Some random marathon things that didn’t fit in the last post…

There were a few things that just didn’t fit within my race recap, (because it would make it a mile long) so I decided to put them all in a separate post. There really is no pattern or flow to this, so just roll with it.

Shoes.
I’ve been asked which shoes I ended up wearing. And why did I choose them?
I ended up going with my Pureflow 2s. I was really, really happy I went with them. I have to tell you though…during the last week of taper, I started to have a whole bunch of random foot pains. I blew it up in my mind: my foot was breaking/broken, that I would run the marathon, but midway, my foot would break in half and I would be carried off in a stretcher. The mind can be cruel if we let it be! I debated wearing the heavier Ghosts right up until I actually left.

The Pureflows were a great choice! I’ve never done a marathon in shoes as light as this-it’s usually a heavier pair like my Ghosts that win! Fun fact: my half marathon PR was done in this pair of shoes-To me that’s kind of cool!!

-Runderwear. I’ve never used it before. I went to Dicks the day prior to the marathon and saw it for $10. Normally my cheap butt wouldn’t pay $10 for a single pair of underwear, but I made an exception. So, I wore it on Sunday. Bought it on Saturday. The best time to try new stuff is Marathon day right?! um, no, it is not. But..I really didn’t give a damn. This may be a bit of TMI, but my long runs always cause, ahem… a little chafe-age, and I despise that…so the worst that could happen a that I hated the Runderwear. Lucky for me: NOPE to chafe-age and I loved it. Brand? Reebok.

-What did I eat the night before?
Pizza! I love my homemade multi grain pizza! I always stick to the same things before my long runs and during this particular training cycle-pizza the night before kept my stomach completely calm!

-What did I wear for clothes?
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I wore my favorite running skirt from Skirt Sport (The “Cougar”, if you are curious) because it has three pockets and I LOVE pockets. For a top, I wore a tank because I get hot quickly whole racing. I found a tank top from Nike that I got at Dicks on Saturday. (I know, more new things, not the best but it worked out. ) I wore my black Pro Compression socks and my Nike sports bra (it is my all time favorite)

-People recongnizing me:
This was pretty funny for me-I was recognized a lot on Sunday-at the start, during, and afterwards…a lot of readers came over and said hello-that’s so much fun because I love meeting new runners!! So THANK YOU to all of you who said hi!

-Tracking: this year was the first time that tracking was available for both the half and the full-it was awesome! I love that my family and my readers knew where I was and were able to see my progress on the course. It is a lot more fun when you can track people live!

-Fueling:
Baystate has two fuel stops: like 7&17. They offer the Powerbar gels but I brought my own because I can’t stand the consistency of the Powerbar gel. I prefer GU-salted watermelon is my favorite! I took 4 with me, ended up eating 2 3/4 of them. I literally couldn’t stand the third one and was only forcing it down because I was trying to keep my energy levels up.

-The Faster Field. This is so fascinating to me, a geek who loves statistics and placements. As someone who has now completed four Baystate Marathons I can say with confidence that the crowd I was in for the 2nd half felt a little thin this year. Last year, I felt like I was constantly surrounded by runners, and I was 17 minutes slower. There were plenty of periods where I was solo on Sunday. I started to think about how the field felt faster, and I did some research for my previous marathon times:

-In 2013, -I was finisher #561/1344 with a 3:47 time
-in 2012, I was finisher #580/1192 with a 3:54 time
-in 2011, I was finisher #672/1002 with a 4:17 time

In 2014, I was the 350th finisher with a time of 3:28. There 1576 marathoners. You can see the growth with the marathon, can you not?

This probably is only cool to me…but I couldn’t help but look at similar placement in finishing times to mine for the past 3 years. If I had gotten the same time in:

2011-I would have been the 187th finisher…
2012-I would have been the 293rd finisher…
2013-I would have been the 284th finisher…

What does this mean? It means the field for Baystate is becoming increasingly competitive. The race this year sold out faster than I can ever remember it selling out. Word is spreading for what an amazing course it is. Some of my fellow runners have said that they think it was hillier than expected- I personally don’t notice the inclines in it, but that is just me because I’m truly used to running the course all the time. The race is growing size-wise, but it seems to also be growing for speed…faster runners want a chance to display their best running selves on the 3rd Sunday IN October.

