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Richmond Marathon, the 3rd and Last Attempt.

This was it. The final marathon of 2018 I trained to race and finally see the red digital number I had worked so hard for, appear as my foot crossed the blue and red timing mat…

Richmond Marathon took place on November 10th, 2018 and I was as ready as I could have been although I was beginning to grow tired of racing marathons. I’ve never been one to “race” more than 1-2 half marathons per year, so racing 3 marathons was a lot and after all is done, probably too much mentally and emotionally to handle.

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When i pick out a race and start miles of training, I truly throw myself eyeballs deep into it. It will take a lot to skip a scheduled run. I will wake up before the sun or go out in the pitch dark evenings of the icy, winter to get the training it in. Nothing will hold me back, nothing will conquer me. But with each race after Boston, I found myself kinda falling out of love with racing, especially the marathon distance.

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Pre-Race!

Richmond training was different. The miles were there, the speed was there, but my heart wasn’t. I was supposed to run a 3:15 marathon at Richmond because it’s what I trained for. On paper my training looked excellent, but I was struggling between the ears.

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On the morning of Richmond, I was happy and content. Stephen was running the 8k that morning which started about 30 minutes prior to the marathon, which kept my mind busy and off my race. I got to send him off and watch his start. Then I got myself ready and dropped my bag (as well as allllll the extra layers) at the bag trucks. It was supposed to be 45 and sunny. I was excited to be running in shorts, in a new city, running my 7th marathon.

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37:32 (7:33/pace) after flying in from FL the night before!

The start of the race was nothing new, just familiar and meditative. Getting the crowd energized, the National Anthem, last minute stretching, eating, sipping, lace tying, watch beeping, then the start. Hearing thousands of shoes pelting the ground, people cheering in stereo along the barriers, we ran together forging a bond, ready to complete a 26.2 adventure through Richmond.

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It was beautiful. The sun peeked out, the weather was perfect, my legs felt alright. Not perfect, but alright. First miles don’t dictate the outcome of a race, usually the first miles are big, fat liars.

Somewhere around mile 5 someone who looked like Bart Yasso gave me a motivational “you’re looking great!” I found myself flowing in and out of race pace, 7:30s good, 6:55s slow down! The plan was to stick around 7:20/pace and speed up after the halfway mark.

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After 13 miles, I couldn’t find the push to go any faster. I was still on pace for a PR (anything faster than 7:40/p) and decided not to push, but to feel out a few more miles and adjust. I’m thankful I did because the park had tree coverage and I didn’t realize how windy it was. There were 14 mph headwinds for the remainder of that marathon. And it just crushed me and my already worn down spirit.

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I hate admitting that. The wind really deflated me. I always try and push as hard as I can when the going gets tough, but I saw pace slow and I kept getting side stitches from swallowing too much air from the wind flow and breathing hard. I had myself a little pity party, pretty sure I walked a few times, but I made sure to finish the marathon strong. I wasn’t getting my time goal, I wasn’t setting a personal record that day, but my god, i’m running in shorts and a tshirt and the love of my life is waiting for me at the finish. Life is good.

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I barreled down that final half mile (mostly because it was a downhill finish) crossed the line, felt a giant relief come over me and I walked on. Bart Yasso again my angel for the day, high-fived me and said, “GREAT BQ! CONGRATS!”  3:24:41 Oh man… Did I qualify for Boston, under the new time constraints? That was pretty cool. I kinda forgot about BQ’ing since the wind wouldn’t shut up. I use to dream about what it would be like to qualify for Boston, and now i’m doing it on a bad day. I need to stop taking that for granted.

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Finally I made it to where Stephen was. I don’t remember exactly what I said verbatim, but it was along the lines of, “I’m done with the marathon.” As soon as those words left my throat, I felt that heavy heart I was carrying for so many months disappear. I cried and laid into Stephen’s underarm while we walked toward the beer tents. Then he asked what most people ask as soon as you cross a finish line, “so what’s next?” And I raised my right hand with 5 fingers and the left with an “O” shape. He laughed, seemed excited and said “OK.”

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50 miles it is.

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We’re both signed up for this years JFK50! A new distance for both of us!

