Friday, April 24, 2015

Fit Friday

4 days post Boston and I'm feeling mostly normal.  My quads seriously took a beating when the cold finally got to me about midway.  I remember feeling the pounding of my quads going down the hills and thinking "oh man, this is going to hurt for a very long time".  And, they do.  But it's still worth it! I freaking ran Boston.  

While we're talking marathons - I have Maine Coast Marathon in 15 days!  This is the one I had been training for!  My last "long run" was supposed to be the weekend of Boston anyway.   We will see how I do running 2 marathons within 3 weeks of each other.  

I know a few folks who are taking on the 39.3 Maine Coast Challenge!  That's just crazy to me!  But I am sure they will rock it!  I've booked the room - so Carrie and I can sleep a little longer race morning, rather than get up at 3am for the drive.  

If you want to track me - download the Racejoy App and track away.  I am a bit nervous that this will completely kill my battery.  I'll follow all of the suggestions to preserve the battery, but I still think it will drain it before I finish.  Oh well.  I'll make sure I have my charger at the finish.  

Last night, I decided I should take care of my body and head to my friend, Kristy's yogalates class.  It's a little more upbeat than the traditional yoga, but it's a great stretch and gets you moving again.  Absolutely the best decision!  

And because I am an exercise addict and need to move - I decided to bike for 30 minutes yesterday, while I started reading Carla and Roni's book.  Already I am in love with it!  If you haven't picked it up yet - do it!  

I have a tendency to overdo things and get injured.  That is why I've decided to not run at least until Sunday.

Which is the last day to run the Gone For A Run Virtual 10k.  Did you register?  I hope so, because it's sold out!  I seriously love the tank and the magnet!  The medal is rather awesome as well.  Even if I don't run the entire distance, I'll walk the rest to make up the difference.  I love the name of this race - Log Off, Shut Down, Go Run.  I find myself too wrapped up in social media and this is a great reminder to just shut it down and get outside and enjoy life.  Thank you Gone for A Run!  

Have you ever tried SOS Rehydrate?  I reviewed it here.  I cannot get enough of this stuff!  I had to stop and visit at the expo as well - so I could stock up some more.   I seriously should be an ambassador for SOS - that's how much I love it!  

And just in case you forgot or missed it - there is still time to register for my Spring into Fitness 5k!  There are low entries and at this point every single person is guaranteed a prize!  The $20 donation goes directly to my fundraising efforts for Maine Cancer Foundation.  

Happy Friday to everyone!!!!  I hope you make the best of it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I'm a Boston Marathoner! {my recap}

It still seems quite surreal.  But the pain is real.  The fact that I still cannot walk down the stairs at my house without going sideways or backwards - is my lingering reminder that only 2 days ago I RAN THE FREAKING BOSTON MARATHON!  

This race has been on my list for year.  I thought I still had a couple more years until it would finally be MY TIME to toe the line.  Somehow I stumbled across a contest on Instagram a few weeks ago and thought "what the heck, I have nothing to lose."  So I entered. And somehow I was selected!   Immediately, I started obsessing about my race outfit.  I knew it was going to consist of ProCompression, Spandits, Headsweats, and Skechers, but didn't know which combination it was going to be!  

This year there were 3 Boudreau's running Boston!  Myself, my husband, and my brother-in-law.  We joked about it "now it will rain for sure" because I was running it.   

Sunday morning we made our annual trip to Boston.  First stop - the expo and bib pickup!  Of course, I was beaming!  My FIRST Boston!  

Afterwards, we made the trek to Aunt Judy and Uncle Pete's where we got to hang out with family - our annual family gathering.  Over the past 4 years, this has become a tradition that we all look forward to!  

I had been weather watching since 10 days prior.  The weather changed from sunny, to party cloudy and mid 50's, then to rain and 50's.  Rain & 50's, no big deal.  Two of my past marathons were rain and 50's.  I could handle that.   

