Phoenix Marathon Recap

Posted March 3, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

My marathon training cycles/outcomes look a little like this:
1. Work, work, work.
2. Consistency, consistency, consistency.
3. Small breakthrough.
4. Repeat steps 1 & 2.
5. Disappointment, feeling of failure.
6. Repeat 1 & 2 but work harder and also do more little things (strength training, yoga, daily foam rolling/exercises, regular bodywork).
7. Patience.
8. Small breakthrough ( I did have one big breakthrough when I went from 3:08 down to 2:59).
9. Repeat 1-7.
10. Disappointment, feeling of failure, learn from each race.
11. Repeat 1-10.
12. Add mental training, more attainable goals (at least mentally), enjoy the journey, run my own race.
13. Small breakthrough, etc, etc.

The Phoenix Marathon…small breakthrough; and I am pretty darn happy with my 2:56:48, a fifty second PR!!! This is kinda how it all went down:

My training was a bit different in the fact that I did most of it solo. This is good and bad because it makes me completely comfortable running by myself but I know that I do not push myself quite as hard during track workouts and tempo runs. My friends, Kara and Kerry joined me on some early morning runs and long runs and Pete joined me for quite a few long days as well. The two races I ran in January and early February indicated that I was fit and ready!

This time around, I also decided that it is best for me to chip away at my time minute or two by minute, rather than huge 5-7 minute jumps. I felt a sense of relief, increased confidence, and zero pressure. The calmness carried through taper week and all the way up to the starting line. Sure I experienced butterflies but I was ready to celebrate my weeks of training!

There is also something to be said for sleeping in your own bed, avoiding travel, eating your own food, that comes with a home-field race. But it was an early wake-up call  to catch the bus for the 6:30 start. The weather was looking perfect, a tad cool, but sunny and calm. Pete dropped me off without incident and I spent the bus ride in my zone.

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See ya soon!

They allowed us to stay inside the bus as long as we wanted. I sat there until about 5:50am, then stepped out into the cold. The lines for the bathroom where horrendous but I found a shorter line. Literally had 7 minutes until the start once I quickly relieved myself, so I trotted to the gear check, then trotted to the starting line. Going into the race, I thought I had a chance at placing in the top 3-5, but when I lined up, it appeared some pros had shown up with the same idea. I threw that goal out the window as the fireworks went off and people took off as if we were racing a 5k! Yikes!

I let them go and stuck to my plan of running 6:40s. I knew the course started downhill and fast and the marathon is a looooong race so I wanted to run my own race and not get caught up in the excitement, plus I knew I would eventually pass a few that blew up later. We started just before sunrise and it was beautiful as the sky started to light up. I saw a few people I know and then just settled in. The first 2 miles ticked off at exactly 6:40! And it felt like a nice training run. There is a fairly long climb from around 4.5-6 so my splits were up and down accordingly. I chose not to check the course out prior to the race, I just like to see it during the actual race.

The miles continued to pass by and also continued to feel almost easy! I maintained control of the pace and put it on cruise control. Today was a PR day. Pete saw me at miles 8 and 11 and shouted that I was spot on, I smiled and got a little boost each time I saw him. Other friends were also spectating and cheering and giving me words of advice/encouragement. With most races, I stay in my zone, and couldn’t really tell you that much about the course or what was going on around me. However, I did happen upon a running buddy from the beginning. The halfway point clocked in at 1:27:xx (officially 1:27:18) and I could hardly believe it.  This guy and I never exchanged a word but we were certainly helping each other. I saw Pete again at mile 15 and for the last time at 20.5.

I went through 20 still on pace, my plan was to then just a bit faster and negative split. Well…always easier said than done. My running buddy hit the wall and fell back, and then I came upon the tail-end of the half-marathoners who were walking and not exactly making it easy to pass so there was more zigzagging than necessary. I was thrown off a little and also thought I was running faster than actuality. Ultimately I slowed down miles 21-24, I passed a few marathoners (2 of them women) but it was difficult to tell at his point. Then I saw my friend Kerry. I am calling her my angel because she jumped in and ran with me. Immediately I sped up and she talked me through the little rough patch and took me to about a half mile or less to go. THANK YOU KERRY!

I had a big fan club the final tenth and literally felt like rock star. My pace increased a tad more and I could finally see the clock and hear Pete screaming. Emotions flooded me as they always do. 2:56:48 baby!

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Finally stretch, cannot believe both feet are still off the ground!

