Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ups and Downs - Kirsty

This has been a week full of ups and downs in terms of my running. I have finally been able to do some "test" runs to see how my foot would hold up now that it has had some time to recover with intensive physical therapy, rest and cross-training. The only problem is that because of this
injury, my mileage is nowhere near where it should have been at this point in my training plan.

I did a very short test run last weekend of two miles and it felt pretty much fine - I was very nervous about doing more mileage as the last time I ran I could barely walk for two to three days after. I was pleased to get out running, albeit short. I tried another five miles on Monday, which again went ok, I could feel the pain start to increase after around mile four but it was manageable. We decided to up it yesterday to see how much I could take and I was able to do eight miles with increasing pain after about four and a half miles. The problem is that once my heel and arch start hurting, I start running on the outside of my foot and then the pain just starts going up my ankle and the outside of my leg - not good either! Again, I was pleased that I was able to increase the distance a little but it is nowhere near the 20 miles I should be at by now. My biggest issue right now is that after I run, later in the evening, after icing and stretching and rest, the pain gets so unbearable that I can't even take a step - last night I compared it to two days after a C-section trying to walk without pain meds. It was so bad I was in tears. A couple of Advil, stretching and it felt a little better this morning. I was back at physical therapy again today for some more stretching and some rather mean massage on my calf. I won't be doing any more running between now and the Boston Marathon :-(. I will be doing some cross training and my goal right now is to get half way. If I can make it to half way without too much discomfort, I will try to get to Newton-Wellesley and take it from there. It is probably the most I can hope for at this point and without causing myself long-term injury.

Team Telecom - Joellyn

It’s been a while since I blogged, I’m a little behind. I feel like I’m in the movie Groundhog Day, I feel like I do the same thing every day. I wake up and I think about running, I run and then I fall asleep thinking about running. I have a poster in my office with someone sleeping in their bed
and a pair of sneakers at the end of the bed saying “Get Up! Time To Run!” This pretty much sums up what I feel like. Did I mention I’m now having dreams about the race? I had one dream that on race day I didn’t have my number because a Newton-Wellesley employee’s brother accidently took it?? Really?? We are down to about 2 ½ weeks and the whole race is surreal to me. Not sure how I will function after the race with so much free time.

Let’s get down to training. I ran 18 miles about two weeks ago, down along the Charles. It was a great run but I couldn’t remember where I parked. All I could remember was I was on Soldiers Field Rd. somewhere. Luckily I found it and survived the run. The rest of that week was the same. I ran a few four-mile runs and an eight-mile run that included Heart Break Hill. This week was 14 miles on Saturday down along Cape Cod Canal. I’m running out of places to do these long runs, good thing we are almost done. I ran four miles on Tuesday and sprints on the treadmill on Wednesday and hope to do eight miles today, which will include Heartbreak Hill. Not sure what I
will run on Saturday, 14 or 12?

I would like to thank Team Telecom for their constant support and words of encouragement. Maybe support and encouragement aren’t the best words to describe it. It seems that they would like to design what I will wear on race day. Although I appreciate the concern the answer would be NO. All I can say it involved the color yellow and feathers, really? Also, me finishing the race in the back of the truck isn’t happening either. They were also kind enough to print out the medical stations along the route as well as the Boston Marathon medical record so I knew what to expect. I did find the article on exercise and associated disorders interesting. They are trying to be tricky with their reverse psychology and it’s working.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Time to Cut Back – Danielle

I had a good week last week. I set out to do my long run last Tuesday. My goal at the start of my Marathon training was to run at least 22 to 23 miles once before the big day and I made it! I set out with my energy beans and a Gatorade at the end of my drive way and when all was said and done, I had run 23.3 miles in three hours, 32 minutes. I have to say, at the end of that, I couldn't imagine doing another step. I was quite sore the rest of the day and the next day as well. I ran a short nine miles on Thursday, and 11.5 on Saturday. Now it's time to cut back. With the Marathon less than three weeks away, my plan is to do less mileage but keep my stride so to speak. It's now a mental and physical hurdle for me. I think cutting back will be difficult. I found myself walking on a treadmill between two people running and I so wanted to start running but I knew I needed to take the day off.

This is also my last week at physical therapy. The center I go to is closing. I have mixed emotions about not going on a regular basis up until the race but my therapist said he would remain available if anything crops up before or after the end of the race. I will continue to do my physical therapy at home.

