Monday, April 6, 2015

Suddenly... It is TWO WEEKS until Boston!

Two weeks to go...
GAH! How did THAT happen? For the longest time I had about 1,856 weeks to get ready and now the shit has hit the fan and I'm tapering.

Snow. Hill reps. Nut butter. Hoka's. Basically my life.
My final long run, of 18 miles was yesterday and it was the worst. It was 35 degrees with a serious 35-40 MPH wind which made things just as amusing as you would think. At mile 10 I turned onto the road back home and face first into the most intense head wind that I have had the pleasure of running in in quite some time. (also, Emma's Dad- if you are reading- I notice you have a cat. Yeah, I'm the creepy runner that notices spare animals in driveways, let that cat inside and get your son an allergy pill, he'll be ok! ;-))
Anyway, wildlife aside the run was fun good times, and perfect acclimation for what is sure to be an 80 degree day in Boston. I felt as though I was being pushed backwards and I could do little more than laugh and swear and try to stay upright (yeah, now the people in my town think that I run while intoxicated due to my staggering gait. Woof!

Horrid long run aside, last week was decent. All of my other workouts went off without a hitch and that is encouraging. It is hard to believe that I have only spent two weeks fully back on the road vs in on the treadmill but I might as well believe it- because that's the truth! Luckily I was able to get some road time in during the last two weeks in March so that counts for something. I'm also thankful for a successful run at the Eastern States 20- without that I might feel like a hopeless case.

My LEFT FOOT is a hopeless case...
Per the norm I am reflecting back on this training cycle and wondering how this Boston experience will play out.
Two years ago I ran in a 3:31:xx  and felt like I had trained hard, spent 90% of my time road running and despite my worries about the hills I was able to push through. I had an amazing second half of the race and set an (at the time) PR. Like a boss.
Last year I felt like I nailed my training cycle and despite a decent amount of indoor running I had been able to get in all my long runs outdoors, I had run several lead up races and had cross trained like a complete hero (and I was on the verge of a serious burnout but did not know it yet.) Nothing could have prepared me for a hot day and I had a miserable run, ran the first half at PR pace and then blew up, finishing in around 3:55. (this is a respectable pace for sure- simply not what I had trained for. No disrespect to any marathoner of any speed- but when you are training for a sub 3:25 and miss it by 30 minutes it is a lie to say that you are pleased!) 

I ran every run this year, until a few weeks ago on the treadmill- and certainly felt it when I got out onto the roads again. (sorry trashed quads.) It has been terribly cold and I'm used to it, I run nicely in the chilly weather and ask that it just stick around in some capacity until the 21st. While I'm not exactly setting speed records this time around I have been extremely consistent in my training and have been enjoying it. (if only more of it had been on the road in real life conditions...) My mileage has made me happy and has balanced out my concern about lack on endurance over tricky terrain. I'm always worried about the Newton hills- for good reason. They are scary as you think they are.

Bottom line, if it is an 70 (or 60- who am I kidding!?) day in a couple of weeks I am effed to the maximum but will still have fun. I will have a beer with the drunk BC boys, kiss a Wellesley girl, take selfies with my Dad at mile 18.5 and steal candy from the kids in Kenmore. This actually sounds like a really great time!

If I luck out and it is a maximum of 42 degrees and variably overcast, with freak snow showers, maybe some ice, and also a 50 MPH wind (tail wind, or tail gale as I have been calling it) I will win the whole race and be on the cover of Runners World next month since the entire world will be shocked by my running dominance in horrible conditions! HAH! This too is a great plan. There will be no middle ground, I plan to either win or walk. The end.

I'm excited though. I feel like there isn't pressure this year, I already qualified for 2016, I don't feel like I have trained for a PR, I am taking the casual approach to the whole shebang (says the person who just tapped out a million miles.... it's all relative!)

My motto for this year is "flexibility' I plan to roll with the punches, adjust according to weather and have a helluva great day out there. I'm lucky to be able to experience something as cool as running the Boston Marathon and I appreciate every year that I make it to the start. After questioning my ability as much as I did last year I appreciate even more what it takes to make it to the start of this journey and it isn't something that I would ever take for granted.

All of us who line up in two weeks have a hard earned spot there. We all deserve to celebrate the fact that we made it, and this year I plan to enjoy every step on my way to the finish.



  1. I remember seeing you last year at Mile 20, only having seen your site and Oiselle hashtagging a little beforehand. I'm excited to run out there myself this year and will maybe see you again! ENJOY!!!!

    1. I think at mile 20 I was 98% incoherent so sorry about that! ;-)
      What wave are you in? Maybe we can meet in real life pre race! I hope you have a great taper and a great run in two weeks :-)

  2. My marathon PR, which was set at Boston, was after a winter of workouts where I came to the race with a big question mark. I had no idea what was going to happen or what I was capable of. You're going to do great whether it's a PR or a 26.2 mile party.