10 For Texas 2016 Recap

First fall race and it’s a PR!!! I couldn’t be happier! I spent all summer building and working to get stronger and to see it pay off is unbelievable! 

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I was so nervous going into this race! You’ll always have those thoughts on if you did enough to prepare, or if you are ready!

“Don’t let fear decide your future” 

Shalane Flanagan

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The greatest thing about running is you get what you put in!

 I have some big goals!

Some people think I am crazy but I know if I believe in  myself and put in the work  anything is possible!


I am  shocked at how far I have come as a runner! I ran a 6:18 pace for 10 miles!!! That was my 5k pace a year and a half ago! 

For this race, my coach set the goal racing time at a 1:03:29! I remember a week before the race getting the “race plan” and thinking he was crazy! I had to reassure myself that he wouldn’t set a goal he didn’t think I was capable of! I needed to believe in myself!

I changed the can’t to can!!

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The plan ☝🏻🔝

Seems easy enough…. Right?! 

We had a conversation the night before the race to discuss the weather. It was going to be 69 degrees and 80% humidity! We decided to be a bit more conservative in the beginning and slow pace a bit! I had run this race before and in Texas if you don’t race smart in humidity you suffer! He said that anything under a 1:05 would be a major improvement from last year and while I agreed deep down I really wanted that 1:03! 

—-Race history facts—-

I have done this race 3 years in a row!

–2014–

Time: 1:17:20

Pace: 7:44

Gender Place: 31 out of 1332

overall 155 of 2277

What I remember most:

I remember going out too fast and dying on the back end! I actually stopped to walk briefly only to get caught by my coach telling me to keep going! (Great timing trying to sneak a walk break in 😂) It was a solid run and the first real learning experience for me on the importance of proper pacing!

–2015–

Time: 1:06:59

Pace: 6:42

Gender Place: 6 out of 1354

Overall: 43 out of 2374

I placed 2nd in AG

What I remember most:

I faded with about 4 miles to go and had a girl take me and beat me out of making the top 5 by 4 seconds! I fought a good fight to catch her but waited too long and ran out of time In the final stretch! I did have a fantastic last mile fight though!!! So, much so that I had this beautiful finishers picture below…. I’m referring to the beauty on the right 😂 That last mile was a 6:15! Tough at the time!

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The image on the left shows my husband supporting me on his bike ❤️ one of my favorite pictures! It’s always reassuring to know he is close! In case I need a lift…. kidding!! I shaved 10 minutes off my time from the previous year!

*******2016******

1:03:01

Pace: 6:18

Gender Place: 3 out of 964

Overall: 16 out of 1759

1st in AG

What I will remember most:

How strong I felt! I knew at mile 4 that I was going to have a good race! I missed second place by 7 seconds but made her work hard to beat me! We fought and surged back and forth  from mile 7 until mile 9! I let her get a little too far on the last mile and it cost me! Lesson learned to keep that striking distance smaller!

 I would have liked to have been in the 1:02’s…. I was so close! Even if it was a 1:02:59! I saw the clock ticking away and almost got in there!

During this 10 mile race I clocked a 19:17 at the 5k mark and had a

10k PR of a 38:49 (6:14 pace)

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I am also totally aware that the heart rate monitor is not worn around the stomach! It became loose and I fought with it the last few miles! image

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Splits: 6:13, 6:18, 6:20, 6:24, 6:16, 6:19, 6:14, 6:12, 6:14, and 6:13! I negative split!!!

My first mile was a bit fast with the nerves and excitement but then I focused on the goal! I held a steady effort until mile 6 and then began to work to pick up the pace! The last mile of this course has 2 hills! I maintained effort going up the hills and used the downside to recover. I was super happy to see that my last mile split was the same as my first mile!!!

A few pictures:

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Leaving our hotel room to warm up wearing my racing uniform for the first time! I ate oatmeal and a banana about 2.5 hours before the start and 2 klean athlete endurance tabs!! I took 1 gu 5 minutes before the start and one at mile 5. I don’t think I really needed it but better safe than sorry.

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My sweet husband who bikes while I run! He deserves some props! It isn’t easy to do with road closures and detours! He has had some flat tires and bike issues but he is always there smiling and encouraging me at the finish!

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That post race beer!!

This needs no explanation!

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Meeting friends and watching them reach goals is always great!!!

