Be Our Guest Podcast Rikki Is Now A Runner, Too!

beourguestLast week I had Mike Rahlmann from the Be Our Guest Podcast on as a guest, this week his co-host Rikki Niblett is also going to be a guest on my blog.  I knew Mike and Rikki were becoming more interested in running and actually enjoying it more.  When I heard that runDisney was having a meetup on the road in Alanta, I also saw that Rikki was there.  I didn’t realize she was interested in running at that point.

So I asked her about her recent running habit and here are her answers!

rikki1How did you begin running?  Did Mike influence you to get started or did you start on your own?
Honestly, at first, I did start running because of the Atlanta runDisney meet up.  I signed up my husband for the runDisney meet and after I’d signed him up, I thought, well, I can train a little bit and I had enough training time where get close to where I could run two miles.  I thought that that shouldn’t be too hard.  So, I decided to sign up too.

In addition, my friends were all runDisney runners, and of course, Mike was too.  I saw how they were able to do it, so I thought, why not?  As soon as I saw that I was chosen, I started running around my neighborhood so I wouldn’t look completely stupid out there. So, honestly, both runDisney’s Atlanta meet up and my friends running all the different Disney races is what influenced me to start to pick it up on my own.

rikki2What was your first race?
My first race was actually before I started running for real.  (If you call what I do that…I still don’t consider myself a runner, even though I probably am at this point.)  I actually ran the Disney Halloween 5k, back in October of 2011.  Mike’s daughter was originally supposed to come down for the event but backed out last minute.  So, he offered up the bib and I decided that I could try it.  Again, my friends were all running that race, so I thought, what the heck.

My first official first race, under my name and where I’ve done training, will be the runDisney WDW 10k during Marathon Weekend in January.

How do you train?
I train around my neighborhood.  I have a great, quiet neighborhood I can run in.  I started out using the Couch to 5k method, but now I have come up with a method that works well for myself.  Each run I go out for, I add one more minute of running.  After that, I’ll finish my run with a five minute walk.  Right now, I’m up to running 33 minutes straight, and will continue to add one minute on, each time I go out.  (So, next time I go out I’ll run 34 minutes straight, then 35, and so on.)

I have considered doing the run one minute, walk one minute method though.  Maybe once I get to to the point where I’m running a 5k around my neighborhood (I’m currently a little under 2.5 miles), I’ll try a different method to see if I like it better and if it gives me better stamina.

rikki3What or who inspires you?
My friends.  They come from all walks of life and they are out there running these races like it’s no body’s business.  It’s incredible to watch.

My husband also inspires me.  He’s always been the runner in the family and it makes me proud that I’ve finally started doing something he enjoys.  Usually it’s the other way around, where he’s doing something because I like it.  When I go out, I don’t run with him usually, cause he’s a lot faster and can run a lot further (he’s training for the WDW Marathon this time out), but I always feel like he’s proud of me when I return back home from a run.

Finally, not to sound conceited, but in a way, I inspire myself.  I never thought I could do this.  I always hated running.  The mile was torture in school.  Now, I’m out there running 2.5 miles semi-easily.  With no stopping.  That’s incredible to me.  I love seeing myself accomplishing this feat that I never thought was possible.

Do you have a dream race?
Right now, it’s the runDisney 10k in January.  I’ve never run that far before, ever. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to try the longer distances, but right now, the 10k is a good length for me.

Would you say you have now been bit by the running bug?
Honestly, I think so.  I need to run at least once a week now. I feel gross if I haven’t. I usually try to run twice a week though, if I can. But I have to go out at least once.

Do you have any favorite gear or gadgets?
I’m still such a newb runner that I don’t really.  I use RunKeeper to keep track of my times and my distance.  I carry my iphone in my hand.  I really need to probably buy an armband if I’m going to keep up this running thing, which it looks like I’m going to.

Which Disney Races will you be doing this year and next?
Just the 10k for Marathon Weekend 2015.

How has running changed your life (if it has)?
It has made me proud of myself.  It’s proven to me that I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be.  It has also made me exercise, which I really never did on a regular basis before.  It’s proven to me that anyone can be a runner.  If I can do it, you can.  All it takes is one step at a time.

