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.


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 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.


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


Columbus Marathon, Part 2

Saturday, I was nervous. Sunday, I was ready. I tossed and turned all night, feeling pretty awake by 5am. I was up by 5:35 and full of anticipation, ready to take on Columbus. I spent the next hour pacing the hotel room, trying on different clothes, and forcing myself to eat. I knew I had to eat a decent amount to have enough energy for the entire race, but with each bite I thought it was going to come right back up. I managed to get down a Blueberry Clif bar and part of a blueberry bagel. I made my way down to the the start line and was right at my corral by 7:00.

Surprisingly I wasn’t nervous. I kept looking around, amazed by how many people were out here. I chatted with a few people, but as the air started to get colder, all I wanted to do was get going. Every couple of minutes the cannon would go off followed by fireworks, and each time it would take me by surprise. We were moving closer and closer to the start line, and soon it would be my time to start. I left my headphones out so I could take in every sound. With every step I was getting closer to running and with each step I had more tears flooding into my eyes. I knew if I cried right away I wouldn’t be able to get my breathing under control, so I kept thinking of other things, like how cold I was and how crazy it was that all these people were out here to support the runners they knew. I put my headphones in, started my Garmin, and began my journey of running 26.2 miles.

Mile 1: 10:43

I was cold, it was crowded and my teeth wouldn’t stop chattering. I was having trouble getting my breathing into a normal rhythm from my teeth shaking so much. I needed to figure out what would be my best pace so I looked around to find the closest pace group. I quickly found the sign with “4:45” on it. I picked up my pace and settled right behind the sign. At this point, it was my best guess at how to manage the giant crowd and how I wouldn’t let myself go out too quick. 25 miles to go, this isn’t so bad.

Mile 2-4: 10:34, 10:38, 10:37

I started to warm up and I got into a pretty comfortable pace. It was still pretty crowded so we would slow down or speed up at times, but overall I felt good. My music was playing songs I didn’t think I had on my iPod, but I tried to ignore it and focus on the race. By mile 3 I pulled out the iPod and changed the playlist, I instantly felt better having my “go to” music playing. I saw a fellow Second Sole RR runner from my summer runs with the group. I took my first set of Sport Beans at mile 4, with a plan to take them every four miles. I saw Elayna along the course and quickly sprinted across, gave her a hug and thanked her for coming. It meant a lot to have support along the way.

Mile 5-6: 10:37, 10:33

I kept going, feeling pretty good. I made sure to stop at every water stop to keep myself hydrated, mixing water and lemon lime Gatorade (my fav!) The weather was warming up a bit, but I held onto my gloves  because I knew I’d need them for later when I’d probably be freezing. At mile 6 I decided I’d go ahead of the pace group. I had no intention of sprinting to catch the 4:30 group, but I wanted to give myself a time gap to fall into.

Mile 7-10: 11:09, 11:06, 10:57, 10:57

I started to remember this part of the course from last year. We went through Bexley, German Village and by Capital University. Lots of crowd support and some wonderful signs to put a smile on my face. I was a quarter of the way done and did a quick check on how I was feeling; legs were good, breathing was good, my mindset was good. I took my first Clif shot around mile 8, because at this point, I was already hungry. I was thankful that I was in a much better place mentally for this race than previously. I was at a steady pace and I had yet to walk.

Mile 11-13: 14:23, 11:05, 10:51

At mile 11 I had to break my pace and stop at the port-o-pots, I was definitely drinking lots of water. I spent a while waiting for one to open up, but it was ok, I wasn’t in a rush, I still had a long way to go. We were now getting close to the half way point, and there were more spectators and a great energy. I couldn’t help but be excited that my race wasn’t over yet. I asked myself, could I do that again? Sure, I felt like I had only run a few miles, I would feel good for at least another 5.

The closer we got to the the turn off point, the more I was surrounded by half marathoners. I panicked thinking I forgot to take a turn, I couldn’t see a single marathoner anywhere near me. Right then I saw the sign for the turn off, followed by Darren on the sidewalk taking pictures as I went by. I smiled, I felt good, I was so glad he made it to the race. I was running the second half. I was running a marathon.

Feeling great!

