"Whenever you think you are giving it all you have, give just a little bit more"

Friday, October 17, 2014

At some point you WILL fail

I always knew making a change 10 weeks out from my marathon was a risk. Ten weeks isn't a ton of time to completely prepare for the battle that is the marathon. I knew this and yet I was still good with my decision.  But something happened in the last ten weeks. I began to make a lot of progress! Every week workouts would get better and better. I was finding my legs and more importantly I was having so much fun that I started to believe in ME again. At the beginning of this journey  I was unsure if I should even run Chicago. I was worried I couldn't be ready.  I had been feeling so awful.  But by the time I was packing to head to Chicago I wasn't only ready to race.... I was ready to go for it and get a PR. That was such a relief to me.

Leading in to the race I had a good chat with Lee.  Which made me calm and ready. This is odd for me, typically leading into a race I am a mess of emotions. This time was different I was just ready to see what would happen. Travel to Chicago was good, the kids even cooperated, flights were smooth and nutrition was exactly what I needed. At the tech meeting the day before the race I learned that we would have a pacer set up to hit 2:30 and that Clara, Sara and myself were all going to go for it. The situation was getting better and better. I could feel myself get giddy with anticipation. I was so calm and confident in my plan.  I even got a great nights sleep the night before the race. Lets be honest...this NEVER happens.

Race morning I woke up before my alarm, had an easy time getting down my breakfast, got on the bus and was ready to rock it. This honestly seemed like a dream come true. Weather was good, I had great people to run with, a fast course and I was coming in healthy and fit. Here we go! The gun went off and after a bit of side to side running to get position and get in our group we were off. First mile was just a bit slow but that is perfect for the marathon. After that our awesome pacer, Willy, had us locked in to a steady stream of 5:45. I'll spare you the details of every mile but by mile two I could feel something wasn't right. I just felt flat and couldn't get comfortable. This is never how you want a marathon to feel at mile 2, but I stuck with the plan knowing a marathon is funny like that. In Boston I had more times of feeling awful than I had miles of joy. You just have to fight through it and things will be fine. Sadly by mile ten I knew it just wasn't going to be my day. I was having a hard time chocking down my fluids and gels, my legs felt like bricks and I just couldn't find my rhythm. I made the decision to fall of the pack a bit. Thinking I could regroup for a couple miles and get going again. I had plenty of time. Unfortunately by mile 15 I knew my day was over and my thinking changed. This was about getting to the finish and hugging my family, time was out the window.

It's a hard thing to come to terms with that failure.

For the next 11 miles I had a million thoughts going through my head. Yet I never once contemplated not finishing for a couple reasons.
 First off I owed this to the race, the race directors, Bridget, Bank of America and the city of Chicago. Nothing was wrong with me. I wasn't hurting, or broken it just wasn't my day plain and simple. I could get to the finish even if it meant I had to swallow my pride. Everyone I mentioned worked so hard to make this race what it is and to give us the perfect opportunity to run fast. I would finish it out of respect to them.
Second I couldn't stop thinking about my kids at the finish. If you have never met my kids you should know they are so driven and competitive.... almost to a fault. A large part of their competitiveness they get from me and my husband. When we go after something we do it 100% and do it to succeed. Both boys are in sports.  Football, basketball, baseball, hockey and when they do it they want to be the best. It is a struggle as a parent to try and teach your kids that at some point they will fail. I was going to cross the line if for no other reason than to show the kids that yes today mommy failed but I will keep trying. I won't give up or let it ruin me. It is one race that will teach me what to do better next time. Kevin and myself are constantly giving the kids pep talks when they are down on themselves teaching them that they can't always have great games but that they always need to keep fighting on. I wanted to cross that finish line without tears or remorse. I would cross the line,  congratulate everyone that had a great race and be proud of myself for fighting on. I would find my family and let the kids see that I was ok. My day went about as bad as it could have but our life was still just fine. One race or game does not define you.

