*Brace yourself – this is probably the longest post I’ll ever write. It’s a way for me to record my feelings while the experience is fresh in my mind and so, while sincere, my words may sound highly dramatic. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.*
Wow – today is the first time since Monday afternoon that I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Although I’ve been on vacation from work this week, it has by far been one of the most stressful weeks that I can recall. Not only was I faced with hearing about the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, my car broke down shortly after in Bar Harbor and left my mom and I with a big mess to deal with throughout our vacation.
I can say, though, that despite the bad things that happened this week, I’m left with an overwhelming sense of positivity, gratitude, and pride in humanity. This week is supposed to be my ‘peak week’ in training for the Pittsburgh Marathon, and it’s interesting how running became such a focus for me this week while also taking the backseat in many instances throughout the chaos. Unfortunately, I don’t have my camera to share all of the beautiful pictures my mom and I took during our stay because it’s with all of my stuff back in Maine with my car. So, here is a breakdown of this week’s events and a few scattered pictures to go along with it.
My mom and I drove to Bar Harbor from Biddeford – a beautiful, sunny 3.5 hour drive with no issues.
We checked into our bed & breakfast, ate lunch, and headed into Acadia National Park. Standing at the foot of Gorham Mountain, with no cell service, we asked a stranger who was walking her dog where the trail head was. After sharing that I was from Boston, she asked me if I had heard about the bombings and I thought for a moment that the woman might be a little nutty and didn’t believe her. I dug my phone out of my purse and found 8 missed calls and 20 text messages from people frantically trying to get a hold of me and figure out if I was alright. I’ve run the marathon the past 2 years and live on the marathon route, so many of my friends and relatives were justifiably worried.
We drove down to an area of Acadia where we could get cell service, and I contacted everyone to let them know I was okay, and found out more information about the bombings. I was literally in a state of shock watching the videos and just couldn’t believe it. We drove into town and stopped at a store to get some groceries, and when we came back, my car wouldn’t start. I really wasn’t sure how to react or what to do, and it seemed as though my body started going into panic mode with everything happening at once. The car was towed to Bar Harbor Auto Body across the street, and we went back to our hotel where I stared at the news coverage in disbelief under a pile of blankets.
We woke up early and headed to Bar Island, a small island off of Bar Harbor that is only accessible via a sand bar that is exposed during low tide. I was very, very upset about the bombings and getting out into nature made me feel a lot better. I told myself I’d go for a run later on in the day to explore Acadia some more and clear my thoughts, but it didn’t happen. After we got back to the Inn, we found out that the car would have to be towed 40 miles to Bangor, ME, since it was still under warranty. So, I got to ride in my first tow truck with Jeff – probably the nicest, “salt of the earth” tow truck guy I’ve ever met.
Jeff told us all about his fishing stories – he’s caught calico lobsters, blue lobsters, sea turtles, and seen killer whales off the coast of Maine. Needless to say, I had very little to contribute to the conversation, but it was actually really nice to talk about something that I literally had no knowledge of. We got to the Bangor dealership and they still didn’t know what was wrong with the car, so they loaned us Cookie Monster for the evening.
We got back just in time for dinner, where in an act of desperation, we ordered the most non-vegan, unforgiving mac & cheese I’ve ever had. I ate maybe 8 bites and wanted to roll to the car like Violet Beauregarde (ironically the same color as the car):
I woke up early and headed out into Acadia for a silent 6 mile run. I ran by the ocean along West St., up into Acadia via Duck Brook Rd., then onto the carriage roads around Witch Hole. It was breathtakingly beautiful and quiet – just what I needed. I stopped many times just to breathe in the fresh forest air and look out over the trees and the ocean. I thought a lot about what it is about running that I like so much, and how much I appreciate it as a major part of my life. I felt calm and relaxed and tried to send out some positive thoughts for everyone affected by the bombing before heading back into town.
