PC: Tommy Martino

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life after PUBIS

Come on now. You didn't think I’d give up that word that quickly did you? Although, people still hesitate when they see me… “How’s your… um… injury… your, um, pelvic bone?” You mean my pubis? Come on! Just say it. I promise, it doesn't disappoint.

Well, to answer this question is complicated.

Some days it’s great, non-existent. Other days … more annoying than anything.  I’m not in pain by any means… but I can still feel symptoms of inflammation: sore groin or stiffness in the lower abdomen. Just like having a hungry orange cat(s)... it just there bugging me. I have been a quick study on activities that aggravate it: fast running on loose dirt, sneezing, sitting in certain positions for long periods… but life MUST go on! And it has. So here’s a bit of an late summer recap mostly in photos, because I'm fairly certain only my mom actually reads this - Hi Mom!

Again this year, I was happy to pace the 3:20 group and help others meet their marathon goals. Love, love, love the second Sunday in July. You can read more about my affinity for the MM here at the end of the post.
Follow this leg!
Nearing the finish! Thanks to Wendy for this photo
(her husband Courtney, pointing and PR'd in 3:18 something!

God has blessed me with an extremely LOUD (and to most people annoying) voice that carries far distances. (Give me a few drinks and I’ll show you how loud!) I should have majored in theater (or auctioneering). So when it comes to spectating, I excel. And when your husband is an Ironman, well, you quickly have to become an endurance spectator.This entails standing on your feet for hours, walking miles between transition and yelling and clapping for everyone, because let’s face it if you only cheer for the person you now you’re a total douche. Ironman Canada was pretty awesome. I also put in quite a few miles on trails in Canada. Just a hideous place really.
Alta Lake swim start. SUPers keep an eye on the swimmers.
No filter.
A girl's gotta have custom signs. 
Thanks to random dude for the photo bomb.
Aunt Pat and I have a little fun of our own in the village.
I take fake bobsledding very seriously.
Yelling at Andy to go faster. He loves that. 
You ready for cocktails? I've been out here all day.
 Solid 5th place finish for the man. 
Look at that poser! Trying to be a trail runner for the day. 
Fun fact: It took me 3 hours to run this trail. I'd like to say I 'power-hiked'
some of the sections, but I'm pretty sure I was just walking.
I have no idea why they call it Green Lake? 
Lost Lake. No filter necessary on this one too. 
See what I mean? UGLY 
I found a waterfall! Eh?!?!

I was fortunate to head to Salt Lake City, UT the first week of August for work. The town was booked because of the Outdoor Retailers show, so my boss and I decided to stay in Park City. My second winter Olympic village visit in 2 weeks, aren’t I spoiled? And a minor bit of elevation training for me (7,000’!) – I had done a few small runs with strides, but this was my first venture into 2 mile repeats, only 2 of them, with quite a scenic back drop. Kind of a turning point for me, some light at the end of the tunnel. 
They call it the Rail Trail. Clever. Park City, UT

My dear friend Molly is going to be a mommy. Her little boy is due in less than a month. I ventured to P-town for Mol’s baby shower. Can you believe it – Molly’s pubis is angry too! Molly’s pain began after a good kick-ball boot at 5 months prego (yah, she’s hard core like that). She thought she blew out her groin, but her doctor told her she shifted her pubis symphysis. She finds relief from a massage therapist, who adjusts some of the tendons that attached to her pubis and shifting that big baby she’s growing off the tender spots. Things to look forward to I suppose…  
Excited for the arrival of this little guy!

Last Best Pace is our team name… an no, it’s not a typo. (It’s a play on Last Best Place, coined by the state of MT). 200 miles, 12 fast women. We were second in the women’s open division, a whole hour+ faster than last year! Here are some highlights of what you can expect in HTC.
  • No sleep
  • Traffic Jams
  • Using only hand sanitizer for 24 hours
  • Using only port-o-pots for 24 hours
  • Sitting in a cramped, car right after racing a 10K
  • Running in the pitch black with a headlamp & binky light
  • Delirium and uncontrolled fits of laughter
  • Champagne at the finish
  • It is seriously WAY to much fun.
  • Did I mention, STANK?
Cheers! Here we go...
Mt Hood start
Action pass
Safety first! Ready to run on the dustiest & darkest road in OR
2 am Shenanigans 
Chillin' before the last leg
Destination: Pacific Ocean. Brrrr!
Mimosa's with a view

