Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2010

my little pumpkin!

I’m going to see this little pumpkin this weekend in New York!

And it’s his Mama’s birthday! I can’t wait to spoil them both and finally drink some cocktails with my girlfriend. She’s taken a break for oh, nine months + and me, well, there’s been no break but, that’s not the point. I’m going to see my dear friend and it’s going to be a wonderful little weekend. Cheers!

Read Full Post »

You guys, my friend Carla is having a giveaway on her blog for one of those awesome metal displays to hang your race medals on!

By the way, here’s Carla and I after the Chicago Marathon!

DC and Boston finally meet!

I’m going to be honest- I don’t really want you to go over there and enter to win, because that decreases my chances of winning, and I WANT TO WIN!

But, I’m doing the right thing here and helping myself out by getting another entry for this little post) and letting you all in on this little giveaway, so that you too can enter for a chance to win one of these!

Head on over and comment on this post to try and win!  (Or not.  Because I WANT TO WIN!) 😉

Read Full Post »

Two years ago today, on a crisp, windy Autumn evening, I walked into a little pub in Boston for my last first date.

Happy Anniversary to my Matt!

Read Full Post »

meanwhile…

I miss the running!

I don’t necessarily miss the obligation of the training, and I do welcome a bit of a break these days when everything else on my plate is piled miles high. Not having to run "x" miles on this or that day, a long run this weekend, that’s a good feeling of freedom these days. I welcome that wholeheartedly.

But, I do still kind of miss it.

Which is why, I know I need another race on the books. For me, having a goal in mind to work towards makes SUCH a difference. I’ve been googling left and right on marathons coming up, half’s, 10k’s, etc… and pickin’s are kind of slim. Turns out, the races I’d like to run are on weekends that I have clinical for nursing school, and other options are few and far between.

I know I don’t have to do another full marathon. In fact, my schedule really doesn’t allow for it right now, as I’m busier than ever.

At the same time, while I am so proud of the fact that I finished Chicago and loved every moment of it, I know that I have a faster marathon in me. I know that if it weren’t blazing hotter than hell out there, I could have run significantly faster. Part of me wants to prove that to myself, like, now. I’m feeling kind of antsy and frustrated about it all. I’m sure I’ll work through it, but having another one to look forward to might help….

I know, there will always be races. I did just run a marathon not even two weeks ago, but you know what they say… once you catch the bug….

For now, I’m focusing on smaller goals. I’m thinking that I’d really like to work on my half time, and work on a new PR under my 2:00 time a couple years ago. I feel I have that in me.

In the meantime, I’m running whenever the hell I feel like it. Or not. I’m sleeping in later. I’m enjoying wearing heels again! Matt and I are running a 5K for MS on Thanksgiving so that we can pig out on treats all day. I’m trying to take it all in, plan my next move.

What would you do?

Read Full Post »

I finished!! 

 
Not just now.  It’s three days later and I’m just now really getting around to doing an appropriate race recap.  I put my legs up on Monday night as Matt and I were watching Dexter, relaxing after the whirlwind of a weekend we’d just had, and started to try and do a recap here, but it just wasn’t happening. 
 
I needed a couple of days to take it all in.
 
In a word?  Awesome.  The race was amazing.  From the million + spectators (no joke!), to the event itself, to the thousands of volunteers handing out water and Gatorade and bananas on the sidelines, the whole experience was hands down one of the most thrilling of my life.
  
I’m a marathoner!
  
(Picture of me dorking out when I saw Nilsa at around mile 23.  Hey, at least I’m smiling!)
 
What an incredible race.  I’m not sure that I’m really allowed to have any complaints at this stage of the game, first marathon and all.   Afterall, I finished! My only real complaint, was that it was HOT.  Super, crazy hot.  Not unlike the heat that I have trained in many a time this summer, BUT, when you sign up for a Fall marathon, you kind of hope and somewhat expect that it will be a nice, crisp, Fall day.  Well, not so much.  While I knew that the weather was one of those things I just had no control over, when I saw the reports of temps reaching near 80 on Sunday, I wasn’t too excited. But, I knew I could do it, given that I’d done training runs in much worse.
 
