Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Carmel Week 2: The Speed Workout My Body's Been Waiting For...

The Speed Workout My Body's Been Waiting For
 
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I love hard workouts. I like seeing the workout on paper and thinking "What the hell?!" I love initially doubting myself and then proving my thoughts wrong. I love the way I feel when I want to quit and eventually overcome it.
 
My speed workout this week was a little different. On paper, it didn't seem impossible...maybe because I haven't really done a speed workout in a while. Also, Coach didn't put a specific pace. He just used the terms "easy," "challenging," and "steady." My mind, of course, has to have  a pace in mind or it doesn't understand. I'm trying to retrain it! With that being said, to guide me since I'd be running on the mill, I thought I'd try something around 10k pace. Per usual, I asked Amanda her thoughts without stating my own thoughts. She confirmed that 10k-ish pace sounded like a good goal pace to hit (with "steady," in my mind, being MP + 10-20 seconds).  I will tell you more about how the run felt as I recap my week:
 
  • 12/4: 5.69 miles, 8:48/mile. Workout: 50 easy minutes with 8x8 second hill surges. I was excited to see the word "hill." I was actually getting ready to tell Zach that I needed to start incorporating hills for Flying Pig. Since I had to stay in the Hilliard-ish area to run this, I decided to go a little north to Dublin and run Cardinal hill. After travelling up and down Dublin Road for my easy miles, I stopped at the bottom of Emerald Parkway. I was quickly reminded that this hill is more challenging if you are going up the entire thing. Eight seconds is a little tricky. I will have to find a better hill for 8 second strides. I decided to sprint 8 seconds and continue up the hill for a few seconds for recovery. I then did my next 8 second surge before recovering down to the bottom. I did this times four to get my 8 surges!
    I'm learning to use features on the watch that I've had for three years! LOL. These are my hill intervals.
  • 12/5: 8.1 miles, 7:59/mile. I barely squeaked that under 8! (P.S. That was not the goal.) Workout: 10 minute warm up, [8 minutes challenging/3 minutes steady] x4, 10 minute cool down. I took my legs to the mill for this run (weather was shotty). I did my warm up at 9:13/mile and my cool down at 8:55/mile. My "steady" pace between "challenging" intervals was 8:13/mile. My 8 minute split paces (per mile) were as follows: 7:27, 7:24, 7:21, 7:19. The first two and a half intervals were tolerable. When I got to the last 4 minutes of the third one, I knew my last interval was going to take brain power! Especially since I was trying to negative split my workout. I took this run two minutes at a time during the challenging sections. This really helped me to focus and made the time go by fast. The three minute steady sections felt great (which boosted my confidence a bit regarding my goal marathon pace). Overall, I ended the workout feeling spent! I was so excited about running a workout that took that much effort that I sent a message to Coach telling him the workout was awesome. LOL!
  • 12/6: 6.65 miles, 9:02/mile; Bis/Tris, 30 minutes. I was instructed to take today very easy due to yesterday's speed. I'm glad that was the expectation because my legs were toast! OMG. I was so sore and so fatigued. I met Sarah to venture off for an hour of easy running (3x20 sec strides in the last 10 minutes). I'm actually shocked that we ran that close to 9 minute average. We both felt like crud and I certainly didn't think we were running that fast. I was dragging fo sho.
    Strength training is paying off!
  • 12/7: 11.2 cycling miles, 44:56. Cross training day! Last week I did yoga. This week, I new my legs needed something to work out the rest of the yuck. I thought an easy cycle would be the perfect thing. I went to The Y after work, put the resistance to an easy level, and let my legs work it all out. I think it's exactly what I needed.
  • 12/8: 5.37 miles, 8:44/mile; Power Yoga Class, 1 hour. I had the opportunity to run after sending the kids off to the sitter. Yay, sunlight! Today called for an easy run with 3x20 second strides. Brittaney and I set off to explore a neighborhood in Gahanna that we weren't familiar with. Just trying to open up options! After a short break that allowed for two small cups of coffee, I headed to The Y for a yoga class.
  • 12/9: 13 miles, 8:34/mile. I was slightly non compliant today (which is not my style). I was to run 12 miles with the last two "faster" if I "felt good." The mile pace of 8:34 is typically not my long run pace. Not that I can't run that pace for that many miles, I just try to keep it closer to 9 minutes if possible. We met at Amanda's house for a group run. I had the pleasure of meeting two new ladies. I ran an extra mile beforehand since the group was planning to run 11. Somehow, during the run, we got off course and that added an extra mile. I ended up with 13! Geesh. My goal for the faster miles was to target goal MP (8-8:12/mile). My splits those miles were just under 8 minutes. I felt good almost the entire run until the last 1-1.5 miles. I had to go poop!! It hit me all of a sudden. And wouldn't you know, I couldn't go when I got back to Amanda's to use the bathroom. Ugh. Stupid bowels.
    Old and new friends. We are frozen. [Amanda, Elizabeth, ME, Liz, Amy]
  • 12/10: 2.31 walking miles, 20:33/mile. I officially love having walks in my training program! I got with Meg again, and we decided on Highbanks. What a perfect weekend for it to snow. It was so beautiful walking on the trail. We saw lots of deer tracks!
    Blonde snow bunnies. [Meg, ME]
 
