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Back to Asheville!

I lived near Asheville in the small town of Black Mountain, NC during a few months of my 8th grade year. My mom and sister both lived there when I was in my 20s so i’ve visited plenty of times. It is such a refreshing and unique place to go and I couldn’t wait to take Steve for his first time!

We started our first morning in Asheville with a hike up to Mount Mitchell. If you recall this is where my mom took me on my trip from last June. Mom and me did a short half mile out and back on a very pretty trail near the summit of Mount Mitchell, and I’ve wanted to come back and go further out ever since… go figure, endurance runner wants to go longer.

We took a few pictures at the top then started on our trek.

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“What’s your goal for this hike?” Stephen asked, walking a few paces in front of me.

“I don’t know, what do you want to do?” I replied with a typical female response. I knew Stephen well enough to know he already had a set plan, and I already knew I’d go along with it.

“I want to go four hours. Two hours out, two hours back and negative split on the return.” said Stephen, happy and full of energy.

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My view for the next 4 hours was pretty spectacular 😉

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Up, up, up we go! Our total elevation was just about 2500ft

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Quads were killing me, but the weather was perfect and the views were outstanding.

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And down, down, down…ropes were in some steep areas and much appreciated!

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Looks like we were standing in front of a painting. Also this must have been way early on in the hike for us to be so smiley.

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After our 4 hour hike…Actually 3:55, we did in fact, negative split! We cleaned up and drove to Ivory Road Cafe & Kitchen, a place we had to hit up since the owner and chef is an old friend of Steve’s.

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Steve & Jill
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We ordered several things off the menu and all of it was to die for! I apologize for the lighting, but we needed to sit outside. The weather in Asheville was beautiful in early September compared to the oppressive humidity back home.

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You can’t really see, but there’s an egg in the middle of this cast iron skillet of cinnamon roll goodness… I declared this in my Top Five Favorite Breakfast Dishes of All Time. And if you know me and my love for breakfast, this was a big deal.mvimg_20180907_200157.jpgSo much of a big deal that the next morning we showed up when Ivory Road opened for breakfast. What? We needed to fuel our morning hike…with donuts that they bake fresh and special on Saturday mornings. Travel Tip: get there early, the fresh donuts sell out fast!

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Our breakfasts, and coffee and a lemon donut! Don’t get me started on my lemon love.MVIMG_20180908_092434img_20180908_091228.jpg

After we carbed up we left for a much shorter waterfall hike at Pisgah National Forest that Jill suggested we try. Since the route was shorter we ran most of the trail until we got to the waterfall where the hike turned into a climb and ascended, what seemed to me as, almost vertical. It actually scared me a bit, not the heights, but my legs were in garbage time from the day before and I didn’t have much confidence in the going down part after all the climbing. You know how after a marathon or long run going down stairs is the tough part? Yep, that’s kinda what I was experiencing. I just didn’t trust my legs that morning, so we made it up about 3/4 of the way took some fun pictures on the way down near the falls, and ran back to our car.

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It was finally time to head to downtown Asheville and hit up a few breweries. One I’d been dying to try was Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium which features a ton of sour beers.

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not Funkatorium, but still out for a good beer

This place had a great outdoor area with bocci ball and cornhole. I absolutely will go back.

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And that was our trip! 2 great hikes, a ton of amazing food and new beers! It will not be our last trip out there. Til’ next time…

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What’s your favorite place to hike?

Who’s running a fall race? 


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The Tale of Two Ten Milers

(Okay not so much of a tale, but more of a few humble brags and fun running pictures.)

Soon after Boston the questions, “Are you taking time off running?” and “When’s your next race?” pop up. Friends and co-workers all kinda laughed when I said Steve and I already signed up for two back to back 10-Miler weekends.

Six days after the marathon we had the Columbia 10 Miler on the schedule. I was using this as a shake out run and didn’t want to push hard so soon after Boston. And Steve hadn’t been running more than a few 5k’s each week. He sacrificed time out on the road to be sure I got in all my marathon training miles. (If I haven’t said thank you, Thank You Stephen.) Our Columbia 10 Miler goal was to finish in 1:30-1:40 which breaks down to 9-10:00 minute per mile pace. We thought that would be doable for the day.

If you can spot us below, I’m pretty sure we were chatting about pace, downhill felt awesome!

