BTone Fitness – SPX Review

Now when you see this what comes to mind?

No Tony and I did not join some S&M club… The girls I work with and I decided to try something new for a workout. B We wereB intrigued, confused, scared and excited as we kept hearing about thisB PilatesB type of workout. B Well we finally got our schedules in check and made our appointment at BTone Fitness. B Making a 6:30 class took more planning than it looks since each class only has 11 people.

What is BTone we wondered? B Even upon getting there, I still had no clue so I did some research on their site. B It usesB Lagree Fitnessb” which is an innovative workout specifically designed to “strengthen, tighten, and tone the body quickly and safely. This workout is largely based on the holistic principles of Pilates, but also emphasizes the strength training and cardio elements not inherent to Pilates to achieve muscle definition faster than traditional Pilates and/or weight training alone.”

Not bad promises for just 45 minutes of my time. B Yoga takes over 90 minutes for these kind of promised results so I figured it was worth a shot. B After all, time is money and at $30 per class this was some pricey time.

Basically for the next 45 minutes I attempted to incorporate the “key principles of core stability and blending them with the fusion of muscle dynamics.” When you do things correctly, it should look like this:

This photo was taken from their website and let me tell you, I did not look like that for a second. B Majority of my 45 minutes was spent praying that I would not fall. B In fact I was wondering why they didn’t make me sign a waiver!

We spent about 15 minutes working our core with crunches and different plank-like exercises. B The next 15 minutes we did leg things that were probably equivalent of leg press type machines. B We wrapped it up with arms that I will probably be feeling soon. B Overall I don’t think this reformer machine provided anything special that some free weights or a giant ball can’t do. B My otherB critiqueB was the way the class was taught there was no adjustment for individual level of fitness. B Our instructor only explained each move once which left me scrambling trying to figure out where to put which limb where without falling over. B She did instruct us which resistance level to use for each move. B However, she didn’t give a range. B Had I been more experienced I would have used a level lower resistance for arms (I’m weak) and a level higher resistance for legs; however, no such option was explained.

BTone FitnessB B is one of two only SPX studios offered in New England. B The studio is located in Boston’s Back Bay and its super easy to get to by the T. B The first class is only $5 and is totally worth trying out. B After that each class is $30 which to me seems a little overpriced.

I may have DNF but I found a new love

Trail running! B I love it! B While I may not have finished (my left knee gave up sometime around 25K) I learned a lot about trail running and just how different it is from road running (and I got a few blisters to prove it). B I stopped at 30K out of 50K since Tony was waiting for me in the cold to finish and I figured it would be a bit unfair for him to wait for me to limp run 12 more miles. B I’ll have a full (and by full I mean my 3/5ths of it) recap later.

Its been a rough week as my left knee decided to spoil all my running parties. B I thought I resolved all. B I had a great 7 miler (59:29 incl 3) during lunch onB WednesdayB but when I tried to add a few more miles my knee quit around mile 5 (45 incl 2). B I stayed off the running Thursday and Friday and instead did 10.5 miles each day on the elliptical (57 minutes).

Jack and I had a very productive week. B With my knee being crappy and the weather being cold, we watched 10 episodes of Ringer and 5 episodes of Gossip Girl.

While Jack enjoyed watching Buffy run around and play twins, he really kept hoping Spike would somehow make an appearance.

He was also very confused how Sarah Michelle Gellar just doesn’t age. B He’s pondering if maybe she herself is a vampire.

I also didB groceryB shopping for the first time in months, possibly since March. B Yea there’s no need to buy food when you work late. B However, now that I’m home early and I’ve run out of TV shows to watch I should probably work on improving my diet and cooking. B Although I think living off baby spinach, a protein and barley covered inB SrirachaB sauceB with lots of chocolate in between is an acceptable life style.

I can mix it with canned salmon (maybe all this time spent with Jack is changing my taste to catfood?)

Or tempeh! IB preferB cheesey tempeh! B Even if it means I need to drag the tempeh from Boston Wholefoods on the train back home.

