Tag Archive | boston marathon

My favorite things! June Edition

so, just because Oprah and I are basically the SAME thing, I give you THIS: the new edition of my favorite stuff, where you discover new things you might like  or tell me you’ve been using that old trick for 5 years, and quickly unsubscribe from the blog. 

In no particular order:

DONA JO Leggings

I am always looking for colorful tights (and any sort of apparel, clothes, dishes, towels, etc!!) because, you know, colors are awesome. Also, you want a nice material: something light, flexible, moisture wicking, all the good stuff. Check out the DONA JO leggings. Obviously you can tell they’re colorful enough. But the material is quite giving and super comfortable. These are my go-to tights now. I got a 20% discount code you can use too!!! It’s runningandthecity. Try them and let me know what you think of them!!!

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Cozy Phones

I don’t know that I would wear these for running in the summer or in the rain. They’re not supposed to get wet and I sweat a lot. You can definitely use them for other sports or just for whatever when it’s cold to keep your ears warm! I do LOVE them for travelling. I am super super noise-sensitive so when I have to sleep on a plane I put on ear-plugs but what am I supposed to watch then? I put these over the ear plugs!!!!!!! They’re loud enough that you can hear through the ear plugs and the movie noise will cover ANY 2 year old crying bloody murder! OH YEAH. And you can get comfortable: they won’t fall off!!!!! Perfect!

Sorry for the stock pictures: I AM NOT PUTTING A PICTURE UP OF ME SLEEPING: that’s where I draw the line people!!!!

iRelieve – Dual Channel TENS & EMS

Last year I spent a few hours (weeks!) at the PT. My adductor was a bit sore and needed some T&C. you know when you go to those places, sometimes, after the exercises or massages or whatever they plug you into these machines that accelerate recovery, right? Well, you could buy one. There’s some for $20 and some for $6000. Juan and I decided on this one, it’s small around $60 or $80 (can’t remember) off Amazon and does the work. There’s many frequencies and this one has two, one for recovery and one for strength. It’s small enough that you can put it in your pocket (and go to work with the electrodes on!!! I do!). I haven’t used it on EMS mode, just TENS, but do some shopping around as I found over 7 different types of frequencies you could choose from.



I’d say this is such a cool gift (if you can guesstimate properly the size of recipients behind!!! if you can’t, it can be funny).

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They come in a few different types, and they’re super comfortable. They’re great for when you need coverage, hey  hey summer dresses, and a fun note in case the summer dress flies up! Oiselle also has a pack of 7 with all the different days of they week, ehem: rest/tempo/long run/fartlek/race/easy 6/track. These can be very useful when ordering lunch if you don’t have time to check your running schedule to see what’s on tap! (thanks Caro -pictured- for the gift!)


Questions? Anything you discovered this month that you love and couldn’t live without???? Share!

My favorite things! April Edition


It doesn’t really feel like Spring…

so, just because Oprah and I are basically the SAME thing, I give you THIS: the new edition of my favorite stuff, where you discover new things you might like  or tell me you’ve been using that old trick for 5 years, and quickly unsubscribe from the blog. 

In no particular order:

stink free sports detergent

wow. seriously. there’s some gear I am careful with. Like my 2014 (neon orange) Boston jacket (because I RUINED my 2010 boston jacket, ha). I love this detergent! Try it (also check that site as they have other amazing things!).

What I love more than this detergent? The mini version of this detergent!! I travel super light I usually bring 1 pair of shorts, 1 bra, etc, so I just leave my clothes on the sink with this for a bit, and voila, ready for the next run!!! Won’t travel without it! WHY RISK IT, right?

fitletic double pouch

fitletic double pouch belt review product review running gear running belt this thing is my house. I have SO many belts (I’ve literally haven’t touched the other ones in years!) but this one is my favorite. Because it has TWO pockets! one is always pre-loaded with my keys, a tissue, some cash, sometimes a gel, whatever! The big one is for my iphone (currently a 6).

I usually add honey sticks in there and what not. I like that the phone is separate as I was always worried, when you take your phone quickly, that all the other crap (keys!!) would fall out! That’s not a problem here! You know we take stuff out without stopping the run!!! I’ve had it for over 2 years and it’s still in top shape. I just did a get new one because my dad sorta “claimed” my old one when he saw it…! check it out here.

I am so comfortable with it that I’ve run many races with it, including the Boston Mary.

runinkspired running tattoos

umm. yes. motivation? check. fun on the road? check. badass look? check. Temporary??? YES! easy to put on, what else do you need to know??? They are awesome. They are here. I got a bunch and been using them when it’s hot out. Love them!


Designer fitness apparel hand picked just for you. I stole this text from the website because how I could I say it better? Basically you create your own profile, pick what sort of sports you do, what you like (patterns, colors, etc), what sort of stuff you need more or less of (tops, bottoms, accessories, etc.) and then… you get a lovely package with things they select for you (and a return envelope to return what you don’t want to keep). Just like Stitch Fix for sports!

I like this sort of stuff because, let’s be realistic, we’d all be buying the same exact crap into eternity. It’s like when an ex (years years ago) gave me a light tan max mara cute little bag… ugh, TAN? YUK. Does he not know me at all? Every purse I own is neon!!! Anyway, because it WASN’T just like everything else I had, I ended up using it a LOT. I still have it actually. My point is that, because WE didn’t pick it, it might actually fill some hole in our wardrobe.

So, in my first shipment I got TWO things I NEVER would have bought, or really, even bother to look at a store. And I am obsessed with them!!!!! Worn them SO much already in two weeks! I even wore the tights in my race this past weekend! The top has three things I’d usually HATE: white/kangaroo pocket/mesh fabric!!! And, I LOVE IT. The tights… omg, they’re so soft and comfy… For anyone who’s ever tried to buy a present you know I am IMPOSSIBLE (my bday was two weeks ago, I returned most of it!) so this is a miracle.

under armour anything studio lux shoes

It’s not a secret that I am obsessed with all the UA gear. Want me to tell you again? Their infrared shirts have changed the way I approach winter now! but this is my obsession of the month!!! these shoes are SO COOL, and LIGHT, and COMFY, and BENDY. It’s a go.

I included some vacation pictures so you can see how I wear them with ANYTHING. It’s shocking I haven’t worn them to bed yet.

I also got a bunch more stuff from Under Armour in the last months. These blue tights are amazing (besides cool), super thin and soft. I wore them once and then to the NYC Half (that’s how much I trusted them!). Ps: they have a side pocket that fits my iphone 6, with a little hole for the headset!

The shell storm jacket, OH, obsessed, best top layer ever. And the shoes, those are the new record-equipped Gemini 2 that connect via bluetooth to a phone and track your mileage. Even when you run without your phone. I still have two Geminis (1) that I love and these feel quite similar, but it’s fun to think about going out without a gps watch!!!!

Questions? Anything you discovered this month that you love and couldn’t live without???? Share!

