Tuesday, March 29, 2016

boston training: week 12

in a shocking turn of events, I SURVIVED PEAK WEEK! and quite actually kicked the shit out of it. thank you, thank you. i have some pictures to prove that i ran but i dont really remember much about the runs...

ive got a blank space baby...

i think i actually focused on all the business of running and not the selfies and filters and all the instagrams (by the way, follow my posts! or something. kidding. wtf is this world coming to?!)

tuesdays 7.2 (supposed to have been 8, screw those long recovery runs!) was outside but hell if i remember where i went or what i did. seriously, when did this run occur? i think i worked that day? hen would have been at day care but i think i went into work at 1pm and got it done before leaving? sing with me... its allll coming back to me nowwwww. anyway, boring recovery run.

i worked normal hospital hours on thursday, so #alarmsthatstartwith3 was the only option. i hit snooze for the first time this entire training cycle (yes, im serious) and battled with myself on how i could change this run to another day so i didnt have to get up. i couldnt justify moving it, i definitely couldnt justify skipping it. so 10 miles with 3x2mile strength workout it was. i wore my "heartbreak" bra. got shit done. right on pace target... because if youre gonna get up at stupid o'clock you better make it worth it.

my favorite addition to the shoes #bostonstrong

rest day friday. like a boss, obviously. and saturday had 10 miles at mp (with warm up and cool down, so 13. but why run 13 when you can run 13.1. runners are a silly kind of stupid for sure). of course i was in the most ridiculously hilly part of the world (other than mdi, which i swear is the hilliest)... so i didnt really want to kill myself in the form of mp hill death. so i drove to colby college thinking maybe it wouldnt be as hilly. or i could just run on the track, right? no. despite having run 40 miles on a track last august, that was not what i wanted to do at all. so i sadly paid my life savings for a day pass at planet fitness to run for less than 2 hours.

thats a jar of tanning goggles. yes i paid to run 13 miles on a treadmill... but losers rule? 
and why are tanning booths even legal still?!

oh hey! i love running!

pretty sure $20 is the cheapest half marathon ive ever paid for, and ironically tys cousin and his girlfriend showed up about 5 miles into my run and i could have run for free with their black card membership or something. thanks for the heads up guys! 

but i had a great run. huge huge confidence booster for sure. and listening to hansons running podcast helped pass the time.

why? why does a gym need this?
i do not miss the gym at all.

i was super happy with the run but also excited to be done with it, and spent the rest of the day testing out maple syrup products at our friends sugar shack. then we decorated eggs and ate a ton more food. yay! i love food.

also my ncaa bracket was officially thrown in the trash saturday night, no surprise there. and although i lost a bet in regards to duke vs oregon, in a funny/weird turn of events, the pinterest fail project i made for the winner reward (oreo peanut butter cup something or other covered in chocolate) ended up winning me free cooking classes. thats a win in my book! now i have to find a cooking class to go to (and time to go....)

anyway... the easter bunny came for hen on sunday...

(duke wasnt as excited)

...and for the first time in, oh i dunno, his entire life?... he fell asleep on the way home. we both thought something was wrong with him (he never falls asleep). kid had so much fun running around with family this weekend (and hasnt been napping).

and has a weird new chewing on his clothes obsession

sadly there is no selfie from sunday afternoons bff run. we adventured out into the unknown neighborhoods of westbrook, looking for bbqs and yard sales, per the norm. we discussed houses we should buy (next to each other) and how we would have weekend bbqs and yard sales every weekend (and why arent more people out doing these things on such a nice sunday afternoon?!). running with us is never boring (although i likely bored her with all of the facts about the boston marathon i have been reading about in a book my dad got me for my birthday... did you know that the years 2007 and 2012 there was a 65 degree difference? 25 degrees with 50mph head winds in 2007 and 90+ degrees in 2012. or that after the invention of the automobile they needed to make the marathon a ward of the state so that they could ban cars from the road on the day of the race because people were getting hit?! or that in mile 4 there are things called "three mile islands" that apparently trip people if youre not careful. monsters! the more you know...)