So now that the pubis has been relatively calm since mid-July, the thought of a fall marathon seemed inevitable and required. I really wanted to go back to Chicago. I’d like to say it was because of all the things that make that city and ginormous race epic… but mainly I wanted to go back because it’s pancake flat. (I think I've discussed this before… me and hills are not really a match made in heaven.) I also felt an early October race was too soon… so that left me looking into November. I was asking another runner who was racing Missoula Marathon, and she mentioned the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Nov 1, fairly flat, potential 2:43 pacer… seemed like a winner. So I’m signed up and the plane tickets have been purchased. And guess who’s coming with me? Andy. Another bonus of doing a late race, Andy’s done racing for the season. So now he can come yell practical statements at me while I run. Andy hasn't seen me race since Dec of 2012 during the hurricane at CIM, so I’m pumped he’ll be there.

It's official if it's on my calendar
2 x 4 miles @ MP in the middle of a long run
Thanks David for being my bike escort and paparazzi
... and for making sure the 'old lady' lived.
Training has crept back… Slow and steady. Speed was introduced cautiously in minor increments - keeping things easy on the pubis. I've had a handful of weeks in the 80+ range. No over-distance running, in fact, my longest long run has been 20 miles. I've found this training block to be especially difficult because I WANT to run fast, I know I can run fast (I have run fast!) but my body just won’t let me go yet. Turnover isn't there. 

A few weeks ago, running a 6 min mile I felt I more resembled a flailing chicken than the gazelle I hope to embody. Today, during that 6 min mile, I've left the spastic chicken behind and have been feeling more like galloping donkey during my speed sessions. An old women on a bike that I passed during an interval last Sunday, even said “Ha! I thought you were a horse!” Listen old lady, I will throw your pretty cruiser in the creek. Doesn't she know about my rage? Luckily (for her) I don’t stop my intervals for anything other than a bowel movement.

So, working on my gazelle skills is testing my patience. Is it odd that I feel like I’m learning to run all over again? Where did the turnover go? If you see it, please bring it back to me. I'm kidding (sort of). I'm hoping the transition from donkey to something more light-footed comes sooner than later ...
Spastic chicken? No touchdown chicken.
Run selfie! 
I went on a hike... it was beautiful! Trapper Peak

Of course, I wouldn't forget my furry friends.
Mr Beaver doing what he does best - chillin'!
I bought them two beds... of course thy want to cram onto one.
Wylie - every morning sleeps in the sink.
Beaver's butt makes a great pillow.
Orange is the new black.
Follow me on instagram  @trishaski

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Patience & the Pubis

It's been a while since I've checked in with a blog. That's because I've been busy! Busy healing and doing fun summer things: friends, family & food.

It was Memorial Day weekend, and I had headed out for my last long run of 16 miles. Ten miles in, I started to get some side stitches, not all that uncommon, but as I got to 13 miles, I noticed the pain was moving south as was my pace. By mile 15 I had run a 9:26... not a good sign. The pain was so severe in my lower abdomen, it was making my hip flexors, butt muscles, upper hamstrings and of course my stomach muscles all cramp and hurt. I walked it home certain something in my belly was creating all this mayhem. Everyone on my moms side of her family including my brother has had their appendix removed, so this seemed like the most logical answer for me. That or perhaps an alien baby. 

You're not having an appendicitis," Andy told me adding "that's not the right spot, and it would feel different. You probably pulled a muscle." Whatever the diagnosis was, I knew it wasn't going to be good and my hopes of running a marathon in 8 days were slipping sideways. 

A few hours later, I still had the soreness in the lower abdomen, but the bulk of the pain had stopped when I stopped running. I tried to stretch the area. Ouch. And I checked to see if there was any strength left in my ab muscles, by lying on my back and lifting my legs. Crap, I couldn't and it hurt. The next morning, I went out for 4 easy miles with Andy. It felt like a gut punch. Every. Single. Step. That "oh shit" feeling pulsed through my body. I knew deep down something was really wrong. But, being the ever optimist, I truly hoped it was a pulled muscle (or alien baby) and that the race in Calgary June 1 would still be on. 

