My husband works the night shift and didn’t get home until 8am Friday morning, so we opted to leave around 3pm Friday afternoon. We hit TONS of traffic, to say the least. It took us almost 2 hours just to get out of NYC. It was a rough start. We arrived in Rehoboth Beach around 8pm, Em and I got dropped off at the Dogfish Brewpub, so we could hurry up and eat some dinner before it got too late.

We both ordered pizzas and split some fries. I ALMOST ordered a beer, but I refrained! The boys (my husband and Em’s boyfriend) joined us about 20 minutes later after they checked into our B&B for us. We left around 9:45 and went to bed closer to 11.

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Surprisingly I fell asleep pretty quickly, but around 3:15, I woke up sweating to death and could not get back to sleep. I just wanted it to be time to get up! I hopped in the shower around 4:50 and everyone was around and ready to go by 6:10. We met up with Adriana near the start, which was only a 5 minute walk from our B&B! We took some pictures, went to the bathroom, and I even got to see Jess! We hugged real quick and wished each other luck before we were off to the start.

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The weather was weird. It was cool, maybe mid fifties, but the humidity was out of control at 95%! I wore my long rogas, my Oiselle singlet, arm warmers, and my NYC marathon bib on my back!

It was an incredibly laid back race. Nobody was even standing in line at the start until like 6:55, granted the race did start about 10 minutes late, but it was definitely a chill atmosphere and I liked it! I lined up with Adriana, while Em went toward the back a bit. Adriana and I talked to a few people next to us, we chatted about NYC and marathons in general. Then, finally, we were off!

Miles 1 – 6

1. 9:21

2. 9:11

3. 9:12

I immediately started off too fast, but reeled myself back in very quickly. I was focusing on starting my first few miles slower than MGP. It felt so good to run!!! Obviously, I felt the best in the very beginning. The first 3 miles were run through neighborhoods, and we ran by the ocean real quick around mile 4 and it was around here that I ran into Laura, and Theodora. I talked to them for a bit, before I decided to continue on, on my own. I LOVE running with people, but for races, I think I have to run by myself. It’s too much pressure to run a goal race with others. It was so nice to run into them though and to see so many familiar faces in general. There was a loop during these miles, so I even got to see Adriana, who was in in front of me run by, and Em, who was running the half. I waved, and we all looked happy!

4. 9:14

5. 9:08 (Took Gu)

6. 9:13

I was already warm at the end of mile 3, so I rolled down my arm warmers and was hoping to give them to my husband because he said he would be around mile 4. And, low and behold, I saw him shortly after leaving Laura and Theodora. I gave him my arm warmers and instantly felt relieved.

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I believe it was right after mile 5, where we hit a trail that lasted for a few miles. It was a gravel trail with super fine rocks, but some areas had giant puddles surrounded with mud, and other parts were pretty rocky. I generally don’t like running on trails like this, it was similar to the bridle path in Central Park, but definitely rockier in places. It takes more energy to run the same pace, but it was at this point where I decided to start dropping my pace a little more.

Miles 7 – 12

7. 9:01

8. 9:12

9. 9:01

The trail ended around mile 8.5. Then we ran on a sidewalk through a housing development and it was here that the half marathoners turned around and headed back. There was a little more trail up ahead, before we were out on the road again. This is where the miles start to blur together. I remember realizing I was at mile 10 and thinking about how I was feeling. I felt okay in general, my body felt pretty good, but my breathing felt a little off. I wasn’t feeling the greatest, but I was doing alright. It was at mile 10 that I broke the rest of the race up into three – 5 mile chunks. Then I would be just about done.

10. 9:07

11. 9:05

12. 9:00

I took 3 margarita flavored Clif Shot Bloks at Mile 11. I had also been alternating water and gatorade at all of the aid stations. I’m pretty sure I had grabbed something at every one up to this point. We were running along a straight highway-ish type road here and right after mile 13, we entered Cape Henlopen State Park, where the only “hills” were. They were tiny hills that lasted like 10 seconds total. This course is actually a course that can be described as FLAT.

