6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Friday, April 29, 2011

High Five Friday

Welcome new Tall Mom Bloggy Pack Members!! Thanks to everyone who entered the Reader Thank You Giveaway HERE, 272 entries the first day :) Remember you have until May 16th to enter.

I had a GREAT run with Kerrie at Mom vs. Marathon HERE. It was so windy my eyes were watering nearly the whole run. I am in between races right now....sorta wanting to take a break and also longing to be back with a training plan. I was going to run with Bloggy buddy Meredith HERE since I will be in Vancouver, WA this weekend, but with my cold and just being TIRED I think I will rest one more week and get back to it next weekend. Sorry Meredith, I know we will meet soon :) So funny, when I dont have a long run I feel GUILTY!! Do you all experience that??

Thoughts about Training plans...
My desire to hunt down a Half PR is intense....I am drafting a plan to help me crush my PR soon. I am also working on a PR Training plan for Kerrie for a sub 2 hour... I will spend a lot of time creating her plan because I am guessing a Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon will be a common goal Coaching Female Runners. There are so many great free training plans online. The trick is to take a plan and fit it around your lifestyle and goals. Personally I need REST, I build my plans to run 4 days a week, and will run a 5th day when I can. I want a plan that is challenging but that I know I will stick with.

My First Half Marathon I used the "Rookie" plan. It was super simple, gave the total miles per day to run, no paces, no tempo runs, etc.. SIMPLE!! This was what I needed to get used to following a training plan. As I have grown so have my training plans. I am not a fan or short intervals and the science behind Vo2 max etc escapes me. But I know what I need to do to push my body to the next level and to get to the Finish Line injury Free.

If you are new to running it may be best to chose a Beginner Plan that gives time goals vs. miles, for example run for 10 minutes, walk for 5 minutes, etc. If you don't own a Garmin you can drive the route and get a guess at the mileage or run on a Track, but without a Garmin running for time instead of distance may be a good fit. Whether is is a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon and BEYOND.. The first step is to REGISTER and then find a plan that will work for you!! Print it out, get your favorite color pen to mark off the days and RUN/JOG/WALK. This is the time to get going.....come on you know you want to join in the madness...

High Five Racing and Events:
Steph- Nashville and Flying Pig Marathons
I Run Like a Girl- (First) Potomac River Run Marathon
Janice- Nashville Marathon
Katie A.- Eugene Marathon
Laurie-Eugene Marathon
Beth-Eugene Marathon
Amy-Eugene Marathon
Alanna- Vancouver, BC Marathon
Amy- Vancouver, BC Marathon
Elizabeth- Big Sur Marathon
Aron- Big Sur Marathon
Amanda- OKC Half Marathon
Jess and Friends- OKC Marathon Relay
Kim- Eugene Half Marathon
**Thanks Kim for the Eugene list, go get that PR!!!
Ronda- Eugene Half Marathon
Jenna Renae- Eugene Half Marathon
Michelle- Eugene Half Marathon
Julie- Eugene Half Marathon
Stacie & Hubby- Eugene Half Marathon
Candice- Half Marathon
Holly- (First) Park to Park Half Marathon
Marlene- Sporting Life 10K
T & Dizzle- Dizzle's First 5K
T- Muddy Buddy Richmond
G- Muddy Buddy Richmond

High Five Birthdays this week:

High Five Giveaways:
Tall Mom- Reader Thank You Giveaway Ends 5/16
Mom Vs. Marathon
- Run Love Socks Ends 5/7
50 Half Marathons- 50K Giveaway Ends 5/5
The Pace of Me- Mile Markers Ends 5/2

I know I am missing people.. If you want a HIGH FIVE leave a comment with your Event, Giveaway, etc... you may end up with a HIGH FIVE or 2 or 3.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reader THANK YOU Giveaway


I am overwhelmed daily by the amazing Readers here. With supportive comments, advice and humor you all make each day fun in Tall Mom Land... I write from my heart, the good, the bad and the unflattering, and I am so touched to have people respond and join in my Tall Life :) I may not have time to get around to comment and thank you all, but please know that I read every comment and truly value each of you.

