Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Spectating The Boston Marathon

 

I’m going to pick up where I left off, when we finished the GOREV event Sunday morning.

Amy B and I were met by our other friend Amy C, who was the one running the marathon the next day. She brought some food for Amy but I had felt pretty sick the last four hours or so of the GOREV, so I couldn’t eat or drink anything for a while. Amy B’s husband came up with their kids to meet us at the finish and she changed into some fresh clothes. I literally dozed off sitting up on the stairs while she was changing. Once we had stopped moving, I lost all adrenaline that had kept me going.

Once everyone got situated, we headed back to the parking lot to pick up Amy B’s car. From there, the two Amys and I drove to my cousin’s house just south of the city. She was nice enough to let us stay there while they were away for the weekend so we didn’t have to pay for a hotel. It was 5 minutes from the T station and it’s not far out of Boston. I think we were able to get in the house and settled down sometime between 10:30-11:00am and Amy B and I were going to get some rest while Amy C did some errands. We laid down on the couches and I think Amy B was asleep before she even finished laying down. I was super restless and still not feeling well and only got rest in 10-15 minute increments. I think I got up 4 or 5 times to either drink or take medicine or whatever. It was not restful at all.

I finally gave up sometime around 1pm and Amy B woke up shortly after that I believe. We sat around chatting for a bit and then all got ready to attend the pasta dinner being held by Amy C’s fundraising team for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. We were thrilled to have a buffet to eat because we were starving, but we all ended up only getting the one plate of food and calling it quits.

 

 

Once we had eaten, we stopped at Target on the way home to pick up some food and last minute supplies for the next day. I think we managed to get to bed around 9pm, but at this point time and days were a blur to me.

Monday morning Amy C got up and got ready and I got up shortly after her around 6am, with Amy B following soon after. Our super runner finished up and then drove up to meet her team and get ready. Amy B and I sat around a bit, had our breakfast and chatted, checked in with people on our phones and then both got ready to head into the city.

Amy C was in the wave to have an approximate 11:15am start. She kept sending us updates and pics and it was really exciting to see what was going on with the athletes. Amy B and I took the T in because driving would have been a nightmare. Our plans we made the night before were to meet her at around mile 16, mile 23 and the finish.

We arrived without much of a delay to mile 16 and starting watching for her based on the text updates we were getting from the BAA and from her occasionally. It was amazing being part of something like that, even just as a spectator. The atmosphere is pure electricity and the sound just never stops. I can’t even imagine running in it.

 

 

 

We got a text from Amy C shortly before she met up with us that she needed some dry socks. We had two runner bags with us that had mid-race supplies and after-race stuff. When she finally came to us, she was soaked through just like everybody else out there. We helped her strip her shirts off and change into something warmer and drier, then she changed out her socks, grabbed some more Swedish fish and kept trucking. She was in some pain from a prior leg injury and had a cough that wouldn’t quit, but there was no way she wasn’t going to finish her first Boston.

Once she took off, one of Amy B’s friends, Adam, took us to near Beacon St where we needed to meet her for mile 23, which should have been where her team cheering area was. There was nobody there. I guess it was team family members and once their runner went by, they were leaving.

 

 

I sort of wish we hadn’t stopped there because that only gave us maybe 30 minutes to get to the finish by T. Yeah – that didn’t happen. We got the text she finished before we even got to the last stop. I was so disappointed and felt like I’d let her down by not making it in time to see her finish. Luckily, we found out afterwards that 3 of her other friends were there at the finish so she did have some support at the end. She did awesome, coming in at 5:16:46.

 

 

Once we knew that we couldn’t see her finish, we re-routed to meet her at Boston Sports Club which was the after destination for her team. Once we got there, we went to the meeting area, but she wasn’t there. We finally got a Facebook message from her that she was in the med room. I, of course, immediately panicked but we asked at the front desk to find out where she was and found her getting her leg looked at and being warmed up. Her phone had been ruined by the rain so she had borrowed a PT aide’s phone to message us.

We got her stuff picked up and she went off to shower before grabbing some food there, then we all headed to the food court in the Prudential Center (where BSC was) to get food because the restaurants in the area had very, very long waits. You would think something was going on in town!

 

 

 

I am so amazingly proud of this girl. She worked her tail off to get there, training through injury and sickness. You did it, Amy! You ran “the fucking Boston Marathon”!!