2015 Boston Marathon – as a very wet spectator

Just click, it’s a crazy slideshow

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I’ve counted, and I’ve been to the Boston Marathon 5 times, 2 to race and 3 to spectate, including this past Monday. I think I’ll be in the spectating side next year too. As I was busy Sunday pacing the NYRR More Fitness Half Marathon, I didn’t decide to go up to Boston to cheer until the last minute… which means, after running 13.1, I slept a few hours and woke up at 5 to make it to Boston at 11 am. By 11:30 Lauren and I were at Mile 25, where we had planned to watch, and we merely caught the elite women by 2 minutes! Talk about perfect timing!!! Soon enough, we caught up with Daphne and we settled a bit before the Citgo sign, by the water station, it was empty there and we had a great visual, lots of space, and music. We saw the elite men go by and then the rest!!! We saw so many Whippets on the course (lots of them with sub3s), Carolina, who waved her arms telling me WTF, and then I’d get the same confused reaction from everyone on the course looking at me like who the hell are you? well, I was wearing 100 layers so I apologize that I confused you all!!! It was cold and rainy… what could I do?

I have to say, all morning I felt awful about the weather and wondered what would I have done if faced with that weather? It seemed AWFUL. It wasn’t just cold or wet.  It was 40s AND pouring rain, AND wind. WTF!!!!! For what I’ve been hearing since then, “it wasn’t as bad”, “it was better than it looked”, “I am sure it was worse for the spectators than us”, which makes me feel really good. And no, I have no idea what I would have done. Why worry with things I don’t have to deal with? Plus, many many friends had insanely huge PRs so maybe I’ll believe them that it wasn’t so bad…

It was a spectacle to see those runners right at Mile 25. Some looked really bad (HEY, Mile 25!!!!) but some people looked strong and happy. The disparity was insane. I also wondered for hours what would I have worn… why am I overthinking a race I didn’t do?!?!? I am weird. I am sure you’re too, so shut up.

We then walked all the way back to South Station, yes, from mile 25, like 3 miles, because the T was major chaos. I got my little backpack checked 72 times, which was amazing. The finish line area wasn’t crowded at all, it actually seemed really peaceful. The one other thing that I thought about that shocked me was this: every time I go cheer at a race I feel like a stooopid idiot that should have signed up and raced. Always. Always. I always feel race-envy when I am a spectator. I didn’t this time, at all. Maybe I am really over the marathon. Or maybe it was the dreadful weather. Nah.

Good job guys, I am SURE it was tough out there… and no matter what, training through this past winter earns you all the virtual PRs and BQs the course might not have brought, I say! GREAT JOB RUNNERS!!!!! ENJOY THE SPOILS!! (donuts?)



2014 – Looking back and forward

And there goes another year. It was quite full of experiences. There were a lot of great things, lots of love, friends, big family visits, all exciting, but not all sunny and happy, of course. I think it was one of those years when you’re supposed to grow a lot. Running-wise, it was probably my worst year; I lost motivation and failed miserably (but with dignity!) in most races. I don’t see that as a particularly bad thing, it’s a learning process and we can’t always win them all. And off-the-track, it was amazing. We just can’t have it all, can we? 2013 had been a big year. BIG BIG and busy. I met Juan in January, he moved and we got married by September, I changed jobs, PRed at the Half and got a few AG Wins. Then I got an ulcer and it all went downhill, including my 5th NYCM in a row (a blah 3:49). 2014 started weak…


You can imagine how weak it started that I didn’t even had resolutions or goals. I wrote tips to run in the winter because I was having issues with it myself! I was signed up for the NYC Half and the Boston Marathon and barely run. The cold just got to me and I lost a lot of will. Then, I fell again for the 3rd time in 5 weeks. A mess. I started to fear running. COLD and SCARY: little running. Total Miles: 77

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Juan and I showed up in the Runners World feature: Valentine’s Day “Romance Found on the Run“, and I was Women’s Running Blogger on the Run. But, we moved out of my studio into the penthouse.  I felt like I spent all winter hiding from the cold. I trained little. Very little. Total Miles: 87

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I had a slooow NYC Half but it was quite photogenic, fun, and really well run, progressive-splits run all the way! I was still struggling with motivation and goals. I also had a fun trip to SoulcycleTotal Miles: 105

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I had an ok Scotland 10K, though I had no interest in racing. Soon enough, we shipped to do the Boston Marathon, here are the Saturday pictures, which are awesome, and the Sunday pics, also awesome. And then there was the race (race report here), slow (3:48) and painful but oh so inspiring and uplifting. Glad I was there for the race (not for my legs or ego!). Total Miles: 80

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By now things were looking awful, I hadn’t PRed in a YEAR. A YEAR. So depressing. And I kept struggling with motivation. I decided to stop running completely. I still showed up to the Brooklyn Half Marathon, not knowing if I’ll even run it, and ended up having a great (and slow) time, seems like it’s all about the context for me! Total Miles: 41

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This month was also quite running-free and my parents came to visit so I was pretty entertained and didn’t even notice. Still, I did my 100th race, the Mini 10K, as they wanted to see me race in Central Park. This was literally painfully slow. I did run it with 2 friends but it was so slow, I didn’t even run that slow years ago when I started running! And, a fun picture. I took my parents to Bear Mountain and Connecticut and run a bit there, and a bit in the Fort Lauderdale heat, so cute. Stuff gets bad fast when you don’t run, how do non-runners live like that? Total Miles: 30

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In July, I saw Daphne, an old friend, running, and basically latched onto her. For Dear Life. I started training again. Good, because I was signed up for a few halfs and the NYC Marathon. Total Miles: 111

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Did some wonderful running in the always great Summer Streets, worked and cheered at the NYC Triathlon, then Juan had an awful bike crash in Central Park, which messed up our lives for a couple of months, poor thing. I barely left his side, only to train or work. The running was going fantastic though, fast long runs… who would have thought? Total Miles: 152

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I cheered at the 5th avenue mile and took lots of pictures, here and the pros here. The running was going great until we left for our delayed honeymoon in St Croix, there was no running there (but lots of snorkeling!) Total Miles: 116

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and we came back straight to racing! First, the, Grete’s Great Gallop, in 1:44. Still, slooow, but getting here. The week after, I did the Staten Island Half, in 1:43 (it’s a bit flatter). Consistency and good predictors for the marathon in 3 weeks. Then the week before the marathon, I did a 5 mile race in Central Park, the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff, in 37:17, average pace of 7:28. Far from a PR. Still. By then it was a year and a half. But feeling GOOD. Total Miles: 132

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November was BUSY. I started it at the NYC Marathon Expo, which was all loads of crazy (even if smaller compared to previous years) and an Under Armour Party. Worked all week and then did the marathon, here is the race report of the #marathornado. I struggled to stay focused (in 3:49) so I just chilled, slowed down and tried to enjoy it. oh, whatever!!!! I ended up in the Asics  homepage, I tried one of those treadmill studios, I kept Juan company at the Rocky Balboa run and got many pictures, and I bought a million of really-cold weather running gear. And I raced some more!! I did the Race to Deliver 4 miler in Central Park, which I enjoyed, and then a 5K on Thanksgiving, where both Juan and I came first on our AG. Winning! November was rock solid! Total Miles: 88

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Seems like the year just picked up at the end! December was great too. I spent .0005 minutes detoxing from Thanksgiving and 2 weeks eating my way through Buenos Aires. Even though I was a bit overweight and slow, I did ok (21:04) in a hot 5K, where my 67 year old mom joined. What a thrill! As soon as I got back to NYC and got a reminder of what last year’s winter tasted like, I got a bit depressed. Somehow, I’ve been running quite a bit in December, even capping the year of with a holiday pictures themed run, and watching the year close with fireworks at the NYRR Midgnight RunTotal Miles: 87

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And there you have it. Though the running was QUITE blah, the rest was wonderful, so I’d say it’s a win! What awaits in 2015? I have no idea, not signed up for anything, thinking about not signing up for NYC Marathon this year, and maybe focusing on the half marathon. I am turning 40 in a few weeks and I am just trying not to push anything. Whatever will happen, WILL happen. Right?

