Monday, April 30, 2018

Race Report Spoilers: BOSTON 2 BIG SUR COMPLETE!

So, again, just thought I'd post a quick little check-in so that no one dies of suspense. I finished Big Sur! (And with only a little sobbing at the end.)

Definitely my slowest marathon ever (except for Oakland which I ran as a long run) for probably obvious reasons, but not abominable, and I actually felt really good & strong all the way to the end.

I have a ton more to say about this entire experience, once I finally have the time to sit down & write something. Which, given that I'm now planning on a good, long break from even remotely training for anything, might be something that actually happens over the next few weeks.

(Er, once I get out of bed. The Big Sur course is absolutely gorgeous, but man, it really beats the ever-loving SHIT out of you. :/ )

Talk to you soon!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Race Report Spoilers: I MADE IT, GUYS!!!

So apparently a few people not on my social mediaz started getting really worried that a Boston race report was taking me so long & getting worried that maybe things went really really terribly. And let me just say for the record that yes, OMG, IT WAS TERRIBLE!

HOWEVER, it was *not* as terrible as it possibly could have been. The weather was a mess, 2500 runners left or were pulled off the course with hypothermia symptoms, including 25 elites, & something like 80 people were hospitalized, so honestly, I can't feel anything but incredibly lucky to have been able to finish & only suffered mild hypothermia after the race.

I have a ton more to say & will most definitely be writing a few different posts about it, but as we spent the rest of the week gallivanting around NYC eating & drinking all the things, not much has gotten done on that front yet.

In the mean time, though, if you need some proof....

(A friend also sent me this, which I have to say I am contemplating even though I'm not shopping this year. I didn't buy the overpriced ugly-ass jacket but this T-shirt may be just what I need to fully memorialize the experience.)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

By the time you read this.......

By the time you read this, I'll most likely have made my way from Hopkinton to Copley Square, God willing & the crick don't rise. And honestly, crick-rising is a legitimate concern at this point, since we're supposed to get hit with a big, wet, windy storm sometime in the next few hours. Did I mention the wind is projected to be within 10 degrees of a direct headwind for 73% of the course? ~12mph or so at the start, and a healthy 28mph by the finish? GOOD TIMES!! :D

Is it disappointing to have such shitty weather? Sure. It's not like I was planning on a PR race, but I was hoping the trip would be at least mildly pleasant. But honestly, I don't feel as disappointed as it seems like I should. No one is ever entitled to perfect--or even not-awful--race day weather; you hope for the best, but you show up and run whatever kind of race day Mother Nature has seen fit to provide. I still feel super privileged to be here and am very cognizant of the fact that it very well could be my one and only shot. Everyone says Boston is magic regardless of the weather, that the camaraderie & adrenaline carries you through unlike in any other marathon, so that's the attitude I'm going into it with.

I also keep thinking back to CIM 2012, that god-awful, god-forsaken train wreck of a race year when everything was headwinds and sideways rain and timing mats shorting out under water & police rerouting the course around downed power lines. How at the time I swore that was the hardest run of my life, how I fought and fought and fought for the finish and felt like I'd been robbed of a PR by the weather. In retrospect, I'm kind of grateful for that race; all around me here in Boston and online people are freaking out about the weather and endlessly debating what to wear, and I'm feeling oddly calm about it. Like. How bad can it be? Worse than CIM 2012? Worse than Oakland three weeks ago when mile 8 felt like mile 20? I doubt it.

And, hey, if it is, I'll have a new war story. I'll run into other people who also ran Boston 2018, and we'll shake our heads and share war stories like it was so awful but inside feel sort of proud that we were there & made it through.

I'll write a more detailed post sometime soon, but in the mean time, please enjoy some shots of our first two days in Boston.

Catch you on the flip side of this beezie. Wish me luck and warm fingers!!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

4 More Sleeps: The Race Plan

You can thank Sara at Middle Aged Runner for this little gem.

Well, here we are. Tomorrow I get on a plane to Boston & things start Happening.

