Friday, November 29, 2013

This Girl's Recap of 2013 Richmond Marathon

In October 2012, I ran my first marathon at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.

This year I decided to run marathon #2 at the Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 16th.  I had heard great things about the city and the course from many folks and my friend Rebecca.  It was close to home and I discovered a bunch of my favorite people (who happen to be runners!) were going as well so choosing Richmond was a bit of a no-brainer.

Coach Sarah decided to take a different approach to this training cycle.  We concentrated on quality miles instead of quantity, only running three days and getting three rest days per week, throwing in a couple swims in there as well.  Not only did this approach give my body plenty of rest, but it gave my mind rest as well.  I was able to hit 90% of my training targets because my body was well rested for them and in turn, gave me confidence.  I went to Richmond with a healthy body and a quiet mind.

So, Jyl and Bonny picked me up and we were off!  GIRLS WEEKEND!!!!

The race was on Saturday, so we decided to hop in the car on Thursday night, after work.  It was a long tiring drive at night, but I'm glad we did it.  Being able to wake up all settled in Richmond kept all anxiety and chaos away.  We woke up, took our time getting ready, went on a Starbucks adventure and hit the race expo to get our numbers.  And I was able to find some pretty sexy compression socks.

The female version of the 3 Musketeers
Jyl, Bonny and yours truly
After the expo we did some race recon, checking out some of the course and seeing exactly how far our hotel was from the start and finish lines.  Shout out to one of the sweetest men I know, THANK YOU JACK!!!  That hotel was in a PRIME location!  I mean, think of rock star parking, and then translate it to hotel location.  And they had Gatorade in dispensers in the lobby.  Nice touch Crowne Plaza Richmond!!

Friday flew by, and before you knew it, it was time for the group pasta dinner at The Tobacco Company with quite a group of people.  (Holla to Jo, Marc, Rebecca, Jack and Molly!! They rounded out the group, making the trek to Richmond earlier that Friday) Dinner took a little longer than we all probably would have liked, but the food was fantastic and the building was exquisite.  Again, kudos to Jack!  The maestro of this orchestra :)  With our bellies full and our eyes heavy, we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for the morning.  Rebecca was staying with us that night, and with as much giggling as there was going on, I'm surprised we got any sleep at all!  GIRLS WEEKEND!!!
For Lisa

Now, I'll be honest.  I wasn't sure how smoothly the morning was going to go being that there were 4 women in one small hotel room.  Needless worry! We weren't even rushed for the Sharpie tradition.  This is where we write motivational things on our arms and hands.  I know it's hard to believe, but sometimes we need a little reminder of just how awesome we are and why we are there.
Mr. Weatherman on the
local was WRONG.
But did that dampen
our spirits?
Everything was timed perfectly and excitement was brewing even though it was raining outside.  But that was okay, because Mr. Weatherman on the local said it was going to stop well before race time.  Sure it is Mr. Weatherman....

Jyl, Bonny, Rebecca, Jack and Molly were running the 13.1 and started a half hour before Marc, Jo and I.  Regardless of the cold sprinkle that turned downpour, it was a lot of fun to see all my friends off to their start.

Once they were off, it was time for me to find my corral.  I had a goal of a sub 4 hour marathon which put me in the 2nd corral.  This was feasible when I first registered for Richmond eight months prior, but a lot can happen in eight months.  I decided that I would ultimately try to get that sub 4 (I REALLY want that sub 4...), but I would be pleased as punch if I could get at 4:10:00.  If you recall, this was my goal for Marine Corp last year that I completely missed by 9 minutes.  So.  There I was, in the back of the 2nd wave...Ready...........GO.

Folks. I really wish I could say I did it.  That against all odds and opposition I pulled it off.  I had 3:05:00 at the mile 20 mark but I just couldn't hang on.  Mile 16 the struggles began, 21 the wheels started coming off…I know, not an original tale.  Since this is supposed to be a race recap, I guess I should talk about my race :) Here is how it went:

I thought I had a good plan, to do a 9:15 for the first 8 miles, then decrease 5 seconds for a 9:10 for the next 8 and a 9:05 for the rest.  No rhyme or reason for what actually happened.  I did a good job ignoring the rains and clouds and handling an early equipment failure. I know I spent too much energy around mile 7.5 when I saw Jo ahead of me. I tried to make my way to her but finally decided I had to let her go.  She had an awesome race, by the way!

Mile 16 saw a bridge and a nasty highway and that is when I started hating the world.  I want to say around 18 my calf muscle felt like it was going to snap in two.  I tried so hard to hang on but I finally broke down and walked around 21.  I couldn't take any more gels so I skipped the 3:15:00 and 3:45:00 gel and instead took Powerade from the stations from miles 21 on in.  22 saw my longest walk and lowest point.  People asked me what I needed (so nice!) and I said “a bike”.  All their giggles helped me rally to run to the next stop.  Then I decided to try to run to each water stop and then walk through them.  I saw Jyl on the course around 22.5-23, and that helped for a moment. 

I remembered Coach Sarah telling me to smile, it helps get through those down points.  I looked down at my watch and saw that I was going to miss both goals.  I thought to myself, that sucks but I can’t change that now, so what can I do to make this better for me right this moment.  So, I walked off the course to my left to a DJ stand, broke out into some serious dance moves and then went on my way.  I know I must have looked like a complete nutball and everyone most likely thought I was having a seizure and needed medical attention, but it must have done the trick because I think I ran the last two miles all in.   

The last segment to the finish is down hill.  Let me tell you what.  I flew down that hill whooping, hooting and hollering the entire way!  And then I heard Jack and then spotted him, Rebecca and Molly...I started screeching with joy and I don't know how but I went even faster. That part was SO MUCH FUN!  I really did not care about time or goals at that point!  And this might be hard to believe, but I honestly had no idea what my finish time was.  I stopped my watch, but I never looked at it.

Bonny was there at the finish to "catch me".  She was so patient and took such good care of me :) We couldn't figure out what it was that I really needed.  I knew I needed something in my body; remember, I hadn't taken any fuel since 2 hours and 45 minutes into the marathon, which by this time was at least 1.5 hours ago.  So I tried multiple food options but as soon as I took a bite I threw it away.  The only thing I could take was my NUUN and forced down the protein recovery bar we all got in our race packets.  Of course, the race doesn't count unless you take the finish picture!
sexy compression

Bonny got me back to the hotel where we met Jyl.  I was able to get into the shower and warm up; and then I crawled on my bed and curled up with the sweet fleece blankets all the participants got.  I couldn't nap, I was way to wired.  So I propped up my feet, watched tv and spent a lot of time texting EVERYONE ON EARTH!!!