The grocery store near my house that I use, devotes a whole aisle to hotdogs but does not seem to know what tempeh or tofu (aside from Boca burgers) is and that makes me sad. B =( At least they carry my giant bucket of organic baby spinach (only 4.29 this week!). B They also have aisles like this that are bigger than the whole fresh produce area. B Then we wonder why low-income families tend to be fat.

To be fair I am writing this while licking my spoon clean of ice cream. B However, sometimes when I’m at the store check out and I see what other people are buying to feed their children I want to go all Jamie Oliver on these fools.

Now that my fridge is stocked and I have no marathons in the next few months maybe I can resolve this whole knee issue. B I thought I was better once I got new shoes but the knee did not agree. B Luckily after this DNFed 50K all my next up coming races are half marathons and the issue seems to not arise until mile 12+ so I’ll survive.

Last time the issue came was in February on my right knee. B To phase out of it, I cut my running days to an alternating schedule. B I also took off the incline and stayed at a 1.5 incline level.

Now it’s my left knee. B I’m not sure what made it flare up (maybe my 20 miles of walking during 88 degree weather on marathon monday) but I’m going to up my stretching and up the foam rolling (I even sucked it up and purchased my own since there’s only 1 at the gym). B I’m going to embrace my cross training days and maybe just maybe this left knee pain will fade into a memory like my right knee pain.

Alternatives After Losing the NYC Marathon Lottery & Getting Your Marathon Mojo Back

So as 90% of all lottery applicants in the NYC Marathon lottery, I was not accepted.

For some odd reason these words of “not accepted” felt worse than a job rejection. B Upon reading my face turned red with embarrassment as if my character had any say in this. B I know melodramatic, but there are alternatives. B I’ll start with the ones that are absolutely useless to me but maybe they’ll work for you.

1. Become a member of theB New York Road Runners for a full year, complete at least nine NYRR-scored, qualifying races, and volunteered for one. B If you really hate volunteering NYRR gives you an option to donates $1,000 insteadB – I barely like making the drive to visit my family, no way am I trekking to NY for a 5K.

2. B Run with a charity -B Yea I pretty much maxed out my friends and family by running for a Boston Marathon charity this year. B I think I’m good on fundraising for the next 10 years.

3. Keep trying the lottery – The three strikes and you’re in policy is being slowly phased out. However, some of you may still be lucky. B In the past, applicants to the marathon have been eligible for guaranteed entry if they have been denied entry three years in a row.B Applicants denied entry for the three years 2009-2011 will be eligible for guaranteed entry in 2012. Applicants denied entry for the three years 2010-2012 will be eligible for guaranteed entry in 2013. Applicants denied entry for the three years 2011-2013 will be eligible for guaranteed entry in 2014. Applicants denied entry for the three years 2012-14 will not be eligible for guaranteed entry in 2015. B 2012 was my first lottery and this ship has sailed for me.

4. Qualify!

Sadly I have not yet reached the current or New Marathon or Half Marathon qualifying time. B And they say Boston is hard…

5. Find an alternative marathon -B There’s plenty of long distance fish in the sea, run somewhere else.

Whats my plan? B I’m going with 4 & 5. B For November 2012 I will take my legs, lungs, heart and the rest me on the road to somewhere else (nominees are listed below). B For 2013 I plan on trying to qualify through a half. B I know they say to never say never but I think cutting 25 minutes of my marathon time (from 3:24 to 2:59) will most likely not be happening in the next year. B Instead I will try to shed a 30-60 seconds per mile of my half marathon time. B If my knee holds up, I’ll be running two half marathons in May. B This will give me a better idea of where I stand and how much training I need. B My guess is that at the moment I am in the 1:37 range. B I’ll probably come up with a plan andB initiateB it at the Rock n Roll Providence in August.

What are my 2012 November alternatives?B

1. Philadelphia MarathonB – November 18th, 2012 – Pros – It’s on my birthday! B What better way to celebrate than with 50,000 of your “friends.” B I can run a mile for each year literally as I turn 26. B Cons – It’s in Philly; nuff sad. B Southwest stopped flying there from Boston for a reason so I would probably drive with a stopover in NYC. B Registration is $95, goes up to $110 after 4/30.