Best Races to Qualify for Boston Marathon 2015

This list is for people who want to qualify this year, in 2014 and run in 2015. (Boston Qualifying Rules here, your qualifying race needs to be on or after Sept 14, 2013)

The CRITERIA I am using: up to September 7th, 2014 (registration opens in September 8th, 2014), fast, flat or downhill, still open, good reputation as a BQ. Feel free to send me races to add, or to tell me if these need to be edited!

Ordered by upcoming date:

Run for the Red Marathon, 5/18, Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA

Buffalo Marathon, 5/25,  Buffalo, NY

Mountains to Beach Marathon, 5/25, Ojai, California

Newport Marathon, 5/31, Newport, Oregon

Grandma’s marathon, 6/21, Minnesota

Run Charlevoix, 6/21, Charlevoix, Michigan

Foot Traffic Flat Marathon, 7/4, Portland, Oregon.

Light at the End of the Tunnel, 7/13, North Bend, WA. 

Chasing the Unicorn, 8/17, Bucks County, PA.

Santa Rosa Marathon, 8/24, Santa Rosa, 55 miles N of San Francisco, CA

Pocatello Marathon, 8/30, Pocatello, ID

Lehigh Valley Hospital Marathon, 9/7, Allentown, PA

Skagit Flats, 9/7, Burlington, WA

Sioux Falls Marathon, 9/7, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

(too late) Big Cottonwood Marathon, 9/13, Utah

(too late) Erie Marathon at Presque Isle, 9/14, Erie, PA

(too late) Top of Utah, 9/20, Cache Valley, Northern Utah

(too late) Fox Cities Marathon, 9/21, Appleton, WI

 What else? Any marathon I should add here?

-If you want to compare marathons, I’ve used this website before, just choose two and compare hills, course, temperature, etc, very useful.

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Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time

Before this one:

Guess my Finish at the 2014 Boston Marathon and win a prize
We are shipping up to Boston…!!! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 
2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  

We all know the “no new shoes on race day” and hydrate before and all that. I decided to write this down because I KNOW I will forget… and if you ask me, it’s here:

Train for the course. Do long runs that are hilly. You need ups and downs: BOTH. Training on a flat terrain will not work. Build your eccentric quad muscles by running down a steep downhill, increase your turnover, and work on hill form (up and down).

Hotel: if you can, get a hotel that is close to the finish area. If not (because they are a tad expensive), NOT to worry, pick one on the red or orange line, avoid the green line, it gets CRAZY busy the whole time you’re there. We got a place in Charlestown, and it was perfectly close.

Expo: handle with care. In my opinion it’s the biggest/best one but it’s SO crowded, I tend to get really crazy stressed out. Keep an eye out on your excitement level. Don’t forget to get the poster from Adidas: YOUR NAME IS IN THERE! Do go to the Runner’s World seminars, mostly the Legends one, to hear the most inspiring stories you couldn’t even believe! If it’s your first or second time, DO watch the video of the course a couple of times, will get you super prepared for what’s ahead.

If there is a bit of a hint of sun in the forecast: SUN protection on the back, shoulders and the right side is a MUST, visor or HAT, and sunglasses. The sun will be on your back/right side 98% of the race. It can get quite annoying.

Name on the shirt, ALWAYS. Music: you will not need it. If you have it, you won’t hear it because the crowds are SO loud. I couldn’t even hear my silly watch yelling my splits at me even covering my ears!

Get on the portapotties before getting on the bus, as soon as you get out of the bus, and then wait for the portapotties going into the corrals: they’ll be on your left and they’re almost empty!!!

Go out slow. No, slower. Not, slower slower. We ALL fall pray to this course, no matter how slow we “think” we are going.
If you have issues staying on pace in the beginning, start a few corrals back. That helped me a few years ago (when I got to the Start super late!) to stay put behind “slower” people. Couldn’t have dreamed of better pacers! Weaving NOT allowed!

What else?

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2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times

Before this one:

Guess my Finish at the 2014 Boston Marathon and win a prize
We are shipping up to Boston…!!! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 

and here we go!

Wow, I stared at that for two days until I decided I had to write this post. That took a while…

If I had to sum up this race, it’d be easy: it hurt like HELL, I suffered every step of the 26.2 but OMG was it worth it… it was FANTASTIC and during the whole race I had to deal with my uncontrollable body and the crowds making me cry and dry-heave all the way into Boylston… it was pure insanity in the streets!!!!

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Early, sleepy face! Ah, shoes!!!!!

As I was on the 2nd wave, bus loading was 7 to 7:30, I met some friends and team mates at 7 in Boston Commons so we could all get to the Athletes Village together (once there it’s so hard to find anyone!).

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I know, I know: SO SECSY

Boston Commons was quiet and super organized, we even went to the portapotties before loading. The main thing though was that you had to check your bags there, so you wouldn’t be bringing anything to the AG, so strange. So, for the first time in my life, I had to decide what to wear very early before the race and I would run a marathon (my 9th, or 11th if you count the ultras) with a phone… So weird. But I have photos!!!!!

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Francesca and I. Francesca pretty much won the race.

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Roll Call front left: Tessa and Andrea. Second Row, from left: Tommy, Sky, and Emily. Last Row, left: Katie, Kara, and Francesca.

Anyway, we all hopped on the bus and just made sure we talked about everything! We ate, got our gear in order and tried to stay loose. I was freaking out a bit. I knew it was going to hurt. NYCM in November had HURT and now I was in worse shape and a *bit* heavier… I was really scared…!

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The Athletes Village was bopping!!! It was sunny and WARM out!!! We sat down and could feel the warm sun in my back… I started to worry I had worn the wrong stuff. I had shorts and the Argentina t-shirt I always wear and I have always been fine for all my marathons but the forecast said 60s…  I figured I’d be okay but who knows. Nothing to do now!!!

We tried the portapotties again and lines were LONG. Like… you’d miss your wave long! And we were being called by waves, and then by corrals. The corral area is small so they call you in, when you’re ready to go, and there you just go…

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Security EVERYWHERE. I felt soooo safe all along the course, the expo, the AG, everywhere you turned there was police, HS, it was fantastic. And they were ALL SO NICE!