What does this mean for my own Baystate future? It means I will be signing up for Baystate on opening day next year!!! ;) Hey Glenn-Can I have Bib #1???? ;)

-There has been a lot of talk of “The BQ” in my house lately. The husband is over it. He has started teasing me by saying things like “Hey, guess what? I DQ’d today!” And when I stare at him with a blank expression, he then tells me he “Dairy Queened” haha….gotta love the humor!!!

Anyone else have a non running spouse who teases you mercilessly about your running and the weird running terms?

Baystate runners: did the field feel faster to you too?

2014 Baystate Marathon Recap: The Wind, The Struggles& The BQ!

Can I start all my sentences now with “I BQ’d”? Is that inappropriate? Maybe. But maybe not seeing as I worked real hard for this moment!

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17 minutes. This is what I took off of my previous marathon PR. (Hyannis Marathon, Feb 2014). 3:28:07. There are like one million emotions running through me right now as I type this post.

I have to start off by acknowledging what an amazing team of people put together Baystate. I was given the opportunity to blog about my training for Baystate this year by Glenn Stewart, race director, and his incredible team- I would never ever blog about something that I wasn’t passionate about: I am QUITE passionate about the Baystate Marathon. It is run by TRUE professionals. Everything is seamless, and I have never once had a single problem with registering, bag check, porta potties, finish area, etc….I LOVE this race. Not only because it’s in my backyard: it’s a fabulous course, a PR course-for sure. Also, being that it is set on the 3rd weekend in October means you are practically guaranteed to have nice weather. The course is ALWAYS well maintained, and the police directing traffic are really looking out for the runners. The finish line chute is a breeze and I met my family&friends very quickly…this is a race I will go back to again and again! (Sunday was my 4th Baystate…that proves how much I love this race!!

Race day weather was awesome. We were chilly at the start (ok, FREEEZING) so I kept my sweater on as LONG as possible:
Me and my SIL embarking on our journey! (thanks again Mama D for driving us!)
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We got to the start around 7:15..we live close by so it was a lot easier for us to get there that late than most people are able to, plus we got dropped off so we didn’t have to worry about getting around road closures in order to park. We immediately stood in the porta potty line right next to the bag check. I have to say-there seemed to be even more porta potties than last year, and they had them in secret spots too, all around the start line-I never noticed lines that were too long! While in the porta potty line, a runner introduced herself and said “Excuse me…are you the girl with the blog? I just had to ask!” And I AM the girl with the blog, so this was a LOT of fun to be asked! Allison was running her first marathon, and I later found out she rocked it and finished in under 5!! YOU GO GIRL!!! Bag check was also a piece of cake. Hello sirs&ma’ams, here is my bag, please keep it safe, #thankyouverymuch.

I got to see my running partner for about two secs before we each had to go line up at our respective starts (she was doing the half) but we did snap a quick cute pic!! It was awesome to see her and her wonderful mama (also doing the half!) for about a minute!! They both rocked it!

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The Race.
Miles 1-13.
My plan all along had been to run with a pace group. I decided that I wanted to be smart and head out with the 3:25 group, break away at 15, and try to catch the 3:15 group. This plan worked for the first half of the race. The weather was amazing, I was in the thick 3:25 group, and I felt like I could’ve pulled away & passed them at any moment. In fact, I kept reigning myself back in so as not to kill my speed.

