Monthly Archives: January 2008

Cliche Realized

Wednesday’s Workout Stats:
Route: up to Center St., down to Washington St. & back
Mileage: 4 +
Time: ?
Best Song: “Love Song” by Sarah Bareillis

Shin splints, my friends. I have shin splints. What a terrible, lame, weak, first-time marathoner cliché. I’ve taken on too much, too fast, as they say, and I’ve earned myself a pair of aching shins. Sweet.

So now what? How does a girl relieve the (now constant) sensation of screaming shards of vengeful glass from her previously serene and high-functioning (albeit far less toned) lower legs?

I guess she heads to The Boston Bodyworker. That’s where my coach told me to go, and as you know, I do what I’m told, so tonight, fair blog readers, that’s where I’ll be.

I’ll go, if you make me, but let me be the first to say – I’m skeptical. A cursory perusal of their website explained they are neither an orthopedic doctor’s office, nor a physical therapy center. (Conventional Eastern medicine practices, be damned!) They are, in fact, a clinical massage destination. They promise to (read the tagline) bring clinical massage to the masses.

What?

I investigated. I spoke to a very helpful person on the phone that revealed this isn’t your ordinary, relaxing massage (dang). It, on the contrary, would probably be quite painful and decidedly unpleasant.

Oh. That sounds better. I guess.

Supposedly, the cause of shin splints (exercise physiologists and enterprising medical students, don’t quote me here) is unhappy and super-tight muscles around the shins that need to be worked out (apparently through barbaric massage techniques), so that then the afflicted can then do the icing, exercising, resting, etc. that it takes to completely heal.

Still skeptical.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Filed under ice, running, shin splints

Me, Pretty Much All the Time

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Illustration by Michael Kline

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Upon Further Inspection

Tuesday’s Workout Stats:
Route: up to BC Main Gate and back
Mileage: 5-6
Time: 51:55
Best Song: “The Underdog” by Spoon

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So it turns out the bottom of Heartbreak Hill isn’t at Mile 20. It turns out Heartbreak Hill actually only refers to the final of four treacherous Newton hills. The one that runs from Miles 20 to 21. The one that actually sits at Comm. Ave. and Walnut St.

Oh.

I THOUGHT Heartbreak Hill began at Washington St. and Comm. Ave., right at the Newton Firehouse, but, my friends, the firehouse is actually only at Mile 17.5. Whew! I have to rearrange my thought processes.

Up until JUST THIS MOMENT, I had been telling myself, “I just need to get to the firehouse, get to the firehouse, then I’ll catch up with Colleen and run on the adrenaline of home/family/BC/almost-there for the last 6 miles.”

But, hold the heck up – that’s only 17.5 miles. [In the voice of William from Almost Famous when he found out he was two years younger than his mother lead him to believe]: “SEVENTEEN-POINT-FIVE?!”

Thought process currently altering …

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Filed under Heartbreak Hill, hills, map, running, training

The Family That Runs Together …

Tuesday’s Workout Stats:
Route: down Heartbreak and back up again
Mileage: 3-4
Time: 33
Best Song: the melodic lilt of my sister’s voice

My sister, Colleen, made me a promise several weeks ago.

Inspired by my goal that at the time seemed lofty and far off, but has since become very real and painful in the calf area, Colleen decided to crank out a goal of her own that just happened to partner with mine. Literally. I’ve spoken about it before, but I’m going to throw it out there for the entire blogosphere to read and pass on to anyone in the greater-Boston area who may be spectating along the rolling hills of heartbreak in the lovely village of Newtopia on the afternoon of April the 21st (or anyone who, say, KNOWS someone who also MAY be there…).

Colleen is running Heartbreak Hill with me.
from the bottom to the top and around again until mile 26 (POINT TWO)

I declare this truth (and it is SO TRUE) not because I think she won’t do it, because she will. (Colleen has never been one to go back on a promise – ever). I exclaim it because I think sometimes she thinks she won’t be able to.

So, would ya’ll do me a favor? Would you go ahead and hit up Colleen’s blog and give her some words of encouragement?

Because she knows I couldn’t have done any of this dreaming, planning, fundraising, and outfitting without her and I think she just may need her own cheerleader for this one.

Let me be the first to say: Run, Colleen, Run!

