Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Last long run, last long run, last long run.

Saturday morning, I woke up around 6am to start my long run morning routine. The great thing was, my foot felt about 75%. That was wayyy more than the 30% it was feeling a few days earlier. I filled up on pasta from the North End on Friday night and was feeling pretty healthy. The weather was back down in the 20's though, so I had to pull out my gloves and hat. Yuck. I had my standard bagel, peanut butter and banana with a side of coffee.

By about 7:30a, Angela and I arrived at BC to start the 20 miler with the Dana Farber team. We found a group of women that we typically run with and headed out. Within the first mile out on the course, there is a ridicilously steep hill. At the top, there was a TV camera, of course I start waving. Who wouldn't? (I later find out that EVERYONE else looks away from the camera and kept running... thank you Channel 7 news).

After some small talk, Angela points out that we're running way too fast. For some reason it felt slow to me, she pointed out that it could have been the "lines" I did before the run. JK. We were feeling good, heading down heartbreak hill is actually pretty fun. Thank goodness that we have team water stops every 2-2.5 miles. After running through multiple cities (Chesnut Hill, Newton, Wellesley) we eventually come to the 10 mile turn around. By this point, my foot had loosened up and I couldn't really feel it. I will attribute that to the numbing cold weather too.

Times like that, you start to dig deep. We started sharing the stories of our friends and family who battled or are battling cancer. I told my story to Pam, a woman that I've run with before. I got pretty emotional but was certain that talking about RJ would help not only my motivation, but the others around me listening to the fight that RJ put up. 

10 more miles later, we were back at BC. We conquered that 20 miler - all the time thinking "last long run, last long run." Well, until the marathon.

What happens after 18 miles and 9 hours of pub crawling = ?

Of couse I thought it would be a good idea to host the 4th annual PJ and Steph's pub crawl directly following an 18 mile run. Why not? I figured it would be better to run on Saturday morning BEFORE a day of drinking than trying to get up and run without my team the Sunday AFTER. Weighing both choices, I went with the run before. I sure was glad to be able to wake up on Sunday and not have to run. Instead, I was hungover all day and watched roughly 10 episodes of Sex in the City with six of my girlfriends in our living room. That evening, I met up with Malia and Angela to watch Ohio State bball. The best part was this was Angela's first experience hanging out watching Ohio State play. She was a little caught off guard when we started our first "O-H" cheer and then some OSU guy bought a round of shots for all of the OSU fans. I mean, it was 6pm on a Sunday... Afterwards, I regretted the beer and shot, but felt better when we were outside getting some fresh air. I did feel a little pain in my left foot, so I stopped to stretch.

Fast forward 10 hours and I couldn't walk. Shit. I was freaking out. I was looking up orthopedic doctors all morning, I went to the Athletic trainer at MIT and got taped up. He said I should ice 20 minutes at a time - throughout the day. I was also instructed to up my advil intake by "a lot". The entire week was 10 times more stressful because I couldn't walk. I was biking everywhere and had felt that I may not be able to run the marathon. Sleep wasn't happening either because of pain and stress. I eventually bought out CVS of all of their ankle wraps and advil and pretty much have exhausted both of my roommates and anyone I work closely with. I feel bad about that and will be forever thanking them for putting up with my whining and turbulant behavior over the last 5 months.

By Friday I was feeling more confident, but still not certain that I would be able to run the 20 miles on Saturday coming up. ARGGGG.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What NOT to eat before a long run.

Restaurant Week in Boston is a great time to check out restaurants that you've always wanted to try. The roomies (and Jamie) went to The Blue Room. I ordered chicken and CREAM SAUCE.

.... Fast forward to mile 9 of the 15 miles that Angela and I were doing with the Dana Farber team on the Minute Man bike trail. Thank goodness we came across a Dunkin (of course).

We made it through the 15 miles just fine and then proceeded to head to Harvard to eat and then went to Marathon Sports to get new running shoes since both of ours have lost their vigor. At least that's what we are attributed my foot tendinitis and her knee pain to! After collectively trying on 6 pairs of shoes, we both walked out of their with some new kicks. Well technically we had to go over to the Boyleston store for mine because they didn't have the right color (which apparently is a total running "no-no" to request a different color) but I did it anyways.