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 ❤️❤️❤️

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My Team! Finish Strong Racing!! Many people had podium finishes and PR’S!!!!

I saw this blog showing the rankings for the top 25 females in Texas with fastest 10 mile race times and I made the list currently at  #17! The goal next year will be to go under an hour!

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http://houstonrunning2.blogspot.com/2016/04/texas-top-25-10-mile-times-of-2016.html?m=1

Summer sweat to winter PR’S

So, I remember taking this picture back in the beginning of April with the caption “grab some popcorn! It’s going to be a long summer of working my ass off to make the dream work.”

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Well, here we are in September and that summer sweat is fixing to show!!! I can’t say I enjoyed every moment or killed every run but I was relentless and that’s what counts!

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-I accomplished some pretty big things this summer! I brought my 5k PR from a 19:12 to an 18:25! Best part is that was done on July 4th in Texas! It was hot!!! Vey hot!!! This means I may have another PR waiting for me with some cooler temps!!!

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– I also maintained a pretty beefy schedule with 3 intense workouts a week! I spent the beginning of summer at about 50 miles a week and ended at 65!

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I had some emotional moments crushing workouts that seemed impossible! ⬆️

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and high moments leaving the gym after a good run like a boss because I owned it ⬆️

– I crushed some mental barriers! When I first started running the thought of having to run any more than 30 minutes on the treadmill was unbareable! However, as mom and a marathoner I have had to adjust the way I feel about the hamster wheel! It’s a love hate relationship! That being said I ran my longest run of 15 miles on the treadmill!!! What?!!!!! I had to start at 4am before the crew woke up! It was tough mentally but I have goals and not doing it is NOT an option!

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– I have a good base going into marathon season!!! I recently did 16 miles with fantastic splits! I kept it easy and it was still hot!!!

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Laps: 7:32, 7:23, 7:26, 7:28, 7:20, 7:10, 7:13, 7:18, 7:13, 7:23, 7:20, 7:18, 7:12, 7:07, 7:06, AND the last mile 6:24 🎉🎉🎉 ———-

Dispite dealing with a little shin splints summer has been good to me!! I am beyond excited to see all of my hardwork show!

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Fall goals & Olympic dreams

So, I had lunch with my coach recently and he asked if I had considered trying to qualify for the olympic trials! I nearly fell out of my chair!! Not sure if it was because he thought I was capable of doing it in the coming years or at the thought of actually having the abilities to do it!!! To be totally honest it was both!! You have to remember I started running in 2012 as 30+ minute 5k runner. I dreamed of being a better runner but Olympic time trials good – NO!

I am 33 years old and a mom of 3!!!

Thing is though in order to achieve a goal you must first believe it is possible regardless of what circumstances  you think make it impossible!!!

So, here we go- I am believing it will happen! Is it going to be easy? No, but nothing worth having comes easy!!!

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See that girl at the starting line of the 2016 Boston marathon? That is me!

In 2012 when I started running I never thought I could run a marathon but then one day in 2014 I changed my mind! I went from couldn’t to could! I decided that not only was I going to run a marathon but I was going to do it and qualify for Boston!

I started working towards that goal with half marathons and longer weekend runs and in 2015, I ran my first marathon and qualified with a 3:29:58! I didn’t finish loving marathons or itching for another one but I felt totally accomplished in what I was able to do if I believed in myself and my abilities!

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A year later I ran the same race and finished with a 3:11:34—what?! This was my 2nd marathon ever and I beat my previous time by 18 minutes!!!!

Three short months later with minimal marathon training, I arrived in Boston to run my 3rd marathon! I had no plans of trying to PR!

What do you know? Another PR on a hilly course that I ran very slow for the first half!

Shaved another 30 seconds off

I ran a 3:11:04!

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So, here we go!!!! Time to dream again and BELIEVE it!!

“Never be embarrassed to dream too big it’s the gift that allows you to live life with hope”. Kara Goucher

C͟͟H͟͟A͟͟S͟͟I͟͟N͟͟G͟͟ T͟͟H͟͟A͟͟T͟͟ D͟͟R͟͟E͟͟A͟͟M͟͟

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The way I see it is you have one life! What do you have to lose!

“Someone once told me not to bite off more than I can chew but I would rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity”-Unknown

Each day matters and counts and I am totally committed! I have 3.5 years to reach it!

