The 2016 Baystate Marathon

Hi friends!!!! On Sunday, October 16th-I ran the Baystate Marathon. It was my 6th Baystate. This is by far, my favorite course. I have so much to say about my PR race and thought it was time I did a recap☺️.

Sunday was SO MUCH FUN-I lived a lifetime of memories in one day and I’m going to do my best to sum it up here!

Friday.
Packet pickup on Friday with my twin, Nicole. I LOVE HER. We have been one another’s support system lately: all training considerations and thoughts are bounced off each other. We are so much alike and say that we “share a brain”. So OF COURSE  we had to do packet pickup together!

I had #11…how cool is that? (I always register RIGHT when registration opens!)

Friday night dinner: Steak tips and sweet potato.

Saturday.
I try to stay really low key the day before a marathon. I do little things like laundry and clean my bathroom (aka boring chores that I’ve been putting off forever and ever) and try to sit on my butt as much as I can!

I mostly hung out with my new puppy…LOOK AT THIS FACE!!!!!!!! His name is Tucker and I’m totally in love with this pup 🙂

Saturday night dinner: PIZZA!!! This is always my go to food before a race. THis time, it was the Polynesian pizza (Hawaiian pizza with bacon too)

Sunday: RACE DAY!!!!
Up at 5, race started at 8. Breakfast- one egg, a piece of toast, and some juice. Nothing new on race day! I made the decision to bring my hydration pack with me: I’ve never done this during a marathon before, but I had done a lot of pace miles with it on before and I felt confident that it was going to help me during the race!

My dad picked me up at 7 to bring me to the start. After my sweet Dad dropped me off, I stopped at the porta potties…And who immediately spots me upon my exit but one of my FAVORITE runners Francine! I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!! It was SO AWESOME to have a little pre-race chat with her!!

I met up with my running partner, Kristina and my twin Nicole … Then we connected with Marissa and Nari and it was the PERFECT pre-race moment!

We had some laughs, took some pictures and before we knew it….

(Kristina, me, and Nicole at the start)

IT WAS GO TIME!!!!!! (I wish I could use the new Iphone 10 update here & have fireworks go off for you as you’re reading this!–> I was that FREAKING excited and it felt like a PARTY was about to happen!!!)

I was in line for the start, and all of a sudden I heard my (main) running partner behind me: my friend Shannon! So exciting to see her right before the gun went off!!!!! We weren’t sure if we were going to bump into one another at the start, and normally she doesn’t bring her phone with her while she is racing so I hadn’t bothered to text her beforehand to meet up-so it was FATE that we found each other!

There is something about this marathon that always gets me: I’ll be standing there in the cold, shivering uncontrollably (partly from my excitement AND partly because I’m usually frozen). I always feel like I’m standing on the edge and about to fall into something wonderful. It’s a pretty special feeling and it makes me well up when I think about it! The way I see it is that we don’t get too many REALLY SPECIAL moments in life and if you are able to recognize ahead of time that THIS MOMENT that you are in RIGHT NOW is pretty magical? Well you are pretty darn lucky. My brain took a million tiny pictures that day because I KNEW it was going to be a great one.

The gun started and I forgot to start my watch! I think I started it at 15-20 ish seconds in? I also still ended up running 26.50 miles, even with the shorter time!

Shannon and I ended up running together for about 15 miles. Somewhere along miles 2-3, we talked briefly & decided we wanted to pace & push one another for as long as we possibly could. I felt pretty great for those first 15 miles…. Our pace felt really smooth, and Shannon and I are used to running together and push each other naturally so it felt like just another long run.

At mile 12, My stomach started to hurt… I felt like a hard weight was in my belly:it felt like cramps and intense GI pain combined. It was AWFUL. At mile 15, the pain was  I slowed down and couldn’t match Shannon’s pace anymore.

By 16- I knew I wasn’t going to make my goal time. and, over the next 10 miles, I stopped several times and walked for a few seconds. It was awful and I felt SO defeated.

By 18: I had to stop taking GU. I had sipped on one, slowly, for miles 6-9, and another from 12-14. But my 3rd GU, I literally couldn’t swallow it and I choked it up. My stomach was in so much pain & it didn’t want any food in it. I could still take in water and I’m really grateful for that because otherwise I would’ve gotten severly dehydrated.

At 19.5- I saw one of my good friends Kaelagh!!! I ALMOST MISSED HER BEAUTIFUL FACE!!!!!!! She was pulled over in the most random spot and I’m SO GRATEFUL for her because seeing her made me get out of my pity party/waaaaaaaahmbance!!!!!

I had told myself that I couldn’t do the MATH for my finishing time until mile 20. I knew that I had slipped to an 8 min/mile pace.. but: I knew that if I kept that pace up-I WAS STILL GOING TO PR with a 3:21/3:22 time.

I saw my friend Marli at both 13 & 22 (Baystate is primarily a double loop marathon course and certain spots along the course are great because spectators can see the runners twice)….I just love her positivity!!! At 13-I knew she was cheering me on-but by 22: I *NEEDED* to see her and was looking for her face in the crowd: she yelled to me on her megaphone that I was looking so strong and that I was a BEAST! 😘😍

Marli took this of me! Side Note: I will never race in this shirt again because it is way too big on me and NOT flattering at all, LOL!

For those last miles, I had to dig deeper than I have EVER had to dig!!! I kept telling myself that YEAH, I had a bad second half of the marathon, but I DID NOT/WOULD NOT/REFUSED to give up: I didn’t run all those crazy hard, and FAST workouts JUST to give up: I came to this race to mother f*ing PR!!!!!

The fact that I was going to PR got me to the finish line. Even if I didn’t hit my “A” goal of 3:15- I knew KNEW, without a shadow of a doubt that I was going to PR!

At mile 22: I kept saying in my head “Aly, my family, Aly, My family”

I knew my family was only 4 miles away: I NEEDED to see my daughters cute little face!!!!

I tried to speed up as much as one with basically crippled-feeling legs CAN actually speed up. I just wanted to finish! ((SOMEBODY TELL ME WHY PHEIDIPPIDES RAN 26.2 AND NOT LIKE 20??THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER JUST SAYING))

I kept thinking: OMG PLEASE LORD LET ME BE FREAKING DONE!!!!!!!

From then on it was a battle of ONLY the mind. I knew that I would be able to finish because my body is TOUGH. But I needed to actually see my People before I could quit…

At mile 25, I saw the adorable Katie cheering me on..and she is just as cute in person as on her IG!!!!!! (Sidenote: She walked to mile 25 to cheer on the marathon runners after she finished her half-SO BADASS)

And then, in all it’s red glory, came the Aiken St bridge (Ouellette Bridge), there was mile 26…at exactly 26.2: I had a 3:23:02 time on my watch. (Screw you long course!!!!)

I saw my family at 26.10 and they were SOOOO FREAKING LOUD and I know that I am SO DAMN LUCKY!!!!!!!! My daughter and my niece were jumping up and down and cheering for me!!!!!! I SPRINTED to the finish with a 6:30 pace and got an “official” PR of 3:25:25!!!!!!!!!!

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My SIL took this of me!

I set out to run a 3:15 marathon & It didn’t happen.

But what did happen:

I ran with my heart.

I dug so freaking deep into my soul to finish this run: it took everything out of me.