My mom and I ate breakfast and walked along the Shore Path while we waited from a phone call from the dealership about the status of the car. It was our last day in Bar Harbor, so we were very worried about getting back to Boston in time for my mom’s train on Thursday – but we tried to make the most of our time since a lot of it had been cut short by the whole car fiasco anyway.
We found out the car had been fixed, swapped it for Cookie Monster in Bangor, then drove down to Portland.
We woke up, ate breakfast at the Inn, and drove to Biddeford to pick up Chuie from Derek’s parents’ house. Throughout the entire drive over, the car wreaked of gas and we couldn’t figure out why. Derek’s dad looked at the car and couldn’t figure it out either, so we drove it over to the mechanic just to be safe. Of course, since nothing had really worked out as we had planned during this vacation, he told us the car was unsafe to drive back to Boston and would need to be repaired. I basically just gave up at this point and surrendered to the karma of the week. With only a couple of hours before my mom’s train was scheduled to leave Boston, we literally just jumped in Derek’s dad’s car and he was kind enough to drive us to the city.
After saying good-bye to my mom, Chuie and I went home to our apartment and laid around like a sack of potatoes all afternoon. I was relieved to be back home in Boston, but filled with a sense of uneasiness because of how much had changed since I left on Sunday morning. Derek came home from work and we ran downtown to Copley, which was mostly my idea. Derek had been in the city since Tuesday and felt as though he had moved on from the shock of what had happened, but I felt like I needed to go down there in order to get over it. I brought one of the roses Derek had given me on my birthday, only 2 weeks ago, and we laid it by the makeshift memorial that people had set up over the past couple of days. I didn’t bring my camera or anything besides the flower because I wanted to just experience the moment of being there, but here is a photo that you may have already seen on the news and in the media:
There were so many news crews, electrical cords, reporters, and bright lights surrounding the area that it was just too overwhelming for me. We walked on the other side of the finish line and at one point I looked over and saw Trinity Church and that’s when it all hit me. I remembered when Derek and I had finished the marathon the past two years and laid down on the grass of the church completely exhausted and how awesome the grass felt underneath our tired bodies. I remembered how accomplished I felt and how there really was no better feeling than overcoming the doubts in your own mind. Then I realized that instead of pride and overwhelming joy, runners on Monday were overcome with fear and anxiety. I just couldn’t handle the thought of it, along with seeing my beloved finish line turned into a crime scene, and I broke down where I stood. After a few minutes, I wiped my face and ran back home with way too many thoughts going through my head.
I woke up to a phone call around 5am that I quickly silenced and then tried to go back to sleep. I got another call probably 30 minutes later, and did the same thing. My mom called me a few minutes after, and deciding that maybe something was happening, I answered. She told me that there had been a shoot out in Watertown with the bombing suspects, that one police officer was dead, another wounded, and one of the suspects was at large. Shocked, I woke Derek up and turned on the news to find out that the T had been closed and that we were being ordered to stay in our houses with our doors locked. I immediately became very, very scared. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before and it just seemed so out of control and almost unbelievable. The area of Watertown where the gun fight took place is less than 2 miles from our apartment, and less than .5 miles from the school I work at. I was so, so thankful that it was vacation week and none of the kids were at school. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if we had been at work. Derek and I literally watched the news all day long until it felt like our eyeballs might fall out. I texted all of my friends and coworkers to make sure that they were alright, and we just watched in horror as our local Target became the headquarters of the FBI and pretty much every police department in New England.
It was very strange to sit in our house all day long and not see a single person walking on the street, but on the other hand, observe a black hawk helicopter flying over us. At one point, we heard something that sounded like pellets or bullets going off and I literally almost pooped my pants. Derek and I turned everything off and crept around the apartment, eventually figuring out that a bag of Chuie’s food had fallen off the refrigerator and spilled all over the floor. I guess you could say we were a little on edge.
