Monday, April 23, 2007


Martha and Heidi crossing the Boston Marathon Finish Line! Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Final Chapter - Martha

I have just finished my “victory lap”, albeit some 40 hours after I officially crossed the finish line. I've been reading all the final chapters in these marathon-training books that I have amassed over the past few months and they all say to relax and bask. Well, I am not a "basker" so I decided to write my own finish. Even though it killed to walk down the stairs this morning (I used both rails), it just seemed like proper closure to strap on my still slightly damp shoes and take a slow cool-down run along my training route. I'll probably regret this in a few hours, but right now I feel good.

Regarding the finish, the last .2 miles was without a doubt the most fun stretch of running I've ever had in my life. There was a guy in front of us whom I recognized from this winter running down the streets of Needham and Newton. He looks like Jack LaLane (maybe he is?!) and runs bare-chested in shorts in zero-degree weather. He had a huge smile on his face and was shaking all the stretched out hands people were offering us and I thought to myself this could be his last marathon given his age. And then I thought, hey, this is probably MY last marathon too! Making that turn from Hereford onto Boylston Street and seeing the blue and yellow Boston Marathon banner strung up at the library will forever be engrained in my head. Heidi and I beamed at each other and I remember looking around at everyone screaming and cheering and I think I started yelling too! Now I know how Doug Flutie felt when he saw that ball caught.

We stepped on that final mat together and the next few minutes were a blur. It seemed surreal that our journey was done, even though all we had talked about for the previous 26 miles was how great it was going to be to be done. Someone handed us bananas and foil and we headed down the exit ramp to turn in our shoe chip and receive our medals. To paraphrase a recent Lucinda Williams song, I wouldn't trade that dime store medal for anything. (Audrey, remember this when you clean out my house and move me into the nursing home!)

And for all of you out there who decide to do this for the first time, take it from me – don't order the fried clams when you're done! After I found my family, all I wanted to do was change clothes and sit down somewhere warm. My always-hungry son suggested Legal Seafood and for a while it sounded like a great idea. It was on our way to the car after all. Let's just say I brought the clams home untouched in a doggie bag. And they're still in the frig. And to think I used to love them...

In closing, I'd just like to thank the folks at Newton-Wellesley for number 21294, to all the ladies in my running club for cheering me on, to Heidi without whom I honestly wouldn't have run this thing and most of all to my family, who supported me through all the weekend disruptions, the complaining and the smelly ride home. And if anyone wants my training books, you're welcome to them! Amputees, octogenarians and blind people passed us on Monday... Everyone should try this…once!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We Did It! - Heidi

I'm heading out of Logan for a quick April vacation with my son and husband, but wanted to let everyone know I'm alive and well and thrilled to have completed the Boston Marathon. I'm actually walking this morning and went down one flight of stairs without going backwards. What really helped on the course was all of the fans. You definitely have low energy points, so to see people you know on the route gives you that much needed infusion of strength and desire to finish. It wasn't a fun day to be a spectator (but I'm so thankful that for fans and runners it wasn't any worse). The roads were consistently lined with people. The crazier and louder the cheers, the better. We really needed the screams of the Wellesley women at the halfway point and were even more in need of the wild cheers of the BC students getting closer to the end. Martha and I finished hand-in-hand, arms raised victoriously. We were both so happy to have done it and also to be done. I couldn't have logged all those training or marathon miles without her.

Race Day - Martha

It's finally here! Race day! And one more thing I'm packing with me are my ski goggles! After all, if the rain continues to blow horizontally at 50 mph, as it is currently doing as I'm downing my last cup of coffee, it looks like I'll be strapping them on. I sure hope the cups of Gatorade don't blow away...then again, I'll probably be aspirating gallons of rainwater any way. I wonder if that increases my chances of hyponatremia? Well, I'm off to go “body glide” up for the last time... I’M NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN! Good luck to everyone out there today, especially the crowd! We're going to need all the help we can get on this one!

