Monday, April 30, 2007

Week 17 Training Recap

5 weeks to go until VCM. 'Nuff said.

Monday - Run 20 minutes.
Ran for 22 minutes nice and easy on the treadmill. After yesterday's 6-miler, my legs felt sluggish and Joseph said not to overdo it.
Rolling 7-day Total: 12.82 miles

Tuesday - Bike 30 (I might actually do this)
I ran today. 2.9 miles. I can't run tomorrow or Thursday. I had to make a choice. I almost feel like a runner there days! Legs felt better after another day of rest and a good round of stretching last night.
Rolling 7-day Total: 15.72 miles

Wednesday - REST
Took a rest day. I feel like I need it.
Rolling 7-day Total: 14.92 miles

Thursday - Bike 30
Had to rest. Worked from the NH office. Got home about 9pm.
Rolling 7-day Total: 21.67 miles

Friday - REST
Rainy day. Ran 2.75 miles on the treadmill. Felt good. I am also at my lowest weight this year. I haven't seen this weight since last year!
Rolling 7-day Total: 25.92 miles

Saturday - 4 miles
Ran 4.2 miles. Ran a loop recommended by Joseph. It's not hilly, he said. I should have known better.
Rolling 7-day Total: 28.43 miles

Sunday - 6 miles
Terrific run. A total of 8.37 miles. I hit 80% max at a pace of 7:54. I don't know if I like that. I do know that I wouldn't be able to maintain that pace for any distance. Although at an 80% max, you're supposed to be able to run a marathon at that rate. I don't particularly want to think about that.
Rolling 7-day Total: 22.35 miles

Weekly Total: 20.35 miles

I am still fiddling around with the shoes/insert combinations. So far, the only think I am 100% confident works is the Ecco Receptor with the Spenco Q-Factor inserts for women. Makes sense. The Receptor is a stability shoe with a carbon fiber midsole. If this works, I might have to change the Karhu's to the stability model. I worry about the arch but I've been talking to the massage therapist and the bottom line is that the calves are tight, which pull on the stirrup muscles, which pull on the muscles that wrap around the bottom of the foot and hook at the instep. No insert is going to help that.

Next week's schedule look like this:
Monday - Run 20 minutes.
Tuesday - Bike 45 minutes
Wednesday - Run 45 minutes (2x1 mile)
Thursday - Bike 45 minutes
Friday - REST (We are traveling to Florida for vacation)
Saturday - 4miles
Sunday - 12 miles


Friday, April 27, 2007

Dignity in Life

"He lived three houses down from mine. He had a dog with arthritic knees so I had seen him regularly for acupuncture and other remedies. Every day, regardless of weather, I would see Terry walking. On my way to work in the morning, I saw him walking. If I came home for lunch, I saw him walking. At the end of the day heading home for dinner I saw him walking. If I got called out to a late night emergency, I saw him walking.

Three years ago Terry was diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder, something similar to Alzheimers. He took a medical retirement from the mine where he had worked for 18 years. With no job, I guess he had nothing to do but walk all day. I assume the deterioration of his mind left him restless.

Whenever I saw him I waved. I remember a scene in the tv show Seinfeld; Elaine was talking about someone she had had a conversation with. For a while they'd stop to chat whenever they saw each other on the street. Then they'd smile and nod. Then just the nod. Then no nod and ultimately just a vague sense of animosity when he passed by. That scene came to mind whenever I saw Terry walking so I always waved. And he always waved back. He knew the sound of my car. If he was walking away from me, he would turn to wave as he heard my car coming.

The dog eventually died of old age so I didn't see Terry anymore. But I kept waving. Then a few weeks ago I saw him on the sidewalk, urinating in plain sight. He smiled sheepishly but with both hands busy he didn't wave.

A few days ago I saw him walking as I was on my way to work. Then l didn't see him when I came home for lunch. When I headed back to work there was an ambulance parked without flashing lights in front of Terry's house. Then I saw a patrol car driving fast up our street.

Sometime after his morning walk Terry had gone home and shot himself. He left a wife and a three-year-old son. She was at work and the boy was in daycare.

Terry was 55."

This tribute was posted by a friend who lives in Wyoming. The first thing that came to mind when I read it was "there but for the grace of God..." Some people responded or joked around that this was depressing. I thanked Kevin for a thoughtful essay on the life of his neighbor and friend. I believe that an event such as death must move you deeply in order to motivate you to write down your thoughts. It's easy to write about birthdays and weddings but death is different. Each of us must come to grips with death in our personal and private way. Sometimes the doubts and feelings are so frightful that we dare not voice them, or even think about them beyond a New York minute - not even to our closest family and friends, let alone to an internet audience of running virtual friends - most of whom you have not met.

As I read the story, Terry had substance and slowly came to life. I envisioned a man slowly losing his grip on life, on hope, and the dignity he had once taken for granted.

How painful were his last days when he struggled with the knowledge that he was losing his "face" to the world. That as his mind degenerated, he would lose what little dignity he had left. It's like slowly watching your arm disintegrate before you, knowing there is nothing you can do, and one day, you will wake up and it will be gone. Except in this case, he would wake up and not know who he was, where he was, and quite possibly what he was.

How many of us could live with that? Or be willing to live like that?

Rest in Peace, Terry.
And my hopes and prayers to your family and those who loved you.

And thank you, Kevin, for taking the time to write it down.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Random Thoughts for a Rainy Day

Why is it that some women feel compelled to come to work dressed in a tight red dress and red mules with stilleto heels. Work is not a cocktail party or a pick up joint. And you are too old to dress this way and should know better.

I was reading about low iron in Running Times. Hmmm… I think it's time to pick up a good multi-vitamin this weekend.

Speaking of Running Times. Alan Culpepper looks like a living corpse. He is so thin. Okay. He is a very fast, very talented running corpse.

I have been having these niggling little headaches all week. First it's my right side, the next day it's my left side. Sometimes it's in the front, sometimes it's on the side. Today, I am graced with a palpating low-grade pain behind my right eye which is radiating to my temple. I wonder how brain tumors start...


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Random Thought: Time is Fleeting

I cannot believe that it's almost May.
We just came out of winter!

