Tag: boston marathon

Thursday Things {04-25-2013}

ETA: Sorry for any trouble commenting this morning. There was a problem with WordPress but I think I managed to fix it. Please let me know if anything else comes up!

1. Thank you all for your very supportive comments on my Boston Marathon recap. I didn’t mean to come across as whiny or complaining (did I??), I was just trying to give you guys an honest account of what happened on race day.I’m one of those runners that likes the training almost as much as racing and I’d probably “train” even if I didn’t sign up for races so while I’m disappointed about the way things ended up, I’m not too upset about it.

The most frequent question I received in the comments was about the knee pain, was it from the hills and does it still hurt? I’m going to assume that the clicking/popping sensation was caused by a gait change due to the hilly course; however, I don’t think I actually injured my knee. After the race, I kept my knee wrapped until I got back to my hotel in the evening. I was nervous that my knee would hurt and I wouldn’t be able to walk without limping once I removed the ACE bandage but was surprised that my knee felt totally fine when I did. You know what didn’t feel fine though? My hamstrings, and my left one was particularly sore. I’m no specialist, but I have had pretty severe knee surgery so I’m going to assume I have a muscle imbalance/weakness in my left hamstring which is pretty common in people who have had an ACL repair (especially if you drop out of PT because it’s boring… stupid 15 year-old self). The only thing I can do is try to make it stronger so I will be working on that in the near future.


2. So many people have asked me what’s next and to be honest, I don’t know. Boston left me in a state of reflection. I’ve been thinking about my training, my racing, my mentality, my purpose… etc. This is good for me and probably long overdue. I haven’t come to any conclusions yet but I will share two things that I took away from my time in Boston.

  • You can’t control or prepare for everything. It’s inevitable that life will throw you curve balls and send you scrambling. It’s okay though because those moments make wonderful learning experiences.
  • Life is too short to take yourself too seriously.

I am running. I’ve pounded the pavement over a handful of times. All slower than normal and all easy miles. Things aren’t feeling normal but I’ve been feeling better with every run.

3. When I got back from Boston, all I wanted to do was curl up in a little ball on my couch and hibernate. It was gloomy out and I needed to grieve. So I did. I left my apartment to go to work but besides that I was as antisocial as you can be. By the weekend, I was feeling better and was eager to be out in the sunlight and to see friends. I did some shopping on Saturday and then met up with Katie and Emily at our new favorite spot, Taco Joint, for a margarita and some amazing tacos. By the end of the evening, I was smiling from ear-to-ear and felt thankful to have such great friends.


4. Monday, I went to Yoga Loft Chicago to take a core sculpt class. I had purchased a Groupon a while ago and had missed the fine print that stated the Groupon was only valid for first time attendees. Fortunately, Tim, the instructor, was awesome and let me use it anyway (I would have paid otherwise), and I attended an amazingly difficult but FUN class. I’m currently not paying for a gym membership, so I’m planning on upping the strength classes until training starts for the Chicago Marathon.

5. This past Tuesday was my birthday!!! I celebrated by working (ha) and then going out to a wonderful sushi dinner with Ian. I was also incredibly entertained by my friends who planned to have birthday someecards e-mailed to me every two hours and posted random birthday pictures of Nicholas Cage to my Facebook all day long. Here’s my fave:

How terrifyingly awesome is that? If you don’t understand the Nicholas Cage thing, check out Kelsey’s post.

6. I’m still trying to work on a blog posting schedule that’s best for me. I find that right now I’m happier when I’m not posting every day and as my responsibilities at work have increased, I’m noticing that I don’t want to spend more time on my computer when I’m at home. I blog because I enjoy it and I love interacting with all of you so the second that it starts to feel like a chore (or like more work), I know I need to back off for a bit. So I’ll still be posting here (you haven’t gotten rid of me yet!) but probably to a lesser extent and fairly randomly until I find an ideal routine.

What has been the highlight of your week so far? Mine was definitely my birthday dinner- Sunda is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants and I rarely get to go!

117th Boston Marathon Recap

The morning of the Boston Marathon started out wonderfully. I slept pretty well the night before, woke up, and was able to eat a rice cake with peanut butter before leaving the hotel. I arrived in downtown Boston at 6:30 am (right on time) and enjoyed a sunny but chilly hour long wait for a shuttle bus.


I enjoyed chatting with a few other runners while waiting and then used my time on the bus to warm up, eat a granola bar, and appreciate the moment: I was finally going to run the Boston Marathon!

When we arrived at Athlete’s Village, I was surprised how far away from the actual village my bus parked. I think we ended up walking about a half a mile to the runners area where I then stood in line for 30 minutes for a porta potty. Things were really in my favor at this point. I was feeling good, had no stomach troubles, and was just excited to run.

bostonathletesvilageAfter using the porta potty, I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and then walked over to the gear check to give them my bag. At this point, I had about 40 minutes until my wave started at 10:20 so I decided to walk the 0.7 miles to the start and watch the first wave go off.


I found another group of porta potties and made sure to go again (I learned my lesson at Disney) and then took off my throwaway clothes and gave them to the clothes donation volunteers. I made sure my music was working, put on my arm band, and before I knew it, I was walking toward my corral and we were off!

