The VIA Marathon: Boston here I come!

On Sunday, September 7th, I ran the VIA Marathon hoping to run a Boston qualifying marathon.  This was my second and final shot for this year…my first attempt did not go as planned.

Jeanette, my training partner and great friend, picked me up on Saturday afternoon and we headed to Bethlehem for packet pick-up.  FYI, this is the site of the Runner’s World Half which was an absolute blast last year.

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After we checked into our hotel, we headed to dinner with some friends.  I made sure to load up on carbs with shrimp risotto and plenty of warm bread.  I really wanted some chocolate after dinner, so I bought peanut M&Ms from the vending machine and I was a happy girl.  Once we got back to the room, we got ready for the morning by setting everything out.  My outfit included shorts, shirt, and sports bra from Fabletics, socks from Pro Compression, and shoes from Brooks (I am still wearing the Pure Flow 2s).

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We went to bed early and tried to get some quality sleep…4:30 am came rather quickly.

The weather for race day was pretty wonderful.  It was sooo hot and humid on Saturday, but thanks to some severe thunderstorms that evening, Sunday’s weather had low humiditiy and cooler temps.  The race started promptly at 7:10 am and I was a bundle of nerves.

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I started pretty close to the front of the pack because it is really hard to start too far back and have to bob and weave past people.  Mile 1 clocked in at 7:51 and mile 2 clocked in at 7:49.  I really wanted to stick to an 8 minute mile pace, but the race day jitters and adrenaline got me going out fast.  I found a few ladies that seemed to be keeping the 8 minute pace and I hung with them for a while.  I also found my buddy Bart Yasso twice along the course…he is my hero.  🙂  I finished the first half averaging right under an 8 minute pace.  This was a good thing (I had some wiggle room for the second half) and a bad thing (I was tired already).  I also spent lots of time trying to get sport beans out of my teeth…I’m so glad they caught this on camera.  LOL.

VIA Marathon

Jeanette hopped in around mile 12 and she is a LIFE SAVER.  By mile 16, I started to question my ability to keep pace and my legs and feet were getting very mad at me.  I doubted my ability to keep going at that pace and to keep going at all.  The thought of having 10 more miles to go was daunting and I started losing hope.  Jeanette helped to keep my confidence up, kept reminding me that I could average slower miles from there on out and still make my goal.  She gave me food and water when I requested it and she kept my legs moving when I wanted to slow down and walk.  When I reached mile 25, I had about 10 minutes to run 1.2 miles.  If I just held it together for 1 more mile, I would actually do it.  After a slight uphill, the course flattened out and I could see the finish line.  I crossed the finish line in 3:34:12 and it took a lot of strength to not just collapse right there.

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I beat my previous time by 55 seconds and I qualified for Boston.  A few years ago, I thought qualifying for Boston was a dream and something I might be able to do one day…dream realized.  🙂

This picture was taken about an 1 1/2 hours after I finished and this smile is very fake.  I had some extreme “runner’s flu” and felt TERRIBLE.  It was so worth it though.  🙂

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The race wasn’t just giving out medals to finishers…It also gave me a few of these babies.  I know it’s gross, I’m sorry.

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Best running day of my life.  Boston 2015 here I come!  The best part…Jeanette qualified back in May and we are going to rock Boston together.  🙂

 

Brinner, fro yo, and an early wake up call.

By the time I got home last night, Annabelle was asleep and my parents had already eaten dinner. Therefore, I just cooked a quick and easy egg sandwich = brinner (breakfast for dinner).

Thomas’s everything bagel

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Egg whites with cheese

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Hot pepper jelly (this stuff is amazing!). It is actually pretty sweet and it goes great with eggs. My friend’s daughter makes it in case you are interested in buying some. 🙂

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Finished product!

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My mom and I looked through the Title Nine and Athleta magazines while I ate. (FYI – my dream job would be a stay at home mom who models for Athleta on the side.) Maybe someday right?

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I love Thursday nights…eating fro yo while watching Honey Boo Boo. This was our second try at taking a picture and this was the best one. LOL.

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My alarm was set for pretty early this morning.

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Annabelle decided that I should wake up even earlier at 4. I got her back to sleep around 4:45 and headed to the gym.

Tempo Run

1 mile at a 8:45 pace
5 miles at a 7:35 pace

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I wore the low cut Pro Compression socks for the first time and I LOVED them. I’m sure I’ll be buying way too any pairs of these. I’m still rocking my Brooks Pure Flow 2s…they never let me down.

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I quickly showered and headed into work. My appetite wasn’t real there, but I ate frosted mini wheats and a banana with skim milk.