My biggest issue the first 14 is that the group was so tight, that I was focused on keeping my eyes constantly on the pacers. This caused me to trip not once but twice on the lovely stupid orange cones. I seriously managed to find myself needing to hop over practically every dam cone. Mile five I was going down..think “face plant” down…but a wonderful, amazing, lovely lady in a purple tank &turquoise sports bra reached down, grabbed my arms, and hauled me up. YOU ARE MY HERO!!! I could have cried because I was so happy not to have fallen!! I don’t know that I could do that for somebody else.. I am SO ridiculously clumsy that I think I would also topple on top of you as I try to pull you up. So after my angel picked me up, it was smooooth sailing. Loop one-over the bridge-felt amazing. #BAMIGOTTHIS

I had zero problems staying with the pace group for the first 14. I ended up NOT taking my camelbak–> this is my biggest regret and one of the reasons I slowed in the 2nd half. I have said it before and I will say it again:I am terrible at water stops. The act of “stopping” slows me, and slows me real fast. I started to realize though that even though it was easy for me to catch my pace group at my first few stops, it was going to be pretty tough for me to catch them later on..truth be told, that had been my biggest concern going into marathon day. I hadn’t wanted the weight of the pack, so I opted to leave it at home. HUGE Mistake. Oh well, you live and learn!! Also, I know runners are always curious about this: I GUd three times-7,14,20– but never finished the last packet because the taste started to make me sick. I stopped for water at 5,9,15,18,20,22,23,24(after 20, I just wanted the excuse to walk)

There were a few times during the race where I found myself getting really emotional. The first few times, it was because I was literally seeing myself hit all of my goal times and I was really, ridiculously happy. I had made myself memorize a few key splits on my pacers shirt:
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I did the first half in 1:40:49 (coincidently,my 2nd fastest half time) I was on pace, and doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. I was really proud of myself for sticking to my plan. I couldn’t believe a BQ was actually going to happen for me: It was Surreal, and still is. A lot of you have said that you found it hard to believe that I haven’t BQd before, and while I thank you for thinking that, I guess the marathon always runs me down. It’s a tricky minx: you go out all cocky and excited, get beaten down, and just when you think you are going to quit, you begin to see the silver lining and realize you’re almost there… and somehow, somehow you finish with on tired legs, and with a full heart.

Mile 14
Still happy! Still strong! And then….mile 15. my headphones managed to get ripped out of one of my ears and I couldn’t get it back on the right way. So I lost my music. And then I lost my pace group. And I couldn’t go catch up no matter how hard I tried because the wind had started. I hate wind. HATE IT. I will take snow, rain, and humidity so high you can drink the air over a windy day. So by 15, I had slowed to an 8:00 pace and I had to fight to keep that. No matter what I did, I seemed to be unable to get myself back to my pre 7:20-7:30 pace. I just couldn’t get there. Each water stop, I fell more behind the pace group, and I slipped into a dark place in my mind, these evil thoughts were swirling around:
I’m not going to BQ.
All of this hard work for nothing.
I’m going to disappoint all of my readers who believe in me!
I never want to run a marathon again!
I want to go home!
I hate running!

15-18 were brutal. The wind exhausted me and sucked up my speed. Fighting to keep pace 15 miles in is no piece of cake. Once I crossed the bridge, I was telling myself that it was ok because at 21, I was going to see my friend Erin and she would help me finish! So the countdown to How many Miles Until I See my Friend began. It was a long way. It was hard. I don’t necessarily need music, but I can tell you that I had spent an awful lot of time crafting the Worlds Most Amazing Playlist and dammit I had wanted to hear it!

I was positive at this point that I would not be BQing. 100% abso-freaking-lutely positive. But them two amazing things happened…

#Amazing Thing #1
This is a little sidebar story. My SIL (as you might recall, ran her first half Sunday?!) has an amazing friend named Sandy. We are Facebook friends and talk ALL the time, but had never met in real life. (She is the MOST AMAZING and INSPIRATIONAL person who Has Ever Lived.)On Sunday, Sandy and I Were going to meet (she was volunteering at like 100 different spots during the race), but couldn’t manage to hookup. She realized that she never saw me go over the bridge, so she set off to find me. She drove the course, hoping to catch me.

So here is Nicole, at mile 20: picture her, if you will:she is sad. she feels broken, both physically&mentally. Suddenly, there is a minivan on the other side of the street with a lady about to fall out because she is YELLING MY NAME SO HARD and at that moment I realized who she was and heard her words:

THIS IS YOUR RACE, NICOLE, ITS YOUR BQ!! YOU GO GET IT!!!