Typically, Saturday night is my night to go out. This past Saturday was a bit different. I came home, showered, put ice packs on both knees and both feet and made some dinner. Then, instead of heading out for a few hours, I went to work. What? Yep, you read that correctly, I went to work around 8pm. I biked in and was about to go in and realized I forgot my work keys, I hopped back on my bike and retrieved them. I was excited to be there though. It was the first annual Colleges Against Cancer - Relay for Life of MIT and I had volunteered to stay over night with the students to ensure everything was going well and be there if something did happen. The excitement wore off around 12n when I scavenged for some coffee. Instant energy! Around 3:30a, I was walking the track looking for trash and realized that my 4am kickboxing class was coming up. I hobbled over to the stage and started getting the students ready to kickbox! It went well and we all needed some form of activity to get us going again. That energy took me all the way to 7am when I was finally in bed. I was supposed to get up at 9am to join my friends and roommates for the annual Ras 5k in Davis Square. This race is special as it was the first 5k in Boston that I ran and I've ran it the last 4 years. I barely could speak when they came in to wake me up.

All in all, it was a pretty tiring week of running and cross training, but the outdoor track workout on Tuesday with Jamie and the outside river run with Tim on Thursday were just what I needed!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The day I lost my Crazy Dough pizza virginity.

Today was the longest run yet. The schedule I'm following said I should be running 18-20 miles today. Typically, my long runs are on Saturday's with the Dana Farber team. Due to my late night fundraiser on Friday night (that's a WHOLE other story). I got Angela to commit to running with me today so we could enjoy our night out on Friday and actually sleep in!!! I was waiting for her to call today to leave out on the run by occupying my time with watching the rain storm roll into Boston, getting more and more unmotivated by the minute. I decide to start reading my marathon book to help with motivation. Ironically (or not) the chapter that I'm on is all about staying motivated and mentally strong during a run. Just what I needed as I was laying under my fleece blanket drinking coffee on a Sunday...

Thank goodness when I got up to brush my teeth, Angela called and said she was ready to go. I answered the phone with, "I don't wanna". She wasn't having that and said to get my butt over to her place.

After loading up my pockets with my T pass (hey, you never know), a credit card, my ID, cell phone, head phones, 2 GU's, a pack of shot bloks, and my fuel belt.... I ran the 2 miles over to her place next to Fenway. We set out on the next 17 miles with the mindset that we WERE going to finish the milage, no matter how long it took us. We made it to BC and stopped at our favorite Dunkin to refuel our water and set off on the next 9 miles of hill repeats in Newton. At this point, we were both having one of the worst runs ever, but we kept the spirit up by telling college stories, talking about our grandparents, admiring all of the cute dogs, but most frequently we talked about food. We made a decision around mile 10 about what we were going to eat when we finished. Tuscan Pizza from Crazy Dough. Before today, I was a Crazy Dough virgin. I'm sad to say that I've been seriously missing out. We HOUSED almost the entire large pie.

If you take anything away from this pointless blog, take this:

The relationship between beer and running.

One of the first things I came across when moving to Boston was the amount of social events based on running... and beer. Many bars offer group runs throughout the week open for anyone who wants to meet at the bar and head out on the run. Then, you can come back and socialize over a pitcher of your choice. Typically, there's also food involved. This is one thing I love about Boston. Little did I know, the Dana Farber team also supports one of the local bars by attending one of these "bar runs" on Thursday nights.

Angela and I decided to hit up the bar run this past week. It was 20 degrees, windy, and dark when we left. The only great story that I have to share from this run (outside of Angela and I unintentionally going to second base on the T) was when I insisted we stop out the Dunkin Donuts near Boston College so I could use the restroom. I'll keep this rated "PG" by only saying that since we were so cold and numb from running, I didn't realize that my undergarments were NOT pulled all the way after we started running again. It was only until a certain "feeling" happened that I did realize this unfortunate situation. I basically stopped on the corner of Commonwealth and Chestnut hill and redefined "picking a wedgie". Again, this took my relationship with Angela to a whole new level.

After running hundreds of miles, you eventually come to a point where you don't really care that there are cars and cars of people around you. For instance, you being to perform the following without thinking about manners:
1. snot rockets
2. wedgie picking
3. wiping you face with your shirt, thus exposing your upper body.
4. (and my personal favorite) hawking a loogie.