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Posts tagged ‘boston marathon’

Meb Monday

For anyone who lives in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Roxboro, Wilmington, Southern Pines, or any other part of North Carolina, area, please note that Monday is Meb Monday. Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon, will be at Runologie, to promote the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & Half Marathon as well as to lead a fun run through the city. And I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest thing to happen to our running community since… well I don’t know when.

The event is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm but it’s probably a good idea to get to Runologie as soon as you can. For parking, you can park along the street after 5:00 pm or there is also the Powerhouse Parking Deck, located at 513 W Jones Street, in case you can’t find a spot. Meb is scheduled to give a talk around 6:00 pm and then he will start the group run. There will be several different pace groups, ranging from 8:00 min/mile to 12:00 min/mile and there will be two leaders with each group. After the run, there will be pizza from Trophy Brewing Company (which in case you didn’t know, was voted best pizza in NC) and beer from State of Beer. And of course, the store will be open for you to purchase all of your awesome Runologie gear. What better want to start the week?

This really is a huge event for both Raleigh and the running community. Meb is such an awesome person and we are so fortunate to have him coming to our store. If you live anywhere within driving distance of Raleigh, you really don’t want to miss this. I mean how often can you say that you’ve ran with the winner of the Boston Marathon?

Hope to see you on Monday!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Tracie

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Meb is Coming to Runologie!!!

The running world is full of inspiring, motivational, and loving people. Runners have such a positive vibe and we are all moved by one another. However, there is one runner in particular who holds a special place in all of our hearts and that runner is Meb Keflezighi. Winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon and 2009 New York Marathon, 4th place finisher at the 2012 Olympics, and silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics… Meb is not only a phenomenal runner but he is also an incredible human being. And guess what!?!?!? He’s coming to Runologie!!!

On January 26th, Meb Keflezighi will be in Raleigh, NC to promote the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh marathon. We, Runologie, are the fortunate people who get to have Meb at our store, leading a group run through downtown. When I first heard this may be a possibility, it was almost impossible to contain my excitement. If you’ve ever watched Meb at any race or in any interview, you would know that he is not only one really fast runner, but he is also one of the most gracious, humble, and kindest individuals out there.  And if you saw him win the 2014 Boston Marathon, you may have shed a tear or two as he embraced his wife right after crossing the finish line in a personal best time of 2:08:37. (I did, at least.)

For me, Meb is not only an incredible runner, but he is also a personal inspiration. Back in 2008, Meb suffered from a fractured hip and it was doubtful that he would ever run again. He could barely walk, let alone run, and there were times he couldn’t even roll over in bed. Just18 months later, he came back to win the New York City Marathon, and that is an incredible feat for a runner with a fractured hip.

There were times after my hip surgery, when I questioned whether or not I would ever be able to run again. When you’ve got screws and a rod holding your hip together, it’s hard to even think about getting back out on the road. Then there were those first runs, when it was painful, slow, and almost impossible. Once or twice I even considered giving up running altogether. But then there was Meb. A runner who had suffered a similar injury. A runner who despite the odds, came back to exceed everyone’s expectations. And a runner who won the same race that lead to my most devastating injury. For me, Meb offered motivation when I needed it most. I’m just an average runner trying  to do my running thing. Meb is an Olympian who had way bigger hurdles to cross. There were times during those first few runs when I really struggled, but then I summoned my inner Meb and kept going. And now, in just two weeks, I get to meet him!!

If you’re in the Raleigh area, come out and join us for the group run. Meb will be here on January 26th at 6:00pm and after the run, we will have pizza and beer from Trophy. Check out the Facebook event page here and RSVP if you’ll be joining us. It’s going to be a GREAT time!!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Tracie

Eight Months from Now… Boston, 2015

Bravery is a word being repeated over and over again, and very loudly, in my head as of lately. These past few months have left me feeling stuck, uncertain, and at an uncomfortable place in my life. As I stood at the Eminem concert Saturday night, attempting to rap the lyrics, I became overwhelmed with a profound understanding as to just why I loved him so much as an artist, a a rapper, and as a person. There are few people in this world who have been through all that he has and come out on the better side of it. There are few people in this world who have demonstrated the grit, the determination, and courage that he has throughout his life and for those reasons, I have respect for what he represents as a human being. I want to represent those qualities.

