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Saturday, December 21, 2013

A forgotten bunny

Monday was Polar Express day at school for my Bean. That meant she got to wear her jammies to school and take a stuffed animal to snuggle while they watched the movie. As we pulled into the drop-off line, she informed me in a voice of panic mixed with sadness that she forgot her stuffed bunny.

Like everyone else in the world, I had a crazy busy week. Going home to get her bunny would add an extra 40 minutes to my morning. But I couldn't bring myself to tell her I wouldn't go get it.

As I walked into the school 40+ frustrating minutes later, I ran into my aunt. She's the director (like the principal) at my girls' school. When I explained why I was there, green bunny in tow, she pointed out how kids with working moms wouldn't be so lucky. And we agreed that it made our hearts a little sad to think about.

That few minutes with my aunt turned my day around. It reminded me how lucky I am to be able to do things like retrieve a forgotten bunny. And to pick my girls up each day, hearing the news and excitement from their days at school. And to be able to run every morning. Even when I have to cut my run short because I have to wander around my house looking for a bunny.

The morning was a reminder of how blessed I am. Reminders like that aren't always easy, but I wouldn't have traded it for those extra 40 minutes.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dashing through the snow and a winner

Before we get to the winner (finally) of the Spartan race entry giveaway, here's a little throwback to The Runner's Jingle Bells - Half Marathon Edition, which I wrote and posted on the blog two years ago:

Dashing through the snow,
On a thirteen (.1) mile run.
O'er the hills we go,
Racing is so fun.
As my iPod plays,
Helping miles pass,
Oh what fun it is to run,
I hope I'm not in last.

Running fast, running far,
Running all the way.
I can see the finish line,
Just half a mile away.


And the winner of the Spartan Race Giveaway:

kishcrafts

Please email candice@runnerd.com for information on how to register for the free race of your choice.

 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Let the Christmas Countdown Begin

After five fun-filled family days, I am a little behind on things. One of the things that was overlooked during all the fun was a reminder that the end of the Spartan Race Entry Giveaway was nearing. And is now upon us. Instead of announcing the winner, I am extending the deadline until the end of this week (Friday, Dec. 6)!! So enter now. And don't forget to watch the World Championship Spartan Race on NBC Sports this Saturday.

I hope you all had perfect Thanksgiving holidays. Mine was amazing. I ran the Thankful 13 half marathon and really just ran completely for fun. I even stopped to get some love from my family. Nothing beats seeing their faces unexpectedly during the race and getting hugs at the finish.

Dinner at the restaurant was yummy, even if it wasn't exactly a traditional Thanksgiving meal. And the rest of the weekend was full of family, games, goodies and a little shopping.

One of the weekend's highlights was putting up and decorating our tree. The rest of our house has been decorated for weeks, but we waited until the day after Thanksgiving to get our tree.

Now I'm in full Christmas mode!! Counting down the days, eating all things candy cane and doing plenty of shopping.

 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful for sugar cookies and restaurants

This morning I got up early, took a shower and got completely ready. In normal, grown-up clothes. Not running clothes. It is the first time I have done that in a long time. This is especially worth documenting because I even wore something other than jeans, which is rare. I love jeans. Almost as much as I love running clothes. Not sure if I've ever mentioned that.


I had a doctor's appointment, which I felt was a good enough reason to get dressed for the day. So my run has been scheduled for later in the day.

Last night I had date night with Janae. After devouring my sugar cookie, we talked about our Thanksgiving plans. It's funny because every time I tell someone my plans, I expect the complete opposite reaction of what I inevitably get.

The I Have Run family is going to a restaurant with a big group of my aunts, uncles, grandpa and cousins. Other people seem to think eating Thanksgiving at a restaurant sounds like a great idea. I'm getting used to the idea. Initially the lack of leftovers almost made me turn down the invite, but I decided I'm going to cook almost everything we normally have anyway, sometime between running and Black Friday shopping.

I guess my history of Thanksgiving dinners at restaurants is what sets me up to expect some degree of pity when I tell people we're eating at a restaurant. The highlight of my first Thanksgiving restaurant experience was finding ants in the water. Not just one ant. Ants. Plural. In everyone's water. Then last year I was sick on Thanksgiving so we decided to go to a buffet. When the line was so ridiculously long that it just wasn't worth the far-from-homemade offerings at the end of the line, we ended up at Carl's Jr.