Miles 13 – 20

13. 9:06

14. 9:23

15. 8:56

16. 9:14

I got incredibly nauseous after mile 13. Like, I was probably going to puke. It hit me so suddenly and I wasn’t worried at first because I figured it would pass, I just had to focus on running through it. I looked at my watch at the halfway mark and it was right at 2 hours! I was right on track and was hoping to negative split the second half. One of the guys that I was talking to at the start came up behind me and said hello and let me know that I was right on track for my 4 hour time goal! This made me happy 🙂

I decided to not take my Gu at mile 15 because I was still feeling sick and the thought of eating it was making me feel even worse. I pushed it back a mile and planned on eating it at mile 16 instead. The miles in the park were probably my worst. My stomach felt terrible. I kept debating on whether or not I should just pull over and let it all out. This has never happened to me before. It was weird. It wasn’t GI issues, I just felt nauseous and it was not getting better.

I saw Adriana just after mile 14, she wasn’t too far ahead of me, which made me feel good because she is fast! And mile 15 was the only real downhill we got and even though it didn’t last long either, it felt really good to fly for a bit. I saw a guy start walking at the end of the hill and I felt bad for him. It was only mile 15 and he looked like he was already struggling.

I drank some water and burped a bit and that relieved some of my nausea, so I pulled out my Gu at mile 16 like planned, but I still couldn’t stomach it. I kept it in my hand, thinking I could take little squeezes of it here and there.

17. 9:24

18. 9:36

19. 9:48

20.10:12

We left the park after mile 17 and we had now begun the journey back! It was a relief at this point to be on our way back towards the finish! I was sticking to water here in hopes that it would help me burp (sorry that’s gross), but it was the only thing that I thought would potentially help my stomach. I hadn’t eaten any of my Gu, I was still holding in my hand, I passed a girl on the side of the road, who was puking and I also kept seeing gross things on the ground and they were not helping my situation. Blech.

I was really hoping to see Derek, Nick, and Em sometime soon, but I knew it wasn’t going to be until somewhere in the 20’s. When mile 20 hit, I was 5 minutes passed my goal time and I hit my first 10:xx minute mile. I got a little sad, but I wasn’t giving up! I knew my sub 4 was out the window, but I was still determined to finish this thing as fast as I possibly could.

Miles 21 – 26.2

21. 9:56

22. 10:26

23. 10:27

Ugh, the stupid f*@#ing trail again! I just kept thinking, “okay, get through this trail and you will be done! Just do it, just go!” I remembered that there was a break in the trail with water, and gatorade, but more importantly a road that intersected and I was hoping that all my friends were there waiting because I really needed them at that point, I was really starting to struggle physically. I was counting down the miles and I kept telling myself to hold my pace, which was around 10:30 and I was okay with that. I was still carrying that Gu and I still could not eat it.

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So, 23 miles into the race and I had only eaten 200 calories worth of fuel. Not good. I mean I also drank a bunch of gatorade, but even with that, I still did not have enough in me. I saw the break in the trail up ahead and I saw Bongo cheering in the air!!! I smiled and tried to look strong as I passed Derek, Nick, and Em! I heard Derek yell “only 3 and change left, you’ve got this!” He was right! I only had like 3 miles left, I could fight through this, I will finish this thing.

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24. 10:30

25. 10:19

26. 10:34

.36: 3:21 (9:19 pace)

Still running on the trail and getting angry that it existed. So many rocks, puddles, and extra energy to exert. I realized here that I had been running the whole entire race, I didn’t stop to walk at all and I didn’t even think about walking! That made me really happy. I couldn’t believe that I had been running the whole way and the thought of walking never even popped into my head. I knew I was going to finish the whole race without walking a single step. That lifted my spirits a lot!

I don’t feel like I ever hit the wall. Yes, my pace slowed dramatically, but I was still running and I feel pretty positive that my energy dropped because I did not eat enough. I never felt truly awful, my stomach did, but my legs and my mind felt pretty damn strong towards the end. I also found myself passing several people in the last few miles. Even though I was struggling, I was still running and it felt pretty great to pass others even if I was running slowly.

Mile 25 hit and hallelujah, we were back on the pavement! 1.2 miles to go!!! It’s time to give it every single thing I have left. I threw my Gu away (finally), it was still full, but at this point I knew I wasn’t going to be eating it. I pushed and pushed and eventually I saw the mile 26 sign and apparently it was time to get angry and finish this freaking race.

