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.

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