But this year will be different. After running THIS before sitting down to eat, I'm going to do my best to get my money's worth and enjoy every bite.

Before I go, don't forget to enter my Spartan Race Free Entry Giveaway!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Do Spartans run virtual races?

Hello everyone. I have been keeping busy. Seems like every time I think things are slowing down, my calendar starts filling up again. I have a work project due right after Thanksgiving and two cake projects in the next two weeks.

No matter how busy I get though, I know I have to make time to run. It just makes everything else go more smoothly. This is true even when everything leading up to the run seems to be working against me, which happened to be the case on Friday.

On Wednesday, I couldn't find my headphones (which are also a wireless MP3 player) when I got back to my car after my run. I had taken them out of my ears when I finished running and put them in my pocket while I walked the last little bit to my car. When I realized they were missing, I retraced my steps and found them about 100 feet from my car.

Friday when I went to use them, I noticed they were a little banged up. Looking closer, I realized they had actually been run over. And they didn't work anymore.

Add that to the cold I'd had all week,which got quite a bit worse in the hours leading up to my run, throw in some pretty strong wind, and I wasn't the happiest of campers heading out for my run Friday morning.

But I got it done. I ran my virtual Hope for Philippines 5k. If you didn't register for the virtual race, you can still donate through PayPal at hope4philippines5k@gmail.com or by using a debit/credit card at www.activeheadbands.com.

In other news, I wanted to make sure all you runnerds know about the World Championship Spartan Race being broadcast on NBC Sports on December 7th.

To help make sure you don't forget, Spartan Race is giving one lucky I Have Run reader a free entry to any open heat in any 2013-2014 Spartan Race in the continental US. You can find a list of the races HERE.

To enter to win the free Spartan Race entry, leave a comment letting me know which race you would enter and why you want to do it. For an extra entry, post about this giveaway on Instagram, Facebook or on your blog. Be sure to tag me (@ihaverun on IG) or leave a comment here letting me know you posted about it. The winner will be selected Monday, December 2 by random.org.

You can register and get 15% off any Spartan Race here: http://bit.ly/spartanwarrior.

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Healthier Me...with a cherry on top

Yesterday I ran eight great miles. Actually, six of them were great. The first two kind of sucked. I had a bad attitude all morning, and I took it with me on my run. After two miles spent focusing on all the things I want to change about my body, I started to think about the things I like about it and how it lets me run mile after mile.

The funny thing is the nicer I am to my body, the nicer it is to me. And the more I focus on what I like about it, the more I like it.

Being nice to it has a lot to do with how and what I eat and drink. A few weeks ago I received some Cheribundi cherry juice to try. I decided to try the Cheribundi 7-Day Challenge since some of the benefits include:

  • reduced post-exercise muscle and joint pain
  • carbohydrates that provide energy and nutrients
  • promotes deeper, more restful sleep post-workout because it contains significant levels of melatonin

After too many recent restless nights, which mean less energy, the possibility of better sleep was a big appeal.

The fact that the juice tastes pretty good made the challenge a little easier. It is just the right amount of tart and sweet. One of the days I added the juice to a smoothie so I was incorporating the calories into a meal rather than adding them on top of my regular calorie intake.

Within a few days of beginning the challenge, I did start sleeping better and had more energy. I think adding healthy supplements like Cheribundi, which is completely natural and easy to incorporate into a healthy diet, is never a bad idea. Healthy, real-food supplements can have a lot of positive benefits on your overall health, whether the benefits are completely obvious right away or they just improve your health in the long-term.

 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bins of Christmas Cheer

I'm not usually a TGIF kind of girl. Don't get me wrong. I love the weekends. But I try to make the most of every day. Yes even Monday. But this week I'm kind of happy it's finally Friday.

It has been a busy week, as you can see from my lack of posts. But it has been a good kind of busy.

I've been working on a freelance editing project. I also had a cupcake/cake order from my cousin for her son's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. And I have to point out that the eagle in the bottom of the picture is made of fondant. And that I, of no natural artistic abilities, free handed that eagle and am a little bit proud of it. It will go on top of the cake just before it is displayed.

I've been trying to get my house decorated for Christmas (which is a multiple day project even when I don't have anything else to do). Yes, those bins are stacked three high. And they are full of Christmas cheer!