Then we hit a few local breweries up to refuel before heading home. This race, city and atmosphere was really great. I don’t know if i’d run the course again, mostly because there are SO many other places and races to run, but never say never!

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Ever get burnt out on a single distance or activity?

What is your favorite distance? 


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The Best Snow Weekend Ever

Saturday started out with good company on a 12 mile run.

(This is how Laura and I start each of our runs, creating an album cover for our next rap album)

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Later that evening Maryland finally understood it’s January and instead of the rain we’ve been used to, we got a ton of fluffy, powdery snow. So Steve, Clint and I bundled up and wandered around the extremely silent neighborhood.

mvimg_20190112_210018The sky was SO bright from the snow!

img_20190112_210302Once we got back home we lit a fire and enjoyed staying warm while the snow kept falling. (picture below is from a week ago, not Saturday- but it’s a cool picture!)

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Sunday morning Steve and I woke up way too early because we were so excited about playing in the snow again. After breakfast and piling the winter clothes back on, we walked to Clint’s, pounded on his door and said “COME PLAY!” (Yes we are all 30+ years old) We threw snowballs, lit another campfire and tossed Steve in a tree to get a loose branch down…

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Then we wanted to hike near the river again.

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This was amazing. The temperature was perfect and we got to do some urban exploring.

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Steve’s album cover:

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We made a beef stew and white chicken chili, watched movies and played Nintendo. Pretty sure this was one of the best weekends i’ve ever had. ❤

 


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I Can Finally Call Myself a Trail Runner #RagnarTrailRVA Recap

Monday: 7m interval (12 x 200s average pace 5:30)
Tuesday: Crossfit, 8.5m easy 7:47/pace
Wednesday: 6m easy 8:47/pace

If you don’t know what a Ragnar is, take a look at my blog or head over to their website and check it out. Basically it’s a 24ish hour relay running race. The one and only Ragnar Relay i completed was a point to point course starting in Cumberland, MD and finishing in DC last September. The Ragnar Trail events are different because you camp in one location and teammates go out one at a time and cover the same trail loops.

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Our Trail Ragnar was at Pocahontas State Park in Richmond, VA. The first of my three legs started at 10:00pm Friday night. For someone who isn’t an avid trail runner, who never runs at night, I was both nervous and excited. I had to survive the first leg to make it through the weekend. Don’t fall and break a bone or get bruised up or roll an ankle. With that in the back of my mind we set up our campsite and got a chance to look around at the merch tents, food trucks, samples of GU and sunscreen. It was so much fun (if you’re a runner!)

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Team #85 Pace and Love (4 of these folks did Ragnar DC with me last Sept) Jeremy, Austin, Tommy, Reggie, Steve, me and Stacey

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The trail Ragnar series is cool because you can relax, rest and use a bathroom at the campsite. During the point-to-point course there’s a lot of waiting around, port-o-potties, smelly vans and no sleep happening. The camping added a very fun and relaxing element to the race.

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photo cred: Stacey Hooker, one of our teammates

Do you guys see the signs for S’mores and coffee? We definitely ate smores, but I brought my own cold brew coffee. Take that as a professional tip the next time you camp: if the weather is 90+ humidity, bring cold brew in the cooler.

Time flew, and our first runner took off around 3:30pm Friday. I had so much down time and was antsy, but with walking around, a power nap and eating dinner, the sun went down and I headed to the finish line to wait at the exchange tent.

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Finish chute & exchange tent in daylight (photo: Stacey H.)

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camp at night

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Reggie & Austin

When it was finally time to start, I kept repeating to myself to take my time, don’t do anything stupid on the first leg and to run with quick feet. I forgot how running at night heightens the senses. I felt lit up for those 5ish miles. There was so much to pay attention to on trails, let alone in the dark with only a headlamp giving way to several feet in front of you. Rocks, roots, ups, downs, wooden bridges, twisting and turning paths, trying not to miss the appropriate colored trail signage, it all was happening at once and it was entirely exhilarating. I felt alive, I felt renewed, I felt like the only thing that mattered was the run I was in, the next place my foot was landing and the breath I was taking.

You can’t put a price on that. That kind of running is everything.

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tiki torches lit up the chute (photo: Stacey H.)