These are the most attractive pictures of me, ever.


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I looked at my watch and was bummed that I wasn’t even going to come in under 4:10, so I gave it one last kick to make sure I didn’t go over 4:11. I booked it across the finish line and there were 3 timing mats so I just ran across all 3 and there was a lady standing at the 3rd one handing out medals, so I literally blew past her and grabbed my medal along the way. I hobbled over to the side and sat my ass down immediately.

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I was so overwhelmed! I heard someone say my name and I looked up to see Jess! She asked how I did and I said, “well, I didn’t meet my goal, but I have a huge PR and I’m happy”, or something along those lines. I asked her how she did and she said it didn’t go so well. She was experiences side stitches the whole race and just couldn’t shake them. Turns out she was friends with a guy I had been running the last mile with, who sat down right next to me after we finished.

Jess and I chatted for a bit and then Derek found me and gave me a huge hug and congratulated me! Then Adriana, Nick, and Em wandered over as well, we all hugged and talked about our races. Em PR’ed the half by 1 1/2 minutes, after running only her first half marathon 3 weeks ago! Adriana also PR’ed and ran a 3:52!

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We took a bunch of pictures and then I wandered into the food tent to find some beer. I only drank 3/4 of it before I handed it off for Derek to finish because I was starting to feel slighly drunk, I definitely needed to eat some food!

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This is long, so I will definitely make a separate post about all the delicious food and beer we drank at the Dogfish Brewpub. But, overall I am so happy! Yes, I was and am a little disappointed that I didn’t come closer to my goal, but that’s the funny thing about marathons; shit happens. I experienced weird nausea that has never happened before and I still have no idea where it came from, but I dealt with it to the best of my ability and I am proud of how well I did. I am psyched that I didn’t walk once and my overall pace makes me really excited! Instead of thinking of my time as 4:11, it sounds better when I say I averaged a 9:35 pace for over 26 miles. I think that’s pretty badass.

I’ve come so far this year and I’m so happy with my progress! My body feels surprisingly good today and I am already looking forward to running again. I seriously cannot wait for the Vermont Marathon in May.

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Official time: 4:11:09

Average Pace: 9:35

1st Half: 1:59:30

2nd Half: 2:11:40

23 MINUTE PR!!!

And just some fun facts for the record; this course is literally flat, you can believe this one when they say it’s flat and fast. There also aren’t very many spectators and you will find yourself running alone sometimes. I didn’t mind this, I can run really well by myself so it didn’t really bother me. Even when there were spectators, they weren’t really cheering, so it was kind of weird. It didn’t matter though, this usually isn’t a huge factor for me.

Also, if you find yourself traveling from NYC to Rehoboth Beach, DE, keep in mind that it will cost a total of $58 in tolls! Seriously, it was $29 each way in toll fares, just a little ridiculous.

One more thing. THANK YOU!!!! I got an unbelievable amount of support via facebook, twitter, email, and in real life and thank you guys so much, I thought about you all along the way.

I also have the best husband in the world, he is my biggest fan and number one supporter. He dealt with my crazies and happily drove me all over the place so I could get my marathon in this weekend! And, thanks to Nick for being an amazing photographer all weekend, I told him he has to come to all of my races from now on!

Also, a HUGE AND SPECIAL THANKS to my wonderful coach, Michele! She is a the number one reason I have gotten faster and stronger and I definitely could not have done this without her. I hope she is up for coaching me through another round of training in the Spring 🙂

We left for Philly a little later than planned on Saturday, but luckily we went down in a car with a couple friends and arrived only 2 hours later. We checked into our Holiday Inn and then walked to the expo.

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The runners.

We walked around the expo for a bit, I checked out the Yurbuds booth to see if I actually liked them and to figure out my size. Possible christmas present!

I was really hungry, so we went in search of food after we left the expo. We ended up at a place called National Mechanics and I ate one of the best veggie burgers ever! It probably wasn’t the best choice for a pre-race meal because it was literally just a bunch of shredded vegetables (not a typical veggie burger) formed into a patty. I forgot to take a picture, but it was damn good and I recommend it if you find yourself there. Also, great beer selection, even though I didn’t drink anything that night.

