One week with a nutritionist, marathon training, and leg cramps!

Hola hola hola!

First, look at these really cute earrings one of my instructors gave me!Arrow EarringsI saw her wearing these cute delicate earrings on her last week, and I went looking online for them, but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted.  I liked them a lot, and I emailed her about them.  I was over the moon yesterday when they popped up on my desk.  Isn’t that sweet?

***

So remember I met with a nutritionist last week, right?  It’s been really really cool, to take some of the things that she’s said, and put them into practice.  I find that having someone to be accountable to really helps me to be super conscious of my choices.

After meeting with her, talking about food colors, and talking about my history with food and everything, she had me set a few goals for the next 4-6 weeks.

My short term goals for the next 4 weeks are to:

  1. Get to bed at or before 11pm Sunday-Thursday.  I know this is aggressive, so I want to start by getting in bed at a good time at least 2x/week. Typically my husband and I don’t even get into bed until about midnight most nights, and wake extremely tired.
    1. No playing on devices after 11pm. This includes iPads, iPods, and iPhones.
    2. If we want to have sex, we need to start earlier than midnight. This means on sex nights we need to be in bed even earlier than 11pm.
    3. I will engage in calming activities before bed**.  Reading a book, taking a bath, or doing some restorative yoga exercises.
  2. Get up earlier/get my workouts completed in the morning at least 2x/week.  Because I get to bed so late, I often feel too exhausted to get my workouts in in the morning, and end up having to squeeze them in around my classes or before the day ends.
    1. Get to bed at or before 11pm Sunday-Thursday.
    2. Lay out my workout clothes before I go to bed. **
    3. Provide myself with some kind of incentive, like coffee or tea, if I get up and complete a workout early.
  3. I want more green stuff on my plate for lunch and dinner.  I often find myself just packing whatever from the night before and completely forget a salad, some green beans, some kale, etc.
    1. I can’t eat my main course until my veggies are finished. Silly, but it works for me J
    2. If I want to eat more, I need more veggies, not more main course.
    3. Pack something green with my lunch, even if I’m eating something terrible, like a slice of pizza or a lean cuisines.

I’ve been really focusing on color and more veggies and was surprised how much better I feel like I looked in the span of a week!

Tummy Shot

I think the veggies are really really reducing bloat?  Could be my imagination though, but I like what my imagination is doing 🙂

***

And finally, marathon training is in full swing (even though I don’t want to talk about it because I’m still traumatized by what happened at Greensboro.  I just want to run Chicago and have a nice time.  That’s all I ask.

But after 15 extremely humid miles yesterday, I had a lot of trouble falling asleep last night.  My legs felt restless and tingly, and I repeatedly had to stretch before I finally fell asleep around 1 or 2.

Leg CrampsI picked these up from Harris Teeter, but ultimately, I think I’m going to pick up some Sports Legs off of Amazon, since a lot of folks in my trail and ultra running group have stated they have the same problem, and recommended this.

Okay, this is all a mouthful.

How was your week?  

Shania Twain Weekend

Hi!

It’s Wednesday.

And I feel like I haven’t gotten a single friggin productive thing done all week.  I keep thinking that if I pray hard enough, that God will magically grant me an extra like 8 or 9 hours and that I will be able to catch up on all the shit that I keep meaning to get to, but still manage to get pushed to the next day.

17 Moments Every Gay Man With Straight Friends Has Experienced

But I digress.

So I started off last weekend actually managing to squeeze a really short 3-miler in before I headed in to Fleet Feet to help them out for a shift.  That’s always really nice to do because you sort of get to socialize and still keep on top of new shoe trends and stuff, and it’s only occasional.  The extra little surprise paycheck also doesn’t hurt 🙂

Saturday night, I put in work on the August schedule for the Y, and I worked for a really good chunk of time since I knew that I would be in late on Monday  While I worked, my husband also worked on some stuff, so it was a relatively quiet Saturday night.

