Friday, August 7, 2009

bodily functions (oh joy!)

I haven’t written in a while. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it takes every ounce of motivation in my body to get myself out there to run. And that leaves no motivation to write! I’ve been dragging lately. I’ve come to the conclusion that heat, sun, and humidity (even just one of these) drags me down when I am running. Slows my pace A LOT. When you’re already a slower runner like me, being slowed down even further really sucks. Makes the time needed for those long runs monumental. I have to block out an extra hour for my long runs when it’s hot, sunny, and/or humid. That way I can walk if needed and run as slow as I want. Getting the mileage done ends up being much more important than the pace of those miles. I keep telling myself that marathon day should be cooler. “Should” being the operative word. Given the way training has gone this summer, I’ll be a goner if it’s a tough weather day.

Speaking of tough days, I had an interesting training run the other day. Stop reading here if you aren’t a fan of reading about bodily functions!! I had an 11 miler to do and felt great when I first headed out. I had not run in about a day and a half so maybe my body was ready to get moving. I had not done anything radically different that day in terms of food, drink, etc. But I did have a very small bout with diarrhea. However, I took Immodium and all seemed fine. Well, without warning, at mile 0.86 of my run, I became incredibly queasy. I knew I had to throw up, and my body wasn’t going to wait for anything. Luckily I was kind of in a wooded area so I stepped off the sidewalk and threw up. Nothing much came out except for spit. But I kept heaving. I wondered how I would make it the 0.86 mile back to my car if I was vomiting the whole time. Luckily that calmed down and I started to feel better on my way back. But one thing I noticed hurting was my gluteus area. No, I’m not talking about the muscles. I’m talking about chafing. Many long distance runners will know what I am talking about. I guess that bout of diarrhea was coming back to haunt me! Runners get chafed in all sorts of weird areas, and sometimes even Body Glide doesn’t help.

I made it back to my car and at this point my rear-end was on fire. The trip home was almost unbearable, but as soon as I got home I got out my trusty Desitin and found instant relief. (Yes, Desitin is a lotion for babies for diaper rash. It’s a long distance runner’s friend.) I was feeling much better at that point and decided I’d attempt to run again. I knew at that point that the 11 miles was out of the question, but I figured if I could make it up to 5 that would be good. I decided to run around the loop at my condo complex, which is about 1.5 miles around. I figured with 3 loops, combined with the previous run, I’d be at just over 5. I was able to make it and felt okay.

And just to let you know…I did complete the 11 mile run the next night (last night). Even though my pace was incredibly slow, I did it. Getting the mileage done is the key!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

slow and happy

My pace seems to be getting slower and slower. I’m not sure why. And frankly, I don’t care so much. The only time it slightly bothers me is if I’m at a race where there are lots of people I know. Being so slow gives me less time to socialize with them afterwards. Heck, some are even gone by the time I finish! Also, sometimes all of the food and water is gone by the time I reach the finish line. On occasion it also makes me feel less worthy. Am I a “real” runner if my pace is the same as fast walkers? Of course I am. But some of those elite runners might think otherwise. But something TrailPixie wrote on my blog recently made me realize that I should be running for the pure joy of it and not worry about who is ahead or behind me. Just live in the moment of the run. I like this recommendation!!

There are many ways to improve my pace if that was important to me. But I guess I have decided that is not important. When you are trying to run a marathon in all 50 states, pace because a lot less important than the overall goal of completing the race. It doesn’t matter what your time is as long as you finish. My certificate from the 50 States Marathon Club is not going to state the finish times at each race! So as long as I finish while the course is still officially open, I’m good.

By the way, there is one route I take near my workplace that is full of rabbits! I love it! It’s a shorter route so I usually only take it on shorter runs. But I love seeing the rabbits! Sometimes I even count them; I don’t think I’ve ever gotten under 5. They are out most often after work, so that is when I try to go there. I’m sure the neighbors don’t enjoy the rabbits as much as I do, as their plants/gardens are probably suffering. But they make me smile.

I’ve got a 5 mile race tonight. It’s going to be over 80% humidity tonight. UGH!!!! My only saving grace is that it is going to be cloudy so at least I won’t have to deal with the sun, too. I should remind myself that I ran a marathon PR on a day like this. It was probably about 5-10 degrees cooler on that day, but the rest of the weather conditions are about the same.

PS--I'm now up to running 4+ miles without stopping. Should come in handy tonight at the race.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"out of the mouths of babes"

Today I was scheduled for a 5 mile run. I ran after work and decided to spend as much time on a trail as I could. As I was running on the trail I saw a couple of young girls and their dog next to a stream. I stopped and asked if I could pet the dog. We all started talking. They asked how long I was running for and I said 5 miles. As we continued to talk, I showed them my satellite watch, which showed that I had run 1.64 miles so far. One of the girls then said "Gee, you sure have a long way to go."

After that, the remaining 3.36 miles seemed like they took FOREVER. The innocent comment from the little girl sure made an impact. I tried to tell her that the good news was that I was almost half-way there, but that didn't seem to make a difference to me mentally. The "long way to go" comment remained in my head the rest of the run!

Side note: I ran 12 miles on Monday night and actually ran 3.75 before stopping for water/stretching. Woo hoo!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

small milestone

Today I hit a post-marathon milestone. It's a small one, and for most long-distance runners, it's also a pathetic one. But for the first time since my last marathon (May 3rd for those of you not keeping score), I ran 3 straight miles on a training run without stopping for anything (water, stretching, etc.) I've run many miles since my marathon (including an 11 miler) but all of those runs have included very frequent stops. I know it sounds kind of a pathetic... but that's where I'm at with my running right now. And I just have to be happy that I'm out there.

I should note that in previous training runs it's not like the frequent stops were very long. I mean, I wasn't stopping to play a video game or go shopping! But the stops were there, if only for 30 seconds to take a swig of water or stretch my legs. Stopping isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in the long run it can help you to run faster. But I am still psyched that I was able to run 3 miles without stopping.

Let's see how I do tomorrow during my 12 miler!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


It's been a while since my last post. That's because I was on vacation for 12 days with no computer. I must admit that being offline for that long was great!! I did sneak a peek into my email and Facebook on a very rare occasion on my nephew's laptop, but I didn't post anything. And it felt good.

What didn't feel so good was my running on vacation. The heat and humidity make running harder for everyone, but for some reason it's treacherous for me. My paces slows to a tortoise pace. I have to take lots of breaks, drink lots of fluids, and down electrolyte tablets. But I plug along figuring that at least I'm getting the mileage in.

