I love this race! This was our 2nd year back and maybe even more fun than the last. This will definitely be an annual tradition for us! We got in Friday round 3pm, we checked into our amazing hotel and then went to pick up our race bibs.

20131210-211953.jpgDerek’s first real race and Em’s first marathon. So exciting!!!

Then we proceeded to Dogfish Head, the only place we ever eat and drink when we are in Rehoboth. Why go anywhere else?

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I ate a really healthy meal. A short rib sandwich with cheese, and mushrooms, and french fries. And on Mondays and Fridays, they have beers through the Randall! Obviously HAD to get that. It was the 90 min IPA through the Randall that was filled with fresh hops. Yummmm.

It was nice to get to Rehoboth so early! We had time to eat, digest (mostly) and get to bed by 10. Last year, we didn’t get in until 8:30 and it was awful. Round 1 of the Dogfish Head Pub was a success.

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Alarms went off at 4:30am and I laid in bed for a while and watched Em and Derek get around. I was ready quickly, but 6:30 came way too fast! We headed down to the lobby and ran into Michele, Jess, and Elizabeth. We walked the 2 minutes to the start, took a quick picture and wished each other luck.

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I lined up with Elizabeth pretty close to the front, I knew if we went too far back we would really be stuck. We chatted a bit about pace and then we were off. I had planned to start around 8:50, but that felt way to slow, so I stuck with what felt good, but not overly fast. It felt great to be running! It’s always a good feeling to start off feeling wonderful, that doesn’t always happen.

I ran with Elizabeth for the first 1 1/2 miles before I decided to pull back, my watch was showing me running an 8:25 second mile and I knew that was way too fast for mile 2. I really love the first 4 miles of this race, it’s a small out and back, you get to see the ocean, it’s early in the race, and this year my mind was brought back to good memories from last year’s marathon. I was smiling, feeling good and happy to see so many of my friends running too! I smiled and waved to Jess, Em, and Derek, as we all got to see each other on the out and back.

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At mile 4, I saw Nick! He had his camera up in his face, and I didn’t think he saw me, so I yelled his name and he finally looked and waved. I think he captured an unpleasant shot of my backside running, so no need to post that. 🙂 Thanks for being our race photographer, Nick!

4 miles down. I couldn’t believe I was already almost 1/3 of the way through the race. I was feeling fantastic! My pace was locked into 8:40ish and I just kept on trucking. I was scared to push yet, I didn’t want to burn out and I knew I needed to save energy for the trail portion.

Mile 1: 8:37

Mile 2: 8:38

Mile 3: 8:35

Mile 4: 8:40

Mile 5: 8:37

Mile 6: 8:37

I kept wondering when the trail started because I honestly thought it started before this point, but at the same time, I was happy it hadn’t hit yet. I knew it was going to be the toughest part of the race. I was also impressed with myself that I kept my splits so consistent! I kept trying not to psyche myself out. Things were going really well and I knew that if I had a strong second half that I could actually PR, since my splits were only about 3 seconds away from my PR pace. But! Every time I thought about that, I told myself this…

“No, it doesn’t matter! You don’t have to PR, you are doing great, you are running a strong race and that’s what matters. You came here to race strong and that is exactly what you are doing, just keep going!”

20131210-211833.jpg I look like a ghost!

And this is where the trail starts. I kind of gave myself a mental pep talk and reset before going into this part of the race. It takes more energy to keep your pace up on the dirt and I was expecting giant puddles because of all the rain (just like last year), so I knew it wasn’t going to be mindless running.

Mile 7: 8:51 (Sad I ruined my consistency)

Mile 8: 8:38

Mile 9: 8:39

The first mile of the trail, I came to complete stop because the lead half marathoner was coming back through with the vehicle and there was a giant puddle that nobody could get around and the 3 people in front of me came to a complete dead stop because they couldn’t go to the left and they didn’t just run through it. Kind of frustrating!

Most of the trail was okay, really hard packed and nice to run on, but other parts were soft, some parts were rocky, and yeah, some parts were muddy and full of puddles.

As you exit the trail, you run through a housing development for maybe a 1/4 mile and this is where the half marathoners split from the marathoners. So we do a quick turn around and head back to the trail!!! I knew I had about 3 miles back through the trail, so I focused on that to get me through the next few miles. And this is where it gets a little rough for me.

rehobothmile9The turnaround.

Mile 10: 9:05

Mile 11: 8:53

I suddenly had awful stomach cramps during mile 10. For the first time ever, I thought I was going to have to stop and use the bathroom during a race. I pushed as hard as I possibly could through this mile. I was sad to see that 9 in the front of the mile. My stomach was a mess and I was struggling. It took these 2 miles to subside, but I was happy that it did. 1 mile left on the trail, I could do this!

I had no idea where I was going to come in time wise, I knew I had sub 2 in the bag, but I wasn’t sure how close I was to 1:55; my A goal.

After the mile 12 marker, I was back on solid pavement, yay! I pushed and pushed to get my pace down as low as I could get it. I had it at 8:10 for a while, but obviously that didn’t work out. The last mile is down Rehoboth Ave, where we are most familiar with. The strip where everything is, so I sort of knew where I was. And finally, I could see the big white tents! The finish area!