Uncle Pete dropped the three of us off at the shuttle at South Street (which somehow we never knew existed before, but this was fabulous!)  In prior years we had to leave at the butt crack of dawn to do the drop off because the Hopkinton streets were closed down at 7am.  But with this shuttle drop off, we didn't even leave the house until 7:30 and we still got to Athlete's Village with tons of time to spare.  Next year I'll definitely be dropping Ward and Wade off at South Street.  

Ward and Wade both qualified, with some rather great times, so they were in wave 1.  I, on the other hand, had a super high bib # as I did not have a qualifying time, so I was in wave 4, corral 8.  Which meant that I had almost an hour by myself after they left to run.   Basically, after they left, I spent my time drinking water, waiting in the porta-potty lines.  Then I would pee and get to the end of another line.  They were crazy long and I have a ton of anxiety regarding peeing before a race and not being hydrated enough.  This strategy seemed to work.  Sorta.  While I was wearing my purple fuzzy robe, I was still freezing.  I never warmed up and was visibly shaking while waiting in the lines.   I wasn't the only one.  Looking around, I saw many runners shaking.  Thankfully it wasn't raining, quite yet.  

Finally, wave four was called and we started the slow, meandering trek to the starting line.  I made one last pee stop and strongly considered just running in my robe.  But then the rain started.  And it wasn't a warm rain.   

After what seemed like forever, we were finally off.  And by off, I mean it was a very slow crawl of a start.  I did see a state police officer I talk to at my gym quite often, who was there at the starting line, working with his bomb dog, so I shouted to him and then finally the pace picked up.  A little.  The first 5k was rather slow and hard to find a comfortable pace.  I'm not used to being in such crowded races like this and found this a little frustrating.  I had it in my head that I was going to PR.  

Finally the crowd started to space out and I found my pace.  I felt great.  The rain was light but the wind was head on.  My fueling started at mile 2 with 1 shotblok.  The plan was to take a shotblok for each mile.  This strategy has been successful with training and previous marathons.  So that's what I did.  I had my music loud to block out the crowd.  I wanted to be in the zone and not let the crowd excite me so much that I pushed too hard.  My previous PR was 3:56, a 9:01 pace.  This training cycle had been solid and in my head, I felt that I could definitely PR in Boston.   

up to the half - I was on target!  

What I didn't account for was that between miles 13 and 16, my lungs started feeling heavy and it was hard to breath.  It wasn't an asthma-hard-to-breath.  It was I'm too friggin cold, I cannot breath.  Then my legs became lead and I couldn't move them anymore.  I also knew I was off because I seriously for the life of me, could not remember when I had fueled last or when I took water.   It took me a little bit long, but then I reached for my phone and texted Ward.  

Apparently I wasn't really coherent when I texted him.  And I didn't go to the medical tent either.
Oops.  I didn't have time to.  We had to get to the commute train right then or we would have to wait another hour.  

I knew he was done because I had been tracking him with texts and saw he finished with a 3:06.  Shortly after that text, he called.  He asked if I was okay.  I said "so far.  I am going to finish.  It's just going to take a lot longer".  He said "just have fun now".  And with that, I was no longer beating myself up, I took out the other earbud, stuffed them into my shirt, and just soaked up the crowd.  The excitement of Boston.  The BEST crowd I've ever experienced in my life.  I made it my goal to high five every kid I could or wanted to high five me.  I walked when I wanted.  

Then Carrie texted me to go!  I let her know I was done racing but wasn't going to stop.  She gave me some sweet words of encouragement.   I maybe cried a lot at this point.  I was feeling bad for myself. But I was going to finish.  

I did it!  & very teary eyed.  

As I said, the crowd was amazing. Having only run 3 other marathons - all in Maine.  I've never had a crowd like this before!   

As I neared the last little piece before turning onto Boylston, I became very emotional.  From that moment, I started crying and cried that entire final stretch.   And when I reached the finish line - I had accomplished my first Boston.  I was am a Boston Marathon finisher.  My time:  4:23.  The slowest marathon I have ever run and the hardest conditions I've ever run in; but by far, the best course and crowd I've ever experienced.  But then I got this text....

