June 28, 2010

Multiple Marathon Training Plan

Hello again! I know I don't usually post twice in one day but I'm trying to catch up! While I've run 4 marathons to-date, I haven't technically used any kind of official training plan for any of them. My first was with Team in Training which was probably the most structured of my marathon training periods. For my second I trained with a couple running buddies and we had set mileage for the long runs but the midweek runs were always in the air. For my third, LA, I ended up training alone and just sort of made things up as I went. And then finally for my most recent one I came full circle and trained with the Team as a mentor, but again didn't really follow a set schedule, especially during the week. 

Anyway, I've decided that with several marathons and other races over the next few months, it's time for me to switch things up a bit and give structure a chance. But since I have such a crazy race schedule, I had to put together a custom plan. I borrowed a bit from Hal Higdon's Intermediate and Advanced plans, adjusting for my races and what my body can handle. I also used parts of Hal Higdon's Multiple Marathons plans to accommodate so many big races. The biggest changes this time around will be more mileage during the week and more days running (6 total). Instead of just doing 3 or 4 milers during the week, I'm doing 4 or more. I usually would take the day after a run off, but instead I'm going to give short "recovery" runs a shot. In terms of speedwork I'll be alternating between hills, tempos, and intervals one day a week.
My first attempt at a marathon training plan! Thoughts?

Of course none of this is set in stone - if I need to shorten a run for whatever reason, that's ok. If I need another rest day, no prob. I would like to stick to the schedule as much as possible though, because I really thing it will improve me running and help me reach some of my goals. I also plan on doing the NMTZ workout at least once a week wherever I can fit it in, and when I start training for my first sprint triathlon (in September) I'll have to sub in swimming and biking for a run or two, but I really think these things will only help my running. My two marathons this summer, San Francisco and E.T., I'm mainly running to qualify for the Marathon Maniacs (3 fulls in 3 months) so I'll be running them just for fun. They're both pretty cool races and should be fun, no-pressure marathons. Then I have a couple halfs in October, leading up to my goal race of the fall - Marine Corps in Washington, DC! I'm super excited for this one actually - I've already started looking into travel and accommodations! Since my mom is joining me for E.T. in August I'm hoping my dad will tag along to DC, but we'll see : ) Anyway, my goal for MCM is 4:40, cutting about 15 minutes off my current PR. Considering my training plan, I think I can do this! And I'm definitely excited to try and to see how much I can improve by working hard.

Today kicked off my new training plan with an easy 4 miles. It felt better than before, so I'm hoping that means whatever it is that's stolen my running mojo is finally going away. Here's hoping!

Running & Redecorating

Good evening! This past week has been all about adjusting to living and running here in Sacramento which has kept me busier than expected! As I mentioned before I've been doing my weekday runs in the evenings when the temps are cooler and my body is slowly adapting.

Last Tuesday I decided I wanted to do some hill work, but since there aren't really a lot of good hills nearby, I had the brilliant idea to run to Sac State (a couple miles away) and run up and down the parking garage! It wasn't all bad, but I don't think I'll be making it a weekly thing. For one, it's a little far to run there, do hills, then run back. Also, it's a little creepy at night, and because it's a covered garage my Garmin lost it's signal a couple times. In the end I did 5.5 miles total. Lucky for me I've found a solution to my hill woes and will be giving it a try this week!

Wednesday I decided to explore another area near my house, hoping to get in 4-5 miles. I took my dog, as I've been doing on almost all my runs lately, and we ran around the neighborhood with no set route in mind. We ran a lot of back streets that I wasn't super familiar with, and there were lots of people outside enjoying the warm evening which was fun. I even ran past my old elementary school! Definitely did not look the same as I remember. I ended up doing 4.5 miles, but it still felt harder than it usually does.
My silly dog and running buddy, Mocha!

Then on Thursday, my new workout DVD, Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones, finally arrived in the mail! As I wrote in my previous post, it killed me. I'm only now, 4 days later, not hobbling like an old woman. Since I was that sore after the first time I'm definitely going to ease my body into it, starting with just once a week and hopefully working up to 3 days.

