Month: April 2015

Wishful thinking & group run season starts

All of my positive thoughts, and cuss words aimed at my foot, must have worked their magic because I was back at it, ready for a run again today.  Wooooohoo!  I’m glad too because my foot really hurt on Monday.  I had to work “work shoes” to the bank and they was pushing on the swollen part all day.  So Tuesday I was a rebel and wore some clogs to work –  no, not stylish, but oh so therapeutic!  That helped a ton not having pressure on the sore spot and by the end of the day it was just a memory.

I ran 4 miles before work.  Hit the gym for weights at lunch.  I’m on a roll now!  And today my Boston medal has also been relocated to it’s place of honor.  It’s one thing to wear your medal around after the race, but it’s also perfectly acceptable to keep it in your purse for a week… just in case you need to show someone.  Just FYI, I made that medal rack.  Yep, I’m pretty proud of that too!!

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Since my son had soccer practice tonight, my husband took him to soccer and I took the opportunity to bond with my daughter.  We went to the outdoor mall where they hold the weekly group run with the local running shop.

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Shopping and running.  Two things these girls can excel at!!  A few days before Boston we went to a group run at the other local running store (we are so lucky to have two of them!  This town runs!!).  The best part was at the beginning the owner acknowledged the soon-to-be Boston runners and pointed at us and said “The Willfords are running!”.  That was like being a celebrity.  My husband asked me how the owner knew.  Oh, because I emailed him and told him I BQ’d.  And also the other store’s owner.  And my former physical therapist.  And I told every person I knew.  Yes, I was THAT excited!

One of the fun parts about going to the group runs, outside of it being a great way to spend time with the family and get everyone involved in running, is that they raffle off prizes each week.  I was a lucky winner this week with this Asics shirt.  It came in handy when it got a little cooler out.

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My running partner and I got to chat the whole time. Girl bonding time.  That was the best part of the run.  And since I’m still taking it easy, we turned off early and ended our run at 3 miles while the rest of the group did 4.  Oh yeah, we can do that!  We did have to run “the hills” on this course, and ugh, that was bringing back some memories.  I am fine with not running hills again for another year!!

When the day was done I got 7 miles in.  Remember those days when I used to knock out 10 miles before work??  🙂  I am trying to get my running fix this week because on Friday I am having oral surgery.  Free gum grafting to be exact.  You might not want to Google that one, because it doesn’t look that great.  And I’m not sure why it’s called “free”, because it certainly is not.  Anyway, I predict that will put a halt on my running for almost 2 weeks for recovery, so that is my scheduled “down time recovery for Boston”.

You will all have to check out this story from Runner’s World.  It’s about our local race, the Glass City Marathon.  It’s funny and downright impressive all in one!


Q: Do you participate in any organized (or disorganized!) group runs in your area?

A: I’m really looking forward to the summer groups runs because they hold them at our metroparks and they bring in different shoes brands each week to try out.  I’m interested in what all of the hype is about the Hoka One One shoes, so I will definitely get there early for a pair of those.

Q: Have you ever taken a wrong turn during a race?

A: Not me personally, but someone I know (COUGH COUGH Alan) has.

Q: Are you afraid of going to the dentist?


It came from nowhere!

I’m sitting here being all angry right now.  I was so ready to start back at some really easy morning runs post-Boston this week.  I really love my routine of exercising before work and it’s time to get that going again.  And then, it just came out of nowhere.  By “it” I mean a pain in my foot.  I had no injuries from the marathon.  No major lingering issues.  Then, I did yard work on Sunday.  And by Sunday afternoon my foot started hurting.  There was not one event during that day that I can think of that would make my foot hurt.  And, it’s a new pain.

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Right along here in the back of my foot, on the side, by my Achilles tendon I think.  Some sort of muscle strain I’m thinking.  Oh man, this is ridiculous!

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I was all ready to run this morning, but turned the alarm off when I woke in the middle of the night and noticed it still hurt.

Ok, enough whining – let’s talk about some more fun things about my past weekend… still unpacking Boston stuff.  I didn’t tell you that I was sick as a dog on Thursday so I didn’t get much done the week after our trip.  We got these cool bottle openers.

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We celebrated my birthday back home and went out to dinner at Nagoya, which is a Japanese restaurant.  They serve dinner hibachi style which is always a great time.  While entertaining us, the chef tossed some chicken at us to catch in our mouths.  The first one bounced across my face.  The second attempt bounced off my neck.  I think a third attempt was launched and it went way over my shoulder!  I’m usually quite good at that catching – so maybe it was the chef….

