I was frustrated last week. I was run down, burnt out, and just down on myself and my performance. I feel like I’m always making excuses (it doesn’t matter how true they are…it’s just how it seems to come across). Yes…I worked really hard in an Extreme Heat Warning…and clawed my way through two workouts that included some speed work. And at the beginning of the week last week…my body said…”ENOUGH!” And it was a huge struggle. The worst part is when my body can’t do something physically, it mentally rips me apart. I’m not good at dealing with things going wrong. I’m not good at feeling like I’m not living up to my potential.
I am my worst critic. I am very hard on myself. And I know this. It comes with the territory of being a Type A Virgo. Perfection is all I know. So, when things skew off the line…well…I pretty much beat myself up over it for a long time.
Well, my coach…I LOVE MY COACH…noticed this downward trend. And when he sent me through my plan for this week, he assigned me 0 miles. All I had were guidelines. The distance, and most of the paces were up to me. This…was the RESET WEEK. I have never felt better for an entire week of runs than this week. This was exactly what I needed to regain a bit of confidence in my abilities, the process, and learn to have some fun along the way.
My coach, Daniel, may be the smartest coach in the history of…ever. So, let’s dive into this week, shall we?
Monday: INSTRUCTIONS: BASE RUN – COVER YOUR WATCH OR DON’T WEAR IT!
I discovered something last week when I did my tempo repeats on Thursday…if I covered my watch, I wasn’t stressing as much over pace. I couldn’t judge it. It was what it was…and it actually was good when I uploaded the data. Right on target, even. When I run tempo or speed with the watch uncovered…all I do is stress and get wound up. This covering the watch thing…this works for me. I have a little Nike sweat band that I got once to cover up my Garmin during The Color Run…and I dug it out again this week to wear…EVERY DAY…because this week was up to me. I held my usual base pace and smiled…a whole heap! I ended up doing a full 7 miles at base pace and probably could have kept going, but I had other things happening that day. So I fit in my additional hip strengthening exercises and met with Corey as well for my personal training session. It was the perfect way to kick off the week.
Tuesday:INSTRUCTIONS: ANGRY RUN – THIS IS THE “GET MAD” RUN. LET YOUR FRUSTRATIONS, STRESSES, ANGER, FEAS, AND ALL OF IT COME OUT. BE MAD ABOUT ERIE. STOP AND CRY IF YOU NEED TO. RUN FAST IF YOU NEED TO. GO FIND SOMETHING TO PUNCH (I liked that part, LOL). DON’T RUN FROM YOUR FEELINGS – INVINTE THEM AND RUN THROUGH THEM. THIS IS THE RUN YOU GET TO HAVE ALL OF WHAT YOU’VE BEEN FEELING. THIS IS ALSO THE RUN WHERE YOU LET ALL THAT GO. IT MIGHT BE FUN OR IT MIGHT SUCK. IT IS WHAT IT IS. DO IT. THEN WAKE UP TOMORROW A NEW RUNNER WITH A NEW MIDSET AND NEW APPROACH LEAVING ALL THIS CRAP BEHIND.
Deep breath, friends. Because this run…this was actual therapy. I decided to actually run this as if it were an actual temper tantrum of fit. So, I headed out and did the first 2 miles as a warm up. Because every good tantrum starts with a build-up. After that, I ran quick fartleks each mile for 5 miles…using each mile to symbolize some stress, frustration, or part of my life that has been holding me back: cancer, my fall race debacle messing up a ton of my plans, friends who aren’t taking care of themselves, work, myself…and maybe a few other things that got worked in halfway through each mile. It sucks when you don’t like how you feel because people make and actions and yourself make you feel like less of a person. This run helped me work through that. And I rounded it off with 2+ miles cool down…because every fit of anger and tantrum ends with a cooling down period. I basically did a 15K that morning. And I needed that.
Wednesday:INSTRUCTIONS: NO WATCH ALLOWED! FOCUS ON THE GOAL OF THE RUN = RECOVERY! GO AS FAR OR SHORT AS YOU NEED, AS FAST OR SLOW AS YOU NEED, WALK OR RUN AS YOU NEED.
Even with the permission to go longer, I actually made this a short, base pace, recovery run. I did wear my watch, but as with the two previous mornings, I covered it and just ran comfortably. I had the same pace as Monday when all was said and done…and was happy to keep it short and easy. I stopped at 4 miles. But they were 4 wonderful miles. I then decided that since I had the time, and Thursday’s run was up to me, I could FINALLY return to a Wednesday morning spin class. I was SO happy being back in Michelle’s class. Spin class is therapy for me. It’s hard work, it’s challenging, but it’s a great non-impact way to get some more endurance in. And since Wednesday is always Endurance Ride Wednesday…it’s my favorite. I met with Corey later that afternoon for personal training. We had to change up the original plan as he snapped the resistance band. It involved a lot of squats. Because he’s evil.
Thursday: INSTRUCTIONS: FUN RUN – PICK OUT YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT…COULD BE ONE I’VE GIVEN YOU, ANOTHER COACH, YOUR FAVORITE FROM 5 YEARS AGO. IT CAN BE A WORKOUT GEARED FOR 5KS OR 10KS OR A MARATHON. WHATEVER YOU WANT – RUN IT!
I have never liked, loved, or enjoyed speed workouts. Ever. Not ever. Not in the history of EVER. So I was really stumped on this one. But, when all was said and done and I headed out (watch covered) that morning, I set myself up to run Mona Fartleks. Daniel got me hooked on these from the first time he assigned them. They’re actually kind of fun, and still challenging at the same time. The basics: 2 mile warm up, 2×90 sec, 4×60 sec, 4×30 sec, 4×15 sec (with equal recovery after each at a pace faster than base pace), 2 mile cool down. Got it done, putting in 7 speedy miles that morning. Then I worked in the 2nd day of the additional hip strengthening exercises to my physical therapy stretches I do every morning.
FRIDAY: Always a rest day. I slept in. I took a shower. I stretched. I finished off the My Favorite Murder book, “Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered.” I went to work. I cooked. I ate food. I let my body recharge. I watched “Designated Survivor” and then went to bed just after 8 pm. I set an alarm so I could get up, stretch, put on sunscreen, and head out early for my long run…of no set distance.
SATURDAY: INSTRUCTIONS: RUN IN YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO RUN! WATCH IS ALLOWED, BUT TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS AND PROMISE YOURSELF NOT TO LOOK AT IT ANY MORE THAN 1 TIME EVERY 2-3 MILES. 10-20 MILES…I REALLY DON’T CARE!
I got up early and had a small bite to eat. I stretched while I hydrated. I lathered myself up in sunscreen. I tied on my new Adidas Boston Boosts. I fixed up my nutrition. Anyone else loving Maurten? I drank down the Maurten 320 Drink Mix and packed one of the Maurten 100 Gels to take with me. Maurten has worked wonders for me. No energy crashes. No stomach problems. It’s brilliant. And I have had 2 very energetic and great long runs using it. I’m sold. So if any local peeps want my barely used container of UCan…let me know. I didn’t know how far I’d run that morning. I covered my watch. I did a short warmup mile before hitting the actual roads and just letting myself go. I told my roommate that I may have to call her to come get me if I decide I’m done before getting home. But despite hills and the hotter morning, this run was better than last week’s 19 miler. And I only had to stop for traffic and at one point to make a tight turnaround. That was it. And I still had some in the tank when I made my way back to the apartment complex. I ended up doing 20.25 miles…surprisingly at marathon pace. And I felt so good. I smiled. I said good morning to people. I was working, but I wasn’t straining, fighting, or dying at any point. I needed this. I needed this more than I knew I needed this. I want running to always feel like this. I need the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon to feel like this. First 20 miler came early for me…but I feel good. I felt good the rest of the day. Walked the malls, did the grocery shopping, made dinner, stretched, foam rolled…yep…it’s good! It’s all good.
SUNDAY: INSTRUCTIONS: NO WATCH ALLOWED! RECOVERY RUN!
With no expectations and no pace requirements, and a heavy heart from all the mass shootings this country is dealing with…I headed out this morning to chase the sunrise. And that’s what I did, pausing at every mile (for the first 3) to take pictures of the sun coming up over the horizon and the cotton-candy sky that emerged from the dark night. I ran the Fast Freddie course here…putting in 5.0 miles for the 50 states of this country. Feeling blessed to wake up and be able to run easy, refreshed, and without care, when people are waking up and maybe missing their loved ones today due to a senseless act of violence. With that being said, this recovery run was the last of my reset week and I enjoyed every step of it. I needed this reset week more than even I knew. This is why I hired Daniel. He knew exactly what to hit me with this week so that I could shed frustrations, anger, and disappointment and find a new focus and really prepare myself for the upcoming weeks leading into the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I feel better about it. I feel refreshed. I feel ready.
So today I have a bunch of meal prep to do and some things to get done around the apartment today…and await this week’s plan. I’ll embrace the good…the bad…the hard and easy this week. When you’re struggling…don’t be afraid to reset. Don’t be afraid to build from the experience. Come back to it feeling ready, refreshed, and with a laser focus on your goals. Just don’t forget to keep it fun and enjoyable.
This week. *SIGH* This week…was one big roller coaster. It started…going downhill…fast. Forget the climb. There was no climb. There was just this screaming, falling, helpless feeling that just sort of paralyzes you. But by the end of the week, save for having no one to long run with to pass the time, things were starting to turn around.
The highlight of the week…the cooler temperatures and lower humidity.
It was amazing.
