Thursday, April 24, 2008

my own real bed

I have a new bed. A real bed with a mattress, box spring, frame, and nice sheets. Queen size. And it's really comfortable. I have not had my own real bed for a long time. I have been sleeping on couches, futons, guest beds, hotel beds, and the floor for over a year now. It is really nice to have my own bed. This is one of those things that I didn't know I missed so much until now.

Here I am 15 minutes after running Boston. 5 minutes after it I was not doing so well. It's amazing what a bottle of water and some potato chips can do.
More Boston photos on my Flickr account.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

thoughts during a marathon

What do I think about during a marathon? Several people have asked me this in the past couple of days....

  • I break it down into mile repeats and think of it as 26 x 1 mile. 1 mile is easy.
  • I get into a rhythm of counting my steps up to 10 over and over
  • I look at something ahead and tell myself to run to that. Then I pick a new spot.
  • I make a game of seeing how many people I can pass
  • I imagine myself as an Olympic runner, running effortlessly with perfect form
  • I imagine myself as a gazelle running through the forest
  • At Boston I thought about my virtual cheerleaders one mile at a time
  • I think about the perfect delicious meal that I will have when I am done
  • I think how grateful I am to have two good strong legs that let me run races
  • I think about how in this moment I don't have to worry about anything but running
And sometimes I think:
  • I am really tired. I don't know if I can make it. Yes you can make it. You do not give up.
  • Wow, my legs hurt. I am not going to be able to walk for a week after this.
  • Why do I do this again?
  • That slick looking Boston marathon jacket will make this pain all worth it.
  • It's no wonder the first runner of the marathon in Greece died after running... this is no joke
But I try to push those thoughts away pretty quickly and get back to the more positive ones.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I ran the Boston marathon! I heard it was a tough course and it was. My plan was to start out at a 9 minute pace and then monitor my body throughout in order to decide if I would pick up the pace or not. I wasn't sure if my recovering hip injury would be an issue or not. My goal was to get to the finish line, enjoy the experience, and pace myself well enough to run the last three miles. My injury has had me running in the water for the last 6 weeks so I was not sure how things would go. I knew my aerobic engine was up to the task but I was not so sure about my legs.

The first half was easy and felt good. It was a joy to be out running a long run again for the first time in a while. Then fatigue and soreness started and it got to be less of a joy. The downhills had my quads exhausted by mile 17. I actually enjoyed the uphills and loved Heartbreak Hill because it was so long. It gave me a good chance to use all my strength from muscles other than my quads and I passed a lot of people on the uphills.

There were more spectators out there than at any race I have ever done. It was pretty much completely insane. People were cheering for nearly the entire 26 miles, and in the last 4 miles people were about 3 deep on both sides. At some points I kind of just wished for a quiet moment to find peace and get in my groove. I had to find my groove amidst people screaming in my ears. The last 5 miles were quite torturous as I worked hard to just get one foot in front of the other. My legs were not happy. I managed to keep a fairly steady pace by working extremely hard at the end. I fought to get in under four hours and I came in dead on 4:00:34. The last half mile up to the finish line was pure happiness. I felt no pain. I smiled and felt proud to have run the whole race. Just a few weeks ago I was doing 3 min run/1 min walk intervals to try to heal. I am healed and I ran smart. I feel really proud of how I am learning to deal with challenges and make things positive.

Now, let's rest up and bring on the core of Ironman training.

perfect race at aquarena

My first triathlon of the year could not have gone any better. I was organized, calm, my nutrition worked, and I focused to go hard. Everything went according to plan. I ended up first in my age group (30-34) and second female overall. This is the best I have ever placed in a triathlon. To top it off, I had the fastest female bike time of the day and I set a PR for my 5K run. This was a huge confidence builder and a great way to kick off the season. Clearly I have been doing something right. It's only April.

Photos here:
[Thanks Mo!]