Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Boston Marathon

The Truth:

Sorry for going silent. Every time I sat down to write a post about Boston, I just couldn't do it. I'm not an overly emotional person, but writing about the my race seemed impossible when other people's lives were irrevocably changed forever. I think part of it is that I work in the same building as Captain Davis. Both Captain Davis and his wife were injured in the blast. His wife lost her foot. The week before Boston another co-worker had a heart attack. He had a bad reaction to a medication he was given and lost both his legs below the knees. Needless to say being at the office has been tough, and I just haven't felt like writing.

The Race:

Here goes...the race was a bit tough. From the start, I had a stabbing pain in my right calf. It was strange given that I had no calf issues going into the race, but you know, it happens. I can only hypothesize that standing outside for an hour or so prior to the start made my legs tight, but that's just a guess. I actually ran the first half at what felt like a very easy pace. My heart rate was low, but my calf continued to get worse. By the time I got to the hills, my whole right leg was having issues. And then I sort of just gave up, or at least that's what I thought at the time. I knew I wasn't going to make my goal. I knew I was having some major leg issues.  And so I gave myself permission to just relax and get to the finish. 

Once I had finished, I was grateful that I had taken a cautious approach because I didn't feel well. I was limping, cold, and nauseous. Sometimes when I'm running I don't really know how bad things are until I stop. The next day I took off my compression socks to find my lower calf and ankle all black and blue. It actually looked worse than it does in the picture, and even after 15 days my right ankle is still black and blue. After 10 days, I went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't a blood clot. She told me I tore some muscle fibers that caused the bleeding, and the bleeding seeped into my ankle. She doesn't think it's anything serious. I am definitely not fully recovered though. Besides my ankle still being discolored, I have trouble running much more than 6 miles. Partly I don't feel like running right now, and that's okay.

My 5K splits are listed below. I know some will think that I went out too fast, but I don't think I did. My recent 18:34 5K and 1:25:59 half marathon both predicted a marathon time of 3:01. I purposely ran slower than that pace for the first half, but it didn't matter because my leg was simply having issues. And I'm okay with that. I'm glad I ran as well as I did under the circumstances.       
5K: 0:21:52
10K: 0:43:38
15K: 1:05:29
20K: 1:27:37
Half: 1:32:26
25K: 1:49:59
30K: 2:13:08
35K: 2:39:10
40K: 3:06:56
FINISH: 3:18:27

The Good Parts:

While there was heart wrenching tragedy at the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon, there were some nice memories before that tragedy struck...Some of the things I'd like to remember include:

I saw little kids so excited to hand out orange slices and give high fives that it was impossible for me not to smile. I did high five several little kids. They were so cute in their excitement. I saw one runner do a cartwheel because he was so pumped up by the crowd, and the crowd responded with screams of enthusiasm. I saw runners stealing kisses from the ladies in Wellesley, and it was adorable. My co-worker, Liz, swapped out my water bottles at mile 16, and her husband Steve jumped in the race and ran with me through the Newton hills. Steve has never met me, but was amazing. He'd urge the crowd to cheer for me by throwing up his arms and screaming "Let's hear it for Katie!" I remember running by Newton-Wellesley hospital, where I was born. My friend Ana-Maria jumped into the race for a bit around mile 19 to cheer and say hi. When I finished, fellow runners were giving congratulations, a volunteer wrapped a blanket around my shoulders, and another volunteer placed a medal around my neck. My parents found me in the crowd in the family meeting area and gave me a hug. When I got home I got a huge hug from Nick, and some big squeezes from my little girls. Those are some of things I'd like to remember about April 15, 2013...

The Reality:

It wasn't until Tuesday that I realized we were still within 300 meters of the blast when it happened. I was watching the video and race clock read 4:09. My parents and I were heading towards Fenway, where their car was parked. We had to pass by the finish and then by the 26 miler marker. I remember the 26 mile marker clock reading 4:30 and thinking it had taken so long to pick up my bag and find my parents...but we were on the opposite side of the road and crowd was so crazy thick there that we couldn't really see or hear anything. When we got to the car around 3:15ish, people were already calling and texting. We were lucky, but I still get choked up when I think about the people that weren't so lucky...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I am the worst blogger. I love reaching out to other runners, but as I get closer to an important race the less likely I am to blog about training or running or share what my goals are or other things that "normal" bloggers blog about. I love reading about all that stuff when other people write about it, but I like to make like a clam and close my shell. ;)

I don't think I mentioned this previously, but I was picked to blog about the Boston Marathon on Boston.com. I've done a few posts. My most recent post can be found here if you're interested...I found blogging on another site more challenging than I would have thought. I don't feel like I know the audience. I feel like most of the people who read this blog are probably people relatively similar to me, you know, running is just something we do (all the time). I'm not sure that's the case over on the other blog. Or at the very least, I just don't know what the general experience it. When writing posts I would find myself wondering if people would think an 80 mile week was excessive, or would they be really grossed out by the fact that I'm constantly losing my toenails? And for whatever reason, people can't seem to leave comments, so I have no idea what they might be thinking. 

I love when you guys leave comments. I think the best aspect of blogging is the dialogue that might come after a post. It's interesting to get other people's thoughts on various subjects. 

Well, Boston is 11 days away, so I guess I should mention the highlights. (If you're super interested in my training you can always see what I'm doing on DailyMile.) I'm in full on taper, and yes, also full on crazy mode. In true tapering fashion, my right hip started to bother me on Saturday, so I took Sunday and Monday off. 

During my peak week I ran 80 miles, last week I wound up with 53 (but had planned to run 60), and this week I'll probably wind up with 42-50 miles. All typical. My hip bothers me when I sit or lay down, but not when I'm running, which is also pretty typical for me. I'm so weird...

I have my ride to Boston with the GLRR all set, and my parents are picking me up at  the finish. My mom is so cute. I think she's been to the finish just to figure out where to park and such. I've been studying the course, and reading all kinds of "advice" for the Boston course, but honestly a lot of it seems random and not backed up by evidence or experience. I'm planning to call my college friend this weekend and get her take on the course. She's run there at least twice successfully. I'm predicting that when she eventually gets back there that she'll run sub-3:00. 

Feel free to throw in your thoughts on the Boston course (or if you'll be at Boston). One of the sillier things I read was to go out 25 seconds slower than MP for the first 5 miles...there was no explanation for this (other than you'll feel better at the end). I don't get it, though. It seems to me that it may actually take more energy to slow down that much if you're running down hill. Perhaps I'm missing something crucial.

I'll leave you with this gem from Calvin and Hobbes that Nick sent me last week. I'm not sure if it's Kosher that I copied it, but I got it from: http://www.gocomics.com/. It. Is. AWESOME! As an aside, Kaylee is a lot like Calvin sometimes. One day she asked me if she could pretend her pancakes were "grubs and slugs".