BAA Marathon 16 + NP The Book

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So you already know that I was up in Boston this past weekend to watch the Boston Marathon.  There also happened to be this thing called the November Project book that launched last week and has been a pretty big deal.  Ok, maybe just a big deal to those involved in one of the various tribes.  Anyways, here’s a little recap of what’s been going on in my NP world.

On Sunday afternoon I met up with my friend Emma and Jackie to drive up to Boston for the marathon.

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^^ I had just eaten my breakfast smoothie but agreed to a quick pitstop in Harlem (all the way up in 151st street…exploring a new hood) for some Mexican fare.  All three of us went for some version of carnitas, which was a solid choice.  Emma’s burrito was a little more than we could manage but it was a good attempt.

We made it to Beantown around 5 or so, dropped off Emma and went to explore Cambridge.  We were actually staying with one of the Boston NP members and I have to say, what a darn cool group of people to have in your life.  Our tribe had done the same thing for the New York Marathon where we created a google doc listing out people that were offering space to stay and those who were looking for housing.

Later that evening, we met up with our pal Jess (who happened to be running the marathon!) for dinner at Cambridge Common.  I may have eaten my entire weight in nachos, so it was a good thing that I wasn’t running extensively the next day.

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^^ The next morning Jackie and I ran about 4 or so miles to the destination workout and wouldn’t you know, we got to pass by both the Wednesday and Friday workout locations – Harvard Stadium and Summit Ave.  The Harvard steps are still on my bucket list, but a view from a far was good enough for this trip.

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^^ If one knew other tribe members, they went up to one another, embraced and reconnected.  The rest of the tribes sort of stayed in their own little groups (t#juniorhighdance).  Then we bounced (promptly at 6:28), did some sprints, played tag, and did a bit of a group challenge workout – this time mixing up tribes and forcing us all to meet new people.  Guilty moment – I don’t remember most of the names of the people that I met.  I am terrrrrible with names and it’s certainly something I need to work on.

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^^ Post workout where Brian (the one with the bib) went off to casually run a marathon (a race that happened to be his 9th Boston and 74th marathon!) The rest of us dispersed to eat and shower before heading to the Mile 18 cheer station.

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It sure was one hell of a race to watch. This was the third marathon that I have spectated and I give all the credit in the world to those people running.  This was also a different breed of race since a majority of the runners had to qualify in order to get in (*there are bibs for charities as well)  That meant that they are SPEEDY and 100% beast mode.  The weather was glorious for spectating, but a temperature in the high 60’s and low 70’s left some runners struggling.  For many, it wasn’t the race that they had expected or had hoped.  But, they made it and most finished, so that in itself is a major accomplishment.

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Video Collage of Mile 18

>> https://twitter.com/ohanaloverun/status/722122687296966656

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEWdPdwEF8u/

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^^ We may not have run 26.2 miles but between running to the workout, the workout, and walking around the course, this was a solid day of mileage.

YouTube (via Fox News) ~ November Project Leaders Brogan and Bojan came up to New York to talk about about the release of the NP_Book as well as participate in a little North Face Athletics workout in Central Park.  What’s hilarious (to me) is that so many people follow the two of them (and many other leaders) so we obviously know where they are traveling and often feel as if we know them personally.  Then, when you actually are right there asking for them to sign the book, you find yourself a bit speechless and thanking them (in a very cheesy manner) for starting this movement.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Cool.

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^^ Now here we are, back to the Wednesday grind at Gracie Mansion.  Today’s crafty caption was “suns out buns out”.   If you’re interested in checking out the hype, come meet us Friday at Chelsea Piers (6:28a) and next Wednesday at 102nd St. footbridge (UES) at 5:28a/6:28a.

“The reason I joined the Tribe was the unique combination of fitness, community, respect, love, and most importantly inclusion.” – Bart Yasso (Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World magazine)

Running Boston

A few people thought that from my Instagram posts, that I was running the Boston Marathon last week.  No, I just happened to be in the city on Friday and Sunday and was able to enjoy the festivities.  There is something magical about being in the city during this race weekend that makes you want to run a marathon.  Folks, that’s months of training, maybe even years of training and even a bit of pure luck if you can get into the Boston Marathon.  Sure, it may be a crazy dream but I would love to run it one day.

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Back when I started to run cross country, I just wanted to place for my team.  Later on I happened to be one of the faster runners but that’s not really saying much for our division.  I also managed to graduate right before my sister and her teammates annihilated each and every one of my times.

In college I ran for fun and I started to get more competitive.  I ran a number of half marathons, just with basic road running as my training.  No diet adjustment, no strength workouts, and no speed training.  Then I joined November Project and started to think about running a marathon.  So many other people do it, why can’t I?  Certainly I could break 4 hours.  But what about qualifying for Boston?  It seemed that if I didn’t run fast enough, I wouldn’t be a worthy runner.  That’s 1) not true and 2) who knows what the future holds.  Running is competitive but should also be about celebrating everyone that is out there pushing their limits.

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As you may pick up from my pictures, I’m not exactly built with the typical slim-speedy-marathoner body.  Even if I were to stop eating my mug cakes (probably should do that anyways) and clean out my diet (which is already filled with vegetables soooo sugar is the remaining culprit), I don’t think I’ll ever look like Kara Goucher or Shalane Flanagan.  I still want to run a marathon and I still want to run Boston.

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So now, with that all in mind, let me take you through some Boston moments as seen by yours truly prior to the 2015 Boston Marathon.

IMG_9332Blue and yellow adorned almost every building near the finish line (and the church).  There were flower beds filled with blue and yellow colors, tulips, and so much more.

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As seen on my run to NP Boston (Summit Ave hills).  Aren’t these adorable?  I almost fell in love with the town, enough to consider living there one day.  But then I realized I couldn’t survive the winters.  Not by a long shot.

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While the trip to Boston had been planned a few months back, I was able to arrive on Thursday night, perfect for a quick jog around town and November Project workout on Friday morning.  I even happened to run (literally) into my NP_NYC friends Brian and Mary, both of whom were running in Monday’s race!

IMG_6761IMG_6760Groups upon groups of people out and about, running the course, running through parks, and soaking up all that sunshine.

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Even Mrs. Mallard took her little ducklings out for a shake-out run prior to the marathon.   Aren’t they adorable with their little spring hats?

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Then there was the actual running and viewing of the marathon itself.  I had a few friends lined up to race and decided to watch and track them online.  BAA had this amazing little setup where you could track the runners and their various paces throughout the entire course!  They even had little running figures map out where exactly each runner was.  Nifty, right?

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Each one of them (and the thousands of others) crushed it.  I really was quite in awe of so many people running their hearts out.  A special shout-out to my family friend Mia who ended up running 3:25 and is a truly awesome person.  Well deserved!

Of course following any large sporting event, there are articles, slideshows, and interviews with the top names.  The other day I read Shalane’s take on her race and something she said really resonated with me.

What goes through your head? When a race is going so wrong, why keep going?

SF: In life you can’t expect everything to go your way, every single timeYou never know what’s going to happen up front sometimes when there’s a battle going on—sometimes they come back your way. 

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Running has truly become an identity and a best friend.  I love the feeling of running a race and the excitement from all the runners around you. I love talking about training (or at least getting ideas about training since mine is often called “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants”) and I love that feeling of accomplishment you get after working out.  Call me crazy, that’s fine, but it’s a lifestyle and I love it.