Monday, July 26, 2010

The Training Is On

Well, I'm here again in the midst of marathon training. My first I realize during a very hot summer - doesn't make it easy to keep the goal pace at all and as a result, I'm suffering more with the mental mind games.

The training is going well - I've got some shin/knee/per FB "attachment" issues but other than that, the miles are piling up and I feel really good. Actually, today I feel excited. Last week I was feeling like Debbie Downer, why do I do this blah blah blah blah.

Enter my Falmouth Road Race number - the best yet - F161 - puts me running elbows with my own elite Goons but then the Elites such as Meb and Sara Hall - can't beat that. It was just the shot in the arm I needed right now. On top of that, I ran with 5 other men Saturday for a nice 18 miles on a morning that the weather Gods finally threw us a was overcast, misty and for the most part cool (except it was pretty humid) - one of the best days yet for the long run. My Brewski had to sit out but his layoff this time, only for a day thank goodness.

Today I sit post a comfortable 5 miles the day before Yankee. Not sure what Yankee will bring - I hope to beat my 1:15:40 from last year but won't risk injury as I feel my body has been especially sensitive. I will head out with Enforcer and Showtime and see what happens. I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Boston Marathon 2010 Race Report

In late 2007, when I found PRof on the web because I set out to qualify for Boston – I thought I’d run Boston once, get my fill and then move onto other marathons or maybe even be done running marathons. I really didn’t realize, especially after #2, how The Boston Marathon would capture my heart and leave me, this morning after, excited for next year. I will say that during both of my Boston trainings, during the cold, dark winter runs at the height of the training, I said, “I’m not doing this again”. I thought that both 2009 and 2010 would be enough to make me feel that I had conquered Boston but somehow, it’s left me thinking that I’ll likely be back in 2011.

Boston was the first marathon I did without my Brewski – running is our thing together so it was different experience for me getting up marathon morning to get dressed (sporting my new skull and cross bone headband), gather my necessities while the Brew got up last minute, ½ slept on the couch while I put the final things together, and drove Spanky and I to theGate City Strider bus out of Nashua that would take us to Hopkinton. Hillman told me he wasn’t sure if it was Brewski or a little old lady dropping us off.

Spanky and I sat on the bus and on came Doctor Death, Aqua Lung, Hillman, Cougar, and Cougar’s boy toy and many other enthusiastic marathoners from the Gate City Striders. Thanks to that group for permitting a bunch of Goons to take the bus to the start. The ride to Hopkinton was pretty smooth and I sat reflecting on what I was about to do for the 5th time. I had talked to the PRofthe night before about what my strategy should be – very aware and concerned for going out too fast and the Newton Hills, we agreed that I’d keep it around an 8 minute pace until I was up over Heartbreak and then let go whatever I had left to give to the course. The day was gorgeous and the bus got warm quick – we stepped out to see what the temp was – chilly but perfect. At that point, we were fortunate to run into Mamacita, Punisher, and Enforcer before the race- all of them full of great energy – it was great to have so manyGoons both on and off the course today.

I made my way down to the corrals (that road seemed longer this year?) with both Doctor Death and Hillman. I gave them both a good luck hug and we separated first Doc and then Hillman and I. I made my way into the back of the 10K corral and prepared for the start of the race. After about a 9 minute shuffle to the starting mat – I took it to a run and we were off on the journey to Boston. Soon after I heard someone yell my name – it was Lightning Chick who cruised on by. I got into a nice rhythm staying within the pace I had planned on. I just really took in the course and the surroundings which I didn’t do my first time around. This was my first marathon free of headphones and a water belt – happy to be rid of both as it was a positive change! People had told me I didn’t need them but I spent this marathon training learning to run longer without the headphones – it really made a difference in the experience for me for sure.

At about mile 4, I saw a Goon singlet ahead of me – I thought it might be Mad Dog but I wasn’t sure. Soon enough I saw that singlet again and realized it was in fact Mad Dog. We chatted briefly about our plans for the day – they were the same and before we knew it – we were keeping each other in check from about Mile 5 to right after the turn @ the Newton Firehouse (he took off for the hills literally at that point and I kept it right where I had it). Mad Dog was an entertaining person to run with to say the least – I appreciated the companionship on the course – Thank you Mad Dog!