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My daughter made me a super cute card for my actual birthday on marathon Monday.

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She even had the “pre rain outfit choice” of pink tank top and skirt.

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She has her own trademark logo.  Art Pig.  Kind of like “ArtsCow”, if you’ve heard of them before.

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And finally, here is a funny picture from the expo.  For some reason we look like ghosts or like I forgot to put makeup on, but otherwise, it would have been a really great picture!  I never notice how much taller Alan is than me until I look at pictures of us.  Or maybe I’m just extra short…

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Q: Have you ever been to a Japanese hibachi style restaurant before?

A: It’s definitely reserved for special occasions, but it’s my kid’s love it (and so do we!).

Q: Anyone else out there suffering from any out of the blue injuries today?

Q: What is your favorite cross training, when you can’t run?  Please help, I’m not sure I remember what to do! 🙂


Glass City Marathon kids run

This weekend was the Glass City Marathon here in my town.  This is the first year in a long time that I didn’t participate in the race.  My first half marathon was here 5 years ago.  They also have a fun kids run which we have also been participating in for a long time.  So even though we weren’t running, we still wanted the kids to enjoy it and I wanted to take a look around the expo.  I ran into a few friends at the expo, and the kids enjoyed getting the freebies (yeah, more pens!).  They also love the teddy bears they get for running the kids run.

This year the kids both ran the 1 mile race.  It’s a fun course because they get to run around the University of Toledo campus.  While we were waiting, we found these parts of the track.


I have no idea what they were really for, but the kids and I thought they were for some sort of jumping.  So that’s what they did!


It was a little rain soaked, but we still had a some interesting pictures.



Finally, it was time to line up for the race.  And then they were off!


Sydney was the first one back to the finish line.

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And while I was busy taking pictures of Sydney, along came Zachary!


Finish times were 8:00 for Sydney and 8:05 for Zachary.  Great job kids!!


One interesting thing I learned at this race was that Lululemon makes girls clothes too!  The brand is Ivivva.  There were two girls with these skirts on.  So cute!!  Just like mine!

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Unfortunately they also come with that Lulelemon price.  Super adorable, but I have a hard time paying $48 for a skirt which will be outgrown soon, so this might not be in Sydney’s future.  Too bad I can’t use my Old Navy reward dollars on those!!


Q:  Did you ever participate in track and field in school (or college)?

Q: Any idea what the part of the track is used for??

Q:  Did you have a busy or relaxing weekend?










And here’s more Boston stuff!….

A few more thoughts and pictures of Boston while it’s fresh in my mind…

One of the really cool things is a tent that is set up by some neighbors on the route to the marathon start line.  They have a tent with everything a runner could need.  And I mean everything.  Body Glide, band aids, food, and most important for me – duct tape and a marker!  At the very last minute I requested my husband make me a little name sign for the front of my shirt so I could get a few more cheers along the route.  He did a great job writing this up and people really could read it!  Ironically though, early on there was another Lisa behind us and she had quite the cheering section on the road and signs for her.  I know it wasn’t for me because my jacket was zipped up.  But I pretended it was for me 😉

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As I was looking through my MarathonFotos I found a few good ones.  I think this first one is the best.  It captures how much my husband enjoys running marathons with me.  Just chatting away with me.


This next one is good because I was actually looking in the right direction!  Interesting fact about this rainy race, I did not have one spot of chafing and no blisters on my feet either!  That’s probably a first.


This one is a good one too because it actually looks like I’m running!  Unlike a few of them that look like I was walking, which I did not!  But of course, there were some people who were walking who were just as fast as I was, but that’s not the point 🙂


Along the course I took advantage of the power of the crowd.  I egged them on a few times to get a big roar going, because it’s just fun to have that kind of power!  Then, when I needed more power, I was busy hand slapping the kids along the route.  I do remember actually telling Alan at one point that I needed some power and headed over to the sidelines for a boost.  I love giving hand slaps as a spectator, and I enjoyed getting them even more!  I did feel a tad bad though because the spectators were getting a big hand full of my wet gloves!

Here’s another picture of us pre-race in Athlete’s Village.  Chowing down on some food and trying to keep warm.  We were lucky that one of the earlier wave runners (our friend) left a bag of stuff and we all went through it like it was a big treasure.  I shared a Clif bar with a friend, took the leftover gloves as a 2nd pair to put on top of mine (hey, it was really cold!!), used some Vaseline, and Alan lucked out with the tube sock arm warmers that were in the bag.  We were all very thankful for those items.