I arrived at my vacation spot on Friday night around 10pm and had pretzels for dinner. The next morning I had a 5 mile race at 8:30. On race day, the pretzels and long drive didn't do so well for me. My race time was the slowest I'd ever run for a 5 miler. In fact, my pace was on par with my marathon pace. Yes, folks, I ran a 5 mile race at the same pace I run a 26.2 mile race!! I must have walked for about 3/4 mile of the race total. It was blazing hot with no shade. I was a melty mess. I knew I was in trouble when the old man who was huffing and puffing passed me in the last mile.

Oh well! I finished. And the following week I was able to run 11 miles at a faster pace. Not a "fast" pace, but "faster" than the race. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Timlin 5K

I hate 5K races. To me, they are like sprints. As a marathon runner, I greatly prefer the longer distance races. That's because I can slow down my pace. And I like a slow pace. But with a 5K I feel like I am sprinting the whole time. So why did I run it? Well, I'm a member of a running club that has a Grand Prix Series where you get points for running Grand Prix races, and this was one of them. Why I really care about this, I don't know. My busy schedule doesn't allow me to run enough Grand Prix races to place in the top at the end of the year and get me an award. But I guess it's still enough motivation. I also knew I'd see some friends at this race, so I figured it was worth attending. But when my alarm went off at 7:10am, I was very tempted to sleep in and skip the race. I'm glad I went, but now I'm sleepy. And I'm going to be up late babysitting my nephew. Perhaps it's time for a nap!

Side note about the race that reflects one of my race pet peeves: the race had about 1,500 participants. There was chip timing (the new disposable D-tag) but there was no timing mat at the start. Without that chip mat at the start, you don't get your actual time that you ran the race. Your time reflects not only your race time, but the time it took you to cross the starting line. For me, that was about 30 seconds. I wore a Garmin 205 watch which tracked me via satellite and I hit "start" when I crossed the starting line. That way I could at least know for myself what my actual time on the course was (30:18, by the way). So I'm sure my "official" time will be around 3:48-ish. Oh well! The race is for charity (ALS) and I was told the chip mat at the start would cost 3 or 4 thousand dollars, so I can't complain too loudly.

Another interesting note: the Timlin in the name of the race refers to former Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin and his mother Sharon, who passed away from ALS. Although Mike is no long with the Red Sox, he still got Tim Wakefield (Sox pitcher) to come to the race to sign autographs. It's a great event; not only do they typically have Sox players, but there are a ton of vendors giving free samples and a lot of activities for the kids. Giant slide, anyone??

Tomorrow it's a 9 mile run in the warm rain. Longest run since the NJ Marathon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

one pain ends, another begins

So I decided not to run the trail race last weekend. I really, really wanted to do it, especially because it was wet and muddy, which is just awesome for me for a trail run. Plus, I would get to run with my friend Sue. Everyone (on Facebook and email) told me not to run. They said the race would be there next year and it was best to rest my injury. As hard as it was, I took their advice, slept late, and didn't get out of my pajamas until 4:00. It was the best decision, as now the pain seems to have subsided. Let's hope it's gone for good.

But another pain has begun. My upper back and neck are so sore, the kind of sore where you can't turn your head to either side. I attribute it to a lot of time at my computer at the office lately and very bad posture. I am getting a massage on Monday and I'll ask her to spend most or all of the time in that area. Hopefully that will help. And I'm trying to improve my posture. I'm sure stretching would help, too!

So far so good in terms of the marathon training runs and mileage. I think I have mentioned before that I follow Hal Higdon's Intermediate I training program. I have made just a few changes to the schedule so far. I reduced my long run during week one to 6 miles (from 8) because I was still recovering from injury, and it's looking like I'm going to be eliminating one 3-mile run this week (though I still have a few hours tonight to get it in if I get motivated). And tomorrow I'm running a 5K race instead of a 5 mile run. Minor adjustments, in my opinion. Sunday I'm due for a 9 miler and I do plan to do that. May have to wait until the evening if it's too hot during the day. I simply cannot run in the heat especially when the sun is out.

Week two almost done! Woo hoo!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

training begins with injury

Okay, so my first official day of training was a cross-training day which usually means rest for me. On my second day of training, the first day of running, I became injured. Not a good start. I ran 5 miles at lunchtime on trails and on the roads. About half-way through I started getting a pain in my butt. Not to be uncouth, but that is where the pain was. The pain worsened as the run went on but I did finish.

The next morning I woke up and could barely walk. Okay, so how was I going to run 3 miles at lunchtime that day if I could barely walk? Well, as it turns out: very slowly and very awkwardly. It was sort of a "gimpy" run with lots of breaks. Pace was 11:51 or something like that. But I did it.

My friend Jen thinks it is piriformis (or something like that) which I think is something like sciatica. She sent me some suggestions, which include a stretch. She sent a link to the stretch that included pictures. I can't quite figure out how to do the stretch so I will ask her for a demonstration when I see her this weekend. I am getting a massage next week. I hope that helps!

Today I ran 3 miles at lunchtime again and somehow managed a 9:58 pace. Either I am learning how to run through the pain or I am getting better. I did take like 3 breaks during the run, though. One of them was for a bunny! He/she was happily eating and I didn't want to disturb the cute little thing. Eventually I had to get going, though, and somehow I still didn't disturb the bunny.

I'm signed up for a 6.7 mile trail race this weekend. Either I'll need to start early or they'll have to wait for me at the finish. I'll be lucky if I can hobble to the end! Will do some stretches this weekend and see if that helps.

Oh what fun this first week of marathon training is turning out to be!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Training Begins!

Marathon training starts today, but it's a cross-training day, which usually means rest for me. So I start training without running. :) I’m still not sure which marathon I’m doing, but the two I am deciding between are both on October 11th so the training schedule is the same. I’ve gone back and forth between the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA and the Towpath Marathon near Akron, OH. There are great reasons to do both, but what is making me lean towards Steamtown at this point is that I think I want my Ohio marathon to be at my alma mater, Kenyon College. They have a marathon there in April. It is VERY small and fairly new, so I guess I should check to make sure they plan to continue it for a few years.

The bonus to doing Steamtown is that my friend Peter from NJ said he would travel with me, but that is only if he is still in NJ (he is possibly relocating this year). So I can’t guarantee that. The bonus to the Towpath, though, is that my friend Deb lives near there and could possibly come with me to cheer me on. But it’s her birthday weekend and is not sure she’ll be in town. What it boils down to is that I know I will eventually have to run some of these marathons on my own with no one on the course out there to support me (at least no one specifically designated for me) but I’m not sure I’m ready to go solo just yet. What do I need this person for? Many things….such as supplies (i.e. GU energy gel, water, Gatorade, Body Glide), cheering, and picture-taking. It’s also a huge motivational boost to know someone is out there waiting for you at certain mile markers. It helps motivate me to get to that mile. And of course it doesn’t hurt to have someone there to drive you after the marathon, since your body is not in great “driving shape.”

The main reason that I am deciding between PA and OH is that in the fall I want to go on a trip to visit friends in these states. You see, I just turned 40 and I decided that for my 40th birthday I wanted to spend some time with people who had a wonderful impact on my life, but who I don’t get to see often. Some I haven’t seen in years. So it will be special to visit with each of these people, if only for a cup of coffee (hopefully more!). If I run a marathon in one of these states, I can combine the marathon with my birthday trip. Of course all of that driving won’t be easy after running a marathon but I’ll manage somehow. I think I’d rather run the marathon first and then visit everyone, as I don’t want to expend too much energy the week before the marathon.

Once I complete my fall marathon, I will have finished 9 marathons in 7 states. By the end of 2010 I hope to complete my 10th state so that I can join the 50 States Marathon Club! So far in 2010 I am planning on the Gasparilla Marathon in Tampa, FL at the end of February so that I can visit my brother and his family, who are moving to that area this summer. And I’m thinking about Kiawah Island in SC in December so that my parents can be a part of that one. It would be cool to have them there when I finish my 10th state. We’ll see!

Now that I am back to training I will be writing more updates to this blog. And I’ll let you know what I decide to do on October 11th! :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Marathon Report

So what happened to this blog?! I was in training for the NJ Marathon on May 3rd and POOF: The blog came to an abrupt halt. I really can’t explain why. I had a wonderful marathon experience (yes, I did run it and finish). In fact, I was on a high from the marathon for about a week. And then the post-marathon exhaustion hit. It wasn’t really physical exhaustion; I just felt so unmotivated and mentally fatigued. I have said many times before that 90% of marathons (and running in general, for that matter) are mental for me. So it makes sense that the mental exhaustion is what ended up prevailing.

I’ll address in a later blog what happened after the marathon, but for now I want to share the marathon experience. The marathon was on Sunday, May 3rd. I drove down to my sister’s house in northern NJ on Thursday night. On Friday I drove down to the Jersey shore where the marathon was being held to pick up my number, browse the expo, and drive the course. I was excited to find Crocs for 10 bucks at the expo. I also bought a plastic poncho for 3 bucks, knowing that rain was predicted for marathon day (it’s great to use these ponchos as you are standing around waiting for the marathon to start, and then you can ditch them and not feel so bad that you lost only 3 bucks). I was very glad to drive the course, as it gave me a great sense of what to expect, and also more information to share with my spectators.

On Saturday I drove to the B&B where I was staying, about 7 miles south of the marathon start. I purposely avoided the marathon start/registration area on Saturday because I knew it would be a flurry of activity and chaos, and I just didn’t want to deal with that. I prefer to stay as far away from the marathon stress as I can. This is why I made a special trip on Friday to get my number, as I knew it would be quiet on that day (and it was). After checking in, I drove to find a pizza place that someone had recommended so that I could carbo-load. The pizza was delicious! I miss NJ pizza so much. I set out everything I’d need on marathon day, and made sure to pin my number to my shirt. I knew I had to be up very early the next day and I didn’t want to lose sight of any details.

I woke up around 5:00 on marathon day, knowing I needed to get on the road by 5:45 in order to park near the start (the lot was about .7 miles from the start, so it was a decent walk). The other option was to drive to Monmouth Racetrack where they were offering a shuttle. Thank God I didn’t go with that option! From all I have read on the internet, that was a complete disaster. There were many complaints on about the shuttle system and how disorganized it was. Apparently some shuttles even got lost on the way to the marathon (and it was only a few miles away).

Anyway, I arrived in the parking lot just after 6:00 but the marathon did not start until 7:30. I basically just sat in the car because it was raining and I didn’t want to get my clothes wet. I chatted with some runners next to me and took care of some last minute details (like trying to find my Garmin watch, which I found after about 20 minutes of looking. I had stuffed it in an extra running shoe but forgot it was there and you can imagine how long it took for me to find it there!). I walked to the starting area a bit before 7:00 because I knew I needed to check my bag (dry clothes to have at the finish line). The hotel where the bag check was located was totally mobbed. I guess because of the rain everyone tried to huddle in there. With 10,000 runners and only a 5-story hotel, it was literally like a sardine can. Trying to figure out where the baggage check was and then trying to get to it was quite a challenge. However, I tried not to let it bother me because I needed all the energy I had for the actual run.

After finally checking my bag, I hung around outside just south of the starting line, where there was a huge conglomeration of port-a-potties. And there weren’t that many people in this area, so it made for a calmer place to be. To keep dry I was wearing pants I had bought at a thrift store and a vest I had won at a race, as well as the plastic poncho. As 7:15 or so approached, we were informed that the race start would be delayed!!!! Are you kidding me??!! All that preparation for a 7:30 start (mentally and otherwise) and they were going to delay the start?! They said an accident occurred and that the police would not allow the race to start. That may have been true, but after all I heard about the shuttle bus disasters afterwards, I can’t help but think that they held up the race start at least in part because some of the shuttles were late. They kept delaying the start by 5 minutes until we started at 8am. However, I am proud of myself that I did not let this start bother me at all. I kept telling myself there was nothing I could do about it so I shouldn’t worry about what was out of my control.

The start area was PACKED, as many of the runners had already been standing and waiting there for a 7:30 start. They had finish times posted and you were supposed to stand near the time you wanted to finish in. I always hope for less than 5 hours, so I wanted to stand near that sign. However, given how crowded it was, the closest I could get was the 5:30 sign. Oh well!

Just before the race started, I dumped my pants, vest, and poncho. And I tied my long sleeved shirt around my waist (which later got dumped at mile 13.2). I am hoping someone donated these items to a local charity, but I’ll never know. The first half of the race, but especially the first few miles, were PACKED. That’s because the majority of the 10,000 runners (about 7,000+) were running the half marathon. It’s a double-loop course, which means that the half marathoners run the loop once and the marathons have to go around again. It was a bit too crowded during that first loop but again, there was nothing I could do about it. What was nice, though, is that there were a lot more spectators during the first loop since most of the runners were running the half marathon. That may have been the only benefit to that aspect of the race.