I have to say I was feeling pretty good considering what I just did.  I was slow moving, but I could still move!  No, I wouldn't be busting out dance moves anytime soon, but I could walk to our celebration dinner with Jo and Marc at the
Marc, Jyl, Me and Jo
Here's to our awesomeness!!
coolest British pub this side of the Atlantic.  Marc talked us into a shot of Fireball to kick off the celebration (named appropriately) and then I had the best beer, grilled cheese ever, some sweet potato fries and fried pickles.  And Coach Sarah, if you happen to be reading, just pretend you didn't read that part....

And that, my friends, was my experience during the 2013 Anthem Richmond Marathon.

Oh, and for inquiring minds that need to know, I ended up with a 4:09:40.  I'll be honest, it took me a few days to get over the stab of missing that sub 4, but the more I thought about it, the more pictures I saw, the more I realized that I did awesome.  And after seeing my race photos, it was proof that I really was having a blast.

Through this cycle,  I've learned a couple valuable lessons.
1) While it is important to have goals (I'm still shooting for that sub 4, people...), it doesn't mean anything if you can't share your experience with the people you care about and who care about you.
2) You are always stronger than you think you are.  In all things.

Who's having fun?  
This girl!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Looking Forward

Some may be waiting for my recap of the Richmond Marathon, and it's coming I promise.  I'm just waiting for some pictures that I purchased so I can use them legally!  Usually I don't get very good race photos.  Let's be honest, I normally look like I'm about to cross over into the Underworld and I don't mind stealing a screen shot.  But this time?  This time I loved almost ALL my pictures and thought I would finally give Marathonfoto their due.  So patience my dear friends....a picture filled recap will soon follow.

Right now I just wanted to say a few things.

I met with Coach Sarah yesterday and I felt so exhilarated after talking with her about what's to come; and when I woke up this morning I felt the same excitement just brewing below the surface that it can hardly be contained.

I'm excited about the plan we've put in place.
I'm excited about the challenges we've set.
I'm excited about the hard work this training cycle will demand.
I'm excited about going to bed absolutely exhausted, knowing I gave it my all that day.
I'm excited about increasing my peanut butter intake.
I'm excited about learning more about myself as an athlete.
I'm excited about recovery smoothies.
And I'm so excited about this adventure, to see what kind of potential I have yet to unlock.

Strong mind.
Strong heart.

Can't wait to get this party started!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Random Thoughts going into Richmond

With Richmond Marathon in 4 days, I decided to share some thoughts that are going through this runner's mind.

  • So Hungry
  • Wine may not be the best way to hydrate.
  • 26 miles.  It's all fun and games until the last 4.
  • I am stalking
  • And I thought 3 miles of tempo work was hard....
  • So Hungry
  • I haven't found the perfect mantra just yet.
  • I think I'm in denial.
  • My Sharpie is packed.
  • I'm a little curious about the Junk Food Stop.
  • It feels weird to not swim this week.
  • Something tells me I should cherish this no-swim week.
  • So Hungry
  • I still haven't picked out my outfit.  
  • I do have my socks chosen.  So that's a plus.
  • The thought of taking 7 gels kinda makes me gag.
  • My gut tells me I will soon be reminded how much it hurt.
  • My gut will soon tell me it doesn't like it when I consume 7 gels.
  • Yup. Still in denial.
  • I need fried pickles.

4 days.

Party on, Garth.

See shameless fundraising plug here:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Words for Wednesday - Rise and Shine

We are going to find some serious motivation through this video edition of Words for Wednesday.

This video, made by Nike I think, has definitely made the rounds.  I've been watching it often getting myself ready for Richmond Marathon in a couple weeks, and I'll be darned if I didn't hear this guy's voice as soon as my alarm went off this morning.  True Story!

I think someone needs to invent an alarm clock that when you hit the snooze button, you hear this dude.  Guaranteed to get you moving.

Rise and shine people.  We've got work to do.

*thanks to some random YouTuber, below is a transcription of the video*

"Rise and shine.
6am and your hand can't make it to the alarm clock before the voices in your head start telling you that it's too early, too dark, and too cold to get out of a bed.
Aching muscles lie still in rebellion, pretending not to hear your brain commanding them to move
A legion of voices are shouting their unanimous permission for you to hit the snooze button and go back to dreamland, but you didn't ask their opinion.
The voice you've chosen to listen to is one of defiance.
A voice that's says there was a reason you set that alarm in the first place. So sit up, put your feet on the floor, and don't look back because we've got work to do.
Welcome to The Grind!
For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way,
10,000 streams fan out like a river delta before you, Each one promising the path of least resistance.
Thing is, you're headed upstream
And when you make that choice, when you decide to turn your back on what's comfortable and what's safe and what some would call "common sense", well that's day 1.
From there it only gets tougher.
So just make sure this is something you want.
Because the easy way out will always be there, ready to wash you away, all you have to do is pick up your feet.
But you aren't going to are you?
With each step comes the decision to take another
You're on your way now
But this is no time to dwell on how far you've come.
You're in a fight against an opponent you can't see
Oh but you can feel him on your heels can't you?
Feel him breathing down your neck
You know what that is?
That's you...
Your fears, your doubts and insecurities all lined up like a firing squad ready to shoot you out of the sky
But don't lose heart
While they aren't easily defeated, they are far from invincible
Remember this is The Grind
The Battle Royale between you and your mind, your body and the devil on your shoulder who's telling you that this is just a game, this is just a waste of time, your opponents are stronger than you.
Drown out the voice of uncertainty with the sound of your own heartbeat
Burn away your self doubt with the fire that's beneath you
Remember what you're fighting for
And never forget that momentum is a cruel mistress
She can turn on a dime with the smallest mistake.
She is ever searching for that weak place in your armor
That one tiny thing you forgot to prepare for
So as long as the devil is hiding the details, the question remains,"is that all you got?", "are you sure?"
And when the answer is "yes". That you've done all you can to prepare yourself for battle THEN it's time to go forth and boldly face your enemy, the enemy within
Only now you must take that fight into the open, into hostile territory
You're a lion in a field of lions
All hunting the same elusive prey with a desperate starvation that says VICTORY is the only thing that can keep you alive
So believe that voice that says "you CAN run a little faster" and that "you CAN throw a little harder" and that "you CAN dive a little deeper" and that, for you, the laws of physics are merely a suggestion.

