Tag Archives: Dallas Marathon

TBT: The Journey to Marathon #6

17 Apr

In honor of TBT, I decided to write a little throwback post to marathons 1-5, and how I made it to #6. After I ran my first half marathon, I vowed to never run a marathon. I remember thinking to myself, “If a half was that hard, how could I EVER do a full??” It wasn’t gonna happen.

My mind was changed after watching my friend Stacy run her 10th marathon in Chicago on 10-10-10. I remember cheering from the sidelines thinking, “someday soon, this will be me. I want to run a marathon. I want to experience this excitement”

December 2011 – 14 months later, and I was scared to death at the starting line of my first marathon. Marathon #1 was so easy for me and felt so natural. I crossed the finish line and thought, “Bring on the next one baby!!!” It truly was one of the best experiences of my life, and I knew a marathon addict had been born. Finish time: 3:32

May 2012 – 4 months later, I brought on the next one. And it sucked ASS. A totally different experience than marathon #1. I had to walk. I had to cry. And I wanted to quit. But I didn’t. And in the end, I came out of it more determined for marathon #3. Finish time: 4:13

December 2012 – Marathon #3 was also a tough one. Right before the race, I got sick. The week of the race, I wasn’t sure if I could even run. I toughed it out, and ran my heart out. I had to take my inhaler 4-5 times during the race, stop multiple times to catch my breath, and shed a few tears. But after it was all said and done, I was so thankful my body could support me for 26.6 and my mind could make it too. Finish Time: 3:43

April 2013 – The months leading up to Marathon #4 were quite grouchy. I did not want to train. AT ALL. The 3 marathons before were all back to back (fall – summer – fall) and I was ready for a break. It actually took me until April to get excited. How silly that I would let my mind get in the way of being excited for BOSTON!!! I was about to run the most exciting marathon in the world, and I wasn’t excited?!?!?! This race ended up to be one of the most memorable I have ever done, and not because of the bombs. I ran this race with two people that mean so much to me. In my opinion, there is no greater bonding experience than surviving 26.2 together. Finish Time: 3:54

November 2013 – BRING ON NYC. The race I waited to run for 18 months. To say I was excited was an understatement. I trained hard, and I conquered the race. For days after this race, I was living on cloud nine for what I had just accomplished (in fact, I think I still am!!!). Finish Time: 3:21

Marathons are not always easy, and certainly not always fun. But every single marathon teaches us something. Through the good, the bad, and the really really ugly races I have experienced, I have never given up. These marathons have taught me what to means to be tough, mentally and physically. They have taught me discipline, and taught me how to set goals and reach them.

And even though I have not loved every step of these races, I can still say that after every 26.2 completed, I have said, “so when’s the next one?”

xo,

Ali

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Marathons are Like Relationships

13 Jan

Following my Dallas Marathon experience, I decided that marathons are like relationships.

So hear me out.

When you train for a marathon, you put your heart and soul into it, much like you do with a relationship. You devote many hours to it, and feel the negative effects when you neglect it.

You also spend insane amounts of time dreaming of the outcome of your hard work. For marathons it would be crossing the finish line in a PR, BQ or goal worthy time. For relationships it would be the wedding with the perfect white dress and gorgeous centerpieces.

And when marathons and relationships don’t go your way, the effects are felt almost the same.

Within the last year, I have been through a relationship that didn’t go my way, and two marathons that also didn’t go my way. And with both cases, I had similar feelings afterwards.

With my marathon I thought to myself, “Wow. I trained for this thing for 5 months, put every ounce of my body into it, and did not get close to the outcome that I desired.”

With my relationship I thought to myself, “Wow. I worked for months, poured my heart into it, wasted tears on it, spent many late nights devoted to it, and did not get the outcome I had thought would come.”

And then with both, I had the realization I would have to completely start over. Back to square one. Back to the drawing board.

When a marathon doesn’t go your way, you can’t just run another one the next weekend and get the outcome you had wanted (unless you are a running freak). When a relationship doesn’t go your way, you can’t just go on a blind date the following Saturday night and meet the person you’ll marry the next week (unless you are a celeb or you make really bad decisions).

In both cases, you have to come to terms with the fact that you will be starting over and the timeline of reaching your dream will be extended.

