Monday, April 26, 2010

Bye Bye

First a letter to a dear dear friend (my watch named Garmin):

Dear Garmin,
Thank you for all of your hardwork. For putting up with my ridiculous training. For traveling with me to really cold places like Vermont, where you got snowed on. For running with me in really hot places like Texas where you got drenched in sweat. Thank you for sticking by me.

I am sorry, I had no idea you had an interrupt in your bezel. If I had known I would not have cursed you. I wouldn't have locked your bezel or made you sit on top of a nasty sweaty arm band run after run. If I had only known you were broken I would have sent you to a nice place where they would have fixed you. Thank you for sticking by me, broken and all, you were an amazing watch and I will miss you.

P.S. Please interview your friends and find me a good replacement quickly.

On another note:

So, as most of you know we have put our house on the market. Part of having people roam your house involves making it looked "less lived in." So Doug told me on Friday that I needed to take down my medals. Two years ago exactly, I ran my first race post Chloe. I ran a local 5K with Chloe and sang almost the entire way to keep her happy. Together we won my age group. Then I found a group of Running Moms and that got me into all sorts of trouble :). They encouraged me to really go after my dreams. And so in the pictures above you see Chloe with all of my medals for the past two years. Most of them are finishers medals for marathons. It has been a great two years. I have really made some great leaps in my running and I give most of the credit to the support of my family and my group of Running Mamas. Thank you. I truly appreciate both groups for pushing me to be a better me even when that means we are all stepping out on a limb together. I am a lucky lucky girl.
Side note: Doug said he would make something cool to hold my medals in our new house, he said he can make something that holds the medals, the plaques and the belt buckles, woooo hooo. Love that Guy. Go Doug Go. Now I have to get more belt buckles :). I wouldn't want them to feel out numbered by the medals :).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boston - 3 (movies coming into finish)

Movies, coming down the last .4 miles of the Boston marathon.

Boston - 2 (The race)

So this post will be all of the running pictures and movies.  Many of my pictures didn't turn out so great because I was running while I took them.  Here I am at the start, or I guess since it isn't so packed this must be while I was walking down the the corrals before I realized it was time to panic and run. :).   Hey Cathy, check out my shirt :). 

This was a less than a mile into the race.  I am not messing with you, the race never thinned out.  I was always surrounded by tons of people.  And the course was lined with fans.  I purposely started the race without my ipod because I wanted to just take it all in.  That lasted until around mile 13 when I was starting to hurt and was bummed I hadn't seen anyone in my family.  As it turns out my Stepdad and Gramdmother had made it out to mile 10 but I never saw them.  At mile 17.5 or so just after the Newton Firehouse, I saw Doug, Nga and Joey.  They had made shirts and were jumping up and down yelling my name.  Oh man did that make my day.  It was around that point I was beginning to beat myself up for having run the Big D marathon the weekend before.  It wasn't the up hills that were so bad, it was getting down them.  Holy crap my legs hurt going down by mile 20.  My pace up the hill would be 8.5m/m and then going down would drop to 10, sad, sad, sad... Ok more pics and then more stories.

This is a few miles into the race.  The fans were amazing. 

I had to take a picture of this because it cracked me up. The sign said: Shortcut.
I think the sign up there says Wellsely.  The girls were lining the streets at the college.  They had barracades to keep them off of the streets.  All of them had signs that said things like: Free Kiss, Free Hug, Fee Makeout Session.  It was funny.  Didn't see anyone take them up on it.  Dang you just can't get a commited runner to stop during a race for anything.

Here we go: The gang from Boston College.  They were NUTS!  They had taken down the barracades in places and had pushed in the course to where you really had to work to keep moving.  This was getting late in the race and people were stopping to walk so as you dodged the walkers you had to run into a crowd that wanted to high five you.  This is where I got the high five in the face.  I just wasn't paying attention.  Oh well.  It was the most amazing experience, you really felt like a superstar the whole way.  Boston knows how to throw a running party that is for sure.Team Hoyt, had to get their picture.  I did ask Mr. Hoyt if I could take their picture but he wasn't much for talking at this point so I figured he probably wouldn't mind and took my shot.  I just find him and his son to be such an inspiration and I couldn't believe it when I saw them.  It gave me the burst of energy I needed to enjoy those last 6 miles or so.