Friday was a rest day since I was planning on doing my long run Saturday morning, but I still wanted to move for the sake of my sore muscles, so my mom and I went on a nice 2 miles walk along the American River. Question: Do you runners with Garmins use them for walks? Do you include walks in your weekly mileage? Just curious : )

Saturday was my first long run since being back home, and it was definitely a struggle : / I think the heat played a big role (it was already super warm by 8am when I started) as well as my uber sore muscles. Honestly, my body felt just as sore as it has after my marathons, so trying to do a long run was asking my body a lot. The night before I mapped out a route that was 12 miles and was a mix of the bike trail and the neighborhood of East Sac. I went through phases of feeling good then crappy, and especially because of the heat I allowed myself short breaks when I needed them. Part of the route took me past a big park and I decided to add an extra loop around it and then cut the route a little shorter than planned. My main goal was to get 10-12 miles in, so when I got to 11 at the Sac State bridge, I decided to call it a day and have my mom pick me up. Running all the way home would've added on just over a mile, and that was just not important enough to suffer through. I was a little disappointed that the run was such a challenge, especially with another marathon looming in the near future. I sort of just feel like I'm in a running slump lately, like I've lost my mojo. I don't know if it's the move, the heat, or what, but I need to have a good run asap!

In other non-running related news, I got back from my long run just in time to watch the U.S. get killed by Ghana in the World Cup! It was the first U.S. game I was able to watch so I couldn't help but be a little disappointed. Oh well! Saturday night I joined my parents and some family friends at "Pops in the Park", an outdoor concert series held at public parks throughout Sacramento. It was actually a really fun evening with great oldies music and lots of familiar faces.

This past weekend was also spent completely redoing my bedroom! After I went away to college, my folks basically kept it the same as it was in high school, which just felt too young and brought back to many memories of awkward years. The first step was changing the color on the walls - when I left for Santa Barbara my mom painted them yellow. While it wasn't a bad color, it just clashed with all the stuff I brought home, so I chose a light bluish green (Pale Cactus to be exact - I'm sort of the type of person who is swayed by the names of things!) that was much more appealing. Let me just mention that painting is A LOT more work than you'd think! My sore arms tired very quickly from holding a brush and can of paint : / My dad helped, though, and taught me a lot on how to paint, which was great! After that was done it was time to unload the last of my boxes and start putting things away, hanging things, and organizing all my crap. I ended up going through a couple drawers that literally had the most random crap from - I kid you not - kindergarten! Plus a bunch of embarrassing middle school/high school stuff. It was an equal mix of nostalgia and "what the heck was I thinking?" Anyway, after several long days my room is finally done! I'll post pics asap. Hope you all had a lovely weekend and stayed cool!

p.s. Congrats to all those who ran the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon this weekend!

June 25, 2010

The "No More Trouble Zones" Challenge

Although I know how important cross-training and strength training are for runners, I have always failed to fit them into my schedule. This summer, however, that's all going to change. After reading about a killer workout DVD on Caitlin's fabulous blog, I decided to take on the challenge myself and see what happens! The DVD is called Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones. It's basically a 40 minute circuit workout designed to target "trouble zones" like the arms, hips, inner thighs, and butt. The video starts off with a 5 minute warm-up then goes into 7 different circuits with 6 moves in each, performed twice.
Jillian is a scary, ass-kicking woman!
I tried NMTZ last night for the first time and sweet baby Jesus I thought I was gonna die! Now I tend to think, as a marathoner, that I'm in pretty decent shape. But enter the insane intense Jillian and her torture moves and I was put in my place. I know that strength training is a whole different measure of fitness than cardio, but I also know that they complement each other so I'm excited to keep going with this challenge. All the reviews of NMTZ swear that you get fast, amazing results if you stick with it, so I'll keep you all updated on my experience. I'll be using 3lb weights (trust me, this is more than enough!) and doing the workout 2-3 times a week, pending my running schedule and what my body can handle without breaking down. As for today, I feel sore in parts of my body I forgot existed! But it's a good sore that reminds me I have other muscles besides those in my legs. I think Jillian and I are embarking on a wonderfully painful love/hate relationship : )

p.s. Good luck to all the bloggers (Mel-Tall Mom, Marlene, Michele, Madison, Hannah, and Jill) running Seattle RNR tomorrow! Crazy to think that one year ago I was getting ready to run this race as my first marathon : ) Have fun ladies, I'm sure you're all going to rock! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