As for the home front, everyone has been sick except for me...knock on wood. Strep throat, pneumonia and colds are running rampant. My laundry is out of control, the dust bunnies are now attacking, and I am having a hard time keeping everyone's schedule straight. I went to pick up my daughter at track and forgot she already had a ride! I'm actually ready to run this race and get back some time so things can get back to being more organized in my house.

Monday, March 26, 2012

20 Mile Run! – Angela

What an awesome run! I ran my 20 miles with a lot of hesitation but I was so excited to see so many runners out on Saturday morning. My husband and son dropped me off in Hopkinton and to my surprise, I saw so many running groups with the same plan. Sacony had tents at the start line along with at least 10 port a johns. I even saw Tedy Bruschi and his wife running. Along the running path, there were so many supporters that handed out water, Gatorade and small snacks for all the runners. This was so inspiring. I must admit that my hamstring is still bothering me but I completed my run without much pain. My meal the night before was grilled chicken and rice and the morning of the run was a bagel. Not enough food…I was STARVING once I hit 12 miles. I am not a fan of the GU but I had some bubble gum, which gave me a sugar burst. So now that I have completed the 20-mile run, I realize that the night before I need to load up on more carbs and eat more in the morning. My plan is to attend an information session on Monday night on running the Marathon, which will provide nutrition information. I definitely need to figure out what foods will work for me since I am not a big fan of pasta. Overall, I am looking forward to Marathon Monday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Motivation Kicking In – Kirsty

This past week I've been trying to continue my training on the elliptical (I was still on my two-week hiatus from running for plantar fasciitis). I have to admit that I have struggled with motivation this past week combined with a horrible cold that went from my head to my chest. Standing on the elliptical for a couple of hours has been my limit…I just have a hard time staring at the wall for more than two hours. I am trying music and tried to visualize where I would be on the Marathon route but it is like time goes way more slowly on that piece of equipment. I also had a good grumble with my neighbor yesterday morning. She is also running the Marathon and just developed shin splints.

I've been continuing physical therapy twice a week and I can say that after two weeks of no running, taping my foot every day, inserts in my sneakers and twice daily stretching and icing that it is feeling a little better. I still have a hard time if I do a lot of walking or standing on my feet (or three hours of yard work!), but it is not nearly as bad as the day I ran 13 miles and then couldn't take a step.

This past weekend I progressed to 30 minutes of alternating one minute running/one minute walking. I was psyched to get back on the road but once I started I found it very hard to get back in a rhythm. I think it was the alternating walking/jogging and the inserts in my shoes but I just couldn't get into a good pace. I debated about just jogging the whole way but figured I should follow physical therapist’s orders or I would be taking a step backwards.

My motivation seems to have kicked in a little today. I think picking up my lovely shirt from Public Affairs (thank you!) helped renew my spirit so tomorrow I am going to put that shirt on and do my 30 minutes followed by two hours on the elliptical or maybe the bike for some variety. I can't fix my heel overnight but I can certainly make sure I am fit enough to do this Marathon!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Super Crazy Week – Danielle

Not too much to report this week other than things are super crazy at my house. Training for the Marathon and handling everything at home with the three kids, their busy schedules and work on top has made me realize that it is good thing there is an end in sight. I am enjoying my runs despite everything though. I was not super thrilled when my daughter Grace announced that she was going to join the track team, which added to the craziness but agreed to it anyway. So with five soccer practices, four soccer games, five track practices, two to three days working, two physical therapy appointments per week on top of just the everyday stuff, I decided the only thing I can do is take a deep breath and run with it (no pun intended). I know the Marathon will be here in about four weeks and hopefully I will get a few hours of time back to myself to
reduce the craziness in my life right now.

On a bit of a sad note, we experienced another loss in my family, my uncle, my mom's brother, passed away Sunday. She of course is still trying to deal with the loss of my dad. I head up to Maine yet again for another funeral.

On a happier note, I continue to run three times a week and do some strength training two to three days per week. My youngest came down with pneumonia this past week, so fitting in my three runs got a bit tricky. I was thankful for my sitter who kindly came over short notice so I could keep my running schedule half way normal. My physical therapy has definitely been a huge help in regards to my body awareness and body mechanics. I was saddened to find out that the place I go to is closing in about four weeks but I'm thankful that it should be open until Marathon day. My runs this week included a 14-mile run, a six-mile run and a 21-mile run that I did in three hours and 12 minutes. I have no idea what is good time or bad but all in all, I was happy with my accomplishment. I was also feeling good about tolerating the energy beans during my long run. They are very easy to carry along but my biggest complaint is that chewing jelly beans and running really isn't as easy as it sounds. I was a bit worried about aspirating these darn things, but they work, so they will be with me on the big day and if something happens and I start to choke, I'm certain with all the people around, someone will save me!!

