Race Report: 2015 Richmond Marathon

I can count on one hand the times I’ve been speechless.  I was pretty flummoxed when MB proposed (he had fake proposed twice but that’s a different story for a different time) but I still managed to say yes.  I was pretty choked up when I left VA and my team of Afghanistan and Iraq war vets made me an honorary veteran.  But I still managed to say something.  Or at least look ridiculous.  And now, I have to put literally all weekend during the Richmond Marathon event on the list of times I was rendered dumbfounded.  For like super good reason.

TL;DR here.

Let’s start at the very beginning.

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Race Report: Pacer’s Veterans Day 10K

My broads and I registered for the 10K as a way to celebrate our fall race season.  The important event was the post race brunch at Farmers Fishers Bakers.  This race would also be my updated proof of time for the Princess Half Marathon in February.  Win, win win!

In my head, this was also another race on the road to redemption from the Marine Corps Marathon.  I know I shouldn’t really pin my hopes onto one race.  I really feel I’m the sum of my training — not just  the outcome of one race.  But sometimes you just want the race results to show how hard you worked and how much you want it.

Needless to say I had some goals for this race.  I really wanted to bust my former 10K PR of 59:17.  Part of me also just wanted to finish.  I picked up LV and we met Tori, Stacee and her bad ass mom (who won her age group.  NBD!) and lined up.


We took off at a pretty good clip.  Miles 1 and 2 9:49 and 10:11.  Tori, who just ran her first full marathon in sub 5 realized, hey I don’t need a good qualifying time for Princess today (we are running together yay!), I already ran one at a freaking marathon.  Kthanxbai.  She volunteered at the water station like a boss. I was feeling a little shaky but we kept it moving.

LV continued to pace me through the turn around.  Miles 3 and 4 8:58 and 8:54.  I started to really hit my stride right at the turn around.  LV, who had also just beasted her first marathon encourage me to keep it going so I felt like it was time to lay the hammer.  At the water stop at mile 4, Tori and I met back up and ran together for another 1.5 miles.  When we hit mile 5, I really knew I was going to PR.  The sub 9 minute miles felt hard but not impossible.

Miles 5 and 6 9:30 and 8:53.  I rounded the corner and saw the finish line.  All I could think about was how I had this and so many finish lines ahead of me.  That some days you’ve got and some days you don’t.  I thought of all those girls out on the course at different places that love and support me regardless of which day I’m having.  And so many other people far and wide that I’m so lucky to celebrate and comiserate with.  And that’s better than a PR.

Except when you blast your old PR by two minutes and feel like you’ve won the Olympics.

My official results:  57:47 (not :17 as I excitability and accidentally posted on social!).  After LV finished (COURSE PR BY LIKE 10 MINUTES WHAT?!) we met up with Tori and Stacee and her mom.  We high tailed it my car and we hit brunch which was the best way to round out an awesome morning and an all around awesome finish to this cycle.


Two important notes:

  • My new bolt tights are awesome — light and breathable, I just ordered the wrong size.  I need to get a medium in the next pair.
  • We missed Mandy so much.

How was your weekend?

What Now?

So, you have a bad goal race?  Now what?

Luckily, as you’ll recall from my conversation with Jan, I’m registered for not one but two more marathons between now and January 31.  Richmond in three short weeks and Walt Disney World a mere 11 weeks from now.  For Richmond, we’re going to be running a redemption marathon for Hilary (you can read all about how she barely escaped the Paul Ryan Curse here) as part of Team Princess 1983.  Because it’s Hilary’s first marathon I’m hesitant to make it about me, but, the girls on the team are just faster than I am.  So, I might just be able to make it work without making it a big deal.

And let’s be real, all I’m trying to do is recreate this picture at Disney World.


Otherwise, I’m about to get REAL serious about PRs.

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Sometimes you gotta get scars to get what you deserve

So, here’s what happened short and sweet at the Marine Corps Marathon.

Last Tuesday, I came down with a cold.  I thought it was the taper sickies but (I just found out today) it was actually a sinus infection.  It got worse as the week wore on and when I woke up from what was literally a brief nap Sunday morning I knew that I needed to adjust my expectations for the race.  The PR that I worked  for and trained for and wanted so badly was probably not on the table.

The race was a completely DISASTER.  I’m sure you’ve already read all about the security line that went nowhere.  The course that never ever thinned out — I spent most of the first 10 miles trying to conserve as much energy as possible which was tough tripping over people and getting tripped over.  It was rainy and wet and colder than expected.  I would never ever ever run this race again.

I hung tough with the 5:30 pacer, conserving energy, trying to run a smart race.  After mile 20 the wheels started to come off as they usually do.  But this time I could not breathe.  I was gasping for air.  After mile 21 I got dropped by the pace group.  I made it across the bridge and went right to the medical tent at mile 22.

My friend Megan had just seen me come off that bridge and followed me in.  Nothing dramatic, just a breathing treatment and an EKG later, I got released.  MB met me at the tent, traded places with Megan and I had my little cry there.

And by the time we left I was over it.

The worst part is that I know I could have finished if I didn’t have a sinus infection that didn’t let me breathe. My legs felt fresh and I was FINE laying on that stretcher.  I told MB i wanted to go home and run 4 on the treadmill.  (He refused that).   This had nothing to do with the shape I’m in or my desire to get it done, it was just a bad hand I got dealt.  In retrospect I probably shouldn’t have shown up that day.  But I did.  And now we know I can definitely run 22 miles without full capacity.

I’m obsessed with the new Andy Grammar song Good to be Alive.  I listened to it yesterday and the line about getting scarred to get what you deserve really resonates.  Do I deserve a marathon PR?  I think so.  But maybe I need to get roughed up a little more before I do.  I don’t know.

What I DO know is that my people are amazing.  So amazing that I’m going to list you all BY NAME for supporting me that day.  Thank you endlessly:

Sarah Vierra



The Sweet Briar Sweets (Hilary, Lori, Ashley and Kim)

Captain Chelsea







Coach Jeff

Katie Heddleston




Lisa K



The girls at Scoot a Doot



Kathleen Benson

Michelle McCarthy


Ms. Read Eat Write Run


My Elfie



Elizabeth and Denise of AC


Janny and Amanda.  Amanda just called to say what’s up and got a sobby update pre medical tent.  Jan calmly reminded me I have two marathons between now and January 31.  Love you both!

And of course MB.  DUH.

I wanted the list of love to be longer than the recap of the dumb, stupid race and the DNF.  I think it was.



This is going to be a doozy!  Grab a tasty snack and settle in.

This past week was my 53rd week at Weight Watchers.  I’m thrilled to announce that I finally have hit my goal weight!!!  For the next six weeks, I’ll work on maintaining that weight (a goal I worked on with my doctor) and after that I will be a Lifetime member!

I was really really excited and very proud of myself.  To commemorate the achievement, I wanted to do something to remind myself of how hard I’ve worked and why I want to continue fueling and feeling better.  MB loved the idea so he took me to Tiffany (!!) and I got a beautiful sterling silver ring.  It’s a daily reminder of how hard I worked, will continue to work and how I want to keep moving forward.  I owe it to myself and minimum, I want this ring to fit forever, let’s be real.


so pleased with myself.

The other goals we really need to talk about are my upcoming marathon goals.

Right.  Those.

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Five Things Friday

Happy Friday, ya’ll!  I hope if you’re reading this and you’re on the eastern seaboard, you are hunkering down and eating some cupcakes.  Some of our plans got hurricaned so we’re going to focus on cupcakes.  I know I’ve been absent for a while so I’ll hit you up with a quick run down of what’s going on!


From left: fall is here (#basic), welcome to my office!, MB at the winery, Kanga the red, and of course pumpkin EVERYTHING.

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When Good Weeks Go Bad

Week 8 of marathon training started just like any other week.  An awesome track work out, a great treadmill workout, awesome cross training on the bike.


That leads to our weekend long run.  Mandy was out of town dominating the Disneyland Half Marathon with a bunch of our running Ohana.  LV had 20 on her sched and Tori and I needed to get another 15 on the legs.  Stacee, to her never ending credit, planned to join us for a final 10.

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Five Things Friday: Duh Edition

It’s been a minute since I did a five things Friday and this one has been bopping around in my brain for a while.

Here are the five things that everyone has always told me to improve my running that I really wish that I would have adopted before this cycle.  What can I say, I’m a slow learner.


you still like me

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August Training by the Numbers

I was inspired by Courtney to look at this month’s training by the numbers.  That and I really wanted to show off some of these pics.


as seen on our long run Continue reading

MCM Training: Week 7

I probably shouldn’t have cursed myself last week.  I knew that as soon as I said things were going great they would start to fall apart.  Fall apart is kind of a hyperbolic, but things weren’t going as well this week as they have been.  As always, it was my lovely group of women run friends that helped me keep it together.

Week 7:  4/3 workouts (21.74)

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