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Overall, I really enjoyed this week of training. My yoga has had me sore all weekend, but it's a good kind of sore. I finally recovered from that workout on Tuesday! HA!! I really hope I can stay motivated and excited through the winter. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Carmel Week 1: Getting Into a New Routine

Getting Into a New Routine
 
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We had lots of fun in leaves this week! We have bagged about 34 bags so far. UGH.
Last training cycle, I followed the CRC Advanced Training Program. I followed it well minus the ever popular strides. UGH. What's my deal?! I did them ONE TIME. I just kept telling myself they wouldn't make a difference (obviously they serve a purpose...I'm just a weirdo). When Zach sent me an example of workouts he gives his athletes, I knew the pre and post-run part of it would be a challenge. The challenging part isn't the actual task, but convincing yourself that it's important and will benefit the body.
 
Some of the new stuff added into my routine include:
-leg swings
-lunge sequence
-skipping
-plank sequence
-leg exercises to target the stability muscles (these I already had in my routine...just not immediately after my run)
 
Another thing I'll have to get used to is running a certain number of minutes rather than miles. It makes route planning a little more challenging! Despite that, I've done a good job so far of estimating the distance.
 
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  • 11/27: 5.62 miles, 8:54/mile. Today's workout called for an easy 50 minutes with 3x8 second surges after 30 minutes. I had time to run after work which allowed me to enjoy the wonderful sunshine. Shorts in late November?! Yes, please!! Since I was in Hilliard, I made it a point to run down my favorite street.
    Shorts in November?!
  • 11/28: 6.07 miles, 8:17/mile; Chest/Back, 30 minutes; Yoga, 15 minutes. Today was my first speed day in FOREVER. I was a little nervous because of that. I probably could have gone a little faster, but I didn't want to get too crazy in week 1. I need to figure out how to set my watch so that I can monitor my overall pace in a certain number of minutes. I'm not sure my FR 15 will even do that! Because of my lack of watch knowledge, I'm not totally sure how much my pace increased for each segment. The workout was 10 minute warm up, 30 minute progression, and 10 minute cool down. The 30 minutes was to be 15 at a steady pace (I always imagine MP + 10 seconds), 5 faster, 5 faster, and 5 fastest. In my head, I had myself maybe progressing to 10k pace for that last segment. I'm not really sure if that's what I did or was supposed to do, but that's the way my brain interpreted the instructions based on Hal Higdon tempo runs I've done in the past.
    My go to speed partners! They will keep me in line. [Tamara, Katie, ME]