Now it's time to move on. No I didn't run a fast enough time to be considered for the World Marathon team or fast enough to maybe get a new sponsor but  I won't let this one race determine my attitude. I am very fit right now and even feel like I have speed under me. Chicago was an off day. Every runner knows that sometimes it just isn't your day. Am I disappointed that I had such an off day on such an important day? Yes of course but it won't change my attitude moving forward. I believe in everything Lee has me doing. I believe I can run a faster time than I ever have before. I will not let this one failure ruin my love for the marathon. The funny thing about failure is you can let it go one of two ways. Let it ruin you or let it fuel your fire. I will choose to let it fuel me. Sometimes getting your butt kicked is just what you need to get to the next level. I am so excited to get back to training with my team and hopefully I will be at a race very soon!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A leap of faith

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed my running recently that I have been in a funk. A hole. A rut. Whatever you choose to call it I was in it.

The hard thing about being in a hole is you can't really figure out you are there until it's almost too late and you are scrapping to hold a 6 minute pace for a couple of miles. The last couple of months running hasn't been very fun. I felt slow, tired, out of shape and just didn't enjoy it too much. The fear started to sink in that if I didn't do something soon I wouldn't even be toeing the line in LA in 18 months.  Before any critics chime in please know I do realize every runner goes through ups and downs. We all have times when we can't go fast, but this was different. It wasn't just that I wasn't running fast it was so much more.......

So what does anyone in a rut do? Jump off a cliff and hope to God that the parachute opens. Change is hard for me, I like my routine and knowing what is coming next. That being said for a few months now I have known what I wanted to do I just couldn't make myself do it. The fear crept in. What if I do this and it doesn't work. What if I actually make a change and run slower. What if? What if? What if? I was wearing myself out. Until I ran Bix. No the race wasn't a good one, I didn't run fast or have this great performance, but I raced. The last two races I did made me realize I really do love doing this, I want to get back to enjoying the training so I can be good at the racing again. So I came home, sat down with my husband and decided it was time I acted with my heart. It was time for a big change. After a few meetings. A lot of tears and a lot of soul searching I decided it was now or never. I am 18 months away from the important race so the time was right. SO I left my current training group and moved to one that is completely different from what i've ever done.

The hardest part of the move was I really do love my teammates. The girls I have been training with and traveling with over the last couple of years have become some of my best friends. But I realized they are my friends. Regardless of what my jersey says we will always be friends and we can always rely on one another. The other hard part was my new training group meant I had to leave my wonderful sponsor that I have been with for my entire competitive "career".  It was hard telling them and even harder knowing I had to leave. But sometimes your dreams are worth it. Sometimes your dream is so big and so close that you are willing to put your whole self out there for the world to see and know that failure could be an option. But you know what else is an option? SUCCESS!!!!  Reaching your goals, your time, your dreams! More importantly doing what your heart tells you is the right thing! Going all in and hoping that darn parachute opens up and shows you a little piece of the world you have only ever dreamt of!

I am proud to say I am now a member of the Boulder Track Club! I feel like I am in good hands with Lee Troop as he has so much personal marathon knowledge as well as coaching experience. Sure I've never had a program like his but that's the whole point. I need to shock my system. I need to just learn how much I love the hurt of a good hard workout session. It's scary to be in a new group but so far everyone seems amazing! I have a LOT of work to do to get to where I want to be but I am ready to take the challenge. So here is to new adventures in training! And I can not wait to race the 20k in the new sports bra my son picked out for me! Because seriously "Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman...than Always be Batman!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Not sure if I should thank Adidas, Shannon Payne, Lauren Fleshman, Desi Davilla, Costa Rica, Costa Rica's running community,  or the soccer community but last week was exactly what I needed to pull my head out of my butt.  It was like a week full of "signs" that pulled me out of my funk.

First my bad ass mountain running teammate Shannon Payne wrote a blog about her experience with her "bad" race and it made me think. You know what. People always tell me. I saw you running it looked so effortless I am jealous. Running comes so easy to you. On and on with comments like that. But guess what....running isn't always medals and rainbows. Sometimes I hate it. I hate lacing up my shoes and going out to see how slow I am all of a sudden. Lacing up my shoes to go out and miss my paces by so much.