Mile 14-16: 10:54, 12:17, 13:32

After the half marathoners turned off I felt alone, most of the runners disappeared as well as the crowds. I felt like High Street was going on forever and I had no idea how long it would take to get to the Shoe. I stopped to stretch, and take some more sport beans. I could feel my body starting to tighten. It was starting to wear down a bit as I got closer to mile 16, and I knew this would be a turning point. The next miles would be my longest run ever, distance and time wise. My pace slowed down, but I wasn’t too worried yet. In mile 16 I suddenly felt weak, my hands started shaking and I felt that if I continued to run a few more steps I would pass out. I stopped. I drank a bunch of water, ate some sport beans and ate the only Gu I had left in my FlipBelt. I didn’t know if I would get to the finish.

Mile 17-18: 12:58, 12:11

I started to do a walk/jog combination for the next couple of miles to get my energy level back to where it should be. As long as I was moving, I would be ok. At this point in the race we were approaching the stadium, and I was excited for my chance to run through it. We came around campus and over a bridge to a winding path around the side. It was an amazing feeling come into the Shoe, but it was a short run through. Darren was there somewhere, but I didn’t look around. I just had to keep going. As soon as we entered, we left and would enter the darkest miles of the race.

The Shoe

Mile 19-21: 14:31, 17:57, 14:06

I honestly struggled from mile 17 to mile 21. But mile 19-21 were my slowest miles for sure. I went back and forth between walking and running. I felt like I was going to get sick, and wasn’t sure if I was better off running or walking. I felt miserable. Running a marathon was miserable. And it was hard. I was exhausted, hungry and in a lot of pain. I kept counting down the miles until I would finally be done. But I never once wanted to quit. I knew I had to keep going, I wasn’t going to give up. Right around mile 20 I stopped at the port-o-pots again, I felt over hydrated, but I clearly wasn’t. I thought I was going to get sick and didn’t know if I’d have energy to get me through the last 6 miles. I looked in the mirror and told myself to get it together. Yes, it was hard. But I signed up for this. And I wasn’t alone, there were plenty of other people that were hurting. I couldn’t give up now.

Mile 22-24: 15:26, 12:26, 12:15

Somehow, someway I got to mile 22. Because I don’t know Columbus very well, I never knew where I was in relation to the map or the city. I took more sport beans and told myself I had four more miles, just four more! I started to find a pace that was decent, I was feeling good all things considering. I kept going, and going. I felt almost free, a second wind. Everyone around me was walking, but I didn’t want to, I didn’t need to. I tried to figure out how I would approach the last couple of miles. I stopped at one of the water tables and filled up my hand held, I knew I would need as much water as I could get. I spoke with a gentleman who was also struggling. It was his first marathon and he was having IT problems, we shared the same thought that yes this was hard, but we’ve had a good day weather wise and the course was pretty flat. We had two miles left, and we were going to make it.

Mile 25-26: 12:53, 16:23

I took my ear buds out at mile 25. I wanted to cherish that last 1.2 miles of the race. I had come this far, I wanted to make sure I remembered the finish forever. I saw finishers walking to cheer others on with the medal around their necks, I wanted that. A half mile to go and the sun was shining. I took my last sport bean to have just enough energy to get me across the line. I could see the amount of spectators growing. The closer we got the the louder everything became. I started to get teary eyed, I was working myself up and I had to calm down. As I was approaching the turn, I heard my name called and let out the tears. I was going to finish a marathon! As soon as I turned the corner, I had to stop. I was going to get sick, not once, but twice. Nothing. I told myself to stop it, this is embarrassing. You’re fine, and you’re going to get up and finish this race. A few hundred feet from the finish, I had the energy of someone who had fresh legs, I picked it up and sprinted. I crossed the line. I finished. I finished a marathon.

Courtesy of @cbusmarathon

I was crying and smiling. A volunteer placed a medal around my neck and told me congratulations. I heard my name called, it was Darren. I went to the fence and as he reached over for my hand, I saw tears, something I’ve seen only one other time. He told me  how proud he was of me. It was the absolute best moment, such an incredible feeling. I walked towards the food, got my picture taken and let out a big sigh of relief. I was officially a marathoner.

26.2 Done!

I grabbed a small snack and got a massage. I was in a lot of pain, but at that moment I felt nothing. I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t sore, I was in a daze. I stood around to take in everything. I was an hour off my goal time, but I finished. I gave it everything I had and left it all on the course.

My biggest fan

Official Time: 5:28:10



It all comes down to this…

It’s here. It is finally marathon weekend!! And the marathon is in two days. TWO DAYS!! After 110 days and almost exactly 16 weeks of training, the moment of truth is here. First of all, I apologize (not really) for all of the marathon talk. It is honestly all I have on my mind. I know it’s been coming up and I knew my days were numbered on when I would get to stand on that line, but it didn’t hit me hard until last night. There may have been a few extra tears in dinner, and they weren’t from cutting an onion. It’s crazy to think that I’m running the “ultimate” event, at least that’s how I see it. What is more unbelievable is that last May I ran my first half marathon. In the past 17 months I’ve run 8 half marathons and will now get to reach the next level.

