9 Weeks of Training For The Peachtree

I have taken nearly 2 weeks off from running and it was incredibly needed. Normally after a race, I rest for a week at the max and start training just to maintain my fitness level, but this time was different. I was really disappointed by my last half marathon. However I knew I wasn’t going to have a stellar race. And with that I was ok about my effort, but no one likes to see a bad finish time. So I took the time off to rest and it was glorious. Now I am ready to start back and really put the proper effort into this training cycle.

I am starting my training for my 2nd Peachtree Road Race, and last year I had a fantastic time running it…my “race time” not so great. I learned a lot from that race. Like 1) not to eat nearly 4 hours prior and not have a single bite afterwards before you begin 6.2 miles 2) to not get to caught up and run 9:00-9:30 min miles for the first 3 miles and get hit with extreme fatigue as you’re running up a freaking large hill 3) have a crying fit at mile 5 and demand food because you didn’t eat accordingly and ate 4 hours before your start time. I really learned to not eat so early before a race because all 3 of the statements above resulted from that!

I will be trying my best to blog each week about my training. I am not promising I will be great at it, but I’ll be trying!

And I’ll leave you with the biggest ham picture every taken at a race:

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I saved a lot of energy during the last bits of the race just to be able to get up the last hill and take a good picture!

So here is to summer racing and training!

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Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon Recap and How I Was Humbled

Saturday I ran in the 2nd Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon, and I’ll just go ahead and let you know it was not my best time. I was slow, in fact out of all 4 I’ve ran in, this comes in at #3 for slowest time.

I will be the first to say I did not take any of this training cycle seriously, if I had I could of done a lot better. I was lazy, and I’m talking like going a good couple of days up to a week of not running. I started out strong when I first started a plan, and somewhere around February I just gave up. My papa had passed 2 months prior, and my uncle passed at the end of January, and my work picked up and I got overwhelmed. I was exhausted nearly everyday, I could sleep at any given time. For a while I was worried, but I realized my running wasn’t helping me feel better. So I cut a lot of it out, but still “training” for a race in April. I managed to run a month’s worth of miles in 16 weeks. Bad, that is very bad. And with all of that, I was humbled on Saturday. I now know I can’t just think I can run long like I could last fall, it takes effort and dedication, and a lot of time. Here is my recap and my motivation to run better.

Saturday I woke up at 5:20, and for a brief second I couldn’t remember why I set my alarm. Ha. I ate a bagel and drank a bottle of water, and while I was eating I watched some YouTube. At 6, I was ready to get dressed, but instead I got too comfy on the couch and finally got ready at 6:20. Once dressed and ready I got to the park around 6:30. I am loving the fact that I live so close to my favorite parks and trails. Packet pick was a breeze, super easy. The race swag bag was better than last year.

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I have missed Shot Bloks and that tiny Clif Bar is so cute! At 6:45 I stood in an already kinda long line for the bathroom, and once I was set I just waited in the car. I was alone for this race, which is strange for me. At long distance races I usually have my family, but this didn’t happen. The course is a little difficult to have people watching so I told them not to come. The rain held off and it was cloudy, the temperature felt great.

We started at 7:30 and everything felt great. Honestly, the first mile was pretty awesome. I  didn’t pay attention to my pace, I just went by feel the entire time. The sun came out for a brief second and then disappeared, and then really came out and made the portion to the first turnaround incredibly hot and humid.

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Those little specks are runners, I have the best photography skills ever. So there is always puddles on the greenway after a lot of rain, and like last year there is a MAJOR one that is deep. Everyone, I mean everyone in front of me was walking around it and taking too much time. Not this girl, I ran straight through it. I don’t have time to waste to miss some water. I even screamed at them, “you’re going to get wet anyway.” I swear I am the nicest runner, HA. I took water at the aid stations, took a gu at mile 5. And I was golden up till mile 7.

Running through those puddles left me with a pain I know all too well. Freaking blister. I didn’t want to look and see how bad it was, but I was having a lot of pain so I walked a lot. At mile 8.5 I finally took a look, and yep, it was bad. Wasn’t a blood blister thank goodness, but still. Ugh I hate them! I walked a ton, my body wasn’t trained to run this and I knew that going in.  Nonetheless I finished. I ran the very last bit because I wasn’t going to give up. I finished in 2:41:03. I could of finished in 2:30 if I hadn’t of gotten a blister and if I had trained, but it didn’t happen and that is ok.

