Nov 18

Mental and Physical Marathon “WALLS” and how to avoid them

wallIf you are new to marathoning or have been running them for years, you probably hear a good bit of talk about the marathon “wall” and what it means to hit it. I could make an assumption that even the most prepared and experienced runners have hit the wall at some point in their marathon running career. And if you aren’t quite sure what it means, it really is more than just a state of fatigue, it’s an actual physiological thing. Fortunately, the more you train and the more prepared you are to cover the 26.2 distance, the more likely you are to NOT let the wall take you down.

In a nutshell, without getting too technical, the wall refers to the point when your body runs out of glycogen. The body stores glucose to produce energy, about 2000 calories worth. A runner burns calories at an approximate rate of 100 per mile. So, by mile 20, runners will have burned about 2000 calories. See the problem here? Glycogen depletes which cause a number of symptoms. Symptoms can include, but aren’t limited to heavy legs, cramps, cold sweats, and even a lack of concentration. Well now that sucks right? Scientifically we can’t get around the wall. Or can we? The good news is, with proper training we can teach our bodies to use our energy more efficiently. Pair that with a good re-fueling plan and you should be able to be successful.

Obviously, I can be successful because I’ve done it. I’ve finished 8 marathons to date. But I can also say in the same breath, that I’ve hit a wall in each and every one of them. Where that wall was placed during the race and more importantly what KIND of wall it was mattered. I believe there is a non-physiological wall that can occur as well. And in my opinion, it’s way more debilitating than the physical one. It’s the Mental wall. The mental wall is the more dangerous of the two because once the mind gives up, the body is more than willing to stop.

mental wall

Last year during the Columbus marathon, I made a huge mistake. I focused on one single goal, qualifying for Boston. I knew where I needed to be at the half way point, and at mile 20. Mile 13 came and went right on pace, I felt great, but when I saw that I was 3 minutes off by the time I hit 20, I was mentally devastated and couldn’t see past the failure that I already thought had occurred. THE MENTAL WALL. In hindsight, I probably could have PRd that marathon, but instead, I came across the line at a 4:02. My mind gave up and the body gladly followed. I walked, cried, ran, walked, cried, ran all the way from mile 21 to the finish line and was so incredibly disappointed in myself. I still occasionally get mad at myself for being so mentally weak and pathetic that day. It was a good lesson on how I didn’t’ want to feel ever again.

Two weeks ago, I experience a completely different kind of wall. I had a couple of bad miles (18-20) but I didn’t let them rattle me. I had four goals for the race that day (not just one) and I was determined to hit one of them. I pushed though and stayed mentally tough and the body was responding, up until mile 25. At mile 25, the body started to shut down. I was still mentally pushing and willing my legs to turn over faster, but they just wouldn’t respond. Aside from a few other environmental factors, my body was just running out of fuel. THE PHYSICAL WALL. I felt like I was running in quick sand – moving, moving but going no where.

But here’s the difference between these two walls. I wasn’t disappointed with myself at Indiana. I was mentally tough and pushed as hard as I could. My body didn’t respond exactly the way I wanted, but at least I didn’t give up and give in. How can I be upset with myself about that?

Avoiding the mental wall:

  • Make multiple goals and memorize them so when you know you won’t hit one, you have others to fall back on and strive for.
  • Stay mentally tough during workouts. When runs got tough in training I reminded myself  that this is nothing compared to how hard miles 20-26 are. Stay strong – push hard. Your body will always want to stop – but if your mind is tough, the body will follow. (to the best of it’a ability anyway) :)
  • Visualization. I used this so much during this short training cycle. I envisioned myself running strong in the last 10K during training runs. I also used this during my marathon. The Indiana marathon trail seemed to go on forever and all looked the same to me. It was difficult for some reason to envision the finish. So instead, I thought about the end of the Pittsburgh Marathon and where mile 23 is in relationship to the finish. It made it easier to cope with the “never-ending tunnel”. So, visualize a familiar route to get you through tough spots and relax you.