June 24, 2010

Mom's 5k Plan

I think I mentioned before that this summer I'll be training my mom for her first race ever - a 5k! I'm pretty excited to be on the other side of training but I'm also excited for her to take on this challenge. I picked out a race in September called the NOCC Race for Her 5k which benefits ovarian cancer. A good friend of my mom's actually passed away from this disease several years ago so it's kind of ironic that I chose this one for her!

Since my mom has never really done any running before (she does go to the gym and do weights) I want to start her off very gradually with walk/run intervals. Leading up to when official training begins, I'm having her walk 30 minutes 3-4 days a week to get her body used to longer physical activity. Then for the first week of training she'll be doing 1:4 run/walk intervals for a total of 30 minutes. Each workout will also begin with a 5 minute warm-up walk. The intervals will last for two weeks then the running will increase by one minute for another two weeks until eventually she is just running easy for 30 minutes straight. In the last week I have her doing 3 miles easy just to know that she can cover the distance before the race and build a little confidence. My plan has her run/walking 4 days a week, cross-training (probably weights) 2 days a week, and resting on Sundays. She also has some weight loss goals she'd like to accomplish and I think this plan will really help with that.

I am definitely no expert (in fact I've never "trained" anyone before!) so I welcome any input, advice, personal experience, etc. Does this plan look adequate? Doable for a beginner? Let me know! As I said before I'm really excited to be doing this with my mom and to be able to share my love of exercise and running with her! I'll be updating on how things are going once we get started next month!

June 23, 2010

First Sacramento Runs

Now that I've moved home to Sacramento for the next year, it's time to start adapting my running to the new city. That means new running routes, new local races, and a new running club. I got in a couple good runs before I left for Vegas. One challenge of being back in Sacramento is that summers are HOT. We're talking high 90s most days with triple digits pretty common, too. With temps that aren't very conducive to running I've been forced to do my runs in the evening when it's cooler. I'm definitely an evening runner vs. morning runner so this would be great except it means I have to run after I eat dinner : / So far I've made it work but it'll be interesting to see how things go the rest of the summer.

Tuesday I was aching to run after taking off an entire week after the marathon. I did a quick 4 miles down the main street near my house and my legs loved it! Had a little knee pain after but with some icing it's a-okay. Wednesday I went out with no specific mileage planned, but was leaning towards the middle-range since I would be heading to Vegas for 4 days with little no chance of getting a run in. I ended up doing 7 miles along the American River bike trail near my house with my dog. The bike trail is where I set my half marathon PR last month and is a pretty great place to run. I have a feeling I'll be doing quite a few runs there over the next year : )

Tonight I went out for my first run post-Vegas, and let's just say I could totally feel the after-effects of all the alcohol, crappy food, insane heat, and sleep deprivation! We had a later than usual dinner so I didn't start til after 8pm so my mom came along on her bike to keep me company (aka she was worried about me running in the dark). I pushed through 6 miles at a 10:42 pace that felt much harder than it should have. There was also a bunch of stuff floating in the air that irritated my allergies and made breathing much harder than normal. But enough complaining! I really need to get back on track with training since I have marathon no. 5, San Francisco, next month. With nearly 5 weeks til then I'm not too worried. I know a couple weeks of sparse running aren't going to make a huge difference, but nonetheless it's time to get back into the swing of things!