Someday, I will break 3:30 in my marathon. I am just not sure when that will be. My body and mind need time to recover from Dallas and process what it will take to work towards that goal again. Although I will be running the Boston Marathon in April, I am not sure an under 3:30 marathon is in the cards there.

And someday, I will wear my perfect white wedding dress and have the most perfect centerpieces that are talked about for years. I am well on my way to this dream, and my heart and mind tell me that I will never have to “start over” with this process again. 😉

How do you deal with a marathon that doesn’t go your way? Or a relationship this doesn’t go your way? What helps you accept the fact that you have to start over?

Wishing you a great week ahead!!

xo,

Ali

Dallas Marathon Recap – Running Because I LOVE it

10 Jan

Wow, I can’t believe that it has been over a month since I ran the Dallas Marathon, and that I still haven’t written my recap! Usually I am so prompt, but with this one, I have been procrastinating. However I procrastinate no more….here it is!

When I signed up for Dallas after the NYC fiasco, I was excited. I also had a good feeling about it. I had ran the race before, and felt that I knew what to expect. All I needed to do for this race was stay healthy and injury free. Obviously I had to keep up my running as well, but I knew that wouldn’t be a problem!

Staying injury free prior to the race was not an issue, but staying healthy was. I got sick the week before the race with horrible respiratory crap, and with my asthma it was a nightmare situation. I tried everything I could to stay positive for the race and not let the illness affect me. I took drugs from the Dr., got a ton of sleep, took time off work and tried about every home remedy possible. I knew my breathing on race day wouldn’t be perfect,  but I did know it would be manageable (after all, I have had asthma my entire life, so I know what it is like to race with it).

The Plan! Complete with steroids, nebulizer treatments, inhalers and mucinex.

My attempt at getting better

We left for Dallas on Friday afternoon, and arrived early evening. Everything about the trip was going well, and we were able to go out and have an awesome dinner in a fun area! Friday night I went to sleep early and slept like a rock, waking up on Saturday feeling happy and refreshed!

Saturday morning, Ramsey and I met his friends Brian and Allison and headed to the expo. I was SO excited to meet Allison in real life, since we had been instagram and twitter friends for quite awhile. Allison and Brian were running their first half Marathon (A) and first full marathon (B), so they were the perfect people to hang with all day! We went to the expo, and then to lunch at an adorable little restaurant. After lunch, Ramsey and I headed back to the hotel for a little relaxation.

Yay Dallas!

Yay Dallas!

Post expo photo with the bulls

Post expo photo with the bulls

Holy amazing!

Holy amazing!

Following doctors orders, I brought my nebulizer to the marathon with me. I was so mad that I had to bring that damn thing, but I was going to do whatever it took to not let my breathing get in the way of a PR worthy marathon! I took the nebulizer before dinner, and immediately felt better (breathing wise). Once we were back from dinner, I took it again and attempted to settle in for bed.

After dinner with my Mom

After dinner with my Mom

Taking photos of the gorgeous downtown lights

Taking photos of the gorgeous downtown lights

Boy, was that one awful nights sleep. I was a nervous wreck. I was so wound up to the point that I was having a full out anxiety attack and thought I was going to pass out (hard to do while laying down, but I got really close). I remember laying there thinking that all I wanted to do was go to my parents hotel room and have my Mom hug me and tell me it was going to be OK (Moms are so good at that, especially my Mom).

During this panic attack, I was thinking about the past 21 weeks of training, and how badly I wanted to have a good race. Then I couldn’t help but let my breathing issues and the heat (it was supposed to be low 60’s to 70’s) come into my mind. The fact was, I was so scared that I was going to have an ashtma attack while running and die (seriously). I couldn’t stop envisioning myself falling down on the course and ending up in a med tent. It was AWFUL! I pride myself on not being a “mental runner”,  but that night, I was going mental. I don’t know what came over me that made me such a mess, but whatever it was needed to go away.

After a while of this I began playing the “how much sleep could I possibly get game”. You know that game…the one where you stare at the clock and start subtracting the hours. Yeah, I was playing it for a few hours. I think about the 4 hour mark I finally fell asleep.

