Friday, October 19, 2012

Almost 2 weeks out from race day and I'm feeling really good about my time! Rather than dwelling on not hitting my goal, I'm making a plan to DEMOLISH that goal next year in NY.  Positivity people!

I realized I had a bunch of pictures that I never shared.  Chicago is a great little city, lots to see and do between the actual city, the waterfront, all of the parks and the fountains and art all around.  Definetly an A+ for awesome sights to see!

We also ate a few great restaurants:

Yolk for breakfast, great vibe, super busy but well worth the wait!  Get the pancakes!  All of them!

Giordano's for deep dish which we ate like savages a few hours after the race.

Chicago Firehouse for our post marathon fancy schmancy dinner.  So amazing and definitely worth the price!! The waiters were awesome, the food was great and atmosphere was a little uppity, but not stuffy, perfect steakhouse vibe.  We found out that they do a pre-race brunch for all runners which I thought was really nice, they also gave out water on the course.  It's nice to see local business get out there and support the local running scene!

Here are a few pics from the weekend...

On our way to the corrals

On our way to The Magnificent Mile

Finishers gear at Niketown


Loved this sign at the expo

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chicago Recap (A Million Days Late)

Sometimes I need some time to process....I feel like I'm still mulling over Chicago, the race, the tears... the everything.

To start, I had a 9 minute PR but I missed my 4:30 goal.  My official finish was 4:41:19 and I might still be a little disappointed.  I may have also cried when it was over, twice.  But, to be fair, I'm also really proud of myself and super grateful that I'm even able to run.

This WILL NOT be a whiny post, even though I'm sort of blah about the whole race.   Don't get me wrong, it was fun and totally well organized, but it just lacked something for me.  Maybe I had too much build up going on?  Maybe I knew what to expect already having run a marathon?  Or maybe it was just no NYC Marathon? Because as we already know NY was the BEST day of my life!

To say that I wasn't and am still not bummed is an understatement.  I really wanted that 4:30 finish, I felt ready for it.  I had a lot of little missteps though that were part of it: I think I went out too fast (although I was only just under a sub 10 pace, I should have stuck with a 10:10 pace) with too few walking through water breaks, my garmin was not really working - I had a hard time catching satellite and when I finally did I lost it completely, I had to pee 3, yes 3 times and the last 2 times I had stage fright and couldn't go (WTF!!).

I will say though that I felt AMAZING the first 13 miles, around 14 I started to walk the water stops, not because I felt bad, more because I wanted to conserve energy, by 18 I felt like crap due to the bladder/stage fright issue.  I felt better around mile 22 even while  knowing how far off I was from my goal.  Mentally and physically I felt ok and tried to push those last few miles.  I wish I had the data to see my pace for the end! Damn satellites!  Was it a good race?  Absolutely!  Did I learn anything....absolutely!  I need to lose weight.  I know my 160# frame is holding me back from really hitting my potential. 

This whole training cycle was a tremendous learning experience.  I got through the heat, the tears and 3 20 milers!  I also proved to myself that I'm a runner.  That I want to continue running (remember, I'm a former fat, drinking, smoking, hanging out not even thinking abut running type of gal) and that I'm not too bad at it!

While I didn't quite recreate that best day ever feeling, I felt ok with the disappointment, Ok with my race...OK with the fact that I'm a 2x marathoner who has nothing but time to get better.  So while I cried for a minute, I also cried over the fact that I just finished something that took 16 weeks to prepare for - successfully!  I used to be afraid to set goals for fear of not reaching them, so maybe not running a 4:30 was the universe's way of letting me know that failure won't kill me? 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marathon Numero 2 Done!

Oh Chicago Marathon, how do I sum you up?

First off my time was 4:41:19 - a 9 minute PR but not a 4:30:00 fiish which was my goal.  I'll take a PR anyday so it's time I get over it! In all reality, I was bummed, I cried but I had an awesome marathon despite not hitting my goal and I still want to go out there and all in all it was PERFECT.

I'll follow up with a real race report tomorow.  I'm pooped!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Is....

Happy Wednesday! I'm officially 4 days away from 26.2 and I'm handling it all pretty well.  Surprisingly I'm not freaking out about my food, the fact that I'm bloated and have gained maybe 3 pounds or the fact that I haven't decided on my outfit yet.  Nope, none of that is affecting me.  I'm still blissfully happy about my weekend.

I had one of those amazing weekends where everything just went right.  My last long run of 8 miles was fast and perfect, the boy caught 2 HUGE tuna on his trip out to the canyon, I ran the Tunnels to Towers and had an amazing experience. Saw some college friends...the list goes on and on...


Running partner and I met up at the park and ran 7 of the 8 together, it was so great to get out there for our last run before the marathon.  She has seen me at my best and worst I'm so grateful to have her as my running buddy!  We cranked out a 9:30 pace which felt comfortable.  I'm still unsure of my pace plan, but I know 9:30 for 26.2 isn't happening!

Sunday I got up bright and early and met up with some friends to drive into Brooklyn for the Tunnel to Towers Run.  Without getting too into the deets, I have never really been interested in running this race, mainly because I have a hard time with anything 9/11.  I prefer to quietly reflect on that day and my experience (I worked close to the towers and saw the first plane hit, ran from burning buildings, ect...) and I knew from others that this race is a really emotional tribute to not only Steven Siller but all the lives lost, but when a friend had an extra bib I jumped on it and I'm so glad I did!

Battery Tunnel

I really feel like I saw humanity at it's best...30,000 people coming together, simply amazing.  I wouldn't really consider this a race, there are just too many people, no corrals, runners and walkers mixed in together, but that's part of the beauty of it, everyone together as one.  I witnessed wounded warriors running on prosthetic limbs for the first time, men and women running in full gear and grown men crying tears of happiness, an old man running (no matter how slow he was running!) with a sign on his back asking us to bear with him as he wanted his first 5k to be in honor of the words!

Mike running in awesome!!

I'm so glad I got out of my own way and decided to run.  It was hard, especially the sea of blue holding banners of fallen FDNY as we exited the tunnel, but it was also really uplifting.  Quite the paradox!

The after part was fun, TONS of food from local restaurants - pulled pork, burgers, ribs, pizza, soup and that's only half of it. We didn't stay for the after party, but I did get a pic with Rudy Guillani which was really awesome, for those who don't know Rudy was the Mayor of NYC and really carried us through 9/11.  I would definitely run this again!!


