Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Cold Winters Day...

This has been my most challenging winter yet with training for Boston our fridig temps here in the northeast are brutal. This morning it is a balmy 20 degrees with a windchill of 12.  Thankfully not too windy and sunny so I will try to get in my 18 miler.

I thought I would post a few of my newest favorite tunes.  I am so motivated by music and I am constantly finding new ones to down load.  I like to try to get club remixes that tend to be longer and have more instrumentals thrown in.  Here's 5 of my latest and greatest all available on iTunes.

  • How I Feel~ Flo Rida
  • Your Love~ Morgan Page featuring The Outfield - extended remix
  • Hypnotize~ The Nortorious B.I.G
  • Wild Wild Love~ Pitbull
  • Mmm Yeah~ Austin Mahone featuring Pitbull

What are some of your favorite tunes?  Do you blast them in the car with your kids or do you sing like a crazy person when your alone?  I do both of the above and have been know to belt out a tune while running as well.  Yes I am that crazy girl singing while running! Hey someones gotta do it!  Off to run!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Winter Break Highlights!

Well last week we decided we had had enough of the sub zero cold and snow.  We literally decided 8 days prior to buy tickets to go to Florida for the kids winter break.  The fun part about this trip was that we did not tell the kids we were going until the day before we left.  We sat them down and told them we needed to have a serious family meeting...those poor kids thought they were in trouble! So funny.  You can see their reactions here!
I didn't really realize how much we all needed this trip until we were there!  I was able to sit back and relax a little, now that the kids are older and good swimmers I'm not running around chasing them which is fantastic!  We took the kids out for a bike ride around Sanibel Island one afternoon and we went through the wild life refuges.  Another day we walked a Slough preserve and of coarse a lot of pool time.
 The hubs and I got to go on a date awesome sushi bar called BLU.  It was nice to sit back relax, listen and talk.
Our first day at the pool everyone got right into relaxation mode.  I love it when my little guy just lays down on his own. He's very aware of when he needs a nap.
The kids were troopers on our bike trip. It was 85 and sunny.  They biked a total of 13 miles! 
On our walk in the Slough preserve we saw wild hogs- which my daughter of coarse wanted to take home, a super creepy poisonous snake (cottonmouth) yuck, alligators and lot's of birds!
Pool time!
We did a few dinners out and Pepere imparted his english muffin recipe secrets on my oldest. 

Overall a great time was much needed and had by all. This was the first trip that I got to really sit back and observe my children and I have to say these kids are amazing. They are super curious, respectful of each other and are fun to be around.  I guess as a mom there isn't much more you can ask for.  :) Can you remind me of that when I'm yelling about home work or messy rooms?
Thanks!  ox~ deana

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Boston Experience...Part2

That night after returning home I climbed into bed and laid with my husband. I physically felt so ill.   I told him I wanted to go to the hospital, that I felt I was so behind the 8-ball with my hydration that I simply couldn't catch up. But instead of going to the hospital my husband woke me every 20 minutes or so and made me drink 4-6 oz of fluid.  The next morning I got up and turned on the TV. Living here in the Boston suburbs it was on every network. I watched about an hour and I simply didn't want to see it any more. By then the home phone was ringing off the hook. My mother, best friends, in-laws all wanted to talk with me and I basically retold my story over and over.  It was mentally exhausting.  It wasn't until my talking to my mother-in-law and I said "Really, it's no big deal" she said "Deana you survived a terrorist attack" mind went blank....I started to sob and say "Omg I did".  I dodged a huge life changing event.