I eventually got to bed around 10 and I had plans to wake up and run a few miles before the race, since I’m still marathon training and all. I think I was more nervous about this pre-run than the actual race. I slept terribly. Woke up at 4:30, headed out for 3 slow miles through the dark streets of Philly. It turned out to be a really nice run! It was quiet, and kind of pretty along the sidewalks. I also laughed when I saw several cars towed, because my time there wouldn’t be complete without that. I did work on Parking Wars after all.

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It was also a good test run to help me decide whether I should wear pants or shorts. It was definitely shorts weather! I returned to my hotel room around 5:20, changed my clothes, slapped on a Oiselle tattoo and we all headed out around 6 to walk the 1.5 miles to the start. By the time we went to the bathrooms and actually got to the corrals, it was like 6:50 and we were scrambling to find our correct corral. I was assigned to the Grey corral and I just could not find it! I felt so rushed, everything seemed unorganized and crazy, so I just decided to stand in the black corral, the only one I could actually get into.

All of a sudden we were moving up and I realized that the Black Corral was basically the 2nd corral of the race and I was about to start. I saw a few people get kicked out because they didn’t have a black bib, so I got worried that I was going to get in trouble. I managed to slip by and started the race way before thousands of others. I was in the corral with the 3:15 marathon pace group…oops! I felt guilty for about a half a mile, but then I got over it and was so happy to be running. I saw Beth within the first mile! She yelled my name, I waved and continued on with a huge smile on my face.

I found myself hitting my pace exactly for the first 2 miles, which was down the same street I ran my earlier 3 miles on. It was kind of a blur, but I was just happy to be feeling good and so happy to be surrounded by so many cheering fans out along the course. I had trouble slowing down on the 3rd mile! I was just feeling too good and wanted to go with it. Although I looked at my watch a thousand times within the first 3 miles, I was focusing on how I felt physically and if I could keep up the pace or not.

Mile 1: 8:45

Mile 2: 8:44

Mile 3: 8:21

At this point, I started counting down to mile 6 when I would see Derek and my friends! My splits were consistent and I was still feeling pretty strong. There were no major hills up to this point, the course was pretty flat with a few downhills as well. When I came upon mile 6, I started scanning the crowds on the right side, looking for my super tall friends, Dave and Jamie. I did end up seeing them first and started waving my hand so they would see me. It went by so fast, but I saw everyone, they cheered and waved and that left me smiling for next few miles. I also saw Ashley around this point! I had no idea she was even in Philly! I heard my name and looked around and saw her cheering in the crowd. I waved and was so caught off guard, I don’t remember what I said to her.

Mile 4: 8:31

Mile 5: 8:30 (Took Gu)

Mile 6: 8:31

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I hit the 6.5 mile mark on my watch and remember thinking, okay this is the halfway mark, how do you feel? “Strong and good”. In my head, I broke the remaining miles into two 3 mile segments. I couldn’t stop worrying about if I was going too fast or not. I did not want to burn out at mile 10 and have the last 3 miles be a disaster, that’s the worst feeling in the world. I was running way faster than I had predicted, but apparently my body didn’t want to slow down. Just going with the flow…

Mile 7: 8:20

Mile 8: 8:44

I kept telling myself that I needed to get through mile 10 and I would be set! The big hill is at mile 9, so I knew if I got through that, the rest would be a piece of cake. There were several smaller hills leading up to the steep hill at mile 9. I kept wondering whether or not I had already passed the hill and maybe it just wasn’t that bad? But, no, I definitely encountered it right where I thought it was going to be. It was steep and long, but similar to Harlem Hill if you run in Central Park. I stayed focused and kept chugging through and before I knew it, I was over the hill and I was coasting down a nice downhill once again. 3 miles left!

Mile 9: 8:19

Mile 10: 8:41 (Took Gu)

They were handing out Clif Shots at mile 10, I decided at the last minute to grab one and eat it. It was so cold and hard, I had a hard time eating it. I was glad I decided on it though. By mile 11, I was shocked at how fast the race had gone by, I couldn’t believe I was already at mile 11! Halfway into this mile, I started to struggle a bit. I started continuously talking to myself, trying anything to help get me through it. I looked at my watch at least 100 times in the last mile, hoping at least a quarter mile had gone by since the last time I looked, but obviously no such luck. There was a little bitch of a hill right at the end. I probably swore out loud as I trampled up it, magically keeping my pace. Once I crested the hill, I was starting to hurt, but the finish line was in sight! I hope there are pictures of me at this time, because I probably look terrible. My head was up, my mouth open and I was giving it everything I had. Those pictures will be hilarious.

