boston marathon 2012: pre-gaming

Alright-I know this post is way overdue!! Been a busy couple of weeks 🙂

So even though the final time was not what I had hoped for, everything else about the Boston Marathon and the surrounding events lived up to the hype. And then some.

Instead of one long-winded post, I decided I’d break it up into 3, like I did for my first marathon…I think it deserves that respect 🙂

Saturday, April 14

Time to make the train trip up to Boston!  Was Amtrakking it-nice and easy.  And a coupla other Flyers were on my train too…not surprising 🙂

Trip was pretty much drama-free, but in the time between New York and Boston, the B.A.A. had sent us all an email that included the following:

We are now making the recommendation that if you are not highly fit or if you have any underlying medical conditions (for example-cardiac disease, pulmonary disease or any of a number of medical problems), you should NOT run this race.

  • Inexperienced marathoners should not run.
  • Those who have only trained in a cooler climate and who may not be acclimated (for at least the last 10 days) to warm weather running conditions should also consider not running.

Highly fit?  Yeah I guess.  Inexperienced?  Hells no.  Cool climate and not acclimated…oh yeah.

Not to mention:

Due to the unusually warm weather forecast for the Boston area on Monday, the B.A.A. will defer the entry of those official entrants to the 2013 Boston Marathon for participants who decide not to race.

Wow, now that is huge.  I know it was a controversial decision by the B.A.A., but I think given the conditions, something had to be done to cover themselves.  But I wasn’t considering deferring, I worked too hard to get here.  But I had the premonition that Monday was not gonna be a normal race day at all.

Anyway, got into Boston with no issues and got to my hotel-which was right around the corner from the Back Bay train station!  The hotel was not the most glamorous, but in terms of location, couldn’t be beat-within walking distance of both the finish line and Boston Common (for the bus to the start.)  Also another cool thing was that the BAA was located in the same building!  So after dropping my stuff and getting settled, was time to head to the expo.  Which apparently was in a different place than normal-the Seaport World Trade Center as opposed to the Hynes Convention Center.  And I didn’t find it too much of a pain to get to-Orange Line to Silver Line (or a shuttle)…no different than heading from the UWS to South Street Seaport 🙂

i'm all in-the expo!

the scene at number pickup

 

Expo time.  I was looking forward to this-I’m such a kid in a candy store at running expos 🙂  (Especially since I had some extra spending money from finishing in the money in not one, but TWO March Madness pools!)  But before going shopping, first things first.  Gotta go get the bib.  Being handed the bib, I’m thinking “oh boy this shit is real!  i’m doing this!!”  Then time to get the bright orange bag and race shirt.  Really nice shirt-blue long-sleeve with yellow accents.  But they said we could try it on and I’m glad I did-in keeping with the warnings that they ran small, I had to swap my small size shirt for a medium.  (Hey Adidas-do you assume that all female Boston marathoners have no boobs to speak of? 🙂 )

look what i got!

 

Time to hit the booths!  As I had visited the expo last year when I came up to spectate, I knew what to expect and it didn’t disappoint-great variety of booths-if you want something, they got it!  Expo tip-if you want to get Adidas stuff, go to the booth that is closer to the entrance-NOT the one thats by the number pickup (unless you really want one of those T-shirts)-the booth closer to the entrance is less crowded.  And even though I already had the jacket, I also picked up a hat and sports bra…thought of getting the stuffed unicorn but passed on it 🙂  Did a lap around the expo, picking up other things I “needed” ;-)…then made one last stop at the Adidas booth before I left.  This time I got a pair of flip flops which felt great on my feet (I’m wearing them as I type!), thinking they may come in handy in a couple of days 🙂  And of course I ran into some Flyers-HM (her first Boston too!) and DM (Boston vet, this year just up to cheer.)  After some gabbing I headed back to my hotel to rest up before dinner…

HM and I, shopping til we drop!

 

So I met up with Flyer DK and a friend of his in the North End-aka Boston’s Little Italy.  And he showed up already wearing the Boston 2012 jacket…”Boston jacket etiquette….ur doin it rong!”  Though he did it on purpose to irk me 😛  Anyway, good company, great pasta and merlot at Al Dente-highly recommended!!

So after a long day, headed back to Back Bay for some much-needed rest…

Sunday, April 15

Knowing I wouldn’t get a lot of sleep this evening, I made sure to sleep in 🙂  And for brunch, seeked out my traditional day-before-race pancakes…finally wound up at Five Napkin Burger with a nice outside seat.  Yep, nice day for sitting outside…for running, not so much!!  And I even got a Bellini with my pancakes (don’t worry, I had lotsa water too)-figuring that any “racing” plans for the next day were out the window.  So after brunch, I hit up Newbury and Boylston streets for a little sightseeing and shopping.

At Niketown, I put a little shoutout to the Flyers on the wall.

I also got a sneak peek at the turn onto Hereford….

does this remind anyone else of that "hill" in the last mile in Chicago?

