Tedy's Team Group Run - 21 Miles

Since November March 23 was circled on my calendar as THE day of training. Why?

It would be the day I would tackle the final long run of the training and the day I would run 21 miles.

And all of a sudden that day was yesterday.

How the heck did that happen?

But I was ready for it.

Running should be fun right? So I put together a special outfit for the day.

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Do you think I would be spotted on the course at all? :P

I gave Boston-based EnergyBits a try for the first time pre-run and after getting over the algae taste I realized how helpful they truly were!! You are supposed to take 30-40 tabs about 10-15 minutes before you start working out, but I was only to chew about 10 before the taste got to me. Had I had water I could've just swallowed the 30 pills without a problem, but alas I was waterless on the bus. Even with just 10 tablets I felt a difference!

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The Vitatop however led to some stomach discomfort about 15 miles into the run. I love the Vitatops, but I don't think I will have one pre-run again. Poor choice!

The game plan was to meet the other Tedy's Team members and fellow charity runners that leave out of FitCorp each week and get on a bus by 7:30am. Yup, these sweet school busses...

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...and head to Framingham, where we would be dropped off in a parking lot and told to run back to Boston.

Thankfully, they had set up water stops every 2 miles along the course back. Wicked helpful especially for the first 10-12 miles of the run I would have NO idea where we were since I had never run that section of the course before.

We arrived in Framingham, got off the bus and we were off.

I tried to keep myself from going out too fast too soon, but also wanted to make sure I kept myself near other runners since I really had no idea where we were going and I didn't want to get lost so early into the run.

I saw the water stop at Mile Two, but didn't feel like I needed any water just yet ... boy was not stopping a mistake. I missed meeting Tedy Bruschi, who was there to cheer on all of the members of his team.

Yup, I think I'm the only person on the team who missed him. D'oh! Note to self: stop at every water stop from here on out. :P

There were no port-o-potties in sight when I got to Mile Four so I stopped in this cute little breakfast joint where the first older man I saw in there loudly proclaimed: "No running in the diner." He cracked himself up on that one. :) I just hustled in and out so that I didn't lose any of the data on my Garmin.

Thank goodness I stopped when I did since I didn't really see any port-o-potties until we got closer to the city.

It was exciting to be running along the course and in unfamiliar scenery, which helped pass the time.

Plus having water stops every couple of miles just confirmed that I was on the right course. ;)

I even found some new people to run with which was great. They were in the same running group from FitCorp, but are running for different charity teams.

But, it was nice to get lost in conversation instead of worrying about how many miles had passed or how many we had to go!

Before I really knew it, we were halfway there and we knew it was true because we came across the Woodland T stop. The Woodland T stop had been used on previous Saturday long runs. We would take the T from FitCorp to Woodland and run back, which was about 10.8 miles.

So at this point, we hit familiar territory and knew what was coming ... Heartbreak Hill!

But it wasn't that bad. I was able to keep sub 9 min/mile pace while tackling the rolling hills. It didn't hurt that there were a TON of charity teams water stops set up so volunteers were all over Heartbreak cheering people on.

It was a small glimpse of what we will see on race day when it comes to encouragement.

Once we were over the final of the three hills of Heartbreak, we knew we were in the home stretch. But, what you have to love is that the home stretch was the final 5-6 miles back to FitCorp.

You know you are deep into marathon training when you are happy about just 5 or 6 more miles. :P

But right around that time that the stomach pains started to creep in. It was between Mile 15-16 that my stomach started to get REALLY unhappy and I was searching for a bathroom. But unfortunately none to be found as I was caught between two bigger neighborhoods. So I just let Dave and Laura, who I was running with, go on without me and I stopped. I thought if I just waited for a minute it would pass.

Well with no bathrooms in sight, I just pushed on and caught up with Dave at the next water stop. We ended up finishing the run together. As we got to Kenmore Square, we knew we only had about 2 miles to go. But, my Garmin had a different idea. It was telling me we needed at least 3 more miles to get to 21.

So as we neared the final 1/2 mile from FitCorp, we decided to run around and through Boston Common until we hit 21 miles. It was a GREAT decision. The park was a beautiful place to end and we avoided the final hill of Beacon Street. :P

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Aaahhh!! Sub 9 min/mile pace for the training run. Hell Yeah! I couldn't believe it. I think I gave Dave about 4 high fives with excitement!!

The post-run foam rolling never felt so good... maybe it's also because I was on Cloud Nine.

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Once this run was over, I knew I would be okay during the Boston Marathon ... and maybe even get a new marathon PR! :)

I also loved all the compliments I got along the course on my awesome Team Sparkle skirt and Superman socks.

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Should I rock both on Marathon Day?

Let me know your thoughts!!

I came home and immediately refueled with low-fat Chocolate Milk in my Samuel Adams 26.2 Brew mug...

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... before having a nice cold beer (my other after)!

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And look at the mail I came home too.

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It's all getting pretty pretty real!

So now that the 21-miler is behind me, it's taper time. Next week it will be either 10 or 12 miles depending on how I'm feeling that day.

We are T-minus 22 days til the BIG DAY!

Will you be out cheering on the couse on April 15?