Almost there.  Oh dang it felt good to be in the city.  My legs were really hurting.  I really have some hard training to do before Phili.  This race was amazing.  Would do it again in a heartbeat.  Me after I crossed the line.  Dang I was happy and by happy I mean close to tears.  After you cross the line you have to walk another few blocks to get food, water, blankets, etc... there were medical people with wheelchairs and I never would have guessed so many of them would have been used.  Joey, Nga and Doug said they were inspired to run a marathon at mile 17 but at the finish with people dropping the street and curled up mumbling they thought better  it,  lol.  I found them, got my dry gear and we were off.
I love the pictures of all of us at the end.  They had suprised me by making shirts.  It was awesome.  Below: You see Joey and Doug goofing around.  The tally on their sleeves has to do with a beer count.  Apparently my running brings out the best in my family, ha ha.  We had such a great time.  Honestly I just can't gush anymore.  I highly recommend this race to everyone and take family, enjoy the city, enjoy the experience and don't worry about PR's.

On that note: I certainly think my 3:45 marathon the weekend before Boston hurt my time at Boston but I ran a 3:55 and I am happy with that.  I had a great time.  I finished 14203 overall, just about in the middle of the pack.  Good enough, I am not a fast marathoner nor have I ever claimed to be :). 
I had met a lady in the airport on my way to the race who was on her way to run her 11th Boston Marathon.  Her words of advice to a newby like me: "Don't worry about time.  Enjoy the experience, there is no other race like it."  I would say she is one smart cookie.  I met tons of runners, all with amazing stories, I was thinking if I go again, I want  take pictures of them all and tell their tales.  There are some really inspirational stories out there and then there are just some nutcases, ha ha.  Oh ya, there was one guy who comes every year and never runs over 25 miles a week, longest run this year was a 18 mile training run and well Boston, where he qualified for Boston.  Now that just isn't right. 

Ok I am going to try and post the movies of the last .5 miles of the race below.  Enjoy.  It was nuts.  Hard not to cry it brought up so much emotion.

Boston - 1

Ok I am going to label these Boston posts from 1 on up so you can follow in order if you like. I have a ton of pictures and of course some movies. No not joking, took movies coming across the line.

I arrived in Boston on Thursday. Chloe and I got to have some quality time touring the city with my brother and his wife. Later Doug, my mom, stepdad and grandmother would arrive. We had a huge crew, it was awesome. I was however, exhausted by Monday. My legs were tired each night from walking so much and my arms felt like they might fall off from carrying Chloe so much. But, you know the PR didn't matter so much, having a great time with my family and enjoying Boston for all that it was did matter a TON.

This race was beyond all of my wildest dreams. I have never seen a whole big city come together for a running race. There were runners everywhere and everyone asked if you were in town for the race, so I got to smile and say yes it was my first time. It was awesome.

The Expo was insane, by insane I mean NUTS. We went on Friday and then again on Saturday because the Garmin folks said they would look at my watch if I brought it back. We saw Bart Yasso, I couldn't muster the courage to ask him for a picture with me so had to just take this one as I passed him, ha ha. Oh and Garmin says my bezel has an interupt and they will send a new one, well maybe, it depends on when it was purchased but, they totally agree it is messed up and the engineer said they would replace it, we will see. I tried on a ton of shoes, tried every energy drink and chew you could imagine and bought a top.

For Race Day, we had to leave the hotel around 0600 to grab the subway to Boston Common.  Doug wanted to go with me and it was awesome to have some familiar company.  You can see the runners waiting on the subway platform and the huge crowd leaving the station at the Park exit.
Once we got to the park and saw all of the busses and the line.  I told Doug I needed a cup of coffee to get me through the morning so we did what anyone in Boston would do, we hit the Dunkin Donuts (they are on every street corner, literally).  Then I stood in my first bathroom line of the day and we went to get in line for the busses. 
This was the crowd waiting for the busses.  As soon as one line of busses would fill up with runners, they would pull away and another line of busses would pull up, it was insane.  The race was so organized.  They had tons of volunteers and all of the waiting in lines was kind of fun.  You got to meet all sorts of people with some great stories.  I just loved it.
Doug finally had to say goodbye when I got to the gated area for the busses.  He headed back to our hotel and I was on my own.  He said he waited for a minute to see if he should stay and by the time he looked over I was already gabbing away with the girls around me.  I didn't take a drop bag and maybe I should have.  If I had I would have changed into a skirt for the race but, my tights were fine for most of the course, they just got a little hot during the end of the first half.  Not to worry Newton fixed that.  I had my hydration pack with me so I put my extra vest and gloves in it when the race started.  Most of the ladies thought I was nuts to carry it. My Grandmother said the night before "you know Tara, they have water on the course." Come on now that is funny.
The site of the all of the rowers on the Charles that morning really put me at ease.  There is nothing more peaceful than a nice early morning row.  This picture is from the bus window.
Katherine and Stacey.  I met them along with Dagmar (not seen in photo) in line waiting for the bus.  Dagmar as it turns out lives about 10 minutes from me.  Katherine and Dagmar were running their second marathons.  Yes, that is right.  They both ran their first marathons, qualified for Boston and went to Boston for their second marathon EVER! Katherine is 56 and has only been running for 2 yrs, she and her husband made a lifestyle change a few years back and this is where it has landed her.   She was such an inspiration.  Stacey was super nice, from upstate NY (Rochester I think) and she had worked really hard to get to Boston.  Funny fact about her: in her drop bag she had some clothes and a brush so she could redo her hair, lol.  Now that cracked me up. 