Sunday morning, I woke up early for 6 trail miles for a group I’m starting to get friendly with.  I tested a Hoka.  I’ve been curious about that brand since my knee started acting up, and I know the brand has really grown with trail and ultra runners.  Overall, the shoe felt good, but I’m still having a really hard time with the way the shoe looks, so I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to make a jump.  I do know, however, that though I’ve been a Brooks girl for a good while here, I’m not sure I’m in love with the Glycerin as much as I have been the past few years, and that means that I may have to find something as Chicago gets closer and closer.

So the run was 6 hilly miles in the state park.  It started off well enough.  I was keeping up, not feeling terribly pain in my knee, and enjoying some conversation with some of the folks in the group, as we wound our way on single-track trail.  And then, BAM.  I ran smack-dab into a bee that stung me on the thigh.

“SHIT!”

Amy, who was cruising right in front of me, was really worried, but I assured her I was fine and that we should keep cruising.  There wasn’t a whole lot we could do anyways, since we were a few miles out already, so I just focused on taking care of it later.  Toward 5 miles, when I felt that our direction was shifting back up toward civilization, I was feeling food, caboosing our group, and suddenly, I missed have kicked a rock or something, and down, down I went. And hard.

“SOMEONE FELL, SOMEONE FULL, RUNNER DOWN!”

I was embarrassed, and simultaneously on the ground, and I didn’t want to hold the group up.  So I hopped up, and kept moving, and shook off the pain in my left knee, willing the adrenaline to take care of it.

HokaA few days out, and the knee is sore, and I keep having to scratch my thigh, which makes me look like I’m scratching my crotch.  I’m just a mess.

Shania Twain + Gavin DeGraw

So after the run, and after I was able to convince my husband to take me to Waffle House for a disgustingly awesome post-run breakfast, I made a quick run to Charlotte because Shania Twain was playing, and Gavin DeGraw was opening for her.

Now in review, you’ve got to know that Gavin DeGraw is up there as one of my favorite singers in the entire world.  He’s ridiculously talented and he told me I was pretty like 5 years ago.  Which is really saying something, because I wasn’t really like, in peak condition 5 years ago.

Gavin DeGrawI also tried to convince him, via Twitter, to come up to our box, but he did not oblige.  I’m still a fan though.  He opened with Soldier, and at one point, hopped the security barrier, and just sort of meandered about the area.

IMG_2561[1]Shania, now.  She was a total peach.  I’m not a huge country fan, but she was awesome.  She sounded good, she was very pretty, and seemed very personable.  But to be fair, she’s Canadian, and I’ve never met a Canadian that I was like, “hey, you’re just an asshole.” Not even Justin Bieber.  He, at the very least, has provided me with a lot of years of entertainment.

That was me.

What did you do this weekend?

Chafing vs. Chaffing: The age-old debate.

This is really one of those things that makes me put my head into my hands, willing the migraine I feel coming on to go away.

It’s kind of thing, much like the there/their/they’re your/you’re to/too thing that literally makes me want to rip all my hair out.  But this one has been relegated to the runner’s portion of of society because of our issues, what happens when one area of the body performs a repetitive motion.  Or in my case, it’s what happens to my thighs, between my boobs, and the skin that peeks out right underneath my armpit when I run for anything more than like 8 miles.

Certain shorts exacerbate this problem in my thighs.

It always happens between my boobs because I tend to lose weight when I’m in a serious training cycle, and my boobs move around a little more within the confines of their cage.

And it likes to happen when I’m wearing a tank top or those cute running tops with the cap sleeves on them.

During Ragnar in Vegas, I made a critical error when I wore the diaper, the Norts that all you cute college kids are wearing with your tall cotton socks, to run my first 13-mile leg in.  I knew I was in trouble right around the 8-mile mark, and spent the remainder of my time trying to sanitarily (which is not a word, according to the red squiggly that’s appeared underneath) rub the shared stick of body glide on my thighs.

What I’m referring to is chafing.

Not chaffing.

Chafing.

And I’m writing about it today, not to tell you how to avoid it, cause I really don’t even know.  But more so to tell you how deeply it offends me when you spell it chaffing.

It’s gross.

Stop doing it.

It looks like it should be pronounced “laughing” when you spell it that way.  I don’t take you seriously as a running/fitness blogger when you spell it that way.  It doesn’t make me want to offer you my body glide when you spell it that way.