I learned how tough, physically & mentally that I really am.
First half:1:37
Second half: 1:48

Official finish time: 3:25:25

(again with the shirt-where did my shorts go????)

My watch -3:23:02 for 26.2, 3:25:02 for 26.50.
Don’t stop believing friends! 6:30 down to a 3:25. Sub 3:15… you will one day be MINE

Splits: 7:19, 7:01, 7:15, 7:15, 7:17, 7:28, 7:18, 7:24, 7:23, 7:23, 7:24, 7:25, 7:25, 7:43, 7:55, 8:15, 8:03, 7:58, 8:04, 8:00, 8:06, 7:57, 8:33, 9:15, 7:56, 8:01, 3:37 (.50)

My family and I at the finish!

One really amazing moment that I have to brag about: My twinnie, Nicole, GOT HER FIRST BQ!!!! Girlfriend got a 3:35 and we are BOTH going to the 2018 Boston Marathon! It was so special to see her after the marathon. My head is always a little foggy when I finish, and I wasn’t sure yet where exactly she was along the course. I was in the finisher’s chute, and all of a sudden-I looked up and THERE SHE WAS! I’m so PROUD of her for achieving her dream of a BQ. And you are only just beginning girlfriend! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

After the race, we went to one of our favorite watering holes. I got a sandwich as big as my face….

My Niece and I have a tradition of her wearing my medal and us taking a picture with it 🙂

And some family pictures. Aly is pointing to me because she would like you to know that I am the champion!

More family pics 🙂

 

And I made my puppy wear my medal. How could I NOT????

 

And now you have the whole PR story. If you’ve made it this far- THANK YOU!!!!

2015 Baystate Marathon Recap 

Congrats to all of my fellow Baystate Marathoners who completed the half or full this past weekend! It was a very cold and windy day and we DID IT!! I’m sorry for the delay in the recap, but today was really the first day that the fog has lifted from my brain because I have been so very sick.

Before I launch into my recap, I want to say THANK YOU to the Baystate Marathon race director, Glenn Stewart and the Baystate staff. This is the second year that I have been their official race blogger and its an honor to represent this amazing race. It’s run by the Greater Lowell Road Runner’s (which I just proudly joined!) and they put on a terrific day for runners. Their tagline is “for runners/ by runners” and it really is. The expo is run by its members and always feels very home-y to me. I say it all the time-The Baystate Marathon is my favorite marathon. It’s well organized, staffed, and I always feel completely safe when I’m running it. The course itself is terrific and usually there are some gorgeous trees to help get your mind off the 26.2 miles. This past Sunday did not disappoint. If I wasn’t running a race, I would have stopped a whole bunch of times to take pics because the trees were STUNNING!! (Sidenote: I had the honor of being #10 this year because I was the very first person to register. This is how much I love this race:))

Let’s back up to taper week: Wednesday, I began to develop a slight cough but didn’t think much of it. Thursday, the cough progressed and I could feel it taking root in my lungs and couldn’t stop coughing. I asked my IG running community for help and was BLOWN away by their quick responses: Since last Thursday, I’ve been drinking Emergen-C and special teas, swallowing Zinc, downing Apple Cider Vinegar shots, making homemade concoctions, and sleeping/hydrating a TON. These things helped the congestion in my lungs a little bit but the cold still worsened. By Saturday, it was in my head, and by Sunday, I couldn’t even pop my ears due to massive head congestion.

I really weighed my options because lets face it– doing a marathon when you’re sick isn’t very fun. There are a few other full marathons that I’ve always been interested in so I thought about signing up for one of those with the hope that my cold would be gone by then. But my brain kept going back to these thoughts:
-I’m perfectly tapered for Baystate. What would happen if I pushed the race out 1,2, even 3 weeks??
-My family was ready to come to the race
-I trained all summer along the course
-ITS MY FAVORITE MARATHON!!!!!

So I told myself that even though I didn’t know if I could meet my goal for the race, I would still go out and try my very best. If I ended up feeling worse, I knew I could call my husband or my dad to come and pick me up. (I didn’t have a fever, and if I did? I definitely wouldn’t have done the race.)

The weather dawned bright and sunny…but COLD. I didn’t want to wear a lot of layers during the race, so I figured I’d just try to keep on the bulky layers until I got warm. I thought that I would be warm by the 2nd mile (that’s my typical mile that I throw my clothes away) I wore my original Lionness skirt, this sports bra, black arm warmers, black compression socks, pink tank top, cute new Chica bands headband I bought at the expo. 

It was a whole lot colder than what I’ve been used to lately. Before Sunday, the coldest run that I had done so far was 50 degrees. My Garmin says that it was 28 degrees and I think that feels right! I got to the start at 7:30. My dad got as close to the starting line as he possibly could and dropped me off. He told me to call him if I needed a pickup. I didn’t have long to stand and wait around and for THAT, I am so grateful!

I saw a few friends before the start, dropped off my bag, and lined up with the 3:15 pace group. My plan was to stay with them through the half and if I felt good, I could branch out on my own. If I wasn’t feeling like I could go any faster-I would try to stay with them, or, as close to them as possible. BUT… This was my plan pre-illness. I definitely felt that it was doable, but with a head/chest cold,  I had no idea what would happen.

I could barely even hear the National Anthem being sung because my ears were blocked. And I don’t remember a whole lot about standing in the starting corral-I think i was a little surprised that I was running a marathon and it felt a little surreal. I blame that on the cold meds…. BLAAA. I had a thick fleece on over my cute outfit, and underneath that-a throw away sweatshirt and gloves. I disposed of the fleece right as the anthem was finished being sung..seriously…it was SO DAMN COLD that I could hardly bear to part with it. I didn’t even realize until I sat down to write this post that I took no pictures of my race outfit, and no pictures of me at the starting line.. It really didn’t even occur to me. I was way too nervous about racing while being sick since it’s something I’ve never done before.

The gun went off promptly at 8 (I love that) and we were off!

  I tried to snap a good picture of my pace group leaders shirt but it was tough!

Miles 1-9.
I learned from my mistakes of running in a large group from last year: The orange cones lining the course  tripped me up…a lot. I didn’t want it to happen again, so I stayed at the back of the pace group. It was primarily men and just 2 other girls… If I fell….I would have gotten stomped on by really tall men!

I didn’t shed my gloves until mile 7…and even then I was really hesitant to do it. I was a little sweaty and it was either toss the gloves-or toss the sweatshirt. I didn’t want to get to a situation where I was suddenly walking and freezing and wishing I hadn’t thrown it away so the gloves were tossed. As soon as I tossed them, I immediately cooled. I’m now wondering if I should’ve kept the gloves and tossed the sweatshirt because I never warmed up again and kept that damn ugly, old sweathshirt on for 26.2 miles. (and it was an old zip up shirt that I think I got from high school!)) 

I stayed with the pace group this whole time. Everything still felt good, and I figured I had a good chance to hit the goal I wanted to hit.

Mile 10.
My cute running partner Kristina told me to look for her family  at mile 10 and I ALMOST MISSED HER and the GIANT AMAZING sign she made me!! I asked her how I was doing and she said GREAT and that the 3:15 pace group was right ahead of me and that my goal was going to happen. She told me she’d be there for the second loop and I’d see her at Mile 20.

