Tag Archives: running

Victory

I did it! 18 miles! WHEW! Lots of exclamation points!!! Lots of CAPS! Come on, people, put your hands up! Say it with me: “EIGHTEEN MILES!”

Katie, Jen and I (along with Holly and about 15 other Miles for Miracles runners), completed the New Bedford Half Marathon yesterday. But not before running 5 miles – at pace – as a (hold on to your hats) warm up.

All told, it took me about 2:46. I was psyched to run in an official race with time chips, numbers, water stops and (some) spectators. My lower back became very crunchy (yum) about 13 miles in, but after scaling three decent-sized hills (that have nothing on Heartbreak) and braving a pretty intense headwind brought to me by the Atlantic Ocean, I did it.

And I’m ready for the 21-miler on March 29 and 26.2 on April 21.

A treat for you – three sweaty hot runners:

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Proof that my “running partners” are actual people. That’s Katie, Jen and I, at Train Boston, after our 12.5-miler.

I’ll try to take more photos in the coming weeks, but some of this stuff you just have to see to believe.

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Ma’am

That’s right, he called me “ma’am.” And he completely made my run.

Who’s he? He is a young boy – maybe 11 or 12 – who looked just like my brother Stevie when he was little. He was very tall and hopelessly skinny, with legs that stretched ‘til tomorrow and thick, misbehaving hair whose red wisps poked out from below his perfectly fitted and obviously loved Red Sox hat.

I happened upon him the other day, about 3 miles into a not-so-effortless 5-mile run. Or, I happened upon his neon yellow softball.

“Ma’am,” he hollered from across a rush-hour filled Center Street, “Can you please throw me my ball?”

And without a thought, I stopped running, stooped down, grabbed the ball before it rolled to the dreaded sewer, grabbed it and waited for a space in the traffic before I wound up (eat your heart out, Papelbon) and tossed it to him.

“Goooooooooooood throw,” he yelled. And he meant it. I think.

And with that, I smiled, he thanked me, and I headed home – with a spring in my step. It’s the little things, I guess, that keep me going after a long day at work or a stressful, uncomfortable run.

Seeing the boy in the ball cap reminded me of being young, playing catch in the backyard or wildly chasing a ball to prevent its certain demise in the sewer.

Also: I find that if it’s not a fellow runner (and even sometimes when it is), the person you pass on the street in Newton rarely says “hello”, let alone engages in a friendly conversation. Long runs can get lonely and sometimes all you need to pass the time is a little reminder of the good old days and a healthy dose of encouragement.

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Oh, MAN!

Lance Armstrong is running the marathon too.

Why is EVERYONE trying to steal my thunder?

Unless, of course, his fabulous girlfriend, Tory Burch is handing these out. Then, I’ll reconsider my aversion to Lance, the great, yellow thunder stealer.

Until then, I have this to say: You may be Armstong, but I’m Legstrong, so look out!

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Filed under flats, lance armstrong, tory burch

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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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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Fun Run #2

Today’s Workout Stats:
Route: Beacon St. to Newton Centre
Mileage: 7
Time: 64:01
Best Song: “The Underdog” by Spoon

Today’s weather was crappy. Today’s run was great. We ran a very simple route through the neighborhoods of Newton (Lower Falls, Waban, and Newton Centre) – dodging icesnowbanks and cars the whole way. The drivers were all quite kind so early on this rainy Saturday morning to let the pack of us go (even when they clearly had green lights)!

There were over 20 Miles for Miracles runners in attendance, with people representing all difficulty levels (novice, intermediate, advanced). Each group runs a set mileage every Saturday, based on a training program the coaches designed. Today, the novices (myself included) ran 7 miles. The intermediates ran 11. The advanced group ran 10. I’m not exactly sure of the logic behind one group running one distance this week and another next; all I know is next week is only 5 miles and … well, I do what I’m told. (Most of the time.) Yea.

So, it was fun to meet some new people and visit with some of the other nice runners I’ve met at past events. Even though I have to get up earlier on Saturdays than I do during the workweek (gasp!) to attend these runs, I actually look forward to them. It’s nice to get such an early start to the day and have such inspiring coaches to help get you going. And how can I forget the reason we’re all gathering so early on such a cold, wet, gray winter morning – the kids!

Miss Jayla is doing well, as is the rest of her family. I spoke to Jenn before Christmas and she said the family was looking forward to spending Christmas day at her mother’s house in Rhode Island. The family has a brief respite from the endless doctors’ visits – Jayla’s next is early January.

I hope 2008 holds many wonderful things for Jayla and her family – kind friends, fun adventures, and most important, good health.

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Filed under Christmas, family, marathon, patient partner, running, snow, training

Holy Hills

TODAY’S WORKOUT STATS:
Start time: 6:00 – SIX AM!
Route: Summit Ave.
Hills: 3x up, 1x down

So my very first hills run was pretty easy in that there were only three uphills to complete, but quite taxing in that the first began minutes before sunrise and hours before typical Kerry-rise.

I like to sleep in – sue me.

I’ve always been a night owl, only perpetuated by my time in writing school when my peak alertness HAD to be between 6 and 10 pm, lest I be outshined by some persnickety poet or self-sweating filmwriter.

When I arrived home after 10:30 (or later if we hit The Tam), I took to writing, as I felt most creative when the rest of the world felt most … asleep.

It’s been over three years since graduation, but I still find myself burning the midnight oils reading, writing, or generally pondering life’s big questions, like, “Why, oh why, Jamie Lynn, did you not use a condom?”

I digress. It was rise and shine at 5:30 this morning and off to Brookline to run the 1/3-mile, 70-degree incline up Summit Ave. Three times. Seriously, you’re running a precipitous uphill for about 4 minutes each time. I was wishing for my bed in a BIG WAY (and also, my mommy) about ¾ of the way up, but, guess what? I finished. All 3 of them. And lived to write about it.

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