Bib #18909

Bib #18909 — hey, wow, that’s ME!!

A friend of mine mentioned a few days ago that the Boston Athletic Association assigned bib numbers to runners. They are on the site, which means the official race packet should arrive in my mailbox any day now.

I logged on myself, and voila, there I am — #18909!

Throughout this process I keep feeling like I’m part of that old Tylenol commercial from years ago with soap-opera star Peter Bergman (“Dr. Cliff Warner,”  All My Children).

Bergman smiles into the camera and says, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”

Then he continues to spew the virtues of pill-pushing to the masses as though he is a real authority figure on the subject.

Hmmm … and we wonder where drug companies came up with the idea for sugar-babes to peddle their wares?
But I digress …

Anyway, I keep thinking the cameras are going to stop rolling before the race and I will wake up and all of this will be a dream.

“I’m not a real marathon runner, but I play one as a bloggie …”

Or something like it.

Seeing the bib number drives it home. This is happening. I’m running the Boston Marathon. It now feels more real and surreal at the same time. 

The timing of today’s discovery was perfect. I ran a great seven-mile tempo run this morning, a mental boost after my green-faced, gut-cramping 20-miler over the weekend. 

Now, it’s just a matter of days until the packet arrives.

Bib number 18909 — I’ll pin it high and sweat on it plenty.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!!

Mileage today: 7; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1440; 330 left to go.

It ain’t easy being green …

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, coming up fast, I finally did it  …

I ordered the “green monster”  — my Boston Marathon jacket; item description: “intense green and black,” women’s size medium;

Kermie, here I come!!

A few weeks ago I found out I could order this online instead of having to wait for hours for it at the race expo.

Also, upon closer inspection of the website I noticed they offered two women’s jackets for sale.

Here’s the second option below.

The second option has a bigger Boston Marathon 2011 logo on the back and is more black than “intense green” than the first one — the “Kermie model.”

Also, the Kermie model, which I blogged about earlier, has removable sleeves so you also can wear it as a vest. (Very fashionista — Miss Piggy would approve. Don’t you think?)

I went back and forth about which to get. Then I decided: “intense green” it is.

After all, marathon training itself can be best described as “intense green.” Or at least my marathon training feels that way some times.

Anyway, I don’t care how froggy this jacket makes me look. I will wear it with pride.

Tomorrow I’ve got another 20-miler slated. After that it’s two more weeks of hard work and tapering begins.

I can’t wait to get my Kermie jacket now. 

I ain’t easy being green, but I think I can get used to it.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Today’s a rest day; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1,413; 357 left to go!

“K.V. Switzer’s” legacy, part II

In one of my previous blogs (“Teaching my daughter K.V. Switzer’s legacy”) I mentioned how Jane is doing a project on a famous American for her second-grade class. It’s coming up next week. 

My daughter chose to study Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to enter and finish the Boston Marathon wearing a race number. Switzer did it in 1967, and she is credited for helping to break the gender barrier in women’s long-distance running.

Well, today I have exciting news to share.

About a week or so ago, Jane asked if there was any way we could write to Kathrine Switzer. Jane wanted to know if Kathrine would send her a letter she could share with her class for her history project.

I told her we could try contacting Kathrine Switzer through her website, but there was no guarantee she would respond. I didn’t want Jane to get her hopes up and be disappointed, just in case.
During my time as a reporter in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I got to interview some famous people and celebrities. It was always nice when someone turned out to be down-to-earth and approachable, but it didn’t always happen.

“She’s a busy and important lady, with lots of work, I’m sure,” I told her, to prepare her, either way.

“That’s OK, mom. Let’s just try,” Jane answered.

I logged onto the site, sent the note, then put it on the back burner in my mind.

Over the weekend Jane and I got a wonderful surprise. Kathrine Switzer emailed us back and said she would be happy to write a letter for Jane to share with her class. We got that letter yesterday. Jane was thrilled.