The wonderful Folks at Outside PR HERE love you too.. Devon put together a fun tasting of products from their Super Star clients. I am able to host Giveaways, review products because of Readers like you, THANK YOU!!!

WHAT WILL YOU WIN?Gu Brew Electrolyte Tabs HERE:
During extended training or racing, Electrolyte Tablets offer a convenient and fast way to enrich straight water (when Electrolyte Brew or an alternative may not be readily available). Ultimately the Brew Electrolyte Tablets are another offering from GU that help athlete’s keep variety in their sports nutrition regimes. Using them with other GU products such as GU Chomps is as simple as swapping them for Electrolyte Brew – an athlete should account for the lower calorie intake and possibly add an extra GU Energy Gel, Roctane or a Serving of Chomps (all roughly 100 calories).
Hydrapak Avila HERE:
The Avila (7 oz.), Hydrapak’s ultra-light race pack, is designed to provide racers and adventures alike the assurance of a secure fit from Speed Harness Ultimate Mobility Straps (SHUMS) and the reliability of the Reversible Reservoir
Ryders Eyewear Tweaker SL HERE:
The Tweaker SL is a semi-rimless design, so it enables a full field of vision with three different lenses to change out depending on your environment. The lenses are scratch-resistant, waterproof, optically correct and provide 100% UVA, UVB and UVC protection. the hydrophilic temple tips and nosepads ensure that as you get sweaty, the frames become more gripped to your face, preventing bouncing or slide. And hey, the colors are pretty sweet, too.

Pearl Izumi Men's HERE or Women's HERE In-R-Cool Top:
This is an ultimate hot weather running top with reflective elements, vented panels, moisture transfer technology and UPF 50+ tech. You get to pick size and gender.
RoadID Wrist ID Elite HERE:
The Wrist ID Elite just might be the sexiest ID in the Road ID lineup. With its rubberized band and watch-style buckle, this sleek ID has you covered on the bike, in the boardroom and everywhere in-between. It's perfect for all of your outdoor activities and knows how to play it cool at formal events. With the Elite, you get valuable peace of mind with a look that’s just right for everyday wear. Yes, we know, it's a bit more expensive. But, when you put it on, you'll know why you spent the extra money. Available in eight colors and both Original and Interactive versions. It's fully adjustable, so one size fits all


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EASY ENTRY- Leave a comment letting me know that you are a Follower/Reader, include how long you have been in the Tall Mom Bloggy Pack and how you found out about Tall Mom on the Run Blog.

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Monday May 16th at 7AM (PST)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coming Up

Looking Forward to a FUN Summer Running Schedule!! I am retiring from 26.2 for a while and going to focus on some shorter races. There are 5K and 10K's nearly every weekend around here so I am sure the schedule will fill in even more. For now this is what I have coming up.

Rock N Roll Seattle Half HERE
Saturday, June 25, 2011

I have run the Full Marathon the last 2 years and am looking forward to running the Half, then cheering on friends running their first Full Marathons Kerrie, Zoe, Jamie and Alma. Also very excited that Amanda will be in town for this race. Comment if you plan to come to town for this race, we are thinking of putting together a Bloggy meet-up.

See Jan Run Half Marathon & 5K HERE
Sunday, July 17, 2011

This is the first year that See Jane will come to Seattle. I plan to run the Half Marathon with my friend Amy and Tall Sister, my friend Sarah will be in town for her wedding and run, also Blogger Buddy Lisa will be in Seattle on vacation and has registered. My good Friends Lynette and Lora will be running their first 5K, so excited for them. This is a wonderful all Female event and I am excited to run it for FUN.

Ragnar Relay NW Passage HERE
Friday July 23-Saturday July 24

This will be my first Relay joining the Fleet Feet Team "Daisies and Dukes." After watching Hood to Coast I was EXCITED to experience a Relay first hand. What an adventure this will be, taking running to a whole different level with the TEAM aspect.

  • Anyone running any of these events?? Let me know, would love to meet you!!

  • What do you have coming up that you are excited about?

Next up?? GIVEAWAY!!
A GIVEAWAY so good I wish I could win it myself :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I often start my day by visiting Quote Garden HERE. I click around until I find a quote which resonates with my current mood or outlook. I didn't make it far down the alpha list when the word ACTION grabbed me.