Mile 11.
Tra la la la la! I get to see my friend again at mile 20! Yay!

Mile 12.
Rourke Bridge- See my friend Marli and I’m SO thriled that I face planted into her to give her a hug. She tells me to keep going and that I’m doing GREAT!

Mile 13.
I’m tired.

Mile 14.
I think the pity party started right around then. I didn’t want to be there, I wanted to go back to bed, I wanted to be warm…I wanted a lot of things. I think this was also when I realized the 3:15 pace group was a little farther ahead of me than what I’d planned. I thought to myself “It’s ok! The 3:25 group hasn’t passed me yet! I’m good.”

Mile 15/16/17.
My breathing started to feel really laborious (that’s what happens when you run IN the cold WITH a cold, duh), and I saw the 3:25 pacer’s shadow over my shoulder as they slowly passed from behind me.(((SIGH))) #Sadness. It’s really hard to remember a lot of details from around that time besides hitting the WALL. I WANTED to go home with Kristina when I saw her. Or call my Dad. I just didn’t want to be there anymore and marathons are dumb, and running when you’re sick is dumb and I probably was even thinking that running itself is dumb. Sniffle sniffle, cough cough, and cue the Waaaahhmbulance!!

30k:
I hit the 30k in 2:24 and I remembered that when I did Stu’s 30k back in March, I ran that in 2:45. I realized things might not be that bad after all.

Mile 19.
I GET TO SEE MY FRIEND IN A MILE AND IF I WANT, SHE WILL TAKE ME HOME. 

Mile 20/21
I see my beautiful friend, running towards me! I tell her how sad I am about the 3:25 group passing, and she lets me continue to cry and moan to her. Then she tells me she’s going to run with me for a little while. (company is amazing during a marathon, FYI) She starts telling me funny stories of her day of spectating. She gets me out of my own head. Along mile 20, I also saw my beautiful running partner S! I almost missed her TOO because I was looking down at the road! She brought her kids to cheer me on and it was amazing! I only wish I could’ve stopped to hug her, but I’m not sure I would have finished if I did that!!!

Kristina and I hit mile 21 and she told me that she has to turn around and get back to her husband and cute little baby. She said that she KNEW I was going to finish and at that moment? I knew it too. I am 100% positive that I would’ve given up if it weren’t for her words of encouragement. She was really sore from her tempo workout the day before, but she still pushed me to get my pace faster because she knew exactly what I needed at that exact moment. I’m forever grateful for what she did for me! Never underestimate the healing power of friendship!!

Mile 22
4 miles left? I can do 4 miles in my sleep! I picked up the pace a little because I was almost done!

Mile 23.
I felt so strong mile 23! I started to pass people and dream of a martini and French fries!

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but my stepdaughter was going to be at the finish line with my SIL, my MIL, and my niece. I said “my family is at the finish line” over and over in my head and it became my mantra. I was so excited to see my little’s face!!

Mile 24
This was my slowest mile, and I don’t know why. My legs felt like they were moving fast but my split ended up being an 8:58.

Mile 25…almost there…Mile 26…yay! I happened to look down at my watch at exactly 26.2 miles and it read 3:25:50. I guess it’s a PR from my 3:28:07… But it’s not official so I have a hard time considering it an actual PR.

I crossed the finish line, officially, with a 3:28:33. 26 seconds off of my “official PR”, and pretty far away from the time goal I had set.

Over the first few days of being sick, I think I went through the denial stages and I definitely struggled the most with “anger.” Of all the times to get sick (and I’m NEVER sick): its the week of my big race. What dumb bad luck. But you can’t plan everything, and I definitely trained like a bad-ass for 4 months and did the hard work. “It is what it is” and I DO know that I had a terrific time-whether I was sick or not. A 3:28 is fantastic: It’s a BQ with lots of cushion . I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I usually do during a race. I just love this course and to be sick while running it…well. It just wasn’t as fun as it normally is for me!

Some fun pictures from the day…

This is right where my family is standing. I’m waving both hands because they were on BOTH sides of the street, haha.



I was immediately a popsicle after the finish and I regretted not packing a blanket in my bag. SO freaking COLD outside!!

  This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. You can’t really tell, but that’s my little one bundled up in this coat. SHe was hugging me for so long telling me she was proud of me. It meant the world to me that SIL captured it 🙂


This is my girlfriend Kaey who volunteered that day. She had a bunch of friends who were running and thought it would be fun to volunteer. I LOVE her. Anyway, someone snapped this pic of us and I know for a fact that I was feeling like I was going to pass out right here and Kaey walked with me for a while until I got my feet back! Thanks girlfriend!

  Kaey made us some signs 🙂

Family hugs 🙂


After the race, it was off to our local watering hole! (We go to the same place every year.) Every year-> my niece and I take a picture together. I love that she comes to all my finish lines, too because she’s the funniest/sweetest thing!


Being silly with the hubs 🙂


The SILS and our photo bombers!


Me with my little ladies 🙂

 

And some of the professional pictures:

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See?? I told you I kept the sweatshirt on ALL DAY!

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This pic above?? THIS is my very favorite racing photo of ALL TIME. And I run a whole lot of races so THAT is saying something my friends!


This years medal were STUNNING. They are red to signify the LAST of the bridges that the runners cross (it’s red :))

 

I didn’t get the time I wanted, but you know what? It was still a very good day. I ran my favorite race and was blown away by all the support I received. I felt the love all around me! That’s the most important thing. I had my family there for me, my friends, and all of YOU in my corner..so THANK YOU.

I have to say that running is a lifetime sport for me. That’s always in the back of my mind. And, I’m learning that PR’s and official times don’t define me. You are great even without the “great” times. That being said… I will get my goal someday and I’m not worried about it 🙂

And oooone more picture:

IMG_9069

This is a “throwback” to my very first Baystate Marathon. You can see how little Aly is! She was only 5 here 🙂 I will never forget this race, as long as I live: This was the first time I was ever able to break the 5 hour mark with a time of 4:17-I think it was a PR of about 45 minutes for me. Knowing that I could do something so amazing gave me a LOT of hope. I’ve kind of taken that hope and run with it over the years. I will never ever give up on my dreams, and neither should you. It’s ok to miss a time goal you set for yourself because it just gives us more inspiration to go out and knock it out of the park next time.

 

Thank you for reading this really obnoxiously long post 🙂 And as always, Run Free, Run Strong my friends!

xoxo

Since we last spoke…

What a busy few weeks!!! I’m so sorry I haven’t been blogging! I have to say, it feels really weird not to be on a regular posting schedule. I wish there were more hours in the day and that I could have solid hour to put towards blogging. (((SIGH)))

But the good news is–> There is a lot of great life stuff happening lately. That is the most important thing!

Two weeks ago, my little buddy said she wanted to come for a run with me. So we laced up, and out into the world we went! She did really well and made it about half a mile before stopping/dying of thirst/complaining. I told her we HAD to do an entire mile though and we walked/ran the rest of the way. I have NO doubts in her athletic abilities…check out girlfriends stride- She’s a natural!

I also ran a race- Surf Town Half Marathon in Rhode Island. I should really get around to doing a recap for it, but time is not my friend. So I’ll sum it up in just a few bullet point sentences:

-I loved the course-It was really pretty, along the ocean, and very flat (until Mile 11)

-I ended up cancelling my hotel and driving down the morning of the race.. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive. Highways make me nervous and so do long solo drives-This definitely contributed to me not doing as well as I had hoped. Live and learn!

