Category Archives: elite runners

Boston Marathon 2016 recap

I want to write my Boston recap before my memories fade too much. It was such an amazing weekend!  My “fan club” as I called them was 11 members strong – my hubs, my parents, and 3 couples + 2 kids.  Seriously, each of them ranks up with some of our all time favorite friends.  We rented a huge house outside Boston and all had a blast together!

Highlight of Boston – getting my picture taken with Meb Keflefski at the Red Sox game!!  And I have my beer in my hand! Liquid courage :)  He is the best of the best and my all time favorite (along with Kara Goucher)


For the race … there were days in my training leading up to Boston where I thought dang I am in better shape than I thought! 3:20 – or a bit faster – is possible! Then there were days when I felt awful. This was my 5th marathon, and after getting faster for the 1st 4 (3:33:32, 3:29:58, 3:25:32, 3:16:07) I figured that trend would end. This was also my 1st marathon where I didn’t have a dead set time goal. I was hoping low 3:20s.  I was also committed to not letting my goal take away from a weekend with my fan club.

My taper ended up being a bit more than normal because an old back injury flared up after my last 20 miler (which I had planned on being 3 hrs – so closer to 22-23 miles, but ended at 20 because I was feeling DONE.  2 massages, less running, and a ton of rolling/stretching helped a lot but I was definitely not 100%.

In the days leading up to the marathon, but body just felt off. I had a few spots that were tighter than they should have been. And I just felt off – I can’t think of another way to describe it.

I slept better than expected the night before. The house we rented was much closer to the start, so instead of taking a crazy ealy shuttle from Boston, Jon drove me to Hopkinton and I took a short shuttle to the Athlete’s Village. Once there, I found a spot of ground, spread out my garbage bags, and got comfortable. I had a few hours to spare. I laid down, talked to the people around me, stretched, etc. I felt a bit tight, but ready to go.

Once my wave/corral was released, I headed to the start. It’s a good ½ mile walk to the start – maybe longer. Honestly don’t know. It felt good to be moving and loosen up.  Yet it is a long process just to get to the starting corrals.  And it was warm.  I ditched my classy thrift store warm ups long before I *had* to because I just didn’t need them.

1 of the things I read was DO NOT waste energy weaving around people – the thought is running the pace of people around you will keep you from going to hard in the early down hill miles.

That’s just what I did – kind of like a car in the fast lane on the interstate – I ran the pace of the people around me.

mile 1 = 7:18
(1st water stop poured water on my head because I was already feeling warm)
mile 2 = 7:17
mile 3 = 7:16
(I kept thinking I should slow down a bit, but I also was amazed at how RELAXED I felt – the pace felt easy at this point)
mile 4 = 7:06
mile 5 = 7:31
mile 6 = 7:18
(saw my fan club!)
mile 7 = 7:26DSC_0014
mile 8 = 7:48
(I think this is around the time I started getting nervous – it was all of a sudden starting to feel HARD and this is still so early in the race)
mile 9 = 7:50
mile 10 = 7:58
(I made up my mind I WOULD finish, even if I had to walk 10 miles. I was going to experience Boylston Street – and I would RUN that street)
miles 11 = 8:17
(I started worrying how slow I would be and worried about my fan club missing me because I was so slow. I walked a bit to try to regroup. I was feeling pretty dizzy at this point)
mile 12 = 8:15
(saw my parents and told them I was going to be slow – I felt better letting someone know I was struggling)
miles 13 = 8:56
(stopped in a port-a-pot at mile 13.44 to pee and had a serious come to Jesus chat – DANGIT DEBBY PULL IT TOGETHER. YOU.CAN.DO.THIS. Also decided I would soak it up and enjoy the crowds)
mile 14 = 8:47
(still feeling AWFUL – made up my mind to walk the water stops to get a full cup of Gatorade and water in and committing to fighting with everything in me to only walk the water stops)
mile 15 = 8:21
mile 16 = 7:59
(quads were starting to get pretty tight, yet dizziness was abating)
mile 17 = 8:53
mile 18 = 9:17
(walked some hills along with water stops)
mile 19 = 8:32
mile 20 = 8:34
(saw my fan club again – they are AMAZING!)
mile 21 = 9:29
(walked more hills)
mile 22 = 7:46
(come on gravity pull me down these hills!! My quads were on fire, but the rest of me was feeling better – so thankful I was able to rebound a bit and finish respectable – and saw my parents!!)
mile 23 = 8:08
mile 24 = 8:10
mile 25 = 8:29
(saw a good friend and she took this picture!)IMG_2756
mile 26 = 8:06

Mile 25 felt LOOOOOONG. Finally seeing the right turn on Hereford St was so invigorating!  And you’re on Hereford so short before you turn left on Boylston. Nothing can prepare you for that left turn!  The crowds, energy, emotion is incredible. I ran with everything in me, but man oh man that street felt long!  I’m pretty sure I was moaning and groaning in exhaustion yet such JOY that I had made it!