Pic via:
My Facebook page was blown up with messages...people commenting back and forth... have you heard from she ok.  Thankfully my sister posted on my page shorty after the bombings when she had heard from my mother that I was ok.  My cell phone had over 20 voice mails and 40 texts.  I never listened to my voice mails until 4 days later.  The voice mails were so hard to listen too.  One of my closets friends called frantically panicking, her voice shaking, you could hear her tears, "Deana where are you...we were tracking you on the computer....I know you crossed the 25 mile mark...where are you!"  I still hear that voicemail in my head and it sends chills up my spine.  People who I haven't spoken too in years were calling.  One friend in particular, with whom I had a, not so great parting of the ways, called after 3 years of silence in our relationship, which sent a whole other set of emotional baggage into play.  It was nuts and draining on so many levels.  But all in all the out pouring of people who cared about me was amazing.  People in my new town who at that time didn't know me very well, called, brought flowers.  They rallied.  The women of my book club all wrote me amazing messages and my friend Kathy delivered them to me to read.  Their words of encouragement were inspiring.

But over that week my mind started to process the many "coincidences" of the day.
1.  My hubs starting a project at work & not being able to come to the finish.
2.  My sitter saying she didn't feel comfortable bringing my kids to the finish.
3.  Putting my phone in my zipper pocket at the last minute, when I have never ran with my phone in a race.
4.  Having a $5 bill in my water bottle zipper pocket that's been there for 2 years.
5.  Walking Heartbreak see if I hadn't walked Heartbreak hill I would have been in downtown.  I trained for running focus was just to run/jog no matter how slow. But I didn't.

So are these coincidences or acts of divine intervention?  That was a question that haunted me for many weeks following the race.  I believe with all my heart the latter.  It's the "why" did God help me and not others I struggled with.  I also was angry...Angry at the men who took the safety and sanctity of running from me.  Running has been my release, my escape, my way of dealing with stress and depression, my joy. That joy was taken, tarnished.  I have never "feared" for my safety or the safety of my family at a race.  But now that has changed.

Friends, Kim, Tara & I posing on the finish.
This is the only time I  got to see the finish line was
the day before when I picked up my number.
I also didn't get to cross the infamous finish line. It's a marathoners right of passage. You pound the payment week after week imagining race day. You project your time and envision the finish.  On race day the last 1/4 mile of a race are electric. You run down the street to thousands of screaming spectators. People cheer for you even though they do not know you. The amazing thing about road racing is that in the moment those spectators are there with you...fighting for you to finish strong.  But I never got that satisfaction. The days that followed many people said "Well you were close enough, it counts."  I said "Until you run under that timer and have some random person put a medal around your neck, you don't feel like you finished. Something is left incomplete."  I have to give the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) props, I did receive a medal, but it still doesn't feel like I earned it.  The BAA also gave anyone who reached the 13.1 mile marker and didn't cross the finish line an opportunity to claim a number for this years race, which is an unprecedented decision.  I applause the BAA for being empathetic and giving those of us a chance to finish what we started.

So now as I prepare for this years race and have had time with my thoughts on my long runs. In part1 I talked about the race day a little.  Preparing for Boston last year was my lifeline.  We had just moved to a new state, a new town.  I was a newly full-time stay at home mom, which I have never been, I have either worked full time or part time my whole life.  Training each day was my soul purpose other than my wifely/motherly household duties.  I had no friends, running and working out was my everything.  So going into the race day I felt fantastically prepared!  This was my moment.
 I am sad to admit that I am scared for race day.  Safety...Um Yes...I can tell you that neither my husband or children will be at the finish line this year, and I am a-ok with that.  But not even that as much as how I felt last year vs this year, physically and mentally.

Prior to the bombings I was having the race of my life.  I felt great, I made it to the start line uninjured (which is a feat for some runners, including me). The weather was perfect (which I had yet to get perfect race day conditions at any of my other marathons), I was crushing my previous marathon times by 20 minutes!!!  Whoot whoot a personal best and I was having a blast. Each town you run through in Boston has it's own vibe which is palpable.  Literally it was one of the top 10 days of my life.  But if I'm being completely honest I'm scared I will not be able to live up to that again.  I want that....I feel I deserve that ending.  But we all know life doesn't give us perfect scenario re-dos and not living up to my own expectations is so scary to me.  My husband said to me the other day "why are you giving up?"  I guess I hadn't thought about it that way.  But in my mind I was...expecting the worst.  But I'm changing my attitude.  I'm going to do this and enjoy every little minute!