Goals to a achieve this year 2016-2017:

Marathon: 3:05 or better

Half Marathon: sub 1:25

I am excited to see what I am capable of doing this fall and to see this blog post one day and smile knowing I DID IT!

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Christmas in July 5k recap -PR

It didn’t feel like Christmas with this heat and humidity BUT I got a PR and that’s like Christmas morning!!! I had a bad race a few days ago at the Baytown Bud 5 miler. I struggled in the heat and took it personal! For me a bad race lights that fire! I get angry! I get hungry! I get to the bottom of the problem!!

I had done majority of my runs on the treadmill leading up to this to avoid the heat! PROBLEM!!! My body was not used to trying to maintain fast paces in heat and humidity!!! The fix: get outside and do it!!

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Picture above from a tempo run outside 2 days before the 5k!! Trying to get comfortable being uncomfortable!!!

So, back to the 5k!!! It was totally last minute! I didn’t tell my coach! I signed up late Friday night and raced the next morning! Funny thing is my best races are usually like that! Unplanned!! No taper or pressure!!!

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Huge PR!!!  My previous PR was a 19:12 that’s a big cut in the 5k world!!! It’s only 3.1 miles so that’s shaving about 15 seconds off per mile! Tough to do! I also ran this in Texas in July! Heat and humidity is REAL!!!

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My husband is my biggest supporter! He was there to cheer me on and watch the boys!

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This was me my first mile which I ran in a 5:46

splits: 5:46, 6:00, 6:08, .36

Our boys ran the 1k!!! I love races that we can make a family event!!!

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We are making champions!!!! This was the first 1k they ran without us!!! It was bittersweet!!!! I can see the little men they are becoming and how fast they are growing!!!

I watched them run so proud!!! (Between brothers) Tristan took 1st but Austin almost caught him!!! Landon was right behind Austin! 👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼

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What I see 😍 So very lucky to have them in my life!!! I saw them 3x on the 5k course!!! They ran to various spots to cheer for their Mama!!! image

Best part: The kids ran and I got a PR

I so loved having no pressure! I ran with no thought!!! Slept like a baby the night before due tithe lack of pressure!!!

Worst part: The heat. It wasn’t as bad as the Baytown Bud but still hot. I felt fine aerobically but felt some lactic acid building up in the legs that last mile. Probably due to the really fast 1st mile (5:46). A more evenly paced run may yield a better result!

 

Baytown Bud 5 miler recap

July 4, 2016

Baytown Bud Heat wave 5 miler

Placed 2nd overall female

Time: 33:16 (pace 6:39)

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Recap:

I truly thought I was ready for this race!! I had some solid training runs going into it but not much training in the heat and that hurt me!! I went out holding goal pace of 6:15 with the first mile in 6:14. Then I slipped! The course didn’t offer much shade and as each mile passed it began to wear on me! My splits were (6:14, 6:31, 6:36, 6:41, and 6:57) I caught a really bad side cramp with a half mile left and almost had to walk! It was a true shuffle into the finish line! Looking back I lacked confidence going into this race. I think that happens when you haven’t raced in awhile which is why racing is important. I held back when I shouldn’t have and allowed myself to get inside my head too much on the run. We all have those moments when we tell ourselves we are better than this and to run harder as well as moments when we feel sorry for ourselves and allow the stuff that hurts to sink in! I allowed the negative thoughts! For laughs, during my pitty party I grabbed a cup of what I thought was water and poured it over my head only to realize after it was Gatorade. It was both refreshing and sticky! At the end of the day this was a less than I had hoped for race but it showed me a weakness (heat) and gave me that drive to want to work harder!

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Garmin showed a longer courseimage

Pre race nerves!!

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Running friends!!image image

Best part: received my first check!!! I won $100 dollars for finishing as 2nd overall female! My husband biked!

Worst part: The heat and I had some sickness earlier that week. The cramp the last mile also sucked!!!

 

Summer Workout Planning

I love routine and consistency but it’s not always easy to do!

“Embrace the seasons of  life you are in, because it is just that – a season”.

The kids have been out of school for a month and we have been busy making the most of it!

This was from Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica

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Paradise Beach in Cozumelimage

Hanging on the lake

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Swimming in the pool -All Day

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Galveston beach

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Zoo Trip

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Busy is probably an understatement and we aren’t slowing any time soon. So, I thought I’d talk about what works and how to make sure you get those workouts in during the summer and on vacation!

