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Nevertheless She Persisted, but Seriously Didn’t Want To.

Oh man. Okay. I know this is an old recap, but it’s super important that i write about it. I’m coming to terms that blogging is a dying animal, but I still use archived blog posts for help with training, mental training and remembering all the sweaty bad details to help with future races and training cycles. So as long as it’s helping me, I’m gonna keep writing. I hope this stuff is still helping some of you out there.

The Brokebabes Marathon was a last ditch effort to try and PR and see if my potential, my peak, had passed for the Boston Marathon training cycle. I’m still bitter about Boston. I’m still cold from April. Literally and figuratively. Even now, running in the east coast winter wind, it takes me back to some awful memories of Boston. It still makes me angry that my time didn’t reflect the training. Even Des Linden, winner of that race, said the conditions made the race equivalent to running 30 miles, not a marathon. As in, we couldn’t “race” a marathon, it was about survival, like during an ultra marathon. Those conditions shook the best of the best. As bitter as I am, that race has carved me into a much more resilient runner and I learned a ton about myself that day. I have a TON more to get out of these 33 year old legs.

Two weeks after Boston I won a 10 Miler race in southern Maryland at a blazing fast (for me) pace. I thought that I could possibly try and hit another marathon hard and the PR I’d worked so freaking hard for, would appear on a time clock. I found a local marathon where my extended relatives live, asked for a place to stay and signed up. The race was exactly a month later than Boston, if I had anything left in my legs this was the last shot.

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I made it to Ohio. Carbed up with Emmeline (we suck at taking pictures together btw). Did my normal night before race rituals while stuffing my face full of chips and candy, drinking a ton of Nuun and laying out a flat racer.

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Eating brunch leftovers

The course consisted of two 13.1 mile loops on generally flat, paved asphalt with a bit of dirt trail. However… dun Dun DUN!!! Thunderstorms in the forecast led to a last minute course change. Runners would be doing shortened loops around the park closer to covered shelter if needed.

I was mentally prepped for a 13.1 mile loop, the course change ended up being NINE 2.8 mile loops. Nine. 9. I’m not speaking German. Regardless of the change, I stayed calm about the whole situation and race morning went smooth as ever. I drove myself to the start of the small, local running event.  I warmed up on what started off as great weather, cloudy and cool. I felt good, strong and ready to work. I was excited!

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We all lined up, I set myself up at the front, and the race started. I followed directly behind the bike that was leading runners on the first loop so no one would get lost. My first miles were about 7:10/pace and felt easy. I remember hitting the first 3 miles, holding back and thinking, “Today is my day. I can do this.”

Very quickly after the 3rd loop, 6-ish miles in, things started feeling hard out of nowhere. My breathing was labored and it scared me a bit, so I slowed down, thinking I had plenty of time so early on. But nothing changed. Mile 7 and 8 came.  I stopped at my cousin’s stake out point with her husband and kids where I found myself hyperventilating. Becky told me to put my hands up over my head and try to relax. I didn’t realize it, but she told me a huge fog rolled in and it was extremely humid.

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Below is a snapshot of the race loop, the temperature and the humidity. I wasn’t imagining anything, 100% humidity. I’ve never raced in 100% before.

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Once I could talk to Becky between the wheezing, I told her I might drop out. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever said out loud during a race. It made me tear up, and my cousin did her best to keep me calm and moving. After her pep talk,  I continued. I slowed quite a bit, and even with that adjustment to pace, I still had to take walk breaks to catch my breath and stop wheezing.

The time goal was no longer on my mind. I just wanted to finish. But let me tell you something, when you start walk/running a marathon at mile 8, you’re not going to have a good time. I felt like I hit a wall over and over again, yet I willingly kept slamming my body into it. As runners, we are taught that there are easy miles and hard miles, you just don’t know what order they’re gonna come. I stayed positive, thinking I was just going through a rough patch, and hopefully I’d be able to run (albeit not at my racing pace) but I’d be able to enjoy myself and do an easy long run. I didn’t drive all the way to Ohio, have my family watching me do an insane amount of circles just to be like “eh, I’m done.” So again, I continued on. Or should I say, “I persisted.”

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Zone 5 for the majority of the race is no bueno.

