Boston Marathon 2014

my parents and I waiting for the runners...

my parents and I waiting for the runners…

The Boston Marathon is always a special race, but this year was definitely more special than others. There was so much spirit, resilience, and patriotism. It made me feel proud to be an American. Plus, it got me all pumped up for my first marathon!

We watched the first 45 minutes or so on the television at home and then scooted over to mile 25 to claim some good spectator spots. I was following live tweets on my phone about the race the whole time and was freaking out. Here are a few of the photos I got today. I felt like I could just reach out and touch the runners. It was pretty amazing!

 

American woman Tatyana McFadden on her way to a win!

American woman Tatyana McFadden on her way to a win!

lots of police out

lots of police out

we were right across from the medical tent

we were right across from the medical tent

Rita Jeptoo on the way to her 3rd Boston Marathon win!

Rita Jeptoo on the way to her 3rd Boston Marathon win!

the battle for 2nd...

the battle for 2nd…

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Shalane Flanagan representing the US! She gave the race a valiant effort and ran a PR of 2:22! She may not have won, but she made us all proud.

Shalane Flanagan representing the US! She gave the race a valiant effort and ran a PR of 2:22! She may not have won, but she made us all proud.

American Desiree Linden coming in at 10th place!

American Desiree Linden coming in at 10th place!

American Meb Keflezighi on his way to winning the Boston Marathon! He is the first American to win the race in 31 years. It was so incredible to watch!

American Meb Keflezighi on his way to winning the Boston Marathon! He is the first American to win the race in 31 years. It was so incredible to watch!

Wilson Chebet trying to chase down Meb

Wilson Chebet trying to chase down Meb

Ryan Hall! He has been dealing with some injuries in the past year, but it was great to see him back out there on the race course.

Ryan Hall! He has been dealing with some injuries in the past year, but it was great to see him back out there on the race course.

The race was so incredible to watch. To have Meb Keflezighi win the men’s race was just incredible. When he ran by us at mile 25 he looked strong, but so did Wilson. I was worried he was going to get chased down, but was so elated to find out that he finished the race out strong. To have an American win the race after what happened last year was amazing.

Shalane Flanagan also ran a great race. Even though she didn’t win, she made us all proud. She ran a gutsy race and kept the pace “honest.” Oftentimes Boston ends up being a kicker’s race (slow at first with a blistering finish), but she made sure that didn’t happen. She ran 2:22:02, which is a personal best for her and is also the fastest marathon ever run by an American woman at Boston. She has to be proud of that!

Today was incredible and I’m looking forward to my marathon now more than ever! It’s been hard to picture myself actually running the 26.2, but after today it seems more real.

How was your marathon Monday? Did you run in Boston? Did you watch the race?

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A Very Runner Birthday

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What better place for a runner to celebrate their birthday than in Boston itself on Marathon Monday?! I keep seeing the runners with their jackets on representing the marathon and all. Everyone is definitely in the spirit for a race.

My family is obviously aware of my obsession with running, so for my birthday I got a few running-themed gifts that I’ll share with you.

  1. Clif Shot Bloks – yum yum! It’s fun to try out new things to fuel with when you’re running. I’ve been mainly just using Gu’s, but these are good too. They’re little gummies that you can easily eat. Plus, they actually taste pretty good! I like the citrus flavor.unnamed
  2. Peppermint GU’s – my friend got me these earlier in the week. The chocolate mint and peppermint Gu’s are my favorite flavors, so these will be great.unnamed
  3. Race Day Outfit – Sometimes it’s nice to have a little something special for race day. It can kind of get you in the mood for racing. I got a newer model of my Mizunos – I’ve been a Wave Rider fan for a few years now. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? I also got some new shorts and a racing singlet. I tried out the shoes and shorts today on my long run and everything works well.
  4. unnamedunnamedDrum roll please…. REGISTRATION FOR BAYSTATE!!!! October 19th here I come! The marathon is well known for its fast course – very flat. I’m hoping that I’ll get a nice PR there.
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My family was even nice enough to accompany me on some of my runs this weekend. My dad biked with me on my marathon-paced run yesterday. Then for my long run today I ran with my future sister-in-law, then my brother biked with me, and then my brother-in-law biked the last part with me. It’s so nice to know that my family doesn’t just put up with my running, but that they support me. I sure am lucky. Thank you all!

Also, check out the awesome cake my sister made me. I absolutely adore the chocolate and peanut butter combo. It was a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Plus, the frosting in the middle layer had Reese’s cups. The top had chocolate ganache and was topped off with some more Reese’s. Yummy!

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I’ll be watching the marathon tomorrow. Our plan is to watch the first part on our television and then scoot over to mile 25 to watch the runners come by. I’ll be doing a blog post on it tomorrow or Tuesday so stay tuned!

Remembering Boston

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Since I was in middle school my family has made it a tradition to go to Boston and watch the marathon. It always falls right around my birthday so the whole weekend is kind of a big celebration. One year the marathon was actually on my birthday! As I’ve said in previous posts, Marathon Monday is my favorite holiday.