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I wanted to vomit just a little and the volunteer walked with me until that passed. But other than that, I felt great! Post race included probably the best short massage I have ever had, seriously, getting some fluids (yay for NUUN (I had Pete bring me a bottle), and talking to about 30 of my friends who pretty much all PR’d.  As I was waiting for my gear bag, lo and behold, my running buddy showed up and we exchanged names and chatted for a bit. He knew my name because it was being yelled every few miles of the course 🙂

What a great day, what a great community, what a great sport!

So sure I wish I had pushed just a little harder and held on to my pace, but now I know exactly what to work on for the next cycle.

After a little downtime and recovery, it will be back to work, work, work and doing all the little things and hopefully another small breakthrough! But mostly enjoying every step I take!

THANK YOU to all who make this possible!!!

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Making it through the Taper

Posted February 16, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

I am currently in flow-blown taper mode! Yay, but also, blah. Since my 15th marathon is in 10 days, I decided to share some tips and ideas that I have learned over the years to get through these final weeks of training. Whether you taper for 4 weeks or just one week, you may find the taper period the most challenging part of training, I know I do…and taper-tantrums are no joke!

Disclaimer: I am NOT a Dr. or a coach, this is strictly my opinion based on my experiences. These tips may or may not be applicable to you, but I can almost guarantee that you will be at least be entertained!

  1. Continue to run! If you peak at XX/XXX number of miles per week and then completely stop running, your body will hate you. The people around you will hate you. Gradually decrease mileage.
  2. Keep a similar routine. Run at the same time of day. If you run doubles, consider maintaining this schedule. Wake up/go to bed at similar times (maybe get a little extra sleep, but try not to over do it). This will also keep you from going bat-s*%t crazy.
  3. Run on familiar surfaces. Now is not the time to head for the trails and act like a billy-goat. I fall on trails. Without a doubt. 20160826_063917_resizedSo no trails for me. However, if you are used to them and sure-footed, go for it.
  4. Continue to run speed workouts, keep the intensity while reducing the volume (i.e 3 x mile at MP instead of 6 x mile). This helps keep that pep in your step and if you peaked at the right time, these workouts are confidence boosters.      20161121_073013_1479746724885
  5. Expect lethargy. This is a tough one for me…I. Feel. Exhausted. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was pounding out high mileage weeks and now I can barely force myself out of bed.
  6. Expect an emotional roller coaster. Mostly cranky, sometimes weepy, joyous during/just after running, maybe angry. Warn your significant other and those within striking distance.
  7. Skip the cross-training unless it has been integral throughout your entire cycle. If your pretty road bike has been collecting dust, another couple of weeks won’t hurt it.
  8. Discontinue strength training, I usually stop 10-12 days out, except for core. If yoga has been part of your weekly routine, it’s probably ok. Just try not to impress anyone with back-bends and headstands.

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    Don’t try this. And that is my bike collecting dust.

  9. But keep foam rolling and doing all your pre-hab exercises…you do those everyday, right…? img_20160601_073100_resized
  10. Don’t visit a new massage therapist and think deep tissue work is the way to go. Continue to see your regular bodywork team and they should know what you need.
  11. Expect to feel what I will call “phantom pains”. Why do I have that random sudden pain in my knee? What’s up with my little toe?
  12. Skip the post run/workout shenanigans (as my friend/training partner CB calls them).

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    CB and I pretending to be long-jumpers. We are not. You are not either.

  13. Eat like you have been eating, regardless of what that looks like…Now is not the time to start juicing or to become fat adapted or give up gluten. Same goes with the supplements, it is too late to boost your vitamin D or increase your Ferritin level.
  14. Don’t get sick! Ha. Not much advice here except to eat nutrient dense foods, get enough sleep, and hydrate enough from the onset (like 16 weeks ago) of training.
  15. Avoid making major life decisions during these few weeks. Remember you are an emotional mess (revisit #6)!
  16. Reduce other stressors in your life. Pick your battles with your family members, friends, co-workers. I mostly just smile and nod.
  17. Stick with the same/similar shoes and attire. It is one thing to develop blisters and chafing during the marathon, it is another thing to walk to the starting line with them.
  18. Expect some self-doubt and nervousness. Can I really run 26.2 miles at that pace? YES, YOU CAN!
  19. Trust your coach, trust yourself.
  20. Reflect on the entire journey and your months of training. Look at what you’ve already accomplished!
  21. Use your extra time for some mental training. Read books (I like the Champion’s Mind and How Bad Do You Want It?), come up with mantras, mediate, visualize the race, look over your favorite quotes, listen to podcasts, watch inspirational movies (McFarland USA, Spirit of the Marathon). Be grateful. img_20161001_183149
  22. Remember: the marathon is a CELEBRATION!!!

I am purposely providing 22 tips because once I make it past mile 22, I let my heart take over. And I just run because that is what I love to do.

I hope these tips and thoughts help, motivate, or just make you smile!

What are you taper tips? Do you get taper-tantrums?

Batting 1000 (so far)…and a Discount!

Posted February 10, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

2017 is off to a great racing start for me as I have actually gotten the “w” in 2 out of 2 races! If you have read my blog or know me, I have had my fair share of disappointing races so I am going to just ride this wave for as long as I can… 🙂

To recap the most recent, Runner’s Den Pancake Run in which I ran both the 5k & 10k, aka “doublestack.”: I. Love. This. Race. It is well-organized, it is well attended (lots of running friends), the course is flat and fast (for real), the weather is usually perfect, it is pretty competitive, and I seem to do well. I usually run this race as sort of a “see where I am” fitness test because in the past few years, I was coming off of a December or January marathon. This year, it fell right at my peak in marathon training so I decided to use it as a long workout and chance to push it on very tired legs. It would also serve as a long run.I also wanted to take back my title as the doublestack champion (last year I placed 2nd, in 2014 I won).

My plan involved racing the 5k (which was first) and then run the 10k at goal marathon pace (6:40) and pick up the pace if I could. Unfortunately Pete’s uncle passed away earlier in the week so Pete was out of town. It felt a little strange heading out to a race without him…

I did a long warm-up, it felt a little chilly but perfect for racing. I changed into my racing flats, decided to keep my arm sleeves on, and headed to the start where I exchanged a few words with some friends. Then we were off!

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It seemed like some fast peeps had shown up because boy did they take off. I ran hard and my legs not being used to 5k pace had to wake up a little but I ran through mile one in 6:03. I held on as the next miles where 6:08, 6:05. The final half mile seems so long as you make a final turn and can see the finish wayyyyy down. I forced myself to run faster and was actually sprinting as I came in at 18:59. Not too shabby! I can’t remember running a 5k this fast on “marathon legs”! After checking the results board, I saw I finished 5th and was in 1st for the doublestack (with about a minute cushion).

I have found the best thing to do when racing back to back is to keep moving between races. So I ran a couple more miles with my friend Kristi and cheered on those finishing the 5k. Then it was time to line up again.

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It always sounds good to run the double when you register…

As soon as I jumped out of the gates for the 10k, my legs flooded with fatigue…uh-oh. But I tapped into some mental tricks and stayed with it. I wanted keep it under control a little so I could finish strong. 6:30 through the first mile, a tad fast but I felt good once I got over that initial shock. Then 6:26, 6:21, 6:16 and my breathing was hard but not and I started reeling people in. 6:14, I could hardly believe it! Just hang on and maybe catch one more gal…6:16, then go! Again, gave it what I had and then pushed even more that final stretch for 39:49 (only 10 seconds from a PR) and 3rd in the 10k.

Adding the two times gave the win for the double. And I raced smart and strong despite the end of a 100 mile week. This was just the confidence boost for my upcoming marathon. If you had asked me to run this “workout” by myself, I would have laughed. That’s why I think racing shorter races is critical in marathon training!

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A plaque, a mug, and a gallon of water (or laundry detergent as my friend Tricia thought!).

So now it is taper time with the Phoenix Marathon in only 2 weeks! My feeling for this race is pure excitement!!!

Like many runners, I am not great at tapering so I expect a roller coaster of emotions and to feel blah and lethargic. But as they say: “the hay is on the barn” so let’s do this!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 more things:

  1. Do you like the headband I am wearing? It is made by a company called MaviBandz and is AWESOME! I found out yesterday that I am a new brand ambassador! More details coming soon!
  2. Are you a Nuun lover or want to try it! Well if you go to their website and place an order through Feb. 14, 2017 and use the code: NUUNLOVE25, you will save 25%!!! Some of their new flavors are great!

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A Setback = Success? Plus an Exciting Announcement

Posted January 21, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

Look at me, my 2nd blog-post of 2017 already! Since the title of my previous one was “Consistent Carrie”, I may as well be more consistent in writing.