After my leg I stretched out in the REI area, they had foam rollers and rolling sticks for runners to use. Then i went back to camp to rehydrate, eat, sleep and get ready to do it all over again.

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“Runner” capris – 73 Threads! 

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Our captain: Stacey @runtobefree10

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Stacey & I are on Team Nuun, so you know we #stayhydrated right.

Saturday kinda flew by. I ran my 2nd leg around 6am and my 3rd at 2pm. I was happy with my trail running. I kept a 9:30/pace on all legs despite difficulty level, which made me happy the effort was there for the consecutive runs.

I had a funny moment happen on the 2nd leg when I was passing another female runner and saying “on your left” I caught a glimpse of her face and this happened:

Me: I know you but I don’t know your name, what’s your instagram handle?
Her: Gratitude and Grit! (@gratitude_grit)
Me: Yes! I follow you, i knew you looked familiar, i’m @Shesgoingforspeed !
G&G: Oh yeah!! I follow you too! Have a great run!
*Still don’t know real names haha

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@gratitude_grit

Did i mention this was a hot hot hot race? Even though I ran at night, it was so hot and humid i poured buckets of sweat. Like I said, Nuun came in handy. The 3rd leg was about surviving the heat, I walked uphill as I needed but finished strong to handoff to our last runner, Steve. Once I was done, I rejoined our people and waited for him to finish so we could get medals.

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Mike, Austin, Reggie, Stacey, Stacey (yes we had 2) and Jeremy

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Team Pace & Love finish photo

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The amazing medal multi-tool!

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And last but not least, I jumped in a car and headed to St. Mary’s, MD to run a half the next morning. Like I said, this weekend was about endurance survival, not a PR. And to salute that idea I had to wear this shirt all morning:

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If I thought the shady, breezy trails were hot and humid, I didn’t know what was coming on the black asphalt with the sun beating down on me. Another hot run done and lots of weekend miles. Not much to say about the historic St. Mary’s 1/2 other than I’m happy my calves warmed up (at mile 8) and i’m glad my head is in the right place for distance training. One foot in front of the other was the challenge for this 2+ hour run. You read that right. 2:10:53 was how long my beaten up legs took to cross the finish line. But I did it, i’m proud of doing 28.6 miles in 36 hours (especially the trail miles) and ready to start picking more races to …well… race! Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 7.51.54 AM

Did I mention I’m doing the DC Ragnar again this September? hehehehe. I love it!

Last Week

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
Friday: 7m easy 8:50/pace
Saturday: 1 hour upper body (push presses + SA DB Snatches + weighted planks + TRX)
Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 22 

Do you ever double up races in the same weekend?

Who has a fall half or full marathon on the horizon? Help me pick one!


15 Comments

I’m Doing Everything Wrong This Time. #ThePeakWeek

How am i already at another peak week?? Seems like yesterday this was Philly’s marathon peak last November. I can full heartedly say as much as i love running, i did not care for this training cycle. I’m gonna be honest, this was one big experiment after another. From counting calories/macros, adding and removing foods, trying to find balance with strength training and napping whenever I had the chance… Every aspect was challenging and it started off on the wrong foot for me.

Hansons Marathon Method & Half Marathon Method training plans are 18 weeks long. Both of them. I assumed for some reason the half training plan would be either 12 or 16 weeks. And after my happy-go-lucky base building in December, I dove into training early January and realized I was already several weeks behind! I started at the week I was already supposed to be at (week 9), thinking i was ready mentally and physically to jump in and handle it. For the record I kinda was, but it was mentally tough to skip weeks. I don’t recommend it.

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From Saturday’s 11 miler!

I should have started from the beginning of the plan and adjusted for an earlier taper, not the other way around by playing catch up. It was physically tough hitting 50 mile weeks. Again, i assumed volume would be less in the Hansons half. Turns out the half plan is extremely similar to the full. Paces are where it differs and for a half marathon and long term goal of breaking 1:30, the pacing is tough on top of the weekly volume.

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That all being said. This is the hardest i’ve trained for a half, but my heart isn’t fully into it with the passion I felt during the Philadelphia training. I think it’s because i’m having so much more fun with the weightlifting and Crossfit right now. I’m a newbie at Olympic weightlifting so I’m gaining strength quickly and get to see PR’s almost every week. It’s so fun, challenging and rejuvenating.

