Monday, April 28, 2014

CrossFit....Love it or Hate it?

Have I told you yet I have this deep love hate relationship with CrossFit?  I started last September so I am still a newbie for sure.  I haven't reached fanatic stage yet by any means.  Still have not mastered the double under or the pull up.  I'm not sure if I "get it" or if my other goals i.e.: marathon training and now training for a 50 mile ultra get in the way of me really "getting it".

My fitness background has included working with a trainer.  I started after the birth of my 2nd baby and continued until my youngest was 5 years old.  Sometimes it was just 1x/week, but I just liked how it pushed me out of my comfort zone.  My trainer from Catalysts Health & Fitness is fantastic!  I was devastated when we moved because I had to leave him.  My husband says if he ever comes home to find me gone...he knows I'll be back in CT with my trainer.  Hahaha!  But seriously my trainer was so knowledgeable.  He trained me to my first full marathon.  He was really good at modifying my training sessions as my runs got longer.  He was very big on proper form and he would tweak the minutest things when I was lifting.

I come to CrossFit, with my years of personal training experience and I just can't seem to try to lift these heavy weights without being afraid.  Let me say my CrossFit gym is very, very big on safety and I never feel pushed to do more than I am comfortable with.  However I see these people lifting these massive amounts of weights and I cringe thinking they could easily get hurt.  Also I really hit a wall when I was training for the marathon this past winter.  When I got up into my higher milage I couldn't do my training runs properly with CrossFit in the mix.  My legs would be wasted for days and it was very discouraging.

Two weeks before the marathon I fell doing a box jump.  It was one of those days where I was jumping and every time I made it to the top of the box I was thinking wow- I did it.  My brain and body were not in sync, my body was slower than my brain.  Then wham...down I went.
This was 1 week after I did it (ugh)!
I am now starting to look at my training plans for my next races.  I just signed up for another full marathon, the Wineglass Marathon, Bath NY October 5th and I'm hoping to get into my first 50 mile Ultra for November.  The lottery for that is in July.  So I just am not sure how CrossFit is going to play into my goals for the rest of the year.  When I'm in class I love it, when I'm running I usually hate that I went.  Hence the love hate relationship.  Do any of you cross train?  How do you fit it into your running schedules?  I'd love to know.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Boston Marathon 2014 Race Day Recap!

Well I did it! I did cross the infamous finish line that has eluded me since April 15, 2013!  

But....It wasn't my day to PR.  I knew early on that I wasn't going to be able to "race" this event.  First off my wave was slated to leave Hopkinton at 11:25am, but there were 9 corrals per wave, I was in corral 7 with my friends in other waves & corrals.  I tried to get into my friends corral #4 that was within my wave but they were going 100% by the book and I got turned away when I went to enter the corral.  With that said I didn't even start my race until almost noon time, full sun shining down.  We were boxed in like sardines at the start.  Last year it seemed to thin out by mile 4, but not this year.  At mile 6 when I saw my hubby in Framingham we were still packed shoulder to shoulder.  He even commented to me after the race that he didn't know how I could run with people that close all around.

It was a beautiful sunny spring day 72 degrees with no breeze and blue skies.  As a spectator it was lovely.  But as a runner who trained in the 20 degree weather I melted like a candle.  I threw water over my head, ice down my shirt.  I drank so much water that I actually stopped to pee 3 times!  I never stop to pee during a race.  I knew by the 15K mark I was just going to enjoy the day.  The crowds were crazy.  The signs were funny!  Little kids with their hands out to be slapped.  I made sure I took it all in.  My favorite sign was "HEY YOU RANDOM PERSON GO!"  All the towns were fantastic but my favorites were Wellesley and Newton.  People lined the streets screaming.  I had my name on my arm so people would scream your name.  If you raised your arms like I'm doing in the photo below the crowds would go wild!  It was the crowd that carried me to the finish, it wasn't just my race, it was their race too and I felt that connection.  
It was after I crossed the 25 mile mark I became hypersensitive to everything around me.  I took out my headphones so I could concentrate on this moment, on this 1.2 miles that was stolen from me last year.  That last mile last year was such a blur.  I knew by my garmin watch said that I was stopped at mile 25.9 but I could not really remember that actual spot.  I continued down the last 1.2 miles, I kept looking at all that was around me and saying...Nope I made it to here, no here, no here...When I got to the area where I knew I had been stopped I realized I was literally a few 100 feet from turning right onto Hereford street.  
For those of you who don't know the Boston Marathon coarse, Hereford street is a small 1/2 block street you turn right onto and then you turn left onto Boyleston to the Finish.  It was the most surreal moment of my life.  I knew I had been struggling with the events of last year.  It has affected me more than I have wanted to admit or talk about.  My motivation and love of running was squashed.  The safety and serene calmness of running was replaced by angst.  As I looked ahead and saw Boyleston street I felt this emotional release and an odd calmness came over me.  My eyes welled up, I got goosebumps down my arms and legs.  I remember a heaviness in my chest I almost started to cry and I thought, "I'm really going to make it this time".  
It was a tough race.  Emotionally and with the weather conditions.  The Boston marathon is a challenging course filled with hills and the hot weather made it even more difficult. Medic tents were filled with people with heat exhaustion and dehydration.  To say I wasn't disappointed by my time is an understatement. Last year I was slated for a 4:15, and I wanted that moment back.  But this was a different day, a different race and this year I did a 4:57.  Actually my worst marathon finish to date.  But this day wasn't about my time, it was about me taking back my run, my finish line, my Boston!
XoXo to all my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter followers and blog readers~
 Thank you for following my journey, providing words of encouragement, and support.  Next on my list another Marathon in October where I will try to Qualify for Boston and a 50 mile Ultra in November!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Calm Before the Storm, I mean... Boston!

