Organic Runner Mom

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Boston Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Boston Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Boston Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Digging deep and going for it at the Boston Marathon 2016

I am finally ready to write about the Boston Marathon 2016! It is hard to believe that my experience of running the Boston Marathon with Team Stonyfield has come and gone. My training journey, Boston race weekend and running the 26.2 miles were such an important emotional journey for me this year.

I hadn’t run the marathon since 2014 where I had run after re-qualifying in 2013 the day that explosions rocked the marathon finish line. In 2014 I need to run for the simple reason of showing myself that I could do it again and I would be safe but emotionally I was not ready to actually race again. When I ran in 2014 I struggled with my emotions throughout the training and especially on race day where I felt almost as though I was running outside of my body. I was running but I just couldn’t “feel” the run. I was too wrapped up in feeling scared and just getting through the race. During the race I had several emotional breakdowns including at mile 8 upon spying several runners for  TEAM MR8 (running for Martin Richards). I felt paralyzed when I saw them and had to break my stride to walk. Tears streamed down my face and I felt as though I couldn’t catch my breath. I felt overwhelmed by the crowds and the experience. The race continued on like this for miles. I felt like i could not control my breathing, my heart rate felt high and I just wanted the race to be over. Running down Boylston Street towards the finish line was exciting yet terrifying. I had completed the race but would everything be ok? After crossing the finish line that year I was quickly ushered into the med tent. I kept feeling like I might pass out from, the heat, and the exertion but also from the anxiety. My heart rate was high and I was dehydrated so I was given a cot to lay on and was checked out to see if I was ok. Most importantly a counselor who was on hand was there to speak with me who allowed me to sob and to let my grief flow out in gasping tears and sobs. The weight of 2013 finally releasing in a rush.

This year was a year for me take back the Boston Marathon. I was going to run and I was going to find joy in my run and I was going to celebrate the Boston Marathon for all that it is. After a solid training cycle where I ran mostly on my own I felt mentally stronger and physically stronger than I had felt in a long time. This year we made the Boston Marathon weekend a family affair. Rather than staying outside of the city we actually stayed right in Boston at the Copley Plaza Hotel right near the finish line and also the Marathon Host Hotel.

The kids were in love with the famous (now retired) lab, Catie Copley, the Copley Plaza Hotel Black Lab

The kids were in love with the famous (now retired) lab, Catie Copley, the Copley Plaza Hotel Black Lab

The kids loved staying in such a fancy hotel and especially love Catie Copley, the hotel black lab who greeted everyone coming in. I loved seeing all of the runners even some of the elites including Desi Linden who wasn’t racing but was there for the race. It was so convenient to be right near the finish line and also near the convention center for the Expo and Registration. I was actually happy this year to be close to all of the race festivities because it made it easy with our family as it gave Organic Runner Dad and the kids a home base that was close to the race and also because I was it made it easy to participate in the race festivities, to see friends and to get to the buses to get to the start of the race on race morning ( I will share some of the other cool moments of the race weekend in another post).

Family dinner on race night and then, "We're off to see the wizard!"

Family dinner on race night and then, “We’re off to see the wizard!”

The night before the marathon we had a fun family evening with dinner (carbo loading for me) seeing The Wizard of Oz which was great because I was off my feet. The kids loved the show and it was fun and relaxing.

Excited for The Wizard of Oz

Excited for The Wizard of Oz

We got back to the hotel not too late and while I felt a little race jittery I was excited to run. We put the kids to bed, they snuggled their Boston Marathon Unicorns named Spike and after some typical sibling squawking, wished me good luck as I would be up before they would in the morning and then they quieted down.

Flat Sandy

Flat Sandy

Then I got my race day outfit ready, laid out my race bib and my race fuel and crawled into bed. My nerves weren’t too bad and I actually enjoyed a fantastic night of sleep. I didn’t need to get up too early since I was running with Team Stonyfield which put us in one of the last waves. Sarah and I (Run Far Girl and also Team Stonyfield) planned to meet up on the Common to ride the bus to the start together.

Picture perfect marathon day. Swan Boats in Boston Common

Picture perfect marathon day. Swan Boats in Boston Common

When I woke up I put on my race day out fit, pinned on my race bib and checked the weather one last time, the forecast was still warmer than desired but not much you can do about that. I had plenty of time to get breakfast at the hotel so I headed down to the restaurant expecting it to be crowded instead finding it quiet which was just perfect. I ate a hearty bowl of steel cut oats with fresh fruit and brown sugar, saving my banana and bagel for time in Athlete’s Village. After breakfast I head outside greeted by mild temperature and runners in all shapes and sizes making a pilgrimage to the buses. I got to the Common a little early, found a quiet bench overlooking the Swan Boats and sat for a few minutes and visualized my race. The sun was already beginning to feel warm.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

I finally met up with Sarah and we got on the school bus (The last time we did so together was at the Eastern States 20 Miler). You could feel the nervous energy on the bus but I felt surprisingly calm. It was so nice to be with Sarah and our conversation kept my mind off of the upcoming miles. I felt like I was talking too much but I was feeling excited and ready to run.

Welcome to Athlete's Village in Hopkinton, MA

Welcome to Athlete’s Village in Hopkinton, MA

Hurry up and wait! We made it to Athlete's Village

Hurry up and wait! We made it to Athlete’s Village

The bus arrived at the Athlete’s Village and Sarah and I remarked how oddly similar the day and the surroundings felt to that at the start Eastern States. However when we stepped off the bus the temperature was shocking. It had gotten hot and the sky was clear blue. Hmmmm . . . definitely not ideal for running a marathon. Thankfully there was ample room in the shade under the tent where we waited, stretched and counted the ridiculous number of GU packets between both of us.