When I woke up Sunday, I was feeling nervous, but ok. I got dressed, ate a banana, took my medicine, and headed out the door. I was happy and excited to face the race, but was most excited to cross the finish line. My parents were there to hug me goodbye, and my wonderful boyfriend was too. I am pretty sure I couldn’t have mentally made it through the weekend without those three people. They were amazing!

Ready!

Ready!

On the shuttle to the start, I made friends with a super sweet girl named Bobbie. Bobbie was running the half, and had also been signed up to run the NYC marathon!! After we figured this out, we had a little connection and stuck together until the race started.

When the race gun went off, I knew it was a little hot and kind of humid, but I was going to ignore that. I was there to run my 26.2 miles, and hopefully run it under 3:32! I was NOT willing to let my asthma and the weather control my race. I was going to do the best I possibly could!

Runner get set...

Runner get set…

and go!

and go!

Around mile 3, I was already dripping with sweat. I remember thinking, “this is not good”. I was also slipping on the pavement because the humidity made the roads slippery. 3 miles in, and the race felt harder than it should. I knew that it most likely wasn’t going to be my PR day, but that didn’t mean it still couldn’t be my day.

When I reached the 10k, I started to panic a tad. My legs hurt already and my breathing was too labored. Up until the 10k I was running my race I needed for a PR, but then I decided it was time to slow down. My mind started racing and my heart was pounding. I remember thinking, “Holy crap. I am hurting this bad and I am 6 miles in. How in the HELL am I going to run 20 more miles!!!”.  Also the realization that I would not PR and that I had many miles to go was a hard pill to swallow. A big part of me wanted to stop and quit. But a bigger part of me wanted to FINISH.

The first half of this race was by far the hardest half marathon I have ever run. It included a number of pep talks, water cups thrown on my body and muscle cramps in my legs. But once I got over the 13.1 mark and realized I was over halfway through, my attitude changed. It was like passing the halfway mark flipped a switch in my brain. I would not be defeated by this race as I had been in Chicago last May. I would run 26.2 miles, and be really proud of myself while doing so.

The theme of the first half of this race might have been defeat, but the theme for the second half would be triumph.

At mile 18, I saw my cheer squad. I was SO excited to see them, I about stopped so I could jump on them and hug them. I needed to see their smiles, and feel their love. My Mom jogged next to me and I said to her, “Mom, today isn’t my day to PR”. And she so sweetly said, “I know it isn’t honey, but is ok! You are doing amazing!”. When I saw my Dad, he gave me a big high five, and I told him that I was hot, but I was doing ok.

Thank, Dad!!

Thank, Dad!!

Happy as could be (at least at mile 18 of a marathon)

Happy as could be (at least at mile 18 of a marathon)

Next up to run by me was my boyfriend. I told him as well that it would not be my PR day, but that I was really ok with it. I wanted them to know that my attitude was really positive and that I would be happy with whatever I did, as long as I crossed that finish line.

And then I ran on.

And then I ran on.

I am actually very thankful that they got lost (whoops!) and didn’t see me the first half of the race. Had I seen them in my panic mode I know I would’ve cried and made them all worry about me. Seeing them at mile 18 was perfect, because I could let them know I was happy with whatever came of my day, and my asthma would not be killing me – yay!

When I hit mile 20, I knew that my heart would finish that race for me. My legs burned so bad, but I was able to keep a solid 8:20ish pace going. I continued to remind myself that I was running this marathon because I LOVED running, and that I was running this marathon for ME! My time didn’t matter anymore and it does not define me as a runner. What defined me as a runner was having the strength and courage to keep on going when I felt so bad, and had so many obstacles thrown my way.

At mile 24, Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger’ came on my ipod. Immediately, I had tears in my eyes. As cheesy as it is, this song got me through a really hard time in my life last spring. I would listen to it blaring and sing it with my running girlfriends on our morning runs. In a way it felt like they were there with me, running alongside me cheering. Hearing it during mile 24 made me so happy, and reminded me of how strong I have become – emotionally and physically – over the last 6 months.