When you spell it that way, it detracts from your overall message.

Please.  Running bloggers.  People who post a lot on the running forums.  Moms who utilize Desitin.  Cyclists who use Chammy Butter.  It’s chafing.  For the love of God.

 

I’m a terrible homemaker.

Hi everyone!

For anyone keeping up with my sober June deal, you’ll be please to know that I am still sober, and it’s such not a big deal, that there really is not reason to update you on it.  I feel good, and I think after getting over the initial fear that you’ve shot all your friendships in the foot by not drinking, it really isn’t bad.  I think Nene of RHOA recently went on Kelly and Michael to talk about her experience with her cleanse and she said this, according to E! Online.

“So I go and I have all these tricks,” she revealed. “I said water in a wine glass. Last night I went to the Polo Club here in New York and I said, ‘I’ll have a Red Bull’ and they were like ‘We don’t have a Red Bull but we will send someone down the street.’ So they got me a Red Bull and I wanted it in a wine glass. Everything to make me feel like I’m having a cocktail.” 

I totally agree, and have had a much easier time when I can go in with a trick that keeps me hydrated, and also keeps folks off my ass with questions about what I’m doing.  Austin asked me the other day if I’ll keep it up, and I imagine that after this 30 days, my drinking will look a little different than it did before.

Weekend Updates

I hope you guys had a good weekend.  I took a little break from the blog because with all the devastating news last week, largest of all, the massacre out of Charleston, I really didn’t feel like it was at all appropriate for me to be blathering on about the minutiae of life when a monster had taken the lives of 9 innocent people in Charleston.  The thing I keep thinking of is when I saw Stevie Wonder in April, and he sat down at his piano, and started his nearly 4-hour concert with Love’s in Need of Love Today.  This act in Charleston was one of pure madness and hatred, and there is nothing that’s more ugly or evil.  It reminds me to keep living each day to the fullest.

Ok, I’m sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Switching gears, this weekend was really lovely because I got to teach a bunch and spend a lot of time with my sweet, sweet husband, which we sometimes don’t get to do on the weekends as much.  When we woke up on Saturday, I headed out to teach a Cycling class, and then went in and taught a Zumba class straight after, while Austin tried to coax the lawnmower back to health.  (He broke it last weekend).  When I got home, it was naptime, and then I headed out for a very short run before finally cleaning the house, which had gotten gross over the week.

Sunday morning, I met up with Amy, who trains at the Y, for about 6 miles in the State Park.

IMG_0279 (1)It was hot and sticky, and the horseflies were out in full force, but we really zipped along, and I noticed that my knee wasn’t absolutely killing me the entire time.  I’ve been really afraid to go hard with a possible meniscus tear in my knee, but since it’s looking like the process of getting it fixed will be a really slow one, I’m staying cautious on it, but not halting all activity.  I’m really hoping, if I need a repair on the knee, to do it around the holidays so I can lay low for a while and start training in the late winter and in the spring for any late spring or fall races I want to do.

The one lesson that was reinforced to me this past weekend?

I’m a terrible homemaker.

And it’s not like I don’t love a clean, fresh space, because who doesn’t, right?  But the actual consistent action of cleaning up, running a vacuum, clearing mail off the island, changing out the Plug-Ins, sweeping the floor, and throwing in a load of laundry and timing it perfectly so that I can fold it while I’m watching Netflix at night completely escapes me.  It frustrates me because a cluttered space makes me really crazy, and I know it frustrates my husband as well, so I really really need to brainstorm a system where I’m doing something cleaning related each day so my house doesn’t straight up get gross.  I feel like I’m just not wired to do this stuff though.  I’d much rather be writing a letter to my grandmother, or blogging, or running.  Washing clothing?  Not so much….

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Are you good at house stuff?

The Fitbit Surge

Hi.  I’m still sober.  Still enjoying myself.  Might kill my husband because he’s talking over my show on Bravo, and I’m not 100% able to handle that with the greatest of ease.  Saw this little baby snake last night while I was walking with Austin.