So with that, I'm going to try not to stress and enjoy my last few days of taper before I kill Chicago!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

They Can't All Be Good...

I've had my share of ups and downs with my training  - the humidity that killed me all summer and made me cry more than once, the GREAT 20 miler in Central Park, that other great 20 miler, some short and fast tempo runs....luckily the bad didn't outweigh the good and I can keep a positive attitude when I just can't get it together, or else, you know, I would have had to kill people :)

Sunday I ran the NYRR 18 Mile Tune-Up race in CP.  This is a tough course - 3 loops which include the northern hills of the park.  Luckily I only had to run 13 miles which meant 2 loops/not as many hills, even though I LOVE hills, my legs needed a break.

Running in the park is always such a great experience, it has been a boost to my training and because I maybe only head in once a month or so I'm not too bored of it yet. There is always something new to see and people to meet... I met a bunch of guys from Racing for Recovery which was pretty awesome, I hung with them for maybe 3 miles chatting, eavesdropping and just having fun.  I don't normally listen to music on my long runs, especially runs in the city since there is always so much going on, so hanging with them was a nice bonus to help break up the miles.

I felt AMAZING.  Like so good it was a little cray.   I have to go back and look, but I believe my average pace was 9:45 (or 50)  and my splits were pretty even!  This was yet another boost I needed to mentally get me in the game for Chicago.  I'm still not sure if I will make my 4:30 goal, but I feel confident that I will PR.

Ok, so that was the good...

Now for the not so good...

Last night I met some of the new girls for a 6 miler.  I ran a mile beforehand and started to feel a little woozy, not terrible just not great.  I probably should have eaten a little something before I left but didn't even think to since I had a lot to eat during the day.  Thankfully they wanted to take it easy so we went super slow, but man, that 10:20 pace felt hard, nothing like my fast 5 the day before or my long run on Sunday.

I was happy to get through it, and I'm not going to dwell on it, it's just another training run under my belt.  Good or bad, it's miles in the bank and a bad run during training does not equal a bad run on the big day (that's been my motto and I'm sticking with it!!). But man, it sucked!

I'm leaving it in the past and I'm going to focus on quality for the rest of the week.  Tonight I'm at the gym for "World Champion Workout" led by one of our champion weight lifter instructors.  I signed up for the series and I'm pretty excited for it!  The first class was set up like a circuit and KILLED my legs, looking forward to what she has in store for us tonight.  Tomorrow if I do anything will be either yoga or an easy spin class.  Sat is my last long run before the marathon (8 miles), then Sun I'm running the Tunnels to Towers.  Lots going on, but I have to mindful of my legs, I am technically in taper mode...

10 more days!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

3rd and Final 20 Miler (AKA That Time I Killed My 3rd 20 Miler)

I'm going to just cut to the chase, cooler temps rule and I am so freaking grateful that I did not have to run my last 20 in the heat and humidity that has plagued me all training season!

This was such a great run, I'm not even sure where to start...

Fri night I worked late, relaxed at home and was in bed at 9:30 and probably sleeping by 9:45 - score!

Sat I was up bright and early at 4:30, running partner picked me up at 5 and were in the city and in Central Park running by 6.  The parking gods obviously loved us!

Sunrise over Manhattan

My plan was to pretty much run this solo.  We both agreed that we needed to do our own thing so we split up after our first mile.  I was plan-less and basically decided to wing it.  The first 10 miles were on the bridle path and along the reservoir, I'm so used to running the roads that this little adventure off the beaten path was great and just what I needed.  Even though I'm out on Long Island, I have done a bunch of runs in the park this year so it was nice to see new things and switch up my route.  I felt very Ally on the run which was cool.  I love her blog and am always inspired by not only her training but her general take on life with a pretty terrible disease. I even made a pit stop at the tennis court bathrooms (tmi?  lol).

I could have stayed in the park all day but I weaseled my way into one of the million training groups that were getting in their long runs and headed out of the park down 59th over to the West Side Highway.  I think I was with the Jack Rabbit group, still not sure, but they were great and I was pretty pumped to leave the park. I figured they were going to stay in the park for their whole run so it was a nice surprise.  Once I was settled into a nice rhythm I ended up splitting from the group and did my own thing, I ran through Riverside Park and decided to turn around to head back once I got just past Chelsea Piers.  Running partner was running the 4 miler NYRR/Fitness Magazine race so I wanted to make sure that I was close to the car around the same time as the end of the race which worked out perfectly.

On the way back while chugging up the 59th street hill I ran into Ashley from a Healthy Happier Bear and introduced myself.  I always feel like a creeper when I run into fellow bloggers, but who cares!  We put all of our stuff out there on the internets anyway, so why not say hi!  She was so sweet and we chatted for a second about our upcoming races.  It's crazy how small the city can be! I saw her and her friend again around my mile 19 which was awesome!

I could go on and on, but seriously, this was a great run.  I felt strong and kept my pace at an average of 10:30 which was very doable for me, no tanking at the end! I also ran solo and with no music which is exactly how I'm planning on running Chicago.  This was definetly the run I needed to have, nothing like a good 20 mile confidence boost!

As far as nutrition goes, I stayed with water the whole time and had 2 Gu's  - one at mile 6 then again at mile 12.  For the marathon I'll take in a 3rd at mile 18 and if necessary a 4th around mile 23.  I seem to be Ok with my fuel which is awesome, I'm also planning carbing up with some Chicago style deep dish pizza the night before which should hold me over!  Anyone have any suggestions?

You can read more about my other 20 mile runs here and here.

19 more days!  I can't wait!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Down to the Wire...4 More Weeks!

Holy moley!  4 more weeks and I'll be running my little heart out in Chicago!
There are so many things I'm excited for - the race, a new city, maybe a blogger meetup, a cool new tech shirt.  Oh, and pizza, definetly some deep dish pizza (any suggestions???).

This week has been rather uneventful with my training.  To start off, last weekend I ran 16 on Sunday and a 5k XC race on Sat where I placed 3rd in my AG (small race, 12 people in my AG, but still!). I took Monday off, ran 7 Tue, spun last night and bailed on my 7 miler this morning.  I'm lifting tonight so I'll try and run after.  All in all I'm feeling good and the cooler temps have been a major welcome!