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Filed under family, Heartbreak Hill, hills

Icy Hot

Yesterday’s Workout Stats:
Route: down Heartbreak and back up again
Mileage: 4
Time: 36:30
Best Song: “Dashboard” by Modest Mouse

Last night’s run was characterized by: achey shins (oh no!), warm breezes (for real), and ginormous puddles (which are hard to spot when it’s, you know, pitch black outside). Overall, it was a good one, although it was abbreviated from my intended 6 miles because my shins started hurting in the first couple of paces and I thought I could either 1) stop, 2) slow down, or 3) cut the run short.

Stopping only three months before marathon day? Umm … I couldn’t do it. Slowing down = also something I’m not fond of. My philosophy has always been: the faster you run, the faster you’re done (and, no, I didn’t intend to rhyme, but I guess as far as philosophies go, rhyming ones might be better than their not-so-poetic counterparts, wouldn’t you say?). So, I trimmed my run by 2 miles and arrived home in just over 36 minutes with shins that didn’t hurt … until I stopped.

So, I grabbed my trusty ice packs (generic CVS = very good coolness and gel-y consistency) and shoved them in some extra-tall socks (thanks, Dad), but not before completely forgetting to put something between my warm skin and the freezing packs. So, um, I burned myself. Oh, yes, only I could find a way to burn myself with the coldest substance on earth. (Side Note: Is ice, in fact, the coldest substance on earth?)

I’d take pics, those would be even grosser than the icy hair sweat shots and I guess some things are better left to the imagination.

Stay tuned: tonight I run with my McQuestionable sissy.

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Filed under burn, hills, ice, icicle hair, running, training, Uncategorized

Fun Run #3

Today’s Workout Stats:
Route: same as last week
Mileage: 5-6
Time: 50
Best Song: no iPod!

This week’s run went really well. Our mileage went down this week – it’s called a “recovery” run. I think they should call it a mental health day for the marathoner. With the miles quickly adding up each week, I couldn’t help but get a little nervous.Last week, I was thinking, ‘Yes, I can run seven, but am I ready for eight?’ I think more than in the physical sense, I got a break from the mental stress and the interjecting question of, “Can I do it?” And now I’m ready for eight next week.

For a change, this weekend, I ran without music. As you know, I am ALWAYS plugged in on my runs. I feel like I can’t do it without my merry band of supporters – you know, Elton, Madonna, and the Hanson Brothers – yes, the Hanson brothers. So, I really stepped out of my comfort zone this weekend when I kept the headphones in my pocket. I still had them there, just in case, but I was having a good time comparing fundraising and training notes with my coach and teammates.

It’s amazing what you learn when you’re thrown in a stressful situation (read: running over ice and through major intersections) with people who are in the exact same mindset as you. My friends and family are very dutiful about asking how the training’s going, how my new workout gear is suiting me, how nerd-tastic I look in my new fuel belt, etc., but after a while you kind of get that enough-about-me feeling and want to change the subject.

But not with these girls! It was all treadmill inclines, non-chafing socks, and qualifying times. Don’t worry, guys; I’m not trying to qualify (this time) – but the girls I run with are. Me? I’m just trying to beat Katie Holmes.

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Filed under iTunes, running, team run, training

For You, A Marathon

Today’s Workout Stats:
Route: Treadmill (sigh)
Mileage: 4
Time: 37:30
Best Song: “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor

Happy 2008.

I’ve never been one for resolutions. They all seem to sound more like last year’s regrets than this year’s aspirations. I guess I took on a pretty intense project in 2007 that has found its way into the new year, so I’m going to run with that one as I relay my wishes for you.

•    A healthy body
•    A clear mind
•    A goal
•    A team
•    A good sweat
•    A new understanding of giving & getting
•    An opportunity to meet new friends
•    The tools with which to push your limits
•    The healing of old wounds
•    The enthusiasm and support of family & friends
•    The pursuit of the perfect electrolyte replacement (or other such nutritional necessity)
•    Early wake-up calls with big payback
•    Redefinition of self, strength & success
•    Inspiration in a child’s smile
•    That “full circle” feeling
•    The chance to fulfill a dream

I wish for you, your very own marathon.

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Filed under marathon, new year's resolution, resolution, wish