11412223_10100580707419653_6346048840898149942_n
Garden Snake – NOT a Copperhead

Now unlike my run in with the baby copperhead last year, this guy was a million percent not poisonous, but he was laying in the street, and I almost stomped on him before Austin stopped me and we sort of helped him over to the side of the street.  Once we realized he wasn’t poisonous, I touched him with my finger even.  Call me whatever you call someone who’s all about nature!

The Fitbit Surge

See the fitness schedules that I'm working on for April and May beneath my new toy?
The Fitbit Surge

So, a month or so ago, I got my hands on a Fitbit Surge. Before, I had a Fitbit Flex, which is the plain band that you see a lot of folks rocking. I really loved it, but last year, just before the holidays when Fitbit announced their new lineup, including the Charge, the Charge HR, and the Surge, I set my sights on the Surge because it was like Fitbit had reached into my brain, and came up with what I’d been on long runs.  A lot of time, when I’d been running with my Fitbit AND my Garmin, I’d often wonder how and when the company would come up with something that combined the GPS with the activity tracker.  Garmin had come out with the FR 15, but I wasn’t super keen on the look, and I really wanted something that I could stay Fitbit friends with all my Fitbit friends with – I wasn’t a million percent ready to make the leap to a non-Fitbit product.  Call them illuminati, or whatever, but they totally got me.

Surge 2

So I got this thing a month ago, so let me run down what it is this thing does.

This is the Fitbit Surge, the activity tracker that combines GPS with step-counting.  It can be worn all day, just like your FItbit Flex, but it also can track your workouts, and keeps track of your heart rate through your wrist.  The app keeps things fun, and looks exactly like the interface for the Flex, however, it includes the stair floor equivalents of what you’ve done.

IMG_0217[1]IMG_0218[1]

A few other points you should consider before you buy:

  • Unboxing is ridiculously simple, and that’s what Fitbit has gotten right.  You can take it out of the box, charge it for a relatively short period of time, and pop in on.  Fitbit has also made it really simple to set up the device, or set up a second device on your phone.  The site is really really fun too!
  • The GPS hooks up really really quickly.  One of the complaints I’ve had with my Garmin (that’s overall amazing), is that depending on where you are, your Garmin might take its time to hook up.  That has not been the case with with Fitbit.  Most of my experiences with it and running (which admittedly hasn’t been a ton since my knee has been acting up), have been 20 seconds or less.  I’ve done about  dozen runs in it, so it’s pretty decent. [I have NOT tried it on a run longer than like 10 miles though, so I’m interested to see how it holds up to 20-milers.]
  • You aren’t gonna lose it like you did the Fitbit Flex.  I’m not proud.  I got drunk and lost my Fitbit at my sister’s wedding.  Also at Elon Homecoming.  Fitbit was great, and replaced it, but because there was that weird band thing, it would just pop off and lose itself.  This one has that watch band, so it won’t just run off.
  • The price.  Eh it’s $250.  That’s annoying.
  • Notifications.  It’s smart, so it hooks up to your Bluetooth, and your texts and phone calls come through.  Honestly, it was really cool at first, but kind of annoying when you’re on the treadmill and you’re being notified of this and that.  Like…no.  I don’t want you to be able to find me.
  • Custom workouts.  Love this feature.  You can turn on a timer/tracker thingie for weightlifting, elliptical, running, hiking, and just a general workout.  Very very cool.

Overall, I think if you have $250 and the itch for a new toy, this is a decent buy.  I definitely see it making some cool improvements over the years – I would love to see color and a more sleek face, similar to the Apple Watch (come to MAMA with that bit of tech), but for us mortals, I think the Surge is a fun and really useful addition, especially for us runners who’d been asking for something like this from FItbit for a minute.

Do you have any type of Fitbit or activity tracker?  Why or why not?

Knee update

I have a confession to make.  I mentioned something a few weeks back, but have been pretty vague about my knee.  Some of it has been denial.  Some of it has been in the hope that with enough soaks, taking the Etodolac that the doc prescribed, and not doing too much on it, that I will be okay.

The honest truth is that I’m 100% freaked out by the fact that I may actually be injured, and I’m not handling it very well.