Sat I'm headed into the city to run my 3rd and final 20 miler before the race!!!  The plan is to run 16 then tag along with the NYRR race for the final 4.  The weather should be crisp and cool...thank god!!!! .  I'm hoping running partner won't mind, but I'm thinking we should split up during the first half of the run., I don't want to feel like I have to keep up then fizzle at the end and if I learned anything from last 20, slow and steady in the beginning is ideal for a strong finish.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

When Life Gets Tough

This week has been a tough one.  A friend passed away, it's been raining and crazy humid, I ate a ton and feel gross and I really have not gotten in a good run this week.

Sat was supposed to be a 16 miler but I headed out at 1:00 and it was so hot that I really only managed to bang out 10.  Monday I took an AMAZING Real Ryder spin class, Tue was a 4 miler on the 'mill (was supposed to be a 9 miler) and yesterday I ate and cried (work lunch, then work dinner then a wake then picking plates at the diner after).

Losing friends is tough, especially  young ones, especially when it could have been avoided. Nothing more to say about that.  RH will be missed.

A few missed or switched around runs won't kill my marathon.  I have been spot on with my long runs and the plan is to run the 16 this weekend instead of the perscribed 9 to get me back on track. A few shortened mid week runs also won't kill my marathon.  Saying fuck this training will, so I won't do that.  A little less than 5 weeks left!

But back to the title of this post...When life gets tough I need to remember the good stuff, remember to pray, reach out and not for cookies or bread or peanut M&M's, but to my gals who keep me going. To remember that I am a former fat girl who drank and smoked and never dreamed that a marathon (or 2) would be something I would want to do or COULD do.  To remember that today is a new day, that I can start over at any time....

So I'm taking the lessons of this week and reminding myself that I still ran, still managed to eat veggies among the other crap, still managed to get my work done, still managed a 4 miler on the mill and am alive, happy and free.  Who has it better than me :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Feet Hurt

This morning I got up and my feet hurt, not bad, but enough to make me scratch my head considering I haven't even run long yet.  Tue was a 9 miler, Weds spin class and last night I ran 7 with old running partner.  My sneakers are too new, maybe the last 10 weeks have finally caught up to my feet? Who knows.

Last night was tough, we ran 7 miles at a pretty steady 9:40 pace.  We chatted the whole time and the air quality sucked so naturally my breathing felt off.  I used to love running in the heat, not the case this year!  I'm not part of the whole "I can't wait for fall and pumpkin everything" bandwagon, I love the summer, maybe too much, but my running is craving fall temps and no humidity.

So back to my feet, I think I'll try and get the boy to give me a foot massage tonight. Sarcasm at it's finest...  He does not understand why I run, he also doesn't understand why I'm not super skinny when all I do is run, but then I neither do I. According to science, marathoners usually gain weight when training, that's why I'm thrilled to say I'm down 8 pounds!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


This past weekend was my 35th birthday.



So there are days that I'm ok with everything in my life, then there are days that I wish some small stuff would change, then there are days like last week when I felt like WTF is wrong with me and how the hell am I 35 already!!!!!!!

When I turned 25 I had a typical quarter life crisis which led me to completely turn my life around by 26.  It was amazing and I'm grateful.  I've made tons of changes and truly am a better person (cliche!). I gave up booze, then butts, gained a bunch of weight, started running, s-l-o-w-l-y lost some weight then really began to run.  By 30 I was feeling good, looking good but I was single and lonely.  I stayed single for what felt like forever until I met the boy.  We just celebrated 2 years (although you could say not in a row as there has been some breakups along the way). And now I'm feeling like OK, now what?


I think this is what a midlife crisis feels like, except I think a midlife crisis happens when you hit 50 not 35.

In true midlife crisis fashion, I'm playing around with going back to school, something I previously had no desire to do.  I'm thinking about a certificate program at FIT.  Nothing too strenuous, more along the lines of fun and something to get me out of my bubble.  I'm also thinking about a tri (kidding, still no desire!!).

I'm not sure what the future holds, but I do know that it's out of my control (so deep) and I'm just here to enjoy the ride, so that's what I'm going to try and do!

Cheers to 35!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That Time I ABSOLUTELY Killed My 20 Mile Run!

I ran 20 and OWNED it, unlike the last 20 which made me cry. And I did on all of 3 hours sleep, damn boyfriends and insomnia!

Ok, so what was different?  2 major things, I went wayyy slower than I like to and it was rainy and not at all humid.  I felt great and if pushed, I could have run the whole 26.2....but I'll save that for Chicago!

The original plan was to run the NYRR long training run #2, but we didn't realize until last minute that it was on Sunday and running partner couldn't make it.  Also on the original plan was a 16 miler but I knew I couldn't run 20 this coming (birthday!!) weekend so I switched it up. As luck would have it my old running crew was coming to my hood to do a long run so I decided to tag along with them.  Running partner met us but when she realized how slow we were going she bailed and ran 15 on her own. I decided to stick with the slow pokes for 2 reasons - I knew a few of them would add on miles at the end and I know that part of my problem aside from dealing with the heat has been trying to keep up a faster pace and pushing myself a little to much on my longs.

Overall, it was the best training run I've had and the entire 2nd half was one big giant negative split! Wahoooo! While at times I felt like were going super slow, it helped me to kick ass at the end.  My average pace was 10:49 per mile and not at all what I'm hoping to run come race day, but I knew that slower would better and I was ok with that. It was also nice to see miles 19 and 20 were at a 9:50 pace.

As I move into week 10 of my training I need to really keep focused.  My birthday is Fri which means a few extra meals with friends out, so I have to watch the wheat.  I've been doing so/so with avoiding wheats/bread...but it's really hard!  I was at an event with my bf in the Hamptons where I managed to eat just about every passed hors d'oeuvre that came my way, plus 2 lobsters so needless to say the scale moved up a little, but I'm still lower than what I was so I have to just accept it and move on. Ok, enough about food!

I'm excited to finish out my training, I love that I get up excited to run and I'm loving that I have another 20 in my plan to gauge how I'm doing.  I'm not sure if that 4:20 marathon is in the cards, but ya never know!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Easy Breezy Training Week #8

What a relief to not have a super long run!  I needed this break in training, especially after my really hard 20 miler.