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Alan gave me a very pretty birthday gift after the race which I’ll always remember.  (oops, a little blurry)

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The day after the race we packed up and headed to the airport.  But first I insisted that we stop and get that bargain McDonald’s iced coffee treat before heading out to breakfast in Boston.  It was delicious!!

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And before I left the airport I spent my birthday money from my Mom.  I saw this cute bag from the expo that I missed when we were shopping, so I bought one online.

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Here’s your funny for the day: this article about running marathons.  I have to say I agree!  I have committed to the Columbus half marathon in October, but who knows, that might leave time for a Fall marathon…  I do love a summer training session!


Q: Do you like your coffee iced, hot, or no coffee at all?

A: I don’t like regular hot coffee, but the flavored iced kind is my fav!

Q: Do you like to run in the rain?

Q: Do you prefer a Fall or Spring race?

Boston Marathon Recap

I’ll apologize in advance for the super long post.  I was trying to pick out pictures for this recap and it was hard to just pick out a few.  So, I’ll take you through the whole race in a photographic journey!  Since we had a late start time (10:50 am), we woke up around 6am and felt totally rested.  Unlike those races where you have to get up at 3am to make it to a 7am start time, this was a breeze so far!  I got super excited when I looked out of my hotel window and I saw the buses that were taking runners to the start line in Hopkinton already!

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I thought the bag drop off and bus loading would be crowded, but it was super easy and sailed right through it.  We got on our bus and took the 40 min ride to the start line.


The excitement was growing as we unloaded the buses and headed to Athletes Village where the runners wait for their wave to start.  On the bus ride the rain started to fall just a little bit before we got off the bus, but then stopped. The wind was pretty gusty though.  I did start to worry when I could see my breath!  It was in the mid 40s at the start.


Athlete’s Village is at the high school and takes up the entire space.  Most people were hiding out from the elements inside one of these large tents.  Fueling for the race was one of the things I was originally concerned with.  Before I left the hotel I had some oatmeal, a banana, and a NutriGrain bar.  On the bus I had another NutriGrain bar.  At Athletes Village I had a bagel, another banana, and half of a Cliff bar.  I was all fueled up by the time 10:50 arrived!!


There was no lack of port-a-potties here!


Soon enough it was time to head to the starting corrals.


But wait…. our journey had not yet begun.  We had to walk a long way to get to the starting area.


As we were waiting, the rain started to fall.  But that didn’t dampen our spirits!


Soon we all started walking to the start line.  The funny thing was that Alan had to tell me when we arrived at the starting line because I could barely tell the difference from it and the rest of the journey so far!  But here it was – ok, everybody run now!!


Here is a random picture of some people peeing off the side of the road around mile 1.  That was a frequent occurrence and no one seemed to care, as long as they weren’t in front of someone’s house.  Pretty funny!


Here’s my marathon/race advice for everyone – make sure your throw away gear is actually functional.  Some people had bathrobes and PJ’s in Athlete’s Village – but I stayed in my hoodie for almost the first hour of the race I think!  So glad I had it.  Lots of people ran in plastic bags for almost the whole race!!  I think they ditched them in the last mile for a nice finish line photo.


I also clutched that water bottle the whole time.  I was just a regular plastic water bottle, but it became my safety blanket because it comforted me to know I could drink water any time I wanted.  Or throw it away any time I wanted to!  Around mile 11 we ran into a friend.  She “tried to keep up with us” for quite a few miles.  She was hoping for 9:00 miles, but would try out our 8:50 plan.



Half way done now!  I’ve got to say – not only is Boston a net downhill course for the first half, it’s also “rolling hills”.  I really had no idea what “rolling hills” were, because you know I live in the flat lands of Ohio.  Oh man, by the half point my glutes were burning.  That’s my issue – I always get strong pain in my glutes.  Like someone is tightening a screw on them.  And by mile 13, I was feeling it.  But on a good note, no foot problems and no pain in my knee.  I guess my plan to tape it up was a success!


A little later on, we ran into another friend.  He started before us, and we finally caught up to him.  He was quite happy to join us and have someone to talk to!  Here we are powering up one of the Newton Hills.  The Newton Hills are 4 hills that start around mile 16.  The first one was not an issue.  It was less of an issue for my friend in orange, and she kept on going when I slowed down a bit on the hills.