1 week post Boston Marathon and the word ACTION is on my mind. When I started my journey to Boston 1 year and 16 weeks++ ago I took ACTION. I had a clear plan, I worked every day toward that plan, if I hit speed bumps along the way I regrouped and kept moving. Some natural speed and running ability helped, yes, but at the end of the day it was my decision to take ACTION that helped me make it there.

If you have ever been to an oraginzed sporting event you have heard this cheer.







Simple and silly cheer yes, but say it over and over and it could just become the MANTRA you need to start today.. Need some additional Inspiration... I found these for you :)

Photo Credit HERE

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action. ~Frank Tibolt

After all is said and done, a lot more will have been said than done.
~Author Unknown

An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.
~Arnold Glasow

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.
~Peter Marshall

Never mistake motion for action.
~Ernest Hemingway

Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold - but so does a hard-boiled egg.
~Author Unknown

A nod,
a bow,
and a tip of the lid
to the person
who coulda
and shoulda
and did.
~Robert Brault

Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now.
~Jonatan MÃ¥rtensson

We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.
~Calvin Coolidge

  • Is there something you have been meaning to do? A Goal that seems so far away that you have no idea how you will ever get there. Maybe, just maybe, you need the courage to take that first step. Ready, set, ACTION!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Speedy Bunny

Welcome new Tall Mom Bloggy Pack Members!!


When I started this little Blog in March of 2009 I could not have imagined that 1,000 people would Follow along.. THANK YOU!! I feel honored to have anyone read :)

I am a little behind on the Giveaways...

Since I am JAZZED to get to 1,000 Followers you will be handsomely rewarded. Look for a HUGE GIVEAWAY this week hosted by Outside PR.

How was your Easter?? Ours was GREAT! Tall Sister bought me the Chocolate Bunny above. I love it so much I may not be able to eat it. I have not thought much about working on my SPEED, but I am going to take this as a sign that it may be time. Time to hunt down a few PR's in the shorter races. I took this last week off with sore legs and a GROSS blister on my toe.

I may take a bit more time off, I have a cold and it is raining a lot here. I will be working on a training plan for a Half PR. I love the Half Distance, still burning calories with more free time on the weekends for family :)

Our Boys are so fun!! They love getting outside, running, playing, adventuring. Little Stud #2 likes to run ahead, not too worried about if Mom and Dad are nearby, Little Stud #1 generally stays close, sharing stories, giving Mom Dandelions and enjoying being near us. This weekend we went to 2 parks and ran on the trail. It was PURE BLISS!! I also got to sleep in, which really just means no alarm set to run. This was a Welcome change. It will be a life adjustment now that Marathon training is over, but a very nice change for sure.

After Boston I was feeling a bit strange... like I needed to have another Goal, something to work toward... Thanks to a few friends who reminded me to Live in the Moment and ENJOY..

"I need neither future nor past,
but to learn to take today
not too fast."

Jeb Dickerson

PROUD COACH!!!! This Weekend Chelsea HERE ran 10 miles, he first Double Digit run ever. And Harmony HERE ran 22.25 miles, her last Long long run before Marathon #2. Congrats ladies!! I am a PROUD coach, you both are AMAZING!!

  • How was your weekend?

  • How do you focus on living in TODAY?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Boston Lessons Learned and Pictures

*****I realize I have not announced Winners of the Giveaways yet... so Sorry will get to it this afternoon.

I always learn something, from training runs to Marathons, I am so new to running that I don't know what I don't know until I come across it. I learned sooooo many things in Boston. I thought it would be fun to list my Lessons Learned along with the AWESOME photos from MarathonFoto HERE.

Tall Mom Boston Marathon Lessons

  • Do not make it a quick trip. Especially if you live in a different time zone. Your body will need time to adjust and with so many fun things to do, having extra time will leave you room for rest and downtime. I suggest arriving on Thursday Night or Friday morning and leaving on Wednesday.

  • Go to the expo multiple times, listen to the speakers, get autographs and get in on running with the Legends.

  • Watch the 5K and Mile races on Sunday, bring so food and a seat, avoid being on your feet as much as possible on Sunday.

