And So It Begins…

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Happy unofficial summer! After some rather unpleasant weather this weekend, today was a BEAUTIFUL day. After a little rain tomorrow we’re in for a toasty weekend. I’m going to the beach!

Today was my official kick off to my remaining goals for 2013 – most of which I haven’t discussed here at all because I was entirely unsure what was going to happen. After today’s run I’m fully convinced that with a lot of running and effort I will get all of these goals.

First up – today’s run:

First Post RTB Run

Can I hear it for fresh legs?! I took 9 total days off of running after Reach the Beach and just did weights, spin, elliptical, and a little walking. What a difference taking proper recovery makes!

I thought the run was net downhill and that was my advantage… well, it was net downhill, but only by 4 feet. So I had a pretty even amount of up and down over the 4 miles. I feel like this is a great way to kick off my summer of training!

Next up – what’s on tap for the rest of the year:

  • The Blessing of the Fleet 10-Mile Road Race, Narragansett, RI – July 26, 2013
  • Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon, Falmouth, MA – September 28, 2013
  • Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon, Providence, RI – September 29, 2013
  • United Healthcare MARATHON, Newport, RI – October 13, 2013

Yes folks you read that right – I am going to run Marathon #4 in October. I’ve rescinded my “No Marathons in 2013” rule and decided that I’m ready for another one. Well mentally anyway…

I haven’t decided if I want to talk time goals here or not yet… Many times I’ve done it and not made my goals. When I ran Rock N Roll Providence last year I never told you guys that I was trying for a sub 2 hour half, and I did it. Call me superstitious…

What’s my plan of attack? I’m thinking of focusing first on the Blessing of the Fleet, then the half’s and marathon together. Blessing is 2 months before the rest, and 2 months away, plus it’s only 10 miles. My thoughts are – train strictly between now and July for Blessing (which includes loads of heat training – the race takes place at 6 p.m. on a Friday). After Blessing start my marathon training plan. Zoom and RnR Providence fall exactly 2 weeks before the full marathon which places them at a perfect place in a marathon training plan. Waiting until the first week in August to start marathon training also allows me to have a life for the next few months, which we all know goes away once marathon training begins!

What do you guys think? Anyone else have some good distance races on their calendar for the second half of 2013? Do you think I should keep my time goals to myself or are  you just dying to hear them?

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Cox Rhode Races: United Healthcare Half Marathon Recap

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This past Sunday I ran the Cox Rhode Races for the 4th year in a row! I can’t believe I’ve been running for 3 years already – where does the time go?

And is there a better way to spend your 3 year run-iversary than by running a half with one of your favorite people?! I’d say that there is not…

Kelly and I met around 7 a.m. to start getting ready for the race. I’m glad we got there early because the marathon started at 7:30 so the potty lines were already getting long! Once we got that out of the way we hid in the car until about 7:50 because it was a cool, rainy morning.

I could tell Kelly was nervous but we just chatted away the whole time, not about the race at all, so it kept us occupied. We made our way to a VERY crowded start line shortly before start time…or so we thought. For some reason (which may never be known to us) the race was delayed about 15 or so minutes.

And we were finally off! The rain had stopped but it was still super humid out. I’m so glad it was cloudy or it would’ve been brutally hot! I realized very shortly into the race that I had to pee again – whoops. I guess that coffee and Nuun was just a bit too much just before the race!

We were heading up toward Mile 4-ish – Kelly was struggling with breath thanks to the humidity and I really had to pee, so we stopped. One thing I really love about the Cox Rhode Races is that there are PLENTY of water stops and there’s potties at pretty much all of them. Unfortunately some people don’t care that we’re RACING and take their sweet time going to the bathroom! I swear it took 3 minutes or more just so I could pee quickly.

Then we were off again – Kelly used the opportunity to stop, catch her breath, fuel up and drink plenty of water while I was waiting for the potty. During that time it also started raining again, but it was just sprinkly and honestly it felt really good. We were both pretty grateful for it since the humidity was making it so gross and sticky out.

