Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dallas Training Week 1

Monday Planned: GA+Speed 6 miles with 2 sets 4x150 strides
Monday Actual: Sick day from work. All the rest. Great way to kick off a new training cycle! Ha. 

Tuesday Planned: Rest
Tuesday Actual: Rest + core work.

Wednesday Planned GA 4 miles
Wednesday Actual: 4 recovery miles. Since I had been sick, I wanted to take this run easy. Plus Kristin was supposed to have 3 easy miles and I convinced her to do 4, so I made sure we kept them extra easy.

Thursday Planned GA 6 miles
Thursday Actual: 1 hour POWER a.m. 6 Recovery Miles p.m. My legs felt so heavy for this run. I attempted to push the pace the first couple of miles to shake out the legs and then it became apparent they weren't going to shake out. I opted to slow way down to just enjoy the run.

Friday Planned: Recovery 4 miles with 4x100 strides
Friday Actual: Coffee run 4 miles with 4x100 strides. I had Kristin's company for the first 3 miles and had to tackle the remainder solo. Boring.

Saturday Planned: Long run 12 miles
Saturday Actual: Long run 12 miles. This was not a fun run. Well, I should take that back, the first 4 miles with Chris and Melissa were a lot of fun. They had raced the 10k, so we kept the pace pretty comfy for the most part, and I assumed my crazy high heart rate was just because I was talking so much. The last 8 suckkkked. My heart rate was through the roof and I was running 10:45-11 pace to keep it at the TOP of my long run heart rate zone. To give some context, this summer, in the crazy heat and humidity, my HR would average about 15 bpm less at a faster pace. Clearly my body is still fighting off whatever crap I had earlier this week. Barf.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: Rest. I had planned to make up Monday's miles on Sunday, but after Sunday's run, and a really high resting heart rate made me opt for the original planned rest day. Lots of hydration and rest to try to feel 100% again.

Total Mileage Planned: 32 miles
Total Mileage Actual: 26.3 miles.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Weekly Reads: Dry

Dry is the newest book by amazing ya author Neal Shusterman and his son Jarrod Shusterman. I was so excited to read this book and it really freaked me out how easily this could be a reality in my lifetime. I may or may not be stock piling my basement henceforth to prepare for the end of the world. I also drank more water while reading this book than I did when I was averaging 50+ miles per week during marathon training. Gulp.

Must read!

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

Monday, October 29, 2018

I am a Running Coach!

I am so excited to become the newest running coach at 605 Running Co. It's no secret that I love studying the sport of endurance running and using myself and my running buddies as guinea pigs as I try out different theories and philosophies of training. After some persistent, gentle nudging from some friends, I finally made the big ask to my friends at 605 to see if they needed some help with coaching. 

I can't wait to help some runners hit their goals, no matter how big or small. I've really enjoyed helping my BRF Toni hit some major PRs over the last couple of years, and without her nearby to obsess over her training, I certainly have some extra free time to obsess over others. I'll be taking my RRCA certification in the near future, and can't wait to learn anything and everything about coaching, especially as it challenges or confirms my current thoughts and coaching philosophies.

If you're interested in being coached by me, I'm taking on a few athletes to start. More information about coaching can be found here.

***Also, just to clarify, I haven't left my job at the library to pursue coaching. I guess a lot of people thought that was the case. No worries, I'm still shilling people free books all day e'ery day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Twin Cities Marathon Recovery

The week after Twin Cities, I rested a lot! I foam rolled 2x a day, every day until Thursday when I was down to just once. I did POWER on Thursday and had every intention of joining the coffee run for my first recovery run but I smoked my knee on a chair on Thursday and there was some swelling and discomfort Friday morning when I woke up. Oops. I did get in a super easy 2 mile on Saturday and continued to rest on Sunday! #rest

Monday: 5 Mile Monday with Chris! I had hoped for 4-5 and after the first ten steps my legs felt really good, so 5 it was.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: 605 Group Recovery Run. It was so gorgeous out so we went a little further than originally planned.

Thursday: Rest.

Friday: Coffee run! 4.1 recovery miles with Kristin.

Saturday: I was supposed to do a longer run, but I woke up before yoga and just felt like I needed to SLEEP so I went back to bed and bailed on my running buddy. I felt cruddy the rest of the weekend, so no run for me.