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I was very surprised that there were 7 grams of protein in this serving of cereal, so I managed to get a good mix of carbs and protein (and potassium) with this breakfast. 🙂

Now looking ahead to dinner…maybe pizza to carbo load for my 20 miler tomorrow morning!?!?!?

What are your Friday night plans?

What time did you get up today?

Try something different.

Yesterday’s breakfast is one that I would normally have before a longer run. You just can’t go wrong with a bagel, almond butter, and a banana…and coffee.

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Annabelle’s breakfast…Brooks Pure Flow 2s insoles. She loves these shoes as much as I do.

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So, I ate a pre-run type breakfast and it was great weather for a run, but I listened to my body and decided to take a running rest day to try something different. What did I do instead? Spin class! It has been a long time since I took one and I really liked the music and the energy of the class. My legs were like jello at the end and I was a sweaty hot mess. Lucky for you all, I didn’t take any pictures.

After class I refueled with a salad (lettuce, orange peppers, onions, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, figs, and pecans), Chobani blueberry yogurt, and some yogurt covered raisins.

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After work, I tried something different and I actually cooked dinner! We had BBQ grilled chicken, corn, and broccoli salad. The smoke detector usually goes off when I use my grill pan, but not last night. 🙂

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I kept with the theme and I tried something different for dessert. I had a pumpkin glazed doughnut AND ice cream with chocolate syrup. It was a very good decision.

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Tell me, what will you try different today?!?!

A new Sunday evening tradition.

Yesterday afternoon was the perfect weather for a run. I headed out and did 6 easy miles and was instantly happier when I was finished.

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Sunday night dinner has now become Pizza and ice cream. We just got a Papa Johns in our town so this is exciting stuff.

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Annabelle decided on the ever popular insoles for dinner.

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We watched Homeland and got a great night of sleep…AB has been sleeping through the night recently and it is awesome sauce.
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After eating so much crap delicious food last night, I woke up ready for today’s run. I headed out at lunch with my running group and we did 6.3 miles at a 7:54 pace. My friend Jeanette is coming off an injury and she asked me to push her for a few miles. We sped up and did a few 7:30 miles and she did awesome. She was sidelined for over 6 months! 😦

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Rocking my Pure Flow 2s, Pro Compression socks, and running skirt.

I’m not feeling too hot tonight…I got my flu shot this afternoon (I sometimes get flu-like symptoms from it) and my knee is giving me trouble.

She makes me feel better.

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Do you get a flu shot?

13.1…it wasn’t pretty but I did it.

Yesterday morning started bright and early (and chilly…it was still 32 degrees when we started running) with a brutal glorious half marathon.  It really was a beautiful morning.

BEFORE THE RACE

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The race was Nikia’s Nippy Nor’easter Half Marathon and Relay and the proceeds went to the organization “Back on my Feet.”

Mission, Vision, and Philosophy

Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national non-profit organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they seem themselves so they can make real change that results in employment and independent living.

Since this race was pretty cheap and the proceeds go to a good cause, the swag bag was just a reusable grocery bag with chapstick, some coupons, and these awesome headbands.

Great pic, huh?

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DURING THE RACE

The race started with .63 miles of rolling hills until we got onto the NCR Trail.  Once we hit the trail, we went 5.92 miles north and then turned back around.  Since the race was pretty small, everyone spread out within a few minutes and it was a very pleasant run.  There were 3 aid stations and since it was an out and back course, we passed each station twice.  They had water, Gatorade, and Gatorade energy chews.  I had the orange flavor…they were pretty tasty, provided a boost of energy, and they didn’t get all stuck in my teeth like some similar products have ;-P.

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Added bonus…beautiful scenery.

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I felt pretty strong for the first half of the race.  Everything was feeling pretty good and I felt confident.  However, at about mile 7 I felt my body saying, “why are we running this far, you didn’t train for this!”  The good news is that nothing hurt, like injury hurt, I just had the normal aches and pains that go along with running 13 miles.  I went into it as a run to get some miles under my belt and I did not want to worry about the time.  However, when I crossed the finish line I was disappointed at the time.  I just have to think about it like this…

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I’m happy to report that my blister-prone feet did just fine the Brooks Pure Flow 2’s and my legs and body feel fine today…aside from normal soreness.

AFTER THE RACE

The post-race snacks included apples, oranges, pretzels, bagels with peanut butter/cream cheese, water, and Gatorade.  I enjoyed half of a bagel with peanut butter (the bagel was pretty hard due to cold temp!) and I took an apple for the road.

Me, Frank, Meg, and Frank’s dog Buddy.  Meg placed first in the 20-29 age group and Buddy was the first K-9 finisher!

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It was a fun race and I am glad that I decided to run it…and I’m trying not to be too hard on myself about my pace.  Time to look forward to my next race which is next weekend :).