Hours later, after the stay put ban had been lifted, we took Chuie for a walk in the neighborhood even though we were still pretty uneasy about the whole thing. The suspect still hadn’t been found, and he potentially could have been anywhere at that point. On our way back home, we peeked into a bar and saw the news saying that they had located his crazy a$$ in a boat in Watertown not far from where they had been looking. I swear this story is just so incredibly nutty, no one could ever make it up. Anyway, we walked back home and turned on the news again in complete disbelief. Once he had been arrested though – holy moly was that a good feeling. It was like the entire city just exploded into a party. We could hear people singing and shouting in the streets around us and we watched everyone clapping for the police on TV. It was such an awesome feeling and I honestly couldn’t have felt more proud to live in Boston. I am still so impressed by the courage and strength that our law enforcement showed throughout this whole thing. And did you all see Mayor Menino in his wheelchair? That poor man has been so sick and has had a hell of a year but he took eviery chance he could to talk about how resilient our city is. Loved that.
So now that I’ve blabbed on and on seemingly without end, if you’re still reading, here are my final thoughts on this week’s events:
Even though there are evil, sick people in this world, kindness, courage, and strength will always defeat them. It’s just a fact.
I love running marathons and will continue to do so without fear. I can’t wait to run the Pittsburgh Marathon in two weeks. I’m going to push harder than I ever have to honor my city, the victims of this tragedy, and everyone who was affected by it.
I am SO proud of the people of Boston, our law enforcement, first responders, and all of the people who risked their lives to keep us safe. Thank you for ensuring that I get to do what I love every day.
I saw this on my 10 mile run yesterday and it made me smile. If you look closely, you’ll see that they’re wearing medals from the 2012 Mount Desert Island Marathon that I ran in October. Seeing this really gave me a sense of hope that there is still good in the world. After all, the beauty of Mount Desert Island helped me get through the stress of this week when I was away, and here is a little piece of it in my backyard
Here’s a video to make you feel warm & fuzzy if you don’t already:
Boston strong. Boston proud. Goodnight!
** This post was started last week, then put off until now**
Hello from my couch!
I’m watching The Voice, my most favoritest show on TV, and multitasking on my phone, which drives Derek nut butters.
So last week we ran the Eastern States 20 Miler in Portsmouth, NH. It was pretty merptastic. The weather was great – sunny and 50 degrees – and the course was gorgeous going along the coast of NH down to Salisbury, MA.
BUT, there weren’t any mile markers or time clocks, and this sharp little tack forgot to wear her watch. So, I had no idea how far I had gone when I started to get tired and discouraged. My right calf also started cramping about an hour before we finished, and I had to keep stopping and stretching it.
I was really disappointed with my performance during this race because I basically gave up towards the end. I think my time was either 3:00 or 3:01, but I’m really not sure because we didn’t have time chips. But I got a sweet sunburn! And it was nice to get another 20 mile run under my belt before Pittsburgh.
Would I run Eastern States again? Maybe, if I remember to bring a watch – but let’s be honest, I’d rather eat the jelly and soup that I bought at the Saco River Farmer’s Market the day before.
Pure maple syrup, 3 kinds of vegan/gluten free soups & gluten free/vegan jalipeno cornbread from The Soup Guy, blueberry & strawberry cinnamon jams from Above the Dam Jam, and a blueberry Sea Crunch bar. I love farmer’s markets mostly because I like talking to all of the vendors about their products and how they got started. The guy at Above the Dam Jam, for example, explained to me that he and his wife started their jam-making business after his wife decided to stay home with their 3 kids. He was so stinking nice and the jam is friggin amazing.
What do you buy at farmer’s markets?
Have you ever run a race without time clocks or mile markers? Did it drive you cuckoo banana crackers?
Happy Sunday Funday! Yesterday Derek and I finished the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler in some pretty uncomfortable conditions. It was cold, sleeting, and wet almost the entire way. Guess that’s what you get for doing a race during February in New England! I think we made the best of it, though, and despite the freezing rain we still had fun.