2. Anthem Richmond MarathonB – November 10th, 2012B – Pros – Dubbed “America’s Friendliest Marathon” byB Runner’s WorldB magazine. B Cons – Does Southwest fly there? B I doubt it. B What’s in Richmond? B B Registration is $75 goes up to $85 after 4/30. B Tempting but who will sponsor my flight and hotel.

3. Rock n Roll San Antonio B Marathon – November 11th, 2012 – Pros – I’m not sure, I always wanted to visit Texas? Cons – Travel, Flights, Hotel, Sunday Race etc. The course looks kind of blend and repetitive but I like the idea of a runcation. B Registration is $95, goes up to $115 after 4/30.

4. Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon – December 2nd 2012 – Pros – Its Vegas? Cons – Its expensive! B Aside from travel and hotel, the registration cost is $150. B I thinkB that’sB a bit overpriced for a franchised race. B Also, this race has a total of 44K people and I heard that didn’t go too well for the competitor group last year.

5. Honolulu MarathonB – December 9th 2012 – Pros – I want to go to Hawaii. B Please take me!!!! It sounds amazing. Cons – Usual travel expenses. B But I want to go to Hawaii!!! B Registration is $125 goes up to $155 May 26th.

I’m torn between Honolulu and Philly. B I’ll probably do Philly due to cost andB convenience. B Putting a down payment on a house tends to hurt your vacation budget for the year so unless Southwest goes there (I got miles!) I probably won’t be seeing it until 2013 and beyond. B B There’s also a lot of awesome races in October. B Amica in Newport Rhode Island is one I would love to one day do. B However due to the October 15th US Tax deadline, I will probably work weekends and late nights September 15-October 15h (it’s my busy season) so end of November – December is my ideal race time allowing me to get the long run training in the final weeks of October.

Did you enter the NYC Marathon lottery? B Did you win? B

What are your fall race plans? B

Dining Out on Raw Food

It’s sad that for every real visit I get (Hi!!!!!) on this blog, I get hit with 10 spam comments. B These spambots are worse thanB NigerianB scam emails!

None the less its been an easy week. B Knee is feeling better and the new shoes have arrived along with some other goodies from the Running Warehouse.

Monday – 10.5 miles on the elliptical – 55 Minutes

Tuesday – 6 mile run – 3 incline – 51 Minutes

I was going to go for a second run (12 miles) but I had other priorities. B My Gilt voucher to Organic Garden CafeB was expiring Wednesday. B The cafe was closed Monday so instead we made the 20 mile trek to Beverley today. B Per Tony “just because you run 20 miles doesn’t mean its close!” B Thank you Tony for driving!

Organic Garden Cafe is a raw/vegan resturant; something that’s a rarity in the Boston area. B We started out with a raw falafal ball and some cheesey kale chips with a frosty beverage. B If you’re ever there, those are not to be missed!

Those Kale chips are seasoned with crack! B I know it, I want it, MORE!

Tony ordered the “Nut Butter bSquashb Ravioli” B Heated raviolis in red beet bshellsb with rosemary walnuts, and cashew alfredo. B I also think alfredo is just a secret word for crack because I might have dipped my finger on his plate to eat the extra sauce. B JK! B ::Wipes hands in shame::B

I went with the Macro Bowl -B Wilted kale, brown rice, dulse, sauerkraut, carrot, and scallionB with toasted sesame ginger sauc

However, I think our server thought I needed to go on a diet because mine was clearly lacking the brown rice and now I have a carb deprevation headache. B None the less I consumed it all in minutes.

Everything was delicious but I had a fairly light lunch (one of those leanB cuisineB type meals) and this raw meal did not satisfyB my hunger. B So I ordered half of a “live onion poppy bagel” to go with me in the car ride back home. B It was made with a sunflower, sprouted buckwheat, and sesame seed bagel dough, dehydratedB with a touch of agave, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and consumed before there was enough light to take a photo. B Dessert was chocolate covered matzoB courtesyB of when my parents visited. B SuddenlyB my lack of carbs headache was gone.