-It was PERFECT racing weather: overcast and slightly misty.

-Official time: 1:37, 16th/1004 females

-I was ok with my time.. I had originally set my sights on a PR for this race. BUT..I know long drives slow my legs down. Anything over an hour and I can really kiss any goals I have goodbye. It ended up being a great tempo run for me. When I was all done-I had a ton of gas left in the tank, and I felt that I could’ve done another 13.1 miles at that speed.

A reader sent me this pic…As you can see-I zoomed it in a little 🙂 So cool!

Had some big confidence boosting workouts including a solid ladder workout, all faster than the goals I had set. BOOM.

Registered for Boston….

Ran the longest, slowest long run EVER. This was an exercise in building my mental game for my marathon as well as getting time on my feet: I ran the two double loops of my upcoming marathon (Baystate Marathon). The first loop was fantastic. The 2nd looped dragged on and on and i HATED IT. But I did it & I know that on October 18th: I will be running my race and reflecting back on this particular run while dominating Baystate. 🙂

Oh, and back to Boston-I have been accepted…Yay!

I also said goodbye to my beloved Garmin. RIP, 610. We had many good runs together! There were many tears & a 12 step program towards my acceptance of its passing. (moment of silence for Garmin 610)

Another confidence building workout: Mile repeats, old school and with a stopwatch! I felt so hardcore..

My husband is an angel and surprised me with a new Garmin. His reasoning for purchasing this model? “It is better so we are getting this one.” Love him.

 

Family Outing: My buddy did a 2 mile walk with SIL & my niece while I ran the 5k. It was a Superhero themed race to honor the late son of my friend Scott. It was an awesome day and we dressed as matching Wonder Women! I won 2nd place overall female. (Got outkicked in the 2nd mile-my legs were tired from the mile repeats 2 days before!) Official time 21:02, my Garmin read 20:50.

I got to run into an old friend there too and it made me so happy! She heard my name being called at the podium and ran over to find me. I love good surprises like that!

Aw. Love him.
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This run made me SO happy. I set a goal for myself a year ago to break 2:40 in a 20 mile run. This thought never left my brain. To me: 15-18 mile runs are a lot easier to run faster. There’s something about 19/20/22 mile runs that make me slow down. So this run made me very excited!

 

OH yeah–I don’t know that I’ve ever said this on the blog-but Dave McGillivray is my personal hero. He is the race director of the Boston Marathon but SO much more than that. He has run across the country twice, done many Ironmans, and there has even been some swimming across the English Channel. He is the pioneer of raising money for charities and his first trip across the country started with him raising money for the Jimmy Fund. He is a stand up dude. I met him once before and have a picture with him too. He has a book called “The Last Pick.” I highly reccommend it–> I reread his book every year in the taper weeks before Boston. I think Dave is the only other person on the planet who loves the Boston Marathon as much as I do. Anyway–MEGA RUNNING GEEK MOMENT—He was running the Superhero race. AND I MET HIM. I put away my shy, quiet girl, channeled some bravery, walked right up to him, shook his hand and told him he is my hero. I didn’t even ask him to take a pic with me because I was too nervous. THis one is from my friend Scott so I’m including it here for you to see! Dave is 2nd from the left  and my friend Scott is on the right:)

You might also recognize another well known man in this pic-Team Hoyt was there as well! They are equally as amazing!

Last long run before Baystate-first 8 @ 8:13 pace, 2nd half 7:35 pace. Feeling real good about those race goals. It was chilly-50 when I started. It felt sooo good to do a long run in this kind of weather! I love this watch and how the VO2Max predicts your race times 🙂 The watch knows me so well! 😉

TODAY is my buddy’s 9th birthday! We have big plans for her big day!

And this is where I leave you! Happy Hump Day! I hope you have a great long weekend and get Monday off too!

Mileage & an issue 

I had some great runs this week! (Until Saturday) 

Wednesday:  A track workout to celebrate National running day! 8 miles total.

Wednesday night: 3 miles with my new running friend Shannon!!

Thursday:Hills!! I watched McFarland USA on National Running Day and this quote stuck in my head. That movie is SO good & i highly recommend it for some good old Run-Spiration!

Friday: Tempo run with my new friend! It was a nice cool morning and we had a terrific run.

Saturday: 16 miles in 2:08…I was about 4 minutes slower than I thought I would be because my stupid left foot started hurting out of nowhere. I had to stop about 10 times and massage my foot/take off my shoe and rub the top of it. It is SO weird. I would have called for a ride home, but I was so far away that I felt guilty asking anyone to interrupt their Saturday and come to get me. (The hubs was at work) . My shoes are new-60 miles including Saturday’s run. (Pureflow 2s) it’s really odd that the 2s did this to my foot-I wore a pair of 3s that caused a pain in the same foot -however I haven’t worn them since that particular run. I’ve probably had 5(?) pairs of Pureflow 2s and it has never happened.  It feels like a pulled muscle from my big toe to the start of my ankle, it’s so weird. I’m partly blaming this one pair of work shoes that I wear all the time. I’ve been icing it and taking Advil…it still hurts. I am not happy!!!! I took Sunday off from running in the hopes of letting it rest/heal…hopefully a few days of no running will make it A-Ok. (I HATE DOCTORS, and will probably go *only* if it is 200% necessary )

 

40.1 miles, 7:48 avg pace. 

The rest of my weekend was relaxing and fun…

A trip to Bass Pro Shops for my husband…  

   

Mr Mac’s Mac & Cheese in Manchester, NH….I got the buffalo chicken mac & cheese, my husband had chicken bacon ranch…BOTH were amazing!!! If you’re ever in the area, you NEED to check it out!

Sunday Funday with my favorites! This girl: She is the funniest kid ever and she happens to be my niece!! I am a lucky auntie!!!  

SIL ❤️  

This guy. I like him.❤️❤️❤️

She is the funniest niece EVER!  

Look at those legs!!    

And finally….icing my foot as we drank Sangria!  

I hope you had a great weekend! 

Anybody ever have a random foot pain like this? What’d you do? 


Some random marathon things that didn’t fit in the last post…

There were a few things that just didn’t fit within my race recap, (because it would make it a mile long) so I decided to put them all in a separate post. There really is no pattern or flow to this, so just roll with it.

Shoes.
I’ve been asked which shoes I ended up wearing. And why did I choose them?
I ended up going with my Pureflow 2s. I was really, really happy I went with them. I have to tell you though…during the last week of taper, I started to have a whole bunch of random foot pains. I blew it up in my mind: my foot was breaking/broken, that I would run the marathon, but midway, my foot would break in half and I would be carried off in a stretcher. The mind can be cruel if we let it be! I debated wearing the heavier Ghosts right up until I actually left.

The Pureflows were a great choice! I’ve never done a marathon in shoes as light as this-it’s usually a heavier pair like my Ghosts that win! Fun fact: my half marathon PR was done in this pair of shoes-To me that’s kind of cool!!