My goal this week, add another one to two miles to my long run. This is where I want to be pre-marathon, at 22 to 23 miles. I also plan on putting my patch on my running jersey this week and finding someone to scan a picture of my dad on the shirt as well. Lastly, I am working on my Marathon music list. Right now I have too many slower songs and I think it’s dragging me down. Time to step it up a beat or two! I'm starting to get very excited for the big day! See everyone next week.

Reality Check – Joellyn

I have been slacking on my blog! I think it’s because I don’t have a lot to report on. I haven’t done a long run since the 20 miles in Salem. I do plan to run 20+ miles tomorrow on the Esplanade. I can’t get enough of this nice weather and running outside. This will be my last long run until
the race, hooray! Time to start tapering off.

I have been running shorter distances in faster times as well as working out at Shipley. I have had some pain in my hip so I have been holding off the longer runs to give it some time to heal. The pain seems to be gone and that’s why I’m going for the 20 tomorrow. I had a reality check this morning when I was talking to Kristy Leigh Berksza at the gym. She asked how many more Fridays until the race? FOUR, and I don’t mean golf! Only four more and then it will be time to
run those 26.2 miles that we have been training for. Part of me can’t wait but the other part of me is freaking out. Kristy reminded me of how great I will feel when it’s over and it truly is something to be proud of.

I have been obsessed with running for the past three months. I wake up and I think ok, how far do I have to run today. What’s my plan for the week? How many miles? How fast? As we get closer to the race I’m thinking about what I’m going to wear or what will I do with my hair. Yes, I really do think about that. When you are running 20 miles you think about a lot of
things. I think will I run after the Marathon? Do I ever want to run another marathon again? What will I do will all this free time when the Marathon is over? All these crazy thoughts run through my head and whole lot more.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Family Cold Virus – Danielle

This week was pretty status quo for me. I ran three times, a nine, an 11 and 17-mile run. I made no records this week and managed to catch the “family cold virus”. I was the last one down and I thought I had escaped it but by Thursday it invaded my body in good shape. I was glad that I had already done the long run of the week. I had just one last run to do which was my 11-mile loop. It was tough and I did it yesterday. It was another windy Sunday. It seems all the Sunday's since I started training have been windy. I guess it was good that it wasn't super cold out. I awoke feeling tired, my head stuffed up and knew I had a busy soccer Sunday but I also needed to get that last run in. I knew in my gut I was in for a tough run and sure enough, the minute I set out, my legs felt like they had fifty pounds weights on them and it never changed the entire run. As I was on mile eight, Michael Jackson's song “Don’t Stop Until You Get Enough” came on and all I was thinking in my head was that I had had enough already about eight miles ago. I pushed on to the end but my body took until this morning to recover.

So I start out this week a bit skeptical since my cold is lingering and I am tired. I think I'll leave the long run for the end of the week and hope by then my head has cleared of this cold nonsense. Honestly, if a cold is my only problem, I really have nothing to complain about. I wish Angela and Kirsty the best of luck getting through their injuries. Looks like Joellyn had a good week last week; congratulations on finishing two big races! Catch you all next week. I'll try to upload the patches that my daughter designed in memory of my dad. They came in the mail over the weekend and look awesome. I can't wait to put it on my running jersey.

Great Running Weather – Angela

Time waits on no one. One month and three days left! I can’t believe that the Marathon is so close. I have to say that we have been so fortunate to have such a mild winter. Yesterday was my 18-mile run and I have to say that the weather was wonderful. I continue to have some challenges with my hamstring and I did stop a couple times to walk and hydrate. Overall the run was great. My husband and son dropped me off in Hopkinton to start my 18-mile run and I ran home. It was kind of ironic because I typically run with my friend Sherwin but we slept in (time change). When my husband dropped me off, I ran right into my running group I guess time was on our side after all. My diet has been pretty good and since I am not a big fan of pasta, I had rice with chicken and white beans for dinner. Not too bad and I did feel pretty energized. This week looks like an awesome week to run and I am looking forward to running in the morning due to the unseasonable weather we are having.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Detour – Kirsty

