Wedding Wednesday

I cannot believe how quickly each month is passing by! Just 8 months to go, and I can’t help to wonder if I’m not doing enough yet. So far no stress, but I feel like I should be doing a lot more.

Here’s what we’ve accomplished this month
-Booked Hair Stylist
-Had our engagement party
-Reserved hotel for guests
-Bridesmaid dresses picked out and ordered
-Designed Save the Dates
-Ordered Save the Dates

This month I really wanted to focus on things that don’t need to be done right away, but if I got them done, then I’d have less stress later on. One of the main things we’ve been doing is working towards our centerpieces. I’m not ready to show pictures yet, but they involve wine bottles and corks….so we’ve been doing our best to drink a bit of wine. This is sure to be an ongoing project over the next few months, but I’m not too mad about it ;)

My favorite day of wedding planning this past month was the day I was able to go bridesmaid dress shopping with my girls. It was so fun to sit back and watch them try on dresses while I relaxed. We lucked out and found a dress they all love for a great price!

That night we all attended our engagement party thrown by my Matron of Honor, Maid of Honor and mom. We had so many friends and family stop by, I truly felt so loved and fortunate to have so many amazing people in our lives. Unfortunately, I only took three pictures the entire night, but that means we were just enjoying ourselves a lot!

In our game day best

In our game day best

These ladies are the best

These ladies are the best

Can you guess who answered which?

Can you guess who answered which?

Looking ahead, I’m not sure how much I’ll accomplish with the holidays, so it will probably be mostly looking at ideas and planning the next couple of months. But just in case, here’s what I’d like to accomplish in the next month.

-Create short list of honeymoon locations
-Obtain all addresses for guests
-Book officiant
-Book DJ
-Research Florists
-Research Cakes
-Order Guest Book
-Find my wedding day shoes
-Finish our wedding website
-Start registry

 

Did you have an engagement party? Where did you go for your registry?

Weekly Fitness Recap

After a temporary cut back, I’m back to posting my weekly fitness recap. I had a few weeks where I just didn’t get to run much. This week wasn’t exactly perfect, but this time of year schedules can be a little challenging.

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 5.5 Miles
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off
Friday: 3.2 Miles
Saturday: 5 Miles
Sunday: Off
Total Miles: 13.7 Miles

I certainly haven’t been keeping up with my goal of 15-20 miles a week, but I’m getting back on track. This week was the second time since September I focused on speedwork. Instead of running on the track, we ran 6 sets of 400 repeats on the treadmill. We started at an 8:00 pace and moved up one notch each set, eventually ending at 7:30. I felt pretty good, but slightly out of sprinting shape. We also spent a good half hour doing abs and lifting, which was good to get back into.

Friday was the MCRR Holiday Run. It was my first time attending, and I was so glad I did. We decked out in our best festive gear and ran from the square to the fairgrounds and back. At the fairgrounds, we slowed our pace and took time to see all of the Christmas decorations displayed around. They went all out with different themes and I loved it. As we made our way back, we sang, busted through a few shops on the square sharing our holiday cheer and made it back to Sully’s to eat, drink and be merry!

MCRR Holiday Run

MCRR Holiday Run

Saturday, Mallory and I slogged through 5 miles at Buckeye Woods on some icy, snowy trails. We couldn’t get our legs going, and decided to focus on the miles and not the minutes on the clock. I definitely noticed the downside of my lack in running when I felt out of shape by Saturday, but my base mileage needs to go back up because training will begin in just one month!

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BW Barn

Next week I hope to get more miles in and work on my 2015 race calendar. It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over, what a running year it has been!

Have you ever run a holiday run or race? Do you dress up?

October & November Rewind

I didn’t quite get around to my October recap, so I decided to combine it with November. Both months went by quickly, and unfortunately I don’t have too much to show for.

October was a busy month, but it wasn’t all because of running. October was full of catching up on life post marathon, starting wedding planning, and getting back into a regular workout schedule. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Miles run: 53

Races run: 1 (Wineglass Marathon)

Miles biked: 0

Favorite Workout: 10/8-Recovery Run

Books read: 0

Place traveled: Corning, New York

The biggest thing that happened in October was the marathon. I didn’t quite meet my goal time, but I still managed to PR by 21 minutes! Despite a tough race, I can proudly say I completed marathon number 2! It was an emotional event, and an exciting adventure, but I think I’m ready to put marathons on the shelf for a while.

