Monday, April 15, 2013

Thoughts of the Boston Marathon explosion

My heart is heavy for all that were impacted by the terrible act of terrorism at the Boston Marathon today. A day that should have been filled with triumph, was tarnished by the unthinkable. Runners have trained months and even years for this day. It's not fair. As a runner and one who has completed a marathon, I am terribly upset about today's event. I have not felt this way since 9/11. It's simply unthinkable. Runners spend months preparing for a marathon. I cannot imagine all those months of training to culminate on a day of such evil. Approaching mile 26 is awful in itself, but to see explosions while crossing the finish line, I cannot even imagine. I am upset for those involved, I am upset for our running community and I am upset for our world.

My prayers are with the runners, spectators, city of Boston and our country.

I pray that we find peace in our world.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It's been awhile...

It's been more than two years since my last post. Since then a lot has changed! After my knee injury in the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon, I visited the knee doctor and was sent to physical therapy for about 8 weeks (But I got the clear to run the Broad Street Run in May 2011). I starting dating my best friend in February 2011 and now we are married! I can't imagine my life without him. It's funny how life works out when we're least expecting it!

In other running-related news, I ran a half marathon in September 2011. I continue to stay active, but I have not been consistent with running. I'm hoping to change that this spring. My goal is to enter the lottery for the Broad Street Run. If I don't get a spot in the race, I'm planning to run the Delaware Half Marathon in May!

My workouts lately have focused on high intensity interval training, kettlebells, BodyCombat and BodyPump. My knee still continues to bother me from time to time. I notice pain in certain weather conditions and when I don't properly stretch.

That's all for now! I hope to get back to blogging and running (SO I CAN EAT OF COURSE!)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Running Update/Year-End Running Reflection

It's been more than 2 months since my last blog post. However, I have run since October 16 - the day of the marathon! Since the marathon I have run a 10k and a half marathon. The half marathon was on December 11 and was probably a mistake. I hurt my knee around the 3 mile mark and I haven't been the same since. I ran with my work friend, Lisa, and we had a great time, despite my kne pain! My time was 1:56:55 (I think) and felt decent until mile 8. At mile 8 nature called and I had to make a pit stop. I was never able to get back in my rhythm, but overall, I was happy with my time due to my limited training.
Here's a few pictures of Lisa and I with her Lewes Ladies Running Club! They were all super nice and I hope to run another race with them all!
Here is our group shot after our pasta night out:

And here we are post-half marathon!

Back to the discussion on limited training... I only ran a handful of times between the marathon and half marathon and I think that was a mistake. I should have been running at least three times a week, but instead did a long run once a week and worked out at the gym on the other days. The time change really put a damper on running and I haven't been able to get motivated to run outside in the cold.
This morning I met a friend for a run (keep up the good work, Alexis!) and my knee started hurting again. This was the second time I tried to run since December 11. The other day I could only go 1.75 miles before my knee started bothering me. This has been difficult for me to deal with because I want to go out and run. The Food Bank is training for the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon in March and I'm nervous I'm not going to be able to participate. I have finally made an appointment to see a sports medicine doctor on Monday. My inkling is it's nothing too serious, because I've been able to do other forms of exercising. Running is the only thing that hurts my knee. We'll see on Monday.
So 2010 is almost over and it has been a good year filled with lots of running. As I look back on all of the running I've done, it's really been an exciting year in terms of personal and physical growth. I ran 1 5k, 1 10k, 1 10-miler, 2 half marathons and the highlight of the year, the marathon. At this point, I don't think I will train for a marathon in 2011. I think I need to rest my body, but I will do several half marathons as long as everything is okay with my knee. But, never say never. I might get the itch for 26.2!!!
2011 fitness goals:
  • Run several half marathons and improve my time from the first half
  • Broad Street Run
  • Get certified to become a personal trainer
  • Do a mud run (Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash)
  • Start TRX suspension training at the gym
Happy New Year, running friends! And remember you must run far so you can eat!
Peace. Love. Run.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I did it! I ran a marathon! The runner's high that I have experienced this afternoon cannot be described! It took some time after crossing the finish line to actually begin experiencing it. I feel like I am on the top of a mountain and can accomplish anything I put my mind to. It's very surreal to think I just ran for four-plus hours through hills and wind!
Before I talk about the 26.2 miles, I want to thank all of my family and friends for their support during this journey! You all cheered me on, encouraged me and listened to my incessant chatter about marathon training and how I think you should all become runners (I do think you should all be runners still!) I want to thank my mom and stepdad for dealing with my anxiety this week. I was nervous and when it was time for someone to get yelled at, it was typically them! Thanks for coming to the race, cheering me on and walking through Baltimore! Thank you to my brother, Rick, and his friends, Tyler, Whitney and JB, for cheering me on at mile 13. Seeing familiar faces helped me to keep going! Thank you to all of the people on the streets of Baltimore who cheered, gave me high fives, passed out Swedish Fish, gummy lifesavers, water and more! Thanks to the police who kept us all safe! Thank you to my Food Bank family for all of your words of encouragement and to my Facebook family for all of the encouragement and nice comments!