GU for days!

GU for days!

We also braved the porto-potty lines which never fail when you have a nervous stomach before a race. Being with a friend made the wait seem easy. While we waited I ate a bagel and had a Clif Organic Energy Food puch and drank some water. Sarah and I both had our race goals but keep our conversation light and sharing some laughs was the perfect pre-race plan. Finally it was time to head to the start. We were both quieter now and getting prepped to run. Sarah and I exchanged one final hug wished each other good luck and I did my ritual shoe retying twice to make sure they were just the right tightness. It was hot, I was already starting to sweat.

Heading to the corrals and it is hot!!!!

Heading to the corrals and it is hot!!!!

The starting gun went off and we walked. There were so many people ahead of us, it took awhile to reach the starting mats. And then a chorus of watch beeps as we crossed the mats. I told Sarah good luck but then it took awhile for her to move away from me. Trying to settle into any kind of a pace that was part of the race plan was impossible. Being mixed in with the corporate runners and the charity runners meant that I was not necessarily running with runners who ran my pace. I tried running to the side of the course to move around runners which was also difficult due to the number of spectators. I decided to forgo looking at my watch for awhile and figured my pacing would get back on track soon. My original goal was to break 3:30 so I kept that in the back of my mind and focused on running.

Miles 1-4: 8:34, 8:28, 8:12, 7:59

I don't usually do this but I had to capture the moment just this once!

I don’t usually do this but I had to capture the moment just this once!

I finally had a solid min/mile pace average for mile 4 but I was already starting to feel the heat and my legs felt heavy. Where was the light spring in my step that I had felt on most training runs. Hitting 7:59 min/mile pace felt hard whereas on most of my training runs that kind of pacing had felt effortless. By mile 4.5 I was ready to have a GU which was way earlier than usual. I was ready for some carbs and a caffeine boost. I had already been taking in water and gatorade at every station because with the stifling heat and humid air I knew it would be pretty easy for me to get dehydrated.

Miles 5-10: 8:03, 7:54, 8:01, 8:14, 8:09

Working.

Working.

These miles felt ok. My pacing was a little better but I just felt tight and the heat made my breathing feel somewhat labored. My legs were grateful for the gradual downhill and flatness of the course. I try to keep my energy up by focusing on the crowds. I listened to the cheering and high fived the little kids that I saw with their hands eagerly out. I tried to find someone to follow who looked as though their running was relaxed but it seemed as though many people were struggling. I could taste the salt on my face and was thankful for the orange slices, ice and wet cloths being handed out. I also made sure to grab some extra Clif Shots from the volunteers fearing that I might bonk later if i ran out of fuel because I seemed to be burning through everything very quickly. During mile 8 I remembered how emotionally challenging that mile had been for me in 2014 so I focused on each foot-strike and the cheers from the crowd. My legs were also grateful for the gradual downhill and flatness of the course.

Miles 11-15:  8:31, 8:13, 8:20, 8:30, 8:35

Halfway point! 13.1 miles finally!

Halfway point! 13.1 miles finally!

This is where the race started to get challenging. My legs were feeling heavy and it was so hot that I was taking water and gatorade at each stop and also dumping water on my head to try to stay cool. There was not much shade at all. Also, the wind was picking up and it was not a tailwind like so many runners hope for in a road race, it was a nasty headwind that while felt a little bit cooling was making it tough to keep fast forward motion. Now I felt like I was fighting my way through the run. I was so happy to finally reach the half marathon point in 1:48 which was still a decent time for halfway but at that point I knew that my goal of going for a sub 3:30 marathon time was probably not going to happen. For that to happen I was going to need a serious boost of energy. I started to feel negative at this point as the running did not feel smooth and light as it had at the Eastern States 20 Miler. During these miles I decided to forgo looking at my splits. I thought about elite runner Tina Muir who I got to meet at the Rise. Run. Retreat. in the fall who talked about how its good to run without looking at your watch all the time. Sometimes you need to just run by feel and let your body find the pace. I looked to the cheering from the crowds to get me through and they didn’t disappointing as I ran through the Wellesley College “Scream Tunnel.” It took my mind off of running and I had a good chuckle as I watched one runner try to kiss as many runners as he could as he ran by. The signs the girls held up were pretty hilarious too!

Miles 16-20: 8:16, 9:14, 9:08, 8:40, 8:50

Terrible form trying to survive the heat and Heartbreak Hill

Terrible form trying to survive the heat and Heartbreak Hill

Now the real work was beginning as we headed into the first real set of hills, the “Newton Hills.” These hills felt small in comparison to what I train on so I just focused on getting up and over. At this point I was just trying to run and enjoy the course. By this time I had consumed 3 packets of GU with caffeine and one Clif Shot, a banana, many orange slices and what seemed like gallons of water and gatorade. Even though my pacing wasn’t what I had originally planned on I kept chugging along. At this point I was feeling tired but was thankful for the newly gained strength from bootcamp training since the fall. This was the first time that lifting was really integrated into my training and now it was paying off because it gave me extra reserves to get through the tough moments. Somewhere during miles 19-20 I looked at my watch, my mileage and my splits and I began doing the math to do the complicated task, when your brain is totally fuzzy from running so many challenging miles, to figure out if I still had a shot at qualifying. After a few minutes I realized that THERE WAS STILL TIME! I  still had tim to QUALIFY for next year!!!! Since I am turning 40 in October I am aging up into the next age group. I realized if I ran my a$$ off for the next 6.2 miles I could make it under the necessary qualifying time of 3:45. It was on. I mentally regrouped and decided that in order to do this I would need to “Run the mile I was in,” (best advice given by Dean Karnaszes at the North Face Endurance Trail Marathon in Utah).

