*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 3-9*

Mileage for the week of October 3rd – October 9th

Total weekly mileage: 39.5

Total October mileage: 51.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,134.75

Week in review:

10/3      No run/rest day

10/4     35:18 min./4 mi./8:50 pace

10/5     34:52 min./4.25 mi./8:11 pace

10/6     26:56 min./3 mi./8:59 pace

10/7     No run/rest day

10/8     2 miles (easy on treadmill)

10/9     3:37:40 min./26.2 mi./8:19 pace

I literally just arrived home about an hour ago from my trip home to Portland. I cannot even begin to describe the whirlwind that the past six days have been. I’m completely exhausted and completely content. It was a magical combination of all of the things that I love most: my family, my friends, running, and the Pacific Northwest.

The coming days will yield a somewhat proper race recap… though I admit that writing recaps is not my strong suit… even as a writer, I find that it’s hard to explain the emotional and mental aspects of racing. I’ll try anyway (and for now, give you a small glimmer of what’s to come…) because even though it wasn’t a PR, it was a pretty incredible run for me for several reasons and the result was meeting one of my goals. I’m still surprised to be honest but I somehow managed to cross the finish line with a BQ!

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and congratulatory notes on Instagram! Now to relax and enjoy a little down time to recover (because I’m hella sore!) before I get back to the grind!

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*Good, Better, Best – Marathon #9*

In a little under 24 hours, I will be landing in Portland for a whirlwind weekend of catching up with my loves, representing the Portland Marathon at the Sports and Fitness Expo, running the marathon on Sunday, and spending as much time as I can with family and friends. I have a feeling it’s going to be a doozy.

So with that, here is my outline of goals for my 9th marathon this Sunday.

Good: show up at the starting line feeling fresh, ready (mentally and physically), and confident.

I’ve had a headache for about four days now along with some mild sinus pressure and an overall feeling of tiredness. I’m assuming it’s some sort of allergy but it’s driving me a bit bonkers. I’ve been getting less sleep than I had hoped due to an overactive mind and on several occasions, waking up in the early morning hours and not being able to return to sleep. I’ve been busy with projects that have cut into time I’d hoped to utilize for more stretching, rest, and relaxation.

On top of all that, I’m starting to find myself in a bit of a panic about the few days leading up to the marathon with working the expo and some crazy-ass logistics that are still being sorted out. Oh, and believe it or not, one of my biggest worries is about food. Trying to maintain consistency with your diet prior to racing when traveling and inevitably eating out (and celebrating your birthday no less) I’m sure is going to be challenging.

There is nothing I can do about it at this point except make the best of it and pray that despite being busy and running around crazy in the days leading up to the race, I toe the line knowing that I’ve done everything in my power to show up prepared to the best of my ability.

Better: a Boston Marathon qualifying race

There is a little part (okay, big part) of me that fears being a “one hit wonder.” Which essentially means that I often wonder if qualifying for the Boston Marathon was a fluke. (Technically, I’ve qualified twice since I requalified with my finish time at Boston in 2015, but still…) I’d really like to see if I’m capable of knocking out another sub-3:40 finish. Walking (crawling?) away from the finish line with a BQ would be pretty dang amazeballs!

Best: a 3:30 (or under) finish

A PR would be nice but my ultimate desire is to run a 3:30 (or under) marathon. Truthfully, I’m not sure this marathon is the one. But I can still dream for some magical unicorn rainbow stardust shit on race day! If only my dreams matched my actual ability.

Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, I’m excited for the opportunity to run a great race in a city that I love and call home.

If you happen to be running the Portland Marathon, I’ll be working at the information booth during packet pickup on Friday 10/7 from 11-3:30 and Saturday 10/8 from 9-2. Please come by and say hello!

With my focus on my family and the race this weekend, I’ll be absent here but check out my Instagram account for updates on the festivities. And to those of you running Portland or any event this weekend….Chicago… what else? The very best of luck to you for a fantastic race!

*Thoughts on why I’m not running Boston*

It was about this time, roughly, three years ago that I set my sights on qualifying for the Boston Marathon. At the time, I needed something to focus on. I needed something that would challenge me, help me reconnect to the athlete that was living somewhat dormant inside of me, and give me a sense of purpose (beyond wife/mother/employee/etc.). Boy did it ever!

Where it all starts. Just 26 miles and 385 yards to go!

Where it all starts. Just 26 miles and 385 yards to go!

My quest to qualify began in the spring of 2013. The entire journey has been chronicled here on Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking. In fact, the purpose of starting this online journal was to share the trials and triumphs of the experience. In a nutshell, what I thought would be a year-long trip took me two. I learned so much along the way and it truly was one of my greatest personal accomplishments of my lifetime. Publishing a book is next. ; )

After qualifying for the Boston Marathon on my fourth try, in April of 2014, I had two options considering that my original intention was to qualify for Boston, run Boston, and be done with marathons. I could either slack off and go to Boston to enjoy a really long run for fun. OR, I could prove that I deserved to be there, and, if all the stars aligned on that Patriots’ Day in 2015, maybe qualify for 2016.

