thats an odd feeling to have. but i will get there in my own time. or maybe i wont. and im ok with that.

later this week ill post my training log and compare with my other marathons. not one of the 6 marathons have had the same training, thats for sure. training for this marathon has been a challenge in many ways. ive come a long way from thinking i wouldnt even run a marathon this year (who really thought i would be able to do that... show of hands now... come on, dont be shy...) to pretty much kicking this training programs ass (well it kinda kicked MY ass, but...). 18 weeks of laughter, countless tears, 4am wake up calls, laps around the track "for fun", sleeping in due to rain, complaining, getting lost, ice baths, a LOT of beer, lost toenails, ice cream for dinner, uphill climbs, sleepless nights.... (dont you all just want to get out there and train for a marathon? i paint such a lovely fluffy rainbows and butterflies picture, dont ya think??!!)

but in all seriousness, i set out in march to challenge myself. and i have done just that. whatever happens on friday is what was meant to be. 

“Running isn't a sport for pretty boys...It's about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet. Its the frozen spit on your chin and the nausea in your gut. It's about throbbing calves and cramps at midnight that are strong enough to wake the dead. It's about getting out the door and running when the rest of the world is only dreaming about having the passion that you need to live each and every day with. It's about being on a lonely road and running like a champion even when there's not a single soul in sight to cheer you on. Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fiber in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you've finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that's all that you can ask for.” 
-Paul Maurer, The Gift- A Runner's Story

Monday, July 16, 2012

color me rad 5k

a quick but HUGE thank you to everyone who voted/shared/retweeted/etc. about this weekends contest to win a $250 grant from Operation Jack. to quote sam from his website:

Operation Jack is my never-ending quest to help causes in need, one charitable act at a time. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know how I’m going to do it. But I have faith I’ll get it done. That’s what Operation Jack is.

OJ was willing to give back and support a great charitable cause, and our 5k in September- 65 Roses 5k - to benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is very thankful.


back in june when i won the COLOR *  ME *  RAD  * 5k giveaway from janine i was very excited! i had seen a few people on twitter/bloggy world that had done this race in various cities across the US and it looked like a ton of fun! after a few texts back and forth, a few friends decided to do the race with me and we became team "color us maybe".

as race day approached, we started trying to figure out the logistics. since there was apparently no race day packet pick up (which there really was), we needed to figure out how to get everyones bibs and shirts prior to race morning. no one actually lived close to where the race was going to be held, but luckily SB was heading down there for a family get together so she was able to get everything for us!

pre race texts (i really wish android had screen shots...)

me: i feel like crap-o-la. exhausted. so sick of running.
SB: taperitis... so gross. running makes me want to kick people in the face right now. namely myself.
me: the world is so happy to have us right now. at least were headed to the happiest 5k on the planet or some dumb shit like that.
SB: yes. fact. we are awesome. this 5k is going to be like disney...but in braintree. in a parking lot.
me: OMG WERE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!! and fun fact, my dumb phone just tried to auto correct disney to diabetes haha
me: diabetes is a likely outcome from all this GU. yay running.

the pre race instructions warned us all about morning traffic chaos and insisted people arrive at 7am regardless of when your race wave was supposed to start (we were in the 8:45am wave). i left my house at 5am in order to make it down by 7ish and i was still stuck in traffic on the highway about a mile from the exit. they werent kidding when they said "traffic chaos". people were getting out of their cars and walking to the race, abandoning their driver on the highway. in true bigpimpin style, i saw a prime opportunity to be a huge jerk and cut off about 3000 people lined up on the highway and edged my way into the front of the line right before the exit. win!

just off the exit was the mall where the race was being held, and everyone was trying to get into the parking lot (read: HUGE mess). so i kept driving about a quarter mile down the road, found a small side street with this cute old man outside in his lawn and asked him if i could park in front of his house. he said that was fine and we talked for a few minutes about what was going on for the race. seemed like a nice guy but i still wasnt sure if my car was going to be there when i got back (dont worry, it was).

