Weekly Wrap – Marathon Fun and RtR Week 7

Happy Sunday!

What a crazy week this was! Things were hectic at work and my youngest son had spring break – throw in week 2 with the new puppy and suffice it to say it was a constant juggle.

There was also volunteering at the Boston Marathon – definitely the week’s high point!

Monday was my 4th year volunteering at Boston and all I can say is it never gets old! There really are no words to do justice to the energy of the finish area of any marathon, much less Boston! My first two years I was working in Hopkinton at the Athlete’s Village and then I scored an assignment in finish area last year. I was happy to be invited back to join the water team again this year.

Our team set up thousands of cases of water, making sure to unscrew the top of every bottle so runners don’t have to struggle after finishing 26.2. With the water ready and covered we got the chance to cheer the wheelchair finishers and some of the elites before taking a spot at the table to start greeting runners. While a gorgeous day to spectate, it was a little too hot to be running. We could see the toll the weather was having — unfortunately¬†there were many who needed medical help and the waves of runners coming in later in the day were notably more than the previous year.

But on the whole most runners were in good spirits. I cheered and congratulated runners until my voice was almost gone. Some stopped to share their stories – whether it was their first or, in one case, her 25th! There were some hugging, consoling those in tears, and more high-fives and primal screams than I can count! It was also awesome how many runners stopped to thank us for volunteering. I tried my best to keep an eye out for friends who I knew were running, and was psyched to see Dani, from Weight Off My Shoulders – one of the best hug of the day ūüôā

I was sore and tired by the time I headed to my car and loved every minute of it! While I do miss seeing the runners out on the course, being in the finish area is a special experience!

This week marked week 7 of Run to Remember training so let me quickly recap this week’s workouts:

Monday: 6 hrs on my feet

Tuesday:  3-mile easy run

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: 800-meter repeats

Friday:  Lower body strength work

Saturday:  4-mile run

Sunday: Rest

As always, I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies participating in this fun link-up!¬†

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Thursday Thoughts – Volunteering at Boston 2016

Volunteer jacket

Let me just say that volunteering at the Boston Marathon once again did not disappoint!

On Monday, I was lucky enough to be one of the 11,000 volunteers working the Marathon. This was my third year volunteering, and after not getting an assignment last year, I was psyched to be¬†assigned to the finish area (previous assignments were in the Athlete’s Village in Hopkinton).

Water station My team manned the huge water station after the finish line. We got to cheer the wheelchair finishers and the elites before it was time to man our stations to greet the masses! I had illusions of being able to take lots of pictures, but the reality was once those runners started coming through it was a crazy flurry of activity.

The energy was amazing! I was blown away by how good some people looked as they came in, while others seriously worried me that I was going to have to put my CPR training to use Рno joke. My team hooted and hollered and congratulated as many runners as possible. I joined some finishers in primal screams of celebration and received hugs from perfect strangers.  And, I really appreciated the number of people who thanked us for volunteering. While I missed some friends  in the chaos, I was lucky enough to catch up with Michele from NYC Running Mama and Sarah, aka SBS from Another Mother Runner!

My teammates were a fun bunch – some runners, but interestingly some¬†were not – they all just loved this event and wanted to be apart of it. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say it was a great day, and I can’t wait to volunteer again next year!

Source: Boston.com

Source: Boston.com

Have you ever been a race volunteer?

Joining Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays Thinking-Out-Loud2

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Thursday Thoughts – Volunteering and other stuff

 

A few¬†random thoughts this morning….

 

bostonmarathon logo… I was¬†so excited to open my email yesterday and find out that not only will I be returning as a Boston Marathon volunteer again this year, but I got a finish line assignment! I love volunteering at this race and cannot wait for an up-close and personal view of those elites crossing the finish line!

… speaking of the Marathon…there’s a film being made here in Boston about the bombing and they recently put out a casting call to runners for the marathon scenes. ¬†Um…no thanks to that. I could not imagine wanting to re-live that day in any way…could you?

… and from the department of “gym crazies”…¬†there’s a guy who’s been coming to my gym and working out in jeans…I kid you not! I’m all for squeezing a workout in when you can, but seriously how uncomfortable must that be!?!¬†What is it about gyms that bring out the…er…more interesting behavior in people?

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Tell me something random. Do you think you could be an extra in that movie?

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April Rewind

I’ve always loved turning the page on the calendar and see a whole new month laid out before me. While April clearly provided some¬†agonizing¬†days, there were, for me, many good things mixed in there too!

 

Good things for April:
  • Continuing to run injury-free….always something to celebrate!
  • Returning to speed work at the track — truly my favorite workouts
  • Ran races #2 and 3 for the year (BAA 5K and the Newport 10 Miler) — race reports still to come
  • Fun blogger meet-ups
Newport group 3

Jill, Nancy, Samantha, me, Amy

  • Volunteering at the Boston Marathon!! This was hands-down one of my most favorite experiences! I was assigned to the Athletes’ Village working as a “bus greeter.” The energy of all of the runners was just the best and I had an awesome team of volunteers to work with. ¬†There is no doubt that I will be back to volunteer in 2014!
 
What’s up for May:
  • RuntoRem¬†Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon! This is my goal race for the spring and with all that has happened in Boston, I know this is going to be an extra-special race this year!
  • Log 100 miles
  • Another 30-day Ab Challenge
  • Continued focus on my nutrition

How ’bout you – any big plans for May?

 

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Boston you’re my home

Hope

I’ve started this post several times…trying to find the right words…but I don’t know what those words should be.

I’m heartbroken…

I’m pissed off…

This was a day meant for celebration…a day for dreams realized…for memories made to last a lifetime. And it was such a day until 2:50 p.m.

