Fabulous Flashbacks on Today’s Long Run

So first off, I have to ask! Did I get you to my blog post because on my social media  I promised photo-documentation of “a little sumpin’ sumpin’ in my ice bath?”  If so, that’s awesome!!! And here you go!

Little Sumpin' Sumpin'Oh yes, my first attempt at a post-run ice bath deserved a Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. Definitely a fave of mine and a nice addition to the tub 🙂  I will say I was advised, probably rightfully so, to ease into the ice bath scene since this was my first go.  It wasn’t SUPER cold, but it was definitely cold and regardless felt great on my legs after the 16 miles of hills today.  I’ll up my game next weekend after my 20 miles and make it even colder.  Maybe I should take a shot of whiskey prior to that bath? Hmmm….

Anyways, let’s go back to the start of this morning! My run buddies and I took our long run this weekend back to  our old stomping ground. That’s right, we started out at the Woodland T stop to run into the city along the Boston Marathon course.  From Newton we ran 8 miles in to the city getting us almost to Kenmore before our turn around.  Overall, I’m looking back on the run and my legs felt really rough the second half, which I account to the lack of hill training, but I stand by my thinking it could have been way worse.  I got a little tight and heavy feeling in my legs but ultimately ran almost the entire way, except for maybe .30 miles at mile 14.  Hey, sometimes when the muscles talk you just gotta listen! Overall, my pace for 16 miles averaged out to 11’05”, which is way faster than I ran Boston and is definitely making me optimistic for my next marathon attempt the end of October.

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My favorite part about this run, aside from the company (that’s a given!) was definitely the memories that came running back (pun intended) while on this route.

[Wavy Fadeout to Memories of March and April 2014]

I was remembering moments from both my 21 miler in March 2014 as well as from the day of the actual 2014 Boston Marathon.

IMG_1007The March training run started with a few more run buddies than today as I joined my Race for Rehab team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where we got shuttled out to our start that morning.  This run was like none I had experienced to date and I was so proud to be rocking the RFR singlet and cheering on all of the other charity  and individual runners along the course.  A training long-run like none other!

The training run was also super exciting, because that was the day I got a photo with Tedy Bruschi!  OK, OK….I did kinda stalk him and didn’t exactly ask for the photo, but the triptych memory I was able to create is possibly one of my favorite photos ever!  We were also all a little sad today that Bill the Gorilla was not outside waiting for us, but that’s alright.  The memory of my selfie with him on training day came flooding back as we passed by Heartbreak Hill Running Company.

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The Cleveland Circle area is also the first part of the race where my friends started popping up along the course on the big day!  I mentioned this in my final post for the Boston Marathon recap but it’s worth saying again: I would not have finished my first marathon without the love and support of my friends!  Here’s a few people I remembered out there on this part of the course from a year and a half ago as I ran past theses areas of the route today!
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I haven’t run this far in awhile, so it was awesome to be somewhere that brought back such amazing memories . Certainly a welcome distraction to the hills and achy quads.  The greatness I felt from my first marathon experience is definitely the reason I am tackling a second marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, and I certainly expect to be taking on other races in the years to come.  (Don’t worry Boston, I’ll get back to you at some point too for sure!)

We really lucked out with weather today. It was nice and cool, overcast and even misting the entire time.  The perspectives are a little off (since I really couldn’t run in the middle of Beacon Street today!) but the view today was a bit different compared to my marathon day as I approached Kenmore!

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Pros and cons to both weather options. Today I was SUPER happy we weren’t in extreme heat and actually didn’t have any sun.  The fact that I was able to get awesome photos during my first Boston Marathon, well yeah I liked the blue skies for that 🙂

So finally to round out this post, I want to make a special shout out to the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk that was being held in Newton, MA.  As we were on mile 14-ish, their event had just started.  Amanda and I got cheers and encouragement from the race volunteers and other run/walkers and even got a water refill at one of their stations.  (I maybe sounded a bit pathetic in my “We’re at mile 15 of our run, can we please refill?” plea).  But no seriously, they were all great and I have since made a donation to help support their cause.

So it’s on to 20 miles next weekend! I’ll be running this as part of the Tache Wicked 20 Mile Race up in Salem, MA.  I think having the support of a race crew will be awesome. But I have no idea how large the 20-mile run field is since it’s kind of a random distance.  Good chance I will be the final finisher for the entire event (there’s a 10 mile, Half Marathon, and 20 mile course option) but I figure finishing dead last at some event is something of an experience as well.  Will give me a good topic for my next post 🙂

Until next time, happy running!

