Monthly Archives: February 2008

Fun Run #7 & A Breakdown

Not THAT kind of breakdown … read on.

Saturday’s Workout Stats:
Route: from Mile 10 (middle-of-nowhere Framingham) to the Finish Line (!)
Mileage: 16
Time: 1:35:14
Best Song: the birds in the trees, the whoosh of adrenaline, the relentless panting, unhealthy wheezing, boundless energy of my airflow up Heartbreak Hill

This weekend’s long run, in a word? Phenomenal. The post-run party? Also fun. But not nearly as cool as the slam-the-football-in-the-end-zone, tear-your-shirt-off-after-winning-the-World-Cup, double triple quadruple Holy Crap moment of crossing the Boston Marathon finish line. The FINISH line. Indescribable.

All I need to do is add a mere 10 miles [cold sweat] to this weekend’s accomplishment, and we have ourselves a marathon.

Saturday was a beautiful day for a run. It was pretty cool in the morning (the run began at 10:30), but the sun shined warmly upon the Miles for Miracles team (plus those of the Liver Society, the Alzheimer’s Association and many other charity teams), right up through Mile 26 in Copley Square.

We followed the marathon route through the suburbs of Massachusetts, dodging cars and stopping every few miles for a water break (or Gatorade – blue – or gummy bears or pretzels or Jolly Ranchers). Who knew marathoning could be so delicious? And, yes, I just made up a word. You like?

All this food talk must have you wondering – what did I eat for this 16-mile test of nerves? Sharkies and Gu, my friends. Citrus Sharkies and lemon-lime Gu. Survey says? Success! My stomach was happy and healthy both during and after the run. (You can finally sleep now.)

This week, I ran with two lovely girls – Jen and Katie – who kept me on my toes and entertained for the entire run. So, if you’ve found this blog (and we talked about it – a lot – 16 miles gets WAY LONG), welcome, and thanks for a fun few hours.

Now on to the good stuff. The breakdown …

Behold: The Feet

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Well-deserved, post-run “Ultimate Spa Pedicure” (of the Lincoln Park After Dark variety)


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The well-meaning, good posture-encouraging, altogether devastatingly unchic “professional” clogs

A lot has changed in just a few months. A LOT.

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Pick My Poison

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Which would you choose as your intra-run snack?

We’ve got beans, moons, sharkies, gu and (dum, dum, duuuuuum) the indefatigable Triple Threat.

The moons are delish. I ate the watermelon variety last week during my 15-miler. The beans are sweet. Almost too sweet. And I think they’ll be hard to chomp on as I’m gasping for air keeping a healthy, even breath pattern during my run. I’ve eaten them pre-run before and, well … super-powered jelly beans at 7am … a sub-optimal snack. (Side Note: Could eggs, hash browns, bacon and waffles – washed down with several ounces of full-fat maple syrup – be an acceptable pre-run snack?)

I haven’t tried the Gu. People rave about it. I’ve tried the PowerBar gels, and I think it’s what upset my stomach so much last time. Well, it was either the concentrated sugar/electrolyte/vitamin-overload combination or the fact that I ran FIFTEEN miles. At once. Quickly. AT ONCE. Not slowly. Again, the running, and all.

Let’s talk Sharkies. They caught my eye on the way out of my local triathalon shop (there are several in Newtopia), and their sheer organicness compelled me to purchase not one, but two of the squishy, fruity, electrolytey delicacies. The helpful man at the store said they “fly off the shelves” and well, if that doesn’t say “Kerry has to have it,” I don’t know what does. I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, the absence of chemicals and general crap, implied by the term “organic”, may alleviate some of the stress on the stomach. But then there’s the small matter of this week’s mileage – SIXTEEN, PEOPLE.

