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.  🙂

 

Happy Belated Birthday Running4two!

Good Morning!

So, I totally missed Running4two’s 1st birthday!  I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for over a year now!  Thank you so much to my 10 loyal followers!  😉  LOL.  But seriously, thank you so much to everyone that stops by.  I REALLY appreciate you and I love to read your comments.

Milestones from my first year!

My first post on February 25, 2013

My first blogging event!  The Runner’s World Half and Festival!  Yes, I became BFFs with Bart Yasso, the Runner’s World staff, and lots of awesome running bloggers.  🙂

Bart Yasso and S’mores

Shakeout Run, Food, and Yoga

5k and 10k in one morning!

Half Marathon Recap

My recipe featured on Runner’s World online!

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Thanks again for reading!

-Linda

Day 3: Two Races, One Morning

We got up bright and early on Saturday morning and boarded the shuttle at 6:15 am.  We headed over to the start line and hung out inside until it was time to brave the cold.

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My roomie Toni, Katy, Heather, and Theodora

The first race, the 5k, started right at 8 am.  The energy was awesome and everything (packet pick-up, bag check, starting area) was very well organized.  I really wanted to PR, so I took off as fast as I could and I just tried to hold on as long as possible.  I struggled through it and ended up with a 5k PR of 21:24.  That’s a 6:53 pace!

We hung out indoors between races and you can check out our compression socks and our goose bumps below.

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The 10k was next with a start time of 9:30.  Since I trashed my legs during the 5k, I didn’t have real high expectations for this race.  I started running with Sarah and Heather and we took it easy for the first mile or so.  Sarah eventually pulled ahead and Heather and I stuck together for the entire way.  She was an awesome pace buddy and I’m glad she was there to keep me going.

10k time 47:33 with an average pace of 7:39.

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Heather (photo credit), Sarah, Kristin, Me, Janae, and Jocelyn

With two races finished, there was only one more to go.  The final race of the Hat Trick was the half marathon on Sunday.  I’ll talk about our fun Saturday night festivities and the last race soon.  🙂

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Did you race this past weekend?

Have you ever done back to back races?

Touring Runner’s World HQ and s’mores with Bart Yasso

Last night, I boarded a bus with 19 other bloggers and we headed to Runner’s World HQ. Look who was there to greet us!

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FYI that’s Bart Yasso and he is awesome.

We had a BBQ with the RW editors and met a lot of fun people.

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The food was amazing! Burgers, pasta salad, and salad.

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After dinner, Bart took us on a tour and we got to see behind the scenes.

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Bart Yasso’s Office

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Monica in front of Bart’s door covered with race bibs.

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The December issue of RW ready to head to the printer!

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Loved this…smoker’s coat closet where smokers are expected to hang their coats…not a closet to smoke in.

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The night ended in a great way…s’mores and looking through all my new swag :-).

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Wow, my scaly hands could use some lotion.

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Do you read Runner’s World?

Off to Bethlehem, PA! #rwhalf

The Runner’s World Half and Festival is finally here! I can’t wait to meet and hang out with a group of amazing bloggers…and Bart Yasso and Summer Sanders!!! I just wish my tiniest fan could come along for the fun.

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Fact: rolling clothing allows you to pack more :-).

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Hat Trick Goals!
5k under 22:00
10k under 47:00
Half Marathon under 1:46

Dream big right???

Anybody else racing this weekend?

Pancakes and cross-training

This morning started off in a great way. Blueberry pancakes with Chris and Annabelle. PS while I do need to go back to work and make money, I have really enjoyed being a stay at home mom these last few weeks.

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After breakfast I finally did some organizing in Annabelle’s room. It’s so sad to pack away all of her small clothing.

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While Chris and AB took a nap, I went to the gym for cross-training and Boy Meets World.

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I did 45 minutes on the elliptical and a few rounds of walking push-ups, sit-ups, and ended with planks.
Right now me and AB are just hanging out…she is really starting to explore everything. Time to baby proof.

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She is wearing her Halloween outfit today…and she will probably wear it 10 more times before Halloween.

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Tonight, I will be packing for the Runner’s World Half and Festival because I head to Bethlehem , PA tomorrow afternoon!