Avoiding the physical wall

  • Follow through with all your long runs to get time on the feet and get your body efficient at using it’s fuel in the best way possible.
  • Practice a good re-fueling strategy. I may change mine slightly since I’ve had repeated problems during those two last miles. Right now I re-fuel at 5,10,15, and 20. I’ve heard recently from more than one source that a lot of runners re-fuel at 5,10,15,18 and 23, which may actually may work better for me. And, it kind of makes sense if you’re running the last 10K at a relatively faster pace than the rest of the marathon.
  • Avoid over-training. Over training is really a post in itself. When I went to the start line last year before Columbus, I was physically tired before I started running. I never really recovered from training during my taper and felt a little beat down. I think the fatigue played a huge part in my mental break down as well.
  • Sleep good the entire week before the marathon. It’s not wise to just try to get to bed early the night before your race. Most people are too wound up to sleep well. But I feel like if I have some solid sleep the entire week before, I can afford one restless night and still be well rested.

There are probably so many little things I can think of to help avoid these two possible walls. They key for me is learning from each race and recognizing the reasons why things went south and try to correct them for the next race. I’ll be registering for my next marathon soon and will take all this knowledge with me into the next training cycle.

If you have a great experience to talk about or some helpful tips, please share them. Have a great week. :)


Nov 11

Gear review – Legend Armband and my very random playlist

features_2048x2048Throughout my years of running, I’ve gone back and forth about listening to music while I run. When I first started running, I always listened to music and it kind of kept me pumped up for the run. Then I went through this “I’m a REAL runner and listen to my body when I run” phase where I didn’t listen at all. I think I was just sick of my music but my body wasn’t doing much talking and it was boring. Now, it really depends on the run. It depends on if I’m alone (which I am 90% of the time), if I’m indoors, outdoors, going far, short, and most importantly, am I running a route that is safe for music.

Studies show that music can be a huge motivator during a run. It can make the time go faster and also change your perception of effort. I find this to be true, especially when I am on runs that will take a couple of hours all by myself. I use my iPhone for music all the time and actually like carrying it for safety reasons as well. To me it’s important to have a comfortable way of carrying the phone. I’m aggravated enough sometimes by all the crap I have to put on during a run, especially in the winter, so for the iPhone armband to NOT be cumbersome is a bonus.

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to try the Legend Loop Armband to see how it felt. I really like this armband. It’s super thin even with the phone slipped in there. It’s lightweight and I like how there aren’t any additional pieces of plastic you have to loop through to Velcro it securely, it’s all one piece. I like how I can easily use the touchscreen even with the protective cover and it’s water resistant so protects my phone even on my sweatiest runs. I haven’t had to wash it yet, but it’s supposed to be durable enough for machine washing which is a big bonus.



All-in-all, I would recommend giving it a try. It’s lighter than a lot of other arm bands I’ve used. I happen to use an iPhone 6, but if you look at their website, this can accommodate a variety of brands and models.

So, as promised, I will give you a taste of my current playlist. Personally, I think it takes real guts to reveal this information as some of it may be ummm, embarrassing. I mean, not all of it, but some it a) reveals my age and b) confirms that in some ways I am stuck in the past. :)

For my rock n roll mood

  • Panama – Van Halen
  • Gimmie Shelter – Rolling Stones
  • All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

For my disco soul

  • You Should be Dancing – Bee Gees (did I lose you yet? LOL)
  • Get Down Tonight – KC and the Sunshine Band

For my 80’s roots

  • Blue Highway – Billy Idol
  • Roll with the Changes – REO Speedwagon
  • Rain on the Scarecrow – John Mellencamp

Because I love Eminem

  • Hello
  • Monster
  • Berzerk
  • Without Me
  • Lose Yourself
  • Drop the Bomb on Em

And because yes, I am a Belieber (yes, I like Justin Beiber)

  • What Do You Mean
  • Sorry
  • Somebody to Love
  • Beauty and the Beat

So there, I laid it all out on the table. have a good laugh and send me some suggestions if you have them. Also, remember to listen to music safely when you run. :)

Nov 09

Indiana Veterans Marathon Recap

The results are not officially posted yet – but here’s what my watch said

26.36 miles in 3:56:03 or 8:57 per mile

Here’s my story:

This is the epitome of small town races. And I actually kind of love it. You pull up 30 minutes ahead of time, walk to get your bib and walk to the start line. It’s about as simple as you can get logistically.