  • Take the Trolly tour to get to know the course and be off your feet. Bring a snack and your water.
  • Visit the Finish Line and take pictures. It will be set up early on and is magical to visit. You will be zoomed through on Race day so this is your chance to cherish it.

  • Find the Tortoise and the Hare statue and the Boston Marathon bronze Map nearby, very cool!

  • Buy your "T" pass the night before the race and get to Boston Common to take the buses around 6:30, the lines will be LONG but they move pretty quick.

  • Dress WARM for before the race!! Go to Goodwill and buy a winter coat with hood as your toss away, the sun may be out but the Boston wind will chill you to the bone. I wore a thick rain poncho and gloves with my toss-away clothes and was so glad I had it
  • Listen to the Announcements in Athlete's Village, they will tell you when to leave and where your gear check bus is.

  • SIT DOWN AND EAT!! Use the time in Athlete's Village to prepare your mind and body for the race. It will be a lot of waiting, so be sure to bring something to sit on a find a comfortable area.

  • Check a bag, it is super easy. Bring lots of snacks for Fuel and be sure to pack a comfortable post-race outfit.

  • There are Port O Johns near the start Corrals with short lines, you will have time to GO if you give yourself a few extra minutes.
  • Smile for the cameras!! As you can see there are loads of photogs along the course and they love it when you ham it up for them.. I pulled out all of my poses, double thumbs up, high five wave, flex, etc.. CHEESE BALL!!
  • Do Not Overdress or you may end up tossing gear that you love.. I was so sad to lose my Moeben Sleeves at the 10K check point :(
  • Prepare for a HILLY course, practice downhill and long uphill climbs. Walk if you have to. Everyone worries about Heartbreak Hill....really it is a progression of hills from miles 16 to 20.5, with Heartbreak being the last in that group. There are hills the whole course. In order to be fully prepared seek out any hill you can find during your training.

  • Have a good playlist to help carry you through the rough patches. Only wear one earbud and be prepared to not be able to hear your music in the LOUDER areas.

  • Carry your own water via handheld of fuel belt, the water stops are BONKERS. There are families along the course with water jugs who are HAPPY to refill and it only takes a few seconds.
  • Be sure to properly fuel along the way and the days leading up to the race. I highly recommend eating oranges and Popsicles along the course... YUM!!

  • I only noticed one Powergel station along the way, so pack your Gu and make sure not to drop them. There were countless Chomps, Gus, and water bottles along the course people had dropped by mistake.
  • Don't Stress about your TIME!!! If your body poops out, try to enjoy being there. At the end of the day the Finish Time does not matter. It is the experience.

  • Your Garmin will be a bit WACKO on race day, don't trust the pace it says, may be best to change the view to Overall pace. Or if you are DARING don't wear a Garmin at all..
  • Talk to people!! You are able to meet some unique people on the plane, the buses, in the airport or just around town. You will know who the Marathon Runners are the day after the race.. DON'T BE SHY!! I made 3 new friends because I talked and I am so glad I did!!

  • Thank the Volunteers, give High Fives to the fans along the way, and wave to the people. You are a celeb for a day, what a fun feeling!
  • Pack your patience!! With 27,000 people you are always in a line, in a large group, waiting, hardly moving, it can be overwhelming. If you do not like crowds this is not the race for you. In most races eventually the group thins out, that does not happen in Boston, you will be in a PACK most of the race.
  • Even if you feel like DYING, ham it up for the FINISH LINE!! You may never be here again, show your pride, this is the line you have been running for months, years to make it to. This is your moment. I finally got the Tall Flex on Film!!

  • Stay near the Finish Line. There is a a lot to do and it is by the expo and most pre-race activities. Sheraton seemed to be a good place. When you are done with the race it is nice to wander around and not have to get back on the T or a bus. Most things are within a close walk to the Finish, so pick your hotel wisely.
  • Bring your Good Camera, I didn't and I ended up not taking many pictures. Not for the race of course, but while around town.

  • Sign the wall in Nike Town and get your medal engraved on Tuesday for FREE
  • Have friends and family to share the time with. Do not go totally alone. Having my Blogger friends and training partners to share the excitement with really made the event. I WISH that my Husband, Mom and Sister could have made the trip. It is really special to have someone there cheering just for you.