In my head I was thinking, “how many people running this race were on a nebulizer last night?? And how many of these people had to stop and take their inhaler 3 times during the race?? And how many had the LONGEST training EVER because their original race was canceled?!? I bet not many!!!” I wanted to scream out, “I AM STRONGER!!!!” because that was exactly how I felt, but I refrained in order to avoid looks from spectators 🙂

Before I knew it, the finish line of the race was approaching, and I was so excited!!! Then I saw my cheering squad and got all sorts of emotional again. They were standing there cheering, and I felt an insane amount of joy running through my body. People have seen my photos of the finish and said, “awww you look so happy in this picture!” and I quickly tell them that it was because I was so happy! I wish I could bottle up that feeling I had at that moment and give it to people who need a little extra umph to get through something hard.

Almost done!

Almost done!

Crossing the finish line felt amazing. I couldn’t do my usual sprint due to my shortness of breath, but I finished as strong as I could (and of course with my arms thrown up in the air).

I did it!

I did it!

I quickly walked to find water cups (shame on you Dallas for not having water bottles for the runners), and then heard my name being called. Ramsey had run over to the finish to find me and we had such a sweet little moment holding hands through the fence. If only I had the energy to crawl over that thing so I could get a big hug!

Upon entering the after race complex, I ran into my new friend Allison (mentioned above), who was on cloud 9 after finishing her first half marathon (GO ALLISON!). She was so proud of herself, and I loved hearing her race story. Seeing her happiness and runners high after her first half marathon reminded again why I run – because I love it.

So proud and excited for you, Allison!

So proud and excited for you, Allison!

I finally met up with my boyfriend and parents and we exchanged big hugs. For some reason I felt like I needed to apologize to them for not running the race I wanted to, which is so silly. They told me that no matter what time I run, they will always be proud of me – and that is why I have the most amazing support system ever. I did want them to know that although my day didn’t turn out as I had wanted it to, I was still really really happy and so so proud of myself. Another marathon medal was earned!

BAM.

BAM.

He is amazing. He will even wear a shirt with a high heel on it to support me.

He is amazing. He will even wear a shirt with a high heel on it to support me.

When I got back to the hotel and checked my phone, I was overwhelmed by all the love and support waiting for me. I can’t get over how many people congratulated me on a finish and checked on me to see how I was doing. All of that love and support never goes unnoticed or unrecognized in my eyes, so thank you VERY much for everything!

The rest of the day was for traveling home, drinking beer and eating a ton of food (my favorite post race ritual). Overall, I was in a great mood and my spirits were high, which surprised me. Had you told me a month before the race that I would not PR or hit my goal, I probably would’ve punched you and then cried. But that day, I was perfectly content. As I said earlier, my marathon time will not define me as a runner, but my spirit and determination in the sport will.

Thank you again for all the love and support these past few months! I owe you all big time!

Splits (and pace)
5k: 24:22 (7:52)
10K: 49:20 (7:57)
Half: 1:47:26 (8:12)
20 Mile: 2:49:22 (8:28)
26.2: 3:43:08 (8:31)

and I won't forget that.

and I won’t forget that.

xo

Ali

Help Wanted: The Perfect Playlist

5 Dec

Hi friends!

I am happy to announce that I am feeling much better than I was yesterday when I posted about being sick and miserable. It seems that I have turned the corner and I am now on the road to recovery. I actually got out this morning and ran 4 miles, which felt incredible.

Anyway…onto the point of this post. 

I have decided that I will wear my iPod in the Dallas Marathon. I am not usually an iPod wearer in races, but this time around, I will be. First of all, I have no buddies to run with me and I might get a little lonely. Secondly, I think I will need the added motivation when I get to the hard miles. I have a big goal ahead of me, and will need all the extra help I can have to get me there!

So this is where I need your help.

I want YOU to give me songs to put on my perfect playlist.

It could be your favorite workout song, our favorite song together, or a song that you would just like me to listen to.

You can comment on this post with your song (please include your name if you want some credit), text it to me, tweet it, or Facebook it. I only ask that it’s upbeat and will take some of the 26.2 miles of pain off my mind!

(Last year, I saw Meggie do this before she ran a marathon and I thought it was genius. I told myself that I would totally be copying her idea when the time arrived. Thanks for the idea, Meggie!)

I look forward to hearing your choices and being able to think about you as I am conquering this race!!!

As always, thanks for the support!!

NOW….GO!!!!!!

xoxo

Ali

Determined to Get Well Soon

4 Dec

Dallas is quickly approaching, and as of last week, I was more than ready to run this race. However today, it is a different story.

