The Countdown Begins….

The countdown has officially begun, Marathon Monday is just around the corner. It’s apparent all of the city, in the time between my walk home on Friday and Saturday evening they started to put infrastructure for the banner above the finish line and some of the bleachers…..the family meet up areas are posted…….Just as the city continues prepping for the marathon, we are continuing to get ready to run ..here are a few common questions that we’ve been getting regarding the final days before the run.

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5) Are we still training? This week is the end of a taper. During training we built up the miles to our longest pre-marathon run of 20 miles on 3/29, since then each week we’ve seen less mileage.  This week there are short runs and bike training sessions planned for Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday we rest!

4) What will we eat? This has been a common question for most of our training. How do we fuel ourselves for the number of calories we will burn? How to we eat to feel good for our long runs?  The easy and short answer is that the week before the marathon we’ll be avoiding fatty food and booze, opting for a little bit more carbs and lots of fluids. Dana-Farber holds their own pasta party Sunday night where we’ll do a small, but carb-heavy meal and head to bed early. Monday morning I’ll probably have some oatmeal with protein powder before we leave the house and then a protein bar with some carbs about 90 minutes before the race. We’ll be  wearing belt packs to store energy gels for along the marathon route and the race provides Gatorade and water at every mile.

3) What will we wear? Part of this is weather dependent—but I have to say that I have made a couple of awful mistakes with our previous marathons—most notably when we ran the Nappa Valley Marathon. For that race, I accidentally packed my super old worn out running shoes, rather than the ones I trained in, and brought only a tank top and a long sleeved shirt instead of the t-shirt I planned to run in. I did some early morning calculations—would it heat up enough for me to go light and sleeveless or would it stay cold enough that the long sleeve shirt would be ok? (I chose long sleeved and ended up sweating my bum off.)

For this year, the one thing I do know is that we’ll both be sporting is our Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge singlets.

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The more fun component of this is a fairly new Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge tradition. We start running at 11:15 (the elite runners start at about 9am)….BUT we get on the bus to head out to Hopkinton at 5am. The weather changes dramatically in those 6 hours. Here’s the thing—the BAA restrictions make it so that we can’t bring anything extra with us on the bus. For every item we bring, we have to decide whether to run with it or toss it. So what do you wear at 5am to keep yourself from freezing in the wee hours, but something you don’t like enough to keep? Enter the Ugly Sweatpants Contest. The instructions are: dig deep into your closet, stop by the thrift store, or peruse the clearance aisle at your favorite low priced store. Find the ugliest set of items you can throw together and wear them in the morning. Don’t worry, almost 500 of your team mates will also be similarly garbed. Then as you head to the starting line, toss aforementioned articles and they’ll be donated to a local charitable organization.

Stay tuned for more pics.

2) What are you worried about most? Well, besides some sort of problem that pops up ending in public humiliation, I would have to say the weather is the biggest factor. The 10 day forecast is out, so now we can start obsessing. Will it be a cool, crisp, partly-cloudy 50 degree perfect running weather day? Or, will mother nature throw something else away (as if the horrific winter weather wasn’t enough.) There are endless possibilities for the way in which the weather can cause problems. Torrential down pour. High winds that make you feel that you’re not going anywhere (we had that two weeks ago on our long run.) April snow?—unlikely, but not unheard of, given the winter we’ve had. And then there’s the real worry: will it be hot? We’ll be starting at 11:15 am, which means we’ll finish in the afternoon, the hottest point in the day. And frankly, “too hot”, is barely warm for non-runners. An article from Runnersworld cites a French study that says that 43.2F is perfect, and a New York Times article reported 41-50 degrees.

This is what weather.com says right now for Marathon Monday: High 58 degrees, mostly sunny

And then there’s the Weather Channel:

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1) How’s the fundraising going? There are multiple ways to look at this:

This past week the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge staff announced that as a team we have reached over $3.2 million dollars. This leaves roughly, $2,500 per person to reach the overall team goal of $5.2 million dollars for cancer research. So that leaves Mark and I with 5K left. Honestly, that’s a great running number to shoot for, but still a LOT of money.

I just checked our fundraising page and as of right this minute we have reached $10,623.00. We’re really proud of this and incredibly grateful for everyone who has come to our events, played College Basketball Brackets for Cancer Research, and just donated….however we are still a *wee* bit short of our $20K goal.

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The bright side of this is that there’s still time! At the very least we’d like to help get the DFMC team to their finish line—so donate today if you haven’t already!

If you are still looking for another way to help then PLEASE click “share” on our Facebook posts. Sharing our posts is incredibly helpful and spreads the word on this great opportunity to give to cancer research. Many people want to help in funding cancer research but are unsure of what a legitimate, effective way to do it would be. Sharing our posts goes a long way toward making people aware of this opportunity to donate money to cancer research where 100% of their donation will be used to fund research.

http://www.rundfmc.org/2015/MarkandRachelrunBoston

As a final note: if you’ll be watching runners along the course on Marathon Monday and want to know when to be ready to shout our names, wave and cheer us on or if you just want to follow us in spirit— there are some good options. The BAA puts out an app and you can watch on their website and you can also sign up for text messages with updates when we pass certain intervals on the race.

My favorite is the “athlete alerts” text messaging system. Text updates work on any cell phone service (Verizon, T-Mobile, etc)–you do not need to have an AT&T phone…they just coordinate the service.

The fine print is “You will receive up to 8 texts per bib numbers and data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Text HELP for help.”

http://www.baa.org/…/participant-inf…/att-athlete-alert.aspx

Beginning on March 17, there will be three different ways to sign up for AT&T Athlete Alerts.

Rachel’s bib number: 26112

Mark’s bib number: 26339

TEXT – Simply text the athlete’s Bib Number to 234567 using your US mobile phone. You will then receive an sms text response with instructions on how to submit a runner’s bib number. You will receive up to 6 texts per bib number. Message & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Text HELP for help. Available on participating carriers only. Privacy Policy at: www.att.com/privacy.

EMAIL – Continue to the registration page for the AT&T Athlete Alerts on the race website. Sign-up using your mobile phone number for SMS text message updates, or by entering an email address for email updates. Click here to sign up now.

ONSITE – If you prefer to register in person or have any questions, representatives will be available in the Bib Number Pick-Up area at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo on Friday, April 17, from 12:00pm-7:00pm, Saturday, April 18 from 9:00am-6:00pm, and Sunday, April 19, from 9:00am-6:00pm.

If you register a mobile phone online, you will receive a message asking you to confirm your intention to receive updates from the 2015 Boston Marathon AT&T Athlete Alerts. Once you’ve completed registration for AT&T Athlete Alerts, you will receive text updates courtesy of AT&T and the Boston Marathon when your runner has crossed the following points on the course: 10K (6.2 miles), Half-Marathon (13.1 miles); 30K (18.6 miles) ; 35K (21.7miles); 40K (24.8miles); Finish (26.2 miles)

Registration through the B.A.A. website will close on Sunday, April 19, at 6:00pm. However, AT&T is pleased to announce that registration via mobile phone text messaging (for US mobile phones only) will remain open during the marathon.

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