June 22, 2010


This past weekend I went to Las Vegas for the first time to celebrate my roommate's 21st and our graduation and let's just say Vegas lives up to its reputation! I survived, but I've also determined that I'm just not cut out for Vegas. I'm not a huge partier and I don't really drink, and I much prefer a good night's sleep than staying out all night club-hopping. I managed to limit my drinking as much as is possible in Vegas (still far more than usual) but my diet didn't fare so well. Thanks to the near constant consumption of alcohol and the intense triple digit heat I was dehydrated most of the weekend and got nowhere near 8 hours of sleep.

It wasn't all bad though. I got to spend a final celebratory weekend with a couple of my closest friends plus some older alumni sorority sisters who I hadn't seen in a really long time. I even ran into a good friend from high school! Of course there was some drama and I spent far too much money, but after all it is Vegas, right? Thursday morning I flew from Sac to Long Beach and hung out at a friends house til my friends picked me up that evening. It was a long drive through the dark desert and we didn't arrive til 1am so I called it a night. We were staying at the Luxor right on the strip so Friday we headed out to explore, with highlights including enormous frozen drinks, drunkenly taping my sandals together, randomly running into an old friend, and roaming through random hotels. That night we went out to our first (and only) club of the night, Tao, got in free and had an open bar, and had a blast. Afterward we waited in the hotel, the Venetian, for our friends and found ourselves in the weirdest room ever. The ceiling was painted with a blue sky and fake "sunshine" shone everywhere. Even though it was after midnight spending a half hour in that place totally threw me off and made it feel much earlier!
Our pyramid hotel!
Frozen drinks!
Nothing compares to the real thing...
My ghetto attempt at shoe repair (ignore my ugly toes, kudos of running)
Loved : )
Inside the gorgeous Bellagio.
Flashing, lights!
First night out.
Creepy fake daylight in the Venetian.
Again, can't compare to the real thing. Plus it's inside?!
Saturday morning we hit up the champagne brunch at the Encore. After more mimosas than I could remember and a heaping second plate of delicious food and I left with a very happy stomach but a not so happy wallet (Vegas buffets are pricey!). After that we hit up an insane pool party at the same hotel where we spent the rest of the afternoon floating around, soaking up the sun, and drinking more of course. That night we went out for the final time at a club called Jet. Again we got in free and got free drinks (I feel so bad for guys - they have to pay for everything!). Everyone (besides me, surprisingly) was pretty tired and hungover from the pool, however, so we made our way back to our hotel around 1am.
Gorgeous brunch venue.
Pool party!
 Second and final night out.
Courtesy of the club photographer.

Before heading back to Long Beach Sunday afternoon we stopped to play a few slots. Now I don't gamble and had never done so before, but I figured I'd put in a dollar just for fun. Well call it beginners luck or whatever but I won $20! Not a bad way to end my Vegas experience, huh? On the way back we got caught in horrendous traffic and it took twice as long to get back than normally. It was a pretty crazy weekend and I'm definitely glad to be home. The rest of the week will be spent detoxing and recovering from my first trip to Las Vegas : )

Happy Father's Day!

I know I'm a couple days late (I was in Las Vegas - more on that later!), but better late than never, right? I've been pretty blessed when it comes to my dad. I owe most of my my athletic tendencies to him. As soon as I was walking he had me playing soccer and over the years he constantly pushed me to be my best. He came to nearly every game and always supported me, both in sports and in life in general. During high school we admittedly butted heads quite often, probably due to our stubbornness among other similarities : ) But today I am lucky to say I have an amazing relationship with my dad. Not only has he been to 3/4 of my marathons, but he is also my biggest fan. In fact since I started running he's even taken it up himself making it something we can now share together. So thanks dad. Thank you for everything from day one, for teaching me, supporting me, challenging me, respecting me, and always loving me. The front of my father's day card says it perfectly: "The person I am today is thanks to you dad - hopefully you're patting yourself on the back and not sobbing into your hands!" Love you : )
My dad and I at a Thanksgiving 5k - our first race together!
Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