And I think that’s why when Monday went off the rails…I couldn’t figure out a good reason for it. So, my coach and I are blazing a new path this coming week…so stay tuned for something completely different.
Until then…let’s take the plunge and then slowly climb out of the pit that was…this past week.
Monday: My Monday run is always a recovery run. Usually between 5-7 miles. And I always run it really well. Relaxed. Easy. Legs feeling good after a weekend of mileage demands. This run started off feeling harder than the pace reflected. I chalked it up to not being fully recovered from two long runs (both with a bit of a workout element to them…the harder one being the 3×4 miles in the middle of 15 miles on Sunday) that were done in Extreme Heat. It was one of the worst and hardest runs I have had in a very long time. Every mile got considerably slower. And, when all was said and done, I cut the run short by a mile and called it a day. I had a hard time accepting it. And it ate at me the rest of that day. I did my additional hip strengtheners with my stretches that morning and had personal training. And still…I couldn’t let it go. It wasn’t that my overall pace was slower than I prefer. Not at all. It was how hard the whole run felt when it was supposed to be easy. I felt like I was pushing pace and the pace wasn’t coming, but instead slowing down…mile after mile. It’s hard for me to let go of bad runs…and this was one of my worst.
Tuesday: Speed Work. The fresh hell that hits every week. I dread it. But I know it’s beneficial and will make me faster in the end. This week was the Flat Pyramid. I was to do a 1 mile warm up, then 400m-800m-1600m-1600m-800m-400m with 400m-800m recovery in between each one. This wasn’t too bad. The temperature that morning was once again…perfect. My left calf felt tight, but I figured it would loosen up. I felt like I was rolling on this one. But when my runs were done, my second 1600 was just CRAP. For real. Everything was actually slower than I felt they should have been. I wasn’t having it. It made me feel even worse coming off of the crash-and-burn run from Monday. I figured I should have been recovered by Tuesday. It was 7.5 messy miles. And I wasn’t happy. I let my coach know.
Wednesday: Easy, recovery miles. 3-4 of them. With the week I was having, I wasn’t holding my breath that this would feel good at all. But, something was different this morning. I managed to have a decent run. The entire thing felt easy. Right at base pace. Two of my miles were faster than I anticipated, but I wrapped up the run and I felt good. I felt like I was turning a corner. No personal training because my trainer had much more important things happening…but I did my additional hip strengtheners again with my daily stretches that morning. My coach wrote me back and said it seemed like I had just come out of a mental block and was back into one. He asked me some questions, and that resulted in a very long, very honest, very vulnerable response from me as to what I feel was going on.
Thursday: Speed Work day 2 and my coach was changing up the Tempo Run this week. After struggling time after time to hit the ladder tempos, he had me running the same amount hard, but this time with just 2 miles in each one. So 1 mile warm up, 3×2 miles with 0.5 miles recovery between, 1 mile cool down. I ended up grabbing a wrist band and covering my watch face. I didn’t set the pace intensity into the workout on my watch. I decided that it would be what it was that day. And I ran it well. I had to stop for a lot of traffic that morning. And I needed to stretch out my calf a couple of times ( that, btw, feels much better), but it was an impressive run. One that I was happy with. I hit the usual tempo pace he wants me to aim for and I didn’t obsess over it or consistently check my watch. No pressure. No expectations. I just let this one ride. And it worked. 9.5 miles with 6 of them at the proper tempo pace. YES!
Friday: Rest day. Recovery. Sleep in. Except…I haven’t been sleeping well. Which sucks. I didn’t get to stretch and then chill and read like I would have liked. But I did my best to relax. I checked in with people about long runs, both of which weren’t going to be able to run with me this weekend. It was also a half day at work. The original plan was to grab an easy lunch…maybe get grocery shopping done…My roommate and I did grab lunch and headed home. We ran some easy errands instead of going grocery shopping. But we did turn on Designated Survivor before I was going to cook dinner. Except, with 7 minutes left in the episode…the power randomly went out. I was 7 minutes away from cooking dinner. Power wasn’t back on by 5:30 (over an hour after it went out)…so we ended up having to go out to eat…again. We ended up at Dragon King’s Daughter for sushi. Sushi is one of my favorite pre-race, pre-long run meals. This was fine with me. It was just an unexpected expense that night.
Saturday: LONG RUN! I had a goal of 17-19 on the training plan. With the awful start to my week, I mentioned to my roommate that I was going to head out early and aim for 19…but I’d be fine if I just did 17. I used the Maurten 320 Drink Mix for the first time…and LOVED IT. I never crashed on this run. I felt strong the entire time. And yes…I managed 19 solo miles…and my pace stayed pretty consistent and even throughout. No stomach issues. I didn’t want to quit. I didn’t need to randomly stop just to breathe or berate myself for stopping. It was smooth. It was the run I needed to round out the week. And I felt good the rest of the day…refueling, recovering, and…finally grocery shopping (and shopping for my vacation in September too).
Sunday: Recovery run. 4 miles. Same run I did last week. It felt good. I ran a lot of hills on Saturday in my long run, and my legs were definitely feeling that, especially as I tackled one of my least favorite hills along the way. But, this run was exactly what it was supposed to be…easy, slow, recovery. And I got some great sunrise views (again…not sleeping well…so hopefully that changes this week).
So, yeah…this week started off rough, but it definitely ended on a high note. That being said, my coach is taking a WAY different approach with me this week in hopes of giving me the compete reset I need to get back into a proper mindset as I head into my fall marathon. Wish me luck. And stay tuned. Because, honestly, I think this is going to be fun.
How can I describe this week? What word can I use that will basically sum everything up? Oh…I know…
From mornings in the 80s to real feel temps in the triple digits…this week did everything it could to destroy me. I persevered, but I was wrecked at the end of it. But, let’s hear it for getting it done. Even if it wasn’t pretty. And even if it wasn’t perfect.
(And we all know that I’m a perfectionist because…Virgo…so that’s not easy for me to deal with).
So…how about we dive into the week that wrapped up my first month of training with today (Sunday, July 21, 2019), marking 16 weeks out from the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. So, let’s all settle into ice baths (HA…just kidding…I don’t do ice baths), stay cool, and review the events of this crazy week.
Monday: Every Monday, I pretty much have the same run. 5-7 miles (aiming for 6) and an easy recovery pace. It was 80 degrees at 3:30 am, so I knew that this wasn’t going to be a day where pace was even pushed. Once my legs warmed up and woke up, I fell into a natural stride and the easy pace started to finally feel good. I extended it to the full 7 miles for that reason. I went ahead and did my additional hip strengtheners during my stretches because I had just enough time to fit it in. And later that afternoon, I had my personal training session with Corey. And we had it outside. Which was super fun because it wasn’t overly humid out. Basically…a little bit of everything.
Tuesday: Hello, speed work. One of these days I hope to get to the track and see how I do on a flat track. But this week…it wasn’t going to work. Nope. Not one bit. The speed work this week was my favorite of the workouts that Daniel assigns: Mona Fartleks. These are fun and challenging and definitely keep it interesting. Mona Fartleks work like this: 2 mile warm up; 2×90 seconds, 4×60 seconds, 4×30 seconds, 4×15 seconds (with equal recovery time in between each rep); 2 mile cool down. I felt like I was moving faster than I apparently was. I blame the humidity.
Wednesday: It was a recovery day. A short, easy, deliberate pace for me. I got up at usual time though because I always try to fit in two days of my additional hip strengtheners, and they take some times. The shorter run did allow for this. And I took it easy on the run (somehow did negative splits…I can never do this when I try), and then got in the stretches and additional exercises. This morning, I also had my 6 year check-up with my dermatologist. He cleared me for another year, but did say that he wanted me to start running with a hat or do rag covering the top of my head. MEH. I hate how I look in hats, and my head gets really hot when I cover it with anything. But, my skin is more important, so I got on Amazon and placed an order from Buff, for both a hat and buff to use on my head. I had my second day of personal training with Corey this afternoon too. He had some serious fresh hell exercises ready for me.
Thursday: Welcome to Day #1 of the Extreme Heat Warning that was going to span the entire rest of the week. So, believe me when I say that I was looking forward to taking Friday off. It was HOT that morning. Around 80 degrees before the sun was up. MEH. I had 9 miles on tap. Nothing fast. Nothing hard. Just a base pace run. It wasn’t easy in air you can wear. Not at all. I was so soaked in sweat that morning that my running shorts wanted to fall off my hips. This sort of heat is serious business and people who downplay it are not smart people. Whether you react to it or not…it’s hot. Be safe. I survived, even though I looked like I had gone swimming.
Friday: Day off. Rest. Slept in. Showered. Stretched. Read some more of “Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered,” by the My Favorite Murder ladies – Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. If you don’t listen to that podcast…YOU NEED TO! If you haven’t read the book…YOU NEED TO! Trust me. Went to work that day. Then went out for some sushi at Dragon King’s Daughter…because it was too hot too cook and…we made it through a busy week…why not treat yourself a little? I love vegan sushi. It made me happy. Plus…it was not just good carb loading for my weekend ahead, but also had some additional sodium to prep for the heat.
