Friday, April 30, 2010

Chippewa Creek

I drove over to the Brecksville Reservation after work today and did a few miles on the trails, some hill climbing and some water trekking. It was a beautiful day with temperatures reaching the mid-80s and sunny.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Everett Rd Covered Bridge

Ran some hills tonight by the Covered Bridge with Wild Bill, Tara Schweitzer and my brother.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Boston Marathon

On Friday evening, my parents and I flew out from Pittsburgh to Boston for the 2010 Boston Marathon. I was happy to be able to make the trip out knowing I would be able to start the race because just 7 weeks ago I sprained my ankle really badly! It was a stupid mistake, but hindsight is 20/20 right?

My ankle swelled up like a balloon and ended up getting black and blue all the way up to my calf. I iced it religiously for weeks and just waited. I swam a few times at the Medina Rec Center to keep some fitness up. After 3 weeks of rest, I was able to jog a couple miles slowly. My ankle felt great, but my calf and leg got pretty tight and sore quickly, not to mention I felt totally out of breath.

Flash forward 2 weeks to the marathon and I was actually back on the trails able to run a few longer runs over 10 miles. At this point, I felt pretty confident I would be able to toe the line in Hopkinton.

We landed in Boston around 8 o'clock or so. We booked a few nights at the same hotel we stayed at last time. After dropping our luggage off, we quickly got back on the subway and headed to the North End to each get a cannoli we'd been craving at Mike's Pastry shop. The best cannolis I've ever had!

On Saturday, we stopped by the expo to pick up my number and walk around. The Boston Marathon has a great expo with tons of giveaways, promotions and famous runners signing autographs. I was able to get my picture with Khalid Khannouchi, the current American marathon record holder. On Sunday, we walked some on the Freedom Trail and then took the subway out to Harvard. Sunday evening, we met some friends at the North End for some pasta.

The weather was miserable with rain both Saturday and Sunday, but we still enjoyed ourselves! All I cared about was that the forecast for race day held - partly cloudy, high 55, low 45.

I didn't get much sleep the night before the race, but that's always common. We headed down to the Boston Commons at 6 to catch a bus to the start line in Hopkinton. I love the buzz and anticipation of all the runners down there. Some running it for the first time and others seasoned veterans.

I sat next to this guy from Long Island, NY and talked to him for most the ride down. We shared stories about past races, future goals, and strategy for today. This is one of my favorite parts of Boston is being able to meet so many different people.

We arrived at Athlete's Village 2 hours before the race. I found a comfy spot in the grass and hung out. I was smart this year and brought a tarp to sit on, as well as warm clothes and some food.

Before I knew it, we were headed down to the start line which is about a mile away. Of course I had to take a leak from all the nerves and excitement. I looked for somewhere hidden in the woods or behind a dumpster since most the johns had big lines, but scratched that idea when I saw a cop writing up a runner for going in the woods...haha busted! As I was waiting in line, the national anthem played and a couple fighter jets flew overhead. The guy behind me was from Canada, but sang our anthem with more enthusiasm than most Americans do.

I quickly ran over to the 4th starting corral and within about 10 minutes the gun was off! This year it only took 2 or 3 minutes to actually cross the start line. The beginning of the race is downhill, so you really have to watch how fast you go. After about 7 or 8 miles, I got talking to this guy and he said we were running 3:15 finishing pace. Way faster than I wanted to go, so I backed it down a lot. My plan was to enjoy the race and finish somewhere between 3:30 and 3:45.

During the first 11 miles, I had to use a restroom to go #2 two times! Other than that, the race went pretty smoothly. The highlight of the race is always Wellesley College, an all-girl's school at mile 12. You can hear the cheering from half a mile back and the girls line up for kisses. I got a few then pressed on.

My legs had started feeling tired early around mile 7, but they never got to terribly bad for the entire race. After Wellesley College, I ran with this guy who had a "Wellesely Alumni" shirt on. I had a blast pumping up the crowd with him and giving high fives to the spectators. This kept me going faster than I would've by myself for about 4 miles.

Around mile 16/17, the Newton hills begin. My first time at Boston in 2008, these hills killed me. This time I took it easier up them and felt stronger. I didn't have to walk at all and passed a bunch of people. Before I knew it, I had crested the infamous Heartbreak Hill at mile 20. It seemed like nothing this year!

The last stretch of the race is very enjoyable, downhill and tons of drunk college kids going crazy. This year, I made sure to yell and high five them as much as possible. It's amazing how loud they get when they see someone who is feeling good this late in the race, or at least acting like it :)

Fenway soon came up and I knew there was about a mile left till the finish. The crowds really thicken up, especially with the Red Sox game going on. As I turned the corner onto Boylston St, I got the same feeling I got in 2008...goosebumps, a couple watery eyes and a realization of how awesome this race is.

I finished in 3:45:15.

I will most likely do this race again sometime in the future, but would also like to try out other marathons and races. I feel so thankful to be able to take part in such a great event, especially this year when even making the finish line was a big question mark.

To view all my pictures from the race, click here.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last Long Run

This morning I planned on getting one last long run in before Boston. I drove over to Pine Lane and ran the BT to Boston Store. I then added 6 miles on the Towpath before taking the short way back to Pine Lane through Peninsula and up the brick road. This gave me a total of 13 miles.

There were a lot of people out today due to the nice weather. It started out cool, but got pretty warm in the sun. I talked to this lady running on the Towpath named Marilyn and ran with her for a couple miles. She said she was running the Cleveland Marathon.

Next week the plan is to taper with a week till Boston. I probably won't back it down as much as I usually do since my training never got very intense due to my ankle sprain injury.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Spring is here!

Tonight I drove over to Lock 29 around 6:00 to go for a longer run. I decided to run past the Winking Lizard, up the brick road to Pine Lane, then ran Pine Lane to the Boston Store. From there I ran 4 extra miles on the Towpath, then took the Towpath back to Lock 29 for 11 miles total. I tried to run most of the hills on the Buckeye Trail and picked up the pace on the Towpath for a few miles. There were alot of runners and cyclists out today enjoying the beautiful weather.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Egg 10

Me, Jamie, Brian and Mike

This weekend my sister Jamie came up from Pittsburgh to visit. This morning we drove over to the Cuyahoga Valley around 8 o'clock to go for a run. The plan was to meet Brian and others at the Brecksville Stables. However, we got lost for a bit. We ended up driving down Snowville Rd where the BT crosses and happened to see Brian and Mike Keller headed down the trail. I honked and Jamie and I parked quickly and caught up with them.

Brian jumping down into the stream

The weather was beautiful today!! The sun was shining and temps were in the upper 70s. There were alot of runners out on the trails today taking part in the Easter Egg 20 mile group run which officially started at 6:30 this morning at Boston Store.

ATTENTION! FORWARD MARCH! All of us paving the way for the Admiral Nick Billock to pass through :)

I haven't seen Mike in awhile so it was good to catch up! We had a great time joking and goofing off on the trails. We turned around at the Brecksville Stables. Jamie and I split off at Snowville Rd. for 10 miles while Brian and Mike continued back to Boston Store for 20 miles.

We saw alot of Garter snakes today!

Click here for more pictures from today's run.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fools Day Run

Brian and I met at 6:30 at the Happy Days parking lot. We ran the ledges trail to the Pine Grove Loop, then did a loop around Kendall Lake for 7 miles. We were both tired and sweating alot since we weren't used to the warm weather. Felt great though!!

To view all the pictures from our run tonight click here.