I have been a total germ-a-phobe the last few months and have done everything I could possibly do to not get sick. All of my precautions worked, until last Friday…

When I woke up on Friday morning, I knew things were not good. You know that feeling you get right when a cold is setting in? Well, I had it. With my asthma, I get knocked out by a cold. For me, I know what it entails, because I have been dealing with it my entire life. A cold means I get a respiratory infection and it means I spend at least a week hacking and coughing and feeling miserable (I know, poor me!!!).

With my big race on Sunday, you can imagine why I am freaking out a little bit. I have been training for 21 weeks for this race (which is over half of a pregnancy btw)! I want to rock this race, and run my heart out on Sunday. And the last thing I want is for my breathing issues to get in the way of that.

As soon as I felt the illness coming on Friday, I called my Doctor and got two of my inhalers refilled. I thought I would be able handle it with those and not have to go in for more medicine. Well, yesterday I had to give in an actually go into the Doctor for additional meds.

I am now operating under a full on “Get Well Plan”. Included in this plan is a ton of rest, lots of fluids, Emergen C and plenty of medicine.

The Plan! Complete with steroids, nebulizer treatments, inhalers and mucinex.

The Plan! Complete with steroids, nebulizer treatments, inhalers and mucinex.

I cannot believe I am actually putting this photo online...this is what a nebulizer treatment looks like!

I cannot believe I am actually putting this photo online…this is what a nebulizer treatment looks like!

I am on Day Two of the plan, and still feel like crap. However I can tell that I am starting to get a little better.

Tonight I was feeling completely stir crazy and decided to get my bike out and ride stationary in the living room. Not working out since last Thursday was making me nutty. I had to sweat a little, and I am so glad that I did!

45 minutes on the bike felt incredible!!!!

45 minutes on the bike felt incredible!!!!

My hope is that by Thursday I will be able to run, and by Sunday I will be able to rock my race! Sure, my breathing won’t be back to normal, but I do think it could be manageable to run a good race.

I welcome all tips and tricks you have for a breezy and fast recovery!

xoxo,

Ali

My little snuggle buddy Karly has certainly helped be feel better!

My little snuggle buddy Karly has certainly helped be feel better! My Mom has been quite the help too! 

Pilgrim Run 5k

29 Nov

I got in the Thanksgiving mood by signing up for races, Thanksgiving races to be exact. On Sunday, I ran the Gobbler Grind Half Marathon, and Thursday I ran the Pilgrim Run 5k. My main purpose of running these races was to get in solid training runs, and have some company plus added motivation while doing so.

If you read my post on the Gobbler Grind, you know that one went well and I was very happy. For the Pilgrim Run I was determined for the same feeling.

In Kansas City, there are a TON of Turkey Trots on Thanksgiving. I reviewed many of them when making my decision, and decided that the Pilgrim Run was the one for me. Not only was the Pilgrim Run very close, but it was also a very small race. I’d be lying to you all if I said that winning the female division was not in the back of my mind 🙂

I went into the race with a goal of running under a 20:30. My last 5k in October was a 20:50, and I knew I could beat that time if I didn’t miss the start again (whoops). According to the Mcmillan pace calculator, I needed to run a 20:20 to match my other race distance equivalent times, and I knew that running a good time would add confidence for me going into the Marathon.

When we arrived to the race on Thursday, I did a mile warmup before getting in line. I was surveying my competition and decided I would finish in 3rd place. There were two other girls lined up that looks super serious and like they were ready to kick some ass. I was just standing there bopping around in my pleated skirt chatting with my boyfriend. I told myself that 3rd place was still really good, and I would just focus on my time.

Ready to run!!!

The race began, and I kept a steady pace. I was shocked that the girls I had placed in 1st and 2nd place in my mind were not too far ahead. I continued to check the good ole Garmin to make sure I wasn’t killing myself the first mile, but to my surprise, I was right on track.

You can barely see my in the background!

Right after Mile 1. I was so mad that my outfit didn’t match, but the weather was a lot warmer than I was planning so I had to compromise on the ensemble…

Right before mile 1, I began leading the women. Mile 2 got a little harder with a big hill, but I continued to run strong. Before I knew it, it was mile 3 and I was almost done (it is amazing to me how fast a 5k goes by!!!). I continued to push it and run as hard as I could. I crossed the finish line to cheers and the announcer saying I was the 1st female finisher. It was pretty damn exciting.