It was my first time at Martha’s Vineyard, and I really had no idea what to expect. One thing I’ve always associated Martha’s Vineyard with is its history as one of the first deaf communities in the US. I was a deaf studies minor in undergrad, and I was fascinated to learn that the American Sign Language (ASL) used in North America today is actually an offset of Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL). Apparently, some of the early settlers of the island carried the gene for deafness, and so it was passed on through generations until eventually 1 in every 4 children on the island was deaf. Fishing and agriculture, both of which were good occupations for deaf residents, prospered on the island and hearing people in the community learned to sign to communicate with the deaf population. In a way, it was a sort of deaf “utopia” where everyone could understand one another and communicate, whether they were hearing or deaf. As the deaf children on the island began to travel to the mainland for school, though, they eventually married and settled off the island, causing the deaf population to gradually decline. Fascinating, right?!?!
For those of you who haven’t been, here are some other fun facts that I learned about the island after googling it this morning:
- filming location for Steven Spielberg’s Jaws movies
- summer vacation spot for former President Bill Clinton and family as well as the Obamas
- Jackie Kennedy Onassis lived in Martha’s Vineyard until her death in 1994
- JFK Jr. as well as his wife and sister-in-law died in a plane crash off the coast of the island in 1999
- only place in the world where you can get tularemia (rabbit fever) from lawn mowing
- the cost of living on the island is 60% higher than the national average yet the average income of island residents (not summer vacationers) is 30% less than the MA state average
And now that you and I know all of this extremely interesting information, let’s get back to the race.
The Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler is a very small race originally intended to “test your Boston readiness.” The other runners in this race were FAST and all business – I felt a little out of my element before we got started seeing everyone in their Boston Marathon jackets from years past. Derek and I decided to run the 20 miler sort of last-minute just to push ourselves to train and continue running after Disney. Between Disney and this race, the longest distance I had run was 12 miles, with a couple 10 mile runs and a few 3s, 5s, and 7s. I did not feel ready AT ALL, but that’s nothing new.
The race started at 11am yesterday, so Derek and I woke up at 6 and were out the door by 7. At that time, it was cold outside, but relatively clear and there wasn’t any precipitation at all during the 1.5 hour drive to Falmouth. We listened to Macklemore the whole way to get ourselves hyped. Once in Falmouth, we parked, gathered our stuff, and caught a shuttle bus to the ferry.
The ferry was definitely the best part of the whole race. I know that sounds awful, but I really had a lot of fun on the ride over to the island. Around 9:15 we got to the Steamship Authority terminal with a few minutes to spare before boarding. Derek made some horrendous tasting oatmeal (love him dearly though) that I brought with me in the car but didn’t end up finishing, so I was pretty hungry by then. There was a little snack bar in the waiting area, so I got a black coffee and a bag of Cape Cod potato chips for me and a bagel for Derek (he’s always hungry). We boarded the ferry and found a seat right away on the upper deck. It was delightfully warm and we had a pretty good view.
We were on the ferry for about 45 minutes and just relaxed and talked about a whole bunch of random stuff. I met a woman wearing a Disney Marathon shirt in the line for the bathroom, and we chatted about how much fun the race was as well as some other races. I always love hearing other runners’ perspectives on races and which ones they recommend. Here are some more pictures taken from the ferry:
After we arrived, we pinned on our race bibs and checked our bags. The start line was literally right next to the ferry terminal which made everything really easy. The terminal was crazy crowded with runners doing last minute preparations and meeting up with family/friends.
With some time to spare before the start, we decided to walk around and try to stay warm. Main Street was only about a block away.
After a couple of minutes we headed over to the race start and jumped up and down/ did modified dance moves to stay warm until we got running. Looking around, I saw very few people my age and everyone looked really, really serious. I felt a little intimidated and questioned what it would feel like to come in last. Someone has to be last in every race, right?