  • Be Flexible  this one may seem pretty obvious but you need to be able to adjust when possible!

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This was my Husband and I on our Cruise in the gym.  The entire week we had to adjust and be open to working out at all times of the day and many times after a long day at a port. Sure, I didn’t feel like it and it was tough to get going but I adjusted! I’m a morning runner and lose that drive as they day progresses. When motivation is lacking and I am not in the mood I’ll make myself run for 10 minutes and usually once I’m moving I am fine! Effort is effort!

  • Get Creative. So, the biggest thing with any goal in consistency and that isn’t always easy on the go.

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In the picture above I had plyometrics after a run while on vacation in Galveston. The gym had no plyo boxes or jump ropes available. So, I got creative and used these stairs at our hotel to get the type of workout I needed in! I rarely miss days and to accomplish that I have learned to make the most of any situation. Even if it means splitting a run! Taking a 10 mile run that you can’t fit in all at once and splitting it into 2 five mile runs is much better than skipping that 10 miler all together because you don’t have the time to do it! Make it work!

  • Involve the family. This to me is most important! Most of us are not professional athletes and don’t have the ability to devote hours and hours to train and recover. Many times for us it takes time away from our family if we aren’t careful in planning! You can involve your kids at any age in your activities. You may have to modify slightly but it can be done! For example, you can get on the floor with your infant and do core or yoga, run bleachers at your child’s football practice, or go for a run beside them while they bike home from school. Involve them anytime you can!

Running drills with my boys

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They take turns running the treadmill while I bike

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They bike the track with me while I run! They find this especially fun!

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They enjoy being part of training and even race themselves! I mean with all that training what’s a kid to do!

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We make it a family activity when we can!

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  • Trim the fat. No not literally but cut to the chase. Figure out what’s most important and start with that! Knowing what you have to do first and how much time it will take makes scheduling it easier and ensures you get it done. Let’s face it, sometimes things happen that we can’t plan for! That hour you thought you had while the kids napped just turned into 30 minutes because they weren’t sleepy -true story. If you planned right and made the 2 mile warm up a mile you got more accomolished hypothetically! Don’t wait until you have the time to workout to plan!

Eat to perform

This wasn’t always easy for me to do BUT after seeing how much of an impact it had, I realized the importance!!!

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Eating healthy doesn’t  have to suck!

Once you figure out substitutions you can beef up and make the food you love healthy!!!!

“It’s not called a diet, it’s called eating healthy”.

For example, we love pancakes!!! I have been using pancakes to fuel my weekend long runs for over a year. I heard about muscle milk pancakes from Ryan Hall at a retreat I went to last year in California.

http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/6-perfect-performance-based-breakfasts-20150305/ryan-halls-muscle-milk-teff-flour-cocoa-pancake

They are are great and totally note worthy!! However, I have recently become obsessed with Greek Yogurt and its many options in cooking!

👉🏽 Tip: for dessert or healthy snack Greek Yogurt sprinkled with frozen chocolate chips is the bomb! Just saying!!

Back to the pancakes….. So these Greek Yogurt pancakes are kid approved (that’s a big deal).

To make it fun I sometimes offer a variety of toppings! I set them out like an ice cream shop bar and let the kids flavor their own pancakes!

Nuts, pecans, chocolate chips, blueberries, banana, strawberries, sprinkles, chocolate syrup….make it fun! The base of what they are eating is building a strong body!!

Yields 6 pancakes

1/4 cup (60 g) plain Greek yogurt

1/2 medium, ripe banana (50 g or 1/4 cup [60 ml] mashed)

1/2 cup (40 g) rolled oats*

2 large egg whites OR 1 large egg

1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) unsweetened almond milk**

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup (35 g) blueberries, fresh or frozen

Instructions

Preheat a skillet over medium heat and coat it with cooking spray or oil. You want to make sure that it’s very hot before you start cooking your pancakes. Add all the ingredients except for blueberries to a blender in the order listed and blend on high until the oats are fully broken down and the batter is smooth and frothy, about 1-2 minutes. Fold in the blueberries by hand and allow batter to sit for a few minutes so that it thickens up. Pour batter straight from blender onto skillet until desired size of pancakes is reached and cook until the edges have set and bubbles begin to form on the tops of the pancakes, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Repeat until all the batter is gone, making sure to coat your skillet again with oil between each batch. Top with desired toppings and enjoy!

