Thursday, January 31, 2013

Overwhelmed by Kindness – Kellie

This past week was a good week. I ran the Derry 16 miler and improved on my time from last year. This race is still the longest distance I've accomplished. I now know I can make it from Hopkinton to Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Being a newbie marathoner, I'm relieved to have a good base to work from. It's also a comfort knowing those 16 miles were hillier and colder than the first 16 miles of the marathon will be. I ran into Radiology marathon running legend Freddy Sanchez at mile five. It was great to see him. He gave me some encouraging words and was there waiting for me at the finish. I have a lot of work ahead of me but I'm more hopeful than ever that I can do this.

Originally I was more intimidated by the fundraising portion of being on team Newton-Wellesley than I was of the marathon itself. I'm overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the Radiology Department as well as everyone in Maternal Fetal Medicine. All I did was bribe them with candy and snacks, and they met my goal within a week. More importantly than my personal goal in fundraising is that this will go to a very worthy cause. I can't imagine what it must be like to not only have to fight cancer, but to keep up with all other life responsibilities. The Integrated Support Services at the Vernon Cancer Center work to make life as normal as possible for patients and families going through this long battle. I can't thank everyone enough. Although I've been asked to stop bringing in candy because they are tempted to eat it ;) I may have to think of another form of bribery.

On Running in the Freezing Cold – Vanessa

Last week my training plan had me running three shorter runs and one 13 miler for a total of about 30 miles. This means I spent roughly 255 minutes in the freezing cold by choice! Some might call this stupid or downright dangerous, but you have to remember that I was born and raised in Minnesota where we buy treads not only for our tires but also our tennis shoes. We don’t let snow and ice bring us down, mostly because we have no choice.

Sure, it's cold and the first mile is usually 100% miserable, but it's also peaceful and refreshing. The path along the Charles isn't crawling with tourists, cyclists and families of six on rollerblades. It's just me and a few other 'crazy runners' who choose not to let the weather get them down. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst us Winter Warriors, even if it is admittedly harder to convey given every inch of our faces are covered by face masks. Even still, I always smile.

After years of running in Minnesota, I've learned a few things about training safely in the snow:
1) Dress warm, but not too warm to avoid sweatsicles. Even though it may be below freezing and you’ll be tempted to layer it all on, you can and will overheat under four layers of fleece, three pairs of socks, two hats and wool mittens. This will make you sweat and each bead of sweat will turn into an icicle the moment you start your cool down. Sweat + Ice= Sweatsicles.

2) If it's dark bring a friend, reflective gear and/or a head lamp. Winter darkness is dark and cars won't be on the lookout for joggers the way they are in the summer. Plus everyone looks cool in a headlamp… right?

3) Watch your step: Black ice is a pain in the butt. Literally. The minute you lose focus and assume the pavement peaking out from under the snow is dry, you will slip and fall and cars waiting at the stoplight in front of you will laugh for the entire duration of the red light. Trust me.

Although I’ve mastered the art of running in the cold, I am admittedly relieved to see the milder temps forecasted for my 14-miler this weekend. It will be my longest training run yet—wish me luck!

A Greater Purpose – Laura

I meet with Dan Destin, Shipley Center Manager. He is so knowledgeable and supportive! He remembers everyone who ran last year and their approach and ability level. He is a basketball player. He emphasizes the importance of cross training as opposed to over training, which is a mistake he has seen in the past.

I’m worried about finding sponsors. I have recently asked all of my friends and family for donations to raise money for an event to support finding a cure for cancer. I don’t feel like I can ask them again so soon. To my great surprise, in less than a week I have commitments from five sponsors. The linking of a charitable pursuit with physical endurance transforms this experience from simple self indulgence to adding greater harmony to the universe.

The message I receive is: there really is such thing as too much of a good thing. Balance in all things is essential for the best outcome. And that the charity of others has no boundaries.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Never Looking Back – Ivan

My name is Ivan, I am 34 years old and I love to run. I have been running since 2007. Before this I used to only cycle, then in 2006 I was hit by a car and shattered my hip. I was told that I was not going to be able to run nor would I be able to walk without the assistance of a cane. It would be six months to start weight bearing. But I wasn’t going to let this injury take over my life. So after a year of figuring things out, I registered to participate in a 70.3 Ironman race. I fell in love with endurance sports and have never looked back. I have participated in half Iron distance races, half marathons and a full marathon.