SB had been there for a few minutes and texted me to tell me where she was. i told her i was wearing all white, i should be easy to spot (hehe, i crack myself up). we sat around and complained a lot (were so good at that) and waited for jessie and danielle m. to show up. everything seemed pretty poorly organized and people were just walking around looking like confused (us included)... and after taking a few "before" pics, we decided we should just go to the start and get this show on the road. it didnt appear they were checking to see who was in what "wave", so off we went!

from the start line, we weaved back and forth through the mall parking lot. so scenic (really did remind me of disney actually, with all the highway running, HA!). i think we might have run a mile before ever reaching a color stop. we had caught a few color bags before the start and colored us up a bit, and took this pic after the first color stop.

then on to more parking lot weaving/running. actually, we werent really running. well, danielle was apparently trying to win the race so she kept taking off, would accidentally run into someone/try run them over, and then trot back to us. there was no shade and we were sweating like pigs in the 90 degree sun, covered in neon corn starch. i mean really, wouldnt this be your ideal sunday morning too?

i think there were 4 color stations along the way, one of which had run out of color by the time we got there and they were just dumping green water on people. there were at least 4 more waves that were sent off after us, so we were glad we snuck in when we did. at the last color stop the volunteers were pretty much handing the boxes of color to people and having the runners do it themselves, while instructing us to "roll around on the ground". which we did, duh.
purple color stop where we rolled on the ground

and then we saw the finish up ahead. huh?! danielle's garmin read 2.5 miles, which is not a 5k. sorry folks. the ending was very lame, just running under the finish line blow up arch. a few people had color bags that were thrown in the air, but i think our expectations were a bit different than what actually happened.

after going through the finish line, there was a crowd of thousands of people just standing there not moving. we figured out that there were 3 tents that people were "in line" for to get their professional pics taken. we decided to wait, but it took at least 45 minutes. and it was hot. and we continued to complain a lot. haha, even at the "happiest 5k on the planet" we can complain. who would have thought!?

so we just took a lot of pics while we waited.

i snapped this cool pic at the final color throw... i think this was kinda what we were expecting for the finish line, but it was something completely separate. there was a guy up on the platform in the upper right of the pic with a bullhorn yelling down what to do, throwing out prizes and color bags.
the final color throw

i know i said we complained a lot, but it was a fun/unique "race". for the first time having it in boston, id say they have some work to do but it could have been a lot worse. there was far too much "running" and not enough "color" along the way. it was a family friendly activity which was cool. and i wouldnt classify it as a 5k... and i know a lot of people had mishaps with the packet pick up/tshirts... but on the upside, the tshirts are AWESOME (sooooooooo soft and comfy), and there were NO lines for the port-a-pottys. FTW.

right before heading home, i texted crystal to try and find her in the color mess. it wasnt hard to find her prancing around in her tu-tu :) so happy to finally meet up with her, she rocks!! hoping to run more races with this chica in the future!

on the way home i stopped by the site of next weekends marathon to check out the course and run a few more miles. after getting lost (twice) on the run (going down two dead end streets) and getting many weird looks (yes i color myself in neon for fun, what about it....) i feel much more comfortable knowing what the course is like. also helps seeing this for the elevation (knowing ill be running it 8 times around and around and around....)

46 feet elevation gain
41 feet elevation loss (and i think that was from one of the side streets i went down on accident)

also thought this sign was pretty funny where i parked at the lake... that helps with my whole sub 4 goal i guess.

11 days!

Friday, July 13, 2012

fun fact friday

just a quick/semi selfish shout out: Sam, from Operation Jack, is giving away a $250 grant to a worthy charity and im kinda in 2nd place.... which means i need more people to vote for me! i am trying to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation via the 3rd annual 65 Roses 5k race on September 23rd (oh and you should also come run!!!)

here is what i wrote up for this grant:
My brother in law, Aaron T. Sterling, was born in 1981 with Cystic Fibrosis. From the day he was born Aaron was unable to do something that the majority of people on this earth take for granted: breathe. Doctors told his parents he wouldnt live to the age of 6. With the evolving miracle of technology and medicine, Aaron was able to greatly surpass the age of 6. He graduated from high school, and went on to attend the University of Maine. In 2003, Aaron underwent a double lung transplant, receiving a lung lobe from his brother and another from a family friend. After having a second single lung transplant in 2007, Aaron ultimately lost his battle with CF in 2011- but not without fighting. He left behind a fiance, a loving brother, mother and father, and countless friends who fought right along with him.
Approx. 70,000 adults/children in the world are currently living with this devistating disease, but with the help of donations and medical research they are coming close to finding a cure so that no one has to know what it feels like to be born unable to simply take a breath.

if you could take a second and please head to the Operation Jack page on facebook (and "like" his page, OJ is an excellent foundation raising money peration Jack page on facebookfor autism!) and vote for me/CFF (click "4 more" to pull down the remainder of the names, and im 2nd to the bottom). and then try to share this with your friends. i know its a lot to ask, but i have faith in my 8 readers ;) (and since im not on twitter anymore, you could also share it there ya know if you feel so inclined...) thank you!!

so now onto the "fun facts" (or more like random crap that ive decided to share today)... 13 for friday the 13th! and happy bday to my uncle jerry!!

1. i hate it when escalators are broken but thats the only way up or down (no stairs nearby). i know they pretty much act as the stairs, but its still feels weird and i get worried that they will suddenly start up again while im on them.

2. i have pretty much have better than perfect vision but sometimes wish i needed glasses

3. sometimes i have a really tough time letting things go

4. when i was 5 i got the chicken pox and then passed it on to my twin brothers. that must have been really fun for my parents. and for some reason we all walked around the house practically naked, covered in calamine lotion, wearing tupperware bowls on our heads.

5. ill never try the bud light lime. i just cant.

6. taper really really sucks. my entire run yesterday was only because i had to. i want runs back where i want to go.

7. i almost pressed submit this week on an olympic triathlon thats in 6 weeks. due to my own stupidity and lacking ability to read correctly, i thought 0.9 read 0.6. so that didnt happen.

8. a few weeks ago i got my best friends birthday present out in the mail to her only a month late. this is by far a huge success (her bday is in may, my gifts usually get there by about christmas). after coming back from the post office i realized half of her gift was still in my purse and didnt get included. its still sitting on the dining room table today.

9. i cant stand air conditioning.

10. i still balance my checkbook with a real paper check book register thingy. its a pain in the ass having two debit cards to account for, but its saved us on 4 occasions where our debit card got hacked and we got charged twice (and once three times) for something we bought.

11. im currently reading 5 books, none of which i have really any desire to finish. now taking recommendations for something i can get lost in.

12. i went through a phase when i was in middle school where i dyed my hair orange, and then i dyed my bangs blue. yes, i had bangs. and braces. hawt.

13. i really want a pair of sperry shoes... my bank account doesnt feel the same way (still refuse to buy toms, sorry meg!)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

last LR... HIMYM style

"kids, im going to tell you an incredible story...." in the years leading up to your (later on down the road future) existance (dont ya'll go getting all excited now), i did a lot of stupid things. your father can likely vouch for that (and he will be sure to point out how many times he tried to pursuede me not to do said stupid things). sure these things didnt feel stupid to begin with:


(everyone goes running.... crickets.....)

but as time went along, it became clearer and clearer that the idea wasnt so omgincredible after all...

like, for instance, in the spring/summer of 2012 when i decided to run a marathon. well i had originally decided to run zero marathons that year (that would have been a smart decision... but since were talking stupid decisions....), then i went back on that idea thinking "OMGILOVERUNNINGSOOOOOMUCH" and instead decided to run 2 marathons, not zero. training for my first five marathons hadnt gone all too well, so i decided i was now way more hardcore all of a sudden, kicked it up a notch, found one of the most ridiculous (yet still semi-manageable) training programs, and crossed my fingers. (yes, this is clearly how awesome people train for marathons).

so i ran, and i ran, and i ran some more. and i complained a lot about running. i bought ridiculous outfits and neon colored compression everything, and then i ran more. i think you get the idea.... (i also drank a lot of beer... but thats another story for many other days).

but heres the funny thing, kids- i really do love running. but i have found out the hard way, and maybe one day you'll find out for yourself, running sure can royally f**k with your mind.

