Weekly Workouts – First Week Post-Marathon

This time last week we were still hobbling around a little bit, still wearing our shiny FINISHER medals, and reeling in the runner’s high of 26.2 in Boston. This week, its back to work, or rather…normal life!

Monday: CrossFit516

Tuesday: Rest.

Wednesday: CrossFit516

Thursday: CrossFit Endurance

Friday: CrossFit516

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: Long Island 1/2 Marathon

I would love to PR this race, and certainly feel like sub 1:50 is attainable at some point this year, just not so sure 2 weeks post-Boston Marathon is the best timing. This is a really fun, local race and I’m looking forward to stepping up the distance a bit since I PR’d my 10k time last spring (53:14, 8:42 pace). Big high-fives to all my CrossFit516’ers who are running on Team WSA, and Astrid G. who will also be rocking the half! The weather report looks perrrrrfect for 13.1.

Don't mind if I do...

Don’t mind if I do…

Marathon Monday, from Marissa

Wow.  It is so crazy to believe that Marathon Monday is over and I have finally completed my very first Marathon!  Now that I have had some time to look back on the race and rest my feet, I am so happy that I was able to finish one of the toughest Marathon courses out there.

Meredith already gave you the updates for how our morning went; I want to give a shout out to MGH for setting us up in the pre-race tent.  It was a great setup and I loved the DJ.  I even got to do a special shout out to Mer and request “I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the maaaan” by Aloe Blacc.  Although there was a lot of waiting time it was a good time to talk to people and try to calm my nerves before the trek to Boston.

Waiting in the MGH tent!

Waiting in the MGH tent!

The run started out fairly well for me and I was enjoying seeing all of the spectators and their signs as we headed towards Ashland.  Mer and I were running at a good pace and I was remembering all of the sights I saw on our 20 mile training run.    We saw the clock tower in Ashland and were still moving at a pretty good pace.  Pretty soon- the heat hit me.   My legs started to feel really heavy and I got a cramp in my right side.  I was not sure if this was from drinking too much or too little but I was so thirsty that I had to stop at every water stop to get water or gatorade.  I started to get nervous that I would have to stop but I just put on my headphones and tried to keep up with Mer.  Finally, I told her to run a little ahead of me and felt better that I was not holding her back.

As I moved along the route I was grabbing fruit and popsicles from strangers… I was so thirsty I did not even care.  The crowd was so encouraging and I loved seeing all of the signs motivating us to just. keep. running.   I picked up the pace a little at the Wellesley scream tunnel around mile 12.  The signs were hilarious and I knew I was very close to half way!  At this point I told Mer to go ahead again so that I could try to catch my breath and prepare for the next 13.1… I crossed the halfway point around 2:33 which was fine by my considering how slow I felt.

Luckily right around mile 13 or 14 I heard, “Is that you Roo?” and I turned to see Kelly Sarno, my saving grace!  We ran some of our 20 miler training run with her and she is always so upbeat and positive- I knew things could only go up from here!  She was feeling the same way I was and we decided we would trek out the rest of the way and cross together.  We did not care how we got there but we knew we would make it.  We met Mer at Mile 16 in the shade and jogged with her to Newton.  We let her run ahead to Mile 20 while we kept our pace, walking when we needed a break, and always picking some sort of landmark ahead to run to.

Mile 20!

Finally we came to Mile 20- our families!  I saw my mom and started to cry immediately,  I gave Jess, Abby and my dad a hug and Ellie asked me “Roo, do you have any juice?”  Then we were off again! 6.2 to go!

Mom and I hugging at Mile 20!

Mom and I hugging at Mile 20!

Kelly and I continued our plan of running flats and downhills and walking up the hills.  Heartbreak stayed true to its name but finally we made it up Heartbreak and got to run downhill to B.C.  Now we really felt like we were getting closer to Boston!   Finally I could see the Citgo sign in the distance!

 

Very tinyyyy Citgo sign in the distance!

Very tinyyyy Citgo sign in the distance!

 

Our feet were tired but our spirits lifted once we knew how close we were to Boston.  We kept our strategy of running when we could and stopping to walk for a bit when we needed a break or water/ice/gatorade/lollipops/jellybeans.   At this point, I knew we were nearing the end and although I desperately wanted to cross the line I kept reminding myself that I was running the Boston Marathon and I needed to take it ALL in and appreciate where I was and what I was doing.  I loved hearing the chants of “ROOOOOOO,” and “GO MGH, YOU WILL FINISH!” as we ran through the streets towards Boston.  People seemed genuinely happy (or drunk) to see us and it definitely lifted my spirits!

Around mile 24 I heard a voice call, “MARISSA HUDSON?” and I saw Rachel and Jorge!  It was great to see friendly familiar faces and I felt another boost of energy.  Kenmore was on the horizon and we were almost there!  There is one small hill before you run into Kenmore right at mile 25 and Kelly and I knew we had to walk up it if we wanted to have the beautiful photo finish we were hoping for.  There I heard another “MARISSAAAAA” and I saw Blair Pendergast aka KB!  A perfect surprise for a final push to 26.

Kelly and I grabbed one more cup of water before we ran through Kenmore.  This was my favorite part of the run where both sides of the street were packed with people yelling “ONE MORE MILE, YOU COULD DO THIS IN YOUR SLEEP.”   Finally we saw Hereford and we knew this was it.  Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston- Victory!

I felt like we were sprinting when we took our right on Hereford, I high-fived a few strangers and tried to hold back tears.  Finally we took the last left on Boylston and saw the finish.  Back at mile 18 or so we were talking about how we were going to hold hands over the finish and so we were ready, we grabbed hands and finished together!   We could not believe that had happened and kept saying, “I cannot believe we just ran the Boston Marathon,” as we got our medals and our tinfoil capes.  Mer was waiting for me at the water station and we walked (hobbled) towards the park.  Grabbed a quick pic with Kelly before we left her!

Thats MRS. SARNO to you!

Thats MRS. SARNO to you!

I am pretty sure my second words after, “I can’t believe we just ran the Boston Marathon,” were “NEVER AGAIN,” but now that I am almost a week out I am ready to do it all again next year!! (maybe)

 

Offish Race Photo

Offish Race Photo

THANK YOU to everybody who sent words of encouragement and for those who donated to MGH and allowed us the opportunity to run the 2014 Boston Marathon!  We could not have done this without you!

Ellie Loves MGH

Ellie Loves MGH

 

Mile 20 Party – #Hudsonstrong!

Marathons are not about one individual crossing the finish line. It is about months of dedication to training, a supportive family, and the spirit of an entire city coming together. There is nothing more important to Marissa and me than our family, and we couldn’t have asked for a better cheering section than these folks waiting for us at Mile 20. My mom has been a nurse at Mass General Hospital for as long as I can remember, and she was the first person to suggest that we join the MGH Marathon Team when our thoughts turned to running this year.

Mile 20 Party!

Mile 20 Party!

As I approached the Mile 20 MGH party at Dr. Weinstein’s house in Newtown, I first spotted my mom and then saw my Ellie on top of KJ’s shoulders. I was PUMPED to see them, and I still felt pretty good!

My conversation with Ellie went like this:
Ellie: We’ve been looking for you!!
Me: I know! I’ve been coming as fast as I could!
Ellie: Are you done?
Me: I wish.
Ellie: Well, I’m tired.

HA! Ellie, I was tired too but you picked me up and kept me going for the last 26.2. Emily was a little confused why I ran up to them and then ran away after a few minutes, and she didn’t really want to give me a hug, but I am pretty sure that’s because she wanted me to KEEP RUNNING! Ellie had some sweet unicorn face-paint action going on, my dad was wearing his Guy Fieri hat, and everyone was rocking their Run For MGH shirts. I really think Marissa and I had the easier job on Monday. Trying to navigate Boston on Marathon Monday, taking the T, and walking for miles is NO easy feat with a stroller and two little ones. So proud of E&e for being so good and watching their first Boston Marathon like champs!

Big shout out to the best fans of the day! You are our everything!

Go Team MGH!

Go Team MGH!

Marathon Monday, from Mer

It has taken me longer that I hoped to actually get the time to sit down and type out my experience from Monday. I am just going to take it slowly, and try to put into words what 4.21.14 meant to me.

Alarms rang at 4:20AM, but I had been up for 10 minutes. Roo and I drove into Boston from Beverly, with one quick stop at Dunks, to meet our team bus. We had booked a room at The Liberty, but we weren’t sure they were going to be able to check us in so early, given that this was the busiest weekend in Boston. Turns out we arrived JUST in time to get the LAST room, which was way easier logistically-speaking than leaving our bags with the bellhop. Also, just our luck…the only room left to give us was on the original jail side of the hotel, which means we had beautiful exposed brick overlooking Alibi. Score! Things were already looking up!

We boarded our team bus at MGH (next door to The Liberty) and it finally started to sink in. We were going to run the Boston Marathon. The bus ride out was long. How long can 26.2 miles be!? It was slightly delayed due to a last-minute security change, but we were at our MGH Team Tent in Hopkinton by 7:30am. All of that to just hurry up and wait! We had an amazing DJ who kept us pumped up, and we had lots of stuff to eat and drink. I didn’t know that my friend from college Anna and her sister were also on the MGH team, so we had lots to catch up on in the tent. Great job, Lebowski sisters!!

