Today is March 20th. It’s the first day of spring. Eric and I have been dating for 4.5 years. And, of course, the Boston Marathon is just one month away. I can’t even handle my excitement. For those people who see me on a regular basis, the marathon is one of the few things I’m willing to talk about. Get ready, because for the next month, it will probably be the ONLY thing I’m capable of talking about.
One month. 31 days. 100 miles (yup, I did the math and based on my training schedule I will run 100 miles this final month before the marathon). This is all that stands between me and the start line in Hopkinton.
Besides having a weird stomach bug that kept me on my couch and out of my sneakers for a week, I’ve been feeling great. I’ve tackled 16.8 miles in 3 hours – my new longest distance – and next Saturday, 3/28 the TNT group and I will be doing our longest pre-marathon run – 20 miles! Team in Training will be busing us to Hopkinton so that we can experience the first 20 miles of the Boston Marathon route. Training with TNT has been amazing – the support of the staff, coaches, and volunteers who have stood around in freezing cold temperatures on their Saturday mornings to make sure we have the water, Gatorade, and snacks necessary to get through our runs has been unbelievable. I wouldn’t be able to do this if not for them. Last week, when I felt sick and didn’t know whether to attend the 18 mile run on Saturday, my coach emailed me the following:
No doubling up or trying to add in miles. That would hurt you more than help you. Rest is best right now. You’ll be ok! And truthfully you have the fitness to be able to run a marathon right now. All good.
Knowing that my coaches think that I have the fitness to get through a marathon at this point is an incredible confidence booster.
Tomorrow I’ll be in Connecticut running the Savin Rock Half Marathon with my friend Elizabeth. It’s supposed to snow today, and should be pretty foggy tomorrow, so I’m going to guess we’ll be taking things relatively slow and easy. BUT we will be wearing incredible outfits that feature shark hats and shark socks… and maybe fins? The Savin Rock Half Marathon is hosted by the Shoreline Sharks… so clearly that means we need to dress up like sharks. I will make sure to post pictures with my race report.
Fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is going great, too. I have less than $1,000 left to raise to get to my goal of $7,500, and on Tuesday, March 31st I’ll be hosting a fundraiser and raffle at Flatbread Pizza in Somerville. The restaurant will donate a couple dollars for each pizza sold to LLS, and I’m hoping to raise additional funds through my raffle, which features awesome prizes like a 4-night stay in Cancun, a basket of wine, and gift cards for a really nice date night around Davis Square. This fundraiser will be a special night – not only will it be the capstone to all of my fundraising efforts since October, but it is also the 5 year anniversary of my Granny’s leukemia diagnosis. I will definitely be raising a glass and toasting her that evening.
So what can I expect for this final month, besides a half-marathon, a 20 mile run, and an awesome fundraiser? This last month is going to be all about taking as good care of myself as possible, whether it’s training as seriously as possible, eating the right foods that fuel my body, and making sure my body is in top notch shape with acupuncture, sports massage, and a visit to my chiropractor.
I’ll be figuring out my gear these next few weeks, too. I usually run with a belt and a handheld water bottle, but for the Marathon I’m going to incorporate a second water bottle. I’ve purchased a water bottle belt that should be able to also hold my phone and my second bag of snacks. This last month/more I put together a really solid nutrition plan that hasn’t steered me wrong yet – I carry baggies of pretzels, peanut butter m&ms,and sour watermelon gummies. Every 30 minutes I eat a handful of the mix, making sure I get some carbohydrates, sodium, and fat on a regular basis, totaling about 100 calories per 30 minutes. Considering you burn approximately 100 calories for every 10 minutes of running, my tasty fuel should keep me going during those 4.5 hours I’ll be running the marathon!
The most important thing I will be doing this final month is gathering the names of friends, family, and acquaintances who have fought blood cancers. My running singlet will have Granny’s name centered on my back, but I would also like to write in some other names. One friend has already given me the name of her own grandmother, and it would be an honor to include others and run in their honor or memory as well. If you or someone you know has a loved one who has battled one of the blood cancers and would be willing to let me recognize that person, please let me know.