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Almost to Boston; but First, a Pit Stop To NOLA.

Two months ago, i found myself overwhelmed at the dining room table looking online at running shoes.  I was panicking about not having shoes I’m in love with, exhausted from battling physical and emotional fatigue and mental anguish over possible race strategies, chafing, life balance and found myself in tears in Stephen’s arms. (Yeah, he’s always there for me.)

Then I checked the calendar– halfway to race day. I forgot how incredibly hard marathon training is, specifically the last 6 weeks where the mileage piles up, the tempo runs get longer and the taper is still too far off for comfort.

I’m going to repeat this. Marathon training is hard. And I make it hard on myself because i want to beat my PR. I make training hard so that it will feel somewhat easier or sustainable on race day no matter the conditions. I do this to myself and I don’t make money for it. <–is this why people think runners are insane? Perhaps.

Fast Forward into the final days before Boston. I feel much better about my training, my shoe choice, general stress and anxiety. The work is done. The hay is in the barn, there’s nothing left to do but trust the training. So that’s where i’m at right now. I feel good, besides feeling like absolute taper garbage. (Where all your easy runs feel way too hard, you doubt every step and phantom pains appear.)

I have several goals for this race, regardless of weather conditions (wind/rain) and a hilly course. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m ready to put it all out there. But I was asked last week from a good friend how I was feeling. If i was nervous, excited, happy, scared… And i answered not really knowing I was figuring out feelings as the words fell from my mouth. I am happy and excited, but i don’t feel the desperate desire or need to prove myself anymore. I’m so happy in my home life that I don’t need anything else to make me feel good. I run now because I love to run, not because I need it for validation or to feel good about myself. The best part of this marathon training so far is Stephen telling me he’s already proud of me. I’m not even in Boston yet, and he’s proud of the hard work i’ve put in. That kind of support is all i need when I toe the line. It doesn’t matter if I PR or bomb the race.

That being said, i, of freaking course am going to run my best on the day given. And for those of you out there running Boston, I found a great article that breaks the course down and almost gives you a guide on how to pace and fun landmarks to look for. This gave me a great peace of mind when I found it, i hope it helps you too!

https://www.runnersworld.com/boston-marathon/boston-marathon-course-tips-for-runners

Right as i was getting uber stressed over training a much needed vacation to New Orleans with my best, favorite people happened. Enjoy some fun pictures and Happy Saturday!

Jackson Square.

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Not Jackson Square.

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Banksy!

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Quiet French Quarter.

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Lively French Quarter!
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Bars for music and drinks!IMG_20180329_222304.jpg

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Buzz Nola Bike Tours (we did the electric bike tour) Such a great time! Learned a ton and got to see more than I would running or walking, or pedaling for that matter.

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Airboat Adventures– This was AWESOME.

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Baby alligator!

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Big Gator. IMG_20180330_130316.jpg

And Steve who has no fear…

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Couples that gator together, stay together!
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They put a lot of powered sugar on the beignets at Cafe du Monde.

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I preferred them with local craft beer at Morning Call.IMG_20180328_134059.jpg

And Morning Call had great muffaletta’s. Just check out Steve’s reaction to how good they were.

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Palladar 511. Another great place to eat. Super trendy menu. Everything was fantastic.

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Our air b&b. Left to Right: Joe, Amanda, Patrick, Pat, Liz, Josh, Steve, Me, Kathy. Can’t tell you how much I love each person in the photo below. FullSizeRender (4)

And they brought the game, “Hearing Things.” I haven’t laughed this hard in a while.

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New Orleans was amazing, we’re already planning to go back (hopefully next year). We did so much, but there is so much more to do and see. It was way better than I was expecting or what i thought I knew from movies, tv, etc. There’s a vibe out there different than any place I’ve ventured thus far, and I need more of it.

Last minute taper tips?

Ever been to NOLA?


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Your Biggest Running Goal

Tuesday: 6.6m easy progressive (9:00-8:00pace), 40 min full body cardio/strength workout

I don’t think anymore when I’m asked what my biggest running goal is. It’s a reaction. I say “Boston” as quickly as a dog’s head whips around when you say, “outside?” Qualifying for Boston was something I learned about while reading an issue of Runner’s World while training for my first marathon. It was something so out of reach and laughable in that moment, that i never thought i’d be actually attempting a BQ time.