This marathon was about staying present and putting one foot in front of the other, whether i was running or walking. Just continuing on, quarter mile after quarter mile. (yes, i was checking my watch that often.) Every several minutes felt like an eternity, seeing the same course turns, markers, the water fountain on the left, the metal sculptures on the right, were driving me insane. The thing that kept me going was Becky, Josh, Gabby & Pierce cheering for me. I kept apologizing for how long this was going to take (must be that weird Midwestern, Catholic, probably should be Canadian problem I can’t shake).

Each loop they cheered me on like I was winning the race. Like I was the best runner they’d ever seen. The fun thing was… I was winning the race. If I’m not mistaken, there were 5 women in the marathon and most of the event were half marathoners. I received cheers and “keep going” “you’re looking awesome” etc, from a ton of people. And that, quite honestly, kept me mentally in it. I didn’t check out, I wasn’t giving up. Marathons are hard and humbling. Somehow through it all, I was having fun and enjoying a very long Sunday run.

32375957_10216865221525576_3702312416751648768_nI finished in 3:47:44, the course was short (25.7 miles) but I just didn’t have it in me to go beyond the finish line.  Just tack on the excess mileage from all the other marathons and we’ll call it even. I’m proud I was able to finish. Proud I can walk/run a sub 4:00 marathon. And proud of my first ever marathon win!

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The biggest takeaway from this? I set a positive example for some awesome young kiddos. My second cousins, Pierce & Gabby won’t forget the day I ran a marathon and for that I don’t regret pushing on for a second.

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The nicest FB post, from my cousin ❤

The second learning experience, especially as I start to dip my road weathered toes in the ultra world is that during longer endurance races “the wall” isn’t predictable. It won’t always come between miles 18-22 as it often does during a marathon. And sometimes, it won’t be a bad couple miles, it might end up being a bad 20 miles. I scored a lot of mental points, knowing I can still go on and move forward, even when the body rebels and conditions aren’t ideal.

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And if all else fails, Ohio has some great places to stock up on beer.

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What are your big plans for 2019?

Any races on the schedule?


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Marine Corps Marathon Recap!

The evening of the MCM I rode the metro down to Arlington to meet a few familiar faces: Jenni and Josh ran Ragnar DC 17′. Josh couldn’t believe I was still down with peanut butter and bananas (I think a lot of the vanmates were burnt out of pb&b after Ragnar weekend) but explained how my love of PB is as deep and wide as a river.

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I got to the hotel kinda late, so it was a quick lay out of a flat runner and nutrition for the AM and it was bedtime for all of us.

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Ragnar Van 2 Representing!

Just an FYI for future MCM runners- the Arlington cemetary Metro stop is a HIKE from the start line. We left with more than plenty of time, but with the poor funneling at the Metro’s exit and the long walk to the start & port-o-potty stop, I found myself running (yes, actually running) to try and get into my corral by the start. I made it just in time for the national anthem, to catch my breath, start my Garmin, and take off for the long run.

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Josh & Jen 

My goals for this race were kinda all over the place. I thought, if I had a decent day I could pull a 3:30 finishing time. So 3:30 or under was my A goal. To qualify for Boston again, would be an amazing feat! My B goal was 3:35. I didn’t have a C or worse goal. I felt like 3:35 was the B-C goal. Anything less than that would be something entirely out of my control.

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You will notice a lot/all of my race photos i have a worried look. I steered clear of the MCM marathon for a long time because a handful of people told me the course was super hilly at end and sometimes the weather didn’t cooperate and you could get a hot day. I was so stressed and anxious the first 10 miles of this race. I didn’t know if I was prepared, didn’t know if I would hit that dreaded “wall” didn’t know if it was too hot to run as fast as I was planning…

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The truth is, it was warmer than ideal. We started at 55 degrees and 88% humidity and I know most people finished the race in the mid-high 70s. But I kept reminding myself that I trained all summer in super humid conditions and the temps were lower than I was used to, so yay! a positive thought amongst all the stress! Haha. This marathon was much more of a mental feat than fast feet. <—see what I did there?