Saturday: Long run day. One of them. Because we were back to some back-to-back workout runs that I did a couple of weeks ago. I met up with my friend Ron, on an extremely hot morning. It was real feel 90 degrees and we started at 6:30 am. Cathy got up early on a weekend to actually drop me off at the starting point, because she had a cooler full of cold water bottles and she was going to meet us at the turn-around point so we could cool off with cold water to drink and pour over us as needed. This was also my first time running in the ultra-light Buff hat. I still think it makes my head hot. I will fight you. Ron and I kept the pace easy, but challenging. And he’s really good about telling me to ease back on pace because sometimes I feel good and that helps me to keep out of the “now I feel like crap” zone that likely will come sooner rather than later. We did 10 miles together. His training ended there. I still had 2 more “fast finish” miles to go. MEH. I took another cold water break before I left to go and get those done. I knew in the heat that it would not be super fast, but the effort was there. Both miles were in the low 8s which is in my marathon pace zone…but definitely not the fast finish I can usual produce. Iced coffee, a shower, and some air conditioned shopping later…I started to feel recovered. With heat indexes in the triple digits, and me needing to not be dehydrated going into Sunday, we skipped the Louisville City FC match (we would have baked). I went to bed after watching Chernobyl on HBO (we started it on Wednesday night) and hoped to rest up because I was setting yet another early alarm.
Sunday: I had texted Daniel on Saturday afternoon regarding my Sunday workout. I knew it was going to be impossible. He told me to go off of effort and not pace. But even with effort, this run was pretty much impossible to do without multiple, numerous, sometimes air-conditioned stops. I loaded up a cooler when I headed out to put on the back of my car. It had one bottle of water to drink and one bottle to use to pour over my head. I had frozen two small (5 oz) bottles the night before to allow to melt while I was running so I could snag them from the pockets of my Nathan hydration vest and pour over my head if needed before I could get to a good point near my car. I looped this entire run. I wore the Buff as a do rag, despite being out before the sun was up. I just wanted to see if it made my head overheat. The jury is still out on that. But I died. I died so hard on this run. No mile came without a stop or two. My effort was not as hard as I would normally push. It makes me feel like I just can’t string together hard pushes in runs, even when racing, and it’s bothering me so much. I know that it was 90 degrees at 4 am this day…but it still bothers me on a fundamental level. Want me to feel out of shape…let me fail at a workout. And this one was the one that nearly killed me a couple of weeks ago. 1 mile warm up; 3×4 miles @ marathon pace (with 4 minutes recovery); 1 mile cool down. It was bad. It went completely off the rails for the second time. And I just need to prove to MYSELF that I can do these more challenging workouts. I’m tired of feeling like I failed or having people make me feel like I’m a failure for wilting in this heat. I drank water, finished off Chernobyl, and have been meal prepping ever since.
It was a rough week, friends. I just need things to start clicking. I need to start feeling excited, confident, and prepared. I’m not there right now. I’m not even excited. And that’s definitely not where I want to mentally be with 4 months to go. So, we’ll see what happens in this coming week.
Fingers crossed that the heat never gets this hot again. But it’s only July. So I won’t hold my breath.
A couple of weeks ago, I was honored to be featured on The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast! I had a blast talking to Stephanie and sharing part of my story (I feel like I could have gone on for at least another hour…but I also like to talk). Anyway…please go give it a listen. And be sure you share, like, subscribe and leave a review for the podcast itself.
You can check it out below…or search on your favorite podcast platform!
And thanks again, Stephanie!
“Life as a Celiathlete” with Karen Brady Karen Brady, aka The Celiathlete, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at the age of 30. After some trial and error, and help from a Registered Dietitian, Karen was able to find the nutritional solutions to help fuel her greatest passion: running. Not only has Karen learned to live […]
Well friends…much to everyone’s dismay as a new Team Challenge kicked in for the MRTT/SRTT group…I had a down week this week. And it might have been just what I needed considering I raced on Thursday and was out of town over the weekend. Training when a race is on a weird day works for me…but going out of town never makes training easy. Especially when you are somewhere that isn’t easy to run without venturing out for a ways to a place with sidewalks and safe paths or trails. It was what it had to be this week. And, honestly, I never know where I stand on those challenges because I just do what my coach tells me to do. I never want to overtrain and/or bring about injury because of these fun challenges. So…I just stay my course and do my thing. As training hadn’t officially started, my coach let me split the total accumulated mileage between Saturday and Sunday into two mid-distance runs as opposed to a short run followed by a long run…as I was limited only to a treadmill. You tweak things as you need and just do the best you can with what life is offering at the time.
Let’s dive into this week, shall we?
Monday: This was my typical Monday morning run. 6 miles. Easy pace. SLOW!! He assigns me Mondays as a recovery run from any weekend runs that he puts me through. And with the past week’s Sunday run being rough…it was a good morning to just take it easy, move the legs, and not put much effort into anything. I survived another humid morning. I drank a lot of water, trying to stay ahead on hydration this week. I also met with my personal trainer. And then…I returned to my Monday evening spin class with Deana. It was her sing-along class and it was a lot of fun. Since it was a down week, I did throw in a few extra things as I figured it wouldn’t mess with my training. Today I also did one of the two days a week I throw in my hip strengthening exercises to my morning PT stretching routine.
Tuesday: No speed work this week. My Tuesday run kept it simple. 6 more miles, this time at base pace. Another humid morning, and this time I had to deal with some stomach issues. UGH. It happens sometimes when you have Celiac. But, I got through it and managed to keep a slightly faster pace than Monday. I followed that up with a round of 10 strides, which I actually managed to do quickly while focusing on form.
Wednesday: Short and easy run this morning. 3 recovery miles. He told me to run them SLOW…and I did…for the first one. And somehow that turned into negative splits without me focusing on it. So…yeah…this one was probably too fast and should have been done slower. I wasn’t looking at my watch for each mile…I just ran by feel and it DID feel easy. No personal training because I was racing the following day, but I did do my second day of additional hip strengthening exercises to my morning PT stretching routine.
Thursday: Early morning. I needed to stretch, drink some coffee, lather up in my sunscreen, get dressed, and head down to Lexington, Kentucky, for my July 4th race. I have made it a tradition to go to the Bluegrass 10,000 race there. My former coach is in charge of the pacers. Just a bonus fact. She was kind enough to pick up my packet for me on Wednesday because there was NO way I could make it down there to get it…and there is no race day packet pickup. Let’s hear it for amazing friends in our lives. The race starts at 7:30. It was warm, clammy, and humid. BUT…honestly, it is the best weather this race has had for the 3 years I have run it. I dressed appropriately for the weather, wearing my very patriotic Wonder Woman outfit. Because…I am Wonder Woman. I raced as hard as I could that day. I did take short walk breaks through three of the water stops. And I had a guy at Mile 5 spray me with his hose. It was a good way to keep my body from overdoing it on a hot day. No shame in that. I felt strong at the end thanks to that and put in a time that beat out last year’s time. Even without a course PR or a distance PR…I was proud of my effort that day. July 4th 10K in the books…and then a pasta lunch and a 6 hour Stranger Things marathon for Season 3. I had wanted to finish it…but I had to work the following morning, so I needed sleep more than to get an entire season into one day.
Friday: REST DAY! That being said, because this was a down week and my long runs weren’t really going to be out in the heat, or far for that matter…I decided to drop into my old Friday spin class. It was a class of 2, but Brittney (the instructor), had taken a training class on the bikes our gym has and gave us a new, challenging, and fun way to use the screens on the bike and really get into a good training mode on it. I was impressed with how my numbers improved.
Saturday: Welcome to the wonderful world of traveling. I was up in Indianapolis for a convention. This hotel isn’t near the Monon Trail. It’s not even in a good area with plenty of sidewalks and areas to go for a run outside. I knew going into this weekend that I would be on a treadmill and told my coach. He had me down for 18-20 miles over the entire weekend, with Sunday being a 15 miler. He was a bit concerned that would be a bit far to run on a treadmill and we discussed, since training wasn’t really starting yet with my change of venue for my fall marathon…we decided that I could break up the distance over the 2 days I was out of town. I split the difference…starting with 10 miles on Saturday at an easy pace. I stopped the treadmill at 6 and restarted it because they only would run for an hour at a time. The fitness center was crowded (very unusual), and I re-fueled and hit go again…this time messing with some speeds, though still keeping the run easy. Afterwards…a shower, breakfast, and off to some panels at the convention. Gluten-free pizza that night for supper. YUM! I also stayed up WAY too late on Saturday night, so I knew Sunday might be rough.
Sunday: I had an alarm set for 6 am…but I woke up at 5:30 am so I got up and got dressed and hauled down to the fitness center to fit in the second half of my distance for the weekend. Same run as yesterday, another 10 miles…which this time I started doing varying, but easy, speeds on the treadmill just so I didn’t sleepwalk through the first 6 miles, which felt like what I did on Saturday. I was very conscious of the extra fatigue due to the late night and not getting my ideal amount of rest, foam rolling, or stretching while out of town. I try to make time for it, but I literally just didn’t have the time this trip. I feel like I normally would, but there was a lot going on. Got it done before anyone else came into the fitness center. After my shower and a protein bar for breakfast, I came down and saw the fitness center packed. Just packed. So I was good to get it done when I did. Left the convention just after 11:30 and went up to Carmel, Indiana for lunch at Woody’s Library Restaurant. And then, the long drive home. My roommate when to buy all the groceries while I meal prepped, unpacked. I was supposed to stretch and do my PT exercises…but just didn’t have the time with trying to multitask everything else. I did fit it in ahead of finishing up the final two episodes of Stranger Things Season 3. I foam rolled for the first 20 minutes and then it was on the couch and not moving until it was done.
