Thursday, April 21, 2016

Week Pre-Boston Marathon

I definitely took this week really easy. The minor pain I had been having in my right hip, glute and groin all of a sudden seemed worse, and I wanted to really lay off before Boston. I still ran, but I ran slowly and only short distances. I have to admit that it was very nice to kick back for a week. Jump on the trails. Pretty much not have a care in the world about how my runs were going. I was more nervous about the pain and just Boston in general. The weather forecast kept changing from warm to perfect then back to warm, so I just tried to let it go until closer to the weekend.

Sunday 4/10/16- The day after Merrimack, I actually felt pretty good so I went out for a run in the neighborhood. I'm not a person who gets depressed, but I'll be honest. This run depresses me. Haha. I can't stand doing monotonous runs like this, so when I'm doing it, I always wish I were running somewhere better. To keep a better mindset, I added music onto this run and brought Chill along for the first two miles. It ended up being a decent 5.4 miles 7:11/mi pace.

After the run, I was getting John and I ready to go on a hike since the day was so beautiful, but John's friend invited him to go biking with his family at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds. This meant that ONE RARE EVENT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN! Alone time for me on a weekend! It was a win-win. John didn't want to go hiking since he wanted to be with his friend. I wanted to go hiking, so I did! I wanted to stay close to the house, though, since I didn't know when John would be coming back, so I opted for a hike on the White Ledge Trail. I was all set to go, so when John left so did I! It felt great to be out there hiking at my own pace and enjoying some solitude. I stopped for a little while at the top of the Ledge to celebrate my alone time with a beer, but just as I cracked it open, this couple, mind you the only other people on the entire trail/mountain, came over and sat RIGHT behind me. They were nice, but I was annoyed that the concept of "personal space" escaped them. An entire viewpoint with plenty of places to sit, and they chose to sit right behind me. I decided to move on at this point with full beer in hand and hiked on completing the entire loop, all while carrying my beer. It was kind of funny.
White Ledge

Bissell Brothers Lux to celebrate my solo hike
I had enough time left after my hike to head down to Sandwich and fill my water jugs up at the spring. John and I got home around the same time. He said he had had a really fun time biking, so it all worked out for both of us that day.

Monday 4/11/16- For some reason I was motivated on Monday morning and decided to get up early before work to get my run in on the treadmill. An easy 5 miles at 7:12/mi pace. It really set my day off right. I felt good, and it was nice to be able to just come home after work and relax. Although, I didn't relax long. I was on-call for the overnight and got called in for 2-hours around 7:15pm. We ended up not getting any calls and just hung out at the base.

Tuesday 4/12/16- Woke up to the pouring rain which made me procrastinate a little on getting out the door. I decided to hit the mountain bike trails over in the Green Hills for a run with Spot.
Trailhead. Pouring rain makes it hard to get out of the car.
Kevin Tilton had mentioned some new trails over there that I hadn't been on, so I decided to hit those up on a nice loop run. It pretty much poured rain the entire time, but I was warm enough. I ran an easy 6.7 miles, including the new-to-me Cardiac Hill. My hip was bothering me quite a bit in the beginning, but once I got warmed up, I didn't feel it at all. When I was done, I was soaking wet, but, fortunately, I had been smart enough to bring dry clothes to change into for the ride home.

I picked John up from his homeschool group and then we hit Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's. I wanted to get there early this year because we always managed to show up just as the high school was getting out and had to wait in a huge line. No lines this time. The rest of the day was kind of lazy except for John's ninja class.

Wednesday 4/12/16- I opted out of running this morning just to continue with my taking-it-easy week. Plus it meant the extra hour of sleep. Overnight transfers are now a thing of the past, but middle of the night 911s are not, and we had one right at 3am. By the time we were back at the base I was wide awake and had trouble going back to sleep until 5am-ish, so I definitely didn't get a good night's sleep.