Do you have any favorite podcasts?  (Disney or non-Disney and/or running related)
Of course I do!  It’s called the Be Our Guest Podcast…I may or may not be a co-host of it.  😉

I also do listen to a few others.  On my Disney list is WDW Today, WDW Radio Show, The DIS, The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, WEDway Radio, the DFB Podcast, and Radio Harambe.  I also have a couple of non-Disney podcasts.  They are ONCE-Once Upon a Time Podcast and The Walking Dead TV podcast (I got sucked into that one thanks to the hubby).  While running, I also listen to Magical Mouse Radio, Disney Pandora Radio, and Disney iTunes radio, switching off depending on my mood.

Thanks Rikki for answering these questions for us!  I have some advice I can share with you.  You seem to be doing real well as you start your running and training routine.  When I started, I did the same approach where I tried to run the entire distance without stopping.  However, I made the mistake of going out too often and doing too much, too soon which ended in injury.  You are wise to not run every single day.  But if you do wish to increase your distance, then research the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run method.  I have him as my e-coach and began using his training style 2 years ago and that has enabled me to do half marathons and now I am about to run my 3rd marathon next weekend!  So there are so many things ahead of you to learn!  And I’d love to answer any questions you may have!

Also, get a case for that phone!  I’d hate to see an iPhone go crashing to the ground!  There are spibelts that can go around your waist that you can fit your phone in along with any additional small items you may want to carry.

Thanks for stopping by my blog Rikki!

My First 10K PR at The Simsbury River Run

the river run

Sunday, April 27, 2014, instead of running the Cheshire Half marathon for my third year in a row I ran the Simsbury River Run which is a 10K run because I wanted to get a good 10K time to submit to Disney by June 1 for future race corral placement.  When I registered for the race I told Kim about it.  So she signed up and we met at the race.  It was a chilly morning but it was perfect for running.

The race started at noon which was nice because I didn’t have to get up so early for it; but it’s harder running later because of fueling requirements.  But it all worked out.  Kim and I sat in her car for a little bit before the race and talked strategy to help me get a PR.  I wanted to be under 1:15 at least.  A finish time of 1:10 would make me happy.  Her PR for a 10K was 1:02.  So I had that number in the back of my head also.  I also had my instructions from Jeff Galloway on what I should run based on the temperature and the required pace and intervals for that temperature.  Needless to say I had a lot of numbers going around in my head prior to the start and I only use my iPhone with Endomondo to keep track of my mileage and miles per minute.  This is where Kim was reminding me that I need to get a Garmin so I will have more information at my fingertips.  I knew that and had been thinking of it after my mom gave me money for my birthday.

So we hopped out of the car, used the porta potties one last time before the race, and lined up in our small corral!  It wasn’t a very big race, which was ok.  I was feeling antsy because my legs were feeling a little tired (I don’t know why) and my heart wasn’t really in this race.  I am focusing more on the marathon I am doing next Sunday.  But I knew I wanted to get a great time on this race but wasn’t sure I had it in my to do that.

When the airhorn went off we took off.  I ran the entire first mile at a pace of 8:50.  When I heard my phone announce my mile pace I was shocked.  I felt like I was running fast, but I didn’t realize I was going that fast.  But I figured if I had 1 mile under my belt at a fast pace that would help me get a PR for the rest of the 5 miles I had to do.  I started doing my 40/20 intervals per Jeff, but changed it to 30/30.  I kept that up for miles 2-3, then changed to 1:00/0:30 for mile 4.  At mile 5 I wanted to rest my legs a little so I changed to 30/30 and pushed on my run portions of the interval.  I was feeling a little intimidated at mile 5 because I knew it was only 1.2 miles to the finish but I was unfamiliar with the course and I wanted to gun it at the end but I didn’t want to do it too soon.

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Finally I saw where we were going to approach the finish line and I switched it into high gear and ran as hard as I could to the finish.  It felt like I was going in slow motion and my legs didn’t want to move; but I didn’t give up.  I pushed harder.  I looked up and Kim was yelling at me “YOU GOT A PR!!!!” and she gave me a big hug!  That was so awesome!   She had just finished a minute before me and said she turned around after finishing and saw that I was making my way to the finish. Thanks for being there for me Kim! My final time was 1:05. I am shocked considering lately my 5K time range from 33-38 minutes. But those are usually shake off runs after my long training runs.