 

and Boylston…

view down Boylston, from Hereford. So close, yet so far away...good to know for tomorrow...

 

And of course, a pic at the finish line.  But I wouldn’t cross it yet-had to wait til the next day! 😉

Soon enough, was time for the “Last Supper”  aka pasta dinner with the Flyers 🙂  We had it at Papa Razzi, which we’ve eaten at before in previous years and this year I took the lead in organizing.  I booked this in February, but the best I could do was 4 tables of 4.  At first they had us all split up, but there was another party that was willing to switch tables with us so they could be near their friends…and vice versa.  (what were they thinking with the seating arrangements in the first place!)

one-half of the Flyer pasta party

 

So again, food and company were great, all exchanged expo chronicles, me and EA had eyes for the cute waiters…and of course conversation turned to this latest email we got from the B.A.A. today:

The weather situation continues to be a significant concern for Boston Marathoners. We have determined that the race will occur in a “red zone” which is considered an increased risk but acceptable for high-level elite runners.  However, it is not considered safe for unfit and novice runners.

We strongly recommend that unless you have met qualifying times for this race that you accept the deferment option from the B.A.A.

Anyone who has not run a qualifying time should also very strongly consider the deferment option.

Again, if you have any medical problems or if you under-trained, then please do not run this marathon.

Those who are running the race should run much slower, adding several minutes to your per mile pace.

Also important, please be sure to complete the emergency medical contact information on the reverse side of your bib.

Remember, unless you are acclimated to the weather conditions forecast for Monday, you should not run.

For those very fit athletes who decide to run, you should take significant precautions.

So while a couple of us (not me!) were debating whether or not to still pursue their original goals, others (including me) were discussing what the revised goals should be.  And reminisced on Chicago 2010-as me, EA, DK, JS and NPT were all Chicago 2010 survivors.

As I said before, deferring wasn’t an option I was considering.  But given that several peeps were making sure I was aware-via Facebook, email, whatever-of this deferrment option, it kind of made me wonder…and I asked Coach T via email “Am I a total idiot for not taking the option to defer?”  His response?  “Run this race.   Your training is in. Relax. You cannot control what the New England weather will be, but you are fit, and tough. Good training trumps bad weather, every time.   Yes, I’ve seen the forecast. I trust your conditioning, and your courage. And you must as well.”

And that’s just what I will do.  There have been other occurances beyond Chicago (e.g., LTR in the Heatpocalypse) that showed that I do know how to be smart when the heat is on.

So after a bunch of good luck phone calls/texts/emails, and laying out the race outfit…

Flyer top, Lululemon shorty shorts, Brooks PureFlows. bailed on the pink compression sox due to the weather.

 

…and all my other necessities for the next day, was time to get my beauty sleep for what will prove to be a helluva day…

Race day to follow in the next installment!

pumped up kicks

And on the topic of pumped up kicks, I haven’t had a shoe post in awhile!

Well first off, a warning out to those who love the Adidas Adioses as much as I do.  I heard awhiles back that the “upgrade”-the Adios 2’s-would be more of a lightweight trainer and less like a racing flat.  Not wanting to deal with having to deviate from the perfect racing flat, I immediately stockpiled a few pairs, which should last me til next year I think?  And it was a good thing, because I actually got to try out the Adios 2’s a coupla weeks back when an Adidas rep came to our workout.  My suspicions were confirmed-felt like a totally different shoe…more substantial and not as flexible.  (of course, this was also 2 days post-NYC Half…)

And my marathon shoe?  Well even though I talked about the Brooks Launch here as being my marathon shoe…i dunno, for whatever reason I fell out of love with them.

Enter the Brooks PureFlows.

I had heard very good things about Brooks’ PureProject line, and I actually had my eye on these shoes even before NYCM (but figured it was too late to switch then)  These felt awesome from the minute I tried them out-like how they had the feel of a racing flat but are substantial enough for a marathon.  And yes, these will be my Boston shoes.  Well not this pair exactly…as I had to get a fresher pair for the big day and so I had to go with the color update…

I guess these shoes won't clash with the hot pink socks? 🙂

And of course, one of those shoes will be wearing my lucky Yankee charm on race day 🙂

Shifting to running fashion-I got to give a shout to lululemon for my new favorite shorts-their Shorty Shorts.

yeah, this obviously ain't me.

These have the stamp of approval to be my marathon short-I wore these on my Palisades 20-miler and they worked liek a charm-I had wanted a pair of fitted shorts with pockets, and these have 5!  (well actually 7, but I don’t quite trust the 2 on the front of the legs)  Plus they did not ride up once (thanks to some grippy silicone at the bottom.)  So I got the shorts and shoes-jury is still out on the pink socks-if it’s warm I may ditch them, just gotta decide on the top.

And I have my post-race apparel all ready to go…right now just hanging up in my closet, waiting 12 more days to be worn 🙂

will run for fashion

So remember that long run I was supposed to do last Sunday?  Yeah, that didn’t happen.  Let it be known that NyQuil is evil when you need to be somewhat productive the next day.  But again, given that I was really trying to get rid of that damn cold ASAP, a long run may not have done me any favors.  The one downside to winter training-seems like it takes longer to shake out illness than it does in warmer temps.