Even though I only raced once this month, I was able to keep up some sort of fitness. I took some time off after the race, but tried to run a few times before setting up a better schedule. Now I’m back to running a semi normal amount and preparing myself for spring racing.

My favorite run of the month could easily be the marathon, but I also enjoyed my first run back after the race. The Wednesday after Wineglass I set up in my neighborhood for an unplanned run. I wanted to see how I felt and really just wanted to get my legs moving. Somehow I felt fantastic and pulled out sub 9:00 minute miles. It was one of the best runs I had all summer and it was just days after the marathon. These legs are something else.

I didn’t read any new books or try any new recipes, but I did catch up on the DVR and my magazine stack. Now that I have more free time, I’m hoping I’ll be able to catch up on my reading.

And here are November’s numbers…

Miles run: 41

Races run: 0

Miles biked: 0

Favorite Workout: All of them!

Books read: 0

Place traveled: 0

My running took a bit of a back seat, but I’m fine with it. I trained a lot this year, and I don’t want to be burnt out so I’m running when I want, how long I want. I also didn’t participate in any races this month. I had a few in the back of my mind, but I just wasn’t fully committed to them, which is perfectly fine.

Favorite run?

I finally tried a new recipe, since I have some extra free time. We made a tortilla soup that was fantastic if I do say so myself. I think we’ll be making this a few times this winter!

Like I said, these past two months don’t have too much to show for, but that’s ok. I’ve surpassed my mileage goal for the year, so anything now is just icing on the cake. As for my goals on reading and cooking…I’ll have a lot to catch up on if I want to meet them by the end of the month!

How was your October and November? What was the best thing that happened to you in the past two months?

 

Wedding Wednesday

This past month flew by quickly! But luckily, we were able to get a lot done. Somehow I find myself at a completely stress free point in wedding planning, but I’m sure it won’t last forever. There were a bunch of things we needed to get done quickly, mostly finding a venue and securing a date. This may have been a bit stressful, but after we figured it out, it has been smooth sailing!

 

What we’ve accomplished

-Wedding Venue Booked

-Wedding Date Picked

-Photographer Booked

-Engagement Pictures Taken

-Bridal Party Picked

-Wedding Dress Picked and Bought

-Colors and Theme Picked

I have to say, we lucked out well on everything we’ve accomplished so far. We had three open dates to choose from and were able to secure my favorite venue on my list! We also found a great photographer and already had our engagement pictures right before the trees lost their leaves. Here are some of my favorites…

View More: http://lauramaephoto.pass.us/chelsea-darren-engagement

View More: http://lauramaephoto.pass.us/chelsea-darren-engagement

View More: http://lauramaephoto.pass.us/chelsea-darren-engagement

The bridal party, colors and theme has been picked, which will help a lot with planning ahead. But probably the one thing I was so surprised to accomplish was my wedding dress. I found the dress of my dreams at the first shop I visited. And since I cried at least 5 times while trying on the dress, I knew it was perfect. Emotion overload, but the stress is gone!

With just nine months to go, I’m starting to break down projects and figure out what needs to be done now, and what can be split up. I have a few things I’d like to figure out over the next 30 days, and hopefully they’ll be stress free as well!

 

What I want to accomplish next month

-Create short list of honeymoon locations

-Pick out Bridesmaid dresses

-Engagement Party

-Book officiant

-Research DJ’s

-Research Florists

-Research Cakes

-Design/Order Save the Dates

 

How did you tackle wedding planning? What were your first projects to accomplish?

 

Weekly Fitness Recap

Another week has come and gone, so it’s time to look at the miles I put in.

 

Monday- Off

Tuesday- 5.2 Miles, 9:20 pace

Wednesday-  Off

Thursday- Off

Friday- Off
Saturday- 3.5 Miles, 9:10 pace

Sunday- 5.7 Miles, 8:58 pace

Total – 14.4 Miles, 9:05 average pace

 

I started off the week enjoying the most likely last nice weather of the year. I met up with Mallory Tuesday night and we decided to run Roscoe and finish up around town. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned as we spooked ourselves out a mile into the run when we discovered the park was completely dark and noises (leaves and deer) left too much to our imagination. We decided to play it safe and headed to some neighboring developments to finish up the run. We ended up with a little over 5 miles, not bad for a Tuesday night.

Party pants for night running!

Party pants for night running!

 

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday running just didn’t happen. I felt a little guilty at first, but figured I could make up for lost miles on the weekend and enjoyed a little bit of free time.