And, if all else fails, there’s always The Triple Threat. One part high-powered energy chunks. One part FDA-approved steroid juice. One part indestructible awesomeness. How can I go wrong with one of these bad boys in my pocket? I’m beginning to think I should keep one in my handbag at all times. You know, for the look-0ut-ladies-Mommy’s-here-to-shop clearance sales at Filene’s Basement, the every-girl-for-herself 8am Starbucks rush, or the near-extinct crazy ladies’ night out where I’m all, “It’s only 10:30?” and could truly pitch myself a nice sleepy nook under the bar, covered only in Bud Light-emblazoned cocktail napkins and the thin haze of Snakebites? Not that that’s ever happened.

Stay tuned: I’ll let you know how the snacks go.

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Holy Crap, The Second

Remember the first time I wrote this?

How far we’ve come, my friends. And might I say again, “Holy crap! ” We’ve reached my fundraising goal!

$4,000, baby – and it’s all because of your generous donations. So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, with a cherry on top, tied with a ribbon of love, floating in a sea of overflowing gratitude.

There has been some running and hilling and gymming and many, many songs played, but I don’t have a ton of time right now to recount my sweaty escapades (oh, so sweaty) – I just wanted to share the amazing news.

Keep in mind, this news does not mean STOP, rather, it means GO. Go and give if you can. Go tell your friends to do the same. Go get excited about what these funds can do for kids like me, Jayla, or maybe a child you know. Oh, yes, and please, Go to the route on game day – all the cash in the world won’t buy me a free trip up Heartbreak Hill.

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Fun Run #6

Saturday’s Workout Stats:
Route: through Wellesley Ctr., Natick Ctr. and back again
Mileage: 15
Time: 1:24:30
Best Song: iPod-free

Fifteen miles, baby!

Can I get an “Amen”?

I ran my tail off Saturday for what will surely be featured on The 2008 SportsCenter Year In Review show as “Best Comeback.”

No shin splints. No lower back pain. Just a whole lot of snacking (chocolate Goo, watermelon Moons, PB & Chocolate Powerbar), drinking (water and blue Gatorade in the fuel belt, plus an official water station at Mile 10), and, um, some running too.

Everything felt good! Until about Mile 12, that is. It was then when my body started (how do I phrase this without violating my G-for-Gorgeous site rating?) freaking the heck out. My mind? That followed suit in a truly notable performance.

The toughest thing was the lack of mile markers. I really didn’t know where I was at any point in the run and I panicked as the time ticked away (which I could only learn from my super-informative running partner, because my watch, too, umm … “freaked the heck out” on me). Around ever corner, I knew that if there really was a God, the end must be near. But where?

Had I known I was only ½ mile from the finish line, I never would have stopped at Mile 14.5 for the dreaded walk break. I was running with a teammate (Kristen – this is her third Boston – hence her aforementioned super-informativeness) for many, many miles, and when 14.5 came up, all of a sudden my freaking-out body merged with my freaking-out mind and it was all I could do not to vomit, pass out, and go to the bathroom – at the very same time. (Yummy.) So, in true military action-movie style, I said, out of breath and dripping with sweat, “Go on without me!”

Anyway, there were a lot of people around. There were also cars, traffic, jovial boutique shoppers, and many runners behind me, so instead of just imploding in a pile of sweat, fear, and electrolyte-replacement fluid, right there on the side of the street, I decided to walk it off.

What is “it”, you might ask? It’s pretty much what I imagine your spine collapsing might feel like. It was more of a sensation of disbelief than anything else. For a mile or two, I had been feeling the impact of every single step. Running wasn’t just running, it was mechanically jutting out my hip, thrusting my upper leg forward, hinging my knee, landing (THUMP) on the heel of my foot and then (TWEET) the balls and then throwing one elbow back and shoving the other fist forward in efforts to make it all happen again.

I guess I became mentally nervous that my motions were becoming so deliberate and my mind was becoming so acutely aware of every effort (on a cellular level) that was working to come together to make this motion happen.

So, I walked. Just for a minute.

And then, O great beaconing, shining, Skittles-spewing salvation of all glorious light and heavenly gifts – there was the finish line.