I literally put my head down and pushed as hard as I could up heartbreak hill, surprised when Sarah suddenly appeared next to me grabbing my hand. She said,

“I’m having a rough time,” and I replied “This heat is killer. I’ve let go of all my goals.” Sarah said “Me too. Me too. We can do this together. We can finish.”

Miles 21-25: 9:22, 8:27, 8:26, 8:15, 8:05

Just run the mile you are in!

Just run the mile you are in! At this point it was all about survival!

I wanted badly to run with Sarah and to finish together and to pull her along but as we reached the top of Heartbreak Hill w separated. I was a few steps ahead and wanted so badly for her to be with me. The downhill energized me and as we ran down the back side if the hill I pulled away. I knew I needed to run my own race. I needed the crowd and looked for energy every place I could find it. I rallied the crowd to cheer the runners pumping my fist as I ran. Their voices uplifting me. I felt new energy. I told myself that this was a new race, this was the race where I would finish it off. I tried to shake the heaviness out of my legs and checked my form recovering from the slumping shoulders and head down that carried me up Heartbreak Hill. I ran and relied on my muscles. I dug into ever corner of myself to find every ounce of speed. It was hard and it hurt but I wanted that qualifier. When I least expected it I saw a college friend who cheered fiercely for me (thank you Lisa) and then a friend of my husband and his fiancee rallied me through 2 miles to go (thank you Lenny, you were the reason Jesse never came to the finish line of the race in 2013 and for that I am forever thankful!). Somewhere in the last miles I also spied my friend Chris from the podcast Run Run Live, a runner for Team Hoyt up ahead of me. I remembered his words during our podcast interview where we talked about how sometimes in running you just have to grit your teeth and “suck it up.” And that is just what I was doing. (You can give my episode of the podcast a listen HERE)

Mile 26-26.2: 8:27 + a little more

1 Mile to Go

1 Mile to Go

This was not my fastest mile but it was the most sweet. The turn onto Boylston seemed surreal but this time in a good way. I knew that my kids and husband were in the grandstands (Thank you so very much Team Stonyfield) and I could just imagine their loud cheerring, “Go Mommmmmmyyyyyyyy!” with cowbells ringing.

Yes!!!!! I qualified for the Boston Marathon next year!

Yes!!!!! I qualified for the Boston Marathon next year!

I pushed through the finish line without immediately knowing my time as the clock showed a time from an earlier wave. When I stopped my watch and saw my time I knew that I HAD DONE IT!!!! My time was 1:42.20, good enough to qualify and hopefully far enough under the time cut-off to get in next year!  I crossed the finish line and felt my quads starting to cramp. I took a few steps, then hunched over hoping the cramps would stop, was asked if I was ok. I said, “yes” and tried walking ahead. I knew that moving was better than stopping so I walked ahead and got my hard earned medal, wondering where the water was. Finally there was water as I was so thirst and then elation as I called my husband, my parents and my coach! I was so relieved that race was over and so proud of my accomplishment.

Elation

Elation

After I called everyone and checked in with Sarah (read her recap here) I happily returned to the Copley Plaza Hotel to my family. Stopping only to refuel celebrate with a little Stonyfield Yogurt in the family meeting area proud and thankful that they had given me the awesome opportunity to race with their team! In the hotel room the kids told me about their day and how they had seen the wheelchair racers and the elite runners, and they were so proud to see my medal, wondering as usual, “Did you win.” For me this year the answer is decisively “Yes!” I did win. I went back this year to race my own Boston and to celebrate and to not let the demons of 2013 take hold of me again. I ran with all my heart and I feel like I regained a piece of myself.

Thank you so much to Stonyfield Yogurt for giving me the amazing chance to run the Boston Marathon again this year and for fueling my training with so much great Organic Yogurt!

Thank you so much to Stonyfield Yogurt for giving me the amazing chance to run the Boston Marathon again this year and for fueling my training with so much great Organic Yogurt!

The family celebration that night was the sweetest. We ate at the restaurant atop the Prudential Building overlooking the river where I used to row and looking out at the city the helped to rebuild me on my Boston Marathon 2016 Run. I am so thankful for the support of my loving husband and kids who give me time to train and run!

Celebration the Boston Marathon 2016

Celebration the Boston Marathon 2016

This run had so many highs and so many lows. What was your highest or lowest point during a race?

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

 

 

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Thursdays are for Thinking out Loud.

Sunset Running in Florida

Sunset Running in Florida

Thursday Musings

Thursdays are for thinking out loud . . .