The half marathon has been my favorite distance, but also a tough distance for me. I want the sub 1:30 badly, but I know it’s going to be work. It might be work for the fall when my mind can wrap itself around a hard half. I’m hoping that the Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2 will bring either a course PR (under 1:37:07) or an overall 1/2 PR (under 1:35:36). As long as the taper goes well I think i’m more than capable of these goals.

Now let’s talk about nutrition. I mentioned a few times that my energy had been zapped. For a quick moment i thought i was overtraining, but that wasn’t the case. I just wasn’t eating right.  I wasn’t taking in enough carbohydrates.

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Sup Carbs? #missedyou

I think the 50 mile weeks caught up with the 2-4 days a week I was lifting and when I was hungry my face was in a jar of peanut butter. It was funny at first, like haha I can eat 2 jars (big jars) of PB a week because I’m a runner… yeah no. All the peanut butter was not helping me with performance. Yes, it was helping eliminate the calorie deficit and is delicious and should be it’s own food group, but all the fat was not helping replenish my glycogen levels so i can hit workout after workout hard.

*Sidenote: I always use My Fitness Pal to log food when something feels off, whether its energy, tight pants, breakouts, migraines, anything – log food for a couple weeks and look for patterns. My recent pattern was a PB overload.

Couple changes I made immediately were adding a mini whole wheat bagel to breakfast, 110 calories, 22g carbs.

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1/2 regular bagel (similar macros), similar breakfast everyday

When i’m craving excess calories or reaching for the pb jar i’ve been making protein shakes and adding a little pb to the shake. And on days i’m doing more than an easy run (like two-a-days where I Crossfit in the morning and run in the afternoons) I make sure to eat carbs like potatoes or rice the night before and I either have a Picky Bar or Rx Bar about an hour before my second workout (22-28g carbs).

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I’ve been eating a low carb/high fat/high protein diet for the last year and a half and it’s been working just fine, until i started seriously lifting heavy and running volume on top of it. It’s just not a feasible diet anymore. I’m trying out a pseudo-carb cycling plan where I have 3-4 higher carb days (specifically for two-a-days) and a couple lower carb/higher protein + fat days when I’m not doubling workouts or long running.

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higher carb- cup of rice, veggies, chicken, peanut sauce 😉

I think the key here is to plan for nutrition changes when starting a new training cycle. I’ve made this mistake over and over, forgetting to increase overall calories as my mileage increases or even changing up the type of calories i’m eating. Again, I’m going to do a better job at logging food and hopefully i can train smarter not harder. Also-i’m not a nutritionist or a dietitian. I’m just changing some stuff up based on what myself and a few dudes discussed in the gym. If you have questions or comments feel free to ask away, but i’m not an expert in this area!

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higher carb dinner

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lower carb dinner. 

Just these few changes over the last two weeks have made a huge difference in my energy levels and i’m finally feeling some speed in the running workouts. Now I gotta grab some carbs for my run later 😉

Last Week

Monday: 9.5m interval ( 3 x 2m @ 6:44/pace)

Tuesday: 5m easy 9:14/pace

Wednesday: 3m easy 9:00/pace, 5 x 5 front squats @ 115#, 2m cooldown 9:30/pace 

Thursday: Crossfit, 10m tempo (7m @ 7:03/pace)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Crossfit, 11m long 8:03/pace

Sunday: 8m easy 9:23/pace

Total Miles: 48.5

How do you increase overall calories during training?

Do you count macros or try to eat a certain high fat/protein/or carb diet?

 


7 Comments

2016, 2017, 20:09, One of these things is not like the other ;)

2016 was a big fitness year. I saw huge improvements week to week, month to month, race to race. Pr’d the half, full, 10k and a few past goals of mine were finally checked off a list (beer mile, Ragnar, Spartan) and i’m realizing I have no limits as long as I continue to train between the ears.

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from saturday’s 10 miler

I don’t have resolutions or goals for 2017. I peeked back at my old resolutions and a lot of them are time goals for certain distances, trying different types of races (like obstacle course racing & Ragnars) and to be happy. I’m still conquering those times and distances while constantly trying to become a better, more well-rounded athlete while balancing home and work life, and challenging myself in ways I didn’t think possible. As long as I’m growing as a person and reaching for the next thing, I’m happy.