And I have also been running. There's always running because, for me, it's about setting priorities and making time for the things, like running,that are important.

Speaking of running...this week I was featured on Thank Your Body's Fitness Friday! Go check it out; you might find out something you don't already know about me.

 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Candy Crush is evil

I have been meaning to post the past few days but keep getting sidetracked by Candy Crush. That's one of the problems with blogging on my iPad. The game apps are there to distract me. I'm not telling you this so you will send me an invite to play Candy Crush. I don't exactly understand the purpose of those invitations anyway. So don't send me one. I'll just delete it.

The point is, I obviously failed miserably at Candy Crush because here I am posting anyway. Don't you just hate it when you have to wait almost 20 minutes for another life?!?

In addition to playing Candy Crush, I have been doing a little running lately. With two unplanned rest days last week (life happens and you have to learn to roll with it), I was happy to still end the week with 40 miles.

My focus the entire week was to just enjoy each run. I didn't worry about speed or distance. I ran completely based on how I felt. And I ended up with some great runs.

I've learned that sometimes you have to stop focusing so much on your training plan or what your schedule says you need to do and just run.

I finished off the week on Saturday with a late afternoon run. I had 16 planned but cut it short at 12 because it was getting dark and cold faster than I expected. But those 12 miles were some of the best I've had in a long time! My legs felt incredibly strong the entire run.

This week I'll probably throw in a day at the track, but other than that my focus is still on enjoying each run.

I have also learned that enjoying my runs has a lot to do with how I'm eating. If I'm eating poorly, I inevitably end up running poorly. So I'm trying to eat better this week. I've kind of gotten out of control lately, letting myself eat pretty much anything and everything I see. And I'm feeling it!

Eating better also means getting all my water in during the day. It's amazing what a difference that makes as well. I usually drink at least 64 ounces or so per day, but I want to drink at least a gallon. This is helping make sure I don't fall short...

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and a very happy Monday!

 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Found something I don't like in oatmeal

Yesterday I wore a pair of my old running tights that I bought back when my main priority when it came to running clothes was the price. As in a low price. I did make sure they had flat seams and wicking material, but the price was always the make-or-break point. These particular tights are not particularly tight. So they are also not particularly flattering. They are loose in all the places you want them to be tight. And they are just loose enough that they move in the opposite direction of your legs when you are running, which tends to make one hyper-aware of one's body and what seems to be the jiggling of it. Not nice.

Today I wore a pair of running tights I got for my birthday last month. And they were amazing. Tight in all the right places. Just the right thickness. And very important - not too tight anywhere that they caused rolls or bulges. Pretty much perfect.

I know you can't tell much of a difference in this picture, but trust me. There is a night and day difference! So if I can give you a piece of advice, it is to buy running clothes that fit well and that you love, even if they cost a little more. You will end up wearing them a lot more and they will be more worth your money in the end.

Besides realizing how much I didn't like that other pair of running tights yesterday, I also found out I don't like peanut butter in my oatmeal. At all. I tried to mix things up. Big mistake. Lesson learned. Moving on.

On my run today, I had a little chafing problem that started about a mile into an 11 mile run. At mile two, there was a grocery store. I grabbed some Vaseline (for lips because it was easier to carry than a little tub of it!) and nicely asked the cashier if I could tell her my credit card info since I didn't have any money with me. All that online shopping has paid off since it is the reason my cc info is seared into my brain.

And in other big news from my run, I braided my hair for the first time in probably over a year. I decided to wear a beanie and it always bugs me when it is smashing down my ponytail. So I put my hair in a quick braid. It worked great. Didn't bug me at all.

My modeling picture is missing the beanie because I took it off the second I was finished running because it was so sweat soaked. I loved wearing a beanie though. And it helped keep me toasty. The problem is I only have a few, so I guess I'll have to add to my collection.

Do you have any hats you love for running?

 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Show Your Runnerdness - A Contest (with prizes!!)

The runnerd photo-a-day contest starts tomorrow!


Anyone who posts at least 15 days in November will receive an oval runnerd sticker. 

Please tag @teamrunnerd on all your posts! 

Everyone who posts every day will be entered into a drawing for the item of your choice (up to $25 value) from the Runnerd Shop. There will be two winners selected by random.org.
These winners will each receive a runnerd keychain. 

There will be three category winners, one for each of the following:
1- most creative
2 - funniest
3 - most runnerd
The nominees will be selected by @teamrunnerd and then voted on by you! 