I ran a total of 26 miles, one 8 miler, two 7's and a down and dirty 3 miler for good measure. Nothing earth shattering, the first 7 I ran with friends and we took it slow, the rest were on my own and probaly around a 9:40 pace. No record breaking runs, but that's what a recovery week is for.

This week I'm shifting things around a bit to accommodate a 20 miler this week instead of next.  Training partner and I both can't run, she's doing a tri and it's my birthday weekend so we are swapping out weeks. Last night I ran 3 super speedy miles, hoping the weather holds out so I can head up to the Cow Harbor training runs.  I didn't make it up there once last year or the year before so I'm hoping to make it tonight.  Other than that, I'm down into the 150's (for real this time) and I'm feeling really good limiting the wheat.  Now I just need to curb my fro-yo addiction!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Roid Rage/Rashes/Pretty Things

I don't know what's up with me but I have had 2 big rashes, the first was just a red spot on my foot, this one that I have now is a killer itchy mess brought on by the sun, a possible reaction to medication from the first rash and sweat.  I'm no amazingly hot. I'm now on a steroid, let's hope I don't go into roid rage.  I'm on a 6 day regimen and am almost done taking day 1's six pills, sheesh. All I can say is thank god I have a short long run this weekend, or else I'm sure the tears of frustration would be a flowing!!!

Ok, not that ANYONE needed to know that, but I'm itchy and it's all I can focus on.

Now onto nice things like running and the bay and flowers and kittens....

Yesterday I ran 7 before work and it was great.  I didn't care about pace, there was no humidly, it was cool and I got a sweet water view at the half way point. I was definitely feeling the running god love!

I saw a runner friend also taking in the view and finally felt ok with my training.  Weird how no humidity will do that. Also weird how coming to terms with bad training runs doesn't mean I'm a bad runner.

I love me a little perspective!

Monday, August 6, 2012

That Time I Cried During a 20 Mile Run

WTF humidity! Seriously, stop effing up my runs, gahhhh!!!! Saturday (actually this whole weekend) was of course too humid for walking much less running and I had a 20 miler on tap for the day. Originally I had wanted to shift this one to a later date, but we did some other juggling so our next 2 20's fall inline with the NYRR training runs (or at least that's what I think we did) so we had no choice but to head out and get 'er done.

I felt ok the first 7 miles, then I went slowly downhill.  We made a few quick stops where I noticed that I was totally shaky, not sure if seeing my hands shake threw me into a mental state of "OMG I want to die now" or what, but it wasn't pretty.  I just wanted to be done!

At mile 14 we were back at the start which happened to be the gym so we decided to run the last 6 inside.  Running partner brought a change of clothes, I did not, so not only was I soaked, but I was now freezing.  I got on the treadmill and squeaked out 2 miles, then around mile 17 I started walking and crying.  It's pretty comical now that I think about it, I even looked at running partner and was like this is too funny, but at the time I was just so frustrated.  Not that I breezed through training last year, but it didn't feel this hard.

I almost threw in the towel, but I soldiered on, one mile at a time.  I went crazy slow and at the end of each mile walked and took in fluids (I should mention that I didn't pee once, which is crazy considering how much fluid I took in). My legs were killing me and I had a few cuts on my foot which initially I thought was strange until I realized that my sneakers were soaked through (ewwwww, I know) but I managed to get in those last 3 miles.  When it was over I was so happy, not because it was done, but because I kept going.

I'm still frustrated by how hard my training has been, but I also have to remember that NY was a full month after Chicago, so I wasn't really running this long this early. Plus I think this summer is way hotter.

On a positive note, I felt good after and even yesterday.  I spent some time in the pool Saturday afternoon then went and got an 1/2 hour leg massage which I think really made a difference.  Gotta love those cheap massage places that keep popping up all over!  Almost as good as the millions of new froyo places that are everywhere :)  I'm also happy to report that I'm off wheat and feeling great.

I have 8 weeks left to really make a difference, so it's go time. I need to focus on my food and my miles and my time to cheat!  If I made it through that shitty run, then I can get through the next 8 weeks.  Plus I just picked really pretty blue sneaks to kill the rest of my training in! I'll be testing them out tonight during my 8 miler.  Can't wait, plus Adidas are new to me, but after getting re-fitted over at Runners Edge I felt like we these might just be the golden shoes I need!

Monday, July 30, 2012

NYRR Long Training Run #1 - 18 Inspirational Miles!

Most inspirational run in ages...

You Are Your Best Investment

Become Your Dream

I love street art, I love running so when you mix those two inside one hell of an 18 mile run only good things are bound to happen, right?!?!

De La Vega

This is the second time I have run 18 miles in Central Park and both times were super humid.  This time around though I was better prepared and had an easier go of it.  For the most part I kept up with the 10:00 pace group which worked out, I never lost sight of my group but my average pace was 10:24, which for 18 hot, hilly miles I'll take (also better than last year which was a 10:43 pace).

I ran 3 loops (plus some): loop 1 was 6 miles, loops 2 and 3 were 5 miles each, with each loop ending at 102nd street where NYRR had set up refueling stations. The coolest part though was the De La Vega street art right around what I'm guessing was the Met.

The first piece of art I ran over was the phrase "you are your best investment" and how true is that! Especially when I've been struggling with food and running and almost wanting to give up and just eat pizza all day long.  But nope, I took that as a sign and it became my mantra for the rest of the day.  I have one shot at living my best life and becoming my dream, so I better take advantage now!

Form there I saw 2 more pieces, "Become Your Dream" and the fish bowl drawing. Both were fun and totally helped make my run all the more interesting.  I love running the park and especially running with different people.  I ran sans headphones and had a few smallish conversations with a few other runners, but for the most part we all just smiled and waved and silently keep each other going.  I had added on 2 miles to the last loop and passed one of my fellow pack runners, it was obvious he was going for 20 so I gave him an encouraging wahoo and he forged on with a big smile. I always say this, but it makes me so proud to be a part of the running community, I don't have to know you, but I know you, ya know :)

Afterward I chatted with another lady from my group who was training for her first marathon and then ran into some Massapequa Road Runner friends.  All in all it was a great day.

I got home around 1:00 and layed low then headed out to grab a new dress for dinner with my girls.  I also had a chocolate cookie but I am making it a point to be on my best sugar free behavior this week. Yesterday I was tired but I got in a very short elliptical session at the gym and hung out in the hot tub for a bit then off to the boy's sisters house at the beach for a big famly celebration (have I ever mentioned that he is one of 8 kids...and that I'm an only?  I think he wishes that he was an only, his family events are HUGE!). It was a perfect end to a loooong weekend, fun, beach family and food!  I'm a lucky girl!