The Boston Marathon 2016 while now in my rearview mirror is an experience that I have been thinking long and hard about during our time away in Florida. It was one of the more challenging races that I have run but it is one where I regained pieces of myself that had been lost. I promise my recap is coming soon. It is taking some time to get back into the swing of things with the blog and the daily rhythm of life here in beautiful Northern New Hampshire and I want to make sure that I am able to fully express the feelings and my race experience. In the meantime please enjoy reading some awesome recaps from some amazing running bloggers:

Since the marathon I have been resting my legs other than a few easy sunset miles in Florida and some easy miles of run-walking with my daughter and niece. I am trying to heed my coaches advice and to not jump back into running too quickly although I have to admit I am itching to run and hope to grab some easy miles tomorrow. I am also preparing to switch gears a bit with my training as I am going to be racing my second Half Ironman (Timberman 70.3) in August so I need to dust my bike off, take it to the shop for a tune up and get my miles going. I also need to get back in the pool again. I am looking forward to training hard at these disciplines as it will also allow my body to have a chance to recover from all of the seriously hard training miles for the Boston Marathon. This weekend I am also looking forward to running the annual 1 Mile Fun Run with my kids at their school.

Awesome ZOOMA Women's Race Series Ambassador Gear from New Balance (Fresh Foam 1080's) #AlwaysInBeta

Awesome ZOOMA Women’s Race Series Ambassador Gear from New Balance (Fresh Foam 1080’s) #AlwaysInBeta

I also have one more running race currently on my race schedule. In the beginning of June I’ll be headed to ZOOMA Annapolis to race the Half Marathon as a ZOOMA Women’s Race Series Race Ambassador. I am so excited to represent this awesome race series as an ambassador and am looking forward to meeting many of the other ambassadors during the race weekend. Here are the blogs of two other awesome ambassadors that you should definitely take a peek at:

This race series has 3 different races throughout the year in Annapolis, Cape Cod and, Amelia Island Florida.

I am so excited to be a ZOOMA race ambassador and the extra exciting part is that I have a 10% off RACE DISCOUNT CODE to offer you when you register for one of the races:

Just enter my DISCOUNT CODE: SANDRA16 at checkout!

ZOOMA Women's Race Series: Please use my Ambassador Discount Code: SANDRA16 at checkout for 10% off your entry

ZOOMA Women’s Race Series: Please use my Ambassador Discount Code: SANDRA16 at checkout for 10% off your entry

Stay tuned for my Boston Marathon race recap and some super fun upcoming giveaways on the blog! In the meantime keep training hard and going after your dreams. “Run the Mile You are In” and live out loud!

Thinking Out Loud

Thinking Out Loud

What races are on your schedule next? What are your next biggest goals?

Organic Runner Mom

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My first thoughts about the Boston Marathon 2016

The Boston Marathon 2016

The Boston Marathon 2016

The Boston Marathon 2016. First Thoughts.

My third Boston Marathon experience was exactly what I needed. I finally feel like I got a piece of myself back on Monday when I ran the Boston Marathon this year. Perhaps when I ran in 2014 I wasn’t really ready to actually RACE it again. I knew that I needed to go back and run again in 2014 to show myself that I could run and finish and be safe. It w as a part of my journey of emotional healing after 2013 but I never should have put pressure on myself to actually be going for time that year. I finished in 2014 but I missed my qualifying time and felt defeated and emotionally lost. The happiness that running and racing brought me was still missing. I felt broken.

This year I trained for the Boston Marathon race that I knew I could run. I felt like Stonyfield had given me a gift to be able to be a part of Team Stonyfield and to go back and run again.  I trained on my own as hard as I could and with all my heart. I ran when my body was tired and I pushed through runs and workouts that I hated and that were absolutely dreadful. I ran alone to work through my emotions and the mental tough parts that I let defeat me in 2014. This year not only was I physically stronger but mentally I felt strength, and courage and I also felt like over the past year I had rediscovered the joy of running and racing again. I knew that the race would be tough but I also new that I wanted to run it and to experience the BOSTON Spirit.

This year I also have been working hard on rediscovering a positive mindset and filling my life with positive experiences and spending time with people who inspire me, who challenge me, and who laugh with me until our bellies hurt.

Team Stonyfield. New Hampshire Strong

Team Stonyfield. New Hampshire Strong

I shared my Boston weekend with my family but also with two close and inspiring runner friends who have helped me to feel positive again. They are strong women who raise their kids with love and laughter and passion, who share their intense drive and also their tough moments with others helping us all to grow and to be inspired through their writing . They are two strong females who have surprised me with immediate friendship and kindness and laughter that has lifted me up. Thank you Sarah (My Team Stonyfield Teammate and fellow New Hampshire runner) and Natalie for sharing your Boston with me.

Run with Heart and Believe

Run with Heart and Believe

The Boston this weekend is a jumble of wild emotions that I am still processing in a good way and there is so much more to share including my race recap of some of the toughest miles I have run.

I earned every step of the marathon this year. It was very much about what happened during the race but also everything leading up to the race. I hope you will stick with me and head on back as I detail my Boston Marathon.

Did you or have you raced the Boston Marathon? Share your greatest memory. If not I’d love to hear your best race memory from any race.