As I approached mile 11, I heard a lot of people saying “you’re almost there!” and “only 2 miles to go!” I told them not to say that because I was running the full marathon. J (I’m not one to keep my mouth shut when I’m running a marathon and get irritated by something.) I had mentally prepared for about a week that I would have to cross over the finish line (literally) and do the loop again, so actually that part didn’t bother me a whole lot. It almost made me feel powerful….most of the people were going to the left to finish, and I was going to the right for another loop. I am woman, hear me roar! J

I had needed to go to the bathroom starting about mile 5, but the port-a-potty lines on the course were long and there were no trees or bushes I could hide behind (and there was no way I was going to lose precious time from my marathon finish time to wait in line to go to the bathroom). But another benefit of being one of the few who was doing the marathon is that on the 2nd loop there were not lines, so I was able to slip in and out quickly around mile 13.3 without losing too much time. Luckily that was the only time I had to go to the bathroom the whole race.

I should back up a bit and tell you that I had two support people on the course: my sister Jennifer and my friend Peter. I had requested that Jennifer be in a section that would allow her to see me at miles 5, 13, 18, and the finish; Peter would be at miles 8, 11, 21, and 24. I had to look hard to find Jennifer at mile 5 as there were a lot of runners and spectators, and I wasn’t sure what she was wearing. I also wanted to stop to tell her that the race had started 30 minutes late, since I had given both her and Peter time estimates of when I would be passing by each mile. It was great motivation to have someone to look forward to at so many points in the race. But I felt badly for them. That’s because the drizzle turned to pouring rain about an hour into the race. And it was cold. I was able to manage wearing a tank top and shorts because I was moving so I didn’t get cold. But to just stand there in the cold pouring rain is miserable. But I couldn’t worry about them; I just had to focus on the race.

As I hit the halfway mark and saw that I had been running for about 2 hours and 25 minutes, I knew it probably wouldn’t be a PR (personal record) day for me (usually you run slower in the second half of the race, and my marathon PR is 4:53). That allowed me to relax a bit, and not worry so much about my pace. I started to have thoughts of walking somewhere around mile 16 or so. But I didn’t walk. For sure I did not want Peter or Jennifer to see me walking! Having them there was great incentive to keep running (even if it was a slow jog at times). The only times I remember walking are when I stopped for water or to take some GU energy gel. I have trouble swallowing when I’m running, so it was a nice excuse to slow down for a minute. I may have walked for a minute or two at other times, but I don’t actually recall doing so. My stride may have slowed down, but I was still “running.” Of course I was drenched from the time it started to pour rain, and I just got wetter and wetter. I hadn’t realized it was possible to get that wet. After trying to avoid puddles for a while, I decided it was a waste of time to do so; therefore, I ended up running right through deep puddles. I had my Smartwool socks on which had carried me through a rainy Boston Marathon, so I felt confident. Oh, and I had my Boston Red Sox hat on and, despite being in “Yankee Country,” I only got slightly razzed once, and that was right before the finish line when I had no energy or time to say anything back. In fact, I saw a number of Red Sox hats among the spectators and got a few shout-outs from them.

Around mile 24.5, I realized that it was possible for me to finish in less than 5 hours, which is always a wonderful achievement for me. So believe it or not, at this late stage of the race, I kicked it in. I’m not sure how I did it. There was a guy in a royal blue shirt who seemed to want to do the same thing as me, so I thought if I could just keep up with him I’d be okay. But I couldn’t. No worries, though. I just really focused myself and forced myself to run as fast as I possibly could. I kept my eyes straight ahead, grimaced, and ran. Lots of people were shouting my name, as I had my name on my shirt. Earlier in the race I would acknowledge them with a smile, wave, nod, or something like that but this time I meant business. All I could do at that point was look straight ahead and run as fast as I could so that I could get there in less than 5 hours. And I did. In fact, my official finish time was 4:59:31. Couldn’t get much closer! Unfortunately the official clock over my head said 5:02 or 5:03 something, but that’s because the clock goes by when the gun went off. Luckily they use chip timing there, so my actually time was recorded (meaning it took me a few minutes to get to the starting line once the gun went off). (When I plugged my Garmin watch into my computer later that week, I saw a huge spike in my pace for that last mile, proving that I really was able to step it up and speed things up at the end when I needed to.)

All I wanted when I finished was to get some water. But there wasn’t any. And I couldn’t figure out where the food tent was. Jennifer came running up to me yelling “you did it!” and all I could do was wander in a stupor asking other runners where the water and food was. No one responded. Perhaps that is because they knew that the race had run out of food and water! The only thing they had was a box of bananas and some sort of energy booster drink I had never had before. No soup. No Italian food from Tuzzio’s Restaurant which we had been promised. I told the volunteer how mad I was, but also nicely told her I knew it was not her fault. And I ranted at my poor sister for several minutes. She was there to congratulate me but all I could do was yell and swear about the lack of food and water. Luckily she had water in her bag that I had given her for the race, so I was able to drink that. After running 26.2 miles it is not only a desire but a NECESSITY to have food and water at the finish. I was incredibly irritated. We walked to the hotel to meet up with Peter and so that I could get my bag and change. It took me a really long time to change clothes because the bathroom was PACKED and I had a hard time moving my body anyway. I really wanted to take a shower but they were charging 20 bucks for a shower and I’m so darn cheap. Jennifer, Peter, and I chatted for a bit and then I wanted to go out and get a picture taken in front of the ocean. My original plan had been to jump in the ocean after I finished, but given the rain and the cold I figured that everyone was just ready to get the heck out of there. We took a few pictures and then headed home. I drove Jennifer to her car at the racetrack, and Peter headed further down the shore to visit his father in Lavallette (which is where I spent my summers growing up and where I first met Peter). After I dropped Jennifer off I looked for the first fast food restaurant I could find, as I still hadn’t eaten anything besides a banana. McDonald’s was my first sighting, and a Big Mac meal served as my post-marathon nourishment. I needed to vent about the lack of food/water at the finish to someone who would truly understand (a fellow marathon runner) so I called my friend Jen and luckily she answered the phone. I vented at her for quite some time, and she agreed with me that it was appalling. Thanks, Jen!

I got a little lost heading back up north, but eventually made it to Jennifer’s house where I took a shower and then rested and relaxed on the couch for the rest of the night. I had to drive back to Massachusetts the next day, so all I wanted to do was veg on the couch. And that is what I did!