Deck view


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Giving It My All

I'm sort of a half-asser when it comes to things, I will cut corners, procrastinate....waste time on FB. Little by slowly though I have begun to reverse that part of my personality.  I wouldn't say I'm becoming your typical type-a, perfectionist Virgo (I mean, I am on the cusp) but I'm getting there and it feels pretty good!

Last night I had a 6 mile speedwork run on the schedule.  In lives past I would just run 6 miles, dismissing the speedwork part. Or I would head for the hills, (not these hills) which to me counts and definitely shows progress but last night I decided to give it my all.  Never mind that giving it my all was still a few miles short...point is, I banged out the speedwork and I'm really proud of myself!

The prescribed plan was 6 miles, including warmup with 3 x 1600 in 8:47 w/800 jogs and a cool down. This seemed hard, I hate hard.  I knew I had to do the speedwork part, but 1600's!!?!?!  Yes, Liz, 1600's. I was super pressed for time as I had a date with my parents for a ball game which was a Father's Day gift so I had to get creative and figure out what would benifit me the 1600's it was.

I ran a half mile to the track (warmup) then dove right in to the hard stuff. I hit my numbers, with an average pace of 8:41 but I am now the new positive split queen.  First mile was 8:22 with a quick jog to my water bottle then right back at it for I think a second mile of 8:30 followed by another quick jog to my water bottle followed by a much slower 3rd mile which was closer to 8:48.  I followed all of that with a half mile slow jog around the track and walked home.

It was hard, I was breathing like a freak and scared the really freaky guy out there with my loud wheezing/gasping thing but I did it.  It would have been so much easier for me to just run 4 miles and call it a day, but I tackled the hard stuff, I gave it my all and I finished stronger and prouder than when I first started.

If I want to meet my marathon goals (4:20 - 4:30 finish) then I have to do work, give it my all and not cut corners!  The cool thing is I'm getting there, progress not perfection!

Also....speedwork, 1 word or 2?  :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sweet 16

I promise this is going to be about running and not my fat ass, but I ate like a beast this weekend so I can't really complain that the scale didn't move this morning, even though I burned 1,800 calories on my 16 miler! Waaaa!

Love how I look all sweet while the boy is on beast mode...

Now that that is out of the way, let's talk running!

Saturday was my first Chicago training run where the temps were actually bearable and it wasn't crazy humid.  I though I had died and gone to running heaven! Running Partner and I decided to run the Massapequa Preserve which is such a great place to run.  I love the energy and seeing tons of people, which in a way reminds me of the vibe when I run in Central Park (but on a waaaay smaller scale).  I ran into some Team and Training friends as well as my old running club peeps which is always nice.  I love that I belong to a running community!

No long run is ever easy, but it was amazing how much better I felt compared the last few weeks.  Even though we headed out late (around 7:30) it was comfortable for pretty much the whole 16 miles, it also helped that the preserve is mostly shaded.  We took 2 gel breaks and one bathroom break at the polo fields so I could harass/beg bikers for some anti-chafe cream/chamois butter - my arm was chafing soooo bad and I knew at the point it would only get worse and that I needed to put something on it stat! Once that was out of the way we headed back. I definitely slowed down for my last 2 miles, but my average pace was 10:04 not including breaks.  Slow and steady, but doable.

I needed a good run.  Now I need a good week with food.  Crossing fingers.

Last night with sore legs I ran the Summer Run Series Belmont 5k...nothing special, I think I finished in 30 minutes.  This is a bitch of a crowded race, 1500+ people on a verry narrow course, but for me the Summer Runs are more about seeing people than racing.

This week I have a 6 miler than an 18 miler which I'm running in Central Park. I may add on a 4th short run and either yoga or spin depending on the gym sitch...looong story which I will save for another post.

Also, on a side note this is my 300th post!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good Morning, Morning!

With temps expected to hit above 100 and a possible never ending work day ahead of me I somehow managed to get out of bed and on the road by 6:30am.  Unheard of for me midweek and I'm so, so happy I woke the hell up!  I'm not sure why mornings are so hard for me, last summer I did practically all my runs before work, this summer not so much. 

The one thing I need to figure out though is the bathroom.  I was dying and then thought of fav blogger Ali and was like how the heck does she run with Crohn's???  Probably TMI, but why does running make me poop! And then feel all crampy?  Uggh.  Let's just say the first three miles were not so great but I made up for it on the second 3.

GI issues aside it was a good run and a new route for me, still an out and back (which I love) but going in the opposite direction from where I norally run.

It was hot and I took it slow but I got' er done.  Now let's see if I can keep this up and make it to 6am swim tomorrow!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lessons from Chicago Marathon training Cycle #1

Happy Monday to all you Monday lovers out there (yes, I am one of them)!

Sat was the end of training cycle #1, which OMG was hot and not easy! But every 4 weeks I get a little reprieve from the big, bad long runs and get to run a "short" long which was totally welcomed as it was yet again soupy and gross out.  I ran with the my old coach and the crew in the trails which I don't always love but was ok with.  Got through my 7 miles without seeing any snakes and saw some friends so it was a good time.

These next four weeks are going to be hard and long (twss) and I'm really trying hard not to psych myself out. I'm looking at 16, 18, 20 then back down to 8.  Yikes! I know I can do it, but I have to really be focused which for me is the real hard part.

For the most part I need to continue to focus on my food - limiting sugar which I think hurt me this first cycle, continue meal planning and grilling and focusing on whole foods.  It's more about the nutrition that the miles, ironically.  Uggh, why I can't I be the one runner in the world who can eat crap and run fast?  Training wise I need to add in some yoga, remember when I did that yoga challenge (don't worry, I sorta forgot too)?  Ya, need to get back to that! My biggest lesson is clearly that my running depends on what I eat, so Chips Ahoy's and icream is on the outs (although I am allowing myself Saturday's to indulge a little).

I'm hoping cycle 2 is a little easier and less humid, but I know and I will continue to say that these are training runs, they can't, wont and don't have to be good runs, they are all good as long as I can safely start and finish.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Am a Running God!