So I threw myself back into it this past week.  Coach T took a little mercy on me on Tuesday and had me do 600s as a “rust-buster” type workout instead of the 1000s that the others were doing.  Which was perfect, my lungs did not feel up to 1000s.  My original plan was to try and run before work as there was the annual Flyers Chinese New Year celebration, and given that it was the Year of the Dragon (my year!) I sorta had to go 🙂  The snooze button won out but I was still able to get my workout done, and me and my workout-mates made it to the festivities in time (well…maybe a little fashionably late!)

Happy Year of the Dragon! Words to live by...and others that I can hope are reality?

 

And then in the middle of the week, the word was out that a certain coveted jacket was available on the Adidas site.  And of course inquiring minds had wanted to know for a while…what will the colors be?  Will it be embroidered or not?  And the answer is…

Once again, a departure from the traditional Boston blue/yellow, but I’m really loving this color! 🙂  I can’t wait to get mine…though I know I won’t be able to wear it til the afternoon of April 16th…bad luck!!

So I guess making sure I will be able to wear said jacket was what got me out the door on a rainy Thursday evening for a tempo which I felt I came up short on, but all things considered, was just glad to get it in.  And even though I got a late start today due to not being able to tear myself away from the Australian Open final, still banged out 17 and change miles (including not 1, but 2 loops of the Harlem Hills.)  Though dear god, if I am as tired after 17 miles in 11 weeks as I was today, the Newton hills are gonna be a world of hurt.

Busy week this upcoming week with final preps for the Flyers awards gala Saturday.  I expect to see lots of Flyers (myself included!) out running long runs Saturday…if last year was any indication, a long run will definitely not happen on Sunday.  In fact, I predict Flyer attendance at the Gridron Classic will be quite low…

it’s gotta be the shoes…

OK, I don’t really think the shoes are to thank for my running lately, but I realized I haven’t had a running shoe post in quite awhile and since this time last year, most of my rotation has been pretty much overhauled.  So I present to you, the the footwear that will get me through this NYCM training season:


Brooks Defyance 4 (8.8 oz)-the “workhorses” aka my go-to training shoe.  God bless Brooks for not messing with a good thing (yes, I’m looking at you, Asics!) as this is the third model of Defyances I’ve worn and they still work and work well.  To be used on easy/recovery days.

Brooks Launch (7.5 oz)-my “in-between” lightweight trainer.  Pretty much a lighter version of the Defyance, I’m really liking these so far.  Great for longer tempo runs and I’ve used them on my last 2 long runs as I’m hoping on making these my marathon shoe.  (and didn’t those last 2 long runs go very well?  hmmmm)

Adidas Adizero Adios (6.1 oz)-my wicked fast and flashy racing shoes, also used for track workouts.  LOVE THESE.  If you remember correctly, i did try these on last year and they didn’t fit right, well what a difference they make with a women’s-specific fit.  Minimal but stable-perfect!!  And unlike any of the previous racers I’ve used, I’m already looking into getting another pair-now the only question is do i get another watermelon candy green pair like the ones I have now or the flashy neon pink (on the shoes in the link?) 🙂

So this terrific trio of shoes are working very well together-and I can only hope they stay in perfect harmony for the next 3 months and longer!! 🙂

And of course, I gotta give some credit to the recently retired shoes that are gone but not forgotten…

Brooks Defyance 3-I went through several pairs of these and they did me good.  These aren’t completely “retired” just yet, I have one pair that’s used on bad weather days (or if I’m running on muddy terrain)

Adidas Tempo-I don’t know why, but this year I kinda stopped liking them.  I wore them in the Brooklyn Half and honestly wasn’t feeling the love for it.  They have since been replaced with the Brooks Launches but still have a place in my shoe closet as the shoes I wear to the gym 🙂

Saucony Fastwitch 3-my first pair of racing shoes.  Good for my first pair of racers, but I always felt something better was out there.

Nike LunaRacer 2-they may have looked pretty, but after awhile I felt like my legs/ankles were too wobbly when i was wearing them…not enough support, even when wearing my orthotics.  (you can sorta tell in this photo…especially on my right side)

Saucony Kinvara-oh man….I really, really wanted to like these shoes.  After they’ve gotten such great reviews from teammates and friends.  They have less than 30 miles on them and yet…I have no desire to put them on any time soon.  Just another one that I wasn’t really feeling the love for.  That said, when I was wearing them it was wintertime and I wasn’t in the best of shape…wonder if I should give them another try?  (but why mess with the equation if I don’t have to…)

I sorta feel like Carrie Bradshaw, talking in such depth about the merits of all my different shoes! 🙂

Finally, this is blog post #800!!  This time it took me a year and 3 months to get from #700 to 800…maybe I don’t need a life as much now than I did when I went only a few months between century posts? 🙂