Hello everyone! 16 days until the Philadelphia Marathon. Where has the time gone? Back in January, when I woke up with my third injury in a year, I was heartbroken and frustrated. I made some major changes, dropping mileage, dropping doubles, increasing intensity, etc. I told my new coach that all I wanted was to get to the start line of a marathon HEALTHY. I had two DNS (did not start) marathons in 2014 and I couldn’t handle that again. So while this training cycle has had a small bump, it feels amazing to know I will finally get to race a marathon. This is, of course, barring any freak accidents in the next two weeks, knowing my luck. I love this distance and I love working hard during a race, so the excitement of being within three weeks of race day is fantastic.
Speaking of fantastic, last Saturday I had one of the most fun races I’ve ever run. I think the pictures below say it all. Two friends and I dressed up as junk food and ran the Wicked 10K as a fun run, stopping to cheer for friends and mid-race running into a nearby donut store that offered free donuts to those dressed in costume. We crossed the finish line eating donuts. Does a fun run get any better? Maybe if we had alcohol in the other hand.
Despite what it looks like in the pizza pictures, I’ve been training hard and taking things seriously. I’ve had some amazing runs including a 20 mile run on the rolling hills of Valley Forge National Park, PA at 6:49 pace (pic below). I think that was a big one because the next day my ankles were sore from the downhills. We aren’t used to any sort of hill here in Virginia Beach so hopefully I strengthened my legs a bit on that run. I’ve also been getting some great tempo runs in and many, many marathon paced runs, like a 5 miler at goal marathon pace with a bunch of crazies in the dark (also pictured below). Like I said above, my mileage has dropped considerably from the amount that I ran before Philly 2013. I dropped doubles as well. That alone was HUGE in my mental game. As a mom of three with a husband that is underway or working late often, doubles were killing me. I couldn’t keep up with it and I can’t ever see me running twice a day again. It wasn’t worth the mental strain or lack of recovery time.
The biggest question I have been getting is; Will you qualify for the Olympic Trials? Are you in 2:43 shape? Are you in PR shape? Honestly, I can say I’m feeling very fit, I’m feeling mentally strong but I also feel a bit like 2:43 may be over my head. I’ve never run a race where I’ve gone out at a pace slightly faster than I should have, but I also know I love racing as an underdog, that I love taking chances, that I LOVE the marathon. I’m going to line up at the starting line with a smile on my face, grateful to be there, and run my crazy little heart out. I plan on giving 100% on race day and putting myself in a position to succeed. If I crash and burn then I’ll just
cry laugh then move on to the next race. Thanks to two great friends that are hosting, we have a Friends-giving planned the evening after the race, so I plan on celebrating no matter what happens with champagne & pumpkin pie.
Thank you all for following along! I’ll be racing a 5K in Pennyslvania this weekend, then it’s Taaaaaaper time! I hope to post again before race day but if not, I am bib number 18 for anyone interested. Thank you to all the friends and bloggers who’ve chatted or written about their marathons this Fall. I’ve been inspired by all of you and will be thinking of you race day. Wishing you all the best!!