My plan was to start off slower but I knew it would be difficult. Boston is a downhill course with rolling hills and it can be really hard to take the first half easy. I also wanted to be careful not to brake too much on the hills because I’d heard that could kill your quads. When we first started running the course was congested (it was the entire race) but it was congested in a different way. I’ve never been surrounded by so many fast people before and I was inspired rather than frustrated. I kept what felt like an easy pace on the hills and tried not to get caught up in what other people were doing and run my own race. My first 10 miles were all sub-7:40 and right on track.

Around mile 11, my knee started to bug me. I knew I was coming up to the Wellesley Scream Tunnel which would give me a mental/emotional push but I couldn’t get past the fact that the back of my knee was popping (I had an ACL repair in high school so I’m super in tune with any knee troubles). I stopped a few times in the next few miles to stretch and push the back (it felt good) but the popping wouldn’t stop. I started to slow down a little bit and ran a few 7:42′s while considering what my best options were.

At mile 15, I found a first aid tent and decided to stop. I was nervous that if I continued on I would blow out my knee and be out for months. I also figured that I wasn’t going to win the race (:P) so it didn’t make sense to risk injury. The first aid tent wasn’t allowed to tape my knee because they didn’t have a PT on site (why??) but they were able to wrap my knee with an ace bandage and send me on my way. The bandage helped a lot (no more popping!) but after a mile and a half, it started to come unraveled and I had to stop at another first aid tent and ask them to re-tape my knee. The second tent used a different kind of bandage that made my foot fall asleep so another mile later, I stopped on the side lines and tried to fix it myself. Fortunately, a wonderful spectator had duct tape and helped me tape the ace bandage in place. I had no more trouble after that.

I’m not sure if it was all of the starting and stopping, the hills that I flew through (I was not hill trained at all), or the ace bandage on my knee throwing off my gait but my calves and hamstrings cramped the rest of the race and I could not get into a rhythm. I had a few random “quick” miles but the rest were done at shuffle pace with a few walking and stretching breaks. It sucked and I was upset BUT I used the time to appreciate the crowds, chat with other runners, and enjoy the race. Despite being in pain and missing my goal time, I had fun.

I obviously have a lot to reflect on with this race including: What went wrong? How can I prevent this from happening again? Why have I run my two slowest marathons this year when I’ve been in my best running shape? But, honestly, I think that sometimes you just can’t control what happens. I’ve had no knee pain whatsoever during training, so how could I have predicted it happening during the race? Plus, look at this elevation chart from my Garmin, there are no flat parts whatsoever….

bostonelevationHmmm seems like the official elevation chart is a little smoothed over ;). In all honesty though, I’m not sure how I could have trained for that type of course in Chicago.

I finished the race and debated going to the medical tent near the finish line but the large amount of runners in the area made me want to get my medal, my bag, and get out of there. I was waiting for my family in the family meeting area when I heard the two loud booms. I’m not going to go into too much more detail because it’s been documented in so many other places and because my emotions and my story are personal but the ten minutes following, until I found my family, were probably the scariest ten minutes of my life. Fortunately, we were all okay (my thoughts are with those who were not) and able to get back to our hotel eventually so I could take a hot shower (amazing), have a glass of wine (doubly amazing), and stretch out my tight hamstrings and quads.

Have you ever run Boston? Ever experienced a random injury during a race?

Goals for the 117th Boston Marathon

I’m going to keep this short and sweet :).

I have four main goals for the Boston Marathon:

1. Enjoy every moment of the race. Not everyone has the opportunity to run from Hopkinton to Boston and I intend to soak up every second I spend on the course.

2. Run a good mental race. I’ve trained HARD for Monday and while numerous factors may affect my physical performance, so long as I run smart, my mental game should be there.

3. Run smart! Don’t go out too fast, run good tangents, be mentally prepared for the downhill start and the rolling hills.

boston-coursemap4. Cross the finish line on Boylston Street with a huge smile on my face. It’s taken me two years to run this race (though I’ve qualified both years) and I’m so excited to finally be running it!

I may pop in again to post the training log of my last taper week… or I may not. It’ll depend on my schedule in Boston and how I choose to spend the day before the race. I’ll for sure be back next week with a race recap!

Marathon Training Week 11 {Boston Marathon}

I pinky promise that at this time I’m not stepping back from blogging, my lack of posts lately is due to a few things including still not having internet at home, getting food poisoning on Sunday night and not leaving my couch all day Monday, and then being busy at work wrapping stuff up before leaving for Boston. It’s been a busy few weeks and I’ve barely had time to get worried about taper.. which is a good thing I think. Anyway, here goes my training from last week.

week11Monday – OFF. First day in the new apartment and Ian and I both took the day off to get stuff done. We did pretty well but it was pretty jam packed with lots of running around.