Saturday I took advantage of the nice weather (30 degrees and no snow) and ran into town. The run was chilly and windy, but I convinced myself I’d be begging for this weather come January and February when we’re in a deep freeze. The run was uneventful, which is always a good thing.

Sunday I was joined by Cynthia and Ladd as we ran Lester for some easy miles. We chatted the entire way, which helped to pass the miles. They tried to push me to run a little faster and to move out of my comfort zone, which certainly happened as we finished up the last almost complete mile at an 8:35 pace. Throughout the run I realized that maybe I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough, and what I consider a comfortable pace of 9:00 minutes, could move closer to 8:30 someday.

Off trail exploring

Off trail exploring

It wasn’t the week I had originally planned, but I still got some good runs in and I made every mile count. This next week should be fun as we finally have snow, but we also have some cold weather coming!

 

How do you push yourself out of your comfort zone?

 

Weekly Fitness Recap

Another week back to off season training, and this one was a little hard to start with. Since the time change I now get home to complete darkness, so unfortunately it takes a lot more effort to get myself up and out the door running. Luckily the local rec center has not only treadmills, but an indoor track, so I can get some running in without feeling too caged.

Monday- Off
Tuesday- 3 Miles
Wednesday- Off
Thursday- 4.1 Miles
Friday- Off
Saturday- 5 Miles
Sunday- 2.65 Miles
Total – 14.75 Miles

I didn’t quite hit my goal of 15 miles, but I was close. I started the week at the indoor track and forgot how quickly it can become boring. But I definitely felt strong and speedy so the laps went by quickly. Thursday I met up with Second Sole and we braved the rain and windy for a 4 mile run around town.

Saturday I met up with some MCRR members at Buckeye Woods and had my longest run since the marathon. The wind was brutal so it was a little tougher than I had hoped, but it was nice to run with a group at my favorite park.

 

Hills for days

Hills for days

Sunday I knew I wanted to try somewhere new, so I checked out one of the local parks. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it ended up being a harder run than I originally thought. Allardale is full of trails and hills, but I managed a decent pace and quickly fell in love with the park.

This week wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but that’s the beauty of off season. If something doesn’t go as planned, it’s ok. Now I just need to work on extending my long run and getting used to running the indoor track.

Weekly Fitness Recap

Well here we are, the time between two training plans and I need to prevent myself from losing everything I’ve done over the past 11 months. So, to make sure that I’m still putting in the time and miles, I wanted to start up my weekly fitness recaps again. It’s my way of making sure I’m not letting everything go, but also, a time where I can try new things without it messing up any formal training plans.

Monday- 3.4 Miles, 9:35 average pace
Tuesday- 4.25 Miles, 10:35 average pace
Wednesday- Off
Thursday-4.4 Miles, 9:00 average pace
Friday- Off
Saturday- Off
Sunday- 3.2 Miles, 8:48 average pace
Total – 15.25 Miles, 9:30 average pace

I was actually pretty nervous to get back into a regular routine, but I knew I needed it. My running had been pretty sporadic over the past few weeks, so I felt like I was extremely out of shape even though I knew I wasn’t. Knowing this would be the last week of evening runs with a sliver of daylight, I tried to get as many miles outside as I could.

Monday and Tuesday were probably my last outdoor runs of the year in shorts. Monday I stuck to the developments checking out Halloween decorations, and Tuesday, I met up with Mallory and we ran Blue Heron. Nothing says Halloween week like running an abandoned golf course at night! Both runs were enjoyable, but Blue Heron definitely pushed my legs because of all the hills. Even during my best week of marathon training, I couldn’t break a 10:15 average pace because of all the ups and downs.

Thursday I met up with Second Sole, and we ran to Roscoe Park and back. We really only got about a mile and a half of decent daylight before we relied on my headlamp and our own memory of the path. It felt a little like the Blair Witch project, but it was a good run, with a faster crowd so I was able to push myself more than I would on my own.

Sunday, after watching the New York City Marathon, I couldn’t help but want to lace up and head outside. I warmed up with Darren, but after about a quarter mile, I headed to the back roads and ran some rollers. I pushed myself to run an 8:50 pace on the smaller ones, and 8:40 pace on the larger ones. And while I know I can go faster, it was nice to ease myself in after focusing so much on distance rather than speeds.