Luck is the last dying wish of those who wanna believe that winning can happen by accident, sweat on the other hand is for those who know it's a choice, so decide now because destiny waits for no man. And when your time comes and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you you're not ready for it, listen instead for that lone voice in decent the one that says you are ready, you are prepared, it's all up to you now, 

So rise and shine.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thoughts on a Sunday morning

I've had a pretty big spring and summer this year.  And when I mean "pretty big", I mean kinda life altering. Hopefully one day I'll be able to find the right words and tell you all about it.

But here is where I am right now.

It's Sunday morning.  My fuzzy four legged sons are on either side of me, happily napping.  Soon I'll have to wake them up to go on our morning walk on this quiet and cool brisk morning.  I've got my Pandora radio going as I catch up on my email, social media and yes, writing this as I sip on my coffee.

I feel the soreness still in my muscles from yesterday's long run, and it comforts me oddly enough.  It reminds me that I did something great yesterday.  It reminds me of my strength; strength of body, heart and mind.

I have a busy day ahead, but right now I'm submerging myself in this moment of quiet calm and I feel a wave of contentedness wash over me.

Happy Sunday, my friends.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Words for Wednesday

There is no food in the house......
                         She must be marathon training.......

As the mileage increases, so does the grocery bill.

26.2 in 56 days.  Game on.

Here we go Big Sister.  We've got this.
Running for Chiari

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where would we be?

Dear Dad,
This day.  I'll be honest.  I really don't like this day.  Each year this day comes, and it opens up a flood gate that I keep locked up pretty tight.  And when the gate opens, it's anyone's guess how I'll react to it.

This year I feel angry, and sad, and left wondering where would we be.
22 years ago on this day, you left me.  I know you didn't want to and I know you didn't mean to, but you did all the same.

I'm mad at you for missing everything.  My graduation, my failed attempts at higher education, broken hearts, the failures and the triumphs.  You missed it.  All of it. And I know people say, "he saw, he was there with you and he's with you now"  No.  No you weren't and you're still not.  I needed you here.  On this Earth.  And I do now more than ever.  I don't intend to be hurtful, but I do need to be truthful.  I love you Dad, but right now, at this moment I'm very mad at you for that.

And I'm so very sad too.  I'm sad I don't remember your voice.  I'm sad I don't have a lot of memories to relive. I'm sad that you left before I could know you and before you could know me.  I'm sad that you left before you could share your knowledge and experience with me, to help mold me into the person you believed I could be.  Where would we be?  Where would we be if we had that chance?  What would I have done?  What would I have accomplished?  Was I meant for some other life before you left so suddenly?  Would I have learned from you to be more confident in my choices and decisions?  Would I have been stronger in my convictions?

Where would we be?

So, today I will wish and wonder what might have been.  And tomorrow, I will once again lock up the gate.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

So, yes, I've been MIA for a while.  No need to go into the details just now, but things have been, shall we say a little topsy turvy.  Life has not only thrown me curve balls; it's thrown fast balls, knuckle balls, and lobs that I've swung at and whiffed.

Have you ever opened a card and as you read it, thought that it was absolutely perfect and written with you in mind?  I opened that card yesterday, one my mom sent for my birthday.  I love how she can hug me when she's 750 miles a way.  Moms are cool like that.

Anyway.  When I read the words, it sparked something inside. It's been a roller coaster these past few months, but it's time to pick myself up, dust myself off and hit the ground running.  Literally and metaphorically.  Topsy turvy, zig zaggy, whatever....Bring it on baby, 'cause this girl is back!

Today is my birthday. In so many ways.

(Here is the passage in my case you need a hug too!  Since it's a greeting card, I can't really credit the author, so I'm sending a shout out to the Unknown Author Person.  Well said, my friend, well said!)

How to Make a Beautiful Life

Love yourself.
MAKE PEACE with who you are and where you are at this moment in time.

Listen to your heart.
If you can't hear what it's saying in this noisy world, MAKE TIME for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let your mind wander among the stars.

Take chances.
Life can be messy and confusing at times, but it's also full of surprises.  The next rock in your path might be a stepping stone.

Be happy.
When you don't have what you want, want what you have.
That's a well-kept secret to contentment.

There aren't any shortcuts to tomorrow.
you have to MAKE YOUR OWN WAY.
To know where you're going is only part of it.
You need to know where you've been, too.
And if you ever get lost, don't worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.

Life isn't days and years.
It's what you do with time and with all the goodness and grace that's inside you.
The kind of life you deserve.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Words for Wednesday

It's important to remember that each footstrike 
carries you forward, not backward. 
And every time you put on your running shoes 
you are different in some way than you were the day before. 

- John "The Penguin" Bingham
runner and author

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Words for Wednesday

Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.

- Alex Karras, actor and football player

Friday, July 5, 2013

Stupid Words for Friday

I just received this through my email.

This was meant to be motivational.

This literally made me laugh out loud and squirt water from my nose.

A run begins the moment you forget you are running.

-an Adidas ad

Friday, June 28, 2013

Running for Chiari: When Every Minute Counts

I have a 15K race coming up in about 15 days.  So I've decided to put it and my two good legs to work and help my sister get that surgery she needs.  

It should take me about 1 hour and 25 minutes to finish.  My goal is to raise at least $10 for every minute I'll be running.  That's 85 minutes, at $10 a minute.  $850.  

$850 in 15 days.  

It's a race people and the gun just went off.  Help get us to the finish?

Before Chiari

After Chiari

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Chiari.... when Brain Surgery sounds like a GOOD idea!"

My family has a pretty colorful medical history.  If there is a unique or rare condition, I'm pretty sure someone on some branch of my family tree has had it.  And it seems that my generation is carrying on this family tradition.

You see, back in March, I got the news that my sister had been diagnosed with Chiari Malformation.  I could try to go into all the medical speak and pretend that I know what I'm talking about...but I won't.  I will tell you what I gather is the gist of it.  My sister's brain is too big for her skull and it's pushing into her brain stem, disrupting the flow of cerebral spinal fluid; which is also wreaking all kinds of havoc on vision, balance, hearing etc....I mean it's pretty serious stuff.