They have a lovely pre-race ceremony that celebrates our troops and make the announcement that if you are attempting to qualify for Boston, you should get in the front because the race is not chipped timed. So quaint right?

So there I am right in the front row, because I AM trying to BQ. An adorable old man, about 100, in full uniform was going to start the race by dropping his gloved hand which would signal the cannon guys to shoot the cannon. I’m watching this guy’s hand like a hawk, nervous and anxious to start. He drops his hand and I takes four pulls to fire the cannon. For real.

Then we were off. There are challenges to this course but the first one I will talk about is “the hill”. It’s not a steep hill but a long hill. A 13.1 mile grind that takes you up, up, up before you turn around and come back. The whole time you’re thinking, I can’t wait to turn around and run down this beast because you can definitely feel the uphill. Then you make the turn and poof….the downhill is f’en gone. It’s that gradual. It’s hard to judge just how fast you should run up “the hill”. You want to run up with just enough energy to not destroy your time, but not too fast that you completely diminish your energy. The problem is, you don’t really know the repercussions of going up too fast until about mile 18 when the wheels start to come off and you think “maybe I was a little aggressive on the uphill”, and by that time it’s a little too late.

In all honestly though, I thought I did an okay job pacing the hill. The plan was to get to the top at an 8:58 pace. I was there with an 8:56. I remember at one point right before the turn, I high-fived a group of kids and got a little emotional. I made it on pace and I was half way through and felt great. I was going to this today. BQ.

Mile 13 was strong, 14, 15, 16 and 17 were strong, I was feeling great.
I have to warn you, this is where the shit hits the fan and I may swear a couple times. I don’t care if you’re a Nun, the “F” word is coming out of your mouth at least once, 50 times during a marathon.

At mile 18, I start to feel “the hill”. I run a 9:09 in mile 18 which doesn’t shake me so much, because I had a little time banked.

There I said, I banked time. This my 8th marathon and the little voice in the back of my head is screaming “YOU CAN’T F’en BANK TIME IN A MARATHON YOU IDIOT”

I ignore the voice. Mile 19 is a 9:09 but I’m still composed. Mile 20, the wheels totally come off and I run a 9:33. I think in my head that this is spiraling out of control quickly.

I have two choices, I can give in and accept the fact that I will NOT qualify or I can fight back and run the paces I KNOW I can freakin run and at the very least, PR. Spoiler alert – I fight back.

In fact, it becomes my mantra for the reminder of the race. “fight back, fight back, you can run faster”, and amazingly the body responds.

Mile 21 – 9:07
Mile 22 – 8:43
Mile 23 – 8:45
Mile 24 – 8:51.

I have to stop here and explain the second challenge of this course. It’s desolate. When I say desolate, I mean there wasn’t an damn sole around. No other runners and no spectators from mile 22 to the finish.

So there I am in the middle of freakin “Deliveranceville”, totally alone, killing myself to go faster. At one point I was thinking WTF are you doing in the middle of the woods, running as hard as you can when it appears to not even be a race? I never thought I would say this, but I missed the crowd support. There simply isn’t any, and it’s mentally difficult. It’s just you, your pain and sheer will to keep running, and running hard. It’s hard.

At Mile 25, I start to lose my fight. I ran a 9:19 that mile and a 9:10 in mile 26. I LOSE MY QUALIFICATION IN THOSE TWO MILES. I did manage to eek out an 8:22 for the remaining .2.