  • Post Race Milkshake!! Nuff said!!

  • If you see something you like in your size BUY IT or at least try it on. Size spans go fast and you don't want to miss out.
Above all ENJOY THE RACE!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Boston Marathon 2011 Race Report

Got your Coffee and a snack... SETTLE IN HERE WE GO...THIS IS GOING TO BE LONG!!

Wow oh wow did that trip go by FAST!!
I was blessed to meet an amazing couple on the plane ride from Saint Louis to Boston. C and R are teachers from Oklahoma, R started running to drop weight and found some MAJOR SPEED! C joined in the fun and qualified for Boston her first time out! We talked the entire flight, I felt like we were old friends by the end of the flight and gave C a big hug. I ended up seeing C at Packet Pickup and R after the race. CONGRATS to R for 3:09:41 Finish and C for 3:45:24, BQ times for each :)

The long 6.5 hours of flying ended and Bethany HERE was there to meet me. So nice to FINALLY meet my virtual buddy. We walked to the bus, then the T and on to their place. I sped to get ready to get to the Blogger Meet up. BUMMER I missed it, guess the group disbanded quickly when there was no room in the meet up space. :( I did get to meet the AMAZING EMZ Here, will post the photo soon, she made me feel short in her high heels.
So we set out to Nike Town to sign the wall, then Texted and found Denise HERE.
Was so great to meet Denise, I was surprised at how Tall she is in a GOOD WAY.. We posed for a quick photo, chatted and gave a pre-race Good Luck Hug. The city was busy, we found a great sandwich place and settled in for Dinner.
Next day we set out to watch the 5K, go for a run, make it to get my packet, hit the Blogger brunch at 11am, or so I thought, ride the trolly tour and maybe have a few minutes to REST..
While spectating Aron HERE got my attention.. SO GLAD to meet Aron, she gave me great advice leading up to my BQ attempt and is a wealth of knowledge. Her husband had run the 5K. I think we were all a bit overwhelmed by all the activity. Bethany took loads of photos, which I plan to steal once she uploads them. Janna, Bethany and I went for a quick 2.5 mile run in the windy wind.. So pretty along the water, I nearly twisted my ankle...oops..

Then we sprinted back to get ready for the Bloggy Brunch hosted by Caution Redhead Running HERE. I should have verified the time because Morgan texted asking where we were, brunch had started at 10AM.. UGH!! I missed another fun event. I SUCK!! By the time we made it they were all checking out. I was EMBARRASSED to be so late, I usually try to get around to talk to everyone at events, but I was frazzled. Got to give Jill HERE a hug, we totally forgot to pose together :(
I was adding to my "Fun-sized" (I think Jill or Morgan coined that term) friends. My good buddy Amy texted me and said "You look so Tall in all the pictures, like you are at a Gymnastic meet." I was cracking up. So AMAZING to meet Morgan, I hope that someday out paths will cross again because I would have liked more time to chat. She has such an amazing Spirit and love for life, plus we have been "friends" for nearly 2 years... After that screw up I was feeling a bit deflated, we met some of Bethany and Ryans Friends for Lunch. Mother Nature decided to give me a pre-race gift....couple that with a cold, I was telling myself was allergies, I was not feeling well. We went back to the expo in ZOOM mode, with about 30 minutes, Gene introduced himself, which was AWESOME!! We boarded the Trolly ride for 2.5 hours. I wanted to go to the Bloggy Dinner, but I was ZAPPED, so Bethany and Ryan made a great dinner..
I NEEDED to rest but our friend Tammy had just arrived and was worried about her injury and not being able to run. So Janna and I went to meet her and decided to take her to the see the Finish Line.
The cool part was Tammy ended up getting interviewed by the local news, I was in the background, will post the link soon.
These are my Bonney Lake training partners, we all helped each other get to Boston and would all have very different Boston Experiences.
FINALLY home, I got my race stuff together as my throat felt tight and scratchy. The News talked about Tornados in NC so I texted Amanda, so glad to hear she was safe. I was going to run the Boston Marathon in the morning. I watched the slideshow my friend Lynette sent me with photos from friends, running buddies and family, it made me cry. I checked facebook, comments and emails. I felt ready.. But I still had a long way to get to the race.
We got to the busses at about 6:30AM, good thing the line kept growing and growing.. We snapped a quick photo and tried to stay warm.. WAITING WAITING I was cold and could barely breath out of my nose, I could feel cramps setting in an took a pain reliever. On the bus I chatted with some FUN people from Memphis, the ride was LONG!! We got off and found our way to Athlete's village, I used a red "Porta John" for the first time and tried to avoid the puddles. Texting Stephanie HERE to make sure we could all hang together. I had not seen Steph since Rock N Roll Seattle and I felt BLESSED to hang with her before she set out on her 50th State!! Steph was getting low on water, suddenly a water appear from nowhere, WEIRD, we said it was water from God.. I planned to paint my nails, pose for photos and have a blast, but I was too cold to do anything. Thank goodness I brought the thick blue poncho, it saved me. We laughed at the people in Bath Robes and the woman in a Fir Coat :)
Before we knew it we had to set out and didn't get to say Goodbye to Steph who was in the potty line. I heaved Bethany's Gear bag into the high window. The clock was ticking but the announcer kept saying "Don't worry you have plenty of time." Once last pit stop and I could tell that Mother Nature's gift may play a role in my day.. OF ALL THE TIMES!!! UGH!!