Where does the time go?


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Random Thought: Keeping warm at a baseball game

If you stay sitting down when everyone else stands up to cheer, you can get toasty warm.

Unfortunately, it means the other team did something right.


Week 16 Training Recap

Marathon Monday followed by taper. The marathon was an overdistance training run for me in preparation for the Vermont City Marathon. At this point, I feel really good. Interesting considering after all past marathons I took a MONTH off. And sometimes, that extended into another month filled with excuses. But then, I didn't have 6 weeks til VCM either. No pressure!

So this is how it looked:
Monday - RUN 26.2 from Hopkington to Boston.
Done. You can read all about it here.
Rolling 7-day Total: 38.41 miles

Tuesday - REST
And boy, did I rest. I had no choice. WORK IS KILLING ME! GAH!
Rolling 7-day Total: 35.90 miles

Wednesday - REST
I had to do something. For the first time in my life, I ran. Okay. I walked. Whatever! I went for a .8 mile walk. And I didn't die. Imagine that.
Rolling 7-day Total: 32.70 miles

Thursday - RUN 15 minutes
I had to rest. Ugh. Drove to the NH office for a meeting. Actually, A LOT of meetings. But who's counting?
Rolling 7-day Total: 32.70 miles

Friday - REST
1.75 miles very easy on the treadmill. Legs felt okay.
Rolling 7-day Total: 32.41 miles

Saturday - RUN 2 miles
2.14 miles. I tried out the new Karhus. I am using my superfeet insoles. I think I need the arch support but I don't need a motion control shoe.
Rolling 7-day Total: 32.49 miles

Sunday - RUN 4 miles
Long run. 6.08 miles. Legs were sluggish. My lungs weren't even working. Someone tell me how to get my legs to catch up with my lungs. Please.
Rolling 7-day Total: 38.57 miles

Weekly Total: 38.74 miles
Next week is Week 2 of Post Marathon Recovery. I will be slowly coming back to my running. This is what is planned so far:
Monday - REST
Tuesday - Bike 30 (I might actually do this)
Wednesday - REST
Thursday - Bike 30
Friday - REST
Saturday - 4 miles
Sunday - 6 miles


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Random Thought: NH Office

If I worked regularly in the NH office, I'd be the size of a house in a MONTH.
The cafeteria is really good.
I brought lunch from home, but I had to check out what was available in the cafeteria. They had MEATLOAF! GAH! I LOVE MEATLOAF!

WHY OH WHY did I venture in there at lunch time??? OF COURSE I HAD TO HAVE IT!!! ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes. I am a fat cow.
Thank you

And another thing. I AM SO BUSY AT WORK! THIS SUCKS!!!!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Boston Marathon must go on...

No. The BAA did not cancel the race. Amidst many rumors and hoo-blah-hah's, the BAA spent the week denying rumors of cancellation due to rain.

First. Runners run in all weather. Rain, sleet, hail, snow, and massive amounts of wind... you name it, they are out there. I ran a 5k in ankle deep water in Central Park one year. Ankle. Deep.

Anyway, this is a long report, so brace yourselves.

Race Day Morning

Race day dawned clear and beautiful with pink puffy clouds .... Oh. Never mind. That was a dream and wishful thinking.

4:30 ayyy emm. I wake to the sound of rain beating against the windows and the wind made itself known with a "whoosh" every few minutes. The whole house was up. Don and Francine were already walking around. Mary was up. Harriet was going to give us a ride and she finally made it down to inquire about the shower. I think Daniel (who was volunteering with Harriet in the Finish Line Medical Tent) was already done showering and getting read (GADS! How EARLY does he get up? And he's so damn CHEERFUL!!! Ugh. Morning people!) I decided to lolly around in bed, listening to the wind and the rain, drinking coffee, and think about what I was going to wear.

ARG! What am I GOING TO WEAR? And what if the weather changes? That means I might have to take everything I laid out with me! And I only have one bag I can use! And it's big, but it's not the size of my 32" pullman suitcase.

I finally got up and had my usual breakfast - orange juice, slice of toast with melted cheese (unsmoked gouda this time) on top, then a bowl of oatmeal which I couldn't finish but I tried. And of course, a big cuppajoe.

I dressed in what I thought was appropriate running gear. CW-X jogbra, Mizuno half zip medium weight climate control top, another half zip lighter medium weight top, CW-X Stablix pants, storms socks, and then the final gortex running suit for good measure. I wouldn't be running in the gortex, it was just to keep dry. I brought two pairs of gloves for a last minute decision - fleece mittens or my lighter 180-running gloves with the finger mittens. I also pack clothes to change into and a grilled cheese sandwich I had made the night before.

And at 6 ayy emm on the dot, we were off. We piled into Harriet's car and she drove us out to West Roxbury to the Y, where our running club meets. The car was silent as we watch the rain beat against the windshield. We made it there before the bus! Plenty of time. Slowly the other runners started showing up.

Being able to ride in a club bus is key. Joseph was going to try to get me on the BAA bus but this year, they nixed family and friends. Probably because of the weather conditions. So, I had a last minute scramble and managed to get myself and my three friends (Don, Francine, and Mary) who were all staying with us, on the club bus. These are the nice comfy chartered buses with a bathroom. The people who didn't belong to a club rode out in yellow school busses. No bathroom, no heat, hard seats, and they dump you off at Athlete's Village in Hopkington to wait it out until the start of the race. And this year, half of Athlete's Village was under water, and the other half was wet and muddy. The Club Bus was KEY.

On the bus, we're ready to go. Where's Ricardo? Someone call Ricardo. He's lost his car keys and he's late. We have to go pick him up. In the bus? Sure. No, wait. Someone's gonna go get him. I love this club. It's like a family. It's one of the most welcoming groups of people I know. And on Boston Marathon race day morning, it's the only club I know that would be willing to have the bus pick up a club member because they couldn't find their car keys! Luckily, Ricardo only lives 10 minutes away!

Now, we were off. Quiet in the bus. People thinking about their races. Others quietly chatting amongst themselves. I listen to the quiet and I think about Hunny Bunny and how he must be doing in the BAA Bus.