monday, 8 miles, treadmill. nothing special. had to do it in 2 sections... 5 miles, then 3 (hen woke up super early). everyone on every social media outlet was talking about long runs being done and yay boston taper! huh? whats that!? (to which i commented on hansons facebook page and got a few people describing to me what taper was. yes, im aware of what it is, just dont think hansons give us much of one. ill adjust accordingly im sure). 

i wasnt sure what my legs were going to feel like for todays long run... they were a bit sore, this was a peak week (60+ miles), and the 16 miles seemed so daunting. i used the foam roller and the stick monday night and took a few ibuprofen. they actually felt ok when i woke up today which i was happy about. and instead of delaying the run and complaining and such (like i usually do... well ok i did text a few people waaaaaah i dont wannnnnaaaa... and they basically were like suck it up asshole. yeah. ok fine. i guess)... i woke up, ate (half a banana, 2 pieces of pb toast), had some coffee, dropped hen off at day care and ended up leaving the house a half hour before i had originally planned to go. get shit done!

i didnt really have much of a plan of where i was gonna run, but i had decided that i needed to do it a) outside and b) on a hilly route. im not necessarily worried that i havent done hill work, because i feel like i have, but i know that this run was going to be a huge confidence booster if i could get it done, and i might as well go big or go home. right? sarah had offered to leave me a key to her house so that i could do the last 12 miles of the boston course on her tm (she has decline on hers, i do not)... but i decided against that. and instead got 38 mph gusts of headwind uphill for the first 8 miles. right. there also may have been a bet involving donuts if i cried on this run, which was likely (spoiler... no crying! i think im too excited! youll surely find me sobbing likely starting at boylston. or hereford. or mile 25. athletes village. oh god i better hydrate well).

my new hokas arrived last night and i decided why not break them in, sounds like a good idea. the first few miles went by pretty quick... then i headed out into gorham. i knew this was going to be uphill all the way there, and downhill all the way back. i wasnt expecting the wind, which totally sucked. i seriously felt like i was dragging a huge parachute full of boulders behind me. and the sand hitting my legs and face hurt (glad i had my sunglasses). and i ate a ton of sand too, all part of a well balanced marathon diet, of course. i was still able to maintain pace close to within range of what i wanted to do for this run, but my legs worked hard for that pace (uphill. into the wind. incase you missed that the first million times i wrote it). 

overall the first 8 miles, despite the wind... hills... felt pretty easy, and i was very happy with that. i reached 8 and turned around hoping for strong tailwind. instead i was met with side/headwind. wtf?! this soon subsided and did turn into quite a nice tailwind, which i took full advantage of and cruised into almost marathon pace for a bq and felt like i was floating.

mid run snapchats
i wanna be like my hero SB

the miles ticked off one by one. i had taken a weird way from my house and i had a shorter way to get back but knew if i went that way i wouldnt want to finish the run. so i just retraced all my steps, was met with a bit more headwind (rude), and finished up strong. im pretty sure i negative split the run. strong.

yup... 1:08:14, 1:06:37
(i think, math could always be wrong)

i sadly came home to find a flat tire, so i grabbed elwood who provided me with a delicious bowl of protein cheerios and called AAA. i wanted to have an ice bath before i headed to the dentist (joy), but that would have to wait.

after the dentist i had thought about heading into town and going to trader joes and maine running company (or fleet feet, i cant get used to that)... but instead decided to go home, blog, watch nurse jackie, nap. also had to stop to get buy one get one paper towels from rite aid #thisis35

so there we have it.

week 12

3x2mi strength- (goal 15:20-15:40)- 15:30, 15:30, 15:26. kicked ass, took names.
10 @MP- (goal 7:48-8:01)- 7:56, 7:57, 7:54, 7:56, 7:51, 7:51, 7:52, 7:53, 7:47, 7:45. many of these miles felt so comfortable and almost easy. im not sure how this happened throughout this training cycle, but ill take it. 
long run- (goal 8:20-8:42)- average pace 8:26. huge confidence booster. headwind. hills. bet you didnt know that.

speaking of mp... i pulled together a fancy spreadsheet of all of my mp runs. its a bit shocking when i put them all down on paper together.

and then i made sam put his computer skillz to good use and figure out a bunch of math stuff that i didnt have time to do (which took him like 3 seconds).

i know ive been training at these speeds and i know ive been training hard... but when its all spelled out there right in front of me... i just didnt know what to think. im so excited for this race!!!

especially if it looks like this!
(well, minus the wind and rain please)

or a runner in marathon training

but now its tailwind

may need to get these bad boys

and of course when you text bff a picture of buy one get one blizzards, she obviously meets you there. where you can also share your stitch fix box reveal!