Okay so temps weren’t ideal, my ipod somehow turned itself onto “Shuffle” so my songs were doing their own thing. I tried to enjoy the “let’s see what plays next” mentality even though I stratigically place songs in a specific TYPE A order. AHH!HH!H!H!HH!HH!

Once the crowds thinned, I actually started enjoying running around DC. I kept my spirits up with the crowd support, it was incredible! Spectators must have been out because of the beautiful day, and for that, I was okay with the warmer temps. I also knew that somewhere in the crowd was my very best of all time support crew. Stephen and his daughter (we will call her Curly for now) were meeting to see me at mile 9 or 11, then again at 22. Knowing they were on the course for me was enough. I wanted to run well for them and I wanted to get to them as fast as possible because I knew Steve had a bottle of Tailwind ready for me. It would be my first time running with Tailwind which claims you don’t need gels or chews, just this drink. (I ate gels during my race until I got the Tailwind, just an FYI).

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When mile 11 came around I spotted the labeless bottle of Gatorade filled with Tailwind up in the sky. Steve was holding up the bottle above the crowd like the hammer of Thor! I spotted it easily and was SO EXCITED to stop and give a few sweaty hugs and kisses from my two favorite people and after he gave a few encouraging words, I was off again.

The fuel came in handy, Tailwind was a dream. I took small sips and held onto that bottle for about 10 miles until I finished it all. I was happy I didn’t have to stop at water stations and I felt incredible as I picked up the pace slowly through the 2nd half of the race.

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Once I was past mile 20, i knew there was no wall to crash into. A 10K is nothing after 20 miles. It was time to work and start pushing. Focus on the finish line, a cold beer and checking another race off your list. I spotted Steve and Curly one more time past mile 22, and then grabbed a small cup of beer from college kids shortly after. I’m telling you, grab beer in the end of a marathon. It’s liquid pain killer and carbs. I soooo needed that.

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The end of the race came quickly and I realized I was running where the port-o-pottys and corrals were earlier that morning, checked my watch and Dear God, I literally ran .7 tenths of a mile before the start! OH and the finish is on a bit of an uphill… but the elevation for the course is a joke. If you think Marine Corps is hilly please start running hills more often.

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574 total ft of elevation. 

By the time I hit that hill and crossed the finish line, I was ECSTATIC! My 2nd time qualifing for Boston, 2nd fastest marathon time and a negative split! 3:25:19

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the finish!

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With all that said, this is probably my favorite marathon to date. Reasons being:

  • Spectator support: There was hardly a single moment without people lining the course. Feeding off the crowd was key to my success that day.
  • Stephen and Curly. He has supported my fitness and running goals since the day I met him. Having an active crew on race day was so special. They both lit a fire in my heart that day.
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Curly liked the medal bc it opened and closed

  • The Blue Mile. I’ll never forget running a full mile where pictures of fallen service men and women lined both sides of the course. It’s amazing how long a mile feels when you see that many pictures of men, women and families. The volunteers held American flags at the end, creating a red, white and blue tunnel for the runners and thanked us as we ran by. All I could do was hold a hand over my heart and thank them. It was an emotional mile and hard not to get choked up.
  • I broke into the top 100 female finishers. Another thing I didn’t expect, but secretly wanted to happen one day.
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  • I was craving fried pickles after the race and Steve was down for Buffalo Wild Wings. Yep, one of my favorite post-race meals. Fried pickles and wings.

What’s your favorite marathon to date?

Do you prefer hilly or flat courses?


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MCM Part 1: Six Weeks to a Marathon, the lead up, the plan.

Obtaining a race bib for the Marine Corps Marathon kinda fell into my lap. Aaaand I may or may not have had a beer or two in me aaaaand accidentally on purpose agreed to a bib transfer, for a marathon only 6 weeks away.

I need to back up a bit. I know i’ve skipped a lot of blogging. Over the summer I had an almost injury where I had to back off of running, see the chiropractor and an orthopedist in the same week because I was so scared I was on the verge of tearing something in my knee.

Right around the 4th of July I was getting some weird knee pain like I’ve never experienced before. Now, since I’m a personal trainer I like to set examples for my clients, readers and friends. When something feels “off”, not normal, or “OW” type pain, STOP whatever you’re doing, take time off and if it doesn’t get better and seek a professional diagnoses. So I did just that.

