2012 Boston Run to Remember Recap

On May 27th 2012, I ran Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon.This was the 6th year this race was happening and my second time running it.As I mentioned before this race has a lot of significance to me since it was my first half marathon a year ago.Now I’m back on the course 2 Full Marathons and 3 Half-Marathons later.Needless to say I wanted to PR, I wanted to PR and race; however, with my recent mystery leg strain I was nervous about the results. Luckily, things worked out great and number 4 half marathon is in the books!

Boston’s Run to Remember actually has two races – A half marathon (13.1 miles) and a 5-miler.Net proceeds benefit community & kids programs of the Boston Police Runner’s Club.I think in total there are 8,000 runners between the two courses.Last year the race started at 8AM but this year due to the horrible heat problems in the prior year they started the race at 7AM for the half and 7:15 for the 5-miler.

Costs

The race fees start at $45 for the half & $30 for the 5-miler and gradual raise as the race approaches.I don’t remember what I paid but I signed up relatively early so it was either $45 or $55. Definitely a bargain compared to the BAA & Rock n Roll races.

Expo & Swag Bag

The race expo is really small.I got my number in about 30 seconds.There were almost no exhibits other than Marathon Sports, Odwalla samples and those weird Basement people that are always at any expo/convention possible.They did have popcorn and a bouncy house for the kids.I wanted to go into the bouncy house but some people thought I might cause injury to those smaller than me and should probably refrain.You get a free T-shirt with registration but it’s cotton, white and unisex so it’ll either go to Tony or Goodwill.The other swag included some bottles of Zinco coconut water.Not as good as VitaCoco but free is free.

The Race Course

As a Boston resident, I think the course is pretty sweet.

The 5-miler is entirely in downtown/financial district of Boston while the Half Marathon adds its 8 miles by going across the river into Cambridge with an out and back on Memorial drive along the Charles River.The course is also pretty flat and fast.Aside from the ramp for the bridge to cross the river that you hit twice (once going in and once coming back) there were no major hills.If you’re really curious, there is a driving video available of both the 5-miler and half marathon on the race’s website.

My Splits & Recap

My splits are a bit of an estimate because I don’t have a fancy Garmin (hint you know who that reads this) .I used Runkeeperapp for the Iphone which worked okay enough but when I finished running my total mileage was 13.69.I looked at the map and it seemed the signal bounced in some parts so I adjusted those miles by a minute or 2.I did use the runkeeper coach tool to stay at a 7:30 pace and avoid the crash that I had at Gloucester Half two weeks ago.For the most part it sort of worked.My average pace for the race according to official results was 7:32.

Prerace – I woke up at 6AM and woke Tony up and out to drive me to Boston at 6:25.I have the best bf/driver in the world!We made it downtown in a record breaking time of 11 minutes by 6:26.He went back home while I made my way to the Boston harbor Hotel since Fancy Hotel bathroom is way better than race portys.Munched on a Kashi Go Lean bar and drank my bottle of water with a fruit punch Nuun tab.It was a hot day and I wanted to skip the first few water stops so I tried to hydrate to capacity.At 6:50 I walked over to the start of the line.I passed a few friends who were running the 5-miler but no one wanted to run the half so I walked over all alone.I haven’t ran much in two weeks since Gloucester Half so I wasn’t sure what to expect.I was a bit nervous but I still excited as I am on every race day.

Mile 1-3 – 7:37, 7:33, 7:29B I ran slow and very cautious in the first mile.There were over 6,000 runners so I had no grand dreams of leading the pack this time.There was a very mild incline as we ran out of the Seaport District into the Financial District of Boston.Afterwards we made way past the State House and edged around Beacon Hill as we headed for the Longfellow (a.k.a. Salt & Pepper) Bridge.People said the first few miles were congested but I didn’t really see any issues in my pace area.

Miles 4-6 7:20, 7:25, 7:27B Miles 4-6 were along the Charles going a little bit past Harvard.I speed up a bit since this part of the course was flat flat vs. relatively flat for the first 3 miles.I did get water at the second or third water station.The weather was muggy and probably already reached 70 by 7:30AM.