TWENTY. DAYS. bring it on, boston!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

boston training: week 11

ive never really been an anxious type of person (at least i dont think i am) but im starting to have mini bouts of anxiety here and there. not just about boston, but that certainly is the biggest thing on my mind right now. its coming, and its coming soon. yes, ive already started a packing list (ooooh i love lists). i am a planner, but not so much a worrier. but this week ive worried about everything (other than the weather. bring it on mother nature... just no snow, no headwind, nothing below 25 degrees or above 55... kthanks). 27 days out and i dont know what im wearing yet. thats not like me. 27 days out and i dont want to run any more. 27 days out and all the "what ifs" have started coming. stop it! shut up right now all you what ifs! this is boston and its gonna be amazing and full of rainbows and unicorns and you get a medal at the end! deeeeep breath.

omg 27 days.

this week started off with a rest day. my run sucked so bad last tuesday, i just couldnt do it on wednesday. not like i had a hard run to do or anything, i just couldnt make my legs stand up out of bed at 4am. so rest day it was (which sets myself up for a tough week... but so be it). thursdays strength miles proved the rest day was worth it... hitting exactly the pace as written for 3:25 marathon training, actually 2 seconds faster. starting a run at 3:41am best be a good one. 



because i used up my sacred rest day on the first damn day of the week, i ran 4 measly miles at the nice slow pace of almost walking on friday. another episode of nurse jackie down... what a great show to watch on the tm (except that i almost fell off the tm when akalitus tased herself in the elevator!) this show is out of control... and one hundred million % inaccurate. i obviously love it.

and march. madness. i love love love this time of year.

madness, brought to you by bud light

every. damn. year. BUSTED. 
although the rest actually looks pretty good still.
(go duke!)

and in the midst of the weeks ups and downs of running, this happened...

that certainly helped put some fire back in my heart. more reality. its really happening. and amongst all the people i know (like everyone, im so popular. duh) on all forms of social media, i happen to be the only person in the entire boston marathon that is in wave 3/corral 4. starting line party of one.

and a huge shout out to michelle for this amazing bowl she sent me. his name is elwood and hes the best most cutest little unicorn cereal bowl ive ever seen and i wish i could squeeze him into my flip belt for the race and carry him with me from hopkinton to boylston! i love him!!!!! thank you!!

oh elwood. xo

saturday was a busy day and i needed to get my mp run done early (not 4am early thank god). it was about 23 degrees at 615am and off i went. the first 2 miles were a sucky mcsuckfest. the weather was gorgeous with no real wind, and i tried to just get myself to think that the run would get better. but of course when i started the mp miles, my legs wouldnt stop screaming. "youre tired! let us go back to bed! turn around!" and i listened. my plan was to go 6 miles out, 6 miles back... i turned around at mile 3. but something happened on my way back... im not sure where it came from. my head told my legs to shove it. i ran a little faster. i didnt turn towards home when i got to that turn, i kept going. the negative thoughts were still there, but i pushed through (for the most part). i had decided i wasnt going to do the full 9 mp i had, but i got in 7 that were solid, which was more than the 4 that was going to be when i had decided to turn around. i cant give up now. this is the 20th mile in marathon training right here, right now. hit the wall, bounce off, fall down, so be it. but get the F back up. finish this thing one way or another.

keep your head up. boston strong. forward focus.

ive looked at this handheld for over 2 years now (not this specific one, ive had 2 others, all made by nathan)... and saturday was my "little" brothers' 30th birthdays. so i added johnny and carried both of them with me on my run, and there they will both now stay for my journey through boston. xo

...its always darkest before the dawn...

i worked overnight saturday night (rough), only slept a few hours sunday, then had an amazing recovery run with sarah.