I spent most of my time running routes with rolling hills and navigating the dark. I ended up with just a little over 15 miles, which is right where I want to be. The month of November, I’d like to stay between 15-20 miles per week, just enough to keep me active, but not too much I’ll get burnt out. December I’d like to push the mileage to 20-25 a week, the perfect amount to build my base for spring training. For my first true week back post marathon, I’d say I did pretty good.

What’s Next?

It’s been three weeks since I ran my marathon, and I forced myself to do two things over the past few weeks. The first thing was to let my body heal and recover. I had been training hard since January and I never gave my body a break between Medina Half training and Wineglass. I knew that I had been playing with fire going that hard, for that long without cutting back. So I’ve taken time to cut way back on mileage and catch up on things I missed while I was training, like happy hours, sleeping in, and the dvr.

 

The second thing I did was not let myself register for any races. After running Wineglass, I was an emotional rollercoaster. I wanted to sign up for every race around for redemption including another marathon. But I wouldn’t let myself, both for my sanity and my wallet. Now that I’ve had time to step back, relax, it’s time to re-evaluate and decide what my race schedule will be like over the next two months.

 

So I’ve collected a list of races that have caught my eye and I can spend the next two months enjoying some time on my feet and maybe even chase down a PR.

 

 

November 22nd – Devil Dash 5k

November 23rd – Cleveland West Fall Classic Half Marathon

November 27th – Hinckley Turkey Burner 5k

November 30th – Buckeye Woods 25k/50k

December 6th – Christmas Story 5k/10k

What races will you finish 2015 with? Am I missing any good races around the Cleveland area?

 

Wedding Wednesday

I always looked forward to the day I could write up my Wedding Wednesday posts, and now it’s finally here. And while my blog is mostly about running, planning a wedding will be a huge part of my life over the next year, and will take the place of some races and workouts. I promise not to bore you too much, and if you don’t have interest, you can pass over these posts. But once a month I’ll post an update and if you’ve been in my shoes, maybe you can help me learn to relax….

How We Met

Let’s start from the beginning. In August of 2009, I attended the MBA open house at Baldwin Wallace University (then College). We had about 10 minutes before the presentation began, and so I mingled with two youngest people there, one of them being Darren. We ended up sitting next to each other, spoke briefly, and as the open house ended, we went our separate ways.

Fast forward to January of 2010. I was enrolled in BW, and attended an evening where we could pick up our schedules and books. Not recognizing anyone, I was relieved when I saw the familiar face of Darren. We spoke momentarily and found out we had the same two classes together. At this point, I knew there was something different about him, and I was looking forward to getting to know him over the next semester.

Over the next couple of weeks we got to know each other a little better as we worked in groups in our two classes. Right before our spring break I sent a text to Darren, asking if he’d like to get drinks. He responded, “How about dinner?” We went to a Japanese steak house, and after 5 hours of taking, eating and drinking, I knew he was the one.

And so over the past 4.5 years, we finished out grad school, took numerous vacations, moved in together, bought a house, and have built our relationship to where it is now.

How He Proposed

Last month we took our 6 day trip to San Francisco and Napa. Our first day in Napa was incredible, as we had a tour guide drive us to four different wineries, supply lunch and tell us facts about the area that was so new to us. Throughout the trip, I had taken more than 300 pictures, so naturally I spent a lot of time at each winery wanting my picture taken, or taking pictures of the vineyards.

As we made our way to our third winery of the day, I instantly loved the choice of wines they offered. With a variety of whites, it was easily my favorite of the day, and the vineyard itself had so many neat sculptures that it was hard not to enjoy the views. Apparently I took too much time, and as Darren was planning on proposing, we were rushed to the bus to move onto our fourth and last winery of the day.

Throughout the entire trip, I couldn’t help but think that there were so many spots that would have been perfect for a proposal. By this point, I was a few drinks in, and it was suddenly the last thing on my mind. We came across the final winery, and it was a quaint little building with absolutely beautiful cabinetry. I spent a good 10 minutes discussing the color of the cabinets and finishes, planning out a kitchen remodel while Darren was planning his next move. After a few tasting of some excellent Chardonnay (my least favorite white), Darren suggested we take pictures outside.

We made our way outside and the tour guide took a view pictures of us in front of the vineyard. I was done with pictures, but Darren asked that he take one more. As he was taking the final picture, Darren pulled away and got down on one knee. From this moment, my mind still doesn’t remember every detail, but I know I said “Are you serious” about 20 times. I was in complete shock, and disbelief that it was finally my time to become engaged.