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towards the corrals!

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Loved this shirt!!!

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I took many of these pictures because, if you haven’t run Boston, you wouldn’t know how suburban this race and its start is. You are in someone’s front lawn most of the race.. these are people’s homes and they are ALL OUTSIDE!!!! It’s such a town-party… They all come out to celebrate, put signs up, hand you SOMETHING. Seriously, everyone had something, whether it was tissues, orange slices, cups of water, beer, kitchen rolls, vaseline, ice in plastic bags, Twizzlers, or high fives… The town was out there to help the runners. And they ALL had a sign. Boston  Strong was on everyone’s t-shirt, banner, tattoos, and balloons. I was walking to the corral and I was already crying. I knew I had to start controlling my emotions now or it’d be a mess!!

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Note to remember (because I always forget): there is an amazing amount of portapotties  right before the corrals. EMPTY. EMPTY!!!!! Heaven…

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And that is what most of the first 24 miles looks like!!!! small town vibe, friendly folks handing out stuff and celebrating us, trees, some trains and fire trucks and a lot of blue and yellow love. Which, btw, was freaking me out, because my team’s colors are blue and yellow!!!!! So… it was hard not to think it was someone I know as soon as I saw ANYONE! It really drove me mental.

Time to put the phone away… em, I was right at the start and forgot to turn my GPS on!!!! FFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!! So… I waited for a few minutes (seconds? hours?) and decided to go! Run NAKED yeah… (emm, I wasn’t ready for that! Dumb idea!), which is why at no point in the race remembered where I was and my splits looked like this:

messed up splits

pace is around 22… okay then!

So, I went! About a minute later, FREAKING KID YOU NOT, I was too hot to live!!!

I couldn’t stand it. I considered dropping out and going back. Seriously. I was so upset!!! I decided to drop the shirt, somehow, unpin all the bib stuff, somehow take it over my headband, headphones, watch, pace bracelet and what not, and bunch it up inside the back of my bra. That pissed me off, and it wasn’t an easy task, while running, while in such a crowded start, while being SO hot. I could have done this 5 minutes ago when I wasn’t running!!! Ugh, I tried to repin the bib in the shorts and made a few holes on my fingers. Eventually I went to the side, stopped and took care of it all. Still, my first mile was a ridiculous 7:57!! Major OY.

The plan was to go easy, and last. I estimated anything between 3:50 and 3:55 so I had a pace bracelet for 3:50 (which is 8:47 pace), and oooooops, I messed up BY A LOT. CRAP. I am the one telling EVERYONE to go slow and I do this. PFFFF. Of course, I am also a twice certified coach and decided to do this marathon (and my last one!) without any training whatsoever too, but okaaaaaay. So, people, stop reading. Or, better, PLEASE DO LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES (you’ll see a lot of screaming in this post, I am upset at myself!).

Took the shirt off: still hot! WTF?? I then realized I’d have the sun at my back for 4 hours and I had no sunscreen on… UGH. BAD. And my heart rate was high… I tried to relax and go easy. It didn’t work. Mile 2 and 3 were 7:57 and 7:56 and my first 5K was 24:42, which is a 7:58 average. NO NO. CRAP. Okay, let’s not freak out!!!

Besides that mess I was doing… the course was quite entertaining… There were TONS of people cheering, spectating, with banners, with stuff, all the houses were decorated on some form… I saw a big house on the right all decked out by Skechers and Go Meb signs… It was pretty cool. I am going to blame them all for making me too excited and going to fast. Hopkinton, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!!!!!

I was hot and drinking like I had just finished the marathon… I was taking Gatorade AND water at every mile. And then I’d drop a cup of water in my head. I was burning up. I realize it was a lot hotter two years ago and 60 to 75 (people can’t seem to agree on what the temperature was) is not the worst it could be (Ironman husband kept telling me later all his Ironman marathons are over 80! ugh!) and, most important, I always DO GREAT in the heat… I just couldn’t handle it for some reason, maybe it’s the lack of training, maybe it’s the extra weight I put in, I de-learned how to sweat efficiently.. I don’t know. I was sweating and melting all over the course. I was a hot mess!! I was drinking and I couldn’t drink enough. It was painful the whole way. My legs felt like jelly, my feet were hurting, my lungs were burning. I wasn’t just undertrained… I was just NOT trained. AT ALL. I shouldn’t have been there and I knew it at mile one, with the heat, the legs, the course’s ups and downs, my quads, my lungs, my burning skin… I was a mess and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I think I run too fast to just get it over with. I was exhausted, I was tired, sore, even hopeless at some points… I did the unthinkable: I walked. Twice. I had never walked in a marathon, even in NYC when I was a lot slower and in more pain than this. I walked. I had given up. I was so upset at myself for putting myself in that situation. Why would I just not be willing to do the long runs anymore? Why did I care so little??? I love running but the marathon love is slipping away but I keep signing up for them as a tick I have. I swore I wouldn’t do this again, please help me!

Anyway, I told you how amazing the crowds were? I kept focusing on that. But only a little. As soon as I’d go to the side and see people, I’d start crying. People were AMAZING, I had never seen anything like that!!!!! So I was in and out of the crowds to keep myself from dehydration from tears!!!!

At Mile 10 I saw the Hoyts and peeled my phone off my fitletic (which, by the way, was SO comfortable!!)… I HAD TO!

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So amazing… I saw more signs for the Hoyts than for anything else!!! Things like these, so fantastic, were ALL OVER the course… how could I give up??? I didn’t, I was enjoying this love-fest and ignoring the rest!! I knew I’d see Juan at mile 16 and that is all that kept me going. I’d finally hand out the t-shirt and lose 3 pounds there! Wellesley was loud and then see a gentleman getting lots of smoooches, then I realized I knew him… (no, won’t name names!!!!). I passed Sarah Reinertsen around there too… Soon, I saw Juan… in his amazing yellow wig that helped me spot him a block away!!!

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too cute!

Apparently, the wig had gotten him in all sorts of trouble, but he made it… I waved, handed the shirt, he got a couple of shots and stopped for some kisses too!!!! Ah, well, gotta stop for the hubs!

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He’s the best… it made me feel so good to see him!!! And then, I just had 10 miles to go! On top of this, I had no clue what my pace was but I had an idea I was under 3:50, more like 3:45, but it was quite strange to not see the exact numbers…

Then the hills happened, and they sucked the life hope out of me. They really felt like dementors. That is when I walked. Luckily, at 17 I hear someone scream my name. And after a second, my fuzzy brain realized I wasn’t wearing my shirt with my name on it (which I missed so much… doing a marathon without your name on your shirt makes no sense people!!!), it was Simon!!  I stopped for 1 second again for a hug. I shouldn’t have hugged him. I wanted to stay there so bad…  thanks Simon for running up the hill like a maniac with me! And he got this pic:

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my right arm can’t possibly be that much longer, right?

