Tag Archives: Marathon

The Art & Science of Race Selection

I spend a lot of my time while running thinking about racing. Even when I’m not training for a specific race, I’m thinking about racing. I think about the “perfect” race. I think about what it would take to win a race (in my age group). I think about races of different distances and set crazy stretch goals for them quickly followed by aggressive goals and truly realistic goals. When I went about thinking about my race plan for 2014 I realized there is probably an art and science to race selection. Continue reading

From Painful to Pain-Free

I am very pleased to report that I’ve been running pain-free for about four weeks. I give enormous credit to Doyle & Taylor Physical Therapy in Annapolis and also have to admit that a reduced weekly running schedule (3 days) combined with diligent strength exercises and stretching have allowed me to resolve the sources of my hip pain. I’m not entirely convinced the pain is gone for good but I am most definitely back to my normal running pace, comfort level and optimism. Continue reading

The Baltimore Running Festival Finish Line

10232860003_a4674beea2If you want a race with a fantastic after party, the Baltimore Running Festival does it right. Taking over parking lots at M&T Bank Stadium makes for a perfect post-race tailgate. An awesome band for live music, tons of food trucks and tents, moon bounce and other fun kid games, plenty of porta-pots (though not necessarily with TP!) and even rows of long tables where runners could pick crabs in true Maryland style–this plus more made up the finish area for 5k, 13.1 and 26.2 finishers. I was among the crowd in a form rare for me–as a spectator. Continue reading

Hip Pain: It Came Out of Nowhere

I was on my second to last long run before the Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon, 13 miles. It was early on an August Saturday morning so not too hot and I was doing well with my LSD pace. All of a sudden, on the flat stretch of my local trail with about 2 miles left to go, my left hip seemed to twerk out from under me. I felt a stabbing pain in my hip that seemed to shoot around my glute and hamstring area. I slowed down a little. The pain kept on. I limped and hopped and kicked my legs up behind me to try and shake it out but the pain persisted. I did something I never do and stopped and stretched. Stopping seemed to make it worse and after a brief stretch I powered through the painful final stretch home. Continue reading

Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon | BQ Attempt #1

bigcottonwood (7)The Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon in Salt Lake City was my first attempt to run a Boston qualifying race and my sixth marathon. I spent 13 weeks training for this race and had months of previous training and races under my belt. The big thing I was never sure I could properly train for was the significant amount of downhills at this race…18-20 miles of downhill to be exact with the final miles on a relatively flat grade. I also had never traveled this far for a race before so there were some additional prep and logistics to take into account. There were a lot of lessons learned at this race and while there are some things I would do differently, I think one sign of a good race is knowing that I would do it again. To quote a phrase of my old boss, “last line first.” I was running this race with the hopes of qualifying for the 30-34 age group 2014 Boston Marathon. I came in 42 seconds shy of a BQ and finished in 3:35:42. Now for the details! Continue reading

My BQ Quest

bos_a_starting_line_d1_576I started this post called “My BQ Quest” back in March of 2011 and did nothing other than enter the title in my drafts folder. Now, September 2013, I’m finally filling in the story.

In March 2011 I ran my third and fastest marathon finishing in 3:45. Weeks after that race I watched the Boston Marathon and started to think about training for a BQ race. I was 10 minutes off from the 30-34 age group qualifying time and the goosebumps I’ve always gotten watching the Boston Marathon started to sync up with an obsession that one day perhaps I could run the race. But I never told anyone that’s what I wanted to do. I hadn’t made the obsession real because I hadn’t said it out loud. And I hadn’t said it out loud because I lacked the confidence that I could actually run a qualifying time. Continue reading

The Race is the Reward | Charles Street 12 Success

Race morning in Baltimore

I’ve had this thought in my head for some time now: the race is the reward. I’m not sure too many people would argue this. While I genuinely do love training, the race is the payoff. I love everything about a race from the general camaraderie of runners to the contagious enthusiasm at the start line to the post-race satisfaction of having finished. But my recent results from the inaugural Charles Street 12-Miler in Baltimore have me on such a high that this post is now very timely. Continue reading

Too Hot for 20

Today I was supposed to run 20 miles. When I looked at the hourly weather report last night, it was to be 81 degrees at 6 a.m. and up to 90+ a heat index of over 100 by 9 a.m. I hoped to be home by then. I left the house at 5:52 and within my first steps I felt dehydrated. By the first half mile my four frozen water bottles were thawing out. And within the first three miles I had decided I would reevaluate my run at a certain point in my route at which I could return home early or stick it out for 20 miles. Continue reading

The Week Before the Rehoboth Beach Marathon

The week before race day is many ways the most critical part of training. It is the final opportunity to stay healthy, make smart diet choices, get plenty of rest, follow the last days of tapering in the training plan, mentally prepare for running 26.2, and depending on where the race is, to handle getting race day gear prepped in advance. The things that happen on the week leading up to race day can certainly affect race performance. Continue reading

2011 Marine Corps Marathon: Pregnant 26.2 Miles

About a year ago this time I made the realization that there would never be a “right time” to start a family and told my husband I was ready to try. This was significant because in March of 2011 I had run a PR marathon and was mentally and physically preparing to try for a BQ (Boston Qualifying time) at the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I was pretty sure that if we got pregnant before that marathon I would have to change my goals and expectations. And that is exactly what happened. Continue reading