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

 

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Running Injury Recovery tool: dr. cool Wraps Review and a Giveaway!

dr. cool wraps review. a great tool for handling a running injury.

dr. cool wraps review

dr. cool wraps review. Great for helping with a running injury

Check it out! I have something truly COOL to share with you today that can be a runners best friend when dealing with a running injury. Have you heard of dr. cool? dr.cool makes cooling apparel, compression/cold wraps and more. I was first introduced to dr. cool and their dr. cool wraps when I attended the Rise. Run. Retreat. in the fall. I received a dr.cool wrap as something new to check out and was intrigued by this great new recovery/compression gear. If you are a runner or athlete like me then injury is sadly no stranger. When injuries happen the question is always, how will I take care of my running injury to allow my body to recover.

mediuim dr. cool ice wraps

mediuim dr. cool ice wraps

This is where dr. cool wraps come into action. dr. cool wraps are made from an innovative fabric called Coolcore®. Take a peek at this video to see how Coolcore® works to stay cool to help you with injury and swelling by staying cool.

dr. cool wraps come in sizes small medium and large so as to be useful for wrapping different body parts ranging from the wrist, to your calf, to your back. Dr. Cool Recovery-On-The-Go Ice Wrap will provide you with ice therapy as well as compression. The fabric is flexible and can be worn during exercise as dry compression wraps or for applying cold during play or on the run. Not only are these wraps great for helping with injury but can be used for arthritis, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, and runner’s knee. I love that these wraps come in a variety of colors as well as being available for kids (perfect for boo-boos) and grown-ups alike. Also, dr. cool is a New Hampshire company!

Cooling and compression=great for injury recovery

Cooling and compression=great for injury recovery

I recently used my dr. cool wrap after the Eastern States 20 Miler which I raced as a part of my Boston Marathon preparation. I had been dealing with a calf adhesion leading into the race which bother me at mile 18 1/2 through the finish line. After the race my calf was in a tight not and very painful even to the touch. Thankfully I had remembered to wet my wrap and to put it into the freezer prior to the race so once I had showered i was able to apply my wrap which help alleviate the pain and also provided compression that was essential for extra sore legs. I was very happy that dr. cool Ambassador Sarah had introduced us to this great recovery/injury relief tool at the blogging retreat!

Hopefully I won’t have any injuries anytime soon but I will definitely keep this in my “tool-kit” in case of the need for compression or icing! In addition to icing/compression wraps they also offer instant cooling apparel and accessories.

dr. cool Wraps Giveaway

Now you can enter for your own chance to win 2 dr. cool ice and compression wraps. These will be great to have on hand should injury strike this racing season!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is the worst running injury or sports related injury that you have ever had?

Organic Runner Mom

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Friday Five: Boston Marathon Edition!

It’s finally here! It’s Boston Marathon weekend!

FRIDAY FIVE Boston Marathon

FRIDAY FIVE Boston Marathon

Tomorrow we will load up the car after I have obsessively compulsively packed and repacked my race gear several times in hopes that I don’t forget anything and we will head to Boston! I have to admit even though I have some heavy emotions that still wash over me sometimes, I am feeling nervous yet extremely excited. When I ran in 2013 I knew that I would have a good race. This year I have many of the same feelings. I am very happy looking back on my training from this marathon training cycle because I met my goal of following my training plan from Coach Denise as closely as possibly with only a few minor bumps (sinus infection, and calf adhesion) along the way. We were absolutely blessed in New Hampshire with gorgeous weather almost every weekend except for the one which sent us back into an arctic deep freeze. While the skiing season was not a winner here in New Hampshire it was perfect for anyone training for a spring marathon. I hardly had to layer up for my long runs and many of these days we were graced with sunshine. Not having to worry about freezing my tail off while running ,I was able to run my best and put 110% into each and every workout. The addition of bootcamp to this training cycle has me feeling new strength that I lacked in previous years. I did most of my running on my own this time by choice. I decided that in order to maximize the benefits of my long runs I would need to stay focused on my pacing through each and every mile. I love running with friends but sometimes the pacing goes out the window when we get caught up in conversation or sometimes it feels harder to hit paces especially with fast friends. With a goal of breaking 3:30 in my sights I knew that I needed to do a lot of hard work solo, and a lot of the work that I needed to do was mental.

Boston Marathon Finisher 2014

Boston Marathon Finisher 2014

Running Events, Race Expos and Running Friends

Now, the work is done and it’s time to celebrate running at one of the most awesome running events, the Boston Marathon! I have a lot of amazing things happening this weekend leading up to the race that I cannot wait for.

  • First of all I am so very excited to have some fun family time with my husband and kiddos in Boston and staying in a hotel which is always fun with the kids.
  • I am also so very excited about some of the many running friends that I will get to see this weekend including Sarah and Natalie. These two speedy ladies are such an inspiration to me and I can’t wait to run “with” them at this iconic race. Hopefully we can meet up at the Race Expo!
  • In addition to friends I will be attending an inspirational running meet-up with the 261 Fearless Ambassadors to meet with Kathrine Switzer the original Marathon Woman
  • I am also going to attend a Runners World Shake-Out Run and North Face event on Saturday evening.
  • Sunday will include brunch with #TEAMStonyfield (Sarah, Megan of Run Like a Mother, Mairead from Stonyfield and all of the other Stonyfield runners)

Inspiration for your Boston Marathon

My Personal Aid Station from Hyland’s Leg Cramps, the Official Cramp Relief Partner of the Boston Marathon

Hyland’s Leg Cramps, the Official Cramp Relief Partner of the Boston Marathon generously sent me my own “Personal Aid Station” to help me with my Boston Marathon. Take a peek at the cool running gear and products that they passed along to me.

Personal Aid Station from Hyland's Leg Cramps #HylandsFYFL

Personal Aid Station from Hyland’s Leg Cramps #HylandsFYFL

  • Hyland’s Leg Cramps Ointment and Hyland’s Leg Cramp Tablets to help relax foot and leg cramps (homeopathic and Made in the USA)
  • Headsweats Signature Baseball Cap
  • Feetures! Elite Light Cushion Socks
  • Mini Clif Bars, perfect bites to carry on a long run!
  • Polar Water Bottle for hydration!