While the heat most definitely had a huge impact on my time, the fact of the matter is, I finished the marathon!  And I’m so, so excited about that. 
 
Heading out of Charity Village, where I checked some stuff in the Girls on the Run tent before the race, I was beyond excited to run into my buddy Kevin!  We had tried connecting the day before, both on our cell phones walking around downtown, SO CLOSE to one another but not able to find each other.  Then, out of a sea of 45,000 people, who do I run into?!  KEVIN!  (I have a sweet picture of us at the start that I’ll have to upload here… I’m still working on getting all of the photos from the weekend organized.)
 
It was so nice to be able to start with my Boston running buddy.  If I didn’t have to stupidly stop to pee at mile 3, chances are we would have continued the whole race together.  Kevin finished about 4 minutes before I did, just about the time it took me to wait in line for the porta potties, do my thing, and get back out there.  In the humungo crowd of thousands, I wasn’t able to find Kevin again to catch up.  But I knew he was out there… somewhere!
 
Speaking of starts, and sweet moments, one that has special meaning to me, and you will understand this more if you know the background story about Matt and his marathon journey, is that the two of us were able to start together.  I can’t tell you how meaningful this was for me.  To be able to start the race with the man I love, when I wasn’t sure up until just days before how that would all work out, well, it was really something, let me tell you.
 
Here we are AFTER the race…
 
(He was apparently planning to go hunting after the marathon!?)
 
Matt and I stayed together until about mile 5.  We were pacing really well, going under a 10 minute mile, which was my goal for a sub 5 hour finish.  I knew I wasn’t supposed to have any big time goals in mind, or any time goals AT ALL for that matter.  I’d been warned about that from seasoned marathon buddies.  But I think on some level, we all go into a race like this with some sort of goal in mind.  Anyway, at the end of the day, my main goal was to just finish, and finish happy which I totally did.
 
 
Matt and I smooched and parted ways at the 5 mile mark.  He told me that he was going to find the moms, who were there cheering us on.  This was our plan from the get-go.  If he decided he wanted to stay behind, or stop, he made me promise that I wouldn’t let this affect my race.  While this was hard for me to accept, I knew that it was the right thing for this race.  We’d talked about it in-depth many a time.  He knew how conflicted I felt about not sticking with him, the guilt I experienced.  How I felt that I would be “leaving”  him.  He talked me right out of that.  Matt is amazing that way.  He didn’t make me feel bad for a minute for any of that.  He reminded me of how hard I had trained for this race, and encouraged me over and over that when he decided he would hold back, that I was to go on.
 
And go on I did…
 
So turns out, Matt told me he was stopping at mile 5.  But he told me that so that I wouldn’t worry.  And obsess, and worry some more (worry is what I do best?).  Instead of stopping at 5, guess what this champ did?!  He went on to run half!  This came seemingly out of no where, for a guy who hasn’t been training for such a distance in months.  Though it surprised me on some level, at the same time, I knew Matt had it in him to pull something like this off.  What a great accomplishment for him; I am elated for him, and so proud of his strong finish!
So now Matt was off on his own, doing his own race (unbeknownst to me!).  Up until the halfway point, I was pacing pretty well.  I wasn’t even paying too much attention to my watch, I could just feel that I was running well. 
 
And then, the heat hit.  We’re talking upper 80’s here, whooboy, it was a hot one.  I kept plugging along, but I knew I was slowing down.  I was craving more and more water, but conflicted because I didn’t want to chug the water at the aid stations, for I knew that would make my stomach a mess.  I walked through every water station from 13.1 out.  Walked slow, real slow, at some of them.  And then you know how it goes, once you walk, getting back to it and running is even tougher.  But I didn’t have too much of a choice.  I knew I didn’t want to walk any of the race OTHER than the water stops, so this was my chance to kind of regroup.
 