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See the guy behind me?  I passed him a few times and he passed me, but I really wanted to beat him so I passed him one last time to make my break for the finish!  I LOVE when I can run past a guy in a race and beat him!  I will definitely consider this race course for future races if I need to get a good 10K finish time for Disney races.  The course wasn’t too hilly, I got a PR there and it’s not an overcrowded race.  It was an hour away from my house; but I didn’t mind the drive.  I got to enjoy my Be Our Guest Podcasts on the way there and back and got a few ideas for our upcoming vacation!

Thanks for joining me Kim and for taking my finish line picture!  It was Fun!

Boston Marathon Bib Stealing

Kara Bonneau of Durham, North Carolina

If you are not part of the running community you probably haven’t heard about a situation that happened at the Boston Marathon this year where four bandits made copies of a bib and printed it out to use to run the race.

When the owner of bib #14285 went online to view her race photos on marathonfoto.com she found her photo along with four other individuals wearing the same bib!

This has gotten a lot of publicity in social media and also recognition by the Boston Marathon Association.

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Four other runners wearing Kara’s bib number

Of course this is also theft.  You are stealing someone’s photograph of their bib number and printing it out so you can run a race that you didn’t pay for.  People don’t just register for Boston or get in for a lottery.  You have to QUALIFY for it or raise money for a charity (and it’s a lot of money you must raise).  This is what makes the Boston marathon such a coveted race to run.  The bandit runners also took medals that they did not pay for!  They also probably used water, and fuel sources on the race course that other runners’ registration fees pay for.

And then there is the issue of safety.  When you register for a race, you also sign a waiver. There is also an area on the back of your bib where you should fill out personal information about yourself, emergency contact information and important medication information.  Should you become hurt or unconscious during the race, this information is helpful to the first responders.

When I first saw these pictures of the four individuals circulating through my social media channels asking people to identify these runners I was very surprised.  I will admit that I am naive about the unethical things that happen at races so people can run them.  I don’t even know the half of what goes one for people to steal to get into races.  But then I saw more and more coverage about it and that the Boston Athletics Association is getting involved.

As I did more research on this topic I found another news story about it from wcvb.com with the wife of the owner of Foursquare running under a fake bib number.  How sad.

“The owner of the real bib looked closely at the bandit’s photo using her bib and saw a twitter handle on it.  She then researched on twitter and saw conversations being tweeted shere Chelsa Crowley, wife if Foursquare Founder Dennis Crowley tweeted out that she was looking for a bib.  Someone tweeted back, “Fake bib? 34033” and she replied with , “Shhh.”

What a shame.

Dennis and Chelsa ran the marathon together last year and got separated before the finish line and wanted to run together again this year but his wife couldn’t get a bib. She crossed the finish line last year just minutes before the bombs went off. He did not, so he was allowed to return again this year. They said they donated $5,000 to charity this year and that there was no malicious intent to what they did using a fake bib this year.  Just because you donate money to a charity doesn’t mean you can make your own bibs and think that it justifies why you are stealing someone else’s bib number!  Shame on you!

The rules for the Boston Marathon and other races are clear when they specify that no one is allowed to wear the bib number of an official entrant.  In the past the B.A.A. has not allowed runners who have been found duplication bibs to run future races held by their organization.

This year’s race was spectacular and inspiring.  I know cheating in sports is common.  It’s just disappointing to really know that it happened at the Boston marathon also.  I hope there will be a way in the future to stop this behavior; but someone will always find a way to outsmart the system.  And I hope it doesn’t come at the expense of those who pay the registration fees in the end.

Source:  http://www.wcvb.com/news/fake-bibs-being-probed-by-boston-marathon-organizers/25650754#!FS2An

What I Learned From Tara Gidus The runDisney Nutritionist

taragidusOn my Boston Marathon World Run I listened to my favorite Mickey Miles Podcast in the beginning of my run.  Tara Gidus was on again giving nutrition advice and answering questions.  She was so resourceful the last time she was on prior to Dopey weekend and I learned so much from her.  This time I learned even more!

I want to purchase her book “Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies” and maybe one day hire her as a nutritional counselor for me.

What I took out of the latest podcast from her:

  • Eat within an hour of waking up
  • Drink your water
  • Take a supplement like Vitamin D at least 1000 of it.
  • Calcium is another good supplement to take
  • Prior to a race have your breakfast such as toast with peanut butter, a bagel, banana, oatmeal.  Then while waiting for the race to start, munch on something simple like Frosted Flakes.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day.  They should last you about 3 hours until you feel hungry again.  If you don’t feel hungry it means you ate too much.
  • Frozen diet-type meals (Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers) are a great option for a snack because they are low in calories and have just about everything you need for a small meal.
  • Have a smoothie with protein each day as a  small meal and you will easily take in 20+ grams of protein your muscles need to recover.

