Goal and Gala!

This week I SURPASSED my fundraising goal and I could not be more grateful for the outpouring of support. I’ve said it many times, but truly thank you all again!

I had a nice 12 miles yesterday followed by an evening at the Greater Boston Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injuy Association’s Gala. It was a very fun evening with coworkers and friends. The GBC is its own entity, however, we have a very close working partnership with them at Spaulding so it was a pleasure to support their cause. I was the happy winner of a tandem sky dive (!!) and trip for 5 to a local farm sanctuary as part of the silent auction. Looks like my post-marathon summer ahead is going to have a couple fun weekends!
Am keeping this post short, and pretty non-run related. But next weekend is the longest run of training and then we head into a few weeks of tapering. I’m sure I’ll have much to write about after running 21 miles on what I’m told is essentially a pre-marathon celebration, of sorts, with thousands out on the course for a similar run distance. Apparently fans and supporters line the course along the way. I can’t wait!!
Here are some pics from last night. 
Sunset view during cocktail hour 
An attempt at capturing the SRH and GBC attendees in one pic
SRH staffers all dressed up! 
WINNER!!

A Chilly Hilly Half Marathon Race

Today I ran a half marathon race, the Marathon Park Prep in Ashland, MA. What a tough course! It was basically all hills, but with that considered I’m pretty pleased with my time of about 2:18 (still awaiting official race time). 
I had a couple of reasons for wanting to do a race mid-training for the Boston Marathon. First, running a race was a nice change of pace for the weekend runs. Who doesn’t love to get little kid high fives when they’re running? I like it so much I might hire some to be strategically placed on my upcoming weekend runs. 
Second, I figured doing a race before THE BIG RACE would be a good means of practicing. It served its purpose in that regard and here’s what I learned:
– I need to work a bit on early pacing. Knowing me and how I am, I know going out too fast is going to be an issue I have, even if I’m actively aware and trying not to head out faster than I should. I get easily excited in moments like this and the adrenaline takes over. Today was at least a real life reminder of what this will be like. Can someone/everyone remind me not to get too excited on April 21st and use up all of my energy early on?! 
– It was definitely important I practiced water grabs. I’ve only done a few races, but I never took water during any of those. Since that’s clearly not an option in doing a marathon, and since I don’t intend to carry my own water, practicing grabbing from the volunteers was key. I’m happy to report that I only dropped one cup, kind of inadvertently flinging at my unknowing hydration supporter, and only spilled one cup entirely all over myself. After those mishaps, it was relatively smooth sailing.  I’m not entirely convinced I’ll have it down to a science in a matter of a few weeks, though, so sorry in advance to anyone who hands me water…it may get messy. 
– I need to practice chewing. After many recommendations I have opted to try the Clif Shot Bloks instead of Gu. Overall, much happier with these and I think they’ll be a better option. I have a new bib/fuel belt that worked great and I figured out a way to carry this new stuff that I think is going to be ok for the actual day. The only thing is I aspirated on a piece of Blok around mile 10, inducing coughing and a mild flash of terror about my mortality. Maybe scarier on this race because less people were around. At least on marathon day someone in the continual crowds has got to know the heimlich, right?
– Dear hills, I own you! This was a wonderful thing to feel after today! The course was definitely hilly (elevation map below) but I didn’t need to walk any of them and actually passed many who couldn’t handle the incline. Not gonna lie, that felt pretty awesome!

– I still don’t look good in running pictures. Granted there were only a few photographers out on the course, and I haven’t seen the actual evidence, but I just know. 
*UPDATE 3/17/14: actually not horrrribbbleeee….probably best it was so far away!
-I actually think I could have kept going! What a thing to feel when you’re training for a marathon! I obviously did this 13 miles faster than I will during the marathon, but regardless I got to the end and could actually see myself continuing on. Mentally I’m stoked this was how I felt at the end of this race. This confirms I’m well on my way to completing my first 26.2!

I Run Because…

As race day approaches (36 days!!) I find myself at the peak of training reflecting on both my physical and mental strength to keep running forward. 
I have not, and don’t plan to, come to a point of thinking I can’t or won’t finish my first marathon, but I have found it important and motivating to remind myself why I have taken on this challenge. That’s why when I saw this bracelet I knew it was the perfect token to carry me through the rest of training and through the day on April 21st.  

 

My reasons are many and forever evolving. They encompass running in general as well as the upcoming marathon. 
 I run because…

…I love myself.
…It’s important to me that I live a healthy life. 
…I want to prove to myself I can do anything I set my mind to. 
…It makes me happy. 
…It makes me feel unstoppable and ready to take on the world. 
…Tired and aching muscles remind me I have done something great for mind and body. 
…Runners are a special community. 
…I can pretty much have whatever dinner I want after a long run. 
…It’s pretty awesome to be able to explore the world on foot. 
…It allows me to mentally check in with myself.
…I am proud of the work I do and the charity my Boston Marathon run is supporting. 
…I want to show that community is stronger than terror.
…I am a part of Boston.
…I can.