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I do love this race, I really do. And this race totally beat me down, it made me aware on how much I need to work on. I have dreams for the fall, and I’m really going to tackle them. In the mean time I will be training for my best 10K for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. So cheers to an ok half marathon and training for a summer race!

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How To Not Train For a Half Marathon

I have a race this weekend that I was supposed to train for about 16 weeks ago. It if was a 5K or 10K, I wouldn’t be concerned or worried. Buutttt…its a half marathon. Yep, it is a tad longer than either one of those distances. FML. Now, I know most normal people would be like, “yeah, I’m not ready so I’m going to be smart and not run or race because I’m not ready” however I’m just doing the opposite. I am still running the race, however I will not be pushing myself  in this race. So no PR dreams for me, unless by some miracle I can do that with no proper training.

My last 5 runs have been ok, like I mean just ok. Nothing praiseworthy or even confidence boosting. I can see myself making a mistake by doing this, but I’m not a quitter.

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I have been running on the trail for almost every run, I got a little too used to the treadmill and my race is on my favorite route, the greenway. So I figured as long as I can get used to outdoor running, I should be fine. But I still had one run on the ‘ole mill.

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I haven’t ran on the treadmill a lot because ITS BEHIND THE TV. Gotta love apartment living.

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Yes, I ran in tights in April. It was a little chilly one morning, but nothing to worry about. By the end of the run I was sweating like crazy. Still a great 6 miles.  Average pace 12:03.

Then, the next morning for Easter I busted out 8 miles. I did have a good run, the weather was perfect. My pace was faster than Saturday, at 11:59 per mile. Woohoo! Miss Speedy over here.

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Oh man that picture is beautiful. I love running the boardwalks. I didn’t a lot last week, only once. It was hot at 7PM and pollen was clouding the air.

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I set out for 7, but the muggy weather wouldn’t allow me to push through it. I did finish very tired, and sweaty. And coated in yellow.

I may or may not run sometime this week, and I’m sure I should. But this time around I am not having any lofty goals, only one. That is to finish. I don’t care if I walk or run the whole race, I am finishing. And then I will start my training plan. My schedule will be a little more set, I won’t be moving runs around so much. The next training cycle will definitely be more serious.

Ok, that is it. A post about being lazy with training and running and attempting a half marathon  with practically zero training. This will be fun!

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MealEnders: The Antidote For Overeating Review

Thanks to Sweat Pink aka Fit Approach, I had the opportunity to try out MealEnders. They are an appetite suppressant that have natural ingredients. I love trying new products, especially ones that are targeted towards your overall health and well being. I know I for one can binge eat on any given day, typically on one of my off days and non-running days. The great things about the MealEnders is that for 1. they taste great and 2. they fizz. They fizz? Yes! I know you were asking that when reading that statement. With the sensation of fizz, it is allowing your body to send signals that you are ingesting food. That can sound somewhat sketchy, but trust me it is not.

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MealEnders is not a gimmick product that you see on commercials for weight loss. They are a product that you want to take when you are starting to feel hungry. Once the MealEnders dissolves, you can eat and eat less than you normally would. That is what I loved about these.

Their “How To” is this:
•At the end of a meal to replace dessert.
•When you feel the urge to finish a large plate of food, just because it’s there.
•When you crave a second helping, but don’t feel hungry.
•When you want to snack on junk food between meals.

HOW TO USE
•Identify your moment of temptation and instead of dessert, another helping, or a snack, enjoy a Signaling Lozenge.
•Savor the lozenge; allow to completely dissolve. No chewing or biting!
•Feel the active taste sensations cleanse the palate and stimulate both your mouth and mind, giving your brain time to realize you’ve had enough to eat.
•For best results, use consistently and combine with a healthy lifestyle.

I haven’t even mentioned the best part. They taste amazing! All the flavors have a yogurt-like coating, and once that melts you are basically eating a hard candy. So much better than taking something gross and foul tasting. My favorite was Chocolate Mint. It was like eating candy. Mocha was also pretty tasty.