I kept chugging. Every mile felt like forever. I walked twice, I drenched myself in water all I could, at mile 16 I had an s-cap, and was having a gel every 5 miles. I was hot, tired, sore, lifeless… but gosh the crowds… and then…!!!! My FAVORITE PART OF THE RACE..!! Yes, sorry Juan… Boston College ALWAYS takes the cake for me. I said it before and I’ll say it again, they’re louder than the girls at Wellesley and way crazier… I LOVE THEM.

Eventually, I see the Citgo sign. I know Juan will be right there. I turn from Beacon, spot him a block away again with that wig! He takes more pics…

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That’s me blowing kisses to him so I wouldn’t stop this time. I knew that if I stopped… I might not care about the remaining mile… One more thing you might be noticing is I’ve put on some weight (ooops just weighed myself, there’s 10% more of me! ). If you didn’t notice, then unread this. I did though, I know what I weigh, and what I look like: it’s not pretty, but I am ok with it. It is not ok, but I am ok with it. I will burn it off in a few weeks now that the weather is nice enough again to run. It’s stoooopid, I know, but I never cared about the abs and how vain all that crap about being lean is. I just can’t run well like this and it’s unhealthy but I really don’t care about my weight and what I look like. I don’t. I can’t. Life is too short and I like food.

Then the underpass and then there is turn on Hereford and we’re on Boylston, and you see the finish line. With just the .2 to go, it seems like it’s 2 miles or more. I always feel like they’re pushing it back away from me…! Why does that stretch feel SO LONG???? Every time.

But, I lost it.

All that emotion and love and tears I had held on to during the race… I let it all out. I started crying. I started dry-heaving. I run by the two explosions sites. I started screaming at those people standing there, telling us they weren’t afraid like we weren’t afraid. To those people standing right there, on the same block, telling me with their eyes, this is OUR CITY, and in my heart screaming THIS IS MY SPORT , no one is going to mess up with something as pure and free as running… to those people I shouted, I cried, I screamed this is for you, and I am sure I looked crazy, and I cried all the way to the finish line while looking all of them in the eyes, this is for you, I kept screaming, just like you’re here for us, we’re all here running for you, for Boston, for the innocents, for the kids, for the freedom of the sport, for the history of this race, for the love of your people you came to support, to take back the city, to take back the marathon. We were all together on Monday, runners, spectators, volunteers, police, neighbors, everyone was getting this race up to make the city move past the horrible acts of last year. We left our fears on the door on April 15 and we all took on this race as if all had a part on helping the city heal. I swear, I felt like everyone in the city was holding my hand through the race. I really needed that, but I know they needed it more. That’s why I, and pretty much everyone racing on Monday, were there… It got done. We all walked away with a lot of love, with a sense of community you don’t see too often, with a sense of accomplishment: we are stronger together. We are. Adidas had the perfect slogan: We All Run Boston. On Monday we did. We all did. Everyone in the city did. You all reading and tracking and stalking from work did run Boston too. We all felt it there. I have to stop crying now. again.


I finished. I cried some more… I was SO HAPPY TO BE DONE. And, all of a sudden: nothing was hurting.. WTF! Of course.

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LOVE. Kissing the finish line. ❤

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I instantly had 6 cups of Gatorade, two bottles of water and a protein shake. And then I heard Meb had won. I was in such shock… I was SO SO SO SO happy about that! Then I grabbed the poncho and headed out to meet the hubs, having the phone makes it all SO much easier!!!!

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I was walking soooooo slow it was funny… The poncho was actually warm for the train ride –I was in a soaking wet bra, not fit for train rides!

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Our landlady had given us a really nice exception to let us check out at 4, so we rushed back to the apartment (SORRY EVERYONE!!!!!!) to shower before we had to rush back to our transportation back… I was in PAIN already…

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weirdo. how long until I can wear a backless dress and not look like THIS?

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We dressed and headed out for food before rushing back to the city. NOW I can wear my jacket. Had the best burger, and fries, and pizza.

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Results…! The official time was….

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baa splits

My splits, as sent from my sister as soon as I finished… (she is very well trained…!!!!) ARE HORRIBLE. DON’T LOOK. boston marathon 2014 photos (67)

Pretty much the same crap I did in NYCM2013. I am starting to think that it’s not that I start fast (I don’t!), I just 1. can’t hold it (because I am not trained), 2. have no idea what marathon pace should feel like (because I am not trained), 3. I have no idea what I am doing (because I am not trained). All those. Plus the heat. I blame the crowds for getting my excited to keep going instead of dropping (!!!) and the orange jacket (which looks like the hot-sun-drenched-road, and MY BACK!). Adidas, this is on YOU!

Well, so another marathon in the books. Not the slowest, but around there… and 21 minutes slower than my qualifying race…  I really can’t keep doing this to myself, it’s NOT enjoyable to run like that. I’ve had marathons where I run fast and enjoyed it the whole way, next one is gonna be that way or NO marathon!!! deal, elizabeth?? Sign here, you lazy fair-weather runner!


And the giveaway winner is…!!! SO CLOSE!!!! 6 seconds close!!!! there were so many of you close but Whippets! takes the prize!!! Pick one from the post and email me!

prize winner

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After this one:

Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

2014 Boston Marathon: in the books!

Before this post:

Guess my Finish at the 2014 Boston Marathon and win a prize
We are shipping up to Boston…!!! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…

Guys, I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL YOU!!!! I have no idea how I could ever put this whole weekend in paper. I am still overwhelmed and overhyped. The crowds on the race there the most amazing thing I’ve seen. I had to work hard to run the 26.2 but also to not cry through EVERY SINGLE STEP. I was completely moved by the city. My race was PAINFUL from mile 1, I was hot, tired, slow, I didn’t have any training and my legs were not happy up or down, but I pushed through and had a great time (and finished sooner than I thought!). I have sooo much to share, for now a couple of pictures while I stretch, ice-bath, hydrate, put a gallon on lotion on my sunburn, and look at my bloody blisters in disgust. This was a race for the ages… more to come soon!


if you still want to read something AMAZING, here, an amazing story of teamwork and looking out for your colleagues! Ryan Hall and all the americans worked together to let Meb build a bit of a lead… amazing story!!! http://www.letsrun.com/news/2014/04/untold-story-american-teamwork-ryan-hall-helped-meb-keflezighi-win-boston/

If you’re obsessing after yesterday’s race this is a good account of how the race evolved: http://www.runnersworld.com/boston-marathon/meb-wins-the-boston-marathon

After this post:

2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  
Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

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2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday!