A big thing she mentioned that sunk in with me is when you are training for a long run or a marathon, it’s OK if you gain a few pounds prior to that event.  That means your body is storing the glycogen  you need to fuel you for that race, as long as you are eating more good carbs.  So the water and glycogen is being held in your cells.  After the race, those pounds should come off when you return to your non carb-loading diet.

Tara is the runDisney Nutritionist and you can read more about her tips for fueling for your runs on the runDisney site.  For more tips and details from Tara’s helpful Podcast, download the Mickey Miles Podcast episodes 161 and 162.

mickeymiles

 

What I Don’t Know About Triathlons

This year with my one word resolution, my word was to GROW.  Well I think I am going to take the plunge this year and do a Women’s Triathlon.  I was considering doing the one in Norwalk in August, but it may conflict with my schedule.  So today Kim posted about the Hartford Marathon Foundation’s Women’s Triathlon that is good for beginners.  I am way more than a beginner!!  I know NOTHING about triathlons.  The good thing is, it is a sprint triathlon and a women’s only triathlon.

Like I just said, I know nothing, what I do know is, I can run and I can ride my bike pretty well.  Last night when we went to Sports Authority to get a pink batting helmet for my daughter I ventured over to the swimming section to see what they had for goggles, swim caps and bathing suits.  I just stood there at the wall and saw ALL the different goggles and shook my head.

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What do I wear for the swimming part?  A one piece bathing suit?  Is there something special I should buy?

Do I wear a swimming cap?

What goggles do I wear?

How the hell do I swim??

20140424-065938.jpgThen there were the bathing suits.  I figure I can’t wear the cute mix and match bathing suit pieces from Target for the actual swim part. So I’ll have to invest in a one piece bathing suit.  That’s going to be a scary site squeezing my body into a non-flattering one piece bathing suit that doesn’t have a skirt to cover up my booty!  These suits are around $75.00.  I am going to check out Kohls.com and see if they have one piece suits that I can use my coupons for.  My husband already complained that this sport is getting to be expensive!

I listen to a podcast called Two Gomers and they have shared their experiences learning how to train for a half marathon, then a marathon and now they are actually participating in their first triathlon on April 28th.  I have listened to their training and how much they have grown and learned about doing a triathlon.  They have good swimming tips and also recommended a book called “Triathlon Swimming Made Easy” by Terry Laughlin (total immersion swimming)

What do I bring to the race?

How do I set up for transitions?

Do I need a license for USAT?

What is USAT?

This is going to be an interesting summer as I prepare for this race.  I haven’t registered for it yet, but I am planning on doing it.  I already ride my bike at least twice a week.  I have to begin doing a ride, then running to prepare for that transition from bike to run.  Oh yea, transitions…. that’s another thing I am clueless about!

How do I transition from the water to my bike?

Do I get naked and change into riding clothes?

What do I do about my hair?

Will I have goggle marks on my eyes?  LOL

In all honesty it does sound like a lot of fun as long as I don’t drown in the water first!  I’m sure I’ll be last in the race, but as long as I have fun doing it, that’s all that matters.  I will research into the results from last year to see how the other women did.  That will help me have a goal to shoot towards.  I also need to invest in a bike computer so I can keep track of my mileage and pace besides using my iPhone.  I think I need a waterproof watch or garmin type watch to also help me with my splits.

Stay tuned as I invest in this new challenge this summer!  It should be VERY interesting!

Be Our Guest Podcast Mike Rahlman Now Runs and Loves It!

beourguestIf you listen to the Be Our Guest Podcast, then you are familiar with Mike Rahlmann.  You may know that he has run a few of the runDisney events, but he has never admitted to really “liking” it.  Well now he’s been bit by the running bug and registered for the full marathon with his step-daughter Paige.

When I saw his tweet about that I had to ask him if I could interview him for the blog.  He was so gracious to give me his responses to my questions and I’d love to share them with you.