I honestly saw a difference in my eating habits, but I didn’t see an overall drastic change. I think if you really want to lose weight, you’ll need a lifestyle change. But if you find yourself constantly overeating or having a binge fest, this can potentially help you. I found that I could take one, and about 10 minutes later eat my meal and not over indulge. I could feel myself getting fuller faster, and not having to finish my food feeling overstuffed. I did try this as full meal substitute, and I didn’t have success with that. I felt hungry after 15 minutes. The best results for me were when I ate it before eating a meal.

If you want to try MealEnders, I would recommend it. I never felt like I was harming my body, or feeling jacked up like some products can cause. Again, this isn’t a quick weight loss product, that requires lifestyle changes.

I hope this helps anyone looking for an alternative product to help reduce appetite that is more natural than most out in the market today.

DISCLAIMER: All reviews are my own. Product was supplied by Fit Approach, Sweat Pink. MealEnders did not endorse me for a product review, nor did Fit Approach.

When Life Changes

Last week I posted how I was going to have my highest mileage week ever. That didn’t happen. And I am not upset about it. My life has been going in so many wrong directions, nothing with my marriage or my work, just my family. I lost another family member, my uncle last week. Tuesday was the day he was admitted to ICU, Saturday he passed at hospice. Tuesday as I was leaving the hospital and walking to my car, I almost lost it. I was so angry. Mad at God, disappointed that my family was going to be put through this pain again, 7 weeks to the day after my Papa passed. And as I was about to scream, this gorgeous sunset captured my mind instead. I felt this overwhelming sensation that everything was going to be ok. I couldn’t be mad, my uncle has suffered from pain and cancer for the last 10 years. This was a sign that he would soon be welcomed back with my Papa and feel whole again. This one beautiful sunset just clicked for me.

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It is strange to find beauty in a parking deck at a hospital. Saturday when our family had the chance to say our good-byes and see my uncle one last time, I was heartbroken and happy. When my Papa passed, it was sudden. I mean, he was talking and then stopped. He suffered a major heart attack that took him in a second, my uncle however had to depend on machines and nurses for his last days. I personally think it is much more difficult to say good-bye when you are watching your loved one suffer and know they don’t want this.

Tuesday at my Granny’s as we were browsing through everything, I snuck into my Papa’s room and found a photo album full of pictures. And I found this one. This one made me so happy I couldn’t let it go.

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Love at first sight. I miss him daily.

This is the first time I am typing all of this up and it is very emotional. Memories are flooding me and it is hard to pick one and cherish it for a brief second. I was never ready to type about my Papa, but now I am stable enough to share. And I’m glad I can, it is healing.

Now to to happier things! This is a new week, but in the sadness of last week, there were some pretty funny and random things.

Like somehow when you tell the people at Starbucks that your name is Brooke, they write Jerry.

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Or is that Lerry?

I got some new member swag from Atlanta Track Club. I finally renewed my membership and this year we got hats. Cool beans, I love running hats so this made me extremely happy.

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And finally I couldn’t wait to post this. I loved the commercial from the Super Bowl about #likeagirl

The moment on social media is so awesome and inspiring. I couldn’t wait to partake and share my photo!

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From my Instagram (@brookenebel)

#likeagirl : I run like a girl; strong, determined, never-stopping, and never giving up. I can run with pain, joy, and happiness all in a single run. I cherish my trophies such as tan lines and bad feet, along with the medals that I hang up for everyone to see. I run like a girl.

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Half Marathon Training is Hard The 4th Time Around

I’m training for my 4th half marathon, and this training cycle is a tad more difficult than the previous 3. I have no idea why. I was running great and smoothly during my marathon training, not feeling extremely fatigued when running double digits, but trying to tackle 4 miles outside about killed me. I think I am too used to my treadmill. I’ve been running on it all month. Seriously!

Last week I had my hardest training session, it was speed work. You know, the devil. I somehow managed to not quit at all during this! It felt somewhat difficult, but easy at the same time. I was thrilled. I just need to keep this up!

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1 mile warm up; 12 X 400m (at 9:41 pace) with 400m recovery between, 1 mile cool down = 8 miles total at 11:17 pace.