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So here we are, 10 months from getting married…and I can’t wait!

Wineglass Marathon Recap

For the past 18 weeks, my training was focused on one race, one goal, and one day that would mean everything to me. Settle in and get comfy, because the recap of Wineglass Marathon is going to be a long one…

First, let’s back up to why I chose Wineglass as my marathon. Growing up, my family took a few vacation trips to the Finger Lakes Region of New York. We’d spend a week traveling the area, visiting wineries, and spending time in cities like Watkins Glen, Corning, and Elmira. My favorite was always Corning, mostly because of our visits to the Corning Glass Museum. We’d spend a day watching the glass blowers make glass, tour the museum and dine at their cafe.

About two years ago, I saw that there was a half marathon that went from Bath to Corning, the Wineglass Half Marathon, and I knew I had to place it on my 25 Challenge list. After my training went poorly for Akron, I entertained the idea of running the full instead of the half for Wineglass, but never gave it too much thought. But during a Friday morning run with some MCRR members a few days before Christmas, my mind was set. A few mentioned they were thinking of running Wineglass, and suggested that I run it too. I went back and forth, wondering if I’d really want to train and run another full. A few weeks went on, a few more MCRR members registered for Wineglass, and on January 11th, I pulled the trigger and registered for the full.

And so he were are, fast forward 10 months, and I began marathon weekend all over again. Saturday morning we began our drive to Corning, NY. What was supposed to be a 4.5 hour drive, turned into a 6.5 hour drive. The closer we got to Corning, I started to remember the views, and the rivers and everything I missed about the area. Even though it was cold, and would remain cold the entire weekend, the views were absolutely amazing. The ridges were covered in trees ranging from green to orange to yellow to red, it was perfect fall weather, and made all those humid, early weekend runs worth it.

Packet pickup was at the Glass Museum and I was beyond excited to pick everything up. We got a long sleeve tech tee, reflective drawstring bag, a wineglass, and a small bottle of Champange from a local winery. Seriously, best swag bag ever! I made my way around the small expo, only picking up a tank top, shorts and a long sleeve thermal. Because the expo was at the museum, once you picked everything up, you could tour the shops and museum free of charge. We only had a short time, but all the memories of my childhood came back, making the already exciting day, that much more meaningful.

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After the expo, we stopped at our hotel, relaxed for a bit, then made our way to downtown Corning for dinner. On our way, we ran into Mo and Michelle, which was great to see familiar faces so far from home. We stopped at Market Street Brewing Company, which had wonderful food, perfect pasta to carb load the night before the race. We finished up, ran to Walmart for heavier throw away clothes, and then I got ready for bed.

Marathon eve...quiet on the streets

Marathon eve…quiet on the streets

With a late start of 8:15, I slept in until 5:30. Although I was in bed by 10, I woke up every half hour throughout the night, and had more than a few nightmares about the race, so starting out, I was already really tired. I got dressed, forced myself to eat more than I wanted, and tried to relax before the start. This year, it was mandatory for all runners to take busses to the start, so Darren dropped me off at the bus, and I waited in line about 10 minutes before taking the bus to Bath.

Race day sunrise

Race day sunrise

Throughout the half hour drive, my emotions were all over the place. I was nervous, excited, doubting myself, relaxed, and not really sure what to expect. As soon as we got off the bus, I waited in line for the bathrooms. It was chilly, right around 30 degrees, and everyone was huddled, waiting in line. Once I got out of line, we heard that the race would be delayed a bit because more busses were still on their way. I managed to find an entrance to a building, and huddled close with about 30 other runners. As the start got closer, I used the bathroom again, slowly took off my throwaway clothes, and made my way right between the 4:15 and 4:30 pace group.

The starting line was very crowded, and the pace groups were close together. I was hoping that once the race started they would spread out more. Instead, the pace groups started to speed ahead, and I saw the 4:30 group sprint ahead. Knowing I would be running my own pace, I wanted to stay between the two groups, so once I saw the 4:30 group pass me, I started to question my own pace.

Start line

Start line

I made my way through the first two miles, trying to find an even pace of around 10:00 minutes. I was a little fast, but so were all the pace groups. I know I shouldn’t have let it bother me, but it was certainly a mind game. Despite being cold, my legs felt good, I was starting to loosen up and I was feeling pretty confident.