How did you begin running?
I really never liked running much.  I was a high school baseball and basketball player, but only ran because it was a necessity to make the team.  I was always the slowest guy on the team.   During college, I became an inline indoor speed skater, which took me around the country to competitions.  This was a lot of fun and got me excited about the “race” environment.  Finally making the National Championships one year, I was really into the competition of it all.  After a few years of skating, I settled into a more “typical” lifestyle and gave up skating and all things athletic.  After being a Disney fan and hearing about the races back in 2007 or so, I thought this might be a great reason to get an “extra” trip to Walt Disney World in.  If I had to run 13.1 miles to get there, it would still be worth it.  Isn’t 3 hours of pain worth 3 days of WDW fun?

What was your first race?
My first race was the 2009 WDW Half-Marathon.  I never did one training run for this one (actually, never trained once for any of my races before last year’s Tower of Terror 10 Miler; not recommended by the way), but really enjoyed the environment.  I got to meet some of my favorite podcasters and other people from the Disney Community and it was fun!  Also, getting to see the parks during the winter months was pretty cool.

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Mike and Kristin Long at the Tower Of Terror 10 Miler in 2013

At first I think I recall you didn’t really like running, am I right?  Has that feeling changed for you and why?
I think I’m liking running more now simply because of the community of “regular” runners we have built around the podcast.  There are constantly friends on Twitter, Facebook, our forums and other places that are encouraging each other to get out there and put in a few miles.  Also, podcasts like the Mickey Miles Podcast do a great job of educating the novice and experienced runner while keeping us company out on the road.  Finally, it’s great to have very successful runners encouraging us beginners.  It really is an awesome community of friends encouraging each other!

How do you train?
I typically train 4 nights a week.  I will run 6 miles a night on Tuesday evening, Thursday evening, and Sunday afternoon.  On Saturday, I try to run at least 10 miles.  On the days that I don’t run, I try to walk around 15,000 – 20,000 steps due to having a FitBit which keeps me motivated. 

I believe your daughter runs cross country, do you run with her at any races or for training?
I love watching my step-daughter, Paige, run cross-country for her high school.  She is also an amazing soccer player.  I don’t run with her, though.  I know my limits.  She is 17, I’m 40.  That wouldn’t end well.  However, we are running the 2015 WDW Full Marathon together, so that will be a great moment for me.

IMG_5966What or who inspires you?
There are so many people that do inspire me that it is hard to pick out certain names.  I will say that just hearing Jeff Galloway many times on the Mickey Miles Podcast has encouraged me so much.  He is always so positive and really makes you feel as if you can do anything.   I love that he gives “regular” people like me permission to run/walk/run.  That method has made it so much better for me to enjoy my experience.   Also, great runners like Stan Harris and Mike Bankhead from Team AllEars have been more kind to me than I deserve.   Finally, friends like Adam Roberson from our podcast keep me motivated, as we are both on an incredible journey together.

Do you have a dream race?
My dream race is going to be the WDW Full Marathon in 2015 with Paige and so many friends who will be also running their first full marathon with me.  I never, ever thought I would even think about running a full marathon in my life.  If/when I cross that line, there will be some incredible feelings going through my mind.  I have watched the finish of the WDW full marathon twice and known those people were super-human.  I just wonder if I can step up and meet his challenge?

Would you say you have now been bit by the running bug?
Absolutely.  I have learned that with work, your body will change, but so will your mind.  At first, I dreaded the days I had my runs, but I knew I had to get out there.  My weight was not where I wanted it to be last summer at the end of our podcast cruise.  I knew I needed to do something about it.  As of today, I have lost 62 pounds and feel so much better.  That motivates me a lot seeing these physical changes.  However, I think the most important thing is the mental change.  I feel like I can do so much more now.  Stan Harris posts a lot of things on Facebook about running being more mental than physical, and I totally believe this.  When my legs feel like they are going to fall off, I just have to tell myself I can make it.  This has lots of carry-over into the rest of my life.  You can do this even if people tell you you can’t. 

Do you have any favorite gear or gadgets?
I don’t have a lot of gear or gadgets.  I run in a pair of Reebok shoes that I bought at the Tower of Terror 10 Miler Expo last year that we closeouts for $29.00.  These shoes have about 850 miles on them now, so I think I got my money’s worth.  I just run with my iPhone and earbuds and great friends on podcasts in my ears.  I can’t thank the fellow podcasters enough for putting out great content to keep me company through these miles this past year.