Along the course I saw other Goons cheering us on – Brewski with Mrs. Spanky and some friends, Showtime and Smokin Ivy, Yetiand Gumby who I missed (thank you for being out there cheering!), Pusher with his awesome flag who yelled ‘OCG’ @ Mile 20 when I needed it, and all other Goons who were following on line. The Goon vibes close and far were felt on the course!

Going into the hills I had kept reserves in the tank as planned but the hills did not fail to challenge – that is for sure. I was overcome with emotion coming down Heartbreak with the BC tower in my sight and being SO happy to have reached this point. I let go whatever I had left just wanting to get to the finish at this point. The crowds were amazing the entire way especially at this point until the finish where I needed it most!

I crossed the finish @ 3:26:43, an 11 minute Boston course PR from last year, and my 4th Boston Qualifier- I couldn’t be happier. My plan is to come back and do it again next year! Thanks to the Goons and PRof for another great marathon training – this marathon game is way more fun with all of you ☺ Congratulations to all 21 Goons who completed Boston Marathon 2010!

4 days later, withdrawal sets in - Up for the next 26.2

It's four days after Boston 2010 and I can see the shift in my behavior/mood already. Sleeping in, drinking beer on Thursday night, days 'off'. It's all needed right but man o man - I miss the regimen! I drank two beers on a Thursday night and I feel like a truck hit me - now granted these beers were 12 and 13% alcohol but still!

My coworkers have been among my biggest fans - I even made the Friday Morning Bagel email thats gets distributed with todays number: 3:26:43 - how long it took Gina Newton to Run the Boston Marathon - pretty damn cool. Many emails, congratulations in the hall - it was great and boy do I love the attention. I'll take it any time.

My legs feel the best they have since Monday - recovery run #1 yesterday with a hot bath after helped tremendously and I'm off to more drinking and fun with those who don't understand what I do - but it's fun to tell them about it - because most of the time, they are interested in hearing (or at least do a good job of acting like it).

I recorded a vocal race report with Mad Dog from the Goons yesterday. Getting to relive the day on Monday was awesome - I love running so much and if anything in this world besides my husband who is a diamond - it's the thing I am most grateful for.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boston Marathon 2010 time

Good one - Final time: 3:26:43 with an overall pace of 7:53 (now the first post makes sense).

Boston Marathon 2010 complete and will be back in 2011

It was awesome. Perfect weather, excellent execution and the last 4 miles @ 7:23 pace.

I couldn't be happier.

#5 in the books, #2 Boston - 11 minute PR from Boston #1.

Next Up: Mohawk. 10.10.10

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I ran with the big boys today

The deeper I get, the faster I want to be. Today was a good confidence booster. Hank and I headed down to meet some of the other Goons to Boxborough. It was nice too run with different people in a different place. Boy did we run with different people. We ran with guys who I consider the 'elite' of the Goon Squad. Despite getting lost for about 2 miles, I kept up with these guys - and I'm quite happy about it. My watch got pretty messed up some how but there were many points were I looked down during the run where I was solidly in the 7s and a time where I looked down and saw under a 7 minute pace. At the end of the run, I thanked the 'elites' who in turn gave me some serious props. It felt good and I can't wait to do it again!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Year, More Big Races - finding the crazy again

The blog got neglected so - the end of the year qualified me for NYC marathon and as a whole, 2009 was one great year for running in the Newton house- PRs, Goons galore!

The holidays brought plenty of drinks and cookies which brought plenty of extra weight to drag. As the beginning of Boston training approached, I was less than enthused. Really? Am I really doing this all again? Winter training, the dark, the treadmill - oh my god - the DREADMILL - hamster on the wheel - it's torture. However, the first few long runs have been awesome. I mean really awesome.

My original goal for Boston was low 3:30s - nothing to be ashamed of but not really pushing myself. Well, fast forward to the 17 mile long run where my friend Jen had to do tempo work @ 7:52 for 6 miles. The fattie, glutton feelings I've been having had me in no shape or mindset to be able to do this. However, the competitive brain switched on and said - alright - I'll give it a shot. I was cruising yesterday - cruising and feeling GOOD. Am I short selling myself? Can I really go much faster? I was kind of thinking that I couldn't push through this imaginary barrier in my head to break into the 3:20s for Boston but after yesterday - that's my new goal. Cleared with FB - the 'easy' Boston training has turned aggressive. I dug up the crazy and it's running on high :)