I looked at my watch about 100 feet from the finish line and saw I was 7 seconds away from 1:55, so I booked it, but at that point it was impossible to get there in time to finish sub 1:55. Oh well! I was super happy when I finished, I knew I gave it absolutely everything I had.

Mile 12: 8:51

Mile 13: 8:42

Mile .21: 1:44 (8:11 pace)

Official Time: 1:55:13 (8:48 avg. pace)

I think I ran a smart race and I’m happy to be back at this point in my running, when 5 months ago I was hobbling around in a boot. The only regret I have is not listening to music. I really think it could’ve helped me in those last few miles. Next time, for sure!!!

Derek crushed his race and finished in 2:09! He finished in one piece and is feeling pretty good. I’m pretty sure he wants to keep running and I know he will have a much better training cycle next time around.

Em killed her marathon as well! She ran the whole entire time and crushed her goal time of sub 5 and finished in 4:46!!!. I ran with her during the last 3.2 miles and it was absolutely amazing. She was looking so strong! She was talking, wasn’t annoyed at me for making her run this race 😉 and I was going to start crying before she even crossed the finish line.

I’m hoping she will write us a race report to post here, so that she can tell you guys all about it! I am incredibly proud of her and Derek and I am so happy they are starting to love running as much as I do.

Derek captured this photo right as I met up with her to bring her home.

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And this was captured about 1/4 mile from the finish. Absolutely love both of these pictures!!! Smiling like she didn’t just run 26 miles!

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And then we celebrated by going to Dogfish Head 2 more times and drinking lots of beer! We went after the race, stuffed our faces, went back to the hotel and took a nap and then went back for round 3. Cannot get enough.

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Our server at dinner was amazing and we were all drunk and obviously had to get a picture with him. Haha! It was an incredible weekend that won’t be forgotten and we can’t wait to do it all again next year. Nick even said he wants to run the half! Time to sign him up on New Years Eve, that’s how I got everyone last year! 😉

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And we got these GIANT medals, so that was nice! 🙂

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Race day manicure that looks okay from far away!
I never seem to finish out my blog posts when I decide to write about my training every week. I always leave out the last few weeks, but not this time! Here are my last 2 weeks of training, even though they aren’t very impressive.

Week 11

Monday: Rest (Foot hurt)

Tuesday: 60 min. stationary bike (~15 miles)

Wednesday: 30 min. upper body strength

Thursday: 5k Turkey Trot

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8 cold, but incredible miles done at a low 9 pace

Sunday: Rest

Total: 11.1 measly miles (It’s taper, right?)

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Week 12

Monday: 3 miles

Tuesday: 4 Tempo miles, slower than normal

1 mi. w/u, 2 @ 8:49, 1 mi. c/d

Wednesday: 20 min. stationary bike

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 16.3 miles

Rehoboth Beach Half Race Day! + 3.2 miles with Em at the end of her marathon!

Sunday: Rest

Total: 23.4

And that’s that! Sort of a boring post, but I felt compelled to post about the rest of my training. Check out my goals for the race here!

Looks like the weekend is going to be crappy weather. I’m having serious flashbacks to VCM! Not going to let it ruin my enthusiasm though because no matter what, it’s going to be a kickass weekend!

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I’ve been thinking about my goals for this race before I even started training.

When I made the decision to not run the NYC Marathon, I was hanging out with Beth and I said, “well, I better freaking PR the shit out of the Rehoboth Half then”.

Well…that’s not going to happen and I am completely fine with it. My training didn’t go perfectly, but it went pretty damn well. I had a few setbacks due to my foot, but I also had some really strong runs along the way. Day 1 was spent running 1 mile, then I completed a 30 mile week 16 weeks later.

Honestly, it’s crazy to look back on my training and realize it’s all over. It’s been 18 weeks since I’ve been cleared to run. It feels like just yesterday I was wearing the boot of shame and sweating to death in 90 degree weather.

IMG_3199.jpgMe and Em from last year.

The races are reversed this year, half for me, full for her!

Anyway, the day is here and I’m so excited to spend the weekend with some of my absolute favorite people. Derek, Em, Nick, and I will be driving down Friday and we will be spending the weekend running and drinking a ton of Dogfish Head beer! I am also super psyched to see Elizabeth and Jess, and to also meet Katie!

Before I get into my goals, which I know is the point of this post, I have to say that I am completely unsure of what I am capable of right now. I definitely don’t feel confident that I will PR, but I’m not sure what will be pushing it, I just feel like I’m going into this race blind.

Goals:

A: Sub 1:55 (8:45 avg.)

B: Sub 2 (9:09 avg.)

C: Have a strong race and then drink lots of beer!

A+ Goals:

I think I care more about Em and Derek’s races than mine. Em is running her first marathon and she is so ready. I just want her to have a great race! Derek has had a really rough training cycle. His knee was bothering him, now it’s feeling much better, but now his foot hurts. He’s most likely running on Saturday, and I just want him to have a successful race.

I will be extremely happy with my A or B goals. Either one will be a great jumping off point for my goal Spring Half. This training cycle has gotten me back in shape and it has built up my base, so either way this race will be a good way to see where I am at.

It’s hard to tell if I am being too ambitious or not ambitious enough! How do you figure out your goals? Is it based on your training and do they change from the beginning to the end of your training?