Sunday: More rest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Weekly Reads: What If It's Us

I have been counting down the days for the release of What If It's Us. I love anything that Adam Silvera writes, and I couldn't want to get my hands on the one. The meet cute story was the most adorable thing ever. I loved that the story depicting their relationship wasn't picture perfect. It seemed real and honest and hard. I'd definitely recommend this book!

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

Monday, October 22, 2018

bRUNch Club

A few months ago, a group of running friends were all planning our first 20 miler of marathon training. I was pretty bummed that I wasn't doing this 20 miler with my BRF Toni, so to mark the milestone in a different way, I suggested we all go out for brunch after the run. A few other long run gals with shorter runs met up as well.

And thus bRUNch club was formed. We ate, we drank, we stalked our running friend Brittany's marathon finish from the morning and cheers'd to her PR.

It was thus determined that bRUNch club would meet monthly after a long run. The next meeting was after Melissa and my last 20 miler. It was a brunch club of two, but equally as delicious. We got the gang together yet again the day after the Twin Cities Marathon. Stay tuned for matching shirts, because what's a club without shirts? NOTHING.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Marathon Reflections

Leading up to race day, I was freaked out that I wasn't freaking out. I actually texted Toni that I was nervous about my lack of nerves. I sat and thought about it and realized that I was so at peace with the race weekend because I knew I had nailed my training. Almost 100% of the miles planned had been run. The recovery, foam rolling, massages, yoga, myofascial release, strength training, extra sleep--it was all there. I had made it through an incredible strong, intense marathon training cycle 100% healthy and ready to run. One thought kept repeating through my mind:

Whatever happens on race day, you are as prepared as you can be.

So many of my marathons I've gotten injured during, had to take time off, didn't have the time necessary to train, didn't have the base mileage necessary to do a marathon build, etc. etc. etc. It was impossible to show up on race day without a full blown panic attack NOT brewing.

Despite having a calm peace of mind and a ready to rock attitude, the stomach issues were not something I planned for. Well, let me be more specific. I am a runner who has a very sensitive stomach, and I spent a lot of time throughout the training cycle trying to dial in what I could eat the night before a long run, how early I had to get up to eat my breakfast, and practicing a fueling plan to best execute on race day.

I would wake up at least 2 hours before our long run to fuel to allow my stomach time to get ready to run. I hydrated like crazy the Friday before long runs. I discovered that beer makes my stomach angry (womp womp) and cut back on the delicious ones until post-long run. I figured out the GU strategy that works best with my stomach, and I figured out an electrolyte plan with Nuun throughout the hot and sweltering long runs.

Despite all of this planning, I wasn't surprised I had a stomach issue on race day. I had pizza for dinner the night before, as I typically do, and I hadn't even finished my meal before I was racing to the bathroom with a very upset stomach. I was up before my alarm with a very angry stomach. And not my normal nervous race/long run stomach, but a "I ate something I really shouldn't have" stomach. I hydrated like crazy to try to compensate for any fluid loss and hoped for the best. I used the porta potties 4 more times before the race started and drank even more water.

I started the race with a full bladder and quickly had to use a bathroom for a potty break. I had factored in maybe a 2 minute pit stop for a cranky tummy, as most of my LRs had included one bathroom break, and then my stomach would be perfect for the rest of the run. I honestly practiced "going" as quickly as I could during training so on race day I could be in and out and ready to go.

What I wasn't prepared for was the weird cramping that occurred. Was it from dehydration because of my stomach issues all morning? I drank a lot of water that morning, so that would be surprising. It was a really humid morning, and I did miss one water station. After that missed water station, I took a cup of water and gatorade at the next one. Was it the gatorade? I don't know.

I do know that I could not run one second faster per mile during the periods of cramping I was experience. I would have a little reprieve for part of a mile as the cramp would shift downward, and honestly I wish it would've just sent me straight to the bathroom instead of taking its slow ass time. By my estimation, I dealt with it for at least 10 miles of the race. Once I hit the bathroom in mile 18 I felt like a new woman and like someone shot me out of a cannon! I can't imagine how hard the hills at mile 20-23 would've been if I still had that stomach cramp. Uff da. I can tell you my time would've been significantly slower.

