Week 12 was a good one! I got in some quality miles and workouts that pushed me to dig deep and ended up making me stronger in the end. New England got hit with another big snow storm so I was forced to stay indoors and hit the gym/treadmill studio. I got in another Stryde Plus Core class at MyStryde on Wednesday night and I think this one was the toughest I’ve ever done. We did the usual hill sprint intervals and speed training, but we did A LOT of them this time around. I mean, we were doing our sprint speed on level 10 incline…I had to hold on to the machine because I thought I was going to fall off! After that, those regular sprints on a flat road felt pretty damn easy 🙂
On Thursday, I decided to push my run to Friday and just get in a quick gym session instead. The reason I decided to switch up my schedule was because I had to get some new sneaks! My old ones were really starting to hurt my feet and I think I was getting close to retiring them with all the miles I put on since last Fall. I made a stop at Marathon Sports on my way home from work and picked out my future Boston Marathon shoes! Originally I was just going to get the newest model of my current shoes since they were really comfortable at their prime, but it turns out the store didn’t carry them anymore…honestly, just my luck. My guy (I forgot to get his name) brought me a pair that was super similar in fit and weight of my old shoes, but these ones were from Saucony. I was surprised I loved them as much as I did after only jogging outside for a quick test run and walking around the store a bit, but they just felt right. The colors helped make the decision a little easier too!
I set out on my first run with my shoes the next day and struggled a little bit with breaking them in. My arches hurt, my ankle was killing me and my knees were being a pain in the ass yet again. I was only able to run 5 1/2 miles and was not feeling great about that, especially since I had a pretty big run the next day. To cheer myself up, I decided to make a pitstop at the Boston Marathon adidas RunBase store on my way home to get some “inspiration” for the big day. Ended up having a quick retail therapy session and left with some new leggings! Treating it as a little gift to myself to celebrate one month until Marathon Monday 🙂
On to Saturday, my long run of the week and one of my favorite holidays! I signed up with Heartbreak Hill Running Company & Nike Run Club for their free long run which was going to be at the starting line for the marathon in Hopkinton. The run was only supposed to be 13.1 miles, and I was scheduled to get 18 in so I decided to get up early and crank out 5 miles before hopping on the T over the Heartbreak Hill store in Newton. I started out feeling a little sore from my run the night before, but it felt pretty good once I got a couple miles in. And because it was St. Patrick’s Day and I just HAD to have a green bagel, I swung by Brueggers towards the end of my 5-miler so I could have some extra fuel for the second half of my morning.
Alright, now on to the hard part – Hopkinton. I was soooo nervous on my way to the store to meet everyone from the Heartbreak Hill team and just to experience this all for the first time. The nerves slowly slipped away on my bus ride to the start line after talking with Natalia, a Heartbreaker and fellow Boston Marathon charity runner. We talked about training, fundraising, our running careers, and just life in general. She told me about the Heartbreaker program and how she has really benefitted from such an inspiring community.
Once we got to our destination we all huddled around Coach Dan as he gave us all a quick pep talk and started a chant, “What are we running?” and then everyone yelled, “BOSTON!” Snapped a quick picture and then we were off on the course!
It was really cool to experience the real Boston course and get a feel for any inclines or tough patches along the way. We were only running half so I didn’t get to see the hills towards the end of the course, but at least I know where to conserve my energy so I can have extra gas in the tank to get me through on race day. It was actually really hot once we started running so I was DYING in my vest, long sleeve thermal, and two pairs of leggings. It was also super sunny and I ended up getting a sun burn on one side of my face!
I was part of the last crew to finish but I was super proud of my time! I was able to hold 10:30-11 minute miles for the whole run AND I barely had to walk. My ankle was bugging me throughout the whole thing and my left calf cramped up towards mile 16, but I just wanted to finish the damn thing so I kept on going. I’m so glad I pushed through because now I can say I successfully completed an 18-miler!!
I came back from my exhausting morning to find a shamrock shake and some cadbury eggs waiting for me at home – my favorites, thanks Matt! I stretched, foam rolled, iced and then rested for a lil bit before getting all my green on for a little St. Patty’s celebration. We decided to head over to Lansdowne Pub over by Fenway for some live music and a couple beers.
Today was a well deserved rest day where I just continued to stretch and ice everything in preparation of this week. And since it’s March Madness, I made sure I was sporting some orange to cheer on Syracuse against Michigan State. The boys pulled out an incredible win and we’re moving on to the Sweet Sixteen! A perfect ending to this weekend 🙂
Week 13 should be a fun one! I’m going to squeeze in the usual (physical therapy, MyStryde, strength training, and low-mileage runs), but I’m also going to tackle a 20-miler this weekend. This will be my longest run during training and then I’ll taper and slowly decrease mileage the weeks leading up to 4/16. Let’s do this!!
Check out my Crowdrise page to donate & help me raise as much as I can for the ALS Association: http://bit.ly/BostonBeginnings262