I would like to take this time to formally announce my intent to be an amateur athlete maybe I’ll even join the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union). Oh wait, I don’t want to do that because then I can’t make money at my “free” sport of running. Also the closest Union is in New York City. That’s a little far away and some more money I would have to spend to get there.
Oh wait one more minute…. I guess you never have to actually announce your intent you just become an amateur by definition: 1 : devotee, admirer. 2 : one who engages in a pursuit, study, science, or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession. (Merriam-Webster)
Well I would say I am well on my way following that definition…
I guess there is no big announcement then. Sorry guys, I hope you will stick with me then.
How about a race recap of this weekend’s Eastern State 20 miler instead and an update of how my training is going for Vermont City Marathon in May?!
I have to say the weather could not have been better. It was in the low 40’s with a light breeze off the ocean, basically a tailwind for the whole race. The sun was shining bright despite what all the weather men said it was going to be overcast all day (needless to say I have a sunburn that looks fabulous!). The course started just over the bridge in Maine from New Hampshire. We then ran the whole state of New Hampshire along the coast into the state of Massachusetts. So crazy to think in one race you can run 3 states. There was some great crowd support even if they had to be spread out over 20 miles. Dave was able to get around pretty easy and see me at two locations during the race and at the end. This race was great because if you wanted to see your runner more it would be pretty easy to do that as the roads were open and as long as you took your time you could just leap frog ahead.
I started out faster than I wanted but really tried to just stick to what felt good. I was very relaxed because I had no real goal other than finish and test out my plan. My plan called for 20 miles this weekend with the speed to be close to marathon race pace which I’m hoping will be 9:30 per mile. Also, I always think it’s fun to do a race with 600-800 of your close running friends instead of a 20 mile training run where you are the only one running.
It was nice to settle into the pace and just chat with some people along the course, listen to my music (sometimes dancing along), and just loving the experience which was never a huge challenge. I have to say I love that last statement. I expected to hit a wall and it just did not happen. In fact after the half marathon point in the race, I got faster by 20 seconds per mile. That’s crazy isn’t it! I thought “Hey I only have 7 miles left, I can do this, I’ve done pace work longer than this”. So I did. I sped up and just keep speeding up until my last 4 miles were 8:07, 8:08, 8:09, and mile 20 was 7:53. Holy Cow! (I use that phrase a lot right now) And to top it all off, I felt great. I felt strong! And I kept thinking, “this training plan is working, all my hard work is paying off”.
Isn’t it great to have things begin to come together?! After 5 marathons, I changed to this new training plan with twice as many miles, running twice as much in a week and really focused on what I want my next marathon experience to be like. And the answer is strong! I want it to be strong!
How do you define strong? I define it as giving it your all, leaving it all out there, making you a priority and doing with confidence more than you ever thought you could. On Saturday, I felt strong! Like a superhero! I don’t know about you but I love that feeling. Dave might be tired of me talking about it because I was so shocked at what I had just done, I couldn’t stop talking about it (really he is very proud but I am sure he will tell me to stop when it gets old). I had conquered a huge thing in my life, I had gotten rid of the wall that usually comes halfway through a race where you are looking at your watch and thinking survival. I wasn’t surviving, I was thriving.
I was able to finish the race strong enough to be in the top 20% of my age group (the overall winner was from my age group as well, which just goes to prove us women in our 40’s are unstoppable). I actually came in 25 out of 125 women. I like the top 25. It has a nice ring to it. I also have a first ever PR for a 20 miler or by garmin a 20.15er of 2:53:05 which turns out to be an 8:35 average pace. Yeah!!!
So how is my training going? Well if you have not already guessed it, awesome! I’m feeling better after each long run, more confident about the marathon distance, and really working on staying healthy, getting massages often and balancing my work and training, which is hard at times but doable. (If only I could declare my amateur status and get sponsor for at least the race fees or shoes) 😉
Tomorrow with my training run I will surpass last month’s miles of 239 and I still have 3 training run days left this month. It’s crazy to think I could run so far in a month.
How is your training going? Any recent races where things just began to click and you felt invincible?!
Enjoy these pics from the rest of our weekend:
Ever have one of those weeks that is well planned out with a few things that might interfere only to have the things that might interfere actually take over and take control? That pretty much describes my training this past week.