Mile 1: 6:26
Mile 2: 6:39
Mile 3: 6:28

Official Time: 19:51

After the race, I cheered for the other runners and then went into crazy girlfriend mode cheering for my boyfriend as he crossed the finish. We picked up some water, and then checked out the official results. I was very proud with what I saw!

It then became the best day ever when I discovered I got a trophy and HUGE pumpkin pie for my winnings!!!! I later made the trophy our Thanksgiving table centerpiece. 🙂

Holy cow!!!

Best winnings ever!

Posing with a turkey. He told us this was not a very comfortable outfit to wear in a 5k.

Found a friend at the race! Jenna makes me look very short!

More turkeys. Gotta love the Thanksgiving spirit!

———————————————————————

I am already excited for my next 5k, and the possibilities ahead for my 5k time. I never thought that a 5k PR would be possible after I ran a 19:40 in high school (11 years ago!!!), but now I see that it is definitely possible. And I spy many more 5k’s in the near future. After all, I am pretty PR hungry right now!

XO,

Ali

Resilient Runners

20 Nov

Since the cancellation of the NYC Marathon (yes…talking about that again), I have been so impressed by the resilience of runners. Especially with the way that we never give up nor let our determination be diminished.

Throughout the training period for this race, I connected with so many runners online (mainly via twitter) and followed their progress towards the DREAM race that was the NYC Marathon. We spoke about our goals, our excitement and our fears together. We also spoke about our feelings following this announcement:

Photo from the INGNYCM Facebook page.

Many of us understood the cancellation, but were also sad that our race would not happen.

When I found out NYC was canceled I immediately found a new race, as did many of my other running friends. We would run our 26.2 mile race, and we would run it with determination following the letdown we had previously felt. Many of these girls I connected with were running for charity, and would not be letting down their donors – they would run a marathon! (I look up to all the charity runners SO much!).

I would like to share with you some stories from a few fellow bloggers. These girls all put NYC behind them, and found a new race to run.

The Newbies:

Leticia and Nadia were to complete their very first marahton at NYC. They had put in the training, and they were excited to see the results. Following the news, these girls found new races.

Both girls were able to run their marathon, and did an amazing job. Leticia had an amazing time running the Richmond marathon, and finished it with a huge smile on her face.

Nadia ran the Phillidelphia Marathon, and get this – it was her FIRST RACE EVER!! And she broke 4 hours! Holy cow, girlfriend!

The BIG PR’er:

Jocelyn ran the Philadelphia Marathon after having her world flipped upside down by that damn Sandy. Jocelyn lived in the area of of NYC that lost power, and dealt with a bunch of other super inconvenient things. I can’t imagine living without basic necessities for days.

And even after dealing with the drama of the hurricane and her life being affected in many ways, she still rocked her marathon. Way to go on the HUGE PR Jocelyn! You are amazing and so inspiring!

The Winner:

Katie had big dreams of a PR at NYC, just like I did. She had trained so hard for the race, and was looking forward to running. Her reaction to the cancellation was similar to mine, and I thank her for being honest about her feelings on her blog.

As the rest of us did, Katie found a new race to run. And boy did she run her replacement race. Katie WON her new marathon, and broke 3 hours!!! I was in awe reading her race recap. I was especially in awe looking at her photos and seeing how cute she looked the entire race. Talk about wonder woman!

———————————

In less than 3 weeks, I will be sharing with everyone the story of my replacement marathon. I hope that my stories are just as exciting as the girls I mentioned above 🙂

and one last thought for you all (I love this so much)………

xoxo,

Ali

 

Gobbler Grind Half Marathon

19 Nov

Yesterday, I ran the Gobbler Grind half marathon. I have been trying to get creative with fitting in speed workouts and long runs these last few weeks of training (because I am getting a tad burnt out!), so I signed up for this half.

I wanted to use this race as a long run, and also as a trial run practicing the pace. All along I have been saying I wanted to break 3:30 for my next marathon. But lately I have been reevaluating my goal. Since I have been training so hard and so long, I decided that maybe a 3:25 could be doable.