Remember to try to make your posts as runnerdy as possible. 

You can send any questions to candice@runnerd.com or  leavea comment on this post. I'm excited to see your posts! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bottling up happiness

If I could bottle up the conversation and happiness that comes with spending time with these two and take it on every run, I'd be sure to get out of this funk.


Me, Janae & Heather

Yep, I'm in a funk. I'm sure it doesn't help that I haven't been sleeping very well lately (Is there such a thing as adult onset insomnia? Or is that just called insomnia? Whatever it is, I think I might have it.) and eating way too much crap. Or that eating everything in sight has made me feel not so great about my body lately. 

Whatever IT is, IT is carrying over into my runs. Every run seems a little harder and seems to drag on a little more than it should. The only redeeming things are that the second half is always (mildly) better than the first half and that I always get my runner's high. So this morning I was glad I got out there instead of heading back to bed after I dropped my girls off at school.

Anyhow, here is the recipe for the coconut almond granola I made yesterday, as requested. I have snacked on it all day today, which has made me feel a little better about eating constantly.


made enough changes to the original recipe that I'm now claiming it as my own. So here you go...

Coconut Almond Granola

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup craisins 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine rolled oats, flour, almonds, coconut and craisins in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, melt brown sugar, honey, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir constantly until sugar is melted. (I used a wire whisk to make sure it was combined well.) Remove from heat. Pour over dry mixture and mix until evenly coated.

Line two baking sheets with wax paper and distribute granola mixture between the two pans. Spread granola into a single layer. Place pans on center rack in preheated oven and back for 10 minutes. Remove pans and stir. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Stir again and let cool completely. 

When cool, place granola in an airtight container. It will keep for several months in an airtight container if stored in the refrigerator.





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Giant Nutella and Pumpkin Pie

Yesterday I ran seven miles. I wasn't sure I was going to make it when the first two miles were not only uphill but also into the wind. But once I got to the trail, I had a crosswind, which seemed entirely bearable after a headwind!

After some T25 ab intervals, I picked up my Bean and we went to Costco so we could spoil our lunch. Bean really wanted to take home some Nutella. The $40 price tag (and the four jars of Nutella in my pantry) kept me in check.


Don't worry though. I did buy a pumpkin pie.

Today's run was an easy five. It wasn't, however, as easy as I would have liked. My legs felt heavy the first two miles. I'm not sure if it was because they felt like they never really warmed up - probably because of the rain - or because they were just tired from yesterday's windy effort. Just after my turnaround point, it started to hail. Which is actually a first for me while running. Then it was a downpour until it finally let up the last mile. When I got home, I found out my jacket can only withstand water up to a point.



This afternoon, I decided to make some coconut almond granola. It was my first attempt at homemade granola, and it was a success. It smelled so good baking that Bean kept asking when she could have some. And the hubs and I couldn't stop eating it once I pulled it out of the oven, even though it was burning our mouths. 


Before I sign off, I just want to let you know there will be a fun contest beginning on Friday on the TeamRunnerd Instagram page, so be sure to follow us there!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Climbing, cookies and carving...a Saturday

I kicked off the weekend with 14 miles on Saturday morning. Since I slept in, my little family dropped me off, and I ran the 14 miles home. Less than a mile in, I had to climb this fence, which was blocking a trail. Not a road. And for absolutely no apparent reason. 


For some reason, the miles seemed to go by so slowly. The highlight was seeing my fam at mile 10. They brought me some water to wash down an energy gel, which I thought might help get me through the last few miles. It was my first time trying Salted Caramel GU, and it was awesome. Seriously. Maybe it was partly because it was almost noon and all I'd eaten so far was a banana, but no matter the reason, I liked it enough that I stopped by the running store today and bought a handful more. After I GUed, the hubs performed his job as official I Have Run photographer; then the fam headed home so I could finish my run. 


Saturday night we frosted cookies and carved pumpkins with cousins. The adults attempted to frost the cookies while the kiddos were distracted, but apparently my kids are ALL ABOUT frosting the cookies. Maybe that's what happens when their mom is ridiculously picky about her sugar cookies and usually frosts them all herself while they are at school.


I didn't get around to carving my own pumpkin, but The Princess was happy to let me do most of the work on hers. After her little sister dug out all the seeds for her first, of course. 


