Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Magic in the air

There must be some magic left hanging around here after yesterday's Boston Marathon. I had a friend racing her first Boston. She is someone who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders all along. You know those time where I've tried to encourage all of you new (or not yet even new) runners to get out there? That the really talented, fast runners will often be more excited for you than the people you most relate to? She's one of those people. She made me realize that it didn't matter where you finish. We were all in it together.

Andrew and I watched the tv coverage long enough to watch both elite finishes, and then headed out to catch my friend run by. We had been tracking her through the SUPER helpful BAA iphone tracking app. Not only did it give her splits, but it showed exactly where she was on the course. I was so sad for her that the weather was not better. I knew the race meant a lot to her. Although she is not originally from this area and now lives back near home, I know Boston was home for her too.

By the time we headed out, a little before 1pm, it was blowing rain and in the mid 40s. We walked up Massachusetts Ave and turned left on Commonwealth Ave. As we walked along the course I got a little teary-eyed. Despite the weather, the excitement and love of this race was overwhelming. We walked along until there was an area where the course widened and found a spot on a curve of the fence where we had a really great view.

Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of her running by. I had my phone out and the camera ready, but when I finally saw her, I lost it! Haha. I just started screaming like a crazy person and waving my phone around. So yeah. Bummer. I did get this pic of a guy high-fiving all of us though! We hung around for a little bit, walking along some of the course and then headed home.

Monday was a rest day for me and today was kind of a medium-ish day. I went out with the intention of doing at least 5 miles, but hopefully 6-8. I have been having some shin pain. I took a few extra days off last week, hoping the lingering pain would completely go away. I have also really struggled on some runs mentally. I am running portions of them much faster than I used to, but I choke when it starts to get hard. That is my big issue right now. I know I am capable of racing much faster than I have been. It's almost like, after Pumpkinman, I've become completely suffering adverse.

I started off my run on a slight downhill, feeling like I was keeping my pace down a little bit. I glanced at my Garmin at about 1/4 mile in and it read 8:50. WHOAH NELLY. I can run that fast, but not for very long. I really pulled back and noticed I was still running between a 10-11 minute mile at what felt like a comfortable relaxed pace. After 1/2 a mile I noticed something. I was smiling, grinning, really. I never smile when I run, unless it's toward someone. My feet felt light and I had zero pain. Not even meaningless annoying pain. Usually I have some tightness or something's a little sore. Nothing. My shoes didn't annoy me. My clothes didn't bug me. Even though I was a little too warm, it didn't seem to affect my pace. We all know I don't tolerate being hot well. Before I knew it was already over a mile in and I still felt great. I decided to run to the turn-around spot that I use for my 5 milers, but then look for a path I've been meaning to find for the return portion of the trip. I cruised right along to the 2.5 mile mark. I almost didn't believe it was my body. STILL no pain, soreness, tightness. After years of being told I was making excuses, copping out on workouts and just generally hammering myself into the ground on runs, I had proven myself right. All those years of feeling like a failure when I only failed at having the guts to listen to myself and say that enough was enough.

I found the path and was surprised at how pretty it was - for this time of year, anyway. I can't believe for years I have been pounding along the concrete sidewalk across the street, not realizing it was right there. It was a mini adventure!

I continued to run along and realized I was almost 4 miles in and didn't have the usual desperate desire to Just. Walk. Already. I haven't had many runs beyond 3 miles and previously, the third mile was a mental struggle. I come up to the end of the path and realize that, thanks to some major construction, there is absolutely no way to get back to the sidewalk where I need to be. Anyone in Boston who has driven around where the Landmark Center is in the Fens knows exactly what I mean. I decide to cross the river and run along the other side, knowing that there is a set of lights at some point along the sidewalk above. I'm also happy since it means I will get my 6 miles in without having to run to far past my apartment when I return. After about a half mile, I cross back to my planned route and headed home. I was definitely fatigued  in my last mile, but I still did really well. I was so relieved to finally feel so great during a run. I have never, ever felt so great, so free. There was definitely some magic still in the air from yesterday.

Since it's been so long since I've checked in, here's what I'm up to so far:

Mayflower Brewing Half Marathon - June 14th - this is going to put my other hilly races to shame!

Cohasset Sprint Triathlon - June 28th - because, how could I miss it?!

Whaling City Sprint Triathlon - August 2nd - hoping for a really strong and fast race.

Pumpkinman 70.3 - September 13th - we all knew I'd be back! I can't wait!

Some maybes:

Continuing to sign up for 5Ks and chase the elusive sub-30.

BAA Half Marathon - Columbus Day weekend.

MAYBE, mayyyyyybe eyeing a late fall marathon. I am going to have to decide when it gets closer to Pumpkinman. A great amount of training for those two would overlap. Then again, it would be kind of like training for a full Ironman. You know...if I was to be considering one...maybe...maybe in 2016. Maybe not. ;)

Tell me about your races! There are so many first timers, runners and triathletes, and it is SO exciting!

Anyway, I'm glad to be back on here, although I won't make any promises! Have a great night everyone!