Before I get to the diagnosis, I should back up a little.

Post Boston recovery was going very well. I took some time off, drank a lot of wine and slowly returned to the roads. After about two and a half weeks I was the little kid on the bench demanding "Put me in coach! I'm ready to play!" With his hesitation, I persuaded my coach to let me run the Riverbank Run, a spring classic here in Missoula. Because of other spring races (and also some strong feelings about the disorganization of this event), I hadn't raced since 2008. I signed up for the Tri-Fecta race, which combines all three distances 10K, 5K & mile which are spaced out enough so that you can race all three. 

My coach had to set boundaries for these races. He didn't want me just blowing out of the start and hurting myself or falling apart a few miles in. We decided these would be progression runs. Starting out slow and building to unleash in the final mile (... which isn't much for this one-speed pony). The 10K was good, not great, but after a slow start, I jumped from a 6:10 to a 5:55 mile too soon. I missed the 6:05 and 6:00 miles. I think I was a bit too excited. So for the 5K I really focused on staying on the paces given to me. I ran a 6:01, 5:53, 5:44. So success! (Regarding one small part of the disorganization comment above, the "5K" course isn't even 3 miles. The last mile my watch said .94 but 5:44 pace.) The mile I just wanted to go sub 5:40, which I did, but I'm not certain if that mile is really a mile either. Either way, I was happy to be back racing and feeling solid!

Last mile of the 10K course. Photo from the Missoulian

The next weekend was one of my favorite trail races, 11 Miles to Paradise. Although this race is not quite 11 miles or finish in Paradise, it's still extremely well organized, beautiful and fun!  There's a reason this one sells out quickly. Who doesn't want to run fast trails which finish with a meal and a soak in the hot springs? This race was two weeks from the Calgary marathon, so I was really looking to get in a hard effort. The competition was stiff and at mile 9.5 I found myself duking it out with Nicole Hunt again. She passed me on the final climb and went on to best me by 25 seconds. It was still a good effort and the top 3 women were all under the course record time. I had started my period the day before the race, so the sharp pains in my female parts during the final mile of the race, I attributed to my monthly friend. I even told Nicole after the race as we chatted "I felt like someone was stabbing me in the vagina!"

The top three women hit the single track. Photo by Vo-Tography

Had I only know then that the pubis getting angry.

That following Saturday was the back long run as I previously mentioned. So what the heck was wrong with me?!?

I was able to get an appointment the Tuesday after the holiday with the local sports doctor. I told him I thought I pulled a muscle and I hoped he could clear me for the race later that week. He did a few tests and it didn't take long. OSTEITIS PUBIS aka inflammation of the pubis symphysis. Or a stress reaction on my pubis symphysis.

Huh? Giggle, giggle, pubis what? He busted out the pelvis skeleton and gave me an anatomy lesson.  It's the hard cartilage right in the center of your pelvic bone. What causes it? Overuse. (Insert sex joke here). But really, overuse by training. 
See it? Pubis Symphysis.

An MRI the following day confirmed his findings that this girl's pubis was angry! Lots of inflammation.
  • No race.
  • No running.
  • $#!T!!!
  • PUBIS!!! (It truly is fun to say)

So for the last 7 weeks, I've become very familiar with telling my pubis story and pointing to my lady parts, riding my bike, I spent a wonderful week with family in Oregon, indulged myself in some other activities than running (say what?), helped beginners train for their first marathon and relaxed... a lot. It's been surprisingly nice! Then I feel gross and get irritated that I can't train... then I sit on a patio and drink a beer with a friend I haven't spent enough time with and it's nice again. ....But then I see my friends racing, ahhhh! It's just up and down. I'm practicing patience, something that doesn't come very easily to me.

I do have to say 'injured Trisha' is WAY better than 'taper Trisha' for two reasons. #1) No scary important race looming. #2) Red wine. Plus, mix the red wine and me talking about my pubis all the time... just good, clean fun. 