The following night after the concert I had two very vivid dreams. One involving a flood and the other involving snakes, in that order. After a quick google search of the meanings of these dreams it seems that a flood can represent an overwhelming issue while snakes can represent a healing process. As I watched Eminem perform on Saturday that’s exactly how I felt. Overwhelmed with the past few months and done with feeling sorry for myself. There is nothing better than an Eminem song to make you realize it’s time to pick your ass up and move on. That’s how I felt then and I feel even stronger about it now.

September 12 is the day I can register for Boston. I’ve beat my qualifying time by 9 minutes and I know that my third chance awaits me. I met with my very aggressive, heavy handed, painful (but in a good way) sports massage therapist today and we discussed the possibility of running Boston. He says go for it, provided I have a plan and a coach to keep me in check. (Left to my own training plan, I might give myself a second hip fracture. I’m that hard headed.) I want to do it. I want to do it so badly it has become a constant thought in the back of my head. I know people think I shouldn’t do it and considering what has happened over these last few months, it doesn’t really make sense for me to do it. But do things always have to make sense? I think about all the times someone must have told Eminem he was crazy or out of his league, and he just kept on doing his thing. Following his path and his dream. I want to be that person too.

Tomorrow marks 8 months from the next Patriot’s Day. I have three weeks to decide if I’m going to sign up but I can already tell you my heart says yes. I want to do this. I want this to be my comeback story. Of course I realize that it may not be and that I may never make it to that start line, but I’ll be damned if I don’t give it a shot. I have to be brave enough to follow my dreams, my heart, and my path, wherever that may take me. I have to have the grit, determination, and courage to give it all that I have, because it’s going to take exactly that. And I’m ready for it.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

 

There Are No Wrong Turns

I’m a Taurus and so is my husband. It’s the perfect zodiac sign for me and if you’re unfamiliar with the character traits of a Taurus, allow me to share the following, as it is relevant to this post:

“Taurus are not fond of change. In fact, if change is imminent, they get very nervous and worried. They do not like anything new because anything new is unknown and Taurus fears the unknown. Taurus needs order in their lives and when they do not have order, they get very anxious. Taurus will cut themselves off from the unfamiliar in order to avoid the feelings of insecurity that arise when new experiences and situations are present.”

Yep, that’s about right. Change up my routine and I might freak out.

Last week I wrote that I was a lazy ass who needed to step away from cardio and embrace a little strength training. Lucky for me, the Universe decided to see how serious I was about that statement and on Friday, my lovely friend Susan invited me to hot yoga on Saturday morning. Saturday morning!?!? That’s my long cardio day! When I got her message, my lizard brain kicked in. The part of my brain that hates change and risk. The part of my brain that, as Seth Godin puts it, is the resistance that says back off, go slow, compromise. Immediately I started rationalizing in my head how I couldn’t miss my bike ride and elliptical “run”. Saturdays are meant for long hours of sweating.

Seriously? Was I really still making excuses to do 2 hours of cardio after I JUST said I needed to do the exact opposite? Here was my opportunity and I was already trying to shut it down. Perhaps it is the Taurus in me.

Luckily, I made myself commit to Susan before I could talk myself out of it. Then I immediately signed up online and paid for the class in advance. That way there was no chance of me backing out. Saturday morning came and at 7:50 am, I was on my mat, ready to go.

Hot yoga and I go way back. There was a time when I did Bikram religiously for a year. I loved the discipline, the difficulty, and the structure of the class. When I got to class Saturday morning, I had in my mind that all would be fine. I was a former Bikram student who was pretty decent at the poses and could by all means handle the heat. Oh how life has a sense of humor sometimes. You see a lot of things have changed since then. One, I haven’t been to hot yoga in years and two, I now have hardware inside my body. In particular, a screw that I feel jabbing me in the hip joint with just about every step I take. And add to that a left leg that wobbles like jelly because the cut muscles have yet to heal completely. My visions of graceful transitions and smooth warrior poses went out the window with my first attempt at chaturanga, downward dog, hop forward, forward bend. I am not the yoga student I once was and it was a hard reality check 10 minutes into class.