Within in minutes of me finishing, Carrie sent me the feed from when I crossed the finish line.  How awesome is that?    It took me all of 30 seconds to find our meeting spot.  Jill, Wade, Tucker and Jackson were there waiting for me.  Ward was out looking for me.  Thankfully they had my dry clothing, but there was no time to put them on at that moment.  We had a commuter train to catch!  So I hobbled as fast as I could while Wade called Ward and told him to move fast toward the T station.  Finally, below ground, I changed out of my wet clothes under my awesome Boston Marathon warming blanket thing.  And Jill is the best because she bought me some super cute (and dry) pants to put on too.  

Finally wearing the scarf Carrie made for me
and the best marathon jacket ever!  

My Facebook feed was flooded with an overwhelming amount of congratulations!   The love I felt from my family, friends, and students made me feel like an absolute rockstar.   I love them all.  

Nothing like legs up the wall, admiring my ProCompression socks and medal.

I will be back to Boston.  I will run it again.   I'm hoping I'll qualify for 2017, when I'll be 40.  Yes.  I cannot wait to be 40.  But then I can stop aging from there.  Some people stop at 29.  I'm stopping at 40.  Sounds good to me!

the perfect spot for my newest sticker - next to my Sugarloaf one!

But next year I'll be returning to Boston as a spectator, as Ward and Wade both have kick ass qualifying times.  I absolutely love this race and cannot wait to spectate next year and have another family reunion!  

Monday, April 20, 2015

ABCMOUSE Early Learning Academy Giveaway

By now I'm heading to Athlete's Village or hanging out there.  Either way - wish me luck with the Boston Marathon today!  It's going to be a wet one, but I am no stranger to running marathons in the rain.  I've got this!  But now onto something for you!  

I'm joining in with some other fabulous bloggers for giveaway for  If you have a little one on the brink of reading or an elementary aged child, this is for you!  

I first heard about ABCmouse from a television commercial.  Having a kindergarten aged daughter, who was struggling with reading but really loved technology, ABCmouse pulled me in.  

So, we signed up for the trial and fell in love with it!  Izzy absolutely loves it.  It's an app on her iPad and she really enjoys going through the games.  

Her confidence has increased quite a bit when it comes to school work.  

We're giving away a one year membership to Early Learning Academy and a backpack full of books.  The giveaway is open to US residents only.  The giveaway is open 4/20 - 5/1.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Trying to Not Freakout Friday

I'm promise, I'm going to do my absolute best to not freak out.  If I make my to-do list, I will hopefully stay on track.  

I've only run 3 marathons before.... 2 of them in the rain.  Yes, let's break that down - 67% of my marathons have been in the rain.  It looks like Monday will increase those percentages to 75% of my marathons being run in the rain.  No biggie.  I'm pro at running in the rain.   

Since we are going to get dropped off in Hopkington Monday morning, we won't have the option of checking a bag.  This is kind of a bummer because now I won't have dry clothing at the finish line for me.    But that problem is easily solved.  I'm just going to slip my credit card into my ArmPocket so I can just buy something to keep me warm while we wait for the T and for the ride back to Ward and Wade's aunt and uncle's house.  

We're heading to Boston early Sunday morning.  Just so we don't forget, I already put our Runner's Passports in my handbag!  

On the agenda today - YOGA!  My calf and hamstrings are so tight.  Any my yoga friend Terry is absolutely amazing.  I'm going to take her Yin Yoga class, to get that really deep/long stretch my body is needing right now.    

Then packing.  I've already started pulling together some things, but my goal is to have it all done today!    I'll have a flat Jen post shortly, when I finally decide which shoes and capris I'm wearing.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

3 Things Thursday

Happy Thursday!  Today was supposed to be my last day of school before April Break, but Tucker and I started it a little early.  The surgeon told Tucker he needed to take 2 days off from school to recover from his cyst removal.  So here we are.   I'm here to make sure he doesn't push it too much.  No running or overdoing it.  Which is kind of sad because today was supposed to be his first track practice.  Bummer.    Oh well.  When he's 100% recovered, we'll go for a run next week sometime.   After I'm recovered from Boston!  