June 21, 2010


After the San Diego marathon I literally had no time to relax as I was immediately thrown into a whirlwind of end-of-year activities like finals and college graduation : ) Needless to say this left no room for running but was the perfect time to be in recovery mode! I had my last two final exams Tuesday and Wednesday, then my folks got into town Thursday morning. Over the next couple days I took them around Santa Barbara, visiting the gorgeous Mission whose grounds were covered with colorful chalk murals, meeting my Team for happy hour downtown, and spending an afternoon in the cute little Danish-inspired town of Solvang just north. In between this flurry of activities we started to break down my apartment and pack up my life from the past four years.
Santa Barbara Mission
"I Madonnari" chalk murals - amazing!
My fave : )
Love them
From the Mission rose garden.
 In front of the windmill in Solvang.

Saturday was the big day so we were up at sunrise to get ready. The ceremony started at 9am on the faculty lawn next to the gorgeous lagoon, and my wonderful parents (who had got there at 7am!) had front row seats. I sat with my amazing roommates, best friends, and sorority sisters as we listened to all the speeches and then finally it was our turn to walk! I was expecting it to be much more surreal than it was. Maybe because it's not the end of my education (grad school is in my future), or maybe it's just denial? But when we were declared graduates and instructed to move our tassels from left to right I couldn't help but smile : )
Gamma Phi Beta
My cap!
My roomie Jordan and I waiting in the Thunderdome
My loves : )
My turn!
Mom & Dad
My dad's sign - it means "princess" in Italian, his nickname for me : )

After the ceremony there wasn't much time to celebrate - my brother was actually graduating at 3pm from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. And before you ask, no, we are not twins. He's actually 2 years older than me and just took a couple extra years to graduate : ) Luckily his school is just over an hour away so we made it just in time. But man was it long and hot! We all went out for sushi after then my folks and I headed to Pismo Beach to stay the night before heading back to Santa Barbara Sunday morning.
Cal Poly Commencement 2010
 Bro & sis
 Proud parents!

The rest of the weekend was spent packing up my apartment and cleaning. We managed to fit all my stuff (things really accumulate over 4 years!) into my dad's truck and my car and Monday morning I said a final goodbye to Santa Barbara and headed north to begin the next chapter...

June 15, 2010

San Diego Rock 'n' Roll (Race Report)

Although this was my 4th marathon, it was unlike any of the others and is certainly one I'll remember forever. It wasn't about running strong or setting a new PR - in fact it wasn't about me at all. I ran this race to support all of my Team in Training girls and to be a part of their huge accomplishments. Each one of them finished, despite challenges along the way, and I couldn't have been more proud.

Friday afternoon my roommate Jackie and I headed down to San Diego. Time flew by with lots of interesting conversation and soon enough we arrived at her parents house where we would be staying the night. A little while later our roommate Jordan arrived and we headed out to Olive Garden for dinner. We stuffed ourselves with delicious carbs then hit up Michael's to pick up some supplies for decorating our jerseys. Since I wasn't an official TNT participant, I wasn't allowed to wear a purple jersey so I just decorated a white tank instead. On the back we all puffy painted our sorority letters, and I added "Team in Training" as well. Once we finished ironing and painting we all happily hit the sack.
My jersey! I got crafty : )

Saturday afternoon we all made our way to the expo at the San Diego Convention Center downtown. As soon as we got there I rushed through packet pick-up to meet up with fellow blogger and TNTer Hannah, who had come all the way from Kansas and would be running her first marathon in San Diego. It was so weird to finally meet someone I'd "known" for several months already, but she was so sweet and super cute : ) So glad we were able to meet up and again, congrats on your first marathon!
Heading to the expo at the SD Convention Center.
Hannah and I at the expo!

