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.
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.
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
There’s so much to digest about the Boston Marathon, so much to share and probably never enough room in any single blog (or any reader’s patience) to detail it all. I’ll highlight just the things I would have loved to have known going into it. Continue reading
My feet are falling heavily. My stride is too short. A small stitch in my side comes and goes. My shoulders are tight and clenched. My breaths feel forced and inconsistent. My pace is all over the place. I used to be good at running!! What happened?? Continue reading
On May 3 I joined colleagues and a few hundred other cyclists in Howard County for a challenging but totally gorgeous ride. After four months of as much training as I could, I decided at essentially the last minute to ride 32 instead of 22 miles. I felt ready. No doubt it was the right decision. This event was the first athletic event I’ve done that wasn’t a race and I can genuinely say it was just as rewarding. Part of the reward was in being part of something bigger. And part of the reward was the feeling of accomplishment at the end.
Riding in packs is always a hair intimidating at first; a lot of people in a small space going at a relatively decent speed means you have to really have situational awareness of your surroundings and confidence in your ability to control your bike. We headed out around 8:30am on a brisk but beautiful morning with a group of about 100. Our team from r2i was divided between a 32 mile group and a 10 mile group. Within the first three miles things started to space out which was helpful as we were on roads without much shoulder, but at that hour also without much traffic.
By mile 10 or so my co-hort had taken off ahead of me and I kept up as best I could. The course was pretty darn hilly–much hillier than I expected–so while I could cruise at 25mph downhill there were plenty of uphill moments where my GPS read a depressing 6mph. We reunited at the well placed rest stop at mile 21 and finished the rest of the course together. At 21+ weeks pregnant during the ride, I was much more comfortable than I anticipated I would be. Most of my training rides had been midday while our son naps and I think midday pregnant work-outs are just not for me. I’m full and bloated and generally uncomfortable. So doing this ride at the start of the day was perfectly enjoyable.
As we made our way up the final hill within site of the finish line we could hear the music and festivities of the finish line. The volunteers of the day made for an awesome “welcome back” committee and the music made all the difference for having a powerful finish. We reunited with the rest of our r2i team for a group photo and to celebrate the accomplishment.
Riding for a Cause
This event was also one of the first where I’ve ever had to seriously fundraise prior to the event. I set a goal for myself of $500 which would go toward our team’s goal of $5000. I ended up raising $706 and am incredibly grateful to each person–family and friends–who donated toward my ride and the cure for diabetes. Our team made it 88% of the way to our goal which is darn impressive in my opinion. I’m proud of what we did as a team and I am humbled to have been able to ride for a cause.
This winter I have taken up the most balanced mix of running, cross-training, strength training and stretching as I ever have before. Probably because it’s just been too damn cold to run outside as often as I normally might. Nonetheless, I have found myself trying to nail some of the basics of building a strong core and pelvic floor.The root of this seems to be grounded in mastering the kegel, something I’ve tried before. After reading, and re-reading certain sections, of The Whole Body Fix in the current issue of RW I am feeling even more motivated to figure out this basic move and also kicking myself for not having been doing certain things all along (which will be the topic of a whole separate post). Continue reading