To cut a long story short I am on a “detour” for the next two weeks – this is the description that Cody from physical therapy gave me this week for the two-week running sabbatical that I am on. I finally met up with Garth and Cody in physical therapy for an evaluation of the plantar fasciitis that had me slowed to a halt at mile 13 of my 16-mile run over a week ago. The good news is that I am cross-training on the elliptical and it doesn't seem to be bothering my plantar fasciitis too much. I am becoming good friends with my elliptical (thankfully we have one at home that we bought six years ago after my son was born – at least it is getting some use now). However, I am not altogether enthusiastic about being on it for four or five hours this weekend!

Last week I went on the elliptical twice before seeing a physical therapist. I probably spent most of last week limping and it was clear to me that there was no way I could run. I did a couple of hour-long sessions on the elliptical last week and then saw Garth for some informal physical therapy at the end of the week. I have my foot and arch taped every day and have a few stretches to do twice a day. I decided to try a short five miles on Saturday to see how it felt. I planned to do the second half on soft ground to keep any problems to a minimum. I managed the five miles but could feel myself compensating for the pain in my heel. Needless to say on Saturday evening, I couldn't even walk across my living room despite ice, stretching and Advil! On Sunday I was scheduled for a 17-mile long run so I substituted two hours on the elliptical. After getting over the boredom in the first half hour I actually enjoyed it.

On Monday, I saw Cody for a formal evaluation. It turns out I have less range of motion on my right side (the side that hurts) but it's hard to tell if it's a result of limping around for a week and a half or if that's what's causing my plantar fasciitis. I'll be seeing Cody twice a week and for now I have not to do any running for two weeks. I am obviously extremely nervous about the potential of missing all my long runs but I'm trying my best to take it one day and one week at a time. My main goal right now is to get back to running before the Marathon and at least be able to cover enough distance to feel comfortable starting the race. For now though I have to do two hours on the elliptical tomorrow and then a mammoth four to five hours this weekend. At least I'll be home and can stop for the odd refreshment and possibly put a movie on at the same time!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Itching to Run – Danielle

After a 13-mile run a week ago this past Sunday, I took three days off until my next run Thursday. I did some strength training and physical therapy in between. By Wednesday, I was itching to go running but my schedule was too crazy and I didn't have anyone to help out with my youngest. With plenty of time in between runs, I had a lot of time to think about what I was going to run on Thursday. I decided to go for the big one. It was a perfect overcast day, no wind and mild temperature. I was also looking forward to trying out my new waterproof arm band for my iPhone. I cannot run without music and the last race I did in the rain was the end of that phone for good. My plan was to run either 18.7 miles or 21.7 miles. I ran a 13-mile loop back to my house where I had left some Gatorade for hydration. I made it back, drank half the Gatorade and took off again heading for either my 5.7 loop or 8.7 mile loop. When I eventually reached the “decision” point in the run, I decided to go for it. I made it to what I call my “Heartbreak Hill”, a 3/4 mile long gradual incline at about mile 20. I just wanted to make it to the top and I eventually did but it was a killer. I had to stop after 21 miles. My muscles just wouldn't go any further but I was super happy my accomplishment.

I ran the 21 miles in three hours, four minutes. This included a much needed hop in the woods to empty my bladder and my pit stop for hydration. The route included several small inclines and I ran my 3/4 mile hill twice. I was toying with running Heartbreak Hill before the Marathon but I've decided I'd much rather not know what exactly to expect; which I think will keep my anxiety about the whole thing at bay.

I managed to pull myself together in an hour after my big run for a physical therapy session. I am finding that the more conditioned I am and the better I eat and hydrate, the less time it takes for my body to recover. I was quite sore for about 24 hours after the run but by Saturday I was itching for another run. I ran a fast paced nine and called it a day.

My biggest issue now is to figure out how to get some nourishment during running to help me finish out the last miles. My leg muscles were giving out pretty good at the end of that long run but I only drank eight ounces of fluid during the whole time. I put an order for the energy beans (they seem to get better reviews re: stomach upset). My next task is to see if they work. I'll let you know next week.

I'm heading to Maine mid-week. Looks like I may be running in some chilly weather! Wishing and hoping the best to all the other runners who were having a tough time. I hope you are all recovering and got in some good running last week.