We spent the next hour and a half browsing the booths and buying things. I picked up a couple souvenirs, a new box of vanilla Gu, and I finally bought some Nuun to try! Before long we were all ready to get out of the madness and headed to our fabulous hotel, the Hilton Bayfront, to check-in. The hotel was beautiful, with a great view of both downtown and the bay. Even though it was well past the check-in time none of the rooms were ready, so after waiting for 20 minutes Jordan's mom went to complain and a couple minutes later we were on our way to an upgraded room with free Starbuck's vouchers to boot : )
The gorgeous view from our room!
Equally gorgeous at night.
Once we were settled in a bit we got ready for the TNT Inspiration Pasta Dinner and headed downstairs. At this point Jackie realized she hadn't been given the 2 extra tickets she bought for her parents, so I had to do a little crisis control but with the help of our staff we found some extras and everything was ok. We finally made our way through the fabulous cheering tunnel of purple and green and found a table inside. With the marathon in mind we loaded up our plates and started chowing down while the speakers began. It was funny to hear John "The Penguin" Bingham give his humorous speech because it happened to be the same one I heard at my pasta dinner in Seattle! A little deja vu but funny nonetheless. I was a little disappointed with the inspirational speaker, however. A young woman spoke about her dad's battle with blood cancer, and while the story was moving, she was just a poor speaker (in my opinion) and I didn't feel the emotion in her words. In Seattle there was not a dry eye in the room! Regardless it was inspiring to hear how much money was raised ($12 million for this event alone!) and to look around the room and imagine the journey each person took to get to this moment. After dinner we met up briefly with our Team and then it was back to the room to set up my stuff and get to sleep asap since 3am would come very early.
Traditional TNT cheer tunnel outside the pasta dinner.
Mmmm carbs : )
Jackie and I at the pasta dinner.
Special speaker John "The Penguin" Bingham

When the alarm went off I immediately began my routine, getting ready step by step. Jackie's parents had brought us peanut butter and bread but there wasn't much, so my breakfast was basically a plain slice of bread. Luckily I had a Clif bar to bring with and eat before the race. When we were finally ready we headed down to the lobby that was overflowing with runners decked out in purple. We met up with my other girls and some of our other teammates, took a bunch of pictures, and waited til it was our turn for the bus. The day before I'd luckily gotten my hands on a shuttle bracelet so I was able to stick with my girls all the way til the start. We did a final "Go Team!" then split up to head to our different corrals.
All my gear ready to go!
Smiling at 3:30am??
All my Gamma Phi runners : )
Roomies ♥
Last "Go Team!"

Jordan and I immediately hopped in line for the port-o-potties and after the first time through got right back in line. The second time took much longer and by the time we were done the race had started and corrals were moving toward the start at a pretty quick rate. We ran along til we spotted #27 and squeezed through just in time. In fact we only waited a few minutes in the corral and  crossed the start line just 15 minutes after the gun!
Start line
Excited and ready to go!

The first few miles were great - I made sure we started out slow and took in all the sights and sounds. We passed our first band around mile 2 and also ran into a couple people from our Team. Mile 3 took us through a beautiful area with gorgeous architecture and then around mile 4 we saw Tom and Jordan's mom, Susan, for the first time. Mile 5 took us past Petco Stadium, home of the San Diego Padres. Luckily it was overcast for the first half of the race, making for great running conditions.
  Feeling great on the first mile : )
First band!
Gorgeous buildings. I loved this area!
Mile 4ish
All smiles!
Jordan running past Petco Park at mile 5.

Around mile 6ish we passed the Team in Training "mission mile" where there were posters and signs made in honor of those affected by blood cancers and reminding us why we were doing this. Early on we started spotting several runners and spectators dressed as Elvis - a famous part of San Diego Rock 'n' Roll. The next few miles we split from the half marathoners and wound through downtown San Diego, past cheer squads and crowds of spectators. We passed Tom and Susan one more time around mile 8 before heading toward the San Diego Bay. The part by the water was an out and back so I was able to see some of my other girls who weren't too far behind us. They all looked great and in high spirits.
TNT "Mission Mile"
I always feel special for following the marathon signs : )
Running Elvis!
Mile 8ish
Pirate ship!
My girls looking fantastic!

