Reflections on Boston Marathon 2013, One Year Later

Exactly one year ago today I began my first Boston Marathon weekend, traveling with my parents, Scott and a group of running friends from Minnesota to Boston for an event I had been working towards and dreaming about for more than FIVE years.

As Marathon Monday 2014 approaches (April 21), the media is filled with stories.

There are stories about the bombing – recapping that horrifying day and the days that followed until the suspects were killed and captured.  It’s hard for me to watch those stories.  When I do, I can literally feel the fear that I felt that day as I heard and saw the explosions. The feelings of panic and fear that I felt until I was back at the hotel safely with Scott, and knew my parents were back safely at their hotel, is still so vivid.

There are also stories about the survivors – describing the obstacles and challenges that they have overcome and how, for the most part, they have come out on top, stronger than ever.  The survivors have dealt with lost limbs, loss of hearing, scars on their bodies, post traumatic stress disorder and more.  And they are now running again, dancing again, newly married, having babies and more.

A quote from one of the survivors stood out for me when I read it.  She said that she has learned to “love this life” – essentially saying that the Boston Marathon tragedy has taught her to stop looking backwards at things that might have been and forward to things that might be and instead to just love the life she has right now.   Love it.  That is exactly how I feel, one year after such a life-changing event.  I feel lucky to have all that I do.  I feel lucky to be able to do all that I can.  Literally every time that I have run since 4/15/13, I have felt SO thankful for running.

I’m slow and a long way from being able to qualify for Boston now.  But crossing the Boston marathon finish line again – and being able to properly celebrate this time – is on my bucket list.

For now though, I’m just enjoying being able to run again and loving this life.

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Wow. Checkout Dear World’s Boston Marathon feature

If you haven’t already seen Dear World: Boston Marathon, take a look at it now.  Watch the vimeo for sure, too. So moving.

I’m hoping to have a blog post this week about my thoughts about the Boston Marathon bombing, one year later.  Stay tuned.


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Never Ending Winter

die winter

There are a lot of crabby Minnesotans out there today.  10 inches of snow on April 4th will do that to you.  I’m ready for the Longest Winter Ever to end.

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I’m officially recovered.

Well, done with my 14 week return to running after stress fracture anyway.  And I feel GREAT!  So what’s next?  Continuing some very gradual base building (religiously following the 10% rule) and mixing in some “speed work” each week to get my slow butt moving again.

So for the first time since July of last year I did some speedy stuff today.  5 x 1 minute at fast.  I didn’t look at what “fast” was on the garmin – I just ran by feel at a faster pace than what I’ve been trudging along at.  I LOVED this!  I felt like this was a real workout.  Yippee!

Cheers to being recovered!

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Yesterday I ran the furthest I’ve run since my stress fracture last July.  5 miles.  Outside in 7 degrees (on March 25th!).  And it was Heaven.  I swear that it put me in a good mood ALL DAY LONG!  It felt so so so good.  Repeat performance this morning.  Which felt equally heavenly.

But here’s the thing – while it felt heavenly, it also felt like shit.

Non-runners may not understand what I mean.  Even runners might not understand – unless they have been injured and taken a significant time off of running, then they may.   So, because you are all so curious (actually, because I like documenting things for myself for the future), I’ll explain.

I ran 5 miles outside at 9:15 pace yesterday.  And it felt hard.  My legs and core were fine.  But my breathing was labored.  It felt comparable to doing 5 miles at tempo or faster.  At times – when I would run uphill – it felt like doing it at an interval pace.  Which is all pretty funny when 9:15 used to be major recover pace.  And the part that really surprised me was that when I was done running it took a long time – like 10 minutes – for my breathing to return to normal.  WTF?

I’m not complaining.  I’ll take it over not running any day.  But it just goes to show you how out of running shape I have become after 168 days of not running (preceded by 7 – 8 years of running non stop!)

Like I said, I’m definitely not complaining.  In fact, I LOVE it.  I love that I am able to see progress in a way that I stopped seeing it during my years of continuous marathon training.  My recovery program (which is in it’s last week), started with 1/2 a mile of running and progressed in 1/4 and 1/2 mile increments over the course of 14 weeks to max out at 5 miles this week.  And each week when  I increased the mileage – it felt like just enough.  And I could slowly feel my body recovering and see my body getting back in shape (I’ve lost 5.5 pounds in 2014 – thanks, in part, to a return to running).

Now as I look towards a fall marathon, I am excited about it in a way that I have never been.  It’s a strange place to be – knowing that I have run a marathon before and even run it fast enough to BQ – but being in a place where right now I am struggling to even fun 5 miles at what used to be recovery pace.  So exciting to be back at it!

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It’s Back . . .

me time

. . . my ME TIME.

Today wrapped up a milestone week in my recovery plan.  I got to add an extra day of running, so finished up the week with FIVE days of running, 3.5 miles each.  I felt SO happy to be out running today.  The ice has melted.  It was 35 and sunny.  And I sorted out lots of things that needed sorting out.  I am so thankful to have my me time back!

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