I am running the Boston Marathon to inspire all those around me, to keep them motivated and show them that anything is possible. Along the way I hope I can help people in need. I am also running to help support the Vernon Cancer Center. The 2013 will be my second marathon ever. I also participated in the 2012 Boston Marathon.

As a father of two young beautiful children, husband and restaurant manager, it gets complicated to be able to commit to my training, so I have to manage my time incredibly tight. I don’t have a lot of free time but every little that I do, I try to be with my family. For the most part my training doesn’t affect my life, it actually makes it better. My daughter, now 5, wants to train with me and I am giving a great example to her and others as well.

It is my hope that I can get the mileage in a safe manner and not miss too many workouts. I worry that my nutrition is going to be off. On race day I want to have done all that I can to get me to the finish line.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Boston Here I Come - Vanessa

My name is Vanessa Supple and I am a Clinical Dietitian here at NWH. I started out here as an intern and was hired on this summer. I have been dreaming of running the Boston Marathon for years now and I almost can’t believe it is finally happening. This is going to be so fun!

I started running in college to balance out the copious amounts of pizza and burritos I consumed. I started with slow, painful one mile jog/walks but eventually learned to love the sport. After college, I joined a running team and began training for races… first 5Ks, then 10Ks, a few half marathons and finally my first full marathon in 2011.

I believe you can split a room of marathon runners down the middle based on one simple question: Will you ever run a marathon again? Many will answer “Heck NO! I crossed this off my bucket list and I am d-o-n-e!” But the rest of us? We’re hooked. My first words as I crossed the finish line at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2011 were “That was crazy hard… I want to do it again.” Some people call it crazy, I call it fun.

Running Twin Cities meant a lot to me as I was born and raised in Minneapolis. The entire course was lined with friends, family and team members cheering me on. Boston was next on my list to conquer for the same reason. I’ve been living here for four years and have made this city feel like home. Running to the heart of this city I love with the support of the local community for all 26.2 miles is a great way to celebrate my life here… plus it’s a great excuse to explore new brunch spots after long runs on the weekends!

The only fear I have as training begins is injury. It took me two years to get my first marathon as I had to sit the first year out after stress fracturing my hip and pelvis with overtraining. I do NOT recommend stress fractures. They are no fun. That being said, my training plan this year is to take it easy. Focus on stretching, strength training and cross-training and forget about time. My goal is to finish strong and stress fracture free.

In addition to my physical training, I will of course be focused on fueling my body properly—I am a dietitian after all! Learning to stay hydrated and get enough calories without bingeing on ice cream after 16-mile runs can be difficult, but I plan to listen to my body and make choices that will support quality runs and overall health… with the occasional trip to JP Licks when I need a boost :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Challenge Seeker – Kellie

Hello readers! My name is Kellie and I'm an Ultrasound Technologist. I work in Radiology and Maternal Fetal Medicine. I came to Newton-Wellesley Hospital 10 years ago as a student. Ten years have gone by fast. Back in the day I could be seen in the smoking section during my lunch break. Less than two years ago I wasn't running at all except when chased or to get out of the rain. I was beginning to envy friends who were more active and doing obstacle races and other adventurous things. I decided it was time for a change. I have an abundance of inspirational friends in my life that really helped me get over the hump toward healthy living and soon I put down the butts and started running. I signed up for one 5k obstacle race and soon I was signing up for Tough Mudders, Super Spartans (8+mile obstacle race) 10ks, half-marathons, a 16miler and the hardest one of all so far, the Spartan Beast (12+mile crazy obstacle race). It's gotten a bit addictive. I can't seem to stop myself from seeking out new challenges that I'm nowhere near ready for.

I have yet to run a marathon but I know I have the mental endurance to complete one. The Beast took me eight hours and was a completely different kind of race, but it proved to me my mind will keep my body going for long periods of time. The longest running race I've completed was the Derry 16miler in 2012 about eight months from when I started running. It took me three hours to complete. With a cutoff of six hours for the marathon, I should make it. My goal is to finish the marathon. My second goal is to finish it in less than five hours. My third goal when I started writing this was to not sign up for anymore marathons but I already failed and signed up for one in November on my 40th birthday. Maybe I can outrun turning 40? I guess not but it will be a scenic adventure in the Moab trail in Utah. Midlife crisis I suppose.

I used to read the announcements about entering the marathon drawing and think how great it would be to do something like that....then I'd delete it. One reason I decided not to delete it this year is because I'm lazy, so lazy that if I hadn't gotten picked to do this I'm sure I wouldn't train for it. I probably wouldn't run at all. I mean it's winter for crying out loud! I'd either have to run outside in the cold or even worse, run inside on the dreadmill! The only way I'm doing any of that is if I'm obligated to do it and blog about doing it. So I decided throwing my name in the hat would be a win win situation. I'd either get picked and win my battle against winter hibernation/laziness or I wouldn't get picked and I'd get to hibernate and be lazy.

Since finding out I was picked to run the marathon, I haven't been lazy....well I've had some lazy days but I haven't allowed myself more than two per week. I'm working on cutting that down to one. I've been running three to four days per week and including one long run, a run with hill repeats (I live on a beastly hill), an hour long dreadmill interval run and an easy run of around five miles. Although no run is ever really easy for me. I know I'm supposed to do an "easy" run so the one I feel I suffer the least doing I've nominated as my easy run. On my days of not running and not being lazy, I alternate between an hour on the elliptical or any other cardio machine that will give my legs a break from the impact of running but still keep my muscles going. After my cardio at the gym days, I work on my core and upper body. Every once in a while I hire Horace to give me a boost (TORTURE ME!) with strength training. I've heard it's important to have a strong core going into a marathon. I had hoped all my layers around my core would just fall right off from all this running but apparently that won't work and I still have to do planks and other horrible abdominal exercises.

All this training hasn't really affected my home life. I have it easy right now. I'm a single parent to an amazingly responsible and self-sufficient 18 year old male. He goes to school then works until 10:00 pm on the same days I work. I work four ten hour days. I get out around 6:00 pm, hit gym and usually get home just after 8:00 pm and he doesn't miss me because he's not home yet either way. Then I get to have three-day weekends to take care of everything at home and make up for being an absentee parent.

I've signed up for some long races between now and April including the Boston Prep 16miler, The Half at the Hampton's half-marathon and the Black Cat 20miler. I'm so happy these races are available and local. I find it very difficult to run beyond 10 miles without water stations and other people to run with. I also need to find a long route with bathrooms along the way. I'll wait to talk about that struggle when we know each other better. Thank you Newton-Wellesley Hospital for giving me this opportunity!

In memory of Gena Brown, a coworker/friend who was an inspiration to all who knew her.

In the Moment – Laura

I get the email from Juanita Trigilio that my number was selected in the raffle to gain entry as a charity runner in the Boston Marathon this year. I’m in! I am euphoric. Ironically, I have an annual follow up in two days that will confirm whether or not I am still cancer free. Either way, I will still be running in this marathon.

There will be no training plans, gadgets or running logs. I will use the marathon to become completely aware of my body and how I am feeling. I will run the distance that feels right at the pace that feels right. This exercise will help me to achieve better self awareness, which will result in the ability to optimize my potential in all things. I am looking forward to a structure-free marathon training schedule.

You shall ”run and not grow weary.” (Isaiah 40) has always been one of my favorite verses. It defines the goal I have for this marathon: to be completely in the moment, free from physical pain and rely on my faith and the physical body I was blessed with to make this a reality. I will search for themes that translate from training to life.

The pleasure of starting to run on a regular basis is exquisite. I run three miles the first day, then six the following day, then four the next. The sensation of taking a deep breath free from any pain or discomfort evokes gratitude with each breath. I mentally thank the surgeon who made this possible. One feels gratitude most if something that has been taken away is then returned.