Friday, April 13, 2007

I Can Do This – Martha

Ok, so I have accepted the fact that there is going to be a Nor'easter arriving for the Marathon. In some ways, given my tendency to gravitate toward the glass is half empty side of life, I am not surprised. This training almost seemed too easy – up until now, of course. Now I get it. Assuming there is not another World War (the reason it got canceled the last time in 1918) this race is going to happen. And I am just going to have to suck it up.

I just went outside to empty my trash and I thought I was going to blow away. And to think this is only the “precursor” storm! Have I mentioned how much I HATE RAIN! AND WIND! And RAIN AND WIND TOGETHER! These are the reasons I always go inside and exercise during the winter. But I was the nut who signed up for this and this was obviously in the fine print I didn't read. So come Monday, I am slathering on the Vaseline, packing the extra socks and off I go. I'm scared about how bad it might be but I'm not alone (I'm not, right, Heidi? Heidi? Thank God for company). And let me just say, right now I understand if no one comes out to cheer us on (well, besides the inebriated). I probably wouldn't either. That's okay. I probably won't be looking up anyway thanks to the gale-force winds. But in my mind, I'm going to picture it being sunny with tons of people waving and cheering... and my Dad looking down... and my mom watching it on TV... and I'll tell my family how great it was to see them at the finish line. Just a few hours of pain...I can do this!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It Is What It Is! – Heidi

I almost had to laugh driving home from work today as it was completely pouring with snow flakes and big balls of ice mixed in with the heavy rain. Lots of people recommend meditation and imagery as part of marathon training, so I sat in my car imagining what it will feel to run in this on Monday (for 26.2 miles, no less!). The whole scene was even more comical as I had just picked up my very handsome running shorts and singlet provided by the Hospital (but wind pants and jacket too).

I admit that I was not in this state of resignation yesterday. I had been up all night delivering beautiful babies and had a day off, packed with errands and appointments. It was casually mentioned by two people (neither of whom knew I was running on Monday) that the weather forecast was so bad there was talk of canceling the Marathon. I came home and sent a panicked email to Martha with the title “AAAArrgh!!!!”

There is some good news in the midst of the current weather crisis (trying to use the power of positive thinking that my mother taught me). #1 I learned that Martha and I can ride on the bus filled with Hospital volunteers on Monday morning and then use the bus for shelter as we wait. We have to meet at the Hospital at 0600, but I doubt I’ll be able to sleep in anyways and then I’ll finally get to meet all the other runners from Newton-Wellesley. #2 I don’t have to worry about heat stroke. Well, at least I can think of two good things.

I want to use the end of this last pre-Marathon blog to thank everyone who has been so encouraging and wish all fellow Boston Marathon runners good luck. Yesterday at the Suburban Striders practice, I arrived late and had to leave quickly to get to another appointment. I felt badly that I didn’t get to stay and wish everyone else in the group well, especially after all of the encouragement that I have received. Each Marathon runner from SSRC was assigned an “angel.” Sharon, my angel, arrived with jellybeans, tissues, wipes, etc. all neatly packaged in small Ziploc bags. If the weather stays like this, all of the angels should watch us from the comfort of their TV chairs. We know you’re cheering for us even if we don’t see you under a pink umbrella! Thank you to everyone at Newton-Wellesley, both staff and patients, who has given us encouragement (or teased us about our life-size cut outs). Jane, an OR “angel” left a well-thought-out gift on my desk. I hope to be worthy of the 26.2 sticker and will use the foot massage ball both before and after! Thank you to my husband who will feed me well this weekend and hopefully pick me up in one piece at the finish line. One of my running buddies, Carol, was featured in the Globe in the food section this week so maybe he’ll try her recipe! A big birthday hug to my son, who will turn twelve this weekend, and thank you for delaying your sleepover party until after the Marathon so I won’t lose another night’s sleep this week.