hen wanted to be a part of the bff selfie

the 10 miles scheduled for monday am seemed daunting, so i set out the most ridiculous outfit sunday night to try to get myself pumped up. 

should this be my race outfit?! 
no. the answer is no. but the one im thinking of isnt far off, obviously.

i ended up only wearing the shorts and sports bra, which is clearly why my run kinda sucked and i only ran 6 miles instead of 10. whatever. falling apart at the seams, yay.

thankfully this weeks "long run" was only 10 miles. and wouldnt you know, my legs felt all spring like fresh as a daisy! until mile 6.5 when the 22mph headwind (which i had as a tailwind on the way out weeeeeeeee i love running look at me gooooo im so FAST!) hit me and poof. dead. but still, week 11 long run dominated, like a boss. screw you cumulative fatigue, i took a slightly lower mileage rest week and its not gonna kill me.

the ice bath i took after the run might have tried to kill me though, although it didnt last long because i didnt have enough ice. and ice baths, ive decided, are a lot more tolerable when its 80 degrees outside. and with a bud light (as opposed to a vega shake).

not loving ice baths when the high temp on your run was 40

brrrrrrrr. for a few minutes.

week 11

2x3mi strength- (goal 23:00-23:30)- 22:58, 23:00. quite pleased with this run, especially with how i felt during the run (compared to other strength runs ive had). i also feel like the next few weeks runs will be easy (easier) after doing this one. of course they could also suck. the joys of marathon training. id basically compare marathon training to PMS. what a bitch.
7 @MP- (goal 7:48-8:01)- was supposed to do 9 mp miles, just didnt have it. the day was beautiful, the times i (somehow) pulled off for the 7 miles i did do were right on, but overall my head and legs just werent into it. using this week as a bit of a rest week, push through and come back stronger next week. 7:56, 7:52, 7:48, 7:46, 7:49, 7:52, 7:48. halfway through this run i felt like maybe i should run the rest of the miles closer to/at the 8:01 area but with the mp mile paces ive done for this entire training, i felt keeping it consistent (and not doing the last 2) would be better. yes, im training closer to 3:25-3:30 than i am 3:30-3:40. im well aware of the numbers. however, my goal for boston is to enjoy every step. i dont have a final game plan or number goal at this point, but im hoping the training that i have had will allow for miles close to 8 to feel good, comfortable, and fun. if that means some, many, or all miles start with an 8, im ok with that.
long run- (goal 8:20-8:42)- average pace 8:18. better than too slow, i think? my long run rocked. if you can call 10 miles a long run... but hey, i dont make the schedule.

not sure about this song yet.
(and for those keeping track at home, i have downloaded week 9s shakira song. the best!)

despite not taking the normal amount of millions of run selfies this week, i certainly have screenshots of some silly text conversations...

when you randomly send someone a shameless pic that youre belting out to celine dion... 
only to get a text back from him (yes him) that hes listening to celine as well. 

seriously... emily might single handedly keep me in tip top shape for boston
mmmmmm oreo balls

i have a problem... and totally got straight up busted
(can someone let me ship to their house for the future?)

when you and bff both love hank orange headbands

less than a month... que all the emotions. (i surprisingly havent cried as much as i thought i would during training... which likely doesnt bode well for race day).

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

boston training: week 10

10 weeks of training have come and gone. 491 miles. if i think quickly, i dont even remember many of these weeks. if i think hard, i can remember a lot. its seemed to have gone by in the blink of an eye... and im almost certain the next 34 days will feel even faster (ho.ly.SHIT!) but lately ive been thinking about the entire journey that has brought me to this point, mostly starting back in january of 2014. seems like it was so long ago, and a lot has happened since then.

i started training that first week of 2014 for the maine coast marathon. 7 months postpartum. the need to get out and run, the desire to see what i had in me. up to that point i had run 8 marathons... and run is exactly how i would describe all of them (well i did my fair share of walking in many of them as well). sure, i had gotten that sub 4 monkey off my back, but even that didnt seem like i was actually racing the marathon at that point. a huge improvement from my first marathon, however (4:43). little did i know what id have in store for me in 2014, but i set out with the mindset of "why the hell not".