There came a point in class, perhaps while I was shaking uncontrollably in warrior 3, when it occurred to me that I should stop fighting myself. I should stop comparing my poses to the girl in front of me and I should stop being upset with myself that I didn’t have the flexibility or range of motion that I once did. I felt like I was trying to be someone I wasn’t and it was exhausting. I was fighting my current place in this world, the current condition of my body, and there was really no point to it. Why was I spending so much mental energy thinking about how I used to be so much better? That serves no purpose.

Then at the very end of class, the instructor read the following passage:

“There are no wrong turns, only paths we didn’t know we were meant to walk. In the end, to be a success you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to remain perfectly capable of improving. Keep letting your mistakes strengthen you. Life is a series of little journeys. Allow each step to be a teachable moment. And don’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because it’s stormy sometimes doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine.”

There is a part of me that is still fighting my hip and my body. Every time I take a step, I feel the constant reminder of my 2014 Boston  Marathon experience. And ever since I started running again, just about every day has been an emotional roller coaster. But I’m glad I switched up my routine Saturday morning. I’m glad I went to that yoga class and realized how much I was fighting myself and my body. But above all, I’m thankful for those words shared by the instructor at the end of class. They were the perfect words at the perfect moment. This is my path right now but I know my destination is sunshine.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Tracie

PS: I ran my second full mile on Sunday. It was slightly less painful and 10 seconds faster.

Training for a DNF

Throughout this past week, I have been shown an extreme amount of love, support, and sympathy. It’s been quite overwhelming, and I am thankful for every bit of it. A few people have mentioned to me that they were so sorry that I had put in all of that training, only to end up in this situation. In that past, I think I too would have felt sorry for myself. Four months of training for a DNF and a pair of crutches…. it’s not the ideal way I wanted to spend my spring. But I don’t feel sorry for myself and I am anything but sad that I spent so long training only to miss out on my Boston medal. I have so many memories from the last four months and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Mentally and physically, they brought me to a new level.

Here are a few of the reasons I’m not sad about training for a DNF…

First of all, I would have been running anyway. A marathon to train for just gave me a goal. On top of that, those four months were the most rewarding months I’ve ever spent training. To start with, January and February were cold. Like really cold. I learned that I could run in 23 degree weather and be just fine. The track workout I did one February morning with an impending snow storm, made me feel like a real bad ass. It was pretty damn cold with very strong winds, and I made it through every single interval. I high fived myself on the way to the car. Not to mention the mornings I made it to the track before 6:00am, which made me realize there was nothing more awesome than finishing a workout while watching the sunrise.

Then there was the 18.5 miler I did in the pouring down rain with 8 miles at 7:30 pace. I was certain that it was going to be my most miserable run ever. It was, to a point, but it was also an epic run. And it will go down in my books as one of my favorite runs to date. I congratulated myself out loud when I finished. I also came to appreciate running through the woods at Umstead. Nothing makes a run go by faster than ticking off the miles while watching nature pass you by. Those runs made me happy.

 
Then there were the encouraging runs. During a few 20 milers, a sudden burst of energy propelled me through the last 4 miles at a 7:40 pace, which was always a confidence booster. It taught me that fading during a marathon doesn’t have to happen. Another memory I have is dominating the ridiculously steep .5 mile hill along the Raleigh greenway. When I first started training in January, I admit, I walked up that hill a time or two. But as my fitness improved, that hill didn’t seem so bad after all. I came to really understand how the body can adapt. It’s all about the work you put forth.

People always say it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey. The past four months have been a wonderful journey and it taught me a thing or two about myself, my discipline, and my mental fortitude. I was hoping to arrive at my destination last Monday, but my journey got an extension. Which really isn’t so bad because I like long trips. Perhaps I’ll arrive April 2015.  Here’s to the journey!