Some people can look really cute when they run

I am not one of those people

Miles 7-9 7:15, 7:23, 7:40 At the turnaround point on the Charles I got super excited and my pace picked up a bit.I was ready to gun it but I started to feel hot so I stopped for two cups of water at the water stop around mile 9.The fun part was I screamed and cheered on the runners making their way still towards Harvard Square while they cheered us for making the loop back.

Miles 10 – 11 – 7:37,7:38 These were the miles coming back into Boston.As we got back on the Longfellow bridge I remembered that Laura from DailyMile was going to be cheering on at the bridge.A small part of was hoping/praying she wasn’t on the Cambridge side of it. That’s where my walking/slow jog started and I felt ashamed.It wasn’t steep but I definitely felt the difference going from Memorial Drive flat to climbing up a small ramp.Luckily, I saw her on the down-ramp of the bridge on the Boston side where I was running again.

 

Miles 12-13.1 – 8:06,B 7:53 I wouldn’t say I hit a wall at mile 12 but I definitely felt some regret for skipping a water station.My legs started to feel heavy from dehydration as we went around in circle of the Financial District/Post Office Square area.When I realized I was about a half mile away from finish I gunned it with any energy my dehydrated self had.I heard my friends in the background about .1 mile from the finish line and my heart soared!

I was tagged in 17 MarathonFotos, these are the two best ones.You can only imagine how bad my other ones are.

Post Race Food & Festivities

When you finish the race you empty out indoors into what looks like a warehouse of bagels, bananas, oranges, Cape Cod chips, water & Zinco Coconut water.In reality you’re inside the World Trade Center Convention area where the expo was held.There were a bunch of volunteers giving out medals.I started to sweat immediately as it felt a lot more hot indoors than it did outdoors as I swayed looking for water.I couldn’t find any bottled water but I found some cups and took 2 at a time.Ryan, Dan & Ana, my friends who ran the 5-miler found me as I was dripping sweat.Gross, I know but that didn’t stop me from sitting in a chair.

Results

Overall time : 1:38:46 my new PR!

Overall Pace: 7:32

Overall Place 340/5411

Division 41/1392 (Female age 19-29)


	

The Fine Dining of Malden

Now that Malden is becoming a much more of a permanent home for me, I’m getting more into the local dining scene. B To say dining scene is a bit of anB exaggeration, but there’s a lot of happening things going on! B A few months ago we even had a “Taste of Malden” event which featured a ton of delicious local dining establishments. B For those of you closer to downtown Boston you’re probably more familiar with “Taste of South End”, “Taste of North End”, “Taste of Somerville”, etc; however, next year I highly recommend you take a ride on the Orange Line to my hood and check out “Taste of Malden.” B I promise you won’t get shot.

I’ll start of with a great casual lunch spot. B Abiata Cafe & MarketB forB EthiopianB & MediterraneanB food. B Very casual family owned spot. B They’re open for lunch and dinner. B I also heard their breakfast is really good but I haven’t woken up early enough to go yet.

YemisirB -Wat -B Split lentil sauce made with flavorful berbere-based seasoning with salad

Yesiga WatB – beef simmered in Ethiopian chili blend sauce, clarified butter and exotic Ethiopian spices with salad

My next place just opened up in Malden Square that I’m super excited about. B A mexican restaurant called Guadalajara Grill. B Tony took me and his mother here for Mother’s day dinner and I loved it! B Entrees are in the $10-$20 range and come in giant portions made from qualityB ingredients. B I believe they’re a sister restaurant to Mexico LindoB in Melrose. B Also quite delicious! B They have one of the best margarita mixes that are freshly made with no sour mix.

A margarita isn’t just recommended, its a must if you go there!

Fajita Salad.

They have outdoor seating but I think the booths and tables inside are just too cute!