fast forward to the end of april (shortly before maine coast marathon) and i had 4 race distance PRs under my belt (5k, 10k, 10 miler, half marathon). i felt strong and ready to actually race marathon #9. despite the heat, and missing a BQ by mere minutes, i couldnt have been happier about the race i had that day. a 22 minute marathon PR.

exerpt: may 12 2014- maine coast marathon recap:
"as i turned left into the university of new england, i knew i had probably a half mile left to run to get there. i looked down at my watch and saw the time change to 3:34:00... i had 59 seconds to get to the finish, and i knew it wasnt possible. 18 weeks and 26 miles flashed before my eyes at that very moment, and i just took it all in. 4am (or earlier) alarms. the dreaded (but grown to love) treadmill. 100m/400m/800m/1000m/1200m/1600m sprints. long runs. ice baths. compression gear. foam rolling. garmin. gatorade. gu. heart. fear. dedication. smiles. tears. friends. family. ty. henry... nothing could take away the work i had put in to getting to me to this moment, but i also couldnt change the result i was about to face. and instead of throwing in the towel, giving up, or hanging my head, i pushed thru... turned left into parking lot 16, ran under the bridge, and came around the corner to see the finish line. i threw up my arms as if to say "oh well, better luck next time", and ran into the arms of my best friend as she placed the medal around my neck."

it was a tough day out there, but i took away with me much more than a medal from that race. i wrote in that post that qualifying for boston, although always in the back of my mind, hadnt truly been my ultimate goal that day... but it sure was after i crossed that finish line. (ok, in reality after i crossed that finish line i really wanted french fries. and a good cry. both of which i got). from that day forward, qualifying for boston became one of the only things i wanted.

i prepared hard for lehigh valley marathon in september and sadly was sick, dehydrated, who knows what else (i drank a pumpkin spice latte two days previous and it made me sick... ugh... never ever again). i ended up with a DNF, which at the time hurt. it hurt so bad. but in hindsight, it was likely the exact thing i needed to gear me up for chicago. and that is really the race i have been thinking about the most lately. i got into chicago early on in the year by a chance lottery entry. kristal and i had randomly entered thinking "that would be a pretty cool race to do". i truly didnt believe i was going to actually get into the race. i think today about what this whole journey would be like today had i not gotten into that race. what marathon would i have qualified in? would i have even qualified? the weather in chicago was close to perfect. a flat course (which actually isnt as awesome as it sounds unless youre a freak who wants zero elevation change). i made many mistakes that race (cough cough stupid damn water stop at mile 25!), but it didnt matter when i crossed the finish line. 3:35:03. a 4 minute and 57 second boston marathon qualifying buffer. (although those following along at home had slight heart attacks thinking i had missed qualifying by 3 seconds, despite the many times i wrote about how i needed a 3:40 for boston 2016 because im old... sara bradley im speaking to you)...

crying, obviously
and yay for being old!

i swore after finishing that marathon that i never wanted to race a marathon ever again. i never wanted to try to qualify again. marathons are hard and why do i even want to do this any more ever again?! of course i have since completed two more marathons and a 40 mile run around a track... running. its a funny sport.

i changed a lot of how i thought about running and racing marathons leading up to and running chicago. i let go of a lot of negative thoughts i used to carry with me and basically just went with the mentality of "ive done the work, whatever happens, happens". there were dark moments out on the streets of chicago, but i remember the good/fun moments way more (halfway point singing and dancing with jamie!). providence marathon wasnt all smiles and sunshine, but even on a bad day i ran a 3:44:17. something was changing with my running... for the better. i spent last summer training hard for mdi marathon with a new training plan i had never used before, only to have the most amazing race there, start to finish (3:40:47). ive been running races now for almost 15 years... i think im finally getting the hang of it.

as much as i say i dont want to race marathons, i dont want to re qualify... of course i really do. i mean, i cant deny from posting all of my training here that i am training for the freaking boston marathon (ho.ly.SHIT!... again), and i am training at paces at/near bq minus 10. ish. some runs are faster, some are slower. but i have learned this little trick called discipline... i dont use it a lot in my own personal life (other than putting hen in time out pre 6am for throwing the remote or having a meltdown over mommy saying he cant eat the cheerios he refused to eat for breakfast out of the trash...) but yes. discipline. pacing, recovering, resting. im taking it all very serious. and i will take boston, april 18th, very seriously. because it might be my only opportunity... so why the hell not? i put in the work to get myself there, i owe it to give that course every damn thing ive got.