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I had to wear my Boston shirt, but I didn’t know we’d be matching… oops.

We cruised. Hitting much faster paces than we had talked about, and working hard without over doing it. That’s key for distances over the 10k.

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We took a gel at Mile 5 and later learned that Steve needs more nutrition for that type of duration. We maintained a good pace, slowed just a bit, but there was a point around mile 8 where he just felt out of energy. He needed more fuel. Lesson learned!

We crossed the line in 1:22:41 (8:16/pace)

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Steve is a lot like me with running and fitness, he’s a workhorse. Even low on energy he never lost steam. It’s the part of running where your mind takes over and you ignore the body. You can do anything for a mile or two. I broke down the end of the race in minutes instead of distance. So i’d tell him, “We have about 5 minutes left to run.” To me, minutes are easier to wrap the mind around than distance. Time goes down, distance seems far. I’ve been using this trick for the last year, especially during the final miles of a marathon.

Stephen PR’d his 10 Mile and I finished feeling pretty good. I was so proud of him, but little did I know a week later he’d do it again…

The following weekend we headed south to St. Mary’s for the next ten. Last year this race was a half marathon and we ran it the day after completing a Ragnar Trail event. I will never forget how it felt waking up that morning, like a truck had run us over and we were about to go run another 13 miles in the heat. Haha.

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We both don’t normally run in compression socks, but we were brutally sore and thought it was a good idea, even in the heat and humidity.

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Anywho, we headed down, settled into a Comfort Inn, grabbed dinner and relaxed in the hotel. I knew I wanted to run this ten miler hard. I wanted to see if the training I had put in for Boston was still there. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t and still don’t feel like I got to use the training because the weather in Boston held me back that day. I was still hungry to see the Garmin flash numbers that showed the training.

It was a cold breezy morning and both of us seemed ready to work. We warmed up, stretched and soon after some encouraging words to each other, we took off.

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I went to work immediately. I knew the 10 mile tempo workouts I had been doing once a week since January were paced between 7:10-7:20s. My goal was to do a normal for me tempo and try to stay near those paces, hopefully finishing between 1:10-1:15.

The picture below is me thinking “oh god, wind.”

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I tried not to think about the wind. I kept reminding myself that Boston’s weather was 10000x worse and it was sunny and mild out. I could deal with wind.

I could also deal with the pace. 7:05s were showing up on my watch and it didn’t feel too bad. I knew it was going to hurt for a bit until I settled into the pace, and I was right.

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Below: notice the wind in my hair haha. We had it at our sides on some roads, but on the open country roads it was head on terrible wind.

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There were a couple out-n-back turnarounds where I got to see Stephen and get a few high fives in passing. It definitely helped my morale. I was running even paces, I felt good, but like any race, it’s hard to run hard for extended periods of time. And almost every turn was into headwind, which I was so over.

Can you spot Steve below? These are the open, flat, boring, windy roads I was talking about.

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A left turn happened and the wind died finally. The camera guy caught the moment of sweet relief going into mile 7. About 21 more minutes of work.

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I chased the few guys in front of me, never letting anyone pass. My pace started hitting 6:45s, I just had to push for a few more minutes.

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I finished in 1:09:13 (6:55/pace) 1st Female

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Steve finished in 1:19:57 (7:59/pace) 3rd in his age group! He absolutely crushed the Columbia 10 Miler, PR’d AGAIN and if post race memory serves me correctly he said to me,  “I’m coming for ya.” That’s my man.

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We had two very good races back to back which were great practice for the future. Stephen’s 2nd gel at St. Mary’s obviously helped his energy and finishing speed and I learned that my Boston speed wasn’t a fluke.

Neither was this picture I took. Always happy to catch the fun moments.

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Have you ever raced a 10 Miler?

What’s your favorite race distance?


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RAW: A Boston Marathon Recap

It was like running on a treadmill in a freezer, with someone throwing buckets of water at you with a high velocity fan to the face and another person is just fucking with the incline button for 26 miles.
-Cori Maley

Yep, that’s me describing the Boston marathon either on the ride home to the hotel or at dinner that evening. I honestly can’t remember, the entire day was such a cold, wet blur.