I am incredibly proud to have a "bad day" and run a 4:19. I've had "bad days" on marathon morning before and those races have been 5+ hours long. Going in to the race, I had every intention of walking away with a shiny new PR and was so excited to see by how much. I felt like a sub 4:10 was doable even if my legs didn't feel great right out of the gates. I really thought I'd land in the 4:02-4:05 range. So by comparison, yeah a 4:19 is a bummer, but I can't be upset with how well I dealt with the day I was given, mentally. Back when I was speedier, I was physically prepared to run "fast" (fast of course being a relative term, fast for me!) but I never had the mental strength to really put all the pieces together on race day. Keeping my brain about me is such a win, that I can't wait to see what happens when my body and mind are on the same page.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Weekly Reads: Foolish Hearts

I kept hearing wonderful things about Foolish Hearts but every time I'd read the premise, I'd think... nah... not for me. See even though I'm a librarian, I'm not a big Shakespeare fan. GASP, the horror! Right? But I picked it up anyway, and the story is the sweetest thing in the world, and I didn't want to put it down.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for

Monday, October 15, 2018

Twin Cities Marathon Weekend: A Jeroni Reunion

We started off our Jeroni weekend by Toni getting in so late that I was already asleep. Luckily she was up and at em for our regular coffee run! We ran a nice and easy 4 miles, had all the time to catch up with friends over coffee and time passed so quickly that Kyle left for work before I had a chance to say goodbye for the weekend. Whoops!

We got on the road, mid morning but not without some extra coffee for the road. Mmmm.... coffee.

Per standard traveling with Jeri I made it 100 miles before I was ready to pee my pants. Luckily the light was excellent for a selfie. :P

I had to steal a couple of onion rings for this very important photo op at our lunch stop in Albert Lea. Not the best race weekend food but shockingly my stomach was fine with it.

We arrived in the cities and made our way to the expo. 

This is our view upon arrival at our hotel. gulp.

After the expo we went to dinner. Kyle and I had gone to this place for pizza before the Monster Dash half, and it was a short walk from the expo. It was delicious.

Saturday morning Toni was sleeping really hard, really late, so after I was up for an hour or so, I decided to go back to bed and catch some extra Zzzz's myself. Around 10:30 I woke up and realized we needed to get out for our shake out run ASAP! 

 We went out for a nice easy 3 with strides with an accidental extra one mile walk because I suck at navigating in the cities. Always. Full stop. Luckily we had time to take some excellent BRF photos mid-run.

When we got to breakfast, which was now lunch based on how late it was, the place was packed. I ordered a beautiful rainbow latte and a crepe with chick peas, avocado, arugula, and goat cheese. It was the most delicious thing I've ever eaten and I want it again daily for the rest of my life.

They also had lattes with edible glitter and a s'mores latte that looked like heaven in a cup.

This is how happy I am to be drinking a beautiful latte. 

When we got back to the hotel, I was ready to start working on my race day nails. I had bought nail wraps from Sarah Marie Design studio for me and Toni and I was nervous about how hard they'd be to put on. Nope. They were super simple and looked amazing! So fun.

We got ready for dinner and Melissa and Karissa joined us. Melissa and I ran a lot of miles together and Karissa is the sweetest human who was running her first marathon. We ate pizza and pasta and chatted all about race morning. It was so fun.

Toni and I finally got the chance to wear our BRF jackets together. YAY!

 After dinner, it was back to bed to lay out Flat Jeri, foam roll, and get into bed. What a fast weekend! Toni left right after the race, after a shower to start her 10 hour drive home, so it was short but sweet. <3

Friday, October 12, 2018

Race Report: Twin Cities Marathon

Our alarms went off at 5am which seemed like sleeping in compared to the crazy times I woke up to get my stomach ready to go for long runs all summer long. We got dressed and boarded the buses outside our hotel at 6am after doing some glute work in the lobby. 

We were to the race start in no time, with 75 minutes to spare before our race started. Oops. I wasn't kidding with wanting to get there early I guess! We took a bunch of pictures and I darted to and from the bathroom pretty frequently with a nervous stomach. I was smart and brought my water bottle to continue to hydrate, as sometimes my stomach troubles cause me to dehydrate. YAY JERI! So SMART!.