All of this gear will come in handy on what is predicted to be a hot and sunny spring day for the Boston Marathon! Thank you Hyland’s Homeopathic!

Share your current racing inspiration with me. What would you have in your personal aid station for a big race day?

p.s. In case you missed it take a look at my marathon Monday race day outfit complete with a sweet #TEAMStonyfield race singlet and new Cascade Skirt from Skirt Sports!

Happy Boston Marathon Weekend!

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

 

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Boston Marathon Race Day Outfit Preview & Giveaway– Momentum Jewelry

Boston Marathon Outfit Preview

Boston Marathon Race Outfit Preview

Boston Marathon Race Outfit Preview

After yesterdays heavy discussion about PTSD and the Boston Marathon let’s lighten things up today with a fun sneak peek at my Boston Marathon race day outfit. Being a running blogger I often have the opportunity to try out new running gear. I also have the opportunity to represent some of my favorite companies as a Brand Ambassador so that I can share the products that I love with you!

Now without further ado here is the awesome outfit that I plan to wear as long as the weather cooperates!

Boston Marathon Race Outfit

Boston Marathon Race Outfit

*Disclaimer: I was given some of these items as a part of my ambassadorships and sponsorships that I am a part of. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Here is a more detailed description of what you will see me wearing as I speed by along the racecourse:

  • Hoka One One Clifton 2–It’s official, after training in the Clifton 2’s for the entire Boston Marathon training cycle and racing in them at the Eastern States 20 Miler, I adore these shoes for running long distances! These shoes have provided my feet with stability and comfort as my legs have logged countless miles in preparation for Boston. Although not a traditional stability shoe the natural stability of this maximalist shoe has provided my over-pronating feet with the stability that they need. These shoes are surprisingly lightweight and have held up to the test of the miles. My feet have been comfy with no blisters and there is plenty of room in the toe-box. Having a higher insole I appreciate the extra padding in the tongue of the shoe which makes them more comfortable across the top of your foot. I wear these in an 8 and 1/2 as I have found that for me Hoka One One’s tend to run a half size big for my feet. As a bonus I love this shoe because they are the signature Blue and yellow B.A.A. colors.
  • Official Running Gear of the Boston Marathon Addidas Racing Singlet–I am excited to race the marathon with Team Stonyfield wearing our official team uniform! Stonyfield is the official yogurt sponsor of the Boston Marathon! This tank is great looking and has a nice pocket for extra energy gels!
  • Skirt Sports Cascade Skirt–Ooh! La! La! This is the soon to be release Skirt Sports Cascade Skirts. I am super stoked about this skirt! First of all, the color is so pretty and perfect for Boston! Secondly if you know me I am all about the fun style when it comes to my race day outfits and I especially love the skirts with ruffles (I #runlikeagirl #realwomenmove #fastinaskirt). This skirt features two tiers of ruffles over a black shortie with 2 perfect pockets underneath for gels and a cell phone. Skirt Sports has been so generous to provide me with this skirt for my run and to share with you!
  • Crazy Compression Over the Calf Compression Socks in Teal/Future Dots (I may wear calf sleeves instead depending on the temperature). I am a Crazy Compression ambassador and these are my go to socks for every race and long run. I love the fact that they are solid colored on the front with a wild design on the back.
  • Garmin Vivoactive–I have come to love this watch for my training during this marathon training cycle. Not only is it a GPS watch but it is also a fitness and sleep tracker and can also be used to track workouts on the bike, in the pool, and on the treadmill. This watch syncs wirelessly to an app to give you a detailed read out of your training including splits per mile, cadence, and elevation loss/gain. It also works with Garmin Connect as a place to save all of your training information.
  • Sweaty Bands No-Slip Headband–These are a much needed item for the crazy flyaway hairs and to keep the sweat at bay. Plus these headbands are cute too!

Track me on Boston Marathon Monday . . .

And . . . If you want to follow my race on Marathon Monday at the Boston Marathon you can register for Boston Marathon live updates here. My BIB Number is : 30666 . There will be live tracking during the race so I’d love to have you following along!

Momentum Jewelry Giveaway

Momentum Jewelry Giveaway

Momentum Jewelry Giveaway

And now for a little something fun for you, I am giving a way one Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap to inspire you! If you are chosen as the winner you will be able to choose your color and inspirational saying. Good luck!

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What is your favorite race outfit? Do you run in skirts, shorts, capris or something else?

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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Life is never linear. A peek into my PTSD

Stronger

Stronger

PTSD

Life as I have learned is never linear. Even though time has passed since the 2013 Boston Marathon I still have PTSD and I need to talk about it and recognize the feelings that go along with it. This is hard for a perfectionist, a planner, a type-A, someone who likes to have their ducks all in a row, and an emotional being. When these feelings are triggered I need to own them, to experience them, to rationalize them and to accept them. This week is one filled with excitement as I prepare to run my 3rd Boston Marathon but then there are the emotions and unexpected curveballs that still can come at any time. If you have been reading my blog for a long time you have probably guessed that I am emotional being. I generally try to present myself here on the blog in an upbeat and positive fashion but some days life is just not like that and that’s ok. I have learned through life and therapy that we need to allow ourselves to recognize and accept our emotions so as not to fall to pieces and to crumble.

