Lessons Learned: Third Marathon

My third marathon came in January 2017 at the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. I had planned to do this marathon as part of the Goofy Challenge (half marathon on Saturday morning & full marathon on Sunday morning). This race had been on my bucketlist for a really long time, so needless to say I was really excited when the race came! Although, the half was ‘officially’ cancelled due to some really scary thunderstorms, I still managed to get in my 13.1 miles late Friday evening (I think I ended my run around 11:30pm?!?) and was really prepared to run a potential PR Sunday morning….Spoiler alert: it definitely did not turn out that way at all!

I learned that not all races will be PRs. This was a tough pill to swallow in the moment, but I do remember being really dang proud of running through the entire race!

Finding a training plan that works well for you will make a huge difference. I followed the Run Disney training plan and it honestly just didn’t suite me as a runner. I think there’s a plan for everyone out there and this one wasn’t the best fit for ME.

This will be the first marathon that you actually ENJOY. You’ll stop to take character photos and wish at the end that you had stopped to take more!

This marathon was THE ONE. The one that ‘hooked’ you at the 26.2 distance, the one where you pushed through the pain, the where you pushed through the frigid weather, the one where you’ll cross that finish line and experience all the happy tears.

This race was the one that gave you confidence that maybe, just maybe, you can actually break 4 hours in the marathon and 2 hours in the half marathon (spoiler alert: it will take a while before this actually happens!).

You will train your butt off for this race and while not being able to ‘officially’ complete both of the distances, it will spur you on to sign-up for some other really really crazy distance challenges in the future!

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Anyone else experience the magic that RunDisney races provide?

Anyone else have Dopey Challenge or other ‘big crazy distance races’ on the bucket list like me?!?

Lessons Learned: Second Marathon

I wish I could say that I learned a lot from my first marathon, but I still had a lot more to learn (and still do!). It took me two years after my first to gain the courage to sign up for my second 26.2. To be honest, I really missed the training aspect of the marathon (and it’s still one of my favorite parts of the race)! I loved going out for Saturday or Sunday morning long runs and mid-week miles and having a ‘training plan’. I also dealt with an Achilles injury between my first and second marathons, which is why my approach to my second one wasn’t too different from my first (because I didn’t want to risk being injured again)!

I learned, once again, do not go out too fast! *Sigh* I won’t have actually learned this lesson for many marathons to come! Yeah, remember that time I come through the halfway point in 1:50 something? Not too smart…

Downhill races are great, but they can also completely trash your legs. I, once again, hit the wall early- this time at mile 18ish.

Fuel is real important. That means you probably shouldn’t skip a few fueling points along the race.

Sometimes having no expectations is the best. I shaved over 30 minutes off my first marathon time, trained less, focused on my nutrition during training a bit more, and honestly went into the race with no time goals other than to finish feeling better than I did after my first one.

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What important lessons did you learn from your first to second marathon?

Anyone else come away with a big PR between your first and second race distances?

First Semester: Nursing School Recap

I have no photos from my first semester because, well, because it was REALLY busy. My first round of classes took place over the Summer semester and most of my classes were 7 or 10 weeks long. I took a total of 8 classes from May-August.

The classes that I took included: Introduction to Nursing, Fundamentals of Nursing, Fundamentals of Nursing Lab, Nursing Health Assessment, Nursing Health Assessment Lab, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Nutrition.

My favorite class? Either Fundamentals of Nursing Lab or Nursing Health Assessment Lab. I really enjoyed the hands-on aspects of it and felt like I could apply those things that I learned in lecture.

My least favorite class? Pharmacology. Mainly because it was conducted online and this was a really challenging class to do things ‘on the computer’. I ended up watching a lot of videos and memorizing things.

What I learned most? How to critical think again and how crazy smart Nurses are.

What I wish I did more of? Took classes over a longer period of time. Covering 3 or 4 chapters in a week for one class was typical. Just when I thought I was learning the material, we moved on to something else!

What I’m most excited for in the future? Excited/scared to be taking all that I learned over the summer and applying them to our in-hospital clinical experiences! YIKES.

Lessons Learned: First Marathon

I thought it would be fun to look back on my past 7 marathons as I’m prepping for my 8th one next month! I don’t always love when others compare their lives to their ‘past lives’ because changing, maturing, moving, growing is a part of life, but I love to reflect on the lessons that we have learned along our journey!

