Lessons Learned: Fourth Marathon

2017 was a crazy year for me. I ran THREE marathons after going from a marathon a year. I guess you could definitely say that I caught the marathon bug after Disney. When I look back, 1. it’s crazy to me that this was just two years ago?!? 2. this was a really pivotal year for me on so many levels. I got a new job, I tested out two different training plans for my races (or three if you also count Disney), we moved out to a more residential neighborhood where I could run hills!, re-vamped my diet and found a real love for cooking whole foods, and began this BLOG! So, here are some lessons I learned from my fourth marathon:

Never underestimate the power of good wholesome foods and cooking your own meals. I started doing a bunch of meal-prep, re-introduced carbs, and found that beets and molasses really don’t taste so terrible.

Adding in speed-work and pilates is a MUST when marathon training. I began working with the local Pilates studio and learned so much body-awareness. I miss those gals so much. They were the best.

I learned the power of stepping-back from training so crazily and learned the power of resting. Between Disney and Revel Rockies, I was hospitalized with a Kidney Infection (where I first truly discovered the power of having a great nurse!) and also found out that I was severely anemic! I think this helped with my 10+ minute PR as well.

The treadmill and speedwork became my best friend.

Having a time-goal is GREAT, but having fun should be your “A” goal (always)! I went into this race with the big goal of a sub 4 hour marathon and when I didn’t achieve that, I came across that finish line really disappointed. It didn’t matter that I had a big PR- to me, I had failed.

Wearing shorts when you race should ALWAYS happen. To me, they make me feel powerful and strong.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. It took me 26.2 miles to learn this, but it was the best lesson that came out of this race!

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Anyone else struggle with being too ‘stuck’ on a time goal?

How did you feel when you made a big jump from PR times on a race? Happy? Elated? Disappointed?

Endure Strong Training Review

I had the opportunity to be a part of the Endure Strong Training group as being a Bib Rave Pro and decided to utilize the summer to get some speed under my legs for the Beach 2 Beacon 10k (find my race recap HERE!). I knew that I've always wanted to have a running coach (because sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing when I’m training for races!) and what better group to train with than one run by Jared Ward?!? Within the first week of being part of the team, I was blown away with how involved in the entire training and coaching process he was. We had several group training phone calls with Jared throughout the Summer and they covered topics like Nutrition, Recovery, and Injury Prevention (along with a way for you to submit questions to them!).

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I had A LOT going on during my B2B training-moving to Maine from Colorado, beginning Nursing School, planning a wedding, commuting 2 hours a day to school and back (4 days a week), and lots of family visiting on the weekends. I knew that training would be a challenge, but that is one of the main foundations for the Endure Strong team- we are all busy, but we also want to help you achieve your goals (Jared is the perfect example of someone who is crazy busy, but still manages to crush his running goals)!

I had wanted to PR in the 10k (my previous PR was 55:00), but also knew that after training for my 50 miler getting speed back was going to be an issue. With the training program, you get 2 runs emailed to you each morning (one for that day and one for the upcoming day). I had one day a week as my rest day and averaged around 30-35 miles. I will honestly say that I did NOT follow the training plan to a “T” because I was still recovering from my 50 miler/had a million life stresses and wanted to take that as a priority, so I was not 100% sure that hitting a sub-50 minute 10k would even be in my wheel house.

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I did, however, feel prepared and excited for race day thanks to the Endure Strong training plan and supportive atmosphere of the team! You can read more about how big a PR my Beach to Beacon race was here, but I know I wouldn’t have been able to quickly bounce-back post-50 unless I had the Endure Strong team behind me.

Cheers to new PRs and hoping that I get another awesome opportunity to be a part of the Endure Strong training team again really soon! You can check out some of my apparel and race discounts from being a Bib Rave Pro HERE

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Ever train with a running team before? How were your experiences?!?

Favorite male and female pro runner?!

Ever really ‘raced’ a 10k? How’d it go?

Training Tuesday: What I Ate The Day Before A Marathon

Happy Tuesday! It’s funny how when you go back to school, you’re immediately thinking (or well… at least I am) ‘ HOW did I ever find the time to do all this and somehow have a social life?!?’ Ha. My classes this summer are shortened, so they are REALLY intense (for the most part), so it seems normal to be a bit well - shocked - , but then I just remind myself that I only have 6 more weeks to go of them ; ) It’s all about perspective right?!

I’ve been wanting to do this post for A WHILE now, but honestly just haven’t had the time ((or internet!)). Eugene feels like a million years ago, but in reality - it was only 3 weeks ago? Crazy how fast time flies ( especially when you move!). So, here we go:

-Went out for a shakeout run

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Came back to have a mini bagel, honey, and a banana (I knew it would be at least another hour or more before we were able to get breakfast).

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We went to Panera for breakfast (it’s always so hard to know what works for your stomach before a race & I think that Panera is still an OK thing ((even though I had some major GI distress during the second half of the race)).

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I grabbed a cinnamon sugar bagel with butter from there as well to have as a snack on the drive to Eugene from Portland

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Snacked on pretzels throughout the day!

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Chipotle for lunch after visiting the expo. I think this is where my GI distress may have come from. I didn’t get anything with cheese, but it was just heavy. I also think that -generally- I had too many carbs (I don’t normally eat THIS much carb-centered foods), but honestly nutrition is still such a foreign thing to me!

