Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Thursday, September 26, 2013

“You can’t always get what you want……"

…. But if you try sometimes, well you might find you get what you need”

This past Wednesday, Scott and I anxiously awaited word from BAA to tell us if our qualifying times would be fast enough for 2014’s race.  After reading lots of conversation online about the tighter than tight times and the larger than life number of registrants, we braced ourselves and hoped for the best.  What’s ironic is that Scott, who is clearly a much faster runner than I, had less of a chance of getting in because his time was under a minute of his qualifying standard.  While I, the slower one in the family, managed a 1:20 window of wiggle room.

And at the end of the day, neither was good enough.

I called Scott to tell him the news.  A few minutes later, he called me back and just about yelled into the phone, “18 seconds Lisa….you needed 18 seconds!”  Yes, I know.  I had done the math in those few minutes since we first hung up. 

Sure, I’m disappointed.  But I get it.  They have to draw the line somewhere.   And through Facebook and Runner’s World forums, I read of many runners who had a 3 second window that determined they would sit out 2014’s race.  3 seconds is a whole lot more jagged of a pill to swallow than 18 seconds.  It’s all relative.

Like the Rolling Stones verse at the beginning, I didn’t get what I wanted, but I have emerged from this experience in a good place:

  • I’m so glad they invited last year’s runners who couldn't finish due to the horrific bombings to return to run AND FINISH.  If I lost my spot to one of them, I’m more than OK with that.
  • I’m grateful and fortunate to have run 3 Boston’s thus far and body/mind willing, will be back for more!
  • There are so many great races out there; I’ll try a new Spring race on for size
  • My ultra appetite has been suppressed for long enough; this change in plans might be just what I need to conquer some BIG plans.

OK, OK, so maybe I sound a little too glass-half-full here, but I do mean it.  I’ll celebrate this sport I love by volunteering again or by supporting from the sidelines, but either way I’ll celebrate.  And for Boston 2014, I’ll celebrate the hope that this race will now symbolize for all who were injured or lost as a result of last year’s tragedy.  And maybe that’s all I need for now.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Two 'Halfs' DO Make a Whole

Over the last month, I have happily run a couple of no-pressure half marathons with friends.  Some old friends, some new friends….all fun!  Although I have one more race planned for this Fall, Ghost Train 15 Mile trail race, all of my “heavy lifting” races are in the books!  I’ve truly been running for fun and it’s been perfect.

Two weeks ago, I took the bait from Carrie and registered for Applecrest HalfMarathon.  I was a little hesitant at first, since Applecrest ran only 2 weeks after Quebec City Marathon.  But I found my legs to be quite cooperative and just as importantly, my head was excited to join in.  By race day, we had a fun little posse headed up to Hampton Falls to run. 

The day was warm and the course was packed with rolling hills.  My 3 comrades were using Applecrest as a training run for various October marathons, so the pace stayed generally comfortable and at times appropriately cautious – didn’t want anyone injuring themselves!  The race was very well organized, the shirts and medals were cool, and the after party had something for everyone:  face painting, food, music.  Great New England atmosphere!

Merging friends - Meaghan, Me, Carrie, and Karen
Soon after Applecrest came the bait from Meaghan, “Any interest in running the Wicked Half Marathon in 2 weeks?”.  After an appropriate amount of whining about the early start (7:00 am, which meant a 4:30 am wake up!), I succumbed to the peer pressure and registered for this coastal run through Salem and Marblehead, MA. 

Not as hilly as Applecrest, Wicked Half took us through Salem and out to beautiful Marblehead neck.  Although the clouds kept the sun away (thanks!), the views were still gorgeous.  The homes in that area are something else altogether –

Just as Applecrest delivered, Wicked Half was also very well organized, had good traffic control (those streets can be very busy on a Saturday!), and again, offered cool race bling.  After we finished together, we made a bee-line to the Inn on the Square to dive into some of this post-race goodness –

Yeah, we look miserable, huh?

And the collective bling for all our work –

Although 2 half marathons most definitely do not make a whole marathon, 2 halves of my runner self certainly make a whole Lisa!  My more serious/driven side who focused on managing the race at Maine Coast Marathon and who broke through a PR time that seemed ready to settle in for a long winter’s nap welcomed my impromptu/fun side who focused on having fun and enjoying the company of old and new friends alike on some of our more beautiful New England half marathon courses.

Even though it’s only September, I am finding myself already thinking ahead to 2014.  Not to rush 2013, but I have a few ideas marinating and am excited to see how it all plays out!

Anyone else already thinking about 2014?  Anything you want to share?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Running knows best

Why do I do this to myself?  Why do I toss aside the one thing that I need most when things get stressful?


This week was crazy.  It was chaotic and everyday felt too long and too hard.  And I believe the moment I allowed my running to go by the wayside, that’s when things felt suddenly too big.  On Friday, I hauled my very tired self into work and, upon entering the building, fumbled with my umbrella.  SPLAT – a big fat raindrop hit me in the forehead.

Queue lump in throat.  Seriously?  I’m suddenly THAT fragile?

Fortunately, I packed my bag with a steadfast plan to run at lunch.  I had the time blocked off and I refused to over think it.  So what if I hadn’t run all week?  It would be easy to continue sliding into yet another run-less day, and so on….  Of course I wondered if my legs would remember what to do after four days and miraculously, my legs remembered what to do after four days.  I was pleasantly surprised when I glanced at my Garmin early on and saw –

I didn’t feel like I was working that hard, but those were some good numbers staring up at me.  Cool, the legs are cooperating.  But I knew I had a long run with Scott the next morning, so I pulled back –

Riggghhttt.  Fail on the pull back.  OK, this time I was going to pull back for real –

So, there’s that.  Fortunately, it’s not like I was throwing down 7’s (in my dreams) and I honestly felt so energized that the run felt effortless.  I guess that’s my reward for inviting running back into the fold.  The moral of the story is this; don’t stop running. Ever.

The End.

Friday, September 6, 2013

There’s a sticker for everyone!

After shamelessly adding a new running related sticker to my car sticker collection (the 42,2K from Quebec City), I found myself driving in back of a car today with this gem stuck on the back: