The Lazy Triathlete

Probably the world's laziest triathlete. Trying desperately to become more motivated.

We Run Boston

This past Sunday, despite the crazy heat, Danbo & I headed in to the city to run the B.A.A. 10k. This was the first event put on by the B.A.A. since the bombings, and it was apparent to me that it was an emotional day for a lot of the runners there. And it was 2013-06-20 10.36.34unbelievable how much yellow & blue there was on course too. (I didn’t have a ton of appropriate-colored gear to wear, but I did rock my headband and my shoe dongle.)

The race was self-corralling, which can be a bit of a cluster with a large number of casual runners. We decided to hedge our bets, and opted for the 9:00-9;59 min mile corral. A smart choice based on what we experienced, however it may have been the reason we took off at a crazy pace (the first mile was the fastest I’ve ever recorded on my Nike+ Watch). Not smart, especially considering the heat. Originally, my plan was to just share water from Danbo’s hydration vest, but as we started running, I realized how impossible that would be. Then I made the mistake of skipping the first water stop. By the time we got to the second water stop, I was dying. I told Danbo to go on without me so that I could grab water & get my head back in the game. I knew that I would need to be stop at most of the water stops, I and I didn’t want to hold her up from a good race.

Did I forget to mention that I had to pee from the moment we got in our corral? Yeah, that wasn’t ideal either. I have never had to stop & pee during a race (or even a long run) before. Not during two halves, not on 10+ mile runs. Never. I made it to Mile 4 before having to swing off course and wait for a port-o-john. This was, very obviously, not my race.

Despite all of this, I finished with an OK time, and an urge to redeem myself next time. I also made the decision that I need to pull Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 10.44.13 AMthe trigger on a hydration vest. I’ve been researching them since DC, but this race sealed the deal for me. With a few more summer races on the calendar, plus training for two fall halves, I need to make sure that I’m properly hydrated throughout & I don’t want to have to rely on course support.

After finishing (and getting a pretty awesome medal), we changed into some clean clothes & met up with some of our Team In Training teammates for an amazing brunch (that included a gluten-free breakfast pizza!). It was great to catch up with them, hear about their race & other events they have planned, and just see how everyone was.

Overall, it felt great to run Boston, despite my setbacks. And it was awesome seeing my teammates again. No matter the pace, the weather or issues I may have, I will always run #BostonStrong.

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Race Recap: DC

I know, I know – this blog has gone quiet for far too long. Time between the Boston Marathon and my trip down to DC all seems like a blur. And when I got back form DC, I had just over two weeks to pack up my house & move to my new house. So yes, the blog has gone for too long without love, but I’m back in a big way & I wanted to start with a Nike Woman’s Half recap!

And really, before the travel even started, a few of us got together on Thursday night to decorate our singlets, which was a great way to ease into race weekend. Food, drinks and a few ironing mishaps were exactly what we needed to help us relax.

I took a half day on Friday so that I could get home & packed up while still getting to bed at a reasonable hour. You know you are packing for a race weekend when the pile of stuff to go in your bag looks like this:

2013-04-26 19.31.59

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My heart is heavy.

My heart is heavy.

This is the only fully formed thought I have to process how I’m feeling right now. My heart is heavy, and there are no other words I have to explain what I am feeling.

Yesterday started the same as Marathon Mondays of my past – early breakfast at my in-laws and a walk to Mile 8 with friends. This was my second viewing since I had ‘become’ a runner, and the first time watching while so close to the end of training for an event. My excitement for my upcoming race feeding off the energy of the day.

We set up camp at our regular spot & got ready to cheer. First, the handcarts & wheelchairs fly by. Then the elite women blaze past, followed shortly by the elite men. I love clapping and whistling for them, but my true joy comes when the ‘real’ runners start passing us. The ones who train while working full-time jobs. The ones who fundraise to honor or support a loved one. The ones who’s place I wanted to be in next year.