During our correspondences back and forth Kathrine Switzer has been very gracious. Her kindness to my daughter came on the heels of other big news — she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, this week. Jane will get to add this information to her report.

Kathrine Switzer will be doing TV converge of the Boston Marathon while we are there and she will have a booth at the race expo. I really hope we get to meet her there so I can thank her in person for what she did.

She made my day, and Jane’s, too.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 10; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1,408; Miles left to go: 362. 

Boston Marathon cam

This past weekend I went snowboarding with my family and came across a woman on the slopes who was wearing a helmet with a camera mounted on top.

It got me thinking about the possibilities of a Boston Marathon cam so I searched the web for a homegrown video of the sort. I came across this one from an average Joe called My Boston Marathon experience.

I looked at other videos that followed the course but those, usually taped by someone driving in a car and then played on high-speed, fast-forward, made me dizzy. I liked how this one showed the crowds and scenes along the way. It got me excited again about the possibility of what’s coming up after I had a long day and lots of catch-up after my long weekend.

I believe Boston is one of those marathons where you can log on now and follow your runner virtually. If that is the case, I will let you know so you can follow me as I run it just a few more months from now.

I mentioned a few days ago I have some more profiles coming. I still do. I’m just getting caught up. Stay tuned and thanks for your patience!


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

MIleage today: 9; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1349; Miles left to go: 421.

The coveted jacket

Kelly green and black jacket, anyone?

Yowza — that hurts my eyes!

I guess when you run the Boston Marathon they think you’re the Incredible Hulk or that you should look like him.

For years I’ve heard about the “coveted” Boston Marathon jacket. Apparently people stand in line for hours at the race expo waiting to get one.

Now here’s my chance to get one and it’s going to make me look like Kermit the Frog.

The whole line of official Boston Marathon 2011 athletic gear uses this same color scheme, from tights, to shirts, etc.

The Boston Marathon qualifier gear (below) in traditional royal blue and yellow used by BAA is more tasteful in my opinion.

I haven’t decided if I will still get the official green one or not for nostalgia sake.

What do you think? Does ANYONE look good in that shade of green? Is it still worth it?

I worked hard enough to earn it — that’s for sure. I guess if I buy the green one you’ll be able to fine me in the dark. Or I will learn to croak like Kermie.

On a separate note, I didn’t get to run today but I hope to hit the track tomorrow.

Let me know what you think of the “coveted jacket.”

Stay tuned.



Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Denver to Boston miles logged: 1305; Miles miles to go: 465.

The times they are a-changin’

It’s official.

The Boston Athletic Association announced new qualifying times and entry regulations for the Boston Marathon, starting in 2012.

From here out everyone, men and women, will have to run five minutes faster to qualify. 

That, however, isn’t the clincher.

The BAA will be using a tiered system for registration. For example, during the first few days only runners who’ve run 20 minutes faster than the qualifying standard for their age group and category will be allowed to register. Next will come those who’ve run 10 minutes faster than the qualifying standards and last, those who’ve run within five minutes of their qualifying standard.

The bottom line: Middle-of-the-pack runners like me who just meet the qualifying standards might get shut out completely if the spaces fill up beforehand.

I understand why the BAA is doing this and it makes some sense given the craziness of last fall’s registration fiasco, but it still makes me a bit sad. 

Sure, we all know the elites already belong there, but really, is Shalene Flanagan going to high-five the Wellesley girls like the rest of pulling up the rear?

I think not.

These changes will shake up the culture at the Boston Marathon. Whether or not that’s a good thing, time will tell.

I predict some negative fallout from the greater running community but again, we’ll have to wait and see.

On the bright side, I suppose, it could be worse. In the spirit of capitalism, for example, the BAA could have made the registration fees as high as Superbowl tickets if they really wanted to get nasty. That would really suck.