Which Disney Races will you be doing this year and next?
I will be running the Tower of Terror 10 Miler for the third time this year and starting 2015 with my first full Marathon at Walt Disney World!  I would love to run more, but due to living in St. Louis and being an elementary school teacher, it’s tough to get away for lots of runDisney Weekends.  However, I do love sharing my experiences with my students.  If this old teacher can run 26.2 miles, they can do more than they think too!

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Melissa Griffith and Jenny Clark at Tower of Terror

How has running changed your life (if it has)?
Physically, I feel so much better.  I used to get terrible migraine headaches a couple of times a week that I had to take some pretty potent medicine to combat.  Since running at least 4 times a week in July, I have taken that medicine twice.  Mentally, I just feel awesome knowing I’m now kind of a “runner.”  I get time to get out on the road and take a mental break.  It’s nice to say “Hi” to your neighbors, hear birds chirping, and see wonderful sunsets and sunrises.  I also hope that I am making my girls proud that their dad is out there trying to be the best he can be.

Has your diet changed since you started running?
As far as diet, since last July, I have been watching what I eat.  I tend to eat a bagel with peanut butter in the morning, a turkey sandwich and baked chips for lunch, and then have a “normal” supper with the family.  I figure that I save enough calories from breakfast and lunch to eat fine at supper. 😉  I also eat out a few times a week as well, stopping at Chick-Fil-A on Tuesday evenings while Mallory has Dance Class and at my favorite Mexican Restaurant, Las Fuentes every Friday after school.  You just have to have fajitas at least once a week!

And what podcasts do you listen to?
As far as podcasts that I really enjoy, there are quite a few.  I always listen to WDW Today, Wedway Radio and the Mickey Miles Podcasts as soon as they are released.  Not only are these very quality shows, I’m very lucky to call each of these hosts friends and that makes it nice to have these shows riding along with my on my runs.   The only drawback is that I typically want to send a quick Tweet or text to them about something they said during their shows, and I need to focus on my running.  I think they do stuff like this to try to kill me. 😉  I also listen to the Resort Loop Podcast, RFF Radio (Reality TV Podcast), and I love baseball, so I will listen to any baseball game that is on through the MLB At-Bat App!

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Mike with Mike Scopa and Michelle Scribner-MacLean from the Mickey Miles Podcast

You can check out Mike’s podcast on itunes and at Beourguestpodcast.com  Mike’s twitter handle is @BeOurGuestMike.  You can also find him on Facebook.  Look for Mike at the races he is registered for and say hello! He loves to meet the listeners of his podcast!

I will also interview Mike after his WDW Marathon experience with his step-daughter Paige next January.  Be sure to cheer them on!

The Boston Marathon – An AMAZING Day!

One round trip ticket to Boston!

One round trip ticket to Boston!

When I woke up I saw the sun shining in my room and I was excited that I was about to go to the Boston Marathon to hopefully see my friends run it!  I put Kevin on the bus then I dropped Adrienne off at school and had to make a quick stop to rite aid so I could get cash back for the tolls and the train.  I hauled up to Worcester for the 10:45 train and caught it in time with about 3 minutes to spare.  I have to admit that was cutting it close!  

The train tracks run right alongside the marathon route at mile 6 so I got so excited when I looked out the window and I was able to see the runners.  At that point there weren’t as many as I expected and they didn’t look like elite runners either.  A smattering of them were scattered about.  Then we went to the another stop and were held up there for a while.  At that point I saw more runners and according to runner tracking and Facebook I was right about near be area where Eddie McCoy was. 

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

I met a girl on the train who gave me some advice.  The train arrived at 12:15 and we got off at Fenway park.  That was cool.  I have never been there.  The atmosphere had some electricity in the air.  To my right was the baseball stadium with a game going on and to my left up a block the runners were approaching mile 25 where the famous Citgo sign is.  I went through bag check and parked myself at mile 25.2.  I figured this would be a great place to wait for Eddie.  I decided against going to Heartbreak hill because the B train has too many stops both there and back.

The famous Citgo sign I always heard about

I was loving the energy at mile 25 and wanted to see what I could see in this part of town. I was overcome with emotions.  I got emotional when I was talking to my husband on the phone.  This is one special race.  I WANT to be a part of it.