Bethany and I settled in, I tossed my clothes, fixed my shoe and with 13 seconds to go took a deep breath. The crowed moved slowly to the start. (Photos taken from Denise HERE, Thanks Denise)
I generally can remember things with great clarity, but alas the Boston Marathon is one big jumbled mess in my mind. I recall bits and pieces but cant seem to make it all formulate a full race. From Mile 1 I knew something was OFF. I felt EXHAUSTED and STARVED! My mind was ready to run, but my body was fighting me. Generally I don't get tired until 16ish, and I was already tired at Mile 1!!! Oh boy.. Bethany was with me, I didn't want to tell her I felt horrible and worry her. Someone said "Are you Tall Mom?" her name was Alisha (I think?) and we talked for a while as she zoomed by. I would get passed a lot.

I was holding back to make sure I did not go out to fast, but really I could not have moved any faster. The town sign for ASHLAND shone bright and I thought "That would be a good name for a Girl," hehehe Muscle Man may be in trouble I was thinking about baby #3 while running.
  • Mile 1= 8:27, Mile 2= 8:12, Mile 3= 8:19, 5K 26:02
I thought about my friends, family and those tracking me as I hit the 5K timing mat. My Goals whirled in my mind, I knew that the BQ was out I did not feel well, I hope I would get a second wind and ate a chomp. I let Bethany out of my sight, I felt defeated and was not willing to drag her down with me.
  • Mile 4= 8:18, Mile 5= 8:20, Mile 6= 8:10, 10K= 51:56
At mile 4 I wanted to quit. How could this happen?? Why was I so tired?? SNAP OUT OF IT MEL!!! How could I go on for 22.2 more miles? I didn't have it in me, I was not strong enough, I was not going to Finish the Marathon, there was no way!! I dug deep pulling out every mental trick I had. The fans along the course were AMAZING! Smiles, awesome signs, cheering so loud that my ears were ringing, water, oranges and popsicles..
  • Funny things I remember: A sign that said "I see Fast people" looked like a movie poster, Santa, a Patriotic Cross-dresser, Stay Puff blow up, and more...
I was getting really HOT!! I wanted to keep my Moeben HERE Sleeves but I was too hot, I took them off, carried them for a bit, tried to put them in my pants and nearly lost them down my pants, I was sad to toss them at the 10K timing mat.

I have to admit I was pitiful, defeated, but most of all ANGRY!! I had worked so hard for this, taken so much time from my family and friends, early mornings, life dedicated to Running...and on race day my Body didn't show up. My worst fears were playing out, I was not enjoying the Boston Marathon.
  • Mile 7= 8:15, Mile 8= 8:30, Mile 9= 8:37, Mile 10= 8:48, Mile 11= 9:06
I wanted so badly to stay in the 8's and Finish sub 4, I worried about my Finish time, but I was STARVING. I saw a man in a Team Autism shirt get an Otter-pop style popsicle then pull off to walk and eat it. I followed his lead. The cold popsicle tasted so GOOD, I wanted more. My bottle was getting low so I stopped at a family with water jugs in a Red Wagon. They smiled from ear-to-ear to fill my bottle and wished me Good Luck. What an experience to feel like you make someone's day by taking what they had to offer. So many people cheering and offering things along the course made this race so special. There were also people who gave me great perspective, the Blind Runner, Team Hoyt and the woman with a prosthetic leg, their strength was infectious.