I finally ran outside Sunday, but that didn’t last. I was up for 8, and after 2 miles I was like, “I want to finish at home.” Zach told me he’d do whatever I wanted, so we headed back. But I’m glad we did, I was starving and the headwind I ran back in was cray cray. I somehow managed to keep a quick pace while running with my whole body hunched so I wouldn’t get blown away.

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8 miles easy, average pace of 11:23. Garmin miles were 11:10, 11:25, 12:03, 10:43, .35 at 10:33.

This week will be my highest training in miles EVER. I hope, I seriously hope I don’t bail on any of them. I’ve been doing that lately. I’ve been swamped with exhaustion, and taking time to rest and be lazy. Which is probably why I’m struggling right now. But I am running faster, I am running more comfortably thanks to adding some extra strength training from Katie (shout-out!)

I will try to blog a bit more with this training cycle. Remember, I’m using the Hanson’s Marathon Method. I guess running 6 days a week can take time to get used to, but I am loving the system of training.

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Life Lately

A lot has happened for me in 2014.  And this post is random, sad, odd, and pretty good. Just a heads up.

I had two fantastic races, my half marathon in April where I PR’ed and finishing my first full marathon. Although, that one was brutal, I am so proud I’ve crossed the finish line of one. Lets see this year also brought some pretty cool things, like I achieved an award in highest retail sales with the salon (woohoo!), ran in the Peachtree Road Race, turned 26, watched my husband fulfill his dreams, and only had one hang over. I’d call that a winning year.

I’ve had one major downfall of this year, one still too heart breaking to fully speak of. My amazing, wonderful, Godly, and loving Papa passed in the beginning of December this year. It was the shock of a lifetime that is gut wrenching and makes you feel like all the air has been sucked out of your lungs. I never wanted to make a post about it, its too personal and out of respect for my mom and her side of the family, it wouldn’t be right. So to say I’m ready for 2014 to be over is right and wrong, but I am ready. I had many great things occur and one terrible thing, and that one terrible thing makes me want to say good-bye to 2014.

As this year comes to an end, another one begins and 2015 has some big goals ahead!

I’m only focusing on two distances: 10Ks and half marathons. That is it. I have some pretty hefty goals to achieve, so obviously I have to be in fantastic running shape and trained properly. I am loving the Hansons Marathon Training Method, like seriously LOVING IT.

Here are some pictures to capture some epic training.

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I love running outside, but man with the weather and cold temperatures I kinda have been dreading the trails right now. Good thing Santa was great to me this year because I GOT A TREADMILL and a sweet surprise of the new Mizuno Wave Inspire 11s.

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I love them, Zach did a great job and look at the bestest present ever!

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Scary photo, thanks iPhone. Here is another one, I’m screaming “I love my treadmill!” It is a Proform 400c treadmill.

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So I am ending 2014 with a random post and many great memories. I hope your year was fantastic and wonderful! May 2015 bring you many things and accomplishments! :)

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Yes, I Still Have a Blog and I’m Back

Well. It has been a month exactly since I’ve posted anything. Why you ask? I got hit with bronchitis and couldn’t run until I was better. Not only did I suffer from massive coughing fits, I also developed laryngitis so I couldn’t talk either. If you called the salon, more than likely you talked to me and couldn’t hear a freaking word I was saying because I had no voice. You’re welcome.

IMG_1365I haven’t really ran since I received that very well earned piece of run bling. Oh memories of defeat, how I loathe you. Since its been 4 very long weeks of zero running, I finally got to run this past Sunday. For reals it felt like Christmas morning. I struggled, I wanted to quit, and yet I didn’t. Sounds like I went for the big double-digit numbers which are my fav, but nope it was 3 miles. I feel like if I can run a solid 3 miles, I’ll be ok. Am I alone on that?

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Average pace of 11:26, splits of 11:47, 11:22, 11:11. I’ll take it. It has been 2 days and I am hella sore. Like OMG, wtf?! I need to not be sore because Thursday I’m starting this,

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WHAT?!!!! Is what I’m guessing you’re saying. No, I’m not running another marathon until 2016. I decided that about 2 weeks ago. Next year I want to focus on my half marathon times and have not one, but two PRS for 2015.