Thursday 4/13/16- On to my 10 hour shift in Tamworth. We had two 911s that made the day fly by. I walked 2 miles on the treadmill at the base and then sat outside in my car enjoying the gorgeous weather. Not a bad work day at all.
Hanging out in my car at work. Haha
 After work, I decided to drive nearby to Freedom for a run on the Jackman Ridge Trail and up and over Mary's Mountain. The last time I had run this route, I brought along the dogs and was chased by millions of deer flies. This time I had no dogs or deer flies to worry about, so I ran it at a quick pace. The run is a mix of dirt road and trail with the climb up Mary's Mountain in the middle. 6 miles total at a 7:56/mi pace...which was way faster than my last time running it at a 9:20/mi pace. I'd say I've come a long way since that run in 2014. The run felt really good.

On Mary's Mountain. I guess I was still out of breath when I took this. Haha. 
Friday 4/15/16- I had so been looking forward to Friday!!! I had a whole morning in Boston planned out and was so excited about it. The 4am alarm wasn't exciting, but I got over that quickly and hit the road at 4:30am...only to realize I forgot my Boston Marathon bib pickup card. I could have kept going since I know you can get new ones there. But I was only 5 minutes away and decided to turn around and go back for mine. Still had me back on the road by 4:40am. I only hit very minor traffic on the Tobin Bridge and then easily found street parking right near the Convention Center. I wanted to do something fun while I was there and had seen the Zoom Multisport Facebook Event for a run around the Back Bay that spelled out "Boston". Kind of cheesy, but I still thought it was be fun. The group run was at 6am, but they had marked the course in chalk on the sidewalks so that people could do the course any time that day. Although it was a lot of stopping and starting at the road crossings, it really was a total blast. Came out to 4.4 miles, I took some pictures along the way. I even stopped to pay my parking meter via an app while I was running. I love the city.

My Strava run map
Course marking by Zoom Multisports

Beautiful morning

Marathon finish line. Road wasn't completely closed yet.
The 4.4 miles didn't quite cut it, so I decided to run a little more starting at the end of the "N" and running around Boston Common and the Public Garden, back down Boylston and a right to my car on Gloucester. I tried to run it a little on the quick side. 2.1 miles at 7.07/mi.
I changed clothes in my car then walked down to the Pour House on Boylston for breakfast. The place was PACKED. I got the very last seat at the bar. This place was cool, and the bartender made my day by carding me and then saying, "Wow. You have such a young face," when she saw my age. Haha. I think that was a compliment unless you add, "...for someone so old," at the end of that. She was cool, and the place was filled with regulars whom she all knew. The breakfast was really was the Guinness I ordered. The good thing about walking into a bar alone is you end up chatting with the people next to you and the bartender. Good times, and the perfect choice for my all-too-short morning in Boston.
Guinness for breakfast

Pour House 
After breakfast, my parking meter was about to expire, so I moved my car to a different street where I had spotted open spaces during my run, then walked over to the Boston Marathon Expo. Going on a Friday morning is truly the way to go. No crowds, no lines. It was actually enjoyable for the first time, and I walked around the expo for an hour after picking up my bib# and bag. I bought some new shoes at Brooks, the Neuro, that I ended up wearing in the race on Monday. I grabbed all the free samples I could, including the Sam Adams 26.2 beer and then finally had to leave in order to get home to pick up John from his homeschool group at 3pm. It was a good time, and I might go down to Boston again some Friday morning in the near future for a run and breakfast.
My bib and bag (after I had recycled nearly everything in it)

What the expo looks like at 10am on Friday

What the expo looks like at 10am on Friday

What the expo looks like at 10am on Friday

Free beer? Yes, please. Sam 26.2

Am I the only one who thought the women's Official Boston Marathon jacket was HIDEOUS this year?
I got home in enough time to pick up the dogs and walk them around Tin Mountain for 20 minutes while John finished up his homeschool group.