(Post-script: After many emails back and forth with the race director about the lack of food and water at the finish, I discovered that the volunteers who were handing out water and Gatorade at the finish line had abandoned their post without notifying anyone. That certainly didn’t make me feel better, but at least there was a reason. And the Race Director claims that they had enough food left over to donate to a charity. Where that food was, I will never know. Even the food volunteer told me they had run out. And no, I wasn’t so delirious after the marathon that I couldn’t understand her; you can ask my sister and she’ll tell you the same thing!)

Monday, April 27, 2009


I don't know why I am so nervous; the marathon is 6 days away! I hope my nerves settle down because they take the energy away from where I need it most. I've already started to make a pile of stuff to pack even though I don't leave for 3 1/2 days. That's partly to expend my nervous energy and partly because I have to be packed and ready to go Thursday morning and I have plans until late Wednesday night. In other words, I need to be packed and ready to go before bed on Tuesday. I am always afraid I will forget something, but honestly, when it comes right down to it...I can buy most things at a store! As long as I have my running shoes and my planned running outfit, everything else can be bought. (I guess technically I could buy new shoes and running clothes but runners know you should NOT wear anything new the day of a marathon!). I'm going to the expo on Friday to pick up my number and shirt, and to browse around. I'll also drive the course. That way, on Saturday all I have to do is drive to the B&B and RELAX! I don't even need to go NEAR the frenzy that will be at the Expo on Saturday!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Need some Motviation!!!

It's hot today. In the 80s and very sunny with no clouds. A perfect day for the beach. A perfect day for many outdoor activities. But not so perfect for me for running. I would rather run in a snowstorm than in heat. In fact, I'd rather run in just about any weather condition (except for lightning). But it's hot today. And I must run. I'm scheduled for only 3 miles today and 8 miles tomorrow. Sounds pretty simple given the earlier long runs during my marathon training. But even 1 mile for me in this heat is too much. I had planned to switch the mileage and do 8 today and 3 tomorrow because I have plans tomorrow and I don't want to have to cram everything in. As the day progresses, we'll see what I decide. I'm just kind of living in denial for a few more hours until I have to head out the door...

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Well, I finally did that second 20 miler, two days after the tough run on Sunday when Wendy rescued me. I took the afternoon off from work, got home by 12:30 and was out the door by 12:40. I ran the first 10 miles, and then at about mile 10.5 I started to walk. I was getting dizzy and short of breath. However, I was determined to finish the 20 miles, even if I had to walk the second 10 miles. Luckily, I didn't have to walk the entire second half, but I did walk quite a bit. The dizziness and shortness of breath continued, and eventually my calf muscles got very tight. These are all signs of dehydration, but I couldn't understand why I would be dehydrated. Yes, it was a warm and sunny day. But I had hydrated with water for 4 days prior to the run, ate lots and lots of carbs, drank water AND Gatorade every 1.25 miles, consumed 5 electroylyte tablets during the 20 miles, and ate 6 GU packets. How could I have gotten dehydrated? The only thing I can think of is that it was the first really warm/sunny day on which I had a long run. Hopefully that's all it was and my body is now adjusting to the warmer weather. My final time was 20 minutes slower than the 20 mile race, which obvioulsy meant one minute per mile slower. But that's okay...I finished!

Today I was supposed to do a 12 miler, my last double digit run before the marathon. However, after spending 4 days babysitting my nephew, I was wiped out. Just plain exhausted. I did 4 miles and have postponed the 12 miler to Tuesday after work. Luckily it is light out late enough that I should be able to get the 12 miler done before it gets dark.

Less than 2 weeks to the marathon!!!! Tomorrow I volunteer at the mile 19 clock at the Boston Marathon. Hopefully it will inspire me! :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009


So I did all the "right" things to prepare for today's 20 mile run. I carbo-loaded on both Friday and Saturday nights, and I rested most of the weekend. And then I drove along my route (10 miles out and back) on Saturday afternoon to stash water and Gatorade. I slept VERY late today (almost 11) and when I woke up I ate a peanut butter sandwich and a Luna bar. Half an hour later, I was off on my run. Within a mile, I knew it was going to be a tough run. I felt nauseous. And shaky. But onwards I went, thinking that I had 20 miles total so the feeling would go away.

By mile 5, I knew the feeling was not going to go away any time soon. In fact, I started walking a bit around mile 5.5. Somewhere between mile 7 and 8, I started to walk quite a bit. I had water and Gatorade stashed at mile 8. I decided at that point to turn around and make it a 16 miler. I also decided that I would have to walk most of the second half. (This was a VERY difficult decision for me, as I typically push myself to complete the full mileage even if I'm not feeling my best. However, I decided that it was crazy to keep going at that point.) Not only was I continuing to keep feeling nauseous, but my heart rate went sky high every time I ran. Obviously your heart rate goes up when you run, but it was uncomfortably high.

I dressed well for the cold and windy conditions, but I dressed to RUN. Once I started walking, I started getting cold. All of my clothing was soaked with sweat, and all of this sweat became like a sheet of ice against my skin. I pulled my sleeves down over my hands to keep them warm, and kept walking forward. I had walked about 3 miles when I heard an angel's voice. It turned out that my friend Wendy from my Massachusetts running club was getting gas and saw me walking by and called out my name. She asked if I was okay. I replied "no" and walked towards her. She told me to get in the car and she offered to drive me home from there. THANK YOU, WENDY! I had 5 more miles to go and honestly I think I would have frozen solid if I had had to walk those last 5 miles. It was FATE....and it worked in my favor...BIG TIME! Honestly, how long does it take to fill up a tank of gas? Maybe 5 minutes? How did I get lucky enough to be passing by Wendy at the right moment and how lucky was I that she saw me and recognized me? I was so grateful for that fateful moment.

So I'm going to try the 20 miles again on Tuesday; I'm taking the afternoon off from work. This time I will avoid any food within a few hours of the run! We'll see how it goes. Just to be safe, I'm going to start from home, run out 5 miles then back, returning to my condo at mile 10. Then I'll do it all over again. This way, I'll never be more than 5 miles away from home.

Cross your fingers... My marathon is 3 weeks away and I need to complete this final long run!

Monday, March 30, 2009

racing in the rain

A few months ago I signed up for the Eastern States 20 mile race on March 29th as it is 5 weeks before my marathon and my training schedule called for a 20 mile run that day. I ran the race in 2007 and volunteered at the race for 2 or 3 years before that. It’s a BEAUTIFUL route, mostly along the ocean. It starts in Kittery, Maine and ends in Salisbury, MA so you are able to say that you ran through 3 states during the course of the race!