 

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Who said waffles were unhealthy?! Give these a try!!!!

Ingredients:
2 cups of rolled oats
1tbs baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 medium ripe banana
1/2 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix it all together with a blender and cook on waffle iron!
We use peanut butter instead of butter (added protein 👌) and I sprinkle with a few frozen chocolate chips and drizzle with a little syrup!

 

It’s the bomb people!

It’s REAL

I remember the day I decided to work towards becoming a strong runner and the moment I wanted to make it to Boston!! Still soaking it all in and reflecting on how it all came together!!!

Remember the process and what it took to get to where you are!!! The beginning is never easy but when it comes together it’s all worth it. When someone asks for advice for their first marathon or half marathon I tell them to “enjoy it,  You only get one first!”

This video is bits and pieces of my journey to my 1st Boston Marathon!! It was real!!! I am that girl that dreamed a dream and chased it down with everything she had!

 

So what’s my secret?

So, many of you have asked how I have made such huge cuts in my running times in just 4 years and I am hoping to answer that question!

First let’s see some of those awful yet strangely motivational images of the old days 🙈

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⬆️ Post 5k! I’m red faced and felt like death but – I didn’t die!!! I carbo loaded the night before like I was running a 50k and probably ran with a water belt 😂  Newbies!!! At least I didn’t run in my race shirt!!! Lol! If you are new to running these are DONT’s

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This was my 3rd or 4th 5k.  This is how we rolled at races! Kudos to my husband for juggling them while I ran my 5k’s that at the time took forever 😆

-Real talk-

Times from beginning until now:

5k: 35+ minutes —-> 19:12

(image below of my 1st EVER 5k)image

Half marathon: 1:58:26 —-> 1:27:50 (picture below was from my first half marathon. I finished cramping.

My husband was there to stretch me out and my mom was there to help with the kids.

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Marathon: 3:29 ——-> 3:11 (first marathon picture below. It hurt—-so good)

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There are many factors to which I owe my success to date.

Family support:

So, this is a big one and probably one of the most important! In order to achieve my goals I have to have the people that are closest to me willing to support me! If my alarm were to go off at 4:30 AM and I was sluggish to get out of bed and my husband told me to just stay home and sleep I may be tempted to do just that! However, he is a motivator and encourages me to go. He won’t offer excuses because he KNOWS how bad I want it!! Having 3 young children and marathon training hasn’t been easy. Planning has always been a major factor in being able to get key workouts in. Especially during marathon season when my weekend mileage is in the double digits. We have had to hire a sitter to watch our children and had to make plans weeks in advance to ensure I could fit in what needed to be done.

Team work makes the dream work!!!

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Running Friends:

When I first started running there wasn’t an organized group in my area. So I started a running group. It has been super helpful for staying motivated! We are a group of people with the same drive and yet different goals! It works! We don’t all run the same paces and distances but we share the same crazy desire to be up at 5 AM and run!

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The picture above is an all girls race we did ❤️

Unwillingness to give up or give in:

There are NO days off! This does not mean I am running every single day but what it does mean is that on a day when I am not running I am doing yoga or stretching or foam rolling! Always building and working to get stronger! You are not strong by running every single day! You get stronger by building and targeting specific areas. I have bad runs and bad days where I have to alter my run or even stop. However, I usually regain composure and will try to finish out whatever I can do. Effort is effort!! Walk if you have to, stop for a minute but don’t quit! Quitting is forever! I don’t think many people believe me when I say this but consistency is key! It’s the magic pill if there were one.  I will run on Christmas, snow, rain, heat– whatever it takes!! If I have a training run while we’re on vacation I am running the hotel gym at 3 AM so I can do it without affecting my family!

You have to ask yourself

“how bad you want it?”

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Training run in the rain on Christmas. No one else ran with me that day!

They said “it’s raining”

Just me! Chasing that dream!

Get a coach or have a plan

This has really helped me with injury prevention and maintaining a solid base. I have no self-control and my personality is one of those that could go and go! I don’t have boundaries and would run every chance if I could. I didn’t have a coach when I first started. Only because when I first started I didn’t even have a watch and I thought a 5K was 5 miles—true story! It was more about putting 1 foot in front of the other and finishing without dying. I would run a 5K route (3.1 miles)  every day in a neighborhood. That was the basis of my training. I soon realized that I had the ability to run but now I need more structure. I knew I couldn’t run the same thing every day and expect to get better.