 

 

 

 

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GORUCK Gorevolution

 

To say that April 18-19, 2015 were life-changing would be an understatement. Let’s just start at the beginning.

You’ve heard me talk about GORUCK before, including the one I took part in back in October. The event that was being held this weekend was a Gorevolution, the second of its kind. It was basically a GORUCK Heavy (24+ hour event), but with a historical twist – we would be following in the footsteps of our ancestors as we walked from Concord to Boston along the Battle Road Trail, Minute Man Bikeway and Freedom Trail.

When they tell you that the event starts at 4am, you get there early. We ended up going to bed later than I planned on Friday night (somewhere around 8:30-9:00?) and I set my alarm for midnight. I knew several people that were doing the event, but was there mainly in support of my friend, Amy. It was her first Heavy. Amy and I stayed at Julie and Dan’s house so we’d be closer to the start and wouldn’t have to drive so far so early in the morning. Once I was up and ready, Amy got up at 1:00 and started getting herself ready. We were out the door just past 2:00 and on our way! We arrived where we were told to park around 3:00 and there was a very nice guy everyone calls Jeans that hooked us up with a ride to the start (about a mile and a half away). We thought we’d have to walk to the start so this was a nice surprise. We were at the start by about 3:30 and just kind of hanging around with others that had arrived early.

All of a sudden, out of the pitch black walk the two Cadre – Andy and Logan. So begins the event. First things first, they lined up to have the roster checked. There were supposed to be 35 people there that had signed up, but only 23 were present. I don’t remember in what order the next two things occurred, but they had their bags inspected to ensure they had the correct weight, food, hydration and safety gear and then were read the rules and precautions to be taken during the event. Cadre Andy then took us shadows aside to advise us on how he wanted us to behave alongside the class.

 

 

 

 

Once everybody was situated and checked in, off we went. The beginning started out deceivingly simple – walk along a little bit, stop at a historical marker, Cadre would tell us a bit about it and then move on. No yelling, no PT yet. This lasted maybe a mile and a half or so as we made our way into Minute Man Historical Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See this picture below? That man in the black coat and evil grin? That would be Cadre Logan. He’s grinning because they are about to bring the suck. Once they got across that bridge, things would get much, much worse.

 

 

 

From here, they needed to get down on the ground to avoid “enemy fire”. They were told to low crawl, roll left, roll right, all while trying not to become a “casualty”. If you become one, you are no longer allowed to move under your own power. In this instance, they had to be dragged by other members of the class to get them to the tree line and cover.

 

 

 

 

 

Once they made it to the tree line, we walked over to the park path to get back to our trek. Not everyone was falling in line with what the Cadre were saying, so some PT needed to be done including up/down with their rucks as well as holding them overhead.

 

 

 

Some bear crawls, lunges and crab walks were next.

 

 

 

 

 

Once we rounded the corner after a quick jog, they got a small break while the Cadre spoke again.

 

 

 

 

Back to the road they went with some low crawls. I thought it was highly amusing watching the runners and bikers come through looking at them like they’re nuts. After that, they played a lovely game called “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” where they had to get up, move for a second, then lay down all to the cadence of saying that phrase.

 

 

 

 

They went around another bend and had another quick refuel and then more crab walks, because it’s fun. After a little more walking, we came across a tunnel where they had to lay down and do 100 flutter kicks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once they walked a bit more on the trail, we came to Fiske Hill. Oh, Fiske Hill. They had some fun there. It started out with having to crawl down the embankment from the parking lot into what can only be described as disgusting. They then had to make their way up the hill, stopping here and there for PT and picking up various “weapons” to charge the hill.

 

 

 

 

Near the top of the hill were casualties, so there were lots of buddy carries through here up another short, steep hill.

 

 

 

 

After we left the park, we had a long, boring walk along the main streets until we reached the Lexington Common. We had just missed a re-enactment so we took a break to eat and check feet. We got to see just a bit of the next one starting, but had to keep moving on to stay on track.

 

 

 

 

 

From the Common, we entered the Minute Man Bikeway. There was a lot of just plain rucking on this portion. At times, Logan got them going at a very quick pace. I spent a lot of time shuffle running to keep up in the back. Along the way, they were told to pick up various items like aluminum fence posts and tire rims. Little did they know, they would soon be building “the apparatus”. They would have to use these pieces, along with whatever rope and straps they brought with them, to build some sort of method of transportation for an oil drum that was left on the side of the bikeway.