Yes, my little Bean will try about anything. She even wanted to do most of the carving on her pumpkin herself.


I hope you all had an amazing weekend too and a very happy Monday!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Owning My Runnerdness

What do you do between loads of laundry? Today I did a T25 workout. And it kicked my booty. It was one I haven't done before - Core Cardio. I certainly got the cardio part out of it, but I didn't really feel it in my core like I hoped. So I followed it up with some ab exercises. Then I did some arm strength since I was a slacker after my track workout yesterday and got straight in the shower when I got home.

Tomorrow is long run day. The plan is to make it a family outing. These are my favorite runs because I get surprised by my favorite little faces throughout my run.


Since my long(ish) run is tomorrow, today is a rest day from running. However I made sure to own my runnerdness, thanks to some of my amazing friends who gave me the cutest runnerd necklace for my birthday. 




Do you have a long run this weekend? Or other fun plans? 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Three Random Things

It's Thursday. Not sure how. But here it is. And I am definitely loving some things today!

1. The track. Not any track though. The outdoor track at BYU is my new favorite place for speedwork. If you would have told me I would be in love with that blue oval when I was a student there, I would have been sure you'd recently escaped from the state mental hospital. Which, as a side note, used to host a haunted house every Halloween. Creepy much?


2.  My current hydration tool. I'm sort of obsessed with cups. And the ones with built in insulation are my favorites. Add a seasonal touch...new favorite.


3. This kid in her Halloween costume. Her life is all things horses, so of course she wanted to be a horse rider for Halloween. Her costume came in the mail yesterday and has been her outfit of choice ever since. She even wanted to wear it to bed.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Getting My Groove Back

I loaded the blogger app on my phone in hopes that it will help me be a better and more regular blogger. I guess we'll see if it works.

After recovering mentally and physically from back-to-back marathons and battling some hip joint issues the past month, I feel like I'm starting to find my running groove again.
I'm focusing on letting my body dictate how hard and how far I run. I'm making cross training a solid part of my weekly workouts. And I'm educating myself (with a bunch of books the hubs surprised me with) so next year can be even better than this year in my little running world.

And that, my friends, is a post. Maybe if I keep them short and sweet like this, posts really might happen more often. Maybe...


Monday, October 14, 2013

More proof that running is mental (another "sort of" race report)

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I started a new training plan yesterday. I needed something to get me out the door. Something to work on and toward. 

Last week began with physical therapy and my doctor telling me to take a few days off. My SI joints had decided they like locking up a few weeks before and weren't cooperating after running my second marathon in three weeks. So I took a few days off and ran again on Wednesday. My runs on Wednesday and Thursday were good but not great. And Friday I ran with the cross country team, but my heart just wasn't in it. Saturday I was supposed to run 10 miles, but I slept in and didn't get started until almost noon. The only thing I had eaten is a banana, which works great if I am running first thing in the morning. Three miles in I knew it was going to be cut short. I stopped and called it at four miles.

All this came the week after the St. George marathon, which itself was a challenge. I'm looking at it as a learning experience and another great lesson on how mental this running thing is. In the days before the race, I just wasn't excited. I was battling hip and sciatic pain, I was coming off the huge high of my PR/BQ at Big Cottonwood Marathon just three weeks before, and I just really didn't want to run another marathon already. 

When my leg and hip started bothering me two miles in, I started questioning if I should even finish. Seeing my little family at mile 7 just before the infamous Veyo hill got me up and over it. But then I went to put my sunglasses on at the top and one of the lenses had fallen out. I chucked my sunglasses and found myself staring longingly at the shuttles whenever they would come by with injured racers heading to the finish. I debated flagging them down more than once.

Sights like this helped push me through some other tough spots:


I seriously have the best little support crew. They made signs...

And shirts...

And made me smile at the finish...


But my heart just wasn't ever in it. It was hard to even be happy about my 3:29:17 finish time because it just wasn't the race it should have been. 

So now it's time to look ahead and move forward. That is one of my favorite hashtags after all...#keepmovingforward. Those words are also hanging above my treadmill. So with a big year behind me so far, I plan to finish it strong. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Big Cottonwood Marathon - A recap of sorts

Running 26.2 miles, no matter what the course is like or how well you have trained, is hard. I still don't love the distance, but there is nothing like crossing the finish line of a marathon. Nothing.