 Next on my drive to the airport with my family I came across Lauren Fleshmans blog about her Peach tree experience. (A race I had planned on going to but didn't because I was out of shape, scared and embarrassed). Her blog talked about how every single one of us elites feel at one point or another. She wasn't competing for the win and when it started to hurt she let her head get the best of her until Desi caught up to her and made her pull it out. Any elite who says they haven't at one time lost time or a race because of their negative self talk would probably be telling you a lie. We all do it, but for some reason hearing two of my idols talk about it made me think....what is my problem they are way better than me and are ok with going to big races even if they aren't in the best shape of their life. Stop being so hard on YOU and go. So at the airport I got signed up for and booked my flight to BIX 7. Time to get back on that horse.

My final sign was showing up in Costa Rica. Coming into the race I knew I was in no shape to run fast (I'll get to that next) so I didn't know what to do. As we drove up the rode to our hotel there was an Adidas sign that read #allinornothing. It made me think seriously why not? Now was as good a time as any to just go for it and see what happens. Granted the sign was more for soccer than running but Adidas has it right it's either all in or you are doing yourself a disservice.

Why did I need these signs? Here is the ugly truth
After running Bolder Boulder, my worst 10k EVER (not just since I started this elite thing but EVER) I lost my desire to even care about running. I had worked so hard leading into Twin Cities and Boston just to not reach my goal. So add BB into it and I wanted to quit.  I got my training schedule and was going through the motions. I'd do my runs but truth be told if my life didn't work with a run I'd just skip it. I was so frustrated with making running the priority for it to just make me mad.  So I was being lazy, which I get I have no one to blame for my current shape other than myself. I own it I know it to be true. I had a weak weak moment. I wanted my life to be a priority for once. I spent a lot of time watching my kids play games, worked, had drinks with friends and was half assing my training. I could beat myself up over it if I wanted to, but I needed to come around again on my own.  I can now say I'm back. Racing in Costa Rica was exactly what I needed a no pressure place to just put myself ALL IN and remember why I love racing and running.


Costa Rica has a special place in my heart now. It was the first time I took my kids out of the country, a great family vacation and the place that made me find my drive again.  Getting there was a mess, delayed flights, long travel, no seat assignments on and on but once we got there we weren't disappointed. We drove a few hours to get to Arenal where we stayed at the beautiful hot springs resort Baldi.
 Honestly does it get anymore beautiful?!?!?!?!
 Crazy hot waterfall
And we learned why it's called the rainforest......But a tropical rain while in a hot springs was so serene.

Baldi did not leave us disappointed, non of us wanted to leave there EVER!

The next day we took the boys zip lining as a present for Chase's 10th birthday.

Costa Rica has to have the best areas to zipline, it was amazing! We saw some toucans and took ourselves through the jungle along the beautiful volcano. Oh and of course it was pouring while we did it. What would you expect? We all had a blast! The kids mostly enjoyed mom and dad screaming their heads off on the Tarzan swing. Wish I could put the video on here it was so fun and such a thrill!

Sadly the next day we had to leave our paradise and head back down to San Jose for the race expo and media. The expo was crazy. I felt like royalty, everyone wanted autographs and took pictures with us. The runners in Costa Rica were all so welcoming I have never felt more loved!

Saturday was Chase's birthday so we felt the need to go do something and Jaco beach was what Chase wanted to do. So we loaded up the car and made the hour drive to the beautiful coast. Granted not what I would normally do pre race but come on I was in Costa Rica I couldn't just sit in my hotel room.
 Playing in the waves
And Soccer on the beach. Not a bad way to spend a 10th birthday!
Of course we had to take him to his favorite restaurant for his birthday
So we hit Hooters Costa Rica style!

Once the fun filled day of beach, shopping and Hooters was over we hit the hotel for me to get a good night sleep before my 4 am wake up call to go race.

Race day was odd. I didn't have the normal amount of jitters. I just felt ready to go see what I could do. Nice thing was I was racing out of the country if I failed who cared right? The pre race morning was a little different than normal. We got to the start with no time to warm up or find a bathroom but its good sometimes to get out of your routine. Things won't always go as planned and it just means I had no time to over think it. Before I knew it the gun went off and I was running fast. I went out way too hard for my current fitness. I was running on pace to hit a new PR but I didn't care. I was just going to go with it until I couldn't anymore. I had the lead and it was great. The guys I was running around were all so supportive! The crowds were amazing cheering for me and pushing me on. I have to admit I've never weaved through cars during a race or had motor cycles come up next to me to talk and take pictures but it really didn't bother me. It was a new thing, I kind of enjoyed it. I couldn't help but smile at the crowds they were just so GREAT! Yes I knew at some point the pace would probably start to kill me but I rolled the dice. Obviously it didn't work in my favor, at 8 I started to hurt and had to remind myself of Lauren Fleshman's blog. It's suppose to hurt you are a fighter just keep pushing. At 9 I got caught and as hard as I tried to hold on the humidity and early pace caught up to me. By 11 I had completely fallen apart and was hanging on just to finish.  Luckily I finished, it wasn't pretty or fast, but Idid it. I fought through again and I remember just why I do this. I love the pain and thrill and crowds. So thank you Costa Rica! You made me remember why I do this and now I am back! The race was my first hard effort to start my fall marathon cycle and it was good. I really thought San Jose was at sea level so to find out after the race that it was just under 4000 made me even more happy! I live in the mid 4000's so it wasn't too far off and I felt like I held some good paces in there. Turns out I wasn't as out of shape as I thought.  And I hope to come back to Costa Rica to race again soon!

Bottom line is my training has been spotty. I own it all on myself. You can not just go through the motions in running and be successful. I have been going through the motions and still did ok so now it's time to stop going through the motions and be me again. Do I feel guilty for the way I've been the last couple months? No because I think I needed it to happen. I needed to find my fire.  Really 2014 didn't mean too much. Better it happens now than next year or the year after.

I hope this blog hits one person just like Shannon, Lauren, Desi and Costa Rica reached me. You don't always have to be on your game. We all lose it sometimes. It's how you get yourself out that makes you the competitor you are! So wether you are an elite, a hobby jogger, a serious runner, a weight lifter, a biker, a mom whatever you are just remember we all have our moments of weakness. All of us lose it. Be easy on yourself and you will make it out on the other side!

I'm off to run now......not because I have to but because I WANT to for the first time in a long while.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An experience of a lifetime

It turns out running a marathon is a lot like eating Thanksgiving dinner. It takes hours and hours of preparation for it to all be over before you even blink your eyes. I feel like I just flew into Boston but I am already home with missing toe nails, swollen ankles and sore quads to prove to me it actually did happen.
Luckily for me my life is so hectic with the kids and work that I decided not to fly in to Boston until Saturday night. Sure I had second thoughts on this being a good idea. but in the end it was the best idea for me. I tend to freak myself out going into races so it was best for me to avoid all the excitement in town by just hanging out with my family. It didn't take me long after arriving to come to this realization. Just going for my Sunday shake out I could feel all of the energy in the city. I did my best the rest of the day to avoid too much excitement.  I spent most of the day laying low but made sure to catch up over coffee with Bryce from Elliptigo and my all time favorite race director Richard Fannin over dinner. After stuffing myself full I laid in my room for the night thinking about the race the next day. Not knowing what would happen in the race or really who I should key off of I decided to just go out at the pace I had been training at and see who ended up around me. Those would be the people I would run with. Yet as I sat there I felt like this race should be about more. I wanted to really make sure I took it all in! In most races I couldn't tell you a single thing about the course from start to finish I get so zoned in to my race plan that nothing else matters. So I promised myself no matter how the race was going I would just enjoy the day! Take it all in and get the full benefit of Boston.
Well before I knew it we were at the starting line and the gun was going off. Immediately I was taken back by the crowds. I have never experienced anything like it. The whole time I kept thinking "Ok we are going downhill just relax do not get excited yet. Feel the pace just like a workout" Luckily my body has grown to know the pace and I hit mile one in a comfortable 5:38 and found myself with two girls. We could see the lead pack and the chase pack but were comfortably behind them. This was a good thing I had been worried I'd run the whole race by myself. By mile two I was already feeling a little off which told me this was not going to be like my first 2 marathons. In my first two marathons the miles were just flying by with ease, I almost didn't know how far I had left to go. Unfortunately on Monday I knew at mile 2 I had 24.2 mile to go. My first thought was you have two options here mama. Either give in and settle back or fight for every mile and hope your body comes around. Of course I picked option number two. I had a couple girls to work with so I figured I would just fight for every single mile and let the crowds help me along. The strategy worked pretty well. I went from moments of thinking I'm never gonna be able to finish this, to moments that I thought I'd be able to actually break 2:30. At mile 12 I got a little carried away. I was giving high 5's to the crowd and really enjoying myself when I looked up and noticed all of a sudden a couple people were getting closer to us up front. That little bit of possibility got the best of me and I ran a 5:32 mile. A little too early in the race to be throwing down a mile below pace but the energy from the crowd just took me over.
Long story short I ran the way I had planned from mile 1 through about 17-18. I knew the Newtons and heartbreak were coming up but that's not what was bothering me. After taking my gel and liquids at 30k we hit a downhill and I could tell my quads had had enough. It became a relief every time I saw an uphill giving my muscles a switch in gears. Oddly enough the last few miles my fastest was going up heartbreak hill. I have always been a much better uphill than downhill runner. Shortly after coming down heartbreak hill my quads started cramping up and by now I was all alone. Once you are alone and hurting in the end of a marathon it becomes harder and harder to keep out the negative thoughts and hold yourself together. By 23 I started praying with every step that my quads could sustain themselves and not just give out. I wont lie with 1k to go you dip down under an overpass and when I saw the little bit of downhill I almost started crying. Going into Boston I heard a million people say "Train for the downhill" but I didn't take it very serious. I figured it couldn't be that bad. Boy was I wrong.

