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Kara Sevda

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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Julie on Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:44 pm

Have a good time in Boston, I really hope the weather isn't as hot as they're predicting for all of you.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:11 pm

Half hour with Aileen. It was 65 and, uh, really warm. Monday's going to be hilarious.

Revised goals:
A. No walking, no medical tent.
B. Finish.
C. Survive.

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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  John Kilpatrick on Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:29 pm

Mike - your reward for a lot of hard work is getting yourself there - have fun!!!!!!!!! Hope everything goes well and I'll be thinking about you!

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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mark B on Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:53 pm

Good luck on Monday, Mike. Play it smart, and you'll still have a great time.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:15 pm

Thanks guys. After having a chat with Schuey last night, I'm definitely more comfortable with running this one for myself. Time goals are out the window, leaving fun and the experience of a lifetime as the important points on tomorrow's schedule.

That said, the 30min recovery (w/ 3x strides) felt GREAT today... Other than how hot it was. And it wasn't even that hot yet. Oh well, I'm feeling ready to go.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  KathyK on Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:13 pm

Congrats on a great Boston finish on a hot day! Looking forward to your race report!
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mark B on Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:29 pm

Congratulations on your first Boston finish, Mike! Those were brutal conditions, but you got it done.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Julie on Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:17 pm

Congratulations! Enjoy the post race celebration and maybe a little rest, too.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:45 pm

Thanks guys. I'm not sure there will be a race report, but there will at least be a short recap here. In short: I started nice and easy, felt great when I saw the family at mile 15, but knew from the start that the day was going to be extremely taxing. Wheels fell off at the top of Heartbreak, walked twice - miles 23 and 25 for about 2-3min each. Was pretty sick to my stomach and felt faint twice while going through the whole finishing area... But hey, that's #3 in the bag. Time to eat now that my stomach is back.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  ounce on Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:55 pm

Gratz! Go get your t-shirt, "I survived 2012 Boston...barely."
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  JohnP on Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:19 pm

Congratulatiosn Mike, I would say you did very well only walking those few times. You definitely put it out there, nothing you can do about the weather.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:16 am

Great job Mike yesterday. And I'm sure you'll be back someday. Hope you are recovering already!
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Alex Kubacki on Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:44 pm

Mike, in those conditions that's a great job. Congrats.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  jon c on Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:15 pm

Enjoyed meeting you and visiting with your father a couple minutes at the food court. Congrats on finishing, there was no shame in how your race unfolded. If you end up coming back here again, chances are pretty good conditions will be cooler at least. With the nausea and feeling faint, you probably had some early dehydration symptoms, but glad you recovered OK.

I can promise you this... there will be better days.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:37 am

I wanted to make sure I had some distance (multiple possible puns not intended) between myself and Boston before I posted about it, because to be honest, I was a bit disappointed after the race. Maybe not so much with the race, since I actually don't think the race won; I think my brain won. And not in a good way.

From the very beginning, I was fighting negative thoughts. It was too hot, I didn't feel fresh, I was really holding back during the first 5k (8:30s?) and the thousands of people passing me was really discouraging. I knew they'd blow up later, but still. It sucked a little bit to see that happen and not make their mistakes with them.

Not to mention that I quickly realized the potential disaster of dumping water all over myself when I'd, erm, overlooked a few of the finer points with Vaseline. TMI? TMI. So, there was that. Fortunately, solved pretty easily by hiking up my shorts a bit.

I fell into a comfortable groove hovering around 7:50s from miles 3-10, more or less, and that felt good and dandy. Gels were going down, water was going down, but I knew the heat was going to take a toll later. I tried running purely by effort, and that worked, but without having a goal, there wasn't too much motivation going on to help me combat the recurring "this is going to get ugly" mantra.

I'm glad Michele also had a bit of disappointment with the Wellesley girls/women, because despite hearing them the legendary half-mile away, the actual "scream tunnel" didn't seem as impressive as I'd imagined. It was fun watching an Italian guy kiss quite a few of them, though.

Seeing my family was definitely the highlight of the race. This was at mile 15ish, right after Kingsbury in Wellesley. I even did a heel-click (unfortunately, not caught on camera), then jogged down to Aileen, who ran into the street to meet me. Gave her a kiss, jogged a few feet with her before giving a cheesy grin to my parents and heading towards Newton.

The first hill, which I expected to be the worst, was nothing. I didn't even realize I was on it until the freeway overpass; I just wondered why I'd slowed to 8:30s again. Hills 2 and 3 were good indicators that my legs were slowly losing their snap and ability to recover. Heartbreak was a long slog, but not all that terrible.