And I think about Shelton. I brought this picture with me, taken off of a collage that Harriet brought with her. It was for the memorial dinner she had had while in Columbus the week before. And I think to myself, "If Shelton could endure, then I can, too. And this is NOTHING compare to that half marathon he ran!"

We arrive in Hopkington and pull into the High School parking lot. We are one of the first busses there. We sit, we chat. And I think about Shelton. He'd be laughing at us right now!

Pre-Race Prep

9:30 arrives and the runners in the first wave leave the bus. We wish everyone good luck and now the bus is about a third empty. I take out my cheese sandwich and eat every last bit. I get out and jump up and down in the rain and wind. What to wear? Do I wear the long johns over the pants? Do I wear my jacket? How about one layer or two layers? ARG!!! I take clothes on and off. Lots of energy being expended thinking about clothes. I am not the only one. The whole bus is doing it. In fact, everyone in every bus in that parking lot was doing it. Lots and lots of energy.

I decide on leaving the two shirts on. I change my gortex jacket for a NYC Marathon windbreaker. I nix the long johns and decide to run in a single layer (the cw-x pants). I put on my hat and my 180 ear muffs. I have my ipod. I decide on a glove change at the last minute. I had gone out to get a pair of free cotton gloves and I decided to start out wearing those. I also put my 180 gloves in the pocket of my jacket in case the cotton gloves got wet.

10:00am. The rest of us in the second wave leave the bus and slowly head toward the start.
10:15am. I dump my bag at the baggage bus and stand in a porta potty line.
10:25am. I finally make it out of the porta potty line and head down to the corrals. OMG. The walk is long. I have no idea of my location in relation to the start. All I know is that I was just following the crowd. I noticed the massive reduction in bandits this year. I guess bandits melt in the rain. Heh heh. I finally see Corral 23 and I know I am at the back. I have to make it to Corral 21.
10:30am. The announcer says "And they're off!" And I am at Corral 21. Just made it. More walking now. And it's a long walk. We take a right onto Main Street, and I cross The Start.

The Race

I tell myself I'm going to have fun and make the best of it. The rain has stopped but every once in a while, there is a slight sprinkling, as if the sky was shaking its fist and threatening us with an evil grin on its face.

I wave to the cameras - every single one that I can find. And at the start, there are quite a few. I take my usual 30 second to 1 minute slow down/walk break every 6 minutes. I run just out of my comfort zone the rest of the time, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. I look for the cameras and ignore the crowds, trying to get lost in the music from my ipod. And I don't remember much about the race.

At mile three, I take a long walk break, taking the time to unzip my jacket, and wrap it around me. I should have taken Dave Revel's advice on the bus to "lose the jacket or lose one of the shirts." Yeah yeah yeah... should've listened. But the guy was running in SHORTS. SHORTS!! in hypothermic conditions! Do you think that I'm going to listen to someone that crazy? Yeah. I should have.

At mile 3 in Ashland, I see the Duncan Donuts by commuter rail sign. I remember the long, LONG driveway that I ran down on my 18-mile long run from hell.

At mile 6.2 in Framingham, I remember the crowds of charity and club runners that one Saturday during my 20-mile long run.

At mile 7, I see the Burger King where I stopped in for a potty break on that same Saturday. And... uh oh... hmm... shouldn't have thought about that... drat. I need a potty break! ARG!!! Maybe I can hang on. Then I stop at a rogue construction porta potty off to the side in a parking lot. No lines. EGADS! And no wonder. What a disaster mess. The third one is acceptable and that is a very very LOOSE definition.

At mile 10, it's Natick. For some reason, I don't like this stretch of road. Actually, there isn't much along the stretch of the course that I really like that much. Oh... maybe the first three miles of downhill and the down hill before you get to Wellesley College, and oh... hmm... maybe the downhill before get to Hell's Alley, and oh, the downhills in Brookline... getting the picture?

Every step of the way, I am conscious of the wind. It's ENE and right in our faces. The news had said 25 mph headwinds with gusts to 50. And I know when it happens...for a brief moment in time, the head winds swirls around and hits me in the back, carrying me about 10 feet, and then it's an all our crash into my body, like the tides in the ocean. It's like it's winding itself up for the 50 mph crash. This is like running uphill all the way to the finish.

I avoid all water tables except to fill up my bottle. By the end of the race, I will have filled up my bottled 3 times.

I hit Wellesley College and I can hear the girls for a mile before I get there, where I see that the noise belied the fact that they were only 1 or 2 deep as opposed to the 3 or 4 or 5 deep on a good day. But the wind is carrying their voices toward us, getting louder and louder until the sound washes over us. They carry signs, "kiss me", "hug me", and the occasional "I'm Gay, kiss me." They make me smile. The Korean girls spot me and they shout and wave especially loud for me. I smile and wave back.

Then I hit the swooping downhill - aaaahhhh!!!! - and then Hell's Alley - argggghhhhhh!!!!!

Finally the straightaway until the left turn on Comm Ave. The firefighters are out. My feet are really starting to hurt. They started twinging and complaining around mile 14 and have been getting louder since. Stupid feet! GAH!

I walk halfway up the first hill... then a long stretch of straight where I relax a little. I hit mile 18. I've been checking my watch - yes, people, I wore my footpod and watch, what about it?!?! - and see that I've now run about 18.67 miles. Yes. 18.67 miles at Mile 18 on the Marathon course.

I hit the second Newton Hill. Then the flat. And I look over to the Newton City Hall at Mile 19. A familiar landmark on most of my long runs.

I am at the base of Heartbreak Hill. The third hill, the shortest and steepest. I hear the BC kids, loud, screaming at us. I see the house at 300 Comm Ave that I so wanted to buy but it was in the wrong location. Sigh... More kids screaming. Some are running with us. GAH! I am so glad that I have my ipod to drown out the noise.

I crest the hill - only minor walking was involved. I take the turn down Chestnut Hill Ave. Ouch ouch ooch ouch... it's so steep and I feel every step in my pained feet. A fast turn onto Beacon Street - undulating terrain but I know it will be more down hill than up all the way to the finish. I hit Coolidge Corner and look at my watch. Dang. It's around 25 miles. And I'm 24 official miles into the marathon. I know I will be way beyond the 26.2 mile distance when I hit the finish line. So tempting to just take that left. Half mile down and I'd be home. I look forward and keep putting one step in front of the other.