Once we got running, I realized that I had made a major mistake by wearing the Gap capris I had spoken so highly of in a previous post. They kept falling lower and lower until the crotch felt like it was almost at my knees. Since I was wearing gloves, I couldn’t get a grip on them to pull them up. It was a mess and I was being pretty nast’ about it. Derek really wasn’t into my whining so he ran ahead and took this lovely photo of me:
See how there’s about 2 inches of space between the end of my capris and my shoes? There really should be like 6 but I was having some serious crotch sag going on.
I caught up with Derek for a couple more minutes until we realized we weren’t talking and I was not motivated to run his pace for the next 19 miles. He ran ahead, which gave me the opportunity to take pictures of him from the back. Not too bad for me.
See that little blue man? That’s Derek! He was hauling a$$…this is the last time I saw him during the race.
This is where the freezing rain started. Alone, cold, and kind of bored, what did I do to distract myself?
This 20 miles was tough. Obviously, with being just 6 miles shy of a marathon, it would be tough on any course, but the weather really made it unpleasant. I was a little sad that I didn’t get to fully appreciate the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard because there were tiny frozen water pebbles in my eyes most of the time. I’ve also never run a race of this distance alone before, and it was challenging for me to keep going when my mind was telling me to stop and I didn’t have much to distract me. I tried to think of all the songs on my running playlist, but it just wasn’t the same. I also tried to mentally break the race into chunks, and that helped a little. I told myself I could only stop at water stations and only long enough to drink my cup of water – no dilly daddling. I stuck by this and only stopped at mile 18 to walk while sipping my deliciously purple gatorade.
During this race, I also learned that I really need to figure out my nutrition for training. Since I’ve been eating vegan, I’ve been feeling great, but on longer runs it’s been hard to eat enough calories to support the distance. I was so so so so hungry during this 20 miles, so much so that my stomach was burning and I felt like I had no energy by the last few miles. The Gu I brought wasn’t helping much either. I’m definitely going to follow in the footsteps of my dude Scott Jurek and bring some bean burritos or peanut butter & jelly roll ups in my pocket next time I do a long run.
During the last stretch, I knew I was nearing the end of the course but not sure when. I heard Derek do his “Yuuuuuuuuuuup” war cry and saw him running towards me, and honestly I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. Ok, the end of Boston 2012 was probably the most happy I’ve ever been. I gave Derek my camera and sprinted for the finish line. To my surprise, I came in just under 3 hours.
I haven’t run a sub 3 hour 20 miles in months. I was shocked that I did this with a long run of only 12 miles 2 weeks prior. With the Eastern States 20 miler coming up in March, I can’t wait to see how much I can improve my time between now and then. Derek finished in 2:51 which was AMAZING. I’m so proud of him and how he pushed himself. He barely trained and still smoked me.
At the end of the race we got our medals and went into the elementary school to get some hot food. I got some minestrone soup and some fruit.
After eating we changed into warm clothes – except we both forgot extra shoes and socks: FAIL. With our dry clothes and wet shoes, we got on the shuttle bus back to the ferry.
The ferry ride back to Falmouth was even more glorious than the ride to MV. It was not delightfully, but DELICIOUSLY warm inside. We took advantage of the heaters to dry our wet stinky shoes.
Derek fell asleep and I harassed him without him knowing. So rude.
We finally got back home around 6:30 where Chuie licked our faces off before we took him out for a walk. We ate a massive amount of takeout, watched Donnie Darko, and went to bed. A long but successful day.
Have you ever been to Martha’s Vineyard? want to go?
Have you ever run a 20 mile race?
Do you know any sign language or someone who is deaf?
Do you think this post was extraordinarily long? I do, so it’s ok.
Finally! Things have been a little crazy since I got back to work yesterday (apparently it’s IEP season), so finally, here is my post about the 2013 Disney World Marathon! I apologize in advance – many of the photos are blurry because I took them while I was running or walking!!