After this post:

2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 
2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  
Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

We are shipping up to Boston…!!!

it’s a song… quite a good one for your marathon playlist I would say… and I think I am running myself a marathon on Monday…

You might know by now that I am in NO shape to run a marathon, or even a half! I haven’t trained, I haven’t done more than 1 long run since the NYCM in early November, and since I have logged a miserable amount of miles, so … why am I going? Well, I wasn’t thinking I’d do Boston a second time, even though I really enjoyed my 2010 Boston. I think it’s a race that is cool to do once, but after what happened a year ago, I had to find a way to shake the anger off. I was really really really upset, and decided I’d sign up come September. I kept my word, but I wished I had taken the training seriously. I am just really not feeling the marathon distance anymore. I am not loving the long runs (mostly in the cold winter we had) and mostly, I have decided to move away from the full distance. Of course I DID sign up for NYCM 2015 (I am a walking disaster that can’t resist!!!!!!!) but my plan is to just run it…

Anyway, I realized today how amazing it’d be to have a great marathon on Monday. I kept pouring over every up and down and grade and length and steepness of the course and realized it’s a great great great course to run on… if you have trained!!!!! I really got upset that I’d be wasting it. And, not being in marathon shape means I might be suffering a bit and not really enjoying the experience as I would if I had a nice trained pair of legs. Let me write this so I can learn this lesson for the next time… I am a bit sad and upset with myself right now. I am wasting a precious opportunity and doing myself harm for no reason. I know I should have trained, or I shouldn’t be going now. Coulda Woulda Shoulda. IT IS WHAT IT IS.

Changing the vibe a bit… I got some cool stuff online:

boston marathon race gear

new boston marathon race gear

The jacket was SOOOOOO freaking cute, but ENORMOUS. It got a Small (there was no xs) and it was HUGE. like, it fit Juan… GR. The same with the shirt, which was cute. the singlet OMG, it’s AMAZING, it’s SO hot… I love the back…

boston marathon singlet

I am sure I’ll find more cool stuff at the expo. Last Boston I run, I SWEAR, so I might as well get some cute stuff, IF IT FITS!!!!

Then… I just sorta did my nails, they ARE NOT FINISHED YET, still need to fix them and put a top coat (but it’s a good time to post… so…)

2014 boston marathon nail art

Now I am going to pack everything in my fridge, in my kitchen, and all my clothes and running shoes and should be ready to go in 2 days. Like I am moving to Boston. I have no idea how I ever did a race in Berlin. I have a packing list curated over the years and I still stress about this and need to bring one of everything (or two if colors can be an issue…!). Okay, if you see me, make sure I am not stressing about how much Monday is gonna hurt and slap me if I am. See you on the other side. Hopefully.

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After this post:

2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 
2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  
Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

Boston Marathon Race Strategy

(just because a few of you asked me lately, I figured I’d put it up here!)
(also, I wrote these “Boston Marathon notes: what to do/not to do next time” after my last Boston, which might be helpful. More links at the end of the post)
People sometimes complain or talk about how hard the Boston Marathon course is. I don’t agree. I believe (KNOW!) that
–      if you have a strategy,
–      and stick to it
you can do well.
I certainly believe Boston is easier than the NYC Marathon, without a shadow of a doubt.
The thing is you have to be really smart, cold headed, and great at pacing to be able to race it well. You can’t just go out and go by feel.
Umm, no.
But no one does that, right?
So, here is what I used to get a strategy ready!
The course elevation is here, and the highlights:
Length Gain/Loss Average Steepest
Mile: Up/Down: (Miles): (Feet): Grade: Grade: Comment:
0.0 Downhill 0.60 -143 -4.5% -5.7% Starting line
0.6 Uphill 0.14 36 4.9% 5.2% Very short uphill
0.7 Downhill 3.00 -187 -1.2% -4.3% Very long downhill section
7.6 Uphill 0.13 31 4.5% 4.6% Very short uphill
7.8 Downhill 0.18 -30 -3.2% -4.2% Very short downhill
15.3 Downhill 0.60 -118 -3.7% -5.2% Just before Newton Lower Falls
16.0 Uphill 0.60 75 2.4% 3.2% Just past Newton Lower Falls
17.6 Uphill 0.30 74 4.7% 4.9% Just past Newton Fire Station
19.2 Uphill 0.40 63 3.0% 4.5% Newton City Hall
20.3 Uphill 0.40 97 4.6% 5.2% Heartbreak Hill
21.0 Downhill 0.50 -87 -3.3% -4.4% Boston College
22.0 Downhill 0.50 -57 -2.2% -3.9% Cleveland Circle
23.1 Downhill 1.00 -95 -1.8% -2.9% Beacon Street
Basically, in VERY BROAD terms:
DOWN for approx. 16 miles
UP for approx. 5 miles
FLAT/DOWN for approx. 5.2
So, really, not so scary broken down, right?
Well, hopefully you trained specifically for the course, which means rolling hills, up and down, up and down. People tend to focus on prepping only for the uphills and forget the dowhhills. And if you’re not prepared for all those 15 miles of down, your quads are going to be trashed very early on and you’ll suffer throughout. Just because downhill seems easier doesn’t mean they don’t have a lactic price! So, hopefully, you’re properly trained for the demands of this course.
Very important note: the massive drop in the first half mile. If you start very excited and go out too fast, YOU ARE TOAST. Curb your enthusiasm. Or start a few corrals back if you can’t (at least two or three corrals). I repeat: DO NOT start too fast or you’re donzo.
Breaking down the plan:

Part 1: DOWN for approx 16 miles

Ease up on the quads and take it easy on the downhills, at least for the first 5 miles. DO NOT think that you need to store up time now. Do not; there will be time for that. Remember BANK = BONK. You can speed up in the flat parts, and the subtle ups/downs but if you take these downhills as your chance to PR you WILL regret it later.
Now, make sure you’re running downhill properly or it’s gonna cost you. How do you do that? Make sure you let gravity adjust your body position as get as close as possible to being perpendicular to the hill. Short steps, increase your turnover. Do not overstride, do not break, do not lean back. Stay relaxed.

Part 2: UP for approx 5 miles 

This is not a constant climb, so it is not as scary, there are long flat stretches where you can gain some speed. There are four climbs, the last one being Heartbreak hill. I didn’t think they were such a big deals as they made them up to be, but that might be because I was prepared for the course, and because I run NYCM every year, and because Harlem Hill exists. This was not that hard and I actually had to ask around to know I had climbed Heartbreak… I really had no clue I was done with it, I barely noticed it. So, I would NOT be scared. Can I say it again? the hills are NOT BAD AT ALL if you run a smart race. Take them easy and go wild in between. Your goal and motto should be to get to the top of Heartbreak in one piece and in good spirits, because that is when you can break lose.
In case you care, here is the info on the uphills:
Mile 16.5:
Length=.6 miles
Elevation Gain=60′
Mile 18:
Length=.3 miles
Elevation Gain=60′
Mile 19.5:
Length=.4 miles
Elevation Gain=60′
Mile 20.75:
Length=.4 miles
Elevation Gain=80′
As a reference, in you are a NYC Runner, Harlem Hill is 0.32 long but it has a 84′ rise, with a 4.4%. As you can see, Heartbreak hill (the last of the 4) and Hill 2 resemble HH. Hill 1 and 3 are a bit less steep.