Now that my thanks are finished - let's get down to business.
So yesterday I went to Baltimore to spend the night with my cousin, Chris, and his wife Aryna! (Thanks for letting me stay!) When Chris got home from work he started making HOMEMADE, yes, homemade pasta. I know our family members are probably shocked reading this HAHA!
Here it is!

The pasta was delicious and after dinner we headed to Ravens Stadium for the Expo to pick up our race tags and t-shirts. The expo was nice and they had a lot of different vendors. I didn't buy anything, but the Under Armour marathon shirts that we got are BAD!! They are so nice!!! I can't wait to wear mine. It's a neon yellow longsleeve shirt. After the Expo it was close to 8:30 and I was getting tired. I ended up going to bed around 9:45, but couldn't sleep well because of th excitement of the race. I ended up waking up at 5:45 to start mentally preparing for the 26.2 miles ahead of me. I did my typical longrun morning routine... wake up, get dressed, eat a bagel with peanut butter (powdered peanut butter mixed with water - it's 85% less calories than regular peanut butter), drink water and the rest I will not discuss hahahahaha.
Around 7 a.m. my mom and stepdad picked me up so we could head down to the start line. After some issues with directions we parked and got there. We had a few blocks to walk. The race started at Camden Yards and we we arrived around 7:35 there were tons of runners already there. I made one last pee stop and headed to the start line. A little background on my outfit because the colors were deliberate. The black shirt was in memory of my friend, Michelle, and the pink shorts were in honor of someone very near and dear to my heart who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer (however, she is a one beast of a woman and is going to come out of this STRONGER than ever!!)

They had start areas based on your finish times and I chose to start at the back of the 4:00 pace group beginning of 4:15 pace group. When I got to the start line I was pleasantly surprised to to see Steve, a friend I went to high school with! It was nice to have a familiar face at the start line! A few minutes later the Star Spangled Banner was sung and a sky diver came from the sky with an American flag and red smoke coming from him. I got chills. First off, I love this country and at that point, I was like, wow this is really happening - I am about to embark on probably one of the most challenging journeys of my life! And then the race began!
There I am waving!

My strategy was to take the first five miles a bit slow (thanks Mark for the good advice!). At mile one my split was 10:01. I was happy with that because I knew I didn't go out too fast. Each mile after that got a bit quicker (until probably mile 8). I don't know what my fastest split time was, but I didn't care because my knees didn't hurt, the weather was nice (very windy though!) and I was feeling good. I kept telling myself to enjoy feeling good because I knew eventually fatigue would set in. I had to pee around mile 5, but I didn't want to stop and the lines at the portapotties were long. Around mile 7.5 the line wasn't long and I decided it was a good time to stop. From waiting in line to actually peeing probably took 2.5 minutes and I'll talk about those minutes later. My mom also told me not to talk about the portapotty in my blog so I'll leave those details out.