After 10 day of zero running, I started adding back tiny runs. First week back - 8 miles, wohoo! Then the next week 12. Biking didn't hurt the pubis at all, so I've been bike commuting a lot to and from work (20 miles round trip). It's not a workout... but helps me feel like I'm doing something productive. I ventured out to try pool running, which might be the more boring than watching women's basketball. (I didn't think that was possible.) I have friends who have been pool running for months due to stress fractures. I don't know how they do it, much respect. 

A lot of people have asked me why I came back to running so fast... 10 dasy off? Why didn't I let the pubis heal completely? Both my doctor and coach (and me and my husband) agree active recovery is best. As long as the pubis didn't hurt after a run or during the activity it was ok to continue to run (or jog actually). No speed, no hills (uphill seemed especially bad) and no yoga or any weird strength training that made the pubis shift. It was a slow and gradual build up, continuing to run and continuing to let the area heal. First time in a very long time I was under 100 miles for a month.

Missoula Aquajogging Team - L to R: stress fracture & angry pubis


This weekend is the 8th Running of the MISSOULA MARATHON! Christmas in July for runners :) I love this race. I am so incredibly proud and bursting with excitement over my hometown marathon. We do it up right! I've been involved with the Marathon for 3+ years now. I've sold sponsorship for the race, been a vocal member of the race committee and consider myself a running ambassador for the city of Missoula the second weekend in July. Although, I've raced the marathon 4 times, the half once and 5K twice... last year I dove in and gave pacing a try. I paced the 3:20 group. I didn't think I could have more fun than I did race day in 2013... it was pretty incredible. I was a bit nervous I wouldn't hold the pace or would be erratic with my splits, but once I got into the groove, the miles clicked off. My core group of guys (pictured here) all made it very close to the 3:20 mark, some a little before, most a minute or so back. I think I received more cheers as a pacer than as the first female in previous years. I actually hear "Go Balloons!" from one spectator. 

The question I get asked the most about pacing is "are the balloons annoying to carry?"... and the answer is no, I really didn't notice them. However I did use them as a baton like I was the conductor of my own 3:20 band. So this year, BP (or before pubis), I made the commitment to pace again. I had dreams of going to Calgary, getting my OTQ (sub 2:43) and pacing in my home town 6 weeks later to the cheers and congratulatory hi-fives from my running community. I probably jinxed by thinking about it so much! I'm good on my word this year. I'm going to pace again. I ran 17 miles last Sunday... so I'm hoping that plus my endurance from the previous years of running will carry me to the finish line. I do know there is a good chance I can hurt bad too. Dropping out will break my heart and would be tough for me to get over, but breaking my pubis officially would ruin any chance I have of running a fast late fall marathon. 

Some where on the hill of the marathon course 2013,
 I'm guessing mile 14 or so. I love this picture. I'm pretty
sure the guys were making painful faces on purpose.... I hope.

So what did I do with all that free time? 
Here's some pics of my mini-adventures!

With limited running, I took to my trust steed!
A lot of bike rides these past few weeks.
 I never got good at the biking selfie though.... 

Awe.... the Missoula Marathon training class - LOVE these people. 
This is only about 40 who showed up on a nasty, cold rainy June day. 
There's more than 300 signed up for the class.
 I'm going to miss them. Tear!

We gathered on the last day to share words of wisdom
and to hopefully get everyone pumped up. I shared you never
forget your first... marathon, that is. But really, so much of
marathon training isn't about running. It's about setting a
goal and seeing it though. I can not wait to celebrate with all
my new friends at the finish line!!! It's been a rewarding and
inspiring 18 weeks with the 300+ class.

Biking took me to some beautiful places!
Including the Deschutes River with
Mt Bachelor peaking out in the background

Golfing with my friend Holly on the Summer Solstice. 
We are both really good at golf... I mean driving the golf cart.

In Central OR visiting my family helping this 
adorable 7 year old make his way to
 a top 5 finish in the Kid's Splash, Pedal & Dash!
The day after the Kids race, Andy kicked butt 
in a close finish for the Long Course Tri at Pacific Crest.

I practiced my pacing skills and helped my mom finish
her 5K with a 4 second gap to clinch
her age group victory!  And Evan crushed the Kid's Mile.

