Archive for the 'Marathon' Category

Peace Up. A-Town Down 2007

Goodbye.

TTYL.

You suck. Bye.

That’s what I have to say about 2007. As you can see I absolutely loved every second of it.

It hasn’t been an easy year for me. There has been too many deaths and some huge unwanted changes. Changes I can’t even write about. Therefor changes most of you don’t know about. Changes I am still desperately trying to adapt to.

I figured I would write this 2007 wrap-up and bitch and complain about everything that sucked about double-oh-seven. But nope. I won’t do it.

INSTEAD

Guess what I did in one year?

In one year I ran 615 miles. Six hundred and fifteen miles. 989 kilometers. I technically ran the width of the state of Virginia a little more than three times. The were a few months when I ran the width of Connecticut in those mere 30/31 days.

I ran a freaking marathon. I still can’t believe it. 26.2 miles. I did it.

I’ve been through 3 pair of sneakers as well as dozens of socks and sports bras. My feet have taken a huge beating in ’07. And guess what? They aren’t getting a break. I’ll keep running up, until and through ’08. Thank you Nike+.

I turned 21. A perfect age. The freedom to go out and get a drink is one I will always appreciate. Always. Self-medication (remember my year sucked?!)…yessss.

I landed three internships and was able to meet some pretty fabulous people through 2/3 of them! Not too bad. Because of the people I worked with and the trust they put in me and my work I feel prepared for this next step in ’08 called FIND A JOB.
And because one of those internships I started this blog. Without “I’ll think about that tomorrow” I would never have realized how much I love to write. I love, love, love, love, love it! And to read (check out my blogroll these people are amazing :)) Running and blogging have become my addictions. Healthy ones? I like to think so!

I got a job. I went to my classes. I got good grades. Blah.Blah.Blah. Not life’s highlights. Remember that. There is much more to life then those things. Even if they make your parents and grandparents proud. I say “whatever man.”

I dyed my blonde hair brown. And I loved it. In fact, love it. I’m still a seductive brunette. Going back to blonde eventually? Ehhhhh, I’ll think about that tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve been blessed to have amazing people in my life who love me. Who let me go through my shit and just stand-by. Or jump in when the shit hits the fan with simple cards that say “I love you”, hugs, tears, wine, surprise Bud Selects and long talks. Thank you. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for attempting to understand. And thank you for admitting you don’t! You know who you are. I love you and I promise I’ll get back to “normal” eventually. I promise. I know I shocked at least one of you by being “human”…so I might shock a few more by saying “yes, I am human.”:)

At the end of this year this is all I can think:

Through the hard times you learn the most about yourself. Even when you just want to say scream and cry as loud as you possible can “I KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT MYSELF FOR NOW, THANK YOU. I AM READY TO STOP LEARNING IF THAT MEANS THINGS AREN’T GOING TO SUCK SO MUCH”

Hey, if on the 16th mile you feel like you are on top of the world don’t get too confident because by mile 22 you wish you could quit. But I’ve learned that if you are me, you don’t, won’t and can’t quit.

I keep running. Even if I have to walk up a few hills. I will cross the finish line. That’s just the type of person I am.

So thanks for teaching me that 2007. Although at the beginning of this post I wanted to erase you from my mind forever, I will hold the trials and accomplishments I have endured this past year close to me forever and ever.

It’s just another part of me.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which
you really stop to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself,
‘I lived through this horror.
I can take the next thing that comes along.'”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

*happy new year, 2008 will be fabulous*

4 hours 21 minutes and 52 seconds

I have never been more proud of myself in my entire life.

In fact, after letting this sink in for two days—I don’t think I have ever been “proud” of myself.

I always felt my accomplishments in life were expected of me. Graduating High School, not a big deal. Going to College–expected. But this, this marathon was something bigger than all of that. If you had asked me on August 1st if I would ever run a marathon I would have said “Hell, no.”

Well now it is 2 months later and I have run a 26.2 mile race.

Let’s recap.

I started running on December 26th, 2006. On that day, and for the first 3 weeks, I could barely run 2 miles. By October 13th, 2007 I have managed to log 524 solid running miles. And run a marathon. I am so blown away by what my body has allowed me to do.

On to the marathon.

October 12th, 2007: I woke at 5:30 a.m. —I was supposed to leave my apartment at 4 a.m.—that clearly didn’t work out. I headed back home to CT. I picked up my sister in New Haven on the way and made it home in about 6.5 hours.

October 13th, 2007: I woke at 5 a.m. I was calm, I showered, then rushed to get my backpack packed (NO FANNY PACK YAY!!!). My dad was there to pick me up and bring me to Hartford. I quickly grabbed 2 slices of bread and a quick spread of peanut butter. (I had never had this meal before a run—but I it deserves 2 thumbs up!).