Thankfully there are a handful of neuro-guys that specialize in this kind of thing, and even better, one very special specialist (a Navy guy which makes him the awesomest) that is just down the road (um....a few states downs the road) from her.  She had her first appointment with him last week.  He confirmed the Chiari diagnosis and added a few more of his own.  Turns out the Chiari is a symptom of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, that has also caused a "cervical cranial instability."  Yea.  It's official.  Big Sister does in fact have a few screws loose. ( left yourself wide open for that one...couldn't help myself :) )

So, what's next?  Well, she needs surgery.  On her brain.  My sister needs brain surgery.  WTF.
They will need to do a decompression surgery to take care of the Chiari and they also need to fuse the C1-C2 vertebrae to combat the instability.

Good news?  This Navy dude is good.  Really good.  Bad get what you pay for.

Now, we are not the type of family to ask for help.  But people, these are extreme circumstances.  This Navy dude is not in their insurance network and we need to get a hold of $10K for a deposit before they can do the surgery.  And I'm positive that this very special specialist Navy neuro-dude is the one that needs to do the surgery.  Too many signs and serendipitous events have led her to him.

So please, I hope you might consider helping either by sharing or forwarding this link, by sending good thoughts, keeping her in your prayers...and if willing, maybe even contributing some spare change.  Not only is she Super Mom, but she is also Super Sister and Super Friend.  And we all need her to get her head on straight  :)

For updates and the like, you can find her here on blogspot at  And if you are so inclined, you can give a penny or two at her fundraising page:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Time, Patience and Persistence

Warning.  The following contains lots of talk about pacing, training and putting things in perspective.

Training has switched gears with the Boilermaker around the corner.  The amount of cross training hasn't really changed since I have one more triathlon to go this year, but my mileage and intensity have increased.  Today was a tough run.  Today's run made me remember, or maybe it's more that I longed for, the level I was at last year.  You know, when my unofficial Half Marathon pace was an 8:20.

What happens to be my around my goal pace for the Boilermaker this year.

With injury and time off, I thought a good goal would be to come in at 1:20:00, which would be around a 9 minute PR.  Now?  Now I'm not so sure.  Today's 6 at a 9:03 average pace just about did me in.  Definitely way off the mark.  Definitely not where I was last year.

Oh, wait.  Last year wasn't September (Run for Green Half) and it wasn't October (Marine Corps Marathon) of 2012, and definitely not February 2013 (Myrtle Beach Half).

Last year was 365 days ago.
Last year, on June 23, 2012, I did a 7.5 mile run at an average pace of 9:23.
Last year, on July 8, 2012, I ran the Boilermaker 15K in 01:29:45, an average pace of 9:39.
Today I ran 6 miles at 9:03.

Am I in my peak racing shape?  HA!  Definitely not.  And it's fool of me to think that I could be this soon after dancing with injuries and taking some time off.  BUT.  I am still running much better than I was 365 days ago.  This is what I need to remember.  I'm further along than where I was last year.
I'm still getting better.  It's just taking me a little longer this round which is making it a wee bit harder to see the progress.  But with time, patience and persistence, I'll find my way back.

Will I make 1:20:00?  Not probable, but also not impossible.

Anything can happen on race day.

I just need to stay in the moment and do what Jyl says....
Just keep going.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tri Latta 2013

Okay folks.  I did it.  Sprint numero dos in the books!

I decided to go into Tri Latta with the same approach and race strategy I had for Jetton last month.
To survive!
I'm happy to report that all those goals were met once again, if not surpassed in some areas.

This event starts un-naturally early.  The gate closed at 6:00 a.m. and all athletes were encouraged to be there by 5:30 a.m. So, even thought the 1st swim wave started at 6:30 a.m. and my wave didn't start until almost 7:00, I still had to be in the park before 5:30.  Which means I had to be up early early to get ready and out the door by 5:00.  Not really the day to oversleep, right?  It was a whirlwind trying to get ready, the car loaded.  With my English muffin shoved in my mouth, I left the driveway at around 5:10.  Just ducky.

I got to the park around 5:40 and was met with a nice line of traffic. They had not yet shut the gate so I was very thankful for that.  Unfortunately, the athlete parking area was full, so I had to park even further away.  No way I was walking that far.  Thelma's tires were probably low, but I took a risk and rode her in.  I'm glad I did since it gave me a nice little bike warm up since I didn't have time to get in a warm up run once I got in and set up.  I went immediately to the bike tent, had Thelma checked over and tires pumped, set up my transition area, headed over to the Greenapple Sports and Wellness tent (holla!) so Dr. Cooper could tape up my knee.........and then it was go time.  I got down to the lake just in time to see my friend and triathlete extraordinaire, Ashley, set off with the 1st swim wave, and where his wife, fellow triathlete and good friend, Lori, kindly told me I had dried peanut butter on my face.  Nice.

I was very worried about swimming in the lake again after the washing machine I dove into last month.  I wanted to so badly to actually swim this time.  And by golly I did!  I kept calm, relaxed.  I got kicked (once in the head and I kicked some, but I was able to block it out and keep on rhythm. I swam a turtle's pace, but I did it with limited doggie paddle and only veered off course a few times.  I was even able to run up the hill to transition and cut my T1 time nearly in half!  Granted....I had a lot to work with there....

Transition to the bike went fairly well.  I quick dried my face and my feet (yes, for socks.  Scoff if you must, but this girl needs socks...) and slipped on my Pepto Bismol colored Pure Flows.  Then threw on my shades, fogged up my shades, took off my shades, wiped them off, put on shades, fogged up shades, cussed, and fastened my (price tag free) helmet.  I grabbed a couple swigs of NUUN and a handful of sport beans and grabbed Thelma for our biking adventure.

Getting out of transition was a little frustrating.  There was a woman in front of me taking her very sweet time, which would have been okay but the exit was a little narrow and I couldn't get around her.  Then she stopped dead in front of me as soon as she got to the mount line and I almost ran right into her.  After a deep breath and an internal reprimand for being irritated for no real good reason, I calmed down, went around to the side, hopped on and took off.
*helpful hint I've learned and thought I would share with fellow newbies like myself:  Unless you can do these crazy stunt-like mounts, run past the mount line a bit and off to the side.  That way you don't feel rushed while getting on your bike and you're not in anyone else's way.  All things are easier and faster when you stay calm!