I was approaching Wellsely College, WOW IS IT LOUD!! Everyone has signs "Kiss me I'm Irish," "Kiss me I'm Asian," "Kiss me I'm Gay," etc.. There was a guy who was lifting his arms and getting them all to scream, it all felt very Hue Heffner. The pavement through Wellesley was fresh and smelled of Asphault, this was the only section with any shade from the Sun. My hair was getting buzzy from spraying water on my head and the little hairs went across my face to drive me BONKERS..
  • Mile 12= 9:40, Mile 13= 8:54, Half= 1:53:28
Half Way!! Half WAY!! I could run the rest of the race in 2:00, about 9:09 pace, and still get a good time. My Spirits lifted. Maybe I could do this afterall. But that feeling was short-lived. I knew the HILLS were coming and with HILLS comes Slow running for Tall Mom. Suddenly my Ipod got really LOUD and the Wind to my back picked up..

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

I only get one shot, one shot to run Boston for the First time. This was just what I needed to hear, my legs kept moving as I grabbed an Orange or 2. At some point around there Christina HERE passed me and said Hello, I told her I was struggling and she said "Where is your head at?" or something along those lines... I replied "I don't know." I didn't know...My mind was the only thing keeping my body moving, and yet I was LOST.
  • Mile 14= 9:06, Mile 15= 9:38, Mile 16= 8:44
I sprayed water on my head and down my shirt. I was so HOT and wished I could take off my shirt but it had my race number. I felt weak and depleted, but I posed for every photog I saw. I was proud of my time up the first big HILL, maybe I could make it... Then PAIN SURGED ACROSS MY LOWER BACK... OUCH OUCH OUCH!! I pulled off, stopped and bent over to stretch. I got some relief but the pain was intense.
The crowd was loud, the HILLS are packed with people all with amazing signs, YELLING all day. Photo Above from Denise. I knew that there were people out on the course but I did not see anyone :( Along the way 2 pretty Women yelled "Tall Mom", No idea what mile marker but it made me smile. I was sad to not have anyone there just for me, I started to have a little pitty party suddenly my Ipod got really LOUD and the Wind to my back picked up..

Run fast for your mother run fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can't carry it with you if you want to survive

I was not ALONE, So many believed in my and were with me. At that point I realized that My Dad (who passed away in October, 6 months before the race) was with me...he was playing with the songs on my Ipod and giving me a push through the wind. You do not have to believe this, may be a stretch for some, but I was running the Boston Marathon with my Dad!!!! I touched the tattoo I had of him on my heart and my legs started moving again.
  • Mile 17= 9:51, Mile 18= 10:18, Mile 20= 10:11
Almost up the HILLS and my back was screaming, then my calf tensed up, I grabbed a Gatorade and stopped to drink. I knew I was losing precious time, all the time I had earned the first half was dwindling with all the stops. Quick note about the water stops.. THEY ARE BAD!! Tight, congested and cups everywhere.. Not safe at all. For 10 feet after each water stop I could feel my sneaker stick to the ground from the Gatorade puddles. My right shoulder was cramping and I thought about tossing my Nathan Handheld, good thing I didn't it had my ID and $40 in it..

HEARTBREAK HILL!!! HEARTBREAK Indeed... I wish I could say that I found a second wind and sped up the last monster, but I couldn't. I was depleted, running on fumes, everything hurt and I couldn't get my mind to focus. I ate a Dove chocolate and more Oranges as I walked. People were darting onto the course to run with their loved ones, I looks left and right for a familiar face, knowing I would not find one. I felt a push on my back, a beautiful Woman Taller than me put her hand on my back and said "Get Goin Tall Mom," oh how I wished I could. I decided to jog until I found another popsicle.
  • Mile 21= 10:51, Mile 22= 9:28, Mile 23= 9:16
After the SLOWEST mile yet I knew I had less than an hour to go. I tried to do the math to see if sub 4 hour was still in reach.. What is 9 x 3??? 21, no, 25, no, 27, yes....hmmm can I run 9:00 minute miles?? probably not, what is 9:45 x 3?? Lord who knows?? Just keep running. 30 minutes left and I had no idea how I would do it. I saw a med tent and thought about stopping. Suddenly my Ipod got really LOUD and the Wind to my back picked up..