-Runderwear. I’ve never used it before. I went to Dicks the day prior to the marathon and saw it for $10. Normally my cheap butt wouldn’t pay $10 for a single pair of underwear, but I made an exception. So, I wore it on Sunday. Bought it on Saturday. The best time to try new stuff is Marathon day right?! um, no, it is not. But..I really didn’t give a damn. This may be a bit of TMI, but my long runs always cause, ahem… a little chafe-age, and I despise that…so the worst that could happen a that I hated the Runderwear. Lucky for me: NOPE to chafe-age and I loved it. Brand? Reebok.

What did I eat the night before?
Pizza! I love my homemade multi grain pizza! I always stick to the same things before my long runs and during this particular training cycle-pizza the night before kept my stomach completely calm!

What did I wear for clothes?
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I wore my favorite running skirt from Skirt Sport (The “Cougar”, if you are curious) because it has three pockets and I LOVE pockets. For a top, I wore a tank because I get hot quickly whole racing. I found a tank top from Nike that I got at Dicks on Saturday. (I know, more new things, not the best but it worked out. ) I wore my black Pro Compression socks and my Nike sports bra (it is my all time favorite)

People recongnizing me:
This was pretty funny for me-I was recognized a lot on Sunday-at the start, during, and afterwards…a lot of readers came over and said hello-that’s so much fun because I love meeting new runners!! So THANK YOU to all of you who said hi!

Tracking: this year was the first time that tracking was available for both the half and the full-it was awesome! I love that my family and my readers knew where I was and were able to see my progress on the course. It is a lot more fun when you can track people live!

Fueling:
Baystate has two fuel stops: like 7&17. They offer the Powerbar gels but I brought my own because I can’t stand the consistency of the Powerbar gel. I prefer GU-salted watermelon is my favorite! I took 4 with me, ended up eating 2 3/4 of them. I literally couldn’t stand the third one and was only forcing it down because I was trying to keep my energy levels up.

The Faster Field. This is so fascinating to me, a geek who loves statistics and placements. As someone who has now completed four Baystate Marathons I can say with confidence that the crowd I was in for the 2nd half felt a little thin this year. Last year, I felt like I was constantly surrounded by runners, and I was 17 minutes slower. There were plenty of periods where I was solo on Sunday. I started to think about how the field felt faster, and I did some research for my previous marathon times:

-In 2013, -I was finisher #561/1344 with a 3:47 time
-in 2012, I was finisher #580/1192 with a 3:54 time
-in 2011, I was finisher #672/1002 with a 4:17 time

In 2014, I was the 350th finisher with a time of 3:28. There 1576 marathoners. You can see the growth with the marathon, can you not?

This probably is only cool to me…but I couldn’t help but look at similar placement in finishing times to mine for the past 3 years. If I had gotten the same time in:

2011-I would have been the 187th finisher…
2012-I would have been the 293rd finisher…
2013-I would have been the 284th finisher…

What does this mean? It means the field for Baystate is becoming increasingly competitive. The race this year sold out faster than I can ever remember it selling out. Word is spreading for what an amazing course it is. Some of my fellow runners have said that they think it was hillier than expected- I personally don’t notice the inclines in it, but that is just me because I’m truly used to running the course all the time. The race is growing size-wise, but it seems to also be growing for speed…faster runners want a chance to display their best running selves on the 3rd Sunday IN October.

What does this mean for my own Baystate future? It means I will be signing up for Baystate on opening day next year!!! 😉 Hey Glenn-Can I have Bib #1???? 😉

-There has been a lot of talk of “The BQ” in my house lately. The husband is over it. He has started teasing me by saying things like “Hey, guess what? I DQ’d today!” And when I stare at him with a blank expression, he then tells me he “Dairy Queened” haha….gotta love the humor!!!

Anyone else have a non running spouse who teases you mercilessly about your running and the weird running terms?

Baystate runners: did the field feel faster to you too?

Sept 22-28 mileage…taper is here!

Sooo.
This was probably my LEAST favorite week during this marathon cycle.
For real.
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Last week chewed me up and spit me out. By Friday, I didn’t know my own name and if you would’ve asked me–I would have told you it was Vodka. Needless to say…I was Freaking Spent.

Monday-Off. I really wanted to hit the track. But my husband had the day off, so I chose to hang out with him instead:)

Tuesday.
An easy, slow, 8.12 miles at an average of 8:14 per a mile, 1:06 min

Wednesday.
I hit the track. And first the treadmill, for 4 miles…
My original intention was to hop on my treadmill and run 13 miles in 1:32-1:35 (goals, much??) But four miles in, (with the knowledge of a GORGEOUS sunny day outside), I could not take it ONE MORE SECOND. Once I hit four miles, I was done.I packed up my camelbak and hit the road towards the track. 20140928-212736-77256209.jpg
I sucked. I hated my paces…I usually hold a 1:28-1:33 pace…but I started with a 1:37 and then ranged from a 1:36-1:39. Nothing felt right, and the effort level felt a lot harder than what it actually was.
The only positive thing I can say is that “I sucked (for me) but I sucked consistently.” I’m sorry to be so negative. But. It happens. Blahhhh.

By Thursday, I was ready for a better running day. so. These two runs happened.

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Neither of these runs felt “great”. I didn’t like either, paces felt difficult for both. Blaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Friday. Off.

Saturday.uuuuuuuurrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhDuh, I’ve already been bla all week, why would it change now???
None of my long run felt easy. None. I hit the first mile at 8:45, and the second at 8:33…both of these felt like a real struggle. The rest of my 16.21 miles stream of consciousness went like this:

Miles 1-3: I’m not sure which route to go..my favorite 20 mile route, or, a 20 + miler along my marathon course…I think I’ll go with “the favorite”…
(10 minutes later) … wait…why am I going down this road?!?! I was so lost in my own thoughts that I wound up going the wrong way.
So. I wound up along the Baystate course accidentally, or maybe subconsciously since that’s where I headed.

Miles 4-9.
-Why is there a BIKE RACE on the most narrow road in Tyngsboro???? I am going to die from a bike rider running me over.
-5: Yay! I’m at the course.
-6: I can do this. Only 14 more to go?
-9: Can I go home now???
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This is the Rourke bridge, both the half and the full cross this bridge!

Mile 10..
I might have to go the bathroom soon, things are happening.

Mile 12.
Nawww, I’m good.

Mile 14
Ahhhh….can’t WAIT to see this view in three weeks!!
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Miles 14.01-16.21
14:01 Things are really happening. ohhhh noooo.
14:25 No…I can make it home, it’s cool.
15 NOPE! Time to phone a Friend!
16.21 is where I stopped. My friend M picked me up (thank you again M, I heart you!) and I wound up finishing my terrible run on my treadmill for the last 3.79 miles. That was also not the most pleasant thing.

I wanted SOOOOOOO BADLY to have a fantastic last long run. Instead, I felt like I had the sh*t storm virus run through me and leave me for dead at 12pm Saturday. I had to fight every impulse I had that told me to just GO HOME. I was super negative and so angry at this long run that I wanted to get up Sunday morning and set out to do another 20 to “make it right”
Who the heck says/thinks/wants to do that?!! A weirdo!!!

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truest story I’ve ever heard!!

Sunday was my Favorite run. I ended up meeting a new friend at Mines Falls in Nashua NH. (for all of you in the area, it’s an absolutely beautiful place to run!) it’s chock full of trails, and I didn’t believe a coach at my school when he told me you could a 20 miler through it-but it’s definitely possible.