Well it's here....ready or not Monday is a coming people.  I think God had serious taper plans for me this week.  If your not a runner tapering is when you pull back on your mileage prior to race day to give your legs a chance to rest and rejuvenate prior to race day.  My poor little girl has been down for the count since last Saturday, high fevers, congestion, coughing so she has been home sick all week.  This has made me home-bound much of the week.  I haven't been to the gym or cross fit since last week.  Which is a blessing...but driving me crazy!

Poor monkey...on her way to the Dr's in the car...

I have never mastered the art of the "Taper" and I know doing absolutely nothing isn't perfection either but if I told you what I've done in the past this would be perfection.  I am one of those people that is so addicted to the runners high that tapering is so emotionally draining that I breakdown and run something ridiculous the week prior just to keep my sanity.

Let's recap less my desirable tapering efforts over the past, shall we?

  1. NJ 1/2 Marathon May 2009- Ran a 3 mile "lock in marathon pace run" on Friday before the race on Sunday.  UGH just plain stupid!  When I told my trainer I thought he was going to kill me.
  2. Fairfield 1/2 Marathon May 2009- Ran a 9 miler 1 week prior. Again what was I thinking?
  3. Napa Valley Marathon March 2011- Oh this is a good one...ran a 22 miler 3 weeks out, 24 miler 2 weeks prior to race day (in under 4 hours) I was stoked! Then ran an 8 mile tempo run 1 week prior pace 7:30...needless to say I was hurting on race day and many weeks after, horrible finish time on race day.
  4. Boston Marathon April 2013- Not as bad, finally smartening up a bit...but did too much cross training in the 2 weeks prior to the race.  Taught multiple spin classes- took a legs class Friday before Mondays race...when will I ever learn?  Although I was crushing my previous marathon times by 20 minutes.  But we won't think about that.
So today I sit here 3 days prior to race day....with this sick little cutie.  Who has saved my legs for me for race day!  Everything happens for a reason!

xoxo~ deana

Thursday, April 17, 2014

T-Minus 4 days to the Boston Marathon! Yikes!

My emotional readiness for this marathon is fluctuating like crazy! One day I think GAME ON BOSTON! BRING IT!  The next I say OMG AM I GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS...AGAIN?  I am in full on panic mode with every "what if" scenario running through my head.  I have 3 little's and a husband who I adore..."what if..."

But then my mind becomes logical... I remember how great my race experience was last year.  The crowds, the camaraderie, it was so amazing.  I have to go back.  I have to claim this marathon for me if I don't it will haunt me forever.  Every race is different you can't repeat the past and that is what I am learning.  As much as I want to have that amazing feeling I had last April 15th prior to the horrific bombings, it will never be the same.  It's impossible so we move forward, step by step, day by day.

There is a running quote that is one of my favorites.  I will never forget unfortunately, no one will nor should we.

 If you were here running the Boston marathon you knew exactly where you were at the time of the bombings, what mile marker were you stopped at, me it was 25.9  If you knew anyone who was running you knew where you were when you heard the news....and unless you lived under a rock you knew the events of that day. My memories are burned fresh in my mind.  It's haunting really. The feeling of helplessness, that nothing in your immediate future is in your control is a very real and scary feeling. 

I live in the Boston area and the hype over this years marathon is crazy.  I am so proud of my city and the way they are rising up from last years tragic events.  But at the same time it makes me jittery.  It didn't help that on Tuesday night they arrested some man with a hoax bomb.  The media says it's going to be the safest place on earth to be next Monday...but then I think there are still crazy,    psychotic, terrorists in this world who would like nothing less than to break our spirit.    

One of my closets friends and my running mentor and I spoke on Monday.  She said "Deana I am so in awe of you, going back to finish the race.  I don't know if I would have it in me to do that."  I guess for me there was no question about whether or not I would go back.  I just know I have take control back.  I have spoken with my mother over the last few days who lives in NJ so I haven't seen her since December.  I told her that I really missed her and just felt like I needed to see her before the race.  (Do you ever feel like that?, man I need my mom).  Well even at 43 sometimes a good ol' fashioned hug and a few words of wisdom from your momma are all you need to make it all OK.  Unfortunately it's not in the cards to see her prior to the race, so a phone call or two will have to suffice.  But she sensed my uneasiness and asked me what was bothering me.  She listened nonjudgmentally and then said; "I think what is bothering you is that you were stranded last year in the city, not knowing what was happening, how to get home.  So get your plan together now."  She was right.  It took me over 5 hours to get out of Boston.  I wound up dehydrated, sunburned and panic stricken.  So that night I looked over the map of the finish line, I studied the T-stations and commuter lines and figured out how I could get out of the city if I need too.  I am planning on going home with friends, but that was my plan last year and we all know how that ended...

I cannot live my life in fear of the what if's...So today, with 4 days left until race day, I chose JOY....I chose to LIVE....I chose to RUN the 118th Boston Marathon!

xoxo my friends,