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4th of July

I immediately stopped running, lifting and to my despair and two more weeks off, nothing seemed to get better. After visiting the Ortho (who is also a marathoner) he ruled out the big fear of a tear and was 99.9% sure I was experiencing inflammation in the patella tendon and a tight hamstring which was pulling at the knee, making running feel unstable. Surprisingly, he said the issue wasn’t from running, but from the way I was squatting. He wrote me a prescription for lifting shoes which changed the angle I was squatting and ice for my knee.

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That was it. Lifting shoes helped the problem instantly. I was excited and back to running slowly by the end of July. I spent all of August building a running base and was quickly back to 20-30 mile weeks. <—pretty much the type of running shape I attempt to be in even during “off season.” Is there such a thing as off season?

That’s when the MCM opportunity came up. September 5th I bought a bib transfer through one of the Zooma Ambassadors because I had nothing going on the weekend of October 22nd. Easy right? Well, easy was how I planned to run the race. I just wanted to run it for fun, but I always feel like I’m kidding myself when I say this. I like to race on race day. It’s hard for me to run for fun unless i’m running with friends. With the bib now in my name I had to come up with a training plan that would work in 6 weeks, including a taper week which realistically meant 5 weeks to prep for a marathon. Yikes.

I think the pictures below were Stephen making sure I was making a sound choice. 😉

I was starting off on the right foot, I had the base mileage. 30 miles was a great place to begin. I figured the best way to train on a shortened schedule wasn’t to do traditional speed work and tempo workouts.  I was nervous if I were to add more mileage on top of a crapload of speed sessions I would only increase my chances of injury (especially after recently sidestepping one).  I had to somehow do everything at once, but not in running workouts.

I decided to take a big risk and weight train (heavy lifting) for the fast twitch muscles (replacing speed work) then run on fatigued, tired legs (simulating the last miles of marathons). Then repeat. I didn’t let my legs relax for 5 solid weeks. I lifted my heaviest over those weeks and went running shortly after. Slogging miles with heavy steps and tired muscles on hills was the name of the game. This was a difficult training cycle, there were tears and many moments where i forgot what fresh legs felt like.

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Heavy DL, then a run after

I used Ragnar DC for a speed work check in. I did the virtual Ragnar 7 Summits Challenge as motivation for another week of even more hills and elevation. I finished one 16 miler, mostly because i needed a confidence boost and had one high mileage peak week at 55 miles, 2 weeks before the race.

I didn’t rest until the taper, 7 days out from Marine Corps, I stopped heavy lifting, didn’t do any strength training and ran easy while attending my best friends wedding. A great way to take my mind off a marathon.

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And that was that. I had to trust that I put in work that was all my own. Not a training plan or Hansons or Runners World or a coach had given me. I was putting some faith into knowing my body, knowing I was a strong lifter and a strong runner. All that was left was to cross my heart and hope it would somehow merge together and show up as fitness on race day.

To be continued…

 


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Kodiak Protein Bars + Spartan Winner!

Monday: 10m easy 8:14/pace
Tuesday: Back Squats 5 x 10 @ 115#, SA DB Press 5 x 10 @ 25#, 5m easy 9:50/pace
Wednesday: Crossfit, 5m easy 9:01/p
Thursday: Crossfit, 4m easy 9:30/p

Another week, another Kodiak recipe (and no i’m not sponsored or affiliated with the brand, just like the product!) I made a very simple recipe from their website and of course added my own twist to it and it came out perfect 🙂

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*I added 3/4 cup of brown sugar, not a full cup. I still want to try and lower the sugar content of this recipe. I haven’t experimented with applesauce or anything yet, but i’m about to try. Tips are welcome!
*I added blueberries and sprinkled these with graham cracker crumbs for a bit of texture.

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever vanilla protein powder you like…so of course I reached for my favorite, Vanilla Bean ABW.

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And about 20 minutes later.. easy peasy.

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9 servings: 242 calories, 47C, 2.6F, 9P

And I had to show you guys a few awesome pictures while I was running this past week. The weather has been a little off (cloudy, cool, then humid and confused) but the sky looked killer on one of my normal loops.