Product Review – ProCompression Marathon Compression Socks

I recently ordered theB PRO Compression Baby Blue Argyle Socks. B There was a coupon floating around for $20 dollars off a pair. B So my total cost was $30 (free S&H) which felt like a steal compared to the $50 I paid for my CEP compression socks (review to follow eventually too).

Why compression socks? B Although I don’t usually fall into the runner trends (I don’t even own a Garmin or heart rate monitor and etc.) the potential benefits of the socks have been making me curious. B Plus I’ve always loved thigh-high socks and this baby blue argyle pattern just screamed out to me.

Doctors will often prescribe compression footwear for patients who have poor circulation in their legs and feet. The compression footwear applies squeezing action to the legs and encourages better, faster circulation. B Then someone got the brilliant idea to market this to runners. B Although this hasn’t been confirmed, the theory is that the repetitive movement of the runner’s legs applies outward force to the blood, or pressure towards the ends of the feet. This discourages blood flow back to the heart and lungs, which in turn affects the rate of oxygenated blood carried back to the legs. By squeezing the legs around the ankles and calves, the blood is helped to circulate through the legs and feet more efficiently.

I won’t go further more into what a compression sock is other than when you open up the package they look small and you can’t just jump into them. B You must slowly wiggle your foot in one at a time like your skinny jeans that are two sizes too small.

The Fit & Feel -B They feel really comfortable and soft especially compared to the CEP socks. B The best part is that it feels a lot less medical and more like a casual sock I can lounge around as I recover. B My one gripe is that I think they run too big. B I am 5ft and about 110LBS and therefore ordered the XS. B My legs might be chunky but my shoe size is only 6.5. B If I roll the sock all the way up, it hits past my knee and feels very uncomfortable. B I think compared to the CEP sock, the XS in PRO Compression although is fitting on foot is much too long/tall of a sock for us 5ft tall trolls. B This issue isB manageableB since the material is not completelyB restrictiveB but would have been an issue if the socks were as tight as CEP brands are.
Upon ripping the package open with my clawsB bare hands, I wore them all over town on Boston Marathon weekend and in secret during the week afterwards at work as my legs recovered.

Sorry kids, this family snapshot of me showing my parents my new house and the ‘hood is the only modeling shot I took. B Next review I promise I’ll have more pictures of the product and myself.

Materials & Ease of care-B PRO Compression socks are manufactured using a unique blend of high-performance materials including polypropylene and nylon allowing you sweat it up. B As with all quality athletic wear they should be washed in cold water and air-dried or machine on delicate cycle. B I personally wash all my workout clothes in cold delicate cycle and just allow them to air dry. B This allows me to own things forever until looking at them makes me bored and the voice of materialism and consumption awakens in me. B These socks are also made in the USA which is a rare thing in this economy so support your feet and support American manufacturing.

Overall -B I don’t know just how ‘compressive’ your compression socks need to be in order for you to reap the benefits but I thought these worked for me. B I liked that they felt lighter and more comfortable than my other pair. B With other compression socks, I can only wear them for 2 hours at a time while with the PRO Compression socks I was able to strut all over town without my circulation starting to feel completely cut off.

I also found that the socks helped with some shin pain I felt after the Boston Marathon. B Although I don’t usually have shin/leg issues (aside from knees) because of the level of walking I did instead of running, my legs felt more shin and feet pain than usual. B I found that wearing the socks helped elevate some of the discomfort while my legs recovered. B Thus I wore them in secret under my pants at work.

I am not getting paid to write this review but all tips (cash and candy) are accepted =). B The coupon code I used was RR20 and here’s the linkB PRO Compression

Boston Marathon Photos & Sunday Run

I tried going for a 20 miler today, I really tried and I did really good for 15 miles at about an average pace of 8:15 before my left knee went “hey buddy I’m not longer having fun” and so I limped/ran the last 1.5 miles home. Its okay, I’m happy with my good enough 16.5 miler instead. B I ordered new shoes. B DailyMile says that including today I ran 850 miles in 2012. B I’m not sure how many miles this pair has since I run in 2 pairs between work and home but from sometime in Dec/Jan its most likely around 400 miles per pair. B I may be 5ft tall but I must stump around like a 300 pound 7 ft ogre. B So instead, today I got reunited with Agent Orange & the Ice Princess.

