Author’s Note: This marathon recap was started in Oct. 2017 and finished in Jan. 2018 which is amazing because the experience of the race still feels like yesterday.
The 2017 Chicago Marathon was marathon #12 for me. I’ve not trained for any marathon the same way twice but I have combined the best parts of my past experiences and having just achieved my best personal record yet, I may be a tad closer to a formula for marathon success. From my first marathon eight years ago with a 4:11 finish to my Chicago finish in 3:29, there are a lot of little things that add up to successful marathons. But there are two constants – one is all mental, the other is putting in the work.
There are three weeks left until the Chicago Marathon which means it’s almost taper time and my mind is starting to get restless. With 4 weeks to go, I did my last 20-miler and in the week leading up to it was feeling ready to be “done,” ready to taper, let’s get to the race already! I was physically tired but that last 20-miler hit the spot. After that run, I felt physically and mentally ready. And then a funny thing happened. I looked at the remaining three weeks of training — it’s really only one more solid week of hard runs and two weeks of taper — and all of a sudden my mind goes wild. One 16-miler, one 10-miler, and then it’s race day! It’s a feeling of not quite panic, excitement, and an immediate unsettled feeling of what will come next. Continue reading
My last post was a marathon recap and it’s crazy how much has happened in the course of 5 months from one marathon to the next, including a Presidential election. Perhaps I’m choosing to write tonight as a distraction from what’s happening to the fate of the future of our country. I’m much happier reflecting on my new PR just two days ago at the TCS NYC Marathon. Long story short, I finished the NYC marathon in 3:33:31, a time that crushed my previous PR from 2013 by 2:11. AND it earns me a 2018 BQ by a 7 minute margin! While I am still riding this runner’s high, possibly one of the things that makes this PR so sweet is that it’s not even what I set out to do. I set out to run smart, to run a specific race strategy; I set out to run through pain, to run with everything I had in me. I set out to finish hard. As it turns out, the combination of these things resulted in an incredibly rewarding race and new PR. Continue reading
Recapping the Buffalo Marathon feels like almost a bigger undertaking than the 26.2 miles themselves. I’ve written plenty of race recaps yet this one has SO many factors to it, starting with the fact that it was the culmination of my first six months of working with a professional coach. Those six months of training were a mix of things and in my mind were all building me up to my best marathon performance yet. Spoiler alert: it was not my best and I’m ok with it.
It takes a while to get used to running year round and to figure out all the various iterations of layering needed for different cold temperatures and winter elements. I follow plenty of athletes who run in much colder climates than Maryland so in general I’m not sure I have room to complain, or give advice for that matter. That said, my last long run was in 8 degrees with the wind chill factor. I’ve been running year round with the exception of days where it seems dangerous (i.e., icy routes) or when there’s more rain than I’m willing to bear.
My general goal of any year is to hit 1000 miles in the year, and when I took a peek to write my 2015 running year in review I was at 1,226.5 miles, not too shabby! I also had a period of sadly being locked out of my blog so I missed getting in some race recaps and various training insights and epiphanies. In addition to having some fast races to close out the year, perhaps the most significant moment of this year was my decision to hire a coach. We started Dec. 1 and the next six months of running are all about working Coach’s plan. But before we look ahead, some running moments of this year.
After 14 weeks of FIRST training, marathon day arrived, and to skip ahead, the quality training plan paid off. Technically the FIRST plan is 16 weeks but I was coming into it after already having had a solid base and by the time I was ready to start marathon training, I had 14 weeks until race day. Continue reading
I’d always heard about the Baltimore 10 Miler. I knew small parts of the course from the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler. But everyone talks about how hilly this course is, about how the hills will be brutal. I had signed up for the Baltimore 10 Miler with the full intention of racing, to test out where I am with speed and to decide if I am capable of getting fast enough to try for another BQ this fall. Well before the Bmore10 I went ahead and registered for the marathon (Leigh Valley Via Marathon) so that just left the goal of testing out my speed. Six weeks post-Boston, how fast could I run? Continue reading
I don’t think I’ve ever obsessed over the weather nearly as much as I did leading up to Boston. I had added Boston to my weather app about three weeks before the race and checked their weather daily to see how close or far off it was from what I was training in in Severna Park. Once in Boston, I probably looked every hour, or more, at Monday’s weather. By the time it was clear that there was a guaranteed chance for rain I began obsessing over the hour by hour and how long I’d actually be running in the rain and how long we’d be facing head winds. Continue reading
Leading up to the Boston Marathon I talked to many runner friends who’d done the race before. Every single one of them had a comment about the people. The runners, the volunteers, the people of Boston. Everyone tried to say how nice they are, how genuine, how much they make the race. I believed them of course but now, now I really get it. There’s something about the people, or this race, or the combination of the two that makes it so incredibly memorable and also so worth doing again. Continue reading