    I caught my friend, Heather, at Power Train!
  • 11/29: 6.83 miles, 8:47/mile. Another easy day with surges. The weather has been PERFECT this week! I can't believe it's the end of November. I took advantage of the shorts weather and ran after work. I played around with the settings on my watch to see if I could get paces during certain segments.
    This weather is simply perfect! ANOTHER shorts day.
  • 11/30: Power Yoga, 45 minutes. I use the term "power" loosely today. Every night this week, I've come home and worked on getting the dang leaves in my hard piled up and put into bags. We have so many freaking leaves in our yard. It's ridiculous. Because of this, I've had some tight and sore hamstrings! This morning, I couldn't even touch the floor in my forward fold! Obviously, that made my practice a bit tough this morning. I did my best, forgot the rest, and made coffee.
    This morning was tough.
  • 12/1: 5.02 miles, 8:59/mile. The workout consisted of 45 minutes of easy running with 3x20 second strides in the last 10 minutes. I met Tamara at Schneider's for the second half of her long run. It rained yesterday and got below freezing last night. The roads were slippery!! We managed to escape unharmed.
    
    End of the month means I tally my mileage.
  • 12/2: 12.3 miles, 8:58/mile. Some friends agreed to meet at my house in the early morning hours so that the hubs could leave for his Bible Quiz Tournament. Jen and I set out for a 4 mile loop in which I missed a turn on the route because we were yapping. In order to avoid being harassed by a certain unnamed person, Jen kept our pace in line so that we were running EASY. We returned to my crib to pick up Sarah and Britt for the last 8 miles. We took a tour through part of my neighborhood and headed to the trail (the very place where we almost died on a bridge...it was shaking to the point I thought it might break from under us!). We left the trail and ran through the neighborhood close to Columbus Academy. When returning, we made sure to cross the bridge one at a time. Guess who was the guinea pig?! Not only did I go first on the bridge, I was politely cursed for having a couple of little hills at the end. I'm a bad friend, apparently. Hehehe.
    Runs and Mimosas make everything better! [3/4 of Jen, Britt, Sarah, ME]
  • 12/3: 3.49 walking miles, 17:13/mile. Today's workout called for a 45-60 minute walk! I immediately contacted my friend, Meg, to join me. She's preggo and doesn't get to join me for runs at the moment (enter very sad face). These long walks also give me the opportunity to take Sophie (my Aussie) for some exercise. After Jessie called to see if she could join, we met at Creekside to enjoy the lights, bare winter trees, and beautiful homes in the area.
    Brrrr!! [Jessie, ME, Meg]
     
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Week one seemed successful. I ran a total of 35.84 miles, and didn't look at my pace for any of them! I'm looking forward to finding out my workouts for this coming week.

Fun at Creekside!



Sunday, November 26, 2017

RV: Week 3

Running Vacation

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Reunited and it feels so good! My cousin Niki.

I wasn't sure how much running I'd be doing my last week of running vacation. Runs seem to be harder to make happen when I visit my mom because of where she lives and the fact that I have to run solo in a strange place. She lives in the country where 1) roads are 55 mph with no shoulder and people who speed. 2) roads have no speed limit, they aren't wide, have no markings for lanes at all, and peoples' dogs run loose and attack you (circa 2015). 3) you have to drive 30 minutes to Winchester, VA to run with a person you don't know well just so you don't have to run your long run solo. 4) you have to drive to a bike trail positioned between a highway and the woods to run solo and pray to God you don't get kidnapped.
 
Just in case, I wore the mask.