My alarm rang -when I looked at the clock , it was 2:30am. In a daze, I turned it off and went back to sleep. Fortunately, I had predicted this would happen and set another alarm for 2:45am. When that one went off, I hopped right out of bed and rushed to get everything ready for the race. I put on my compression shorts, children’s XL sparkle skirt, Snow White bamboo tank top, and red bow head band, brushed my teeth, made some coffee, grabbed a couple of gluten-free muffins, and headed out the door with Derek following behind me. It was 3am – the middle of the night – and we were about to run a marathon in a couple short hours. We drove the 40 minutes to Disney, quickly and easily found a parking space, and got in the zone.
Derek was too cool to dress up so he doesn’t get any pictures
We made our way over to Athlete’s Village (I guess that’s what it was called?) and waited for our corral to be called. As soon as we walked in, they called Corrals A&B and we started heading to the Start Line.
It was about a 20 minute walk to the Start Line from the sidewalk. Even though it was the middle of the night, I was wide awake and raring to go. We saw Fairy Godmother on our way to the Start, and lots of runners were lined up to have their pictures taken with her – maybe for good luck?
There was a DJ playing music out of his car at one point…
I really loved looking at everyone’s costumes while we were walking. There were people dressed as all of the famous Disney characters, princes & princesses, anything you could imagine that was remotely related to Disney. I thought these ladies looked super cute:
When we got to the Start Line, we went into our assigned corrals and chilled out for a bit watching the JumboTron. RunDisney reps were walking through the crowd of runners and asking them about their training, how they were feeling about the race, etc. They also interviewed Joey Fatone, who was running his first marathon – he seemed pretty confident and relaxed!!!
Around 5:30, it was time to start. We all stood up and listened to the National Anthem, and mentally prepared ourselves for what lay ahead.
The announcers told us there would be 8 waves of runners, and that there would be fireworks to send off each wave. First up was the wheelchair wave:
They called Corral A, then Corral B, and we were off! Mickey, Minnie, and Donald Duck cheered us on as we crossed over the start line.
It was about 67 degrees at the beginning of the race, which was significantly warmer than the weather I had been training in. I was a little bit worried about the temperature being unbearably warm once the sun came up, but I was comfortable for the time being and way too excited for it to bother me too much. The first 1.5 hours of the run was in the dark – this was kinda cool for me because I have never done a nighttime race before and it just felt very different from all of the marathons I’ve run in the past. We ran a good 8-9 miles before sunrise!
The course stretched out across all 4 Disney parks – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, & Epcot – with plenty of entertainment along the way. All of the Disney characters, some new, some old, and some I didn’t recognize at all, were spread out along the course for photos. It was the first race I’ve done where people actually stopped to take pictures:
And this is where my race course photos end. I got a little overstimulated with everything going on during the race, and I thought I should probably leave some mystery for all of you who plan to run it someday! Around mile 10, when the sun came out, it started getting HOT. Derek and I stopped at every water station to walk for a few seconds and dump water on our heads to cool off. Normally, I would feel really guilty about doing this in any other race, but there was something really special about Disney. Everyone was really laid back and didn’t seem to be very worried about their time. Runners were standing in lines on the sides of the road to take pictures with their favorite Disney characters and stopping to snap photos posing along the course. There were marching bands playing, acrobats doing flips on trampolines, and tons of people cheering on the sidelines. Even though I was sweating my butt off and really uncomfortable, I was having the time of my life. I stopped caring about my pace and just took in all the sights and sounds of the race. It almost seemed – dare I say – magical?