 

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Boston Marathon Recap

Today marks my fourth full day on crutches and I think it’s time I took a minute to write about what happened Monday. My spirits are a little higher today and the pain is less and less every day. Plus my birthday is one week from today so there really isn’t much to complain about. 🙂

Monday morning started out as any other race morning. I woke up, ate, stretched, got dressed and headed out to Boston Commons. As usual, I was 30 minutes early and had to wait before boarding the bus. I made a few new friends, talked race tactics, and made a few trips to the porta potty. When I finally boarded the bus, I started to get excited. Not nervous, but excited. Excited to finally run. I had taken the past two days off and my legs were a little antsy. Plus, I was excited to finally have my moment at the Boston Marathon. It was a beautiful day.

At Athlete’s Village, I loaded up on more food and did the one thing you’re never suppose to do on race day. I ate something new, a PowerBar. Fortunately, it didn’t bother my stomach at all and I felt that my energy stores were ready for the 26.2 mile run. While hanging out in the village, I met Stephanie, a mom of four running her first Boston. She was pretty awesome and kept me company for the hours we were sitting around. Then around 9:50 we headed to the start line and my excitement grew. Again, not nervous. Just excited.

When I finally crossed the start line, I was so happy to be out there. I was cheering with the spectators, high fiving people, and taking it all in. The day of my redemption run had finally arrived. As I ran along, a few thoughts cross my mind. My 7:30 pace felt great, there are a gazillion people running in front of and behind me, and who the heck thought it was such a great idea to start a race at 10:00 in the morning? (Seriously though, late morning marathons aren’t that fun.) At first, everything was going well. Then after I passed the 10K, I could feel my hip start to ache and my pace start to slow. It’s okay, I thought. I’ll just have fun out here. It is Boston, after all. Then at mile 11 I started walking and never ran again.

Mentally, I was prepared to walk 15.2 miles. It would be a long day but I would finally have that medal. I kept telling myself Ralph Waldo Emerson use to take 20 mile walks. I can certainly walk 15.2. Along the way, I met Liz. She was also unable to run so we kept each other company. It was nice to have someone to chat with, however, the more we kept walking, the worse the pain got. In fact, the pain was so bad, it made me nauseous to my stomach.  At mile 17 I saw Mario with my amazing friends Emily and Tyler. Emily ran out to give me a hug and I immediately started crying and telling her how bad the pain was. Mario gave me a hug along with some words of encouragement and my cell phone (smart move). Then I was on my way again. As the pain got worse and worse, I told Liz to go ahead. At mile 18, I sat down to stretch and haven’t been able to walk since.

Thankfully I had my phone and was able to call Mario. He ran to where I was, carried me across the street (I physically could not walk), and got me to a medical tent. From there, I went to the hospital in an ambulance, along with another injured runner, Jenn. This was her 3rd DNF for Boston in a row so we felt each other’s pain. After a few hours in the hospital, a diagnosed hip fracture and a new pair of crutches, I was finally able to leave. Hooray!

How the day went...

How the day went…

When I think back on Boston, I am not disappointed in myself for not finishing. I gave that race everything I had, and I physically could not have done more. I’m actually proud of my effort. However, I am disappointed that I got myself into this condition. The road to recovery will be long but I’m doing what I can to make it a little shorter. From raw eggs in my green smoothies to more supplements than in a GNC store, I’m taking in as many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as possible. Last night I was actually able to sleep through the entire night, which is a big improvement. It gets a little better every day.

Lately, I’ve found myself asking why do I want to run Boston so badly? Is it because I want to do something that I never thought possible? Or is it because I want to be a part of the few who are Boston Marathon finishers. (I’m great at starting. Just not finishing.) If a medal, a shirt, and a fancy jacket are all that I’m after, then something is wrong with that. Those three things and the fact that I can say I finished the race, will never change who I am as a human being. They won’t make me more or less of a runner and they won’t make me more or less of a person. I know I can run. And I know I’m a decent runner. I’ve already qualified for 2015 and I may or may not decide to go back next year. If I do, great. If not, that’s great too. The end result of that race will never change who I am on the inside.