I really really liked this bike course.  It had a lot of flat, a lot of rolls, it wasn't horribly easy and it wasn't horribly difficult.  I think it had just enough challenge to it.  I'm pleased with my ride.  I did get passed quite a lot, but Thelma and I did our best to hold our own.  I can honestly say we did the best we could have done and even increased our mph by 1 from last month, and this course was 5 miles longer.

T2 was a little longer from last month, but considering I almost fell off my bike while stopped at the dismount line, I'm okay with that!  Yes folks.  I would like to say it takes a lot of skill to fall while stopped and standing, but it is truly just natural talent.  Don't be jealous.

Oh the run.
Worst run ever.  They described the course as rolling hills on trail with loose gravel.  And it was.  But what
they neglected to say was the gravel was not a fine gravel one would expect to find on a trail, but large gravel like one would find in a my drive way.  Not the easiest terrain, especially for people like me who are having problems with their peroneal muscles winding so tight causing the ligament to snap over the ankle joint.  This stopped me dead in my tracks twice trying to loosen them and get them to release.  A slow 5K to be sure, but I can't complain about the time since I really did have to stop twice.  The muscles never did release, but I figured the only way to get it done was to do it, and I was ready to be done.  So, I put it into third gear and crossed the finish line.

Over all a good day and a good finish for this newbie.  I did have a couple disappointments.  Like, I thought for SURE I had put in a much better time than last time.  I was a little bummed that this swim, that I was so happy and excited about, was only 1:30 faster than the doggie paddle championship of last month.  BUT  I am still happy with how comfortable it felt, and I know that will only get better with time, practice and experience.  And I am disappointed in my run because this is supposed to be the strongest of the three disciplines for me.  BUT  I know I'm firing at only about 85-90% I think, and I'm doing the best I can with how my body feels right now.  And that my friends, is all I can really ask for.

What's next?  We'll finish out the month getting ready for the Boilermaker 15K Road Race in Utica, NY in July.  I ran this for the first time last year with my family and had a blast.  So we're doing it again this year.

Party at Brother's house.  See you there!

Words for Wednesday

Be unrelenting. 
If you don't believe, then who will? 

- Kara Goucher
long distance runner and olympian
as found on

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On Deck: Tri Latta

So, last month we did the Jetton Triathlon where I survived a washing machine.  This weekend we will be trying Tri Latta.  I just read the event details and here are my TOP 10 THOUGHTS, in no particular order, as we gear up for this 750 meter swim 17 mile bike 3.1 mile run.

  1. Never again will I register for a race where I have to be in a park no later than 5:30 am and my swim wave doesn't start until FREAKING 7:00. okay. 6:58. same difference. 
  2. Thelma and I will be safe on the bike course.  All the slow people are told to stay to the right.  The way I figure it, everyone will be passing me on the left where traffic is while my arse will be stuck to the right. :)
  3. There should be a water noodle division.
  4. Why would they assign me a black cap.  Who the hell is going to see me drowning if I'm in a freaking black swim cap????
  5. I know we're athletes and all....but why can't parking be closer?  I really don't want to walk that far.
  6. I should be allowed to swim with my swim buoy.
  7. Can we come up with a different phrase for "body marking"?  It sounds so....permanent.  
  8. One perk of finishing after all your friends is that they will all be ready to administer CPR when you cross the finish line.
  9. If there are no radio-type devices allowed on the road courses, how can Siri yell at me when I get lost?
  10. I'm never doing this again!

Party on, Garth.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Team Crazy Beast Escapes from Alcatraz

May 18, 2013.  The day my friends jumped off a boat into the San Francisco Bay.  Why you ask?  Because they are the two most important parts of Team Crazy Beast!  Jyl has been wanting to do this swim as long as I've known her.  And Graham?  He may have only wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to push at least one of us off a boat ;)  

Graham has already written and posted his recap on his blog.  Go visit!  Graham always has something crazy goin' on! 

Jyl has been awesome enough to write a recap for seriouslyhope.  Take it away, Jyl!

I decided about 2 years ago that I wanted to do the Escape from Alcatraz Swim. I was riding the ferry boat over to the famous prison when the guide mentioned the opportunity "normal" people have to attempt the swim that is infamous and done by two prisoners who were never found... did they make it??
I should say that San Fran is my favorite city, besides Boston, in the world. I love visiting there, and Alcatraz is always somewhere I visit. I love the history and it has beautiful views!

Sure...they're smiling now...
Whenever the seed was planted in my head, I began to research the swim. Frankly I was petrified. Cold Cold water (50's), strong ocean current, jumping off a ferry boat, about 1000 other swimmers, and oh Yeah, Sharks!

The only reason to do this was a bucket list item. I would do it once and get a vacation out of it!
I began my quest to conquer my open, dark water fear the year prior,-actually the day after my birthday, May 19. I jumped in Lake Norman and did my first lake swim.
Exactly a year later I was escaping from Alcatraz.
In-between there was the Boston Harbor race I did as a preview. (The same Sports Group organized the Boston swim and Alcatraz)
So when 2013's date was posted, I realized I had to do it. It was May 19. It was my birthday weekend... Wetsuit bought, race registered and then the fear set in!

Somehow in the midst of all the anxiety of the last year, I convinced training buddy Graham, to join in this adventure... I mean he's training for an IRONMAN, and he looked at this as a training swim, and mainly a reason to shove me off a ferry boat! (Which in the end, he didn't have to do! I jumped on my own free will)

"But Graham, what if they run out of the watermelon
beer before I make it out of the Bay?"
Everyone would has talked to me in the last 6 months knows how scared and nervous I was for this swim. I couldn't find a single positive thing to say about it... (Secretly, there was a little "I’m tough, big guys won't do this... Professional Athletes won’t do this in my brain, but not much!)

After spending 3 days in California with me pre race- my mom had heard enough about my fear of floating to Oakland, or getting swallowed by a sea lion...

"I won't let the sea lions eat you..."
I could go on about the morning of the race, the prep, the boat ride, the swim itself, but mainly let me tell you, if you think you want to do this, you can. (Seriously the morning went by very quickly! So did the swim!)

Swimming has always been my strong suit, I’m not Ryan Lochte, but I can swim. I knew I could do the distance. I wasn't afraid of the sharks... I was afraid of all the things you can't train for... waves, current, cold water.

We encountered all that. But with the awesome help of the TON of volunteers in kayaks, boats, etc, they got Team Crazy Beast to the finish. Having someone to make sure I didn't drift away in that current was much needed. (Thanks Graham! A good friend and a future Ironman!)
Also, my parents would were the awesome support crew! (Dad then treated us to the best brunch ever at the Mark Hopkins hotel!)