Tony is having theB Torito Steak (12oz. top sirloin steak, flamed broiled with sauteed mushrooms, green and redB peppers, onions and tomatoes, covered with a special Mexican sauce and meltedB cheese)B and his mother the Albondigas SoupB (B A delicious Mexican soup made with fresh minted pork meatballs and seasonal B vegetables in clear broth. Served with diced onions, fresh cilantro and warm tortillas)

My final place is a bit of something old school, Italian food! B Now when you first walk into Massimo’s RistoranteB you might be thrown back by all the different themes they have going on. B They have everything from wood paneling to exposed brickB to gold ceilings, and some very creepy decorations that you’ll just have to see for yourself. B Don’t let that deter you because when the food comes out, it holds its ground. Tony and I took our parents there when mine came up from New York last weekend.

Seafood Alla Paul – Shrimp, calamari, scallops, swordfish, clams, mussels,
and scallops in a light tomato with homemade pasta!

My mom gave me a dirty look when I tried to take a piece of her Veal/Eggplant combo so I’m assuming it was good!

The rest of the family seems to enjoy their selection as well

Dessert was a lobster tail (picture a giant cannoli) and a Bailey’s chocolate cake. B Bailey’s cake was my favorite!

Exploring Charlestown Historical Sights

I had a great run today even with my injury. B I also made up my mind to see an ART (Active Recovery Treatment) doctor for my leg. B Aside from crappy knee/leg pain I still managed to PR!

I knew it was going to be a good day when I went to sleep and noticed Jack was wishing me good luck by sleeping on the treadmill.

In fact all of Saturday was a good day. B I picked up my number for the Run toB Remember. B The expo was nothing fancy other than I took several coconut waters home with me. B It’s a charity race to benefit Community and kids programs of the Boston Police Runner’s Club. B It’s a fun race but sadly doesn’t get the same corporate backing as say a Rock n Roll race would get. B So needless to say aside fromB registration, a Odwalla sample booth and Zinco coconut water, there wasn’t much else to see there. B I guess 8 thousand runners isn’t enough to bring anyone else over.

After getting my number Tony and I walked around the Seaport district of Boston. B Here is a lovely picture as we stare back at Boston.

Afterwards we walked to the Boston Aquarium area and did something touristy and local at the same time. B We took a ferry to Charlestown, another neighborhood in Boston. B The ferry took about 10 minutes and cost $1.70. B Aside from saving us precious time of walking or training for 40 minutes we got to enjoy the cool ocean breeze.

Also another great view of Boston!

Upon walking into Charlestown we waved to Old Ironsides and made our way to the new Korean war memorial instead. B The cool part of the memorial is that its audio integrated. B Benches for contemplation. Audio is selected by buttons mounted on stainless steel column to right of bench. B The buttons are labeled “On the Line”, “Fighting Conditions”, “Us & Them” and “Aftershock”. Another two buttons play “Empty Tables, Empty Chairs” and “Bring Them Home” from Les Miserables.Also each brick on the path is donated by the loved ones of dead or missing soldiers.

Afterwards we had a new mission… to find the Bunker Hill Monument and to climb it…

We got detoured by a church. B I was sweating pretty hardcore by now due to 80s temp. B In New England, 80s is a heat wave. B So our savior came in the form of an air conditioned church.

After a minute of cooling, we returned to our mission. B With a few street circling we found it. B The Bunker Hill monument.

The Bunker Hill Monument stands 221 feet tall atB Breed’s Hill, the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution fought on June 17, 1775. Control of this high ground near the harbor was important to the British occupation of Boston. When colonial forces chose to fortify Charlestown, they bypassed the more dominant “Bunker Hill” and dug in on Breed’s Hill which was lower and closer to the water.

“Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” is the legendary order attributed to Colonel William Prescott to make sure that each shot would count. The poorly trained and ill prepared colonial forces repelled two major assaults by the British Army before retreating. Almost half of the British soldiers were either killed or injured. Although the colonists lost the battle, their bravery and strong showing against the British encouraged them to fight on.

In Boston, we take pride in our losses as if they were winning. B We have a history of great modesty as you can tell.

To climb to the top is free! B All that stands in your way are a few steps, 294 steps to be exact in a spiral circle. B We made it to the top in 3 minutes 30 seconds. B I would have raced Tony but it was high tourist season and there was a limited amount of racing space. B Next time.

Not too shabby. B That church is the one we went inside. B The fat skyscrapper to the right is the John Handcock Tower where I work! B Dinner plans consisted of eating my leftovers from the few nights before. B I’ve been fortunate to be doing a lot of eating out this past week between work & my parents visits so I’ll probably write about some places tomorrow.

Gloucester & Rockport Visit

I’ll write up a full race recap for the Twin Lights Gloucester Half Marathon once they post all the pictures. It was a tough race, much tougher than I expected but it was fun! I didn’t get to the top of my age group like I hoped but I did PR.details for later.

After the race, the Mister and I hung out at the Good Harbor Beach for a while as we waited for the parking lot to clear out. We were at the end of the lot and expected to not leave for a good hour after trying for 30 minutes. Luckily the place wasn’t too shabby to chill out for an hour or so.

I decided it would be a good time to take a nap.

And an ice bath for my feet in the water to walk to the island in the sea.

we then walked around the small town center for ice cream and olive oil tastings… I know we’re too cool.

Stop by the fisherman memorial

After getting lost a few times, we got bored of Gloucester and went back to Rockport. Rockport from my visit seems to be the more affluent cousin of Gloucester. It had a bigger more touristy cute little area by the beach. B We drove on the same path we ran that morning. The road was much more pleasant from the car seat view then when I was trying to run it.

Thanks to Yelp, we got an early dinner at the Roy Moore Lobster Co.

Total $11

As you can tell the theme is smoked fish… salmon, regular mackerel, peppered mackerel, stuffed shells.
This is what I ordered and I thought the peppered mackerel was my favorite. Although the stuffed shells were pretty good.


Tony didn’t feel full so he went back and go the Lobster Roll ($15)

It would have been delicious but the bread roll was stale or bad tasting or something. We all know the bread makes or breaks the lobster roll.

Don’t I look just dashing! Nothing beats changing in the back of a Prius with a pile of baby wipes after running 13 miles in 70 degree weather. Personally I thought I was ready for a filet mignon at the most expensive restaurant Rockport had to offer, but smoked fish will do.

Being not cool… What I ate Friday…

So I didn’t get theB covetedB Reebok invitation for a fitblog conference in their Boston headquarters.

I guess writing about your undying love for salsa isn’t exactly fit or blog worthy. B So before I take my sorrow out into a bag of Tosititos and a jar of Chichis, I had my own conference to go to. B A tax conference!

I won’t get into the specifications of the exciting world of state nexus, and income repatriation but, I’ll share the eats.

The conference was hosted at the Sheraton in Needham, MA. B Aside from being in the middle of nowhere west of Boston, it was a nice hotel.

Breakfast was fruit, cereals, pastries, and these awesome egg whites with cheese and spinach whole-wheat wraps.

Lunch was a salad, some white fish, and I don’t know what the stuffing in the chicken is but I want more. B Please?

They gave us too many options for dessert so of course I had to test taste them all

B

It was an all day conference so I had to stay focused somehow

I know you’re jealous, don’t lie.

Upon reviewing my food options, I guess I can see why I’m not invited to health conferences. B No worries, I got a half marathon tomorrow! B It’s all about the carbo loading.. Sugar is carbs, I’m good.

What was also cool was that one of the presenters managed to use this picture in a slide… and they say tax accountants have no sense of humor.

And the best part, the swag!!!

You always need the duckie! B As for the golf ball… that will have fitness use. B I intend to massage my pain in the butt sciatic nerve with it.

Hope you all had a great Friday!

Musing of a lazy mind and weekend recap

Happy Seis De Mayo! I personally don’t think I ate nearly enoughB guacamoleB for theB occasion. B In fact I had none because I might have gobbled up my avocado before it could be mashed. B O well… At least I had nachos.

It’s been a rough running weekend. B I thought maybe I’ll redeem myself today or maybe I’ll change my blog’s name to Whine to Munch. B I had a happy 7 miler in sub 58 on Friday just to be followed by a rough 5 miler that made me miserable on Saturday.

Today’s run had some good and some bad. B I did make it for a total of 11.5 miles outside with a few solid sub 7:50 miles when I was on a running path. B I still feel a lot of discomfort in my left leg but I grinned and bared it long enough that I got used to it. B I am still excited for my half marathon in Gloucester this coming Saturday. B I hope this will be a huge 13.1 PR for me. B I know I’m at a much better shape than I was October 2011; I just hope my left leg realizes that and quits it whining.

Anyways enough about the running and whining. B I know I should just relax. B Let me legs fully rest and move on with my life for a few weeks past running. B Maybe June will be the time for that. B Good thing I had other awesome things to keep me happy for this weekend. B Awesome things = me with a sore icky throat.

It all started on Thursday when I accepted Tony’s offer to ride his scooter home at night before its faster than our lovely mass transit.

Red Baron & Rogue is our new name, don’t wear it out! B Also needless to say the little faux Express leather jacket I wear is there to be seen and not to keep me warm. B Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

On Friday night, Tony and I had a date. B It would have been an almost free date but I love my beer. If I could get paid to consume chocolate and beer with lots of running, I could live a very happy life. B Where can I get hired for that?

We used a Restaurant.comB couponB for Kingston Station. B I’ve always gotten drinks there but I haven’t tried their non-liquid foods so I was curious.

Some random grease face. B My zits are like dead celebrities, they always come in 3s!

Tony ordered their burger and I ordered a Tuna salad.

I forgot to order the dressing on the side but I was pleasantlyB surprisedB by the light oil dressing just the way i would have done it. B Tony’s burger was okay. B TheB truffleB fries which I heard were a hit there were disappointing. B Too much cheese not enoughB flavor.

Once our bellies were full, we made our way to the Orpheum Theatre downtown to see Human Nature. B I got a pair of free tickets from Yelp Elite group and figured why not check ’em out. B What’s Human Nature?

Well, its four Aussies covering Motown songs. B And they were really good! B Really good. B Good enough that I sang my little Russian Girl immigrant heart out to the Temptations, the Supremes and other Motown classic band covers. B It was amazing!

On Saturday I was going to wake up early to volunteer but all that singing wore me out and I did not make it out of bed until 10:30. B Luckily I still made it just in time for theB ChiliB Cook-off at Community Servings. In case you’re curious,B Community Servings is a not-for-profit food and nutrition program providing services throughout Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. EveryB SaturdayB volunteer session comes with some awesome new friends and lunch! B They’re awesome!

Now I know this plate will look gross…

B But, if you combine all fourB chiliesB they make an even betterB chili! B I was going to participate but I ended up singing Motown classics instead. B I make a pretty solid vegan chili but it takes me about 8 hours to make it and I didn’t feel too safe leaving my stove on while I slept. B Since IB forfeitB by not participating, the Great Chef won!

I guess his was pretty good since it did run out first and there were no leftovers. B The runner-ups were no fallen soldiers either as nothing went to waste. B I even got to take home some of the leftovers. B Mnnnn chili dinner.

There was a small street fair/party in the park next door and I almost had a heart attack when I walked into this lady:

Saturday night I celebrated Cinco de Mayo with Margaritas and some friends. B A lot of fun that killed the rest of my voice. B I really felt the pain on Sunday when I felt like myB throatB was cleaned with a razor blade. B I think I consumed at least 10 cups of tea today. B But finally myB throatB feels better!

Now that I almost never go out to loud bars or concerts anymore, I always feel like all the excitement and screaming kills me. B I’m turning boring!

Also a big heart felt congratulations to all who ran Cox Providence Rhode Island Full and Half marathon. B You’re all awesome!!! B I can’t wait to read all the recaps.

At 3AM last night (I know really past my bedtime) as I was getting ready for bed, a large part of me wished I was getting up in 3 hours to go run a 26.2 mile race. B True runnerd thoughts. B I even woke up at 6AM but I guess I wasn’t too sad when I rolled over and went back to sleep.