1.  We're at 4 days out from the Boston Marathon and I'm beyond excited!  Can you tell?   I'm ready to start talking about my goal for Boston.  My #1 goal is to have fun and enjoy the race.  I am NOT a Boston Qualifier, nor do I feel that my training this cycle have been what I would consider BQ workouts, especially with my BQ time for 2016 still being 3:40.....  16 minutes faster than my PR marathon nearly 2 years ago. 

While we're talking BQ - I'll officially be 40 in 2017.  That means if I BQ after Boston registration this September, I'll be shooting for a 3:45 time.  Still quite a bit of time off my PR, but a little closer to my wheel house.  We will see!!!  Maybe this November will be my BQ Marathon.  Fingers crossed for smart training.

fingers crossed that the BAA doesn't change the qualifying times for 2017! 

Running Boston on Monday is a dream come true.  Part of me feels like an imposter, as I'm not a qualifier.  However, I am running it in a legit way.  Just not the qualifier route.  One day I will qualify.  That is still my goal.  

Yep! My fall race!  

I have a short run in the plans for today sometime and some strengthening workouts.  Followed up by tons of rolling and stretching.   I've been pulling my workouts from my newest book addictions.....

2.  Meb For Mortals written by Meb Keflezighi with Scott Douglas.   Let's just get this out of the way..I love Meb.   I had the opportunity to meet him this past summer and it was such a cool experience!   

Meb For Mortals has 9 Chapters:
Chapter 1 Think like Meb
Chapter 2 Run like Meb 
Chapter 3 Train like Meb
Chapter 4 Race like Meb
Chapter 5 Eat like Meb
Chapter 6 Strengthen like Meb
Chapter 7 Stretch like Meb
Chapter 8 Cross-Train like Meb.  
Chapter 9 Recover like Meb 

Every single one of things chapters pulled me in.  I loved reading about Meb's views and thoughts on the mental aspects of running, his suggestions in running form and exercises, how he trains (what his training plan looked like just before last year's memorable Boston Marathon WIN!   I love how the book is organized so you can use it as a resource and flip to where you need is for that time.  

While I can see myself using this book over and over again - the chapters I have enjoyed the most in the past month were Strengthen like Meb and Stretch like Meb.  I've been doing a lot of his exercises - tons of core work and some upper body strength.   The Stretch like Meb chapter has been a great resource as well - because while I know stretching is important, I don't do it all of the time.  When I'm coaching track, I'm much better at it.  But not all of the time.  Meb stresses the importance of doing it regularly.  

If you are going to be in Boston on Friday.  You can head on over to the Harvard Book Store Event to get your copy or you can purchase the book here for $19.99.   A great price for such a useful tool.    

3.  Next up... Dr. Jordan Metzl's RUNNING STRONG:  The Sports Doctor's Complete Guide to Injury-Free Running For Life.  The cover says it all.  A resource book all runners need.  By trade, runners are headstrong.  But we get injured.  That's just how it goes.  

Running Strong is split up into sections.  

Part 1: Nuts and Bolts, which contains Chapter 1: The Right Stuff and Chapter 2: The Mechanics of Healthy Running.   A great overview of running, strength, stretching.  My favorite line:  Strong Butt = Happy Life.  Yep.  I do not have a strong butt.  Every so often that "pull" from September reminds me it's still there and I go back to this line.  Strengthen that butt runners!!!

Part II: Uh-Oh: What's that Pain?  Chapters 3-11 takes you through all of the injuries you can imagines, along with symptoms, what to do, how to prevent.  It's amazing.  This section also has a cool feature using the Blippar App you can download onto your phone.  Blipp the page and you'll be taken to a video addressing common questions patients ask Dr. Metzl.  

Part III: Getting the Most from your Machine with Chapter 12: Body Work, Chapter 13: Rev It Up: Mastering the Science of Running Technology, and Chapter 14: Unleash Your Biggest Weapon.    In Chapter 12: Body Work - you can download the IronStrength Workout for Runners with the Blipp.   There's also a section on the Dynamic Workout and strengthening workouts.  Chapter 13 goes through the importance of stretching, foam rolling, massages, and rest.  All important and necessary!  

Part IV: Tools of the Trade.  Chapter 15: Good Food reviews diet and fueling.  I used to eat whatever I wanted because I ran.  Not so much anymore.  I'm working like crazy to eat smarter and healthier.  I love resources like Dr. Metzl's book to guide me through eating smarter.  Chapter 16: Good Shoes and Cool Clothes.  Yes.  Good shoes are so important and clothing that works for you is needed.  This chapter rocks!

Part I:  His and Hers...Chapter 17: Gender Differences.  There are quite a bit of differences people!  I see it here in my house every single day.  

You cannot go wrong with Dr. Metzl's book.  A handy resource to keep for those aches and pains and how to stay injury free!    I highly recommend this book and you can get it here for $21.99.  

Disclaimer:  I received digital copies of both books reviewed above through my affiliation with Runners World.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Welcome to Taper Madness

Oh jeez!  Where do I start?  I'm a ball of nerves.  I seriously think I'm falling apart.  Not really.  

First off - I am getting the damn cold.  I've done everything I could to keep it away.  But it found me. My head is swimming right now, my chest is tight.  I'm just hoping I can flush this crap out of my system before the weekend.  Fingers crossed!  

first time ever this came in MY name to our house!

Second - nervous mama is coming out right now.  My son has a cyst growing on his face, right on the bridge of his nose.  It's been growing quite fast over the past few months.  We've seen his primary care physician a few times about it and she referred us to a plastic surgeon.  You read that correctly - plastic surgeon.  Because of it's location.  After our consult with him, the surgeon determined that he was going to remove it.  Tomorrow is the big day and I'm so nervous.   Thankfully his procedure is first thing in the morning so we can both come home and get some much needed rest after this.  I promised him no social media pics - so we won't be posting anything here.  

love this kid!  & these pants are a strong contender for marathon Monday!

But!  The weather is gorgeous!  Spring is here and it's lovely.  I've been stalking the Boston weather for a bit now.... the forecast is still holding in the 50's right now.

the weather seriously changed in the past 5 minutes....
when I looked 5 minutes ago - it was 50% chance of rain.  And it's going to change at least 20 more times!

Sounds just about perfect if you ask me!  I'll take it.  

See this lovely card Carrie made for me?  It is my motivation right now....

I have maybe been obsessing about my outfit.  No! Me?  I know for sure it's going to be my Spandits singlet, Headsweats visor, ProCompression socks, and Skechers Go Run 3's or 4's, and Spandits capris.  I'll have the outfit narrowed down even more this weekend as we get closer.  

3 Boudreau's running!!!!  Woohoo!

I'm also thinking about my hours I'll be spending at Athlete's Village Monday morning.  I'll be there for hours!  I'm building my list of things to buy/bring:
*throwaway clothes 
*possibly my big fluffy robe (because I want to be warm!) 
*sharpie marker 
*anti-chafing cream 
*bottled water (with Nuun and SOS)
*my fuel (Honey Stinger)
*earbuds and iPod
*ArmPocket for my iPhone (because I'll want it after the race) 
*FlipBelt for fuel 
*Salt Sticks 
*my inhaler (I have one with 30 puffs left that I'll bring with me)

Yes...I'm going to follow Ward and Wade.
So I can look at my phone if I want to see when they finish.
The suspense will get to me if I don't.  

That's the list so far.... some of those things are going to be left at Athlete's Village.  I'll be running with just the necessities.    Oh and I'll probably be bring my credit card or stash some cash in my ArmPocket just in case.  You never know!  

The sweet note from the gym owner....  thank you Sharon!!
Taper Crazies are here and I'm obsessing.  Such a lovely picture.   But after it's all over..I'm going to put on my Boston Socks and Boston jacket and recovery in the glory!  

And no, I have not worn the socks or the jacket!  It's bad race mojo to wear the race jacket before the race!  And the socks are just my sweet reward to my legs after all those miles!  

What am I forgetting?  I'm sure I've left something off my list!