Around mile 10, however, things took a turn for the worse. Jordan's IT band problems flared up and forced us to start taking walk breaks that would last the rest of the race. I had promised her that I would stick with her no matter what and make sure she gets to the finish line, so we modified our plan and she ran as much as she could. To make matters worse, around this point the course lead us onto the freeway for several miles. The clouds had started to burn off and there was little shade to be found, plus the road was incredibly slanted which was tough on our legs. We also merged again with the half marathoners who were at mile 5 (in other words, the walkers) which made for a bit of a traffic jam : /
The slant!
At least the freeway had some downhills...

Mile 10!

We finally got off the freeway around mile 12 and Jordan was looking pretty bad. I told her we would do whatever we had to do to finish, and urged her to do short intervals of running. We passed Tom and Susan once again at mile 14, grabbed some Nuun (will review soon!) and kept trudging along. Since it was getting pretty warm I made sure we started dumping water on our heads and took a salt packet, too. Jordan finally got in a zone and was feeling a bit better - I think her body had sort of adapted to the pain. Eventually we made it to pretty Mission Bay Park where we ran along the water for several miles. Around this point we ran into a couple of my girls. One of them was feeling pretty bad so I told her we were doing walking intervals and invited her to join us. And so our group grew from 2 to 3! We made it to mile 20 and I reminded them that everything from that point on was new territory - they had never run that far before, and the rest would really be mental. Tom was waiting for us around mile 21 as we headed toward the last stretch of the marathon on Fiesta Island.
Ohhhh we're halfway there!
The lovely Mission Bay Park.
So pretty!
Obviously not for me, but it still made my day!
Picked up a couple more of my girls : )

 Mile 20!
Mile 21ish - I love how I look so happy!
 About to head out to Fiesta Island for the last 10k.
Fiesta Island was kind of a pain in the ass. You had to run the last 6ish miles around the island with no shade cover and very little to look at. At such a late point in the race, it made for a big mental challenge for most runners. It was at this point that I ran into the other group of my girls - all of whom were really struggling at that point. The distance and heat had really gotten to them and their spirits were low. I immediately told them that we would all stick together and finish together. We continued to do walk/run intervals with me telling them to just run to the tent in the distance, etc. I made sure they were fueling enough and keeping cool and we just pushed on. Jordan eventually decided to go ahead of us since walking was too hard at that point, and I decided it was better to stick with the other four girls. Near the end I told them they had to run, that it was just a few minutes of their lives, and we crossed the finish line holding hands, raised in the air : )
There were some pretty views...
All my girls together at last : )
Such a great video! They probably wanted to kill me haha.
So close...
Final stretch - love all the expressions : )
Afterward we made our way through the finish festival in the parking lot of Seaworld (eww) to the TNT tent. Everybody had to go their separate ways so we took a quick pic and then split up. My emotions caught up to me once I sat down (I won't go into the details here) as well as the pain and then finally we made our way back to our hotel.
Gamma Phi marathoners!
After cleaning up (which including my discovery of a horrendous sunburn - I was a lobster!) we headed to Chevy's to eat and celebrate with a margarita. Then later that night Jordan and I met up with some folks form our team for drinks and another snack/meal. It ended up being a great night spent with great people - lots of laughter and the conversation flowed. Despite being exhausted we managed to stay up to watch a movie then literally crashed. Monday morning we were up early and on the road back to Santa Barbara where - lucky us - we got to start studying for our finals that week!
Well-deserved celebratory margaritas : )
Nom nom nom
Although this marathon was not a new PR it was certainly one of my most memorable. Despite the challenges it was great to experience a marathon on the "other side" and help get newbies through their first. The weekend proved yet again why I LOVE the Team and reminded me of all the fabulous people I met this season. I was nothing short of inspired : ) I'm so so so proud of all my girls for persevering and finishing their first marathon. I'm not so sure they will be doing another, but I'm thankful for getting to be a part of this one : ) Another one in the books!

p.s. Sorry for posting this so late - this past week has been crazy with a little thing called college GRADUATION!! More on that in my next post : )