Around 11:00am, we started the short walk to the starting line, discarding outer layers as we walked. It was HOT. Hotter than the weather prediction. From here on out, thoughts and memories get sort of blurry, but I will never forget…

– The crowd at the starting line. We hadn’t run a single mile yet, but there were SPECTATORS and they were CHEERING. If that didn’t get you pumped to run 26.2, nothing will.
– The TV camera panning the crowd at the start. I THREW my arms up and expended a ton of energy but I didn’t care. Look, Ma! I’m on TV!
– Starting to run. We immediately run into one of Roo’s friend’s from Danvers and score a quick hug before she dodged the crowd.
– For all those moms out there who are germ freaks, you will love this. There was a mom on the side of the road, holding her 3-4 month old daughter, stretching out her daughter’s hand to high five runners. THAT is BOSTONSTRONG!
– Margaret (PLUS ONE) passing me with a baby on board. You go, girl.
– Running behind a guy who had written on his shirt “Running On A Heart Transplant”. So inspiring!
– Sign that said “The only marathons I do are on NetFlix”
– There were HUGE banners every time you crossed into a new town, and I loved the WELCOME TO NATICK signs, and the band and crowd at TJs bar
– On the same note, every time you crossed into a new town, the crowd’s would yell “WELCOME TO ___”. I would shout back “THANKS FOR HAVING ME ___” [Side note: may have expended waaay too much energy yelling at ppl]
– The wall of screaming Wellesley girls was amazing. They all held signs that said “KISS ME, I’M A REDHEAD!” or “KISS ME, I’M A HISTORY MAJOR” or “KISS ME, TO MAKE HER JEALOUS!” or better yet “KISS ME TO MAKE MY HUSBAND JEALOUS!” I was LOVING them.
– I still felt like I was floating on air at the half-way point. No pain. Just pure smiles. Roo and I got some pretty sweet pics crossing the half-way point, still running together.
Mile 18: I saw Blair and Nicole and stopped to chat. Such a boost for me to get me through to MILE 20!
– Seeing my family at mile 20! Ellie said “are you done yet?” SORRY SISTA!
– Running (ok, walking) up Heartbreak Hill. Hey, everyone needs a little rest during 26.2, especially when its SO DAMN STEEP!
– Cresting Heartbreak Hill and telling two little girls that I was going to start running now. They cheered for me!
Boston College! Seeing Heather, and getting a big hug, and screaming to all the college kids “I MARRIED AN EAGLE!” They went nuts.
– The downhill through Cleveland Circle past Mary Ann’s was WAY rougher on my legs that I expected. I took little baby steps but cruised that corner high fiving lots of spectators.
– Miles 22-23 were sort of rough. Chewed ice. Ate popsicle.
– Grabbing from a guy a Bud Light at Mile 24 and LOVING it (and I HATE cheap beer). It was so ice cold.
– Probably buzzed off of Bud Light, but Mile 24 and 25 were sort of a blur. I saw Rachel H and Jorge, and finally saw that elusive Citgo sign pointing me home.
Kenmore Square was THUNDERING, and I think that spectators were literally scaling the barricades to get high fives.
– I saw the Mass Ave tunnel. I went through the tunnel. I walked up the little incline…then RAN.
RAN RIGHT ON HEREFORD. RAN LEFT ON BOYLSTON.
SCREAMING.
FIST PUMPING.
HOLLERING.
HOOTING.
I was in my own zone where nothing hurt, and everything felt amazing. I could run that last 1/2 mile over and over for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. I choked up when I saw the finish line, and fought back tears when I passed the fire house, McGreeveys, and The Forum. I crossed the line. I crossed it for all of those who couldn’t that day, and I crossed it for the whole city of Boston. I crossed it for all the kids in the MGH pediatric cancer center, and I crossed it for all of my generous friends and family who donated to this cause. I crossed for everyone along the route that day, and for all of the amazing volunteers.

We finished!

Sisters. Finishers.

Sisters. Finishers.

Trip Down Memory Lane

Marathon Weekend is HERE!

I took a little trip down memory lane today. Starting with this email:

IN

IN

Then we ran. A lot.

Sisters

Sisters

COMM AVE... We are comin' for ya!

COMM AVE… We are comin’ for ya!

nyc half official pic

nyc half official pic

Team HudsonStrong

Team HudsonStrong

We also lifted heavy things.

Mer lookin' strong

Mer lookin’ strong

Me getting ready for a set of 8!

Me getting ready for a set of 8!

Rack It

Rack It

Hanging Around

Hanging Around

And even rowed.

Representing CrossFit516

Representing CrossFit516

But it all lead us here to this.

Marathon Weekend.

Marathon Weekend.