So marathon foto is slowlyB tricklingB in more photos of me so I figured I’d share. B I have to admit these photographers are pretty darn good and almost make it tempting for me to buy them but at 70 bucks a piece I rather spend the dough on another registration fee. B I’m not really big on havingB billboardB size photos of myself around the house. B I prefer to stare at myself in tiny form instead.

I don’t know how, but they even got photos of me running. B I did so little of that on Monday that I must admit I am impressed with their ninja photo skills. B That looks like after I gave Tony my handheld and stole his water bottle.

I love this! B This pretty much subs up my mood for the race. B Exhaustion and misery. B But hey the guy behind me has a white number! B Fast or slow, we all got whacked by the heat!

Another running photo, this must be near the finish line where I knew photos were getting taken so I sucked in my stomach cramps and roughed it out for the .2 miles to the finish line.

How many miles or months do your running shoes last? B I’m curious if I’m a record for shoe destroying skills.

Notes & Life & With Always More Photos of Me

I’ve been doing less running and more socializing and by socializing I mean just eating and napping. B With tax season and marathons wrapping up for me, my body has been craving rest. B So rest it got this morning when i nixed my plan for a long run and went back to sleep with my Zzzs topping out at 11 hours.

I did use Friday and the gorgeous weather for some running catch up. B Its weird having your legs regain their feel and confidences after Monday.

7 miles on the evil dreadmill at 3 incline in 61 minutes followed with a post work run in the great outdoors 11.3 miles in 1hr35min with bedtime by 10PM.

Ever have those nights where you watch the clock for it to turn 10 so you can feel its more normal to go pass out in bed then?


As mentioned before, instead of running 27 miles today, I ran 3.2 in 24.5 minutes and then went of to sample 250 wines instead.

While it was fun to try out these different types of wines, I can’t say it was truly that enjoyable without food. B If I had one comment, I would have added more food vendors or sponsors. B I guess I’m just a beer kind of girl.

What about you? B Beer or wine?

Before the indulgences, we took our cat for his first outdoor play. B Jack too needed to enjoy the weather and that he did, once he got over his fear of sunlight.

I got home at 6:30 PM and I realized it was still sunny (Yay for summer!) , giving Tony and I just enough time for a power hike. B What’s a power hike? B Its a quick and easy hike on an easy path where you race the setting sun. B The great part about living in Malden is that we’re only a 5 minute drive from the Middlesex Fells, a state park. B I should work on finding other great things about Malden since we’re buying a house here but I’ll get back to that later.

Nothing like hiking away a wine buzz

Hows your Saturday going?

Wine or Beer? Beer! B I only like prosecco for wine while my taste for beer is endless.

Liana – An Ultra Runner or a DNF?

I’m going to insert some parts of my email regarding my trail race in 10 days. I’m super excited. I might finish with a DNF but we’ll see. I signed up for the 50K and depending on the trail, I might not be ready (I’ve never done a trail race before). B I’m just going out there to have fun and maybe make new friends! B Tony is doing the half so we’ll stick together for the first 13 miles since I’m not really racing. B Registration was under $20 so can’t complain for that either.

“WHAT TO BRING:

Adhering to “FatAss” ultra running traditions, we provide H2O, GU Brew, PB&J, boiled potatoes and turkey sandwiches and you guys provide the rest – so we ask that everyone bring something with them for the aid station bkind of like a pot-luck feast! Just bring one item b no need to go to Costco! All leftovers go to needy folks at local food banks (and chubby RDs 😉. Please follow the table below for what to bring:

Last Name
Begins With: Item to Bring
A b J Sweet (cookies, brownies, candy, trail mix, granola bars, etc.)
K b L Fruit (bananas, oranges, watermelon (pre-cubed), etc.
M b S Salty (pretzels, Cheez-its, Doritos, potato chips, saltines, etc.)
T b Z 2 Liter bottle of soda – NO CANS PLEASE (Coke or Mountain Dew)

THE COURSE:
The course is 70% single track trail and 30% fire road and runs through beautiful thick woods. The terrain is mostly smooth with some btoe catchersb -roots and rocks b and a couple of small streams to hop/cross. There are a few modest hills but this is a fast course as trail runs go. The course layout is a10K loop which starts and finishes in the same place.