I realized she is right! this IS my race! I WILL go get it! I cannot thank you enough Sandy, you truly pulled me out of my own negativity and helped me get my mind straight!!

Amazing Thing #2:
Right after seeing Sandy, my watch clicked mile 20 at 2:36… I did some quick mental math:I was still holding a low 8 minute pace: even if I slipped to 10 minute pace, I would still BQ! Maybe doing the math wasn’t the best thing ever. I knew it was “ok” to slow, but I honestly couldn’t go any faster if I tried. Even though my 2nd half was slower–I could tell that all of my fast finish long runs were helping me be able to hold onto the 8 minute pace. For past marathons, I have easily slipped down to a 9 minute pace.

Finally… it was mile 21, and there was Erin… I told her how happy I was to see her (understatement of the year, right there) We previously had had a plan to run the last 5 at <7:30 pace. Umm, yeah, that wasn’t happening. She asked if I wanted her to tell me that I had to pick up the pace if we went above 8 and I said "yes". But when she told me to pick it up…I couldn’t. I really couldn’t. I was crying while telling her I couldnt go any faster…I tried so hard, but everything everything was hurting. I had a toe on my left foot that I swear to god I could feel it’s pulse. (yeah, it’s black. Yuck.) Thank Sweet Baby Jesus that Erin was there and jumped in with me—just knowing that she was helping me finish and was trying to get me to our original pace Really helped me stay focused on her pace and not slow anymore than I already was. Or stop. Because I wanted to stop. Like a lot. Like “give me my medal at 23 please” stop. But she would not let me, so, I focused on all the things Erin was saying and tried to stay “in the mile” I was in.

I’ve run plenty of marathons where I haven’t felt good in the end. This was an all over body stiffness/soreness that I haven’t experienced before. My goodness, it really freaking hurt. Every mile felt never ending, and even when I had only 2 left to go, it felt like 20.

FINALLY… I rounded the last corner of the course, and could see/hear the finish line excitement!!! I gave it all that I could (which was still not much) and finished strong!!

I couldn’t help but cry. The lovely volunteers were all asking me if I got my BQ and I was so happy to tell them that I had, and it had taken me 14 marathons to finally do it.

I was so happy to finish with me friend! I couldn’t have finished that strong without her and probably would have let myself walk, or slip from an 8 minute pace on up. THANK YOU know million times over, Erin!!!

We walked to the family meeting area and over to bag check. It was all so easy to get to, and I didn’t have to think about where to find my family.

Erin and I at the finish:
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My adorable nephew& I… he &my niece made us signs…seriously, how cute are these?!

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Me & SIL at the finish line…she did an amazing job on her first half and I am SO PROUD of her!! And she said she would go back and do it again!!

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This picture is me and my MIL….it pretty much sums up all of my emotions post-marathon & as a first time BQ’r…

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Some other important thank you’s that need to be said: Thank you to all of you for believing in me. I’m not kidding when I say that your well wishes were playing in my head while I was running–they were on a loop! I loooooove reading all the comments from yesterday and I promise I’m going to respond (I went to work the next day, can you believe it?!)

Thank you to my family who always supports me-my parents, sister, my SIL, BIL, niece& nephew, MIL, FIL…without them I could not do all this marathoning nonsense!

Thank you to my friends who always support me in my crazy marathoning adventures. Their friendly faces are always at the finish lines. They get up super early on their days off just to come and get me in the city. They are the bees knees and I am a lucky, lucky girl❤️

Thank you to running partner for crazy 5am runs, endless run talk & for the pep talks💛💙💛💙

Thank you to my husband who figured out a long time ago that a happy wife is a happy life. He may not go to the finish lines anymore, but he lets me be who I am, and train how I want and never hardly ever complains. Love that guy!