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Some pasta with butter for dinner (we ate relatively early - before 6pm - to hopefully let our food settle. Spoiler: mine did not ha. ).

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Still got through the marathon and managed even splits and a 1 minute PR. You can find my full race recap here!

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-Anyone else go back to school to get a degree. Tips?!?

-Favorite things to eat before a marathon?! I”M SO CONFUSED ON CARBO-LOADING still. HELP!

Training Tuesday: Keeping Those Sweaty Clothes Fresh

Tuesdays. Not quite ready to let go of the weekend, not quite ready to start thinking about the new weekend. At least tomorrow is hump-day right? Flashback to yesterday’s long run. 22 miles and last 20+ miles until my first 50 miler!

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Also saw this after I got back from my run.

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Disclaimer: I received a bottle of Win Detergent to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Does anyone else have really nice workout clothes? I honestly spend way more money on my running clothes than my everyday work clothes. I know that they get the most usage and a cute new race outfit = gives me a HUGE confidence boost. They are the only clothes that I continually hang-dry and wash on a delicate cycle, which is why when I had the chance to try out sports-specific detergent I knew I had to try it.

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I’m also super picky with my detergents. I always want something that will work with my sensitive skin, has no crazy amount chemicals added, a fresh scent, and can actually get rid of all of my sweaty scents. After running 7 marathons (and all of those training cycles), my clothes kinda STINK. You know that jacket where you wear anytime it’s cold/rainy/sleety outside? Yeah, mine kinda smells disgusting all the time no matter how often I wash it.

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This detergent had BIG shoes to fill and it didn’t let me down. I love how it has a specific sensitive-skin formula, a fresh scent, and can really get out those stinky scents in my precious running clothes. I basically live in my running clothes on the weekend and will sometimes (i.e. often) wear the clothes I ran in to the grocery store, getting gas, running errands. So they have extra time to really let the sweat sink in. Ha. I’m also a pretty heavy sweater (not sure if this is how you spell that, but we’re just going to go with it), so for this detergent to get my clothes clean is pretty amazing.

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Make sure to grab yourself a bottle and you can use code WIN4RAVE at checkout to get 20% off any WIN products off Amazon here.

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-How do you keep your sweaty clothes fresh and clean?

-Are you a fan of WIN?

Taming The Taper Crazies

Friday-eve! This week has kinda flown by, which is to be expected since we are now officially in the TAPER (…for the marathon at least ; ) ….)! I cannot believe that I’ll be running my 7th marathon in my 12th state in 11 DAYS!?!? I am so lucky to have maintained my fitness and health through some crazy winter stress-filled months and will be celebrating the last 12 months of fitness during race day. I can’t WAIT!

Flashback to yesterday’s run in PERFECT weather. Mid 40’s partly cloudy, damp trails.

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I ran to the library with my vest to pick up my new book that I reserved there WEEKS ago! Can’t wait to dive into it.

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I also then went to the gym to get in some strength work (since my membership is ending there at the end of April I want to use it as much as possible! I don’t use the gym as often in the summer months & do most things at home!) and then picked up the mail for my work (and there was A LOT of it so I got in some extra training for my ultra with all that extra weight). Also saw what I believe was an Osprey on my run back to work?

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Oh the joys of mud season. Your car is dirty, but do you gamble the dice and wash it (and hope that it doesn’t rain for a while) or do you leave it dirty for the season? Well.. I took the former and it snowed/rained, so at least it was nice and shiny for a whole 4 hours right?!?

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Since we are officially in the taper, I thought it would be fun to share some of the things that I normally do in the taper! I’d also love to hear what you do, so make sure to comment below!

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  • DO NOT question your fitness

  • Look back over those crazy-hard runs/workouts that you conquered

  • Prepare for the race mentally. How will you feel at mile 1? Mile 10? Mile 20? Crossing that finish line?

  • Have some of your favorite mantras and practice them over and over again. Having just one may work for you, but I find having a few help (especially when I’m in a rut)!

  • Visualize yourself on the race course the best you can. I see myself driving my elbows back, my knees up - staying strong and steady

  • Know your nutrition plan and DO NOT alter or adjust it no matter how crappy you feel on race day. Know what works for you and DO IT!

  • Believe in yourself and be proud that you’ve made it this far. No matter what lies ahead of you on race, be proud of your accomplishments and OWN them! Don’t let anyone dull your shine.

  • Have a time goal? Repeat to yourself that you are a ‘x’ marathoner/ half-marathoner / 10k-er. I haven’t actually tried this in a race, BUT I have been taking every opportunity to repeat to myself that I am a sub- 3:40 marathoner. If you don’t believe it, then how can you expect it to come out on race day?

  • Read all the inspiring books you can leading up to the race.

    • Some of my favorites:

      • Finish First- Scott Hamilton

      • Let Your Mind Run- Deena Kastor

      • North - Scott Jurek & Jenny Jurek

      • How Bad Do You Want It - Matt Fitzgerald

  • Treat yourself before and after the race! I love to get my nails done, some like to get their hair done before…whatever works for you and then have something lined up to do AFTER the race. I love to pick out some sightseeing destination (if I’m not running at/near home) or some amazingly delicious restaurant reserved

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-Favorite taper recommendations?

-Are you superstitious? Do you do anything special before a big race?

-Car wash in mud season? Yay or Nay?