 
The one and only time I walked besides the water stations was when I saw Nilsa and her husband around mile 23.  They ended up being the only people who I knew that I saw on the course (more on that in a minute), so I had to pull over and say hello for a minute.
 

And stretch.

The main “hurt” that I had during the whole race was my hips.  So weird, because my hips NEVER hurt.  I guess you just never know what will happen on race day! 

Speaking of cheering and all?  Having my name on my shirt?  Such a good idea!  People were cheering for me left and right the whole entire race!  While I’d heard that this could either be a good or a bad thing… could give me some great motivation, might get a little annoying, I loved it.  I figure I put my name on there for a reason, and you’re damn right I appreciated every single “go Meg!” that I heard on the sidelines.

So, the second half of the race was getting hotter and hotter.  And the course went from a “yellow” caution level to a “red,” “high” alert level.  There were warnings on the course to slow down, to walk if needed, not to push it.  And a lot of people did walk.  This is a part that I struggled with, seeing people hurting.  Not for nothing, because hell, I was hurting in my own right, but seeing people on the sidelines walking, or limping, or worse- at the first aid tent getting IV’s, that was tough to see.  I really felt so much empathy for them.  I can’t even imagine training so hard for such a big event, and having to bail out midway through because of a medical emergency. 

Some people say that the last 6 miles are the toughest.  Afterall, I had never run beyond 20, so yeah, I was pretty freaking nervous for 20-26.2.  But the worst of it for me?  Was roughly miles 17-19.  It was just so god damn hot out there.  This whole second half of the race was in the blazing sun, whereas the first half was at least in the shade.  While there were spectators everywhere, they kind of dwindled down a bit at around mile 17 or so, and I found these 3 miles to be the toughest.

Around mile 20, I kind of felt a burst of energy.  And I mean, that’s all relative because it wasn’t as though I was going into sprint mode here.  But I did feel like, holy hell, I’m six miles away from being a marathoner!  Something clicked then, and I knew I could do it.

Mile 20 was also where I was hoping to see the moms.  I knew there was a very likely possibility that I would miss them, or they’d miss me, and unfortunately that’s what happened.  Turns out, the moms were on the left side of the road cheering, and I was on the right.  I knew my mom was out there, nearby… somewhere, and though I didn’t actually see her, that kind of helped me get through another mile a little easier.

One of my favorite moments of the race was when I could have sworn that I was coming up on mile 21, and not two minutes later, I saw that I was actually at 22!  WIN!

When I say that miles 20-26.2 weren’t awful, they most definitely weren’t easy.  It’s that feeling where you know you’re close, but I also knew I was about an hour away.  My everything was kind of aching at this point, the sun was beating down like crazy, and damn, was I thirsty.

This picture is one of my favorites for two reasons.  First, look at how freaking happy I am, at mile 26?!  I did make it a point to try and smile every time I saw a photographer (but also have learned that I run with my tongue out a lot?, thanksverymuch marathonfoto.com).  Secondly, see this dude  here in blue?  He’s from Ireland.  I came across him right here, and he was walking.  He looked so strong and I don’t know, I know some people may find it annoying when they are walking, to have another runner to tell them to “be strong!, you can do it!”… but I had the sense that all this guy needed was a little encouragement.  I looked over to him and told him “buddy!, we’re almost there!  come on, run with me!”  And he said his legs felt so weak, he wasn’t sure he could do it.  I told him damn straight he could do it; we were SO CLOSE to the finish line.  He told me this was his third marathon, that he had come to Ireland for this race.  I told him how this was my first, and told it to him straight right then and there, that we were running to the finish.

He cooperated.  😉

He was so gracious and such a cool dude.  At the last couple seconds, when we could see the finish line right there, he pushed me, “go ahead girl, you go for it!”  And you can see above, we finished pretty much right together.  Kind of fun, and definitely memorable, that little encounter.

