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Time for another race recap! These never get old! After the marathon the thought of running Broad Street sounded awful to me. But the race was so much fun! I’ve been enjoying my less structured work out schedule recently. I had a great 6 miler last weekend, and a few good shorter runs this week. I also took my bike out!

But on to the recap. Let’s rewind…

Friday:

Last year, I went to the expo at lunch during work and was in and out pretty quickly. So, around 11:30 on Friday my co worker and I headed over to the expo thinking we could be back by 1. Joke was on us! We got to the stadium and the line to get into the expo was unbelievably long. It snaked all the way around the stadium and then up 4 levels. It took us a very long time to get to the top! Finally, we made it and got our bibs and tee shirts and hustled to get back to work.

Saturday:

No joke, I did not move all day.

My friend Becca and I decided to run the race together, so she came over to make leaving in the morning go more smoothly.

We chatted for a while when she got to my apartment and stayed up later than we should have.

Sunday:

Would you believe it?! I overslept AGAIN this year! There must be something about running Broad Street and not hearing your alarm. Becca and I were supposed to meet my co worker and her roommate to go to the race together. But we told them to go on without us and we got ready pretty quickly. I wasn’t very nervous for the race, so I was ok with oversleeping and catching a subway a bit later.

I wore pants and a tank top even though it was a little chilly out when we left for the race, but I was worried about it being like the marathon where I was overdressed.  I ate my usual pre-run breakfast of a flax wrap and peanut butter. Then we headed to the subway.

It was packed, but we managed to squeeze onto the first subway that stopped and it wasn’t even THAT crowded (compared to last year and the marathon). When we got to the start we went right to the porta potties. The line took forever. Luckily there was toilet paper though! I’ve learned this is pretty rare at races!

Then we headed to the corrals. I remembered last year no one cared where you started and I didn’t want to wait 40 minutes to start, so we snuck up to an earlier corral. Everyone had on a different color bib (that’s how the corrals were set up) so it was obvious there was no rhyme or reason to this. Even still, we waited about 21 minutes to cross the start!

Becca and I agreed to run together but not to worry if we separated. We also agreed NO talking. We turned out to be great race buddies. At every mile I glanced at my watch and we were shocked at how great we were doing! Around mile 4 I got a really bad cramp. I was worried I was going to have to stop. But we were coming up on a water station so I ran over to grab a cup and walked through the water station. Becca was long gone, but I was so bummed that I had lost her that I took off at lightening speed. I just checked my Garmin and I was running about 9 miles per hour! I caught up to her and fell back into a more comfortable pace. We continued to have great mile splits.

But, just before mile 7, I started to feel like I was chasing Becca. She got a burst of energy and took off as I fell back a bit. I still maintained decent mile splits, but they were a bit slower than the first 7 miles. I would have liked to finish stronger, but oh well.

My Garmin said that I ran 10.06 miles, which is close enough, but I think my last mile split should really be faster than what it says below. I was booking it at the end! Here are the splits:

Mile Pace
Mile 1: 9:38
Mile 2: 9:27
Mile 3: 9:31
Mile 4: 9:35
Mile 5: 9:32
Mile 6: 9:54
Mile 7: 9:59
Mile 8: 10:04
Mile 9: 10:07
Mile 10: 10:04
.06 Miles 8:55

My official chip time according the website was 1:38:31 (2 seconds off of my Garmin). That’s 9 minutes faster than last year!

After, I got my medal.

And then went through the finisher’s chute where they gave out water and soft pretzels and some other food. Shockingly, I wasn’t scarred for life from my incident and I ate the soft pretzel right away. Since the marathon whenever I do a longer run I have felt SO nauseous after. I had that same feeling coming on but the pretzel did the trick and I felt great after.

Then I headed back to my apartment, showered and met up with Mom and Mommom for brunch.

I know I could have pushed a bit harder at the end but I am really proud of this race. It feels strange to not have any major races on my calendar, so I need to think about what I want to do next. A break might be ok, but this race reminded me of how much I love races! I’ll be sure to write about whatever I decide.

–Melissa

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Ok, so I know I have totally fallen off the blogging wagon. Oops. I’ve just been busy doing other things! I’ve made it a habit since the marathon to say yes more and go and do fun stuff! It’s working. I am still running and working out 5-6 days a week, but nothing to write home blog about. My weeks have been looking like this: 2-3 days of running, 2-3 days of lifting and stairmill, 1-2 days of lifting and spinning class. A nice variety, though I would STILL like to add in some Pilates. It just never quite lines up with my schedule.

Anyway, on Monday morning I woke up early to run. I knew I wouldn’t have time after work cause I had a jam packed week of activities but I didn’t end up having quite enough time to run 6 miles as I had planned.

I woke up with about an hour until I would have liked to start getting ready for work. Already, this is not really enough time to do 6 miles.