It has not been the training cycle I'd hoped for--not even close. I've been so busy and stressed with the remodel, and traveling too much, and injured badly enough to lose a week of training on three separate occasions. My plantar fasciitis has come roaring back in the past few months, making running (and walking) excruciatingly painful at times, and for the last month on my runs I've felt completely, utterly exhausted, like I'm wearing lead boots all. The. Time. (We did solve that one--I am apparently badly iron deficient, and while I've started downing iron pills & red meat like it's going out of style, almost everything I've heard or read suggests that it really takes a good two months before it makes a noticeable difference.)

Which is all to say, I'm trying to be excited about the experience, but I am not betting on having a particularly fast race. In fact, I'll settle for finishing and mile 8 not feeling like mile 20. I had a massage therapist work on my foot and calf on Tuesday, which helped, and hopefully taper will have revitalized me a bit. (I keep reminding myself that for CIM 2016, I felt pretty bad and exhausted all the way up until the day before the race, so there's still hope!)

Still, in any case, I AM planning to go out there & run the best, fastest race that I can, so I think it's still worth thinking through the course & coming up with a race plan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

17 days, 5 cities, 2 marathons, & a partridge in a pear tree

Or: The Travel Crazies.

As I said before CIM 2016, I don't understand people who dread taper. I love taper. I'm great at taper. I'm a freakin' pro over here.

But as I've learned with the two other races I've flown to, it's harder to properly taper when you have so many balls in the air getting ready to travel, and then actually doing the traveling, while also managing to hold down/wrap up a full-time job, get a cavity filled, manage 47 crises related to your house remodel and oh yeah, not forget to do your taxes at some point.

And in case you'd forgotten, this particular trip is a bit more involved than most. Let us review:

- April 13-17: Boston Marathon (with side trip to our sister dojo at MIT, because not enough sportsing going on that weekend already)

- April 17-22: NYC vacation side trip

- April 22-25: Speak at Math Conference in DC (& also hang out with my college roommate)

- April 25-26: Late flight home, one night in my own (actually not even my own) bed, & an early-morning road trip to Big Sur

- April 16-29: Big Sur Marathon (plus a bit of general Big Sur sightseeing)

Are you tired yet? This was all my idea & I'm already tired. (BUT WHAT ELSE IS NEW.)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Year of No Shopping: Quarter 1

ICYMI, I decided that 2018 would be my Year of No Shopping. Recall that 'no shopping' does not mean 'no spending' or 'no buying things' or even 'no buying things unless 100% necessary'; for me this year, 'no shopping' means:

  • No wine shopping/buying beyond what I'm already committed to through clubs.
  • No new running clothes or shoes (barring maybe a Boston souvenir or two...maybe), except for probably some new sports bras which are truly needed.
  • No new clothes/accessories shopping via idleness/anxiety, crushing on something for no new good reason, or feeling like I need something new for a particular occasion.
  • No new books unless I *actually*, *literally* have nothing to read that I'm excited about.
  • No 'gadgets' unless it's something we legitimately need. (ie, no seeing an online ad for some handy gadget & going "Ooh! I could use that!" [add to cart])
  • No window shopping since it pretty much involves all the same bad habits, just without spending money.

I promised to do a little update once I was a few months in, so, here you go!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Free-Range Snow

(You may recognize this trail from Week 6, though it looked a bit different then....)

I'm not totally sure what's the point in continuing with these weeklies, but let's just go with it for shites and gigglz. (You know the smiling-crying emoji? Imagine that here. If you're on my social mediaz, you've seen those a lot lately so you're used to it.)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Books 2018: Quarter 1

As you probably already know, I've been reading a classic a month for the last two years. It started as a one-year project in 2014, but I've enjoyed it enough to keep going with it & will probably continue until it starts to feel like a chore. You can find my past reviews by clicking on the "books" tag at the end of this post, or be my friend on Goodreads. (You can also just go to the site & hunt down my review feed without being my friend. Don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings.)

***Also*** there is a group of us who are girding our loins to attack Gravity's Rainbow sometime in the not-too-dim-and-misty future, so give a holler if you've got the cojones and want in.

ICYMI, the classics I selected to read in 2018 are here.

On to the reviews!