3:34:07. My slowest marathon. Yet I could not be more proud that I didn’t give up, kept fighting, smiled at the cameras, and finished strong!

When I crossed the line, I immediately hunkered over.  I was afraid I was going to yak, but also needed to pull it together emotionally.  2 medics rushed to me, but I assured them I’d be ok. My feet were on fire, so I took of my shoes/socks and walked bare foot.  I felt like I walked another mile as we got our medals, got a picture with my medal (and I actually look respectable!), had to stop to lean/lay my head on a barricade and cry in utter relief – while another medic came up, got a food bag (thought of any food made me want to yak), finally made it to the street with the family meeting area, yet being at the end of the alphabet had another block to go! (funny this is, when I looked on a map, I probably walk 1/3 mile. It really did feel so much longer!!).

I figured they would have been waiting on me, but I ended up having to wait for a while for them.  Finally my parents showed up. It felt good to get some hugs!  I was SO cold and moving so slow.  We finally met up with Jon and our friends and started working our way back to where they parked. I swear we changed T’s 4 times and each changed involved STAIRS. Cruel joke!

On the T I was able to drink a Gatorade recovery drink, but it took a while before I got much food in me. My tummy was mad.

My quads were sore for days – and Tuesday I sure moved slow through the airport!  Yet after a week off, I was ready to run again. Funny how much more like myself I feel once I get a run in :)

All in all, as hard as it was, Boston was amazing. And I’ll be back :)  It was also such an incredible weekend with some of our best friends. No race result can taint that.

BM photoBM photo 1elevation

This guy is the BEST :)IMG_2760

Pre Red Sox game Saturday before the race. Aren’t we cute?! IMG_2699

Hey hey fan club!!! They ROCK!IMG_2701



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transitioning from Half Marathon to 5K

A week or so after the Seaside half, I read a great article in Runner’s World about several elite runners who ran PRs on the track soon after a great marathon.  Granted I just came off a half not a full, but it’s still very applicable.  The main point of the article was that you not only need to re-develop your foot speed, but you need to re-train your body and mind to endure the short lived intense pain of a 5K.   In a marathon, and in my half marathon, it’s more of a long dull ache with pain coming on towards the end.  A 5K often hurts from soon after the gun goes off!

In reality, I HATE 5Ks.  I hate that intense pain.  It hurts!  I’ve had more thoughts of dropping out of a race in 5Ks than in any other distance.  It’s so mental.

Thus, the article was great for me to read.  It also gave 5 workouts that help you train your body and mind for the transition.  I’ve done the first 3 and they’ve been really good.  I’ve been doing them on the treadmill at a 6 min pace (10.0 MPH) which would be a 18:38 5K.  Aiming high!

Here are the workouts …

5 x (5 x 200m @ 5K pace) with 30-second rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x (400m, 400m, 200m @ 5K pace) with 45-second rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x (600m, 400m @ 5K pace) with 1-minute rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x 800m @ 5K pace with 3-minute rests, then 5 x 200m a little faster than 5K pace with 45-60 seconds rest

2 x (1K, 800m, 600m, 400m @ 5K pace) with 2-minute rests between repeats and 4-5 minutes rest between sets

5–6 x 1K with 3-minute rests; start slower than 5K pace and progress to running goal pace for the last 3 repeats

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Haile Gebrselassie “cedes his crown”

In the running world, since 1993, Haile Gebrselassie has been there.  Not just there.  Dominating.  He has not been perfect; has not won every race he has entered. Yet he has, over time, been the best.  Very few would argue with that.  Bekele is close, and if he can have the long carrer as Gebrselassie has had, he very well will be declared the king of running.  Yet for now, it’s Geb.  He holds the marathon world record – 2:03:59 – which he ran when he was 35 years old.  2:03:59.  26.2 miles. That is almost super-human.  Maybe it is super human.  This could be a record we see stand for a long, long time.  I mean seriously, that’s 4:44/mile.

After dropping out of the NYC marathon on Sunday due to knee pain on Sunday (an MRI showed he has fluid build up), he shocked the running world with his bombshell announcement that he is retiring.  Retiring. Most thought that would come after the 2012 Olympics.  Yet he has realised that his body can’t withstand the hard training and he is very graceful stepping aside.  Here is a link to the speech.  It’s hard to imagine watching the world-class events without Haile Gebrselassie.


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Running the Sahara

Running the SaharaWhether you are a runner or not – you definitely need to watch this documentary!!!  3 men set out to run across the Sahara Dessert.  It is a positively amazing endeavor and the documentary captures it so well.  Also be sure to watch the extra commentaries after you watch the film.  Wow.  It puts a tiny glimmer of doing something positively crazy into my brain.  Just a tiny glimmer though :)  I’ve seen it twice now, and the whole ordeal seems even more amazing after watching it again.   Here is a link to the film’s homepage.

(this is a picture from during their run) Runners

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