"heres how you run a marathon. step 1: start running. step 2: there is no step 2."

kids, when you run marathons you figure out that you are truly a part of the x % of the worlds population that might actually be certifiably crazy (i even have a certificate for this craziness... from the InSane AsyLum). but the best part? youre totally not alone! you meet all sorts of other crazies just like yourself! and you hang out with them to make yourself look less crazy. logical thinking right there. so crazy SB and myself decided it was a great idea to do our very last long run before our race on one of the hottest days of the summer at peak temps (we at least waited til it cooled down to 89). running hasnt killed off all of our common sense just yet....

after sending multiple texts back and forth during the day...

 "im pretty excited to run 2,398 miles later... ugh"
 "i would prefer to sit and drink beer"
 "we'll be alright... when its over"
 "pancakes, coffee, and potato chips are good pre run fuel, right?"
 "whose idea was this anyway?"

...we finally took off. 22 miles, here we come...

"its gonna be legend-... wait for it... and i hope you're not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY!"

465 feet into the run, we stumbled across this:

we made the executive decision NOT to try whatever white liquidy dairy
sort of product this was that someone clearly left for SB
(funny, we both are lactose intolerant....)

as much as we (ok, just me....) wanted to turn around after those 465 feet, we continued on. and when we got into portland we found a better way to refuel in the form of water (a novel idea vs sketchy milk bucket on the side of the road):

drink this, not that. hi dad!

"kids i cannot stress this enough. 'SB' and i were going through a tough time."

as much as i wanted to believe it was getting cooler, i dont think the temperature was dropping. if anything im pretty sure it was getting hotter. by mile 11 my legs were hurting. were talking sheer pain. im pretty sure i had already drank enough water to fill a small pond. instead of feeling the "water bloat", i think all the water had settled into my thighs. (this is also super attractive incase you werent aware). ive felt like this before on training runs and i knew i could still finish (maybe). i also knew that if i didnt have SB running next to me, and knowing i would fully sabotage her kick ass training run, i would have called ty and had him pick me up. yes, i was ready to bail at mile 11.

at mile 12.6 "home" by dierks bentley came on my playlist as we were running over the casco bay bridge. bridges are tough to begin with and i was seriously dragging. i felt as if i couldnt lift my legs (im fairly convinced they each weighed 110lbs... full of all that water). i had to sprint ahead since SB was flying along like a little firefly, loving the sunshine and enjoying the view, to tell her i needed to stop for a sec. i took the pic below and saw i had a text from my lovely texan lady- "chandler watches shark porn!" as i was this close to tears, i just had to laugh seeing that. who wouldnt? you have to love a friend that sends daily "friends" quotes. x1000.

yes, this is my home.

"when it's just not there, you cant force it"

i tried to keep pushing it but i didnt have it in me. 8:40s turned into 9:20s. i needed to stretch at every mile. i kept thinking back on my other marathons when my time didnt really matter. i brought snacks and my cell phone with me and enjoyed the miles, whether they were 9 minutes or 17. it was all still the same distance. do i even care about going fast anymore? why am i doing this? i can just run the marathon on july 27th like all my other ones. thats my comfort zone, not this....

"the future is scary. but you can't just run back to the past because it's familiar. yes, it's tempting... but it's a mistake."

after dodging traffic (where i was secretly hoping to get hit by a car) we stopped at dunkin donuts and for 25 cents we each got a large cup of ice water, which we practically drowned ourselves in, sweating all over the store (youre welcome, DD), shoving ice cubes down our sports bras, and somehow regaining our love for life.

as we headed out for the last 5 miles, i swear i heard SB yell "SUIT UP!"

we kept counting down the miles but they seemed to be taking forever. i kept repeating to myself just one foot in front of the other... all this training for the past 15 weeks hasnt been for nothing...