I’ve set out some goals. Nothing too crazy, but something to think about when I reach a low point or two during the race.

  • Finish in 4:30. This may be a lofty goal, but it’s a best case scenario for sure. This puts me at a 10:15ish pace, a 2:15 half. A majority of my miles in my long runs have been sub 10, so I f eel like this is a possibility. But there is no guarantee on race day and I know I have to keep my pace slow.
  • Finish in 4:45. This is the finish time for my corral. I think this is a safe goal, it gives me extra time and I’d have a pace of 11:00. I never ran this pace during training, but I have a feeling that I may dip down to it in my final miles.
  • Finish. In all honesty, I just want to finish. I want to cross that line and become a marathoner. This is one of the most important days of my life, crossing that line is all I can think about. It means more than anything to me.

Now you know my goals, but what if you want to see how I’m doing during the race instead of waiting for my race recap? No worries, I’ve got you covered.

  • I’ve linked up my Twitter account to check in on my splits throughout the race with Real-Time Race Tracking.
  • You can also go online and sign up for tracking as well, I’m bib number 3978
  • I’ve linked my Facebook account to give real time tracking
  • Darren may also be tweeting live (he did a good job in Colorado)
  • You can also come to Columbus and be one of the awesome fans. I’ll be wearing something from the assortment below….

So many options

Goals. Check. Tracking. Check. Thank you’s….

I wish I could take each and every person out to dinner to thank them for all they’ve done, instead I’ll let you know on here. Plus I can save money for the expo. Seriously, I wouldn’t have been able to come this far with out the support, encouragement, hope and love from everyone. Friends, family, blog readers, twitter followers, you guys are all amazing. All the comments, well wishes, advice, I’ve taken it all to heart and will think about each and every one of you on Sunday. I can’t wait to come back next week and share the experience with you, the ups and downs, the tears and smiles. Every single moment. So thank you.

It’s time, time to leave it all on the streets of Columbus and give this marathon everything I’ve got.


Why 26.2?

Why run 26.2 miles? I used to ask myself this question. Throughout high school and college, I always thought that someday, somehow I’d run a marathon. It was on my bucket list I guess you could say. But it was a phrase that I loosely threw around. I had these hopes while I was running 6 days a week and racing almost every weekend. After college I took some time away from running. Not much, but I wasn’t running as many miles or as often as I had in the past. Then last year I made the decision I would run a half marathon, and I did it in the beautiful city of Cleveland. It was awful weather, but it was an amazing experience, almost too good to be true. After crossing the line, I immediately knew I wanted to run more half marathons. At that time I had no desire to run a full marathon, I had no interest in running any further than 13.1 miles…ever.

Over the summer I ran and trained for three other half marathons, along with a relay team for Akron Marathon. One of the Muskie alums Molly, a marathon expert, suggested that I think about it, maybe one day I’ll have a change of heart. Kimi, who at the time was training for her first marathon told me I should definitely do it, and like her, Columbus would be a great first marathon course. Throughout the relay I gave it a lot of thought, together as a team we completed 26.2 miles, was there a possibility I could do it on my own? While waiting near the finish for Molly to dominate her leg of the relay I found myself touched by every single runner that came past us. In my heart, I knew that I would run a marathon, that I would get my own chance to run past mile marker 26.

Talk about a “milestone”

About a month later I had reassurance that I wanted to lace up and try 26.2 miles when I watched the finish of the Columbus Marathon. If you are ever on the fence about running a marathon (or any race) watch the finish. I’m pretty sure I kept tearing up every couple of minutes. It was such a wonderful experience to watch, and had me counting down the days until I could register to run my own. Even better was watching Kimi finish, knowing she had put so much time and effort into her training, I knew I wanted to do the same.

Running 26.2 miles is going to be an experience, a year after making the decision, it’s finally my time. Why run 26.2 miles? This is why….