Those are my constant, daily resolutions. Each morning when the alarm goes off I make choices based on the person I want to be and the things I want to accomplish. If i’m running, lifting, coffee-ing and smiling, life is going to be beautiful.

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I kicked off 2017 on New Year’s Day at a local 5k event. No parties for me, just a pan of brownies, a beer (apparently i was carbo-loading for 3.1 miles) and an early bedtime so I could run hard the next morning and figure out reasonable training paces for the next half marathon. (March 11th, DC Rock n’ Roll 1/2)

I caught up with fellow Nuun Ambassadors Colleen & Jim!

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Recapping a 5K is so strange. It goes by too fast to remember, and hurts so good you kinda don’t mind forgetting. I’ll say this, I ran to hurt. I wanted to see where my fitness was and get some realistic paces I could use for my next training cycle. This was the first hard effort since the marathon in November. And for a first hard effort, I’m happy.

New Year's Day 5K 2017 - Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

Jim’s pushing the stroller

I’ve never quite mastered how to pace a 5K. I positive split my way to a PR somehow and I’ll take it. 20:09, 1st overall female. I gained 171 ft of elevation during these 3.1 miles. It wasn’t the easiest course, but it was a perfect day for a race.

New Year's Day 5K 2017 - Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

Next up is Leo’s Run 5k on February 5th, which is held on one of my favorite running paths in Silver Spring, MD. It’s for a great cause, so if you’re local, sign up and hang out! If you don’t want to run but still want to donate head over to http://www.leosrun.org/ and read how you can help!

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The following weekend on February 11th is another 5k for a cause! Cupid’s Undie Run.This is a 5k Silver Spring Crossfit does annually and raises money for Neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve endings in the body. So our box will brave the cold, raise money and lower our pants. Should be a fun one! If you’d like to donate to my page click the picture below and if you want to run with me, sign up and we’ll have a very awkward first meet n’ greet! hah

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Week of 12/26-1/1 

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Crossfit, 8.5m easy 7:44/pace

Wednesday: 10.1m easy 7:59/pace

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 5m easy 9:15/pace, 30min single leg work

Saturday: 12m easy 8:26/pace, 30min total body

Sunday: New Year’s Day 5k 20:09 6:28/pace (total miles 5.3 with warm up/cool down), 30min upper body

Total Miles: 40.9

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Week of 1/2-1/8

Monday: 5m easy 9:55/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 8m interval (8 x 800s @ 6:20/pace)

Wednesday: 5.3 easy 8:30/pace, 1hr Deadlifts

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 7m tempo (5m @ 6:53/pace)

Saturday: Crossfit, 10m long 8:36/p

Sunday: 6.2m easy 9:08/p, 1hr squats/cleans

Total Miles: 41.5

What’s next on your race calendar?

Who ran in snow this weekend!?

 


15 Comments

What’s Next? + Spartan Race Giveaway!

Alright, my racing season is over, but i’m sure you can tell by the training log and Insta pics that i’m obviously back running. I took a full 7 days off and couldn’t wait to start again. Which brings me to the next question, what’s next?

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After a marathon or goal race it’s natural to look ahead and start planning out the next event(s). Sometimes all it takes is a beer or two on a raceless weekend and the credit card magically appears in a hand. –C’mon i’m not the only one here 😉

While I’m still not in a rush to start adding races to my calendar (I’ve been riding the high from Philadelphia), I am excited to start thinking of what types of races I want to do in 2017. I’m sure i’ll be doing multiple half marathons and a few fun 5ks.

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when you’re not training for anything, you wear jeans more often

This year I did a Spartan Beast and a Ragnar Relay which were a brand new type of race for me. I liked the variety that obstacle courses and relay races offer to my training schedule and it gave me an opportunity to make friends and be social on the course, which doesn’t always happen when i’m trying to hit a time goal.

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These types of races have helped keep me from burning out during some tough training cycles so I plan on doing them again. Right now Spartan is offering three different types of season passes for the 2017 year…hello unique Christmas present! These are expected to sell out quickly, so if you know someone who does obstacle course racing often or if you’re interested in completing a Spartan or two or three or more, keep reading!

