Boston

I don’t really know what or how to share right now. It’s still pretty unbelievable.

I am out of the country for work, and I was out to dinner with two colleagues on Monday evening. We stepped outside the restaurant to walk back to our hotel, and I realized that my phone had multiple emails and text message alerts popping up. I opened the first text which simply said, ‘Hey, are you OK?’ I was confused why I wouldn’t be OK, but at that same moment my coworker exclaimed that there had been a bombing in Boston.

The three of us stopped, in shock, in the middle of the crowded Old City street, staring at our phones– our lifelines to home– as people streamed around us. I started answering texts and emails, assuring friends that yes I was OK, even as more started to pour in. There was so little information to be had. We stood there numbly for some time, not really understanding what had just happened. In the cab ride home, we kept giving each other updates and passing along snippets of information. There was so little information to be had.

We got back to the hotel and got a much needed drink at the bar, all the while getting more and more updates from friends and family that they were safe, that they were OK, that they were still alive. Back in my room, I stayed up til 3 AM talking to my friends who had been there– just a few blocks away from the bombs. I obsessively scrolled through Facebook, making sure everyone I remotely knew who lived in Boston was OK and had posted something.

It was so hard to be here, in a foreign country for work, sitting alone in my hotel room, watching video after video on Boston.com, unable to view the live streaming news reports, relying on printed words on a computer screen to tell me that my loved ones were OK. It was so hard to see pictures of hospitals such as Brigham & Women’s, where I spent three days last summer when I was very sick, with ER doors (the same ER doors I’d walked through) patrolled by men with guns. To imagine the nurses that helped me and who were so kind, triaging blast victims. To think that if I hadn’t been away for work, I would have been down there with my friends, blocks away from the explosions. To remember the exhilaration I’d felt when I ran over the marathon finish line last year when I ran the BAA 5K the day before the ’12 marathon, down by Copley… and the loud cheers of watchers who were so happy for me– a random runner. To remember the excitement I’ve had for the past 7 years I’ve lived in Boston for Marathon Monday, and how this day is supposed to be about support, and love, and finding out what you are capable of, and cheering on runners, and laughing with friends, and unity.

I’m deeply saddened. But I’m also incredibly uplifted by the images and reports of those who ran towards the explosions. The helpers. The people who lent out phones, clothing, cars, blankets, homes, and comfort. The runners who, exhausted after completing nearly 26 miles, ran to the victims and started helping them. The people who picked up injured men and women and ran with them to ambulances and doctors. The volunteers who shuttled carload after carload of stranded runners to various locations around Boston. The reporters who, even as they were documenting what was happening, were busy tearing down barricades so emergency personnel could get to the injured.

I am stuck here for the next two days. But I can’t wait to get home. My heart feels incredibly full right now with love for my adopted city. Please excuse this ramble.

Woosh

Speed Demon

I ran a 5K last weekend. The Miss Santa 5K, which I ran last year, and which was the first ‘real’ 5K I ran. I started running again in preparation for this year’s race a few weeks ago, but prior to that I hadn’t run since April. Oh, also I was pretty jet lagged, having just flown back from the West Coast the night before.

Let’s just say I didn’t have super high hopes.

Let’s also say that I BLASTED my way through this race! I ran the whole thing without stopping to walk once, and shaved nearly FOUR MINUTES off my last 5K time from April. Four minutes! Ridic! I finished with a time of 33:52 (exactly 5 minutes better than my 2011 time), a 10:50 pace and was in the middle of the pack of runners (compared to last year when I was one of the last people to finish). Not too shabby.

I’m pretty proud of myself right now. It’s been an asshat of a year but it’s events like this that make me realize how far I’ve come.

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Lesson #580

It’s surprising how much easier it is to go for a run when you’re not carrying 25-odd pounds of baggage on your body. Not saying that I … enjoyed … it. I’m just saying it wasn’t quite as horrific as I’d anticipated, given that the last time I went for a run was in APRIL. (That’s 7 months ago, people). I am signed up to run the Miss Santa 5K in December again, so hopefully my training won’t be that painful. In any case, what are some good running songs that I should use for my running playlist? I usually listen to Pandora, but I’d like to have an actual playlist that I can listen to that will help get me through the miles. Any suggestions?

15 Days

… until I run another 5K! UGH. I don’t know why but I have been seriously not feeling the running vibe lately. I don’t know whether it’s my body rebelling, if I needed some recovery time, if I’m just in a funk or what. It has been a real struggle to get out there and get the legs pumping (note: I just wrote ‘lugs’ instead of ‘legs’… clearly you can tell I’m feeling like a total blob).

So it’s with some real trepidation that I realized today is April 1, which means I only have 15 days before I humiliate myself run the BAA 5K. To add insult to injury, I leave for a week-long business trip next Sunday, which means I realistically only have 8 days. EIGHT DAYS, people! (Note: I will try my best to go running in Switzerland, but in all honesty I’m not sure how much time I’m actually going to be able to log in. And, I’ve never gone jogging in Europe before. It might be… weird). Lord, give me strength to run up that hill at Park Street in two weeks and not have to walk like a baby.

Anyone else in a springtime funk? Part of my blues might have something to do with the fact that two weeks ago it was 80 degrees and I was wearing flip flops, and today it was a brisk 42 degrees and raining. Make up your mind what season we are in, Boston!

And We’re Off

First things first– I recently discovered this photo on my computer. Isn’t it the cutest thing ever????
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Second things second– I forced myself to go running yesterday so I could finish up “Week 6″ of the C25K program. I’m using it as a general guide to help me get back into the running mode, even though I already went through the program once. And guess what guys, even though just a few days ago I could barely run 10 minutes without stopping for a break, yesterday I ran for 25 minutes straight! Granted, there were a few times where I had to sort of catch my breath while holding myself off the treadmill, but I still was moving for the entire time, no walking. I felt pretty proud of myself. This 5K thing might just happen after all.

But I still hate to run.

Back to the Races

So, I ended up taking a break of nearly 2.5 months, but I’m back to the grind– I’ll be running the Boston BAA 5K in mid-April. Ah. Can I just say, trying to get back into running after taking a break is the worst ever! I feel like I’ve lost all my stamina. No lie, I was running on the treadmill yesterday and I found myself literally counting down the seconds until I could stop jogging and walk for a few minutes. It’s going to take a little bit of work to get back to the point I was at previously, this past December.

Well, I’ve got my schedule together and at least I’m running a little bit now. I’ll have to just work my way back up to 5K shape. There are a couple good things going for me. For one, the gym is already part of my nightly routine. Now I just need to make sure I am not only strength training. Secondly, having my ‘guy friend’ also be really into health (and who will be running the race with me) is extremely supportive and helpful. Lastly, I’m determined to beat my time from my last race, so I’ll essentially be competing against myself.

Next step: get a good workout mix so I can jam out while I fight through the pain! Anyone have any good song suggestions?

Another (5K) Bites the Dust

This has been an interesting weekend. Yesterday I woke up at 11 and didn’t change out of my pjs until 5 pm. It was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

Today I woke up, threw on a sweatshirt, wrapped myself up with gloves, scarf and headgear, and headed downtown for the Miss Santa Holiday 5K. That’s right, I ran another 5K! And this time, I actually ran most of it. I ran 18 min, walked 5, and ran the last 15. I ended up running about a 12:30 mile, which is more than 2 minutes faster than what I’ve been averaging at the gym!!! Probably due to a combination of being freezing cold and race adrenaline. The actual running of the race was not that fun, but I felt GREAT afterwards!

Pictures to come soon!

PS Thanks Mer and Steve for cheering me on at the end!