So, this week was lower on mileage and definitely a much needed reprieve from the endless (it seems) marathon training I have been pushing through for almost 2 years now. My roommate and I calculated it, and I have been training for and running marathons mostly exclusively, for 20 months now. Thankfully, they have been continuous and have also had PROPER recovery (okay…maybe not the Chicago to Monumental 2018 stretch…but I felt like I was still in good shape and really wanted some form of redemption from the hot mess that was my Chicago Marathon). So, I am really ready to get the job done this time, and I’m working very hard in my training to do what I need to to reach those goals, while also listening to any cues my body gives me and helps. If I need extra recovery…I take it. And it’s fine. It’s okay to reset. Never forget that. Marathon training, or any sort of training, really asks a lot of you. So nourish your body, get enough sleep, recover like a champ…and you might be amazed with how far you can go and what you can accomplish.
Back to the norm starting this coming week…and now I feel ready for it.
One more thing…running on a treadmill is NOT my favorite thing in the world. Treadmills hurt my hips and my body so if I can avoid them, I will. I’m hurting after 2 days of it…but it had to be done. But, trust me, I will keep that in mind on my recovery run. Don’t ever get uncomfortable to the point where it can cause you to sustain an injury. It’s not worth it, friends.
It was nice to not have to die in the humidity for a weekend though. Bright side!
Ever since the Erie Marathon sold out before I was able to sign up for it, my training has felt sort of…meaningless. I still put in the work, but I had no purpose behind it. And that, friends, is not where I like to be. It’s not good for me, mentally, to not have a plan to execute. I wasn’t just going through the motions, but my heart wasn’t in it. Where there is no passion, there is no joy.
But this week, I made a decision.
I am giving up my hope of a BQ for 2020.
This was not an easy decision to come to by any means. I searched every marathon within driving distance between now and the fall cut-off for Boston. The best courses were all multiple loops…and they just didn’t excite me. I dreaded having to loop the same path 4-8 times (depending on the race of choice). After a lot of thinking on it, pondering it, and just…looking at the races I could do and not feeling excited about training for them…I opted to give myself more time.
The hard part was choosing a fall race. Again, I was limited on distance I could travel due to a birthday cruise I am all signed up for (back when I thought Erie would be a thing and I wouldn’t be training). I narrowed it down to Mill Race, Columbus, and Indianapolis Monumental.
And after weighing the pros and cons…I settled on a race I ran for the first time last year…Indy Monumental.
GOAL: Boston Qualify for 2021
All that being said, let me point out that training has had it’s own ups and downs these days. I used to be someone who could handle the heat…but it ahs been a struggle this year. A big…huge…struggle. It makes me feel out of shape and underprepared. And I haven’t mastered what I need to do to make it easier…if anything. I have hydrated myself, fueled myself, and yet…the struggle, at times, has been beyond real. Especially if I am pushing pace at any point. This is not helping me at all with my confidence. I try not to let bad training runs get to me, but I’m human. And while I can shrug it off after a few hours, it’s just hard when I know I am capable of doing so much better than I am.
So, let’s recap now that I have chosen a race…
Monday: My coach had me down for 6 miles with the instructions to go SLOW. Why? Because Tuesday is usually speed work day and he wants me to have fresh legs for those. I went out easy and kept it easy. In fact, my legs felt really good that morning, so I had to remind myself to ease it back on the pace. Couldn’t ask for a better start to the week.
Tuesday: Speed work. MEH! At least it is my favorite workout: Mona Fartleks. If you haven’t done these…try them. It keeps things interesting and challenging all at once. I didn’t stop as much as I have had to this time around…just for traffic when needed and some hydration when it was hard to do it while moving. My workout was: 2 mile WU; 2×90 sec; 4×60 sec; 4×30 sec; 4×15 seconds (all of which with EQUAL recovery a bit faster than base pace); 2 mile CD. Any stops I made, I tried to make the turnaround time quick.
Wednesday: Short and easy run this morning. 3 recovery miles. And then I went to spin class, because I really jus needed to do something other than running. I’ve missed doing my cross-training and getting my gym time in. I don’t know how I was fitting it in before.
Thursday: Heading toward a full rest day, my Thursday run was 8 miles on paper at base pace. I didn’t check my watch at any point, but it turned out I did 7 of them at or below my Marathon Pace. Whoops. So, I did a cool down mile to make up for that at a much easier pace. I hate having to look at my watch, but I need to be more mindful of my pace on my easy and base pace days.
Friday: REST DAY! (Thank God!)
Saturday: I flip-flopped my long run days this week because I could have company if I did that. Being able to run with someone makes me happy. So, my 10 miler was moved to Saturday. I met up with Ron at 7 am to try to beat some of the morning heat. This was supposed to be at an easy pace and then 2 miles for a fast finish. The 10 miles I ran with Ron were delightful. We lost some shade after we turned around to head back, and it definitely was warming up…but at least we could get each other through it. I ran him to 10 and then I turned around to do my final 2 a bit faster. That part sucked. But at least I got to see some MRTT ladies out there. That always helps when the struggle sets in. I drove home with my air conditioning blaring.
Sunday: I wanted to start early. The humidity has been INSANE here, and it was no joke today. And this was going to be a challenging workout…especially in the heat. It was 75 degrees when I headed out the door at 6:25 am. The humidity and dewpoint made it feel like I was swimming. Immediately. My workout: 1 mile WU; 3×4 miles @ MP w/ 4 minute recovery; 1 mile CD. The warmup felt like a slog and I knew today was going to be hard. I told myself I wasn’t going to let it bother me, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to instructions. I did pretty good on the top half of the run. I stopped a few times to hydrate, but immediately continued on. It was when I turned around at Mile 9, that the struggle became more than real. LOTS of stops. LOTS. And there wasn’t much shade where I was running at that point either, which made it feel 100x harder. But I got a bit of a reprieve when a train was going on the tracks. I sat on some stairs in the shade to wait it out. And when it was safe to cross, I got up and set back out again. But now my body didn’t want to push. I had 2 more miles of marathon pace, and I was stopping more than I was running. I started to play a bit of a game, where I told myself I just had to run to the next street. It got me through, and I listened to my body and stopped at each corner. But I was fading…so I stopped at a shady stoop of a business and sat down for a moment to cool off. I was almost done with marathon pace, but it just didn’t feel like I could go on. I let my heart rate go down and allowed my body to cool down again before I stood up to at least finish off that mile. I managed it and had never been so thankful to run easy again in my life. But the heat and humidity were beating me down even at an easy pace. I ended up in a shaded parking lot, recovering once again. I texted my coach and my roommate to let them know I had a mile to go, but was currently sitting in the shade trying to talk myself into doing the cool down mile. I know better than to push too hard in heat, so I wasn’t mad at the performance, just aggravated that I was struggling so much. I did finally get up, shake it off, and jog myself home. It was one of the hardest runs I have had to get through yet this training session, and I feel like I barely survived it. My coach gave me a pep talk, telling me what I already know…in the summer you have to go based off of effort and not pace. That’s never been easy for me…but it was a good reminder. I made it home. I took a cool shower. And I started to recover as best as I could in that moment.
So…here it is, friends. Another attempt for me to get back to a race that I still feel like, to this day, I never had a fair shake at. I know I am capable of getting there. I just need to get comfortable being a bit uncomfortable this summer. Trust me…this goal is worth all the effort I am putting into it. I am just trying to train smart and keep it real.
And to keep smiling. Because if you can’t smile at the end of the day…it’s not worth doing.
After a really good shakeout run using Glass City’s Savage 5K as just that (and somehow placing in my age group), I spent the rest of Saturday in my hotel room. Sitting on my bed. Feet up. Eating. Blogging. Watching television. Not out walking around Toledo. Not hanging out at the expo. Off my feet. Foam rolling. Stretching. All of it.
I was really taking this prep seriously! I didn’t actually leave the room until about 4 pm…when Cathy and I headed into Toledo to hit up Organic Bliss Deli & Bakery for dinner. We had looked at a few places in Toledo, but it is so hard to gauge how safe some places are, and some reviews on places I had been looking at weren’t so good on my Find Me Gluten Free app. We were going to do my new favorite thing before a major race – sushi…but Toledo’s only safe sushi place only had the a vegetable roll, cucumber roll, or avocado roll for vegan options. BOOOO! I am lucky to have Dragon King’s Daughter for my vegan sushi needs in Louisville/New Albany. As we were driving up to Toledo, my fellow Celiac blogger and Instagram friend, Margaret, was on her way down to Columbus for the Gluten Free Allergy Free Fest and posted about Organic Bliss. They closed at 5 pm, so we went early and got there to figure out what we wanted for dinner. And, of course, we would get a box of goodies to go back to the hotel with us.
The people there were very kind and gave us some time to look over the menu, and we finally came to our conclusions…Cathy went ahead and got the BLT with Chips. And I went with the Gluten Free Caribbean Avocado Sandwich (avocado, romaine, spinach, tomato, cucumber, black beans, papaya poppyseed dressing). I got that with a side of the Chickpea Salad. And then we boxed up some treats: A Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcake, an Almond Scone, a Cranberry Orange Scone, a Cinnamon Roll, and the Peanut Butter Quinoa Bar. We paid and went and took a seat in the corner while meals were prepared and brought out to us.
Sandwiches before a race are a good back-up it seems. And this sandwich was AMAZING. I loved it. And the Chickpea Salad was the perfect side. Got some carbs, protein, healthy fats…perfection. They were trying to get ready to close, so the floors were being swept and people were coming in for last minute purchases. We finished up and headed out to go back to the hotel for the night. And you better believe Cathy and I split that Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcake for dessert back at the hotel.