 

 

 

 

 

We rucked on the bikeway for a long time it seemed and then veered off for a bit to see a few areas of interest before joining back up with it.

 

 

 

 

 

It was nightfall by the time we reached Boston Common. We had another break for food and feet before walking along the Freedom Trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we were past the Old North Church (one if by land, two if by sea), it was time for some very difficult maneuvering. They were to pick up some items and move them to our next location, which was an extended break at a local gym frequented by ruckers.

 

 

 

Once we got there, they were able to leave those items behind. After our rest period to refuel and check feet, off we went to Fort Washington, where they would pick up more items to be carried all the way to the end in Dorchester Heights to build a “cannon”.

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say that I believe this was the most difficult part of the journey. It was a lot of walking through a closed city of Boston. They had to carry these really heavy items for miles with very few breaks because there weren’t enough people. You also have to remember we’ve passed 24 hours during this trek and everyone was exhausted. The smiles during the first few miles had long disappeared and I watched as zombies shuffled past me. I will admit that there are times I don’t remember getting from one block to the next. I could have been sleepwalking for all I know.

23 started, 21 finished with one voluntary withdrawal and one med drop (who pushed it so, so hard and should be proud). At the end, with the sun coming up, they were handed their patches. Tears flowed, cheers erupted and everyone squeezed each other tight. These are a few of my favorite shots from the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is our GPS that I forgot to start at the very beginning, but that’s pretty close to the actual duration and distance.

 

 

What I witnessed was incredible. People pushing through immense pain, working together to get the tasks done. Tears, sure, but no quit. They didn’t know the meaning of the word. I am so, so proud of every member of that class and it was an honor to walk alongside them.

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #71

 

Saturday – Raking leaves and yard work for 2.5 hours
Sunday – 6.5 miles
Monday – 1.6 mile lunch ruck
Tuesday – 3.1 miles
Wednesday – 3.5 mile ruck
Thursday – Packing like a maniac
Friday – Running around like a crazy person

 

Not a bad training week. Sunday I had planned 8 miles, but my stomach had other ideas and after about 3.5 I was stuck at almost my halfway point and had to walk back. I called Tara when I knew where I was (that she knew as well) and had her come pick me up. Not cool!

Tuesday was super speedy! I ran with my friend Amy and whenever I run outside with her, I tend to start out too quick. She has a faster pace than I do and I feel bad slowing people up. We started out so fast I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep running, but I finally settled into a groove around 1 mile and was able to straighten myself out. When I realized around 2 miles how fast we were going, I consciously decided to keep pushing it. We sprinted at the end because I was certain I was going to beat my 5K PR, but I missed it by 9 seconds (I thought it was higher than it was). Good, good run!

The rucks were mainly to get used to wearing it again for this weekend, plus to break in my new boots. I’m hoping these bad boys are as good as everyone says they are so I don’t have any issues with my feet. I also bought Trail Tape because that seemed to help more than the Trail Toes at Carry The Fallen.

I’m so excited for this epic weekend! Tonight, I head up to MA to get ready to shadow the GOREV happening tomorrow. I have the easy part – just taking pictures and being there in support. Yes, I’ll be walking for over 24 hours and probably close to 40 miles, but at least I can rest when I’m able to stop. The rest of the class doing this special GORUCK won’t get the breaks I get. I can’t wait to watch Amy crush it!

From there, after we eat our weight in food and try to get some sleep, we’ll be hitting up the pasta dinner with our other friend Amy who is going to run THE FREAKIN’ BOSTON MARATHON on Monday. I’m so excited to watch her, too. All the years I grew up in MA, I never once went to the marathon. I can’t wait!

So for today, I feel this is a rather epic song choice for these amazing friends of mine. I first heard it when we went to the Carnivores Tour last August and fell in love with it. I’ve recently started hearing it on the radio so I think it’s been released as a single now, too. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Busy Awesome Weekend

As I mentioned before, I took last Friday off to spend a day with Tara while she was on vacation that week. We packed as much fun stuff into this weekend as we could. There’s so much, I’ll mostly let the pictures do the talking, but basically it went like this:

Thursday night – went for a run at City Park and Tara came along

 

 

 

Friday – went kayaking, mowed the lawn and then did some swimming before our grocery shopping

 

 

 

 

Saturday – helped at Unleashed tent at Samurai Sprint Mud Run for 4 hours, then drove up to MA to pick up Julie and head into Boston for Sarah McLachlan concert. We had dinner before the show at Jerry Remy’s and then walked around a bit. I practically had to drag Julie away once we found the tour buses.