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Trifecta Pass: 3 race codes (valid for 2017)

Open Pass: unlimited races (valid for 2017 open heats only)

Elite Pass: Unlimited races (valid for 2017, all heats)

For more information click here!

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Spartan is also doing 8 Stadium Races this year!How often do you get to race through a ballpark or football field? Check here to see if your town is on the stadium list! I’m leaning toward DC…

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This week I’m giving away a free entry into a Spartan Race! Don’t be afraid of the unknown, embrace it! Training for an obstacle course race will only make you a better, tougher runner, and you might meet some pretty cool people on the way! 

3 ways to enter the giveaway: Follow my Instagram, Follow Spartan’s Instagram, leave a comment telling me which Spartan you would sign up for (leave a separate comment telling me which entires you did). 

Giveaway open until Sunday 12/18/16 @ midnight

 

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 8:30/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5.5m easy 9:18/pace

Wednesday: 5.1m easy 8:55/pace

Thursday: 40min legs

Friday: 5.4 easy 8:22/pace, 30 min core

Saturday: Crossfit, 6.3m trail run 8:06/pace

Sunday: 11.3 long 8:18/pace

Total Miles: 39.6

 

 


25 Comments

Philadelphia, You Sexy Beast.

Sorry about the delay, I finally sat down to write the recap!  I usually have tons of immediate thoughts about what went right, what went wrong, what i could have done different. But it happened, I had the perfect race. I guess I can Tarantino this race recap since most of you already know the result. 3:20:59. I’m a 3:20 marathoner and qualified for Boston!

This smile sums it up: i’ve been extremely content and overwhelmingly happy with the outcome.

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First beer post race

The week of the race was littered with ups and downs. The weather wasn’t looking favorable and Cameron got sick, so i was afraid I was catching his cold. My diet the week of the race consisted of carbs, water, nuun, zicam, vitamin c, and a few nights of 9+ hrs of sleep.

I had a few pep talks from clients and friends when the forecasted wind started stressing me out. Basically, I was ready to trash my goals for a sub 3:30 marathon because of the wind, but was quickly reminded that I trained super hard for this race, i’ve ran in crappy conditions all year and I could do this if I raced smart. Saturday came and I was feeling confident and ready to run.

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My bib number was perfect: 2600. I know it’s a little superstitious, but the bib from the Parks Half Marathon I did in September was 2612 and i’ve had good vibes about 26 this entire training cycle. This was the first time running a marathon that the miles didn’t scare me. I was prepped and ready to run 26.2 miles, I was only nervous about the weather.

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relaxing in the Sonesta hotel

We went out for pasta and the rest of the night was spent finalizing my playlist, hydrating & eating, charging electronics, choosing what to wear for the windy morning, and coming up with a game plan for the windy race.

The plan was to go out slower than goal pace for the first 10 miles in order to conserve energy that might be wasted against headwind. I kept telling myself that the Hansons Brooks Method I used, trained me for the back half of the race, not the beginning. The book said the first 10-16 miles should feel good. And that was my plan. Make sure the first 16 feel good and comfortable while staying close to goal pace. Then i could reassess and start speeding up. According to the weather and the course map, the wind was blowing from the west, and the last 6 miles were heading back to Philly, eastward. At mile 20, cross your fingers, pray for a tailwind and if worse comes to worse, you made it to 20 miles you push as hard as you can and don’t stop.

Game plan in place.

The next morning came quickly, but i felt good. I was prepared to do my best, I trusted the training and my race plan. Our hotel (the Sonesta) had shuttle service to the start, which was pleasant. It was cold out, but not awful. I used the bathroom, got right back in line and used it again 20 minutes later–best advice for a marathon, don’t wait until you have to go to the bathroom, just get in line cause you will.

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I headed to the start corrals, focused on positive thoughts, my breathing, making sure shoelaces were double knotted and comfortable, Garmin was on, and the sunrise… it was pink and orange and beautiful.

Then we started. My playlist began and I settled easily into an 8:00ish/pace. As usual during a big race there was crowding in the early miles and i wasn’t about to fight it and waste energy. I settled right behind the 3:35 pace group and stayed there for 4 miles.

