Friday, April 20, 2012

An Incredible Experience - Joellyn

I finished!! Monday was really an incredible experience. From the moment I got on the bus to go to Hopkinton to the moment I crossed the finish line. WOW, it was hot. All I could do was lather up in sun block and try and stay hydrated. At mile seven was when I started to have a mental breakdown. I realized because of the heat I was going to have to make adjustments. One of the adjustments was the fact that I would have to walk. I had never had to walk while I was running and I was having a hard time with that. I knew walking was going to slow me down considerably and it would take longer to finish. I knew I had to make a decision, quit or accept reality? I couldn’t let everyone down, especially myself. I trained four months for this moment and I had to finish. After I came to terms with that, it got easier mentally. Every time I passed over the tracking devices I thought I’m still alive and still moving.  Before I knew it I was in front of the Hospital and I knew I was almost there. Surprisingly enough Heartbreak Hill wasn’t that bad. After two more miles I saw my family. There was my husband, kids, my parents and my brother cheering me on. I high fived them all and kept going. Before I knew it there was the finish line and I was so happy. I remember crossing the finish line and being so proud of myself for setting a goal and completing it. As I hobbled along I got my foil liner, my legs were actually numb, and then I saw Freddie. He gave me a bug hug and I realized I had really done it and actually survived. 

I would like to take a moment to talk about the people I saw. The first person I saw was Robin Hood, hat with feather and all. I saw someone in a tutu and a tiara. I saw two different people in cheeseburger costumes, really? The best of the day though was the man in the short sleeved brown shirt. I would like to say he had more on than that but not much. It seems he wanted to run in a thong. Yes, that’s right a thong. I thought maybe I was hallucinating but no I was really looking at his butt.  Ha, classic!!!!
The last four months have been an incredible experience. When I look back at the things I have accomplished in those months it is truly amazing. I trained and completed the Boston Marathon. I blogged. I started back for my master's, which I got an A in the first class. And I managed to maintain a somewhat normal home life for my family.

The question I get now is will you run another marathon and what’s next? My answer to that is I don’t know. Next up is the Ruckus in June and I will continue my running. I’m thinking of doing a half marathon in Las Vegas in December. My husband may run it, I guess if you can’t beat them join them! Freddie and Sherwyn are now talking about doing the Goofy Run in Disney next year. A marathon through Disney? Now that may be fun.
I want to thank my husband and kids for putting up with me for the last four months. I know the training was hard on them but they supported me the whole way and never complained. Though on Saturday my husband looked at me and then at my feet and said “you’re lucky I love you, your feet are nasty.” Ha! Thanks to all my friends and family for everything, from start to finish you were there for me. Thanks to Freddie Sanchez for all the running he did with me and all the advice along the way. Thanks to Daniel Destin for even putting the thought in my head to run the Marathon. I can’t forget to thank Jouel and Rich, team telecom, for always giving me that extra push I needed.  Thanks to everyone at Newton-Wellesley for the words of encouragement before and after the race. It was amazing to me how many people knew I was running and then tracked me during the race. I also, want to thank everyone who was at the race cheering the runners on. If it wasn’t for you, I may not have finished. From the people who had hoses to cool the runners off, to the ones with ice or oranges, to the ones who were just there cheering, thank you!!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Boston Marathon Priceless! - Angela

After months of training, I am happy to report that I completed the Marathon injury fee! I knew that there were many warnings out to defer the race until next year because of the heat but….no way was I going to quit due to a little warm weather. Sunday night, I was nervous. I ate as much as I could without feeling stuffed. I drank plenty of water and a bottle of Gatorade before bed. I even consulted with my neighbor who has run several Boston Marathons and listened to all of his advice on hydrating the night before and drinking more Gatorade in the morning. I decided to spend the night at a friend’s house in Hopkinton so that I wouldn’t have to get up so early and actually slept through the night. Monday morning I ate banana pumpkin bread and a spoon full of peanut butter. I was still a little nervous and couldn’t stomach much more than that.

With so many runners at the start, I gradually picked up my pace. I can’t say that the heat didn’t affect me because it did. Thank God for the kindness of strangers with water hoses, bags of ice, orange slices and bananas along the route. I made a pact with my running partner Sherwyn Rocke that we would run at a slower pace and well we did. By the time I hit mile 23, I was done. I thought to myself, really 3.6 more to go! Ugggg! The crowd will get you going and totally motivated me to the finish along with my fellow runners who also looked as though they were starving for the finish line. After four hours and 30 minutes of walking, running and a little dancing with the local musicians, I finished! I am so grateful to Newton-Wellesley Hospital for this opportunity and can now say that I ran the Boston Marathon in extreme heat and finished strong! What a tremendous experience this has been for me and for my family.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finished! – Danielle

I'm happy to report that I finished the Boston Marathon in 4:01:32 and I made it in one piece. Thanks to all my family and friends for supporting me with donations and words of encouragement! I hope all the Newton-Wellesley team members faired well in the heat. Boy it was HOT!! Thank you Newton-Wellesley for giving me such an awesome experience. It truly was amazing.

