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.

steel

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.

start line

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.

finish

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.  🙂

medal

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.

blister

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.  🙂

 

A fall marathon? Maybe try a triathlon?

I am really itching to run another marathon. I completed one back in the Fall of 2009, but I was injured and it was not a pleasant experience. In the Spring of 2011 I was scheduled for another marathon…but was injured again and had to drop to the half.

So, I’m thinking of doing either…

The Baltimore Marathon.

PROS:  This race is friendly on the wallet because no travel is involved and I have some friends doing it.

CONS:  I did this race in 2009.

Or

The Charlotte Marathon.

PROS:  I have a friend already planning to go and it would be nice to do a race I haven’t done before.

CONS:  This will cost more because it requires travel…and it requires more time away from home.

To tri or not to tri?

I have some friends (Frank, Lucia, Jeanette, and Heidi…she is an Ironman!) that are awesome triathletes and it is really making me think about trying it out.  I think I am ok with the bike (I will need to work on not braking down hills) and run, but I will need some help on the swimming. I can swim to stay afloat and stuff, but it’s not pretty or speedy. We shall see…

This is Frank. I helped slowed him down during a few 25 mile bike and 6 mile training runs.

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What do you think?
Have you ever done a triathlon?
When is your next race?

I’m a runner that needs yoga.

This morning started off with a much needed Bikram yoga class.  It is sometimes hard to get up and get moving (esp when sleep is interrupted by a very cute baby girl), but I NEVER regret going.  Even though the class is an intense 90 minutes in a very warm room, I always feel energized and refreshed when I leave.

This is Annabelle doing her savasana pose :).  She was trying out her travel bassinet and she absolutely loved it!

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I first tried Bikram yoga back in 2006 and I was only a casual runner back then.  I practiced for a few months and then moved on to other things.  In February 2007, I caught the running bug and decided to train for my first half marathon.  I completed my first half marathon (Rock and Roll Nashville, time 2:08) in April 2007 and I was completely hooked.  I trained and ran this race without injury and I felt great afterwards.  However, my future training and future races did not go so well on the injury front.

Race and Injury Timeline

  • Spring 2007 – Rock and Roll Nashville, 2:08, injury free
  • Fall 2008 – Baltimore Half Marathon, 1:59, injury free
  • Injured left calf muscle one month before Baltimore Marathon
  • Fall 2009 – Baltimore Marathon, 5:13, sever pain in left calf muscle (walked with a cane for a week and did not run for months afterwards)
  • Spring 2010 – Started running again 🙂
  • Injured groin muscle
  • May 2010 – Attempted to run the Frederick Half Marathon and had to drop out immediately after starting (worst feeling ever, could not hold back the tears)
  • February 2011 – Started Bikram yoga again (longest streak was 43 days in a row!)
  • May 2011 – Maryland Half, 1:47, PR, injury free, hilly course, felt amazing
  • April 2011 – minor medical procedure, moved, new puppy = stopped doing yoga
  • June 2012 – severe stress fracture, walked with a crutch and no running for months
  • November 2011 – Columbia Metric Marathon, 2:16, felt good, minor knee pain afterwards
  • Early December 2011 – injured right calf muscle
  • December 2011 – Rock and Roll Vegas, 2:34, walked/jogged the entire way and lots of pain
  • March 2012 – Rock and Roll DC, 1:51, right knee pain
  • April 2012 – severe stress fracture, walked with a crutch and no running for months

I know that I am to blame for most of my injuries…I should take a break when something starts to hurt and I should listen to my body and not run everyday.  However, I can definitely tell the difference in how my body feels and performs when I combine running AND yoga.  My plan of attack to stay injury free and achieve my running goals this year is to continue yoga, listen to my body, and incorporate more cross-training.  Wish me luck!  I hope all of you are staying injury free :).

What do you think?

Are you plagued by injuries?

Have you found something that works to prevent injury?

Getting back on track!

My life (and my body) has changed a lot in the past year.  It’s been almost a year since I found out that I was pregnant, so for almost a year my eating habits, exercise routine, and lifestyle has been a bit different.  Now that I am a very happy mama of a beautiful baby girl (who is growing up way too fast), I am ready to get back on track with eating right and reaching my running and fitness goals.

Fitness Goals for 2013

  • Sub 1:45 half marathon
  • Sub 4:00 marathon
  • Bikram yoga 3 times a week
  • Try Crossfit
  • Cross train to avoid injury
  • To get this stomach back… 🙂

IMG_0247 Summer 2011

Other Goals for 2013

  • Spend as much time as possible with Annabelle
  • Only eat dessert 6 times a week instead of 7
  • Organize/de-clutter the house
  • Power wash and stain the deck and actually sit on it 🙂
  • Volunteer

I woke up this morning with a plan to hit the trail for a 10 mile run.  Miss Annabelle decided she didn’t like that idea, so she stayed up all day long.  I’m not kidding.  She woke up around 8 am this morning and she has only slept for about 30 minutes total today.

Hi mom…guess what, no naps today!  And yes, those are my pajama pants and I never got dressed today…

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JK, I’m going to take a nice 15 minute snooze and then I’ll be ready to go again.

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Molly did not take part in the nap strike and she looked very pretty in her new pink collar.  Her old collar was blue paisley and people kept calling her a “him” so we got her a new one.

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Tomorrow is a new day…eating right and exercising with purpose!

What do you think?

Are you experiencing a candy hangover?

What are your fitness goals for the upcoming year?