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Time to Recap and Regroup

I’ve been trying to get away from a life of making excuses.  But I will offer one here for my lag in updates (since May 4th, eek!)  Basically, I had been severely technologically challenged with my painfully slow computer.  Blogging is something I’ve wanted to keep up on, but posting from my phone was just getting way too cumbersome and my computer was making all efforts take 5 times as long.  So I finally got an upgrade and the goal is to get back to this blog and hopefully make it better and more regular than ever!  I’ve upgraded my blog client so bear with me as I try to really embrace the world of blogging and make this fun, more aesthetically pleasing, and interactive.  Blogging was SUCH an important part of training for y first marathon and it received such a good response.  I want to get back into the swing of things since I’m on to marathon #2 in less than 2 months and definitely have some big aspirations for my future running adventures!

The good news is that despite a writing lag, there has not been a running lag.  Let me try to play a little catch up for the past few months and then we will move it forward from there 🙂

So super important here to remind everyone that my next big race undertaking is the Marine Corps Marathon on October 25th!  It’s coming up and training has been surprisingly good so far!  The summer heat has not been particularly enjoyable, but as of recent it’s started to cool down some and runs are happening in temperatures that are a bit more pleasant (and tolerable!)

Soon after returning from the Wings for Life run in Canada I ran the 5 mile course at the Boston Run to Remember.  It’s a great course and always a great day for a good cause.

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After the ferocious New England winter the race offered the option to downgrade from the half to 5-miler.  I’ll be the first to admit that without Boston in my future this year, my winter running was much more sparse.  Running 13 miles with the little running I had under my belt at this time of the year just did not seem like a smart move.  So I downgraded (apparently with a ton of other folks!) and actually ran way faster than I expected, so that was a nice surprise!

Not long after this race it was time to start getting my base built back up again so going into full-blown marathon training mode would not be a huge stress on my body, and my mind!  So clearly I needed to take my friend to yoga at Boston Winery 🙂

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It’s all about the cross-training, folks 😉

IMG_7213I’m loving living in Charlestown, so I took advantage of the Battle of Bunker Hill Road Race to support the Boys and Girls Club of Charlestown and, while hilly, it was great being able to run through the new hood and there was so much more support from cheering fans along the course than I ever would have imagined!

So then, you guys, June 18th came.  And HISTORY WAS MADE!

I DID MY FIRST EVER PRE-WORK RUN AT 5:30 A.M.!!! IMG_7242

I know, I know, it’s incredible! I’m really happy to report that this has also become a fairly consistent habit in large part to my running buddy Abigail.  I have gone out a few times solo in the pre-work hours, but if it wasn’t for Abigail keeping me accountable at least one morning a week then I would not be going as often. We’ve also upped our morning mileage to 5 miles.  It’s been tough at times (and only getting tougher as it’s now darker and darker) but it’s been really worth it.  It’s amazing how much more you can do in the day after work when you’re not fitting in time for a run!  It’s also been a pretty basic necessity for summer training given some of the extreme heat afternoons and evenings.  And who knew how awesome the city is in the morning before everyone has woken up?! I mean I guess all you morning runners did, but it was like discovering a new world for me!

Next up was the BAA 10K which we ran in a total monsoon.

IMG_7325 IMG_7330 IMG_7347 IMG_7351 I’m happy to say I toughed it out, but I was surprised how many did as well!  It was one of the worst rain storms I ever ran in but this race certainly holds a special place in my memory thanks to the weather.  Special shout out to Dan who outfitted us in GIANT trashbags pre-run.  Not gonna lie, we were the most #trashbagchic folks around!

A huge perk to living in the city has been all of the free summer fitness classes available. My favorite has been a Cardio Pilates class on the Greenway.

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It’s been a nice addition into training to add some strength work to my training, which has not always been my forte.  (I think about doing strength training a lot, does that count at all??)

And then came July!  A super important month.  Not only was it the official start of Marine Corps Marathon training, but it was also the month of the Run Selfie Challenge!

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Oh yes, my friends.  Every day of the month had a different selfie challenge.  I am extremely proud to report that I participated in EVERY challenge 🙂  Rather than post each individual challenge, here’s a compilation of them all for the month.

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It was a ton of fun! I would definitely do this again. It connected me with a great virtual community of runners and held me even more accountable to getting runs in every day for the month (although I did observe a few rest days, but still found ways to meet the challenges!)

When it was time to re-enter the world of double-digit running, I needed something interesting to run for so I got my new running buddies, Amanda and Scott, on board with my plan to run to Revere Beach for the International Sand Sculpting Competition. The route from Charlestown (10 miles, by the way) left a lot to be desired in terms of scenery mid run, however, the end was well worth it as there were the coolest and most ridiculous sand sculptures I have ever seen!


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We also ended our 10 miler with a dip into the ocean which is truthfully how I wish I could end every single long run!

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The rest of the summer has been full of midweek running, Pilates classes on the greenway, increasing long runs on the weekend, and other fun and awesome things.  I’m sad I didn’t keep this up to chronicle it all live-time, but this is the time to get back on track with the blog!  Here are a few more favorite pictures of recent.  Lots of more fun adventures to come and I’m looking forward to you all joining me for the journey!

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