Tuesday – Recovery 7 miler with 8 x 100 m strides (7:47 min/mile). I had a lot of energy so I let myself run by feel. My apartment is farther from the lake than my last one and as this was my first run from the new location, it was fun to see exactly how far away I was and to explore the area a bit.

tuesdayWednesday – V02 Max 8 miler with 3 x 1600 m at 5k race pace (5k race pace – 6:35 min/mile; overall for run- 7:34 min/mile). I slept through my alarm so I was already feeling scrambled when I headed out to run and I wasn’t mentally ready for a tough run. I ran a 2 mile warm up, 3 x 1600 m at 6:09, 6:32, and 6:45 with a 1600 m jog between. I was surprised how easy the 6:09 felt but then didn’t want to push hard on the last two (especially the last one). Even though I probably averaged around my target pace, I wasn’t happy with myself after this run.

wednesdayThursday – Recovery 6 miler (8:11 min/mile). I felt surprisingly good after my speed work on Wednesday and just wanted to keep running. I stuck to the taper schedule though and called it quits after 6 easy miles.

thursdayFriday – Easy 5 miler with 6 x 100 m strides (7:49 min/mile). I slept through my alarm again but was still able to squeeze in my short run. It was short and sweet and I felt pretty good.

friday1Saturday – Easy 6 miler (7:37 min/mile). I wanted to run a little harder so I let myself do it while exploring my neighborhood. I had no route in mind, just ran around and tried to wind up back at my place at mile 6. I really enjoyed this and will have to do more “exploring” after Boston.

Sunday – 12 miler (7:52 min/mile). I wasn’t feeling this run at all. Sometimes I psych myself out with shorter weekend long runs and don’t mentally prepare at all because “12 miles isn’t that long”… wrong! All long runs deserve more respect than that :P. To keep my mind entertained I ran to the tip of Navy Pier and stopped to take some pictures. I haven’t been out there since last summer.

sundayallAs you can see there was a complete lack of strength training last week. I debated doing some but decided not to because I wasn’t feeling it, our DVD player wasn’t set up, and I didn’t want to wear my body down anymore. Right now is the time to rest and trust my training.

Is everyone else loving running in the spring weather?

Marathon Training Week 10 {Boston Marathon}

**I know this is very delayed. My apologies. My main focus the past few days has been on packing, moving, and then unpacking. Also, we still don’t have internet set up in our apartment… we’ve had some issues with the proper hook-ups and provider confusion (technology is not my thing). I’m still running though… obvi so here goes last week’s training!

trainingMonday – OFF. Had my big toenail clipped off instead. Fun times.

Tuesday (AM) – VO2 max 8 miler with 5 x 600 m at 5k race pace (8:00 min/mile). My calves felt tight so I ran a slow 3 mile warm-up followed by my VO2 max intervals at 5k race pace with recovery pace between them and then more recovery miles. I felt much better after “shaking out” my legs.

Tuesday (PM) – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Levels 1 & 3 (40 mins). I did level 3 followed by level 1 and my arms were exhausted by the end… in a good way.

tuesdaystrengthWednesday – 10 mile easy run (8:06 min/mile). Beautiful morning for a nice and easy run. I covered my Garmin with my sleeve and ran by feel. I need to do this more often… maybe after Boston and before training for Chicago?

wednesdayThursday – 7 mile recovery run (8:38 min/mile). I’m pretty sure I got hit with delayed soreness from Tuesday’s strength workout and my body was tight and exhausted. I took it easy and enjoyed the slower pace. Nothing like some slow and soothing miles in the morning.

thursdayFriday (AM 1) – Easy 6 mile run with 6 x 100 m strides (8:14 min/mile). My legs were still stiff at the start of my run but they loosened up after the strides and I was actually tempted to squeeze in a few more miles. Unfortunately, I had big plans to do a strength workout right after my run so no more miles for me.

fridayFriday (AM 2) – Jillian Michaels 6 Week 6 Pack Level 1 (35 mins). Quick and dirty get. it. done. strength training before work on Friday and I loved starting my day with both workouts. However, I was noticeably more tired during the strength workout than when I do it after a run in the morning and then sitting on my butt at work during the day.

Saturday – 9 mile “tempo run” (7:41 min/mile). My training schedule called for an 8-10k race sandwiched between warm up and cool down miles but I knew better than to sign up for a race the day of the move. I decided to run three warm-up miles, three “tempo” miles at any pace sub-marathon pace, and then three cool down miles. I ended up running my tempo miles at 7:00ish and it felt comfortably fast and my cool down between 7:45 and 7:50. I did have to stop a few times at the end because I had some really bad stabbing stomach cramps in my side. Very weird.

saturdaySunday – 16 mile long run (8:01 min/mile). I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with this run. I was exhausted after Saturday and part of me just wanted to get the miles in at any pace. The other part of me was running on stress and wanted to bust out fast miles. I ended up going back and forth between the two with some really slow miles and some pretty fast ones. Ian and I stayed with Ian’s brother Saturday night so it was fun to run through some new territory including really far north on the lakefront path. I also had more weird stomach pain that continued throughout the day. Maybe I had some weird bug? Either way this run was tough and I was glad to get it over with!

sundayThe move has definitely helped prevent any sort of taper madness so far and I honestly haven’t had much time to miss the miles I’m not running. Of course last week’s mileage was still pretty high, we’ll have to see if I feel the same way after this week.

Do you get taper madness? How do you deal with it?