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Water fountain to save the day!

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Aaaaand the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the winner of the Spartan Race Entry is… DAXTON RUSSELL!! Daxton please send me an email at shesgoingforspeed@gmail.com. Congrats!!Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 6.27.53 AM

Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 8:00/pace
Tuesday: Crossfit, 8.5m easy 7:53/pace
Wednesday: 5m easy 10:00/pace
Thursday: 5 x 5 Sumo DL ascending (185#, 195#, 205#, 215#, 225#), 10m easy 9:09/pace
Friday: 4m easy 9:00/pace
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 1hr chest day

Total Miles: 33.5

Travel plans for the holiday weekend?

Anyone play with sugar substitutions in baking?


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Kodiak Protein Muffin Recipes + Spartan Race Giveaway!

Monday: 6m easy 8:00/pace
Tuesday: Crossfit, 8.5m easy 7:53/pace
Wednesday: 5m easy 10:00/pace

You asked for it, here’s the recipe for the “Brotein Muffins” I posted about this past Sunday. Super happy with the flavor, texture and overall heartiness of these muffins.

Start here and buy this mix:

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Flip box over and use this:

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Substitutions I used (and what made these incredible)
3 tbsp of Avocado oil (or another oil) in place of butter
Silk Almond Milk instead of regular milk
Add 1/2-1 cup of whole grain oats for texture
Use 1-1.5 bananas (depending on size)
Use WAY more cinnamon.
Don’t put walnuts in. Ew. Gross.
*Before adding in anything extra the calorie count is approximately 100 for each muffin, I will calculate macros next time I make these!

With the base recipe above, I separated the batter into two separate bowls for two types of muffins. The above recipe makes 12 muffins. They came out so good I went back and made a 2nd batch of each which is how all the yummy substitutions and perfections came in.

For the chocolate chip recipe I added: mini chocolate chips (do NOT use a full cup like in the recipe suggests…eyeball it while mixing in or stick closer to 1/2 cup), then 1 tbsp of chia seeds to bulk up the protein and more good-for-you nutrition!

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Chocolate chip banana heaven! (Pictured below…the ones further down in the shot are Peanut Butter and Jelly. Yeah, i know…just keep reading.)

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So I got a little crafty with the 2nd batch and added a cup of Craisins & 2 tbsp of PB Fit, hence the PB&J muffin. Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 7.40.43 AM

Notice the few on the bottom left of the photo? I actually stuffed a couple with actual peanut butter…If you get muffins from me, expect a surprise in the center from now on, these were a hit!

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These will be a staple in my house for an easy grab-n-go snack or fast breakfast when I get back from early morning Crossfit. Lately my life has been running, recovering, lifting, recovering and trying to figure out proper nutrition while trying not to be hungry all the time. It’s a real problem. I’m working on it.

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from a run last Thursday

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Me & Andrea working out way too early! 

All this talk about working out, protein and muffins makes me wanna lift or go for a run or combine the two and do a Spartan… hehehe. With that being said, let’s do a Spartan Race entry giveaway!

Marriott Rewards is now the official Hotel Partner for Spartan Race and has an exclusive offer to people who join their loyalty program – 20% off races, free VIP bag check and $5 off Spartan gear at the races. Once enrolled, points are earned when you stay at any 4,500 participating hotels around the world.

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It’s always a tough to choose a hotel when traveling for races, but this rewards program is pretty cool.

To enter for a free Spartan Race Entry, leave a comment below telling me which Spartan Race you’d like to complete. For an extra entry sign up for the Marriott Rewards program here and leave an extra comment telling me you did! 

Giveaway ends 5/24 midnight EST!

Last Week

Monday: 7m interval (12 x 200s average pace 5:30)
Tuesday: Crossfit, 8.5m easy 7:47/pace
Wednesday: 6m easy 8:47/pace
Thursday: 5m easy 9:25/pace
Friday: 2 hour endurance workout (included 4 miles of running 8:55/pace)
Saturday: 1 hour biceps/triceps/lots of stretching
Sunday: 6.9m trail run 9:35/pace

Total Miles: 37.5

Let me know if you try out the muffin recipe! 