I just wanted to get a picture of the insaness of the busses.  There were lines and lines of busses everywhere, full of runners, taking us 26 miles to our starting point.  It was truly amazing.Don't know this lady just wanted the picture saying we were entering Hopkinton, the town the race starts in.

This was the sign entering the Athletes Village.  The three ladies standing at left together are Katherine, Dagmar and Stacey.  I just had to get a picture.  Honestly I went a little overboard with pictures but, who can blame me?  It was the Boston Marathon, if there was ever a time to be a crazy picture lady it was this well and any even that involves Chloe :).
The actual village.  A Village is apparently tents, a Ton of Port-a-Potties and some food.  Oh and about 30,000 runners.  It was cool.  I hit the bathroom line and then went to find a warm place to hang out.  I found a small plastic bag about the size of my booty and took a seat inside a tent.  There I met Pam.  She is a mom of 4, this is her 2nd Boston Marathon, she wants to get a medal for each of her kids, thought that was sweet.  She came last year with her family and this year she came with girlfriends.  I should have taken a picture of her but I was just trying to stay warm, dry and relax.  Around 45min to start, I got in a line again and then headed for the start with 40 mintues to spare.  Ummmm, yaaaa, that isn't enough time.  The start is .7 miles away from the village and it was tough to get to the start.  I had to really work to try and stay calm as time ticked away and I still was makng my way down to the corrals in a huge crowd of people.

This is what it looked like as I rounded the corner to get to my corral, notice anything wrong here, the people on the right are all running.  Yep they too hadn't planned for the long walk in a huge crowd, so we were all literally racing, doging and weaving trying to get to our corrals before the gun went off, I didn't make it, I just jumped into the nearest corral (only a few shy of my assigned one).  By the time I had made it up the road to the 17000's I realized it was go time and  better get in a corral, any corral, so I could start the race.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Husband Rocks!

The picture is of Chloe and Doug in Boston in October.  I have to say that my husband is amazing.  We have been planning our move to Miami for over a year now.  Doug works out of Miami and commutes there from our home in Dallas.  He has done that for over two years now so that his youngest son, Dylan could finish up HS with his friends.  We have met with the Realtor a few times and the plan was that he would come over yesterday and we would sign the papers to finally put the house on the market in May.  Well...New Plan.  Doug and the Realtor decided that we should put the house on the market pronto.  So as I am packing to leave for Boston, organizing race gear with regular clothes and packing all of Chloes stuff, I am now madly trying to paint in the kitchen and living room and clean and everything else.  And I have to admit there was a point yesterday when I was getting really stressed and Doug said "what is the issue." I told him we are doing this right before Boston and if the house sells tomorrow I won't be able to train for Phili and honestly those are big goals for me.  The guy rocks.  I just told him I was basically a total selfish twit and he comes back at me with: we will work around those races and training, nothing will interfer with them and gives me a hug.  He also said, I should know how much he loves that I train so hard and he wouldn't want to take away from it.  Come on... He is amazing.  He totally got it and was awesome about it.  Did I say that I Love my Husband?  If I didn't then I am saying it now.  I love Doug.  He really gets me and I don't know how someone would understand what goes on in this head of mine but somehow he gets it.  Happy Running all.  I am off to finish packing and take Chloe on a playdate. 