I met Erin about this time last year through this little space. She had also just run Baystate, and she BQ’d at last years! She is quite the runner! After nearly a year of commenting on each other’s blogs and emailing, we decided to meet up and go for a run. We had only planned on six miles, but due to getting a little lost on the trails and not being able to find our cars-this turned into 8.43.

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And I took a little fall on the trail. Oops.

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So. Just like that, training for my next marathon is essentially over. June 16th marked the first week, and here I am, three weeks out from race day! I can’t believe it’s already at this point.

I’m continuing to remind myself that just because I had a craptastic week, I did have an absolutely magical training cycle, I really did. A few bad weeks does not make me into a “bad” runner and I won’t suddenly lose all the fitness I have gained in this amount of
Time. The only worry I have is that I haven’t had a great long run since the very beginning of September. It was either blazingly hot or I have been beyond exhausted. Work stress is weighing me down and it seems like I am seeing it cutting into my running.

Truthfully, I despise Tapering. Loathe it. But suddenly, I’m feeling myself a little bit excited this time around to relax and take a deep breathe before my next marathon on October 19th.

I will be back tomorrow with my “Taper plans” to share with you all!

Mileage Recap & a Question

You might have gotten this post last night…wordpress is playing tricks on me and posting when it shouldn’t be!

This week was a little bizarre for me running-wise anyway.

Monday 1.52 warmup 8:23 avg pace, 5.25 miles of 800s 35:01, 6:40 avg pace, cooldown run back home for 1.50 miles-8:08 pace. 8.27 miles total.
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I hit the track last Monday because, well, quite frankly, I’m becoming obsessed with it. I love how hard it is. I love how it makes me stronger. And quite frankly…I freaking LOVE running that fast. Before this year, I hadn’t done any 800s outside-I always did them on a treadmill because I didn’t think I could make my body go that fast. Well guess who was wrong? ME. Doing a track workout outside tests your own speed with no resistance, and I actually found it easier than doing it on a treadmill, and I was also faster than I thought I would be.

Tuesday: Off.

Wednesday : 18.10 Mile Long Run-2:41:09, 8:54 pace
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I had to switch around my long run and do it during the week because I didn’t want to have to tackle it during a weekend away. It doesn’t seem like any fun to be out dancing all night and then run 18-20 the next morning. No, no. I had the most time after school on Wednesday so I planned it for then.

There are so many things to tell you about this run so I will bullet point it (Because bullet points are fun!)
-I was tired. This run was my third within 10 days. Each of those long runs was done during a separate training week, but nonetheless—Still done only 10 days apart. It was a lot.
-Yeah, I could’ve skipped the long run but I really didn’t want to.
-I needed new shoes and I could feel every part of my legs ALL run long. I still am planning on doing my marathon in my Pureflows, but knowing that I have been doing so many long runs lately made me feel like I needed more “cushion” to cover all those miles, so I’ve been wearing my Ghost 7’s for my long runs lately.
-I started off at a pretty great clip- 8:30 pace or better, but my body couldn’t keep up and the second half averaged out into some low 9 minute miles.
-I didn’t mind that this run was bad. I did it. I’ll do another. I have had a ton of great long runs this training cycle-one bad one doesn’t hurt my confidence or make me feel like I failed.
-Two days after my long run, my aaaaaahmayzing husband bought me new long run sneaks..What a guy:)

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New Ghosts make for a very happy girl who runs everywhere.

Thursday 8.47 miles, 8:18 avg pace.
A nice easy recovery run from Wednesday that quite frankly was faster than I thought it would be because I was tired from standing on my feet all day/work/a long run/life.

Friday OFF.

Saturday: 10.10 miles, 1:28, 29, 8:46 avg pace.
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Wore my new Ghosts and they felt amazing!!!!
I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed to go for a morning run along the coastline. I knew that running in a new area would make me a tad slower (so I wouldn’t get lost and would still remember where I was going). I love going running in a new area when I’m away with my friends. Honestly they totally expect it by now and that little bit of time that I set off to run means I’m also exploring amazing options for us. I figured out like 10 different stores we needed to go to, scenery we needed to check out, and even good spots for us to park. It was awesome!! I was happy with that pace and didn’t feel like I should have been going any faster or slower!

Sunday: 10.10 miles, 1:18, 7:43 pace.
Wore the new Ghosts again….I’m over the moon for them!!
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After my run on Saturday, we walked around shopping for a million hours downtown. After that, we went dancing. We were out all night. There was plenty of martini’s, pizza, wine, and chips involved so I am literally shocked at this pace on Sunday because I had nooooo business being able to run this immediately following that kind of night. I had wanted to do a tempo run on Sunday, but in theory, I didn’t think it was going to be possible. Who dances in high heels for 3 hours and gets up to bang outa tempo run? I don’t get it, but I will take it. It was easily my “favorite run of the week” because it surprised me with its easy-ness. I was able to hold my goal marathon pace for middle tempo miles and it felt challenging but the good kind of hard. PLUS, it again was done along a stunning coastline and that is just my new favorite thing. I might have to tell my husband we are moving because I can’t even get over the scenery.
Seriously, imagine this for your runs every day?? Heaven.
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Anyway, I have a question for all you marathoners… My marathon is October 19th (five weeks from Sunday!) and I’m wondering how many weeks before your marathons that you start your taper? I’m thinking my last long run is actually going to be a 22 miler along the marathon course, and it’s going to be September 27th. That puts me three weeks out from the marathon. In the past, I have stuck to about the same thing-last 20-22 mile run three weeks out and then start to taper (yucky). Anybody out there do your last long run only 2 weeks before your marathon? I’m really just curious if it has benefitted you during your actual marathon, or ended up slowing you down! (I’m planning on a 15-16 miler on 2 weekends beforehand, maybe 10 the weekend before)

Also: What was your favorite run of the week?

Running recap & where my confidence is coming from, & Randomness

To say I’m excited for Sunday might be the biggest understatement to ever come out of my mouth. I have worked sooooooooooooo hard these past two months. I made a very conscious effort to take time OFF from racing because I knew I was only slowing myself down. I needed to work on speed, tempos, and even my form. Since May—> it has been eat sleep breathe GET FASTER. I am pretty confident on myself as a racer right now, and its a pretty great feeling!!

I’m not really nervous either, which is weird for me. I was terrified to do the 5k simply because I hadn’t done one before. I made myself do it as a test of my speed and if my work has been paying off. Yes, and yes. I mean, all this could change come race day. I am infamous, literally, for having faaaaantastic training and a bad race. It is what it is–not every day is YOUR race day:the sooner you accept that the happier and moe content you will be, I assure you.

However, I am pretty confident in my running right now, and I haven’t had THIS good of training in a while. It’s partly due to the fact that I have the summer off and have been fine tuning my skillsets. When you don’t have work, and your spouse is at work all day…it comes in handy to have an obsession. I mean hobby. Alright, who am I kidding? This blog is called “The Girl Who Ran Everywhere.”
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The confidence is also largely due to my amazing running partner who is constantly giving me pluck. She is pretty dang amazing, I tell you! I’m pretty freaking lucky to have found her!! My running has definitely improved because we are constant Pushing one another, and it’s a blast!! When you have someone telling you, over and over, that you’re getting better…it is pretty great! She even asks about the runs that we don’t do together. Is that love? I think so! 😉

Anyway, morale of this long winded tale is that whenever I feel pretty confident before a race–I do well. I’m hoping this will still be the case come Sunday!
I do not care if I place.
I don’t care if I’m a top finisher…
I just want to run a sub 1:40 (preferably 1:35-36!) and PR. This is all I care about!!!!!