I think I will be riding the emotional high for a while. Yes, it took me 14 marathons to do this-but I wasn’t serious like I am now over the course of those 14. To be truthful, I think it took 3 solid years of effort. I’m completely ecstatic that it happened for me at my very favorite race. I will never forget the feeling of first breaking 4 hours (at Baystate, 2012, 3:54) in the marathon. That little break under the 4 hour mark told me that I actually can do this, I just would have to work a little harder. The next year, (Baystate 2013, 3:47), I took 7 minutes off that PR. Just a little bit further… the goal was almost in my reach. This summer I worked my a** off to get here. This is a feeling that I will never, ever take for granted. Yes, I do wish I had hit my goal time…but at the end of the day, I did finally BQ. I know I am fully capable of a sub 3:20, and I’m already scheming on how to get there (does that surprise you? 😉) I know my story is a sort of the Cinderella story for runners-the fairy tale of a really slow runner who is transforming into a fast runner. But there is no fairy godmother here…just hard work, effort, and a obsession with making dreams come true…because seeing “BQ” next to my name in the results? Well that is just about the coolest thing ever…
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Sooooo. I BQ’d!!!

I actually cannot believe it.
I’m in absolute shock still..
I have been crying like a baby ALL. Damn. Day.

I did not hit my goal time…but I still did BQ…3:28:07, and almost twenty minutes off of my previous PR❤️
I promise to explain every single detail in my recap tomorrow….for now I would just like to say a GIGANTIC, AMAZING, HUGE thank you to everyone who believed in me…your well wishes were looping through my mind today..I can’t thank you all enough:

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This is all I have to say right now:
If you have ever had a dream..
if you have ever tried to do something that you were not 100% sure you actually could do….
if you have ever repeatedly tried to do something again and again without the results you wanted….

NEVER.
EVER.
GIVE.
UP.

Keep running free, and running strong💙💛💙💛💙💛

Silent sunday!

Well mostly silent. When you are reading this, I will be (at least&god willing) 1/2way through my marathon!

Number pickup!

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Me and my girl apple picking!
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Came home to a sweet surprise of cookies and a beautiful cars from my amazing running partner❤️❤️❤️ as I write this-I’ve already had three…and they are amazing…Carb loading, right??!?
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And this bridge. Tomorrow.
Doin it.
Twice.
#Getthebqnicole

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The Allure of the “BQ”. What does it REALLY mean?

It occurred to me that I use the term “BQ” pretty frequently and that a lot of people might not know exactly what that means or stands for. I mean..it’s not like you go to Runner’s School and someone teaches you this stuff. I wanted to give a thorough explanation of the term and also give you a little bit of history. I promise not to bore you, but I also have to warn you that this post contains the acronym “BQ” a whoooole lot. (don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

I don’t remember when I first learned exactly what it means to “BQ” or even what “BQ” officially stands for. (Boston Qualifier, FYI) But ever since I learned—I have wanted one of my own. The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the world. Its prestige and course is legendary to runners everywhere. To say you “BQ’d” means something: you have worked your butt off to get there, and you’re FAST. Even just saying the phrase “I’m running Boston” immediately sticks out: It’s the holy grail of all marathons and elicits an immediate sense of respect among your running peers.

There are a lot of facts that both runners and non-runners, don’t know about the elusive BQ, or about marathons in general. My BIL was SHOCKED to find out that I had to PAY to run marathons, and was further appalled to find out how much it costs to run the Boston Marathon.(“You have to PAY to do it?”) He, like a lot of people, had no idea marathons have qualifying times and costs to them. To be a “Qualified Runner” for the Boston Marathon, one must run another marathon within the qualifying times according to their age and gender. If they manage to wrangle their own BQ, they are (usually) afforded registration for the Boston Marathon. These are the up to date qualifying standards for BQ’ing:
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For the 2015 Boston Marathon, qualifying times must be run on or after September 14, 2013

*The acceptance of official race entrants will be based on qualifying time, with the fastest qualifiers (in relation to their age and gender) being accepted first until the race is full.
*Only a certified full marathon distance will be accepted for qualifying. Distances shorter than a full marathon will not be accepted.
*All qualifying times are subject to review and verification.
*Minimum age requirement for the Boston Marathon is 18 years of age on race day.
*All standards below are based on official submitted net time.
*The qualifying times below are based upon each athlete’s age on the date of the Boston Marathon in which they are participating.