Are you a big Halloween person?
Pancakes or French toast?

Following a training plan…or at least trying to.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will be running the Hat Trick at the Runner’s World Half and Festival.  Yup, I will be running a 5K and a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.  I’m a little worried about having to crawl across the finish line of the half…but let’s think positive shall we?  Luckily, Runner’s World has training plans for each distance and the Hat Trick.  For each distance, you also have the choice of a beginner, intermediate, or advanced training plan.  I decided to bite the bullet and get a training plan because I think some structure would benefit my running.  PS I also really want a running coach and this is as close as I will get right now.

I chose the…

Intermediate Training Plan for Runner’s World Hat Trick*
Plan length: 12 weeks
Weekly routine: 4-5 days of running, 3 rest days
Weekly mileage: 20-30 miles
Quality workouts: hills, half-marathon pace runs, mile repeats
Long runs: start at 7 miles, peak at 13
Hat Trick Workouts: 5
*Designed specifically for RW Half-Marathon Course

Since the race is only 8 weeks away (4 weeks shy of the plan length), I will have to make some adjustments.  Also, I have a pretty decent running base so I am used to 6-7 mile runs during the week and a 10 miler on the weekends.

Below are the workouts for the week so far….and then the workouts that I actually did.

Your Workouts for Monday, August 19

Workout #1:  

5 MILES HILLS Type: Run Planned Distance: 5.0 miles Description: When you’re running uphill, don’t try to charge up it; you’ll spend all your energy by the time you get to the top. Try to run relaxed. Keep your hands loose, and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Just think of letting the road rise to meet you. Pre-Activity Comments:  (Actual workout:  6.2 mile hills) 

Your Workouts for Tuesday, August 20

Workout #1:

4 MILES EASY Type: Run Planned Distance: 4.0 miles Description: Be sure to sandwich each run with a warmup and cooldown of five to 10 minutes of walking and easy jogging, even on days that call for short, easy runs. Doing so will help you feel more comfortable on the run and will help prevent injuries such as muscle pulls. Pre-Activity Comments:  (Actual workout:  Body Pump class)

Your Workouts for Wednesday, August 21

Workout #1:

REST/XT Type: Day Off  Description: A well-kept training log can help keep you motivated and injury-free. Take notes on how you feel on the run, how long you ran, where you went, and what the weather was like. Seeing all the miles add up can keep you motivated when the going gets tough. And if you keep track of aches and pains, you can nip them in the bud before they become full-blown injuries. Pre-Activity Comments:  (Planned workout:  5-6 miles easy)

Since I ran hard on Sunday, Monday’s workout left me very tired and I felt the need to not run today.  Therefore, I just switched my run day with a XT day and I will be back on track for Thursday.  I am going to try REALLY hard to stick with the plan as much as possible!

Do you follow a training plan or just do your own thing?  Ever considered a running coach?

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And since no post is complete without something Annabelle related…there was a hole in the toe of her PJs and my dad was afraid it would cut off the circulation to her toes.  Therefore, we just cut the feet off and these PJs will fit for way longer now :). (Shannon, I’m sorry we cut the feet off but they are super cute capris now!)

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Runner’s World Half and Festival!!!

I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am for this race. If you are looking for an awesome Fall race, this is it!

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The Runner’s World Half & Festival is hosting several races over two days on October 19th and 20th. The race is in Bethlehem, PA and runners can choose to run the 5K and/or 10K on Saturday, October 19th or the half marathon on Sunday, October 20th. If you are feeling really motivated, you can run all 3 races for the Hat Trick! In addition to the races, the weekend is full of other activities such as fun for the kids, speakers (including Dave McGillivray, director of the Boston Marathon!), seminars, and a pasta dinner with the editors of Runner’s World.

Runner’s World is sponsoring an awesome group of bloggers for the race (including me!!!!!) and I am super excited to spend a weekend with some amazing runners! I am running the hat trick and I would love to see you guys there! If you wan to join in on the fun, head over to the registration page and sign up!

If you are interested in running the half marathon or the Hat Trick, you can get 10% off the cost of registration by using the codes below:

– 10% off the half: Running4twoRWHalf

– 10% off the Hat Trick: Running4twoRWHat

I hope to see you there!