And so, I finished!  I’m a marathoner!

(I had one sip of that beer, and then tossed it.  One of those things that seem like a good idea at the time.  And who am I to pass up a free brew?  Remember, it had been a week since any alcohol consumption over here.)

What a race.  To say I had an incredible, amazing, wonderful time, would even be an understatement.  I’m just so, so excited about it all.  I trained hard for this thing, put in some serious time and energy into this, and I achieved my goal!

I’m totally loving the marathon.  Would you think I’m crazy if I told you I tried to sign up for another one in about a month in NH, but found out that it’s on a weekend I have clinical? 

I’m already addicted!  I want more!  More of the rush, more of the energy from the whole experience.  I loved most everything about it, and I am so, so happy that I’m able to say today, that I am a marathoner.  No one can take that away from me!  Woo!

Read Full Post »

Hi friends!

We’re off to Chicago in just a few minutes!

If you want to track me on your phone on race day, you can sign up to do that here!  My bib # is 22319.  I think that sounds like a lucky number, no?

Wishing everyone who is running this weekend the best of luck!!

Catch you on the other side of 26.2!!

Read Full Post »

Tomorrow afternoon, we’re leaving on a jet plane, headed to Chicago for a long weekend.

We plan to stay with friends, spend some time with family who are meeting us there, hangout with 45,000 other people, and run a marathon on Sunday.

On Sunday, I’m running a marathon!

Wow. I remember training for my first half marathon last year. My boyfriend Matt and I would talk about how maybe if we were really out of our minds, one day we would try and run Boston. We laughed about it and joked about how crazy we’d be, to ever even want to run more than 13.1 miles, just for the hell of it. We thought the half marathon training was quite the feat (and it was!), but I’m not sure either of us seriously thought that a marathon was in the cards.

And then my first half came and went, and I really really loved it. I fell in love with the idea of training for a specific goal, coming together with a huge mass of people who each have their own individual journey that brings them to race day, but that share one thing in common: the will to run.

There was another half marathon, and various other 10K’s and Thanksgiving Feaster Five races, and then come the middle of last winter, came the notion that I wanted to run Chicago on 10-10-10, as my first full marathon.

And since then? It’s been a whirlwind of a journey. Many runs (many of my favorite runs) towards the beginning were shared with my partner in crime, my love, my Matt. As his specific training took some different twists and turns than mine, over the last several months I have been running more on my own.

Running on my own has had its own ups and downs, as you might expect. When it’s only you yourself and… you, out on the road for 10+ miles, you end up having to look inward for your own inner voice to push you onward. There’s no one there to cheer you on, to push you to keep on going when you’d rather be at home watching the Patriots opener with friends and drinking a beer. There’s no one there to tell you that it will be okay, that you can do this. It’s just you, and the road, and your crazy mind running wild.

But there were so many good things about going it solo too. So much time to think has been both a blessing and a curse, for my good friends and family can attest to, by nature I’m an overanalyzer. I mean, I’m a woman, but I take this thinking and overthinking and bring it to a whole different level that believe me, you don’t even want to know. So I mean, I guess being alone for two, three, almost four hours at a time, just me and the road, offers a girl a lot of time to just… obsess.

I’m kidding, mostly. What the open road and my going it alone really offered me was a chance to clear my mind, a chance to declutter a lot of thoughts going on up there, stuff loaded up from a hectic as hell schedule I’ve held these days, with working full time, nursing school full time, and marathon training full time. Running has given me a chance to decompress, to regroup. To center myself. To find balance in my life. And while I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss having some company on some of these days, it also forced me to look within, to really dig deep and depend and rely solely on myself. It was me that had to encourage me. It was I, who had to tell myself to man up, to stop whining, to just do it.