It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination

You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day

The wind blew the cups in the area making the most amazing display and sound. Like a wind chime, the cups were plastic and small, not the green cups along most of the course. I was in awe of the sight, of all the things to be etched in my mind, Cups?!?!?! At that moment I felt my Dad again, Just keep going Mel.... Just Keep going does not matter how fast you will make it.
  • Mile 24= 9:49, Mile 25= 9:33
I saw the Citgo sign and the One Mile to go sign, my Garmin read that I was .2 more than I should be.. UGH!! I tossed that out of my head, I could do it. I was going slow but I was making progress, I would have to run an 8:00 mile to finish sub 4 hours... I did not have an 8:00 mile in me... At that Moment I let it go.....I would Finish just short of my goal, but I would Finish. Suddenly my Ipod got really LOUD and the Wind to my back picked up..

I have got so much to give, I swear I do
I may not have nine lives, this one feels brand new
Yes, I've lived a good one, I have tried to be true
There are some things I never realized till I met you
How the wind feels on my cheeks when I'm barking at the moon

There is no home like the one you've got
'Cause that home belongs to you
Woo, woo, here I come, woo, woo, back to you
There is no home like the one you've got
'Cause that home belongs to you

A Song from Bolt I added for my Kids and Muscle Man. Thanks Dad!! I was headed Home, I could make it. I walked way more in Boston than I wanted to, but I would RUN this last mile for my Family, I was strong enough to pull it out.. Good thing I decided to jog because the DRUNKS on the Boston College road were yelling at people walking, not very nice.. I wished that Muscle Man could see me, he is my #1 fan and so proud of me. Turning on to Boylston I was almost there.. Almost to the Finish of the Hardest Marathon I had ever run. Tired from Mile 1, ready to quit by Mile 4 and I was going to Finish!!
  • Mile 26= 9:36, Mile .49= 8:30
I pointed to Heaven as I crossed the line and hope that all who were watching could see me Finish. I dug deep and did not give up!! Yes I let my time goal escape but that didn't matter, I made it.

FINISH LINE!!! I was zombie, the pack of people was so tight.. What I do remember is the Medals, I picked a pretty young lady with a dimpled smile. She put the medal around my neck and I turned away. Tears flooded down my face and suddenly the world melted away....I could feel my Dad giving me a HUG, I could smell him, the crowd was gone and I was with my Dad... I felt him say "I am proud of you, Mom, Jayne and Jon. Keep going, I am with you." People probably thought I was CRAZY!! I am not sure how long I stood there motionless, it felt so GOOD to feel his presence.. Suddenly he was gone and I was ALONE, in a sea of people but alone. I posed for 2 photographer, hehe wanted to make sure I got a good picture. I started to feel nauseous so I sat down, got pestered by a med guy with a 2 minute warning.. What did he want me to puke on someone?? I ate a few bites and made my way to the gear bus and to find Bethany. Cruel Trick I thought my bus was #1 on the right but it was the last bus on the left. I ran into R from the plane, he told me about he and C's great BQ finishes, saw Memphis from the Bus and then a familiar face.
Denise had a great time taking pictures and finished a few minutes after me.. I sort of wished I had found her and ran her pace :) I teared up "That was soooo hard!" We hugged and parted..
I found Bethany and soon after Janna. I wanted so badly to have a great story of how I had the perfect day... but really through the struggle I found something more, I ran a Marathon with my Dad's Spirit....he knew I needed him... Thanks Dad!!
Official Time: 4:01:26
Overall Place= 14,617
Gender= 4,954
Division= 3,391

**I did not edit this, I am sure there are loads of mistakes. Lessons Learned, more pictures and post-race thoughts soon :) Thank you ALL for joining me on this Journey.