At mile 9 we were in the Inner Harbor and I saw my mom and stepdad for the first time! My mom gave me five! Here she is... she has nice nails LOL

View from behind HAHA

I got a little distracted at this point and I think I slowed down trying to look at all of the people. I eventually got a rhythm going again and we started heading towards Key Highway. When I did my training run a few weeks back I felt really crappy at this point of the course, but today I was feeling good. At mile 10 I was clocking in at 1:34 and I was feeling good with this split. By mile 13 my time was 2:02. I probably lost speed around mile 15. I started getting tired and the bottom of my left foot really started hurting. Despite the pain, Tim's (our Chef at the Food Bank) advice of "pain is temporary" kept going through my head and I trudged through the pain. Ed (Food Banker and multi-marathon runner also advised me to not leave anything on the course and that also played through my head!) At the 16-mile mark the marathoners merged with the half marathoners. They had a shoot off to the side for marathoners so that helped to keep me going with my rhythm, but that shoot eventually merged. I was a little annoyed because a lot of people were walking and I needed to keep moving. Every mile I completed I kept counting down and still couldn't believe I was running a marathon. Mile 17 was tough - it was uphill and we were running against the wind. I wanted to stop and walk, but I didn't. I just told myself to get to the next water stop (I walked through all of the water stops so I could drink - on a side note that I forgot about... a little past 11 miles I ate some Swedish Fish and gummy lifesavers that were on the course and they made my stomach hurt!) My foot was throbbing at this point, but I just kept running. Mile 20 was close and by that point the hilly part of the course would be over. The 1.3 mile run around Lake Montebello was not too bad, but it did play with me mentally a little bit because I could see the runners on the other side of the lake. Liz Phair's Extraordinary was playing on my iPod so it helped me stay motivated. By mile 21 I was tired and just wanted to be finished. I kept saying just 5.2 more miles - that's a piece of cake run, but it really wasn't cake. By mile 22 I was starting to hit a wall. I stopped to stretch and then kept going. A water stop was near. At this point of the race adrenaline, praying and thought of sitting kept me going. I prayed and asked God to help get me home! Mile 23 was intense - it was hilly, but at the top was a man dressed in a tiger costume dancing on the top of his car playing "Eye of the Tiger!" It made me laugh and I read about him in the Baltimore Sun this morning! Tons of gummy bears were being passed out, but I decided against them. I was too tired to eat anything. Mile 25 was hard because I knew I was almost there. Tons of people were cheering. It helped me get through, but I was so tired at this point. I saw the 26 mile mark and it was just .2 to go! Whew! I saw the finish line and I kicked it in (as much as you can kick in after running for 4+ hours) My goal was to run under 4 (I did not accomplish that) or 4:15. I finished in 4:18:10. I was very happy with this time considering how challenging the course was and the winds! But I would have met my goal of 4:15 had I not stopped to use the portapotty!!! But I would have peed my pants, so that wouldn't have been good! After crossing the finish line there was an exodus of runners and I was actually really angry that it took so long to get a cup of water. We were hearded like cattle and my legs were tired and I'm not patient anyways so I was HEATED! People were everywhere. I didn't even get to have food after the race because the line was so long. I wasn't about to wait. I just wanted to sit! I eventually found my mom and stepdad, but it took some time because the clowns moved from where we were supposed to meet. I started crying because I couldn't find them HAHAHA!

Also shout outs to my friend Katie who also ran the marathon and finished in 3:33! (BEAST!) and my cousin who ran the half in 1:50!! So that was the marathon! It was so awesome after the feeling set in that I finished! I am so proud of myself. It was a lot of work, but the training paid off. I feel like I am in the best shape of my life and I'm excited to hit up the Concordville Inn brunch buffet with Naty, Mr. Russo, Anna and Bill tomorrow. It will be a true Fat Girl Check-In! After experiencing the torture of 26.2 I am looking forward to doing a quick 10k on Thanksgiving Day and a half marathon in Rehoboth with Lisa from the Food Bank on December 11! A half will be a piece of cake after 26.2! But, I think I have caught a serious long distance running bug and at this point I plan to run another marathon. It's a thrill that cannot be explained unless you've run one before. And I like to eat so training for a marathon allows me to do my two true loves, run and eat!!
So that's all! My first 26.2 is in the books! If you are interested in viewing the course map, click here. If you want to see the elevation chart, click here!

