Category Archives: race

Boston Marathon 2016 recap

I want to write my Boston recap before my memories fade too much. It was such an amazing weekend!  My “fan club” as I called them was 11 members strong – my hubs, my parents, and 3 couples + 2 kids.  Seriously, each of them ranks up with some of our all time favorite friends.  We rented a huge house outside Boston and all had a blast together!

Highlight of Boston – getting my picture taken with Meb Keflefski at the Red Sox game!!  And I have my beer in my hand! Liquid courage :)  He is the best of the best and my all time favorite (along with Kara Goucher)


For the race … there were days in my training leading up to Boston where I thought dang I am in better shape than I thought! 3:20 – or a bit faster – is possible! Then there were days when I felt awful. This was my 5th marathon, and after getting faster for the 1st 4 (3:33:32, 3:29:58, 3:25:32, 3:16:07) I figured that trend would end. This was also my 1st marathon where I didn’t have a dead set time goal. I was hoping low 3:20s.  I was also committed to not letting my goal take away from a weekend with my fan club.

My taper ended up being a bit more than normal because an old back injury flared up after my last 20 miler (which I had planned on being 3 hrs – so closer to 22-23 miles, but ended at 20 because I was feeling DONE.  2 massages, less running, and a ton of rolling/stretching helped a lot but I was definitely not 100%.

In the days leading up to the marathon, but body just felt off. I had a few spots that were tighter than they should have been. And I just felt off – I can’t think of another way to describe it.

I slept better than expected the night before. The house we rented was much closer to the start, so instead of taking a crazy ealy shuttle from Boston, Jon drove me to Hopkinton and I took a short shuttle to the Athlete’s Village. Once there, I found a spot of ground, spread out my garbage bags, and got comfortable. I had a few hours to spare. I laid down, talked to the people around me, stretched, etc. I felt a bit tight, but ready to go.

Once my wave/corral was released, I headed to the start. It’s a good ½ mile walk to the start – maybe longer. Honestly don’t know. It felt good to be moving and loosen up.  Yet it is a long process just to get to the starting corrals.  And it was warm.  I ditched my classy thrift store warm ups long before I *had* to because I just didn’t need them.

1 of the things I read was DO NOT waste energy weaving around people – the thought is running the pace of people around you will keep you from going to hard in the early down hill miles.

That’s just what I did – kind of like a car in the fast lane on the interstate – I ran the pace of the people around me.

mile 1 = 7:18
(1st water stop poured water on my head because I was already feeling warm)
mile 2 = 7:17
mile 3 = 7:16
(I kept thinking I should slow down a bit, but I also was amazed at how RELAXED I felt – the pace felt easy at this point)
mile 4 = 7:06
mile 5 = 7:31
mile 6 = 7:18
(saw my fan club!)
mile 7 = 7:26DSC_0014
mile 8 = 7:48
(I think this is around the time I started getting nervous – it was all of a sudden starting to feel HARD and this is still so early in the race)
mile 9 = 7:50
mile 10 = 7:58
(I made up my mind I WOULD finish, even if I had to walk 10 miles. I was going to experience Boylston Street – and I would RUN that street)
miles 11 = 8:17
(I started worrying how slow I would be and worried about my fan club missing me because I was so slow. I walked a bit to try to regroup. I was feeling pretty dizzy at this point)
mile 12 = 8:15
(saw my parents and told them I was going to be slow – I felt better letting someone know I was struggling)
miles 13 = 8:56
(stopped in a port-a-pot at mile 13.44 to pee and had a serious come to Jesus chat – DANGIT DEBBY PULL IT TOGETHER. YOU.CAN.DO.THIS. Also decided I would soak it up and enjoy the crowds)
mile 14 = 8:47
(still feeling AWFUL – made up my mind to walk the water stops to get a full cup of Gatorade and water in and committing to fighting with everything in me to only walk the water stops)
mile 15 = 8:21
mile 16 = 7:59
(quads were starting to get pretty tight, yet dizziness was abating)
mile 17 = 8:53
mile 18 = 9:17
(walked some hills along with water stops)
mile 19 = 8:32
mile 20 = 8:34
(saw my fan club again – they are AMAZING!)
mile 21 = 9:29
(walked more hills)
mile 22 = 7:46
(come on gravity pull me down these hills!! My quads were on fire, but the rest of me was feeling better – so thankful I was able to rebound a bit and finish respectable – and saw my parents!!)
mile 23 = 8:08
mile 24 = 8:10
mile 25 = 8:29
(saw a good friend and she took this picture!)IMG_2756
mile 26 = 8:06

Mile 25 felt LOOOOOONG. Finally seeing the right turn on Hereford St was so invigorating!  And you’re on Hereford so short before you turn left on Boylston. Nothing can prepare you for that left turn!  The crowds, energy, emotion is incredible. I ran with everything in me, but man oh man that street felt long!  I’m pretty sure I was moaning and groaning in exhaustion yet such JOY that I had made it!

3:34:07. My slowest marathon. Yet I could not be more proud that I didn’t give up, kept fighting, smiled at the cameras, and finished strong!

When I crossed the line, I immediately hunkered over.  I was afraid I was going to yak, but also needed to pull it together emotionally.  2 medics rushed to me, but I assured them I’d be ok. My feet were on fire, so I took of my shoes/socks and walked bare foot.  I felt like I walked another mile as we got our medals, got a picture with my medal (and I actually look respectable!), had to stop to lean/lay my head on a barricade and cry in utter relief – while another medic came up, got a food bag (thought of any food made me want to yak), finally made it to the street with the family meeting area, yet being at the end of the alphabet had another block to go! (funny this is, when I looked on a map, I probably walk 1/3 mile. It really did feel so much longer!!).

I figured they would have been waiting on me, but I ended up having to wait for a while for them.  Finally my parents showed up. It felt good to get some hugs!  I was SO cold and moving so slow.  We finally met up with Jon and our friends and started working our way back to where they parked. I swear we changed T’s 4 times and each changed involved STAIRS. Cruel joke!

On the T I was able to drink a Gatorade recovery drink, but it took a while before I got much food in me. My tummy was mad.

My quads were sore for days – and Tuesday I sure moved slow through the airport!  Yet after a week off, I was ready to run again. Funny how much more like myself I feel once I get a run in :)

All in all, as hard as it was, Boston was amazing. And I’ll be back :)  It was also such an incredible weekend with some of our best friends. No race result can taint that.

BM photoBM photo 1elevation

This guy is the BEST :)IMG_2760

Pre Red Sox game Saturday before the race. Aren’t we cute?! IMG_2699

Hey hey fan club!!! They ROCK!IMG_2701



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it got me and Hot Chocolate 15K

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I knew my body was FIGHTING. And it LOST.  By Friday I was sick with a nasty cold. The kid that sits in your head and makes it hard to move. I had a fever by Friday night. Saturday I was in bad shape.  I was signed up to run the Hot Chocolate 15K Sunday.

The plan had been to get a good, fast race in to help with my marathon prep. I have a hard time racing during marathon training, because I am so focused on getting my long runs in. I wanted to do at least 1 race this go around.

So much for that plan.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling a bit better, so we headed into Seattle for my race. I was coughing like a 60 year old chain smoker so my plan was to run the race – not race the race. I had been placed in corral A, but moved back to C with a friend who was in town from Tennessee.  I am typically a lot faster than him, and the competitive side of me still wanted to make sure I beat him, but I figured I’d at least run with him for a bit.  We started off at a steady 8 min pace.  A mile or so in, we had a long hill and I pulled away. And never saw him again.  For the whole race, I ran solid. Not really pushing but trying not to back off.

It was my slowest 15K to date (only my 3rd ever!) – 1:13:24.  I was 257 out of 5439, 90 out of 4115 women, and 21 out of 711 in my age group.  The HARD part is, I probably could have been top 10, maybe even top 5 if I’d had a great race. I killed me watching the leaders pass during an out-back stretch.

I am still sick and hope to kick this soon.  Being sick does NOT fit into marathon training!!

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December ramp up

December is my month to get in a good rhythm so that official marathon training starts naturally in January.  I am consistently running 4-5 days a week, doing 1 cardio class at the gym each week, and attempting to get in a core or yoga class.  Saturdays I am holding steady at 10.5 miles.  We are not traveling for Christmas, which makes it easier to stay consistent.

Family visited us for Thanksgiving, and a bunch of us ran in our neighborhood Turkey Trot 5K.  It was super low key and informal.  And my 1st 5K since June 2013.  It was downhill for the 1st mile (which I hit in 6:20 – where did that come from?!), mile 2 was all up hill and I still managed 6:49. Mile 3 was uphill except for the very end (6:57). I finished in 20:49, which I was pleasantly surpassed by :)

I’m going to do my best to post about my workouts and [hopefully] my consistency.  It’s been a looooong time since I consistently trained (spring 2013). I’m excited!  I’ve had glimpses of my former self and the hunger is coming back!

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Grand Ridge Trail Run – 5 miler

Finally a race is in the books!  Yesterday I ran the Grand Ridge 5 mile Trail Run.  I figured a trail run would be my perfect intro back into racing – I love the varied terrain and with that, not paying attention to pace – only people.

The race had a 50K, marathon, half and 5 miler. I debated the half, but between my husbands’ work schedule over the weekend and my current fitness, I settled on the 5.  I knew going into the better runners would probably be running the longer distances, and based on past results that top 3 was a realistic goal.

Race morning was COLD – 21 degrees cold.  Brrrr !!!

