The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'

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…Boston 2012; Quick Update

It wasn’t pretty.

I figure if elites are collapsing and pulling out of the race, it’s got to be warm.

Thanks for everyone’s support and well wishes! You are making me feel so much better about a race gone bad.

More soon.




…before Boston 2012

I’m all in! The boy and I took an easy jog this morning before heading to the Boston Expo today for some most necessary items.

Tomorrow is the day and heat is on the way! BAA has sent numerous emails in the past 2 days with warnings about the unseasonable heat wave on Monday. The latest: 90 degrees as a high. The latest from BAA (after offering deferment to 2013):

-The weather conditions that we will be seeing on Monday, April 16 will involve even more risk. It will involve an increased element of risk to all participants due to the heat. Only the fittest runners should consider participating.

-Therefore, in cooperation with the Boston Marathon’s Medical Team, it is our recommendation that anyone entered in the marathon who has not met the qualifying standards for their age and gender strongly consider not running, and that they strongly consider deferring until next year.

-Everyone who does choose to participate should strongly consider running significantly more slowly that they normally would plan to run a marathon. We have extended the opening of our finish line in support of this recommendation.

-For the overwhelming majority of those who have entered to participate in the 2012 Boston Marathon, you should adopt the attitude that THIS IS NOT A RACE. It is an experience.

When asked if I was going to go ahead and run Boston this year, my response was quickly: OF COURSE! I have worked too hard for the past 12 weeks to just give it up. I don’t really know how many more Boston’s I will be able to run, due to qualifying times, possible goal changes, etc. So, I am going to run the ones I am able to! One day I will not be able to do this; today (tomorrow) is not that day! I may not have the best marathon time tomorrow, but I am going to approach this 26.2 as I do all the others: conserve. I know the training I’ve put in and I know what I am capable of. I am willing to adjust my race goals depending on weather and how I feel. And I am already prepared to take extra precautions thanks to the heat. But I am going to run it and I am going to finish it!

I’m ready for the morning and am excited for all the day will bring!

Talk to you on the other side!



…Boston with a different plan?

I wasn’t nervous about running Boston this year. I wasn’t nervous about the course. I was planning on running this marathon like I’ve run the other 6. I was planning on replaying the same mantras in my head. That is, until I saw 85 degrees for the high that day. Then everything changed.

(yes, that’s three sites I’ve been checking; call me obsessive, I really don’t care)

Now, I’m rethinking it all.

Adjusting my three goal times to something a little more heat-conscious. Adding some mantras like: Drink early, drink often. Taking my salt tablets a little more often. Hoping that spectators have wet paper towels, and taking as many as I can! Wearing sunscreen. Considering carrying water now.

The truth is, I’m still so freaking excited to go! And despite the weather, I’m going to run it the best I know how.

And then I’m going to hope that boyfriend throws ice chips at me when he sees me during the race.

Tomorrow, we leave!



…Boston in 6 days!

It’s here! The final week before Boston! I’m feeling so lucky to be able to run Boston a 2nd time. It’s been three years, and I am a much stronger and experienced distance runner. We’ll see if my time reflects that!

Speaking of time, I have three plans running through my head. While I’m not sure I can post them yet, I am trying to be conservative without underestimating myself. I’ve sold myself short a lot of time in races, but it hasn’t been intentional. I don’t undersell myself just so I can have these amazing feelings or times compared to how I thought I would do. I think I am just a conservative and safe “better” when it comes to races. This has 20 years of backing. Not sure how much I’ll be changing in that department.

So this week I just plan my goals. And hydrate. And rest. And obsess over the predicted weather. And what I’ll wear. And run very little which drives me nuts.

Yet the days will tick off…

The boy and I head out on Saturday, and I am beyond excited to share this experience with him. He has been more than just supportive during these past 12 weeks of training. He encourages and pushes me to do more than I thought I could.


PS-Any readers who may be in Boston this year too, let me know so we can meet up and kill some time with photos and conversation at Athlete's Village! :)

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…as 13502!!

31 days! That is all! Then, Boston!

My bib number is 13502!! This year, there are 3 waves at Boston, each 20 minutes apart. I will be in the 2nd wave, running at 10:20am!

And this is looking SO lovely….

And this is looking lovely too…

How can a girl choose?! I guess I’ll have to get both.

I feel so very lucky to be able to run Boston again. After three more years of marathoning under my belt, I am approaching this one differently. The experiences I’ve had with distance running only benefit me in every way. I’ve learning a lot, but I’m always continuing to learn.


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…week 4: Boston Training

Week 4: Boston
Goal: 60 miles
Actual: 60 miles

Monday: 13 miles
I started this neighborhood run with the intention of only running 9. But as I began to review my running schedule, personal schedule, and work schedule for the week in my head, I began to make adjustments. Make this a 10 mile run. Then I won’t have to do as many the day or two before my 18 miler. Now I’m at 10, make this little loop for another 1.5. Well, I can do a .75 out and back and get all 13. While I didn’t feel great for the run, it was nice to have completed my mid-week long run so early.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles
Valentine’s Day. And a speed workout. That morning, the boy and I had determined that we wouldn’t be going out (he was suffering from the “I-can’t-taste-anything” portion of the cold I had given him), so I spent a little bit of time on the dreadmill knocking out a Jack Daniel’s time-prescribed ladder: 1200 at 5:16, 800 at 3:20, 600 at 2:16, 400 at 1:40, 200 at :49. Later, the boy surprised me with a bottle of wine and these:

And I surprised him with some Safeway Select Chicken Noodle Soup, salad, crackers, and even ice cream. I’m awesome like that. It was a very relaxing, quiet Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday: off day
I planned this off day so I could enjoy Happy Hour with a friend.