Training for the Phoenix Marathon finally started to feel as if I was getting fitter and stronger as I completed some longer, harder track workouts at my goal splits or slightly faster. Part of this is due to switching the workouts to the afternoon, having Pete out there calling out splits, and sharing the track with the high-school track team (so I like to show off a little, ok? :)). My weekly mileage gradually hit the 90s and I enjoyed some of my long runs with my friends Kara and Kerry.

Rock n Roll AZ half marathon was on the calendar as a marathon pace (about 6:40) run but I still felt excited about getting out there because I know so people who run it too. My body had another plan: about a week before the race, my left Achilles felt “different”, I guess I would say tight. Then the tightness turned to discomfort, then pain…the me a few years ago would have just plowed through and ran the race anyways. I went to see Dr. Khavari (my chiro who I see pretty much on a weekly basis). He assured me that we caught it early enough but it might be wise to take some non-running days. He scraped the crap out of it (wow, that is excruciating!), flushed out my calves with the Marc Pro, and gave me some exercises to do – specifically eccentric calf raises.
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This was Wednesday before the race. I cross-trained Thurs and Fri. At packet pick-up on Friday, I made the decision to drop down to the 10k even though my Achilles was making significant progress already. This was not my A race and I did not want to risk further damage with my marathon so close. I felt immediate relief mentally! I always tell others to listen to their bodies so I had to do the same! Be a little flexible with your training plan! This is why I am not a “streaker” (run streaker that is…haha) nor must run a certain # of miles per year/week.

I ran easy on Saturday just to make sure I should run at all the next day! It felt good! I felt excited for the 10k! I adjusted my goals and mindset with the shorter distance: run faster (6:20 or so and place in the top 3…maybe win it…).

Race day weather was perfect for racing. Low 50s, overcast, no wind. I found my friend, Kerry who was also racing the 10k, and we warmed up together. We headed over to the start pretty early with Pete, our personal drop-bag service. The half and 10k started together and we lined up just behind the elites, many of whom are friends.

I took off and tried to get settled as soon as possible. I found myself next to some gals running the half but also running 6:20 pace. The first mile ticked by in 6:16 and felt really comfortable. I was just on cruise control until mile 2.5 when the 10k splits from the half. Then I found myself very lonely…I was pretty sure I was the first female so I stuck to my 6:20 pace until the hill on Curry Rd. I tried to make up those few seconds on the downhill but inevitably I did not. As I made the final turn, I kicked it in and knew I was going to break the tape. And literally, I did (this was the first time I ran through tape). I finished in 39:52 pretty close to a PR (darn it).

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Coming down the homestretch!

Kerry finished 3rd! I found Pete and then we cheered at the finish of the half where so many friends had great finishes. Kerry and I got access to the VIP tent where we got massages and then met Neely Gracey, the half champion and pro distance runner, and then took the stage for the awards ceremony. Oh, and zero Achilles pain or even tightness.

Sure a little part of me wondered how I would have done in the half but I KNOW I made the correct choice. So a minor setback can = success! I saw Dr. K. the day after the race for a little more torture and have since resumed (cautiously) training with an Achilles back to 100%!

In other EXCITING news: I am an ambassador for Nuun for 2017 (aka Nuunbassador)!
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I started using Nuun this past year since they upgraded their recipe to certified vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, non-GMO and deliver clean, healthy ingredients such as monk fruit extract, beet juice powder and avocado oil. Nuun is also committed to clean sport and clean planet. Yay! These electrolyte tabs got me through the brutal summer and just help me stay hydrated on a daily basis when I prefer something other than plain water. They have new flavors and products I am anxious to try but right now my go-to flavors are grape (active) and lemon-lime (active).
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So until next time: listen to your body and #makeyourwatercount !

Consistent Carrie

Posted January 7, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

So I am about a week late in recapping 2016 but before I provide some stats, I will talk about my final races of the year. I thought that after my 5k PR in November that I would finish out with both a 10k and half marathon PR. Nope!

I ran the Mesa Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving Day at what turned out to be around marathon goal pace, ugh! I started out at 6:10 pace, which is exactly as planned but it quickly went downhill. I never felt like I could get moving fast and the head wind did not help. I managed to win my age group and that meant a pie for a prize! Not just any pie, I got to pick one out from a local bakery and it was worth $17! I should really say, that Pete got to pick out the pie since the bakery lacked vegan options but I was happy to give it to him. Quite a few friends also raced and did well so all-in-all, a good day!

My final race of the year was on December 11th , the Scottsdale Half Marathon (previously Fiesta Bowl Half). This is a favorite race of mine, the course is a nice loop, it is well-organized, it is spectator-friendly, and even offers cash prizes for top 3. Goals: PR (sub-1:25:20) and finish top 3. My race plan consisted of running 6:30-6:35 for 10 miles, then pick it up for the final 3. As I was finishing my warm-up I saw Kellyn Taylor (a pro runner from Flagstaff) and Katie McGee (also a speedy runner from Flagstaff). Well shoot, top 3 may be much more challenging! I ran 9 or so miles exactly as planned, I am talking no more than 2 seconds variance between splits. I also ran completely alone! I find myself in this position way too often…When I came to mile 10 where the plan was to speed up, the course veered off to a bike path and we made some turns and some small ups and downs under and over the street. I ended up slowing and finishing in 1:26:40. Consistent with my recent half marathon times. My place was 6th but first for my age group. I met Kellyn who is super nice and very humble! It is always fun to meet people I admire!

Okay on to my stats and thoughts for 2016. Looking back, it was a great year. If you could describe it in one word, it would be: CONSISTENT! This is a good thing! I am writing these numbers not to brag or compare myself to anyone, but for myself to look over. I never set a certain mileage goal or number of races goal for the years because I believe in adapting to how I am feeling and what will be the best for me at the time. So I was pretty surprised when adding everything up:

Total miles run: 3,570.29
Races: 19
•marathons: 1 (sub-3:00)
•half marathons:4
•10ks: 2
•5ks: 9
•3ks: 3
PRs: 3
•half marathon 1:25:20
•5k 18:44
•3k (x-country) 11:43
Top overall female finishes: 13
Top age group finishes: 3
Rolling/prehab exercises: 2 x per day
Strength workouts: 2 x per week
Yoga: 1 x per week
Sleep: at least 8 hrs per night
Food: plant-based whole foods diet, a LOT of fruits & vegetables
Injuries: 0

Consistency was key for me! But I also pushed myself harder than ever, thanks to one of my best training partners (CB)!

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One of many training runs with CB.

I know I have yet to reach my potential so I will continue to be consistent and work, work, work, and see that breakthrough this 2017!!!

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My upcoming races:
•January 15-Rock n Roll AZ Half (marathon pace run)
•February 5-Runner’s Den Pancake Double Stack (5k+10k)
•February 25-Phoenix Marathon
Once I see how I recover from the full, I will plan out the rest of the year! But I do love to race…

They Don’t Come Often & They Don’t Come Easy

Posted November 13, 2016 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

Last Sunday proved that not all was lost in my marathon training. I experienced a breakthrough, the 5k of all races!

I probably wrote my Chicago Marathon recap a bit too soon. I thought I was over the disappointment when I wrote that post, but I am a little embarrassed to admit that it lasted a few weeks. Usually I can and do “get over it” pretty quickly but this race just hit me hard. You see, I had been here before, about 4 times when training for a marathon. In which my fitness and lead up indicated I would run 2:50-2:54 and just didn’t perform on race day. Patience, they say…Hard work, they say…(sigh!)

So after crawling out of my cave and hardly speaking to anyone except Pete, I am truly back to my ole self and looking to the future!

Back to last Sunday: I decided to race a 5k to get an idea of how I felt running faster and where I can begin my plan of the next marathon. I chose the 3TV because I have run the half the past two years, it draws some good competition, and it is a USATF certified course. I completed a couple of track workouts so it would not be a complete shock to the body!

My feeling lining up for the race was simply just to run hard and do what I could. I saw some friends while warming up and felt a little nervous but mostly excited to race.I started out hard but it felt good so I stuck with it. A local speedy runner ran by me within the first half mile, but then she kind of just stayed a few meters ahead. I know she always runs sub-19:00 so I held the distance between us. Mile 1: 5:55! Normally this would freak me out and I would pull back on the reins. Not today, I said, just hang the hell on and see what you can do! Mile 2: 6:00! Holy crap, this is happening, gut it out for one more mile!  My pacer and competition slowed just with about a quarter mile to go so I had no choice but to make a move and pass. She answered, as I know she is a strong kicker, and crushed me. But I was just happy to have her there, THANK YOU! Mile 3: 6:11, sprint! I could see the clock read 18:20-something and knew I was running a PR! I totally shocked Pete as I sprinted by him. This race hurt but it was how I have been wanting to finish, knowing I had actually ran as hard as I could. I ran 18:44, a 10 second PR, and 4 YEARS in the making. So they absolutely don’t come often and they don’t come easy!I had a definite mental shift while racing that I can use again and again. I went “there,” to that place that is so uncomfortable and painful but SO worth it!