The day before marathon Monday the tv weather forecast read: “RAW” (where it usually says cold, warm, ice, snow etc.) I pointed at the tv and asked Steve if he knew what the hell that meant. Raw. 40 degrees, real feel 22 degrees, 15-20mph sustained E/SE wind (that means headwind for the duration of the marathon), gusts up to 50mph and oh yeah, watch for falling trees. Splendid.

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I woke up in Boston Monday, April 16th feeling excellent. Better than I thought i’d feel, even though I knew the weather was going to be a disaster. My head was screwed on right. I was going to face the hardest race conditions of my life head on for 3+ hours. Stephen reassured me that morning (and all the weeks leading up) that I was well trained for this, and a very strong runner. I’d finish the race and run the best I could. Like I always do.

I had good feelings until we got on the busses taking us to Hopkinton. All I heard for the hour drive were runners throwing their goals in the trash, talking about how hard this was going to be, how awful the weather was, they “can’t believe this is their Boston experience” etc. I stayed as positive as possible. I knew my goals were lofty and I would have to shift to effort based running depending on the wind, but my god people… rain isn’t a big deal and to throw your race, to throw 16-20 weeks of tough marathon training down the drain because the weather wasn’t ideal? In my head as I sat silently amongst some very negative runners, I knew I was mentally tougher than most.

I’m not delusional though. I do understand the affect of the elements. Temperature, weather, wind, cold, the sleet that started coming down while I waited the 40 minutes for a port-o-potty were going to slow my pace. While standing in line, a girl from Charlotte, NC caught my eyes under the mylar blanket i hooded myself in and went off like a cannon. “Can you believe this sh*t?? This is going to be *expletive* horrible! I can’t believe I flew in from NC!!!” …yada yada more expletives, you get it, she was NOT happy. I turned to her, red faced, purple lipped, shaking and said, it’s not going to be that bad once you get moving. Yeah this weather sucks, but you know what, we get to run a marathon today and when we’re done we get to say we ran Boston. It might not be that bad, try to stay positive.

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It might not be that bad. <—This was about as close to rainbows and butterflies as my morning went. Once I finally made it to the bathroom, my corral was already 15 minutes ahead, walking down to the start, which was a .7 mile walk away from the mud pit ahem i mean, Athlete’s Village.

I sat down on the mylar blanket. If you don’t know what this is, it’s the shiny space blanket runners get after marathons to keep their body temperature warm. It was a life saver and I just so happened to find it on the bus that morning. Alright, so, I’m on my blanket to try and stay out of the mud, to change socks, get my ipod ready, my fuel belt on. Last minute details which should have been easier had my fingers worked. It took longer than normal, I fumbled and cursed. I wish I had more clothes, I wish I had Hot Hands, I don’t want to run like this. I don’t want to run. It might not be that bad. Walking to the start corrals, it felt good to get moving, and was entertaining to see so many people trying their best to stay dry. Like walking to the corrals with grocery bags around their shoes. News flash: in rain like that, your shoes don’t stand a chance. In ankle deep puddles, which we hit in the first mile, your shoes don’t stand a chance. Just pray you wore the right socks to avoid blisters.

Am i boring you yet? I just think it’s important to set the stage as to what went on before the race started. This was the first and only time in my running career I wanted the race to end before I even stepped foot on the course. I can’t tell you how uncomfortably cold I was before the start. But once the gun fired, and our corral was off, I did get excited to start running and hoped to warm up, still optimistic things would get better.

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I embraced the rain. It honestly never bothered me too much. I kinda enjoyed running through the puddles, except when I got splashed from the runners at my sides: It felt like my crotch was getting water boarded. That was COLD rain. Cold. Icy cold. The rain was coming down. Off and on it would let up and drizzle, then in the next minute would downpour where I couldn’t pick my head up to look around. Notice I’m not describing the small iconic towns leading to Boston like most articles and recaps would normally detail. It’s because I didn’t see most of it. I wore a hat to shield the water from my eyes, which helped a ton, but looking up and around was mostly out of the question.

I remember seeing a train station in Framingham (i think) and thought it was pretty cool, then my head went back to looking ten feet in front of me. This is why I felt like I was running on a treadmill. I stared at asphalt for 3 hours. About 5-6 miles into the race my feet and fingers regained feeling. This isn’t so bad and my splits were looking alright. I kept reminding myself not to go too fast, stay conservative for the Newton Hills and the cold/wind which will zap energy. I needed to save all the energy I could to get to the finish.