I’m not trying to come off as cocky here, so please excuse me if I am coming off that way because it sure as heck isn’t my intention. There are two old adages that one should keep in mind:

Trust your training.

-knowing that your hardwork is all done and behind you helps keep you motivated and PUMPED. Remember…race day is not only about enjoying it, it is literally the celebration of your training: it’s your party and you’ll rock it if you want to

Believe in yourself.

-I am sooo lucky to be surrounded by a large support system who asks about my running, or listens and asks questions while I’m boring them so much that their eyes glaze over… Lucky, lucky girl.
But all of THAT is irrelevant if you do not believe in yourself. it’s easy to “lose faith” and not have the confidence to really “bring it” on race day. Well. I am here to tell you…Believing In Yourself empowers you to BE your BEST self. here I go sounding like a weirdo, but it is what it is, and that’s #thetruth.

Weekly workouts:
Monday
-a tempo run..it was trash day, and very, very humid. It was soo difficult to breathe almost-wet-garbage air in through my lungs. Oof.

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Tuesday- hill repeats. 1.25 warm up, 4x90sec repeats up the hill with slow recovery jogs in between. No rest breaks. Easy jog after for a total of 8.
Wednesday-7 miles on my treadmill-1 mile warm up at 7.2, 5 miles at 8.0, cool down at 7.5. Avg pace 7:39. My goal overall pace for my half is a bit lower than this, and this pace felt easy peasy to hold.
Thursday-7 miles-easy and hilly.
Friday-6 easy miles.

Saturday, I won’t run and it actually feels like a sin not to be running on a Saturday! Yes, I’m racing Sunday, but I’m so used to waking up early and heading out the door on a Saturday morning that it will feel very weird not to do so!! Yet, another reason that I like Saturday races-then I can still run on Sundays!! This is me being a waaaaambulance, I know, I am being irrational and a baby!! haha!

Also(if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this already)this is so random and it literally fits into NOWHERE on any post that I have coming up, but I had to share it because I’m kind of in love with it…my husband bought me a Nutri Ninja..I have wanted one forever and I use to about 5 times a day (I’m not kidding)
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I’ve made about 50 different smoothies, and fun juices for cocktails, too..
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..and when I freeze fruit and grind it up it makes a cool sherbet-y consistency and it’s like dessert. yum…
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I can’t stop talking about it so I had to share!

Today I’m living vicariously through you!!! Tell me about your long runs, struggles, triumps, and all! Spare nothing!!! And if you ARENT running, tell me why too:) And maybe tell us all where YOUR confidence comes from!

Anybody have a Nutri Ninja? How many times a day do you use it?

Are you on Instagram? feel free to leave your name if I don’t already follow you! (Or follow me and I will follow back!)

Hyannis Recap, I have the bestest besties ever, and a new PR!!!

I would have gotten this up here last night, but I like to take my time with race recaps. After all, a whole bunch of people took the time to plan it, and I took the time to register and train for it. You got give credit where it’s due!

So. Lets start this post out by letting you all know that I have two of the BEST FRIENDS that a gal could EVER ask for. EVER. (sidenote:just so you know-I have MANY more friends than these two, Who are also just as amazing. If you are one of the others out there reading this..HI! Xoxo)

My two friends that came with me are my Wifey and my BFF.
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Everytime I go away for a night with my friends, I come home FUNNIER than I left. Our car rides and trips are SO RANDOM, there is never a conversational topic that is off the table, and we Always give each other great advice. Also-music plays a HUGE part in our vacations. As BFF would say, “I love that everytime we go away together, there is one song that we listen to endlessly, over and over, and everytime we hear that song it brings us back to that moment in time” —->I love that about us. Our girls trips, over the years, can really be summed up by SONGS-whether it’s “We’re the 3 best friends that anyone ever had” (yes,from the HANGOVER), or “Call me Maybe”… These songs bring me back to these fun, hilarious moments that are frozen in time! Thanks again girls for taking the time out of your busy lives to come with me! I Love you!I am truly blessed and eternally grateful to have these gals in my life.

So. Saturday began with our 3 hour road trip to the cape. (Stupid road construction on the bridge). Ughhhh.

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(The bridge..so close but so far away)

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(I hope you’re singing “cause we’re the 3 best friends that anyone ever had” in your heads right now)

We picked up my number, and finally checked into the hotel (Hyannis Travel Inn). We were SUPER starving, so we decided to head to British Beer Company for food. It was only a 4 minute walk, but since we are so cool I was lazy-we drove. (hey I ran a marathon today-four minutes COUNTS. and it was WINDY.
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Food. It was AMAZING. there is one by us in Westford, MA, and we always love it there. We went big…apps(buffalo chicken dip), meals(BBQ chicken pizza) and a brownie sundae. WOLF. (Sorry-no pics, I was way too busy inhaling the food)

I tried to tell my fun friends to go out and rip up the town, but after ALL THAT FOOD….we rolled our big bad selves back to the hotel…I don’t even WANT to disclose what time we were in Jammie’s by, but it’s only fair to be honest…6:45. Yeah. Granny called…she wants her slippers back..

But since we always have so much fun together- it led to many many games of “kill,marry,screw”, and “would you rather”(a funny game where you have to pick two impossible things and choose between the two-Example:would you rather be on pregnancy related bed rest for 9 months or run a marathon) So, millions of laughs were had and my abs hurt when I woke up because my friends are SO FUNNY.

Now some pre-marathon related things.
A few fun facts for you:
-in an attempt to keep my mind of running and that I was tapering..I did yoga on Friday. I learned that I like running Wayyyyyy better than yoga
-I woke sore on Saturday, from yoga. Yoga.
Perhaps… I underestimated yoga. (Dam yoga)
-I had bad sleeps on Thursday and Friday, and extremely little sleep Saturday. (Saturdays good night sleep was stolen by my hotel. It was a little yucky and was VERY COLD.
-I cannot sleep without a fan. Ever. Our hotel didn’t have working fans.
-the hotel was dirty and we were unsure if the sheets were changed after later finding a sticker under the covers. (ps..DONT STAY THERE.)

Sunday
…dawned an absolutely GORGEOUS running day. I told the girls “weather like this is like runners porn.” For real-mid forties at the start, very little wind? YES PLEASE.

I was a little cranky with myself that I hadn’t slept. And weirdly-the top of my left foot hurt. (from YOGA!!!!!) I wasn’t feeling “my best self”. But the show goes on and I doubt Hyannis wanted to postpone so I could get a catnap in?? Yes, I think not.

Some pre-marathon foods (don’t worry I had real stuff too)

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(Starburst jelly beans are actually the best pre run food/jelly beans-no you are not Actually allowed to disagree with me-and I love pb!)

Now, you all know I adore the Boston Marathon. My blood runs purely full of Gold and Blue Unicorns. My heart beats to the tone of runners footsteps on the hills. But…there is something to be said for local, smaller, marathons. It started at 10:00 and the girls and I left the hotel at 9:45. And I was there by 9:48. It was so freaking easy. Everything about the starting line was easy, easy, easy.