Mile 11: 8:16

Mile 12: 8:27

Mile 13: 8:31

Mile .27: 2:02 (7:36 pace)

I threw my arms up at the finish line and finished with a 1:52 on my watch!!! Whaaaaat???? I was am so freaking happy! I crushed my goal of 1:55 and to say the least, I was crazy emotional after I finished.

Official Time: 1:52:41

Average Pace: 8:36!!!

***Edited to add: This is a PR by almost 5 whole minutes!!!

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Must’ve been the Oiselle gear! I am so happy and proud of myself. I am SO READY to smash my marathon in 3 weeks!

Jeremy and Em did fantastic too!!! This was Em’s first half marathon and I am so proud of her! She may or may not be writing us a guest post for the blog soon 😉

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This was one of the best races I’ve ever run! I loved the course, it was perfect weather, and I got to spend 3 days with some amazing people. I already want to come back next year and run again. This was my first visit to Philly and I did not get enough, so a return trip will definitely be in order. I got my cheesesteak, but I missed out on visiting the Rocky stairs.

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The rest of the day/night was spent eating and drinking my face off. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all of their support and encouragement through Twitter and Facebook! Also thanks to my amazing husband!!! He’s a professional race husband by now and always knows all the right things to do and say. He is my biggest fan and supporter and I love him for that!

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GO FAST. TAKE CHANCES.

First of all, I am so proud and happy for all of my friends who ran the Richmond Marathon today! Congratulations to Leticia on her first marathon, and to Katie, Ashley, Meggie, and Christine!

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Marathon training is making me crazy. I feel burnt out! I trained for 18 weeks, now I am adding an additional 5 weeks to make it a total of 23 weeks of training for 1 marathon. I thought I would be fine, but today is my breaking point. I feel great physically, but my mind is just not on the same path.

I woke up this morning with the intention to run 22 miles (my last really long run again), but I felt so out of it. I went to bed last night with a terrible headache and I woke up dreading the run. I didn’t feel like running for hours and I was very unprepared.

So I’ve been sitting on my couch all morning doing nothing. I can’t focus. I’ve been tracking all my marathon friends for the Richmond Marathon and that’s about it. I WANT to go out for a run, a nice easy 4 miles or something because I know it will make me feel better, but I just can’t seem to do it. I can’t get out of this funk.

I don’t even know what the point of this post is, but I need to get it out of me. I’m not sick of running, but I can’t seem to get pumped up to run another 22 miles when all I want to do is run the marathon I’ve been training for! I’m so happy for all of my friends, but the fact that everyone is running their race this weekend or next weekend, kind of kills me a little. I am jealous. I don’t regret signing up for Rehoboth at all! I REALLY WANT TO RUN THIS RACE. But, it’s getting difficult since it’s still a whole 4 weeks away. That’s kind of a long time when my mind and body were ready to race last weekend.

You train for weeks and weeks and your reward is the race at the end of it all. I just want my reward, my race.

I can’t decide if these 5 weeks of extra training are a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s what I gotta do. I need to get through those 22 miles tomorrow and then the next time I run for that long will be on Race Day! I feel very anxious to say the least. The more time that passes, the more I doubt what I will be able to do on marathon day. I can’t even believe I have to go through taper ALL OVER AGAIN. Remember how crazy I got?


After these 22 miles, I will have done 5 – 20+ mile runs for this training period. Get me to a marathon now!!!!

I’m running the Philly Half next weekend and I am really looking forward to it. I have some goals for it, but that’s another post. Today, I need to focus on clearing my mind of scrambled thoughts and getting myself ready for a fantastic run tomorrow.

Sorry for all of my crazy/negative posts lately. Marathon training (and taper) messes with your head. I’m kind of a mess right now and if you have any advice or words of wisdom that will help me get through these next 4 weeks, they are very much appreciated.