Cross Training.... MT style ... on the Fourth of July
And of course! Cuddling and taking 
LOTS of photos of the monkeys :)
What can I say... they are a good looking pride. 
It was a real shocker to come home one day 
and all four chillin' together.
 I don't think that happens too often! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Trisha in Wonderland - Boston Marathon 2014

Its been a week and a half since I raced at the 118th Boston Marathon. This time was a far cry from my running of the 108th a decade earlier. My experience was charmed in 2014 mostly because I was able to run with the elite women's start, 28 minutes ahead of the other 35,000 participants. I was bib number 41 in the open women's division selected to run in this group (there were also a dozen masters women too.) 

I finished 38th female in 2:46:28.

Back by popular demand (you know who you are), I am interviewing myself for my Boston 2014 recap with the most common questions I've received over the past week. 

Were you feelin’ the love before you left?
Oh my gosh, YES! I can’t put into words the effect all the emails, texts, cards, fb messages, hugs and hi-fives meant to me over the few weeks leading up to the marathon and of course after my return. Although this was my 25th race at this distance, it was by far the most significant and important for reasons other than me running. But, being that I was able to start with the elite women in World Majors, this was a big deal to me. So THANK YOU to all my Missoula running friends and of course to my family near and far. It makes me choke up thinking about all the well wishes. Even the local paper hyped me up. 

I received this picture on Sunday before the race from the Missoula Marathon training group I help out with. It made me blubber like a baby! I LOVE helping out with the class and meeting all the new, excited and ambitious runners. Watching them improve and find a bit of joy with their new goals reminds me of how great running is for the soul. I feel so lucky to be a part of their journey to the finish line.

How was Boston? 
This is a pretty generic question, but I've been asked it 204 times since I've been back. A few words come to mind: Inspiring. Epic. Courageous. Crowded. Proud. Organized. Meb. Boston Strong. Loud. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this race about a 30. What they were able to do in the way of hosting almost a third more runners and a significant increase in spectators was beyond incredible. On the Sunday before the race, I attended an elite technical meeting. The best part of the 40 minute briefing was listening to Dave McGillivray speak. You could see the effect of the 2013 race in his face and demeanor. He told us things were different this year. Not worse in any way, just different. The race has changed. Sporting events have forever changed. He said there will be 3,500 security personnel this year (cops, military, security, etc), double from 2013. Almost the entire course is barricaded. And there's dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs everywhere. No one is allowed in the finish area without a badge. He assured everyone would be safe. And it was. Incredibly safe, but no one seemed scared on April 21 and no one acted any different. It was still Boston after all. The greatest marathon on the planet. 
                                         B  O  S  T  O  N  !
This town, I mean, this town! Wow. So welcoming. This town LOVES their sporting events. I was listening to a gal from NYC talk about how in New York, people live a block from the marathon course and won’t come out and watch or cheer. They just go about their day, feeling inconvenienced if they can’t cross the street.  In Boston, not so much. Bostonian's live for Patriots day (I mean it is genius that they get the day off.) The families, the crowds, the energy - it’s a marriage of insanity and chaos at its finest. The spectators of Boston own this race. I heard a statistic that 1 million people were out to watch that fine Monday - that’s 38,000+ people per mile. Beyond being supportive on race day, most everyone we interacted with were gracious and excited about the weekend’s events. They were happy we were there! I really appreciated that and can say for certain I don’t feel this wanted in too many places.

My mom and I at the finish line a few days before I would run. You see that mass of people? It was like this all weekend - packed!

Expo madness! Kath lasted all of by 7 minutes after this picture was taken. The expo was too crowded to enjoy. I guess that's what I get for going Saturday at noon.

This old lady jabbed me with her elbow to get ahead of me in line. It was every runner for them selves at the expo. I visited a few booth, but then couldn't take it any more.
I got my bib! I was just a number... Hopefully someday my dream of having my name on a bib will come true. #1-37 had their names on their bib.