I was keeping Kelly posted on what to expect in the next couple of miles along the course (since I’ve run it twice, and used to live right down the street from the area we were in) when I heard someone say “Hey, I read your blog.” Well HOLY COW THAT WAS EXCITING! I’ve never met a blog reader in person (other than friends and family…) so that was such a cool experience for me! Huge shout out to Amanda for recognizing me and saying hi!

We kept chugging along – I was doing my best to keep Kelly occupied because I knew she was struggling. Between the humidity and her left leg screwing with her, she was having a rough time. Unfortunately this half is relatively hilly so that doesn’t help the legs when they’re already tired/sore.

I managed to only screw up on course information once – we were about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from where I thought we were…whoops! We did get a good laugh out of it though, especially when I told her we were REALLY at the location I thought we were at 1/2 a mile ago… hehe

Unfortunately by Mile 8 the humidity/leg was really getting to Kelly and we had to slow to a walk. She said she was dizzy and thirsty which automatically turned me to “worried friend mode.” We slowed down, and were able to rehydrate properly about 1/2 mile from there at mile 9. We started running again, knowing it was a lot of downhill from where we were. I also gave her a few Pink Lemonade Honey Stinger chews to help regulate blood sugar, and threatened her by telling her I was going to sing Justin Timberlake to her. It helped, I swear Winking smile 

At that point I told her that we could still make the time she was looking for, but she didn’t want to push it. Having been in her exact shoes during a race, I completely understood and told her that I’d just continue to run with her from there, at her pace, and we’d cross that finish line together. She was like “Oh that’s so nice.” to which I replied, “Well, I told you I’d run with you. You’re not having a great race, so what am I going to do? Ditch you and say have a nice life?!” We had a pretty good laugh after that…

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful – we ran more than we walked, I talked and Kelly nodded – I told her, I’ll do all the talking, you just focus on what you’re doing.

At Mile 11 one of the water stop guys commented on how I was still smiling – I was having a good time. Running a race at a pace a couple minutes per mile slower than I’m used to is actually really fun, and I really enjoy pushing my friends to finish and get to where they want to be!

Once we could see the turn toward the finish line, and the huge crowd of spectators, I could sense a change in Kelly. I knew she was excited that we were about to finish and she cranked it into high gear! We finished that final 0.36 miles at a 9:20 pace! Woohoo! She also saw her mommy and sister as she finished. My mommy was there too, and caught a couple of great pics, but I didn’t see her til we finished.

All in all it was a great time, I really enjoy running and pacing others! Turns out that even though it wasn’t a half marathon PR for Kelly it WAS a course PR, and a huge one at that!

Here are some of the pics from the day:

MeKelFinish

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Thanks to my mommy for taking pics for us! And since it was Mother’s Day I took my mom out for lunch at one of our usual post-race venues, Union Station Brewery, but I was clearly too hungry to photo my food! I gave up gluten free for the afternoon (obviously) and enjoyed 2 more craft beers and buffalo chicken pizza. It was amazing!

Now the countdown is on – less than 48 hours til Reach the Beach!

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The Second One

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Yesterday I ran my 2nd long run for Cox Rhode Races – which will be my 10th half marathon, and also my 3 year running anniversary, and 4th time running the Cox Rhode Races! The race is 7 weeks away, with my final long run for the race being the inaugural Newport 10 Miler on April 28th. I have a lot of prep to do between now and then!

I ran my first long run last Sunday – 6 miles. I can’t say it went badly because I finished, but I can tell I’m out of the long run game. I looked back at my Garmin and Daily Mile logs to see when the last time I ran long was – a 5 miler on 12/22/12, and before that, nothing longer than 4 miles since the Rock N Roll Providence Half in August!

Although the splits for my run last week were much more even:

Half Marathon #10 - Long Run #1

Yesterday’s run brought back some confidence:

Half Marathon #10 - Long Run #2

3 sub 9 minute miles, with mile 7 being my fastest mile. This run was also an average of 15 seconds per mile faster than last week.

I need to go into this weeks 8 miler with the idea of negative splits in mind – finishing strong is very important to me! Both of these runs have had just the opposite of negative splits – so I am going to figure out paces that I can start at, negative split the run, and still come in with a faster average per mile pace than my 7 miler. I’d like to get back to my sub 2-hour half marathon paces before May.

Part of the problem with yesterdays run was my shoes – I tried running in my New Balance 630v2 – they’re not meant for long runs. My right ankle starting talking to me about 5.5 miles, hence the really slow mile 6. I’m also fighting this mid-upper ab cramp, it feels like someone is stabbing me right underneath my ribs. It wasn’t as bad  yesterday as it has been, but it was still there. Hopefully this is just my body getting used to the stress of all this running again.

To remedy the shoe/ankle situation I ordered a pair of Kinvara 3s – I’ve been wanting them since they came out last year, but didn’t need them yet, so I’m so excited to finally have ordered a pair! They should be here Wednesday, just in time for  speed day!

Saucony Kinvara 3

I hope everyone has a great Monday! My workout today is going to consist of back and shoulders, with a little bit of recovery cardio thrown in too.

How did your runs go this weekend?

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Monday Love: March Madness

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Good Monday morning! The sun is shining and it’s warm(ish) outside – a perfect day for a run! But before that, I must share with you what I’m loving on this Monday.

1) Helping friends get PRs. My first attempt at run coaching was a HUGE success when my friend Kelly ran the Irish 5k in Pawtucket 2 minutes faster than her last 5k! I ran too, but no PR for me. I’m blaming it on having to stop to tie my shoe that came untied just before Mile 2. Winking smile 

Irish 5k Before

2) Having an ACTUAL training plan. I took the time last week to create a real training plan for myself for the entire month of March. My plan includes 3-4 runs per week (I’m leaving Monday as an “open” cardio day, depending on how my legs feel), two days of upper body weight training, one day of kettlebell, and of course RPM on Friday. I’m also slowly rebuilding mileage to start getting ready for the Cox Half and Reach the Beach.

March Training Plan

3) Rediscovering my love for country music. My awesome roommate took me to see Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley last night! It was AMAZING – Miranda Lambert puts on a helluva performance and you can REALLY tell she loves what she does. I’ve always liked country music, but I tend to forget that I do and I go forever without listening to it!

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A little pre-concert libation

4) Having an “office”I set up my desk, printer, and all of my office supplies in my bedroom at the new apartment and now I have an ACTUAL workspace! I’m so motivated now to blog, work on fitness plans, and work on building Runcupcake Fitness!

Office

Notice the fantastic coffee mug my roommate bought me…

5) SPRING FEVER! I have a wicked case of spring fever. The first day of spring is only 17 days away, daylight savings is Sunday, and the high’s here in Lil’ Rhody are in the mid 40’s every single day this week! Spring makes me even more motivated to train hard because that means we’re just one season away from BIKINI SEASON! I’m treating myself to a new bikini this year, but only if I stick with my training plan and work my ass off! I’m thinking something like this – I like the watermelon colors!

Bikini

What are you loving on this Monday?!

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It’s That Time Again…

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Time to start half marathon training! After re-reading my blog post on this race from last year, there’s a good chance you will all think I’m insane. I’m once again running the Half at the Hamptons.

The real reason behind it is because many of my favorite friends are running it – like Janine and Dani! And there may be a bar with large quantities of microbrews on tap for post race refreshment…

So, today I sat down and created my training schedule. It’s slightly frightening – I’ll be working out 6 days a week, with 3 double workout days. I will easily be able to fit this all into my schedule now that I work at a gym and have the hours of 1-4 p.m. off almost every single day. If I feel like it’s too much or get too exhausted, there’s always the option of scaling back a bit. But I truly don’t feel like I’ll have to.

 

Hampton Half Training Plan

I’m ramping back up slowly because I haven’t run double digits since my awesome race day performance during the Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon – and the last thing I want is an injury!

In addition to that long run list, this is what the rest of my training schedule looks like:

Hampton Half Training Plan - Non Long Runs

I’ve been working out 5-6 times per week right now, so this isn’t much more strenuous than what I’ve been doing. I just had to switch a few things around in order to get 3 runs in per week.

