How I Prepared for Hood to Coast

My last blog entry was probably one of the most brutally honest pieces I have written in awhile, and I’m so grateful that I had the guts to just say what I freaking needed to say: that running has burned me out tremendously on emotional, physical, and mental levels. Actually, no: injury has burned me out emotionally and physically. The amount of work required to come back from being benched is substantial. First of all, you don’t know where to start. Then you have to fight voices in your head that tell you you are a fool for even trying. You doubt whether you should keep trying because you’re not happy anymore. There’s guilt for letting yourself get hurt and constantly wondering how it happened. Plus, you know, medical bills suck. But I sort of had to self-soothe for the last month or so because I’m running the Hood to Coast Relay race this weekend, and I needed to pull it together fast because there are 11 people counting on me to pull my weight.

The Hood to Coast Relay is “the mother of all relays.” It’s 200-ish miles over 32 hours, starting at the Timberline Lodge 6,000 feet up Mount Hood to the coast of Oregon at Seaside Beach. I am part of a team of 12 total women running that distance with my share being 16.6 miles split into 3 “legs.” I have NO IDEA what to expect, except that there will be a lot of fun and probably not much sleep. And likely a lot of binge-eating. Definitely some drinking and swearing. Continue reading “How I Prepared for Hood to Coast”

Done

Something is different. Something right now is not right. It’s technically my third week of my planned New York City Marathon training; yet, out of desperation, I just bought a 16-week training plan because it’s my last chance to try. And I just cannot make myself care about this. Continue reading “Done”

Fall 2016 Race Training Goals

June is the runner’s unofficial start month for fall marathon training. Usually every June starts with an abrupt wake-up call when the first 80+ degree day hits and I begrudgingly realize that sleeping in is no longer an option if I want to escape the heat and also that 16-18-20 weeks comes quickly. While my training for the New York City Marathon (omg!) doesn’t technically start until the first week of July, I’m already sort of looking ahead to what I want out of training this year.

While I’m never truly out of training– I feel like I always have something on my plate that keeps me on the trails– my approach to running is sort of like turning 30. Continue reading “Fall 2016 Race Training Goals”

Where Have I Been?

I haven’t posted anything since November. Frankly, things have been up in the air for me since the end of my fall marathon training season. As in, literally the moment it ended. I crossed the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon around 1:30PM on Sunday, October 25, 2015. I’d just run the Baltimore Marathon 8 days earlier and finished Marine Corps about 10 minutes slower than Baltimore. I’d run a ridiculously consistent marathon. I was trying not to be a superhero– all I wanted was to finish what I had started. Unfortunately, mind and body is sometimes a two-party system that does not want to compromise. Continue reading “Where Have I Been?”

How I Ran Two Marathons In One Week

Everyone knows two things about marathons: a) because they are hard on your body, you should probably only run one or two per year maximum, and b) you can’t tell marathoners what to do. Am I right?

When I started out training for the 2015 Baltimore Marathon, I didn’t realize that about halfway in, when I moved to an apartment less than a 10 minute walk to the Marine Corps Memorial, I would get a serious longing to run the Marine Corps Marathon again. I hadn’t entered the lottery, so my only option was to enter the race through a charity and raise money– not my strong suit. Plus, more importantly, the Baltimore Marathon was only 8 days prior to the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a lot to consider. But the more I did consider it, the more I thought, “Pffft, I can do that!” I mean, why not? I would have the opportunity to give back to a good cause and I remembered a time when running a half-marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday for the Goofy Challenge was out of my league, but in 2013, I did just that. I wasn’t trying to take on too much here, but I couldn’t see a reason why I shouldn’t do it. So I registered. Continue reading “How I Ran Two Marathons In One Week”

Race Week Thoughts

The Baltimore Marathon 2015 finisher's medal, just released this week. Eye on the prize! Photo Credit: Corrigan Sports Enterprises
The Baltimore Marathon 2015 finisher’s medal. Eye on the prize! Photo Credit: Corrigan Sports Enterprises

I’m not totally sure how to start processing the fact that I am running the Baltimore Marathon  in two days. I look back on my training: there were some hiccups, some moments of doubt, and I didn’t meet some of my short-term training goals. I barely ever ran pace runs. I struggled with getting my mileage above 30 miles a week for awhile. Waking up early to run on weekends will probably never come easy to me because it definitely did not this  time.

People who run marathons do this all the  time: did we do enough? It doesn’t matter how many you’ve run because this  always comes up. We ask that because we have different  goals with every race. For me, I’ve had a goal since 2013 to run a 4-hour marathon. It certainly feels like I have trained enough  to run one. My four half-marathons this past spring ranged between 1:58 and 2:05 finish times. I have consistently trained for a 9:06 pace and, on occasion, held that pace or faster for several miles at a time. My long runs have all been within long run pace range, although I admit that I am confused about how I will hold a 9:06 average pace over 26.2 miles when I have trained consistently within 60-90 seconds slower than that. Not sure how to explain that one. Continue reading “Race Week Thoughts”

Week Sixteen/Fifteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Did Hurricane Joaquin cancel your race this weekend? Sign up for the Annapolis Running Classic! Get 10% off with this code: SABREF15
Did Hurricane Joaquin cancel your race this weekend? Sign up for the Annapolis Running Classic! Get 10% off with this code: SABREF15

Fundraising Update: I’m at 100% of my goal with $600.20 raised for Team TAPS!  Thank you to my very generous donors. You can still make a donation to help the families of our fallen heroes through TAPS’ programs for grief counseling.

Ahhhhh, hello taper week. I know a lot of runners get freaked out by the “T” word, but I don’t. I love tapering time. Perhaps its the subconscious realization that I may never be an ultra-marathoner because running super long distances is, for me, very hard and borderline un-enjoyable, or perhaps it’s more that I know I need to rest and recover and allow myself the rejuvenation that comes with 3 weeks of fewer intense runs and less mileage and getting psyched for a big event that you’ve been preparing for. Think about it– not many big important events in life have a taper time. I certainly never see brides at their calmest the three weeks before their wedding. High schools and universities don’t schedule finals week three weeks before graduation. Marathons practically require tapering, so it’s definitely the best part of training for 26.2 miles. Some runners freak out and get cranky; I don’t. Continue reading “Week Sixteen/Fifteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”