When I look back on my first marathon the first thing that comes to mind is hard. It was so unbelievably challenging covering that distance. I was totally unprepared for how much it was actually going to hurt those later miles of the race. I remember getting to mile 14 and honestly wondering how am I going to cover 12 more miles when my legs already feel completely spent?!? In all honesty- I also went out way too fast the first half. We’re talking sub 10 minute miles (it was downhill!), when I should have been going more like 11 minute miles. No wonder my legs felt like lead.

I also remember thinking how beautiful the course was. I signed up for this race because I needed a goal to work towards when I first moved to Steamboat. I had no friends there at the time and wanted motivation to get out the door. I saw the ad in the paper for the local marathon (and a discount code) in December and just signed up on a whim. I had no idea what I was doing or how I would train through the winter, but that didn’t stop me!

TBT to my first hike when I arrived in Colorado in November! Yes, there was already snow…

TBT to my first hike when I arrived in Colorado in November! Yes, there was already snow…

I also remember how challenging it was training through the winter months. I had never run longer than 14 miles, so having to get in 16,18, 20 mile runs with the insane amount of snow we got that winter was pretty challenging. I remember walking A LOT during my training runs and wondering how people got in this training when working full-time, having families, having any sort of life. My life basically revolved around marathon training and working part-time at the ice arena.

Carbo-loading become the center of my life. I ate way too many carbs and thought that before every long run, I needed to have a lavish (very heavy) pasta meal. Ha. Oh, how far we’ve come!

The biggest takeaway that I took from my first marathon was how surprised I was when I crossed that finish line. I really did not think I would get there come mile 14, so to cross that finish line in 4 hours and 45 minutes was really special. I also was really surprised with how much it hurt walking down stairs post-race. Living in a three-story condo= I really planned out my trips to go upstairs to use the kitchen or laundry because I did NOT want to go back down those stairs more than once.

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There’s nothing like your first marathon.

What lessons did you learn from your first race?

Anyone else consume way too many carbs during training/ before your race?

Do you remember what you had as a post-race meal? I’m pretty sure I had macaroni and cheese because I was way too exhausted to do anything besides lie on the couch and watch TV. Ha.

Life Updates Lately

Happy Hump Day! This was the post where I meant for it to come out on Monday and then I thought I could DEFINITELY get it out by Tuesday and well… here we are on Wednesday and it’s finally happening! Life has been super crazy lately which is honestly surprising because I had an entire week ‘off’ from school work; I had grand plans of getting so much done on my blog (revamping it, lots of posts), but in actuality things take way more TIME than I ever imagined! Chores, running, training, etc. I still hope get some more work done here on the blog within the next few days, but who knows! Sometimes life is funny like that- your priorities shift all at once and sometimes they really put things into perspective. SO let’s catch up shall we?

I’m still in marathon training mode for my next upcoming races (find them HERE!) and am feeling all sorts of inspiration from previous podcasts that I’ve listened to from kick-a$$ guests and just feeling like my fitness may be finally coming together (thanks to those cooler temperatures). Don’t get me wrong, it’s still really HARD to train for any race distance, but I’m kinda sorta loving it.

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I’m also really really loving slower mornings with some coffee and my NEED Mt. Washington Road Race fleece blanket (they give each of the finishers one of these when they cross that line!).

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I’m also really loving on this guy lately. He cuddles with me so often (especially at night) and it’s super hard when I have to leave for the day to go to work or school.

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I’m also really into Home Projects lately! I redid an old window and turned it into a chalkboard. We used spraypaint chalk and then sanded and painted the trim with paint that we had used on other projects. It came out looking much better than I imagined and was also quite a bit easier to make than I imagined!

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I also began biking a few weeks ago! I’m by no means an expert, but there’s something really exhilarating about being able to go farther and faster than I can if I’m running!

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I’m trying to get in as much reading this week as I can and snagged these two from the library (bonus: I can now ride my bike to the library!).

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I’m also really enjoying being able to run along the Ocean (it’s right down the street from where I take my classes!). There’s something so soothing about that Ocean breeze and dirt-packed trails.

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Also really into Oatmeal again (I think that’s because it’s starting to feel a bit ‘Fall-like’ outside). I love customizing the Quick Rolled Oats in the mornings to whatever I’m feeling. Sometimes I throw in beet powder and cocao, other times I throw in peanut butter and maple syrup!

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Are you training for anything right now?

Favorite Fall foods?

Anyone else into ‘do-it-yourself’ projects?!? Send some ideas my way!