Oh and one more thing wanted to say: GO MARNY, on her first ultra this weekend.  GO HEATHER, on her first tri this weekend, GO PAULA, at her first Adventure Race this weekend, GO CARRIE, at her 1/2 this weekend and GO JENNA, at her first 5K.  The Running Moms are out in full force all over the US this weekend, WATCH OUT!  :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big D = Lots of Hills

I decided in my infinite wisdom that a marathon one week out from Boston was a good idea. After all I needed to get in around 70 miles this week and we won't live in Dallas next year so I HAD to run this race. Makes perfect sense. Oh and you read these stories of Ultra runners who go out and run a 50 mile race and then marathon the next day and Marathon Maniacs run back to back marathons all the time. Ok I am done justifying my insanity. I actually still think the marathon was a good idea especially when the idea was for it to be a training run, not to run too fast, just to go out and get in some good clean miles. Yah, well that all went out the window. There were a myriad of reasons running through my head as to why it would be good to push myself today. I had read my friend Heather's Race Report for a 5K she did awesome in yesterday, I had just read some Ultra Blogs, and well I just started to think that I needed to run hard and outside my comfort zone more. I really want to do well in Phili and it seems I really need to step up my training if that is going to happen and on top of all of that, it is just fun to run hard. Or at least it was fun for the first 15 miles or so. So I just went with it. You are going to laugh but I didn't look at the course elevation changes before the race so, I had no idea, this course was HILLY, like even the hills had hills, it was brutal. I charged on. I ran the first 13.1 miles in 1:49 and at that point I still felt great. It was about mile 17 or so where my wheels came off and I had to hang on for dear life. I had to concentrate on just running. That toe that has been numb since Rocky well it picked today to really hurt, so I kept searching for even pavement to reduce the pressure on it. In the end I finished with a 3:45 (2nd in my age group and somewhere in top 100 overall) and I am happy with that but, I know I can push more. I had already run close to 50 miles this week going into the marathon so, I am hoping with a few days of light running next week I can kick it into high gear at Boston and if the weather stinks, I am just going to enjoy Boston for all it is worth and not worry about time. There is nothing worse than stressing when the weather is kicking your booty.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


The Boston Marathon is the world's, yes world's oldest marathon, now that is super cool. I think around 38,000 people get to run it each year or something like that. You have to qualify to run it, well I think there are some spots left open for sponsors and fund raising people but most people qualify to run it. Women didn't get to run in it until 1972, the year before I was born. There was one woman who ran it before that by sneaking in. From what I have read and seen on TV it is a great course with great crowds the entire way. There is one place on the course between miles 20 and 21 called Heartbreak hill. It is named after all of the lungs,hearts and legs it has abused over the years, meaning there is a hill about 1/2 mile long at just the point in a marathon where your body doesn't want to go anymore. So basically it sucks :). Dang I am eloquent.

Here is where I am going with all of this. I CAN'T BELIEVE I GET TO RUN BOSTON! My mind is screaming. I know I won't win, won't place in the top of my age group but who cares. I get to run Boston. Last night I had a dream about running it, today on my run I just kept going over and over how awesome it was going to feel to run this race. Now I have to admit, I am a tiny bit scared. I know lame. But I want to PR and that means I have to go out hard and, well honestly running fast isn't my thing. I don't necessarily thrive off of the pain of running fast, I enjoy nice long runs. So it is going to hurt, so that is that. I am a tiny bit scared of a hill that has been named "Heartbreak Hill" that just doesn't sound good. I am a tiny bit scared of letting people down that are traveling there to watch me and the girls that will be watching my progress via updates from the race. But most of all: I am super PUMPED. I am so excited. I need to simmer down a little but dang, who in a million years would have thought I would qualify and get to run Boston? Not me. In my 20's my fastest marathon was a 4:20 now my fastest marathon is a BQ time. For all of you runners out there dreaming of Boston one day, trust me, you can do it. I have one last long training run this week (The Big D marathon on Sunday) and then taper for 8 days. Yay!!! Happy Running All. I will try not to pop with excitement before race day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What is Your Dream

I have an awesome neighbor. She is the one who always watches Chloe when I race and Doug isn't home. She is like a Grandmother to Chloe and boy does Chloe adore her. Anyway none of that is really my point. A few days ago I was outside playing with Chloe and she came over. She said she really enjoyed my Blog and she said "Tara what is your dream." This question somehow completely threw me off. I know what my long term and short term goals are but what are my dreams? Are dreams the same as goals? Somehow for me goals are things if I work hard enough I can attain, dreams may or may not be attainable. It is sort of like saying all squares are quadrilaterals but not all quadrilaterals are squares. In that analogy squares are dreams and quadrilaterals are goals. So again what are my Squares (dreams)? I know what they are in my personal life but in my running life I am not sure. Is that nuts or what? I have a ton of quadrilaterals but few if any are what I would define as four equal sided figures with 90 degree angles. I think I might have to chew on this one for a while but, in the mean time I am interested in what your dreams are. Let me have it. I think I list my goals often here so you all know where I am headed and what I want to achieve so I won't rename them. Is it possible I can't define my dreams because if I put them out there or even allow myself to think of them as dreams then they will become goals and then I will have to go after them and achieve them or fail trying?