The time goal for this race would be under 1:45, at a pace that felt comfortable and possible for 26.2.

This race was relatively small, but very well organized. The course was fun to run because it was in a very familiar area – right next to my office!! Parts of the run were on trails that I often use for my lunch time runs, so I knew what to expect. Although there were some big hills along the way, it wasn’t anything crazy. The water stops were well spread out and had a ton of volunteers helping at each. And even though 3/4 of the race was on the Indian Creek Trail, it never felt too congested.

Bundled up at the start! (I ended up being slightly overdressed….)

And they’re off!!

I tried to keep a 7:45 pace going for most of the race. I kept reminding myself that this race was a practice and that I had no reason to kill myself. When I would speed up to a pace that started feeling uncomfortable, I would quickly rein myself back in.

The goal was to be able to talk the entire time, which I practiced by telling all the runners “Good Job!” when I passed them. I also wanted to ensure I had minimal leg burn, so I knew I wasn’t pushing too hard. Sure, some of the hills hurt but nothing felt like something I couldn’t have continued after crossing the finish line.

It was a beautiful day out there!

Do I think I could’ve doubled this run yesterday and kept going at the same pace? No. But do I think I could with the proper taper and nutrition? Yep.

My splits for the race were as follows:

1. 7:48
2. 7:46
3. 7:48
4. 7:47
5. 7:52
6. 7:30
7. 7:37
8. 7:43
9. 7:40
10: 7:54 (HILLS)
11: 7:29
12: 7:55 (HILLS)
13: 7:39

Overall time: 1:41:11, ~7:42 pace
First place in my age group too!

This race was a great confidence boost for me. I had a really hard week of training last week, ate terrible the night before (mexican and margs!), but still felt great. It amazed me how easy this pace could feel, even though it sounds so scary.

After this trial run, I do believe that a 3:25 could be possible come race day 🙂

Any thoughts from the readers on what I could be capable of? I always love to hear ’em!

xoxo,

Ali

 

My Choice to Run the Dallas Marathon

14 Nov

As soon as I found out the NYC Marathon would not go on as planned, I began researching new races to run. I was not about to let 14 weeks of training go down the drain. I HAD to run a marathon and PR. Not doing so was NOT an option.

There were many considerations to make for my backup race, but it didn’t take long until I made my final decision.

Factors considered when choosing the backup marathon:

1. Easily accessible
-I am officially out of PTO at work until February (I like to travel a lot), so I could not run a race that would require time off.
-I could easily send myself into debt by paying for all these race entries and travel costs.
-My entourage of spectators would be there.

2. A semi-large race
-I need spectator support to get me to the finish and through those hard miles.
-I like running next to other people. Sure it can be annoying dodging them, but I like the company.

3. A PR worthy course
-Duh

4. The date had to work with my schedule
-I didn’t feel comfortable running a marathon the following weekend due to travel costs and prep time.
-The weekend of November 17th was out due to my Girls on the Run 5k (I would NEVER miss that!)

The Decision

After reviewing my requirements, it became quite clear what my race should be: I would run the Dallas Marathon.

If you have been an avid reader of my blog (THANK YOU!) or spent time getting caught up, you know that I ran Dallas last year. Dallas was my first marathon, and the best day of my life. I pretty much have nothing but amazing memories from that race, and I got excited when thinking about reliving that experience.

I almost feel like I was having a little ESP during training, because I kept saying, “If NYC doesn’t go as I planned, I will just run Dallas again. I know it is a great race, and I know it could give me a PR”. I swear I said this – if you don’t believe me, ask my boyfriend. He will tell you!

A HUGE bonus of running the Dallas marathon is that my parents and boyfriend get to join in on the fun. My Dad has not been able to see me run a marathon yet, so it’s a really big deal to me that he gets to watch this one. He is my coach after all!

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I am now fully submerged and committed to training for Dallas. I will use these extra 5 weeks as additional training time to help me meet my goal. I used to think that people who trained for 18+ week for a marathon were crazy…well now I am one of them!

Thank you as always for your continued support! Updates to my training schedule are on their way!

xo

Ali

I will say that I better not be in a damn poncho this year or have to run the race in a plastic bag.

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