Thursday: 5.55 miles
Up at 4am so I could complete this easy run before work. I had a co-worker’s baby shower to attend right after work, and the plan was to do some late night yoga with another co-worker, Molly, after the shower. However, those plans changed when Molly had to head home to be with a sick fiancee. I was half tempted to get in another easy 3-4 miles, but called it a day when I started feeling pretty tired.

Friday: 9.15 miles
Feeling like a homebody and trying to avoid the ever present snow and ice that lingers on the trails, I stuck to the neighborhood with some mini-loops.

Saturday: 18 miles
My brother, Matt, is training for his first marathon! He’s been building his mileage and was due for a 14 miler. I had 18 on the schedule, so I arrived at our pre-determined location about 45 minutes prior to meeting him to knock out 4 on my own. Well, not exactly on my own. I have the boy’s dog, Chase, and he came along. Chase has run up to 14 miles with me and I was curious how he would handle all 18. Turns out he handled it just fine. And he probably ran more than 18, what with all of his running back and forth along the trail chasing rabbits and prairie dogs. I was shocked at his energy level. 2.5 hours of a run and he was still darting off in those final miles. Energizer Labrador. This long run felt good at an 8:35 pace. Matt and I were talking the whole time and the minutes just clicked away.

That night, I went to a friend’s house for a girls overnight. In total, four dogs were there, and Chase continued to run around and play. I thought for sure he would be sore the next day.

Sunday: 6.8 miles
We got home from my friend’s house around lunch time. I knew I needed to finish off my 60 mile week and kind of found the 7 miles needed to be daunting. I was considering piecing it out: 4 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon. But when Molly wanted to take a yoga class that night as a make-up to our lost yoga class on Thursday, I decided to just knock them all out at once. Although Chase showed no signs of being sore, I left him at home since he had been crashed out on his bed all day.

A few hours later, I joined Molly for an hour of Candlelight Flow Yoga, sans the candles. Whatever.

Reflection: I was pleased to hit 60 miles at this point. I’m feeling good for the most part, aside from some tightness in my left hip still. I’m trying to foam roll, heat, ice, and stretch as much as possible. I am now thinking too far ahead into the next few weeks after cutback. My 65-70 mile weeks, two in a row, are both of my parent/teacher conference weeks. Wondering how to hit the mileage and work 14 hour days. Hmmm…


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…week 3: Boston Training

Week 3: Boston
Goal: 55 miles
Actual: 55.6 miles

Monday: 7.3 miles
Ran 3.1 miles with Erika on the Davidson Mesa trail that wasn’t exactly clear of the snow and ice. Or at all. It was too slippery and uneven for my liking. Erika was due for a short run, so I took to some nearby sidewalks after saying goodbye.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles
Took the dog, Chase, for my 3.5 mile warm up. After dropping him off at my place, I took to the dreadmill for my speed work. I wasn’t happy about this! The remaining ice on the sidewalks left me with little choice. At least for a quality work out. I ran 800, 400, 800, 400, 800 all at a 6:40 pace. It felt much better than I thought it would! I took a very slow and easy 1 mile cooldown.

Wednesday: 12 miles
I was dreading this one. I don’t know why. Probably because I was going it alone. So much easier to do these longer runs with company. I started from my place and ran some paths I had been wanting to explore. I ran back around 9.5 miles, picked up Chase and we headed back out for another 2.5 miles. He is always happy to run, and I knew I’d be regretting it later if I didn’t take him!

Thursday: 5.3 miles
After eating nearly a full sleeve a Trefoils, thanks to my Girl Scout students, I took Chase out on a little over 5 miles. It was slow and felt hard. I blame the cookies. But I’ve been so hungry this week!

Friday: off day
The boy had a work function that night, so I opted to join him for adult beverages and make Friday my off day.

Saturday: 17 miles
A fresh blanket of snow and frigid temperatures were a little off-putting for a 17 miler, but part of this run would be for Sherry Arnold, so I bundled up against 9 degrees and gray clouds and drove from Fort Collins down to Boulder (about an hour) to get started. 6 miles solo, 6.6 miles with Beth, Erika, and the Virtual Runners, 4.4 solo. The sun came out at the end and I felt great!

Sunday: 6.5 miles
Erika was running the Ralston Creek Half Marathon, so I surprised her and showed up to spectate! Erika has a goal to run 12 half marathons in ’12. One each month. This was her 2nd. It was 14 degrees at the start and only 18 when she finished! My goal was to find some shortcuts along the route and see her periodically, while getting in the 6 recovery miles that I needed. I was able to see her at miles 2, 9, and the finish. Also saw someone wearing a Sherry bib! Yay! With a little cool down, I totaled 6.5 for the day!

Reflection: Nice solid week. Felt good. I wasn’t sure about what to hope for on my speed day. This is the first time I’ve done speed work in several months. Hope I’m training how I need to. A little less than 9 weeks until Boston! Yikes!