So thank you dear readers for reading and commenting....It's not as horrific as what some people experienced, but it is my story and it has shaped how I look at life now.  I try to be more present, enjoy the little things because it can be taken in an instant when you least expect it.

xo~ Deana

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Boston Experience...Part1

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So even when I was blogging last year I never addressed my experience at the Boston Marathon.  It always just seemed to raw.  It's only now as I am preparing for this years race that I am really processing what the Boston Marathon means to me personally.  Anyone who ran the race last April has a story.  They know exactly where they were when the bombings occurred. My experience is only a fraction of the terrible events of that day.  But it's my story...

The days leading up to the race my hubby informed me he was not going to be able to come to the finish line because he was initiating a computer "thingy" at work.  To say I wasn't happy was an understatement.  I remember saying to him, "I'm running the Boston Marathon, and your not coming?" I was crushed.  Our sitter, a MA native and 27 year old nanny was planning on bringing my three children into the city to see me cross the finish line.  But the night before she called me and explained "I just don't feel comfortable going in with the kids."  Ugh that was the icing on the cake.  So I would have no one waiting for me at the finish, except the group I was going to ride home with.  The night before the race I started to get antsy. I didn't know Boston at all and with over 25,000 runners I was afraid to get lost and not find my group.

The day started like any other race, tons of excitement and adrenaline flowing.  never...let me repeat never...ran a race with my cell phone.  But for some reason I was compelled to have it.  I had no plan of where I was going to put it or how I would carry it, I just took it.  So I jammed the phone in the back pocket of my running skirt & zipped it shut.  It wasn't pretty but I had it.  Little did I know it would be my life line later in the day.  We arrived in plenty of time to walk up the port-a-potties and drop off our race bags.  When I was putting my race bag on the bus I quickly asked for my bag back.  I took my cell phone out.  Something in me felt like I had to have it.  I have

I have to say I was so fortunate to run with my high school friends Tara an amazing ultra runner and Kim who blogs over at This Runner's Fuel.  I quickly became buddies with a friend of Tara's named Erik who was a first time Boston runner too!  We chatted and quickly knew our racing abilities were very much alike so we decided to start out together.  It was an amazing morning. Temps starting in the upper 40's with sunshine and blue skies.  As we started off I just tried to take it all in.  I was Hopkinton running the Boston Marathon!  I read every sign, watched the crowd, read the backs of every ones tee shirts.  The energy was palpable. I was so surprised at mile 6 when Eric slapped me on my arm & said "Do you know that guy?" I looked over to see my hubby waving his arms frantically and calling my name!  I bolted over cutting off a few people in the process (they were not happy & not good race equate, but I didn't care) I hugged him as hard as I could, he gave me a water bottle and off I went.  That gave me so much pep in my step I was beaming.  I just kept yelling I can't believe he came! Eric and I stayed together until about mile 12.  We lost each other at an aide stop.  I waited on the side but did not see him, so I went along by myself.

Mile 17 started the hill section of the course.  I had worked hard during my training to conquer Heartbreak Hill.  Every long run would end with a 1/2 mile incline to simulate Heartbreak Hill.   My goal was to run it, no matter how slow.  I hit the first two hills with ease and thought wow, I've got this! But little did I know that at Mile 20 the final hill, the legendary Heartbreak, that rises a half-mile would break me.  My legs were shot, it was now hot and sunny...I succumbed to walking.  I was so disappointed in myself, but I had 6 more miles to finish so there wasn't much time for sulking.