Saturday April 16, 2016- I decided to make Saturday a zero day to rest the legs a little. I'm a firm believer that my body needs days off to rest and recuperate right now. It has not been the same since I got injured, and my 0-to-60 marathon training plan probably hasn't helped. I started all over from scratch the first week of December, with mostly easy running until Christmas, and managed to get myself into decent marathon shape in the 3 months following. My body was rebelling, and I was starting to get worried about Monday. I was even having doubts that I would finish the race, since I was really feeling the right hip and glute. I felt like Saturday needed to be an easy day. I still had a lot of errands to run, though, and wanted to take an easy walk with John at the dogs.

I scored at the transfer station when some dude unloaded a wind surfer and surfboard out of his car and dropped them in the take-it-or-leave-it pile. I was on that so fast. I've been wanting a paddle board for years, but they are way out of my price range, so my next best bet was to find an old surfboard to use as a makeshift one. Granted, they aren't nearly as stable, but I had heard of people using them as a substitute. I felt like I had won the lottery, I was so excited! The only problem was fitting them in my car. I managed to just squeeze them in, but due to the obstructed view out my right window, I could only take right turns until we got home again. Haha.

I took John over to Sherman Farm from there to see the farm animals. It ended up not being super exciting, so we didn't stay very long.

We finished up our errands of only right turns, dropped the boards and recycle bins at the house, picked up the dogs and then went for a walk in the Albany Town Forest. John didn't complain once and even ran a lot along the trail. I think the nice weather is making it more fun for him to be out. John's friend came over for a sleepover when we got home, so he had a really good day all around. I was so antsy, that I spent over 3 hours cleaning and fixing up John's room. I have to stay in it soon when my parents come to visit, so I wanted that room clean and organized. I would have had John help, but since his friend was there, I just got on a roll and did it myself.
Albany Town Forest

Proof he runs
Sunday, April 17, 2016- T-minus 1-day until Boston, and the nerves were setting in. Reality hit me that it was here. I felt like I had no idea how it was going to go, but at the same time, I envisioned it going ok. The day before, I was convinced I would DNF. Today, I thought, "Well, maybe a 2:59 would be feasible." That was when I thought the temperature was still going to be in the upper 50s. I still wasn't holding myself to that. I knew I would be happy as long as it was a sub-3:10. With nerves, I could not rest at all on Sunday. I did sleep in fairly late, but once I was up, I was bouncing from one thing to another. Coffee, packing bags, making sweet potato pancakes, cleaning dishes, laundry. I couldn't sit still. I decided to get on the treadmill to calm the nerves. It was a gorgeous day outside, but I wanted to avoid running any hills. Treadmill was my only option. I ran an easy, slow 3 miles at no elevation in my new Brooks shoes to test them out. I felt really good and loved the shoes. I tried to envision myself in Boston the next day running well, but other thoughts were distracting me.
2012 pic of me in a Boston Marathon hat from 1982

When I finished my run, I changed clothes, packed up a backpack and took John down to Moultonborough for a hike up to the Red Hill Fire Tower. This was obviously not going to be a day of rest, but there was no way I wasn't getting my kid out for a hike on this beautiful day. This hike is fairly easy and at John's pace, I knew I wouldn't be exerting much effort. John talked about his video games the whole hike up the mountain while eating popcorn at the same time. He seemed to really be enjoying the time. We stayed up at the top for awhile; John sat on the fire tower looking out at the view while this nice girl talked my ear off. Haha. The hike down was quick since John ran most of it.

When we were done with the hike, I ran down to the grocery store in Center Harbor to grab the rest of the things I needed for dinner and the next morning before the race. Then it was home to prep for the marathon. I couldn't believe Boston was the next morning! I thought I was mostly set, but I spent HOURS getting everything together, epsom salt bath, making dinner, doing the dishes. Then, for some reason, I felt a need to sweep the whole house and put away all of the laundry. I think I was just too nervous and wanted to have things done before I left at 2:30am. I finally closed my eyes at 10:15pm with the alarm clock set for 2am. I'm surprised I was able to sleep, but I was out like a light until that alarm went off.

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