I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get my goal of at least 30 miles. I ended up using my dogs as a means of feeling more safe on shorter runs. It meant a lot of out and backs, but the trade-off was worth the comfort of feeling safe.
  • 11/20: 4.64 miles, 9:57/mile; Shoulders/Legs, 40 minutes. The run went from four people to two when I woke up. I texted Lisa B to ask if she'd hate me if I slept. She talked sense into me, and I got my ass up to run. I'm so glad I did. I would have regretted staying in bed. We went into this run thinking we would run 5 miles, but we also didn't have a route or even care if we actually met the 5 mile goal. We were like, "4.64?! Sounds good enough to us!"
  • 11/21: 7.05 miles, 9:42/mile. Again, I had no real plan. I just knew that today's run was to meet up with friends to send our friend, Mary, off to surgery in style. Someone posted that they wanted 7 miles, so I decided to join her just in case I didn't get as many miles when I went to my mom's. 
    HUGE group of donut lovers.
  • 11/22: 4.77 miles, too lazy to do math to average the three runs. This was my first morning at my mom's house, and I was dying to get out there and run. I decided I would take both of my dogs and my sister's dog for a run (separately, of course). I wasn't sure how far each of them could run and didn't want them to get hurt. I did know that Sophie could run at least 2 because we had done that before. I took her out first (she averaged 9:05 for 2 miles). I then ran Angel (1.39 miles, 9:21/mile) followed by Hachi (1.38 miles, 9:35/mile). This was Hachi's first experience with running so we were testing things out. As we were running, I was quickly reminded of the elevation close to my mom's house. If you combine the three runs, I had 526 feet of elevation in under 5 miles! LOL. You do not get that in Columbus. 
    Sophie was the winner...probably because the hills killed me by the time I made it to Hachi. LOL!
  • 11/23: 3.10 miles, 9:18/mile; Yoga for Hips, 30 minutes. I thought about resting today because my legs were so freaking sore from running yesterday! The running bug bit me again, and I just had to get out. I figured a little 5k wouldn't hurt me. Since Sophie is my endurance athlete, I took her with me. I'm trying to slowly increase her distance. We enjoyed a nice, cold, and sunny run that included dogs and ducks on the loose. 
    Soph and I enjoyed the rays.
  • 11/24: 8.03 miles, 8:55/mile. This is going to be called my long run this week. I want to keep my weekly vacation miles at 30, and I knew I'd want to run with Sophie tomorrow. I went to the local bike trail in Martinsburg for this one. I ran on it during Christmas vacation last year, but didn't go more than 3 miles out. I forgot how hilly it was! It's up and down literally the entire time...NEVER FLAT. It was a nice change from flat Columbus. The day was perfect...40 degrees, very light breeze, and SUN! So much sun.
    Taking pictures of yourself running is way too time consuming. I now understand why my IG pics suck and what the others go through to get good ones!! LOL!!

    Seriously...I wish I lived here to get regular hill action.

    I took a video of me running up and down this hill just to get the shot. There was absolutely no one around to make fun of me.
  • 11/25: REST. Because I'm freaking sore from running hills! LOL.
  • 11/26: 2.5 miles, 9:16/mile. I just wanted to run enough to hit my 30 mile goal for the week. I took my sweet Aussie girl along for the ride. We took a moment to snap a selfie in front of a decorated tree. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!
    O Christmas Tree!
     
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Well, running vaca is officially over! It's been fun, but I'm so excited to get back to a training program. I've connected with a big group of runners who are all training for the Carmel Marathon at the end of March. It will be nice knowing that we are all in this together.
 
This time around, I will be coached by my friend, Zach. In week one, he already has me doing things I've never done before! I'm looking forward to something different to challenge me and improve my running!!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

RV: Week 2

Running Vacation
 
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Well, I did a bit much towards the end of my first week of vacation. I felt good during my long run last Friday and just had a bit of piriformis tightness afterwards. After running those hills at Highbanks the next day, my legs were so tired, and my piriformis was still super tight. I thought all would be good since I wasn't planning to run the next day. As I said in last week's update, I went for a long walk with Meg. Believe it or not, I think it's the walk that did me in! I typically don't go for walks more than 1-1.5 miles with my dogs. Being out there for 4.5 miles had my shins screaming!
 
Lesson learned. I vowed to take it super easy this week.
 