I got dressed and went into my kitchen for some water. Eeeeee! GIANT COCKROACH. Not kidding this thing had to be the size of my fist. Ok, so I am kidding. It was like the size of my thumb. But still it was in my kitchen! Gross!!!! And it was way too high up for me to reach it. So, I left for my run. Now with about 40 minutes to run.

I ran 1 mile in 10:06

Then I ran a second mile in 10:21

Then about a half mile later I was trotting up 11th street, passing a little pretzel shop.

Let’s pause for a second. Why (why?!) do people eat pretzel’s for breakfast. It makes no sense to me! At work every Thursday there are pretzels for all for breakfast, and everyone eats them. It baffles me.  I digress…

So I’m running passed the pretzel shop and a woman comes barreling out of the store at the same exact moment I am running by. Her pretzel lands on my shirt mustard side down as she body slams into my arm. I said sorry (even though it was totally not my fault). She glares at me, takes a bite of her pretzel, and walks away.

Ok, pause again for a second. Let’s say you were this crazy pretzel lady. Would you ever eat a pretzel off of a strangers shirt? No, didn’t think so. New question. Would you ever eat a pretzel off of a sweaty strangers shirt? NO! Of course not!

So I watch her walk away in shock and then look down to see one of my favorite tops covered in mustard.  I ran inside for some napkins and wiped off my shirt as best I could. Two women who were standing near by watched the whole thing go down and asked if I was ok. They assured me it was not my fault and that crazy pretzel lady was, in fact, crazy.

After that I just ran home. I was very flustered. I finished mile 3 in 9:45. I guess being attacked by a pretzel makes me faster?

I got home and my new pet was still on my wall. Oh boy, what a way to start a Monday. I had maintenance come up and evict him though.

The next day I had a giant bruise on my arm from the crazy pretzel lady collision. It’ s still there actually!

Yesterday I ran a brutal 10 miles. It was so hot and I had a hard time regulating my breathing. I’m really not looking forward to Broad Street. But I’m going to do it anyway and then take a hiatus from long races.

I’m not giving up on racing entirely though because I just signed up for the Color Me Rad run! It’s a 5k and they paint you through out the run. Definitely different!

In other news, I lost my race bracelet. I am SO sad about that. It had come off a few times since I added the full marathon charm, but I noticed every time. I guess it was just a bit too heavy.

Off to enjoy what’s left of my weekend!

–Melissa

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(Turns out that I’ve been calling this the National Marathon for months, but it was renamed this year to the USA Marathon…oops.)

So, I ran a marathon this weekend. I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t believe that it is over. I was warned that it would be hard, and I didn’t believe anyone because my 20 mile run had gone so smoothly. Nothing could have prepared me for how difficult it is to run a marathon. This was hands down the hardest thing I have ever done. I am sore in places I didn’t know it was possible to be sore. Ouch. Let’s back up to before the race though…

Thursday

The Thursday before the race I felt really off. I went to get acupuncture to help my back, and I don’t think it did anything. I guess it was just a really expensive mid-day nap. I went back to work afterwards and didn’t feel great. After work I met up with Mom and she bought me dinner so I could begin carb loading. Then I went home and got in bed in hopes that I would feel a little better. I watched a movie called “The Spirit of the Marathon” before going to sleep.

I heard that it would pump me up. But really it just freaked me out. (It’s on Hulu if you want to watch.)

Friday

I met up with Vic and we headed for the train station. We had perfect timing and were soon on our way to DC. We checked in at our hotel and then we walked over to the metro to head down to the race expo.

First I got my bib.

Then my teeshirt.

Then we walked around for a while, first we found a faux finish line.

I bought some Gu and some Gu Chomps.

And a sticker.

And a magnet.

(Not sure why that looks green, it’s actually white, and already has a prime spot on my fridge.)

And a headband. (I was planning on wearing all black, and figured a bright color would help my fans find me!)

Then we went on the hunt to find me new sneakers, but no luck. Boo.

As we were walking out a lady told us if we test drove a car we would get a Target gift card and a tee shirt. So we did! Since there is no Target near me I gave Vic my gift card and she gave me her tee shirt. We also entered to win a car, but we didn’t win and I ended up with ANOTHER tee shirt. So, I left the expo with 4 new tee shirts…

Then we went and had lunch and went back to the hotel to rest for the afternoon. I didn’t plan on napping because I wanted to sleep at night. But then I felt really tired and decided I probably wouldn’t sleep well anyway, so I took a nap. Then Mom arrived and we went to a pre-race dinner with Jon!

After dinner I was SO full. Too much pasta!!!!

Then we watched Lehigh beat Duke!

I tried to sleep but didn’t have much success…

Saturday – RACE DAY!!!!

I woke up a little after 5:30. Since I had to wake up before 5 some mornings in February to fit my runs in, this didn’t even seem that crazy. I always think that racing means waking up at insane hours, but not this time!