And I did. I did do it. I’ve been running, training for one thing or another since March, when I got back into it after a bit of a winter break. And now, in three days, I’ll be running a marathon.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a minute to tell you that I didn’t get here alone. There are some significant people in my life, without whom, I would absolutely, unuquivocally not be here today, ready to run a marathon on Sunday.

Matt, my wonderfully supportive ManFriend, has been such an amazing support to me. He’s encouraged me all along, he’s been on endless trips to running stores when I would decide that right this minute, I needed new socks or a new water belt. He’s been patient with me when I’ve been grouchy and frustrated after a lot of running and a lot of life, and not too much sleep. He’s been my chef, my water boy, my cheer leader, my course mapper outer, my pillow (literally, on more than one occasion), my fan club, and always, at the end of every single day, the person that I want to come home to. I am lucky.

My mom, who has not only been my personal masseuse, and Reiki Master, but also my very best go-to for inspiration, and positivity, and love, and support. It’s not without extreme appreciation and gratitude, and blessing, that I reflect upon our relationship. For no other closeness in my life compares. Not only my mom, but my very best friend, I wouldn’t be where I am in this journey without her.

My stepdad, my dad and stepmom, all who have been supportive of this journey from the start. My stepdad once picking me up at mile 16 of a long run because that last mile just seemed too much to handle at the time (I gave up). My dad, who has helped me map out 19 mile routes in Reno, Nevada, so that I could get my long run in on our trip out to see him this summer. And my stepmom, who biked alongside me during said 19 mile run, to keep me company that day.

Of course, there are my friends. I’m a lucky and blessed girl in this department, as those nearest and dearest to me have been amazing cheerleaders throughout these last several months. Nilsa, my friend made through blogging, has been not only the girl who inspired me to sign up for Chicago this year, but the lovely gal who with her husband, will be hosting us this weekend when we’re in town for the race. Not only that, Nilsa has gone out of her way, on the regular, in helping me to prepare for this race. She’s calmed my nerves more often than not, she’s encouraged me and cheered me on from afar, and has been much more of a support than I think she will ever even realize or give herself credit for. I’m beyond excited to spend some time with this girl who holds such a special place in my heart, this coming weekend.

To all of my other friends, thank you so much for the phone calls, the emails, the running tips, the beers after races, you name it. It all means so much to me.

And Kevin, and Thor, and John, and Egan (my dude running friends!), I have not forgotten about you. Kevin, I will always remember that my longest run in life thus far, was first run with you (our 18 miler), and then again, on our 20 miler a couple weeks ago. Now those are two long runs that I’m glad I didn’t have to go alone. I love that we were able to reconnect through our training for this marathon, and I can’t wait to see you on the course on Sunday (if we can find each other!). Thor and John and Egan- you guys have been like my big brothers through it all. I can’t thank any of you enough for your running words of wisdom, and frankly, your words of wisdom on life in general. I have the utmost respect for you all, having run your own fair share of races for sure, but also respect and admire you for the way that you live your lives with passion, and drive, and love for those around you. Thank you all so, so much.

I could go on, and on, and on with thanks here. On Sunday, I will mindfully take the time to think of each and every one of you who has been there for me in ways big and small throughout this journey. I mean it when I say that I would not be here today, ready to run 26.2 in just three days if it weren’t were those of you in my life who have supported me along the way.

Before I go on (and get any more emotional, as I now sit here with tears in my eyes, trying to think of a way to wrap this up), I will end where I began. On Sunday, I’m running a marathon. My very first freaking marathon ever!, and I couldn’t be more excited. Thank you to everyone who has been by my side throughout this endeavor, who has cheered me on in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine. Your good thoughts, good vibes, emails, facebook messages and comments, hugs, cards, meals, massages!, getaways, donations!, words of wisdom…. they have all moved me so deeply. Thank you, thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. I feel rested, excited to EAT CARBS!, and I feel ready to tackle this race this weekend, and enjoy the experience as I reflect on how far I’ve come to get here.

Run on.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »