I Should Probably Get Back In Running Shape.

This past week I applied to run as part of Team MR8 in the New York City Marathon. The team was created in remembrance of Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon Bombings. The charity honors Martin’s message of peace by investing in education, athletics and community. When I didn’t gain entrance to the New York City Marathon by the lottery system, there were (and still are) a few other charities I could have joined to get a number. Nothing felt personal to me though, and I didn’t want to raise money solely because I want to run 26.2 miles. It didn’t seem genuine. When I heard the news that Team MR8 (who had a HUGE prescence at Boston this year) was still looking for 8 runners to represent, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. It would be an honor to be part of a Boston-based team, and wear the MR8 jersey on November 2nd, and carry on Martin’s name. I find out in two weeks if I am one of the eight, which doesn’t give me much time to seriously get into training!

Since I MIGHT be running 26.2 in November, I should probably start my next training cycle. May, June and July — you guys were good to me. It’s time to get to work again though. Today I hit 4.5 miles and felt pretty good, despite the heat. It definitely felt cooler at the onset of the run, and when I finished I think it was almost 80 degrees. I don’t do well in the heat. Straight into the kiddie pool! PS – those Lululemon shorts are my FAVORITE running shorts.

 

Johnston Country Club

Johnston Country Club

Today I also finished a little project that I’ve had on the backburner since Boston. I framed our bibs, and the background is made from the heat cape that is handed out at the finish line. I have one that I made from the Chicago Marathon in 2006, too.

FInishers!

FInishers!

Week 1 of Marathon Training, let’s go!

Training Run – 15 Miles!

Like most things in life, running is just better when we’re together. We planned on using the President’s Day holiday to run our longest run so far, 15 miles. Since neither of us have the discipline to stay hydrated, rest up, and prepare our legs the day before these longs runs, we usually have our most fun nights out the night before a run. This was no exception! On Sunday night we headed to Brookline to The Publick House and had some delicious beers and frites. It was just a different form of carbo loading, right?! The coolest part was that we were on Beacon Street in Brookline which is part of the marathon route! Turns out, this was PERFECT marathon training.

The Publick House, on the marathon route

The Publick House, on the marathon route

The next morning we left the house at 9:00am. It was 14 degrees. There really isn’t anyway to make 14 degrees seem “do-able”, and as Marissa set the pace in the front, I really did think a few times that if I were alone, I would totally have run right back inside. I am so lucky to have her to keep me going.

Miles 1-5: We ran a loop from Beverly, into Wenham, and back into Beverly. By mile 3 we were warming up, and I could finally feel my toes. The roads were clear for the most part, and we were happy just chugging along. At Mile 5, we stopped in a sandwich shop and bought a bottle of water to share and ate our Gu Chomps.

Miles 6-13: We completed the loop, and started back out on the same loop again. We were going to do 2 full loops, but there was one section of the road that was just too dicey to run on. We decided when we hit mile 11 that we would just turn around and run back towards home, which would complete the 15.

Mile 13: KJ and the girls were out taking a drive and finally found us near the entrance to the Beverly Airport! They were like beacons in the night, and we totally needed the boost. Ellie asked me why I was sweaty. Thanks, Ellie!

Miles 14-15: We did it!! We finished back through the neighborhood and completely finished 15 miles. We were on our feet for 2 hours and 40 minutes. We were chilly and sweaty at the same time, and we couldn’t wait to get our feet out in front of the fireplace.

14 degrees, 15 miles and 20 cold toes!

14 degrees, 15 miles and 20 cold toes!

We celebrated with Nick’s Roast Beef, and Disney On Ice! Only 9 more weeks until Marathon Monday!

Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice

Oh, and what long run is complete without a some bubbles at the end of the day?

Opus in Salem with KB

Opus in Salem with KB

* We are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *

World Cancer Day – 8 Years!

I’ve been waiting to share this post, and since today is World Cancer Day, it seems like the right time. This month I have been a cancer survivor for 8 years. When I was 22 years old, just one month after my college graduation, I found a lump on my neck. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and underwent 6 months of chemotherapy at St. Luke’s Hospital in NYC. My world was pretty much rocked. I have always been athletic, so I tried to stay as active as possible through my treatment, which wasn’t always easy. I used to curse the high heavens when we headed to the track to do a conditioning workout in college. However, when I was sick, I would have paid large sums of money to be sprinting around on the turf, rather than sitting in the hospital. An Andover classmate of mine heard about what I was going through, and asked if she could run in my honor as part of Team In Training for a marathon. I was overwhelmed by her generosity, and of course, agreed. I got to know the TNT folks in NYC, and in May 2006, just 3 months after my last chemo treatment, I started training for the Chicago Marathon as a TNT Honored Teammate. It was a long 26.2 miles, and I ran pretty slowly, but I loved every single second of it.

This year, I am immensely proud to be running the Boston Marathon, my hometown marathon, as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon Team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center to help the world’s youngest patients achieve their dreams, and survive. This time I will be running next to my best friend, my sister, and counting down the miles to Boylston Street. I will be running in honor of my late father-in-law, Ken Johnston II, whom I never had the honor of meeting, but whom I know is helping me every step of the way. There are so many people to thank for getting me to where I am this year: my parents, my sister, my husband, my daughters, my extended family, my friends who lived with me through cancer, my friends whom I met after cancer, my running friends, my CrossFit family, my co-workers past and present, my other survivor friends, Dr. Grossbard at St. Lukes and all the doctors at the MGH Cancer Center who took care of me in Boston so I could be home for the holidays.

These 26.2 are for you!

Team #HudsonStrong

Team #HudsonStrong

* Marissa and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *