#WeRunNYC Update and FAQs!

Hey Hey Hey!

We are so looking forward to seeing friendly faces – new and old – at #WeRunNYC this Saturday, June 1st at 8:30. Bright and early to beat the heat!

Here are the deets in case you forgot.

WHAT: Fun Run (4 mile and 8 mile options)

WHEN: Saturday, June 1st, 8:30 am (trying to beat the heat!)

WHERE: Greatist HQ – 18 W 27th Street, 8th floor

FREE TICKETS: GET THEM HERE!

SPONSORS: @oiselle@pickybars@nuunhydration

HOSTS: @greatist

RUN EXPERT: Josh of Gotham City Runners

HASHTAG: #weRUNnyc <– because if it didn’t happen on instagram or twitter, then it didn’t really happen, right?

Here are a few updates and FAQs on the run, prizes, AND a special online raffle so those who aren’t in NYC can participate (tear, we wish you could be here!).

1. BAG CHECK: Yes! You can leave your bags in the designated bag check room at Greatist HQ. One of the Greatist employees will be staying behind so your stuff will be a-ok while you run.

2. OISELLE CLOTHES TO TRY ON: Jocelyn and I are going to bring some of our Oiselle clothes for people to try on for sizing purposes as I know many people often have questions on the sizing. Boom! Here’s your chance to try on. Don’t worry, all clothes will be clean! 🙂

3. PRIZES: Oh yeah. Get excited. This is the real reason you’re going to want to come.

NUUN: New Flavor Mixed 4 Pack AND a water bottle, similar to the ones Kara Goucher used in Boston

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PICKY BARS: 10-bar pack and wrist band

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I know you remember this guy...

I know you remember this guy…

 OISELLE: 1 women’s 50/50 “Fly” tee

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2 men’s 50/50 “London Calling” tees

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1 pair of women’s Game Day shorts in poppy

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3 pack of Rundies

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GREATIST: Trigger Point The Grid Foam Roller 

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Greatist T-shirts

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And, the piece de resistance…drumroll please…

AN ELITE OISELLE SINGLET SIGNED BY LAUREN FLESHMAN!

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Because we believe this last one is so special and because we love Every Mother Counts, we’re making this one both an online and in person raffle for charity. The other prizes are in person raffle only and the run and are free.

Enter to win an elite Oiselle singlet signed by pro runner and Oiselle business partner, Lauren Fleshman! Lauren is a 5x NCAA champ, 15x All-American, and 2x US 5K Champ! Online entries can be done at our crowdrise page:

——> http://www.crowdrise.com/teamemc/fundraiser/werunnyc <——

ONLINE ENTRIES: $2 for 1 raffle ticket
IN PERSON ENTRIES: $1 for 1 raffle ticket, cash only at #WeRunNYC on 6/1/13
WHAT YOUR DONATION SUPPORTS:
Every Mother Counts (EMC) is an advocacy and mobilization campaign founded by Christy Turlington Burns that seeks to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally. More simply stated, EMC helps to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all mothers.
$3 (just a few raffle tickets!) can ensure a pregnant woman can get a ride to a clinic when she goes into labor.
$500 can provide 50 women with safe motherhood kits with basic supplies for delivery and postnatal care.
$3600 can train a midwife in Haiti who will, on average, attend to at least 100 births over the course of her career.
Raffle winner will be drawn on June 2nd and announced on Monday, June 3rd.
Didn’t win?! You can be stylish and philanthropic by purchasing Oiselle’s exclusive collection for Every Mother Counts! Forty percent of all purchases go directly to EMC. I kid you not, that EMC sweatshirt is one of the softest sweatshirts I’ve ever owned.
Find out more about EMC here: http://www.everymothercounts.org/
 
Find out more about Oiselle for EMC here: http://www.oiselle.com/shop/the-collective/every-mother-counts
 
Find out more about Lauren here: asklaurenfleshman.com
TELL ME: WHO’S COMING? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO WIN? DONATING? FAVE NUUN FLAVOR? FAVE PICKY BAR FLAVOR? FAVE OISELLE PIECE? FAVE CHARITY?
See you Saturday!
Until next time…
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Great Graduation Speeches

Surely, many have heard Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford in 2005 encouraging grads to “not settle.” Or JK Rowling’s speech to the Harvard Class of 2008 speaking of the benefits of failure.

But, I’d wanted to share a graduation speech that was mentioned in the commencement address given at my graduation last week. I had not heard of it and, lo and behold, the is a wonderful 10 min excerpt created on YouTube that condensing the message into its most salient points.

The entire address, found spoken here or as a transcript here, is worth a listen or read, in my humble opinion. Put simply, the entire speech struck me. Many of you may have probably already experienced what Wallace speaks of – the day in and day out of adulthood. While, surely, there have been months of my life that have been day in and day out, the vast majority of my “professional life” has been moving on from one exciting, seemingly insurmountable task to the next. The SATs. College. Finals. The MCAT. Medical School. The Boards. Third Year Rotations. The Match. Graduation. There has always been a dangling carrot in the not so distant future, ready for the taking. I’ve been extremely lucky.

I think the fear of the mundane is one reason I chose medicine. I’ve been promised a career that is “ever changing” in which I will be a “life long learner.” Yet, still, I fear an ordinary existence. I am fiercely protective of my “extra-curricular” activities, namely running, as I see them as an insurance policy against a potentially humdrum daily life. With running, there will always be a new PR to chase, a fun race to run, a new path to try out. Running can turn any ordinary day into an extraordinary.

I don’t aspire to notoriety or celebrity, but I do hope to be extraordinary and exceptional. At least, that is how I hope people will describe me one day.

Yet, as a sat at graduation last week, looking at the platform of distinguished and exemplary physicians, I wondered what my exceptional is going to be. At times, I think I want to be like them – a well recognized physician. At other times, I crave being a wonderful wife and mom, raising little Noa, Cody, and Reeve (names subject to change) to extraordinary existences for themselves. And, in the next minute, I ponder keeping running a big part of my life, like the ladies of Oiselle, and somehow intermixing this why my “professional” career. Entrepreneurship. Social Media. Family Life. There are many things I could imagine wanting to be great at. I guess in the terminology of “lean in,” I’m not always sure which way to lean.

Do I need to know what this balance will be at 27 years old? Scarily, sometimes I think so. The “early bird catches the worm” is a cliche for a reason. But, maybe not. 27 years old, as I hear from others, might be on the younger side in the working world.

What I do know is that I need to spend the next 4 years hopefully becoming an exceptional physician. I hope to keep running and maybe dabble in social media or writing, but know that my blinders need to be put on and the sole focus my main profession: medicine.

I think the choices of my professional pie can, hopefully, be put off until my 30s, when I set up my “real career.” Surely, my tastes and preferences will change by then as I didn’t even like this whole running thing when I entered medical school.

In terms of the potential banality of daily life? Here is something I’m going to remember from Wallace’s speech:

 If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from running, it’s that the mind dictates the experience – your race or your life.

TELL ME: A FAVORITE SPEECH OR ADDRESS?

And, if you’re a real graduation speech junkie, here is a list compiled by Business Insider on the top 23 commencement speeches ever given.

 

 

 

SAVE THE DATE: Fun Run on June 1st

FRIENDS! ROMANS! COUNTRYMEN! LEND ME YOUR EARS!

We’ll stop there with the Shakespeare…

But, seriously, listen up kids. Tired of hearing me rave about Oiselle rogas or Picky Bars or the wonder of banana nuun and want to find out what they hype is all about yourself? LOOK NO FURTHER. All 3 are sponsoring a group run on June 1st!

WHAT: Fun Run (4 mile and 8 mile options)

WHEN: Saturday, June 1st, 8:30 am (trying to beat the heat!)

WHERE: Greatist HQ – 18 W 27th Street, 8th floor

FREE TICKETS: GET THEM HERE!

SPONSORS: @oiselle, @pickybars, @nuunhydration <– samples and prizes from these guys!

HOSTS: @greatist

RUN EXPERT: Josh of Gotham City Runners

HASHTAG: #weRUNnyc <– because if it didn’t happen on instagram or twitter, then it didn’t really happen, right?

I know. It’s almost too much to handle.

BRING YOUR FRIENDS! MEET NEW ONES!

I mean, I’ve met some of my besties through the interwebz. Its totally cool these days.

ANY QUESTIONS? Tweet to myself (@MBSthinks) or the real brains behind this operation, Jocelyn (@jcbonn)

SEE YOU THERE!

SEE YOU THERE!

TELL ME: ARE YOU COMING?!?

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

My [Humble] “Guide” to Sports Psych

If you go back and read some of my older posts, you’ll know I used to struggle a lot with my running mental game. I still do sometimes, but, over the past few years, I’ve done a lot of “work” between the ears and come up with some strategies to conquer the doubt demons and enjoy racing more.

Here are some things that have helped me. The “Unicorn Guide to Sports Psych” if you will…

[Wondering what the unicorn is all about? Jocelyn described the 2nd semester of my 4th year of med school as being like a unicorn’s horn – always on the up and up…until a crash much later. Plus, unicorns are happy and magical, also somewhat like the 4th year of med school.]

UNICORN GUIDE TO SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY:

By: MBS

1. Ditch the Garmin

At least for a bit. Learn to run and race by feel first and then bring the Garmin back in. I ran completely watch-less for 6 weeks while I studied for the boards and then I completely surprised myself in a race right after I took the boards. I think it was because I stopped thinking about pace in numbers and started thinking about effort.

It took me a while (ie 2.5 years) to learn to use the Garmin as a tool to look at data afterwards and not as an on-the-run Big Brother watching over me. And, always remember, the only person really judging your Garmin splits is you. Garmin is only Big Brother if you make it.

2. Read this book and this book

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Both are worth your time and money in my opinion. I refer back to both books often. They have some great pearls of wisdom. You are welcome to borrow my copy that is highlighted and flagged. #nerdalert

3. Get something to write in

More valuable data than my Garmin splits...

More valuable data than my Garmin splits…

Writing helps me to not only vent, but to figure out why I may have make “x” decision, am scared of “x” workout, and so on and so forth.

4. Articulate why you want to race in a sentence that does not include a time in it

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And to eat ice cream...

I wrote this back in December or January…

Racing takes on a richer meaning when it is for something else other than time. Or, at least, it did for me.

5. Want to be there (the race, workout, etc) and no where else

I’ve noticed that when the pain of racing starts, I start to want to be somewhere else. My bed. Starbucks. The beach. In front of a TV watching Dance Moms. Eating. As of February (ie after Miami Half ADD race), I tried to start to mentally compartmentalize my running, meaning run time was “let’s only think about running and not the 50 other places you’d want to be right now.” You signed up. You put your shoes on. Your body is physically there. Now, commit your mind to also wanting to be there and no where else. And, remember, the whole thing is temporary. It will be over in less time than it takes to watch “The Sound of Music” or “Gone With the Wind” (unless its a marathon).

6. Race a lot

Doing anything repeatedly has a callousing affect and you start to become less nervous. For example, before I took my MCAT, I took 10 separate practice tests each on a Saturday morning to simulate testing conditions. By the time I took the real deal, it seemed like my normal Saturday morning activity. And, now, after tests about every 2-3 weeks during the first and second years of medical school, I don’t get nervous before most tests, unless its my boards.

Racing a good bit also lets you practice how you might deal with your nerves. I might have one “goal” race, but I’ll still race fairly frequently throughout my training to practice dealing with negative self talk, bad racing habits (starting out too fast or way too slow), and so on and so forth.

7. Toughen up

As my friend JB once told me, “The farmers work 16 hours days in the field…you can do this.” Or, as my mom told me before a tennis match onetime, “The Russian girls don’t need sports psych – they just want to win so they do…so go out and win!” So, just remember those farmers and the tough Russian tennis players…

————-

Mostly, I’ve found a robust imagination and practice to be the keys to my “mental game.” Yeah, unicorns? Legs of an eagle? Sounds completely crazy, but it’s worked for me.

TELL ME: YOUR BEST TIPS FOR CONQUERING YOUR MENTAL GAME? 

Until next time…

Marathon Game Changers

The Eugene Marathon 2013 wasn’t my first time in track town. I went last year…twice actually. Once for the whole Eugene Marathon weekend (I ran the 5K) and then for #totallytrials with Oiselle. I distinctly remember watching SarahOUAL, Sweaty Emily, Faster Bunny, Skinny Runner and company all tear it up in Eugene, yet all I was thinking was “thank God that isn’t me.” I swore of marathons and found a new friend in 5Ks and 10Ks.

"5ks are rad. The marathon is stupid."

“5ks are rad. The marathon is stupid.”

Now, a year later, I’m all “the marathon is magical and you’ll find unicorns on the course and forest fairies and it will be amazing so just keep running forever and ever and ever.” In fact, if running and I were in a relationship, we’d be on our honeymoon in Fiji, where it’s beautiful even when its monsooning.

"Unicorns do exist!"

“Unicorns do exist!”

What changed? Probably just finding running friends who helped me like running for intrinsic reasons versus extrinsic gain. But, I’ve been thinking about a list of “game changers” in the past year that helped me go from marathon hater to BQ’er.

I owe my marathon love to these girls.

I owe my marathon love to these girls.

CAVEAT: I’m not going to impart any words of wisdom that aren’t already out there in the universe. I’m not going to tell you any brand new information. These are just the few things that worked for me and, hopefully, can help you, too.

1. LEARNING TO TEMPO

Tempos aren’t might strong suit. Or, at least, in the past they weren’t. I used to freak out over hitting paces EXACTLY (I’m very literal and specific with most things) and a deviation in a few seconds would derail me (it sounds silly now). I used to stop very frequently during tempos, which I’m fairly sure is against the whole point of the run. Taking breaks during a harder effort isn’t exactly confidence boosting for a race either. There are time outs in a race.

I used to think that each workout need to be great – spectacular even – to produce a good result in a race. About a year ago I changed my whole attitude. I told myself that I didn’t need to be great, I just needed to be consistently good. And a lot of good workouts would lead to a great race.

FinishLineMedal:Smile

So, before tempos, I’d tell myself to “just be good” and to “not stop.” A good many were slower than I would’ve liked, but I didn’t stop. And then not stopping became routine, rather than the reverse, and I found myself running a 6.5 mile tempo nonstop by September.

The whole “learning to tempo” bit not only helped improved the physical systems that it works (I don’t know what these are, this is why I have the RC), but it also helped my mental focus. Focus upped my marathon game for sure.

2. LEARNING TO USE THE GARMIN AS A TOOL AND NOT A SLAVEDRIVER

When I first got a Garmin, I’d try to run to make the Garmin say something. For instance, I’d want to make it say 8:10/mile during a tempo. If it was too slow, I’d try to make it say 8:10/mile even if that meant stopping because it was too hard for me at the time.

I’m not sure which the mental switch occurred, but sometime last fall or this spring I got good at using the Garmin as a tool. I’d run the pace at which the effort felt appropriate for the what the workout called for. And the Garmin would tell me what that was. It’s a really subtle difference that is somewhat hard to articulate, but, basically I dictated a run, not a Garmin.

"Yes Garmin! I'm in charge! I didn't care that you told me I ran a 6:50 mile for the first mile!" That one didn't turn out so hot. Maybe I should pay a tiny bit more attention to it...

“Yes Garmin! I’m in charge! I didn’t care that you told me I ran a 6:50 mile for the first mile!” That one didn’t turn out so hot. Maybe I should pay a tiny bit more attention to it…

I’ll even wear a Garmin in a race now as I know I won’t have any mental breakdowns over it. I can see a pace during a race, but won’t mount an emotional response to it until after.

I’m not even sure if the above makes sense. Just go with it.

3. NUUN

I drank a lot of nuun before and after both long runs and the marathon itself. The discovery of banana nuun while in Eugene was clutch. Although I’m drinking more banana nuun now than I care to admit.

I don’t drink nuun while I run mostly because I don’t carry my own water (in case you were wondering).

I, too, was a banana skeptic. I am now a convert.

I, too, was a banana skeptic. I am now a convert.

Read this study on how under-hydrating affects your run the next day.

4. INTRINSIC MOTIVATION

I started running in 2009 and started taking the “getting faster” thing more seriously in 2010. I have no idea why, but for a long time I felt like I need to prove myself as a “good” runner, mostly to myself. I think I doubted my abilities for a long time and wanted race times to show me that I was a runner (vs runner-poser?) and, maybe, an “average” or “above average” one at that. [What the definition of “average” and “above average” runner is, surely, subjective.]

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For a while, I think I wanted a BQ to prove something to myself, to show myself that I was “good” or “above average.” Sometime this spring, my attitude changed. I wanted a BQ because I knew I was those things – “good” (to me) and “above average” (again, to me). I started thing about myself differently as a runner, as someone who was capable and strong. This sounds terribly conceited, but, in other words, I wanted a BQ because I knew I could do it not because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

[If that makes any sense whatsoever.]

5. JOY AND FRIENDSHIP

I wouldn’t have even signed up for two marathons in the past year if it weren’t for Gia and Jocelyn. Both run marathons because they love to run and it brings them a lot of happiness. And they showed me that I could learn to love the distance and have more fun than I could have imagined training for it.

So thankful for my #sisterinsport Gia - friends make a workout fly by! After 6 x 1 mile on a cold day in February!

So thankful for my #sisterinsport Gia – friends make a workout fly by! After 6 x 1 mile on a cold day in February!

We're running 20 miles! Who's excited?! Who's scared?!

We’re running 20 miles! Who’s excited?! Who’s scared?!

Now, let’s get real. The stars aligned for me in Eugene and, of course, it’s very easy to say “of course I could do it” after the fact. I was definitely a tiny bit doubtful leading up to the race. It’s a marathon after all. It’s a long time to run. A lot can happen in 3 hours (I mean, in Titanic, Rose and Jack fall in love and Jack dies all in that span of time). Could I have run 3:38 or 3:45 that day? Absolutely. But, I knew deep down before this race that I was trained to run 3:33-3:34 because of the above mentioned aspects IF everything went right on the day. I’m lucky it did.

TELL ME: GAME CHANGERS FOR YOU AND YOUR RUNNING?

Until next time…

 

The Lucky Ones

Was this the title of a movie lately? Maybe a Nicholas Sparks book? Well, anyways…

I’m still riding the marathon high and post-marathon depression hasn’t hit, yet. This is fantastic because the Dance Moms season finale was last night and the two compounded together could have easily sent me into despair.

Let me tell you marathon + friend endorphins are crazy. I slept maybe 4 hours Sunday night and only drank maybe 3 oz of coffee on Monday and I made it through the whole day. Can someone bottle this stuff for residency?

I think I need a temporary tattoo intervention...

I think I need a temporary tattoo intervention…

I can’t remember if I blogged a whole lot about training for the Eugene Marathon, but there were two overarching themes to the whole “season,” if you will…

First, it was always fairly easy as I felt like “one of the lucky ones.” And, second, I finally felt like a long distance runner and not just someone who likes to exercise and sort of likes to run long but not really that long because it gets old after a while.

In training for past marathons, I’ve definitely had a good many runs where I was complaining, scared of the workout, didn’t want to run 20 miles, and so on and so forth. That didn’t happen this time. This came from two changes in my outlook: 1) I realized this was sort of the last hurrah for hard training for a while and 2) I realized how lucky I was to be doing this.

Two of my friends, Jocelyn and Ali, got fairly (or very) sick this spring. Both haven’t been able to run as much as they would have liked (or, sometimes, at all).

Ali running last fall. Ali, I had to steal this pic of the internet of you. Hope that's ok...

Ali running last fall. Ali, I had to steal this pic of the internet of you. Hope that’s ok…

Jocelyn. A doubt you've seen her on this blog before.

Jocelyn. A doubt you’ve seen her on this blog before.

Seeing them being “taken out of the game” under circumstances fairly out of their control made me realize how lucky I was to have three things align: my health, my motivation to train, and the time to train. It’s not often that those three stars align and I realized that I was pretty much one of the luckiest people in Manhattan to be able to say I had each of those three things.

There was a distinct moment in a workout where this felt all too true. I was doing 3 x 2 miles on the track, which is a pretty hard workout, I think. I was in the midst of my 2nd one and Jocelyn, who was on her first runs after having to take about a month off, came up to the track. I thought how much Jocelyn would probably want to be in my position (well, maybe, can you vouch for that, Joc?) and that I got to be the lucky one to be doing that track workout.

And then I also got my own paparazzi for that workout...

And then I also got my own paparazzi for that workout…

On top of the “lucky” feeling, I also had this sort of “I feel like a marathoner” moment after one of my long runs. In the past, I’ve never been one to really love the long run. Its long (duh), can get a bit monotonous and boring, and it takes a chunk out of your weekend. This time around I was lucky enough (yet again) to have buddies for most long runs, making them more effortless than usual. In particular, on my 18 mile run two weeks before the Eugene Marathon, I ran two loops of Central Park during the middle of that run. The hills on the first loop felt a bit laborious; those on the 2nd loop felt like a breeze. It felt like the run got better as it went along, like mile 15 was more effortless than mile 5. It was the first time I got what so many of you like about the long run and made me think that this marathon might actually go pretty well.

During that long run...

During that long run, loop 1. Thanks, Lora, for the photo!

Same Run, loop 2

Same Run, loop 2. Thanks, Lora, for the photo!

Those two things made this marathon distinctly different than the others.

I promise I’ll stop being so nauseating soon. I’m probably peaking in life right now – no real responsibilities, healthy, and people are basically congratulating me on existing. Fourth year of med school is the bomb. Talk to me in August and the unicorn won’t be so glittery anymore. It’ll be probably more like an angry mare.

TELL ME: BEST TIME YOU’VE EVER HAD TRAINING FOR A RACE? UNRELATED – HAVE YOU EVER PAINTED AN ENTIRE APARTMENT AND SHOULD I ATTEMPT THIS MYSELF?

Until next time…

#HugeEug 2013: WWPDD, Bruce Miles, and Dream Sequence Legged Eagles

Thanks for all the twitter/facebook/text/carrier pigeon love (jk on the carrier pigeon) on the interwebz yesterday. I was overwhelmed with excitement and, most likely, the most self-absorbed person at the Picky Bars Ninkasi party. I am sorry I told everyone about my “life unicorn” and how I’m “riding the 4th year med student high” right now. I owe whoever listened to my endorphin babbling a drink. Or five.

Anyways, the big BQ finally happened, after two and half years of trying for it. Over those two and half years, I’ve gone from terrified to believing to crushed to drinking the marathon haterade and swearing them off to finally, like a moth to a flame, back to the marathon, my goal, and, somehow, getting pretty lucky and having my little dream come true.

Yesterday, the stars aligned and I got lucky: 3:34:07, 53 seconds under the Boston qualifying time. And, here’s how it went down.

PART ONE: WHAT WOULD PHIL DUNPHY DO?

Walking to the start, Jocelyn and I starting talking about Modern Family and, of course, Phil Dunphy. Has anyone seen the episode where Luke takes up magic then wants to quit, but Phil tells him, “I’m not letting you give up on your talent, Luke!”? Well, that became the theme of my marathon, at least the first part.

Thanks, Phil, for the first 10 miles.

Thanks, Phil, for the first 10 miles.

What would Phil Dunphy say when running a marathon?

“This is my moment!”

“Ahh, what a beautiful day!”

“I’m not letting you give up on your talent!”

So, if you were in my head from the start to about mile 10, it was me and my buddy Phil “taking in the moment” and “not giving up on your talent!”

It occurred to me that I really have no talent for running, BUT the little quote was working for me so I went with it.

The first few miles were faster than I planned on starting but I felt great and like I was in a good rhythm. And, what would Phil Dunphy say to me? “This is your moment! Don’t let a Garmin telling you you’re a few seconds per mile ahead of the planned pace ruin your moment! I’m not letting you give up on your talent!”

Yes, again, no talent, but it worked.

It was also from around mile 3-16 I was around this guy who told EVERY volunteer, cheerleader, or policeman we passed, “THANKS FOR BEING YOU!” very loudly. After about the 10th time, it got a little irritating. Ok, very irritating. Phil Dunphy probably would’ve made friends with this dude. I was not making friends with this dude.

PART TWO: BRUCE MILES

Brothstein miles. Bruce miles. RC/RCH miles. Whatever you want to call them, this was where the marathon was actually won for me. (Not actually won, obviously).

Around mile 10, I was starting to get a little “hmm, been running a while here and still have a ways to go here….Phil isn’t all that entertaining anymore…”

And, low and behold, the RC swooped in to save the day.

For those not acquainted with the RC, Steph [Rothstein-Bruce] just finished 15th in the Boston marathon, was 3rd American, and has a 2:29:35 PR in the marathon. Moreover, the tiny (literally) marathon stud has been coaching me for the past 2.5 years (Lord, help her). So, to have her running with me was really special to me.

I'm sure we looked very similar to this.

I’m sure we looked very similar to this.

We talked a bit, I handed her my watch so I wouldn’t look at it, and all that “omg, I’ve already gone so far” self talk went away and changed to “omg, you have a professional marathon running with you, this is awesome, I am basically going to have to retire from the marathon after this because it’s not going to get any cooler than this.”

Around mile 11, Ben, Steph’s husband, jumped in, too. So, I had my own little husband-wife professional running duo running with me. NBD. Just like every other marathon I’ve run, right? To say I was thrilled was an understatement. It was a major instagram moment that sadly I was not able to capture.

Steph jumped out around 14 so it was just me, Ben, and Ben’s stories. Dari mart commericals. Odd habits of Eugenians. Ben’s track workouts. How we could drive 15 hours down the interstate we were passing and be in San Diego. I was very mentally occupied until Ben left at 19 (which, by the way at 17 miles, I told Ben, “I will PAY you to stay with me til 19!”).

Ben and I around mile 16. Thanks, Emily for the photo!

Ben and I around mile 16. Thanks, Emily for the photo!

I am fairly certain I slowed down during this time, but I wasn’t paying too much attention to the watch. Also, thanks Ben for getting me water. Real white glove service running buddy duties right there.

PART THREE: DREAM SEQUENCE LEGGED EAGLE MILES

After mile 19, things started to get a bit fuzzy. Like my vision had been changed to an instagram filter and I was running through a dream sequence like they have on sitcoms.

To be honest, I didn’t think I had a BQ in me at this point. Mental math isn’t my strong suit, but I thought I was running too slowly for it to happen. But, I sort of didn’t care. I went for it. I didn’t hold back. I was doing the best I could do. I was still running. If it was a 3:38 or 3:41 or 3:34 marathon, I was pretty resigned to the fact that I was doing the best, effort wise, that I had.

Before Ben left, I asked him “when is it ok to go and it really hurts but its ok?” His reply was that around 21 I should try to squeeze down but not so much that I think I’m going to get in trouble a mile later. So, that was what I was thinking of – squeezing out a tube of toothpaste (huh? I don’t know either), but not feeling like I was going to be in trouble in 10 minutes.

Mile 21 is also where you come down a little bridge and my legs felt surprisingly ok. In fact, really good (but, of course, it was a downhill) and at which point I told myself, “You have the legs of an eagle.”

And, then a quarter mile later I realized eagles don’t have great legs. In fact, they’re more like twigs for legs.

But, the eagle with legs was really working for me so I just went with it and realized that this was probably the mile 2x endorphins talking.

PART FOUR: THE OISELLES AND THE FINISH

To say I felt in great company on the course was an understatement. There were about 22 Oiselle team members running as well as a handful of other internet running friends. I used Corey and Holly as my visual for a good while, saw Sarah Chan running in the Oiselle running dress, and saw Monica somewhere around 21-22. Mason from nuun was out on the course giving advice, support, pacing duties, and, of course, nuun.

Best of all, the Oiselle (Kmet, JJ, Lauren, Emily, Abby, Meghan, and everyone else) cheer squad positioned themselves at the start, mile 9, mile 16, and the finish. Talk about support. I felt so loved every time I passed them and it kept my spirits up, for sure. Thanks for the high fives, the chicken hat, the cowbell, and the spirit fingers/jazz hands.

Around mile 25, my watch read 3:23:xx and by some really tough mental math (not) I realized that I actually really might make it under 3:35. I didn’t get too excited though, but tried to just maintain and not fall apart.

It wasn’t too hard to do as coming up Agate to Hayward the Oiselles were out in full force and I might have teared up when passing them. Mason was near the gate at Hayward and him yelling “Go, run, now!” or something like that made me nervous that he knew something I didn’t know (like I was just going to miss a BQ) so I rounded the corner “kicking it in” although, in reality, I was probably not moving very fast.

Heyo, mile 26! Thanks, Steph, for the photo!

Heyo, mile 26! Thanks, Steph, for the photo!

Anyways, I crossed in 3:34:07, hands over hearts for Boston, and then I teared up because I really couldn’t believe I had actually done it.

I then spent the next 10 minutes hobbling and moaning with Laura (who also PR’ed! BQ’ed! And actually PR’ed in the 10k, half, and marathon all in one race!) as I think we both felt a little bit like death. Worth it, but a bit like death.

As this post is getting far too long, I’ll save you the rest.

I’m not sure if it was the crazy nail colors, the 10 temporary tattoos (including 2 unicorns), the forest fairies, the Brothstein miles, the tube of nuun I drank the day before, the Smooth Caff Picky bar, or just a little bit of luck, but I couldn’t be happier. It was a nice high note to finish medical school running on and I got that “graduation gift” (a BQ) I’ve been telling myself that I would get this spring.

Congrats to all the other finishers, PR-ers (JOCELYN! SARAH OUAL! KRISTINA with no blog! LORA) BQ’ers, first-time marathoners or half-marathoners, and so on and so forth.

Thanks for all the love. Thanks to all who have helped me over the past two and a half years. Thanks to Oiselle. Thanks to my running buddies, especially Gia and Jocelyn. Thanks to my coach, Steph. And, THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!

TELL ME: YOUR FAVORITE MARATHON YOU’VE RUN.

Until next time.