Saturday, March 28, 2009

20 Miles BAM!

I ran from the start line in Hopkinton to mile 20 in Newton today with my new running friend Juliette. About 35 or 40 of us covered the distance today for MGH, but there were 100's out there from all kinds of charities and I am sure, just runners who like to run.

I ran the 20 miles in exactly 3 hours which was my personal goal. Unfortunately, Juliette fell behind at mile 17 from blisters, but finished about 10 minutes after me anyway. We're going to run together on the big day ... at least start together because we've been keeping each other going on the long runs since the 16 in Arlington.

The other night, my friend Adam told me that it was amazing that I am doing this. I think I am jaded—well I know I am—but in this case, because so many of my friends have already done the marathon, some fast, some slow, some many times, that I feel like it's just one of those things that you do. But then, when I realize what I did today, let alone what I have been doing for the last 4 months, it is actually quite impressive. I am proud of myself and I am proud that I am actually doing something. My good friend Beth reminded me just this morning when I was going to meet the team that not only am I doing this amazing physical thing, but I have also raised over $3800 to help MGH care for pediatric cancer patients. Wow, who knew that I would grow up to be such a responsible human being?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Has Sprung!

Emma just counted and 6 weeks has passed since Puxatawny Phil saw his shadow. We are sitting on the front stoop enjoying the sun as I type—gotta love wireless. As weekends go, this has been an excellent one. Friday after work, a colleague and I went and got birthday burritos at Boloco for only $4. YUMMY. After a short trip home, I stopped by Joe's to visit the crew. A beer and a half later, I was ready to sleep.

Saturday morning, I got up, drove into Boston, and took the commuter train out to West Natick, which is exactly 18 miles from the finish line for the marathon. At 9 am, Juliette, a 25 year old from Dedham, and I set off down Route 135. We chatted about food, work, facials, anything. Somewhere before Wellesley, a delightful young woman who's name I can't remember, but is 18, goes to Dickinson College in PA, but was home in Groton for Spring Break, joined us and we kept on trucking. After Wellesley Center, Jo, an Englishwoman who has run the Geneva marathon, started running along as well. The perfect weather ... a good pace ... good conversation ... made it possible for us all to get through Newton, up Heartbreak, and down to BC. Three of us stopped for a water break, but Jo kept on going. As we went down Comm. Ave, and turned right and then a quick left onto Beacon.

It was an amazing feeling running down Beacon because I know it so well. I've been in Boston now 22 years!!! As we ran down closer to the Citgo sign which my young college friend kept mentioning, I pointed out some of the bars and restaurants I have spent time in over the years - 2 decades! The girls laughed because there are many of them. At one point though, I did think, hey, I've run 17 miles, why don't I just stop? And then I thought about 5 weeks from tomorrow when stopping won't be an option.

2 hours and 32 minutes after I left the commuter rail station in West Natick, I stopped in front of the library in Copley Square. I had run the entire time, averaging 8:50 minute miles with women, or should I really say girls, decades younger than me. It was an amazing experience, and I can only imagine what it's going to be like on race day since there will be 1000s of people along the route. As I keep telling myself, it will either be the greatest day of my life or the scariest day, or both ; )

After the run and a hot shower, I got to spend time with 5 women I have known for the last 22 years. It was crazy fun. Laughing, shopping, eating. It's been a long time since I've hung out with people my age and it was great. I only lasted until 9 pm ... had to drive back to Dedham and get up early to prep for my WW meeting about "Feeding the Soul".

Today, I can walk. I led a pretty good meeting with 24 members—my biggest showing yet. I made them laugh and think, and celebrated some great successes. I even got a nice email from another leader who told me one of her members had come to my meeting and really enjoyed herself which to me is the best praise. And then, Emma and I climbed up the Blue Hills, which although not a vigorous hike with a 9 year old recovering from a cold, was an excellent source of cross-training. My thigh muscles did yell a bit on the way down, but I am still able to walk. 

It's 58 degrees right now and Emma is sweeping the winter sand off the stoop. It doesn't get much better than this. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Heartbreak Hill

I ran with Michael and Cara yesterday for the 12 miles through the Newton Hills. Being a marathon novice, I followed along, knowing the streets from TV as well as driving myself around there back in the day when I lived out there, enjoying the beautiful sunny day. As we were almost at mile 11, I asked "Which one is Heartbreak?" Michael and Cara both pointed to the hill directly in front of us ... still there to climb.

They went up ahead of me and I took it, one step at a time. I thought about what it will be like in 6 weeks after 17 miles  before it, and then I reached the top. The good thing about going up hills, is that more often than not, you get to run down on the other side and enjoy the ride. Who knows what it will be like on April 20th? Certainly not me. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Time is flying - only 47 days left

So I ran 16 miles with the MGH team on Saturday and then got the stomach flu ... so not fun. Today was a good day though. A donation from a woman I haven't spoken to in years but am Linked In with donated $50 to my page which means I have surpassed the $3000 commitment to fundraising for MGH. I am really proud. 

The physical commitment is of course huge, but having to raise funds has been more daunting given the current economy. I think I did a good job of reaching out, without being harassing and email is a life saver. 

I am paying attention to a lot of quotes I see these days ... helping me keep focused:

"There's nothing quite like your first marathon. The adrenaline just flows." ~ Sister Marion Irvine