Around this time, I think about Shelton. He was with me the whole way. I know because I smiled and waved, I high-fived the kids, I waved to the camera and I even mugged for a while. I was cheery on this dreary day - even with the headwind, even with the too-much-clothes, even with the wet shoes (thank GOODNESS I was wearing storm socks!). And about this time, Shelton played his joke and started receding from me. He had been with me the whole time, and now he let me go on my way, all alone. And I felt an incredible sadness. I ran and I cried. I don't know why. I usually have my Dad with me during a marathon and about this same time, he usually leaves me to finish on my own, too. And I always cry. I cried for my Dad who never knew I could do this. I ran for Shelton who couldn't be here. I cried for my mother and wondered if she ever loved me, like I always wonder. I cried for the world and all the terrible pains in life that we must endure. I was a big old pile of sopping sobbing mess.

I had been running with a guy and a girl who had a camera team filming their every step. As we got closer to the finish line our leap-frogging became more frequent until you couldn't tell if we were together or not. And I know I was in large parts of the film toward the end. Eventually, they let me go.

I hit 40K and the Mass Pike overpass. Hardly anyone there.
Then down through Kenmore Square. I see "One More Mile to Go" painted on the street.
I run down the worst stretch under Storrow Drive exit from the Fens - no idea what that street is. I hate this half mile section more than any part of the course.
And then it's down under Mass Ave, and up the other side. Thankfully, there was no water in that short tunnel.
I take a right onto Hereford and then a left onto Boylston. Almost there.
I hear someone call my name. It's Joseph. I wave and keep going. About 10 feet later, I realize that he isn't running beside me. I run to the fence and shout for him. The crowd parts and he comes over and gives me a big hug and tells me to finish strong.

I race to the end. I even sprint a little. I wave to the cameras and I come to a walk.
I get my mylar blanket.
I get my medal.

My feet are KILLING ME! GAH!!!!!

Another couple of blocks to the baggage buses.
I get my bag, pull out my phone and call Joseph.
He will meet me on the corner of Boylston and Clarendon.

And there he was... flowers in hand. Red roses.
"Flowers for me?" I asked.
"Of course. Who else would they be for?" he answered.

He had finished his race, changed, gone to our place in the South End, watered the plants and such for our tenants who were away, come back, bought flowers, and he waited for me at the Finish. And he made me cry one more time.

Ugh. Unfortunately for me, one of the guys that works for Joseph happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture the moment on digital for all prosterity. And I do NOT look pretty when I am crying. Sheesh.

At least, I managed to try and smile. Which meant that my brain hadn't melted yet.

And that is the story of the Race that Must Go On.

This one was for Shelton.
It will be my last Boston.
Lousy course (who puts three hills at mile 17??? *&^%!!!), lousy weather (always hot or cold or rainy and always windy), too many people (I ran 27.97 miles because of the crowds!!! GAH!), and not enough goomies at the end (by the time I got there, there was only water and some cereal bars and you only got one. I HATE cereal bars!).

Joseph carefully guided me to the car. I had a hard time walking but not nearly has bad as in the past - i tried to run a careful race because I knew I wouldn't be able to take my usual month off to recover and be lazy. He drove me home. We all took turns showering, and went to The Stockyard for steaks.

Final Conclusion:

The Bib Number was not much worse for wear.

The Medal - hard fought, hard won, the prettiest Boston medal yet.

Marathon Fotos:
And if you are interested, you can go here to see me mugging for the Camera.
GAH! I MUST LOSE THE JACKET! I look like a FAT COW with that thing wrapped around me!

The splits and final time:
Checkpoints - net time
5k - 0:35:34
10k - 1:11:17
15k - 1:50:24
20k - 2:27:45
Half - 2:35:32
25k - 3:06;05
30k - 3:45:10
35k - 4:27:43
40k - 5:09:00
Finish - 5:26:48
Pace for 26.2 miles - 12:28 pace
Pace for 27.97 miles (What I actually ran) - 11:41 pace

Lessons Learned:

  1. Never wear a footpod. You will be disappointed that your race is always much longer than the certified distance. Can't be helped. No one runs the tangents and that 's how they are measured.
  2. Never ever run a race that goes by your house at 24 miles. Or at any point where the pain is so bad that you want to stop and just go home.
  3. Miles on your feet are important.
  4. I must get my shoe situation straight. Everything was perfect except for the stupid shoes! GAH!
  5. Make sure that I work out all the tightness. Tight muscles pull on each other. My calves pulled on my shins, which pulled on my stirrup muscles which caused tremendous pain on the bottoms of my feet.
  6. Wear less clothing. Will I NEVER LEARN???
Next up, Vermont City in 6 weeks. I never learn...
I think it's gonna be a scorcher!

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Week 15 Training Recap

This is week 2 of taper. I am praying for TAILWIND!!!

Monday - RUN 30 minutes
7 more days to go.

Could not run. No way no how. Legs were just too tired!
Rolling 7-day Total: 24.06 miles

Tuesday - REST
6 more days to go.
Ran 30 minutes easy to make up for yesterday. Legs were okay. BTW, the CW-X Pro Shorts came today. I am going to try these babies out on Wednesday.
Rolling 7-day Total: 26.56 miles

Wednesday - RUN 45 minutes
5 more days to go.
Ran 45 minutes easy. Legs felt good. Tried out the CW-X Pro Shorts. Love them! I won't be able to try them out on race day given the current weather forecast. I am just praying for TAILWIND. If we get that, I don't care what else the day brings!
Rolling 7-day Total: 25.35 miles

Thursday - REST
4 more days to go.
Rest day was nice - I had so much work to wrap up!
Rolling 7-day Total: 25.35 miles

Friday - RUN 2
3 more days to go.
Yup. Right on schedule. Ran 2.04 miles.
Rolling 7-day Total: 23.28 miles

Saturday - RUN 2
2 more days to go.
I actually made it outside today for 2.06 miles. Running outdoors is so different than running on the treadmill. It's more "freeing" to run outdoors.
Rolling 7-day Total: 21.34 miles

Sunday - RUN 2
1 more day to go. GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Breathing deeply....
Nope. Too busy running around getting ready for the Bagel Brunch.
Rolling 7-day Total: 10.61 miles

Wow. Talk about a taper!

