Back to back to back

March has been kind of an big up and big down for me in almost all facets.  I started the month coming off of bronchitis that I picked up after Princess.  I’m you, know, still running a business, we’ve dealt with a few blows in my family, I’m sick AGAIN.  And we bought a house.

I had been scheming this post since we set our closing date.  In January.

In the midst of everything running has been an unbelievable constant (when I can breathe/don’t have  a fever) and my running people hold the ladder while I climb.  They keep me focused. With that kind of support I was able to knock out not one but two major PRs.


The St. Pat’s 5K, part of the double which I ran with Tori, was on a blustery afternoon in early March.  I used the nine ish miles as my long run that morning and knew I was in fighting shape to PR the 5K.  My old 5K PR was 29:03 — which at the time I thought was really slow?  I also ran that race in a cotton long sleeve and capris I bought at the VA store in the basement of my office sooooo…not really the queen of running at that point.  My unstated sort of crazy goal was to go 25:XX but I knew that it would be a tough one, especially with the hills at the end.  I decided I would be OK with anything under 28:00 and I put my game face on.

And by put my game face on I meant stood and hung around with Tori and Joe until the gun went off and lined up in the 11:00/mile pace group corral.  Whoops.

Off I go!  See that Sparkle Skirt in action?

With the idea of a 5K PR in my head I probably should have I don’t know, had a race plan?  Dressed appropriately for the weather?  Anything?  On the contrary.  I overdressed, wore a sparkle skirt and just smiled a lot.  Seems like the right thing to do for a PR.

Here I am joyfully out of focus, coming in for 27:45.  Almost two full minutes off my original 5K PR.

dressing for the weather is for suckers.

After the 5K, I ran the 10K with Tori to complete the double.  Let me tell you what.  That was pain face central.  Like I can’t even tell you.  But as usual, Tori and I had a great time and it was a magical race because T finally shook the MCM out of her legs and ran fast and free.  It was so beautiful to watch that kick at the end.

Two short weeks later, Steff, Mandy and I took on the Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon.  For those loyal readers (Hi Mom!), you’ll remember that RnR DC nee Care First Half was my first half marathon.  And my unofficial half PR when I ran it as part of my 30 in 2013.  As happens with a lot of runners, my first half marathon was my PR.  2:30:29 seemed like the kind of PR I could leave in the dust, even mid cycle as I prep for Pittsburgh, but I didn’t want my hopes too far up.  Minimum, we could PR in fun (hard to beat after Princess), maximum we could best my PR even by a few seconds.

Well of course, Mandy, Steff and I had a literal blast, cheering, eating drinking and running.  There were puppy, potty and candy stops.  We wore sparkle skirts.  Laura met us at mile 12 for an unbelievably needed diet coke.  And I PRed by 6 minutes with a final time of 2:24:32.  This finisher photo kind of sums it up.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 1.13.43 PM

I’ve asked Mandy to ensure that I keep my mouth shut in future race photos and just SMILE.  Geesh.

So, now I’ve run pretty major, official PRs in all the distances I’ve raced since November.  What happens now, I wonder to myself?

First things first — get and stay healthy.  Stress has really taken its toll and as I mentioned I’ve been sick a lot.  I’m usually a vector for all illnesses but this getting a little ridiculous.  Next, I’m hoping for one really solid long run to assess my fitness going into Pittsburgh.  My training plan this cycle is barely hanging on by a thread (at least I open it once a week, right?) but if I can get out for some of the harder effort tempos and have a diagnostic long run I think I’ll be able to ID what Pittsburgh could look 4like.

In an ideal world, I plan for a sub 2:20 in Pittsburgh since everything is literally stacked in my favor — my A+ pacer and BRF Mandy is running, I’m unbelievably familiar with the course, my fitness should be high and I’m staying close to the start line.  In the world I actually live in, I’ll be happy to meet the 2:24 I just set.  If the recent months have taught me anything, its to be grateful for what and who you have, hustle when you need to and always listen to yourself when you know you need to back off.

Oh and go to barre class regularly.  That’s like super important.

How has your life and running been recently?


4 thoughts on “Back to back to back

  1. Steffany R. says:

    You could totally break 2:20! We could have done it if it wasn’t for the insanely long potty line. You know I’ll be cheering you guys on!

    • Lauren Bailey says:

      Your break WAS NOT that long. And thank you for believing in me. It will come in handy in a few weeks 🙂

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