Insert the coach- My first coach was out of Alabama and he was wonderful! He was the first to implement a schedule and show me how to execute runs properly. After working with him for about six months I decided to get a local coach. I have been with Coach Lyons now for a little over 2 years. He gives me a schedule each week and on that schedule I put Feedback after I complete the workouts.  I am as detailed as possible in my feedback which allows him to see how I am responding to the paces and if they need to be adjusted in anyway. He keeps my body guessing and working with various workouts! I do throw in some extras (cycle, extra run, swim,weights) which he is aware of but he gets my brand of crazy!!

It goes back to my personality and always wanting more!

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Just got a PR in Boston!! ⬆️

Goals:

This one is pretty obvious and I’m sure most of you all have goals but actually seeing your goals and yourself accomplishing them is another! I knew I was going to make it to Boston! I saw it, felt it, and even got emotional on training runs thinking about it.

You have to believe in yourself and your abilities!

Set a goal and work to reach it! When you reach it make another goal! If I would’ve stopped at my first goal of qualifying for Boston I would never have amazed myself with crushing my BQ time by 25 minutes!!!!

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Diet and supplements:

I went to a retreat with elite runners Ryan and Sarah Hall last year and I learned how important it is to fuel properly. I would get so nervous before races that I wouldn’t eat.

How can you perform well if you are not fueling your body with what it needs? I make sure to eat a large breakfast at least 2 1/2 hours before a race. I also do the same on training runs. I may not have as large of a breakfast if I am not doing as many miles but I still make sure to eat.

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Healdsburg half marathon with Sara Hall

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Retreat with Ryan Hall

If I’m not running and just living sort of speak my rule of thumb is to eat like a Queen for breakfast, a Princess for lunch, and a Peasant  for dinner. This allows me to eat the foods I want but within reason and give my body the time it needs to digest it!!

Things I take on the run or for training:

caffeine – obvious but nevessary!

nuun

gu

Glutamine

klean athlete (multi vitamin, antioxidant, omega, and endurance.

I like monster amino for post runs.

-So here is the deal I am not a professional runner or some amazing track star. What I am is a girl on a mission! A mom that decided one day to get in shape with running! I saw the results and set goals for myself to achieve. The best thing about running is you get what you put into it!

Hopefully this helps you get an idea of what it has taken to get to this point! I’m still hungry and dreaming of bigger goals so no doubt I will learn more and I will share it with you along the way!

Runner to Runner 👊🏼

love, love, love,

Amanda

Boston 2016

Well it’s official! I have run the Boston Marathon!  The entire experience for me was sureal! I set out four years ago to make it there and to have accomplished it was amazing.

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When I started running 4 years ago, it was 5K’s and the paces I was running where nowhere close to where I needed to be to qualify. I can honestly say though that in those beginning moments even though it seemed like such a hard thing to do I never doubted my ability!

Picture on the left is the dreamer!

Picture on the right is the Do’er!

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Boston was only my third marathon ever to run. My first was the Houston Marathon in 2014 in which I ran a 3:29. It was my qualifying race. I ran my second marathon in the 2015 Houston Marathon in which I ran a 3:11:34!  Houston is a pretty flat course with a few hills but nothing major. I had decided going into Boston that I was going to enjoy it.  I kept training  pretty intense and didn’t take much of a taper.

However, once arriving into Boston and being around all of the runners and the atmosphere I knew I didn’t want to not try and run a good race!! I also knew that I didn’t have much training leading into this under my belt. Prior to the Boston Marathon I had only done three long runs (16 miles, 17 miles and 13 miles) which I am not even sure should be called long runs! I knew that the only way I would have a good race is if I understood the course. This was hard to do especially because I had never run it before. I studied the course map and elevation and asked many seasoned Boston marathon runners for advice. The word from most everyone was to go out slow and finish fast. That was my goal– and to have FUN!!!

Pre run- Athletes Village

All of the runners wait in the athletes village prior to the start of the race. From the time you wake up until the time you run it’s about a six hour wait. I woke up at 5 AM ate a bagle and a banana with a bottle of water. I packed an orange and granola bar for a second breakfast at athletes village. I took a shuttle bus from my hotel to Boston Commons to load a bus to Hopkinton.

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My bus

I packed a blanket and tried to nap. I had 2 hours before my wave.