My dad and I at the 2011 Boston Marathon

My dad and I at the 2011 Boston Marathon

Last year my family and I were in Boston the day of the bombings. My siblings had to work, but my mom, dad, and I watched the start of the race on the television before heading out to our usual cheering spot around mile 23. Like normal, I was giddy with excitement waiting for the elites to come by. I kept refreshing the phone to get updates on how the race was playing out. It seemed like the perfect day – bright and sunny. Across the street from where my family and I were standing were a few policemen. I remember my mom making a comment about how nice it must be for them to relax today and just enjoy the race. Little did they know what was about to happen…

I cheered my brains out when the first runners came by and cheered especially hard for the Americans – Kara and Shalane! Unfortunately I had a Chem lab later that night that I didn’t want to miss since they’re a pain in the butt to make up later. We stayed until the elites had come through before my mom and I headed back home.

a picture of Kara Goucher I took from Boston 2011

a picture of Kara Goucher I took from Boston 2011

We had been driving for at least an hour before my brother called us asking if we were alright. Apparently there had been some explosions at the finish. There was then a scary half hour when we couldn’t get through to my dad because the phone lines were down. The whole ride home I kept getting calls and texts from friends and other family members asking if we were okay.

The whole thing seemed surreal and bizarre. I mean, a terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon!? It just seems crazy. The marathon is something so near and dear to my heart that the attack seemed so personal. It’s such a celebratory day. There’s something I find so pure and beautiful about running a marathon. It’s a test of heart and guts. I was upset that anyone would try and ruin that.

All I can say is that they sure messed with the wrong people when they decided to mess with the marathon. First of all, they messed with Boston, which is historically known as a rebellious city – the Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre… Boston has a lot of heart and a lot of spirit. Secondly, they messed with marathoners. These are people that run 26.2 miles FOR FUN. Nobody forced them to do it. They enjoy pushing their bodies to the extreme. Plus, they didn’t just do 26.2 miles, almost all of them trained for months and months before the race logging over a thousand miles. It also felt like a broader attack on the running community in general. Not all runners run marathons, but we all support each other in our different running endeavors. Lastly, they messed with the supporters. Nearly all of the people injured in the bombings were not running the marathon, but were the loved ones of the runners. As someone that has spectated at a running event, let me tell you, it isn’t easy! The weather doesn’t always cooperate, there often isn’t anywhere for you to sit, plus, you’re normally the one that ends up having to carry around the runner’s gear. The supporters don’t get nearly enough gratitude for the work that they do. After all, runners are nothing without their supporters!

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Am I afraid that the same thing will happen again this year? Not really. If I’m being completely honest I’d be hesitant to stand in the same place the bombs went off, but that’s just me being superstitious. I’m sure security will be raised up a whole new notch this year. Plus, we just can’t live our lives in fear. It would be impossible to closely monitor the entire 26.2 mile course. It’s not like a stadium where you can have every spectator walk through a metal detector. Bad things can happen to us at any moment – things out of our control. We can’t avoid doing things because we’re scared. We should live our lives to their potential and enjoy them fully!

I think we’re all pretty excited for the race this year. I’m excited to see even more spirit and even more heart from the city of Boston, the runners, and the spectators. I want people to remember Boston 2014 for its comeback instead of 2013 for its tragedy. I’ll be cheering my brains out on the sidelines again. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll even run in it!

SHORTS WEATHER!!!!!!!

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It’s finally here! After what seemed like the coldest and iciest winter I’ve ever experienced, spring is finally turning up! Almost all the snow/ice is melted from my running routes and last Tuesday I officially got to bring out my running shorts.

My favorite running “holiday” (besides the Boston Marathon of course) would have to be the first shorts weather day. It’s the first day that you can COMFORTABLY wear running shorts and not be cold. There’s something so freeing about tossing the spandex away and stepping into shorts.

You get to show off those pale winter legs to the rest of the world. For girls, this also means having to shave on a more regular basis. It’s easy to get away with not shaving when you’re wearing spandex or pants during the winter, but not so easy when it starts to warm up. Also, how is it possible that I still have an awful sock tan? I think I spend too much time outside in my running shoes.

sock tan

sock tan

And a watch tan. Oh goodness.

watch tan

watch tan

My next race is quickly approaching! I’m running in the Half Marathon Unplugged this Saturday and am hoping to PR. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape, the race course is flat and fast, and the weather looks perfect (63 degrees and partly sunny). It’s the perfect equation for a good race.

Unfortunately I’m not really tapering for the race since my marathon is so close. Plus, a few weeks ago when I hurt my ankle I didn’t get quite as good training in as I wanted. I want to make sure I’m in good form for my marathon since that is my big goal, so I will mostly be training through the race. However, I will definitely be giving it my all! My legs just won’t be as fresh.

Have you had your first shorts run yet?