Goal for PR #1: April with a time of 2:20 or less

Goal of PR #2: October/November (haven’t decided which race I want) of a time of 2:15 or less

To achieve those times, I took to the interwebs and found a more realistic and reliable training method. I will not be having a coach for 2015, I didn’t necessarily have the result I wanted with my marathon, so other outlets are worth a try.

The Hansons Marathon Method really stuck out to me. I’ve read the whole book, which by the way is amazing, and I am super stoked to run with this. Now yes, I know it says “marathon” well, I like the approach of the mileage since higher mileage is my favorite, and when it comes to running another marathon in 2016, I’ll know if this method works. Because duh, if I can reach my PR goals for a half, I’m sure I’ll beat my marathon time. Ideally the next marathon will be the Disney Marathon in January 2016. That is the next one I want to run.

Training starts this Thursday and I’M. SO. EXCITE. I like to have a race ahead of me, otherwise my running is pretty non-existent. So get ready y’all, loads and loads of hot-mess run #selfies are coming your way.

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I’m a Marathoner! Recap on Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon

My race was on November 8, and I know I’m a little late on getting this posted. But I seriously needed time to digest everything before I could type up all the highs and lows. I know in my heart that this will come across like I’m upset, but truly I am thrilled with my whole experience! I mean I finally ran a marathon, regardless of my time I crossed that finish line! So get ready for a long recap, and about 15 pictures that capture my first full marathon.

When Zach and I lived in Savannah, the Rock ‘n’ Roll just started in the city. At that point I never wanted to run a marathon. So why did I come back to this city for my first full marathon? Because it is flat! And who doesn’t love some time in Savannah?!  When my training first started, I wanted to see how well I could handle working and training. Once I knew I could do it, I registered. To be honest, I never got extremely nervous about the distance. I got scared sure, but I never second guessed myself.

Friday morning we all packed up to head south to Savannah, we I mean myself, Zach, and my mom. I wanted to miss the horrible ATL traffic, but didn’t want to be stuck in the expo traffic so our time to leave was around 9. The closer we got, the more excited I got! I couldn’t wait to get my stuff. We arrived right around 1:30-2PM I think and traffic was amazing. We seriously missed all of it. The island for the convention center was welcoming.

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Once in, I grabbed my bib number and goodie bag. I told myself if the shirt wasn’t terrible, then I wouldn’t buy any expo merchandise. Well… lets just say I ended up buying a Brooks navy pullover with the logo on it. I’m glad I did, I want something to wear that shows my hard work! (I mean I could wear my medal everywhere ;) Oh and while waiting in line, I saw where I once ran and Brett Michaels was there.

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The rest of the expo was fun, I got slightly overwhelmed from the crowd, but it was good. I was ready to get checked in the hotel so we left and headed out.

Friday night we ate at one of our old local restaurants and it was terrible. Zach and I both were disappointed, but I had to get food in my system. We called it a night at 10PM and our wake up call was 4AM. I purchased a parking pass when I registered, so we had to be at the assigned parking deck by 5:30AM. I was ready to leave by 4:10. Seriously, I got dressed and took my food and drinks. I wasn’t going to eat too early and crash. Zach and my mom hit up McDonald’s and we sat there for like 20 minutes in line. I was slightly freaking out, but thats why I wanted to leave early. We got to our parking deck in plenty of time, but you never know. It was already 3/4 full by the time we got there! So the 3 of us sat in the warm truck and I ate one bagel at 5:15 and the second at 6:00 all with a liter of water. We also took a little nap. It was glorious.

Next was getting to the corrals. First thing was getting in line for the porto-potties. Yep, priorities. I stood in the lines twice. And boy was it cold! I was thrilled I had my sweat shirt, and glad I didn’t go to bag check. I chickened out last minute. But I found heat in the lights on the side walk.

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Gotta love the quality of the photos. Thanks iPhone. The sun was coming up and people were jumping in their corrals. Mine was so far back! Corral 17 and I finally started walking to it. I started crying when I was trying to get undressed from my warm sweat shirt. It all, and I mean all hit me. I was seriously here, I was about to start running for 26.2 miles and I was panicking. It was a complete fear of the unknown. I couldn’t tell if I was happy or sad. But I wanted to throw up. Once I was calm and slightly more collected,  I jumped in line and had a mini photo shoot.

