Boston’s Run to Remember Race Recap

66423_351740471611351_1208731592_nOn Sunday,  I had the great opportunity to run Boston’s Run to Remember. This is really a special race!  It is put on by the Boston Police Runner’s Club to honor Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. Of course, following the Marathon bombings, this race took on extra special significance. There was a special tribute to the Marathon Victims and  Officer Sean Collier and his family and an acknowledgment of all of the police officers from the many cities all across the country who had come to run.

Three years ago this was my first half marathon – and I loved everything about the experience (it will always have a special place in my heart). I had planned to run last year but a respiratory infection put an end to my training. I registered for this year’s race back in December – that’s how much I wanted to run it again!

picmonkey_image (3)Despite the cold, rainy conditions, the energy among the runners was just awesome – throughout the race everyone was cheering, thanking police officers and volunteers and encouraging each other. As we moved through the streets of Boston, the crowd support was great – there were lots of chants of “Let’s go Boston” and “Boston Strong”  – emotions were high all around. The moment I will never forget was coming around a bend on Memorial Drive and seeing a line of patrol cars with lights flashing – in front of each car was a police officer. They were cheering and high-fiving as many runners as they could – the line seemed to go on forever – I couldn’t believe how many of them were there! Running along that line and high-fiving those officers, thanking them for being there and having some of them thank me for running – seriously?!  – something that will stick with me for a long time.

I was feeling great and moving at a great pace for the first 8 miles – my brother, J and my boys were out cheering – it was all feeling good….and then my stomach went south again and there were too many walk breaks. I continued to give it my all – in that environment, how could you not, right? I cheered and encouraged other runners, and happily accepted their encouragement in return. The volunteers and crowd support was great and I took it all in. I pushed as hard as I could right through the end – I ended up running my second fastest half…but I missed my target by 2 minutes. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed – I felt like my training had peaked at just the right time and that my goal was attainable. For the second race in a row, my stomach has been my downfall and I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board to figure out what’s going on there. But, I am so very happy I got to be a part of this very special day – even when it got really hard I was still happy to be out there.

977574_10151476617859022_1120756710_oLove this race and I already know I will be back again next year! #BostonStrong!

 

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Week 15 – Race Week

It’s week 15 of my half marathon training plan and it’s finally race week! Finish-Line

Yes I know I’ve already run four races this year, but when I started this year with the goal of running 13 races I had circled a couple on the calendar that are in my mind “goal races”…and this weekend’s half marathon is one of them.

So the wonderful Coach Bennett went about designing a 15-week plan for me that would allow me to fit in the other races while keeping my eye on this goal race. Not an easy task I’m sure and I know there have been moments as he’s looked the race schedule where he’s been shaking his head – but to his credit he’s not discouraged me and I’ve appreciated his support!

This week is all about some light running, yoga, getting enough sleep, prepping a playlist, setting race goals and carefully watching what I eat (no repeats of the Newport 10 miler drama!). In general I think race week is really all about the mental prep – the training’s done so the trick now is not to psyche yourself out before you get to the starting line.

So tell me — How do you handle race week?

 

 

 

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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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Thursday Thoughts

This Thursday’s randomness comes in my post-track workout induced haze….

1. There needs to be some basic rules posted at our track — Why would you, as a walker, continue to walk in the same lanes you see people are running in? I can see maybe being clueless the first time round but after you’ve been passed – move over! (And to make matters worse there were 2 of them walking together)

2. My next rule for the track is no perfume. One of the same walkers was doused in perfume – each time I ran by her it was like dodging the perfume counters in a department store.

3. And now completely unrelated….told you this would be random…I got an email this morning announcing that the half I’m running next month Boston’s Run to Remember has sold out and they are looking for more race volunteers. This race is run in honor of fallen police officers and after recent events, registration skyrocketed. This will be the first major race run on the streets of Boston since the Marathon – so if you are going to be in the Boston area Memorial Day Weekend, and want to be part of what should be an incredible day, please consider volunteering. You can check out the race website HERE.

So do you have any rules for the track?

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Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 Things)

Returning to Running

After Sunday’s not-so-long long run, Coach Bennett insisted on 3 days of no running. Cross-training yes, strength training yes, but no running. Of course, Mother Nature decided to serve up some of the best weather days of the month so far – but I left my running shoes in the closet and stuck to my strength work and walking my dog. But today I get to run, and despite the crazy drop in temps, I’m going!

Newport 10 Miler

 

More Race Shopping

Well now that I’m not running the New Bedford Half this weekend, I want to find another race of a decent distance this spring before Boston’s Run to Remember at the end of May. A ten miler would be perfect and I think I may have found the race!  It’s at the end of April so the timing is perfect. I’m going to see how cooperative my ITB is over the next couple of weeks, but I’m tentatively penciling this one in 🙂

 

ZOOMA Ambassador

ZOOMA logo_capecod

I’m very happy to say that once again I been selected as a race ambassador for the ZOOMA race series. I was an ambassador for their inaugural race in Falmouth, MA  last fall and had so much fun! I’m very excited to be part of such a great group of women when they return to Cape Cod in September! So stay tuned, much more fun stuff on this to come!