We will see what happens!

Is anyone else training for a later winter race? What is it?

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There’s a Method to my Madness

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Alternate titles:

“Defeated by Hills”

or

“The Once a Month Long Runner”

So, when was the last time I ran a distance over 5 miles? Rock N Roll Providence.

Oh you know, 4 weeks ago! Whoops. Smile Honestly, I wasn’t feeling it. Post RnR Prov I was really feeling the “less is more” approach I took to training. Especially because I really defined less during that training cycle. So, I decided I’d ease back into long distances…kinda.

Before we get too far into that, let me preface first by telling you guys that I will not be running the Zooma Women’s Half Marathon (sad face). The drive to the Cape on a Saturday in September is a difficult thing for me to swing – one because of my job and two because of my side job at my grandparents farm. Then there’s the fact that my legs haven’t been entirely pleased with me since RnR Prov – I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve taken up lots of leg strength workouts and spin classes, or if by my way less is more approach to training I am just weaker.  I have no idea, but I want my legs to be happy so I don’t end up injured again.

The next half marathon around town is the Newport Half, which  just so happens to be the third race in the United Healthcare Triple Crown Series (Cox Half was the first, Jamestown Half was the second). It also just so happens that I’ve run the first two races. Coincidence? I think not.

It’s also on October 14th, which gives me 3 more chances to get long runs in pre-race. I ran this race last year, way too close to the Air Force Marathon, and ended up with hip problems and didn’t finish anywhere close to where I wanted to (it was my first ever attempt at a sub-2).

It’s time for retribution!!!!

So, what did I do yesterday? I went out for a 10 mile run. And I did what many any idiotic runner would do:

10 Miler Elevation

Heh. Whoops. Miles 1-5 were perfectly executed negative splits. I don’t even want to talk about Miles 6-10, they just got ugly.

I still managed a 10:16 average, which isn’t bad considering.

The real test though, the method to my madness at the title implied, was to see how my legs fared. Today they feel good – tired, but good. No strange aches, pains, or twinges. I did this run prior to registering for the race – and now I think I’m ready to register!

I will run 10 miles each Sunday for the next 3 weekends, as well as continue to work on my leg strength through weight workouts and work on my leg strength and endurance through spin class, and of course other runs.

Newport will be mine! I’d be over the moon happy with a PR, but in all honesty I want to run a happy, fun race. The course is gorgeous, and I don’t want to miss out because I’m in pain for 5 miles like I did last year.

And that is that. Wish me luck, all of this awesomeness begins this week!

P.S. Some day very soon I should be able to start blogging more again – until then, bear with me my friends!

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Chicago No Mo…

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Cue sad face.

However, the decision to bow out of running the Chicago Marathon this year was not as hard of a decision to make as I thought it would be. I honestly can’t decide if it was my finances or my training that contributed to the ultimate decision to cancel my flight and hotel plans for the weekend of the Chicago Marathon.

Finances: You all know I was laid off in July. I am extremely fortunate to have found a job and started after only a month of unemployment. I am also fortunate to be working in my career of choice, as a personal trainer. However, it’s not quite the salary that allows for cross country long weekend vacations.

Training: I have no desire to train for a marathon right now. Weird, right? I think I went too hard, too fast. I’ve only been running since May 2010! In that time I’ve run 9 half’s and 3 fulls, not to mention the countless 5k’s. 15 races in 2011 alone. After running Rock N Roll New Orleans in March and the injury that followed, I started to think about just how crazily obsessed I had become. 3 marathons in 9 months.

WHAT? 3 MARATHONS IN 9 MONTHS!

No wonder I got injured…

Am I sad about it? Yes. I’m missing out on the opportunity to hang out with a pile of peeps that I haven’t seen in ages.

I’m missing out on one opportunity to run one of the greatest marathons in the world. But I will run you Chicago, I will run you.

I’m also sad about it because I’m missing Jess and Scott running their first marathon. But I will be with them in spirit as they crush it!

I know I made the right decision.