So to back it up, I’ve posted this before, but incurred my very first broken bone when I was 17 and playing rugby at Elon.

Rugby Injury

I fractured my tibial tuberosity at the precise moment this photo was taken, and as a result, ended up on crutches from about November to January of 2005, and then ended up in a lot of physical therapy. As a result, the knee has acted up here and there, but never really anything serious enough for me to be really nervous, and never, ever serious enough for me to see the doctor about, especially as I’m enrolled in a high-deductible benefits package. Going to the doctor all willy-nilly isn’t really an option for me because I end up paying for everything out of pocket.

A little over a month ago, during Wake County’s Spring break, because a lot of our instructors were going to be out, I subbed a TON of classes, and that was the start of some of my trouble with my knee. It was sore, and didn’t want to extend all the way out. Once I started physical activity, it felt okay (not great), but the starting, and the after was always really difficult for me.

I popped Aleve nonstop, had a run-in with some strong arthritis medication that resulted in a call to Poison Control, and bathed nonstop in an attempted to quell some of the pain, but it never got better.  Not worse either to be fair, but not better.

Finally, last Friday, I went to the doctor, where they x-rayed the knee, and couldn’t find a whole lot, since an x-ray really is only going to show bone.  In the case of a knee, where there’s a lot of soft tissue, it’s tricky, and I have to wait until I get an MRI later this week, then get it read to find out what it is that’s going on.

I’m hoping for nothing.  I’m really hoping it’s just some inflammation, and that nothing else needs to happen going forward except the continuation of my NSAIDs until I feel good and strong on my own.  My worst fear, and I hate even typing this, is that I’ve torn something, and will require a really non-terrible arthoscopic surgery.  But that whole concept freaks me out, and I’m not exactly ready for that.

Will all of that mouthful said…

What are you up to today?

When crunchy goes wrong.

I’m a combo of things.  Part of me is quite crunchy (the part that enjoys kombucha), and part of me is really not (the part of me that enjoys diet soda).

The part of me that’s crunchy began to take over when I started to have some knee pain just prior to Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh. I decided to do a lot of lower-impact exercises (like cycling and yoga), back down off of running, and take lots and lots of baths involving essential oils and epsom salts.

My knee pain never got worse, but it would get a little better, then go back to the way it was, which was annoying – I just wanted to get back to what I wanted to do, which was get in my mileage so I can stay sexy. What is hard about that?

But finally on Friday, I started to get a little worried, and spent the morning trying to make an appointment somewhere, and then finally just giving up, and walking into Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic. They did the standard that they did back when I first broke that bone in my knee…

via Pediatric Rheumatology (see that little bone flopped up at the bottom?  That's what I did).
via Pediatric Rheumatology (see that little bone flopped up at the bottom? That’s what I did).

And popped me up on the table, rocked my knee back and forth to make sure I didn’t have any damage to the ACL, and took x-rays (which are relatively pointless if you have any soft tissue damage, which I was suspecting I had). The x-rays, save for some evidence of the tibial tuberosity, was normal, and the doc prescribed me some Etodolac, a strong NSAID, to help. Almost immediately upon taking it, I felt improvement to the point that I’ve almost canceled my MRI this week. I thought better of it, knowing that I haven’t had an MRI in 10 years, and that I should find out whether of not I have any damage to that meniscus so I can get it quickly repaired, should everything not be okay with it.

But the thing that’s incredible about all this was that in my quest to be natural and la la la crunchy, I put off going to the doc for WEEKS, when the (at least temporary) solution was as simple as a common NSAID that took care of about 70% of the pain and discomfort I had? And with that, I can 100% admit that I need to pull my head out of my crunch ass sometimes.

What is one silly thing that you’ve put off recently?

I’m going to Chicago!

I don’t know a whole lot about Chicago.  Yoga Kerri, who used to make an appearance on this blog every now and again before she moved to Cali lived there for a time.  And I met one of my favorite camp friends, Lindsay, who came from Chicago to grace us with her presence.  We spent an entire summer not really showering and talking about how much fiber our favorite meals contained.  Both good.