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Around mile 8 I saw a Medical Tent and asked myself if I wanted to drop out. I started doing time/distance/Uber/How-mad-would-Stephen-be math in my head, then looked at my watch, hitting 7:30-7:40s pretty consistently and not actually feeling bad isn’t enough of a reason to drop out. But I wanted to. A lot. Also, I thought I might have to pee… but getting into a port-o-potty was completely out of the question. I knew if i sat in something out of the wind and cold I wouldn’t get back out, and didn’t want to worry anyone watching the app, getting mile splits and wondering what the heck happened if I just stopped.

I told myself to get to the halfway mark and assess. I tried high fiving kids, but my fingers hurt too much. I still gave my best smiles to volunteers, officers and to the crowds that lined the course. They were all so awesome, so needed, so necessary. 13 miles came and I hit the halfway mark at 1:40, which meant if I negative split somehow, I could squeak in a small PR today. I wasn’t running happy, I did NOT have a good time out on the course, but I was super pleased with my effort which reflected my training paces more than the clock would show that day. In hills, I slow about 25 seconds per mile, the same in winds above 15mph. The fact that i was going 22 seconds slower than my marathon goal pace in wind, cold, rain, etc says a lot. And I would have had a great PR if just one of those dang elements were absent that day.

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Alright back to the epic cold run. The Newton Hills. I saw the sign that said you were entering Newton (about mile 15-16) and i knew there would be some climbing until Heartbreak Hill at 21. My head went down and I went back to work. Watching the asphalt fly under my feet, feeling the gentle grade changes, up and down. Finally, I looked up again and saw a Nuun tent! Woo! Picked up my one and only cup from the race (I was holding a small 10 ounce bottle with Tailwind that took me 13 miles to drink) and shortly after I glanced up and saw a brown banner that said “Heartbreak is Over!” This was the only time on the course I laughed, I can’t believe i was holding back for this… Heartbreak hill was easy, the Newton Hills were just a few grade changes, knowing the last 5 miles were generally downhill, I hit it and tried to run faster. Tried.

My legs wouldn’t open up. I couldn’t finish as strong as I wanted, I couldn’t feel my quads at this point. The cold and wind were holding me back quite literally. I still pushed and maintained, fought and rallied. I was keeping an eye out at Mile 23, my friend Jordan and her husband Jake were going to be on course, and I desperately needed a pick me up. Somewhere around 22 (I think, it could have been earlier, this was all such a blur) I saw a woman holding a sign with a cartoon beer mug and what looked to be a dixie cup of glorious pilsner. I did a middle of the road 90 degree left turn and asked, “IS THAT BEER?!” She smiled and handed it me. I chugged the 6 ounces of liquid carbs and pain killer. Sorry mom, I take candy, booze and other things from strangers. Quite often now that I think about it.

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The 23 sign came and went and I was a little disheartened, but not more than a few moments later I heard Jordan and Jake screaming my name and holding a wet, white sign that read Cori Maley Whiting, IN! (my hometown and where I know Jordan from) I stopped to hug her and started crying/hyperventilating and she yelled at me to keep going. It took a few minutes to stop gasping for air (crying and running is not easy).

I needed that. I could run a 5K. I will finish. I tried to pick up the pace, I suppose I did here and there, but my legs were ice cold and still couldn’t open my stride. When I tried, the wind was quick to put me in my place. I saw my watch, did quick math and knew I was close to a PR, but I didn’t think it was smart to attempt to push 7:00 minute miles just for a few seconds off my current best time. I chose wisely and tucked my headphones away (my 10 year old ipod nano is now broken btw) and took in what I could of the last half mile of Boston. The iconic, “Right on Hereford, left on Boylston” repeated in my head.

And like that, it was over.

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I crossed the Boston Marathon finish line, profusely thanked the volunteer who slung a medal over my neck and to the women who wrapped me in the very fancy velcro hooded mylar coat and heard my group yell to me. Steve, Clint & Matt were right there behind the barrier. I left the food, drinks, free Sam Adams beer for the other runners, I just wanted to get out of the weather.

3:21:54 (1:05 slower than my PR)

Steve was so proud of me, my effort and impressed with my splits. I felt the same, I was pleased with my effort, even though I did not have one ounce of fun. I never gave up and I stayed positive. That in itself was worth starting and will make me an even stronger runner for future races.