What did you do this weekend? B Did you have a race this weekend? B Did you get to go out and eat anywhere yummy?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.

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 =)

Some cool Boston Marathon events

Today I ran 12 miles, two times of 6 miles each. B Two more miles than the B planned 10 but I felt too good to not run. B Taper be damned! B But I kept them at incline 2 and at whatever speed I felt comfortable at!

I wish I could attend every Boston Marathon weekend event but with my parents visiting this weekend and Tony and I closing on a house I’ll have to keep my Boston Marathon event and expo visit short and sweet. B However, on Friday I’m going to attend this event courtesy of Saucony.

Friday, April 13th, 6:30-10:30pm
The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts (539 Tremont Street)

Hors dboeuvres & beverages, including beer/wine will be provided (woot dinner!)

Kick-off your Boston Marathon experience with Saucony. Hear inspiring stories of strong from all-star panel of athletes:

B7 Bill Rodgers: 4X winner Boston & NYC Marathon
(Find Your Strong in the Boston Marathon)
B7 Karen Smeyers: 3X world triathlon champion and Ironman Kona champion. (Passion, Perseverance & Perspective)
B7 Mark Herzlich: 2012 NFL Super Bowl Champion, Boston College All-American. (Up Yours Cancer! The Fighting Spirit in Us All)
Moderated by Sharon Barbano: National race commentator, 1984 US Olympic Marathon trials competitor; V.P., Public Relations, Saucony

A special tribute in memory of Caballo Blanco, mythic hero of Born To Run, will be given by Luis Escobar, his close friend and a renowned ultra-marathoner.

Runners are invited to try Sauconybs award-winning line of footwear; coaches and treadmills available for one-on-one coaching.

Registration is only $5 and goes completely to charity so sign up here

I also spent some time trolling the Running world forums for tips here’s a few I stole from the noble wise men and women of the forum. B Most are either direct quotes orB paraphrasedB directly from others. B My thoughts are inB bold italics.B

  • Take a roll of Duct Tape to athletes village (AV).B Use it to reinforce the seams of your checked bag and tape it shut before you hand it in.B Bags have been known to split on people.
  • Take a black sharpie and print your bib number on your gear check bag in a few places. Even though you’ll be putting your bib number sticker on the bag I have found that having your number in more than one place speeds up bag pickup!
  • Wear sunscreen. B I can’t stress this enough. B The race starts at 10am and the sun will by high in the sky the entire race. B If you’re in the 3rd wave like me, you won’t start until 10:40 and might become a lobster before the fnish.B
  • Take some plastic (or pool raft, or cheap air mattress) to sit / lay on in AV.B The grass is often wet and you want to sit down. Not sure where I’ll be getting a raft, maybe a giant garbage bag to nap on.
  • Speaking of AV, it might rain Sunday or Monday, and I heard the grass stays wet, you’ll be waiting there a while before the race starts. B I read some people bring old shoes to wear before the start that they’re okay with donating.
  • The walk from athletes village to the start line is about a mileb&.make sure you leave with enough time to get to the start line and use the portolets.
  • The line for the portolets at the start line (Colellabs market) is usually pretty long.
  • Bring extra toilet paper, baby wipes and everything that makes you feel great. B Cleanliness is godliness…
  • Take the BAA busses to AV, you will have fun talking to the person who you randomly sit with, you wonbt have to worry about getting there on time, and the sight of all the runners boarding theB busesB at the Commons is pretty cool.
  • Right after you crest Heartbreak hill you will come to this massive downhill, hold back or you will pay.B ItB isn’tB called the graveyard mile just because it runs by a graveyard.
  • High-five all the kids you will see on the course.B I hate kids but people seem to enjoy this. B The spectators at this race are beyond incredible.
  • When you make that last left onto Boylstonb&..be prepared for itb&.it is awesome!
  • When you cross the finish line, pass directly under one of the clocks, look up at the media platform that runs across the length of Boylston Street — where the Marathon Foto photographers are taking pictures — and give the victory pose of your choice for a great finisher’s photo. B And whatever you do, DO NOT reach across your chest to turn off your stopwatch or you’ll block your bib and wind up spending hours combing through the lost and found photos.
Weekend & Expo Tips
  • You wonbt like driving in Bostonb&.do as little of it as you have to.B The subway works great and is easy to use.B There is a 7 day unlimited use pass that is very reasonable in price. B Its $15, but personally I think you can walk everywhere unless you’re trying not to tire out your legs
  • There is a very cheap (on the weekend) parking garage under the Boston Commons.B The entrance is off Charles street about halfway through the park. B Although if you’re in the metro area, take the T
  • There are free posters in the Adidas booth of the expo with every runnerbs name on it.B Make sure you get oneb&.only take oneb&.they run out.
  • Try your shirt on when you pick it up, they will exchange it for you, if they can, if itB doesn’tB fit.
  • Go watch the BAA 5k and the mile races Sunday morning. Desiree Davila (second place Olympic marathon trials) will be there, and it is really neat to see the pro and scholastic mile races.B Impressive stuff, and free entertainment.
  • If you want a good picture under the finish line Sunday morning before the races is a good time.B The road is closed and everything is there. (I’m not sure this is true?)
  • If you drive home after the race wear your new shirt or jacketb&.wave to all the other runners you will see on the road doing the same. (I have no desire on buying stuff, registration fee was high enough, but if you do, flaunt it!)