The Needham Times - April 11, 2007

They're famous! Read more about Martha and Heidi's journey in the April 11th edition of The Needham Times.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Packing My Shovel - Martha

That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger…that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger…that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I just stepped out of the shower after my last run with my running club cheering squad before the big day. We were all talking about how to dress for “perhaps” driving rain and what do I hear on WBZ news now? THEY MAY POSTPONE THE RACE! Has this ever happened?! Apparently, up-to-date forecasts are now talking about the possibility of a foot of snow coming in here Monday morning! And to think, I was worried about it being too hot. So now, in addition to all my other junk I have to remember to bring, I have to add a small snow shovel to the list. I say, “Bring it on!” Bye for now… I have to go dig those crampons out of the trash.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Taper – Heidi

Martha and I attended the last Suburban Striders track practice indoors at Babson College today and were asked where our blogs for the week were. It seems as though our writing abilities are slowing with our mileage totals. We’re both alive and well but ran in the back of the pack today and kept a conversational pace throughout the workout. While we’re both stiff and achy, we managed our 10-mile run of the weekend without too much trouble. It seemed like old times when a car roared by on a small road, nearly forcing us into the brush. When we got back to Martha’s house, it was bittersweet to realize that we’d completed our last long run (other than the big one on April 16).

My body is definitely ready for this “cool down” period. I got great advice about my calf soreness from Cathy, the Suburban Striders’ coach and from Gayle Olson, who manages the Shipley Fitness Center at the Hospital. Gayle has also been kind enough to twice manipulate/rub/pull my feet and legs. Her hands are magic and the tight areas are so much better. A new annoyance has been olive-size lumps on the tops of my feet, which according to my Internet surfing must be ganglions. While they are bigger and somewhat tender after a run, they shrink by the end of the day. As Martha said in her last blog, these small setbacks are so trivial when one considers the insanity of life in many parts of the world and one looks around at neighbors/family/patients who are battling a whole range of medical and family issues. I take strength from those that I see facing adversity with bravery and a positive outlook.

I am honored that the two of us have provided a bit of inspiration to others in their exercise endeavors. Who would have thought our little blog would get to MaryAnn, who I presume is in Hawaii. MaryAnn, I lived at Fort Shafter, Oahu for two years during which time I attended Punahou. I haven’t been back since, but would love to return and snorkel all around the Hawaiian Islands. Good luck with the Kona ½!

The Chronic Dilemma: Nothing to Wear! – Martha

In exactly 12 days my crooked little feet will be passing over the starting line in Hopkinton. Sadly, they will not be wearing Manolos. I wonder if that's ever been done by the way?! One of my most frequently asked questions as things start to wind down (or up) is if I know what I'm going to wear yet. I'm assuming one reason people are asking is so they can identify me in order to provide amenities such as chocolate or fresh Band-Aids (or CPR). A spritz of perfume might be a nice touch now that I'm thinking about it. As I gaze out the window right now, I'm watching huge snowflakes starting to dust the crocuses and I can honestly answer I haven't the foggiest idea what to put on that day.

And for me to say this is huge. People who know me know I have a passion for clothes. They are one of my reasons for getting out of bed in the morning (the top being needing the job to pay for them). But I really don't know how to dress for a day that could start out freezing and be sweltering by the time we hit Heartbreak Hill. And it's not like I can pack a suitcase just in case the weather “surprises” me. Although I did think about the nice models they have with the easy-to-roll wheels. By the time I somehow figure out where to attach my cranberry shot bloks (in lieu of lunch), extra shoestrings and tissues, I hardly think there will be space on me to stash a pashmina in case it gets chilly in town. Oh, and I have to save room for the extra contact lens and mirror in case my lens goes flying out or, worse yet, rolls toward the back of my brain and needs to be manipulated back into place. Thank God Heidi’s a doctor! I've thought about the layering concept and just starting the race looking like an astronaut, but I am too vain for that. And too cheap. It would kill me to just ditch clothes along the way. And I've also been told just to wear the same clothes that I've been running in (laundered first of course) and not to change anything. But I've been training in 20 and 30-degree weather! God forbid it's over 40 that day…what are the odds? I guess this conundrum is one of the reasons that makes running this so much of a challenge and so full of surprises, right up to race day.

One thing I've got going for me is that I am a fast shopper when I want to be. I suppose I can always dress for hot weather and pack a credit card... that won't take up too much space. I'm thinking a quick dash into the Wellesley Gap may be all I need to get rejuvenated. God knows it's worked for me before!