Thursday, April 28, 2011

three things thursday

1. the royal wedding is the last thing on earth i would wake up at 4:00am to watch. im so over it, and it hasnt even happened. with that said, i have friday off from work since i am working this weekend (booo) and im suuuuure im going to get sucked in to watching coverage of the wedding. that's what i do, i spend my days off watching useless stuff on tv. especially if im still gimped up.

2. steroid shot # 2 happened yesterday. im pretty sure its not a good sign when you are able to walk in to the appointment and have to leave the appointment in a wheelchair in tears unable to put weight on your right leg. backing up a bit, the wednesday before boston i had my first shot. i spent wednesday night, all day thursday, friday and saturday with tingling and numbness in my right leg. i got the ok to go to boston and walk around, in fact was told that walking is good for it. saturday night my leg hurt real bad and everyday since then it has gotten worse. i was scheduled for a follow up on may 4th and i called last week and told them i couldn't wait and i needed to get in asap. after getting the run around, you know the "well im not sure what we can do for you", they finally called and said the doctor wanted to see me asap. gee thanks cause i cry everyday and walk around all hunched over like an idoit. they suggested another steroid shot from a different angle and put me on some pain meds (after i suggested they put me some. ugh). their first available appointment was this coming friday but they said they would put me on a cancellation list to try and get me in eariler. on tuesday i was in so much pain i called them to find out if they had openings...come to find out they had one yesterday. im a little annoyed that it took me calling them to get in sooner. oh well. i went in yesterday and got my shot, went home, slept for a while and felt very frustrated. ive got a marathon to trail for. i need to get better so i can have a good, solid training! praying it works this time.

3. T turned 9 months on monday! hes called "smiley" by everyone that comes in contact with him. its actually kind of funny. i bring him to the doctors, work, my parents, my friends and everyones first reaction is "hi smiley"! hes 22lbs and 28in and the best thing to ever come into my life! i can't believe he is 9 months already...where does time go?? hes got 4 teeth and has started eating real people know, like ice cream and french fries!:-)
opening day of the red sox

daddy and T
'cause this is what we do at easter egg hunts.... the eggs!
i love this kid!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Marathon Monday

i've spent the last two boston recaps talking about all the fun/crazy/silly things that happened over the course of the weekend. now that we are a week +1 day removed from the boston marathon you all know about the amazing world record finish, you know about the debate over the world record finish. i'm sure you heard about how the early women's leader kim smith had to drop out due to injury. this recap will talk about none of that (aside from what i just said!:) ). spectating any marathon at mile 26 (ive had my fair share of that in the past year) you see a lot. the good, the bad and the ugly. boston is no different. i spent a long time trying to figure out how i wanted to capture the awesomeness of this day and describe to those who weren't there, or who were running and only spent a brief time at mile 26, what it was like standing in front of TJ's on boylston that day. i'll do my best. 

so many emotions unfold at mile 26. excitement and fist pumps from knowing a PR is in the bag. disappointment, knowing that heartbreak hill really was a heartbreak and a 3:10 wasn't possible that day. feeling powerless because your legs just wouldn't carry you that final stretch to the finish. joy in knowing that you are moments away from completing the boston marathon, and a mixed bag of emotions knowing that boston is your 50th state and you are a member of an elite club.

i must preface this with the fact that i have never run a marathon. i don't know what it's like be on the other side of those barricades at mile 26. i don't know what its like to train for 18 weeks or go for those 20 mile training runs. with that said, i do know what its like to train hard, have a goal time and want nothing more then to cross the finish line with a smile on my face and feel good about my run. sometimes it happens and sometimes its just not my day.

the boston marathon is what everyone, or shall i say, most people work towards. there are some runners who have no desire to run boston but my guess is that there are a lot more that do. boston is that carrot in front of your nose on those 90 degree days when you don't wanna get out there and run. boston is a race that sold out in 8 hours to some 20,000 qualified runners (not counting charity). simply put, boston is a big deal.

what i was most impressed by was even though this was the boston marathon- there were runners out there who were sacrificing their own run, their boston, for a fellow runner. i wasn't able to get pictures of every runner who did this but i think this pictures below sum it up.

2 things i love about this. 1 a runner that wont quit and 2. a runner who stopped to help and sacrificed his boston time.

then there was this guy. being held up by an EMT on a bike long enough for him to regain strength and finish on his own.

these are just two examples of runners who had a rough day but gave it their all to finish. i won't forget the imagine of a women who's face was all banged up and bleeding. my guess is she may have fallen...and then gotten back up to complete her run. i loved the runners who put their name on their shirt or arms so that we could cheer for them as if they were our best friend. like the quote on the niketown photo says "never run alone again". none of these runners were running alone. they had thousands of people cheering them on from hopkinton to boylston. we didn't care if we knew them or not, they were one of us. a runner. a runner who needed any kind of support possible during that final stretch.

while boston is a big race and everyone wants to do well, it was so awesome to see so many runners having fun. the costumes, the smiles and the high fives. even though i was at mile 26 and i saw a lot of walls being hit and a lot of people having a rough day, i also saw some fantastic runners with outstanding attitudes.

take luau for example. i had been stalking him for a long time on twitter, don't worry, he knows and he's totally cool with it. he had a killer run at smuttynose and got his first BQ. he trained like crazy for boston. i would often swear at him when i saw on twitter that he had logged some crazy amount of miles before i even woke up. he was feeling ready, he was having an awesome run....until heartbreak hill. i'll let you read his recap here, because i want him to tell you his story. from mile 20 on he knew that his goal time was out of reach. after a few miles of feeling sorry he picked his chin up and decided to make the best out of the last 6.2 miles. danielle saw him run by and we all started screaming "luau! luau!" he was past us when he heard us screaming. he turned to looked and we jumped up and down and waved like 13 year-olds at a justin bieber concert. to our surprise  shock, he turned around, dodged several runners and ran over to us. we promptly said "what are you doing, keep going!?" to which he smiled and replied "my 3:10 is out the window, i'm having fun!". i gave him a big sweaty hug and he snapped this gem of a photo.

i remember looking at the cop who was looking at him like "whhhat is he doing!". i know this sounds like such a simple, little thing but we loved his whole attitude about boston not being his day. there are a few ways you can go about having a crappy run, lets face it, we alllll have them. you can feel sorry for yourself, be angry, or have fun! i urge you all to go stalk luau's blog. he has such an amazing attitude towards running and life. plus he raises money for autism, which obviously i love. granted he was disappointed about his run, but he didn't let it stop him from finishing the race and having fun while he was at it. he also won't let it slow him down.

ok brief pause for some more pictures before i continue.

joan benoit samuelson- representing maine!
(ms.v, this pic was for you!)
mark: "hey sarah, how long ago did you have your baby!?"
me: "shut it!"

a pickle in boston. really?

ok, back to mile 26.

and then there's sam. sam also had a killer training for boston coming off of 61 marathons a 2 ultras in 2010. again, ill let you read his 2011 boston recap here. i first met sam at boston in 2010. it was at the post race lunch in 2010 that i got the ass kicking i needed to a) run a marathon and b) make a difference while doing it. i followed sam and his crazy race schedule for the rest of 2010 and was eager to see him back in boston in 2011. boston is a course that sam runs well on and he has been chasing a sub 3 marathon since his 8th marathon. boston was his 92nd. sam is one of the most humble men i know. he doesn't gloat about his speed. he doesn't brag about 2010. he just goes out there and does it. however, ask him about train 4 autism or why he is running the san francisco marathon and he will tell you everything you need to know! it would have been easy for him to put a sign on his back last year and said "this is my X marathon this year" but that's not what he, and 2010 was about. if i were running a crazy number of marathons a year id be sure to tell everyone i came in contact with about it:-) not sam. i started off as a supporter of operation jack, i look up to sam and admire his work ethic and attitude. a roll model for all runners out there. an inspiration to me. i may have met sam because of operation jack, but im pleased and honored to call him a friend today. he is the reason i am running the mdi marathon in october for train 4 autism. 2010 wasn't about 61 marathons, it was about bringing awareness to train 4 autism and thats what he did. without sam, the maine chapter of train 4 autism wouldn't exist. he has even agreed to slog it out with me and pace me at mdi. he says if i can go 4:06:23 i can forever hold it over his head that i ran my first marathon faster then him (4:06:24). now thats a good friend, a sub 3 runner agreeing to run a 4+ hour marathon. i hope he knows what he's in for.

so sam was gunning for a sub 3 on april 18. he had his cheering squad standing in front of TJs waiting for him. i will never forget the moment when i spotted sam running down boylston knowing he had a sub 3 in the bag. i was jumping up and down on the fence, screaming, waving my hands, anything i could do to get his attention. he knew we were there and i know he was looking for us. i saw him put his hands out and shurg his shoulders as if to say "hello! where are you girls!?", right after that he saw us and gave us the biggest fist pump he could muster. there were a whole lot of teary eyed girls at this moment. 

danielle with the sign she made. 
so these are just some of the sights from boylston st, mile 26, boston 2011. these are the stories that you didn't read in the paper the next day, or on the live streaming of the race. these are the real heros of boston. the ones with an amazing attitude and determination like none other. these are the normal people. the ones who don't make a living off of running, but run because it means something to them. 

spike and redhead
OJ girls at TJs 
rockin boylston st

and this my friends is how you celebrate a sub 3.
"tonight, tonight there's a party on the rooftop top of the world!"
"never run alone again"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

boston awesomeness part 2: c.r.a.z.y

after our bloggy brunch, danielle and i headed back to the apartment to get ready for the red sox game. back when i started planning this boston weekend i knew it had to include the red sox! sadly i was working the day tickets went on sale and i wasn't able to snag any that day. luckily for me, sam was on it and got 8 tickets! wooot woooot! im always excited to go to fenway, it's one of my favorite places ever. this time, i was even more excited, i got to share fenway with my friends, fenway virgins, and out of town runners. i got to show 'em how the red sox celebrate.

pre game on yawkey way (danielle and i snagged a beer before heading in)

the crowd roar of "yoooooooooooouk". (no we are no booing our teammate)

the drunks in the bleacher seats

sweet caroline in the middle of the 8th. (sam may have been to fenway before, but i bet he's never seen it sung with as much awesomeness as danielle and i put into it!)

and papelbon and the dropkick murphy's in the top of the 9th. (sadly he was not needed this day)

thanks sam!
despite the whether it was an awesome game. the sox pulled out of their loosing streak and gave us a nice win. i met some more cool peeps and listen to jennifer and danielle talk about how we are going to push D to BQ!

danielle: "do i need to lift weights during my training?"
jennifer: "do you stop and lift weights during a marathon? No"

ally, danielle, jennifer, sam and i
jennifer, sam and josh

this is where the night gets real funky. this probably won't be very funny to you (unless you are danielle or ally) it's one of those "you had to be there" moments,  but i have to write about it. one of the best nights ive had in a long time.

ally had made reservations at a restaurant for her and one of our friends. sadly, she was not able to make it to boston due to medical compilations. im happy to report that she is on the mend and doing very well. boston will be her's someday. danielle and i did our best to take her place. our first challenge was getting from fenway to harvard square. id like to think that the three of us are pretty smart but we had a hell of time time getting there.

our first problem came trying to get T tickets. danielle had an interesting conversation with some cop looking dudes at the T station. it started of with danielle asking if they worked there (no they are just dressed in bright yellow official looking jackets for fun) and they ended up having a Who's on First kind of discussion about how to get T tickets. Finally the dude just told us to put our cash in a bucket and go through the gate. im sure they had a good laugh about us after we left.

so we trot along and danielle tells us she spent a semester at tufts (an exchange program, she didnt fail out :-) ) and that she knows how to get around on the T. my details are a little fuzzy now but at some point we ended up on the wrong T going the wrong way. we were sure we were headed to CT. i know this isn't really possible, but we would have made it happen. it was that kind of night.

fiiiiiiiiinally we made it to the restaurant. super cute place i might add.

we sit down and jesse, our waiter asks if we would like some water.

"why yes, we would love some"
"we have 3 options of water for you this evening. we have pellegrino sparkling water, still bottled water or cambridge's finest tap water"
"haha, you're funny, we''ll take the tap water thanks"

when he said he had 3 options for water, i thought he was being funny. i apparently don't go to enough fancy restaurants to know that there are options for water. he was dead serious.

i'm really not even sure how to describe the rest of the night. we are pretty sure our water was spiked. we were the most sober girls ever, and i know we were acting as if we had been drinking for days. everything was funny...we were crying we were laughing so hard. our waiter got weirder and weirder as the night went on.

"what do you have for dessert?"
he proceeds to tell us.... "now i'll let that marinade with you for a bit. i'll be back to take your order"

REALLY!? wow.

i asked him if he would mind taking a picture with us (i think ally just about died, something like "oh no you did not just ask that" came flying out of her mouth). somehow it came out that we all write blogs and he says "oh, do you tweet about your blogs?" and theeeeeen, he gives us his twitter name and facebook info. i was about to tweet him when i realized i had been making fun of him on twitter all night. ha. i passed.
meet jesse
our reservations were for 5:30, i don't think we left until 8:30. we were there entirely too long. before we left we had one pit stop to the bathroom.
poor ally
as if the toilet was on a couldnt touch the ground

we decided we wanted to hit up niketown before we called it a night. we booked it to the store hoping they were still open. we had heard that they had a photo booth and given the mood we were in, we needed to take advantage of that.

they were open. we took over owned that photo booth. we even decided to run it for a while and showed other people how it worked and what to do. (dear niketown, you can hire us if you like).

we finally were ready to call it a night. it was one of the best nights i have had in a long time. although i just met ally, we all got a long like we had been bff's since 2nd grade. im sooooo glad she got her texas ass to beantown!

so there you have it, part 2 of my boston awesomeness. next up, marathon monday: things you see at mile 26. this will be a little more serious, but just as awesome.

Friday, April 22, 2011

boston awesomeness part 1...

i felt like boston 2011 was never going to come. i think i may have been the most excited person for boston, the only one with a boston countdown who wasn't actually running boston. i was excited to finally meet up with runners that i had been, following over the last year. i followed their training, was real excited when the BQ'd, prayed they made it through the registration madness, and then made plans to meet up in beantown. i think it's fair to say, my weekend was packed with awesomeness.

danielle and i headed south saturday morning. we had plans to go straight to the expo to pick up our 5k stuff and try not to spend lots of money! despite the red sox traffic we made it to town pretty quickly. we wasted no time and met morgan, katie and lauren as they were leaving the expo. we then waited for sam and headed in.

wooooah. it was huge and overwhelming. i was pretty excited to finally meet dave and his family. he is wicked awesome and we would later harass (fun fact: harass is sarah spelled backwards with an extra s, thats me!) him at the red sox game. it was also pretty cool to listen to sam, his speedy friend justin and some others talk about their training plans etc. we are all runnners, but they run in a whoooooole different world then i do. in fact i spent a lot of the weekend listening about running. i learned a lot!

danielle, dave, sam and i
After browsing the expo for a while danielle and i headed to the first of many blogger meet ups. i met the awesome and super speedy susan there. we are trying to convince her to come run maine marathon...she wants a 3:10. i won a 100.00 gift card to city sports and danielle won a super sweet pair of running shoes. overall win! sam, susan, danielle and i headed to our next meet up, happy hour at champions.

we hadn't been there 2 minutes when i heard a high pitched scream coming at us. you know, the kind you might hear if you were with a bunch of middle school girls at a justin bieber concert. i turn around and there was the shabby princess! i had never met ally before but there was no awkward "hi, my name is ally. hi, i'm sarah. now should we shake hands or hug?" moment. she gave me the biggest texas sized hug that a tiny girl can give.

some good looking bloggers

i was too caught up in meeting all kinds of awesome people like luau and doug to realize what was going on. i heard some rumor that the bar had no idea there were 50 bloggers waiting to drink and there wasn't room for us. we decided to split up and we all went our own ways. not really sure how it happened but ally, danielle sam and i ended up eating at bowling alley inside a parking garage. later on sam's brother and friend showed up. we spent a long time sharing some funny stories before calling it a night and heading back to the apartment we were calling home for the weekend. it didn't take long to fall asleep.