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I looked like a total goober, but who cares. I did freak out when I thought the race for the marathon started differently because I didn’t see any other marathon bibs, but right then like 10 people jumped in and I calmed back down. Zach and my mom walked with me on the side walk until it was time to leave. I told them I loved them and that I’d see them at the finish. It was time to run!

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I was probably 2 rows back from the start line, and I questioned my logic. Why was so close you ask, because I legit didn’t know I would be some of the first few to cross. Oh well. So the course is same for full and half. You split off around mile 11. So the corrals had both distances. I started crying again when I crossed the start line. The journey was on.

The first 4 miles weren’t through the nicest part of Savannah, but it was nice to see the local’s cheering us on. I saw some interesting things.

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I kept thinking that will chafe later.

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That beautiful yellow townhouse, yep that gorgeous piece of real-estate belonged to Marc Jacobs. And no, that is not him on the balcony. Once I saw it, I recognized it immediately. It was definitely a photo worthy moment.

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I honestly felt great the whole beginning of the race. I walked through every water station to make sure I was drinking plenty of fluids. I started consuming gels every 4 miles. I was on top of this, and finally it was time to make the decision.

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Full! After I started my way towards mile 13, I had to stop for the bathroom. Afterwards I was golden again. Gotta love the TMI moments of runners. I still felt pretty good physically, until I crossed the mat for 13.1 miles. I was starting to slow down, but that was ok. What bothered me was the minor cramp developing in my leg. I walked for a bit to get rid of it and it worked. I started running again. Mile 14 it came back. And it didn’t stop. Miles 15-18 I walked majority of the course. My legs were stiff as boards and each step brought on pain I have never experienced. I would try to run, and it wouldn’t help. During all my training, I never had symptoms that severely. At mile 17 I stopped at the medic tent. They stretched out my calves, and then massaged both legs and I started crying again. The pain was brutal. They sprayed Bio-Freeze and told me to stop by the next tent for the same treatment since I was refusing to quit. Trying to get to mile 18 was the worst. I realized I didn’t restart my Garmin until I was approaching the mile marker for 18. My watch read 17.44…and I began to cry again. I was so mad. So f*cking mad. I was texting Zach how much pain I was in. I did want to quit. I was hating the course, seriously it was bad. I was disappointed by the running through run-down neighborhoods and lack of spectators. Anyway, I tried my best to run/walk whenever I could. And that was my focus and goal. I hit every single medic tent for the rest of the race.

When we came around mile 20 I was like, “ok 6 more. You can walk 6 miles if you must, its not bad.” At that moment I was more like, “F*ck the 6 miles, just f*cking finish.” And that is what I was doing. The more I got down on my self, the more I was cheering me on. Mentally the whole time I was golden. For reals, my mental game was strong. My physical pain was bringing me down. I was getting frustrated though, I had my Garmin off and then turned my music off. Everything was pissing me off. When we got back to the interstate I was like done. I had hit the wall and was crawling. My pain was so intense that I couldn’t feel my torso or arms. Everything was waist down and I couldn’t remember when I didn’t have pain. Finally I was coming back to the road to finish the race. I was asking, more like begging to find out where the finish line was. I started chatting with 2 ladies who were speed walking and they helped me. I wish I got their names, they seriously were the best distraction. When the mile 25 marker came into view I was numb. I couldn’t figure out my emotions, I was almost done but still not there yet. The last medic tent was there too, and OMG I had Gatorade with a salt tablet. First, it was gross, second it saved my life. My cramps were gone! I felt like a sponge getting squeezed because it was a lot of sodium, but damnit those cramps vanished. Gave me enough to run/walk again.

I texted Zach and my mom. I was coming around the block. I was right here. I was finishing. I was on cloud 9. And this is getting my teary eyed again right now. I gave everything I had left into the last .1 of running. I could hear my name being called, I could see my family. I could see the finish line. And I was seconds and feet away from it. Tears came streaming down my face. It was about to change my life.

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And then I crossed it.

Chip time of 6:18:37.