This week I am feeling extra emotionally charged. First of all my body is experiencing effects of the marathon taper. Taper can have real effects on your body and mind that you need to be ready for. The reduction in the number of miles that you run can actually make you feel more tired, you may feel grumpy, depressed and even anxious. These feelings compounded with the fact that I still do have PTSD from the 2013 bombing is making me especially vulnerable and out of sorts. I am due to check in with the therapist that I saw for a year after the 2013 Boston Marathon but this won’t happen until after the marathon so for now it is helpful to write my feelings down (I hope you don’t mind). My feelings are real and feel vibrant.

I am so excited to run my best race on April 18th. I have worked so hard to accomplish my goals. This excites me beyond words and I can almost relive the feelings of sheer joy in finishing what felt like a perfect race on April 15th 2013. But then in the opposite corner of my mind are the feelings of fear and anxiety and terror. The PTSD is still there. I fear being in the crowds at the expo. Too many people and faces that I don’t recognize. My kids will be with us this year and honestly I would be 100% happy if they were not standing on the sidelines of the marathon as I run by. Extreme mother bear instinct and the desire to protect them is in high gear. I can still vividly hear in my head the horrifying sounds of the bomb blasts echoing through the streets and the eerie silence and confused faces in the aftermath. The phone call to my mom who verified that yes people had been hurt, and that I should stay where I was until Jesse found me. I remember the feelings of being completely alone and stranded on the streets of Boston as I waited for my husband to somehow find me as the sirens wailed and the streets emptied of people. 3 hours I sat fearful waiting for his face to find me and take me out of Boston and away from Boston. Far far away.

What happened in 2013 was out of my control, it was unpredictable and sometimes that is just how it is. I will do this. I will run Boston and I will continue to grow, to learn, and to heal.

Thank you for listening and for cheering me on. We all need a cheerleader in our life sometimes. . .

#BostonStrong

#BostonStrong

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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Final Boston Marathon Training Update–The Taper

Final Boston Marathon Training Update- The Taper

Final Boston Marathon Training Update- The Taper

Boston Marathon Taper. The Last Long Run.

One week to go. Next Monday morning I will be getting dressed and ready to get on the bus to the Athlete’s Village for the Boston Marathon with my teammate Sarah (#teamstonyfield).  The last time Sarah and I rode the school bus together we had just finished an amazing day racing at the Eastern States 20 Miler. I can’t wait! All of the hard work is complete and this last week of the taper will be all about getting rest, eating plenty, sleeping a lot and only a little bit of running to keep my legs feeling tunes up and ready to go.

12 Miles to go . . .

This weekend I have had a minor sore throat which I am chalking up to allergies. Even though it has been cold the grass is actually turning green (yes) and the trees are starting to bud (no! an allergy sufferers worst nightmare) There is no time to get sick now. I have been getting extra sleep and loading up on my allergy meds in hopes of chasing it away. Today was the last long run on the training schedule until my next training schedule begins for this summers big race the Timberman Ironman 70.3.

Perfect New Hampshire running weather!

Perfect New Hampshire running weather!

For the long run it was a 12 miler with 6 miles at 8:30-8:45 min/mile pace and 6 at marathon goal pace. I decided to do my long run in the afternoon to give the temperature a chance to warm up and got the gift of a perfect afternoon for a run! I have been running a lot near my home as the convenience of heading out the door eliminates unnecessary drive time and time away from home. I have been loving the out and back runs from my house because they offer many of the challenges that you might find on a marathon course, rolling hills, flats, nice downhills and of course some monster hills. Since there is an almost mile long hill near the end of my run I decided to run the miles 5-12 at marathon pace so as not to fret over pacing on the monster hill on the way back home.

Hopefully my legs will feel as strong as good on Marathon Monday because here is my pacing from the run today:

12 miler. Last long run before the Boston Marathon.

12 miler. Last long run before the Boston Marathon.

I have been finding that I have a little more speed in my legs these days (woohoo!). I know that I have a great race in me I just need to keep my focus and not get sucked into the adrenaline and energy at the beginning of the race and go out too fast. This run was encouraging and now all that is left to do is to enjoy the experience and to run my own race! This weekend will be an incredible experience with a ton of fun stuff happening. If you want to follow marathon weekend fun I will be sharing a lot on my instagram so make sure that you are following my FEED  for all of the Boston Marathon running fun and celebration!

12 Miler done!

12 Miler done!

Track me on Boston Marathon Monday . . .

And . . . If you want to follow my race on Marathon Monday at the Boston Marathon you can register for Boston Marathon live updates here. My BIB Number is : 30666 . There will be live tracking during the race so I’d love to have you following along!

Last long run before the Boston Marathon completed with a smile!

Last long run before the Boston Marathon completed with a smile!

Thank you for reading along and supporting my training this far for the Boston Marathon! I can’t wait to tell you all about my race once it is done!!!

What is your favorite thing about training for a race? Do you enjoy the taper or does it make you crazy?

And now I’ll just leave you with this sweet cow kiss from Patty Pie the Organic Cow who watched me as I ran by on my long run!

A Kiss from Patty Pie the organic cow. Seen on my run.

A Kiss from Patty Pie the organic cow. Seen on my run.

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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9 responses

Less than two weeks to go until Boston Marathon.

Less than two weeks until I run the Boston Marathon!

Marathon Monday is drawing near. At this point getting nervous or starting to worry about the outcome would be crazy. I have followed my training plan as closely as I could, taking a few days to rest my calf, and some time at the start of the training cycle when I had a bad sinus infection. Other than that time off I have trained hard. I have run my heart out. I feel lucky to have been given this gift to run the Boston Marathon again, this year with Team Stonyfield.