As I descended into the last 6.2 miles towards downtown Boston the crowds got crazy.  It was wall to wall people.  When I got to the last mile there were barricades holding back the crowds although it didn't stop people from running out into the street.  It was chaotic and I was just trying to focus on finishing.   I was keeping a close eye on my watch and my predicted finish time, I could not believe I was 20 minutes faster than my previous Marathon times!  I was on fire.  I was at mile 25.9 (according to my garmin gps watch) when the first bomb struck.  I did not hear the bombs because I had my headset on.  I remember running and then there were people running toward us saying stop and a massive human pile up began.  (Think about it this way, they estimate 150 people or more cross the finish line at that time.)  All those people just kept coming.  They had no idea what was going on.  It wasn't long before people said they closed the finish line....but no one knew why.  My first thought was "Ugh how are they going to calculate my time".  I know that sounds selfish but that's the honest truth of what I knew and how I felt in that moment.  As I stood there, ton's of helicopters started flying in over head.  It didn't seem unusual because there were helicopters following the elite runners earlier in the day.  I took my phone out of my pocket and tried to make a call.  Like everyone else we had no cell service.  Little did we know that cell service was cut off because they were afraid that more bombs were going to be ignited via cell phones.  My phone caught service after about 5 minutes and it was my husband frantic.  He was panicked asking if I was ok.  I was really not understanding his concern.  He told me there was an explosion at the finish line.  I said "they told us they are going to re-open."  He said "Deana they are not going to reopen, it's bad...get out of there."  It was then that it started to hit me.  We were packed in the barricades like sardines, sitting ducks.  I didn't know Boston or where I was, so I got my wobbly legs over the barricade and started walking.   At the same time my phone was literally on fire...text ringing.  I didn't have a full battery and could see it draining from all the calls.  My mother got through and said, "Deana where are you?" I said "Mom, I'm fine I can't talk I don't have much battery", click. (When I talked to her the next day she said that was the best conversation she's ever had).  By this time Tara, had reached me,  her husband and 3 children had been on Boyelston street but at the other end, thank god!  She said "I'm getting my kids in the car and getting out of here."  "Go!" I said, "I'll be ok."  She said Jay, her husband would come to get me, but as the city went into lock down mode all of our attempts to meet up were futile.  I made my way to the Charles River and walked over it onto the campus of MIT.  Some wonderful young couple saw me standing on the corner in a daze and asked me if I had just run the marathon.  When I said yes and she took the jacket she had on and gave it to me.  It was one of the most amazing acts of kindness and grace I have ever received.

I walked and walked every T-station I came too was shut down.  My husband was on the phone pleading with me to sit and wait for him to come. But the city was literally in lock down and there was no way he was getting in to get me.  I knew my legs were on the verge of quitting and if I stopped to sit I would not get up again.  I finally made it to a T-station that was going out bound only.
I pulled 5 dollars out of my zipper pouch of my water bottle.  That $5 had been in my zipper pouch for 2 years.  I bought ticket to a nearby town and got on the train.  When I got out I called Jay to tell him where I was.  But he was still unable to get me.  My heart sank.  I had no clue where I was.  I had $2 left and my cell phone was almost dead.  My husband told me to ask a cabbie if he could pay for my fare over the phone with a credit card.  I finally was able to convince a cabbie to take me to my friends house.  It was an hour and 1/2 cab ride because the grid lock was horrible.  When I arrived it was almost 7pm.  I was so sick...literally.  My body was revolting against me, I hadn't had anything to drink since the final aid station at around 2pm in the afternoon.  I had awful diarrhea and stomach cramping.  I had a headache and was sunburned.  I drank some coconut water, got in the shower and started to cry.  The 6 of us who started the day together met up to talk and try to make sense of the events that occurred.  But my mind was elsewhere and I just wanted to get home.  At about 9:30 pm I finally felt well enough to drive the 45 minutes home. When I got home I collapsed into the arms of my hubby crying.  I went upstairs and kissed my babies all of whom were sleeping like angels.  My sweet daughter Sophie had made me a "medal" and left it on my pillow because my husband had told her I didn't get to finish and get one.

Tune in for the conclusion and why I have chosen now to share my story with you.

xoxo- Deana