Part 3: FLAT/DOWN for approx 5.2 miles

You go wild. You hit the gas and run like you’ve never run before.
If you run the previous parts of the race smart and paced well, you’ll be ready to set yourself on fire here. This race is basically a loooong tour towards a 10k, use the 10k up and really get some smoke going. There are not more than 3 turns in the whole race (no need to worry about tangents at all!) and they are in this last part, so you’re really clear to go ahead and sprint like a maniac. It’s still a few miles but you can really recover a few minutes here. Also, you’ll have a lot of cheering and support to wake you up and go, if you slept most of the previous miles…

Other notes:

* For overall pace, I’d recommend running Boston the same pace as your qualifying race, and then, if you have any more speed left at the end, go for it and PR.
* Because most of the course is exactly on the same direction, don’t forget to apply sunscreen, mostly on your shoulders and back, and if you’re wondering if you need sunglasses, you don’t. Sun will be at your back 80% of the race.
* If you still don’t have a pace bracelet, and you want one, I really like these, they’re customized to the Boston course and you can set it up based on: effort vs pace, slow start/fast start, min vs max fading, etc.
* Race Day, arrive at the shuttles early, you don’t want to stress in the lines and when there is traffic. Use the portapotty before, the drive to the start can be over an hour long.
* At the finish, pretend your last name starts with C or D, otherwise you’ll have to walk a lot longer to find your family/friends.
* Wear your medal proudly: you’re amazing.

Other things you can check out if you want more info (or are THAT bored or OCD)

Boston Marathon notes after my last Boston, which might be helpful
Boston Marathon pace bracelet, customized with the specific race course hills and stuff
My Boston 2010 race report, with lots of info you could use
My Boston 2014 race report, lots more info and pics
Boston Marathon 2010
Good to go? Think you can hold your horses? Questions?

I don’t know what to do

I have two races up ahead, very close, LOOMING:

2014 nyc half photos

March 16, New York City Half Marathon

boston marathon elite field

April 21, Boston Marathon

I am in no shape to race or PR at any, but I could probably finish them. Well, the half at least. Boston, I am not sure. When I did NYC Marathon 3 months ago I was in awful shape (and still better than now!) and it was horribly painful. I have two options. Sludge through the half and do my best to prep for Boston. It’s quite lame actually. Or: do the half as a training run, and skip Boston.

This has been my mileage for the past weeks:

  • Week of January 20: 8 miles total
  • Week of January 13: 31 miles total
  • Week of January 6: 23 miles total
  • Week of December 30: 6 miles total
  • Week of December 23: 7 miles total
  • Week of December 16: 16 miles total

Not really any kind of half or full marathon preparation. I think I should not race Boston. I haven’t commited mentally (I haven’t even gotten hotel room, and we KNOW that’s another big issue!) and I am not in shape. But still, just like with NYCM last year, I can’t seem to be able to say no. What’s wrong with me?

Happiness is Your Biggest Enemy

That’s just how I have been feeling lately. I don’t have any motivation to go out there in the cold and freeze and suffer. Two days ago, I put my running tights at 8 am and by 3 pm, I took them off and gave up on the run.

The quote is from the movie Rush. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend you do. It’s about two competitors who are complete opposites (personality-wise) and push each other way further than any of them would have gone on their own. It was amazing. One of them is cold, strategic, all math. The other one is passion-driven, all instinct. I’ll get back to this. This is the full quote: Happiness is your biggest enemy. It weakens you. Puts doubts in your mind. Suddenly you have something to lose!

Lately, the cold has me couped up inside. As you know, I always hated running in the cold. But there was always fun to be had, goals to be fun, places to explore… Lately I’ve been feeling like there’s none of that, and all the fun is had inside. Here’s my minus list:

– One training partner moved away, the other one can’t run. And I don’t like running alone very much.

– I also am not much of a group runner. And Juan is too fast for me to run with.

– I don’t have any exciting goals ahead. I’ve signed up for Boston (out of support mostly) but my heart doesn’t seem to be on the marathon training anymore. I have no short term goal. Also, I am not sure I believe in goals… Still, I need to find a half to focus on.

– I am in semi ok shape, but my running has been lacking so much since the ulcer in July, that all my speed is gone. Every run is WORK. And I hate that.

– It’s cold and dark out and I am too comfy and happy indoors.

No big deal, this happened before, many times, even this year. The big thing is, I just don’t feel like running most days. And the one BIGGER thing is, I don’t feel bad at all about it. It is what it is. I know it will come back. I know I will enjoy it again soon. It’s my thing, I just don’t feel normal without running, it’ll definitely come back!! So I have zero intention to push myself. I would like to give myself a few (more) weeks to do what I feel like and then hopefully it will all come back. I am enjoying this for now. Back to more warmth and relaxation.

PS: do watch Rush if you can and tell me what you think! It’s one of my favorites this year! I am still trying to figure out who of the two of them I am more like!

Boston! + Boston?

Well, so I am leaving right now, right now, for Boston. This weekend is the All State 13.1 Boston Full and Half and we have a big team participating with Autism Speaks. Very exciting. (Anyone of you around Boston? I am sure I will go for a few runs…) I’ll be there Thursday through Sunday and we have a few exciting things planned for the team, including a reception with running legends Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers. Whaaaat? YES. Seriously Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers. I am  SO freaking excited!

Last time I saw Billy was in 2010 for the BAA Boston Marathon, when he told me "Go get your Boston"... awwww

Last time I saw Billy was in 2010 for the BAA Boston Marathon, when he told me “Go get your Boston”… awwww

Anyway, will share more soon…

The other thing is… I wasn’t sure if I should sign up for Boston…

I got all temperamental back in April/May and wanted to do it. just because, you know. But I never had intended to go back to run Boston since I had already done it… Anyway, I debated, thought, slept over it, and mostly, friends convinced me on Facebook, and here’s the result…


Now, I wait for confirmation… I’d like to find a FAST marathon to do before Boston. Mid February to mid March, to be recovered for Boston, but we shall see about that… lots to plan. To start, I have to START RUNNING, and I am signed up to two marathons in the next two months… First I gotta build some endurance!

Do we always need goals?

I never wanted to run. I hated all sports equally.
Then, a few years ago, I started running, very very slowly, just to mess up with my cardiologist’s plans.
I liked it.

I never wanted to race. Why would I?
In 2006, I was forced into a half marathon.
I became addicted. That was the day.

I never wanted to race a marathon. Those long runs were scary, and I didn’t want to spend so much time training.
I did the New York City Marathon in 2008, I cursed like a sailor for the first 10 minutes after crossing the finish line.
Two hours later, I was figuring out how many more races I’d to do to qualify for next years’ NYCM.

I never ever thought I’d get to run Boston.
I was very surprised when I qualified, during the 2009 NYCM, injured and all.
I ran my funnest and smartest marathon in Boston that year.

I never thought I’d want to run anything further than 26.2. That sounds just about brutal.
Then the slower pace, the trails, the camaraderie of the all-night runs bug bit me.
So I run my first ultra marathon and a couple more.

Then I wanted to get a bit faster. I thought reaching 70% in age grading would do it.
I did that last year.
I am sure I will be happy with these if I start getting old and slow tomorrow.

Well, what now? Do I even need to have goals?
A part of me feels like I need them. I like structure, goals, objectives, I like achieving them.
Another part is very happy to be running free and content with what I have done so far.