TIMING and RESULTS: In order to keep the registration fees low we do not use a chip timing system. Therefore, we will be manually recording your finish times only and will do our best to get the results posted on Ultrasignup.com as quickly as possible. Thus, if you are running multiple loops and want to keep track of your split times, plan on wearing one of those fancy watches with a split counterb&..we know you all have them! )I don’t =( B hope there’s cell signal. )
AFTERWARDS
Since we are holding four races at different distances on a 10k loop course, it affords the opportunity for those runners that finish early to see and cheer on the rest of the pack as they pass through the start/finish aid station. Trail runners are a close knit community and one of our endearing characteristics is we believe in supporting each other b regardless of our stature or speed bbecause itbs all about the personal challenge. So plan bringing a change of cloth and a folding chair and come hang out at the finish afterwards to cheer on the runners and meet some of your fellow Trail Animals b donbt worry,only our mascot bites 😉

SOME FUN:
In Trail Animal tradition, we start every race TARC hoot/holler/howl, so donbt ignore this aspect of your training! Our beloved mascot may even make an appearance.

I’m so excited I can squeal (or start howling now)! B This is the part about running & nature that I love!

I took Tuesday & Wednesday as rest days. B The heat played a number on my body and I’ve been feeling sluggish all week. B Ran a slow 7 milers on the treadmill on Thursday in 65 minutes at 3 incline. B It was sweaty, it was hot and I wanted to quit. B I stayed because next time I’m running a race and its 90 degrees, I will be ready.

Recovery – Week

The rough part about having a marathon on Monday is that there is no Sunday for rest. B Its back to work by Tuesday and good morning to you too, 7AM wake up. The good part is that it’s already Wednesday and I only have two days left before the weekend. B In typical Boston fashion its 46 degrees right now (quite the drop from the 90 on Monday). B I guess it’s time to turn back the heat and down comforters again.

So what do Boston marathoners do for recovery? B I’m not sure, but I can tell you what this half-marathoner did.

She took a lunch time walk on Tuesday. B Since I stopped running halfway I was not feeling sore at all other than my ankles from walking and my head that felt like I got trashed at a beach on cheap tequila. B I’m hoping this hangover feeling will go away as my vitals return to normalcy.

I took a stroll and sweated up a small bucket during lunch. B Not sure how I made 10 times the distance in 15 degree hotter weather. B I must have been delusional.

And just like that the final clean up was being done Tuesday. B I have some beef with BAA &B Adidas. B I took a stroll to look at the poster on the trailer in Copley; the one with all the runners’ names. B My name was not on said poster. B I checked FIVE TIMES to make sure I wasn’t blind. B I even asked for help and still no luck. B =( I guess I don’t feel too bad about throwing it out in the recycling trash by accident on Sunday night.

The streets are once again empty and the flowers were blooming.
What else do half marathoners do besides wear their compression socks in pride? B They go to Scotch Tastings held atB Towne, a high endB restaurantB in the Back Bay area of Boston. B

Some of the tasty choices I got to test. Here’s a photo of Brad our scotch guide:

B We also got to munch on some of Towne’s famous bites:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a neat parlor trick. B Next time you want to seem fancy, bring an eyedropper into a bar and add one drop of water to open up the aromas

Slainthe!

The race I beat the fastest Kenyan – Boston Marathon Recap

I’m warning you that this review will probably sound really negative but truth is with the heat and my hunger there would have been very few things I would have enjoyed even if I was running in Hawaii. The volunteers and the organizers did an amazing job. The truth is I just wasn’t prepared for the heat or running at that specific time of day.  I got my butt handed to me by Boston. However, that’s okay. I tried to stay safe and it’s a good thing I’m already qualified for next year because I’ll be coming back in 2013 for a rematch. Boston, I’m killing you next year =). With Boston’s bipolar weather, it’ll probably snow next year.

