May 26, 2008

RR – Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon – Boston, MA

Hell yeah!! I ran a freakin’ half marathon yesterday, and I can still walk!! I think that’s the most impressive thing!

Woke up this morning at 4:58 am – had the clock set for 5:00 am. Wow – that seems like it was a lifetime ago! Started up the espresso maker so I could have a latte, and for breakfast I had 2 whole wheat English muffins with PB, a banana, and 2egg whites. Breakfast definitely kept me feeling full for most of the morning, unlike a couple of weeks ago when I was hungry before the M.O.M.’s 5K even started!

Got dressed and got everything together – I decided to wear my Nathan hydration pack since it was going to be on the warmer side today and I filled up the water bottle with ice. That worked out perfectly because I was able to have a little water if I needed it, and there was actually still some ice when I finished my run.

We left the house a little after 7 and took the train. We didn’t want to mess with trying to park near the Seaport where the race started and ended. We got to the Silver line (which is actually a bus) in record time, but after waiting for about 20 minutes I started to get antsy, so we left South Station and grabbed a taxi. We made it to the Seaport about 10 minutes before the start – enough time to get a before photo.

There were pace markers set up so I made sure to stay toward the back. Obviously a lot of people didn’t know they were there because I got passed a whole lot the first mile! Either that or people started late because they couldn’t get the Silver line bus!

Anyway, it was a picture perfect day to run. About 70 degrees, nice cool breeze. Nothing like Boston in the springtime. I felt fantastic for a majority of the race. I ran all the way to the first water station, which was about 1.5 miles into the race. Supposedly there were aid stations every 2 miles, but I think that was a crock. Seemed like forever between the first and second stations.

I remember walking up some of the Longfellow Bridge, but running down the other side and under the underpass onto Memorial Drive. I may have taken a walk break every once in awhile, but I really ran a lot of this race. I was averaging a 12:30 mile according to my Garmin. About halfway down Memorial Drive – 45:00 minutes or so into the race – the elite runners were on their way back. I think the winner finished in 1:14:24 – a 5:41 pace. Geesh!

The turnaround point was around Mile 7 and I was able to see that there were actually quite a few people behind me. Once again there were a guy and girl doing the walk, sprint past me, walk thing again…the whole time I’m just running my penguin pace, slow and steady. At some point I lost them – until the “mistake” happened.

All was going well, I was feeling great – albeit “knackered” along about Mile 10. By then I was back in the city and running down Charles Street. We got to run through the Back Bay which was really nice. I’m sure it will be much more crowded during the Corporate Challenge next month – not really excited about that. Anyway, at Mile 11 there was an aid station and someone was on a stretcher with EMT’s. I couldn’t see who it was. Oh, and within the first few miles on Memorial Drive there was a girl sitting on the curb who looked like she had rolled her ankle.

So, I get to Boylston Street – where they have already opened up the streets to traffic. Now let me tell you – that sucks, and don’t think I won’t be writing to the race organizers. Even more galling – Jerel tells me they stopped announcing the finisher’s names at 2:25. That’s ridiculous!!

Anyway, between trying not to get run over and keep moving, the “mistake” happened. Yes, I missed the turn onto Washington Street and went 2 blocks past it. I would still be wandering Chinatown if it hadn’t been for a bike cop who told me I was going the wrong way – along with another girl who was following me!! That totally threw me for a loop and really mentally crushed me. As I was headed back to where I was supposed to be I saw a bunch of people that I had passed earlier going down Washington and there was no way I could catch them. It was also about this time that my right foot started to hurt, and my left toes were feeling smooshed into the side of my shoe again. I also never saw the Mile 12 marker.

I kept on going though – I even got to run down Water Street which is next to my office and I waved! Too cool!!

It had been my personal goal to finish in 3:00, and I really pushed toward the end to make it happen. I felt like I ran down Seaport Blvd for hours though. If it weren’t for the people there cheering me on I don’t think I could have ever done it. Finally, finally, I got closer to the finish line and tears just started welling up in my eyes and falling down my cheeks. I had actually done it – run a half-marathon. Jerel ran up next to me and spurred me on to the finish. I crossed the finish line at 3:02:55 (chip time 3:01:34), which was a 13:51 minute mile average. According to my Garmin, I ran 13.55 – so I went quite a bit out of my way when I missed the turn.

Jerel was right there at the finish with some water for me, and a hug. I was so full of emotion that I had actually done this – and I was also thinking there is no way I’m going to be able to run a full marathon! Luckily I have 5 months to train!!

I headed inside to drop off my chip and pick up my finisher’s medal – my first!!

Jerel had done some recon and found out where the Silver Line was (we don’t spend a lot of time in the Seaport area), and while we were standing waiting for the bus Jerel asked me what was on the toebox of my right shoe. “Um…looks like blood”, I said. Oh yeah…I remembered that my foot was hurting.

We finally got home and the first thing I wanted to do was take an ice bath – but I was flipping out when I took my shoes and socks off. Talk about war wounds!! I had 2 huge blisters on the instep of my right foot, and on top of the toe next to my big toe. I mean – it is huge and purple. On my left foot, I have a blister at the bottom of my fourth toenail. It’s almost like the toenail has been rubbed out of the toebed. My manicurist is going to freak out when I see her on Friday.

So, I took my ice bath. I was going to stay in for 10 minutes, but I moved the wrong way and I suddenly had a weird spasm in my left oblique. I figured that was enough and took a shower. After I got ready we went over to Pops for our usual post-race brunch. Oh, my Garmin said I burned 1700 calories! After brunch we decided to take a little snooze, but my legs were, not really aching, but they felt like I was still running. Not sure if that makes sense. I did snooze for about 20 minutes, but then got up and surfed the net, did some laundry, etc.

I’m not in too much pain. My lower back and hips are a little sore right now, but my legs seem to be okay. We’re going to take Tigger for a walk in a few minutes – I want to stay loose. Of course – tomorrow and Tuesday might be an entirely different story!! I am supposed to see Tara Tuesday morning for training, but I have a massage booked for Tuesday night. Nice!

May 17, 2008

Penguin in the House

May 17, 2008

I's about time I actually got around to making a post here!! I have officially begun training for the Nike Marathon (10.19.08) with Team in Training, so now is as good a time as any to start writing.

This morning we met at the crack of dawn - 8:00 am - over at MIT. My hubby drove me over and waited for me in the car for over 2 hours. What a guy! The first 1.25 hours was a shoe and clothing clinic with a rep from Marathon Sports. I've been fitted there and actually just bought another new pair of shoes the other day, and I have plenty of non-cotton running clothes. Finally, around 9:20 we headed outside to do our 2 mile run.

And, that's where the title of this post comes in. I am a serious penguin when I run, because I am damn slow. We took off, and almost eveyone passed Andrea within the first few minutes. You know what though - I don't care. I run for me and yes, I run slowly, but by golly I CAN run. It's hard to believe that 20 months ago I weighed 300 lbs and couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs. (Go here if you're interested in my weight loss story).

So, I ran. I ran over the Mass Ave bridge and down the ramp to the Esplanade, and I ran until I reached the spot where the TNT folks were there waiting for the turnaround. I turned and ran back to the ramp, ran up the ramp, back over the bridge all the way to the MIT building we started from. I RAN the whole thing. My Garmin said I actually ran 2.11 miles - without stopping!! Even better, I felt great. I am officially labeling myself a penguin though!

I plan on tracking my training over the next 5 months with this blog, so feel free to stop on by and see how I'm doing. I'm going to need all the help I can get!!