I know when I researched this race; I read EVERY blog someone wrote. Everyone finished the race. I finished! You can!
90% of the struggle to get to the finish line was mental 10% was the current in the bay... Seriously, practice sighting... Wear a full sleeve wetsuit, and enjoy the view. It's amazing. I look at all the pictures of Alcatraz and San Fran now, and think man I was in that water... How many people can say they did that???

And Myth busted! Those two prisoners never made it to the shore... If they did, man they deserve Freedom! It was the hardest thing I ever did... Tougher then Tough mudder, a marathon, climbing 51 floor of the Duke Tower...
So bucket list item checked.. Later that week I did jump back in Lake Norman for a nice 1 mile swim in 70 degree water..,. Man that felt amazing! So I didn’t quit swimming, which I thought I might do!

On to the next thing... I don't have the next thing in my brain, but I'm sure it will come soon!

Cheers to you, my friends!
Cheers to YOU!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jetton Triathlon 2013 - The longest re-cap EVER

I had some pretty good goals going into race day and I'm happy to report that I met each one!  Except for the mimosas and pancakes which I subbed beer and a turkey sandwich.

I rode to the race site with a most dynamic husband and wife duo, Lori and Ashley.  You may remember them from Marine Corps Marathon in October.  Lori and I had many a-training run getting ready for that beast and Ashley was nice to help Jyl keep me in line!  Well, all three were there for me again, helping this bundle of nerves get to the start line (I am such a lucky girl to have such good, kind and talented friends!).

The adventure began setting up my transition area.  I drew the lucky straw because I had a little corner all to myself right near the exit for the run portion.  This may or may not be ideal, I have no idea, but because I was so worried about getting in people's way, it was wonderful for me! Set up went fine and I was happy to see my good friend, Marc, had his area right across from mine!  Once everything was in order, it was time to face the dragon.  It was time to take that long walk (metaphorically speaking) to Loch Norman; the place where monsters were ready to eat me. 
How NOT to put a
wetsuit on

Getting the wetsuit on proved to be a challenge.  I was so nervous I couldn't get the darn thing up past my waist.  Next thing I knew, Jyl pretended I was a pillow going into a pillow case, grabbed my wetsuit and lifted me up off the ground and VIOLA!  Worked like a charm, except it also scrunched up my tri shorts and  I may or may not have made people wonder what I was doing trying to get them back where they needed to be.  Next it was time to step in the lake.  Remember, I haven't done
Marc and Me
anything like this before and Coach Sarah told me to take a few minutes and get used to the feeling of the lake and the suit, stick my face in the cold water and swim around a little bit.  It actually felt okay and at that time I actually believed I could do it!  Go me!  A quick photo with Marc and then it was time for my wave.

The first minute was great!  And then it all went right to hell.  One friend equated that swim to being in a washing machine and I have to say that was a spot-on description.  Every time I came up to breathe...SMACK.  Wave in the face.  SMACK.  Wave in the face.  I can't swim, I forgot how!  Freestyle without your head in the water.  No.  That is exhausting.  I can't do this.  There is a boat, maybe they will pick me up.  SMACK.  Breast stroke.  Wait.  I don't really know how to do that.  Doggie paddle. SMACK.  This is insane.  Why is that boat so far away?  Try to swim.  Stroke, stroke, breathe.  Stroke, stroke....why am I sinking?  What the.....HEY!  that guy just swam right over my back!  HEY!  Chivalry is DEAD.  I'm going to die.  I can't do this.  Where the hell is that buoy to make the turn??? that the next wave behind me?  Crap.  PEOPLE ARE COMING!!!!!!  Act like you know what you're doing....stroke, stroke, breathe.  Stroke, stroke, breathe.  Stroke, stroke, SMACK.  For heaven's sake.  YAY!!!! THE FINAL TURN BUOY!!!  I can DO this.  I WILL finish this foresaken swim.  Stroke, stroke, breathe, stroke stroke sight....where the hell is everyone?  Spotters just gave me the thumbs up.  They think I'm okay.  HAHAHAHAHAHA what do they know.  Stroke, stroke, breathe, stroke stroke...I need a break.  stroke stroke breathe.  I'm almost there!!!!  Spotters: "keep moving keep moving, you're almost there!!!"  Me:  "You mean I'm not going anywhere?"  Spotters: "NO!"......well...crap.  Stroke, stroke, breathe.  Stroke, stroke.....................BEACH.  Thank. God.  

Since I was completely exhausted, I decided I was going to walk.  All the way to the first transition (T1).  I was going to take my time darn it!  Or else I would have puked.  Kinda like the guy behind my area in T1 leaning over the fence.  I don't blame him.  I'm just SO happy I didn't hear him, or he would have had company.  The wetsuit came off without a black eye or any incident.  Know how I just said I was going to take my time?  Boy did I!  I'm embarrassed proud to say that I had the longest T1 time out of EVERYONE.  Not a feat easily accomplished.  But I did.  It takes skill.  Jyl did her best to yell at me to get me going, but let's face it, we were both laughing too hard!

I finally got my shoes on, watch on, helmet on, grabbed Thelma and....wait.  What is clanging on my helmet.  I reach up.  Oh no.  You have GOT to be kidding.  Seriously?

It takes skill to run into parked vehicles...
"I left the price tag on my helmet!!!"
"Quick!  Get it off!!!!"
(lots of laughing)

And then Thelma and I were off!
....and almost into the back of a truck.

The bike portion went pretty much without incident after I stopped to turn on my Garmin.  Yes, I had to stop.  I can't quite multitask in motion yet.  The ride was actually enjoyable.  I think I may have even passed someone!  I can't WAIT until I can remember which way to click the little thingys on my handle bars to get the right gears.  It takes me a couple tries!  :)

I made it all the way to the dismount line without hurting myself.  Hopped...well, there was no hopping.  I gingerly got off my bike and Thelma and I walked to T2, yes walked, all the way to my area .  Grabbed my hat and my number, goofed up my watch, and then it was time to run.  