Mile 1-9:49
Mile 2-9:57

I continued along at a pretty steady pace and took in the sites of Bath. I wanted to stick to a strict fueling plan, so at every mile I took some water, making sure to stay hydrated. I was still just under a 10:00 pace, and was trying to slow myself down.

Mile 3-9:52
Mile 4-9:53

We continued along and the group around me was staying together nicely. There were a few that would speed up, but for the most part, we were a nice little pack. I knew the first hill would be coming up around mile 5, so I tried to conserve some energy, but I just couldn’t slow down. At mile 4 I took my first sport beans, and planned on sticking with the same flavor the entire race.

As we approached the hill, I tried to slow down so I wouldn’t use too much energy early on. The hill was a little longer than I expected, but I made it through and didn’t feel too fatigued. My hips however were a little tight and wouldn’t let go once I got to the top. I moved over to the side of the road, hoping that running on the crushed ground would help a bit.

Mile 5-9:58
Mile 6-9:54

It was about this time that another runner appeared next to me, walking about 20 feet, then running 50 feet. She shuffled next to the cones, and kept running to pass people and then stopping right in front of them. I tried to get ahead of her, but she kept up her walk/run pace….for the next two miles! This wouldn’t have been a problem, but she kept stopping in front of people, which made for some frustrating miles.

Mile 7-9:58
Mile 8-10:03

We continued on, and I was still on pace. We made it to mile 8 and I took my second set of Sport Beans. I was feeling ok, but I noticed that my miles started to slow down at this point. My hip was finally back to normal, but I couldn’t help but worry that something would go wrong. I tried to take in the views to distract myself from thinking of the race. Some views were beautiful, with farmland and rolling hills, some not so much, like when we ran next to the highway. But still, I was thankful to be out there, knowing the views and the weather could be much worse.

Darren said he’d try to be around mile 9, so I tried to keep a lookout for him as we got closer. As we approached mile 9, I saw Darren and couldn’t help but get excited. I was still on pace, feeling pretty good, and was glad that he had made it out to watch me go by.

Right on pace!

Right on pace!

Mile 9-10:08
Mile 10-10:08

I made the turn and followed the road, continuing my way to mile 10. By this point, my bladder was starting to fill up, so I knew I’d need to stop soon. Once I got to mile 10, I stopped at the port-a-potty. With my 4:22 goal, I didn’t factor in bathroom stops, so I tried to keep track of the minutes. 2:00 minutes at the beginning of mile 11, I’d still be good with a 4:24.

I continued on my way, a little disappointed that I stopped, but knew that it was necessary. The weather was starting to warm up, but not too warm where I felt uncomfortable. Somewhere between mile 11 and 13 I started to hit my first wall. I knew that once I made it to the halfway point I’d be fine. I tried to push out any negative thoughts and continued on my way. During mile 12 I recognized a purple and orange shirt. I ran next to the woman, and she asked me if I was from Medina, Ohio. I told her yes, and instantly we remembered running with each other during the long run that Active runner hosted. We agreed that we were having a harder time than we thought, and we would push each other through.

Mile 11-12:01
Mile 12-10:12
Mile 13-11:21

We made it just past the halfway spot until I stopped at a water stop to refill my water. She went ahead and that was the last time I ran next to her. I was now in the mindset that I had less to run than I already have, and maybe my pace and time wouldn’t be too bad, I just had to keep up my current pace.

I got to mile 14 and saw Darren, let him know I was having a bit of a hard time, and he said I was doing good and he’d see me at the finish. It was enough motivation to keep me going, but deep down I knew I was starting to wear down. I started to enter a dark mile, I questioned if I could keep running, if I could finish, and how I was able to run my long runs so perfect, yet here I was struggling at mile 15. I’ll be honest, I wanted to quit, I didn’t want to be out there anymore. But I had come so far, I had worked so hard all year, I didn’t want to disappoint myself.

Mile 14-10:34
Mile 15-11:01

Approaching mile 16, I started to feel sick, I was a little light headed, worn down, and I had an odd  pressure just under my rib cage. I remember the pain, just like I had during the end of the River Run. I didn’t want to get sick this far from the finish, but knew that if I did, it was something I couldn’t control. Luckily, I got to the water stop, stopped for the bathroom and refueled on Sport Beans. I walked for a bit after the stop, hoping that everything would be back to normal. I started to feel better and continued on my way. I only had 10 miles left now, and I knew I had to make it through them.