By mile 20, I was pretty dang tired. I was having a lot of fun, but I also really wanted to be done. As with every other marathon I’ve run, I had hit the infamous “wall” and had to mentally push myself through the next 6 miles. Derek was hurting, too, but we pushed each other to keep going. When we got to Hollywood Studios, we had about 3 miles left to go. Boy did those 3 miles seem like they lasted FOREVER! I was tired, chafed, and boiling hot, but I knew the only way I was going to get something cold to drink was to finish. When we got to Epcot, I saw Snow White on the sideline – she curtsied to me and it gave me the last bit of motivation I needed to finish. Derek and I crossed the finish line together with a smile at 4:16:53. Definitely not my best time, but with the temperature at 83 degrees by the end of the race, I was pretty pleased with it!
At the finish line we were rewarded with the coolest race medal EVER:
Since it was the 20th anniversary, the medal boasted a vintage-looking Mickey 20 years ago, and Mickey today! This thing is HUGE – it weighs a crazy 8.7 oz!
After some recovery time, we took some pictures:
And of course we celebrated with our victory cups:
Overall, this was definitely the best marathon I’ve ever run. Even though it was uncomfortably warm, the course itself was awesome, the crowd support was comparable to the Boston Marathon, and it was SO well-organized. There were 25,000 runners – the same size as Boston & Philly – but it really didn’t feel like it. Parking was a breeze, getting back home was easy, and all of the volunteers were so genuinely kind and helpful. The only con I can think of is the expense. While this was the most fun marathon I’ve run, it was definitely the most pricey! Registration alone was close to $150 and with travel expenses, it got pretty costly. Totally worth it, though! I would definitely recommend this marathon to anyone who is looking to run a fun race and not worry about their pace. There’s just way too much to see and take in during this race and you’ll miss it all if you push yourself to run fast. I think this would also make the perfect marathon for a first-timer.
Thanks Disney for a great race! And a special thank you to my grandparents for feeding us and giving us a place to rest our sweaty heads!!! xoxoxoxo
What’s in store for me now? I’m taking a little break from running this week and focusing on strength training. I recently read about the New Rules of Lifting for Women from Meghann at mealsandmiles and I think I’m going to give it a try. One of my goals for this year is to do more strength training and I think this comprehensive program will help me do that. I’m running the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler on February 16th, the Eastern States 20 Miler in March, and the Pittsburgh Marathon in May. Looks like I won’t be taking a very long break from running so I’m enjoying this little time I do have!
Would you ever run Disney? What races would you want to run if given the chance?
Hi from St. Cloud, FL!
It’s been a busy couple of days…We arrived in Orlando yesterday around noontime and headed to my grandparents’ house in St. Cloud, which isn’t too far from Disney.
We ate a delicious lunch made by my Gma and went out for a 3 mile run around the neighborhood. When we got here yesterday, we were immediately struck by how warm it was, so we thought it would be wise to get a few miles in before the race to try to acclimate ourselves.
My grandparents live on a beautiful nature preserve with tons of wildlife – great scenery for a run!
Right when we set out, we saw this gang of wild turkeys running around like crazy little dinosaurs:
I was sweating like crazy at the end of this run but my legs felt good and my breathing was alright. This morning it was really cool outside so I think most of the race will be fine and the last few miles will probably be tough because of the heat.
This morning we went over to Disney for the marathon expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Expos are one of my favorite parts of races, and this one actually exceeded my expectations.
Everything was super organized, there were people directing us where to go, and parking was easy peasy. There were a TON of vendors handing out samples and selling everything from stickers to bedazzled running skirts. I stopped by the Sweatybandz stand to pick up a headband like I do at every race. It’s a tradition I started last year at the Boston Marathon and now I’ve got a pretty good collection going! I thought this Disney band was pretty adorbs:
That’s Desiree Davila, Janet Bawcom, and Joan Benoit Samuelson – Joan is a running legend who won gold in the Olympics in the 80s, Desi and Janet both completed Olympic trials for the women’s team. They spoke about what it’s like to be a professional runner and how the sport has changed over the years. They also gave us some words of wisdom for tomorrow’s race: stay calm and break up the race into chunks. Easier said than done but ill try!