 
  • 11/13: 5.12 miles, 9:18/mile; Chest/Back/Glute extension exercises, 45 minutes. I met my Gahanna gals (Lisa B, Sarah, and Britt) for our newly named "Scary Cherry" route. Not matter which way we slice it, there are inclines all over this area. Fortunately, they are gradual. Anytime we do this route in the dark without dying is a good thing.
    It's dark on Scary Cherry.
  • 11/14: REST. I was planning to do some kind of strength workout, but work got a little busier than expected. It was probably good for me to have a complete rest day.
  • 11/15: 5.04 miles, 9:03/mile; Bis/Tris/Legs, 45 minutes. Sarah and I set off for what I will now term the "Sperm Route." Just trying to keep things interesting. I'm not sure if it was the cool air or something else, but I had this weird chest pain as we were heading up the last incline. Maybe I was just tired. I felt better as we were going back down Morse Rd., so I'm not too worried about it.
    Definitely sperm.
  • 11/16: 4 miles, 9:01/mile. I was going to meet Meredith for some early miles, but we both agreed that another hour of sleep sounded better. Fortunately, I was able to run after work and before picking up the kiddos. I opted to be boring and run on the mill. I just wasn't feeling the gray clouds today. Side note: My legs are SO SORE from my workout yesterday! I did a bit of stretching after my run and took some time to practice my yoga inversions.
  • 11/17: 10.01 miles, 8:28/mile. Another opportunity to run in the daylight...well, cloudy daylight. Marion was my partner this week for another Friday Genoa Trail run. Two weeks in a row...that makes it a thing, right?! We got real deep today and revealed all of our crazy family secrets.We determined that we are normal, and all of the people around us are crazy. This is the first time in the past two weeks that I recall feeling nauseous. I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that I hadn't eaten anything that morning. When you run at 4:30 or 5 a.m., it doesn't seem to be a huge problem to skip breakfast. At 8 a.m., it had me feeling awful!
  • 11/18: REST. I did make it a point to attend my church group's Friendsgiving so that I could eat a full day's caloric intake in one sitting.
  • 11/19: 6.03 miles, 9:04/mile. With all of my commitments for the day, my only time to run was 6:30 a.m. The upside is that I was in bed by 10 p.m. so I had plenty of sleep! I met Katie, Britt, and Sarah in New Albany for the NA 6 route. The wind was a bit intense at the beginning, but seemed to get better as the run went on. The miles flew by as Katie told interesting stories of jackassery.
    I'd totally wear that.
 
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I have one more week of running vacation left that includes an actual work vacation! I will be working Sunday through Tuesday, then heading to WV to be with my family through the weekend. I'm considering decreasing my miles even more since it's my last week of freedom. Also, it's a little scary running near my mom's house because they are out in the country and dogs chase me! I usually have to drive to a trail or to Winchester, VA for a safe run.
 
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
 
I've been working hard on my yoga, and it's finally starting to pay off!
 


Sunday, November 12, 2017

RV: Week 1

Running Vacation
 
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Vacation: an extended period of recreation; the action of leaving something one previously occupied.
 
 
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For me, a running vacation doesn't mean I'm not running. It means I do what I want, and I do what I please! There is something so freeing about those weeks between training programs that just makes you fall in love with running all over again. Not that I don't enjoy those weeks of training, but by the time the season is over...so are you! It's nice to sleep in, unapologetically say no if you don't feel like running, or even run three miles without thinking you are a slacker. This is what my running vacation is all about.

Which makes more of a statement?!
 
Here's how I spent my first week of freedom:
 
  • 11/6: 3.08 miles, 9:23/mile; Chest/Back, 30 minutes. I met Jessie in Gahanna for some easy miles. She is getting back to running after an injury and marathon, and I'm still making sure my parts work after Saturday. It was so freaking windy!! 20+ mph!!! Overall, I felt fatigued but good.
    Holy crap wind!
  • 11/7: 3.13 miles, 8:46/mile; Bis/Tris, 30 minutes. I met Elizabeth and Sarah in NA for a we don't know what we're actually going to do run. We were thinking 5 miles, but it was chilly and rainy. We decided we would do the 5k loop and go from there. Obviously, we were happy with the loop and an early finish. I think Sarah's comment was "I'm wet enough to be finished."
  • 11/8: 5.08 miles, 8:59/mile. After deciding to skip a morning opportunity for sleep, I had just enough time after work and before an appointment to get a 5 miler. It was freaking gorgeous outside. Fall daytime runs are my absolute favorite!! Regarding my bod, things are still feeling good, and I'm feeling less fatigued than I was at the beginning of the week.
    