Tomorrow is the big day. So, next week will be an easy recovery week.
Monday - RUN 26.2 from Hopkington to Boston.
Tuesday - REST
Wednesday - REST
Thursday - RUN 15 minutes
Friday - REST
Saturday - RUN 2 miles
Sunday - RUN 4 miles


1 more day to go...

1 more day.
Not much to talk about or think about.

Last night's dinner was fun - I love living in Coolidge Corner and being able to walk to Big City which is only a mile from the house.

This morning's Bagel Brunch was a resounding success.
We had about 20 people show up. After a few hours, we moved into the living room and sat down, making ourselves comfortable and had ourselves a cozy time. Perfect.

I still have two sets of clothes laid out. It will be a last minute decision.
I pulled out my storm socks yesterday and they are now on top of the pile.
In case of monsoon weather. Even just wet weather. I've never worn mine but Joseph swears by them. Do I try something new? I wore them for a while to see if I could feel any blister-causing seams and they seemed okay. I can't have wet feet and these socks are made for wet trail running. Joseph said they kept his feet dry when he ran in the rain with them. What to do what to do what to do... I know... do nothing new on race day... we'll see... I do know that if my feet get cold, they get numb. If they get number, I can't run. I need warm arms/hands, a hat, and warm feet. Then I can take almost any weather. Like I said, we'll see...

1 more day. Not even. Half a day. Maybe....


Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's all about the food...

Busy busy day.

Most of it was spent shopping for food - beverages mostly for the house, and a pile of stuff for tomorrow's Bagel Brunch. Every year there is a gathering of Deads. Tonight is the annual Big City Encounter. Tomorrow morning is the Bagel Brunch. Since we have a Dust Bowl instead of a house this year, our friends Joan and Conrad are letting use host it at there house.

Joseph and I went to the expo to pick up our bib numbers. We walked away with a few things. Among them, a pair of Karhu running shoes for each of us, and I also bought a pair of Ecco stability running shoes in Carolina Blue. I bought neutral Karhu's instead of the stability, although I liked the stability color better. I am gonna try out the neutrals with the superfeet insoles for arch support. If I can get my shoes right, my running would be much better. I went ahead and splurged on a nice full zip running top.

I guess I should mention that I already have a couple sets of running clothes laid out for Monday. I have a cold weather set and a monsoon weather set. Time will tell which one I'll need. But I've given up complaining about the weather. T'aint nuttin' ya can do 'bout it. Anyway... I feel strangely calm.

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Today is the most important day

Two days before.
It's not the day before, contrary to popular opinion.

Today is the day you need to drink enough water, get enough sleep, eat enough food, rest your mind and start to relax.

Two more days to go.
Gonna be interesting.


Weather Alert - Advisory for Participants in the 2007 Boston Marathon

This just in from the BAA. I'm not worried. I am a cold weather wimp. I have enough cold weather running paraphernalia to start my own business. Time to dig into my running gear storage box. Storm socks, multiple pairs of gloves in zip locks, fleece hat (might be too much but good for the rain), wind pants over my cw-x stabilx pants. Fleece top over cw-x job bra and silk weight zip top. Oh, I also have wind mittens that fit over cotton gloves. More to come... getting excited about the gear more than about the race. Jeez.

April 13, 2007

Weather Advisory - 2007 Boston Marathon

The Boston Athletic Association's medical team recommends the following precautions and advice for participants in Monday's Boston Marathon:

The most up-to-date weather forecast calls for a predicted Spring storm on Monday, including heavy rains (potentially 3 to 5 inches), with the start temperatures in the mid to upper 30's. Wind will likely be East (in the face of the participants for most of the race) in the 20 to 25 mile per hour range, with gusts to as much as 50 miles per hour. This will produce a wind chill index of 25 to 30-degrees Fahrenheit.

Combined with the rain, we are concerned that predicted weather conditions will increase the runners' risks for a condition called hypothermia. As with any athletic competition, as a runner you are assuming the risks inherent with participation. It is your responsibility to be informed about the risks associated with running in the aforementioned conditions, and the risks of injury or illness will increase with these predicted conditions.

While exercising in cold weather, our bodies attempt to maintain core temperature by shunting blood away from the periphery, thus minimizing heat loss. Hypothermia sets in when the body's temperature drops below normal, starting when the body loses heat faster than heat can be generated. Heat is produced by muscle action and shivering. Very low body temperatures can be life threatening.


  • Mild hypothermia is heralded by goose pimples and shivering as our bodies attempt to raise our metabolic rates to increase our core temperature.
  • Moderate hypothermia will result in muscular fatigue, poor coordination, numbness and disorientation.
  • Severe hypothermia can result ultimately in cardiovascular failure. Treatment of hypothermia requires prompt recognition and treatment as mild hypothermia can progress to a more severe situation if not addressed early.

Runners should be removed from cold, wet, or windy conditions. Wet clothing should be removed, and rewarming commenced with warm blankets and ingestion of warm fluids. If the athlete's condition does not improve, transportation to a medical facility should be arranged. Hypothermia can occur at temperatures at, or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or even in higher temperatures when the weather is also wet and windy. Cold temperatures, dampness, and wind increase the risk of hypothermia for runners. Sweat cools the body quickly during cold weather running. Wind evaporates it faster.