Photo Credit: Maryann Harkins via

This is one of the many hills that I DOMINATED last night!  Feels so great to be back on that course!  If there is one thing I know, hill training works.  Not only do they make you stronger and faster but the hills have magcal powers that can turn you into a running god (ok, maybe in my own mind, but still!).

Finally after a 2 month hiatus I got back to the Hills.  It was a great run, always humbling, those bad boys are LARGE.  I've had some crappy hot and humid training runs so I needed a good hill run to remind me that runs are supposed to be challenging and that I can and do have good runs from time to time.

I'm not sure of my splits but I kept my pace steady, only walked up one very steep section and basically kicked ass.  I'm a happy runner girl today!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another Hot and Humid Training Week!

I don't know about you , but I normally LOVE Monday's, love getting back into a routine, gearing up for my week, I'm usually gung ho and positive about the days to come....  Umm, so not the case today.  This morning I already ate 3 homemade chocolate chip cookies and am dreading my to do list. I think the sugar warped my brain.

I'm officially not going to complain this whole post, but I have to get Saturday's long run out of the way.  It sucked.  It was hotter and more humid than last week and we left an hour earlier (6am).  I wanted to cry at mile 13 and completely bag the last mile (I did manage that last mile and it really sucked).  My underarm chaffed so bad that it woke me up in the middle of the night and my clothes were so soaked through that my shorts almost fell off.  All in all it was a stellar run :0 Yup, I said stellar, and oddly enough I mean stellar.

Despite all the challenges I managed to push through.  We took 3 breaks to refuel, go to the bathroom and cool down.  Normally I hate that and it makes me feel like I cheated.  But I'm also getting smarter and I know when to slow it down today as to not overheat and end up dead, ya know? I did turn off my Garmin on the beaks, so keep that in mind, but my average pace was 10:07 per mile and my miles were pretty consistent. Overall it sucked, no doubt, but I also got some mental strength training which will help in the long run (Ha pun!).  

I can officially say Chicago Marathon training week 3 is officially OVA.  Let's hope the rest of my training either gets easier or isn't so freaking hot and humid!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mizuno Mezamashii - Say What?

I'm a sucker for good marketing, I'm a marketer my profession so when a campaign interests me I tend to get all excited.  Interestingly enough I haven't blogged much about work stuff, or advertising I like...I mainly bore you guys with running/food/boy stuff. 

I recently came across the Mizuno Mezamashii Run Project which at first confused me, but then I actually paid attention and got pretty into it.  Definetly check it out and sign up, it's free and if you get chosen you get free cool is that?? 

I'm secretly hoping I get chosen, I need new sneaks, my Asics aren't cutting it anymore and I've wanted to try Mizuno's for awhile now (shameless plug...pick me!!!!!).

Anyway, back to the weirdly named project - it's all about brilliant running, or that one run that makes you say THANK YOU BABY JESUS, I HEART RUNNING.  (yes, all in caps, just like that).  We've all had those runs, the ones that make you really, really love getting up at the crack of dawn, in the heat, snow, rain, ice, ect, just to log a few miles.  The one run that carries you through a tough week....I love those and OMG I NEED a brilliant run this weekend!  I'm looking at another super hot 14 miler and I'm scared....95 degrees and high humidity....again!  But I'll push though, I'm a runner!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello Heat and Humudty, You Have Been Missed!

If I could have run naked on Saturday, I gladly would have.  It was brutal and I wanted to go home as soon as I started...but like all good marathoners in training I kept on and finished my 12 mile run in the blazing heat and humidity.  It's so odd to me how dedicated I am.  It also helped that I was running with running partner. 

I officially made it through my first 2 weeks of Chicago training.  I'm feeling good, even though I gained 2 pounds which is a bummer but was to be expected with all the crap I have consumed (3 words: 7-11 sausage biscuit....I know...). I'm feeling back on track so that's good. 

I'm excited for my training, even though I feel like this year is more aggressive than last.  I'm not working with a coach, so running partner and I grabbed a plan for the internet and are plugging along.  She's a pro, so I'm not worried.  It still feels aggressive though, at least mileage wise.  Out of curiosity I'm going to have to go back and look at my old logs to see what the heck I was running last year. 

This week's long run is a 14 miler...praying to the running gods for less humidity.  I would like to not feel like death every step of the way...but I do know that training runs don't all have to be good, they're training only counts on the big day, and even if I screw that up at least I made it to the start.  See, positivity all around!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Running Renegade

I'm admitting guilt on this here blog  - I ran my first race ever last week without paying. 

At first I felt really bad about it, then I didn't (ok, not as bad as I initially felt, I do have some morals).

I didn't take water, cleaned up after myself, was polite and courteous. I even cleaned up after another messy runner. So while I didn't use any resources, I still feel a little yucky about it...

So the reason for the Renegade Run (I prefer renegade to bandit, sounds waaay cooler) was basic laziness, I missed the deadline to sign up and I really wanted to run.  Plain and simple. Plus, this wasn't a charity run so I wasn't taking money away from a good cause.

Am I going to runners hell?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chicago Training Plan

Last year for my first marathon I worked with a coach, this year I'm relying on Runners World Smart Coach to get me through. I'm already dreading my 8 miler this weekend (kidding).

I'm actually pretty excited to start my training.  I have been pulling big numbers between the half and the10 miler so I'm mentally prepared for the distance.  I'm hoping the lack of a coach will not deter me from getting my workouts in.  I know I am better when I am accountable to another human, but  I feel confident in the athlete I have become and am sure that I will not skimp out on training.  Plus I have a loft goal - a 4:20 marathon (A goal), but honestly I will be happy with anything under 4:30 (B goal) and of course my ultimate goal is to train and finish injury free!

I already know that I will be adding in hill work (thank you Selden Hills) which I was completely missing last year, I also want to try to add in a track workout. I think I can make both of those things happen at least 2 - 3x per month plus a yoga class to keep me all bendy (maybe I should make this my monthly goals post?). And I already anticipate being at least 10 lbs thinner than my last full (if not more, I"m already down 7 #crossingfingers) so I should be a speed demon by Oct!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I Just Ate A Bagel And Didn't Really Like It...

Yup, absolutely true story.  I went to the Bean, grabbed a chai latte (new addiction) and a bagel, maybe the 2nd one I've had in about a month and a half (new record) and am happy and shocked to report that I'm over it.  I would have rather had my oatmeal. Progress!!