What I ate Wednesdays…

I wish i could be cool and post pictures of what I ate today; but I doubt anyone wants to see another photo of my microwaved frozenB broccoliB with ziti, marinara sauce and extra cheese. B I call it lazy hobo nuke ziti. B PureB culinaryB talent.

Or better yet my lunch of I’m too lazy to go outside and my stomach can’t handle any more cafeteria food this week so let me throw some baby spinach, orange peppers, 3 hard-boiled eggs and twice slices of bread and call that a balanced meal. B M&Ms are always an acceptable side.

No I’ll spare you the photos, I’m sure the description was bad enough. B Instead, I’ll post pictures of what I ate Tuesday. B I prefer Tuesdays over Wednesdays anyways. B Wednesdays are awful, Wednesdays are those days where you think o crap it’s not Thursday which means it’s nowhere near Friday. B Anyways back to Tuesday.

ItsB restaurantB week in Boston. B From March 18 to 23 and March 25 to 30, 2012 Boston’s best restaurants will be offering tasty prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner for an incredible bargain:B 2-course lunch for $15.12, 3-course lunch for $20.12, and 3-course dinner for $33.12.

This time we made reservation atB Mistral. B Needless to say I was excited. Tony went B double steak while I went double salmon and myB iPhoneB camera flash came along. B Our friends Brian and CJ came along but I spared them the wait of me fiddling with my Iphone so I can take photos of their food as well.

Our Appetizers arrived:

Beef Sirloin Carpaccio, Black Truffle AC/oli, Parmesan & Toasted Brioche

I don’t know the elegant name of this but basically its smoked salmon, avocado in a oil vinegar dressing. B Its amazing and you can call it anything you want.

Grilled 12oz Sirloin, “Potato Lyonnaise”, Port Wine Reduction, Gorgonzola Butter – Wine reduction sauce was decent but the cut of meat was too tough for my taste. B Good thing Tony was the one eating it. Even the photo makes it look disappointing.

Grilled Scottish Salmon, Cracked Mustard & Cider, House Cured Bacon, Beluga Lentils & Thyme – Also disappointing as I thought it would have a strong mustard flavor vs. butter but I guess the French do love their butter.

Luckily the dessert saved the meal back to amazing! B We picked two and went halfsies.

Classic Profiteroles with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Dark Chocolate Sauce and Pistachio Croquant

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Candied Nuts & Salted Caramel

Does your city doB restaurantB week? B Do you partake??B We always try to do one place that we want to check out and where the entrC)e alone usually costs 33 bucks. B Its also a good excuse to get together with friends.