Maybe that’s the reason all of this happened to me. So I could finally realize that… 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Tracie

PS: I want to send a huge THANK YOU to all of my friends and family. Never before have I felt so much love and support than I did on Monday. From phone calls, emails and text messages, I feel like the luckiest person around. And most importantly, THANK YOU to Mario. He has done so much for me these last few days, and without him, I’d probably be face down on the sidewalk somewhere unable to get up. How did I get so lucky? 🙂

 

3 Year Anniversary dinner, just two days after Boston

3 Year Anniversary dinner, just two days after Boston

 

Get well flowers from mom and day

Get well flowers from Mom and Dad

On Being Proud

Currently, I working on a side project that has me researching the benefits of pride and accomplishments. Pride is one of those interesting words that represents two very different sentiments. One being an overinflated sense of personal status or accomplishments. The other being a satisfied sense of attachment towards one’s own or another’s choices and actions. One positive and one negative.

Let’s focus on the positive…

To be honest, pride isn’t an emotion that I feel too often. I’m working on that. From an organized closet, to a well written blog, or perhaps overcoming a challenge with work, pride can be a very positive emotion. It energizes, motivates, and adds value to our life experiences. It brings us closer to the present moment. Having recently read quite a bit about this, I didn’t really appreciate it until this past Saturday.

Saturday morning was the last long run before Boston. As Mother Nature would have it, it was pouring down rain and 100% humidity. On any other Saturday, i would have convinced myself to wait and run on Sunday. However, we had dinner plans with friends and I knew that would not make for a good run the next morning. Solution: put on a hat and suck it up.

The workout was 10 miles easy and 8 miles at race pace. If I could just get through it, then I knew I could finally enjoy the taper. The route I decided on included lots of hills – beginning, middle, and end. As I started out, I decided to just go. Go with an easy pace that would still get me out of the rain as soon as possible. The first 10 miles went by at an average pace of 8:03. For a moment, I thought the next 8 at 7:40 did not seem like such a great idea anymore. But I did it. I changed shirts (I was soaking wet) and decided to not think, and just run. To embrace the puddles, the rain, the hills, the chafing (it’s what running in the rain will do to you), all of it.

There was one point when I was running up a hill and all I wanted to do was walk once I got to the top. My legs hurt, I was completely drenched, and it was not fun. But I didn’t. I kept going. And the pride I felt because of that decision, made the last four miles fly by. The willingness to endure energized me to do just a little more.  8 miles: 7:39, 7:35, 7:27, 7:36, 7:31, 7:32, 7:30, and 7:20. When I finished, I said out loud Tracie, you did it. You finished. Sure, it wasn’t the most epic of workouts but the circumstances made it really crappy. I was so proud of myself for running in that weather, exceeding my goals for the last 8 miles, and doing it all with a positive attitude.

When you do great things, no matter how big or small, be proud of yourself. Let that pride motivate and inspire you. You just might surprise yourself with all that you are able to accomplish.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Tracie

PS: A local news station is coming to our building tomorrow to interview Boston runners. Well really I think it’s to interview one runner in particular. She’s the top female runner in the area who happens to be my neighbor, and who is also my running hero. Anyway, she was kind enough to invite me to the interview as well so I guess I’ll be on the news tomorrow. Kind of exciting. I’ll be sure to post a link later.

I AM _____

Currently, I’m reading a book titled Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifestation. It’s a pretty interesting book and I’m beginning to think the power to change the world (or at least my world) resides within my mind. It seems I’m not the lone individual I once thought. It appears I’m connected to everything that exists  within the universe. A pretty cool thought.

Throughout the book there is a lot of discussion about the power of I AM statements. Not I AM statements in the sense of I am a runner, I am short, I am a sister. I AM statements in the sense of I am powerful, I am thankful, I am generous, or my favorite… I am amazing. The more I say these I AM statements, the more they get imprinted into the subconscious and the more these statements become reality. In light of certain life changes and the upcoming Boston marathon, I’ve been practicing a lot of I AM statements.