Here’s the truth that kills me, this is an out and back course. This should be 26.2 miles even, technically. There isn’t a lot of room for extra distance. I’m looking at my watch and focusing on my average pace. You know why? Because it was drilled into my head that I needed a sub 8:58 pace to qualify and there it was on the watch – an 8:57. I have a freaking watch on my arm and I’m still surprised by the time when I cross the finish line – like I didn’t know it was coming. Dumb.

Am I disappointed I didn’t qualify? Of course I am. Am I upset with my time? No, not at all. It was a PR. This fall I PRd the 10k, the half marathon and now, the marathon. Three months ago, I was struggling to hold a 10:00 pace. This is a big, big win. I could have folded when I knew I was coming unhinged but I didn’t. I fought back with everything I had left.

I am right there in the sweet spot to qualify in the spring. Now, it’s just a matter of shaving a minute and I have no doubts that I’ll do it.

The marathon never stops humbling me. The distance is to be respected and even though it’s a long race and a lot of minutes and seconds combined to get a finishing time – every freakin one counts. The pain of a marathon is unlike any other race. But in a strange way, I embrace the pain this evening because it means I pushed myself to the limits today and accomplished something amazing – for the 8th time.

Nov 02

My Unplanned, Planned Marathon

downloadI swore up and down in June that I was NOT going to run a fall marathon. I was burned out from all the training, the weekend runs, the stress I place on myself to constantly do good. I took a break and backed off a little for most of the summer. A lot of it had to do with the physical problems and limitations I was experiencing.

Once I started feeling better and running better, I was getting excited for my half marathon. A PR was almost guaranteed as long as I went to the start line healthy and feeling confident. Somewhere towards the end of half marathon training, I started to get a little jealous of everyone preparing for their fall marathons.

Yes, I was jealous of the 20 mile runs and the grind. I missed it.

I knew about the Indiana Veterans Marathon on November 8th because I ran it last year. it’s close to home, requires little investment, and is very low key. Maybe, just maybe I could cram a marathon training program into 6 weeks before that race. Unconventional, yes, but would it be impossible? I already had a pretty good base with my half marathon training, I’d already run 14 miles in preparation for the half, so why not?

I decided I would do an 18 miler and if that felt good, I would sign up. I smashed the 18 miler easily at a 9:01 pace. Then I thought, well, maybe just do a 20 then decide. I ran the best 20 miler of my running career on October 4th, went home and signed up for the marathon and got together a plan for the next few weeks. The remainder of marathon training would be tricky.

PicMonkey Collage

I didn’t want to do anything to ruin my goal race, the half, so I was careful to train with the half in mind (paces and speed work) and taper properly then ramp back up the week after to concentrate on the NEXT goal race, the unplanned, planned marathon. My thought was to slow the paces back down to marathon pace, and do one additional 20 miler two weeks before the marathon. Well, shortly after the half, I got a cold and my attempt at the second 20, turned into a lame 10 miler.

So, in short, I ran one 20 to prepare for the marathon. Less miles than I did than any other training cycle and I’m still going to do it. Call me crazy, call me determined. I actually FEEL more ready than I ever did. I am running strong, I PRd my 10k and 1/2 marathon times, an important fitness test and have had some of the best runs of my career this past month. Who knows, maybe I will change the way I train for marathons forever.


Limited training, last minute longs runs. Sounds perfectly sane to me. In 6 days I’ll find out.

Indiana Veterans Marathon elevation

Indiana Veterans Marathon Elevation

Right now I’m just doing the regular old nervous, pre-marathon rituals. Studying the elevation, visualizing my race, and reviewing all the reason why I am destined to have a good marathon. I’m excited and nervous for Sunday, but as always, thankful I am feeling better, especially better enough to run 26.2 miles.

Oct 26

Gear Review – tiux Performance Compression Socks

I have to admit, when  someone from tiux contacted me to try out their compression socks, I was a little skeptical. I had tried compression socks before and I wasn’t a huge fan. But I thought it couldn’t hurt to try another pair. Not all compression socks can be created equal.