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Neither of us could believe that just happened!

 

I needed this race.So yes, patience & hard work! I will meet my upcoming goals! Maybe not always as planned or expected but it will be worth it! Never give up!

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Pain Face!

Chicago Marathon Recap

Posted October 17, 2016 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

Every marathon finish floods me with emotions, my first feeling crossing the line in Chicago was, to be completely honest, disappointment and “oh f***.” Then I allowed one tear to roll down my cheek before I felt overwhelmingly grateful for all that I had just accomplished (not just the race, but all the training) and to be healthy and to be surrounded by people who experienced the exact same thing. I almost skipped the finishing picture but then I thought, no way, I ran as well as I could today and I just did what I love to do for 2 hours 59 minutes and 42 seconds. The smiles in my post race pictures are absolutely real!

So what went wrong? Why did I not run my 2:50 goal? I was no doubt in shape, mentally ready, confident, and had just run my best training cycle. The weather was perfect, every part of my body felt great (thank you Dr Khavari), I did not bonk. I made one rookie mistake: I went out too aggressive. The plan was to run 6:30s with CB (my amazing friend and training partner) from the very beginning. We had run a half marathon 3 weeks prior to Chicago at marathon pace and it felt good. Hard but sustainable. But the day or two before the marathon, I little voice in my heart told me it may be smarter to start out at 6:35-6:40 and then run the second half aggressively. Even Meb told us to negative split. Yes, we met Meb! what a cool and humble guy! I have negative split before so I knew it was possible. Another voice in my gut said to just go for it and stay with CB as long as I could.

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Lunch with Meb!

To back up a little, both CB and I had the privilege of being part of the American Development Program which meant we had access a warm tent, warm-up area, bathrooms, and a start directly behind the elites. Very thankful for all of this!!! We were both also to have each other! Her job was to keep us running the tangents since she knew the course so well, my job was to keep us from running too fast.

Almost everything is a blur but I walked to the start feeling nervous and excited. Here we were in a majors marathon ready to chase down a big goal. CB and I stayed together for about 5 miles and then she slowly started slipping away. I held 6:30 pace through about the 10k. My GPS was way off from the beginning, I think from the tunnels and tall buildings. I didn’t let this get to me and ran on effort. Besides every mile and 5k had a clock. I never experienced the point in which I was just cruising along, every mile felt hard. The miles did click by quickly though and I never lost my fight. I saw Pete at miles 5, 10, 21, 25.

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He really gave me a boost at mile 21 when I really needed it! I knew I was off pace at the halfway point but I could still PR at that point. At mile 20, if I could get my pace back down to 6:30, I could run a 2:53ish. Easier said than done! The problem with running on pure effort is that in those latter miles, the effort level is at a 10. Or 12. In the final 5 miles, I ran 30 second surges at each mile split to get my legs turning over. This helped mentally too. Finally I got to the final 800m. I looked at the time and saw that I better move it if I wanted sub-3. I turned a corner, ran up really the one and only hill, turned another corner and saw that beautiful finish line!

I didn’t know how CB had done, I hoped she had a better day than me!  It took a while to walk back to the tent and I final found CB’s husband, Pete, and CB’s mom. CB had run a 5 minute PR (although not the 2:50 goal either). I felt so happy but knew she was probably disappointed. I was right.

Pete and I stayed in Chicago the day after to celebrate his birthday and explore the city. It was really fun and my body felt really good.

Any soreness was gone by Tuesday. On the plane home, I started to feel a little blah (mentally, emotionally). I always give my body a break from running after a full marathon. So not running didn’t help my mental state either.

I am happy to report that after decompressing for a few days, this is a new week and I am back to my ole self! I ran a little today and every is in working condition!

So I regret nothing about the journey and about this marathon. I am glad I went for it! I may listen to my heart next time but ya never know until ya try! Chicago is a great city and puts on a great race. I gained a great friend and training partner, I proved that I am healthy and fit even as I get older, I still have that fire, and I am moving forward!

There will be no “redemption marathon” but there will be some fun races this fall and winter and there will be marathons where big goals will be met!