Happily Full!
I'm stalled again with my weight loss.  I'm around 161, haven't gained which is miraculous as I didn't really  eat all that great this week, but I'm not losing sight of the goal.  I basically have done none of what I had planned on doing since the last time I met with my food coach, but I have a week to make it up to her! I'm hoping to get back on track this week so when we meet next Tue I have something good to say!

All in all, I'm happy with the coaching.  I'm down close to 7 pounds, off coffee and for the most part fake sugar (although I have had a few diet soda's here and there). I feel better and I'm on the right track, so it's all good!

This weekend was one of those really fun, lazy kind of weekends that I just love!  Fri was more of the same thing is always is: meeting, diner and then Chris and I went back to my house and passed out.
Emm and Deb

Sat we went to brunch at our favorite spot, Glenn's with our friend Tony then hit up the Music and Arts Festival in the Village.

 It turned out to be a great day so we spent a few hours in town shopping and checking out the musicians, 2 of whom we knew Emmy (my fake sissy) and our friend Deb. Then I got locked in the town jail...totally by accident...I hate boys!

Sun was a beach day with the girls then dinner at the club with some friends which if I was a decent blogger I would have taken a few pics...oh and I KILLED the NYRR Celebrate Israel run. My Garmin had me at an 8:49 average pace, NYRR has me at a 9:03, either way I'll take it! I'm thinking this race may have put me up into a new corral.  Yay #wishful thinking!  

I love summer weekends, running, food friends, hanging in my neighborhood...couldn't ask for a better way to spend a few days off!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Long Beach 10 Mile Managers Run Recap

I had a total love/hate experience with this race.  First off it was small, maybe 300 people (love), awesome town (love), ocean views along the boardwalk (super love) and TONS of rain, like 8 miles worth (hate), super wet sneakers (hate) and chaffing due to soaking wet shorts (hate) and my time didn't record (hate). 

Despite the hater feel, I absolutely would run this race again, even in the rain!  I love distance running and according to my Garmin I maintained a 9:16 pace which was really awesome.  I ran with a friend who I have never run with so that was good, his time recorded and according the FLRRT we (err, he) finished in 1:33. SUPER LOVE.

I felt good throughout and wanted to stop around mile 8 but I kept going, I didn't even slow down during the water stops, just kept running with a cup in my hand which is a first for me.  I tend to slow or walk a few of the water stops during longer distance races.

Right now I'm obsessed with running another half, based on this race I'm sure I can get close to a 2:00 half at the very least a 2:05)  The only stinky thing is that aren't any in the near future aside from one in CT but I'm not sure it's worth the trek.  Looks like I may have to wait until Sept which again means I will have to travel to CT as anything on Long Island either happens the week before or  weekend of Chicago.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Brooklyn Half Recap

Last Saturday I ran my 9th half marathon!!!  I still find it hard to believe that I run and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE long distance races.  Remember, I'm a former fat girl who used to drink beers and smoke butts.

I set out to run the Long Island half as a training run for Brooklyn, that little training run ended up being a PR so I now had even higher expectations for this race.  I went in with no sleep, was up at 4:30 in the car by 5 barely making it to the start on time...and I had to pee...bad!

Picture me in between these guys (image via google)
NYRR does an ahhhmozing job of setting up races so I was super surprised there were no porta-potties at the start, especially since 15k runners were running this race!  It was almost a bad scene but I took the cue of my male compadres and peed along a fence on Flatbush Ave behind the only fat tree I could find to somewhat cover my bare ass! It was do or die so I didn't care.  Even though I once almost crapped my pants during a race, I found a place to go, but it was a new scene having to pee in front of thousands.

Ok, back to the running.  I did manage to PR (2:08) but it was a tough race for me!  The last few miles were torturous, not at all like LI when I breezed through the last 3 miles.  I was struggling, but I managed to keep my pace somewhat steady and I kept reminding myself that I could do it.   Once we entered into the Coney Island section of Ocean Parkway I knew I was golden and that the PR was going to happen - now the question was by how much I would PR (2 minutes!!!)  I didn't care though, it was hot, I was done and I wanted the race to be over.

I have to say, although the 2nd part of the race was pretty boring (Ocean Ave for like 6 miles) it was so fun to run this race.  Ending on the Coney Island boardwalk was a blast and really energizing.  I will definitely run this again, unless of course NYRR changes the course distance like they did for Queens and the Bronx  which has really made me super mad (sorry NYRR, I considered unfriending you but instead liked someone else s nasty post about the changes).  I LOVE the half mary distance and was planning on KILLING Queens since I had such a crappy run last year. Oh well.

This week I've been taking it easy, I have a slight head cold and I'm running the Long Beach 10 miler on Sunday.  I squeaked in 2.5 miles before work so that was good and a run on Monday after work, better than nothing.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

No Sleep 'Till BK

I love the Beastie Boys.  And I love Brooklyn so lets hope all the love I have for a tiny borough will carry me through the Brooklyn Half tomorrow!

I have some pretty high expectations for this race, considering I had an epic hill run on Weds (and shaved about a minute off my time) and my last half 2 weeks ago was a PR, I'm really thinking that I have a shot at a 2nd PR.  I know, I know, I shouldn't get too ahead of myself, especially since the NYRR has issued a heat advisory and I haven't ran in temps above 70 since last summer, but I just have a feeling :)

It's a pretty cool course that starts in Prospect park and ends at Coney Island. I'm heading over with some friends so I think a boardwalk stroll and a ride on the Cyclone might be in order. I'm pretty afraid of heights which I found out a few years ago while riding the Cyclone - so we'll see if I actually make it up there, lol!!

On a food note, things have been going really well.  I did have a bagel this morning which was partly due to laziness and not having anything prepared, it was good but not great and I'm super happy about that, the last thing I want is a bagel relapse! I'm feeling so great and am making really healthy choices, don't want ruin my good work! I'm going to rationalize this one my saying the carbs are good for my race tomorrow...(#lies).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Day In The Life

I love all the dorky DITL posts that have been popping up for awhile now.  I love to see how people live on the daily...hello voyeur (errr stalker)

Anyway, here is a typical DITL of yours truly -

7:10 Hit snooze

7:20: Up and at 'em...brush teeth and hit the shower, done in 10, do hair and makeup, re-blow out bangs like 10 times, damn you cowlick that just appeared out of NOWHERE! Weight myself , throw clothes on. Feed Olive Marie.