I got over dressed in pants, a tank top, and a long sleeve shirt. Then I ate my normal pre-long-run breakfast of peanut butter on a flax wrap. Soon it was time to go! I left Vic and Mom still snoozin’ in bed and I headed to the metro. It didn’t seem too crowded when I got there. I talked with a girl while I waited about our Garmins (we had the same one). Remember “runner’s are friendly”. Then the metro arrived. It was packed! I squeezed my way on and got quite cozy with the other people on the metro. I ended up talking to a few people who were doing the half marathon but had done full marathons before. They gave me some tips, particularly not to go out too fast. After what felt like hours, we finally got to our stop! The metro station was mayhem.

After a while I finally made my way out of the station and headed for my corral. I was really concerned about making the time cut offs and I sneaked up to an earlier corral.

I was busy trying to text Vic the pictures of the subway (they weren’t going through probably because 24,000 people running the race were also trying to text/call/etc while waiting for the race to start) when a lady standing next to me said “oh wow!”. I looked up to see the sun rising.

I ended up chatting with a triathlete while we waited for the race to start. This was his first half marathon because he was hoping to see if he could possibly do a half ironman. Amazing. I noticed that most people were wearing shorts and tee shirts. Hmm…did they know something I didn’t know?! Soon enough, it was 8 o’clock. Annnnd, we were standing completely still. Almost 20 minutes later I finally crossed the start line.

Miles 1-5: I tried to start off nice and easy. I was feeling great. I didn’t feel like I was going too fast, and I took my planned walking break. Mile 2 I felt awesome. When it got to my planned walking break I was flying down a hill and decided it would be dumb to stop and walk on such an easy stretch. The next mile was the same. I felt great! Then I spotted Mom, Vic, and Jon. It was great seeing familiar faces, and I knew I just had a few more miles until I would see them again.

Sitting down with Starbucks...jerks.

After that I started taking my walking breaks each mile. They weren’t quite consistent because I would walk through water stations and then not take the breaks as planned. This really screwed up my rhythm. Before the race I wanted to make a point to enjoy the scenic part of course, we were running by all of the monuments. However, I barely even noticed them. Jon got a neat shot of the Capitol though!

I took my first Gu at mile 5. It was really hot out and I was already drenched in sweat. This made my Gu a little runnier than usual, but I kind of liked it like that!

Miles 6-12: A little after mile 6 there was a HUGE climb. I started to trudge up the giant hill but was killing myself so I just decided to walk instead. I was racing smart and trying not to burn myself out too early. I continued to feel awesome. This portion of the course was very hilly and I took it easy on the uphills and took advantage of the downhills. Crowd support was really great. There was lots of energy.

Around mile 7 I saw my fans again! 🙂 At mile 10 I took another Gu. I was being careful to only drink from my Camelbak when I needed Gu and to drink from the water stations in between. I was worried that I would run out of water by the end. At mile 12 we split off from the half marathon. As I turned right and the half marathon continued straight I realized there was no turning back! At this point the crowds completely died down. It was a like a ghost town on the course. I knew that the race was geared more towards the half marathoners, but I had no idea how difficult it would be without all the energy of the crowds.

Mile 13 – 15: I kept on running, but it was starting to get tough. My watch wasn’t synching up with the mile markers and it was really throwing me off. I was so, so hot. I couldn’t believe I was only just over half way done. I still had a very long way to go and I was starting to doubt if I could do it or not. Just before mile 15 I saw Mom, Vic, and Jon again. Vic said she was going to run with me for a bit. I took my third Gu of the race.

Mile 16 – 19: I felt terrible. Vic was helping me along and trying to give me pep talks. I couldn’t have done it without her (seriously, best sister EVER!), but I also wasn’t having any of it. What a role reversal! I don’t really remember these miles very well, I know I was wishing for death. I know everything hurt.

At one water station they were handing out cups of ice. It was glorious! For a minute anyway.

Just before mile 18 I decided I needed to go to the bathroom and stopped in a port-a-potty. If it had smelled better, I probably would have just stayed in there! 😛 After, I wanted to walk but Vic pushed me to run for another stretch. At mile 18.5 we saw Mom and Jon again and Vic said goodbye. Jon ran with me for about a half a mile in his jeans!

He grabbed a Twizzler from a spectator and gave me a bite but I spit it out because it hurt to chew. At mile 19 he said goodbye and I was on my own again. I got to a water station and walked while I drank my water/sucked on ice. This part was over a bridge and it was really pretty. I tried to tell myself I needed a game plan for the rest of the race (meaning when I would run and when I would walk), but I guess I got distracted at some point because I never ended up doing that. Every single person around me was walking too. Someone would start running and then a minute or two later I would pass them because they were walking. This was pretty much the pattern and I don’t think anyone was really passing anyone else. In a way it made me feel better that everyone else was struggling and it wasn’t just me. The heat was just so killer.

Mile 20-23: I took my 4th Gu at mile 20. These miles were hard. It was exciting because I was officially PDR-ing with every step. I also liked that with every mile, the finish line seemed so much more attainable. 6 miles, I can do that! 5 miles, no big deal! 4 miles, so close! However, those miles were ticking away very slowly. The 5:00 pace group passed me, and since they were a pace group they were going steady, not stopping and starting like the other runners. I was disappointed that I probably wouldn’t make my under 5 hour goal, but at the time I really didn’t care. I just wanted to finish. I walked for the entire mile 22. At mile 23 I took my phone out of my Camelbak to tell Vic that I had just 5k left. I also tried to run again, but my legs felt SO weird. They did not like the fact that I was trying to get them to run again.

Mile 24-26.2: It was another mile until my 5th planned Gu, and I was really dragging. So, at mile 24 I took a few Gu Chomps. They gave me the boost I needed and I was able to run for a bit. There were rolling hills at this point and I took my approach from earlier in the race with running down hill and walking up hill. It seemed to be working. At mile 25 I took a few more Gu Chomps instead of the gel. There was a giant down hill and I was really cruising. The sun was incredibly hot. The last stretch was down the highway and the sun was just beating down. It seemed like it would never end. At one point, I asked a spectator how much further until the finish. I knew how far I had to go, but I guess I thought by asking someone it would magically make it shorter?! Clearly I wasn’t thinking straight. Anyway, this guy didn’t speak English… I knew I had a just a mile left but I still couldn’t force myself to run. I finally got to mile 26 and I ran for the last .2 miles. I saw my fans again and pushed to the finish.

Then, just like that, I crossed the finish line.

I kept saying “oh my god” over and over again. I got my medal and headed into the finisher’s chute. Instead of the space blankets they gave us ice cold towels to wrap around our necks. Someone handed me a water bottle and I grabbed a second one (I got the stink eye for that, I was like oh please, I just ran 26.2 miles cut me a break!). Then someone else shoved a fist full of granola bars in my hands. I was so disoriented. I met up my family and friends and they tried to take pictures. I was clearly very happy about that.

We met up with a co worker and his wife who came to see me finish and then all walked to the metro. Even though I smelled really good, I wanted to shower immediately.

It was the most painful shower of my life. My back and sides and armpits were chaffed and the water burned so badly. I thought I was going to pass out! I have had some blisters on my feet throughout training and my socks were bloody but the blisters were totally gone, how weird! My feet were also really swollen! I didn’t think ahead and didn’t pack flip flops for after the race. I could barely fit my feet in my shoes! Then, Mom and Vic headed back up north and I went to lunch with my best friend and cousin Jon.

Post race thoughts: My Garmin said that I ran 26.44 miles, so the splits aren’t exact (i.e. the mile that I walked the whole time for is shorter than some of the other miles according to my Garmin). But here are the splits anyway:

Mile 1: 10:32
Mile 2: 9:43
Mile 3: 9:33
Mile 4: 10:25
Mile 5: 11:01
Mile 6: 10:31
Mile 7: 11:17
Mile 8: 10:53
Mile 9: 10:33
Mile 10: 10:18
Mile 11: 11:24
Mile 12: 11:18
Mile 13: 11:33
Mile 14: 11:41
Mile 15: 11:18
Mile 16: 14:02
Mile 17: 11:36
Mile 18: 13:47
Mile 19: 13:47
Mile 20: 14:04
Mile 21: 13:18
Mile 22: 13:46
Mile 23: 15:56
Mile 24: 14:30
Mile 25: 13:14
Mile 26: 11:52
.44 Miles: 5:54
Total 26.44 5:18:00

Obviously you can see my splits for the first half were much better than the second half. I had high hopes of keeping them slightly more consistent than these. I think I went out too fast, despite my efforts to take it slow at first. I also think the weather really killed my pace. It was about 40 degrees hotter than I was used to training in. It’s no surprise that my pace suffered because of it.

It’s also possible that I was under trained even though I know I really, really gave it my all both in training and during the race. I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish in the time I thought I could (between 4:40 and 5 hours), but I know this was still a huge accomplishment and I’m so glad that I did it!

Sunday I was very sore, even walking hurt. My abs were a little sore, and everything from the waist down hurt. The chaffing was a little better and it was starting to scab over. I went to get a massage and it felt amazing. It was the same masseuse I went to during training so he didn’t go to hard on me, otherwise I’m not sure a massage would have been the best idea considering how sore I was.

Today I took off work since I was away for most of the weekend and knew I would want to relax. My right quad is still very tight. I ended up walking around town a bit. One stop was to get new sneakers. I had to order them, but they should be here next week. In the afternoon I was tired of sitting around so I went to the gym and biked very, very lightly. It didn’t hurt, but I don’t think I can do much more than that for a few more days.

So will I be doing another marathon?

I don’t think so.

I’m glad I did it, but this was the most challenging thing I have ever done. When it was over my first thought was “why would ANYBODY do this?!” As much as I enjoyed long runs on the weekend, I don’t think a distance this long is really for me. Running for 5 hours is a LONG time! I think I will switch back to half marathons. That distance seems so much more reasonable now that I’ve done a full! I have a few half marathons on my radar, but I’m not sure if I will sign up for any of them. I have a ten miler in a month and a half and I think that is enough for now.

Thanks to all of my fans!!!!

–Melissa

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Wow. I can’t believe it’s here. In SIX days I will be running a marathon. It’s hard to believe. In November this week felt so, so far away. But it’s here. I hope the next six days go quickly because I am really anxious/nervous/excited/etc for Saturday!!!! Here’s how the final full week of training was:

Monday: Rest – Something very silly happened. This is moderately embarrassing.

Remember last week on Friday when I did the strength work out with Mom and her trainer? My legs felt sore after and ruined my last very long run (I consider anything less than 6 miles to be a short run, 7-10 to be a moderate run, 11-13 to be a long run, and anything over 13 to be a very long run), but I didn’t anticipate any other soreness. Sunday night I was lying on my couch and I began to feel a crushing pain in my chest. It wasn’t anything heart related, it was just my muscles, so I wasn’t too worried. But my chest was killing me. It was a pain unlike anything I had ever felt. I moved to my bed and it hurt to stand up straight on the walk from my couch to the bed. I was hunched over but hoped that a good night’s sleep would help me feel better. One problem – I sleep on my side, and when I was lying on my side it felt like my pec muscles were literally crushing my lungs.

I could still breathe, so again I wasn’t too worried, but it was very uncomfortable. I laid on my back and tried to fall asleep, that wasn’t happening.

So of course, I did what any normal person would do.

I Googled.

Big, big mistake.

Next thing I knew I was convincing myself that I was either a) dying, b) having a heart attack, c) growing a third boob, d) had a rare but very serious pectoral tear and needed immediate surgery or e) dying.

I tried to calm myself down and eventually fell asleep for an hour or two, but I woke up again because I was so uncomfortable both from the chest pain and from sleeping on my back.

In the morning it still hurt, so I did what any normal person would do.

I called my Mommy.

She assured my I was just having soreness from our work out. She reminded me that I had done chest presses with VERY heavy weights for a girl. Good point, mom, good point.

I took some Advil and hoped the feeling would go away. I was uncomfortable all Monday, my chest was swollen and I had cleavage for the first time in my life (maybe not such a bad thing!). To top it all off I was fighting a cold too.

I wanted to kill Mom and/or her trainer for this. I was so worried that my marathon was in jeopardy!! But, instead of acting impulsively and ending up in jail for manslaughter (a sure way to end my marathon dreams!) I took an unplanned rest day and hoped I would feel better.

Tuesday: Cross Training – I felt MUCH better and went to a Spinning class after work. I wanted to run, because I knew that if I didn’t I would only be able to do 2 of my 3 planned runs for the week, but my chest didn’t feel 100% so I decided to do something a little more low key. The class was really good.

Wednesday: Tempo Run – I decided to choose between my speed work and my tempo run because they were about the same distances this week (around 6 miles). I headed out and told myself I would decide between the two once I got going. I ended up doing a tempo run. I didn’t push too hard, but hard enough to break 10 minute miles, since I am tapering. The splits were: 9:44, 9:55, 9:25, 9:26, 9:53, 9:37. Then I cooled down for a tiny bit to get to 6.10 miles. I might have cooled down for longer but I was meeting a friend at the bar to watch the Lehigh/Bucknell basketball game. Lehigh won! Woo!

Thursday: Cross Training – I just ellipticalled for an hour. It was relaxing and fairly easy. I have read that a lot of people over compensate with cross training during their taper since they aren’t running as much, but that isn’t a great idea. Noted.

Friday: Cross Training (again) – I did another AWESOME Spinning class. This might have been the best one I have ever taken. And I have taken A LOT of Spinning classes over the years. Then I followed mom and her trainer around the gym while he trained her in hopes that I could get him to stretch me out (he did).

Saturday: Long Run – This was the last Long-ish run of training! My plan called for 8-10 miles. I kept going back and forth on whether I should try to get those last extra miles in (sort of pointless at this point) or rest my legs. I ended up doing 10 miles anyway just for the sole purposes that I love getting those double digits in! I kept my pace on the slow side on purpose. The splits: 10:45, 10:59, 11:03, 11:19, 11:08, 11:12, 11:06, 10:47, 10:58, 10:13. Then I walked home for .86 miles. On my walk home I called Vic. Our conversation went like this:

Me: “I just finished my last long run!”

Vic: “Uh…no you didn’t”

Me: “My last LONG run!”

Vic: “I heard you, no you didn’t”

Me: “YES I DID!”

Vic: “You do realize you have to run a marathon next weekend?”

Me: “Oh. Yeah. Good point.”

Sunday: Cross Training – I ellipticalled for an hour while reading a book that Mom got my for my birthday. It’s called The Extra Mile and it’s about ultra-marathoner Pam Reed.

I’m still not done because I have been reading it very slowly over the past few months (on purpose) but there were a few parts that I really liked that I read today:

“Only once will you run your first 10-K, your first half-marathon, your first full marathon, your first ultra. So when you do experience a first, I think that it’s really important to stop for a moment to recognize how great it feels”

and

“Most people are used to running by themselves or with one or two other people. You can trot along, get lost in your thoughts, or have a pleasant conversation. In an event like Chicago, you suddenly find yourself being stared at and yelled at by thousands of people. The cheering crowds are definitely encouraging, but it’s a hugely different experience from the kind of running I usually do. This is where the concept of “running within yourself” becomes important. I need to filter out distractions and keep focused on my goals.”

I definitely want to take it all in next weekend and not forget how exciting this all is! It’s also been a while since I’ve done a serious race. I have been running solo (or on a handful of occasions with a friend) for the last 10 months. I’m sure it will be a strange feeling having all the spectators out there next weekend. I need to remember to stick to my plan. I think I will probably feel awkward taking my planned walking breaks, but I know that they work for me and I am going to have to force myself to take them (at least for the first 6 miles where it doesn’t feel like I really need them).

I have 3 more days of training left, so hopefully I will recap those days on Wednesday or Thursday!

–Melissa

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Since the 20 miler, I have been OBSESSED with the marathon. It’s literally all I think about. So, I was reading over my past posts for inspiration and motivation and all that…and I am kind of freaked out now. I have had A LOT of bad runs throughout this training. Yes, I’ve had some great ones (16 miler and 20 miler), but most of my posts start out with “well, this week wasn’t so good”. Soo…I’m pretty nervous now, especially since this week’s long run was another one of those “this week wasn’t so good” runs.

Here is how this week went:

Monday: Cross Training – I went to Spinning again this Monday. It was a great class.

Tuesday: Speed Work – This was a tough one! It was a 10 minute warm up followed by 2×2 miles with 400 of RI between each set, and 10 minutes cool down. Most of my speed work is shorter bursts of speed and then a break, this was TWO miles of speed and the a break. Ouch. But my splits were decent:

Tempo Distance Average Pace
Warm up 1.01 miles 10:15
Speed 2 miles 9:12
RI .25 miles 22:30
Speed 2 miles 8:55
RI .25 miles 17:49
Cool Down 1.04 miles 12:45
Total 6.55 miles

Wednesday: Rest – I worked normal hours this week but I was starting to feel under the weather, and needed a mid week break.

Thursday: Tempo Run – 6 miles. I was so tired, my legs wouldn’t move. It was painful. I think it was the past few weeks finally catching up with me. Oh well…

Mile 1 10:40
Mile 2 11:07
Mile 3 10:52
Mile 4 10:37
Mile 5 13:39
Mile 6 11:07
.15 miles 3:01

Friday: Cross Training – This was A BIG MISTAKE! I worked out with Mom and her trainer and they KICKED.MY.BUTT. It was a fantastic work out (bent over rows, chest press, lunges, burpees, etc. phew I’m getting tired just thinking about it!) and made me realize how much I want to do other things than just run after the marathon, but ow.

Burpees

Saturday: Cross Training – I was going to do my long run this morning. But I literally was so sore that I couldn’t get out of bed. When I woke up I rolled back and forth a few times and thought to myself…how am I going to get out of bed?!?!?! Needless to say, the long run wasn’t going to happen. I went to the gym and ellipticalled for an hour to get my blood moving, but it didn’t help much.

Sunday: Long Run Average-length-really-awful-run – I was still very sore when I woke up this morning, but I wanted to get in my 13 mile run. So I set off slow and steady. My legs felt sore and sluggish at first, but I kept hoping I would loosen up. No such luck. After five miles my legs started to hurt and I kept remembering an article I read about getting injured during your taper. So I called it a day. Unfortunately I was still very far from home. I ended up walking almost the full distance for a total of 11.25 for the day. I am mad at myself for not pushing through/for getting this sore in the first place. I am hoping that I loosen up over the next couple of days! Otherwise…I’m in trouble! Keeping my fingers crossed.

Less than 2 weeks to go!

–Melissa

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I DID IT! No, no…I didn’t run a marathon (yet), but I made it through the big, crazy, scary week on my marathon training schedule that I’ve been scared of since I first planned out this training back in November. I mean really, who runs 20 miles?! (Well I guess me…) This week was also INSANE work wise, I didn’t get home from work before midnight once. It was exhausting and I crashed HARD on Friday. But, like I said…I DID IT! Here is how the week went:

Monday: Cross Training – I took a Spinning class in the morning before work. I have to rush to get ready when I do a class because they end a bit later than I normally finish my work outs, but this was worth it. There was actually a sub teaching the class but it was REALLY good. Great way to start the day.

Tuesday: Speed Work – This week called for a ten minute warm up, then 5 x 2 minutes fast/2 minutes easy, and a ten minute cool down. Wait, what? That’s like…~4 miles! It was so amazing to do just a short, sweet run. I am kind of excited for after the marathon when I can run shorter distances on a regular basis. I want to keep up my mileage for Broad Street, but I can definitely work in some 3-5 mile runs in my training plan (which I will make up after the marathon). Here’s the average paces for the speed work:

Speed Type Distance Average Pace
Warm Up 1.04 miles 10:29
1 – 2 min fast .23 miles 8:35
1 – 2 min easy .18 miles 11:05
2 – 2 min fast .24 miles 8:31
2 – 2 min easy .18 miles 10:51
3 – 2 min fast .23 miles 8:49
3 – 2 min easy .16 miles 12:22
4 – 2 min fast .24 miles 8:25
4 – 2 min easy .15 miles 13:00
5 – 2 min fast .25 miles 8:08
5 – 2 min easy .18 miles 11:16
Cool Down 1.15 miles 11:15
Total: 4.23 Miles

Thursday: Tempo Run – This run was supposed to be 8 miles. But I got home from work around 1:30 am, and I had a crazy, busy day ahead of me. It was no surprise when I hit snooze a few extra times and only had time for 6 miles.Wednesday: Rest – Too tired.

I am calling this a huge victory that I even made it out there for 1 mile. Even still, I felt a bit guilty for not doing all 8, considering I’ve missed a few runs here and there because of my various ridiculous injuries. But, in the long run (ha…pun) I doubt 2 miles will make a huge difference. The splits:

Mile Split
1 9:51
2 10:20
3 9:26
4 9:46
5 9:25
6 9:54
0.06 1:38

I only had time to cool down for .06 miles, which isn’t really enough, but oh well.

Friday: Rest – I wasn’t going to work out this day regardless because I was running 20 miles the next day and wanted to feel rested. But even if I had wanted to I wouldn’t have be able to. I got home from work and passed out the second my head hit the pillow. I don’t think I have ever been so tired in my whole life.

Saturday: Long Run – This was the first Saturday I didn’t have to work in 5 weeks. I set my alarm for early to emulate race day. I wasn’t going to wake up at a ridiculous hour or anything, but I figured 6 would be early enough. But I woke up at 7:30 with my phone half way across my room. I must have turned off the alarm and chucked it in my sleep. This is why I can’t have nice things. I dragged myself out of bed. I did NOT want to go running at all. On the other hand, I wanted to get the run out of the way so I could relax on Sunday. I made my usual pre-long run breakfast– peanut butter on a flax wrap. So good. Then I got back in bed and watched this weeks Modern Family. So good. Then I dragged myself back out of bed and got dressed. Before I knew it I was out the door.

I downloaded an audio book. I chose Ellen Degeneres’ Seriously…I’m Kidding.

I had a few other books in mind but I figured that this would be nice and light and her voice wouldn’t irritate me as much as if it were some random fiction book. It was only 3 hours long, so I figured I could just switch over to music after. This turned out to be a BRILLIANT idea. It made the miles go by very quickly. The book wasn’t great, but I definitely laughed out loud a few times. My favorite part was when she was talking about how crazy people usually have shopping carts. Then she thought that it actually wasn’t such a bad idea since she usually keeps everything in her pockets. She said it could be like her purse on wheels. And she could call it a POW. But then she decided maybe that wasn’t such a good idea after all. I was cracking up, I bet other runners thought I was crazy. Maybe I should have been pushing a shopping cart…

I am debating whether or not to get an audiobook for race day. It really made me zone out during this run, but I don’t know if you are supposed to completely zone out during a race. I’ll have to think about it…

The first few miles I was not feeling so great, but eventually I got into it. I saw a partner at my company running around mile 4, I took a Gu (Espresso flavor mmm) around mile 6, it started to flurry around mile 9. Around mile 10.5 I reached the start of the Drive again and went inside to the little cafe to fill up my CamelBak even though it wasn’t empty yet. They have a water cooler that runners can use for free, though I’m pretty sure it’s just filled with tap water. Still, very convenient.

At that point, it also started BLIZZARDING! I was worried about going back out in it, so I called mom to see if she thought it was safe, and to let her know where I would be in case I ended up in a snow bank. She said to go for it, and off I went. The “blizzard” lasted for about 3 minutes. Then the sun came out again.

Around mile 11 I saw a friend from middle school. Also around mile 11 I took another Gu (chocolate flavored mmm). Around mile 12 I felt myself starting to feel like how I did during the 18 mile run. I didn’t want it to end up like that run, so I took an extra long walking break. It didn’t kill my pace too much, and I started up running again feeling so much better. Around mile 15 I saw the same friend from middle school again. (I also saw the same old man 4 times during my run, kicking some serious butt, and a couple other people multiple times.) Around mile 16 my book ended, and I switched over to music. Around mile 17 I took a 3rd Gu (espresso again). Also around mile 17 I realized that I was going to make it! Around mile 18 I ran out of water but was nearing the cafe again so I figured I would fill up again even though I was almost done. Around mile 19 I stopped at the cafe. I was shaking pretty badly when I stopped. Weird. Then I finished really strong. Amazingly, it only took me a minute longer to run 20 miles than it took me to run 18 the other week. At mile 20 I called mom to tell her I actually did it! Then I walked home for a mile and a quarter for a total of 21.25 for the day (not including the tons of walking I did the rest of the day/night). The splits:

Mile Split
1 11:32
2 11:02
3 11:12
4 10:58
5 10:52
6 11:38
7 10:57
8 10:59
9 10:43
10 10:45
11 10:50
12 13:27
13 10:36
14 10:43
15 10:59
16 11:41
17 11:21
18 11:15
19 10:46
20 10:01
21 18:10
0.25 4:18

I know that I still have 6.2 more miles to run after this until I complete a marathon. I kind of wish I had a 22 miler on my schedule. Most plans max out at 18 miles, 20 miles, or 22 miles. I picked the 20 mile max because the whole schedule seemed like it would work for me, but now one more super long run would be nice. However, there is only 3 weeks til the marathon, and I am officially tapering, so that is not going to happen. I also think that I kind of feel ready for it! This long run totally boosted my confidence. I know I could just as easily have a bad day like with my 18 mile run, but I’m hoping with 3 weeks of tapering I will feel fresh and rested for the marathon. I read an article earlier in the week that basically said that you ARE going to have some really awful training runs, it’s normal. All I can do is not get too cocky after this long run and hope that I don’t have an awful run on race day!

Sunday: Cross Training – I did a very easy 45 minutes on the elliptical. It felt good to get my legs moving again. I read an issue of Women’s Health during my work out. It said that moving a little after hard work outs is one of the best things for recovery. So I covered that! It also said to drink lots of water (working on it as I type) and to get a massage (it’s not just an indulgence! It really helps your muscles). So now I’m off to get a massage!

Total miles: 31.54 miles

This week should be much less crazy work-wise, and training-wise. I think I can get it all in!

–Melissa

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Another week down! We are now less than a month from the marathon, so crazy! I signed up for the Broad Street Run this week. It’s a 10 mile race on May 6. I think it will be good to have a goal in mind for after the marathon.

This week was extremely exhausting. I worked until the wee hours of the morning, but I still managed to squeeze in 5 work outs. Here’s what I did:

Monday: Cross Training – I swam and biked. Both of these helped to loosen up my legs from the 18 miler.

Tuesday: Rest – 4 hours of sleep = no work out

Wednesday: Speed Work – This workout was a 1 mile warm up, 10×400 with 400 of RI in between each,  and a 1 mile cool down. I warmed up at a 10:03 pace. I did a walk/jog for my resting intervals. The pace of the 10 fast intervals were: 8:50, 8:26, 8:26, 8:11, 8:23, 8:07, 8:16, 9:08, 7:19, 8:12. I wanted to keep them all in the 8 minute range. When I didn’t get that for the 8th 400 I pushed really hard for the 9th. Then I cooled down with a mile run and some walking for a total for the day of 7.28 miles.

Thursday: Rest – 4 hours of sleep = no work out (again)

Friday: Tempo Run – This was 1 mile easy, 5 miles tempo. I ended up just doing what felt good. The splits: 9:10, 9:24, 9:24, 9:36, 10:13, 9:00. Then I cooled down for a total of 6.11 miles.

Saturday: Cross Training – I did the arc trainer for 15 minutes, the elliptical for 15 minutes and upper body strength for 20 minutes.

Sunday: Long Run – This was a step back week. Hooray! My schedule called for 10 miles. I considered doing more since I skipped a 13 miler the other week because of my neck. I set out on a 12 mile route, but when I got to 10 miles I was just ready to be done. So I walked the last 2 miles home. It felt great to just walk. I didn’t run with water and I was very thirsty around mile 7. Big mistake. I’m also feeling some foot pain that feels like this old injury. I’m a bit worried about that. The splits: 10:54, 10:52, 10:40, 10:53, 10:54, 10:37, 10:58, 11:02, 10:33, 10:31. Not my best, not my worst.

Total mileage: 25.39

Time for bed! Week 15 is going to be the most challenging yet! I’m nervous.

–Melissa

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