The race started on a gradual downhill very wide trail.  After about 1/2 mile, we headed up on single track.  There was 1 woman ahead of me.  As we climbed and climbed, I slowly gained on her.  We both actually walked a bit on some of the steeper hills.  I eventually passed her.  We then hit the downhill, and a guy then she passed me. I was running as fast as I possibly could down the hills – she was simply a better down hill raced.  After a bit, we started climbing.  I passed her again and actually pulled away a decent amount.  Once we headed down again, I knew she’d be hot on my tale.  Despite the lead I had, she passed me. I seriously don’t know how she was so quick downhill! I guess I am not confident enough.  Once we hit the wide trail, I closed on her a bit, but she managed to stay ahead and beat me by 12 seconds.

I was 8th overall, 2nd woman. My time was 47:04 – which is terribly slow in 1 sense, but not if you think about the fact that we climbed over 1000 feet in the race! And according to my Garmin, it was 5.2 miles.

It really was a fun race!  And it helped relight my hunger :)


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difference in a year

A year ago from right now I was running in the Pensacola Marathon. Albeit a rough marathon, it was still my PR (3:25:32).

And today I am in a boot not able to run.  That’s sad.

Granted there was a lot more good in between 1 year ago and today (PRs at 5K, 10K, 15K, and half marathon).  It’s been quite a year.  Just not ending as I envisioned.

I have to remind myself that I am still young (33) and I still have time to run more PRs.

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Billy Bowlegs 5K race report

Saturday night was the Billy Bowlegs 5K.  It starts at 10:30pm.  That’s LATE for me!  I honestly like to be in bed by 9:30pm! :)  Yet this is a big local race and is a lot of fun.  Thankfully my training partner, Lisa, ran with me.

I definitely felt pressure going into it being the defending champ.  The local running store keeps a HUGE trophy in the store and every year the overall male and female winners’ names are engraved on it.  Pretty cool.

Between Lisa and another local girl, Cindy, I knew it’d need to be a good race.  Then right as the gun goes off, Lisa points out another girl – “the air force girl” – who beat me Monday at the Gate to Gate race.  I have to admit – I cussed loud when I saw her.  And also quickly made the decision to go for it and try to go with her.

I hit mile 1 in 5:53.  She was about 5 steps ahead of me.  I pulled right on her in the 2nd mile, but she surged and opened up her lead a bit.  Mile 2 was 6:08.  I knew if I ran an awesome last mile I could PR.  I can honestly say I fought with everything in me, but I just didn’t have it.  Cindy blew by me with about 2/10’s to go in the race.  Mile 3 was 6:22 and 18:24.  All I could think about at that point was finishing on my own 2 feet.  As I neared the finish, it was definitely a let down to see 18:59-19:00.  I finished in 19:06.

When I think about 19:06, I know it’s a good time and I should be happy.  When I ran my PR in April, the weather was perfect.  It was really hot and really humid Saturday night.  I guess I just walked away from that race thinking I could have won.  Cindy was 18:50 and “the air force girl” was 18:55.

I keep thinking I’ve got to try a 5K where I start out more like 6:10 and then speed up.  I just get too dang competitive and go out too hard.  EVERY.SINGLE.RACE.

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Gate to Gate 4.4 mile race report

Gate to Gate is a big local race – it’s on the air force base and is always on Memorial Day.  This is the first year that I’ve been able to run it.   I’ve heard lots of horror stories – mostly about the HEAT as you run on the road beside the runway and how it traps heat from the jets and also about the big hill around mile 4.1-4.3 of the race.  Needless to say I wasn’t too optimistic!  Yet luck was on my side because it was 1 of the coolest races on record (still warm but nothing like it could have been!).  My plan was to start out 6:20-6:30 and then hopefully drop down, feeling strong on the hill.

Well, typical me, I hit mile 1 in 6:05.  The crazy thing is I felt good and was honestly surprised I was that fast.  Probably because I’ve been training for 5Ks.  2 women pulled away from me.

Mile 2 was 6:16.  2 more women caught me and start to pull away.

Mile 3 was 6:25. Are you kidding me?! 10 seconds every mile?!

I tried to throw in some surges to keep it somewhat respectable.  Mile 4 was still 6:36. Damn.  I do feel I stayed pretty solid up the hill.  You then turn a corner and can see the finish.  I kicked it with all I had left.

28:01 – 6:23 average pace.  5 woman overall.  1st woman for my team (I ran as part of our local track club – top 4 including at least 1 woman score).

Overall I’d say I could have run harder.  I could have fought harder in the middle miles.  Not that I’ve raced many 4 mile races but I did hit an unofficial PR for 4 miles (25:23).   But I felt way too good later that day and have had 2 solid runs the past 2 days … yep definitely didn’t run hard enough.

Up next is the Billy Bowlegs 5K on Saturday night.  This is a tricky one because it’s at 10:30pm. I’m used to running early and going to bed early!!  And I have a target on my back as the defending champ.  Yep, got some internal pressure!!

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