Collapsing spine? Realigned.

Holy-crap-this-is-how-it’s-going-to-end feeling? Vanished.

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Fun, Kerry, Fun!

Just trying a new blog title on for size. Not for now. For later. After the ‘thon. (Yes we are on a nickname basis. Anyone who inflicts this much pain on me better have a face so I can punch it thank it for the challenges it has allowed me to overcome and the fancy muscles – physical and emotional – I’ve gained from dealing with it – him? her? Definitely “him”.)

There, better now.

In thinking ahead (as I always do), I’m nearing the fine day when all of this preparation, dreaminess and apprehension will come to a glorious head (a 26.2-mile head) and will – poof! – all be a sparkling memory.

So, what do you think I should do then?

I’ve loved keeping this blog. It’s been a powerful means for me to keep my family and friends up to date on the oh-so-titillating details of my marathon minutiae, as well as a new way of meeting people and bringing in some work.

This has worked better for me than the other ill-fated blog I tried because it’s:
1. Personal, but not too personal
2. Interesting, but not controversial
3. Containing bits that most can relate to
4. A chronicle that has a nice beginning-middle-end quality
5. Me, but not too much of me (You may disagree.)
6. Fun, verbally – a daily exercise of stream-of-conscious writing
7. Not too controversial (Bears repeating.)

So, can you think of a topic on which I can write or a journey I can chronicle that may be just as fun/rewarding/traffic-building as ‘Thon ’08?

Keep me in your thoughts. Pass along any funny blog title possibilities. Hang on ’til April 21 – there’s still a lot of running (and blogging) to do between now and then.

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Back in Business

Monday’s Workout Stats:
Route: down to Washington St. and back up
Mileage: 4
Time: 36:14
Best Song: “The Underdog” by Spoon

Yesterday’s Workout Stats: Cross-Training
Machines: Elliptical (40), Bike (20), Embarrassing Full-Body Stretching (10) [You know, the kind where you spread your legs to a “V”, bend your sweaty self all the way forward and THEN realize there’s a pilates class in the “darkened” room behind you? A pilates class WITH a cute boy DIRECTLY in front of your now completely out-there tush? Yeah, that kind.]
Mileage: about 10
Time: 60:00
Best Song: “Meet Virginia” by Train (from the Mix 98.5 Live soundtrack – Thanks, Bro.)

Tonight’s Workout Preview (Oooo):
HILLS!

So it only took three weeks, three racking therapeutic massage sessions, and three hundred million bajillion lines of unadulterated hemming and hawing, whoa-is-me-ing, and otherwise general complaining, it’s happened, ladies and gentlemen – I’m back.

Back in a much more cautious, subdued and less I’m-going-to-make-the-pavement-sorry-with-every-thundering-step-I-take kind of way. I’m chiller. I’m more observant of the scheduled cross-training days. I’m much more likely to stretch, ice, and stretch and ice some more.

Welcome to Kerry’s Marathon Training 2.0, with many improved technical functions and a much more user-friendly interface. (Although I’m still rockin’ pink sneaks.)

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Try, Try Again

Saturday’s Workout Stats:
Route: through West Newton
Mileage: 5.5
Time: 51:50
Best Song: “More Money, More Problems” by P. Diddy

Success! Turns out the torture treatments in the tush region were just what the shin splints lower-back pain ordered. It was decidedly UNuncomfortable (let’s see – two negatives make a positive – well, I wouldn’t say I was comfortable, per se) in terms of social awkwardness, but once the giant ball of pain muscle knot was sufficiently worked out, I was strong/confident/ready enough to hit the pavement on Saturday.

I will say I felt a little out of practice as far as the breathing, mental preparation and car-dodging went, but once I ran a few steps, it was just like riding a bike (or taking a run, as it were) and I think from here on it, I will be just fine.

Moving forward, I promise to:
•    Stretch better
•    Ice longer
•    CROSSTRAIN (!)
•    Be more diligent about rest
•    Chill the heck out

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