They say that Boston shreds up your quads from the hills.  I did not have that issue.  I guess that means my treadmill hill training paid off!  I was still in a world of pain from the glutes.  Each hill was harder and harder, and by the 4th hill – Heartbreak Hill – I was spent.  No shame, I was actually in tears at the top of it.  I think it was tears of frustration and pain more than happiness that it was over.  Tears that I still had 5 more miles to run!!  My splits were starting to really suck at this point.  Early on I was cranking out 8:30 miles, and now I was struggling to get anything better than 10:00 min miles.  It felt like I had concrete blocks on my feet.

We finally made it to mile 25 where we could see the Citgo sign.  This is a huge point in the race – just one more mile to the end.  Longest.Mile.Ever!!


But I kept on telling myself that if I smiled, I would be happy.  So smile I did!  Despite the rain and temperatures being only 44 degrees, I was not cold.  That was surprising because I was shivering at the start line.  Thank God I brought along those capris and arm warmers (socks!).  Remember I was concerned about having a tan a few weeks ago?  hahaha


That was a picture of us going down the final stretch – Bolyston street!   We had finally made it.  And then this awesomeness happened….  listen very closely….

Wasn’t that the best??  And my husband recorded it for me.  It was a surprise to both of us.  He never asked them to do that, they just did it.  It made my day, big time!!


After the race kinda really sucked though.  I was an emotional basket case and was sobbing.  I was in such pain, it was an effort just to walk a few feet down the road.  My legs barely functioned.  I just wanted to sit down, but they wanted to keep everyone moving.  We had to walk at least a half a mile to get to the end of the finishers area, and then another half a mile to get our gear bag (with the dry clothes in it).  At least the ponchos were pretty awesome and functional.


I just wanted to be magically transported back to my warm hotel, and it was so frustrating.  Luckily we had some dry socks in our gear bag and we used those for mittens.


After I finally got back to the hotel, Alan took off my shoes and helped me lift my legs up on the bed so I could relax.  I took a super long hot shower (and some strong pain pills!) and I was feeling much better.  We had some burgers, celebration beers, and went to share race stories with our friends.

If you’ve hung in with me this long, give yourself a high five!!  You deserve it 🙂  I hope you enjoyed this long journey I have been on.  It’s hard to answer the question “did you have fun?”.  I mean, it’s hard to get excited about running in the rain, but in the end, I really feel great about my race.  I powered through the hills, never stopped once, and got that medal at the end.  My husband is awesome for supporting me the whole way.  The city of Boston loves the marathoners and I was surprised to see how many people stood around in the rain to cheer on the runners, on such a rainy chilly day, along the entire course.  It really is BOSTON STRONG.  And yes, I’ll be back 🙂  It can’t rain two years in a row… right??

Boston, day 2!

Day 2 in Boston involved some sight seeing.  We were going to go for a short run along the river this morning, but my feet were tired this morning so we just decided to sleep in instead.  We were pretty lazy – didn’t get around to breakfast until after 10:30.  I decided to treat myself to an iced coffee at the Starbucks next to our hotel.  A splurge for me because those things are darn expensive!  We were in search of something quick to eat so we went to McDonalds.  Turns out they have delicious sounding iced coffee for 99 cents!  Dang it!!!  I almost had another just to get that deal.  Wisely, I decided not to 🙂  Our “healthy” breakfast involved bacon & cheese McMuffin, fries, and a chicken sandwich.

It’s a tradition for the runners to buy a jacket from the first year they ran this race.  I said to hell with the superstition of wearing my jacket before the race!  There were so many people wearing their jackets from this year I could no longer resist.  I felt like a real runner when I proudly wore my jacket!  It’s really cool seeing all of the different year jackets around the city.  A rainbow of runners!

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After our meal we went exploring over at Harvard Square.  I felt smarter just walking on to the Harvard campus!


We are getting much better at navigating our way around the city on the subways now.  Yesterday we were riding the wrong directions all over town, but today we got it figured out.  The subway system is so easy and convenient.

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We also had our first cannoli, which is a tasty treat that is quite popular here in Boston.  Ours was filled with chocolate chip creme and had nuts.  Yum Yum Yum!

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By 3pm it was time to take a break and give the feet a rest.  The bed in our hotel is so divine.  We snuggled up and watched some funny videos on YouTube.

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Due to our lack of a structured lunch today, I was starving at 4pm.  So we went to the early pre-race pasta dinner that is given to all of the runners.  They really do a great job of fueling thousands of hungry runners.  They also had lots and lots of free beer.   The special Sam Adams “26.2 Boston Brew” is really good.  Ask my husband, he drank a lot!!  Must be nice to not worry about “proper fueling” before a marathon!

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Luckily we found some tables inside because it was really chilly in this open outdoor space they were seating people in.