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I get asked often what I listen to while running, so here’s the start of playlist “26.2”

My ipod was playing super relaxing music, just what i wanted to keep my breathing normal and pace slow. This was probably the first time during a goal race I wasn’t feeling any pressure or anxiety while running. My inner dialogue was a lot of: “this feels too easy. Good, it’s supposed to feel easy, it’s only mile 5.” I kept holding myself back doing anything stupid so early on.

 

For the most part, I didn’t notice the wind, but was happy i was wearing gloves, a headband and sunglasses! We had one major gust here and there, but not enough to where I felt like it was affecting me. At one point there was a gust for a few seconds that caused me a guy running beside me to look away, shield our faces and cringe a little. When it stopped we both looked at each other and laughed. I feel like that dude was having a good day too.

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Laughing into the wind, I started thinking about when to run faster. I was approaching mile 10 and finally had some elbow room as the crowds thinned out. I could see my paces getting slightly faster and I was feeling better with each mile, stronger with each step. I bartered with myself a bit. Make it to the halfway mark, see how you feel and we can start slowly getting into a faster pace.

Mile 13 came quickly, I felt better than alright, it was the easiest 13 miles i’ve ever run in my life. Alright halfway time to work a little and see where we’re at come mile 16. I have the legs under me and the workouts behind that supports a hard 10 mile effort. Come on 16…

“I wonder if I can go to Crossfit on Tuesday…” <—Literally what was on my mind right before mile 16 beeped at me. “Okay, now this is too easy. I have a BQ as long as I don’t do anything stupid. I have 4 miles until the turn around point where the wind should be at my back. Four miles to speed up and deal with wind and hills and then I get pushed home. I’ll let my legs fly at 20. Just get there first.”

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Mile 20? 7:30? Alright it’s time for the legs to show off. And like that. I switched gears and started hauling forward. I was hyper alert and aware of my body and knew I had a 4th and 5th and 6th gear to shift into.  When 20 came I was actually excited to see how fast I could run after holding back, saving energy and being smart. I wasn’t going to hit a wall. I wasn’t going to be disappointed. Even knowing I had a Boston Qualifying time, my mentality shifted to, “let’s see how much time I can go under.”

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I flew. I did not have one person pass me the last 10k. I had a smile on here and there and was constantly reminding myself to be grateful of this body. I realized that all the hard workouts…all the tempos in humidity, the mile repeats on hills, all the Crossfit Wods where I thought my heart would surely explode, were exactly why I had the power and mental stamina to not just muddle my way through 26.2 miles, but to own them. This was my workout of the day and I killed it.

I was powering through the last mile and started getting a cramp in my left foot. At this point I was ready to be finished, but I didn’t see signs of how far left I had. I knew I was close and this is where the tunnel vision set in. One foot in front of the other, throw your arms forward and get across the line. In my left ear I heard Cameron shout my name, in my right ear I heard the loud speaker say “Cori Maley, Silver Spring” and I didn’t realize where I was. In an instant I saw a time clock, a banner and my foot go over the first timing mat.

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I took a huge breath in, and let it out in a cry. A tidal wave of relief, happiness and pride overcame me. I was proud of myself. Proud.

I found Cameron, hugged him over the metal barricade still sobbing. I was so happy it hurt. He told me my time of 3:20:59… 30 minutes faster than my last, and 15 minutes faster than the Boston Qualifying time I needed.

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I have a pretzel in my mouth which is why my cheeks are super big! haha

This won’t be the last I talk about Philly. I have a thousand more thoughts on this race. For now i’ve been happy and content and enjoying the moment. Hang tight, tips for running your best marathon are going to be up soon!

Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Crossfit, 5m easy 9:15/pace

Wednesday: 6m whatever I felt like 7:38/pace

Thursday: Crossfit, 5m easy 8:10/pace

Friday: 1.5hr barbell skill work 

Saturday: 10m easy 8:35/pace, 40 minutes lower body (PR’d deadlift 2 x 1 @ 195lbs)

Sunday: 5.5m trail running 9:41/pace

Total Miles: 31.5

Anyone running a December race?

How much time do you take off after a race?