All of pain was worth the moment of getting that medal placed around my neck.  I was officially a marathoner. I was so confused on how I should of felt, I finished, but I hated my time. Then it hit me that it didn’t matter, I just finished 26.2 miles. Nothing could take that away from me, thats what I kept thinking. I saw my mom and Zach coming to me and I was ushered into getting my finishers blanket and food. When we were finally reunited, I just wanted to lay down. And thats what I did. It was glorious. My mom was so amazed by my attitude. She couldn’t believe how cheerful I was, like I said my mental game was there. I never got down in that sense. It was all physical.

Now, let me tell you how amazing my husband is, ok so we parked a good ways from the finish line because of our parking pass. Well, Zach went and moved the truck closer to the finish line so I didn’t have to walk more than 1 block. He truly loves me.  We finally got back to the truck, it took me a while to start moving again and it was slow. I took a selfie. Duh.

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I am so proud of myself. I cannot describe the feeling of finishing this race without saying the pain was well worth it. Even with things going south, I wouldn’t change it. Eventually I’ll do this distance again, maybe 2016. Definitely not this race again, at least for the full. The course was not even ok after the split off. I would do the half marathon, because you’re running through the beautiful neighborhoods for more than half the race. Otherwise, yeah it was just ok. But that beautiful medal is definitely well earned, and it was ugly. But it was oh, so worth it.

I AM A MARATHONER! Thank you to everyone who reads this blog, and to my family and friends. Each mile was dedicated to you. Without support I couldn’t of done this. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

I’ll do a post on my week of recovery sometime this week. This post was long enough!

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I Needed a Break and Monthly Recap

I took almost a whole month from blogging. I was beginning to get burnt out on trying to post on every weekly recap that included a really long run. So much was happening that I was completely worn out by the time I was supposed to write something.

Well it is still the same, but I do feel the need to post how I’ve feeling with a week away from my first full marathon.

I am so pumped. Seriously, I cannot wait to start that 26.2 mile journey to receive some race bling and wear it around my neck all day. I look forward to the joy and achievement, along with the struggle. I know there will be good miles and bad miles, but I’ll take them all because I’ll be in a marathon.

For the past month I’ve swayed from my training plan. I’ve completed most of my long runs and that is about it. I’m just so tired. Honestly, I am exhausted. I decided that if I’m this tired that maybe I should take the breaks I need in order to be fully rested to run 26.2 miles.

I was up for 17 miles on 10/5, and my stomach started to act up that I only made it to 14.6 and guess what? I was fine with that. I have become fully aware of how my body feels during this training season that I know when to stop and be ok with it. I ran the miles in 3:08:02, a slow average pace of 12:53.

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My next long run was on 10/18! Yep, that is kinda a long stint of some high mileage. Work got me, so life did get in the way and that is fine. I still managed to run 18 miles in 3:48:07.

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This was a STRUGGLE. I ran out of fuel, and my mom called me at 16.91 and I began to cry. I hit the wall, I was walking so much from miles 15-present and I wanted out. My mom was like, “You’re doing great! You made it so far, don’t quit now. And you still need to get to your car, so just walk otherwise you won’t get home.” True. I literally cried walking to my car, I did it. I couldn’t grasp I did it. I drove the mile to CVS and ate all of this…

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Yeah…

On 10/23 I was up for 20, my last long run. I couldn’t do it. My stomach was chaotic. I switched my breakfast and started really late, but after 10 I couldn’t handle the pain. So I called it quits. 10 miles in 2:06:05, average of 12:33.

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You know me, if at first you don’t succeed, try again. In which I did.  This past Sunday I went at it again, this time feeling amazing. But alas, the 20 miles didn’t happen. The heat climbed up rather quickly, so I was being smart and didn’t want to die so I made it to 14 and was thrilled. 2:56:44, average of 12:33 again.

Now that I have only 3 runs left, all small miles (8-9 Sunday, 6 Tuesday, and 3 Thursday) I am literally giddy that this is almost over. I get to sleep in on Sundays, I won’t be eating every thing in my house, and my body gets a break. But I have loved this journey. Yes, I will definitely do another marathon eventually. I’ve learned what I did right and wrong with this, which is why I love training. You always learn something.  So that is my monthly recap. I can’t believe I’m this “-” close to being a marathoner. I’M SO EXCITED!

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