We were told to be in our corrals 30 minutes before the race start so around 7:30 am I made one last bathroom trip, I did another round of glute drills (since we'd been sitting around waiting, and I wanted to be sure they were AWAKE), dropped our bags and did a quick warm up. Mostly the routine that we do pre-POWER. And then I rolled my ankle like a total ding dong. Oy. We made our way into the corral and the energy was so insane I thought I was going to explode. The announcer mentioned 1000x what a perfect day it was for a run, and he was right. I wore a long sleeve to throw away at the start and wore gloves for the first 2-3 miles before my hands were sweaty and toasty.

We started the race in corral 2 and said approximately 1 million times, "OMG WE'RE RUNNING A MARATHON!!" It was insane. We had some weird GPS blip during a tunnel in the first mile that resulted in both Toni and my watch reading an 8:18 pace. This did wonders for us to make sure we were going out conservatively and I didn't panic at ALL. I knew we weren't running that fast, but it was so hard to tell how fast we were running with all of the crowds and excitement and slight downhill. Our watches beeped early, and the actual mile turned out to be just fine. Phew. 

While we were waiting in our corrals I mentioned that I maybe I should hit the porta potties just one more time. I had done an excellent job of hydrating and couldn't tell if I actually had to pee or if it was just one of those nervous pees that'll go away once you start running. Well not too long into the race I realized it was a real pee, and I told Toni I was going to have to make a pit stop. It should've been a 17 second stop a la Shalane Flanagan, but there was a line and people were just running up and jetting in to a potty, ignoring the line of people completely. In Michelle Tanner's words: how rude.

In a minute or so, we were back in the fold and Toni mentioned that Melissa and Karissa were just ahead. I spotted Melissa's purple shirt and hoped we'd catch up to them to all work together for the run. Spoiler alert: we did not catch them, and when I saw Melissa's splits after, I understand why!

Now that my bladder was empty, we were having a blast. I opted to take my first GU at mile 3 with the expectation that my stomach would be unruly and I'd want fuel sooner rather than later. This was the right call. We danced and sang through so many cheering sections, and we were having a blast.

1. 8:59 (actually closer to 9:50)
2. 10:43 (1 minute bathroom stop)
3. 9:50 (actual running!)

I was a little antsy during the first 5k because I was having a hard time getting a read on our pace and how I was feeling. I tried not to focus too hard on the pace and just take in the miles and the atmosphere. I couldn't believe how much fun we were having. Some may argue too much fun for running 26.2 miles. ha.

We ran through the most beautiful neighborhoods and people were out lining up both sides of the streets with unofficial aid stations with water, and oranges, and bananas, and bottomless mimosas. I missed a water stop at mile 5 with some accidental zigging and zagging and kind of panicked, because I was sweating a lot, plus I know that GU can make my stomach cranky if I'm not hydrating enough. Luckily I was able to get some small shots of water from other tables along the way.

I saw my high school bestie and her fam around mile 4 or 5 and they were all dressed up in GREEN. Our signature color. I realized at that moment I wasn't wearing a stitch of green. No wonder the race wasn't going to plan. LOL jk.

When we hit our next aid station, I took a glass of gatorade and some water, because I thought I could stand a little extra hydration and electrolytes, plus we were getting to about an hour in to the race and that's usually when I start my electrolytes. This might have been my mistake, but I'm not 100% sure.

Within a mile or two I got an excruciating side cramp up really high on the left side in my ribs. I stopped chatting and carrying on with Toni so I could focus on my breath and my stride and just do my best to work it out. In 2 miles or so it dropped down a bit to the regular spot that you'd feel a side ache, in the side of your abdomen. At least here I was able to grab on with my left hand and apply some pressure to see if that would release it. 

4. 9:33
5. 9:46
6. 9:43

Eventually that cramp worked itself down to my hip area, almost where you'd get cramping from your menstrual cycle (TMI? meh.) and that really was messing with my stride. I felt like it was connected to the top of my leg and I couldn't run as hard. Toni was a ray of sunshine and during each mile alert on our watch would announce, "that was a great one!" even though I knew we weren't at our goal pace ranges for these early miles, nor were they feeling like I had hoped they would. Easy breezy was the plan for miles 1-10, 9:30-9:40 pace. 