Luckily I finished the race and was even able to hold on to a 1:36 PR with a time of 2:32:49. After getting my cramped up quads a massage I found my phone and was greeted with many congratulations. Some people wondering if I was ok with the time. Most of you that know me know I get my head set on one time and if I don't get it I tend to feel defeated so I understood the questioning. However going in to Boston I knew to expect anything from a 2:29-2:34. To me Boston was a win. No I didn't reach my ultimate goal but I got a new PR on a day that I had to work and fight for every single mile. The marathon can be funny like that. There are going to be days it is easy and there are going to be days it is extremely hard. I was handed a hard day and I fought to make it a good day. I never gave up or completely fell apart. I dealt the hand I was given on the day and managed to come away 19th overall female and 5th American woman. In years past my time would have put me a lot farther up in the standings but non of that mattered. I was part of an epic day! I placed 19th on a day that the women ran fast enough for a new course record. I ran on a day when Boston took marathon Monday back to a beautiful memorable day! Most importantly I had a decent day on a day when an American man won the Boston marathon for the first time since the 1980's. Plus it wasn't just any man, it was Meb. Most of you know I am a big fan and athlete for Elliptigo. Elliptigo is a company I am so honored to be connected to. Not only because they have this great device that is so invaluable but because they are the most amazing people I have dealt with. It started out as this little company that has grown into an amazing thing. these guys go out to coffee with me when they are in town, they invite us into the warehouse and give my kids t-shirts (which anyone with kids knows that kids really dig free stuff. so it made their day), they check in on me to see how training is going, they go out and do a 24 mile workout with me just so I am not left alone and they buy me a beer at the airport to congratulate me on a new PR. So to see one of their athletes do so well really makes me happy! Plus Meb is 38! In running years many would have started to count him out, but clearly he is still very much in the game running 50 second PR's! It gives me hope that there are still many more successful years to come!

I spent a lot of the course giving kids, adults and fans high 5's. I waved to people screaming my name and I thoroughly enjoyed myself more than I ever have in a race. Boston is a magical place! I wish I could do it justice and put the energy from there into words but all I can say is if you ever get the chance to run Boston make sure you do it!

Once I am able to get my quads to function and my toes to go back to normal size I am going to tackle getting fast again. I'm not sure what the next marathon on the horizon will be but I'm sure it'll be soon. For now I will be getting in some good quality miles on my Elliptigo and recovering with a few too many beers!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Turn your brain off!

