Marathon Monday 2012… Epic!

Holy Moly!  I just switched roles and spectated at a marathon for the first time EVER… and not just any race! The mother of all marathons!  It was such a blast.  There were so many times today when I just had goose bumps and chills running up and down my body. 

The excitement spreading down the street as the circling helicopter gets closer and closer… the leaders are coming!!!!! OMG I was giddy… I thought I was going to just roll over and cry and laugh all at the same time… and guess what?  I didn’t even know who anyone was.  All the runners I follow are in the Olympics this year, so they didn’t run today.  But holy cow… it was so epic to see someone run past you… mile 23… so close… so fast… so inspiring…

I’ll stop word vomiting about my excitement and get to the pictures…

On Sunday, Julia and I jumped off the T at Copley to check out the freshly painted finish line…

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Apparently, we weren’t the only ones…

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The whole city gets so excited… even my favorite burrito joint…

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We went to the expo to check out all the events… it was absolutely EPIC!  Desiree Davila (running on the US Olympic marathon team in London 2012) was at the expo talking about the course and giving tips for the hot weather conditions… DSCN0832

Everything was so inspiring today.  I was literally in love with every detail.  Every volunteer.  Every fan.  Every runner.  DSCN0834

I spent most of the day in Brookline with my friends, camped out at Mile marker 23…

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And then the lead women were coming… !!!!  They ran a relatively slow race today because it was SO HOT and the race officials spent days warning runners that they should not plan to set records this year.  And then soon enough the lead men were there… SO EXCITING!  so fast… 

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And then… Boom… tons of amazing athletes went zooming by… and then more and more and more…

and they were all SO AMAZING…DSCN0847

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I’m so glad I shared this experience with someone who thought it was just as cool as I thought it was!  We are so pumped to run our marathons in just a few weeks… Hopefully it won’t be 80+ degrees!

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Running is so simple

Running doesn’t need to be complicated.  I love reading about running, talking about running, writing about running… and running!  But sometimes getting so involved with the details of running makes me go a little coo coo for running strategies, tips, and extra accessories.  Here are a few things that I find helpful sometimes…

1. Compression socks.  I love my compression socks because they are a super awesome excuse for wearing warm big socks when Brendan says I look like a tool.  Sorry, I have to wear these right now!  They also make me feel like I am doing the right thing for my body after a hard long run.

2. Garmin 305…(aka Mr. Garmie)  I have a love/hate relationship with my Garmin.  Sometimes I love that I can monitor my progress or make sure that my runs pace is on track for an easy or quick run.  Sometimes I hate that I can’t get my legs to go any faster, and Garmie doesn’t lie to me.  I love that I feel like I can go for a run with or without my Garmin depending on what I want to get out of a run.  I’ll be using the Garmin for a while here in Cambridge so that I can get comfortable with various routes. 

3. Snacks.  I think Gus and chews are part physical part mental.  I’m not sure I really need them if I am also drinking a sugary electrolyte drink, but they are like the compression socks because they make me feel like I am following all of the right steps for a healthy training plan.

4. Shoes and clothes for every occasion.  When I ran cross country in high school I was fitted at Portland Running Company with Brooks.  I loved my Brooks because they were real running shoes… not for kids, not for play, not for blonde women with curled hair at the gym.  And for a while I thought that anyone wearing bright Nike shoes or old shoes couldn’t possibly be a real runner.  I feel really differently now.  Who cares?  I don’t have any pain wearing my Nike Lunarglides… they work for me.  To be honest, Nike has invested a lot in running shoe development in the past few years, so they really are better shoes than they used to be. 

This all leads me back to my thoughts today as I headed out the door for my first run in Cambridge.  I had spent quite a while looking up good routes on mapmyrun.com, I had my Garmin fully charged, I was wearing my favorite Lululemon top and Nike shorts, I had a running rain jacket, and I was wearing a non-favorite pair or running shoes in preparation for the rainy run.  I had thought out so many details for a simple 3 mile run.  Necessary? No.  Useful? I don’t know!!!  I know I’m glad I changed my shoes because lots of rain really does stretch out running shoes and make them less awesome, but the other stuff?  Would it have been so bad wearing a plain cotton t-shirt? 

I am so glad that all of these details reminded me that running doesn’t have to be complicated.  I am so glad that I was able to get over that.  I went out for a run, put my hood on, and listened to the simple noises of a good run: my feet splashing through the puddles, the rain drops on my hood, and the sweet steady rhythm of my calm breath.  I explored about 3.6 miles of Cambridge.  More than 3, not quite 4… precision doesn’t really matter, does it?  I just stopped when I got back home.