 

 

Boston Strong!

 

 

 

 

Sunday – 7 mile run and lots of meal prep, plus we finally finished Orange Is The New Black season 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love That Dirty Water: A Day In Boston

Wednesday was Tara’s 29th birthday, so this past weekend was her “birthday weekend” with our best friends. We had planned on going up to Julie and Dan’s house Friday night, spending Saturday in Boston and then coming home after breakfast on Sunday morning.

After I got home from work, we headed straight up to MA. Luckily, Tara had gotten out of work a little early that day so she had already packed the car. You would think we were going away for a week! I had good intentions going up there, packing workout clothes, stretching strap, yoga block, balance pad and extra sneakers. Well, those proved to be wasted intentions. I just couldn’t do it. Nobody wanted to go to the gym with me, which is bad enough to go to a strange gym by myself, but when everyone is having fun, staying up late and being goofy it makes it that much harder to go to bed early and get up early to get it out of the way.

 

What are we looking at…?

Oh nothing…just our feet!

 

We ended up staying up until almost 11pm on Friday I think – well past my normal 9pm bedtime. I think I was up around 7:45, then Julie got up around 8:30 and we gradually woke up Dan and Tara. We ended up all being able to get ready, eat breakfast and get out the door to the T station by 10:30 or so, which was pretty much what we’d been aiming for.

After we hopped on the T in Braintree, we headed to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We originally had thought we’d go there, then lunch, then maybe stop somewhere for cupcakes or something for Tara’s birthday. What we decided once we got there, though, was that lunch first was a better idea since it was around 12:30 or so when we arrived. We ended up walking down to The Squealing Pig for lunch. Tara and I had been there once before, on our last trip to the MFA, and it was delicious. It didn’t disappoint again!

 

 

Once we’d sufficiently fueled ourselves for walking around for a few hours, we walked back to the MFA and got our free tickets (thanks, Bank of America!).

 

“Is that a photobomber behind me?”

 

We decided to start on the second floor (don’t ask me why) and that was all we ended up seeing. Once we finished with the entire upper floor, we were exhausted and it was less than an hour until the museum closed. At least I got to see my favorite room, which has the majority of European artists I actually know (Van Gogh, Monet, Rodin, Degas). I always love visiting this room.

 

 

Once we left the MFA, we hopped back on the T and decided to hit up Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market. Originally we were just going to do a bakery hop and get a couple of things for Tara’s b-day, but it was around 5:00 so we decided to just have dinner there. We ended up walking all over looking for a place to eat (since we wanted to sit and eat, but there were no tables open for four in the Market). After walking all around the outside of the Market, we decided to just eat at Ned Devine’s Irish Pub. It was pretty good! We all got some drinks (some better than others) and then just ordered meals since it was a fairly pricey place for a pub. I got Kobe beef sliders that were pretty good, but it wasn’t until I was DONE eating that I realized the “spicy ketchup” that should have been on them was actually on the side. No wonder they didn’t have much flavor. All I could taste was the caramelized onions on the top.

 

 

Once we finished dinner, we headed down to check out the bakeries and decided on a few places. We all grabbed something and then headed back to the T to go home. Luckily, we were able to get a seat for the whole ride home on the Red Line. We were concerned we’d be heading home at the same time that the Bruins game let out (since we were riding into the city with a lot of Bruins fans in the morning), but we didn’t see anyone so it must have still been going on. It was on the TV at Ned Devine’s while we had dinner but we didn’t know what period it was.

 

“Is that photobomber behind me again??”

I stole Dan’s hat. I rocked the hell out of it.

 

We had such a fun day and did SO much walking around the city that Tara and I ended up falling asleep on the couch while we watched TV…before 9pm! Julie ended up waking us up so we could go to the guest room and go to bed (thanks, Jules! LOL).

Sunday morning we slept in a bit longer (8:45 I think) and Julie and Dan were already up when we got up. I had a cup of coffee, we got ready and then headed down to Kristin’s for breakfast. I knew I wanted pancakes going in there, but I wasn’t prepared for what they call a pancake! It was the size of my face! I only ordered 2, but could only finish ONE pancake. I got the coffee cake pancakes, Tara got the S’mores pancakes, Dan got Boston Creme Pie pancakes and Julie got coffee cake French Toast. It was all SO good! We’ll definitely visit there again.