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One of the best things about the start of a marathon is the national anthem… I ALWAYS take my headphones off and fully listen..it is one of the most beautiful things and always makes me tear up.

On your marks, get set, GO!!!
I started soooo strong. On fire! By mile 5, I realized I needed to tone it down a bit…I was going so fast that I knew I would burn out by the end. My splits for the first 5 miles:8:09, 7:40, 7:35, 7:30, 7:20..I mean who doesn’t love negative splits?!? I slowed it down a bit-The rest of the first 13.1 were in the low 8 range.

Because I’m not altogether sure where to put these, I will put my housekeeping facts on Hyannis smack in the middle of this post.
-a small fact: Hyannis Marathon: there were about 3,000 half marathoners….and only 351 marathoners.
-number pickup was seamless. Thanks Hyannis!
-I wish the mile markers were more clear. They were extremely low to the ground and not really within eye sight.
-I like smaller races-but the way the crowds thinned out for the marathon at the double loop mark was crazy-I wish it was either fully separate from the half, or that they would allow more than 400 places for the full. Those are my only complaints!

I have to say that I really wasn’t feeling it today… at all. my foot was sore, I was sleepy and the thought crossed my mind that I wanted to stop at the half. (I know.) Its just too tempting when it’s a double loop course to just take the shorter fork.

Sometimes, you have to re-focus and remember what you have brought to the table. Great training, hard work, and super effort. That thought dawned on me by mile 13-and I was ready to BRING IT ON.

By the time the course split (for the full) I was REALLY shocked at how few people were still on it. I have never once run a course that wasn’t packed with other marathoners, so it felt…awkward. There was noticeable space between each runner. But I did what I do best during competition….pass one person at a time. Now, please don’t think I am being mean…I have to focus this way in order to improve my speed. After each person I passed,I re-adjusted my speed so that I was a schooch faster than I was before, therefore, I was always comfortable with my new speed. I knew I had been slower than I wanted so far, but I was on pace to do at least 3:38.

Enter:The Rudest Runner That Ever Ran
I was doing negative 7 mile splits for 13-18. There was this one woman who I had passed earlier who would not stop trying to pass me. I freely admit-I used her as fuel to get faster…but a few times, I heard her saying LOUD THINGS as I was speeding up, but my headphones drowned her out.(and why would I think she was being mean? Runners arent mean!) However, at mile 18-as my headphone kept falling off and she tried to pass me…I heard her say “What the F*** is your problem” to which I replied “‘why are you SO RUDE???” She then said I was trying to “block her” and cussed some more at me.

Honestly, we were running on wide, UN-CROWDED roads. She could have gone around me-on either side..we weren’t in a crowd, trust me. I was furious with her bad-ttitude and crass language. At this point-I didn’t want her negative energy around me, and I didn’t care that she went by. Let me be clear-if we weren’t running a marathon-I WOULD HAVE thrown down with her right there, on the street. BUT. that’s not what it’s about. Friendly competition and peace are the name of the game for marathoners.

My heart hurt a little after that. When I was not a “faster runner”, people would always ALWAYS encourage me saying wonderful things like “you got this!”, “you’re almost there!” In turn, I have learned to be that encouraging person..today alone I told so many women how I liked various pieces of their outfits, and congratulated countess other runners on an awesome run. I have NEVER met a rude runner. And it made me sad. One part of me wanted to speed up and pass her, but let’s face it….I was already going on adrenaline fumes, and I let my bubble be burst. #lessonslearned

I slowed way down to low 9 minute miles after that..things were HURTING-like my Calves and oddly, lower back, and even my toes of my swollen foot (I blame all this on yoga!) I ended up pulling off a PR still at 3:45 and being the 10th woman in my age group. I shouldn’t be TOO mad. I know I am harder on myself than anyone else. A few wise friends have said to me today:

Save it for Boston! An early bday gift!
-Marli

There are always more 26.2’s
-Raquel

AND THEY ARE RIGHT. lessons learned, and I can move on. Maybe no yoga next time? (and all jokes aside-YES, I KNOW, I shouldn’t have done the yoga!) Maybe I need to bring a fan everywhere I go so I can sleep? Maybe I give the people’s elbow to rude people runners? Maybe all these things!

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The finish line was great and the 99 provided an awesome post run soup! It really was a wonderful treat! I know there was lots of other foods too, but truly we wanted to get outta there ASAP so we wouldnt hit terrible bridge traffic on the way back.

I would do this marathon again-however I’m not sure I would do it of I was a slower runner-I think if I was out on the course solo-I would have gotten lost. The mile markers aren’t 100% clear-and the trickle of people would make it hard to “follow the crowd” and know where others are heading . I would abso-freaking-lutely recommend then half for any level of running- there are so many runners, it’s impossible to get lost! Also-props to the volunteers-you were awesome!

(I would also like to thank Shakira, Bruno, Maroon 5, black eyed peas, Eric Church, my girl Katy perry and a few others for guest starring in my run today. Ya’ll sang your hearts out and kept my feet moving!)

Overall-a great weekend with my amazing friends. Life is too precious and short not to embrace your best moments. I know this one was one of mine.

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Who doesn’t want RG at the finish line?! Haha!!–>they are sooo funny..I won’t even disclose the full story on this yet because I will have a surprise guest blog post for you soon from these fabulous ladies!!)

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(isn’t my medal pretty!)

Even when things hurt, there are lessons to be learned. I did not hit my goal time. It is not always “my day”. And hey, I DID PR with a 3:45. So it ain’t all bad. 😉 There are always more 26.2s for me to PR in!

RUN FREE, RUN STRONG!

DISCLAIMER: all opinions are my own. I was not provided a free race entry or compensation in exchange for this recap.

Running recap : 1/27-2/2

Do you start your running week on Sunday or on Monday?for me it has ALWAYS been a start on Mondays. I have never understood why Saturday is the American end of the week and not Sunday. The week starts on Monday, we all dreadknow it.

Anyway: running from 1/27-2/2:

Monday: off …body pump workout
Tuesday 7 miles, easy..57:00 minutes
Wednesday: 4 tempo miles, 5 miles interval sprints 9 miles total
Thursday: 4 sets of Yasso’s in the morning, 9 miles outside when I got out of work-11 miles total
Friday-off. I did nooo running. Nooo lifting..nada, zip, zilch.
Saturday-22 miles, 3:07 minutes.
Sunday-10 easy, slow miles 1:20.

Total miles:59 miles

Today’s run was really slow and easy. I had only planned on 7 but the weather was 45 when I started and who am I to pass up those gorgeous temps?! Beggars can’t be choosers and right now- I am begging for warmer weather.

And, just a couple pics of my weekend…
My Friday cocktail concoction..
A “skinny” margarita: a little bit of tequila, a little bit of skinny cucumber vodka, and a splash of sour mix! Yum!

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My Super Bowl wine..This is really the best red wine ever…

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Happy super bowl! Baked haddock, broc and baked tater! It was awesome and so filling!

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happy monday!
Who went out for the game?

-not me, in bed by 9 on Sunday! #ilikemysleep
What day does your running week start on?

Have a great start to your week!
Run Free, Run Strong!