The weather prediction for the race was not good (rain, rain, and more rain) but I always say it could be like that on marathon day so I might as well get used to it. Well, when my alarm went off early Sunday morning (race day), I came VERY close to bagging it. I figured why drive all the way up to Maine to run in the pouring cold windy rain when I could just run 20 miles here? However, knowing I’d probably not get out of bed until late afternoon if I stayed home, I got myself out of bed.

It’s a point to point race, so they bus you to the start and then from the finish they bus you to the post-race party where your car is. I don’t like dealing with the bus (for a lot of reasons, which I won’t mention since they are boring), so my friend Christina agreed to meet me at the finish area, where I parked my car. She then drove me to the start. The whole way there, I was questioning whether or not I really wanted to run the race. As the raindrops became more and more heavy, I was wondering why I would be so crazy as to do this. When I showed up at the starting area, I discovered that hundreds of other runners were just as crazy as me (though I discovered later about 300 people who had pre-registered did not show up).

I’d say it rained for about 95% of the race; sometimes the rain was heavy and sometimes it was not. But it always seemed to be there. It was also a bit cold. And VERY windy. For the most part, the wind was at my back, but in certain sections the wind drove the rain straight into my face; and since it was cold, I felt like my face was going to fall off or freeze. I just kept moving, knowing that I needed to get to the finish line to get to my dry car. I had to force myself to stop for water or GU or electrolyte pills, as stopping meant I would get cold, and it would prevent me from moving forward to where my car was.

Now keep in mind that I was still sick with a sinus infection, and had been all week. Needless to say, I had snot on my face for most of the race. J Sorry to gross you out, but these are the things that happen on long runs when the weather conditions are as they were and you are sick with a stuffy head! But I didn’t care. I just wanted to get to that finish line. In fact, a friend of mine was directing traffic at mile 18 and he tried to stop me to tell me I had snot on my face and even tried to wipe it off. I repelled him as it would only delay me from the finish.

My goal was to finish the race. And I did. My secret goal was to finish in under 4 hours. And I did. My super-secret goal was to finish in 3:40. But I did not. I was 6 minutes slower. Given the weather and my sickness, I was thrilled just to finish. I headed straight for the car, turned up the heat, and drove to Christina’s house for a shower. My clothes were not just wet; they were saturated! It was as if I had gone swimming in my clothes. No exaggeration! A warm shower never felt so good!

I missed the post-race party as I did not want to drive there. I just wanted to shower and change into warm clothes. I didn’t care, though. I ran a 20 mile race in crazy weather! Enough said.

Friday, March 27, 2009

am I cursed?

Just when the calf/foot injury started to feel tolerable, a sinus infection reared its ugly ahead. Symptoms emerged on Monday afternoon, and by Monday night were in full force. Tuesday morning I woke up very early, as I could not sleep due to an irritated throat from post-nasal drip (sorry if you're grossed out). I debated whether or not I should go to work. I remembered that I only had one meeting that day and it wasn't mandatory. I decided to stay home. I was able to sleep for most of the morning but I couldn't sleep at all in the afternoon. That's because I was waiting for an email back from my doctor which I was hoping would say "I've called a prescription in" and because I was scheduled to have a date on Tuesday night and I was waiting for him to call back to figure out what to do (and if I should even venture out). The doctor's message never came, but the date did call at 6:15 for a 7:00 date. I basically told him that I shouldn't go out but if he did in fact want to see me in my sick state, that I could motivate to take a shower if he wanted to drive all the way out to where I live (about a half an hour) and have dinner. I figured taking a shower and getting fresh air might help. I'm not sure that it did, but it was nice to re-join the land of the living for a short while.

Wednesday morning I was still not well so I slept in, then called my doctor's office. They were of no help so I went to the new Minute Clinic at CVS. Heather Beane, R.N. graciously and thoroughly helped me. By Wednesday afternoon, I was on amoxicillin, Sudafed, the Neti Pot, and Afrin spray. The hard part was that I had no energy to run. In fact, I took Tuesday off from running; and Monday is always a day off so I had 2 days off in a row. This is tough for any runner, but for one training for a marathon, and with a 20 mile race in 5 days, it was bad.

I had plans to run 5 miles with my friend Sue on Wednesday, so I kept the commitment. Heather (R.N.) told me that I should be fine to run. Other than having little energy, the sinus infection didn't really bother me during the run (other than that I had to blow my nose more often!). Thursday I was able to run 8 miles and Friday I did a VERY slow 5 miles. Tomorrow it's another 5 mile run and then the 20 mile race is on Sunday.

At this point I am just hoping to finish the race. If I can do that after being sick with a sinus infection all week, I will be happy. Even if I come in last!

Monday, March 23, 2009

desperate times

Yesterday was the first time I brought money with me on my run (and I’ve been running since 2002!). Little did I know at the time how important this decision was. I’m not quite sure why I did tuck a 20 dollar bill in my pouch; perhaps I was reminded of my friend Sue who stuck money in her Fuel Belt the day we ran 17 miles together. Interestingly, though, I didn’t pack any money during my 18 mile run last weekend. Perhaps I had a feeling of things to come.

The route I took was 6.5 miles east on the Boston Marathon route from Natick to Wellesley, with a turn-around at the 6.5 mile mark to get back to where I started. The whole way east I had a tail wind, which was quite lovely in many ways. One of those ways is that I didn’t get cold. I’d say it was in the upper 40s, maybe even 50 degrees. I wore shorts, a short sleeved shirt, and a long sleeved shirt over that. I was quite comfortable. The sun was also shining brightly.

Well, guess what happened? I turned around at the 6.5 mile mark and was faced with a terrible head wind. And the clouds had emerged so the nice warm sun was gone. What did this mean? I was COLD!! I think this may have only been the 2nd time ever during a run that I actually got cold (usually the opposite happens to me). I knew that running in these conditions for 6.5 miles was going to be very tough. And as tough as I’d like to think I am, I didn’t want to get myself sick (not this close to marathon day)!

I remembered I had the 20 dollars in my pouch. The turnaround point was near a great store in Wellesley called Thunder Sports. I remembered that they have a “Clearance” rack that has GREAT deals on athletic clothing. So I went into the store, sweaty and smelly as can be, and bought a pink Champion sweatshirt for 20 dollars. Luckily there was no tax! I asked the cashier to take the tags off, I put the sweatshirt on, and off I went. Warm but not overheated. I can’t imagine how cold I would have been without it. You must know that I was desperate if I actually wore COTTON to run in! I never wear cotton, as it absorbs sweat and doesn’t wick it away. But I figured for the purpose of the day, it would be fine. And it was. Now I have a nice new sweatshirt for those cold nights. J

I think I’ll carry money with me on every run from now on…

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I've been running marathons since 2003 and only once during that time did I have to abandon training due to an injury: in 2005 when I was doing an 18 mile training run for the NJ Marathon my knee gave out at mile 10 and I could not run for quite some time (months!). Guess what? I'm training for the NJ Marathon again and I got injured again! Am I not meant to run this marathon??!! I am hoping this time the outcome will be different.