I woke up today thinking WTH!?!?!?! I have prepared for Monday April 21st with hundreds and hundreds of miles. 12 weeks, 84 days, countless hours, 12 massages, hours in my Normatec boots, miles on my Elliptigo, too many minutes with my R8, sacrificed races and many social sacrifices just to go to bed last night and dream that I DROPPED OUT OF THE BOSTON MARATHON!!! Those of you that have read this blog know that I have some serious issues upstairs when it comes to racing. It is by far the biggest obstacle I have to over come. However last week I sat down and looked through my training log for this cycle and came to peace with the fact that I did all I could. I ran some great long runs and workouts in some crappy conditions. I did more than 24 miles on more than one occasion on the trusty treadmill. After reading it all back I realized you know what I had a great build up! I'm ready to go no doubting yourself now. UNTIL apparently my sub conscious wanted to freak me out just a little more and give me that wonderful dream last night.

Here is the deal. Monday will be marathon number 3, in the grand scheme of things I am still a marathon baby. It is going to take a lot more than 2 or even 3 for me to perfect (as much as one can when some things are out of your control) the marathon. It's time to reflect. I am going to be totally real with you, the last 9 miles of Twin cities was the most physically miserable I have ever been in my life. Which isn't taken lightly...I have had TWO babies naturally and while just short of three months pregnant with the second I had an emergency appendectomy. I have been miserable. I have dealt with pain.  I lost my mom in my early 20's I know how to deal with the worst kind of emotional pain. So When I think of all these things I think....BRING IT ON BOSTON!!! I've dealt with so much worse. Boston will be fun!

 It is completely natural to get nervous or scared leading in to a marathon. As runners we put months and months in to one race hoping that on race day everything we have done will pay off. That is the easy part, some things are simply out of our control. Will our bodies cooperate on race day? Will the weather cooperate? Did we taper just right? Did we eat, drink, sleep enough? So much goes in to this ONE day and this ONE day will take so much out of us it will be fall before we can come back for our next duel with the marathon. So yes all these thoughts are normal. Looking at social media I know I am not the only one thinking these thoughts.

Truth be told though. If Monday doesn't go well it'll suck. Those that don't meat their expectations will feel defeated, like they let people down, like they are failures. This could not be farther from the truth. No matter how Monday goes ALL of us out there running whether it was great or awful will have learned something. We will all be better marathoners as a result and life will continue. Regardless of how anyone does Monday we are all able to run and push ourselves. There are so many people who would kill to be running a marathon in sub 2:30, 2:30, sub 3:00, 3:00, 3:05, 3:30 sub 4:00. The list goes on and on. As much as I wish I wasn't away from my family on Easter weekend it does give you purpose. Think of how blessed we all are to be here, living the life we are so lucky to have. I plan on going out there and running with joy. Thanking God for giving me this talent and life that may not be close to perfect but that I enjoy to it's fullest. No I'm not going to win on Monday but I am going to do my absolute best to set a new PR in this race and every other marathon I start. I'm ready and while anxious I am excited to be at one of the best marathons there is!

Like the quote says......in the race when you start doubting how much farther you can go remember just how far you have come! THIS is the fun part! GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE IN BOSTON!!!

                                          The sweet limited addition Adidas Energy Boost !

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Hay is in the Barn?!?!?!?!

Well 2014 has been an odd one. The year started out on a high note. I went to the USA half marathon Champs with no hopes of making the World Half marathon team. The field was loaded, I was only starting to feel like I was getting some speed back and I just didn't think it was possible. Well guess what I did? GASP.....I went in to the race with zero pressure. The night before I figured what the hell? What do I have to lose? I want to break 1:12 at some point...what better day than my birthday? Well guess what the result was? I got 4th, a new PR 1:12:29 and I made the world team!!!! Sure I didn't break 1:12 like I want to eventually but honestly I knew that it wasn't going to happen in the fitness I was in. So a new PR was CRAZY!  The news that I made the team was very welcome as I received it while boarding the plane to Mexico for a fun filled few days with some of my closest friends. It gave me a few days to celebrate a big dream coming true!
                                                 Are you kidding me?!?!? I made the team!