i woke up sunday not sure if i wanted to walk the 5k or not. i went back and forth but my leg was not feeling so hot so i decided to spectate with morgan and spike instead. a decision i am very happy i made. if you ever get the chance to spectate a race with spike, i highly recommend it. he's got some fantastic one liners...but that's a whole separate post.

danielle in the grey operation jack shirt

ally and i before the 5k

after the race we made our way to city sports so i could use that 100.00 gift card. i spent forever browsing the store to spend my money. i finally picked out what i wanted (they have some sweeeet running shorts there!) and went to the counter to check out. I opened up the gift card to find that there was noooo card inside. just a managers card. the lady looked at me like i was trying to pull some scam. long story short, the manager has to send me the card in the mail. bogus.

after my major fail at city sports we were staaarrrrving and headed to our last bloggy meet up of the day. damn its hard to be so loved:) we had an awesome brunch and it was nice to sit down and chat with these crazy runners.

bloggy chicas and spike

so that's it for round 1 of boston madness. next up...fenway park, almost taking the T to CT, spiked water and niketown. you know you wanna come back for more! happy friday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

three things thursday

this is my first edition of three things thursday.

SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD!- i spent the weekend in boston and i can't quite put into words how much fun i had. i met up with some super sweet blogger peeps and we took over boston. rest assured, ill have a few recaps to post in the next few days. but really, the most important detail is that sam ran a 2:57:53 on monday.

 dear coworkers, no i did not run the boston marathon on monday. infact, i've yet to ever run a marathon. the reason i am walking all hunched over and i have the look of death on my face all day is because my leg is killing me. since saturday night i've had the worst leg pains from my herniated disc. you see, the disc is rubbing against the nerve that runs straight down my leg all the way to my feet. i have good moments and bad moments. the good moments come when i am standing and the bad moments come...the rest of the day. after getting the run around at the doctors office yesterday, i was able to move up my follow up apointment from may 4 to today. it's real hard to get excited about running my first marathon when i can hardly walk. i'll get there though. i know it.

mlb park update: i'm almost 100% i've got this summers stadiums lined up. for a while i have been stalking christy and finally met her in boston. she is also going to visit every mlb park and is a gianormous mets fan. she offered to take me to citi field this summer so we can cross that off our list. i firmly believe it's much better to visit a ballpark when you are with a true fan of that stadium (which i why i had ooohhh so much fun with ally and sam at fenway. im pretty sure ally had never heard sweet caroline sung like danielle and i sung it that day). if ya'll (i know, im from maine, but i reallllly like saying ya'll and so deal with it) have a stadium that you want to bring me to, let me know! ruddley, T and i are also going to ohio in july for a indians game. any indians fans out there?!?

shabby ally, danielle and i rockin' niketown
so thats it for today. ill be back with a boston recap....or 10.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm shipping up to BOSTON!!!!

It's that time again!!! Last year was my first time attending the Boston Marathon! You can read my recap here! I only went down for one day and had SUCH a blast! I vowed to go back every year. It's only a 2 hour drive from my house, no brainer, right?! Since the 2010 Boston Marathon, I have been much more active in the social media world. Twitter, blogging etc...Throughout the year I have talked to so many awesome runners and have even met some of them! haha.. Over the spring and fall so many of them BQ and were luckily enough to beat the Boston registration craziness and made it in to the race. I am so excited to finally meet them all. Most are running and some are spectating. This year Danielle and I are going down for the weekend. We'll make our way through the expo which I hear is awesomeness for a runner. We'll go to several blogger/twitter meet ups. Happy hour, dinner, brunch, 5k. You name it, we are there. We're throwing in a Boston Red Sox game---don't get me wrong I am BEYOND excited for this. Fenway is one of my favorite places ever, but COME ON sox....get your ass in gear please. I've got out of town guests to impress.

Then Marathon Monday. We'll set up shop with our signs at mile 26.1, on the runners left across from Copley Plaza. This is right by the finish line, duh, and a very coveted spot. We get there early, meet other spectators, make friends with the cops and wait for the wheelchair race to start coming down Boyslton. Even though we are there 2-3 hours before anyone starts crossing the finish line, it's such a blast. Everyone is in the spirit. Once the runners start coming down Boylston I completely lose track of time and get my cheer on. Next thing I know, I have missed lunch, running on fuel from the coffee I had 7 hours earlier and my eyes hurt from watching all those speedy runners. I cant wait! Stay tuned, I'll have multiple recaps in the next week or so.