    Best fall day EVER!
  • 11/9: Shoulders, 30 minutes. Running rest day. I felt I should probably give the legs a break before attempting a longer run.
  • 11/10: 10.25 miles, 9:03/mile. I got to enjoy a lunchtime run on the Genoa Trail with Katie. Although it was so so cold, it was such a gorgeous sunning day! I'm getting good at this cold weather gear thing...I dressed just right today. The legs were feeling great today. I just had a little piriformis tightness afterwards.
    
    I missed this girl. Seriously.
  • 11/11: 7.07 miles, 9:19/mile; Restorative Yoga for Hips, 30 minutes. I was so excited to get a run at Highbanks! It's one of the few places in Columbus (that I'm aware of) that has some hills. My fast friends, Jen and Brittaney, agreed to meet me for the fun. The goal was 6-8 easy miles. I handled most of it well except for that last big hill as we headed back towards the stairs. My ass needs to get more hill action the next few months now that I'm running Pig. Good thing I like them!
    Those two are freaking amazing runners. Both have "BQ" on their resumes.

    Look at that temp! Can you believe I overdressed?!
  • 11/12: Yoga, 30 minutes. I woke up before the sunrise to meet Meg at the dam for a walk. I took my sweet Sophie so she could get some exercise. We walked four and a half miles up and down Sunbury then across the dam. It was so nice to walk, talk, and drink coffee with my human friend and my fur baby.
    I couldn't wait for this date. I should have snapped a pic of the sunrise.

    Sweet Sophie girl.
 
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Overall, I felt good this week considering I ran a marathon. Sometimes I wonder, if marathons don't go your way and your time wasn't that great for you, do you really need the same recovery? Maybe, maybe not. That's why I choose to just listen to my body. I intentionally stuck to upper body strengthening this week. Also, I ran whatever my body said was easy. I was hoping that would keep my pace in the 9s a little more, but I felt good while running. After my long run on Friday, my piriformis felt a little tight. It's almost always tight, but it doesn't always cause my sciatic pain. Then, after running Highbanks on Saturday, my legs really took a beating! LOL. I've been stretching those hips like crazy, and I'll plan to run all easy miles during the week.
 
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So, my exciting news of the week is that I'm registered for my spring marathons! Thanks to Indy, I fell back in love with 26.2. It reminded me that all of the hard work is and will be worth it. I plan to run the Carmel Marathon as a goal race to attempt a BQ. My goal for Pig will depend on how I do at Carmel. With that being said, training "officially" starts the week after Thanksgiving. That means two more weeks of vacation!!
I loved this post by Shalane. She reminded us to write down our goals and look at them often. She encouraged us to share them with others...state them out loud. This allows for positive encouragement and accountability. It can be scary to share our goals because, let's be real, haters gonna hate. We all know this comes out of things such as jealousy and insecurity. Let's all support each other in our missions. If we can't do that, we should just let it be.


 
 


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Finisher swag.
 
EEEK! I finally finished a marathon this fall!! Bahahaha!!! Ok, I'm finished making fun of myself now.
I bought these shoe charms at the expo. I didn't wear them for the race because I'm a huge believer in not doing anything new on race day!
 
For those who aren't familiar, here's a quick recap of my marathon race year:
  • Little Rock Marathon at the beginning of March (3:52:??), 6-7 months postpartum...I was ecstatic!
  • Carmel Marathon at the end of April (3:46:??)...again, ecstatic about a 6 minute improvement.
  • Erie Marathon at the beginning of September (DNF)...quit at 12.3 miles.
  • Columbus Marathon mid October (DNF)...I decided to do the half instead.
 
I was hoping the fall might bring me a BQ, but something was happening with my body that I couldn't quite figure out. Long story short, the theory is that a new medication I was taking might have been the culprit. In hopes that I could make things change in time for Indy, I went to my doc and he changed me to something else. I think...THINK...MAYBE it might have helped. In my DNFs, I seemed to bonk around 7-8 miles. Today was much different.
 
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Expo fun.
 
I ALWAYS go into marathons with a time goal. I don't want to be that person that says I don't have a goal, but really I have a goal that's none of your damn business because I might not reach it. Ha!! After two DNFs, I honestly didn't want to give myself any expectation. I had no idea how my body would feel with this new med in my system. I told myself two things: 1) have fun. 2) damn it, Lisa, FINISH A FREAKING MARATHON THIS FALL! (enter all the eye rolls)
Wave 2!
 
I didn't get to see all of my pals at the start, but I was able to snap a pic with Jackie and Jeanne.
Two of my favorites at the start line.
Of course, it felt cold but I ran to the start line to warm up a bit. It took a good 2 miles to warm up during the race. My strategy was to not look at my watch and break up the race in sections in my mind.
I love the start/finish area of this race. Beautiful.
 
My first goal was to make it to the 7-8 mile mark without being nauseous. Goal met! During Erie and Columbus, this seemed to be the point in which I knew my fate was not good. I wanted the feel of my first mile or two to be obnoxiously slow. [8:41, 8:27] Go me! After that I wanted to allow myself to speed up, but only if I felt happy and my body was not nauseous. Sometime around mile 6, I realized I was just behind the 3:40 group. I decided I would try to stick close to them in case I continued to feel good. Miles 2-8 are as follows [8:03, 8:19, 8:15, 8:14, 8:18, 8:18]. Pretty decent consistency for not looking at my watch!
 
After this point, the marathoners were without the halfers. I was still without nausea and not yet fatigued (hello Erie and Cbus). Up to this point, I had been entertaining myself by looking for people with Buckeye gear so that I could yell "O-H!" It worked and helped me to stay distracted. The next mark I was awaiting was the infamous 10.5 miles where I quit the marathon two years ago. When I passed it, the memories flooded back, and I had a big smile on my face because I was still feeling ok! I finally made it to the half marathon marker in just under 1:50...feeling like I had more to give. Miles 9-13 were [8:19, 8:22, 8:13, 8:21, 8:17].
 
At the halfway point, I was feeling positive about the possible outcome. I knew that I would finish, but I didn't want to get too excited because there was still plenty of time for fun things to happen. At this point, I was still hanging with the 3:40 pace group. I was able to stick with them for the next two miles [8:25, 8:21] before crap hit the fan.
 
At around 16 miles, I started feeling nauseous. My pace slowed down [8:47], but I didn't let it get to me mentally. I could still try to speed up if I could just make it through the nausea. I promised myself that I would take it one mile at a time when I started to feel this way. Mile 17 is when things really took a turn. My belly felt very crampy/gassy. When I tried to let it out, I let out things that needed to stay inside. Thank goodness I wore a feminine product to save my undergarments. All I could think about at this point was getting to the next potty. The bad part is that I wasn't sure how far away it was! Ugh. This mile ended up being [8:43]...pretty consistent with my last mile. I guess you can call the 8:40s my gassy/gotta shit my pants race pace.
 
...And there it was...
 
Was it a mirage? Or was it the port-a-pot that was going to save my favorite shorts? As my watch read 17.9 miles, I realized I was finally approaching a potty! YAY!!! There was no line, and I was able to get right in. Just as I was thinking that I was the most disgusting human being on the planet, I heard the runner beside me grunting three times as loud as me. Phew. Due to this potty break, mile 18 was [12:51]. BOO!! Based on that time and the previous miles, I'm guessing my break was approximately 4 minutes. Bummer.
 
I temporarily felt better and tried to remain optimistic. I continued not to look at my watch because looking at my watch would make me unhappy. My next mile ended up being [8:52]. After 19 miles, I knew the rest would be trouble. I started to walk a bit during this mile, but got super frustrated with myself. I told myself to just make it to 20. If I can keep running to 20, I'll give myself permission to walk. This mile ended up being [9:23].
 