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I’ve got to say – I’m a bit concerned about the weather for tomorrow’s race.  You know how you spend 18 weeks of training… and then race day is a really up to luck?  I think we’re really winning on this one…. (especially with that red exclamation point!)….

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Oh man.  I’m not sure which one I dislike more, the rain, or the wind!  I’m just glad I brought along my capris, arm warmers and gloves.  We are in for a wild ride tomorrow. Wish me luck!!






We have arrived!

To recap my day… 

Walked down to the finish line 

Had a few samples at the expo…   

  Love the excitement of the city!! 

Saw someone famous!! (But didn’t want to wait in long line to meet her, so I took this stalker pic instead) 

Best shot of the day!  

Had a bunch of carbs with friends   

Enjoyed a bluebeery beer with more friends! 

  Tomorrow – resting !!!

Run much?… and packing it up

I had an interesting find this week.  I realized that only 5 years ago, in April, I had run my first half marathon.  My first!  Only 5 years ago.  That made me really reflect on my running.  Some background on me – I never participated in sports in school.  In fact, I hyperventilated when we had to run a mile in gym class and it took me 20 minutes to complete it!!  I started going to the gym with my husband when we were first married (22 years ago!), but I was never what I’d consider to really be an athlete.  I would ride the bikes or run a mile or two.  It was just something we did together.

Fast forward to a few years after I had kids.  My husband had already conquered a marathon, but back then one marathon was a big feat for the year.  In 2009 I ran my first 5K.  I was nervous!  I think I finished it in 29 mins, and had to sprint to the end racing some guy.  Pretty funny.  That fall I did a 10K and the next spring I tackled that half marathon.  I finished it in 2:06.  I remember cursing at mile 12 wondering where the finish line was.  I thought I was going to die!!  The following year I decided to take a try at the full marathon.  Finished in 4:14, still cursing and wondering where the finish line was.  (see the trend here??)  But it was the comment from my husband that set the plan in motion… “I bet you could qualify for Boston!”

I can't believe this dude is trying to cross before me!!!

I can’t believe this dude is trying to cross before me!!!


Airing out our armpits at the end!! Whew!!


I was so happy/tired/hungry/exhausted I cried at the end. No really, I *always* cry at the end.

So here I am 5 years and 7 marathons later packing my suitcase to head to BOSTON!!  OMG, right??  I went for a 4 mile run today that was quite splendid.  The weather is awesome, and maybe even “warm” at 62 degrees.  I had one more test of clothes and I think I’ve settled on the “other” tank top with stripes.  I had to test out wearing a hat too because the early forecast has some rain during the marathon (NOOOOOO!).  No point stressing it – just be prepared for it!

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That might be the tank top I’m wearing to race in.  Or maybe not.  I probably won’t decide until Monday morning! 🙂

On that note, I’m out of here.  I’ll post a few pics while I’m in Boston, so you can enjoy the sights with me.  Have a great Friday night!!


Q: Who is the person that has most influenced your running?

Q: Do you wear a hat when running?

2 years later…

Today we received something very special in the mail.

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It is a scarf from last year’s Boston marathon scarf project.  I spoke to the person who knitted this just the other day, and there it was – rushed to us from Los Angeles!  What a super kind and meaningful thing.  When we were in Boston last year we did not get a scarf, so when I saw they still had a few left I requested this one.

It was as rest day for me, so no running today.  Not even a visit to the gym!

At work (job 1) we had something I had never seen before – dark chocolate with marshmallow inside of it.  It was from the Peeps company so I wondered about the taste of it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out it didn’t taste like a Peep!

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It was a rough day for trying to eat healthy.  I have been drinking lots of extra water, but avoiding the sweets has been hard.  Like tonight, I went to the bank’s annual meeting.  It was quite businesslike (of course) and was at the same theatre that we go to see the Nutcracker in at Christmas.

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It’s hard to tell here, but this room contained lots of people in suits, AND the best grazing stations in town!  There was one station that was all fancy Italian foods that were to die for!  And so so so many great desserts.  I just couldn’t pass that up 🙂  But I was good and didn’t have anything but water to drink.  Yeah me!

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That’s it for now.  I get to run tomorrow morning and I’ll try out my other skirt for final comparison.  Woohoo!


Q: Do you own any suits?

A: I have just a couple.  Even though I am working at the bank I haven’t given in totally to the professional dress code quite yet.  

Q: Do you know how to knit?

A: I tried it a while back, and found it very frustrating!  So no, I can barely figure it out.

Q: Do you have a special pre-race diet?  Do you drink a lot of water?