Did you meet Shalane?
The Boston Marathon does a really good job of keeping the John Hancock Elite separate from the BAA elite athletes. And well they should. The JH Elite are the contenders, for women at least a sub 2:30. These are the pros; this is their job. They are here to work to make money. They have coaches, trainers, sponsors and an entourage who travels with them. They have to do press conferences, make appearance for sponsors then bust out a ridiculously fast race to make some money. I can only fathom the pressure. I saw Shalane once. I was coming down the stairs to get some nasty Dunkin Donuts coffee (what is the deal with DD?) a few hours before the start, and Shalane was headed up. She was alone and a part of me wanted to say something stupid like I was meeting my favorite pop star. Things like 'I love you!' and 'I'm rooting for you today!' or the ever popular 'You inspire me!' sat at the tip of my tongue. I fought back the enormous urge to be that person.... So I just smiled while inside I was thinking 'OMG, OMG I just saw Shalane Flanagan!!!' 

What famous runners did you meet/see?
After getting off the buss at the church, I was tipped off by my bus-mate to go upstairs out of the gymnasium because it was warmer. She was right. I found a music room with chairs and claimed my spot. The room was soon filled by some pretty cool peeps! Legend and hero Joan Benoit Samuelson was debating over what shoes to wear. Mary Whittenberg, ever the race director, was asking if any runners wanted some water.  Easy on the eyes sitting right across from me was Nick Archinaga and Brett Gotcher (speed goggles maybe?) Don't tell Andh - ha! Former Romanian national runner Adriana Nelson was cracking jokes next to me with her husband and other Romanian masters runners. And a pack of speedy gals from the NYAC were trying to figure out how to get the giant bib number to fit on a tiny sports bra. I spied Desi while I was warming up on the 200M driveway that's open for warm-ups. As much as I love Shalane, I think I like the less exposed (now) Linden even more. I was rooting for her too. Not only does she rock the singlet and loose shorts (no booty shorts and bra for her!) but she's overcome a HUGE injury over the past few years and just missed the Boston victory in 2011. Right before the start, I quickly hit the bathroom one more time. The bathroom was busy, so I started a line. Soon I found myself next to Dibaba, Deba and Jeptoo. ...strangely enough, they stood in that order too. I was acutely aware that my 5' 5" frame was massive. Big white girl in the house! Those ladies are slight. Holy cow. I was in the presence of greatness. 

What was it like running in the elite field?
Imagine getting back stage passes to your favorite band, then getting to meet the band, then getting to party with the band. Pretty cool, right? Beyond words. You know your fiends are standing in line outside the hotel to get a glimpse of the band, maybe a high five...  while you just rubbed shoulders with the lead singer and grabbed a beverage at the same time as the drummer. 

In the morning, while the masses were piling onto school buses next to the Boston Common, I walked across the street from our hotel to the Copley Plaza Hotel to board a motor coach with the other BAA elites. The JH elites met elsewhere. When it was time to go, police escorts drove us through town to meet up with the JH elites bus. After that our caravan of about 6 motor coaches made it's way to Hopkinton. We had police motorcycles buzzing around us and we were flanked by blacked-out Suburbans. Motorcycle cops drove ahead and blocked the on ramps before we drove by so we had a clear and uninhabited freeway ride in the center lane to the First Korean Presbyterian Church. Now THAT was cool. And I could tell everyone around me thought so too. I tried to take some pictures of this... but they didn't turn out too well. 

Do you see me? Green Hammer visor, green top. 

Beyond just getting to hob-nob with the best, I was treated to a wide open route to Boston. I didn't have to fight for water at the aid stations or worry about getting stepped on. I was also able to give hi-fives and thumbs up the some of the most inspirational runners at Boston. Rick & Dick HoytJuli Windsor and countless other amputees, blind or special athletes. But after mile 13, I ran alone. Being the only one on the course, I knew all the cheers from spectators were for me which was pretty cool - thank you ladies of Wellesley! However, this was a both a blessing and a curse. I wasn't pressured by other runners to move faster. I don't have too much of a problem running alone - I do must of my speed work alone and many easy miles too. But when racing, having others to push with always helps. Especially though the hills of Newton. It was too easy to slow down. 

Although, on the flip side, I had the BEST seat in the house to see Meb in the lead. It was magical!! I was climbing Heart Break Hill (very slowly might I add) and a bicycle pulled up next to me. She tried to tell me something three times. The cheering was so deafening, I couldn't hear her. On the final try, she said to stay right, the men's lead pack was on its way. I knew this would be good show. A few police motorcycles buzzed up the hill, followed by the clock truck; the press trucks followed then some more cops on motorcycles and bicycles were in pursuit. Then Meb. 'Holy shit I thought, he going for it!' The crowd was going nuts for the American. I couldn't help but clap and scream (while trying to run) at Meb as he went flying by me at the crest of the hill. I counted to see how far back the chase pack was. Then I knew I needed to refocus and race! That's what I was there to do. So my final 5 miles were better than 21. I knew I would be on Boyleston soon. 

Treated like a queen! Some great perks to being in the elite women's start - 
1) I was able to take a bag to the start. 
2) When I crossed the finish line, I was escorted to a special tent where I was brought above mentioned bag. 
3) I was treated to a post-race rub down by masseur Chuck. He was is from the NW too! 

Did you poop you pants?
We've all seen this photo. My co-workers seem to think this common stance at races, so that's subsequently the number one question when I return from a race. (Thankfully it doesn't happen, but I would secretly be excited if it did... To someone else of course...) For this race the gut was good. I was able to eat 4 Hammer Gels along the course. I was also able to take in a lot of water and course electrolytes. Bib numbers 1-40 were able to have bottles, so I just missed out on having my own bottles every 5k. It was fine though, one less thing to worry about and there was aid on both sides of the road every mile. So I was certainly never wanting or without! 

Were you happy with your time?
I was gunning for a PR and a trials time and I came up short. I didn't run the smartest race, but at the same time, I went for it and based on my training I don't think I was too reckless in my first half pace. (Half split was 1:19:47) Overall, it's my second fastest marathon ever. I ran hard. Sure I'm disappointed, but I know I'm stronger and faster than the last time I raced. The clock might not have reflected it and a piece of my soul was left in Newton, but I'm pleased with how I felt completing this tough course. One thing I've been working with my coach on over the last 6 months is my form. Now we aren't talking form when I do 800s on the track or strides to warm up, although that's important, don't get me wrong. We are talking form when the rest of you is shut down and your mind is negative and numb. Mile 23 form. In the past, I lean back, cock my head to the side and flail my arms a bit. Not efficient in any way! In Boston, even though my turnover wasn't what I wanted in the last few miles, I still held form and focused. That's a big step for me. 

Even though I may have been sad about falling short of my goals, I was over the moon for Kath who CRUSHED her PR and ran an amazing race. Kath worked her arse off this winter. She moved away in January and as much as I hate to admit, (because I do wished she still lived nearby) Boston looks good on her!  She's not only running well, but professional is rocking too! She's pretty much winning at life. I am so proud to call her my friend! I'm not sure how many glasses of sangria were consumed before this picture was taken... But dammit we were celebrating! 

Pam and I having some post race day beves! 

What's next?
Since I've crossed the finish line, I've probably consumed 5 (who am I kidding, probably 7) bottles of red wine and sustained myself off of Cadbury Eggs and reduced fat potato chips (this way I can eat twice as many). I took five days off of running and I've gained 3 lbs. I'm feeling pretty gross, so its time and I want to start moving again. I have a trail race in 2 weeks that I'm amped for.. one of my favorites. There is fall marathon planning to do, but I think this summer is going to fun one! There will be some shorter races and some long miles logged in the MT sun capped off with a Hood to Coast weekend with a fabulous team of fast MT women. 

Some other pics from my trip to Boston - Enjoy!

Celebrity sighting! Ms. Massachusetts on Boyleston St! I think she was 8 feet tall and I'm not 100% sure which pageant she is in affiliation with, but her crown looked legit! 

The Dear Boston exhibit at the public library was somber and heart-wrenching. 

Boston Duck tour for some super-tourists! We followed this up with a few glasses of vino on the 52nd floor of the Prudential building.

Our awesome home base. The Lenox is a boutique style hotel practically on the finish line. The staff was so awesome! Every night they brought us a treat like a running shoe shaped cookies and Easter candy on Easter. When I walked in after finishing they all applauded me! Every runner was given the star treatment. They even gave me a Sam Adams when I was done! 

My supportive co-workers decorated my cube for my return. Be sure to note the picture on the 'G'.