With 50 days to go until Boston,
I thought I would share with you a blog post that will be included in my soon to be released memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility":
3/29/09 Blog post:
Boston Marathon Training Moments - The Best Of ....
Yesterday was our last long run before running the Boston Marathon on 4/20/2009. Twenty one miles - we ditched iPods in preparation for the big day. What were we going to talk about? My daughter who always bring light and laughter to life suggested we take a look back - that was the year that was - and talk about our Boston Marathon Training Moments - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I just want to comment on yesterday's training run before we take a look back. The day started out as cloudy and cool. Since it is the end of March, we decided to layer with a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt and a jacket. I also brought hat and gloves to ensure my comfort. We arrived at Marathon Sports to join our team trainer, Domenick D'Amico and the running club. He told us that 21 miles would take us to the gates at Wellesley College and then we turn around and run the same route we had been running for the past several weeks.
In the spirit of trying to get everything organized the night before, I made my husband's coffee in the coffee maker. Big mistake! He couldn't drink the coffee - yes it was that bad - and by the time we got to Waban, he was power walking. Highly unusual so I got concerned. He said that he was feeling sluggish and that his body was telling him to take it easy. I suggested that perhaps it was because he did not have his morning coffee. So in he went to Starbucks and after drinking a large cup of coffee, he was back to his old self. Ahhh the things you learn on a training run.
The sun broke out and by the time we got to Wellesley it became quite warm so we were stripping off layers of clothing. There were runners coming in from Hopkinton to Boston College who knew me by name. I recognized a few of the runners, but there was a mystery runner who I can't place who was cheering me on, and knew me by name. I wondered if perhaps he was an angel. Because of all of the charity runners, there was water and gatorade available on the course. I used more gel than I had on previous runs which cut down my need for clementines and pretzels (although I plan to bring 2-3 clementines and a bag of pretzels on Marathon Monday) and Tom and Ruth Anne were able to use gu and gatorade so they'll just need to bring a bag of pretzels each - eliminating the need for a backpack on Marathon Monday .When we arrived at the Reservoir at Cleveland Circle, a stiff wind kicked up and we had to don the layers we had shed - a good lesson for Marathon Monday - do not throw our clothing into the street - we may need it for later in the day. We practiced our pacing for fueling and by the time we arrived back at Marathon Sports we knew with complete certainty that Team McManus is ready for Marathon Monday. Today we drove out to Hopkinton and back tracing the Marathon route. We had run from Natick to the finish line and needed to get a visual of the route from Hopkinton to Natick as we mentally prepare for the Marathon.
And so - here is a look back at Team McManus' Boston Marathon Training Moments - the good the bad and the ugly
On calculating distance for training runs:
When we first set out on this journey, we had no idea how far or how long it would take us to run from point A to point B. This resulted in fertile ground for conflict --
Like when we were running a new route by the river on the same day as the Boston Heart Walk - I screamed to my husband who had plotted the route and began to cry 'Where is the f**ing bridge?'He told me that from here on out, it was my job to plot the training runs - ugh - but we all got back on track and plotted out our runs together
Quotable quotes: "We've only been out here for ten minutes?" - Ruth Anne "I don't think we can make it up that hill before we're supposed to stop" - Mary And I was the most obsessive compulsive person you would ever to not want to meet when it came to time and distance.
I would make us track the miles using our trip odometer in the car over and over again - hey what did I know? I had never run or trained for a marathon before.
When we first started running more than an hour, somebody would have a meltdown at 1:10 - you could set your watch to it. We would start swearing at each other - my personal favorite? We were going around the Chestnut Hill reservoir and Ruth Anne's iPod had run out of batteries. She was NOT a happy camper and I stood at the top of the hill screaming "F** this - I quit. I cannot take your attitude for another minute." The cars started honking at us and people stopped at the bottom of the hill and looked up and stared at us.
On bodily functions:
Being a first time marathoner at the ages of 55 & 57 (my husband is the elder statesman) makes for some very interesting challenges. Without going into too much graphic detail, I did, on several occasions, feel the need for Depends. When my daughter fell into a snowbank I laughed so hard that I peed myself. She was not hurt and it was one of those falls where her arms and legs were flailing because she could not get up. On our way to our favorite rest stop - Peet's Coffee in Newton Center, I announced out loud that I thought I was going to need Depends on Marathon Monday.
And then there was the time when the velcro on my bra strap just gave way - coincidentally, this was during the training run by the river. As we were about to go into our umpteenth meltdown for the day, I could feel the velcro on my running bra just let go. My daughter who was running behind me started howling to see this white thing come out of my running shirt. And then I laughed so hard, I peed myself. There is my husband down the road a little way yelling at us to quit fooling around and finish our training run....ahhh sweet memories!
And who could EVER forget us losing each other around - emphasize the word a-round Jamaica Pond. Tom had stopped at the car to fill up the water bottles and get some snacks. He had his iPod on really loudly. I was in the zone and ran by him. I saw him looking for me in the opposite direction and yelled to him that I was over here - I felt so great and the weather was wonderful that I did not want to interrupt my rhythm. Finally, my daughter who had been going at her own pace came running up to me - where were you she asked? (well duh, we're going around in a circle) Dad is worried sick about you. He thought that since you had to go to the bathroom (and the bathrooms were not open yet) that you went off the trail and went to pee in the woods). We finally all caught up with one another and laughed so hard.
Those are some of the highlights of 2008-2009 in the life of Team McManus - of course there is the Tufts 10K, the Tough Ten Mile Turkey Trot, The Hyannis Half - and so many wonderful, cherished memories for us. Through it all, we kept our sense of humor; worked it out (as Randy would say on American Idol - dawg - you worked it out) and now we are poised and ready to board the bus for the ride to Hopkinton, MA and to have the time of our lives on April 20, 2009.