I went ahead and posted on my Instagram feed the motivation, the drive, and the reason I was running the following day: my mom. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer back in January, just after the New Year. It was a shock to my family and one that none of us were prepared for. Right now, she is going through chemo, keeping her spirits high and her thoughts positive. What a warrior. This race, save for a couple of miles, was to honor her. Mile 1, my roommate claimed. Mile 26, my friend Natalie claimed, And Mile 10 was in memory of my friend Tina’s daughter, Kinsley, who died in her sleep at the age of 10 a couple of days before I left for Toledo. I would carry these honors with me respectively on the race course.
I did one last round of stretching and foam rolling while watching Guy’s Grocery Games on Food Network…and got an onslaught of uplifiting and motivational gifs from my coach. I do love my coach. He has been amazing, even when training went slightly off the rails when I busted up my knees. The gifs made me laugh. And he threw in a Game of Thrones reference, so that was winning. But, soon it was time to turn in for the night. I set two different alarms. One for me to get up and take my medicine and use the bathroom…and then go back to bed. And then one for Cathy…which would be when I would get up and get dressed. No surprise…I couldn’t sleep well. And I shut off my first alarm before it even went off. Tried to climb back into bed and wait for the other alarm, but then my mind wouldn’t shut off. So, I got up and did my PT stretches for my hips…and then went ahead and started to get ready. By the time the second alarm went off, I was pretty much dressed and ready to head out the door. So, while Cathy got ready, I started prepping my hydration vest bladder with 1 liter of water, grabbed my Maurten gels to use as additional fuel on the run, and put on my clothes I would shed prior to the race.
Because up in Toledo…it was 41 degrees on race morning, but with the windchill, it was in the real feel was in the low 30s. They had been predicting snow…but thankfully that didn’t happen. I had, thankfully, packed some clothes that I could wear over my race gear (and a back up short sleeve shirt since a tank top was the original plan for this race), so I felt like I was good in the wardrobe department. I was glad I had the clothing to give to Cathy before I got into the corral, because I was cold in that wind.
We left the hotel early. Like 5:45-ish early. And we made the 20 minute drive to the University of Toledo, where we found a lot to park in. And then…then was the walk to the start. It was slightly drizzly, but Cathy had purchased some trash bags at Kroger so, we both donned them and set out down the sidewalk to get to the start. It was a pretty big walk, but it was a good way to warm up for sure. If you know Cathy’s history with directions, you will understand that I kept checking with her to make sure that she was on track to getting us to the start line, especially when random runners who were walking near us would veer off and we’d continue on…into the land of empty sidewalks and roads. But, we turned at an intersection and I could hear the tunes of the start line, and they just so happened to be playing my theme song for this year, Panic! at the Disco’s “High Hopes.” It was a good sign.
We went to find a spot for Cathy to stand for the start of the race and just sort of made that base camp. I stood behind her to break her from the wind. We took a few photos. I looked miserable. I was miserable. Spring marathons were not meant to be spent freezing. At least, not in my opinion. I drank my bottle of UCAN with 30 minutes to go and eventually, with about 10, shed my extra layers, save the trash bag, got a hug from Cathy, and headed to Corral B.
It was here in Corral B that I set out on my mission to find the 3;35 pacers. The Web site had two of them listed, but as I hunted for the tiny yellow signs the marathon pacers held, I just couldn’t find any in my corral. So, I went up to one of the half marathon pacers and asked him where the marathon pacers were. He said that they should be in here…and asked which group I was looking for. I said, “The 3:35.” And he told me that there was no 3:35, only 3:30 and 3:40 and to find and line up with the 3:40 so that I start slow. I was determined not to melt down or let this mentally get to me. The National Anthem was about to be sung, and after that, I gave one last look around my corral for pacers….shed my trash bag, and decided I was going to have to pace myself this time.
That’s a scary thought right? But that was how it was going to be. Corral took off and I saw the bobbing of the yellow pacer signs up there. So…one more chance to check for them in my corral. No luck. None. Deep breath. We were moved up toward the start line. Waited two minutes. And then…we were off.
I reeled it in immediately. Normally that race start is intense and the adrenaline is rushing and you just GO. You bolt it out and find some space, but it uses up valuable energy, and I had been given a plan to follow, and while I couldn’t see the first 5 miles through with the pacer as the plan said, I wasn’t going to blow it up by going out too fast too soon. I could hold it together and hold back. Five miles. I had this. My coach wanted me to be around an 8:12-8:10 pace for these miles. I did the best I could, and while a few of them were slightly fast, the last two were just slightly slower (not by much) than that pace. Just before Mile 4, Cathy had found a spot on the side of the road to cheer. It was amazing. Cowbell and all with a crowd. I will say this, for being a smaller race, I never felt like I wasn’t supported out there. Going into Mile 4 was a huge example of this. Lots of people, even in the damp cold, just there to cheer on the runners. It was great.
From Mile 6-15, I was supposed to maintain a slightly faster pace, not sprinting, not going too fast, but hitting those high 8’s. And I managed this. Holy crap, I was doing it. And I felt good. I didn’t feel like I needed anything, and technically with UCAN, I didn’t…but I didn’t want to run out of steam, and I have always been told to fuel early and often. So, I took my first Maurten gel at Mile 6. Here we were guided through some neighborhoods, and people were down at the end of their driveways cheering. Our bibs had names on them, so they would shout out your name and some encouragement as you went by. Loved that. While big races are all fine and good, this was the feel of a big race without all that big race stuff.
It was actually just before Mile 10 that the half and the full marathons split. This was clearly marked with big gates for the runners to go through. The half marathon runners turned left, while we continued on. This did bring the number of people around down some. But, again, I never, ever felt like I was running alone. At Mile 10, I fueled again (remember, early and often) and then I did give a point up to the sky and said Kinsley’s name. She gave me some wings on that mile.
It is just before Mile 11 that the marathon course enters Wildwood Preserve Metropark. We would actually run through this park twice on the course, but, trust me, it didn’t really feel repetitive. The open streets we had been running on narrowed to a running/biking path, but it was paved and beautiful. There were race volunteers out there, handing out water at the two water stops that were inside the park. There was a band playing as well at some point. On the first pass through the park, somewhere after Mile 12, we are sent to the right to run out onto the streets again. I fueled again at Mile 14, and pressed on, still feeling strong and confident. It was somewhere in Mile 16 that I caught up with the 3:40 pacers.
Yep…the 3:40 pacer. I shook this off, figuring that it was fine. The problem was, I joined up with them as we were sent to run on the shoulder of a road, and in a pace group, that made for some tight, tight quarters. This made my split at this mile much slower than I would have liked, but I was afraid of clipping runners ahead of me, or being clipped by runners near me. This happened twice, if you recall, when I started with a pace group at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon back in November. When I had an opening, I did pass and get ahead, able to stretch my legs back out and pick it back up. I didn’t panic. Not at all. I just found my own pace again and was happy to not be in that pack anymore. I had some breathing room and it took that anxiety away. I fueled again at Mile 18 and just kept on going.
Just before Mile 20, we re-enter the park again, from a different entrance and make our way back through that path. It was here that we have to navigate a small bit of an incline. And it was here, that my legs slowed down and just wouldn’t pick it back up. The final 10K…where I wanted to just maintain and keep going strong. A tiny little bump in the elevation took the speed away from me. I felt like I was picking it back up, but I wasn’t. I truly wasn’t. This time as we go to exit, if it’s your second loop, you turn left, and now you’re heading back out toward the university. I still felt good, I just couldn’t find any sort of speed at this point. We are still on this paved trail, and runners were scattered, but we were strong. The 3:40 pacer passed me again. And I didn’t fret or sweat it. I did shed my gloves around Mile 22. My hands were getting really hot finally. And I was close. I also took my last gel at this point. Fuel for the final four miles.
There were some really perky and happy ladies running a friend in for his last few miles, who were fresh and really uplifting. It was nice that they came by me because they definitely helpful in that stretch. Around Mile 25, you can pretty much see the school. You know that finish line is on the field of the football stadium, and you know…you really are almost there. People are cheering. Shouting your name. Encouraging you. Telling you how good you look. How fast you look. That you’re doing amazing. I still felt good. I still felt confident and strong. I knew I wasn’t getting the BQ I had been training for, but I hadn’t glanced at clocks or my watch for time…just my pace. I never peeked at it if it wasn’t buzzing at me for a mile lap. I hit the turns to take the chute into the 26th mile…and then it was on to the stadium. The crowd was amazing. Loud. Screaming. I saw Cathy as my name was announced and I kicked as much as I could toward that finish line. Crossing it…with my hands up. I paused my Garmin and took a look at the time.
I was just off of my BQ time by 3 minutes and off my goal time by 5 minutes. I was so close. I didn’t get my goal, but I was incredibly happy and proud. I hadn’t hit the 3:30’s in a marathon since 2013, where I did it twice. Both BQ times. I was elated. I cried. Cathy came over after I got my Mylar and my medal and gave me a hug. I told her I needed to put my feet up so we went over to the field and I laid down in the sunlight and propped my legs up on her.
Eventually, I decided that I did, in fact, need to move. So, we headed out of the stadium to the runner finish area. Here we collected my commemorative glass mug (you get it upon finishing), and went to the food tent. I couldn’t eat anything, but poor Cathy was starving so she had my beer and pizza tickets, so I let her claim those. I was feeling lightheaded, so I went to sit down and shiver in my Mylar.
Cathy and just shown up when my Instagram friend, Scooby (who had a fantastic day as the 3:15 pacer) wandered by. I called him over and we chatted for a minute, but he had just snagged some pizza and I didn’t want it to get cold…so we congratulated each other and I let him go. Cathy had two beers to try. The first one she hated, the other one she sipped on until I decided I was ready to go get warm with a hot shower at the hotel while she went to get me some coffee from Bigbee Coffee. The walk to the car felt longer than it probably was, mostly because my body was tired and a little sore from the effort that day. I eventually foam rolled, stretched, and went to get dinner at Corelife Eatery before seeing Avengers: Endgame that night (the theater was advertised as having reclining seats – it didn’t…and by the end, I knew I had made a big mistake). It was a good day, and I am still basking in my accomplishment. I think, next time, I’ll get it.
So, the official results of the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon are that I finished in 3:38:46, making it officially my third fastest marathon and the first one back in the 3:30s since 2013. HOLLA! Stoked. I was 408/1278 finishers overall. I was 108/527 female finishes. And I was 30/96 in my age group! How amazing is that. I felt good and strong the entire time, never letting any self-doubt or negative talk enter my head. I was focused on the race at hand and the people I was running it to honor. Marathon #15…done. Now to find the perfect fall marathon to make the next attempt on that Boston Qualifying dream.
Remember…training rarely is linear…race day can throw so many factors at you…trust the process and remain focused on your own race that day. You never know what you are capable of until you try.
As some of you know, I have been training, very specifically, very diligently, and quite intensely for my Spring marathon! I chose one out of the area, but close enough to drive. Honestly, this is one of the most vigorous training plans I have been through when working toward the marathon distance. As I may have mentioned (it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, I can’t remember), I hired a new coach. He was my physical therapist back in 2017 when my hip flexor paralyzed itself, and he got me quickly back on the road. After not reaching any running goals last year, I really needed to reassess my training, and after talking to him, hired him on to train me. And my life has never been the same.
I have had some of the highest mileage weeks I have had in 6 years. I’m not saying that to brag, because I am aware that one extra mile could be the tipping point to injury. But, as I said, Daniel used to be my physical therapist and he knows my weaknesses better than I do. He also knows that in order to speed me up and work on endurance, it means a mix of easy/slow runs and hard speed sessions. We all know how I feel about speed work, but he hasn’t made me cuss him out or cry yet…so his method is working.
I will say, I’m exhausted by the end of the week and look forward to my rest day to prepare for the long runs (yep…runs) of the weekend. Sometimes they are easy runs, sometimes one of them involves some speed. But there is always a reason for where and why he wants me to do runs a certain way. And I’m working hard to hit suggested paces, without going over the edge to injury. It can be a fine line, especially when you’ve dealt with injuries over the years. Last year, I made it out without a single one, and I hope to continue that trend this year.
All that being said, I am getting a slight down week this week as I am headed to Disney World (you know this if you follow me on Instagram) for the Disney Princess Race Weekend. I am participating in the 5K (running it with my roommate at her pace), the 10K (which is what Daniel wants me to race), and the half marathon (training run). I’m super stoked. My last trip to Disney was in January 2018, and it was a hot mess express of a dumpster fire.
So…packing has commenced and I finally got around to trying on my costumes yet. Does my coach realize that I dress up in costumes? Probably not. LOL! But its Disney…if you don’t do SOMETHING Disney related (doesn’t have to be full-on costume), you have no soul.
So…my 5K costume had to change. My roommate is running as Captain America, so I thought I’d go as Iron Man (Tony Stark FOREVER!).
Sadly, the outfit I ordered to do this costume, didn’t match. And the company I ordered the top from hasn’t done much to get me the new top in time for this race. So…I thought about trying to put together a Captain Marvel costume (not enough time), or do something else Avengers…but I just couldn’t cobble together what I needed in the short span of time remaining. So that means, I stick to super hero, but cross the streams into the DC universe and run as…Wonder Woman (DUH!)!
Not what I wanted…but it will work. It will do. And besides, I am Wonder Woman, so might as well stick to my nickname.
For the 10K…I was having a hard time settling on a costume. Believe it or not, I was originally going for Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6.
That being said, it’s really hard to find running clothes that are that golden yellow and not a fluorescent yellow. I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics to maybe get fabric for my friend Melissa to sew a costume for me, but there wasn’t anything there that would work. I was sad, but not giving up on this costume. It WILL happen, because she’s perfect for me to run as. So, I had to make a choice between two costumes that I have run in before…Officer Judy Hopps (Zootopia) or Vanellope von Schweets (Wreck it Ralph). I put it up for a vote on both Facebook and Instagram and the winner…
Pretty excited to bust out this costume again. Hoping that I get the “ears” just right like last time.
The one race that I knew for certain which character I was dressing up as was the half marathon. My nieces, Kaytlynn and Baileigh, chose for me to run as one of the most classic princesses from the Disney films.
My mom made my top for this costume, as the one I wore when I ran Dopey in 2014, was shredded. I mean, the sleeves are made out of ribbons. My mom did a PHENOMENAL job and I can’t wait to share the actual costume with you guys! I tried it on today as we started packing for the trip and I really just want my mom to make all my running costumes from now on. She did my Vanellope top I wore in Dopey 2018, and it was perfection. This one…also perfection. Excited to reprise my role as Snow White for 13.1 magical miles.
I’m going to be trying some new stuff out in the upcoming weeks, but I needed to get through Disney before I make fresh purchases. I’m thinking of switching to the hydration vest versus the belt I’ve worn since 2012. My friend Christine let me borrow hers and I loved it. So…that will be a big purchase, but one I can’t wait to try. Also…my new fuel. It’s pricey, but it seems to work! I’m using old fuel I still had kicking around for now. It’s fine, because I like it as well. As long as it doesn’t make me sick or hurt my stomach, or as long as I don’t have to chew it…I’m happy to use it.
So, seven challenging weeks of training down. Ten more to go. And now, here come the weeks where I also throw in some races (either as training runs, or to race) and I’m pretty stoked to get that going. Stay tuned, as I hope to keep you informed of more of my training highlights and shortcomings (because I’m human and I’m not going to nail everything). But that will have to wait until I get back from Disney.
Life has been…chaotic and busy, to say the least, these last few weeks. The holidays always throw my routine out of whack, but it just seems like it’s taking me a little longer to bounce back into my day-to-day life.
But…a few things have changed heading into the new year.
First of all, I hired a new running coach. Yep. After my former coach and I decided it was best to go our separate ways in July last year, I pulled out old training plans and did my best to get myself into shape to hit a BQ at the Chicago Marathon. The training was hard, but I did my best to get myself prepared within the weeks I had left to get myself to that start line. We all know, if you read my race review, that my Chicago Marathon went all kinds of hella wrong. I was really down on myself and disappointed with my performance, because I was told, by so many people, that there was no way (even with the new qualifying times released JUST before the Chicago marathon) that there was no way I wouldn’t qualify. Guess what…I didn’t. I tried two out of my three marathons…and it didn’t happen. I didn’t let on much, but it bothered me and I felt like I was just going backwards and not forwards, and doing it on my own wasn’t getting me the results I really wanted. SO…I remembered that a former physical therapist of mine was a running coach…so I got in touch with him…and filled out some paperwork, had a one-on-one with him on the phone…and I started officially training with him on December 31st. Even more frightening, January 6th marked 16 weeks out from my spring marathon.
Just kidding. I’m not panicking.
Something else has changed in the workout realm. I hired a personal trainer. Yep. I sure did. And you know what? I really trust him to help me get my body back in shape and ready to race to get my Boston Qualifying time. It’s a process, but I trust him. I met Corey in 2017, and he opened up his own personal training businesses a while back. I never thought about getting a personal trainer until last summer, but with my fall marathon looming, I didn’t want to start anything too rigorous so close. So, I started with him on…you guessed it…December 31st and meet with him twice a week. He plans my workout around the training my running coach sets up and so far it’s all been jiving really well. I love how Corey explains to me why we are working certain muscles and how it will benefit me when I am running. I am trusting him and the process of getting me back in racing shape.
And…I’m currently 39 days away from my first official race of 2019. And I can’t wait. Except I do have to get a few things figured out when it comes to what I’ll be wearing. Stay tuned.
I hope your 2019 is off to a good start. What have you changed, started or hoping to do this year? Tell me in the comments!
Race: CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Place: Indianapolis, IN
Date: November 3, 2018
“Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.” ~ Samuel Beckett
I admit it. The results of the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon were a hard pill to swallow. In all honesty, I had hoped that my training, regardless of changing plans and going solo on it all…making it all up as I went, catching up on miles I didn’t get to run to build up that marathon base…I really thought it would be enough. I didn’t feel like I was in marathon shape. But I felt confident.
And, as we know…I crashed and burned soon after the 14 mile mark. I finished. But not with a time I was happy with.
Moral of the story. Do NOT ever leave me along with an upcoming half marathon with the option to upgrade to the full marathon when I’m pissed off with my previous marathon performance. Less than one month apart. 27 days apart, to be exact. Because, I figured, hell, I was already in “marathon shape”…might as well try again with a different plan of action. So, it happened. I upgraded my registration to the full marathon (trust me, I was starting to doubt the wisdom of this the morning of the race, but I’ll get there, LOL!) and then…didn’t really broadcast it anywhere. I told my training partner, Lauren. My roommate, of course, knew. And a couple of people at the gym who asked me what was next for me knew…but no one else. Not. A. Word.