I’m so excited for tomorrow! This is my first time at Disney and I’m sure it will be as magical as everyone claims it is! We’re heading to bed now since we have to wake up at *gasp* 2:30am (ie the middle of the night) to be in our corrals ready to go by 5am. I’ve got my outfit all prepped:
Goodnight & good luck to all the other runners!
PS I can’t wait to drink a celebratory beverage out of the pimp cup I got in Downtown Disney after the race. It’s shaped like a castle and lights up – suhweet!!
Happy Saturday, everyone!!
I hope you all had a nice Christmas! I spent the holiday in Maine at Derek’s parents’ house and had a great time. We made snowflakes for Sandy Hook, went on some nice runs in the country, ate crazy good food, and exchanged presents:
I got so many thoughtful gifts this year – but I think my favorite gift of all was the one my mom sent me:
A personalized running charm bracelet from Inspired Endurance!
How cool is this? My mom had a special tag charm engraved for each marathon I ran this year with the name and the date. I thought this was such a unique and thoughtful gift! Because I run multiple marathons a year, I tend to forget about what an accomplishment each one is – wearing this bracelet reminds me of how strong my body and mind are and that I should be celebrating each race with pride!
Check out Inspired Endurance if you have any runners that have birthdays or special occasions coming up – they have bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. for any distance race or triathlon. The company is very accommodating and pleasant to work with – thanks so much, Mama!
So, more about training – since I’m on vacation from work until January 3rd, I’ve been trying to take this lovely opportunity to do more marathon training in the daylight (what a concept!). It gets dark around 4pm now, so I usually have to go for runs in the dark either before or after work (before work RARELY happens). It’s ok, but man does it feel good to run in the sunlight! Yesterday I felt so alive and energized that I decided to do some Yasso 800′s. It’s probably been a year since I’ve done these, and they really are beneficial in increasing your speed and most importantly for me, fighting training boredom.
Yasso 800s were created by Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World magazine. It’s a simple and effective method in which you run 800m or half a mile at a steady, fast pace, followed by a 400 m recovery jog. You typically start adding Yasso 800s to your training regime 3 months before your marathon, starting with 3-4 sets, then gradually increasing by adding a set each week to eventually complete 10 sets about 4 weeks from the race. Yasso asserts that your average speed during these 10 sets of 800s will determine your marathon finish time – for example, if you run 10 sets at an average of 3 minutes, 30 seconds, your marathon finish time will be 3 hours, 30 minutes. I haven’t actually tested this, but I was doing Yasso 800s consistently each week while I was training for the Hyannis Marathon last February, which ended up being my fastest marathon and PR. I think there’s probably some truth to his claim – and if not, at least they push you out of your comfortable pace and mix up your training a bit.
I was beat after 4 sets of these around the Chestnut Hill Resevoir yesterday:
But at least the weather was beautiful, the sun was shining, and the duckies were out on the water
After the 800s, I ran another 4.5 miles for a grand total of 10 miles. Great workout!
We’re going to see Les Miserables this afternoon and I CANNOT wait!!!
Have you ever used Yasso 800s as part of your training plan? Did they work in predicting your finish time?
Another reason to love Maine: gluten-free beach food!!!
Derek and I are visiting his parents in Maine for Christmas, so yesterday we decided to go on a little adventure to Kittery. The weather was really poopy, so we picked Kittery because it has a bunch of outlets and stores – good indoor activities.
Before we left I checked the Gluten Free Registry to see if there were any good places in Kittery, and low and behold I found ‘Bob’s Clam Hut’ on Route 1.
This place was fabulous – the lady at the counter was super friendly, the atmosphere was very casual, and the prices were reasonable. Their gluten free menu was awesome – any fried seafood could be made with corn flour, they had gluten free lobster stew, and gluten free rolls for any sandwich.
Did you eat anything awesome today?!