We picked up my Aunt Jenny and headed on the 45 minute drive the Hartford Civic Center. It was packed with people at 7 a.m. I got my number 132 (love it!) and used the bathroom one last time before the race. I am praying at this point I don’t get the “nervous pee.” We then cram into the pack of marathon/ half marathon runners waiting at the starting line. After the national anthem and a prayer we are off.

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I am a beast compared to my Aunt! It was freezing by they way! And let’s keep in mind it is 7 a.m. ok?!

The first 11 miles went by so freaking fast. I was running an 8:37 pace for the first 10K. At mile 16 my dad came over on his bike. I was ready for the race to be over. Not that I hated it, I was just so anxious and I had come so far. Only 10 more miles left!! By 18 I was tired. From 16-18 I only walked while I drank water/gatorade at the mile markers. I kept telling myself that when I reached 20 I would be GOLDEN. Well, when 20 came around it didn’t feel so good. I wasn’t as pumped for the last 6 miles as I thought I’d be. There were lots of hills and everyone around me was suffering too. I ran everything but the hills. At this point my run was slower than my walk!

At mile 24 I shoved a banana down my throat–I was getting a little out of my element at this point. I also grabbed a butterscotch candy (I hate butterscotch candies, by the way!) and that helped. Then at mile 25 I convinced my legs to keep moving. I was back in downtown Hartford, circling Busnell Park. I passed the 26 mile mark. Only .2 miles to go. I look up.

A hill.

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The last .2 miles!

An incline. An incline that takes me around the corner to the left. I run up the hill and I see my mom and sister. My mom goes wild. There are people everywhere. The finish line is HUGE. There was a group about 10 seconds ahead of me and some people about 5 seconds behind me. I was all alone. I ran through strong.

“And here comes L. B. of CT. Great finish L.B.” said the DJ

I made it! In 4 hours 21 minutes and 52 seconds. That is an overall 10 minute mile pace ๐Ÿ™‚

The first thing I wanted to do when I crossed that finish line was cry. Cry, tears of joy. I almost did. But I held back. I’m sure they will come out in the shower sometime this week once it really settles in. I can honestly say my life has changed.

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My gross self, my mama and sister! I’m DONE!
I got a fabulous GOLD medal. And my legs hurt. In fact, my legs still hurt. A lot. My stomach also hurt. A lot. Running long distances is not good on the digestive system. I can tell you that. So can my Aunt.

My Aunt Jenny fought through her pain and completed her second marathon. Let me also add that her first marathon was 4 years ago and during that 4 year down period she had 2 babies. In other words. She is awesome. No. She is more than awesome. She is straight up AMAZING.

We were both in a lot of pain yesterday. Today is pretty much the same—except my stomach is feeling better. I hope yours is too Aunt Jenny!

If it wasn’t for my Aunt I would have never run a marathon. She’s that good.

If it weren’t for my dad I would have never arrived at the race on time or arrived to the right location. I also wouldn’t have had that motivation (aka making fun of other runners’ styles) I needed at the 16 mile mark. Thanks pops!

If it weren’t for my sister and my mom I would have never been able to make it up that hill for a strong finish. Nice sign ladies. Thank youuuuu.

And thanks to my roommates, my soulmates, my Aunt Darla, my grandparents and Mifflin. Because of those fools I had a huge smile on my face after the race— they all cared enough to call, text and pray for me. I love-ah you people.

And if I didn’t have all of you blogging people to share this story with I would be bragging to strangers on the CATA bus. And that isn’t cool. So thanks for listening!

Today in my family psychiatry class we learned that rational-emotive therapists believe we choose to maintain our irrational thinking.

I don’t think this pride I feel is irrational but today I have chosen to maintain these thoughts and feeling of pride for the rest of my life.

**if anyone has any marathon questions or seeks advice–I can be of service to you!

Mission Accomplished

I did it.

I conquered the Hartford Marathon.

More tomorrow.

๐Ÿ™‚ <—- that’s me right now + a sore face, if they had one.

M & M

If you have been reading my blog you should be well aware that tomorrow I am running the Hartford Marathon.

As it is my first (and possible only) my goal is to finish. Finishing in 4 hours would be an added bonus. Somebody asked me today who I was running this race for. My answer was “Me.”

Tomorrow is also my parent’s anniversary. My mom was 21-years-old when she married my dad.

I am 21.

Tomorrow as I am running 26 miles in Hartford my Mom, exactly 23 years ago, was walking down the aisle.

I can’t help but wonder.

What if that was me? What if I was getting married tomorrow?

I think we know by now I am not “mushygushy” but I do have some soft spots. I looooooove “Whose Wedding is it Anyways?” the “Wedding Story” and any other wedding special that hits the TV screen. I have been known to jot down wedding ideas, song lists and stare for hours at J.Crew’s wedding section, but marriage—that’s a huge concept. It’s not just a wedding. aka HUGE PARTY (you know I love receptions!)

Let’s be serious, I’ve never even had a serious relationship. So, trying to imagine myself in my mom’s position makes me feel… there is no other way to put this… sick. I can see myself, in a white dress, freaking out. It makes my stomach hurt.

Ehhhhhhh.

Well, good thing I’m not getting married tomorrow. After writing that–I am clearly NOT ready!

But I guess its a good sign–that I am not feeling sick when thinking about the marathon– as that is tomorrow. I can only hope that I feel as calm about my own wedding/marriage someday as I am about the marathon ๐Ÿ™‚

I need to say thanks to everyone who has motivated me and supported me in my crazy idea to run a marathon—and left me comments regarding my running on this here blog—you have no idea how much I appreciate it/ needed it!

Also, to my fabulous roommates (Heather, Em and SallyJo) and my soulmates (Erin and Megan I got your cards yesterday :)) I thank you so much for your support–always.

So Here I Go–talk to you in 26.2 miles ๐Ÿ™‚

Chicago Marathon: Thanks for keepin’ it real, ehhh.

Marathon in T minus 5 days.

Naturally, I am nervous. And, sadly, my daily read of The Collegian did not help calm my nerves.

At this year’s Chicago marathon (10.7.07) a 35-year-old police officer died due to a heart condition. It was apparently so hot and humid in Chicago that they had fire trucks spraying water over the runners– a few passed out on the run and 2 are still in critical condition at the hospital. Four hours into the run organizers started to shut down the event.

Ehhhhhh.

Of course times like that make you look at things a little differently. It’s just a marathon. I am only doing it for me–and in this instance I promise to be easy on myself.

Lucky for me the predicted weather on Saturday in the Heartbeat (Hartford, for those of you who don’t listen to HOT 93.7) shows a high of 59 degrees.

Thank God.

Perfect running weather. But, I will have you know that if it was 90 degrees and humid I would not push myself. After all of this hard work I have learned that you have to listen to your body.

Honestly, I feel prepared. I have been training for almost exactly 2 months and I am just ready to run this thing already!

I have been loading up on carbs since Saturday–yummy! I ran a 5.6 miler this morning and the rest of my runs are kind of up in the air. Which is weird—since they have been so planned for these past 2 months.

So bring on the 26.2 miles.

But more importantly bring on the 60 degree weather.

Things I’ve Learned Through Training

Marathon Training tips a la LB

I understand I am a novice…so here is some advice for you beginners out there ๐Ÿ™‚

1. NIKE+: I know, I know I talk about this device all the time. But, the truth is if this didn’t exist I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing: Training for a Marathon.ย  I was a three sport athlete in High School but I was NEVER a runner. Now I run. I have completed 120 runs since December 26 and have totaled 442.02 miles. And due to this training I have run 101.73 so far this month. Thanks to Nike+ย  and Lance Armstrong for getting my butt in gear and in shape.

2. COAT YOUR FEET IN VASELINE: before every run, long or short, I lube my feet in pertroleum jelly. After I developed a pretty awesome blood blister on my right foot someone gave me this advice—and it’s like a spa treatment. As your feet warm up from running it softens the skin and you are blister free ๐Ÿ™‚ *oh and if you have boobs try a little bit of this on them and you won’t have any chaffing from your sports bra, very important on a long run.

3. GET A FANNY PACK: although my fanny pack and I aren’t speaking after Saturday’s run I fully recommend getting one–at least you have an option.ย  There is no way you can carry around a waterbottle and Gatorade in your hand—not possible, I’ve tried. The fanny pack, although not attractive or stylish, will keep your hands free and your mind off that sloshing sound from your water bottle….ehhhhh I HATE THAT NOISE!

4. EAT CARBS: I have to admit it. I was a no/low carb person. But if you are training for a marathon YOU CAN NOT DO THIS. My best advice with the carbs- I always have a bagel right after my long runs and a bowl of pasta the night before my long run. I have so much energy this way. Simple advice and it works.

5. EATING WILL BECOME ANNOYING: I love to eat. I have always considered the Buffet a challenge (not a good way to live by the way!). But eating during marathon training seems like a chore sometimes. You always have to think about what you are putting into your body—will this give me enough energy?, will this make me dehydrated? and will I have to make sure I am within a mile of a bathroom at all times during my long run? <—– not fun.

6. DRINKING: You really can’t. At least not before a long run. I can’t not drink though, this is my last year in Happy Valley, so I can’t even take my own advice. But I will tell you this: run as much as me and one beer has the potential to put you out cold. Oh, lightweights!

7. WEAR SHORTS and a TANK TOP: No matter what. Regardless of the temperature pre-run you will be getting hot after running 15 miles. Don’t fool yourself. I learned this the hard way. Apartment felt like 65 degrees (LB–you have air conditioning, dummy) so I wore capri spandex—outside was 85 degrees. This was my worst run. Completely dehydrated and a total disaster. Wear shorts, ok?!