I took my second GU at mile 8, which was a gamble with how my stomach felt, but I knew I didn't want to get behind in my fueling. When we hit mile 9 I said that I'd like to try to pick it up at mile 10 as planned, but I wasn't sure what that pace would look like. Just "let's try something a little faster". I think I was hoping I'd shake out whatever was going on. 

7. 9:44
8. 9:34
9. 9:50

Over the next stretch Toni would start running ahead for a bit, I think in an effort to pull me along with her. And I realized that I felt a little more relaxed, so when she came back to me I told her that she might want to consider leaving me. I felt like I was running about as fast as I could, and was confident that I could keep up the pace for the duration of the marathon, but I knew she wanted to try to break 4 hours or at least be very close to it, and I knew the math on that wasn't checking out. She said no and was fine sticking with me, but before too long she darted off like a Bambi off into the distance. I was surprised and happy to notice that I wasn't feeling defeated or bummed but focused on making the most of the day, however that was going to play out.

10. 9:35
11. 9:30
12. 9:37

I got a water bottle from a friend around mile 12 and put in my nuun to see if some electrolytes would put some pep into my step. I took another GU at mile 13 and noted that my half marathon split was around 2:11, putting me around 4:22 for a finishing time. I could feel the collective cheering group of running friends from home panicking for me, knowing my goal time was closer to that 4:05-4:10 range. I tried to send out a bat signal that I was fine, and was just going to keep plugging along, but I don't know that anyone got it. My husband definitely didn't. Hah.

13. 9:45
14. 9:49
15. 9:58

I saw my race squad again during this stretch and was shocked to see they had an outfit change! Nikki and I were obsessed with tie dye in high school, we'd always have a big tie dye party leading up to the basketball season. Seeing their little faces gave me such a boost! Someday I'm going to convince Nikki to train for all of the races too. :)

As the race tracked on, I was nervous that I'd get to "that point" in the race where the remaining miles just seemed overwhelming for how I felt. like "I can't possibly run X more miles based on how I feel!" But I never did get there. Every time a mile would pass, I'd do the backwards math (like an idiot) and would enthusiastically think, "I can do X more miles!" I don't know where this positive attitude came from, but I suppose the pace was relaxed enough that it started to feel like a long run, and long runs are easy. NBD. 

After a little reprieve from the dreaded side stitch that made it's way down my body, it finally settled into my guts and decided it was ready to be done with me. I started frantically looking for a porta potty and pulled off when I saw two of them with 3 runners in line. As I was looking at my watch to see how much time I was losing, a female spectator announced that her husband had been letting runners ahead of him and he needed to get in there without letting anyone else go ahead. I looked and realized there were two spectators standing way back from the porta potty lines. I was super annoyed but knew I couldn't stand around for 5 people to use the bathroom when 3 seemed like a lot. I jumped back on to the race course and kept my eyes peeled for another bathroom.

I needed to take another GU at mile 18 but was nervous to do so with my stomach acting up. For a few minutes it seemed like my stomach had settled down. What a miraculous happening! And then my eyes spotted a porta potty and my body was like, nope jk. Luckily a super kind spectator insisted I cut in front of him, and the person in the porta potty hustled in and out and I only lost about 1:10 total waiting and bathrooming. I half considered GUing while using the facilities and then realized that was the grossest idea ever.

16. 9:42
17. 9:57 (attempted bathroom stop)
18. 9:43
19. 10:51 (actual bathroom stop)

I felt like a new woman when I stepped out of that porta potty. I took in my GU and vowed to put the hammer down to the best of my abilities for the next 7 miles. I had been doing some mental math based on 10 minute miles and could see I was around 4:20-4:24. I made a new goal of running as close to sub 4:20 as possible. My stomach could explode and my legs could fall off, but with 7 miles to go. It's on. 

Around mile 20 I took a salt pill, without water. I almost met my maker. I choked on the pill so hard that it cut off oxygen and I started to black out. OMG, I can't die in the middle of a marathon. I attempted to swallow, cough, gag, and repeat and nothing worked. I breathed solo out of my nose for part of a mile until I came upon someone handing out orange segments. I was nervous to put something else in my stomach at this point but I felt like choking to death was also a bad idea. Luckily the orange helped it slide down and crisis was averted. Oy.

And just in time for the infamous uphill from 20-23!

