Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Boston Marathon 2019

After days of people stressing about the weather it turned out to be a pretty great day for running! It was the makings of a great PR day for me. Cloudy, rain, sunshine, tailwind, thousands of fans.

It's a rare day that runners are celebrated to the extent that they are in a major city marathon. We runners and triathletes do our thing day after day. In the cold, wet, dark, heat, and on the rare occasion perfect conditions. Most people don't care about our accomplishments day to day. Of course we cheer our fellow athletes on every day. Because we get it. It's frickin' hard to be so committed. But we all do it because we love it. It's our therapy. Because we like to eat and drink. Yesterday was the celebration. For a day I felt like a rock star. People cared about my race and my accomplishments. I finished the 2019 Boston Marathon smiling ear to ear. Because its our fucking city and our fucking Marathon. Cause everyday that I get to run and ESPECIALLY RACE is a very very good day. BEST DAY EVER!

The day started at 5 am being jolted awake by thunderstorms. It was a pretty mellow morning by Kristi standards. Just had my bar, coffee, and a quick pup walk. Amy drove me to Groton Town Hall where my friend Kim was playing taxi cab for a few of us Squannie Marathoners. I'm so grateful for both of them, taking away any stress of getting to the start. As we were pulling into Hopkinton the rain stopped and the skies began to clear. I am amazed at the security and efficiency of the BAA staff and volunteers at the start, and elsewhere on course. Thank you for keeping us safe yesterday.

The tricky part about the Boston Marathon, for me anyway, is a late start. I am a "get up early, coffee and fuel, then go" kinda runner/rider. After getting up at 5 am I didn't start running until 11ish. I felt like I timed everything OK but my gut and body disagreed. I felt a little wonky waiting around to start, but was hoping it was just nerves. The first 8 miles were awesome. I stayed in control but was running fast. I felt light and strong. I knew it was going to hurt if I wanted to do a sub 4 Marathon. Then my gut kicked in. I continued on running strong until the the lower abdominal cramps kicked in. Absolutely nothing stopped them. I stretched, I did controlled breathing, I walked. All of these things helped but they never went away. My legs felt great, but a fast time wasn't in the cards for me. So instead of hammering for 26.2 miles I ran -walked the last half of the race. And that's OK because I was still moving and running. And I finished. Smiling.

That did not stop me from having a phenomenal day. The Boston Marathon course is a big party. I saw tons of friends. Random strangers cheered me on. I fed off of the crowd. I relished every moment. I loved the rain around mile 22-25. I loved all the "power up" signs. I loved the Wellesley college College scream tunnel. I loved the Newton Hills. Amy, Willow, Faith, and Carissa were at mile 19. It was the boost I need in the exact right time. I ran hard for all of my donors, for the Brittany Fund, for all of those who can't run. I cried. I was Boston Strong.

I have raised just over $5,000 to date for the Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recover. This a bit over $5,000 of my goal. I am over the moon thankful for everyone that donated. For every word of encouragement. These funds will help hundreds of people recover from trauma.

One of the best parts of my day was the Squannacock River Runners post race hotel room. A hot shower, friends, food, beer, and a dog awaited me. It was a great way to end the day in Boston.

My official time was 4:47:04. I am very proud of this. For now I rest and splurge a little. Next up: Groton Road Race and becoming a triathlete again after months of run focus.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

It's almost go time

It's Saturday night; 1 day 12 hours before the 2019 Boston Marathon gets underway. Running and triathlon is quite unique because we mere age groupers get to race with the best elite and FAST age groupers. I get to be on the same course as Joan Benoit Samuelson, Des Linden, Sara Hall to name just a few. I get to race on one of the most iconic and revered run courses in the world. It's a privilege and an honor to race the Boston Marathon.

This ROAD TO BOSTON has been a special one. It's been about healing and taking back our Marathon. It's been about raising money for The Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recovery. It's been about many other people other than myself. My friends, coworkers, and family have rallied around me and helped me raise, $4,632 to date. Amy has been supportive as always, helping me with training and giving me fundraising ideas. Many will benefit from these dollars and it will make a huge impact on the lives of those affected by trauma. It's been about really truly enjoying running. I found my love of running and triathlon again several years ago and I haven't looked back.

I started eating low carb a few weeks after Ironman Canada 2018. It took me weeks before I got a handle on how to juggle this new way of eating and endurance racing/training. I kept at it because I had more energy day to day and seemed to have more endurance on longer runs. Around January when my runs started going about 15 miles I was in awe how good I felt. I found that I didn't NEED my Tailwind at the scheduled intervals. I drank it, because that was the plan. As the runs got up to 18-21 miles I did need additional fuel but not like before. Prior to eating low carb high fat I found that about 75 minutes I really did need to intake some form of fuel. My pace is faster and my heart rate is lower. In fact, I now have a Garmin Vivosport so I'm getting real resting heart rate data and am pretty excited how low my heart rate is a pure rest. AND I don't get HANGRY anymore. OK maybe not anymore, but it's rare! AND I don't feel nauseous after long runs.

Nutrition plan for Boston is this: small cup of coffee and a bar at 6:30 am, 9 am bullet proof coffee and an F-bomb, start time ~11:00 am. Starting at 60 minutes I will take one sip of Tailwind. My bottle will contain one scoop or 25 grams of carbs. I'll have the ability to grab more water if I need but I don't anticipate needing any. I haven't on my training long runs. This will be the first big race doing LCHF. If this formula works I'll move forward with it tweaking for a 70.3. Likely consuming an F bomb on rides.

I've been using Endurance Nation coaching since 2016. I've been pleased with my triathlon and running results using their plans. I hit higher run volume with Boston Marathon training than I ever have and my body has responded beautifully. I've added an extra strength workout in because I think it's important especially with a lot of running. One of the keys for me has been truly doing recovery runs when they're call for. Most of those runs I've brought Willow with me. He forces me to truly run easy and smell the flowers. Plus he reminds me that running is fun!

Tomorrow I head into the city to pick up my number and enjoy the Marathon Weekend madness. I am crazy excited about this race. As for the weather: it's rained or been hot for like 90% of my races in the last two years SO I am not terribly surprised that it's going to rain. I shine in wet weather. So bring it on baby.