ROAR I'm a beast! On another side note, October 16 is special to me - last October 16 I bought and moved into my very first home and October 16 of this year I ran my first (and not last, sorry mom) marathon!

Peace. Love. Run.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random thoughts going through my head

There's less than 48 hours until the marathon....

Here's what's going on in my head!

  • I'm nervous - very nervous. My anxiety levels over the past two days have been at an all-time high
  • I'm also excited!! Just get me to the start line! I have a good playlist that I'm excited to listen to! I'm not going to listen to my iPod at the start line... I want to take everything in
  • The anticipation for this marathon feels like the anticipation for Christmas morning when you are 7 years old
  • Pain is temporary
  • Gummy bears at mile 23
  • Expo tomorrow - free stuff!
  • Seeing my cousin, Chris, and Aryna in Baltimore tomorrow. Chris is doing the half marathon! And did the Seagull Century Bike Race last weekend (100 miles) - what a beast!
  • Good luck to my friend I've known the longest, Katie H., who is doing the full marathon!!
  • I've been training since the middle of February - first for the Broad Street Run, then the half marathon and then this full marathon.
  • I'm running a half marathon in December. I have caught the long distance running bug!
  • I have set two goals for myself. Goal one - finish in under four hours; goal two, which may be a bit more realistic - finish in under 4:15
  • Drink water
  • Start slow
  • Envision the finish line when I hit the wall
  • "If you feel bad at 10 miles, you're in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you're normal. If you don't feel bad at 26 miles, you're abnormal."
  • I don't want to leave anything on the course. When I finish I don't want to feel I could have pushed it harder
  • I'm excited to go to brunch at the Concordville Inn on Sunday morning with Anna, Bill, Naty and Mr. Russo
  • I may consider running another marathon. If I do, I want to do the NYC Marathon
  • Good luck to Tarra who is running a marathon in San Francisco this weekend!
  • "I've learned that finishing a marathon isn't just an athletic achievement. It's a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible." This will help me get to the finish line
  • 10 with your legs, 10 with your head and 6 with your heart
  • This marathon is going to be painful, but I'm looking forward to the pain in a very sick, demented way that only other distance runners would probably understand
  • Get to the start line early. I will be NERVOUS - a hot mess nervous wreck probably
  • I can't believe it's almost here
  • But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:31
  • GYRO for life!
  • Bring it!!!
Peace, Love, Run

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Wall

Okay... so I started writing this post right after I did 20 miles and part of was deleted... I got mad and haven't blogged since. But I'm ready to be a good blogger again as the marathon is in less than 2 weeks!

Hello! So this past weekend I ran 20 miles (again). Two Saturdays in a row at 20 miles. I'm not sure that's very smart, but whatever, I paid for it.

So this weekend there was an organized run of the Baltimore Marathon course by the Falls Road running club. My friend Katie (Katie is my friend I have known the longest - we've known each other since we were about 4 or 5 years old!) lives in Baltimore and is also running the Baltimore Marathon. We thought it was a good idea to participate and check out parts of the course. The course is not bad at all. I was a bit concerned about the hills, but after running them, I am confident. They will be challenging, but not impossible and they are definitely not steep hills - just gradual inclines. Anyways... there were two possible loops for the day - a 21-mile loop or 10-mile loop. Because I ran 20 last week I planned to run 18.7 cutting off two parts to shorten the run. I guess there really isn't much of a difference between 18.7 and 20 miles, but for my crazy mentality there is.