I was doing the math in my head trying to figure out when I would see Eddie because I got an alert that he already passed the 30k mark.  I knew he shouldn’t have passed me yet and I almost left but I didn’t get an alert either that he had crossed the finish line, so I waited.  And then I saw him!  I have to admit he looked upset or tired.  He had his head down and was walking a little bit.  I recognized the buff he had on his head in his Facebook picture this morning so thankfully I knew for sure that was him!  I was only able to get a picture of the back of him but I got one!!  My mission was to go to the race in hopes of seeing some of my friends and I did!  I wished I was on the same side of the street as him so I could cheer him on and give him the boost he needed to get to that finish line.

Eddie at the far left in the blue shirts and shorts

Eddie at the far left in the blue shirts and shorts and yellow sneakers

After seeing him I decided to call rich and see where he and Charlie were.  They were on the T coming back from the hill.  I walked towards the finish and took in the sights.  It was a spectacular day.  The sky was so blue the air was the perfect temp and there was a special feeling in the air.  I ate my packed turkey sandwich and continued to walk and see where I would end up.  

The trees blooming in the City

The trees blooming in the City

The streets of Boston were beautiful with the trees blossoming and the streets are lined with store fronts and restaurants.  I definitely want to make a trip up there more often to take in the sights of the town and bring my kids to the aquarium.  I was really enjoying myself.

Boston Strong

Boston Strong On Bolyston street

With a lot of zigging a zagging I did get to see runners cross the finish line and I walked on Boylston Street where then bombs had gone off just one year ago.  It was a little bit eerie.  I was wondering which part of the sidewalk was the backpack on.  And since I am reading the book Stronger I thought of the victim who looked at the bomber right in the eye.

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Mike 26 on Bolyston Street

After a lot of walking I found myself in the back stage area where the runners get their water, their medical help, and reunite with their families.  It was neat to see this side of the race. Being a marathoner I know what it is like after you go through the chute to get your medal, water, space blanket and “stuff” and then sort of collapse or come down for a few minutes from the rush that you just had of the final stretch of the race.  There were people in space blankets everywhere and many of them looked really wiped out.  Like I said it was a beautiful day, but it was full sun for the runners.  

The Finish Line!

The Finish Line!

After two hours of walking around a maze, I was finally able to cross the street at Boylston street in front of the Prudential building.  I had to walk around most of the city, but I made it to the area where Rich Garing and Charlie Gessner were.  Rich and Charlie are friends of Eddie McCoy and Michelle Scribner-MacLean.  It was great to meet fellow Mickey Mile Podcast friends and Disney race lovers!

A mom hugging her son as he is about to cross the finish line.  He was running for Team Spalding Rehab

A mom hugging her son as he is about to cross the finish line. He was running for Team Spalding Rehab

I hung out with the guys at mile 26 for a little over an hour to wait for Linda Ambard, Linda Bachand, Jeff Galloway and Michelle.  Somehow Linda Ambard slipped by me!  Then Team Hoyt came by.  That was emotional!   I was very, very happy that I was able to see them in person!  It was beautiful to see the father and son team run their last Boston marathon together and the Team Hoyt runners gathered all around them! Watch the video!

I saw some amazing things today. I saw a pregnant woman who I would guess is 6 months pregnant, run by me at mile 25 doing a sub 4 marathon. I saw a man completely out of it barely walking to the finish. The woman standing next to me saw him, too. He needed medical attention because he was about to drop.  I saw history made as Dick Hoyt pushed his son past me and to the finish line for his last Boston marathon – that was emotional. I saw blind runners being led to the finish by their guides, soldiers running in camo and boots, amputees running, and I saw pain, happiness, elation, runners in tears pass by me to the 26.2 finish line.

On my way home I did see two men with  dark bags near the finish line being questioned by police. I didn’t want to go into too much analysis of what-ifs. I didn’t want to ruin the spirit of the day.  But it was on my mind as I am sure it was on everyone else’s. 

Goodbye for now Boston!

Goodbye for now Boston!

I said goodbye to Rich and Charlie just before 5:00 so I could catch the train back home.  As the train was pulling away from the city I said goodbye to it, but not for long.  I will return one day to run that hard and rewarding race!  My plan is that it may take 4-5 years to accomplish this goal.  If I cannot get faster to get to this race on my own then I will work hard to raise funds on a charity bib so I can run it for an organization who can benefit from my help. I won’t give up trying!  I have had a taste of it and saw the joy on people’s faces for having run it.  It is such a major accomplishment.  It’s not just any marathon, it is the Boston Marathon.

 

As a follow up to my Shalane Flanagan story, she took her loss very hard.  View her post race interview