"all that work i put in training for the marathon was a total waste!"
"training for a marathon? you dont train for a marathon. you just run."

just. run.

finally we were on the home stretch. 3 miles, turned into 2... turned into 1... i made SB run laps around the end of my street to make sure she really understood the true meaning of hating running...

and then we got to my house. 22 miles, albeit not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, complete. final long run DONE. time.for.TAPERMADNESS! (see kids, even when us crazy stupid runners complain about the 55 mile weeks, the 200 mile months, the 3:45am wake up calls all to get us to taper before the big race, we still add "madness" to what we've waited 15 weeks for! special. kind. of. stupid).

and officially passing out (part 1)

"sorry dude, we gotta wait for the real thing, no matter how tough it gets."
"it gets pretty tough."
"i know it does buddy."
but we obviously make running look good. and neon. and badass.

"hey, how was your day?"
"today i yelled at a little girl for drawing a rainbow."
"a rainbow? sounds like that bitch had it coming."
(pretty much how i felt about running yesterday. and i love that quote, so i had to fit in here somewhere)

passing out part 2: my view

passing out part 2: SBs view

11 miles sub 9, 11 miles not sub 9
average mile 9:02... ill take it

(read much better recap from the how other half lives HERE. and as if she ran again today. overachiever.)

but you see kids, in the end... "sometimes things have to fall apart to make way for better things..."

19 days...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

finish on the 50- 10k

back in march i made a decision that is not normal to me: i didnt sign tyler and i up for the beach 2 beacon 10k. ive run that race 9 times and it is by far a "must do" race. seriously, travel up here to the great state of maine for this 10k. you will absolutely not regret it. however, it would cost almost $100 for us to run it, and i just figured we would take a year off & let our spots be taken by hopefully two people who have never run it before (this race sells out in about 8 minutes, no joke).
   **of course all my friends got into the race this year... yes i have like 10 friends, whatever... and so now im a little jealous... but hopefully i can go cheer them all on!!

shortly after not signing us up for b2b, an active schwaggle deal came to my inbox about a 10k that finishes on the 50 yard line of gillette stadium where the new england patriots play. for $17. um YES. so i bought two, and told ty he was running too :) he loves it when i force him to run (sense the sarcasm).

i made him a nice 3 month training program which he followed perfectly (.....nope). but to his credit he is very busy with work and needs his beauty sleep ;) needless to say he wasnt extremely excited when the day actually arrived, it was 90 degrees at 5pm, and we were headed towards the start line.

the pre race beers helped a bit i think...

clearly this is perfect pre race carb loading

in hindsight, it would have been awesome to head down to the stadium and hang out there for the day but we showed up around 4:30 and walked around patriot place for a bit, picked up our bibs, sat in the car (air conditioning is lovely) and then changed and walked out to the start (race started at 6pm). there were a lot of people and a small road to start out on, but it quickly spread out. as we ran through the start line we saw the patriots mascot and patriots player Jerod Mayo with his wife. hes no gronk or brady, but its was pretty cool for him to be there.

watching the kids run
note: our race finishes running out the helmet... SO COOL!
it was so hot the camera lens fogged up on my phone

someone was clearly excited to run
someone is OMGalwaysexcitedtorun!!!

we had just been talking about this episode and then we saw this shirt at the start!

it was pretty hot when we started but the roads outside the stadium were faily shaded and there was a cool breeze. i wont go as far as saying it was "cool", but it wasnt as hot as i had expected it to be (minus the stretch in the parking lot that has just recently been repaved. thanks for that, gillette). we ran thru the parking lot and out of the park on the back entrance that im assuming the players drive in on. then the course weaved through neighborhoods in foxborough.

the only downside i found to this race was discovered at the first water stop.... the water was WARM! ugh. either they did a poor job of cooling the water before the race, or it was just really that hot and we ran too slow to get warm water. this will not deter me from doing this race again, but cold water would have been nice. the volunteers were excellent though, some of them juggling 4 cups of water at a time!

we ran the first mile in 9:15 and then started slowing down after that, which i was perfectly fine with. the back of my leg had been giving me a little trouble and i didnt want to hurt it more, and i loved running with ty. HE did not love running with me though... i kept bugging him to make sure he was ok, and he wouldnt talk to me so i thought he was mad, and i wanted to sing and dance and that was just totally not entertaining to him (im always entertaining to myself, and thats probably it haha). but alas, our marriage didnt end at the finish line and for that i am thankful ;)
coming back into the stadium

just before mile 6 we turned back onto that back entrance road again and i was so excited for the upcoming/ much anticipated finish. we turned a corner and headed into the tunnel....

this pic sucks cuz i didnt want to stop to take it but it was such an awesome feeling!

and as we came out of the tunnel i just took it all in (i had never been to a game before at this stadium)... i can only imagine what its like running out of there with thousands of screaming fans! what a rush! i saw the finish line ahead and i heard the announcers butcher say our names, and we sprinted in for a strong finish! ty looked up and saw us cross on the jumbotron (that i missed, booooo) and he had a huge smile on his face! we didnt make his time goal but after we crossed the finish line he said "this is so cool! i will definitely do this race again!" yes! (and looking at the results he finished one second before me haha. youre welcome for that, ty)

after running through the finish line

then we heard the announcers say that team hoyt was coming across the finish line and i was able to snap this photo. they are simply amazing. (we had passed them shortly before coming into the tunnel)

team hoyt finishing

dont let his silly face fool you, he had a great time!

the jumbo tron showing the finish line

this was by far the best finish line of any race i have ever done, and i was so happy that ty came and was able to experience it with me. we are both huge pats fans and to be able to be inside the stadium and right down on the field was incredible (despite that it really didnt actually "finish on the 50" yard line since the revolution soccer field was out, not the football field markings). i cant wait to do this race again, hopefully next year!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

june recap

direct quote from last months may recap: "if i wasnt attacking my fridge or sleeping, i was running." and its true, that month i really did feel like i was running all.the.time.at that time, may had my highest monthly miles EVER at 166.6 (i dont know how i could have allowed myself to finish a month on that number. who does that?!)

so if i felt like i was OMGRUNNINGALLLLLLLTHETIME in may, you dont even want to know how i felt in june....


run: 200.13 miles
bike: 21.5 miles (this was one ride)
swim: 1050 yards (also one time in the pool... you saw the running mileage above, yes?)
sitting on benches whining about how i dont want to run anymore: 10 minutes
other stuff: not a lot
(disregard the suck fest that was the month of january)

bands on the run half marathon

   it was hot. it was kinda hilly with some "technical" trail running. very little shade. BRIDGES. ugh. just wasnt our day, but the three of us had a really great time, cant you tell? (sarah, you ARE smiling!) poor andy, im not sure how he put up with the two of us.

andy took every opportunity to photo bomb us
(dont worry photo company, we're buying the pics so no need to send us to jail)
also, add this to the "im flyyyyyyying" pics! none of us are touching the ground!

ew, holy calf explosion

current song obsession: "some nights" by fun and "wide awake" by katy perry

currently reading: "fifty shades darker", "wicked", "a stolen life", "in the water they cant see you cry", and still making my way through "harry potter and the order of the phoenix". i should probably stick with one book before i start another one.

favorite nephew born this month: ronan joseph nappi!

favorite run: 19.1 miler....from my dailymile entry: "i took yesterday off cuz, well to be honest, im so sick of running. i feel like i run ALL THE FREAKING TIME. and when im not running im thinking about running. and when i try not to think about running, i think about running. or someone texts me about running. it is my life right now. and i get it, im 5 weeks away from a marathon. im supposed to be all running. but really, i just want to take days (weeks) off and be ok with it. and i was. will there be more days like yesterday? sure. whatever. so anyway... i was supposed to run 17 today. and an hour before leaving my house i had 2 chocolate chip cookies for dinner. then i went out and crushed 6 miles before meeting sarah to do 13 with her. for some dumb reason she decided tonight was the night she wanted to do speed work (mind you she has not wanted to do speed work EVER, grumble grumble...) so i sucked it up for her benefit, obvs, and went fast so she didnt think i sucked at life. if i had known i would be running an 8:17 mile for my 19th mile, i might have thrown her into oncoming traffic at some point... but she got a nice 1:55 half marathon in tonight and im pretty happy with my 19 mile time. so ill keep her around for a few more weeks i guess. so i may be sick of all things running, but its good to have good friends to push you when you least expect it ."

times i thought about doing one of these: 4

times i further contemplated doing this (in a really long time, not this year): 6

# of puppies i prayed for and cried for and continue to think about (and his family too): 1

favorite pin of the month:

june goals
-smart training, rest, stretching, ice, compression. i cant afford to get hurt.... id say i really did focus on this goal this month other than anything else, especially since i was really upping my mileage. i actually stretched before and after i ran (whoa...totally new concept), i foam rolled like there was no tomorrow, took a few ice baths, and pretty much wore my compression socks whenever it was socially acceptable (which lets be honest, is pretty much everywhere. obvs). only one day did i wake up to run and really feel like i wanted to cut my legs of, so i think that counts as improvement in and of itself.

-another long bike ride... um..... not a lot of time to do that when youre running all the time. i guess the 21 mile bike can be considered long (already have a 40 ish mile bike ride planned for july at some point, so we'll take a rain check on this goal)

-figure out a freaking time goal for around the lake marathon since my original goal might not be enough any more (56 dayyyyys!!) (yes i have a goal to make a goal)- ok, its official. i made "the official around the lake marathon #6 time goal". and i printed off the pace band. is it a "way out of my element omgonly26daysleft" unattainable goal? no. did i print out 3:59:59? no. i made a reasonable choice for where i think i am right now. im still stuck in my own head and need to just let shit go and focus. i have 26 mile splits that i can look at along the way and know that if i want to/can go faster, i will. when i step up to the starting line at 7pm on july 27th, its just gonna be me and the road/path, one foot in front of the other, trusting the difficult training that i have powered through and will push myself til ive run 26.2 freaking miles, leaving everything out there. i want to be sore on july 28th. i want to not be able to walk down stairs. i want to need 3 ice baths and 7(teen) beers. i want to cry crossing the finish line and give my husband a huge hug. i want to leave wakefield, mass, knowing that i truly gave it my all. and whatever time comes with that, ill take it. (buuuut, see july goal below....)

-attempt p90x yoga atleast once- oops. would you believe it if i told you i dont know where the dvds are? or that chips ate them? yeah, i wouldnt believe me either. fail.

-200 running miles for the month. yikes.- like. a. boss. dont get me wrong, this was not easy for me. twice i had given up thinking it wasnt attainable. but i did it, and despite it just being a number, i am happy that i accomplished it. now ill probably never do it again, and thats just fine with me. (maybe ill go for biking 200 miles instead....)

-go back to the chiropractor- i did! actually, i went twice! and oh man did he crack the ever loving shit out of my back. and oddly it worked numbers on my knee. love it. another appointment in two weeks.

-sit ups/push ups. every. damn. day. so help me God.... didnt this goal say "sit ups/push ups at least twice during the month of june?" i swear thats what i originally wrote... who hijacked my blog....

-lets revisit that track 800's goal, shall we? -  i seriously give up on this goal. ill probably never do 800s again.

-regain the attitude: suck it up and just fuckin do it. #bigpimpin- oh did i ever dominate this goal this month. seriously... june was... a really good month. really. good.

-just breathe- everyday. thats probably a good thing. ill take this goal every month.

july goals

-cross the finish line of marathon #6 with a smile on my face.