Mostly I just rolled around anxiously!!

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Waiting to exit to the start line! Eeeeep!!!

Mile 1 -4

This is basically all downhill. When I was running people were flying past me and I remember thinking to myself that this is a lot of people running low seven paces and I wasn’t sure if this many people would be doing the same at mile 20. I paid close attention to my watch and held back. It’s easy to go fast here but will trash your quads if you aren’t careful!

7:09, 7:20, 7:19, 7:12

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Miles 5-10

This part of the course levels out a bit. There are still some rolling hills but nothing big. I tried to find a steady pace during this portion of the race. The water stops were really congested with people so I took water bottles from the spectators and ran with that. It was a hot race and I knew hydration was going to be big!

(7:18, 7:05, 7:08, 7:13, 7:10 7:14)

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Miles 11-13

These miles were probably the funnest! The crowd support in Wellesley was amazing!!! I blew kisses and high-fived most of mile 13!!

(7:18, 7:15, 7:12)

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Miles 14 to 18

This was probably the longest stretch of the course for me! My husband was at mile 17 which could not have been a better mile for him to be at! It was right before the hilliest part of the course and having him there was kind of like a reset for me. He gave me the last 2 GU’s I would need and a bottle of water with nuun in it. I milked that bottle all the way until the end of heartbreak Hill. I guess you could say it was kind of like my crutch! I knew the electrolytes in it was what I needed and told myself it would get me up that hill!! It’s mental people!!! Always mental!!! Use what works!

(7:12, 7:13, 7:10, 7:24, 7:21)

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Picture by my husband 😊 I’m coming in for the goods!!

Miles 19 to 20 -Newton Hills

I can honestly say that I went through Newton pretty much feeling fine. The hills definitely had my heart rate go up but I used the downside to catch my breath and keep moving forward. I had put in some hill training in the weeks leading up to Boston which I think helped tremendously in this race.

(7:08, 7:19)

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Thought about these boys back home cheering for their mama!!!

Mile 21 -Heartbreak Hill

So, I guess leading up to this race and hearing everybody talk about how difficult this hill is, I had built it up in my mind literally to be a mountain. This is probably why I didn’t realize I had finished heartbreak Hill until I had asked. That’s right… I literally had to ask someone where heartbreak Hill was. When I hit mile 22 I was still looking for this heartbreaker!!! I asked a guy to my left but he was so focused on running and he ignored me. Then asked a girl to my right and she told me we just did heartbreak Hill! I was in shock! This was the part of the race that I knew I could open up my stride and start really running without any worries.

7:30 pace slowest part of the race BUT heartbreak hill was done! 836 foot climb!!!

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Miles 22 to 25

Time to fish!! This sounds bad but it is what I do in the end. I point someone out and then work to catch them. This is big for me because when I first started running I was the one getting caught in the end. There is no better feeling in a race then finishing strong and picking people off. When I saw that Citgo sign  I knew I was going to PR with just 1 mile to go!!!

(7:07, 6:50, 6:54, 6:58)

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Mile 26.55 – yeah that’s extra!!!

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Making that turn to Boylston!!!

I honestly can’t tell you how incredible it was to turn on Boylston street! I can also say that watching Boylston Street on TV does not show how long it is when you’re actually running it! You can see the finish line as soon as you turn onto Boylston and it seems so close yet it’s actually pretty far! I could see the clock and I was pushing to try to reach that 3:10 mark but missed it by four seconds! I was still incredibly happy with my time! I had PR’d in Boston on a difficult course!

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I was completely overcome with emotion after this race and probably cried for a good part of the evening soaking it all in!  I qualified for Boston 2017 and I can’t wait to go back! Thank you all so much for the support and encouragement along the way!

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My official placement!!! 283 out of 12,168 females!!! What?! So motivating for me because I know I have more in me!!! It’s going to be a good year!!!

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Runners high!! TOTALLY LEGAL

Future Boston Tips:

Catch a Red Sox game!!! Way cool to expierence! He bought tickets from a guy off the street and they actually ended up being really good seats! Total last-minute decision but happy we did it!

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Go check out the start line  before the race! You don’t really get to absorb Hopkinton on race morning so catching a cab there before hand was really cool! Beware though it cost $100 each way from Boston.

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places to eat hang out!

Committee

Marilave

Lauretta’s last call

Beehive