It turned out Mexico was just what I needed to get the juices flowing again and I came back ready to roll. With just 13 weeks until Boston I knew it was time to get back to some big volume. I do have to be honest though I had a slight thought of scratching Boston and making my sole focus for the early fall the World Half champs. For me the marathon is my baby, I love it, I thrive in the training BUT when I race during my build up it is honestly a complete crap shoot! I have had both kinds of build ups. For my build up in the trials and New York I couldn't get my legs to do ANYTHING in racing. Than I had my build up to Twin Cities and I was pretty much hitting my PR's in every race. All this went in to my talks with Scott and ultimately we decided I could do both. Sadly I raced 3 times leading in to Boston and sadly all 3 left something to be desired for sure. Don't get me wrong Copenhagen was the experience of a lifetime. I learned a lot of things. One being that time changes and me do not do well together. I didn't sleep all week until I finally took a melatonin two nights before the race. The melatonin helped me get some much needed rest but still didn't make up for the days before I wasn't getting sleep. I even raided the mini bar in our hotel room the night before the race and drank half of the little red wine at 2 am hoping it would make me sleep. I mean seriously I have a glass of red wine at home and I pass out. Unfortunately the wine ended up being an expensive sleeping pill that did not work. But lesson learned! I also learned I need to not be such a picky eater. Traveling to a different country means I need to just eat what I can to get nutrition and not be a big baby!  All in all I am bummed about the race. My fitness is beyond anything it has ever been at and I couldn't get it to translate on race day. The day I really wanted to shine I was stale, flat and wanted to cry.

       Women's USA team with a 5th place finish! Thanks to the top 3 running some big PR's

Moving on I can not change anything that happened in Copnhagen. I still got to hang out with some really fun people. I got to know Clara Santucci and Matt Lano better. I must say I LOVE those two. Both are such great people with so much talent and ability. You will be seeing their names a lot in years to come! Plus I got to hang out with my teammate Mattie which is always great! Not to be sappy or anything but the group of ladies I hang out with have really become some of the greatest friends! The five girls on our team were just great and it was awesome to see Annie and Lauren run such big PR's. Oh and I got to talk to one of my long time idols, Colleen De Reuck. If there are any three people I could sit down with and pick their brains for knowledge it would be her, Deena Kastor and Meb. They have all done some amazing things and haven't let age slow them down...INCREDIBLE!
                                                     What a great team to be a part of!
                                The Elliptigo guys helping me out with some final Boston prep!

I'm finally back home after a couple weeks away and I can not believe it but we are only 13 days out from the big day! Boston is just around the corner. As they say...the hay is in the barn....all my work is done. From here on out all I can do is relax and believe in myself. This is the time that makes me laugh. I can not tell you how many miles I put in leading in to this race but with two weeks to go I always think. Oh crap I wonder if I did enough? Truth is. Yes I did plenty! I had some great workouts and long runs that have shown me my fitness is at a point it has never been before. My final beast of a workout was completed at sea level (with the help of the amazing guys at Elliptigo, Darren Brown and Bryce Whiting. I mean seriously what sponsor goes out and helps you with a 24 mile day? This company is something else!) I did 20 miles in and out in 2 hours, and I felt amazing! I know I'm ready for this. I can't wait. This will only be my 3rd marathon but I'm hoping its the one that reminds me why when I crossed the finish line at the trials in Houston I said "THIS is my race! I want to keep doing these and nothing else". To be honest sometimes I just have to remind myself how lucky I am to get to do what I do. Sure I am not the fastest. No I won't WIN Boston but I am a good runner. I have my own set of goals that will make me feel accomplished and I can not wait to tackle them! Here is to hoping Boston give me some magic!!!!
These girls are some of the greatest ladies around! So grateful for their support every single day!   (Oh and the always supportive Richard who is gonna get some Boston magic himself!)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year New ME??????