As with so many other conditions in sports medicine, our best offense (treatment) is a good defense (preparation). Following the guidelines below will help minimize risk for cold related illness and will maximize your enjoyment and performance during the race:


  1. Be prepared prior to the race. Have extra clothing which will enable you to stay dry even before the race begins.
  2. For the race itself, dress in layers of loose, lightweight clothing. The first layer of clothing (closest to the body) should be made of polyester or polypropylene which will "wick" sweat away from the body. Subsequent layers should be loose and breathable-fleece is a good choice. Cotton should be minimized as it can allow sweat buildup. The outer layer should be wind and water resistant, thus protecting from wind, rain, and snow. When in doubt, add the extra layer. You can always remove a layer if you warm up, but you will regret not having it if you start freezing with several miles to go.
  3. Protect your head and extremities. Wearing a hat is essential as up to 50% of body heat can be lost though the head. Gloves are important to prevent exposure to the hands. These, too, can be removed if you get warm, but you'll regret not having them if needed. Mittens are better on colder days as they will keep the hands even warmer. Shield the face with a scarf or high collar. Wear socks that retain heat and wick moisture away.
  4. Runners with exercise-induced bronchospasm should attempt to warm air such as through a scarf or mask. A prolonged warm-up prior to hard running can help minimize symptoms. Carry your inhaler if you use one, and use it should it become necessary.
  5. Stay with your normal hydration regime, remembering not to over drink. Do not drink alcohol the night before the race. Alcohol will make the body lose heat faster.
  6. Run with a partner. It is sometimes difficult to recognize if you are becoming hypothermic. A running partner can help if you get into trouble. Shivering is a sign of hypothermia. The cessation of shivering may indicate more severe hypothermia and the runner should seek evaluation at a shelter.
  7. Consider canceling your run or seek shelter if the weather conditions are too severe or you are too tired. Running on ice or over snow-covered terrain can lead to tripping, falling, or injury.
  8. Medical stations and American Red Cross locations - located every mile along the route - along the course will have buses to handle your medical needs. Rewarming will be difficult given the weather and normal field size, so if you are not feeling well, do not wait to seek medical attention.
  9. Help each other. Be aware of yourself but also make medical team members aware if you see someone on the route who you believe may be starting to suffer from the onset of hypothermia.


  • Keep the runner dry and cover with blankets.
  • Shelter the runner from wind and water.
  • Provide heat to the neck, underarms, and groin. Heat only the trunk initially to avoid core temperature after-drop. After-drop occurs in this manner: Extremities cool faster than the trunk. If you re-warm the extremities, their colder blood will re-enter the circulation and actually worsen hypothermia temporarily.
  • Keep the runner lying down, but only in a warm dry location.
  • Administer warm fluids by mouth if the runner is shivering. If the shivering reflex is lost, a bear hugger should be utilized (loss of the shivering reflex signifies significant hypothermia).
  • Avoid moving/jarring the runner suddenly because this may trigger an abnormal heart rhythm.
  • If CPR is necessary, resuscitation should not be stopped until the person's body temperature is at least 95°F/35°C (never give up your efforts). All temperatures indicated are rectal measures, which give a closer indication of core temperature. If the victim is cooperative, you may take temperature by other methods.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Should I be worried??

Wednesday, April 11 - As the Boston Athletic Association continues to make preparations for Monday's Boston Marathon, we are monitoring the upcoming weather conditions forecast for this area. Based on the National Weather Service's most recent report and in cooperation with the Executive Office of Public Safety (Commonwealth of Massachusetts) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, together with the eight cities and towns along the 26.2-mile marathon route, we are planning for likely heavy rain and windy conditions on race day. However, all race day plans remain the same. The Boston Athletic Association advises participants in Monday's race to plan accordingly for their run, bringing with them gear and apparel to suit the conditions. The B.A.A. will continue to update its web site as necessary.


WTF???? (excuse my french)

Forecast for next Monday:
"Rain likely. The rain could be heavy at times. Cloudy, with a high near 44. Chance of precipitation is 70% "
No mention of the wind.

It had better be a tailwind.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Week 14 training recap

This was the first week of taper.
There are 7 days to go. ONE WEEK! GAK!!!
The week went okay.
Monday - Run 30 minutes
Ran 30 minutes very easy - recovery run
Rolling 7-day total: 37.5 miles

Tuesday - Rest

Rolling 7-day total: 37.5 miles

Wednesday - Run 60 minutes, 2x1 mile
Yup. Felt pretty good.
Rolling 7-day total: 34.5 miles

Thursday - Rest
Rolling 7-day total: 34.5 miles

Friday - Run 4 miles

Ran 4.11 miles easy. I love the new pants. I gotta try the shorts version of the pants!
Rolling 7-day total: 18.31 miles

Saturday - Run 4 miles
Ran 4.0 miles easy. I went by Marathon Sports to see if they have the CW-X Pro Shorts. What a zoo! What mayhem!! It's not a big place to begin with but with the marathon coming up, I think they moved most of the regular merchandise off the floor because there was a TON of Marathon gear. I bought a t-shirt and hat - both orange. I stayed away from the jackets - they have these beautiful ORANGE ones but I can't see spending $80 on one. I think a small will fit (since it's men's sizing) but I didn't ever try it on. It's better not to be tempted. Anyway, I didn't find the shorts there so I ended up ordering from Paragon Sports out of NYC. Not only are they huge and have good service, but they have FREE SHIPPING! I hope it's doesn't take 7-10 days to get them!
Rolling 7-day total: 22.21

Sunday - Run 10 miles
Ran 10.74 miles from mile 16 of the Marathon Course. Joseph dropped me off in the morning, on the way to his run (which turned out to be pretty similar to my 20-mile debacle from a couple of weeks ago). This was probably my fastest overall long training run since coming back in January. I felt good, the lungs felt good (although I had to take a hit of albuterol afterwards because of all the hacking and coughing), and the cw-x pants were still terrific. I also had a tail wind. Now, if I could just bottle that tail wind up for race day!
Rolling 7-day total: 26.4 miles

Weekly Total: 26.46 miles
Next week is Week Two of Taper.
Monday - RUN 30 minutes
Tuesday - REST
Wednesday - RUN 45 minutes
Thursday - REST
Friday - RUN 2
Saturday - RUN 2
Sunday - RUN 2

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Wishful thinking

This just in ...

My running club posted estimated finishing time for club members running Boston next week. They have Joseph at 3:15 which is slow for him but not unreasonable if he decides to take it easy. For me? They have 04:00 listed.



I get it.
It's a JOKE!


Clean Livin': Parking

I have a massage appointment with Arun at 1pm. Parking in Boston is tricky and it gets trickier as the day gets longer. I drive in, drive by the building and nothing. Drat. I cricle the block through the alley behind the buildings. I drive up and what do I spy? A guy standing by his car looking like he might be leaving. And he stands there long enough for me to pull up behind.