By this point, I had just over 5 miles to go. I'd hoped that I could just breeze through the first 20 and pound out the last 10k, but that wasn't going to happen. Again, with no time goal, finding motivation was tough, and by mile 23, it'd run out. Simply put, every little uptick in the road was causing me to red-line, sending my heart rate up about 30bpm (estimate). So I decided that I needed to focus more on my "no med tent" goal than my "no walking goal," which meant... yep, I had to walk. No matter what I did, I couldn't get my heart rate back down, even at a 10min pace. So it was time to walk through a water station.

Walking caused simultaneous waves of nausea and relief to hit me. It was a strange sensation, but fortunately the nausea went away quickly - although, to be fair, I'd had a headache since mile 16 or so, my last gel at mile 19 was barely held down, not to mention the blisters that started forming at mile 8... - and the relief came. After about 2 minutes, I was able to shuffle into an 8-9min pace again. Okay, I can make it another mile. Mile 24 passed and I convinced myself that I could make it to 25, then take another short walk break at 25 so I didn't have to walk down Boylston.

A slight uptick just before mile 25 seemed like a good time to walk, so I walked from there until the water station, soaked myself again, and carried on. By this point, I'd learned pretty much everything I could from this race (to be enumerated below), but what was stuck in my head was that I had very mixed feelings about huge crowds of screaming fans.

I remembered the advice I'd gotten about Boylston - don't throw your kick yet - and held off until around Exeter, at which point a young lady had passed me. I felt only very slightly bad about picking her as my target, but I needed some redeeming factor, so I chased her down and passed her literally feet from the finish line (somehow got my pace down to the low 6's... what?!)... then nearly passed out.

I have never felt so completely destroyed after any race or run in my life. The next hour was a battle to take in as much fluid as I could (oh, that Gatorade recovery drink had whey in it? DGAF) without vomiting. My left shoulder was cramped (and had been for the last hour or so), my legs were hardly working, my heart rate was only very slowly coming down... It wasn't pretty at all.

That said, the whole process of the finisher's area was very, very smooth. I mean, the logistics of the race as a whole were extremely well thought out and executed. While I hated how long I had to be on my feet in the finish area, I knew that's what was best for my legs and body - a 20min cooldown of slow trudging from station to station.

Schuey and Matt W. just happened to find me at the family meet up area, fortunately once I'd become a bit more coherent. Got a nice pep talk from them that lifted my spirits a bit, but still felt pretty broken down and decided to skip the post-race meet up (sorry, all).

After maybe an hour, we headed to the parking garage at the Prudential Center... Almost passed out as we got near the car. Sweet. Then I was a grouch the rest of the day and could barely sleep Monday night.

So, now we see why I wanted to wait a few days to post about this race. I didn't want it to all be negative. But really, my initial outlook was one of disappointment. I didn't expect a PR by any means, even with perfect conditions. I just wanted an indicator of my fitness level. I wanted to finish and feel like I was back. And getting a personal worst (oh yeah, my finish time: 3:38:04) and first positive split (6min; approx. the time I spent walking) wasn't the way to do that, regardless of the conditions leading to it.

Since then, I've done some number crunching (of course) to try and figure out where I'm at. Remember, my initial goal was a 3:15.
First, I beat Geoffrey Mutai. Yes, I'm joking, but Aileen keeps repeating this and it's kind of making me feel better.
Second, I placed 4227th. Of 20000+. So that's the top 20%.
Third, thanks Michele for the idea to do some comparisons, the 4227th finisher last year had a time of 3:16:33. The 3488th male (my place) last year was 3:14:39.
Fourth, the winner's time this year was 7.8% slower than last year. That equates to a 3:22 for me.

Yes, these are all desperate attempts to make some sense out of a day that really made none, but hey, it's helping me be positive about the whole thing. Plus, I learned quite a bit, as noted above:
1. For OC, I had 15 weeks above 50 miles. This time, I had 5.
2. I ran twice as many miles for OC as I did for Boston. Conclusion: Even with the hill specificity, the aerobic base to carry me easily through the first 20 just wasn't there.
3. I will likely never attempt a PR at Boston. I will attempt other crazy shit, like Boston 2 Big Sur or a double-Boston, but I don't think this will ever be a PR course for me. Why?
4. I prefer smaller races over huge races. Despite being very lonely and having to face the hardest 8 miles of OC on my own, that's how I like to fight my battles when I run: alone. I might get a boost from a crowd in the last mile, but other than that, I don't need it (or want it, really).
5. For that matter, I'm not sure I'll ever try to PR on a course that isn't a "home course." I think the stress of traveling and figuring out logistics affected my last few days of taper and didn't allow me to rest as much as I would've liked.
6. 13 weeks just isn't enough for me to put any expectations on myself. It's enough to train for a marathon, sure, but I need something closer to 16-18 weeks at 40+ miles to really be prepared for a goal race.

It's probably clear that I'm still working through Monday's events. I was hoping that after the race, the stress of training and life and everything leading up to Boston would just disappear... but there's still life to deal with, and I'm almost feeling like now I have to play catch up.

I guess it's a good thing I have this little coping mechanism called "running" to help me sort things out.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  KathyK on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:24 am

You gave it your all on a day that was hotter than heck, and learned a lot in the process. You should be very proud!

Recover well!
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mark B on Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:31 am

#1: Congratulations on a strong finish in Boston, despite very nasty -- in fact, dangerous -- conditions. That you did as well as you did is a credit to your resilience. Be proud.

#2 Stop whining. When the urge comes (and we know it will), refer to #1 above.

That said, it's pretty clear that you just got a graduate-level course in advanced marathoning out there on Monday. We can learn more from when things go wrong than when everything sails along without a hitch. If you can learn from the experience, and it sounds like you are, you will be stronger and smarter next time.

Now, just remember to give yourself adequate recovery time. Don't burn yourself out by coming back too hard, too soon.

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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:18 pm

Ditto what Mark said.

Stop beating yourself up. I learned a few years ago (and a few years too late) that there is never a need to execute yourself after a race - it is what it is, and on that tough day, you did your best. Are there lessons to be learned - absolutely, shoot, I even think I didn't slow down enough in the first 5k and paid for it, but there are lessons to be learned after every race even if it was the most perfect of races. Dude, you ran and finished the Boston 'Freakin Marathon in some of the toughest conditions imaginable! Aileen is right, you beat last year's winner as he didn't even finish!!!! (I used to say the same thing about what I remember as a tough Boston in 1986 when I beat the women's favorite, Alison Roe, as I passed her when she was walking in the Newton hills). It is easy to be disappointed by Monday, but there is absolutely no need to be. You were only off what you wanted to run by 15 min - some people were off by 1.5 hrs or more!

I hope you give yourself the opportunity to run Boston again. It is a large race, the logistics are probably a bit more complicated coming from the left coast, but hey, I've run Big Sur - so no excuses there Wink . I can't guarantee that it won't be as hot as it was, but the odds are against it. I also hope that the "bad taste" goes away because I adore my hometown marathon, no matter what.

Rest up, recover, and take care of yourself, Mike. I expect more running an lots of races in the future as you are still a youngun.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  John Kilpatrick on Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:41 pm

Mike MacLellan wrote:I wanted to make sure I had some distance (multiple possible puns not intended) between myself and Boston before I posted about it, because to be honest, I was a bit disappointed after the race. Maybe not so much with the race, since I actually don't think the race won; I think my brain won. And not in a good way.

From the very beginning, I was fighting negative thoughts. It was too hot, I didn't feel fresh, I was really holding back during the first 5k (8:30s?) and the thousands of people passing me was really discouraging. I knew they'd blow up later, but still. It sucked a little bit to see that happen and not make their mistakes with them.

Not to mention that I quickly realized the potential disaster of dumping water all over myself when I'd, erm, overlooked a few of the finer points with Vaseline. TMI? TMI. So, there was that. Fortunately, solved pretty easily by hiking up my shorts a bit.

I fell into a comfortable groove hovering around 7:50s from miles 3-10, more or less, and that felt good and dandy. Gels were going down, water was going down, but I knew the heat was going to take a toll later. I tried running purely by effort, and that worked, but without having a goal, there wasn't too much motivation going on to help me combat the recurring "this is going to get ugly" mantra.

I'm glad Michele also had a bit of disappointment with the Wellesley girls/women, because despite hearing them the legendary half-mile away, the actual "scream tunnel" didn't seem as impressive as I'd imagined. It was fun watching an Italian guy kiss quite a few of them, though.

Seeing my family was definitely the highlight of the race. This was at mile 15ish, right after Kingsbury in Wellesley. I even did a heel-click (unfortunately, not caught on camera), then jogged down to Aileen, who ran into the street to meet me. Gave her a kiss, jogged a few feet with her before giving a cheesy grin to my parents and heading towards Newton.