The first pair of compression socks I had were so tight, it took me about 20 minutes to get them on an off. I took the measurements and purchased the recommended size but they were still so tight. Once I got them on they weren’t bad unless I had them on for a long time. Then they would actually start to ache. Not good. The second pair I had were a little looser on the calf but were so tight on my feet and way too thin. I like a thicker sock and these little thin things were giving me blisters.

I figured I was doomed to just never wear compression socks, and I was angry because they aren’t cheap, and they’re so cute!

I was more than pleasantly surprised when the tiux performance compression socks arrived. I loved the black with green combination since I wear a lot of black and they were so easy to get on and off which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but after I struggled with the one pair, it was big! On, these socks are so comfortable. They have obvious compression, but they aren’t cutting off the circulation. In other words, they are the perfect amount of tight. The biggest difference and what made me fall in love with these is how comfortable the sock part on the foot was. It wasn’t made out of the same compression material but with a soft, cushiony, breathable material that felt more like the socks I normally run in.

I took them on the treadmill for a trial run. I was only going 5 miles at mid pace so I figured it would be perfect.

So “matchy, matchy”

They were comfortable the entire run and I decided I was going to wear them for my 10-miler on Saturday. Honestly, I just love the way they look too! :)

I match again! I should have opened my eyes – LOL

I just have nothing but good things to say about these socks. I think I am going to grab the pink ones next. They are much more reasonable that a lot of other brands, at just $35 a pair. Heck I may get the green ones too. :)

To read more about them or get a pair for yourself, follow this link: tiux


tiux provided me with a complimentary pair of socks for this review. All opinions and words are my own.

Oct 26

Monday Motivation


Oct 21

Buffalo Creek 1/2 Marathon recap – spoiler alert – there was a PR!


Steff, Carrie, Chelsea, Me and Maddy – Pre-Race

Am I excited about my recent Buffalo Creek ½ Marathon PR? Hell yes I am. It was an awesome day for me. After a seriously frustrating summer of trying to hold a 10:00 pace outside, tears, and a couple of piles of puke, I finally made out of the black hole I was in, up into the sunshine again!

How did that happen? Believing in myself and a few aggressive “get your shit together” self-talks. I knew I was a better runner, I just had to start proving it to myself.

Madison, well now there is another thing that made this race just over-the-top awesome! She said early in the summer that she wanted to run a ½ marathon with me and I knew Buffalo Creek would be a great place to race her first ½. I’ve done this race 4 times and it never disappoints. She had a hard time training for it once school and cross country started but I truly believed that she would get through the distance just fine. Last week we ran 10 miles together at a really slow pace, just to get some time on the feet, and that was no problem for her. She set her goal for a conservative 9:30 pace but I figured she would run closer to an 8:50 pace based on her 5k performances. I was expecting to see her come in around 1:55:00.

Prior to the start of the race we had to stand outside for about 30 minutes. Yes, we had to stand OUTSIDE – oh my and it was cold. Luckily we had our bag check bags with us and we layered up until the last minute when we had to turn the bags over until the end of the race. So, it ended up not being all that awful. I was pretty nervous driving to the race, but one I got around my friends and the start was close, I started to feel completely at ease. My goal pace was an 8:20, 4 seconds per mile faster than my last ½ marathon PR in 2013.

The gun went off and this is how this race went down. I had my plan ahead of time and followed it pretty much to the tee until about mile 7. I knew the first mile was fast. It’s downhill and the adrenaline is flowing. I ran that mile at a 7:54. I planned on running miles 2 and 3 much slower to ease into the race and level out my pace closer to the 8:20 goal pace. Once there, I was going to run an even 8:20 until mile 10, then push to bring the time down.

  • Mile 1 – 7:54
  • Mile 2 – 8:23 (at one point I was running an 8:31 in this mile and had to convince myself that I wasn’t going to have a problem here – I am beyond that and I was supposed to slow down, that was the plan. Calm down and keep running. You’re right where you want to be – confident. And that was that.)
  • Mile 3 – 8:25

Well, darn it, I found myself slowing down the second half of every mile to keep my pace CLOSE to an 8:20 – I didn’t want to burn out early.