So, if you are a 32 year old woman, you must run a different marathon in 3:35:00 minutes in order to get a BQ for yourself. If you are a 30 year old man, your time is 3:05:00. Needless to say, this places a little bit of pressure on the runner who wants their own BQ. Every single detail of every single run can quickly become an obsession.

There is also a “Rolling Registration” Process that was implemented after the 2011 Boston Marathon filled up within a mere 8 hours and 3 minutes. This year, runners who BQ’d more than 20 minutes could register on September 8th. Those who BQd by at least 10 minutes could register on Sept 10, and if there were any spots left, the rest of the qualified runners could register on September 12. It’s a lot to think about, no? Are you still with me here?

Another thing I recently discovered in my BQ journey that nobody really talks about is the cutoff time for registration, and how you can get your BQ time but still not end up qualifying for the marathon.…

Let me explain…Lets take the 32 year old woman who is trying to BQ. We’ll call her Nicole(haha). To register for the 2015 Boston Marathon as a qualified runner, Nicole must run another marathon on, or after September 14, 2013 in 3hrs35min00secs. Nicole runs the 2013 Baystate Marathon in exactly 3:35:00. She is elated! She’s heading to Boston as a BQ’d runner! Registration for the 2015 opens up on September 8, 2014. She applies for registration but doesn’t get in. Why not? Because there is also a cutoff in registration times:

Runners whose qualifying time for the 2015 Boston Marathon was at least 1:02 faster than their age and gender qualifying standard will receive notice starting today that they’re officially registered for next year’s race, which will be run on April 20.(source)

SO. Even though Nicole works really really hard: She still can’t get in due to the registration cutoff. Unfair. The cutoff happens to a lot of runners and the worst part is that the “cutoff” isn’t set in stone. This year it was 1 minute and 2 seconds, but for the 2014 marathon it was 1hr,38s.

Have I lost you??? I’m sorry. This is the point:

It can be quite hard to qualify.

It’s a lot of work.

You have to race another marathon before you can qualify for Boston.

Racing=Fast.

Once you get older you get more time to qualify (finally, a good reason to get older?? Sorry, no, that also doesn’t excite me)

Sometimes I feel like I’m doing a lot of math in my head.

I know what you are thinking right now…..

SO why seek a BQ? Why not just run any other of the hundreds of marathons in the world?

Because.

It’s freaking Boston .

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I have run 8 Boston marathons, 7 of those consecutively. For the past seven years I have been a part of The Children’s Hospital Boston marathon team.. ( this is quite the story and I plan to do A few posts on this very soon).

You also know that I’ve come quite A long way in my training from when I started I’m not an elite runner, but I like to act like one. I eat, sleep, dream of my own BQ. The Boston Marathon took hold of my heart a long time ago, when I was only 14 or 15 years old, and it has never let me go. I have always wanted to be one of those qualified runners who stands strong and knows that they belong there at that starting line because I worked my little behind off to get a spot. I started out as a slow runner, but here I am, 12 years after running my first marathon, and I still haven’t gotten to the point I want to be at.

I have refused to give up because I’m not a quitter. I have the heart of a lion and it will be a childhood dream come true if when (!) I BQ. This Sunday, I’m setting out to blaze my path to Boston. With a little luck, all of your amazing well wishes, and some cool temps—I hope to see my dream finally come true: the elusive, exclusive, magical BQ. 💛💙💛💙💛💙

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The numbers game!!!!

Some numbers in my head right now…

18 is the number of weeks ago that I started training for this marathon. (it flew by)

816.6 is the number of miles I’ve run while in training for Baystate (does anybody know how far from Boston 816.6 miles is???)

Seven. number of 20 miler long runs I have done in preparation for this race. (I have never done more than 2) I guess I think 20 is the new 15? (or I’m just plain crazy)

14 is the number of marathons I will have completed after Sunday. Holy cow!!!

14 (after Baystate)will be my number of races run so far this year…14 in 2014 was my goal for the year! (I will be doing more than that though!)

Three (after Sunday!)is the number of marathons I will have completed this year alone. (Most I’ve ever done in a year!)

Mile 21 is going to be pretty freaking sweet because my girlfriend is jumping in with me to help me finish strong! (a million trillion thanks Erin!!)

9 is the number of Garmin-selfies I have taken during this marathon training (there were a A LOT of screenshots but I’m sparing you all…YW.)
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Two is the number of shoes I’m still deciding between…Brooks Ghosts or Brooks Pureflows?!
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100% is the anxiety level in at right now. Just freaking get here race day, would you??

100% is the excitement level I’m on! Come on Sunday!!!

3:18 is the finish time I’m shooting for. Based on my half finish on Oct 5-I’m just about there(I knew I should’ve/could’ve run faster that day, too)
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Three is the number of beers I am planning on having after. ok just kidding. I will have five. Okay Six. (yeah right. I will be exhausted after one!)

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(me and my niece after Baystate last year! No, she didn’t have a beer, don’t be silly!)

And finally…THREE IS THE NUMBER OF DAYS I HAVE LEFT!!!! Eeeek!!!!!

How does one fill the time in the last week of taper?

What does one do to fill the time during taper? I have NEVER, EVER enjoyed taper time. I am a part of the club who’s motto is: “the more miles, the better”.

However.

I am finding myself to REALLY be enjoying taper this time around. I have so much extra time!!

1.) Reading-I read two books last week! The Storyteller (awesome) and Dear Daughter (took a while to get good, but once it did, I loved it. But the ending-not a huge fan). Today I’m starting the final Unwind book. And I just learned they are making it into a movie…yahooooooo!!!!!!

2.) My best friend got married! This is a good way to distract yourself right before your marathon. Be in a wedding, and I swear you will be having way too much to even think about how many miles you are usually running on a Saturday morning…pinkie promise!

3.) Cross training with strength videos. I’ve been doing a ton of strength videos lately. I love the way I’m ache-y and sore the next day and in a different way than running. Does anybody else love that too???

4.) Just planking like a mo-fo. I’ve been doing 10-15 minutes a day. Ironically, I’ve been catching up on blogs at the same time…it’s weird. I know. Just go with it.

5.) Making plans for myself so that way I don’t accidently go running. Seriously, it’s hard not to run! I try to plan my days ahead of time so that I don’t have much extra time for a run!

6.) sleeping more in the mornings! This is new…less mileage=more sleep=rested runner. Not too shabby.

7. Trying to banish Nancy…you know her right? Negative Nancy? She worries and I’m not really down with her bring in my head!!

8. Crafting!!! that’s right, I’m back into crafting! And I made these gems last night. One for me, and one for my SIL. you might remember that she is running her very first half marathon this Sunday!!! I couldn’t be MORE proud of her than I am right now, so I got the idea to make us these matching bracelets for race day. I keep telling her that she can do hard things (she is a mom of two and also she is a bad ass swimmer) and although we will be running along the same course, but not technically together on Sunday, I made us these so we can think of each other while we are running!!!

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What’s your mantra?
How do you pass the taper time?

Weekly Recap & a wedding

This weekend my Wifey got married!!!
I actually BARELY took any pictures (that is what happens when you’re a bridesmaid) but I will tell you that it was the most incredibly beautiful non traditional wedding I have ever been to. There was literally NO detail that went overlooked and the whole night was magical. She was the most gorgeous bride I have ever seen and just by being near her, everything and everyone was also beautiful.

She had the most perfect amazing day and I’m so happy/thankful to have been a part of it!

She told me a while ago NOT to blog about her wedding but she was the most amazing bride ever so I’m overruling that request (Sorry Wifey, you’re too pretty to remain a secret) While I will keep the details under wraps-I will show you just a few pics of the Best. Day. Ever.