8. DRINK TOO MUCH WATER: I probably shouldn’t say that because Iย  heard a lady internally drowned herselfย  once…ehhhhhh. Since I have been at school I, alone, have drank 4 cases of H20.ย  I am a water drinker by day andย  a water drinker by night. I only drink Gatorade on my long runs. Make sure that after the 8 or 10 mile mark you are drinking Gatorade every 2 miles. I drink water for the first 8 and then switch to the Blue Stuff. It really helps keep you going.

9. HAVE A REALLY GOOD PLAYLIST: No matter what I have my IPOD on my arm—for the Nike+—although, I have to admit I don’t always listen to music. There are times when 2 hours of silence is necessary. But when I do have an awesome playlist boombangin’ out the frizame my run is pretty much like Rocky on crack. So jam it up. And make it a wide variety. From slow to fast you need all kinds of songs.

10. YOU WILL BE ADDICTED: I am. I write about running a lot. I run a lot. ‘Nuff said.

11. EMPTY MIND: There will be times during your runs where your mind will become empty, it will kind of space out. That is the best. It’s kind of like a sanctuary on two fast moving legs. There will also be times where you think about everything and anything, those times are also great. I think running is therapy, at least for me.

12. BREATHE: Don’t forget to breathe. Get that Carbon Dioxide out of your body, it’s a poison. Do this: At the top of a really tall hill pump one fist in the air and go “Whoooooo!” That means you are breathing and that you are awesome and that you just demolished an insane incline. I do it. 7 a.m. someone is “Whooooing!” down the street—that’s me.

13. YOU WILL LOVE UPHILLS: I don’t know what it is but the downhills will start to make you feel like a slacker and you will want more uphills. It’s crazy.

That’s all I got for now. Go out for a jog, walk, or run during this beautiful weather ๐Ÿ™‚ Soon it will be winter…not like that stops me

14. WINTER RUNNING IS THE BEST: I started in the freezing cold winter and I would trade that running weather for the 90 degree summer weather in a heartbeat. You can breathe easier and no one mows their lawns which is great. You don’t know how many people I give dirty looks to for mowing their lawns. Jerks.

Best/Worst Weekend Ever

Yay!/Boooooo!

The only reason it was the best was because well, Lance Armstrong says it best:

“Congratulations! You have run your furthest distance yet!” (love,) Lance Armstrong.

Oh, and the “you” in that quote–that would be ME. I ran 16 miles in 2 hours and 26 minutes. That would be roughly 9 minute miles and the run was enjoyable (never thought I would say that about a 16 mile run—that’s almost gross).

I wore my fanny pack which was packed with a bottle of water and a bottle of gatorade. I even found a Porta-Potty on my route so that was awesome!ย  I LOVE PORTA POTTIES. No, not really*. But,ย  anyone who has run long distance can understand my excitement to find one of these beauties on my run.

*I don’t think I will ever get used to the fact that I got excited about a fanny pack OR a porta-potty. Ehhhhhhh. Oh, Nike+ what did you do to me?!

So now for the worst part of the weekend: I worked from Friday-Sunday. What was I thinking? I told them I could work 3-4 days a week, 15-20 hours. So what am I getting? 4 days/week and 20 hours. Fabulous. Way to make yourself available LB.

Did I consider the following facts:

1. I am in class 5 days a week for 20 hours a week as well?!

2. I am also working for Disney?

3. I am supposed to be studying for the LSAT (less than 2 weeks away, ehhhhh)?

4. I am training for a M A R A T H O N (oh, by the way didn’t go out Saturday night because I had to get up at 7 a.m. to run the 16 miles before work—dedicated.)

5. I am a 21-year-old Penn State senior?

(and CuriousC, I am the biggest list maker. Not in life–I only have to-do lists when my life gets out of control. But when I talk/think–I often list things!)

Nope. I did no considering. What so ever.

So, what would a smart person do? NOT ADD ANYTHING TO THE PREVIOUS LIST.

But hey, hey, hey what did I do? I got an internship!!!!!!!

Good, yes. Bad, mhmmmmm.

Who was up at 6:30 this morning? ME

Anyways, I did it to myself. Now I have to make it work/change it up so it works.

Cut down my hours at work- yes, needs to be done.

O.K. no more venting. Sorry if you have already heard me complain. I’m done.
Mike (and Megan)–guess what just came on my IPOD– right now?!

This could be a sign.

Oh, it is definetly a sign!

“Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson.

“That’s why I’m starting with me. I am starting with the (wo)man in the mirror. I am asking her to change her ways.

And no message could have been any clearer.”

Break it down MJ.

(also note ALL the categories for this blog—that’s how my life feels right now. )