So it seemed like sort of a no-brainer to apply for the Chicago Marathon, especially given the fact that as soon as I got into Marine Corps, we got a save-the-date for a wedding that we really couldn’t miss.  So MCM was out (and I’m trying to unload that bib if you’re into it), and Chicago was in.  Tuesday morning, when we were due to hear about our status in the lottery, I checked my email nonstop, refreshing it by swiping it down on my phone with no results.  I checked Twitter and saw the tweets trickling in, that some folks had gotten their results.  I sort of assumed (annoyingly) that I hand’t gotten in, but found out later by way of a tweet that the approvals were being made on a rolling basis.

Anyhoo, so I got tired of waiting, and logged into the Athlete Center, and right on top was a banner with the word “Approved” along the top!  I sort of waited to say anything, especially given that that protests in Baltimore were still full-swing, and I didn’t want to come of insensitively.  But this came later…

Chicago Marathon…And just like that, I’m running one of the major marathons in October.

I’m pumped.  A little nervous.  Already got my training plan together.  And taking extreme measures to make sure that we can get my knee back to working order, to where it’s not so stiff.

Have you ever been to Chicago?  What should I do while I’m there?

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll – First time Marathoner!

I ran my first marathon 2 ish years ago in Virginia Beach on a cold, rather blustery day.  I know what my experience was like, but much like childbirth, you sort of forgot what the actual day is like, and you romanticize the idea of a marathon, only remembering the feeling of crossing the finish line and smiling a lot for pictures while you hold up your medal.  Or, as it were in my case, bawling like a baby whilst your husband snapped pictures of your blotchy face.

I thought it was important to talk about Rock ‘n’ Roll through the eyes of someone who’d just done it, and had just done it for the first time.  So without any further blathering on, here is my amazing friend, Liz!

Liz Marathon

Liz is in the pink in the middle, just after completing 26.2 miles in 4:45:06, which was her GOAL!!!

  • Introduce yourself!  Name, how do you know me, and what do you do! Hello! My name is Liz Passannante, I am 25 years old and currently live in New York City. Cheri and I go way back to my freshman year of college when I joined her a cappella group Twisted Measure and we’ve been friends ever since. I work in HR for a consulting firm in NYC, and have been dabbling in running for a few years now.

Liz caught my attention during her audition.  She was really cute, fearless, and admitted to fully appreciating Nicole Richie at the audition.  I was hooked then!