In other news. Injury update. On Wednesday I had my steroid shot. It seriously was one of the most uncomfortable feelings I've had in a while. I was told it was going to hurt a lot. I don't know if hurt was the word. My leg felt paralyzed for a while. After about 10 minutes of standing up my foot felt completely asleep. Lots of pins and needles.  I was told it would take 2 days to 2 weeks to find out if it is going to work. I have a follow up in 2 weeks. Today, I still feel a lot of numbness in the back of my leg down to behind my knee. Periodic tingling in my foot. This morning I have another appointment with my sports injury doc. We'll see what he says.

Safe travels to everyone making their way to Boston this weekend!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Injuries suck!

That back pain I mentioned ohhhhhh a month ago in my last blog? Yeah, after several doctors visits and an MRI it turns out to be a herniated disc in the L5 S1 region.  Awesome.  I've been beyond frustrated with my medical care. I know they see these kinds of injuries all the time, and it's not life threatening, but HELLO people! I am in a lot of pain and making me wait 4 weeks to get any kind of treatment really sucks! My toes go numb and I have shooting pains down my leg. I'm pretty sure this isn't normal. I feel like I was left to fix the problem myself and if I didn't advocate for myself I would have slipped through the cracks. 

My PCP referred me to a pain doctor. I left his office and was told they would call me to set up an appointment. A week passed and I still hadn't heard from them and I was on the verge of tears everyday with the amount of pain and discomfort I was in. I finally made a call to them and they were able to get me an appointment for the following day! Go figure. 

The next day I woke up to a nice blanket of snow on the ground and everything was shutting down! It's the end of March in Maine, I guess I had hoped we were past all this. So I ventured into the appointment to find out the doctor wasn't in that day and there was a miscommunication so they would have to reschedule! I was ok until they told me their next available appointment wasn't for another 6 weeks! It was at this point that I burst into tears. I took the appointment and left. I had no energy to fight or argue with them right there. 

I got back to work and got on the phone. I called my PCP to see if they could help....wouldn't you know,  he was on vacation for the next 2 weeks. More tears. The poor secretary got an ear full from me and said that she would call to see if there was anything she could do. About an hour later I got a call back from the pain docs telling me they were able to fit me in the following week.  

Then Jamie and Kate told me about a Sports Injury Chiropractor that they have seen and he treats a lot of runners! I had come to the realization that my training would probably have to slow down, but I'd like to see someone that understands my need to be pain free and to run again. Up until this point I have been getting "well, maybe you need to find a new hobby". 

I called my insurance to find out if they would cover this particular chiropractor, which of course they didn't. The out of pocket costs weren't so bad, so I decided to set up an appointment with him. He was able to get me in right away! YAY!

So I've now been to the pain doc and come to find out my visit with him was just an evaluation. UGH! I need some relief. He recommended a steroid shot which I am scheduled to get next week. Yesterday was my visit with the chiropractor. We spent a while talking and he was less then thrilled with my current treatment. He says "you don't need a pain doctor. those are for people who are 50 years old and have old back injuries! you're young, we need to get you healthy again!" ahhh so refreshing. he put a stop to my running for now, gave me an order for no bending AT ALL and gave me a series of core exercises I need to do daily. I am going back to see him next week after my shot. ANNNNND when I got out of the appointment, his super sweet secretary told me that my insurance WILL cover it and I just need to get a referral from my PCP! major win! 

So maybe things are starting to look up. I'm bummed that I will have to watch the BAA 5K next weekend. I was really looking forward to that. I've got 2 big races at the end of May that I really want to be healthy for so I know I need to rest. 

Speaking of Boston though, I can't tell you how pumped I am!!! Danielle and I are going to spend the weekend there. I finally get to meet Ally, Erin and Morgan plus a whooooole bunch of other sweet running/blogging/tweeting peeps! Sam got Red Sox tickets and ever so kindly invited us to go with him...let's just hope they can pull themselves out of this 0-6 start. 
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