It was such an awesome, fun weekend we decided we really need to go in to the city more. I do miss living just south of Boston and just hopping on the T to ride in and walk around Harvard Square or whatever we feel like doing. We’ll definitely be planning some more adventure dates soon!

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #19

Fitness this week:

Saturday – Shoulder/Leg – all 3 sets of 12-15
Machine Shoulder Press – 20 lb, Barbell Incline Shoulder Raise – 20 lb, Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug – 25 lb, Barbell Squat – 75 lb, Barbell Standing Calf Raise – 75 lb, Farmer’s Walk (50 steps) – 40 lb, Abductor – 160 lb, Adductor – 160 lb

Sunday – Run/Walk 38 min

Monday – Chest/Tricep – all 3 sets of 12-15 plus 30 min Yoga
Dumbbell bench press – 20lb, Machine Fly – 70 lb, Dumbbell decline bench press – 15lb, Push-ups – 10, 10, 8 (no knees), Cable rope pushdown – 25 lb, “The Monster” – 20 lb, Machine assisted dip – 100 lb

Tuesday – Run/Walk 35 min & 1 hr Ultimate Conditioning Class @ Unleashed

Wednesday – Unscheduled rest day – tweaked my ankle doing box jumps Tues night

Thursday – 37 min run/walk & 1 hr Obstacle Class @ Unleashed

Friday – rest

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Sooooo many burpees this week.

 

 

Here’s the deal: every week Julia and I go to Unleashed for our obstacle training class on Thursday nights. We have done this for the last month. Whenever we go, this Ultimate Conditioning class is going on before our class that Kevin also teaches and he’s always telling us how great it is for prepping you to become stronger to tackle the obstacle courses.

Now, when I bought my class card for Unleashed, I did so with the intention of only going to practice my obstacles. I already have my PF membership so I continue going there for my regular workouts and wanted to use this as my “specialty” gym to conserve classes. Julia, though, is always saying how she wants to try other classes they have there. We were talking about it after class last week and Kevin said “don’t worry, I’ll make sure she comes with you” and goes behind the counter. He comes back out and hands us each a free class card, just to ensure that I would come to one of the Ultimate Conditioning class with Julia. Evil.

 

 

We decided we’d go to the Tuesday night class (since we can’t get out of work until 6 and these classes start at 6:30). It was a SCORCHER. I was dying. Julia was dying. Her cousin Paola (who is also going to be on our Mudder team) was dying. It was insane. I think we used almost everything in that gym. We used the TRX, battle ropes, sleds, etc and did a ridiculous amount of burpees. He also had us do box jumps (which I’ve never done). I had a lot of trouble with them because they felt a little high to me and I was having trouble jumping both feet up at the same time. Well, lo and behold, I found a way to injure myself just by jumping. I went up with both feet and jammed (for lack of a better term) the sole of my foot at an odd angle against the edge of the box. Let’s just say I didn’t do any more jumps (I switched it up to just stepping up and down when it was my turn in the rotation). It hurt pretty bad on Wednesday so I took the day off and it seems to be almost back to normal so the rest of my routine Thursday was the same as always.

Kevin is doing some ridiculous crazy 8 hr obstacle course in Vermont this weekend, so when we went for obstacle class last night Janine was teaching it. Oh, and she likes burpees even more than Kevin!! We must have done a total of probably 5-7 minutes of burpees in either 30 second, 1 minute or 2 minute segments. Did I mention I hate them? So yeah…my shoulders are killing me this morning. It could also be the fact that we did THREE rounds of the obstacles last night (including monkey bars) and the fact that her idea of the first movement in a warm-up is to inchworm all the way down the turf! All. The. Way.

 

 

 

I’m really excited that it is FINALLY Friday. We’re staying up in MA this weekend at Julie and Dan’s house. This will be Tara’s birthday weekend. Bank of America does a thing the first weekend of every month that you show your debit card and you get free museum admission. One of the museums on the list is the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We’ll take the T into the city, hit up the museum and then we’re going to use Yelp to find a place to have lunch…maybe even do a little bakery hopping or something. We’ll see where the day takes us!

My inspiration for the song this week comes from our class last night. Just as we were near the end of our last cycle of obstacles, this song came on and totally pumped me up to just finish when I was ready to pretty much lay down on the floor and make everyone else just jump over me. Thank you, Macklemore.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold Us

 

 

 

 

 

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