Your Attitude is you Altitude! – Angela

I am a firm believer that if you have a negative attitude your results will be negative! I continue to maintain a positive attitude about work and my training schedule. Well, this week I managed to run my short and long run. I will continue to nurse my injury and power through my long runs. My husband rewarded my hard training with a Garmin watch, which tracks my pace and my distance (pretty cool). I am not so obsessed with my pace because I now just want to finish the Marathon strong so I completed my 12-mile run in a little over two hours. Unlike my usual runs with a running partner or with my running group, I decided to take it alone this week to be with my thoughts. I’m glad I did this because I focused on my breathing and what the week will look like for training. I typically would not do this but something about this run, I needed to be alone with my thoughts and feel good about what I am doing. With that being said, I am scheduled to run 18 miles this weekend so now I have to think about what my dinner will be since I am not a big pasta fan. I am a big fan of sweet potatoes and pumpkin muffins, which is what I had when I ran the New York so maybe some sweet potatoes and veggies with a chicken breast for dinner and pumpkin muffin/bread for breakfast before the 18-mile run?

I Can Do It! – Joellyn

I have been slacking on my blog! Let me start with Sunday February 26. I had a half marathon that day and I hadn’t done a long run in two weeks. I had never experienced a race like this. There were people everywhere, over 5000 runners. Traffic was insane getting there and the crowds weren’t much better. I managed to get my number and get to the starting area by 10:00. There were all kinds there. I saw women in tutus, a man in cut off shorts carrying a football and another running in bare feet. It was quite the people watching event and it made the 13.1 mile run go by pretty quickly. I finished in two hours eight minutes and I have to say I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for less than two hours but I guess you can’t have everything.

The rest of the week was pretty routine. Tuesday, I ran six miles during my lunch break. Thursday and Friday I did the treadmill for a half hour both days. I’m going to run outside Tuesday and Thursday this week for a total of 12 miles. On Friday I will get on the treadmill for 30 minutes and either do sprints or try to increase my pace. With the Marathon only six weeks away it’s time to add another day of running.

Let’s talk about yesterday. Yesterday was The Black Cat race in Salem, MA. It was either a 10 or 20-mile run. I signed up for the 20! I met Sherwyn and Freddie, my secret service, at Newton-Wellesley at 6:00 am. As my alarm went off at 4:30 Sunday morning, it felt like a regular work day. As I was driving to meet them I realized that I actually pay for this. We got to Salem, got all registered and were ready for the 8:00 start. I saw another tutu, a man in a kilt and a few people in tank tops and shorts. The first 10 miles there were a lot of runners. What I didn’t realize is how many people weren’t running 20 miles. It definitely thinned out and it was a little lonely. It didn’t help that the road was now open to traffic. It was a little scary running with traffic zipping by you at 40 plus miles an hour.

It took me about to mile three before I found my stride. I was averaging about a 9.2 minute mile and I was pretty happy. At mile 10 I tried some of that Power Bar Gel Kona Punch. Can you say yuck? I don’t even know how to describe it but never again. I hit the wall around mile 16. My pace slowed to around a 10-minute mile and I couldn’t seem to speed up. At that point all I wanted to do was walk but I realized that just slowing down my legs were already tightening. I knew that if I walked I would never start again. I finished the 20 miles at three hours and nine minutes and was happy to be done. I accomplished two of the three goals I had set. My first goal was to finish on my own two feet, no truck! The second was to not walk, though my 10-minute pace probably looked like I was walking. The third was to come in under three hours but I finished.

As soon as I finished I realized I had a problem. How was I going to step up onto the curb? Yes, I looked at the curb and was pretty sure it was the size of Mt. Everest. My left leg hurt, a lot! I went back to the car, changed and sat and cranked the heat. I must have sat in there for 10 minutes before I decided I should go look for Sherwyn and Freddie. I was really hoping I wasn’t going to have to walk to find them but no such luck. The three of us were all walking slow and taking inventory of the various body parts that hurt. Freddie had two big cuts on his back from where his shirt was rubbing. Sherwyn didn’t bleed but was in some pain. As soon as we got in the car, we turned the heat up full blast and it stayed that way all the way back to Newton-Wellesley. It’s amazing how cold you are right after running that long. I feel pretty good today, though my left leg still hurts a little. I know after running that 20-mile race I can do the Marathon!