(i guess i had a lot more to say this week than last week... dear diary...)

week 9 ending with a pretty solid 18 miler meant week 10 started off pretty painful. and i was sick. but it was also 70 degrees so outside i went (and graced westbrook with the whitest stomach ever... likely blinding drivers. sorry about that). my shirt i wore for the first mile or so was pretty fitting though.

do you expect anything else?

this weeks speedwork was the bomb... and full of sweat. havent you always wanted to see the evolution of sweat from a 2 mile progressive speed set? (this coincides well with the butt sweat post. man you readers are so lucky).

shameless sweaty treadmill selfies just for sara

again i nailed the rest day on friday... im so good at fridays. i also decided to optimize my rest by doing the speedwork thursday super early, and planning my long run for saturday afternoon. i might be blonde but i have good ideas every now and then. 

temps on saturday were in the low 50s, but oof. the wind. rude. im fairly sure i wanted that run done and over with as soon as possible... my miles were a bit too fast (i dont get to say that too often). the effort was certainly more than the time said, and my legs paid for it sunday. 

nail your MP miles, promptly die on bffs front porch

and i sure know how to fuel post run

but my baking/chocolate dipping skills are less than to be desired

sarah and i finally got to run together again sunday am (long overdue therapy session), before getting our nails done. since when did we become girly?

basically my "run" sunday was more of a walk waddle

mondays run... 8 miles... i have it written down that i did 8 but i dont even remember when i did this run. oh, after i woke up (i worked overnight til 1am and then my dad took hen for a few hours. so awesome!). nothing special to this run, felt pretty good i think. im so tired right now i cant think straight. for all i know this run sucked and i complained a lot. per the norm.

so, as with every tuesday, we get to the long run... 2nd to last 16 miler before the big day. this run really couldnt have sucked any more, from start to finish. with minor moments of "maybe this will be ok" in between. i woke up dreading it, just not feeling it. the rain outside was a bummer and didnt help with my ho hum mood. i set up ifit to run along approx 7 courses for the 16 miles so that every 2-3 miles the scenery would change... only to get downstairs to start my run and the internet wouldnt work in my house. no ifit. no computer for netflix for nurse jackie. welp, this is off to a good start.

after 5 miles (watching netflix on my phone) i tried again and the internet was back! a miracle!

3 episodes and 9.25 miles later, i decided i no longer could take one more step on the treadmill and decided to run outside. 

yay off the treadmill! yay all the neon!

boooo freezing cold rain and this run sucks kill me im hungry k bye

and then i had to do 1.75 more miles on the tm because i am a loser. seriously this run was awful. but its over. although i only did 15 miles, not 16. i could not move one more inch. this. freaking. plan.

just say no to this weather for boston

and just say yes to cake

week 10

3x2mi strength- (goal 15:20-15:40)- 15:33, 15:31, 15:30. felt great, finished strong. not entirely looking forward to next weeks strength workout but i deal with then it comes.
9 @MP- (goal pace 7:48-8:01)- 7:52, 7:49, 7:48, 7:47, 7:47, 7:42, 7:44, 7:46, 7:43.  had little to no motivation to get out and run, but once i was out there it felt great. minus the stupid headwind. that was no bueno. my watch would be screaming at me here and there and i ignored it because i thought it was telling me my pace was too slow. whoops. the effort for this run was certainly more like 7s flat im sure, and my legs paid for it the next day. dumb. remember when i walked marathons and had snacks and texted/called people? lets get back to that again! 
long run- (goal pace 8:20-8:42)- average pace 8:46. blah.

and because im obsessed with timehop and i love this little guy... 2 years ago. man, time flies.

his little tush is too cute for the internet
(also refuses to sit down in the bathtub anymore)

10 weeks down, 5 to go! i can do this...