On September 14, I completed Big Cottonwood Marathon. Here are a few things I never want to forget, things I always want to remember and things that worked for me.

Things I Never Want to Forget

This moment....
When I got home, I went upstairs to shower, with a little detour to register for Boston.
 
I saw my family for the first time at mile 17. It was really the first time you could see spectators, and I tried to take in the sight as much as I could!

I have only cried happy tears a handful of times in my life. This day was one of them. Especially when I texted the person who has believed in me and cheered me on through it all more than anyone, other than my family. I did get to have a mostly incoherent phone call with her a few minutes later. Both are moments I will always treasure.

Admitting on the bus ride up that I was hoping for a sub-3:35 freaked me out a little. I realized the night before the race that I actually needed a sub-3:35 to be able to register for Boston that same day, even though my BQ time is 3:40. Hearing myself say it out loud to a complete stranger was a little scary.

Seeing Jen and Julia just before the finish line was a moment I will never forget. I have the most amazing friends!!!! The moment I saw them was the first time I let myself really acknowledge I had done it. I had crushed my sub-3:35. Then seeing Janice and Janae after the race made the moment even sweeter.

I ran the last two miles for my girls. Thinking of my Princess running her races and picturing her running along the same trail I spend so many mornings logging miles on pushed me through one of my most difficult miles. And thinking of my silly little Bean and knowing I would see her smiling face in just a few minutes pushed me through that last mile.

I couldn't have gotten to the start or the finish line without my family. They have been my support crew and my cheerleaders through it all. On Saturday, they were there every mile or so after 17. With signs, dressed up, with water and Powerade ready to go, blasting my theme song out of the back of our car (Katy Perry's Roar) and just cheering me on. I am so spoiled I actually remember, the one time I went about two miles without seeing them, thinking, "Where's my freaking family?!?" And my girls wouldn't have appreciated my accomplishment if their dad hadn't helped them understand what it really meant. I wouldn't have runnerd license plates without him either, which they surprised me with at the end of the race.

Laying next to my Bean Saturday night, she asked why I cried after my race. When I explained that they were happy tears because I had done something I never thought I would do, she asked, "Did you win?" My answer: "Yes. I won."


Things I Want to Remember

When my left calf started talking to me, I talked back. I started willing it to not cramp up. I sent it happy thoughts. I've never done this before, but it worked. And it kept me entertained for a while. When my right quad started acting up, I did the same thing. And it worked again.

I struggled at mile 8. I struggled at that same point in some of my longer training runs, so I knew it wouldn't last. Knowing this helped me get through several other tough miles as well. A marathon is full of ups and downs. And so much of running really is mental. If you can get through the rough spots mentally, your body will (usually) follow.

The last six miles or so were hard. In a marathon, they will always be hard. But quitting is even harder. I've had a lot of races when I've looked back and wished I wouldn't have stopped to pee or wondered what my time would have been if I had just pushed a little harder when I was struggling, but I've NEVER had a race where I looked back and wished I would have quit.


Things That Worked for Me

I walked through all the aid stations and drank water. I've never done this before. On any other distance, I don't fuel or hydrate at all. So finding what works for me during a marathon has been a journey of trial and error. During most of my other marathons, I carried a handheld water bottle the entire race. I hate carrying it and I still got dehydrated during several races when I carried it, so I figured walking through the aid stations would force me to get the fluid I needed. It was absolutely worth the few seconds it took each time! Getting dehydrated would have certainly cost me much more than those extra seconds.

I grabbed my handheld full of Powerade at mile 17. I kept it for the next few miles and then ditched it. My apologies to the hubs who had to run out in traffic to get it. And to the driver I scared when my sad throwing while running skills only got it to the middle of the traffic lane rather than to the opposite shoulder.

My stomach wasn't happy off and on, so I kept putting off using my fuel. Around mile 21, I downed one Accel Gel. It really seemed to help. This is big for me. I had to force myself to start using some kind of fuel. And feeling like it actually helped will make it easier to fuel in future races.

I took salt tablets (actually Hammer Endurolytes) just before I started and at miles 6 and 12 and 16.

I smiled. I know it seems simple and trivial, but it's amazing how smiling at a volunteer or another runner would give me a boost. And every time I told myself "I've freaking got this," I couldn't help but smile. Because I freaking had it. And I wasn't letting anything stop me!





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