At mile 20, they had an arch and hype team announcing that you had only a 10k left! This actually pumped me up...but not enough to keep running. I was feeling unhappy. It was then that I had to remind myself of my two goals: finish this marathon and run happy! At this point, I kept walking and forced myself to smile. After forcing the smile and listening to everyone cheering me on, the smile was no longer work. It was natural and genuine. The next four miles consisted of walking when I started to feel unhappy and running when I felt the urge. Miles 21-24 were [11:48, 11:33, 12:12, 10:59].
 
At some point in my interval miles, Jackie and I met up. We were both struggling. We decided to try to motivate each other and finish this together. She got ahead of me at one point because I just couldn't run...I couldn't even force my legs to progress faster than a walk. I was starting to cramp like crazy and it was HURTING!
Ouch.
 
I'm not sure what happened, but things took a major turn with about 2.5 miles to go. The cramping stopped, and I felt this tiny bit of energy rush over my body. It was the craziest thing. I started looking at my watch because I wondered if I'd be able to break 4 hours. When I realized I'd be close, depending on the actual Garmin distance, I started to run and never turned back. Mile 25 was [9:09]. So much better...I am almost there!
 
Sometime after this point, I saw Jackie ahead of me. She was walking. I tried my best to catch up to her and said "C'mon Jackie...let's finish this thing. RUN!!" After this, I could not speak words. All I could do was put one foot in front of the other. JUST. KEEP. GOING. Mile 26 [8:38]!
 
We all know our Garmins hit 26.2 before the finish line, but I wasn't sure how much the difference would be for this course. I did realized that I wasn't going to break 4 hours on the race clock, but I sure as hell was trying to run as if I could. Because I'm a weirdo, I looked at my watch until it hit 26.2. If I broke 4 hours when my watch said 26.2, I was going to count it! LOL. It was 3:59:??. LOL. I knew now that I would be mentally ok after crossing the finish line. As I was going down the finishing chute, I heard the hubs and got super happy. I crossed the line with my Garmin reading 26.4 miles, 4:01:18, 9:08/mile average. My last 0.4 miles at [8:37]. I DID IT.
The third shortest marathon I've ever run. HA!
 
My official time:
 
4:01:16.


 
 
My fourth best or worst time depending on if you are glass half empty or full.
 
**********
 
I can honestly say that disappointment never crossed my mind. One might think I would be unhappy, but here's why I wasn't:
  • I was so happy to say "I finished" rather than "another DNF."
  • In my other fall marathons, I felt fatigued and nauseated by miles 7-8. For this race, it didn't hit me until mile 16!
  • If I didn't have such a long poop break, I would have had another sub 4. For some reason, that made it easier to swallow.
  • I enjoyed it. I've run shitty marathons of which I've absolutely hated almost every moment (i.e. Columbus 2012...Veteran's 2015).
    I spontaneously decided Friday afternoon that I was going to get a tattoo after the race. I couldn't wait! [26.2 + runner girl]
 
A few side notes:
  • Nutrition: I took gels per my usual method that seems to work: 15-20 minutes pre-race, miles 4, 9, 14, 19, and whenever I feel like taking one after that. I also took a salt tab anytime I felt tight or started cramping. I'm still not sure if the salt tabs help me. I just know that they don't seem to hurt me.
  • Course: Despite what my BFF says, I liked this race and course! There was never one moment that I felt lonely. Maybe it was because the weather was great (mid 40s to low 50s, light wind maybe close to 8-10 mph), but the spectators showed up and made us feel like rock stars. There were some areas of the roads that were a little rough, but it didn't seem to affect my running. I never lost my balance or twisted my ankles because of the road. I also didn't feel like I was in an agility class. I enjoyed running through downtown and the beautiful residential areas. The course is definitely flat as advertised. I can only recall 3-4 inclines during the whole thing...and they weren't even that significant.
While the hubs slept in, I went for a recovery mile followed by coffee, donuts, and exploration. Loved this solo time.
 
I would certainly consider doing this race again in the future. The volunteers and spectators were great. They made it a great experience despite not having my best time.