Today I actually had to talk myself down from some anxiety due to the fact that for the second time this week I would not be able to put in all the miles that my plan called for. One of the thoughts that really helped was just telling myself that I am not sponsored by a company so I have to work and when work goes a little longer than planned I still have to pay the bills. Also, I have been struggling with some shoe/foot issues so those needed to be addressed this week as well and a little extra rest will be helpful or at least that is what I am saying to myself.
In saying all that, I have still been able to run every day except my rest day and will still finish the week on Sunday with mileage in the 40’s. Not as great as last week’s 68 miles but sometimes plans have to change when life interrupts….
Ever have moments/weeks like this? What did you do to get back on track?
Last week I had one of those very surreal moments, one of those you pinch yourself and think is this really true? It’s taken me a little while to digest it and to even fathom how I got here? But this weekend when I was out enjoying an early spring moment running in New England, it hit me.
“I’m gonna have to do all this training over again in the fall.”
Sunday was my first 21 miler of this training plan completing my most miles ever in one week of 68 miles. This plan goes up to 70 miles so not quite there yet but I am up to 68 with only 12 weeks left of this plan (I know only 12 weeks left but it goes so fast.).
Anyway, some of the good news is that I am feeling stronger each run and confident that I will see a big difference in my marathon performance with just the simple fact that after 21 miles I was able to complete the last mile very strong (wanting to die after but strong and even a sub 9 min mile). So far I have been very impressed where this plan has taken me, so if you are interested in training for a marathon, you might try the plan in the book “Advanced Marathoning” by Pfitzinger and Douglas.
Oh okay, back to the “Holy cow” news…. I made it! I made it into the New York City Marathon on November 6, 2016. I know that they accepted about 4500 extra people but really I was not expecting to make it because it is a very hard marathon to get in to. I was part of the 23% of the people in the lottery who made it in. The official total accepted was 19,083 with 82,172 applying for the lottery. Those aren’t great odds and last year I did not beat them but this year is different. This year I did it!
Thanks New York City Road Runners for drawing my name out of the hat (or that is how I pictured it happening, I am sure it was more computer generated.) Now I’m celebrating. My marathon #7 will be New York City in November!
Holy Cow… New York City!
I can hardly wait but first, I must regroup because before marathon #7 I have to complete marathon #6 in Burlington, VT in May, Vermont City Marathon. I am very excited about this one too. Excited because it is close to home, excited because Vermont is a gorgeous place to run and excited because we will get to spend the long weekend up in Burlington with our oldest child. So exciting!
I am also excited because on March 26th I will be running my first 20 mile race. Okay for me it will be more of a training run but I thought it would be fun to run a race during training that was more than a half marathon (definitely not to disparage anyone from half marathons because I love that distance, but when your plan calls for 20 miles and you get tired of the same 20 mile path, you need to liven it up a little).
Now that my marathons are all set for 2016 I guess I need to plan out the rest of my races…..
How is your training going? Any race you are looking forward to?
Happy Monday! This hangs in my office and I love looking at it daily.
Happy Monday! Make the most of it especially since we were given this extra day. 🙂
This evening when I was logging my miles on mapmyrun I had one of those “shocking moments” that this marathon training plan seems to continue to bring. As of today, right now, this very moment, I have put more miles on my feet than I have on my car this month.
Okay so I only live 5 minutes away from work and all the things I need are in the same town I live in but really I never thought I could say this.
As of today with three more running days left in the month and two of those fairly long runs (18 miler planned this weekend), I have put 203.37 miles on my little/big feet. (I call them little so they don’t get a complex but really I have some long ski-like feet)
Today I was thankful for a beautiful springlike day and for my work that usually gets very quiet around 2pm so I can start to wrap things up and leave by 3 to enjoy the weather. It was nice.
I also had one of those moments today that was not so shocking but confidence boosting. I am not one to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty good at what I do. I think it comes from the fact that everything I do with work I do from a place of love, empathy, compassion and desire to help others. I love what I do and I am so happy to be able to say that. I know that not everyone has a career/job that they love and I always feel honored and blessed to be able to do my work daily. Not really a shocking moment but it is shocking in the fact it was not something I ever chose to do. It kinda chose me.
Over this past week, I have been reminded to live in the moment, be grateful for each day and make the most of each day. This should not come as “shocking” information but I encourage you to do the same.
Happy Friday Eve!
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