He gets in, drives away, and I pull in. It's right in front of the building I have to go into.

And not only that, it's a two hour parking meter. That gives me time to get my massage, come out and put in more quarters and them go up three blocks to
Marathon Sports and come back.

Must be clean livin'...


Friday, April 06, 2007

Quest for 50 with interesting results

So, no one mentioned weight but it's worth mentioning here.

I've dropped more weight. It's the lowest since the beginning of the year - a total of 5 pounds. This is significant considering a week ago, I was complaining that I had only 3 pounds this year.

I mentioned this to Joseph and he said, "that's what happens when you 55 miles in less than a week and you control what you eat."

I had an AH-HAH moment. No. I am not dumb. Yes, I can be obtuse. You hear about it all... calories in and calories out but I think for the first time I am actually doing it right.

My mileage is pretty decent and after that 55.07 mile week, I am feeling good and pretty confident that I can get up to 50 miles a week. And the more I do it, the faster I will be. And the faster I am, the more I can run in the same amount of time.

The other thing is that because I am eating at work, portion control has been a no-brainer. Yes. I have down times. This morning, I came to work and to celebrate Good Friday (in my own little way), I had a MacDonald Sausage Egg Biscuit meal complete with oj and hash brown. I tend to take it easy and eat a little more Friday through Sunday - but with the long run looming, my body tends to crave things. Eating at work also has made me cut back on wine. At this point, I am eating lunch and dinner at work. Dinner is around 5:30. I get home about 8 and have a small glass of wine and a cheese bread - that's a slice of artisanal
bread with the crusts cut off (I hate crust), with thin slices of cheese (hard or semi-hard), and microwaved until the cheese is all melted and bubbly. By this time after such an early dinner, I am usually hungry so I eat. And so far so good. I am not pigging out but I am satisfying my hunger in controlled ways.

I can't wait til after the marathon and I can start running and building my mileage up to that 50 mile per week mark. For the first time in my life, I'm saying to myself, "hey, why not?"

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It's Good Friday...

...and there are 10 more days to go...

The company has a holiday and most of us are working.
It never ends.

This morning was an easy run. 4.11 miles on the treadmill. I felt good. This time I decided to be unafraid.

I know that sounds very strange but the truth is that on the treadmill, I run more slowly than I do outside. I asked myself why and the truth around why I am so conservative is that I supposed I am afraid. I have no idea of what. I just am. Maybe speed. Maybe falling off. Maybe it's a Pavlovian response.

This morning, I decided to spend less time on "slow" and more on "fast." Or at least, on "faster." It was a resounding success. I ramped up quickly and just toodled along at 6.2 miles an hour. That's what I do on the road these days. Why can't I do it on a treadmill? Well, I can. There ya go.

My HR went up to 88% but I averaged around 71%. When I got going at 6.2 mph, I was around 77-80% HR. According to Roy Benson, that is my half marathon pace. Shoot. Well... whatever..

I also found another fall marathon to consider, The Whistlestop Marathon. My friend Cher pointed this out to me earlier but I didn't remember it until now. We'll see what happens...

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Random Thought: Cooking after running

Never cook after a long run.

The leftovers come out way too salty.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

And the Dust Bowl continues...

So, tonight, as I was driving home in the rain and talking to Joseph on the phone, I find out that they needs to take down ALL the ceilings on the first floor. That means the two living rooms and the dining room.

My reaction?

THE DUST THE DUST THE DUST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Of course, I give Scotty the Contractor credit - that's the first thing he thought of, too - my asthma. And the marathon is coming up, and just when I am starting to feel good, and the dust seems to be under some control, however tenuous, THIS happens.

They will take it down tomorrow.
I have a 12 hour day tomorrow. I will come home and clean until midnight and fall into bed.

On Friday, I have a 4 mile run. I will go to the office and work a 10 hour day hopefully. And then come home and clean some more - because dust settles, especially the kind of gray matter dust that you don't see - these take 3-4 days to settle.

This is the last house. I am not moving. You will have to knock me over the head and pry me out with a crowbar. I am done with re-doing houses. Done done done. I hope I make myself perfectly clear.


Quick workout catch up notes

Monday: I ran for 30 minutes very very slowly.

This morning: I ran 60 minutes, 1 mile warm up, 2 x 1 mile intervals, took it up to about an 8:17 pace. Then finish the run nice and easy.

Joseph made some slight adjustments to the schedule.
I am in taper.

Oh. And in case you don't know, there's 12 more days to go... gak....


Too busy for words

I am so busy at work!!!
I cannot even begin to describe it.



Random Note: Skid Marks

Skid marks on the highway.
They go into a different lane.
Or they go into a jersey barrier or guard rail.
In either case, they all stop abruptly.

Somehow, I always find this a bit unnerving.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reach the damn beach...

I just signed up.

That's all...


Monday, April 02, 2007

Marathons for the year

I am on the search for a couple more marathons to run this year - preferably in the fall.
The criteria include:
    1. easy to get to but not too easy - we want to save the really easy ones for next year and beyond for reasons I won't go into here
    2. Needs to be at or before the beginning of or the first weekend in October - I have to schedule in a trip to India this fall and I would
      rather go during post-marathon recovery
    3. needs to be enough time apart that I can recovery and ramp up for the second one
    4. It must be in a state that I haven't done yet
    5. There must be adequate time between it and the Reach the
      Beach Relay
      in mid-September
Some that come to mind include the following:
October 7:
Chicago Marathon (IL) - kinda big but it will do I guess
City of Trees (ID) - not sure how Joseph will consider this since it is west of the Mississippi. To my own credit it's the only one west of the Mississippi that I put down - there are lots more that are as interesting!

October 13:
Marathon to Marathon (TX) - I think my Hunny Bunny could do this one and WIN the whole thing! Not to mention that I could go to TX for work and do a waylay over to Marathon and do the race and all. But it would not be easy getting there - over 500 miles from Dallas and over 200 from El Paso... I have to think about this one.