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Phone Dump Friday #11

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: legs- front squats 3 x 5 @ 135#, 4m run 9:50/pace
Wednesday: 6m easy 9:45/pace
Thursday: 1 hour Corepower Yoga, 5m run 8:22/pace, Crossfit

Happy Friday! I will be recapping the weekend of Ragnar & the crazy hot St. Mary’s Historic 1/2 I did in 36 hours next week. I also have a Spartan Race to giveaway, so stay tuned, enjoy some of the random pictures that didn’t make a blog post and get some miles in this weekend!

Pretty Maryland…

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From Ragnar DC last September, always loved this sign.

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Exhausted from a hot run a few weeks back.

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One of my favorite pictures of this girl…

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heart shaped sweat…

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Got this beautiful sports bra at the CorePower Yoga studio in Bethesda.

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Eggcellent.

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Rock Creek Trail

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Capital City Cheesecake (Takoma Park) Funfetti mini cheesecakes!

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Arm raspberries from sandbag cleans #Crossfit

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Follow Mimi on Instagram, she’s the one who makes my hair beautiful

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And just another beautiful Maryland shot to sandwich this phone cleanse.

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Last Week

Monday: 8m easy 8:57/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5m easy 9:00/pace

Wednesday: 5 rounds of 25cal row, hang snatches 3 @ 65#, handstand against wall + 5m easy run 8:47/pace after workout.

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 1st leg of Ragnar 4.3m 9:30/pace

Saturday: 2nd leg of Ragnar 5.4m 9:28/pace, 3rd leg 5.7 (Garmin didn’t work)

Sunday: St. Mary’s Historic 1/2 13.1m 2:10:32

Total Miles: 46.5


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Happy Trails <3

Monday: 8m easy 8:57/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5m easy 9:00/pace

Wednesday: 5 rounds of 25cal row, hang snatches 3 @ 65#, handstand against wall + 5m easy run 8:47/pace after workout.

Thursday: Crossfit

My last post was an ode to coffee, and i didn’t realize until after I posted that I didn’t even mention how coffee is a big part of my pre-race rituals! What kind of terrible running blog is this?! I’ll have to do a “part 2” regarding all the fitness/nutritional benefits! Now we can just talk about another love of mine…

Elise. Seriously, if you have a moment, follow Elise on Instagram, she’s a photographer, a runner and an amazing cupcake baker. Since i’m in the cupcake mecca of DC you know I know a good cupcake. Especially those with homemade fresh marshmallows on top…

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I’m obsessed with marshmallows so of course she sends me fresh homemade ones through the mail…File_000 (542)

and I of course the first thing I do is this..

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I call this masterpiece Fluffernutter Bites. And they were glorious. Elise forever ruined Kraft marshmallows for me, i simply cannot go back after having these. I’m having way too much much fun trying them with everything. Speaking of Whey too much #slapsknee #dadhumor

1 scoop vanilla bean A Better Whey Protein, 1 large marshmallow, 1 banana, 1 cup almond milk, cinnamon & ice. This marshmallowy goodness was a staple last week.

File_000 (549) I’ve put the marshmallows in coffee, hot chocolate, ate them by themselves and last but not least a smores’. User tip: spread peanut butter on the graham cracker for an even better experience. You’re. Freaking. Welcome.

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Okay, so if that doesn’t make you hungry or marshmallows aren’t your thing, I went to happy hour at Society (downtown Silver Spring) with my Crossfit girls, Andrea & Yomery. We had some tasty sliders, sweet potato fries and great conversation. And of course margaritas. 😉 What can i say, it’s rooftop season. Time for long sweaty runs and post recovery burgers and beer!

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And last but not least, but kinda last (minute that is) I jumped on a Ragnar Trail team for this weekend in Richmond, VA! Super stoked that i have a running event on the calendar and they’re providing SMORES!

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Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 8:53/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5m 9:10/pace

Wednesday: 4m easy 9:40/pace

Thursday: 13.4m easy 8:40/pace

Friday: 5m easy 9:00/pace, 5 rounds of 6 x 135# back squat, SA DB snatches 30#, 8 pushups

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 1hr upper body

Total Miles: 33.4

Anyone running VA Ragnar this weekend?

Have you had homemade marshmallows?