  • Mile 4 – 8:17
  • Mile 5 – 8:16
  • Mile 6 – 8:12
  • Mile 7 – 8:11

As you can see, I gave up on trying to stay close to an 8:20. I know what the effort should feel like and whether or not I was going to slow at the end. I didn’t find the paces hard. I gravitated towards them naturally, so I just went with it.

  • Mile 8 – 8:06
  • Mile 9 – 8:08
  • Mile 10 – 8:12
  • Mile 11 – 8:07
  • Mile 12 – 8:16
  • Mile 13 – 8:07

Final finish time was a 1:47:00 even! Try and do that again. Ha! I was so freakin’ thrilled. I PRd AND beat my goal pace by 10 seconds a mile! I caught my breath and turned around to wait for my Maddy girl to finish and before I knew it, there she was – RIGHT BEHIND ME! I was amazed and so happy for her. Not only did she complete her first ½ marathon, she CRUSHED it!



The complete icing on the cake…………..we both placed 3rd in our age group!


First the 10K PR and now the Half. Should I go for the hat trick? I just might have to.

Oct 12

10 miles with my Daughter

IMG_3603A year ago, if I told Madison that I was going out for a 10-mile run she would have made a snide comment about how boring that would be or how she couldn’t understand why I found that fun. But this past Saturday she was up, eating a good breakfast and anxious to come downtown with me to run the farthest distance she’d ever run to date.

As Maddy matured a little over the course of her Junior year, she figured out that eating healthy and exercising made her feel great! Yay! She ran a bit on the treadmill and after I completed marathon #7 last spring she said she wanted to get a medal like mine, but maybe would just start with the half marathon, just – haha! I suggested that she run a 5K first. You could imagine my excitement, but I didn’t want to push her, just kind of let her decide if she liked it or not.

We ran the a 5k together in July, where she proceeded to kick my butt, which I loved actually, and ended up placing in her age group. She was still determined to run a half marathon. I planned on running Buffalo Creek (October 17) and thought it was a great course for her to start on.

IMG_1894 (1)

North Borough 5K

She started training with a loose plan I gave her and as school got closer to starting, she said that she was thinking about joining the Cross Country team. I almost fell off my chair, but of course was thrilled. She has had a great season, PRing every time she went out to race and moving up to Varsity, but it did interfere a little bit with the half marathon training plan. She was running 5 days most weeks and 6 if she had a weekend meet. So, trying to fit a long run in on that 7th day was difficult, no to mention not smart.

She did manage to do two 8 mile runs and I told her if she wanted to run another 10, I would run it with her. I wanted to take her somewhere fun to run – I had her running her 8 milers through parking lots and neighborhoods, not allowing her to run on the real road so it was kind of boring for her. We did one of my favorite loops around both PNC Park and Heinz Field then up the Route 28 trail and around Washington’s Landing. We talked the whole time (no music) and I loved every minute of it. People who have run with me know I’m typically not very talkative when I run, but Madison had me talking :) We talked about running, high school, college and some all kinds of stuff. She mentioned how she is so happy that she got into running because it has made her life so much better. I felt like I gave her a gift; leading by example.

Being the typical teenager Maddy is, of course we had to stop and take a few “selfies” and pictures along the way. It was a perfect day.

run collage

I love when Madison is involved in anything, but since it happens to be running this time, I am super excited about it. I’m not what you would expect though. I’m supportive, but not constantly trying to give advice. I don’t want to overload her with running advice because what works for me may not work for her. Plus, I’m a little over-the-top into it and she’s not quite there yet. Give it some time. 😉

Afterwards we both ate a massive brunch at one of my favorite little diners near town. This is what I had, 3 scrambled eggs and a “side” of french toast. If you think that’s a lot, you should have seen what Maddy ate. LOL.