The 116th Boston Marathon took place on Monday April 16th, 2012 with a start time of 10:40 AM. Registration was $150 if qualified $300 if charity plus $6,000 fundraising requirement. It ain’t cheap running Boston.

I woke up at 6:30 and got dressed and cleaned in 15 minutes to be out the door by 6:45. I skipped coffee and food thinking there would be some at the athlete’s village. I felt fantastic and was excited for the day even if I barely slept and kept waking up every hour thinking I missed my alarm.

I got to the Commons by 7:15 (why we had traffic at 6:45 AM on marathon Monday, I have no idea) and got on a long line to board the Bus to ship us off to Hopkinton. The line took about 30 minutes but seemed orderly given the amount of runners and anxiety that was in the air. We hit some traffic but I think we were in the village by 8:40 or so giving me 2 hours to bask in the sun of anxiety and heat. I made friends with some runners from Vancouver on the bus line and ride over there.

This photo is incredibly misleading of the scene. I think my hand covered my phone lens but there was no shade other than those tents. The field was a clambake of runners. I think it was already 70 when I got off the bus. All the spots under the tent were taken up by faster runners in the 10AM wave or their friends. So instead I took a small walk around the field and munched on a bagel. Found some sharpies and decorated myself. Luckily I had a blanket and was able to relax in the sun as I battered myself up in sunblock andB Vaseline. They had water and I took two bottles to get me through the next two hours. I was already sweating, sweating hard from sitting and it was only 70. Runner’s world claims they had food vendors there. I did not see any in disappointment. I would have gone all Hunger Games style on someone had an ice coffee been offered to me. I also wasn’t feeling the bagel or PowerBar. Powerbar did an amazing job sponsoring the fuel with no shortage the whole time but I would have given up their 8 grams of protein for 8 grams of more carbs that were not in bagel form. I left my oatmeal and pita bread at home thinking I could buy breakfast at the village. Rookie mistake # 1: Always have your own breakfast and fuel; don’t rely on the race.Finally around 10:10 my wave (3rd one starting at 10:40 was called and we slowly and painfully zombie strolled to the starting line. I made my first portapotty stop in my race history which wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I tried to be bad and sneak into an earlier corral but they kicked me back to 9. I think it took me around 30-40 minutes before I made it to the start of the race (approx 3/4 mile)

I ran my first 5K in 23:08. Some might say that was too fast but honestly I’m used to running on hills and it felt like nothing to me. I was at the 10K mark at 48:17 which some might say was too fast but I still felt good. Some guy thought he was being funny.

I rejoiced when I saw the “15” sign only to cry later when I realized it was 15K and not 15 miles. I think this was when I started to get heat exhaustion because I stopped thinking clearly. My face at realizing the 15K was not 15 miles.

When I hit 20K I was in the 1:48 territory and have started my run/walk fiasco usually reserved for mile 24. It was nearing 1PM and way past my lunch time. It’s been four hours since I munched on half of a disappointing small bagel and my stomach was letting me know that. I tried to run, it screamed I’m hungry. I tried to jog, my stomach still kicked and screamed I’m hungry. I tried to walk and it didn’t let me forget about my lack of real food. And so began some of the 15 slowest, worst miles of my short running history thus far.

I was hitting the half-point at 1:55:18 and was seriously doubting my ability to finish this race. However, I knew people were tracking me, people donated in my name to Boston Medical Center and although everyone would have understood, I still did not want to give up without a fight. Suddenly I saw my angel. A little boy handed me a cup of Swedish fish. So I found a shaded area in the spectator area, sat down and finished off my cup of pure heaven sugar.

And so began my 15 mile walk. I thought this was just like the walk for hunger (ironic name for a 20 mile charity walk to end hunger in Boston) only with no 10 mile sandwich break. I heard people were giving out hot dogs, burgers and popsicles but I guess by the time the slow runners and walkers got there all the kind souls have run out of food. There were still plenty of amazing people handing out ice and I thank everyone one of them as I chewed on some and stuck ’em in my sports bra. I was sweating boobs and it was not pretty.