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After marathons I usually cross the line with a new version of self worth, appreciation and knowing I can accomplish big things. But after that day in Boston, I feel unbreakable. I truly feel like I can get through anything. I have run in rain, heat, snow, sleet, hail, wind, ice, 9 degrees, up trails, down mountains, through mud and in the middle of the night. Stephen has pushed me so far out of my running comfort zone during the last year so I could become a better runner. He saw potential in me during our first trail runs together where I was SO uncomfortable and afraid and constantly rolling ankles and sobbing because it was just too plain hard. Why am I gushing so much over him? Because I wouldn’t be the runner I am today if it weren’t for him. I’ve never had someone believe more in me. I owe him. He just made me fall more in love with a sport i’m already obsessed with and gives me the courage to constantly do my best.

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My final thoughts on Boston: It was that bad. And totally not fun but I’m so glad I didn’t skip it or quit along the way and so happy with my effort and the time I crossed the line with. As much as I didn’t want to go back and repeat Boston, I may just have to…I would kinda like to see the course. haha.

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Tuesday morning I gazed out the hotel window at the Charles River one last time before we drove back to Maryland. It was dry, cloudy, 45 degrees and with my head cocked to the side like a dog, I noticed the waves on the river were moving the opposite direction. A western breeze. Absolute perfect marathon conditions with a tailwind. Funny how life works like that sometimes.

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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?


16 Comments

Onward!

As I said before, a lot of life changes have happened over the last year. There’s a reason I haven’t posted many blogs in 2017 and a reason my Instagram turned into a million selfies. My life changed and I got divorced. Out of respect for my ex and his family, I’m not going to talk about any specifics, just understand that we weren’t happy and ultimately parting ways was the best choice.

It was difficult to try to put together a blog this year. I had to edit and water down posts to the bare minimum while going through the divorce process.  Which, in turn made the blogs boring and inorganic. I like sharing and being transparent with you guys. I like getting my thoughts out and re-reading old posts to see where my mind was during certain moments and training cycles. This blog has turned into a pseudo scrapbook and a fun way to share with friends and family what’s going on.

As sad as the above might sound, I’ve actually had the best year of my life. Most often when I’m away from my blog or social media, real life is happening, some good, some bad. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: I’ve been happier, healthier and more loved than ever. I’ve been around good people, new friends, new family and I hope you’re ready to take on the next steps with me because A LOT of good shit has happened and the future is so bright. Speaking of, have you watched Netflix’s “Bright”…it’s outstanding!

So quickly, I want to recap some highlights of 2017, since i’m late to the New Year’s post. I have some awesome race recaps coming soon and currently i’m training for a trail 1/2 marathon, a trail 50K (both in February), Boston in April, and a few 10 milers shortly after. Hang tight, the blog is about to get wild.

2017 (1711 total miles)

Jan 1st, 2017- Setting the tone of the year on day one: I PR’d the 5k at a local race and won 1st overall female shaving 50 seconds off my last 5k with the time of 20:09!

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

New Year’s Day 5K 2017 – Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

March 11th- Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2.  PR’d on a cold day by almost 2 minutes. 1:33:37. I broke into the top 100 females that day, 67th.  A bigger accomplishment than the PR. I was super proud of that race.

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I ran a lot of trails this year.

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Including a Ragnar Trail

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I PR’d just about every lift this year.
Deadlift Conventional 2 @ 255#
Back Squat 1 @ 195#
Front Squat 5 @ 155#
Bench 1 @ #105
Power Clean 3 @ 115#
Jerk 1 @ 115#
Snatch 1 @ 80#

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His and Hers ❤

I learned how to eat Maryland crab this year.

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I ran my first 7K and won it!

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I went to a lot of weddings, wore a lot of dresses this year…

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Marie my best friend, and most beautiful bride

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I ran Marine Corps Marathon on little running (ok, 50 mile weeks, but no legitimate speed/training plan). Not a PR, but a huge Boston Qualifier and the first time I broke into the top 100 female at a marathon (81st official female) and made it in the Washington PostFullSizeRender (1)

I ran another Ragnar DC with a good group of people.
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I pit crewed for the love of my life at World’s Toughest Mudder. And it was the most fulfilling race I’ve ever not ran.

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Clint and me in the Pit.