I think I was running?  My legs were moving, but more in a Gumby sort of way.  The run portion did not go as well as I thought it would.  I had to walk a few times, which I should be fine with but if I am to be honest, it was infuriating!  The one piece I knew I could do, and I couldn't.  And the sun started beating down.  Which was poopy.  And I thought the course would never end.  As I was making my way to the finish line, it was so deflating to see people LEAVING.  They were done.  All done, and I'm still running.  Spectators were leaving too.  But everyone would yell..."GO 36! (that would be me)  Almost done!  Looking good, looking strong!"  I'm sure they were lying, but that's okay!   I was saved that day by a little girl with little blond curls in the cutest dress.  She looked me straight in the eye and said

"Keep go-wing!  Yoo awr awemost dayore"
(In little girl speak: Keep going!  You are almost there!)

And I did.  I kept going and then I heard it.  I heard the music and the commotion that is the Finish Line.  And then I somehow found another gear.  I sped up.  Faster, faster.....and then I crossed.  

I don't know how I did it.  But I finished.  I don't know how I even made it out of the water.  But I did.  And I don't know what I was thinking, but we get to do it all again in a few weeks at Tri Latta.

I have to get back in that lake.

Definitely a fun day!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Words for Wednesday

I was reminded of this very thing this morning.  So proud of all my friends on what they have done and what they are training to do. Simply awe inspiring!

Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.

- Richard O'Brien

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Strategy for a Successful Triathlon

So, you may or may not remember my introduction to triathlon last year with a mini sprint-distanced event.  And you may or may not remember the day I welcomed Thelma into my family.

Well, tomorrow is the big day where Thelma and I will make our debut.  Tomorrow we will do our first full sprint distance triathlon....where I will attempt my first open water swim.  In a lake.  That is cold.  And has fish and other nasties of the deep.

Like any seasoned, respectable athlete, I have come up with a solid race strategy.

- put wetsuit on in less than 20 minutes
- don't panic when my feet squish off the beach
- swim, using every stroke known to (and not currently known to) man to get the hell away from nasties
- don't drown

- breathe
- get wetsuit off in less than 20 minutes
- do not give self black eye when taking off wetsuit

- don't crash

- breathe

- survive

Post race
- drink mimosas and eat pancakes

A solid plan...

Tomorrow, I swim with the fishes.

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Official

I've just turned in the crappiest written paper of my entire college career (that's like 6 years for people keeping track).............and I couldn't be happier!



So, the blog front has been a bit on the quiet side, my apologies friends.  These past few months, well, I've had lots going on and it's proved to be a bit of trying, scatterbrained jumble of hours, days and weeks.  So.  Here is a quick update:

  • I now have some valid free time to do stuff without the homework cloud threatening to suck all the fun out of life.
  • My knee and cutie nerve are well on their way to recovery.  I have a sexy new knee brace that keeps my knee cap in the middle where it should be and I just bought some calf sleeves, so I look pretty hard-core.  Key word in that sentence is 'look.'
  • Okay folks, I will be swimming in the lake for my first ever open water swim. (the cool kids say OWS for short)
  • Okay folks, Thelma and I are making our debut this Saturday in our first sprint triathlon, as long as I don't drown in the lake or pass out from hypothermia (please see above bullet)
  • Okay folks, yes, my very first OWS will be in my 'first' sprint distance triathlon.  I will be doing a 750 meter doggie paddle, 20k bike ride (12 miles for the metric challenged like me) and a 5k run (3.1 miles).
  • and did I tell you that THE SEMESTER IS OVER!!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Words for Wednesday

My sentiments exactly!

I don't have a runner's body, but I have a runner's heart 
- and that is all you need.

- Army Sergeant Jennifer Morris, Runner's World Challenger

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Keep crossing that finish line

Just like countless others, I'm struggling to make sense of it all.  The usual questions....who would do such a thing?  Why would they do such a thing?  How could they do such a thing?  And of course, we are offered the usual lack of answers.  I don't say that flippantly   I mean honestly, how could something like this, something so unreasonable, be reasonably explained?

And now we add the question, why a marathon?  Why something so pure and harmless that does nothing but promote life, happiness and celebrates the human spirit?  And why choose the time when it was mostly the weekend athletes crossing as their friends and families cheered them in?  These everyday people; our brothers, our neighbors, our extended running family that we have never met?

We train.  We run.  We test ourselves in these grand events and we each do it for our own reasons.  Running is so many things to me.  It keeps me fit.  It keeps me sane.  It introduced me to a new way of life, new friends.  It keeps me alive in so many ways.  Some run for the pure joy it brings.  Some run to celebrate life.  Some run to remember loved ones.  Some run to even save lives.  And now?

Well, now we will all run to honor the lives lost and lives forever altered in Boston.  Don't stop running.  We're endurance athletes....we know how to be strong, to be resilient, we know how to be in it for the long haul.  They need us to keep going.  They need us to keep crossing that finish line.

I want to cross that finish line.  I want to cross for those who can't.  I want to cross for those whose spirit may be shaken.  And I especially want to cross for whomever decided it was a good idea to place explosives in trash cans.  Yes.  I want to run for YOU.  Because I want to show YOU that we WILL keep going.  The best way to get me to do something? Go ahead and tell me I can't.

Join me.  Refuse to let that finish line symbolize loss.  Let it symbolize life.

Don't let them tell us we can't.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Food for Thought: Simple Tuna Wrap

One evening in the not so distant past, I came home from the aquatic center a bit late.  I was flying solo that night, I think the hubs was out of town.  I know this might shock you, but I was running out of daytime to actually cook, so I had to deviate from the planned menu.

Don't worry, my palms didn't sweat too heavily, and the hives went away the next day....


Lost, hungry and delirious, I was frantically looking for something not only healthy and tasty, but quick and easy.  And then it hit me.  Something so simple that I've had a dozen times, but never thought of as a dinner for one.  Now it has become a go-to meal for me on nights when I need something on those really hectic nights.

Simple Tuna Wrap

1 Flat Out multi-grain wrap (I always keep a package on hand. They keep for quite awhile)
1 3oz can of albacore tuna in water (I find these very handy and perfect serving, and Walmart carries the 3 packs)
olive oil
1 Tbsp capers
1 oz soft goat cheese
1 Tbsp pesto
sundried tomatoes
olives (I like kalamata)
romaine lettuce
salt and pepper

Drain tuna.  Mix with a tad of olive oil, just enough to crumble and make the tuna moist.  Add in capers and a little salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spread goat cheese over wrap, then the pesto.  Layer the lettuce, then tuna, sundried tomatoes and olives.  Roll, and then, it!

Hope's Note:  This picture has banana peppers.  I find that they take away from the taste combinations of the rest of the wrap.  I advise against them, unless you really like banana peppers.