  1. Running comes full circle. I have been running for over half of my life time. It’s what I do, it’s who I am, it’s the one thing that has never let me down. I started with the 400m in middle school and continued my way into longer distances until now I’m on the doorstep of reaching 26.2. My running has changed over the past couple of years. I’ve finally come to the realization that I will most likely never run a 22:xx 5k again. And that’s ok. I want to focus on distance, I want to enjoy the hours spent running for myself, not for a time.
  2. Running the Shoe. One of the highlights for the marathon this year was being able to run through the Shoe. I may not be the biggest Buckeye fan out there, but I’m completely excited about this opportunity. I’ve only been to the stadium three times, but I have a feeling this will be my favorite and most memorable time there.
  3. Redemption. I have a bone to pick with Columbus. Last year’s half marathon wasn’t my best effort, I mentally gave up within the first mile. I was burnt out, I was injured (imagine that) and I was ready for the racing season to end. This year I want to show Columbus that I can handle it, and that I’m going to give this race all I’ve got.
  4. Running with Alumni. It makes me so excited that I don’t have to run the marathon alone, well kind of. I’ll be doing all 26.2 miles by myself, but I’m glad to know that cross country friends from high school and college will be going through the same race as me, experiencing everything just as I am, as we all run our first marathon. I may be running alone, but it’s good to know that I have some teammates out there on the course.
  5. Running 26.2. 5k, 10k, Half. I think it’s the perfect time to step up my game and challenge myself on a longer race. Who knows, it could be my new favorite race distance….

Marathon Promises

Today is day one. The first of many in what is now becoming my next adventure, training for the Columbus Marathon. I’m still very unsure about the idea of running 26.2 miles, but I’m also excited to see just how far I can push myself and become an even better runner. To start myself on the right foot, I’ve made some promises.

  • Don’t over do it. This will be hard, but I’ll have to ease myself into the first couple of weeks. I can’t just jump into double digit runs before getting some good base miles in. I also don’t want to push myself too far where I’m in constant pain for miles. I’ll need to find a balance.
  • Cross train. I love my bike and I’ve neglected it some, so I need to spend some quality time with it. The only thing holding me back, is the fear of traffic. I’ll just have to ride smart and find the best routes for me.
  • Pay attention to pain. I’ve had knee pain since March, and have yet to see a doctor. Maybe that’s because it goes away, or maybe because I’m afraid to hear the words, “Stop running.” Either way, I need to pay attention to pain and aide it right away.
  • Build some muscle. Remember way back in the winter when I was lifting a small amount. I want to pick that back up. I want to tone my entire body, not just my legs. If my body is stronger, those miles may seem a little easier.
  • Eat healthier. I’m guilty when it comes to eating a poor diet. I’d live off pasta if I could. I’ve made small attempts at eating better, but I fall back into what’s quick and easy. This time I really want to stay on a good path. Goodbye ice cream and snacks.
  • Have fun. Honestly, this is most important. I’m only going to run one marathon, so I might as well enjoy it. It’s going to be an experience, and I may get frustrated, upset, emotional, etc… But the feeling after crossing that finish line in October will be like no other. So I’m going to have fun.

And it begins. 111 days until Columbus Marathon….

Just a few things

While I’m in Canada, I wanted to fill you in a few fun things.

This past weekend we hit the slopes to enjoy the most recent snow storm. Last year I tried snowboarding and after remembering my large amount of falls, I wanted to try something easier and safer. So I decided that I’d spend a few hours skiing. I’ve never done downhill, but I grew up doing cross-country skiing, so I felt I kind of had an idea of what I was doing (not really). I took the beginners lesson so I wouldn’t completely embarrass myself. I definitely learned the basics and felt comfortable going down the easy hills. However, an 8-year-old in the group showed me up and was better than me the first time down, he also didn’t believe that I was in my mid-20’s so I had lost all faith from him. I spent a couple of hours on the easy slopes until Darren tricked me to try a harder one. Sorry buddy, it wasn’t easy and I pretty much had a panic attack on the top of the mountain.

Notice the harder hill I was tricked into

Somehow I made it down, secretly proud of myself that I could do it after just a few hours of learning, but didn’t want to try it again that day. I plan on going a few more times this year, and eventually investing in making it my winter sport. Of course nothing compares to running.

Skiing 101= Survival

Next up, I’m running Cleveland Half for a reason. I’ve decided that the Cleveland Half marathon will be dedicated to running for Team JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. My goal is to raise $500 by Cleveland to help support those who are looking to cure this disease. No surprise, the reason I’m doing this is for Darren, who was diagnosed with Diabetes when he was just 3 years old. I appreciate any donations and encourage you to learn more about Diabetes.

The final and maybe most exciting thing is….there are 3 more days until Columbus registration opens up! I haven’t even started training or planning for this, but I’m already getting excited, I can’t help but get goose bumps every time I think about it. 2012 is the year of races!