Have I introduced you to the dude in all my pictures? His name is Stephen. You can call him Steve. He’s a badass. He lifts heavy weights, completed 10 Tough Mudder events, runs incredible distances (he did 40 miles during World’s Toughest) and he’s an amazing, incredible, spectacularly inspiring father to an almost 4 year old girl. He has yet to run an official marathon (don’t worry we’ll get him there), but is jumping straight to the 50K trail with me in February… Let’s just say we get along real well.

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That kinda sums up my year. Lots of change, but a lot of the same. Still striving to be a better person, develop relationships with people that matter, lift heavier, run farther, run faster, travel more. You know the drill.. and i’ll be around much more this year. Enjoy life kids. Be happy.

Now tell me your 2018 plans, goals, races, life changes…

 

 

 

 

 


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Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon Recap!

Monday: 5m 10:00/pace easy
Tuesday: Crossfit

The Women’s Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon was a great time to see a few running/blogging friends I only see a couple times a year and run the last half marathon until fall season starts. <–which i understand is sooner now than later since I’m way behind with the blog. Whoops!

The Zooma 1/2 was on Saturday, June 3rd. My recap from last year is similar to this year. I had the chance to hang out with Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile. I stayed at the same hotel, The O’Callaghan, ate at the same restaurant in the Loew’s Hotel and had the same race goal, run a moderately hard effort and have fun.

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hotel selfie

The expo was at the Loew’s Hotel and was easy to navigate, especially toward this table. I made friends with these girls for while and got to try a ton of “samples” hehehe.

File_000 (336)Then the Ambassadors all got together for our annual photos/be goofballs. We were trying to make the tank tops and Bondi headbands look cool. You have to wear the tanks over your shirts right? Or is that just reserved for Jordan jersey’s from the 90s? #23

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photo cred: Sarah Ratzlaff

I tried to catch Lauren a little off guard, I think the only thing winning about his photo is how bad the lighting is. (don’t hate me for posting this Lauren!)

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After we heard a few speakers, got our fix of wine spritzers and pictures we headed for food!

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We ended up eating burgers and fries at the bar and noticed we were both wearing green shirts. Fascinating right?

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I surprisingly got to sleep at a reasonable hour, slept well and ate well. Justin’s Almond Butter is pretty fantastic on bananas and the single serving helps keep my PB cravings in check. Kinda. Who am i kidding, it’s just adding to the pb insanity.

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This race always takes place when I’m not in great racing shape after the end of spring when I haven’t been speed training at all. Zero. And it’s always hot and humid. The weather was far better than last year’s race. It was actually a bit cool at the start. It progressively got warmer and humid, but again, way more tolerable than last year.

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Fun Fact: These Brooks shoes were on their last 13/500 miles and were the shoes I qualified for Boston in. Glad I got to race one more time in them!

I was happy I chose the half marathon until I realized most of the Zooma girls opted for the 10k, so i was alone this year running a moderate “tempo-ish” type of run.

Everything felt pretty controlled and cadence was quick until mile 9. It was early for me to start feeling gassed, but again, I knew this was the first speed day I’d had in over a month. I was asking a lot from my body and I probably started way too fast. This was the first race in a while I positive split (finishing the back half of a race slower than the first).

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The best part of the race was hitting mile 12. I was basically walk/running at that point. I knew i was the 3rd overall female almost the entire race, but the girl behind me wasn’t far and I assumed she would pass me, because of the amount of walking I was doing. Once the turnaround at 12 happened, she ran beside me and said, “let’s go, let’s finish together.” My legs started moving again. I thanked her multiple times and told her that was exactly what I needed.

That’s what the Zooma Women’s Race is all about. Women helping and supporting women. I experienced it that day more than I have in any previous race.

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Her name was Casey and she finished in 3rd. It was her very first half marathon and I congratulated her on her outstanding time and thanked her over and over again for helping me through a rough spot.
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If you’d like to run a Zooma race check out the next ones in Cape Cod on Oct 7th or Amelia Island, FL on Oct 21st. www.zoomarun.com and use CORI2017 for 10% off.

Last Week
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: snatch skill work, 6m easy 9:05pace
Wednesday: Crossfit, 5000m row
Thursday: 6m tempo (4m @ 7:08/pace)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7m easy run, 45min shoulders
Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 19

Do you have a pair of running shoes you had a hard time retiring?

How’s summer running going?

 

 


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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?