My plan for the days in between? Recovery. Easy runs. Not a ton of miles. Just easy, training runs. I did maybe 3 speed intervals…all of only 4 miles. My longest long run was 10 miles…last weekend. Slow and steady with Lauren who took me on an adventure and kept the pace right where I wanted and needed it. Some people like to pile on those miles and brag about weekly and monthly totals. I have never been that sort. And, honestly, it is a rare thing for me to ever hit 200 miles in a month, even during marathon training. There is training and there is overtraining. One of these benefits you. The other leads to injury, burnout, and a plethora of other issues. Just like pace, I don’t usually post my miles or mileage either. Honestly, who cares other than me?
Deep breath. Let’s start with the day before the race.
Thursday night was filled with packing and not trying to overthink anything. Cathy picked out my outfit…she packed recovery wear, shoes, race gear, fuel, etc. Everything I would need for another 26.2. I made her pack capris because I was nervous it would be too cold at the start of the race for the running skirt she had picked. She allowed for that…but nothing more. We went to work as usual on Friday, planning to leave around 2 pm to make the drive up to Indianapolis.
I made certain that I got as much work done that I could in the time I was in the office. Lunch was just a giant salad, made from all the fresh ingredients/produce that I had lingering in my fridge heading into the weekend. We packed up, brought bottles of water that had our Nuun Immunity Tablets in them. If you haven’t tried them…HIGHLY recommended! And we hit the road, with our mid-day snacks to get us through the drive and the expo before heading to dinner.
We hit a small amount of traffic on the way, but we made it to the Omni Severin Hotel, in downtown Indianapolis. Honestly, if you’re looking for a hotel in downtown Indy…STAY HERE!! I was blown away by the hospitality, even if they didn’t do late checkouts due to it being an event weekend (I get it…but after a marathon, I usually appreciate a hot shower). They did say that they had a fitness center with a shower and if I needed one I could get a key made to get in there and shower. So…I mean…there was that. Our luggage was taken up to our room by the nicest guy, Matt, who gave us the rundown about the hotel and the history behind it. He showed us the amenities in the room and made sure we had plans for dinner because otherwise the hotel was doing a pasta dinner for the runners. Honestly, I’ve never felt so welcome at a hotel.
Next stop…the expo. We took the inside path through the hotel and Circle Center Mall to get ourselves over to the Indianapolis Expo Center. Some roads were going to be closed because Trump and Pence were in town (BARF!), but it wasn’t affecting us. We had a work-around. The Expo felt a lot smaller this year than it was last year. We got there, and immediately collected posters and headed to the back to get race packets and shirts. YES…that’s plural. Since I upgraded to the full, Cathy decided she could do the 5K, as it started AFTER the full and half marathons were sent off. Had I stuck with the half, she wouldn’t have done it otherwise she’d miss my finish.
We stopped at the 5K booths first and Cathy did her first ever official big race 5K packet pickup. She had to show her ID and everything. The volunteers at her table were SO fun and very cool. They even had thrown safety pins into her bag. It was awesome.
After she got her stuff…we headed over to the marathon tables where I collected my shirt and bib and we went straight into Official Merchandise. Where I spent more money. This time only on a lapel pin and a jacket. The jacket is SUPER nice though. I could have spent SO MUCH more. HA! We made our walk through the vendors and races that were represented at the expo. Cathy had forgotten a BondiBand to keep her ears warm, so we had to go and get her one of those. She found one…bright pink…that says, “Nevertheless, she persisted.” Just like the button she has worn since NYC. I spotted a different flavor of Gluten Free Honey Stinger Stroopwafels (I can only ever find Salted Caramel…which is GOOD…but I know there are other flavors out there…and I found a Vanilla & Chocolate one!). But we wrapped it up quickly, stopping to find my name on the poster and then take a few pictures with the banners. A volunteer was kind enough to get a lot of these photos for us, from every angle.
From there, we made the trek back to the hotel room. We had about 30 minutes to kill before dinner, so Cathy went ahead and tried on her race shirt to get my opinion on the fit. I decided I should do the same, and thank GOD I did. Turns out, the volunteers at my end of the table gave me a men’s small and not a women’s small. I was NOT happy. With 20 minutes to get to our dinner reservation, we packed up the shirt and stepped outside to take a quicker route to the convention center in hopes of changing it out. I booked it down the hall and back into the expo to the shirt exchange area and snagged my women’s small. Whew! Cathy was waiting in the hall outside. We had about 5 minutes to make a 10 minute walk to our dinner reservation at Napolese. Honestly, whenever we are in town for a race, this is our go-to restaurant. I mean…GLUTEN FREE FOCACCIA AND GLUTEN FREE PIZZA!!
I apologized to the hostess for being late and told her we had a 5:45 reservation. Our table was still there though, next to two very loud men who were drinking a lot and talking REALLY LOUD about Queen and movies and games and whatever. I was over it. Thank God they left while we were eating our appetizer.
We had already had plans on what we were going to do for eats that night. I looked at the menu on the way up so we could formulate a plan. So when our waiter came over, we got glasses of water and put in our order. Gluten Free Focaccia (no dairy) and then we were going to Freestyle our pizza and do a Gluten Free Pizza topped with the Housemade Tomato Sauce, Winter Squash, Mushrooms, and Duck Eggs. He asked if the gluten-free was an allergy and made note that it was for a Celiac on the ticket. And also made note of the NO DAIRY preference as well. They are VERY efficient there. And trust me…the food is amazing too.
The focaccia came out first…olive oil, garlic, parsley. SO GOOD. And as we were polishing that off, the pizza came out. But it was missing…the duck eggs. Cathy pointed it out and he apologized and took it back. He returned with a little thing of olive oil to go with the pizza if we wanted to add it and said that he took the pizza before they had cooked up the eggs and it would be up momentarily. And we didn’t really have a long wait before it was returning to our table. Looking SO good. And even with polishing off the focaccia…I was ready to eat. We polished off the pizza and took his advice, adding the olive oil…and it was light and fruity and just added a whole new level of deliciousness to the slices. BIG FAN. We finished eating and were given the bill, where they didn’t charge us for the duck eggs (that was sweet…but they didn’t need to do that). We left a big tip, because or waiter was awesome. Then headed to CVS to pick up some waters for the next morning, and then hit up the Hard Rock Cafe for a pin. Mind you…I was not wanting to be on my feet much this time around. But, we were never far from the hotel and we were back into the hotel by 7:30-ish. Cathy went to shower. I got out all my race gear and laid it out and then started my foam rolling because I was determined to do that the night before the race. As I was doing that, there was a knock at the door. It was housekeeping delivering a bottle of water, some ice, and a card. It was from the hotel. Super sweet gesture. I knew it would all come in handy. We finished up an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives…and then…
Lights out…9 pm. On the nose.
I woke up a couple of times during the night…like my usual wakeup time of 3 am. At 4
am, my first alarm went off so I could take a pill and use the bathroom. Back to bed for 2 restless hours. At 6 am…we were both up and starting our morning routine. I popped open a Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Matcha Happiness Ambition Bar. I ate one before I ran the Monumental Half Marathon last year. Why not do it again? I prepped my pre-race drink and started to slowly get dressed. At 6:15 am, Cathy’s free orange juice and coffee arrived outside the door. We got up at 6 am so we could have a more relaxed moment and this gave her the chance to eat her Clif Bar and drink some coffee and juice as she does most mornings. Including in her own training.
I finished getting ready, and this included slathering on some sunscreen because…it was going to be a sunny day that morning and I refuse to be the person with a sunburn in November. I was wearing two different color CEP sleeves, my Injinji toe socks, my Newton Distance IIIs, a black running skirt, my Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon singlet, red arm warmers, and a red BondiBand that said “Breathe.” I had some pajama bottoms to toss away prior to the race and a halfzip that I bought in a child’s size a long time ago that I was okay parting with. I put my Nuun Energy into two of my bottles and water into the other two bottles and put my fuel belt on. I put my new nutrition (tested once) into the front zip pouch and called myself ready. Cathy ended up putting on a second layer on top and then we headed down to the lobby. They had water and bananas out for the runners. I usually eat a banana before a marathon so…I snagged one. We ran into people from Louisville that we didn’t know, but I spotted his Chicago Marathon t-shirt and said I had run it too, but he was smarter than me this morning since he was only doing the half. We had a good laugh over that.
And after they moved on…I started to have a small meltdown. Why? Because, despite being easy on my body and training smart leading up to this…I felt like my legs weren’t going to let me go another 26.2 so soon. Cathy talked me down, as she usually does. And then she had us moving out the door and into the cold Indianapolis morning. It was 34 degrees outside. We made the walk from the Omni to the start line, where I ate my banana and slowly drank my water. We made it here and Cathy took a few pictures. When we saw the pacers getting into the corral, she told me to go find my pacers and talk to them. She gave me a hug and I left…stepping into the network of corrals and finding the 3:35 pacers (see what I’m doing here?), in the 2nd wave. My bib was good for the first wave, but like I said, I was learning from my mistakes at Chicago…I hoped.
My plan for this race…line up with the 3:35 pace group and hold on as long as I could. I
didn’t expect to be with them for long, just given how my training runs had been coming off of Chicago. But, I figured it would be a good way to keep from going out way too fast (and we all know I would have) and at least keeping a constant pace going forward. The male pacer’s PR was 3:09 and the female had just run a 50K the weekend before, so I can only assume that she is normally super fast as well. Crazy good. I never run with pacers, but I figured…this might be what I need.