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just silly happy to be running

The Boston marathon wasn’t a goal when I started running and I don’t particularly have any ties to the city, but somewhere along I felt the desire to want to run this marathon. The competitive nature in me wants to be able to get into a race based on time. The exclusive, fast, cool kids marathon, as my ego likes to call it. But the closer i’m getting to Chicago–the one marathon to rule them all (or at least deem worthy to possibly enter the gates of Boston) the closer i’m beginning to realize, the marathon might be something i’ll never be great at. And it might not even be my biggest running goal—>it’s just something I feel drawn to and something that will help me see a part of this country i’ve never been too.

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random sunset

Boston is the goal I gave myself for this year, if i don’t hit it in Chicago then i’m going to focus on other running goals which I think are a little more important to me. Here they are–I want to run a sub 6:00 mile, a sub-20:00 5k and I want to run a sub 1:30 half. Notice the trend, i want to run fast.

pretty much stoked to re-evaluate goals

pretty much stoked to re-evaluate goals

Now, let’s make something clear–my feelings, emotions and life in general have been all over the place. And this directly messes with my running life. My paces are jumping between 6:30-9:40s (emotions work just as hard for you as humidity works against you). I have no set training schedule and right now, i’m wearing half a sports bra so i don’t mess up the new tattoo and obviously i’m still feeling out/holding back because of the ankle. I keep asking myself what my goals are. Obviously–Boston, but then I’m asking why? I need something to light a fire behind me so I actually want to run Chicago fast. I’m hoping to have an epiphany out on a long run one of these days.

sunset at the gym

sunset at the gym

But I’m also realizing that Boston isn’t everything. A sub 3:35:00 does not define who I am as a runner or a person. It does not make me any better or worse of a runner. Wanting and obsessing over something is not healthy.  I figure as long as i’m running happy and training hard in the gym, good things will come. The times I want will post when my body is good and ready for them.

Until then, keep your hearts full and feet swift.

had to draw one out. colored pencil & cardboard.

had to draw one out. (colored pencil & cardboard)


11 Comments

I Cross Train with TRX…A LOT.

Monday: 15 abs

Thank you guys so much for all the fueling advice!! After reviewing comments I’m going to try eating small amounts of food frequently, instead of what i’m used to doing–> GU every 45 minutes. I didn’t realize just how different fueling for a marathon is compared to a half. I honestly thought it was the same… all you blogger/runners out there are awesome and thank you again.

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Good Morning! Time for Coffee & Blogging!

Sunday I was in a TRX Training class from 9-5. I took a course for their suspension trainer last October, this time it was for the Rip Trainer. Tool description–Rip Training utilizes a lever bar and resistance cord to provide a unique mix of rotation, core stability, control, power, strength, mobility, metabolic conditioning, balance and coordination challenges…The Rip Trainer allows users to engage in unlimited movements which, when performed properly, enhance fluidity and range of motion and decrease the risk of injury.”

TRX tools are incredible and no i’m not paid for saying that or in any way affiliated with TRX. I’ve been using their suspension trainer for about 6 months now and i’ve noticed a HUGE difference in the way my body looks. This is probably because TRX workouts are fun and effective so I want to workout more often. If you know a friend or a gym that has one, try it out!

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Doing Squats + Rows with the Rip Trainer!

…on top of how awesome TRX is, it’s also a fun workout and i had my mom do a workout while she was here. See how much fun she’s having!

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During the 8 hour class we definitely worked out about 3 of those hours. (Immediately after i went to a nearby park and ran a few speedy miles to finish out peak week!). Overall the day was well spent, I was spent and I got to meet a bunch of cool people.

Billy, Me, Jessica & Leslie

Billy, Me, Jessica & Leslie

I hope everyone has a great day. Keep Boston in your hearts and remember that a year ago, everyone became a Bostonian. I pulled my Facebook status from that week and it still resonates with how I feel today.

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Anyone ever tried TRX suspension or rip training before?

Who’s running Boston next Monday or trying to qualify this year?