This was the view….
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NO filter on these bad boys, the foliage was incredible.

Can you imagine a mountain top wedding? Oh I can, and it’s incredible…

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Me and my SIL!
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Weekly Mileage
I had wanted to do 40 miles, but 35 will do. It was a very busy week in my work/personal life and running and I didn’t spend a ton of time together.

Monday:
Off. Rested after my half!

Tuesday:
5 miles-37:47, 7:33 avg pace

Wednesday:
8:41, 1:17, 9:09 avg pace
Terrible run. My body was still SO beat from Sunday.

Thursday
7 miles, 58:39, 8:23 avg pace.
This run felt great-nice and easy.

Friday
8 miles in an hour, Abt 7:23 avg

Saturday
7 miles in 61 minutes, avg pace 8:46
This run was done around the area of the wedding and was SUPER hilly. I had only wanted to run 3-4 but I ended up getting lost and practically doubling it. It is a riot to me to look at the splits: 8:04,8:55,7:26, 11:44, 8:30, 6:56, 9:44 —> can you tell which miles were the hilliest??? It felt more like climbing a mountain than running up a hill!!! If i lived in that area I would be insanely fast on hills! This was probably my “favorite run of the week” because even though I wasn’t that fast, I was running on the morning of my best friends wedding and that felt really special to do, and it was a gorgeous morning along the lake.
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In only six days I will be running my marathon!!! Eeek!!!!
I cannot believe it’s almost here! I feel so confident and so ready for it! I cannot WAIT!!!

Just a lil check in & what not to forget..

I got my race photos back from my PR race and for the first time EVER…I bought the whole dam gallery. Can you believe it? I am still in a little denial shock. But the good news is that most race photographers only take about 10 photos of you…these peeps took 38, so I definitely picked a good race to buy the pics!

Some to share with you…

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So today I was out on my run and I got to thinking about my marathon next week. I started thinking about how lucky I am that I get to run a marathon. That’s right…I feel lucky. Npt everyone can run even a 5k. There are plenty of people who are sick/injured or in some way not able to do what I can do. I am freaking blessed with an amazing ability.

Let’s not forget how amazing it is to possess the ability to run. Your strong legs, no matter how slow or fast they are going–they are lucky to be doing what they are doing. For every mile you run, there is someone out there wishing they were right there with you, or even able to take just one step. You are cool, runners!

So that is just my little two cents for the day. Give a little “thanks” and feel blessed for all you can do!

happy weekend!!

Thursday randoms

****i have the very best readers EVER. I haven’t had a second to respond to all your comments and congrats from my pr post—
But I seriously cannot thank you enough. this has been the busiest week of my life and between running/being a good friend trying to survive my life

Some random facts coming at ya for your Thursday….

1. I had a mini meltdown a couple nights ago. it started innocently enough…I looked in the fridge-realized that I couldn’t decide what to make for dinner, then realized that I didn’t have anything to make for dinner. Hmm. I take my tired (post half marathon butt) to the store to grocery store and buy some haddock. Fast forward a little-haddock cooked in a Pyrex dish, take it out and put it on the stovetop which was still warm from cooking brussel sprouts- and the glass shatters up and into my just cooked fish. I mean. Come on.

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I’m planning on writing Pyrex a letter.

2. Weather prediction for my upcoming marathon. I’m not gonna sweat it, or keep stalking it, it is what it is. Even if it ends up being hot and humid that day—I’m not worried ☺️
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3. I’ve really been taking this taper thing seriously. so far, I’ve only run 20 miles for the week…soooo low! On Wednesday I could barely pull a 9minute per a mile pace—I was so exhausted from Sunday still!!

4. Aren’t my friends the cutest??

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(this selfie was ridiculously difficult!)

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5. This plank happened Monday… I must be crazy person!
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I don’t know how much blogging and reading blogs I will get done over the next few days and I apologize! but I will most definitely be back on Monday with a recap of my fun filled weekend! To stay up to date with what I’m doing, follow me on Instagram!

have a great day and if I don’t check back in-a fantastic weekend!!!!