October 20:
Kansas City Marathon (MO) - this one is just a little too late unless I do to India right after. But that means I will miss NYCM.

December 1:
St. Jude Marathon (TN) - this is really up in the air. It's one of those, "I'll train for it in case I can get there" marathons.

December 9:
Dallas White Rock (TX) - this is another one of the ITFIICICGT marathons. The good news is that I can actually travel for work, and stay the weekend to run this.
Any other ideas? Anyone?

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14 more days to go...

So... two more weeks.
Two. More. Weeks.


Sunday, I ran the Scotland 10k in Central Park. This is the first race I've run in NYC in a very long time. The first since marrying Joseph 3 years ago. And I didn't realize how much I missed it until yesterday.

It was a Scottish kindaday - rain, cold, cloud, mist, everything in about a 5 minute span. Yup. It was very chilly which didn't help matters.

I lined up at the back and took a potty break after crossing the starting mat. I have no idea why I do that! Ugh. All I know is that I just ran. I ran and I ran. Up the hills, down the hills; Central Park is not flat. I ran to the point of discomfort. I kept looking at my watch and with the exception of the first two miles when I was fighting all the *&^%!!! walkers that lined up in the wrong place, all the miles were 9:15-9:50 pace. The max pace was 7:57 - at the end, some big guy tried to pass me. I looked over and said to myself, "uh... I don't think so..." and sort of sprinted in.

I had taken a hit of albuterol about 15 minutes before the race and at the beginning my heart rate was jumping all over the place (lesson: take it 20-25 minutes before).

I also figured out how to wear my cw-x pants... low on the hips, below the belly so it doesn't constrict me. I had been pulling it all the way up to my waste and wondering why it was so tight.... Anyway, it worked perfectly! Now I just have to go by Marathon Sports this weekend and get the shorts version!

My handy dandy Polar distance tracker said I ran 6.54 miles (instead of 6.2). So all in all, my pace was good - the best it's been in a very long time.

This morning, I ran 30 minutes easy recovery on the treadmill. Felt pretty good.

Now, if I can just get the planets to align, the clouds to stay out, and have a tailwind on race day...


Week 13 Training Recap

Last week was my highest mileage week since starting back running at the beginning of the year.

Monday: Run 30 minutes
Ran 30 minutes on the treadmill. It felt pretty good.

Tuesday: Bike 45 minutes. I am changing this to Run 20 minutes. I have to get my mileage up.

Ran 25 minutes on the treadmill. Felt good. I am not looking forward to hills tomorrow. It had better be warm!

Wednesday: Run 75 minutes. 5 hill repeats.
And I did all five of them! And the last four without stopping! Yahoo!!! I felt really good out there. The new dose of Advair gives me more confidence. My HR was pretty good - around 70% overall but on the hills, it reached 82%.

Thursday: Bike 45 minutes. I am changing this to a rest day
Rest day.

Friday: Rest day. I am changing this to Run 6 miles
20 miles and I was a total mess! But by this time, I had run 55.06 miles since last Saturday - that's in the last 7 days! No wonder I was a mess!

Saturday: Run 6 miles. I am changing this to Run 20 miles since I have a massage with Arun tomorrow.
Rest day. Had to go to NYC and it was too packed with stuff to do! Also had to cancel my appointment with Arun.

Sunday: Run 2 miles. Then go to appointment with Arun. I will have to run early.
Ran a 10k in Central Park. I actually ended up running 6.54 miles with all the weaving through people. Max pace was 7:57 at the end. I was not unhappy with the overall effort. Because of the Oxygen, I am gaining some confidence in myself.

Total for the week: 37.54
Total for March: 129.56
(This isn't bad if you consider in January, I ran a total of 61.31 miles and in February, the total was 76.04.)

Taper for the Marathon begins this week. Lots of literature will tell you a three week taper is good. For me, that makes me fat and lazy. A 2-week taper is good for me and sometimes, even that is not enough running. My legs get sluggish. The other consideration this time around, though, is that the Marathon is an overdistance training run for me. The key is to balance the taper - just enough to finish healthy and well in the marathon - while getting in enough running that I can continue on a build toward VCM after a brief marathon recovery week.

The schedule for the week:
Monday - Run 30 minutes
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Run 60 minutes, 2x1 mile
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Run 4 miles
Saturday - Run 4 miles
Sunday - Run 10 miles


Sunday, April 01, 2007

In Memoriam...

It's amazing what you can cram into a single weekend.

Yesterday, before going to NYC for the Memorial Tribute to Shelton, we went to Wolfers to sit with an expert and talk about where all the lights in Phase I should be installed. This is the entire first floor (2 living rooms, a dining room, a bathroom, the kitchen, and an large entry, as well as the master bedroom and bath suite). I thought it would take about an hour. It took over 2 1/2 hours. Wow. And we certainly could have gone over that amount of time.

We got to Hartsdale around 2:45, unloaded, chitchatted with Harriet and our friend J'net who had come up from Maryland to spend the weekend with Harriet. Then we loaded ourselves in the car and headed into the city. Traffic traffic traffic. Of course I was driving because Harriet's driving makes me crazy. We got to the restaurant, La Finestra, on the corner of 73rd and York and found a parking spot. Shelton was watching over us for sure.

The dinner was very nice. We had a nice showing and we all laughed and joked and had a terrific time. And we told Shelton Stories. This is something that Shelton would have loved - seeing all the happy people having a happy time. That is what he was all about - laughing and smiling, cracking and playing practical jokes. He wasn't a shallow person by any means. He didn't care what people thought of him - how he looked, how he dressed... He is an MIT grad - engineering - really smart, very observant, and on the inside he was had an "old soul." He could pretty much size up a person in no time flat. But he never let on anything about how smart he was or how deep the waters ran. He just wanted people to be happy and to make them happy. Even when he was making you roll your eyes or he was irritating you, you had to smile. Or laugh. At him. And he loved that.

This morning, we ran a race in Central Park in Shelton's honor. He lived with Congenital Heart Failure and when the doctors told him couldn't, he immediately started a walking program that took him around the country to various half marathons and marathons, meeting people and making new friends, sharing his laughter all over the place.

It was a good Tribute and we will always remember Shelton. Always.