Right now, a marathon is not for me. My legs are finally healthy and I’m building speed (hello sub 2 hour half marathon!). I’m focusing on weight training and lower mileage and I feel amazing. I’m running the Zooma Half (half marathon #10!) in September and from there I only plan on 2 more races this year – the Turkey Trot 5k in Providence on Thanksgiving and and Downtown Jingle 5k in December. Cool side note on the Downtown Jingle 5k – I’ve run it twice, both times to finish out my year of racing, and both times ended the year with a PR.

Less races = less stress = less injury.

Injury free and it feels so good.

Til next time Chicago!

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Time to Start Preparing

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Well, I’ve put it off long enough. The Chicago Marathon is 7 weeks from Sunday. That means I have 6 chances at a long run between now and then.

Wow! Where does the time go? It seems like I just registered yesterday!

This time around I’m implementing a new (to me) training style. Back in late July I read an article published by Competitor Magazine titled “Are you Overemphasizing the Marathon Long Run?” I was immediately intrigued by the title because, as much as I love running marathons, I hate running 18+ miles in training. I don’t have anyone to run that distance with so it gets boring, I get in my own head, blah blah blah…I just don’t like it.

A very basic synopsis of this article is that it states for anyone running a 3:45 marathon or slower , “rather than cramming your marathon training schedule with multiple 20-22 milers that increase injury risk and decrease recovery time without decisive aerobic advantages, you should instead focus on improving your aerobic threshold, teaching your body to use fat as a fuel source, and building your overall tolerance for running on tired legs through accumulated fatigue.”

Let’s let that sink in for a moment shall we?

Remember earlier this year I ran Rock N Roll New Orleans, then walked with a limp for days, and eventually found out I had not only an IT Band injury but also a strained psoas? Followed by 8 grueling weeks of physical therapy twice a week and NO RUNNING.

January was my biggest month ever of 133 miles. February I just broke 100 miles, but I also ran a hilly half while fighting a stomach bug.

2 weeks into March I ran the best marathon of my life (to date), shaving 42 minutes off of my previous time, which I fully attribute to a killer training schedule.

A training schedule that also killed my right leg…

Fast forward to this past Sunday, when I finally broke 2 hours in the half marathon at Rock N Roll Providence. The funny thing is, I didn’t really train as hard as I normally would have for RnR Providence. I ran a total of 61 miles in July, with 78 total combined miles (cycling, elliptical, hiking, and running).

I’m starting to believe in this less is more approach, so I’m following it! Here’s the breakdown of what I’ll be doing going forward:

  • 3 Runs per week: speedwork, steady mid-tempo run, long run (no longer than six miles)
  • 1 RPM class per week (always on Friday morning)
  • Strength training:
    • One day legs and abs
    • One day upper body and abs

That’s six workouts per week. I started last week and I feel great! Kevin is doing most of this with me as well, and he will be providing “Sherpa services” during my long runs!

Here’s to speedy legs and no injuries!

Have you ever taken the “less is more” approach to marathon training? How did it go?

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Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon Weekend Recap

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If you’re friends with me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or keep up with my training on Daily Mile then you already know how this story ends… for the rest of you, strap in and enjoy the ride.

This weekend was the second annual Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon. It was much more special to me this year because I was sharing it with lots of local blogger friends – Janine (and her AWESOME mom, Kathi), Dani (and her wife, Tori), and Amy (and her hubby, Chris). I also, of course, had the BEST support team ever made up of Kevin and Lexi.

Okay Lexi didn’t do much, but she sure is cute. Winking smile

Sam Kevin Lexi

The Before…

Saturday afternoon I met up with Janine, Kathy, Dani, Tori, Amy, and Chris, at the expo. The girls had a little bit of fun with the photo booth section…

Girls RnR Prov Expo

The expo itself was, unfortunately, a bit sad. It was a lot smaller than last year, and the running joke of the weekend was that there were more headband booths than anything else. Nonetheless, it was a blast catching up with these ladies.

Later on in the evening we all met on Federal Hill here in Providence for dinner at Café Dolce Vita. Funniest thing ever (okay maybe not ever, maybe just for the day?) – Dani and Tori were staying at the hotel attached to Café Dolce Vita, and I did not know that when I chose the restaurant…great minds, I say.