  • What made you decide to sign up for a marathon?  What running had you done leading up to it? I decided to register for the Raleigh RNR Marathon kind of on a whim – I had run a few half marathons and always felt the ultimate goal would be to run a marathon. I started running after college when I signed up for the More Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon in Central Park. It was really a life-changing day – that race is still my favorite to run. I always hated running in high school and college, but found myself wanting to stay active after I stopped playing sports.   Enter running! This past October I really just kind of decided to go for it – I registered and set off on my training plan!
  • Tell me about your training process?  Since it was a spring race, I know you had to do some winter running/possibly modify your training?  What did that entail for you? I started running regularly again in November 2014 to build up a baseline before launching into the training program. I started really increasing my mileage in January, just in time for one of the snowiest winter’s we’ve had in recent history. I think the biggest trick with Winter running is to prepare, prepare, prepare before long runs. I would make lists for myself of everything I needed, and it took a few tries to get it right. I usually pushed back the start time of my runs until about noon or 1PM so I could hit the warmest part of the day. On the coldest days I would wear 2 pairs of tights, a thermal layer, my winter running jacket, a neckwarmer, earwarmers and gloves.Keeping all that gear in one place was surprisingly difficult (ex: a few times I left gloves or my watch at work, and would have to swing by the office on my way to the park). I also don’t have a washer/dryer in my building, so it was also a task keeping everything clearn! I did some of my shorter runs indoors, both by booking gym time on ClassPass (best thing ever) or by attending classes at Mile High Run Club (<<<so much fun). My most memorable run was probably when I ran in 8 degree weather in Vermont on a ski weekend – FUN!!! Overall though, I was usually able to find one day of the weekend where it was bearable.
  • Why did you choose the race that you chose? I chose the Raleigh RNR for a few reasons. 1) It’s always been a goal of mine to run the NY Marathon, and I was advised to run one marathon before tackling New York so that when the time came I could really enjoy the experience of the NY Marathon. I think looking back that was smart – I have a much better idea of how to train and what to expect, and now am genuinely looking forward to when I will (hopefully) get to run that race! No first time race jitters there. 2) I wanted to run a race where I was close to my family, both because I like spending time with them and because logistically it made things much easier. My mom took me to the expo, the starting line and we had an awesome lunch all together after the race. It would have felt lonely without them, and seeing them along the course was such a great motivation. Race day would have been way less fun without them – my sister even hopped in for the last stretch which was a really cool memory for me.
  • Okay, race day.  What were you jittery about?  Looking forward to? I think I was most anxious about 1) hitting “the wall,” and 2) not being able to keep up with the pace group. I think I can say pretty confidently that I did not hit “the wall.” As Cheri can attest, there were a few times especially towards the end where I needed to walk, but I was for the most part able to push through. I definitely didn’t feel like I was going to die or anything (although I probably said it LOL).  I also for the most part was able to keep up with the pacers, which is good for me because they were amazing. They were so so helpful, and I knew that staying with them for as long as possible would be key to me hitting my goal. I lost them a little during the last mile, but I think I ended up finishing only 2-3 minutes behind them?
  • Talk to me about your nutrition leading up to/on race day?  I kept things pretty normal leading up to race day. I didn’t drink for the majority of the 2 weeks leading up to the race but that was mostly to make sure I was well hydrated. The night before I ate some delicious gluten free pasta, and the morning of I had a luna bar, hot tea and water. During the race I used 2 flavors of Gu: Tri-Berry and Jet Blackberry (delicious). The plan was to take them at 3, 10, 15 and 20. I ended up taking one at 19 because I started feeling tired and I felt like I wanted to get ahead of any potential crash.
  • Talk to me about the race.  What time did you wake up?  Talk to me about your outfit (silly, important tho!).  Talk to me about the day.  How long did you feel good for?  When did you start to feel rough (if you did at all)?  Did you run with pacers?  What factored into your decision to use/not utilize a pacer? Race day I woke up at 4:20AM because we needed to be out the door at 4:40. I tried to pick clothes that I had run in many times before, but it was hard because I’ve been training in cold weather and race day was warm! I wish I could have worn shorts, but it was just risky because I hadn’t trained in them and the last thing I needed was some type of wardrobe malfunction. I honestly felt great up to mile 18. I feel like I looked up and we were at mile 13, and then again at 17 when Cheri joined. At 18-20 I started thinking to myself “this is getting really hard” but overall the race flew by. I could not believe when I crossed the finish line. As I mentioned above I did run with pacers and am so glad I did. I wanted to stay with them for majority of the race because I felt like I would probably really benefit from having a group later in the race. I was confident in my ability to push myself through 20, but felt like having the extra motivation during the last 6 miles could be helpful. It was such a lifesaver. = The pacers were truly amazing – they had an altitude specific pace plan and they did such a great job telling us when we should bank time or when we could dial back and take a rest. I definitely lost them a bit on the last mile but really feel like I was able to stay on target due to their help.
  • And finally, what’s your takeaway from this experience?  Would you/will you do this again? I had such an amazing experience training for and running my first marathon, and I would totally do it all over again (and hope to this fall for the NY Marathon!) I was initially dreading the training process but by the end I really enjoyed it overall. The hardest part surprisingly was fitting in runs during the week – I weirdly started looking forward to my long runs and feel like I don’t know what to do with all of my free time now that my weekends aren’t going to be dominated by training! My key takeaway – if you want to run a race, any length, just go for it! I hated running in high school (ask my parents). When my field hockey coach made us run 3 miles I thought it was the hardest thing in the world. Little by little I trained, improved and learned how to enjoy myself! I also need to give credit to you, Cheri Armour Samples, because you definitely have inspired me to run races far beyond what I believed I was capable of doing (hello, marathon). My race day was so fun and you were such a huge help to me – thank you!!!

Pink Ladies

And that’s it! An extremely well-prepared marathon first-timer!

How was your first race (ever)?