Running has taught me… I can

I went to Borders today with my brother and his girlfriend.  Whenever I go to Borders I love to grab a big pile of magazines and sit in the comfy chairs for hours.  In the stack today: Martha Stewart Weddings, Runner’s World, and Rachel Ray’s magazine.  I spent most of my time looking through the wedding magazine (just for fun!), but I found myself thinking a lot about the Runner’s World article I read about Lance Armstrong and the reader survey about cancer and running. 

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I read about all of these amazing stories.  People fighting cancer and coming back to run a marathon.  Lance Armstrong talked about proving that he was still alive and that he could do it when he got out of chemo and tried to go for a run  (whether you like him or hate him, you have to respect his battle).  The survey asked why readers thought cancer and running went together so well.  Besides the fundraising, there is a lot to be said for the number of people who battle cancer and continue to run OR survive cancer and then become a runner. 

This got me thinking… does running make me feel strong enough to fight the challenges in life… assure me that I can and will endure? 

Or have the struggles  in our lives taught us that we can battle, we can step up to challenges, we can endure another race?  Maybe I could be a runner?! 

I think it is a circle that starts with one or the other for different people.  Maybe you don’t like to get so introspective and running is your release, your time to STOP thinking about things like this, and you are like SHUT UP… I have to admit, I feel like that a lot!  But the moving articles in the July issue sure got me thinking. 


Webbing on my feet

When it rains in Oregon (365 days a year) everyone says that the true Oregonians don’t use umbrellas.  We are ducks (or beavers) and the webbing on our feet allow us to adapt, grow and thrive in the rain.  That means living, breathing, running and graduating in the rain!

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High School Graduation (2007)

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High School Prom (2007)

I grew up in the rain!  When I moved to Northern California it was still rainy and moist by most people’s standards, but sometimes I missed a good run in the rain.  Don’t get me wrong; I do not like carrying books and final papers in the rain across campus.  But there is something cleansing and refreshing about a good run under a nice morning drizzle. 

During my first year of college in Berkeley everyone pretty much cleared the streets and ran inside during the first big rain of Fall.  So I laced up my running shoes and took advantage of the clean sidewalks for a run.  People looked at me like I was crazy.  I felt like an Oregonian.

Yesterday I was scheduled for a 9 mile run in the morning before I had to go to work at a wedding for the catering company.  It rained all night and I woke up to standing water on the sidewalks and steady rainfall.  I thought,“NO WAY am I going running!”  A few hours later when I only had time for a few miles I laced up my shoes, got my rain gear on and hesitantly walked out the door.  I needed that run.  Less of an Oregonian?  Maybe, but I still have some webbing between my toes… 

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I only ran 4 miles, and I was so bummed that I didn’t have time for more because the rain was fine.  I only saw one runner while I was out, and the joys of running in the rain that day will remain our little secret.  Next time I’ll be quicker to take the plunge!


How’s running going?

Every time I see someone that I haven’t seen in a while they ask me, “How’s running going? How was your race?”  Ugh… that is not the same thing!!

How was my race? 

It was great, thanks! Do you really want to know how it went?  I’ve made the mistake of going into too much detail with non-runners only to be far too disappointed when they obviously don’t care or don’t actually understand.  Not their fault, right?  But it is so frustrating to have someone ask about something so personal, so emotional, so detailed, and reply, “It was great, thanks!”  FAIL.

Does it look like I liked it?

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No! Not really! (Mile 20-ish)

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Absolutely! So proud!  (Mile 26.19) lol

It just isn’t that simple.  Some people asked and I decided to give a simple, yet more honest answer: it was better than I expected, and it was really emotional.  Emotional? Didn’t you go running!!?  BAHHH… NVM.  Don’t ask.image

The truth is, my relationship with running is really complicated.  I started this blog when I was so obsessed with running and so excited to be a runner that I couldn’t find enough stuff to read, talk about, listen to, inhale, etc. about running.  And my boyfriend wanted me to SHUT UP about running and blogs!  Contrast that with this week when all I really have on my agenda now after graduating is my training plan for an upcoming race, and I am SO over it!  I have gone out for midweek 9 milers two weeks in a row and turned them into 4 milers.  I can’t find the passion.  I am starting to get worried. 

Like SkinnyRunner says:

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I know my race next weekend will help.  I know running with A.Jay when she moves back to Berkeley next week will help.  I know going home and having a running group will help.  But I need it now!