Group Dinner

What a great crew!

We all got carbed up and proteined (that is so a word) up on bread, pasta, and adult beverages.

Post-dinner, Dani and Tori decided to be the grown ups of the group (teehee) and turn in for an early bed time. I can’t blame them – my 4:00 a.m. alarm was less than pleasant…

Janine, Kathi, Kevin, and I, decided one more drink would be fun. So we headed on over to Providence Oyster Bar. Lo and behold – Kathy and Janine have never had oysters from the raw bar. The hilarity ensued shortly thereafter – but not until Mom Kathi had a glass of wine, and the rest of us each had a pint of  Belfast Bay Brewing Co. Lobster Ale. This was a fantastic choice – perfectly hopped – not too strong, not too wimpy. Just delicious!

Lobster Ale

Janine Sam Lobster Ale

Cheers to good beer, good friends, and good running!

It took a bit of convincing to get Mom Kathi to try an oyster but she was a good sport and did it anyway!

Mom Kathi Oyster

We probably had a bit too much fun with these oysters…

Sam LittleneckSam Janine OysterKevin OysterJanine Oyster

We bid Janine and Kathie adieu around 10:30 and headed home. They were meeting us at 5:15 the next morning and I had yet to get anything ready for the race – talk about procrastination…

We finally got to bed around 11ish, a tad too late for a 4 a.m. wake up call, but hey, I’ve run with less sleep… I slept like a rock thanks to the glass of prosecco and two beers I had… and yes, I hydrated a ton before bed.

Fast forward to 4 a.m. – then 4:10, 4:20, and 4:30 before I finally decided I had better get up if I wanted to be ready when Janine and Kathi showed up. Luckily all I had to do was shower, create some breakfast, and get dressed.

And we’re off – the 4 of us walked to the hotel to meet with Dani and Tori, then we headed downtown. I gotta say, I love being within walking distance of Downtown Providence.

Our crew of 7 looked a little silly roaming the streets of Providence at 5:30 a.m. until we got closer to downtown, but of course we had some great early morning laughs!

Once we got downtown we met up with Robin and Colleen. It was so nice to finally meet Colleen – I feel like I’ve known her for such a long time, yet we had never met!

Janine Kathi Pre RaceSam Colleen Dani

I love Janine and Kathi’s matching outfits! I think I’m going to have to ask Janine for her services for a tutu for Zooma in September!

Next thing you know we’re in the corrals and WE’RE OFF! I wanted to stay with Dani and Colleen but let me tell you – these girls are FAST. I knew if I tried to stay with them I was going to flame out, so I immediately pulled back and ran my own race.

The weather was perfect – it felt like an early fall day. Low humidity, cooler temps, and bright sunshine. Mile 1, Mile 2, Mile 3 – all sub 9. I started thinking that the sub 2 half was definitely within reach. Mile 4 threw me a bit – it dropped my pace from 8:45 to 9:25 with a bad ass hill – 65 feet in less than a quarter mile! Thankfully, I saw Erin at that point and I knew she had run the course, so I asked her if this was the worst hill and she assured me that it was. Phew. I recovered from that hill immediately and that’s when I KNEW. I knew this was going to be my race.

Mile 5 was the transition area for the relay so as I approached I started looking for Janine. I didn’t see her until it was almost too late but she still managed to get a pretty good action shot!

Me Mile 5

Then I saw Kevin! He didn’t see me at first – so all I could do was yell at him “I’m on target!” and keep going. I heard his shouts of support and enthusiasm and that fueled me up for the long straight shot down Blackstone Boulevard. I was so pumped up that it was 50 minutes before I even had fuel, I almost forgot!