Mile 16-14:35

The next couple of miles were a blur. I tried to envision running mile 17-20 at Buckeye Woods where I had such strong finishes. This was also around the time where I started to run/walk/shuffle. My body was breaking down and I wasn’t sure if I was more uncomfortable running or walking. I felt so stupid for walking, knowing that I’ve never needed to in my long runs, so why would I know. Again, the feeling of self doubt kept popping up, comparing my training runs to the race. I do remember that once I hit mile 19, a volunteer made me cry, she said, “You’ve made it to mile 19, you’re doing so good!” It was exactly what I needed to hear despite how bad I was feeling.

Mile 17-11:30
Mile 18-12:31
Mile 19-11:32

Once I hit mile 20, I started to countdown how much I had left. I focused on taking it mile by mile, running, walking or doing whatever I could to make it through. I think it was around this time that I stopped for a port-a-potty again, but by this point, I wasn’t keeping track of how many minutes I was losing. We were getting closer to the finish, and I could feel myself start to become more excited. Mile 21-22 we made our way through a park, and with the slightest downhill I started to have more energy. I didn’t want to push it too much, but I felt like I was doing better than before.

Mile 20-15:20
Mile 21-13:48
Mile 22-14:59

I continued drinking water at every mile, and now started every half mile or so. I was also trying to run at least ¾ of each mile and walk about ¼ of each mile. Again, my body was uncomfortable doing both, but as long as I kept moving forward I was ok. With four miles to go, I was at 4:22, the time I wanted to finish. It was heartbreaking, knowing how far I still had to go, but knowing that in this moment, my goal times weren’t in the cards. At this point, all I wanted to do was finish in one piece.

I started to break down again at mile 23, frustrated with how I was doing compared to my training, worried that I would be a complete failure. I also made a note to never let myself sign up for another marathon, that I wanted nothing to do with this distance again.

Mile 23-12:29
Mile 24-13:47
Mile 25-13:56

The last few miles, were really just pitiful. I watched the minutes go by as I continued on my way, hoping that the last mile marker would show up shortly. I watched my Garmin hit 5 hours and was devastated. I was well beyond my goal time, and gave up all hope in my race. Until I hit mile 26. We ran across the bridge into town and I knew it wouldn’t be much further until I would cross that line. For the first time in many miles, I knew I was actually going to finish this race. As I came off the bridge, I saw a few MCRR members to my right cheering me on. I started to tear up, knowing I had such great support even in my darkest times of running. A few feet later, I heard another cheer, my orange and purple shirt friend (so sorry, I don’t remember your name!) from Medina, and I was so happy to see she made it.

So close, yet so hard

So close, yet so hard

Mile 26-14:00

With the moments of encouragement, I started to pick up  my pace, as much as you can by that point, and turned onto Market. I could see the finish line down the road, now I just needed to make it. I put one foot in front of the other, pushing all negative thoughts out of my head. As I got closer, I told myself, that this was my race, my marathon, my day that I worked so hard towards. Naturally, I made myself cry. I heard someone come up behind me, and gave it everything I had. Tears in my eyes, a smile on my face, I finished the marathon feeling better than I had all morning.

Last .4-10:34 pace

Crossing that line...best feeling in the world

Crossing that line…best feeling in the world

I almost got sick after I crossed the line, so I got some water then went to get my medal. As the volunteer was putting on my medal, I cried again. I never wanted something so bad, and I had finally made it. I got in line for my finishers picture, and started to tear up again. But it wasn’t until I finally saw Darren that I let it all out, and I was a mess.

IMG_8577

18 weeks of training, 403 miles, numerous early morning Saturday runs…I finished my second marathon in 5:06:43, a 21 minute and 27 second PR.

It took me all week to think about Sunday morning, to really process what happened and how I feel. When I crossed that finish line, I promised myself I’d never run another marathon again. I didn’t enjoy it, and I was miserable for half of the race. But I was also disappointed in myself, in my legs, in my mind, for letting negative thoughts in, and keeping me from running to my full potential.In my heart, I know I can run faster than 5:06, but on Sunday, it just wasn’t my time.

Race swag

Race swag

I’m finally proud of my 5:06, it took a while, but I know I gave it everything I had on race day. I’ll get my 4:30, and when I do, I’ll officially retire from marathons…..

Cheers to 26.2!

Cheers to 26.2!

Official Results

Time: 5:06:43

Age Group 25-29: 131/166

Female: 911/1174

Overall: 1610/1962