So far 2014 is bringing a lot of new adventures for our family. For most people I suppose they would like it. I hear a lot of people say new year new you, resolutions and such. However I've never been a fan of resolutions and I'm sure not a fan of anything being a new me. I like the old me. It took me a long time to get comfortable with being me why would I change? So naturally I was not looking for change and am very happy right now. I even thought last week.... wow I know my life isn't perfect but its about as close to perfect as it can get. That being said you can't ignore little pushes from the universe. When your husband calls you and says "hey Steve called and wanted to know if you'd be interested in coming back to work?" it makes you think.

How many times in your life do you get offered things? Sure I am very happy with my life right now but who says I won't be even happier with the change? Of course I have worries. Number one being my kids. I've been home with Chase since he was born, minus that two weeks that I thought I could send him to daycare; which ended in tears every day. I don't want to do anything that effects the boys lives it wouldn't be far. I don't NEED to go back to work. I am doing it to fulfill something for myself. So I don't want to do anything that makes them feel like they are getting less from their mom. I am really worried about the summer when I love spending every day on new adventures with them. I won't be able to volunteer at school anymore and I know they love having me there. I won't be there for every class party either. On the other side of it though maybe working will make me a better mom? I'll be honest there are days now when they are in school that I am completely bored. Which means by the end of the day I can be a bit testy. Best case scenario I will be a more attentive, nurturing, loving, fun mom because I will cherish every single moment I am home. When you are home all the time it gets easy to take it for granted. Being their mom is my number one job I want to be good at it. Nether one of them are very happy about it right now so I'm hoping time will prove to them it will still be ok.

Obviously my other concern is running. I still have a lot of goals to reach before I will be completely satisfied with what I've done. The marathon and me have some serious unfinished business and I'd like to lower my 10k as well as half times. After meeting with my new bosses yesterday I feel confident I can do both. They understand and are supportive of this crazy running dream so it will all come down to me and my dedication. I HATE mornings more than anything. Having the job will mean I am up at 5 and out doing my easy runs so I can get home and showered before I get the boys out of bed for school because that starts a whole new job. It also means my second run will be done after work when I'm just going to want to sit at home with the family. It doesn't seem like much but 35 minutes more away from them is hard for me when I'm at home I imagine its going to get harder when I'm not home. I'm telling myself on the flip side of this is better time management. I won't have a choice other than to get up get it done and go. No lolly gagging around the house wasting time. It'll mean get your ass moving and be more productive. Honestly it'll all come down to me. I know a lot of fabulous women who work and still kick ass. I can think of at least 4 on my own team that manage it. Sure adding in kids, work and running makes it seem like a lot but hey I like challenges!

Honestly there have been a lot of thoughts this last year of hmmm......I am almost 35 (yeah I will be 35 on the 19th. Holy hell I'm old) what am I gonna do with my life? Don't get me wrong running is great and fulfills part of me but I feel like my brain is going to mush. I spend my days talking to kids or figuring out splits. I need something to stimulate the brain, something to keep me social. There  are times we  go to gatherings and I have nothing to contribute to a conversation. I think its weird to talk about yourself.  So talking about running seems like you are full of yourself. Than there are the kids. Sure I love talking about them when we get together with friends but when you talk about them too much it also feels like bragging. Don't get me wrong I LOVE to brag about my kids but I can't stand people who do that all the time. Makes you feel like we are making our kids compete against each other when they don't even know it. Selfishly I need something for myself. Something that makes me feel like I'm contributing to the universe. This does not mean I think being "just a mom" isn't the hardest most rewarding job in the world. Being a mom is the hardest, most rewarding, exciting, fulfilling job there is but my kids are now 7 and 9. Mom is not needed nearly as much anymore. For the time being I will be home to drop them at school and than to pick them up from the neighbors as soon as they arrive. (Which I have to say I am the luckiest women ever. Ranisa is the greatest neighbor and friend a girl could have. I couldn't do most of what I do without her help. Plus my kids love her like another mom.) Sure there will be times I need to work more, later, at night whatever but for the most part the kids will still have me for all their needs.

So here is to 2014 the year of 35. The year of change for the women who absolutely runs from any sort of change. The year of being a better mom. The year of being a more dedicated runner. The year of....... gasp.......a new me. You never know how things will go if you don't try. So here we go. Time to jump off that cliff and hope the bungee doesn't break.