Before I dive into the highlight of today’s post, let me recap my last week in running. Unfortunately due to the colder temperatures and issues I have been having with my eyes (turns out I have a combination of allergies and maybe a small infection which puts me in my glasses for at least a couple more days), I spent a lot of it on the treadmill. Thursday was a long day at work, my eyes were at their worst (as one of my co-workers put it, it looked like a cat had scratched me), and I missed one of my longest tempo runs. I had intentions of trying to make it up on Friday but between different appointments and the scheduled long run on Saturday, it didn’t make a lot of sense to push myself hard. I ended up only running 3 easy miles on the treadmill on Friday.
|Taken from Liberty State Park, about 6 miles into the run|
Saturday morning I went out for my last long run before the Long Branch Half Marathon this coming Sunday. The plan was to go to 2 hours. (With this training plan, I really feel like there is no taper, which I am okay with, but hopefully will agree with my body on race day.) Despite running with my glasses, the run actually was going pretty well up until mile 10 when I started feeling sudden hunger pains. The remaining 2.5 miles or so felt like some of the longest miles I have ever run. I had decided to run without water or fuel and due to the lack of carbs from the week (I’m observing Passover with Josh), I finished feeling absolutely miserable. The bright side was that I finished and now realize how important carbs are! On Sunday, still drained from the long run, I enjoyed a short run on what was a very windy day along the Middlesex Greenway by my parents’ house. I expected the course to be scenic and flat, both of which I was wrong about. It wasn’t that it wasn’t scenic, it just wasn’t as “green” as I imagined and the foot bridge over US Route 1 was a short, steep hill that came out of nowhere. I’m glad that run/week is over and really now counting down the days until I can wear contacts so I can feel normal again!
And on to Boston… Wow, I’m not even physically in Boston and I am in awe of the excitement and support for the Boston Marathon today. I really wish I was there to cheer on many teammates and Coach Brian as they tackle this tough race to remind everyone how strong Boston and the running community are. For many reasons, it didn’t make sense for me to make the trip this year but one day, I will be there, not necessarily running, maybe when I’m 80 and still running at my current pace, but as a spectator.
I was fortunate to watch today’s race from home on my laptop and television and it was a nail bitter. I don’t remember the last time I watched a marathon on TV. We watched some footage of last year’s NYC Marathon but never a full race tracking the elite runners. I really don’t know how they do it. Ryan Hall, Shalane Flanagan, Meb Keflezighi, Rita Jeptoo, and all the top runners have this look of calm and they all make it look so easy especially given their speed (which let me remind you is half of my time; they’re running sub-5-minute miles).
When Shalane Flanagan fell out of the top pack, I was screaming at the TV. I mean how could that happen, right? She had the lead for more than half the race! As Meb Keflezighi was coming in for his last 1.5 miles, I was on the edge of my seat nervous for him. Even with his superhuman pace, he reminded us that even he was nervous about his short lead (at times only 8 seconds leading up to the finish) by turning around multiple times to check on Wilson Chebet (who ultimately came in second place). Meb Keflezighi is the first American male to win the Boston Marathon since 1983.
Despite the commentators remarks about how tired they look, these runners all crossed the finish line looking remarkably strong and truly an inspiration. Their struggle, determination, fist pumps, elation, and the fan support all remind me of why I fell in love with this sport.
In addition to being able to track runners on the computer, I wish there was a web cam feature! Tracking my teammates virtually is not nearly the same as being able to watch them on TV or in person but still just as nerve wrecking. As their paces fluctuated, I wonder how they’re feeling and if they were approaching an up/down hill. When their finish times come online, I feel a sense of relief and excitement as well. Crossing the finish line of any race is a big accomplishment, but crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2014 is an even bigger accomplishment and only one that will be felt by approximately the 36,000 runners in today’s race. Congratulations to all the 2014 Boston Marathoners!
It is truly an amazing feeling to be able to take part in today’s run virtually and I am even more proud to call myself a runner. #BostonStrong