I can say with 100% confidence that I trained well for these hills. I felt like I was flying up them. I felt so strong and light in my feet and just zoom zoomed up. I also didn't think they were nearly as hard as I was anticipating. I'd done the 10 mile twice, the first time I did it the hills chewed me up and spit me out. Last year they felt fine. I assumed they would feel like a mountain after running 20 miles, but nope! Thanks for all the Monday night hill routes Chris! I think they paid off.

20. 9:58
21. 9:51

I started doing finishing math based on 9 minute miles for the remainder of the race. That kept me on for that low 4:20 finish, but I was having a heckuva time figuring out the extra race distance. With the extra bathroom non-tangents, I was a full half mile over. So I was having to count an extra 4 minutes on to anything I was calculating. Good thing I enjoy mental math! We got up the hills and it was go time. Let's go legs, you got to take it nice and easy for 18 miles, it's time to fly.

22. 9:38
23. 9:35

I knew I'd get to see my HS bestie Nikki one last time around mile 24. When she had asked where she should spectate, I told her she could probably get from 5 to 15 to the end. She had mentioned that getting to the actual end last year was almost impossible and wanted to know if it'd be ok if they weren't there this time. I told her that I would love to see her at the end but I knew I'd need to see her face around mile 24 and that would give me the mental boost I needed to run hard. When I saw her, she sprinted to the other side of the road to be on my side and forgetting about my goal time for a second, gave her the biggest sweatiest hug. She ran along side me for a few seconds and then I sprinted away saying, "ok I gotta go run fast now. LOVE YOU!" It was such a boost to see her.

I saw a fellow SFWR gal, Kristie, and seeing her unexpectedly gave me such a boost of confidence and another jolt of speed. She also snagged some sweet pics. Thanks Kristie! Shortly there after, I saw another fellow runner SFWR Joy who used to kick my butt in her sculpt classes, and seeing her gave me another jolt of energy. In my head, I was thinking the last 3 miles were downhill, so I would get slightly annoyed when there was another little uphill. I was ready for my finishing sprint. Finally the finish line was in sight and I was ready to give it everything I had.

As I was passing the capitol building I saw a huge group of SFWR--Kelly, Kate, and Emily and Kate screamed at me to "over take him"! (If you haven't seen the video floating around facebook, find it, it's amazing.) Aye aye captain! And I took off like a bat out of hell. I was already running to my maximum ability as I had done the math and realized I needed to basically sprint the final half mile to come in under 4:20. And the guy took off too!!! Oh no you don't, buddy. I ran like I was sprinting a 200 m dash, and spent some significant time the last 20-40 seconds trying to control my breath so I didn't toss my cookies. Woof.

24. 9:42
25. 9:08
26. 9:24
.77 6:21 (8:16 pace)

I ran 26.77 miles in 4:19:58 for a pace of 9:43.
Average HR 157 Max HR 171

I crossed the finish line, threw my hands in the air and stopped my watch. Within a few seconds my watch cycled through some screens and showed me my "marathon PR" of 4:15. Knowing that wasn't my official time, I was still pretty pleased that I ran that time over the course of 26.2 miles including 3 bathroom stops.

More than anything I was proud of my mental game for the race. When my stomach cramp didn't subside FOR-EV-ERRRRRR I knew my PR wasn't in the cards anymore, but I knew I could still fight hard and have a day where I ran as strong as I could. And I'm so incredibly proud of my finishing time. I ran my second fastest half marathon ever, I negative split by almost 2 full minutes (and I've never negative split a marathon, only positively split in a COMMANDING way :P), and felt so strong at the finish. I never doubted my body's ability to finish and my mind was strong.

On the drive home from the cities, I got to thinking that two years ago, Kyle and I came up to the cities for the Monster Dash half. I had been just getting back into training hard, and had shocked myself with one of my best half marathon times in years. I ran a 2:09. Two years later, I ran that same pace (actually faster based on my monster tangential fail) for twice as far. Progress means everything, and I'm super proud. But man am I itching for more!

After the finish, I caught up with Toni and Melissa and got to hear about their finishes. I never caught up to Melissa because she ran a 4:12! And Toni basically sprinted the second half of the race to run a 4:05. 


I have the best running buddies, and I could never have dreamed that running could be this fun again. Running buddies make the world go round, man.