Next thing I know it’s mile 10 – no joke. This race flew by and I think the only reason I remember mile 10 and the miles to follow is because my left hip started to hurt. My sciatic nerve on that side has been giving me a lot of trouble lately – I consider myself extremely lucky that it took 10 miles to start hurting. I stayed on target through mile 10, but had to slow. I could feel the hip wanting to give, and the last thing I wanted to do was blow my chances at my “A Goal”. I did some quick “running math” and knew exactly what pace I needed to keep in order to still reach that “A Goal.” So I slowed down. Mile 11 was my first mile over a 9 minute mile. And not by much – 9:08 to be exact.

Mile 12 was my slowest mile – and I knew it before I even checked my Garmin data. I was thirsty and really hoping for that one final water stop before the finish line – but it wasn’t there. And I’m now grateful for that…

Before I know it, I’m rounding the final turn toward the finish. I pulled my ear buds out, hoping for some crazy crowd noise to fuel me to the finish. I don’t know if the crowd noise was less than I expected, or if I was just in that much of a zone, because it didn’t seem like much. Then again – I really shouldn’t have missed Kevin waiting patiently for me so he could get some finish line pictures – but I did. I was in a mega zone, knowing that one misstep was going to screw up the chances of making the goal I have been wanting to reach so badly.

Next thing I know I’m crossing the finish line – and before I even hit the line, I knew I had done it.

I FINALLY BROKE TWO HOURS IN THE HALF MARATHON!

Official Time: 1:59:30. I just made it, but I freakin’ did it. This is the 4th half that I tried to break 2 in – and I finally did it! Now, this time is not only a PR for me – but I also had another personal record I was going for. I’ve never completed a half marathon without some walking. This race the only time I walked was through the water stops, and those were very brief. Woohoo!

I was overwhelmed with emotion when I crossed, I even cried a little – I grabbed my medal (which I had promised myself I would have engraved if I broke two, and I kept my promise to myself!), water, Gatorade, popsicles, and a cold wet towel. In a daze I dragged myself over to the designated meeting spot and plopped myself down in the grass. That race was hard, but honestly, not as hard as I had thought it was going to be. I’m crediting the fact that I’ve been running in disgusting heat and humidity, and yesterday was nothing short of perfect.

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Super happy, post-race, with the best supporter a girl could ask for!

A few minutes later, Janine and Kathi came my way, they were done with the relay. They finished in 2:03! Such an amazing relay time, they make a great team.

The post-race concert was Karmin. I only knew one song prior to yesterday by them, and although I like it, I wasn’t looking forward to the show. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a great show! And of course a race is never complete without post-race free beer. Even if it’s just okay beer.

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Post-race, Janine, Kathi, Kevin, and I went to Union Station Brewery for lunch. We were FAMISHED! More beer was consumed (of course), as well as some seriously awesome food.

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Kevin’s is the meatloaf, mine is the sandwich. And because I know he’ll hate that I’m posting this pic, I’m doing it anyway. The man cracks me up with silly antics like this all the time…never a dull moment Winking smile

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A couple of beers and a full belly and it was time to go home. We said goodbye to Janine and Kathi with promises that it would not be 6 months again before we saw each other!

Post Race Lunch Group

Without a doubt this was one of the best weekends of my summer. Time with my amazing boyfriend, great friends, great food, great running, and of course, an 11 minute and 33 second PR (But who’s counting?).

I hope your weekend was just as amazing as mine was!

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Disclaimer: All of the pics above were taken by Janine with the exception of the “Rock Star” pic from the expo (photo credit goes to Dani for that one), and all of the lunch pics (except for the group  shot). Thanks Janine for being on top of it with the camera!

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Where Will ZOOMA Go Next?

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Ladies! As you all know well by now I’m an ambassador for the ZOOMA Cape Cod Women’s Half Marathon. Yesterday, the ambassadors were informed that we have some VERY exciting news to share with you!

ZOOMA is adding another location to their race series! With premier races already taking place in Texas, Annapolis, Cape Cod, the Great Lakes, and Atlanta, what gorgeous destination could possibly be next?

Watch this video carefully, as it may give you a clue where ZOOMA will go next:

When you have a guess, enter it as a comment on this ZOOMA blog post for your chance to win a swag bag from the mystery location.

Best of luck to you in your guessing and stay tuned – the location will be unveiled on Thursday!

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