Olive Marie = beast
8:00: Make breakfast which these days has been a protein shake, grab my lunch and a frozen waffle for later.

8:10: In the car and ready to tackle Long Island traffic (or in my case mostly no traffic, thank you god!)

Lame car shot! With straight hair!

 8:30: Walk in to work say hi to the staff, pop in to say hi to boss head to the "West Wing" which is the marketing area (err hallway, where my cube, yes cube..uggh! is).

West Wing - this is where marketing magic happens. Office coming soon, or I'm walking...

8:30 - 8:45: Gab with my work BFF about what's going on/what went on, usually the boy and her wedding planning.

8:45 - 9ish: Huddle with the team to plan our day, discuss new projects, ect.

9ish - 12: Drink lots of water, toast up frozen waffle around 10:30, check email, FB, blogs, work stuff.

12:00: Lunch is here! We often order in, we have a "perk" that if you work through lunch they pay. If I'm eating my own lunch I'm usually in the kitchen putting it all together (lately I've been eating Boca Spicy Chicken patty over salad with lemon juice, yum).

12:30 - 5: Work and work. Go through my to-do list, make calls to my sales team, work with freelancer on new co-op advertising, a few calls or an offsite with the ad agency to discuss whatever we have going on.  Facebook and blogs (sometimes for work purposes..teeheee).

5 - 5:30: Close up and go home, write to-do list, say goodby to staff.

5:30 - 6: Home! Brush teeth!

6 - 7: Quick run and a shower (or a class or a swim)

Typical running route

7 - 8: Eat dinner. 

Baked stuffed chicken, I'm a culinary genius!

8 - 9: Meeting, unless it's a Monday then I don't exercise (usually) and head to a 6:45

9 - 10: Chat with friends, maybe go online, make lunch for tomorrow, iron clothes for tomorrow

10ish: Head to bed where I obsessively check out what's for new/cool/interesting in the grocery items section at Amazon on my Kindle Fire (true obsession, it's so funny).

So yea, probably not too interesting, but that is a typical work day for me.

I do spice things up with the hill run on Weds, but pretty much that's how I roll.  Depending on the week the boy may be there, but for now let's just say we are togethr-ish, which means weekends mainly.

What about you? 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Good Eats

I have been to the best of my ability cleaning up my food and for the first time in a looong time I can say that I'm actually sticking with my plan! Woohoo!

I met with my food coach again and we talked about adding in some new to me whole grains.  I'm down with it, plus she gave me some millet to try.  Not sure what I want to do with it yet, but I have a few ideas for some fun side dishes.  Anyone have ideas?

I've completely eliminated caffeine - yes, that means no coffee.  It's been 22 days and I have never felt better.  It's crazy how good I feel, I also think that has to do with the fact that I have also given up fake sugar with the exception of a few Stewart's diet root beers. No more stomach pain! And I hardly feel tired.

I'm still struggling a bit with the sugar, but I have cut waaaaay back on my intake, same with bready like things.  No bagels, but I find myself craving cakey things so for now I'm satisfying that need with Vitatops. I love those bad boys!! I have also added in a ton more fruit, and for this non-fruit love it's a big deal!

I think the coach is working out, I like the accountability and the incite she gives.  It also helps that she's a friend and one of my running partners.  Which is a nice segway....


 I took Monday off as a planned rest day then ended up having to take Tue off as well.  Last night I was rushing and by the time I ran it was after 8, wet out and almost dark so I squeaked in a 2.5 miler.  So short, but it felt great to runnnnn!!!!  Hoping to run 4 tonight, swim tomorrow then 10 on sat and a possible 5k race on Sunday.

Ahh, running and good foods makes this gal happy! And hopefully skinny!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Long Island Half (PR Included!)

Pre-race car shot!
You know what's better than running your 8th half marathon?  PRing without even expecting it!  I went into yesterday's race with low expectations.  I only had one10 miler under my belt, it's early in the season and my focus is more on the Brooklyn Half.  After my hill run on Wednesday I knew that I would kill this race, but I had no idea it would feel so effortless (as effortless as 13.1 can feel...).  I'm totally amazed...oh and my time was 2:10:07.

So to start off I saw the boy Sat (don't judge) and didn't really sleep too well, which is weird for me as I NEVER have night-before-race-shit-sleep.  But anyhoo, I woke up at 5, tried to meditate (err, poop, lol) checked the weather and had oatmeal.  I never do this, I like to give myself as much sleep as possible but my stomach was weird during 2 of my runs last week so I wanted to try and take care of biz...

Oldest friend ever Ray got to my house at 6, we picked up Running Partner Andrea and headed over to the start, chilled at the car, talked to some friends who were running then made our way over to the start which was probably a mile or so walk (we parked at the finish) waited on a huge porta-potty line with our friend Tara (from the Biggest Loser, love her!) who was taking pics with fans and kissing babies - it was great.  Next thing I knew the gun went off and we were off - literally.  I wasn't even in a coral but at the end of the day it didn't matter, thank god for start mats! I haven't ran a non-NYRR race in ages so I always forget how different the coral situation is - loosey goosey compared to crazy NYRR crowd control.  It all worked out as I was perfectly placed and didn't encounter too many walkers and everyone was running about a 9:30 pace.

The miles were all a blur, nothing too spectacular on the course, in fact it was pretty boring.  We did get a chance to run through some towns I never go to so that was fun, but otherwise the course is not too exciting.  At the 10 mile mark I had a feeling a PR was in the works, I knew stopping was not an option. Past races I have fallen apart around mile 11, not this time, I breezed through 10-13 like it was my job...I knew when I hit the finish that I had PRd so I naturally got a little weepy.  That damn finish line always makes me so sentimental!

I grabbed my medal tried to squeeze through the bottleneck of people to get back to my car to meet Ray who finished in 1:46 and Andrea who ended up in the medical tent...silly girl ran the race with a fever.  I'm happy to report she's fine, but friends, don't run while feverish! 

Overall it was a great day!  I know I shouldn't get too cocky, but I feel fairly confident in saying that  I can expect some good things this season based on the outcome of this race.  To PR so early on was definitely not expected but shows that I'm a much stronger runner.  Of course I totally thank the Hills for that, plus I'm really determined to crush my marathon time this year in Chicago, so I'm doing the work and getting things done!