I had expected to be writing today about the amazing experience that is volunteering at the Boston Marathon. Instead I’m left thinking about all of those runners I greeted as they got off the buses in Hopkinton, united in the common goal to run the granddaddy of all races – this day was to be their moment – and now they are forever united for a very different reason.

I selfishly think of my own family who stood on Boylston Street and sat in those grandstands on Sunday to cheer me in the B.A.A. 5k as I crossed that famous finish line. I look at my own sweet boys and cannot imagine that an 8 year old was among the victims. I’m sick to my stomach and….I’m royally pissed off that some low-life pathetic coward(s) would choose to do this to innocent people in the name of some cause?! There are no words.

And yet there are so many questions and so many emotions – more than I can sort through right now. For now I will be grateful that friends and family are safe, that I can hug my boys and that I can run.

I will run today for those who can’t,

I will run today to find some peace in this chaos,

I will run today for Boston.

(Thanks to Jess for the image)
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Gearing up for Week 9

Week 8 of half marathon training was another solid week — the runs felt good, I felt strong on the hills and my ITB is under control. The one downside of the week was missing my weekly yoga class. I haven’t been able to get to this class with any consistency lately because the collective family schedules have been all over the place!¬†We’re facing another busy week in the RWA household with lots of fun stuff going on, but I’m determined to get back to that class this week.

Training for Week 9 includes:

Monday – 6 miles (with negative split on the back 3)

Tuesday – Cross-training

Wednesday – 4 mile Fartlek

Thursday – 1000 meter repeats & Yoga

Friday – Rest

Saturday Р Shakeout Run with Bart Yasso

Sunday – BAA 5K

Yes – did you catch that? A run with Bart Yasso! ¬†Last week, I was invited by Runner’s World to join a group run with Bart Yasso as part of all the great activities Runner’s World has going on during Marathon weekend. Very excited – hope I can keep up with him ūüôā

What have you got planned for this week?

 

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Where did March go?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! I got to start my day with a run with my oldest son (he wants to run a 5k!), there was egg-dying and hunting and a great family brunch.

 

Cannot believe today is April 1st. For as slow as the days of February seemed to move, March just flew by!

 

Good things for March:
  • After giving my ITB some extra attention and extra rest days, I feel like I’m settling into a nice running groove!
  • Mileage is back on the right track
  • Finished the 30-day ab/core challenge and started round 2
  • Selected again as a ZOOMA Cape Cod Ambassador!
  • Returning to hill work ūüėČ
  • Running with my son
Things I could do without: 
  • Taking a DNS for the New Bedford Half ¬†(I know it was the right choice though)
What’s up for April:
  • 1st race of the BAA Distance Medley – the BAA 5K is the Sunday of Marathon Weekend
  • And speaking of the Boston Marathon, I’ll be volunteering at the race this year!! I’ll be working in the Athlete’s Village greeting the buses and helping to direct runners to where they need to be. Very excited!
  • Running the Newport 10 Miler with my friend E Newport 10 Miler

How was your March? Any big plans for April?

 

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The Mental Game

Spectating at the heat-fest known as the 2012 Boston Marathon on Monday got me thinking a lot about my own mental toughness. As I stood on the streets of Newton, watching runners gut it out in 89 degrees under a scorching sun, I was so impressed by how deep these people had to dig to will themselves to keep moving. I wondered what strategies they had used to build their mental strength…what mental tricks were they using now to push through the tough conditions.

How do you prepare yourself mentally for a race? There is a natural level of mental training that comes from doing the physical training. Through the long runs, tempo runs, track work, etc., you are faced with times where you must push through a tough workout, convince yourself to not give up on that last 1600 interval or even just will yourself to get out of bed and hit the road in the first place! There is no doubt that making the commitment to months of training for a race requires you to push yourself mentally.

But how else do you up your mental ante? — Do you use visualization? Vision boards? Running journals? Mantras? Draw on certain past races/training runs? I find mantras to be really helpful – short, powerful affirmations that help me stay positive and remember how I want to feel in a particular moment. And, while I have just a few races under my belt, each one is a learning experience and gives me some experiences to draw on when a race turns ugly.¬† For my upcoming half marathon, I’ve also started visualizing the course (easy to to do since I’ve run it before) – mentally walking through every turn and hill will hopefully boost my confidence on race day.

Despite the perfect training cycle and having a well-planned race strategy, days like yesterday prove that things can happen on race day that are well out of our control. In those moments, having a deep mental well to draw from makes all the difference!

Congrats to everyone who crossed the finish line in Boston – a huge physical and mental accomplishment!
How do you improve your mental game?
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Feeling inspired

  • My hubs J and I took the boys to watch part of the Boston Marathon yesterday. While I try to catch the marathon every year on TV, I haven’t been to see it live in a few years. There is nothing like being there as the runners give it their all.¬†
  • As I stood out there cheering them on, I thought of all the hours of training, the dreams being realized, the causes being supported, the individual stories being played out. How could you not walk away feeling inspired?!
  • It’s April vacation week for my kiddos, which means getting up extra early to get my runs in before J leaves for work. During the winter I had let my runs slip to late morning to ensure running in daylight — and truthfully because the thought of running in both the dark and bitter cold was really unappealing! But since the clocks turned back I have been meaning to get back to early morning runs…and now with this week I have no excuses.
  • So an easy 3 miles was done before 7 and on deck for tomorrow is a 5 mile tempo run and then another long run of 10 on Friday. I’m hoping to get back on the yoga bandwagon that I fell off of last week and some much needed ab work and strength training. Hopefully the kids will cooperate ūüôā

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