I ditched my toss-away clothing and got back to the pacers just as the national anthem was being sung. It was gorgeous. The wheelchair racers were sent off first. Wave one was next. And we were moved up to the start gate. I gave a wave to Cathy since I wasn’t on the outside of the corral…I was right behind the pacers because…I didn’t want to lose them. After about 5 minutes…off we went. We hit the roads of Indianapolis…and Cathy went to line up for her 5K.
The pacers guided our group down Capitol Avenue, reminding us that the pace would be slow for the first couple of miles until the race spread out a little bit. Since the half and full marathon start together, it can be very congested at points. Reminder, Indianapolis roads are awful. The male pacer pointed out holes as we ran and I heard the female pacer say, “You’re going to be saying that a lot.” HA! She wasn’t wrong.
We made a couple of turns before running across the first water/aid station. They were nice enough to shout out each station as we approached so anyone who needed water or Gatorade could grab it. It was a little chaotic through there, but I stuck with them as we made a couple more turns and made the half rotation around Monument Circle. There was another aid station before we hit Mile 3 and the pacer sign was passed from the male to the female. He had a pace tattoo on his arm and when we hit three, she asked, “How are we?” He said, “We’re a little over.” So she picked it up slightly.
Not only was I incorporating a “stick to the pacer” technique this race, I also decided to fuel more. So every 4 miles…I was trying something new (I know…nothing new on race day, but…MEH)…Maurten Gel 100, which is apparently what Kipchoge uses! I am no Kipchoge, nor was I aware of this when I purchased it to try…but it isn’t bad. I like the texture way better than the Honey Stingers or Gu type gels. I took my first one at Mile 4, which had me ease back on the pace just enough. I took a drink of water, and pushed my way back up toward the pacers.
It was just about the 10K area that I discovered how dangerous it was to run with a pace
group. As more people fell into the group it got crowded…fast. Someone clipped my foot from behind, sending me stumbling. I recovered, but was pushed into someone ahead of me, which sent them stumbling. Then someone else closed in and his foot pretty much tripped me…and again I had to catch myself. And then someone clipped me again and that one nearly took me down for good. The adrenaline was rushing at this point which was definitely NOT what I wanted to have happen. I eased back just enough to allow some space so I wouldn’t get trampled at this point.
At Mile 7, the half marathoners turn left and the marathon runners continue up toward the State Fairgrounds. At Mile 8…I fueled again. And I was still hanging onto the pace group. YAY. I was a little bit behind them, but I felt that was for my own safety and sanity. We turned onto Washington Boulevard, which we would be on for almost the next two miles. They were giving out Clif Gels at Mile 11, but I had my own fueling to contend with. But it was here…HERE…that I started to get a side stitch. I wasn’t pushing my pace…but it soon turned into a stomach cramp of sorts. I gutted through it until we made the turn and hit Mile 12…and then I slowed it to a walk to see if I could get it to pass. This was when I was supposed to fuel again anyway…and I took the opportunity to do that before I felt I would be okay to pick it up again. And I did. No problems. I made sure to drink more water this time. I think that was the problem. I was now further behind the pace group, but was about to hit the halfway mark. I pushed through and continued…still feeling strong for the most part. I was just frustrated that I was off the pace group earlier than I would have liked.
I loved winding through the streets of Indianapolis. There were crowds and people cheering in places you wouldn’t expect. If we ran through neighborhoods, people were there too. I may have been a bit off my pace, but I was going strong for the most part. I made the turn onto Meridian and picked it back up a little. Mile 16…I eased back again to fuel and drink more water. And now I decided I would start walking some water stops in order to make sure I was hydrating. When it’s cold outside, I forget to drink water. I wasn’t letting anything stupid like that take me down that day.
The 3:40 pacers caught me just before Mile 18, where we ran through this area that felt like a park and were met with a wall of screaming from the people inside. I think it was a college group, but they were fantastic. I got quite a few compliments at aid stations and as I ran through here on my pigtails. Love that story. We exited onto the highway and headed toward my favorite part of the course, this gorgeous, twisting downhill on an exit ramp. YES! Downhill is my favorite speed as we all know!! And this was fun.
Mile 20…and I had only a 10K left. I took a little longer on my walk to fuel here because not only did I fuel and drink some water, but I also moved my one and only Honey Stinger Gel from my zip pocket in my running skirt to my fuel belt. Why? Because I was going to do one more fueling and I didn’t have enough Maurten with me. I wanted to feel good and strong at the end of this.
At this point, if there was a hill…I speed walked it. If there was a water stop, I walked it and took in some water. If there was a crowd, I ran. I was running more than walking, which was opposite Chicago, so already my plan was paying off. I think it was at Mile 23, I went ahead and took my last gel, fueling for the last push. The water stop here was AMAZING. They were blaring this great song about being downtown. And it just helped me pick it back up.
The next three miles went well, even though I could tell I was slowing down. I think at some point the 3:45 group passed me. I tried not to let it get into my head. I took any water break walks that I needed and promised that I would push it at the end. I was going to finish this one strong. I made the turn onto W New York Street. The crowd was amazing. Someone shouted, “The finish is just around the corner!” They were right. I rounded the corner and could see the finish line down the way. It seemed so far, but I found another gear and I started to pick it up. As I got closer, I saw Cathy standing near the finish, screaming her head off for me. I pressed on, crossing the finish line, arms in the air, and stopped my Garmin. I never looked at it. I wanted to beat my Dopey time. But I didn’t want to be disappointed yet either.
So I never looked. I started walking down the row. I was wrapped in a Mylar blanket. I saw some people with their medals on…and thought for a moment I had walked right past that station. But I hadn’t. I just hasn’t moved up far enough. I continued on. A nice woman put a medal around my neck and congratulated me. I smiled and thanked her, snagging a bottle of water before stopping to get an official finisher photo from Marathonfoto. On down the aisle of snacks, snagging a banana, a Clif Bar (for Cathy), a bag of Lay’s chips, and the famous cookie (I can’t even eat it…but I knew plenty of people who could). And then…I made my way out to be greeted by Cathy with a hug.
I asked her, “Did I beat my Dopey time?” And she said, “You smashed it by over three minutes.” I was elated. It wasn’t the time I was hoping to hit, but I once again chipped away from my time I set at the beginning of the year…doing a run/walk for the entire race. This time, I mostly ran and felt strong and good throughout…and that was saying something. As Cathy was finding a spot for me to lay down and put my feet up, I spotted the hat in her clear backpack and said, “You got a hat?” She said I should have gotten one too and I told her I must have walked past that station. She told me to lay down and she would see if she could get one for me. After about 5 minutes, she returned victorious, saying she flagged down a happy looking marathoner to see if she could get another one. It worked.
After stretching my feet up for a little bit, just basking in the sun, we finally decided to get up and head back toward the hotel. Cathy checked us out of our room and had our bags checked. It felt like the walk took forever, but it was a good way, save for the wind that had picked up. I drew my arm warmers back up over my arms and we zigzagged our way back to the hotel.
We stepped inside and got into the elevator to go up one floor. Cathy told me to go over to the bench to sit down and wait while she got luggage. It didn’t take too long. She opened up my suitcase and pulled out the outfit I had set out to wear afterwards, compression socks, jeans, the race t-shirt, new underwear, a proper bra, the basics. We went ahead and took off my shoes, socks and put on my compression socks while I was sitting there. She pulled my pigtails down, getting my hair extensions out and grabbing my hair brush. And then she sent me around the corner to the bathroom to change.
I ducked into a stall and did that in record time after a marathon. I realized that I had left my deodorant in my toiletries bag so I made sure I looked presentable, brushed my hair, and then went to grab that while leaving my race clothes with her. Quick duck into the bathroom to apply deodorant, a wash of the hands, and one more fix of the hair…and I was good to go. Once I put on my recovery shoes.
We headed out and she gave me the valet ticket to get the car while she went into Starbucks to grab me a much-needed coffee. They valet went to retrieve the car, which took about 5 minutes and she hadn’t yet made it out. I had no money on me to top the valet, which I felt AWFUL about, but I couldn’t help that. I texted her and she said about 14 teenagers had been in front of her and she was coming. She was out in about 3 minutes and we loaded up her luggage. I snagged my coffee. And we were off, heading to Carmel, Indiana, the home of Woody’s Library Restaurant, my new favorite place to eat in all of Indianapolis. Our friend Greg met us there. I didn’t have an appetite at this moment, but went ahead and ordered the Gluten Free (Lettuce Wrap) Tex Mex Quinoa Tacos with a side of the Gluten Free Sweet Potato Fries, and Cathy got me a little side of pickles…just in case I wanted them.
I made a go at the food…taking my time to chew and to digest so as not to set my stomach off. And I managed to eat the fries and most of the tacos before calling it quits. I maybe had two of the pickle chips. I was surprised I managed that much. Afterwards, to stretch me out a bit more before we made the car ride home, the three of us went to the Antique Mall and looked around. They both found things to buy, but I didn’t this time. Maybe next time. Then we hit up the gluten-free No Label at the Table bakery there. I picked up two of their Lemon Cookies, a Brownie, and a Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf. The lady who owns the bakery was there, and she was excited to see a marathoner there and asked me about other local races and Disney races as I shopped and decided what I wanted.
Afterwards…it was time to make the long drive back home.
So, the official results of the CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in 3:46:17, which makes it my fastest marathon this year and the one that closes out my actual racing season, as far as I know. HA. I was 1377/4568 finishers overall. I was the 377/1983 female finishers. And I was 106/391 in my age division. Very happy with my results as I was dedicating this run to the people I know…who can’t run. Spontaneous Marathon #14 is in the books and I already can’t wait to sign up for next year. This was a great race, all around.