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Best Races to Qualify for Boston Marathon 2014

Updated for this year 2014/2015, here:  Best Races to Qualify for Boston Marathon 2015 

This list is for people who want to qualify this year, in 2013. (Boston Qualifying Rules here, your qualifying race needs to be after Sept 22, 2012 until Sept 2013)

The CRITERIA I am using: up to middle of September 2013 (soon enough we will know exactly when in September registration opens), fast, flat or downhill, still open, good reputation as a BQ. Feel free to send me races to add, or to tell me if these need to be edited!

Ordered by upcoming date:

Run for the Red Marathon, 5/19, Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA

Buffalo Marathon, 5/26,  Buffalo, NY

Mountains to Beach Marathon, 5/26, Ojai, California*

Newport Marathon, 6/1, Newport, Oregon

Grandma’s marathon, 6/22, Minnesota

Run Charlevoix, 6/22, Charlevoix, Michigan

Foot Traffic Flat Marathon, 7/4, Portland, Oregon.

Light at the End of the Tunnel, 7/14, North Bend, WA. 

Chasing the Unicorn, 8/18, Bucks County, PA. NEW!!

Santa Rosa Marathon, 8/25, Santa Rosa, 55 miles N of San Francisco, CA

Pocatello Marathon, 8/31, Pocatello, ID

Lehigh Valley Hospital Marathon, 9/8, Allentown, PA

Skagit Flats, 9/8, Burlington, WA

Sioux Falls Marathon, 9/8, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

(might be too late) Big Cottonwood Marathon, 9/14, Utah

(might be too late) Erie Marathon at Presque Isle, 9/15, Erie, PA

(might be too late) Top of Utah, 9/21, Cache Valley, Northern Utah

(might be too late) Fox Cities Marathon, 9/22, Appleton, WI

 What else? Any marathon I should add here?

-If you want to compare marathons, I’ve used this website before, just choose two and compare hills, course, temperature, etc.

—-Comment happily: you won’t be asked to create an account!

No Fear

Don’t let the terrorists win is something I say way too often. And for any reason. But just don’t.

For the first time in a while I wasn’t going to run or spectate in Boston and I was a bit upset about it. I had, quite frankly, gotten used to this tradition. And I love traditions.

When I read of the bombings I just couldn’t believe it, but I had to calm myself down and do a lot of anxiety management. I had people calling me, texting me, and emailing me from all over the world to see that I was ok. It was a lot of messages, a lot. The boyfriend called me right away to tell me how happy he was we didn’t go and that he’d be picking me up from work. I said “I need to go for a run”.

I spent the next few hours in shock, checking for all my Boston-running friends to pop up somewhere, and replying to a million people in all languages, that I was in NYC and not in Boston. Why someone would do this is something I will never understand, but I never thought I’d see police tape at a finish line. I never thought my sport would mix with terrorism, if that is what this was. And after the drama filled NYC marathon, I was happy to have a major marathon happen, but never never ever imagined anything like this could be. And, oh what this will do for London this weekend and NYCM this Fall. We’ll probably need 3 pieces of ID and being naked (just like in my pre-marathon nightmares!) to get into the Athletes Village. Oh well.

Still, one of my first thoughts was that this would NOT change a runner’s wish to run a marathon, QUITE THE OPPOSITE. I understand a few people might be scared to race, but then, you let the terrorists win. Don’t let this one act of horror, by one or a few people, change how you see the rest of the world. Everyone in Boston was helping and grieving. If you look at the videos of the explosions, people run towards it to help, not away from it. Runners went straight to donate blood, after completing a marathon for Pre’s sake. People set up a site to offer housing to people stranded in Boston… Bad stuff will always happen, anywhere, don’t let it scare you. Don’t let them win. Go for a run and let’s see what we can do for the people affected. I am sure there are runs to be set up to fundraise, blood to be donated, and many things we can all do to help.

Me, I hadn’t run more than one 7 mile run in around 10 days but had to go out. I was sad, furious, upset, spent, but I needed to get to the park, as unsafe as that could sound. Of course, the bf came with me but I felt that putting my Boston Finisher shirt and going for a run was an act of rebellion and trust and love and the same time. It made me feel a bit  better, even if I still will never understand. (I might actually sign up for Boston for next year).

If you are racing (or running) this weekend, here is a bib you can print and wear to support Boston


Baaastin – The Meltdown

Ah, what a weird day to be up in Boston. It was so surreal. The talk about deferring, people getting scared and trying to figure out what to do, if it was worth even trying, what’s the best option now that we are here… I felt truly lucky not having signed up, having to even consider all those factors and have to go through it. Any other day, for sure, I would have been kicking myself, why oh why did I NOT sign up?? I do that every time I go watch a race. But no, not this time. I was there as course support and was quite glad with my role. 

Sunday came around, got on an early megabus to Baastin full of runners, got to chat with a few of them… it was a cool place to be in, it seemed like a running-party-bus!! As soon as I landed, I got an amazing lunch at one of my favorite spots in the US, and one of the few reasons I would leave NYC for Boston for a day, walked up the finish line and Copley as I was in the area… and got a tan…

… an enormous map of the marathon in the middle of Copley Square. It’s always been too crowded I guess, as I had never seen this before… this time, everyone was in an airconditioned room somewhere else!

Anyway, food, sleep, alarm, people get ready for the race, I pass out again, the maid wants to clean up the room and I don’t even hear her knocking and wakes me up and then goes away scared that she woke me up, I get up, prep for my supporting role, and head out.

I scout a spot, right where I told everybody I’d be. I had a few bottles to hand out for fueling so I felt very very responsible, mostly on a day like today. Who am I kidding, I was stressed out like crazy that I was gonna miss people and I’d feel like crap!!! Anyway, I stake out the best spot, set everything up, bottles, gels, camera, whistle, phone with alerts, two flags so they could spot me, and then, five seconds later, I feel my skin sizzle. Gosh, this has to be sucking so bad for them…

I sunproof up, even with my little hawaiian tan… Even all lotioned up, I felt my skin burn. This is not bad, this is really bad. I am sweating and I am not even moving.

My phone starts shooting up 5K and 10K splits and I start getting really scared. This can not end well. No way. I am scared. Like really scared.

We see lots of army guys with their gear go by. Why, why? Meb goes by too. 

Smart guy got a car for this marathon!

Then I look at my watch, the women should have been here 10 minutes ago. Of course. Soon I hear the helicopters, the cars, and they’re here.

Neither of them looked good. I had never seen women racing like this. Some of them were pouring sweat. Some were completely dry; so scary.

I look down, men are very late too.

I shouted a lot, mostly for Gebre, he’s one of my favorites! He looked so awful. Mutai looked like crap to. It’s not what I am used to seeing. It was like looking at a car crash. I felt horrible being there. It was a tough day and I still can’t believe so many people were there. It was so bad, that even in between times when no runners were coming, we would all rush to the shade. As crazy as I usually am about racing in all conditions, this was scary to watch. Can’t even imagine what it must have felt like. Kudos to everyone who braved this out.

Baaastin – The Meltdown