Last week I reached my highest mileage week ever in my running career – a grand total of 65 miles. My 22 miler on Saturday was an average 8:11 pace, and ever since then, my legs have been feeling quite heavy. Tuesday’s speed workout consisted of a warm up mile, 7×1000 meters at 10K pace, and cool down for a total of 8 miles. I begin:  Interval #1: Clearly I am running faster than 10K pace. This feels too hard. I must slow down. Oh s***, I am running 10K pace. Uh oh.  It was that unfortunate moment during a speed workout, the beginning, when you think I can’t do this. The 2000 meter repeats at the same pace last week felt so much easier. I am losing all fitness. I should stop. 

The problem with this line of thinking is I am imagining how difficult the 6 remaining intervals will be. I am thinking how bad I feel now and how much worse I will feel if I continue. I’m not being in the present. I’m not being mindful in that very uncomfortable moment. I realized this downward spiral way of thinking about halfway through the first interval and decided to switch it up. Of course I wouldn’t finish with that train of thought. Enter the I AM statements:

I am powerful.

I am strong.

I am athletic.

I am capable.

I am tough.

I am present.

It wasn’t easy, but I made it. And I was proud of myself. The mind is a crazy thing. It is way more powerful than we give it credit for. On April 21st, I will have a list of 27 I AM statements memorized for each mile of the Boston marathon. Why? Because I am awesome.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Tracie

PS: I’ll be wearing bib number 14591 in Boston in case you want to follow me. This time I’ll be sure to cross the finish line.

Consistency

Consistency can be defined as steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc. For me, I would say it’s adherence to the same sport – running. As a runner for 12+ years, consistency is something I have really lacked. The only time I can remember where I had a consistent running schedule was when I was about 20 years old and running 5-6 days a week. That only lasted for a few months and ever since then, I have been a 3-4 day a week runner, with a lot of cross training, and a lot of injuries. However, I have always wanted to run more. I think if I could, I would run two a days, every day. I just love being outside and running that much.

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Change, Willpower, and Happiness

Friday I watched the documentary Happy. (Check it out on Netflix if you have the chance.) I learned that other than social interactions and being in nature, one of the things that makes humans happy is change. Doing things differently. Then for some reason, this quote about insanity popped in my head, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” And then I related it to running…

For so long I have planned on the rest of November and December being my months off from running, yoga, correcting body alignment issues, sleeping in past 6:00am on Saturday mornings, and taking a mental break from the mileage. Having done two marathons just 5 weeks apart, I figured my body could use the rest. Well the Las Vegas marathon was November 17th and since then, I have taken at most 5 days off from running. Why? Because it literally takes willpower and mental strength to not run. It requires more effort to do a yoga class instead of putting on my running shoes as soon as I get home. Running is a habit and to do anything else requires my brain to go off autopilot.

Thankfully, however, I just finished a book on willpower, which I followed up with the film Happy.  Friday night I reevaluated my weekend workout plans and Saturday morning I was at a hot yoga class with my best friend of 25 years. Change is good.

January I will start my training for the Boston marathon. I have been down this road many times. Excited to start my training, workouts planned, scheduled off days, planned yoga classes, time set aside for body maintenance. It all sounds great in my head but the hard part is actually doing it. And because it’s hard for me to run easy or take a day off, I’m never able to reach my full potential as a runner. I end up injured, mentally drained, and arrive at the start line 50% prepared. It’s a vicious cycle that I’ve been through over and over again. In other words, it’s insanity. 

I think I’ve finally realized that I am going to have to exert some willpower in order to make a change. It’s crazy to think I will reach my running goals if I keep doing what I’ve always done. It doesn’t work that way. Habits are hard to break.

For the month of December, I will not worry about running. Every day I will make a conscious effort to step out of my running “comfort zone,” and do something else. Maybe a pilates class, another hot yoga class, some hiking at a nearby park, a juice cleanse, or even just a few days of doing nothing. And perhaps once I realize that I can break the habit loop, it will not be that difficult to actually follow my marathon training plans. Perhaps I will actually run slow on easy days or even start practicing yoga at home. Any maybe, just maybe, the end result of my marathon training will be success and not injury.

Here is to a month of change, and happiness.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie