Our No Boston Weekend

Happy Boston Marathon Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We took advantage of the holiday and some fantastic weather and left New York City for one of our favorite places.

Rock had to work on Friday, so we loaded up the car and I did something I have never ventured to do before.  I drove Mary and I out of New York City (my first time driving there) and up to Fishkill about 90 minutes north of the city.  We discovered this area in Dutchess County several years ago and just fell in love.  Anytime we have had a weekend off from work, this is the place we typically like to head for.

As soon as we arrived, Mary and I had a second breakfast at Panera and then hit the rail trail.  While she generally doesn’t sit still very well, she is usually really awesome on a run in the city or anywhere that she can be entertained.  The weather was fantastic (in fact, I over dressed) and the path was busy with families, dogs, and cyclists.  Mary had a blast saying hi to all of the dogs and passersby.

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The Dutchess County Rail Trail is one of my favorites.  Just over an hour outside of NYC, and you are surrounded by beautiful wooded areas, lakes, streams, and bridges carved into the rocks and foothills of the mountains.  Eight miles later I felt refreshed and Mary hopped on her scooter.  This is her new favorite activity.  She loves to wear her “hel-meat” and shout, “I scoot!”

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Later in the day we picked up Rock at the train station in Cold Spring.  This is one of my absolute favorite towns.  If you didn’t know any better you would think you were walking down “Main Street USA.”  Unique shops, antique stores, and eateries line the hilly streets.  Commuters, and tourists piled off of the train.  Local inns and bed and breakfasts were busy this weekend with those looking to relax and others who came specifically to hike the many traills (including the Appalachian Trail) just dow the road.

 

We took a pizza back to the hotel and ate in the lobby.  Mary then proceeded to scoot all around the building, to the amusement of the staff.

Our personal alarm clock was up and ready to go on Saturday at 6:00am.  After a quick breakfast, we hit the trail again and logged another eight miles as a family.

We took a quick drive to Bear Mountain.  Years ago Rock and I ran a North Face Enudrance Challenge there.  We’ve also spent several weekends enjoying Oktoberfests, hiking up to the top of the mountain, and wandering the historic Revolutionary War grounds.  This time we took Mary to see the Merry-Go-Round and the zoo.  It was a perfect family adventure.

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We finished the evening off at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Maya Cafe.  After way too many chips and some delicious street tacos, we left with a special gift.  The owner brought Mary a tiny purse to take home.  We absolutely love that place.  If you are ever in the area, you must go!

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We woke up on Sunday to beautifully warm weather.  Rock hit the rail trail and Mary and I took a nice long walk together.  She also spent some time scooting around and playing on the “choo-choo.”

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I have to give a major thanks to the Residence Inn of Fishkill.  This hotel just opened up three months ago and the place is fantastic.  From the huge gym full of top of the line cardio equipment, to the full breakfast and family board games in the giant lobby, this place really takes care of it’s guests.  We had a lovely one bedroom suite and they kindly gave us a late check out.

We arrived back at our room earlier than expected, so Mary and I went to let the front desk know they could clear our room.  The manager offered for Mary to partake in an Easter Egg hunt.  It was actually her first real egg hunt and I was pleasantly surprised by the kindness of the entire staff!

I would by lying if I said that I wasn’t bummed about not running Boston.  Seeing all of the buzz and excitement on social media this weekend definitely made me realize just how close I got to running this year.  I typically have a race scheduled for this time of year and I just love training for something.  While I am a little sad to not be running today, it was really wonderful to spend a special weekend with my family.  When the time is right, we will go for Boston again.

Happy race day to everyone running Boston.  We will be cheering you on from New York City today!

Opting Out Of Running The Boston Marathon This Year

Nearly a year ago I made my comeback to the marathon, nine months after having our first child.  It was a great feat and something that I was incredibly proud of.  Having qualified before, but not getting the chance to actually run Boston, I was thrilled to register this past September.

I secured my spot, reserved a room, and roped my mom into coming along to watch Mary while I ran another 26.2 miles.

I began training in late December and to be very honest, my heart just wasn’t in it for several reasons.  One reason was that Northern Michigan kept getting pounded by snow.  I would wake up most Saturdays to several new inches of fluff to trudge through.  Living in a rural area, most roads don’t get plowed until later in the day.  Some roads aren’t even plowed on a daily basis.  During one frustrating 12 mile run, I kept going back and forth down one short road because it was mostly clear and my usual route was blocked.  It was super frustrating.  I have decided that the hardest part of training for Boston is dealing with the winter running conditions!

This year’s marathon also falls on Easter weekend.  I wasn’t loving the idea of being away from Rock during a special family holiday.  It feels like we should be together and wake up to treats for Mary from the Easter Bunny.

The main reason my heart has’t been into training is because we have been wanting to continue to build our family.  We love being parents and we have been blessed with the most wonderful 19 month old.  I am thrilled to say that  I have chosen to opt out of running Boston because we are expecting a new member to our family early next fall.

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While we are very excited by this new addition, I want to acknowledge that this can be difficult for some people to read.  Starting or continuing a family is not always easy.  In fact, there were many years and months in the past when I would start reading a favorite blog and feel my heart racing, knowing a pregnancy announcement was forthcoming.  It wasn’t from lack of excitement for friends.  It can just be very frustrating when you too are hoping/wishing for a family of your own and feeling like things might not work out.

I hope that our news can serve as hope for anyone, that patience and love can bring great things.  The best advice I can possibly offer, especially for runners, is to find yourself a great team.  Seek a doctor and other professionals who respect what you love and enjoy.

As for Boston, I do understand that many runners complete marathons while pregnant.  I myself have done several half marathons and logged many miles in my first pregnancy.  I have a fantastic new doctor in Michigan who is also a runner and was willing to consider allowing me to run this race.  However, with my heart not being into training and simply wanting to enjoy being pregnant, I am going to wait for a later time to try to qualify again and run Boston.  My hope is that someday in the future, I will be able to go with my whole family and make it a special trip for all of us together.

Meanwhile, I will continue running as I have been.  For now, I have been able to log about 40-50 miles per week; just at a much slower pace.  We have also made special plans to spend Easter weekend at one of our favorite places, as a family.  Here’s hoping that the bunny remembers how much I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Eggs!

 

Boston Bound and Thanks Team!

Friday morning I was standing in line at the bank and happened to peek at my phone and began unconsciously fist pumping.  I stopped myself as soon as I noticed, but I got the e-mail I had been waiting for.  I’m in in for the 2017 Boston Marathon!

I qualified back in May and was somewhat certain that my time would most likely be a guaranteed spot, but it was so nice to see that confirmation e-mail right there in my inbox.  I of course took a screen shot.

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The room is booked and plans have tentatively been made.  I spent a lot of Friday thinking about the process of getting this far, 13 months after having our little girl.

It takes a village to be a runner.  It takes a small city to be a mother runner.  It amazes me that for a solo sport, just how much support we require.  I hesitate to even type out this list of thank you’s, because I will most definitely miss someone very important.  If I miss you, please know you weren’t forgotten.  I am so incredibly grateful for every single person who helped me in the past year and at any point during my running.

Before I even get started, I have to say thank you to my husband.  Strike that, I need to shout THANK YOU! to my husband.  There aren’t enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man.  He’s an incredible father and partner.  He will go out of his way to help out with our daughter and to make room for me to get in a run.  Sometimes he amazes me with how well thought out in advance his plans are, so that I can train around our schedules.

Our entire family has also been an awesome support.  I cannot imagine doing all of these crazy things and not having their backing and help.  My mother-in-law  and father-in-law are always so gracious to let us set up shop at their house.  My mother-in-law took care of Mary during a busy Thanksgiving morning so that we could get in a quick turkey trot.  We all know just how hectic holidays can be and carrying around an infant doesn’t make anything easier!

My mom and dad are always offering to watch our daughter during vacation,  training sessions, and even for an entire race weekend.  Whether it be for a 16 mile training run the morning of my brother’s wedding, 18 miles during our spring break in Florida, or for the entire weekend of a race, they never hesitate when we ask for some assistance.  And then they still call to offer and come over so that we can go for a rare run together, just because.

Our wonderful friend Tatiana not only watched Mary every Friday this spring so that I could get my long training runs in, but she also gave up a weekend to come watch our little girl during our race in the Poconos.  We had a blast and I am so glad she was with us.   Having her there with our friends Chantelle and Mike made the weekend even more special.

My awesome friends Amy and Kim in Chicago have always been in love with both our dog and daughter and have helped us out numerous times when we’ve need to fit in long runs, get a dog out for a walk, or watch a little girl when we were in a pinch. Thanks girls.  I miss you both!

Thanks to Stephanie for helping me with parenting questions and sending me delicious and healthy treats.  Just the other day I opened the front door and found a surprise package of That’s It bars.  This girl gets me and I adore her.  Let’s not forget the day she drove all over finding random boxes for our move and then driving out of her way to get them to me.  I had the best 1/2 hour sweating it out in the summer heat, catching up in a parking lot with her!

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Awesome girlfriends are so important in our lives.  These ladies are the best!

 

A huge shout out to Brian Hock of Simple Hydration for bringing me onto his Running Team.  I have had such a wonderful time being a part of this incredibly supportive group.  Having their help and following their progress as they run some of the most impressive races around has been so inspirational.  If you are still looking for a hydration system, I highly recommend checking these water bottles out!

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I could never forget the awesome support of my readers/followers.  Thanks for bearing with me, asking questions, and helping keep this blog going.  Your stories, comments, and questions fuel my runs and my drive to become a better runner and coach.  Thanks for sticking with me!  It truly takes an amazing team to keep running.

Who is on your running team?  Isn’t it awesome to sit back and think about just how many people make this sport a reality?

 

It Is Days Like Today….

…that I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful running community.

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Over the past year I have watched the outpouring of love and support for other runners, victims, and also runners we have lost.  I am so thrilled to see the Boston Marathon being held today and stronger than it has ever been.  It is a thrill to see athletes and families and even victims come back together as a community.

I am sending love and good luck today to the athletes.  A special good luck to my friend Kyle who is running.

A very special good luck goes to Scott Menzies as he runs in honor of his wife who lost her life this past winter while she was training for the Boston Marathon. #megsmiles

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If you have a second to read an article check out this memorial that Kel Kelly made in honor of Meg called Meg’s Soles of Love.  Runners from all over the country sent their shoes with messages on them to be part of a memorial near the start of the marathon.  All of the Boston athletes will pass this as they begin their 26.2 mile journey.  How cool is that?!

Soles Of Love

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Whether you are running today or cheering on, I am sending a hug and a high five your way.  It is an honor to be a part of the running community.

Don’t forget that you too can run today with the Boston Marathon World Run!

Source: activetimes.com

Source: activetimes.com

Guest Post- Firsthand Boston Experience Last Year

I have mentioned before that I had a friend who ran Boston last year and experienced the turmoil first hand.  I reached out to him and he was happy to do a post on his experience last year and will give us an update on his experience this year as well.

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Just a quick note, I have known Kyle since I was a little girl.  We both grew up in a small Northern Michigan town which according to Wikipedia is home to 2,000 residents and 2 stop lights.  As you can imagine, growing up in a small town like that you really do know just about everyone.  I even remember going to the county spelling bee with Kyle and that he was a heck of a speller.  Kyle was a great runner when I ran track in junior high and continued on through high school.

I am pretty sure that we both stopped running for a time during our lives.  But like most of us crazy runners, we found it again as adults.  I often call myself a running nerd and if that is the case then Kyle is the Yoda of running.  When he should be tapering for Boston he is running ultras and doing 55 mile weeks.  Sometimes he even messages me on Facebook to let me know what his plan is for a 100 mile training run this coming summer.  The guy can run and I just smile in admiration.

Even better Kyle has two adorable children and they can often be seen at the side of a race cheering him on.  Other times he finishes way before me and has to take off to get home to his children, but he always sends me a congrats even though he left me in the dust miles ago.  He is doing an amazing job of teaching his kids how life can be a healthy and fun adventure.

Kyle’s Boston:

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In 2011 I didn’t think I could qualify for the Boston Marathon. But in May 2012 I did. I had never even thought about going until that day.

For Boston 2013 my parents and kids went with me for support. The Athletes Village is very exciting. Both the energy and excitement from all of the runners is very cool.  Most marathons I have done I am running alone for the majority of the race (which is the case for a lot of races in Northern Michigan). In Boston I was surrounded by runners and spectators the whole time.

I had severe stomach cramping at 15 miles and was unable to run. I walked and jogged slowly the rest of the way. At 18 miles I stopped and called my parents who were at mile 23. I told them to wait for me. That I was going to be another hour.

I had wrote my name on my arms before the race. The whole time I was walking the spectators were screaming “Go Kyle,” and “Come on Kyle.” The encouragement of those spectators got me to start jogging again and again for the next hour as I experienced the stomach pain. They would scream as loud as they could once I would start to jog like their team had just won a goal. I had skipped all the high fives for the first 15 miles but now I was getting more high fives than I had ever had in my entire life.
At 23 miles I was certain I couldn’t go any further but seeing both my parents and my kids made it strangely easier to go on. The pain didn’t get to my legs but my stomach was like a rock and hurt with every breath. I finished the race and quickly felt better. Volunteers were saying, “You just finished the greatest marathon in the world!”
I did not stay to chat or watch. I didn’t want to have my worst marathon time engraved on my medal. I went right to the subway and went back to the hotel. On the way back I saw ambulances and police officers cruising toward the finish. When I got off the train the police were saying, ” You can not go downtown!” And they were turning everyone that wanted to head that way around. I had no idea what had happened, and I was very confused. When I opened the door to the hotel my mother gave me a hug and told me that bombs had gone off. I told her it was probably fireworks and people partying. She was watching the news and that was how we finally found out what was happening.
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This was written by Kyle’s daughter after he finished the race.  She was 5 at the time.
 Everything was shut down. We were not supposed to use our phones. There were men in suits at our hotel asking everyone there if they had seen anything suspicious. Our trip was totally screwed up from the mess. The next morning we drove home.
The spirit and compassion of the running community will be overwhelming this year. I am very excited not just to have qualified again but to be starting at the front with the elites. I have became a part of society who is trying to stay healthy and inspire others to do their best. I am very grateful to be able to run.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Kyle for sharing his thoughts on last year and offer him a huge good luck as well as to all of the other runners racing Boston again this year.  I am super excited for my friend who will be taking off in corral 1 wave 1 run this year.  Talk about exciting!