The first hill, which I expected to be the worst, was nothing. I didn't even realize I was on it until the freeway overpass; I just wondered why I'd slowed to 8:30s again. Hills 2 and 3 were good indicators that my legs were slowly losing their snap and ability to recover. Heartbreak was a long slog, but not all that terrible.

By this point, I had just over 5 miles to go. I'd hoped that I could just breeze through the first 20 and pound out the last 10k, but that wasn't going to happen. Again, with no time goal, finding motivation was tough, and by mile 23, it'd run out. Simply put, every little uptick in the road was causing me to red-line, sending my heart rate up about 30bpm (estimate). So I decided that I needed to focus more on my "no med tent" goal than my "no walking goal," which meant... yep, I had to walk. No matter what I did, I couldn't get my heart rate back down, even at a 10min pace. So it was time to walk through a water station.

Walking caused simultaneous waves of nausea and relief to hit me. It was a strange sensation, but fortunately the nausea went away quickly - although, to be fair, I'd had a headache since mile 16 or so, my last gel at mile 19 was barely held down, not to mention the blisters that started forming at mile 8... - and the relief came. After about 2 minutes, I was able to shuffle into an 8-9min pace again. Okay, I can make it another mile. Mile 24 passed and I convinced myself that I could make it to 25, then take another short walk break at 25 so I didn't have to walk down Boylston.

A slight uptick just before mile 25 seemed like a good time to walk, so I walked from there until the water station, soaked myself again, and carried on. By this point, I'd learned pretty much everything I could from this race (to be enumerated below), but what was stuck in my head was that I had very mixed feelings about huge crowds of screaming fans.

I remembered the advice I'd gotten about Boylston - don't throw your kick yet - and held off until around Exeter, at which point a young lady had passed me. I felt only very slightly bad about picking her as my target, but I needed some redeeming factor, so I chased her down and passed her literally feet from the finish line (somehow got my pace down to the low 6's... what?!)... then nearly passed out.

I have never felt so completely destroyed after any race or run in my life. The next hour was a battle to take in as much fluid as I could (oh, that Gatorade recovery drink had whey in it? DGAF) without vomiting. My left shoulder was cramped (and had been for the last hour or so), my legs were hardly working, my heart rate was only very slowly coming down... It wasn't pretty at all.

That said, the whole process of the finisher's area was very, very smooth. I mean, the logistics of the race as a whole were extremely well thought out and executed. While I hated how long I had to be on my feet in the finish area, I knew that's what was best for my legs and body - a 20min cooldown of slow trudging from station to station.

Schuey and Matt W. just happened to find me at the family meet up area, fortunately once I'd become a bit more coherent. Got a nice pep talk from them that lifted my spirits a bit, but still felt pretty broken down and decided to skip the post-race meet up (sorry, all).

After maybe an hour, we headed to the parking garage at the Prudential Center... Almost passed out as we got near the car. Sweet. Then I was a grouch the rest of the day and could barely sleep Monday night.

So, now we see why I wanted to wait a few days to post about this race. I didn't want it to all be negative. But really, my initial outlook was one of disappointment. I didn't expect a PR by any means, even with perfect conditions. I just wanted an indicator of my fitness level. I wanted to finish and feel like I was back. And getting a personal worst (oh yeah, my finish time: 3:38:04) and first positive split (6min; approx. the time I spent walking) wasn't the way to do that, regardless of the conditions leading to it.

Since then, I've done some number crunching (of course) to try and figure out where I'm at. Remember, my initial goal was a 3:15.
First, I beat Geoffrey Mutai. Yes, I'm joking, but Aileen keeps repeating this and it's kind of making me feel better.
Second, I placed 4227th. Of 20000+. So that's the top 20%.
Third, thanks Michele for the idea to do some comparisons, the 4227th finisher last year had a time of 3:16:33. The 3488th male (my place) last year was 3:14:39.
Fourth, the winner's time this year was 7.8% slower than last year. That equates to a 3:22 for me.

Yes, these are all desperate attempts to make some sense out of a day that really made none, but hey, it's helping me be positive about the whole thing. Plus, I learned quite a bit, as noted above:
1. For OC, I had 15 weeks above 50 miles. This time, I had 5.
2. I ran twice as many miles for OC as I did for Boston. Conclusion: Even with the hill specificity, the aerobic base to carry me easily through the first 20 just wasn't there.
3. I will likely never attempt a PR at Boston. I will attempt other crazy shit, like Boston 2 Big Sur or a double-Boston, but I don't think this will ever be a PR course for me. Why?
4. I prefer smaller races over huge races. Despite being very lonely and having to face the hardest 8 miles of OC on my own, that's how I like to fight my battles when I run: alone. I might get a boost from a crowd in the last mile, but other than that, I don't need it (or want it, really).
5. For that matter, I'm not sure I'll ever try to PR on a course that isn't a "home course." I think the stress of traveling and figuring out logistics affected my last few days of taper and didn't allow me to rest as much as I would've liked.
6. 13 weeks just isn't enough for me to put any expectations on myself. It's enough to train for a marathon, sure, but I need something closer to 16-18 weeks at 40+ miles to really be prepared for a goal race.

It's probably clear that I'm still working through Monday's events. I was hoping that after the race, the stress of training and life and everything leading up to Boston would just disappear... but there's still life to deal with, and I'm almost feeling like now I have to play catch up.

I guess it's a good thing I have this little coping mechanism called "running" to help me sort things out.

Missed your race report - just saw it on your blog but was anxious to read it -

Mike - first of all, thanks for the laugh - you know your number crunching cracks me up, but you (and Michele) make some damn good points. Secondly, you ran a damn good race! In that kind of weather in what sounds to me like a tough course, you did awesome. And, you were in the upper 20% of runners in not just a marathon, but the Boston freaking marathon. Your descriptions of your heart rate sounded just like my time at my half ironman - HR was zipping faster than it ever had with "running" as slowly as I was - and I only ran a rotten 2 hour half marathon!

And, no matter what else, you just ran the Boston marathon - a chance that not many people ever get to do. Great job and I look forward to following your next adventure!

Cheer up - you are an awesome runner and just had a hell of a good race! Be proud of it!

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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:32 pm

Thanks for the reality check, guys. But I mean, did you expect any different? I'm always pretty hard on myself about races that miss the mark... Shrug.

Parents flew home this morning, so I'm here at Gallaudet until Sunday morning. There's a big sports/social festival this weekend... and today is 4/20. Have a feeling I'll be meeting quite a few intoxicated individuals today. As for me? Eh, I'll stick to a short run to the National Arboretum with Aileen, a picnic lunch, and a short run back. I told her I'd rather just watch Finding Nemo in bed than go to a house party tonight... Yep, I'm an old man. So be it.

Oh, I ran yesterday. 3 miles. Slow and stiff, but legs actually opened up a little bit by the end. I don't think I saw much south of 9min pace, though. Nor do I think I care. Legs feel a hell of a lot better today (stairs don't hurt!).
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:53 pm

I learned in my second marathon (Chicago '08) how badly one can feel after finishing a shitty hot marathon, so I know where you're coming from. You'll get over it. Traveling for one of these and then getting record heat just sucks, but what the hell, put it behind you. Pick the next one.

Enjoy Nemo!
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Mark B on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:51 pm

Mike MacLellan wrote:But I mean, did you expect any different?

From you? Pfft. Nope. What a Face

Glad your legs are talking to you again. Enjoy your downtime: You earned it (and need it).
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  KathyK on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:37 pm

Mike MacLellan wrote:

Oh, I ran yesterday. 3 miles. Slow and stiff,

You now have a glimpse of what it feels like to run when you are an old woman like me!
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:13 pm

KathyK wrote:
Mike MacLellan wrote:

Oh, I ran yesterday. 3 miles. Slow and stiff,

You now have a glimpse of what it feels like to run when you are an old woman like me!

Hehehe, Kathy! I know, I know, I think we are older than Mike's parents.
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Re: Kara Sevda

Post  Julie on Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:21 pm

I still think you ran a good race. I really like small marathons too, though. I like having it quiet and just thinking and looking at the surroundings even if they're not all that pretty. I don't like people telling me I'm almost done at mile 18 (OK that doesn't always happen but sometimes too many peppy happy people just gets on my nerves when I'm absolutely beat).

Sorry you're disappointed but man, you ran Boston! That used to be one of my biggest life goals, now I think I've given up, or at least put it on hold till I'm an old lady Cool Take it easy and try to give yourself at least a little pat on the back for
1. running another marathon 2. running it well, even in horrible heat 3 Running Boston!!! Seriously, that is awesome. Proud of you.
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Re: Kara Sevda

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