Hope's Note:  Sub tuna with chicken if you like.  This would also be good with smoked or grilled salmon if you happen to have it handy.  I use tuna, mainly because it's there in my pantry  and it's just a matter of opening the can!

Friday, March 29, 2013

One in a Million

I just read an article from The Washington Running Report about the Marine Corps Marathon sellout and fiasco that happened earlier this week.  I didn't plan on running MCM this year, but since I did last year, I felt some kind of kinship with all that were sitting in front of their computers watching the minutes click down until registration opened.  And because of the record sellout last year and the increasing popularity in the sport (Hey, I'm a new girl on the scene, and even I can see the growth!), I was really curious to see how it would play out this year.  So I watched and read for 2 hours and 27 minutes, and my heart sank when the announcement was made.

Now, I could spout off on how FUBAR'd registration for a 2nd major race in as many months.  I could even find argument in Active's defense.  And I supposed I could go on an on about the pros and cons of a lottery system and pray to the heavens that the idea qualifying times never enters the picture.  But I won't.

So, why am I writing?  Not why you think.

Out of all the "blah blah hooha", one line in this article struck a chord:

"Last year, 23,519 runners finished Marine Corps..."

We've all heard the saying, "you are one in a million!"  Hell, we've probably said it a time or two.

But I am NOT one in a million.

I am one in 23,519.

And I think that's pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Words for Wednesday

Today folks, today I've decided we will get our weekly dose of words through lyrics.
I'm not a big fan of the "BIG" word, but I love this song nonetheless.

excerpts from  F**kin' Perfect by P!nk

You're so mean,
When you talk, About yourself, You are wrong.
Change the voices, In your head
Make them like you Instead.


The whole world stares so I swallow the fear,
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer.
So cool in line and we try, try, try,
But we try too hard, it's a waste of my time.
Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere
They don't like my jeans, they don't get my hair
We change ourselves and we do it all the time

Why do we do that? Why do I do that?
(Why do I do that?)


Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like your less than f**kin' perfect.
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You're f**kin' perfect to me.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Words for Wednesday

Running is the classical road to self-consciousness, self-awareness, and self-reliance.

-Noel Carroll, Irish middle distance runner
as found through Runner's World

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Words for Wednesday - in a meme

I love memes.  They are so much fun!  I found this one on Facebook, I wish I could remember where so I can give credit to them.  So my apologies to the creator, but it was too good not to share.

I think we ALL need to be reminded of this and often, myself included!  So here is your friendly reminder for today!!

Happy Wednesday, Friends :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

How 'bout them (Green)apples

Imagine yourself, out on a nice long run with a group of friends on a beautiful day.  You all stop for a moment to take in some water and nutrition, and you notice a slight nag in your knee.  You think to yourself, "huh, that feels a little funny."  You resume your run, take a mental inventory of your body and the sensation seemed to have disappeared so you don't think twice.  Not even the following week when you had to cut your run slightly short because of the searing pain shooting through your knee.  "It'll be fine," you tell yourself, "I'll just need to take it easy the coming week."  And that seemed to be the answer.  The following week was still a little ouchie, but nothing too drastic so you thought you could go on a hike the following day.  And you still thought you were fine, even when each step down hill felt like your knee was on fire. "It's okay, you just need rest."

Week after week, you keep trying different things to help it, to make it better.  Normal activity with ice and ibuprofen. Light running.  No running with different activities.  It'll be fine, right?  I mean, you think you're just being a baby about it, you just need to harden up a bit.  Week after week.  Then you finally realize it is not getting better and it's not going to get better without help.  

I've put myself on a running hiatus since Myrtle Beach.  This past Wednesday marked the end of the hiatus with a 10 minute run.  I used this as a test.  If things did not feel 100%, I was calling a sports doc.  

So, I called the sports doc.  The folks at Greenapple Sports and Wellness were kind enough to squeeze me in and fast!  I ventured into the big city of Charlotte (well beyond my 2-exit bubble) where Dr. Cooper took some xrays and assessed what needed to be assessed. Great news! I'm not broken!  Yes, my patella is riding near the outside of my knee, yes my IT band is tighter than Catwoman's cat suit and one of those two things is aggravating my "lateral femoral cutaneous nerve," which for the sake of this blog will be called the "cutie" nerve because I will never be able to remember nor spell that again.  But, it's nothing that can't fixed with time and hard work.  I can do that.

The moral of this story?  If you have a knobby knee and are dressed in a cat suit, your cutie nerve is probably embarrassed and you must get everything fixed.  


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Words for Wednesday

Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still.

                                               - Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

To Marathon Or Not to Marathon....

That is the question.

I honestly don't know which is harder, deciding to run your first marathon or deciding if you want to run a second.

For the first one, let's be honest, you REALLY don't know what you've signed up for.  I mean, yes, you know it's going to be hard.  It's 26.2 miles for heaven's sake, how can it not?  You know it's going to be a big commitment of time and focus. You've heard all the stories about long training runs, lost toe nails, sore muscles, but you hear about this "amazing feeling" once you cross that finish line.  So you register for The Big One because you need to see for yourself what it's all about.

Now, for the second one, let's be honest, now YOU KNOW.  Now you know all about sore muscles, lost toe nails, aches where you didn't even know things existed.  You've since named your foam roller because, well since we're being honest, you two really need to be on a first-name-basis to roll the places you need to roll.  You've learned about epsom salts and Biofreeze.  You've had your crash course in gels and chomps, whether or not your GI system can handle regular or x2 caffeine, or if any caffeine at all.  And hopefully you learned this lesson while you were safe at home near a bathroom and not out in the middle of a run (no pun intended). You know what it means to be truly exhausted, you know that once the training cycle starts your social life takes a bit of a hit.  Not to mention the no-beer-for-a-month thing.  And then, throw in the I'm-unable-to-move-any-part-of-my-body-for-a-week-after thing.

You now know all this.  You now understand what marathon is, what it entails.
But now, now you've already figured out how to hydrate, how to eat, if you can tolerate caffeine or not.  You have named your foam roller and you two are now BFFs.  Now you've figured out the more difficult stuff, you've lived the learning curve, you're now a step ahead.

And you now know what doing a marathon really means.

So. So now I know.
Decisions, decisions.  Why on earth am I considering another?  Especially after the Battle of Myrtle Beach?

To marathon or not to marathon.  That is the question.