So this Saturday we will toe the line in our first distance race together, The Buffalo Creek half marathon. My goal is to PR and Madison’s is to simply finish her first half. I have a feeling she’s going to surprise herself and run better than she imagined.

Race recap coming soon…..

Oct 12

Monday Motivation


Oct 01

A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skilled Sailor – The Great Race (10K) Recap

smooth sea

On Sunday I ran my second 10K in 4 months. The first one was in June on Father’s Day. My time for that June race was 1:00:39, a 9:44 pace. A 9:44 that I had to work for, struggled for. And so it began. A summer full of struggles. And, although I went on to run 3 additional races between that one and Sunday’s race, they were primarily about survival, just making it to the finish line. There was no strategy, no final push at the end and a lot of heartbreak.

Yes, I was beyond being caught in a stormy sea this summer, I was in a Tsunami. A mix of physical and mental limitations that prevented me from moving forward with my running. After the problem was identified and I sought therapy for it, I was coming to realize more and more that the physical symptoms were being driven primarily by my mental frame of mind. Distress from not being able to perform causing stress and physical tension. This is really a blog post in itself and surprisingly one I’ve seen on many, many other running blogs. (I’m not the only mental case out there)

I want to put that aside for now and talk about Sunday. Sunday was a PR for me, but it was so much more significant because it was the first time in I can’t remember how long, that I was able to manage a race. I was in charge, not my physical problems or mental baggage. Since things turned around for me, I’ve been running good – really good. Every week I’m getting a touch faster and feeling more confident so when I lined up on Sunday, I KNEW I was going to PR. It was the greatest feeling in the world and one I won’t take for granted again. I’m not angry about the summer I had though. I pushed through the hardest of runs and at the end of the day, it made me a better runner, a smarter runner and an extremely grateful runner. I find myself embracing the pain when I push simply BECAUSE I CAN. Every run is a chance to do better than the last.

“There will come a day when I cannot do this. Today is not that day”

To summarize this quickly, miles one and two were fast at a 7:51 and a 7:34 respectively. The third mile leveled out a little and it actually felt a little warm to me as we headed down Fifth Avenue, much warmer than the forecast projected. I was pushing my pace and I felt it, but I still felt relatively good. I slowed to an 8:00 pace and knew I had one more faster mile before the Birmingham bridge. I sped up again in the 4th mile to a 7:43 and prepared for the uphill bridge mile. It’s not necessarily a steep hill, but it is long and it comes after 4 miles of hard work. I made it a goal not to slow my mile pace over an 8:15 knowing it would start to affect my overall pace. I managed that pretty well ending up with an 8:17 for the mile which wasn’t too far over.

Then it was go time. Another downhill until it leveled out to the finish. I knew I needed an 7:55 or faster to PR and YOU NEVER SLOW DOWN ON A POTENTIAL PR. I started moving faster and was determined to make this my fastest mile. It was at a 7:23. I was moving pretty good and feeling great. I made the final turn and saw that I was going to PR AND BREAK 49 minutes so I gave it one last push to cross at 48:54. 11 minutes and 45 seconds better than my June 10K time, and 30 seconds faster than my 2011 10K PR. I ran faster than I did 4 years ago and that’s pretty awesome. Plus, I finished 17 out of 337 in my age group!

Great Race Finish

Some other highlights from Sunday:

I shared the course with these lovely ladies who ALL raced well Sunday!
AND…..I got to say hello to my college roommate whom I haven’t seen in 23 years. She told me she was coming into town for the race and I told her text me when you get to the start line. J it was brief, but so nice to see her. :) What next? Of course I plan on making this most out of this great running streak, possibly the beginning of a whole new level for me, and continue to work and drive forward. I have my goal race, the half marathon in 16 days where I will be looking to break my 2013 PR of 1:50:02. AND…I’m hoping it’s by more than 2 seconds. I’d love to see a 4 in there.

For some reason, I can always remember the exact details of every race I’ve ever PRd. Do you remember all of your PR’s very distinctly?

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