 

 

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Good stuff happening

First off — Welcome to the new and improved Running with Attitude! After announcing on more than one occasion that I wanted to move from Blogger to a self-hosted site I’ve finally made it happen — Thanks hugely to Rita at Blog Genie, who I swear has the patience of a saint for answering all of my many questions 🙂

As for the Blizzard of 2013, I’m happy to say the RWA household had a good time. Despite the incredible winds and 24 inches of snow, we didn’t lose power and all around us seems pretty intact. There were lots of movies, games, snow fort building, snowball fights, cooking, laughing and, yes shoveling. The only downside is school is closed again today which means at this rate my boys won’t finish the school year until June 26th! (But that’s a bridge I guess we’ll cross later)

I’m also thrilled to say to I’m teaming up with running coach Bennett Cohen again! Bennett specializes in coaching women boomers (yes those of us 40 and older), and if you’ve been around here for a bit then you know he helped guide me to three PRs last fall. Bennett’s going to help me get ready for my spring goal race, Boston’s Run to Remember. We’ve got 15 weeks and it starts today!

How was your weekend?

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Race plans taking shape

We had a pretty low-key weekend around my house, which went a long way in helping me to get back to feeling like myself again. I did manage a decent 8 miles on Saturday – actually, I felt surprisingly good! It was the kind of run that reassured me that despite not logging in a lot of miles over these last couple of weeks that I haven’t done too much damage to my fitness level, and that I’m not too far off from where I want to be right now.

So fingers crossed that this cold/crud thing is behind me, I took some time this weekend to try to flesh out my race schedule for at least the first half of the year:

February:
Wampanoag Old-fashioned 10 Miler
Frozen 5K/10K (Virtual race to benefit the American Cancer Society sponsored by Josephine over at Plant Based Runner – check out the details HERE)

March:
New Bedford Half Marathon

April:
BAA 5K

May:
Boston’s Run to Remember  (Goal Race!)

June:
BAA 10K

Registration hasn’t opened yet for the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) races – and they are popular so I’ll have to be quick on the keyboard to get in. I will probably add a local 5K in somewhere along the way. My oldest son has announced that he would like to run a 5K with me this spring so I cannot wait to make that happen!

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Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 Things)

1.
You know that feeling at the beginning of week when you have a mile-long to do list,you’re staring at the calendar trying to figure out how to wedge in one more commitment, and then you get thrown a curve ball and all plans go haywire? Well, my curve ball came in the form of having kids home sick on two different days. On the good side, both boys are feeling better and I got some quality snuggle time with my kiddos 🙂

2.
I did make it to the chiro this week for another appointment. After seeing him twice a week for the past few weeks I’m happy to report that the majority of my ITB pain is gone! We’ve agreed to take a couple of weeks off and then see how I feel as I start to build my mileage back up – fingers crossed, nothing will flare up.

3.
The lottery gods were unkind to me for the Cherry
Blossom 10 miler lottery, so it stays on my race bucket list for another year.

I did lock in the early bird rate on Boston’s Run to Remember for the end of May, but am still on the hunt for another half marathon or 10-miler for the spring – Any suggestions?

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Decisions, Decisions – To Race or Not

Do you ever get the feeling the Universe is trying to tell you something?

I’m six days away from the Boston’s Run to Remember Half and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it to the starting line.

From the start, this has felt like an odd training cycle — while the tempo runs and track work have been decent, the long runs have been underwhelming. In fact, because of the odd foot pain I was having a couple of the long runs were cut short.  The foot pain has passed, but the new wrench in the works is a nagging cough that showed up more than a week ago – allergies most likely. Again it put a big crimp in my final long run on Saturday to the point where I wondered aloud for the first time – “How am I ever going to get through 13 miles of this?”

The truth is there’s been something that has just felt off to me over the last 4 weeks or so, and I have done my best to try to ignore it. But, as Sunday edges closer I cannot ignore it any longer. I’m going to have to make a decision to either run the half, drop down to the 5-miler or pass on the whole thing and look for something else down the road.

I really want to run this half – it was my first ever, it’s a great course and my whole family will be there along the route. However, I don’t want to limp through this half…no every race doesn’t need to be a PR, but I don’t want to struggle through it either if this cough won’t let me run it the way I want to. I’d rather keep the great memory I have of my first run and hold off for another year – does that make sense?

Right now I have no idea what the right call is. I’m going for a short run this morning to see if the allergy meds are having any effect.

Have you ever been on the fence about a race? 
How did you make the call?
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Shaking up my training

The other day I mentioned that I felt like I needed to shake up my training plan but wasn’t sure exactly what that meant yet. So I spent a little time this weekend looking back over my plan for RnR USA and plans from Runner’s World Smart Coach and Hal Higdon – hoping to cobble something together, to find something to push me out of my comfort zone a bit.

Then this showed up in my mailbox!

My copy of Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line – and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity

I have been eagerly waiting for this book! I so enjoyed Run Like a Mother  – you can read my review here – and have no doubt I’ll love this one as well! (Going to start reading it as soon as I’m done with this post!)

I immediately flipped through to the Half Marathon “Own It” training plan and it seemed to be just what I was looking for  – a solid mix of speedwork, hills, cross-training, tempo and long runs. I’ll be modifying the plan just slightly to account for the fact that it’s a 13 week plan and I have just 9 weeks til Boston’s Run to Remember. But, otherwise, I’m all in!

I’m excited about this plan and can’t wait to see what comes of it.

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