I learned and saw a lot yesterday in those four hot hours. I figured I'd share a few. One, I had no problem peeing myself the entire race (sorry if this is too much information for some). Not all clear liquids are water (I dumped an electrolyte solution on my head). When you throw water on your face, hold your breath or risk drowning. Braiding your long hair doesn't guarantee a good hair day. The crowds the entire course are phenomenal and unrelenting cheering you on! A runner's callous is kind of like a good friend but a phantom runner running up Heartbreak Hill with you is truly a best friend (thank you to my brother-in-law Jason Kipp for jumping in!). Better yet, the phantom runner telling you, “You are running up Heartbreak” and you didn't even know it, then realizing it is not bad at all, priceless! My kids running down the back side of Heartbreak making me laugh all the way. It made me so proud they were my kids (thank you Grace and Jack Taber). The hills of Boston are easier than the hills I trained on (thank you Hopkinton, RI and Clark Falls, CT). Of course running up those hills today is NOT on my agenda! I hate Lemon/Lime Gatorade and now I do even more. Putting the song “Push It” on my Marathon mix was genius – especially when it ironically came on right as I hit the “one more mile to go” sign (thank you to my friend Brian Caron). A shower close by the finish line after you realize you smell like a backed up septic system is a God send (thank you to my sister, Andrea and her husband for staying in town). The thought about hiring someone to remove my running gear from the laundry bag has crossed my mind. Going downstairs the day after the race is more torture than the race itself. Lastly, when I thought I was getting tired, someone from above was pushing me on (thank you, dad; must of been your handkerchief I held for all 26.2 miles!!). Thank you to my husband, Steve and my children, Grace, Jack and Lidia who have put up with all this from the beginning and were there at the end!

As I drove home from Boston yesterday exhausted, I thought to myself, I can't imagine doing another marathon. Today I'm thinking, if it would have been a cooler day, I think I could have met the qualifying time of 3:45:00 as my pace in the heat was 30-45 seconds more per mile. I wasn't disappointed at all in my time though, and very grateful I am not suffering any ill affects from the heat, but I am thinking that a qualifying race may be close in my future!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chance of a Lifetime - Joellyn

Things have been crazy lately with the race fast approaching. I have not be running as long or as much, trying to give my legs a break. It’s weird to not run over 16 miles on the weekend now, I feel a little lost. Everyday I have an urge to run because I think I have to. It’s what I have done for four months and it will be a hard mental habit to break. I will never stop running just not as much.

We are days away from the race and I can’t wait. Everyone wants to know if I’m ready? Well, it has been a long four months of training. I can honestly say that I have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into preparing for this moment. I have run who knows how many miles and gone through two pairs of sneakers. I have had to sacrifice family time to do my long runs. I have missed nights out with my friends because I had a race the next day. I cut back on classes for school so I could accommodate my running schedule. I have trained in 10 degree weather and now 70 degree weather. My body has taken a beating and I would do it all over again. The chance of a lifetime is days away and I couldn’t me more ready.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Final Stretch!! - Angela

Well this has been quite a journey for me and I am very grateful for all of the family and friend support as I trained for the honor of running in the Boston Marathon. I can’t say that this has been easy but I will say that when you set your mind to something and your determined to follow through it is amazing what you can accomplish. As I reflect back to when I was first notified that my name was picked to run, I was very excited. Although I just completed a marathon a couple of months prior and I hadn’t completely recovered, I knew that this was an opportunity of a lifetime and I would do whatever it took to train for it. I am sure that there are many stories on why and how people are running the Marathon and all of the challenges they faced during their training. My training and challenges do not even compare. But I will say that without the support of my husband who continues to encourage me I probably would not have come this far. So in closing, I want to wish all the fellow runners good luck on Monday. Pray for great weather! Get lots of rest this week and remember mind over matter – If you don’t mind it won’t matter…

Monday, April 2, 2012

Final Two Weeks - Danielle

I started out last week hoping to run my last long run on Monday. I woke up that morning and quickly realized that my legs felt a bit tired, not sure from what though. I still set out as usual and as I expected, my long run turned into a shorter, 14.5-mile run. I was somewhat disappointed and looking at the week ahead, I had no time to re-attempt the long run until Sunday. I felt somewhat defeated but planned to try again Sunday. I told my woes to my friends at work and of course by the end of the day, I had gotten words of encouragement and reinforcement. I definitely left feeling much better than I did arriving.

Like Joellyn, I am having some regular dreams (or should I say nightmares) about the Marathon. I have had the "I can't get to the starting line, no matter how hard I try" dream. I've had the "I can't find my sneakers or number the day of the race" dream. I have also had the "I grab the
wrong sneakers the day of the race" dream. So needless to say, the psychological aspect of the run is in full swing!

I managed to squeeze in nine miles Thursday and let my legs rest until Sunday. I set out to run a long run early that morning and did 21.3 miles. That felt good under my belt so to speak. As I ran, I thought of how many miles my sneakers had run, where they had run and what I had seen. The country roads are horrible, I've seen many hills - up and down, I've seen cows, horses, goats; I've seen a lot of "road kill" including a tail of what likely was attached to a squirrel at one time. I've run by manure piles...need I say more. And let's not forget the several stormings of random unleashed dogs. I've returned home with the bottom of my sneakers smelling worse that my daughter's shin guards (and let me tell you, those things smell bad)! All in all, I would say it has been a good journey, interesting, but good.

My week ended in a farewell to my physical therapist. The facility was shut down permanently on Friday. I was sad to leave having a few weeks until the Marathon but Justin has done me well. I ran the miles and he helped me build the "hard body" to endure them. My last request before I left was for he and I to do planks together. He agreed to be a good sport!

So in the final two weeks before the Marathon, I'm going to keep moving and taper as planned. I'll be praying for no major changes in the weather as well.