Last October after having a fantastic fall of running and a confidence building half marathon at the Maine Half Marathon I decided that I would train for a road marathon again. I had run a trail marathon last fall at the North Face Endurance Challenge but that is a totally different beast. Having taken some time off from road marathons I knew that I was ready again and began my plans to run the Sugarloaf Marathon. I talked with my coach about running a spring marathon and we began base building. then one day, I opened my e-mail to discover a coveted e-mail to join with Team Stonyfield to race the Boston Marathon again. This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I had to say yes. I quickly told my family the exciting news, messaged my coach and plans were made to start my training. My P.R. for the marathon is 3:33.33. I know that I have more in me. I decided that if I was going to run Boston again that I was going to chase down a dream. I set my sights on a sub 3:30 finish, crafted a plan with my coach and got to work . . .

Now, fast forward in time to today. The final countdown to race day is on. The big miles and super tough long runs are behind me. Now it is time to fine tune but not overwork. We have entered the TAPER.

What am I doing during the taper to be ready for race day?

  • Trying to get more sleep. Early bedtimes are a must!
  • Staying well hydrated!
  • Keeping my meals well balanced and eating healthy snacks throughout the day (including Stonyfield Yogurt of course!)
  • Foam rolling as needed (thankfully the adhesion that was going on in my calf seems to have gone away since I got an adjustment done by the chiropractor!)
  • No bootcamp during the taper. I don’t want to overwork my muscles with heavy lifting as I will need every ounce of energy and all of my muscles to be well rested.
  • Sticking to my coaches training schedule which means reduced mileage while continuing to focus on form and appropriate effort during each workout.
  • I may get a massage this week but not too close to the race as massages can actually make you quite sore.
  • Visualization. During quiet moments I take the time to visualize my race. Having run the Boston Marathon twice before I know what to expect from the course. This helps to visualize myself running on the course. In 2013 I ran even splits for most of the race and was able to negative split during the second half resulting in a great race with no surprises. In 2014 I went out too fast and wasted a ton of energy at the beginning. I don’t want to repeat my 2014 race experience but instead will be focusing on keeping my body relaxed and strong, my stride relaxed and strong, and also my breathing. I need to trust the work that I have done over the past 4-5 months and to run a smart race.
  • Picking out positive mantras for race day–do you have any favorites?

I will still be running during the next two weeks but there will also be a lot of mental preparation happening as well! I have done the hard work and now it’s time to shine!

A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell

What do you during a marathon taper? Do you use visualization as a part of your training? How does this help you?

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

 

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Greek Yogurt Organic Omelette with Veggies

26.3 miles. Go the extra distance, refuel with greek yogurt in an omelette.

Recipe. Organic Omelette with Greek Yogurt and Veggies

Recipe. Organic Omelette with Greek Yogurt and Veggies

What is as important as your training when you are running the Boston Marathon? You guessed it! Eating when you cross the finish line on Boylston Street.  As a marathoner when you are logging your miles training to complete 26.2 miles, what you eat will help you get to the finish line. Fueling your body is important for keeping your energy up and for helping you to recover after the race! After the race is over and you have claimed your coveted Boston Marathon medal, it is extra important to get the protein that you need to help your muscles rebuild so that you can start running again..

When you have finished running up those hills and pushing through the final miles of the marathon you will be depleted and starving! After you have run 26.2 miles the next distance you cover will be to recover and refuel.

Add in some extra protein when the marathon is over!

Add in some extra protein when the marathon is over!

There are so many great ways to add extra protein back into some of your favorite recipes. One awesome source of protein is Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt which packs a 22 gram per serving punch. Another source of protein which is of course a favorite in our house, organic eggs. Each organic egg (Pete and Gerry’s of course) has 6 grams of protein. Did you know that you can whisk these two ingredients into the perfect omelette. You can use Stonyfield Organic Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt as an alternative to adding in a splash of milk. The resulting omelette is fluffy with a richer, creamier taste.

There are so many ways that you can mix up an omelette with your favorite ingredients. Here is one of my favorite ways to make an omelette that packs in 26.3 grams of protein (because when you are running a marathon you know you will always add in at least another .1 mile!)

Recipe: Organic Omelette with Greek Yogurt Veggies 

Organic Omelette with Greek Yogurt and Veggies 2

Organic Omelette with Greek Yogurt and Veggies 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of Stonyfield Organic Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt {7.3 grams of protein}
  • 2 Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs {12 grams of protein}
  • 1/4 cup of Cabot Cheese {7 grams of protein}
  • organic mushrooms
  • organic yellow cherry tomatoes
  • organic broccoli

Directions

Crack two organic eggs in a bowl. Add in 1/3 cup Stonyfield Organic Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt. Whisk until blended and egg yolks are broken. The mixture will be much thicker than when you whisk mil and eggs. Add a little butter or olive oil to the pan to grease. Pour egg mixture into pan over medium heat. Rotate the pan and spread out the egg mixture so that the liquid cooks evenly. Cooking time takes a little longer as there is more moisture in the mixture. Sprinkle veggies and cheese on one half of the omelette and let it cook a little longer. Gently fold omelette and serve when egg is set.

Serve and enjoy!

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Don’t miss these other great recipes by some of my other favorite bloggers!

Have you ever made an omelette with Greek yogurt before? What do you like to put in your omelette?

Happy running and happy refueling!

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

 

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5 responses