Even then, I didn’t intend to go back this year. Just knowing that I had potentially earned a spot was enough. With my time of 3:33:06, I’m fairly certain that I would have made the window had I decided I wanted to go for another round.

Truthfully, that decision is a little bittersweet as I watch so many runners prepare for the April race. Every time I come across an Instagram image, read a blog, or see a post come up on my Facebook feed regarding training for Boston, my heart sinks just a tiny bit. That could be me.

However, I chose not to enter the race and while those reminders sting just a bit, I’m glad I decided to not go this year for a number of reasons.

  • I’m still basking in the experience from last year. The magic that is your first Boston Marathon is one that I want to fully marinate in for quite some time. Sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself. Did that REALLY happen?! It is not necessarily a once-in-a-lifetime experience but at this point, for me, it is. I’d like to hold onto that for a while longer.
  • I once heard someone explain their reason for not running Boston every year that they qualified and it really hit home for me. The wise one explained that she was creating space for someone who had never run the race before (like me) to experience it. There are only so many spots available, after all. I thought that was a really awesome perspective and I hope that my absence allows a first-timer their own magical Boston Marathon.
  • As I’ve been eluding to, there are some changes on the horizon for my family. If all goes according to plan (which I don’t expect it to because this move has been three years in the making) I don’t know where I’ll be in April. Or how I would manage to train through the relocation process. The thought makes me cringe so I know it would stress me out. As if moving isn’t stressful enough!
  • Let’s be real. It costs a ton. Between race registration, shoes (because training alone requires a few replacement pairs as mileage creeps higher and higher), airplane tickets, a hotel room, car rental, meals and snacks (and if I’m being real, WINE), souvenirs, commemorative marathon apparel and tchotchke, and so on, it is not a cheap trip and I just can’t swing it two years in a row.
  • On that note, I’d rather put whatever travel dollars I can swing this year to attend my daughters Army AIT graduation in Texas coming up next month. Plus, a trip to SoCal to search for a place. And, Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and I have a BIG anniversary coming up this spring. Hawaii, maybe?
  • Not training is really nice. I mean I’m running and all, but not having some big hairy goal looming over me, eating up every single spare minute or requiring 5 AM wake-up calls on Sunday mornings is rather lovely.
  • Finally, I want to earn it. Again. I worked really hard to prove myself when I ran Boston last year. I’m proud of my PR and qualifying for 2016. Perhaps I could have used that momentum to repeat the cycle. But for some strange reason, I think I’ll ultimately find more satisfaction in stepping away, and if I so choose at some later date to try to qualify again (like when I hit the next age division), diving back into it for the fresh challenge. I think it will mean more to have to bust my butt for it again.

This by no means is intended to downplay the accomplishments of those repeating Boston year after year. It is a very personal journey and we each have our own reasons for wanting to run the Boston Marathon.

So with that I say GOOD LUCK to everyone working their asses off training for this year’s event and to those of you that have yet to qualify but are working your asses off too, keep at it! It is soooooo worth it!

*Marathon training update*

Apparently, there is a *first* for everything. After two-and-a-half years, and 7 marathons in which I was either trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, better my qualifying time, or actually running Boston, I’m going to run a marathon for fun.

Umm….

Is that an oxymoron? Run a marathon for fun?!

Marathon #8 is not about me at all… Not about some crazy, obsessive drive to push myself to see what I’m made of, set a new personal record, or seek out the elusive sub-3:30 marathon. There is a sweeter sentiment to my intention. On Sunday, October 4th, my good friend is running the Portland Marathon, which is her first marathon! Throughout some personal struggles, she has met the demands of training and has triumphed every time. It is such an honor to not only witness her journey, but to get to accompany her on the final stages of it as she tackles 26.2.

As for me, it feels good to have clear direction. And let’s be honest. Less pressure to perform!

The icing on the cake is that since I’m an ambassador for the Portland Marathon, I get to experience it both as a participant and a representative.

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My current long-run mileage is at 16 with 17 miles coming up this weekend. The timing… taking this marathon easy.. couldn’t be better since I’m finding my groove again after a few rough months following the Boston Marathon.

If your interested in running the Portland Marathon, whether it be competitively… or for fun, you can use the code HYLA10 to save $10 off your registration.

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Throwback to the Portland Marathon expo and packet pick-up in 2013.

I’m curious. When it comes to running marathons (or any distance for that matter), are you driven by a competitive desire to perform your absolute best or just out for a good time with your friends and fellow runners?

 

*Green, lean, and full of protein*

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David Cascadden, the creator and owner of Left Coast Raw. I connected with David earlier this year while I was training for the Boston Marathon and shortly thereafter, started using his three super shake blends for post-run recovery during the remainder of my training. One PR an a BQ later, and well, I’m a believer! These shakes ROCK!