Or they could just say flat out, they will only take the first 25,000 fastest entries they get. In essence, they’re kinda trying to do that now with these new rules, although on paper and in theory anyway, anyone who’s qualified will still have a remote chance to get into the race. 

I admit, I’m amazed to be ahead of the curve ball on this one and to be running Boston this year before these new rules are instituted. It was hard enough work to qualify for Boston when I did it.
The BQ times, they are a-changin’, folks, and it looks like my experience this year might become an even more rare occurrence as people like me get squeezed out in the future.

I promise not to squander the chance and to continue to share it with you as best I can.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Denver to Boston miles logged: 1,271; Miles left to go: 499

Teaching my daughter “K.V. Switzer’s” legacy

Jane’s second-grade class will be doing projects on famous Americans during the next two weeks. Each child had to pick someone, living or dead, who changed history or instituted a significant social change.

Jane wanted to profile a famous woman. Her list included Amelia Earhart, Kathrine Switzer and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Guess who she got?

That’s right — Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon officially in 1967.  (Roberta Gibb did it, too, but as a bandit.)

Switzer’s bib number was 261.

Jane was incredulous when I explained to her that when Kathrine Switzer ran the marathon, she entered the race as “K.V. Switzer.” The organizers assumed she was a man. The rules at the time didn’t allow women to run the marathon. 

Race officials tried to forcible pull “K.V. Switzer” off the course when they realized what she was doing. The illustration above is based on the famous photo of “the Boston incident,” published around the world in 1967.

The thinking back then was that women could not run 26.2 miles safely; it would “hurt” them and their reproductive organs. 

That’s part of what Kathrine Switzer writes about in her book, Marathon Woman, which tells her story and how she came to believe in herself, run Boston, and buck and reshape the system.

It’s a good read, whether you are a female or male athlete, and it’s an interesting view on society’s evolution. 

“But we’re human, too. Why didn’t they let women run it?” Jane questioned.

They just didn’t know yet that we were capable, I explained to her, but because of Kathrine Switzer’s bravery, now we do.

Today thousands of people run marathons each year, and women are the fastest growing demographic.

Switzer describes running in her book as “the secret weapon.”

I agree.

Marathons are a great demonstration of the “secret weapon.”

Whether you are male or female, young or old, fast or slower, it doesn’t matter — you can get such a sense of accomplishment through completing a marathon.

“I’m glad you’re running the marathon, mom,” Jane told me. “I wish I could do it with you.”

Maybe someday we’ll do one together, I told her. Who knows?

I think Jane is excited because I don’t think any of the other children had Kathrine Switzer on their lists. It will give her a unique perspective when we travel to Boston as a family and I run the marathon.

Jane said she would like to bring something back from that trip to show her class . I suggested something that illustrates the history of the American Revolution, so rich and appropriate to Boston, and something about the marathon since that’s the reason we are going.

I’m hoping to come away with my own show and tell — namely, a finisher’s medal and my own “marathon woman” story.

An homage to “K.V. Switzer” for both Jane and me.

Thank you #261.


Aging in inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage yesterday: 10; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1,187; Miles left to go: 583

Boston stampede

Today registration for The Boston Marathon opened and filled up in just eight hours, setting an unprecedented record. (Last year it was open for several weeks before it closed and even then, it filled early compared to past races.)
I was fortunate to be one of those who got my entry in this morning. Now I have to wait for an email confirmation as BAA administrators verify all qualifying times before they let you in officially.

I don’t know how long that process will take but I am astounded by the race filling up in one day! That is just PLAIN CRAZY!!

Looks like I’m not the only one with Boston aspirations nor the only one running down my midlife demons!

I’m tired and sore and fighting a cold today. I’m awfully glad to have the Denver R&R Marathon behind me and now looking ahead to the journey from Hopkinton to Boston, April 2011.

Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes and let’s go.

Today’s a much needed recovery day; Denver to Boston miles logged: 733.2; Miles left to go: 1,036.8 (Plus one BAA email confirmation!)