What happened was this...I ran 18 miles on Sunday with no problems. On Monday I ran 5 miles and at around mile 4 I started to experience pain in the arch of my right foot. By the time the 5 miles was up, I was experiencing serious pain and was happy I was done. I emailed my running club and posted on Facebook to seek suggestions regarding what might be wrong and what I should do. I was flooded with responses and was so grateful to everyone who took the time to write. The most popular suggestion was that I had plantar fasciitis. That night (Tuesday) I followed up on everyone's suggestions and spent much of the night treating myself. Wednesday night my massage therapist squeezed me in. She concluded that my calves were really tight as was the bottom of my foot, but that it had probably not yet progressed to plantar fasciitis! She feels with proper treatment I can continue training. Woo hoo!

I decided to take a few days off from running while I am treating myself. I feel like I've gained 10 pounds! I haven't run since Monday. I wish I had time for a 3 mile run on Friday but I don't think I do. However, I am going to attempt a 3-5 mile run on Saturday and see how things go. If they go well, I'm going to attempt 13 miles on Sunday. Cross your fingers...

The NJ Marathon is 6.5 weeks away. I've come way too far in training to let an injury get in the way! We'll see...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Many non-runners ask me if I ever get the "runner's high" that everyone seems to hear about. I can't say I quite know what that means, but I *can* say that I often get on "auto pilot." For me, "auto-pilot" means my brain is kind of mushy because I am putting all of my mental energy into the run and only the run; this typically happens only during really long runs. For example, during the Boston Marathon in 2008 some of my students were on the side of the road in Wellesley and were bare-chested (with the letters of my name on each of their chests). I stopped to say hello to them and to get my GU energy gel from Philip, but I DID NOT NOTICE THAT THEY WERE BARE-CHESTED!!! I know this sounds crazy, but it's a perfect example of what I mean by "auto-pilot." All of my mental energy is dedicated to the run so I become oblivious to details that are not related to the run. It was not until I saw pictures of the students a couple of days later that I realized they were bare-chested!! On occasion, this concerns me as I worry that I might not see a car or something safety-related like that. But so far so good.

By the way, I ran 18 miles today, definitely had that auto-pilot feeling, and ended the run covered in salt. It was very sunny so I sweated quite a bit. And when out running for several hours, that sweat has nowhere to go but to dry on me. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009


Fridays are usually my days off from running and I must admit that I love having a day off!!!!!! I love getting in my pajamas early and resting/reading/relaxing/watching TV. It's so nice to not have a run to think about for once. Back to the roads tomorrow, though. Tomorrow is an 8 miler and Sunday is 18 miles!!! At least the weather will be decent. I might be able to run in shorts! I'm trying to figure out a new and creative 8 mile run tomorrow. I may actually drive somewhere to run so I can find a brand new route.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I learned something on my run today. It's something I have said many times before but I really *felt* it and *lived* it today (if that make sense): The most important part about running is how you FEEL....and if you feel good it does not matter what your stopwatch says. In fact, if you feel good, throw the watch out the window (or on the ground). I felt GREAT for the first 7 miles...and was loving almost every minute of the run. The last mile was a struggle as I bonked and my muscles shook....but for those first 7 miles I felt like I really got why running can be so great. And I didn't give a crap about my time!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

slow day

Today I was scheduled for a 5 mile run and I had to run at lunchtime. Today is my nephew’s birthday so I am going to his house right after work to celebrate. I baked two batches of brownies last night; we’ll probably have dinner and then brownies with ice cream. I got him two small gifts: a baseball and a baseball trivia game. His basketball season just ended and baseball is beginning so I thought they were appropriate gifts.

Anyway, back to my run. I decided to head out a different way from normal; I originally planned to go out 2.5 miles and then back the same route. But while out on this adventurous run, I discovered the route had lots of hills! And I don’t like hills. J So I decided an “out and back” approach would not be good because I didn’t want to deal with so many tough hills. If my marathon was a hilly course I might have pushed through (though probably not) but the marathon I am training for is flat. (Now I know you runners out there would tell me that hill training is “good for me” even if the marathon is flat. I don’t think I will ever CHOOSE to run hills even though I’m sure that is true.) So I just kind of ran around and hoped that the route would bring me back to my starting point at around the 5 mile mark. It did.

The tough part was how slow I was. Now, I always say I’m a “slower runner” to begin with but today was even worse. In fact, my pace was even slower than the pace I had during my 17 mile run on Sunday!!! The only thing I can attribute it to is that I am still recovering from the 17 mile run and my muscles are just not fully recovered. I was definitely feeling it in my muscles Sunday night and yesterday. We’ll see how things go during the 8 mile run I have scheduled for Wednesday. I will be able to run after work but it’s supposed to be pouring rain and in the mid 40s. I’ll take that over an 80 degree day any time!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

a new running experience

Today I experienced something new: I completed a long run with someone else! I had never wanted to do a long run with anyone else because I'm kind of on the slow side (especially on long runs) and I like to be able to slow down and stop when I want to, and I didn't want to put anyone else through that. But a friend of mine from one of my running clubs knew all of that and wanted to run with me anyway! What a sweetheart. We ended up running 17 miles which were mostly on the Boston Marathon route and we saw many other runners out there today. The weather was beautiful! In the low 50s, sunny, but with a bit too much wind. I wore shorts and a long sleeved shirt as well as my Red Sox hat! :) Somehow during the second half of the run I stopped my Garmin watch so I didn't get our exact pace but I had a good idea of what we ran because I checked our pace at the halfway point. And since we did an out and back, I know we did at least 17 miles. Woo hoo!

So what was it like completing a long run with someone else? Pretty good! My friend is just a bit faster than me on long runs so I didn't feel like I was really slowing her down. Plus, she was only scheduled for 15, so I tried to convince her that a slow 17 was like a faster 15. :) And she stops on occasion to fix her shoe and/or stretch, so I was able to run ahead a few times knowing that she would catch back up with me fairly quickly. I enjoyed listening to everything that she had to say, which helped to pass the time....but I couldn't talk much myself. I need all of my strength and energy for my running and find that I just can't spare much energy for talking! I felt badly about that but she is so laid-back I am sure she didn't care.