During our conversation, David explained to me that they’ve made a few tweeks to the original shake blends I was taking this spring and have made them even more nutrient-dense. Not to mention, higher in protein! I was drawn to them in the first place because of their high nutrient values but also because all three blends are vegan, raw, and gluten, soy, and dairy free.

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Special delivery! Nutrient-dense super shakes for the win!

One of the cool things about the upgraded blends is the addition of some amazing super foods. And I’ll be completely honest here… while I’m a serious holistic health nut that loves learning about new and unique super foods, I had never heard of sacha inchi or baobab. If you haven’t either, let me enlighten you!

Sacha inchi is a seed that grows in the mountains in Peru and is praised to have some of the highest levels of essential fatty acids, proteins, and amino acids over all other recommended sources. According to www.undergroundhealth.com:

The Inca Peanut is one of the few nuts (though they are actually seeds) that offers a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as protein, vitamin A and alpha-tocopherol vitamin E (the most beneficial form of vitamin E), while being 96% digestible and 100% irritation free.

It is said to help improve circulation and blood pressure, as well as strengthen the cardiovascular system, reduce inflammation, and improve your mood!

Baobab is derived from a tree that grows in Africa and contains some of the highest levels of vitamin C known to man. It is said to be a powerhouse of minerals and is considered to be beneficial in the support of liver function, weigh loss, preventative treatment for heart disease, and can assist in the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that support the skin.

So how cool is it that LCR is using these amazing and very beneficial super foods in their blends?

Yeah, I’m pretty excited and so grateful to be partnered with a company that is helping to deliver these amazing, nutrient-dense ingredients to the masses. I love the passion behind these products and their mission to help you maintain a vigorous lifestyle through whole-food, nutrient-rich shakes that are portable and made for an active lifestyle!

These shakes offer the perfect post-run recovery fuel! Full of protein, vitamins, minerals… and they taste so good! Bottoms up!

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Green goodness! Post-run fuel at its finest!

*Two outta three… a few words about Boston*

When you set a lofty goal for yourself, you will either walk away with a euphoric sense of accomplishment once it is realized, or a devastating feeling of defeat if you fail.

The past week, I’ve been marinating in the post-Boston feeling of euphoric accomplishment. I’ve always sucked at writing witty race recaps and here it is, nearly a week later, and I’m finally sitting down to share a little bit of my experience. But it won’t be in the traditional form. For once, and it’s not very often, I’ll be a girl of few words.

The Boston Marathon… the experience in its entirety… was phenomenal. It was everything I imagined it would be and more.

Most amazing was that my race, despite the nasty weather (and truly not unlike what I’m use to training in at home)… well, I achieved two out of three of my Good, Better, Best goals!!

Apparently, the Boston Marathon course is not typically a PR kind of course, but the stars aligned just so and not only did I set a new PR, I also got a BQ!

My official race time was 3:33:06.

I’m sure more will surface over the next few weeks but I’m still basking in the afterglow and figuring out what’s next! Thank you for being a gigantic piece of this journey!!

 

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*A look back at March*

March Review:

Total miles: 237

Longest run: 22

Total days running: 25

YTD mileage: 690

Some of my favorite March moments included:

  • So many adventures! Mid-week dinner out with friends, a shopping trip with my girl, camping at the Oregon coast, a belated birthday trip to Seattle, and an overnight excursion to my favorite hot springs retreat center with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking.
  • Celebrating my sons 13th birthday (on which I ran 13 miles) and officially becoming the mother of two teenagers. Gah!
  • The opportunity to coach, as a sub, for one of my favorite volunteer organizations, Run Girl Run. I filled in on two of their training days and can’t wait to watch the girls run their first race later this month!
  • Spending an afternoon working in the Portland Marathon booth promoting the October marathon at the Shamrock Run fitness fair. I loved running the Portland Marathon in 2013 and was disappointed that I couldn’t fit it in last year. If you are looking for a beautiful course with tons of support and entertainment, not to mention tons of race swag, put the Portland Marathon on your racing calendar!
  • Setting a minor PR (only three seconds but better than nothing!) at the Portland Shamrock Run. It was a super wet and cold morning but it’s always a fun event and usually one of my first races of the year so I like to use it as a gauge to see where I’m at.
  • Watching my daughters first track meet of the season, which is also her last high school sport season before she graduates in June. This is the girl who just a few years ago claimed she hated running! Now, a team captain and both a sprinter and thrower (she got recruited to do shot-put), I am just in awe of her speed and dedication to training!
  • Finishing up the last of my Boston Marathon training before I started to taper. I maxed out with a 22 mile long run the last weekend of March and am now making the final decent towards race day.
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Time to break out my tapering notice!

March was such a busy month and April won’t be much different! I’m in full-on taper mode and just 17 days out from what will likely be the most amazing race experience of my life. Additionally, I have a lot of things going on behind the scenes here at Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking for some fun partnerships and opportunities in the weeks to come!

Happy April!!