On Friday I started the weekend off with the best weigh-in I've had as an adult. I am happy to be down 66 pounds with Weight Watchers and over 80 from the highest recorded weight I have.
I needed this perspective as I went into the final long run of the training cycle for the marathon. I had such a horrendous race at Boston last year - from a running perspective. If you never heard what happened, feel free to catch up here.
This year has been different and I hope it results in a different outcome on race day... which is a mere two weeks away!
On Saturday I woke up with plenty of time to enjoy breakfast, change my entire planned outfit and head in town.
The forecast called for rain all morning so I tried out my new jacket from New Balance. BUT the forecast also said low 40s which meant I could test out the potential bottom part of my marathon outfit. Well the skirt and shorts at least. I've never worn shorts in a marathon so it will take some getting used to as I do not run with a fuel belt and generally shove my fuel in my shorts while I run. Classy, right? So this would be the test as I was bringing 2 KIND bars to use as fuel and my phone.
It was drizzling and overcast as I made my way in town to stretch and prep for the run. It would be my last team group run before the big day as next week I have my cousin's bridal shower on Saturday. Woo hoo!
While I was one of the first out the door thanks to my Garmin crapping the bed I was one of the last to leave. Womp womp! It took my Garmin forever to locate satellites which left me grumpy for the start of my run. I have a Garmin 310xt which is just over a year old.
After praying to the satellite gods, the Garmin finally picked up satellite and I was off.
The legs felt heavy as I made my way down Beacon St to Comm Ave where I would catch Heartbreak Hill. I was told to take the 12-miler "easy" and was hoping my legs would do the work for me. My brain wasn't in the mood to keep an eye on pace. I would be in a group run, but running alone. So I knew my mind would be occupied with 10,000 other thoughts I can ignore during the week when busy but come flooding out during a quiet run.
Mile 1: 9:31 Mile 2: 9:23 Mile 3: 9:24
Good work body! The legs were feeling really heavy at the start of the run and I second guessed my decision to hold off on the Zensah compression sleeves.
As I made my way up Heartbreak (the opposite way you run it during the marathon), I had a pick-me-up in my mood as I saw a ton of runners coming at me. It is always fun to see other folks out on the course preparing for the big day. Especially since most of the ones I see are parts of charity teams so they have team gear on so I can see who and why they are taking on this awesome feat.
I even had the chance to say HI to some friends.
Heartbreak Hill is a series of hills covering a 3-mile stretch, but even running it backwards I could tell when the biggest of the hills was ahead of me. Let me tell you it is a lot easier to run down that bad boy than up it. ;)
Hello there downhill. :P
Mile 4: 9:28 Mile 5: 8:50 Mile 6: 8:51
The Tedy's Team coach was waiting at the halfway mark with some much-needed water and Gatorade. It was good to catch up with John as he could tell I was having a tough week mentally. It was the time of the month the week before and I was feeling light-headed and woozy during some of my workouts. He let me know that it is okay and that yes it could be a result of my period. Which is what I was hoping to hear as I felt fine once it went away.
Also who knew when I started running or this blog that I would share so much about my period or attempting to pee while riding the bike during the Half Ironman. I mean things I never thought I would share is now normal. Or maybe you guys don't need this info, but I feel comfortable enough to share it. Either way - you are welcome!
Anywho he calmed me down and reassured me to trust in the training and that all would be okay. We made a plan to keep this week's mileage around 30 then down to 20-25 the week of the marathon. I never hit more than 50 miles in a week so I don't need a huge taper time like some of the other marathon folks.
After a quick KIND bar break - which by the way were holding up great in my shorts (I hide them in the front on my quads) and were proving to be a great choice for me fuel-wise.
I bid John adieu and started the trek back home. I was going to Maine after the run to see my BFF and her family so I was a little excited and I think it showed in the pace.
PLUS the big shiny orb in the sky - I think you call it a sun - made an appearance during the run and I was soaking it all in. Wicked happy I opted to wear my Sparkle Athletic visor!
Mile 7: 8:59 Mile 8: 8:32
I stopped at the spot outside of BC, where Heartbreak Hill officially ends, to film another quick video. Just a little different weather wise than the one Page and I had filmed the week prior during the 20-miler.
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It was nice to stop and take a moment to reflect back on the journey AND have some final words with Heartbreak before the big day. Yes I talked out loud to a road. That weird? ;)
Mile 9: 8:29
As I made my way back down Beacon to Kenmore. I tried to check in with my body. I know the pain in my hamstring that has been there since May won't be going away by race day. So I am just watching it to make sure it doesn't get any worse. I have been doing a lot of exercises nightly to try and strengthen the area around the hamstring as well as work on my core.
Now my core work was said to be a "joke" by a blog reader, but I can only do the best I can. My journey is different than everyone else's so I focus on that. My time or reps might be less than others and I may have to do modified push-ups, but I am doing it and making myself stronger. One day at a time.
But I digress... I have found that work helpful for me and I am feeling strong.
While having a mental debate with myself it was nice to pull up to see Margaret at the final water stop of the day.
Our weekly selfie taken care of it, it was nice to chat before finishing out the run.
Mile 10: 8:29
Now I obviously couldn't tell if you could see my singlet through the back of my New Balance jacket so I totally had Margaret take a pic of me running away so I could tell.
Verdict? Oh yeah!
With the niece on the brain, I headed back to Kenmore. Running the route week after week can seem tedious, but it really helps with the mental side of the marathon. You can feel the crowd every time I run down Beacon or Comm Ave. I immediately can go back to how I was feeling at that spot in 2013 or 2014.
And for now it is making sure I don't recreate what happened last year this year.
Mile 11: 8:25
But as I came towards Kenmore, I moved myself to the right side of the street to capture "that" sign as you head into the home stretch of the race. Kenmore marks just 1 more mile of the marathon.
Gorgeous enough for a selfie...
Now I am hoping to feel as good as I did in that moment in that same spot on race day!
I finished up the run by snapping a few more pics of the kick ass New Balance marathon campaign. Seriously loving it...
... before ending my long run where I always do - Dunks! :)
Mile 12: 8:21
Soooo I definitely ended faster than I wanted to, but I was feeling good the whole way. The legs started waking up a few miles in (as you can also tell with the pace) and overall the body and fueling were strong. There was some lingering left hamstring pain, but I think it was from extra hill work earlier in the week.
I made sure to continue to foam roll 2-3 times a day to keep the body loose and I have been living in compression shorts, pants, socks or sleeves! I find is so helpful for blood circulation and recovery time.
Since that was my final group run on the course, I would like to thank the Tedy's Team water stop crew as well as those of other charities and stores.
So many were out there week in and week out in the horrendous weather. I always say it is worse for volunteers since at least the runners are moving to stay warm.
There will be just one final "long run" - 8-10 on Sunday - before the Big Show. I will set out to enjoy the day, the experience, the reason why I run Boston and let the time/pace go as it will. I have done the work now I just need to see what weather Boston wants to bring! :P
Thank you all again for following along on this journey. Somehow this is marathon #7 - Boston #3 with Tedy's Team - and I just keep signing up for more! ;)