Over the past two years, I have been making this journey to ‘become’ a runner. I have always thought that someday I would run Boston with my Team In Training family. Yesterday may have rocked those beliefs, but my training has taught me to endure. To push harder in that moment you feel the weakest, and finish stronger for it. As a runner, yesterday hit closer to home than I would have thought. And as a runner, I know how strong we are to go beyond this.

bostonheart

Marathon Monday was a day when all of Boston came together. To line the streets. To cheer for the ordinary people who are doing something extraordinary. To celebrate a day when anything is possible.

I hope and believe that Marathon Monday will still be that day. Distance runners train to endure. Bostonians are salty, full of grit and determination. Someone picked two very wrong crowds to mess with.

We run in Boston. We run for Boston.

But today, my heart is heavy.

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Blast from the Past

Last Saturday, I set out to tackle the Nike Virtual 10k challenge, which I was including in my scheduled 8 mile training run with my Team in Training family. We met up in Wakefield again, but this time our route was a lopsided figure-8 on backroads and then around part of the lake from last week. The map was handed out, with copies needing to be shared, and off we went. Coach Laura forgot to mention that we were starting hill work this week.

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 9.59.46 AMAbout a mile and a half in, the first pack (about 100 yards in front of me) realized that we had missed a turn & some adjusting was in order. There were three other ladies running with me, and we followed their lead in getting back on course. That, however, lead us to a monster of a hill right around mile two. (If you look at my course, you can see it gets red around there. Red = slow.)

At the turn between miles two and three, we finally were back on course & following the map. It was finally at mile four I realized that all the turns were backwards (left meant right, and vice versa). From there out, I was able to navigate the rest of our route, and could then focus on dodging icy puddles while ignoring the growing pain in my knee and ankle. Yes, unfortunately the knee pain isn’t going away. This run was actually pretty difficult for me to finish, and I have my TEAMmates and our cause to thank for motivating me over the finish line.

The good news is that with this training season, I’ve been keeping a pretty great log of my runs – including weather conditions, shoes, pain, distance – and that was really helpful when zeroing in on what caused my pain. The first minor twinges of pain only started after I was running with new shoes. Needless to say, those shoes are now retired.

Lots of ice, and now featuring electrodes!

Lots of ice, and now featuring electrodes!

But I needed more guidance than just putting away those shoes, so it was back to physical therapy for me. Luckily for me, I was able to see the same PT (Ashley) that I saw over the summer, so I didn’t need to start from scratch explaining my issues. We went through all the diagnostics (questions, flexibility testing, pain testing), and then she gave me some new stretches and exercises to add to some of the ones I had before with the IT band injury. I’m now at a total of 10 exercises, 4 stretches and all the foam rolling and Stick-ing that I can stand. Ashley also added in some electronic stimulation therapy with my icing. It definitely felt weird, but also pretty awesome.

The best part is that Ashley is a runner, and she understands my commitment to running the half in DC. We are working together to modify my training plan in order to still be able to run that race (and hopefully ramp up my milage to get back in sync with the TEAM by early April). For now, it’s slow and short, but at least I’m not banned from running like last time! Bad news part – I’m completely out for the GoRuck challenge. The weighted bag was really what put that from a maybe to a no-go in Ashley’s mind, especially if I want to be ready and healthy for DC. It definitely sucks, since I had just moved from terrified to excited for the GRC, but that excitement will have to wait for another day.

With the Nike Virtual 10K under my belt, that’s four events so far in 2013 (three of which were virtual). I have at least two more virtual races on the books, but I am definitely looking forward to some real events this spring and summer. I am keeping my eyes peeled for a few more races to squeeze in to the calendar, but waiting on registering for anymore until this injury is all taken care of.

Stay healthy & see you on the roads!

Danbo and I after our Nike 10k+ (while wearing our HAPPY 5k medals)

Danbo and I after our Nike 10k+ (while wearing our HAPPY 5k medals)

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