I think the best part was when we made our final stop for fluids, less than a mile to the "finish." I told my friend that we were turning right on Hereford and that Boylston St. was up ahead. (For those of you who don't know, those are the final two turns before the Boston Marathon finish line). It was fun to think about our approach to the finish line, and to celebrate once we "crossed" it. (Really, we just ran past by condo and declared oursleves finished.)

My friend left to go home and shower/rest. I quickly showered and went out for a Big Mac, something I only allow myself after a very long run. I think I might trying to do a long run with her or someone else in the future. It was better than I expected....much better!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Half Marathon Co-Curricular

This semester I am facilitating a co-curricular entitled "13.1 and Done: Half Marathon Training." I work at a college where faculty and staff can share their hobbies through the co-curricular program; these "classes" appear on a student's academic transcript but they don't get academic credit for them. There are about 17 students in this co-curricular, most of whom have never run a half marathon before. We meet weekly on Thursdays for about 30-40 minutes to talk about training, share tips, discuss road conditions (snow/ice), and generally talk about running. I provided the students with a training schedule from Hal Higdon's web site, and most of them have been following it fairly closely. Some are in the novice program, some in the intermediate program, and some advanced. Today we had a meeting and realized that we are just over one month from our goal race: Sunday, April 5th. I am getting really excited for the students!!! They even designed a shirt for all of us to wear that has our names on the back of it. It will be a wonderful day to see them accomplish their goal.

I must admit I spent at least the first five minutes of today's meeting complaining about my broken Garmin watch. This is the second Garmin watch that has broken on me, and I have now spent a total of almost 400 dollars on watches that have broken. That is a TON of money for me!!! (for most people!) I am hoping REI will understand and give me a new one or at least return this one to Garmin to fix. I don't want to buy a new one as I don't have the money and also because of the principle of it. Yet I have become SO reliant on this tool; the most important thing it does is track my distance and pace. I never have to plot out a run ahead of time to figure out the distance because my Gamin always does (did) it for me. And it's helpful to know my pace to see where I'm at. We'll see what happens!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quick Update

So today's plan to squeeze in a run didn't go quite as planned. I had a meeting with a student at 4:00 and actually showed up to the meeting in my running clothes, as I really needed to get out on the run to get the 4 miles in and shower in time for the dinner. The meeting with the student ran late, and I had a really hard time ending the meeting due to the sensitive nature of it. So I only had time for 3 miles. The problem was that my year-old Garmin watch that measures my distance during my runs conked out, so I had to guess at the mileage. I actually have 2 Garmins, and both have conked out!!!! I'm heading to REI very soon to return the one I bought there last year and hopefully get a replacement! It should last for more than it has for sure!!

So tomorrow's run I will have to plot out ahead of time so that I know I have run 8 miles, since obviously I can't use my Garmin.

Technology is great when it works, right??

Squeezing in Training

So I have had a busy week and it will continue to be busy until the weekend. What I hate is trying to fit my training into a busy schedule. Yesterday I had a 4 miler on my schedule; obviously to us marathon runners this is a VERY short run and shouldn't take very long (for me I plan for 45 minutes so that I can account for getting stopped at lights, slowing down if I need to, etc.) My nephew Shane had a basketball game in Milton, MA at 6:30. I get out of work at 5:00. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Milton from work in rush hour traffic. And I need to shower after I run because I am always soaked in sweat. You do the math! It doesn't add up. So what I did was leave work about 15 minutes early (4:45), go on the run, and then take a VERY quick shower (luckily my office building has a shower). I didn't even have much time to dry my hair but I made an effort because it was around 20 degrees outside!! The traffic was bad and I got to the game about 10 minutes late. Better late than never!

Today's dilemma is that I have an 8 mile run to complete and I have a dinner at 6:00 for work (meeting at 5:45). So the "easy" thing to do would be to do the 8 miles tomorrow and do Thursday's run today (4 miles). will still require me to leave work early and take a shower before the dinner. AND...I don't have time for an 8 mile run on Thursday because Shane has another basketball game at 6:30. (This is likely the last game of the season). So you see my dilemma!

I know that many of you smart people reading will ask why I don't just get up early and run before work? Then you might remember that I cannot get up early for almost anything. Getting up early to run is just not an option for me. Running at lunchtime would be an option except that FOUR out of the five days of the work week I have a meeting at lunch time for work! This is why I don't feel so bad leaving early to run on some days...because I don't really get a "proper" lunch break. I think what I will do on Thursday is take an extra long late lunch and do the 8 miles then. Then I can stay at work a little late and still get to the game in time.

Not all weeks are this crazy...I'll be glad when this one is over!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

My First Post!

Hello! Thank you for reading. Why did I decide to create a blog called "Running Marathons for Life (?)"? Well, I set a goal of running a marathon in each of the 50 states, and am finding myself in a bit of a training rut. So I thought blogging about my training might help to motivate me. Knowing I have to blog will help get my butt out on the roads and get the miles in. Plus, I'm hoping some people will actually read this and maybe provide some tips and/or encouragement.

So where do things stand right now? Well, I just decided to pursue this goal in the fall, right after the Clarence DeMar Marathon in Keene, NH. At this point I have run 7 marathons in 5 states; only 45 states to go! There is a 50 States Marathon Club that I can join after I run a marathon in 10 states, which I am hoping to do by the end of 2010. Many members of this club run multiple marathons each month (some run 2 each weekend!!!) but my goal will be 2 to 3 marathons per year. I am hoping to finish before I'm 60. :)

Why am I doing this? Well, I like to challenge myself. I didn't run my first step ever until early 2002, and about a year and a half later I completed my first marathon. I was toying with the idea of pursuing this goal after talking to a few members of the 50 States Marathon Club at the Clarence DeMar Marathon. It seems like such a fun and supportive group. Then my friend Kathy told me that her late husband Bill had talked about joining the club right before he passed away (both Kathy and Bill are good friends of mine from Maine; Bill tragically died at a half marathon in Hampton, NH on 2/10/08 and I unfortunately was a witness at around the mile 6.5 mark; more on this some other time). Hearing what Kathy said was all I needed to motivate me to make a decision about pursuing the goal. Bill's spirit will be with me as I pursue the marathons, and I can pay tribute to him.

Happy reading and running! OH, and by the way, the reason I added a question mark to the title of the blog is that this is an unknown journey that could lead to unexpected twists and turns.