With a lot of walking and sitting the miles somehow passed by. I loved seeing that “All In” posters, from Hopkinton to Ashland to Framingham to Natick. I listened to This American Life, some music and I took a lot of sit breaks. I’ve never worn a heart strap but I know the feeling of heat stroke and exhaust (in my dumber/younger days I literally passed out twice from heat exhaustion at music festivals). Every once in a while my heart would start racing again from walking and I would sit down to slow my heart rate, and drink more water.

After the annoying BC kids (sorry but they were just too loud for how exhausted and miserable I felt), my favorite part of the course began around mile 21 when I hit familiar ground. My friends! I found Tony with some of our friends Paola & Kyle who took the above and many other awesome photos!

I couldn’t run even down hill without wanting to die from side cramps. As I approached Cleveland Circle I commanded Tony to buy me a bag of pretzels. I was so hungry, very few instances in my life could compete with how starving and light-headed I felt. He walked with me for half a mile before he got too scared of all the water sprinklers being turned on for all the runners. I was left to be at the mile 23 sign with a bag full of pretzels. Needless to say, this made me quite the popular girl in the back of the pack.

At mile 24 I saw more awesome friends with a sign =)

Not pictured is Ana who was taking the photo! <333 My amazing friends somehow got my body to run an extra mile after this boost when I’ve been walking the past 10 miles.

Around mile 25, I saw Tony’s parents and I sprinted a few blocks before taking once again another sit break. I probably would have taken more sit breaks when my friends were not watching but with all the spectators there was very little room to do so in the last 5 miles.

The distance between Kenmore Square and Copley Square has never in my entire Boston life seem so far. I almost cried when I saw the finish line. It felt like I was climbing a mountain, but since I knew there was cameras I pretended to run.

I don’t know how I did it, but somehow in 5:10:54 I finished the race/walk. I’m writing Boston off a half marathon run and a half marathon walk. When I got home after eating a bag of chips, a bar and two bananas I was still down 6 pounds from when I weighted myself that morning. I stopped at almost every water station and drank enough water that I had to use a portapotty a second time during the race.

The results of my 2nd marathon are quite in contrast to my first debut last month. I went from a 3:24 finish to a 5:10.B While a huge part of me is very disappointed by my performance I don’t know if I could have done a whole lot better with the little training I had for this weather. I’m still a fairly new long distance runner. I only started running more than 5 mile runs in December. My training has been in New England winter and although mild, it was still Winter. Earlier this week, I had my heat turned out. My body is not ready for 75 degree weather, let alone 90 degrees. I probably should not had sat in the sun for the two hours I was waiting for my wave to start. I probably should have eaten a ton more than half a crappy little bagel. I probably should not have went for a 10 mile run the day before. Maybe I drank too much, but probably not enough. Maybe I drank too muchB GatoradeB and my stomach did not like it and cramped up. There’s countless reasons for my awful performance; but I finished. I finished and I earned my metal and in the end with 90 degree weather that was all that I could do. I finished standing up with my head held high and not on a stretcher.

BAA and all the volunteers did an amazing job given the conditions. A few statistics I read online.

* 427 Picked up their packets and did not start the race

* 26,716 runners registered for today’s marathon, versus 22,426 who actually started the race

* Most amazing performance to me was Jason Hartmann who finished in 2:14:31 out doing his Olympic trials of 2;16:44. His PR was 2:11:06 at Chicago 2010 which was also a hot race. I guess this guys likes it hot.

* Geoffrey Mutai who holds Boston Marathon record, dropped out in the Newton hills past the 30-kilometer mark with stomach cramps. He said in a brief post-race appearance that his stomach started bothering him at 25K. That is what I mean by beating the world’s fastest Kenyan. He dropped out, while I finished. Although he has cooler things to worry about like the Kenyan Olympic team and the London Marathon.

I’m going to stop here but words cannot express everything I felt on this day. I can’t wait until next year =)