Katie and I woke up on Saturday morning around 5:45 and prepared for the 7am run time. I woke up really thirsty and I didn't sleep well either. I ate an English mufffin with powdered peanut butter and we were out the door. The starting park was just a few blocks away so it was a quick walk. We signed our waivers, gave a donation and waited for the run to begin. A little after 7 we began. The run began in Patterson Park and this is approximately the 16-mile mark of the marathon course (and a pretty hilly part of the course). I felt good on the hills, but I was also not at mile 16! I skipped 1.3 miles around Lake Montebello and started running with some people that were doing a 10-mile loop. A water stop was soon and this is where our practice course split. Since I was doing the 20-mile run I went straight. I was ahead of the other runners as I skipped out on part of it and I was running alone. I wasn't nervous about this, but I did end up making a wrong turn and probably added about a half mile on my run. Eventually I turned around and saw a bunch of runners and followed them. Up to Druid Hill Park which is the highest point of the course and comes around the 3-mile mark. The hill didn't seem like anything that would scare me. So I kept running... kept running and kept running. This training course kind of played with my head because I ran the last 4 miles of the course last year with Sarah and I knew mentally that at this point during the marathon I would only have about 4 miles left, but during the practice run I had about 15 miles.

The training run really threw me off because I didn't know how much further I had at any point of the run. It was also really hot that day. Fortunately, the running club had water stops set up so that was really helpful. Everyone around me had fuel belts and I was so thirsty the whole run that I just wanted them to share their water with me!!!

So around mile 15 I really hit a wall. I just couldn't do it anymore. I started walking for a little bit, and then would run again.... walk again, run again... and then boom. I just couldn't do it anymore. My hips hurt, my legs hurt, my back hurt, my feet hurt... everything hurt. It was terrible. I didn't know how much further I had either so I just walked the rest. It took about 3:30 minutes and I wasn't really pleased with that time, but whatever... it was just practice.

I finally got back to the park and drank a lot of water. Katie was there waiting and we walked back to her house. I complained the whole way back. I just wanted to die. So after we took showers and I came back to life we walked to the inner harbor. After our 20-mile run we ended up walking about 4 miles through the city. It was a good idea because it loosened us up and the next morning I wasn't sore.

So that was the second 20-mile run and it SUCKED!!! Let's hope the marathon is better!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Random thoughts on running

This is going to just be a free flow of thoughts tonight. I am not concerned about grammar.

I ran 20 miles on Saturday. I started at 7am and it took 3:15. I had to make one pit stop at a porta-potty. Thank God for the random porta-potty on the side of the road or I would have been in serious trouble. I felt pretty good for most of the run. My calf was hurting, but no knee issues. I went through pretty much 2 playlists on my iPod. Nothing really interesting happened during the run. At mile 19 I wanted to start crying. Running can be really emotional. On my 18-mile run I got really angry. This time I wanted to cry because I just didn't want to run anymore. I was tired of running. I had to go down Main Street towards the end of the run and people were there so it was a good distraction. Then I went down Cleveland Avenue and had a small fit of anger when these bikers rode by. They didn't anything wrong, but they just annoyed me. I got over it.

The next day I ran a 5k. Who runs 20 miles and then does a 5k? It was for a good cause and I needed to be there to run in memory of my good friend, Michelle. I wasn't sure if I was going to walk or run, but that morning I felt good. My muscles didn't hurt for some weird reason. I was planning to run with my friend, Gweedo. I ended up getting third place in my age group and finished in 26:09. That's my best time ever. I'm happy about that. I'm going to try to get faster once I'm finished training for the marathon.

Fat Girl Check In. Today I was talking to two friends about eating. One said I was going to get really fat when I finished training for this marathon because I love to eat. Well, I don't really eat like a fat girl most of the time. My diet is pretty healthy and I'm planning to continue running once I finish training. I'm just not going to be running 20 miles. Unless I'm really compelled too, but I doubt that will happen. HAHA.

26 days until the marathon. Tomorrow I'm going to run about 5 miles. Wednesday I'm going to do Body Pump, Thursday run, Friday something, but I'm not sure. Saturday I'm going down to Baltimore to do a preview run of the marathon course. You can choose a run anywhere between 14-22 miles. I will probably do 15 or 16. Then I begin to really taper my mileage in the coming weeks.

That's all.

Peace. Love. Run.