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My highest mileage week since the Baltimore Marathon!

After running week after week of 49-50+ miles, I was mentally and physically exhausted. Running the Baltimore Marathon, my third marathon of the year, just intensified that exhaustion. So for the last three weeks, my mileage has been pretty low. I’ve been pretty happy about it too because I finally feel like I’m recovering. I did run a half marathon this morning though, and even though it went well, I’m feeling pretty tired and sore.

Here’s what this week looked like:

Monday: 6 miles easy on the treadmill. It rained all day and I couldn’t take the kids out in the stroller, so I ran at the gym. I usually dislike treadmill running, but it actually felt good for a change.

Tuesday: Rest. I needed a day off to recover, so I just spent some time with my kids and Zach before the kids went to bed.

Wednesday: 6.2 miles on the treadmill again. This week turned into a treadmill week because it was so cold and wet outside. I did a 5 mile progression run that felt great today. My splits were 8:02, 7:53, 7:46, 7:42, 7:29.

Thursday: 4 miles easy on the treadmill again. I wanted to feel a little rested for my half on Sunday, so I just took it easy.

Friday: 4.2 miles easy on the treadmill. I haven’t done this many treadmill runs in a week in a long time, but I’m ok with it because I’m glad that I get to run!

Saturday: Rest Day. I don’t like to run a whole lot the day before a race, so I just decided to take the day off. I did a lot of baking today though. Baking is one of my favorite things to do, but I haven’t been able to bake as much since having kids. Today it was a lot of fun!

Sunday: Magic City Half Marathon! I wasn’t sure how this race was going to go because I’ve been racing so much recently, but I was pleasantly surprised! I ran a 1:34:50, just under my goal of 1:35. The race was pretty tough though and I’ve been pretty sore and tired all day.

Total Mileage: 34.6 miles

Now I have about 3 weeks until the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville. This morning’s race made me question that decision, but I’ll just see how I feel over the next three weeks.

How was your week?

I’m linking up with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for this week’s Weekly Wrap!

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Baltimore Marathon Race Report

It’s been almost 3 weeks since I ran the Baltimore Marathon and I’m finally feeling recovered. Baltimore was my 20th marathon and it was probably one of the hardest marathons I’ve done. I had planned on taking it easy and running with either the 3:35 or 3:45 pace group, but halfway through the race I realized that my easy pace was not so easy on the very hilly course. Even though it was tough, I was still happy with how I finished, and I had a great time in Baltimore with my family.

We got to Baltimore Friday morning, went straight to packet pickup, and then went to our hotel to relax and wait for my parents to arrive. After my parents got in, we went to dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant in Little Italy called Chiapparelli’s. The food was great, but the boys didn’t want to sit still, so we couldn’t stay there too long. After dinner, we went back to the hotel, relaxed a little bit, and then went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up feeling pretty good. I was tired because Zander didn’t sleep well, but my legs felt ready to run. We took Zander over to my parents room (Zeke has slept in their room), and sat in there for a little while before we had to go to the race start. The starting line was really close to our hotel, so we didn’t need to leave super early.

We walked over to the start and I started to get a little nervous. When the gun went off, I decided that I was going to try and run with the 3:35 pace group. The pace felt good for the first 5 miles and I started believing that I could actually have a good race. I ran 8:14, 8:12, 8:13, 7:53, 7:47 for miles 1-5. I was just focused on staying with the pace group at this point. The best part of these miles was running through the Maryland Zoo!

During miles 6-10 I still felt pretty relaxed. My splits were 7:57, 8:11, 8:14, 7:58, 8:18. My legs were feeling good and I was enjoying the race. I took a full around mile 7 (my favorite toasted marshmallow!) and I was trying to drink water or Gatorade at every other water stop.

Miles 11-15 seemed to get much harder. I realized that the first half of the race had been much hillier than I thought, so I should’ve run those miles a little slower. My splits were 8:04, 7:53, 7:53, 7:30, 8:18. I think I ran a little faster during mile 14 because I had to go to the bathroom and I was searching for a place to stop. I actually saw a bathroom at mile 13, started to go towards it, and then realized there was a really long line! The half marathon hadn’t started yet, so all of the half marathoners were waiting in line. I quickly got back on the course and then had to stop at mile 14. When I stopped, the pace group got ahead of me, so I ran the rest of the race by myself.

Miles 16-20 were interesting because the half marathoners had just started and joined us on the course. I was struggling a little at this point and we were starting to climb some big hill. My splits were 8:11, 8:15, 8:23, 8:27, 8:43. My pace was getting slower and there was nothing I could do about it because I felt dead.

Miles 21-26.2 were very hard because of the hills. I wanted to stop and walk so bad, but I had to keep telling myself that I would get to the finish faster if I kept running. My splits were 8:42, 8:47, 9:02, 8:36, 8:31, 8:34. I walked in a water stop for about 15 seconds during mile 23, but that’s the only time I walked. I just kept repeating to myself that I could make it and that I was strong. I was so happy to see the finish line!

My final time was 3:40:12. Not my fastest marathon, but not my slowest either. It was also my 15th state! I’m really glad I finished, but it also made me super sore. I took a week off of running and I’ve been just running whatever I feel like running for the last two weeks. Just this week I’m finally feeling like I’m actually recovered.

Now I’m ready to start training for the next one!

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My running story

I honestly can’t remember the first time I ran, but I do have a lot of memories of running with my dad as a little girl. We used to go to Marco Island, FL for vacation every spring and my dad would run on the beach every morning. I loved to go run with him, but because I was pretty young, I couldn’t run quite as far as him. I would run as far as I could and then stop, and when I stopped, my dad would run a little bit and then turn around and circle back around me. He did this over and over until he finished his run. I loved running with my dad and as I got older I could eventually run the whole distance with my dad.

When I was 8 years old I started swimming competitively, and that became my main sport. I would still run with my dad when we went on vacation though. I also loved running the mile in school and started running track when I got to middle school. My favorite event was the mile, but I also found out I was pretty good at the 400 and 800. Since I swam year round, I didn’t have a lot of time to run, but I continued running track in high school and ran a little bit over the summers when I had time.

I knew I wanted to swim in college, so I went to Calvin College and swam on the swim team for all four years. I still loved to run though, so I started running in the off season. I ran my first 5K in April 2005, my freshman year of college. I had so much fun that I decided I was going to really get into racing. I ran a few more races that summer. I couldn’t run a lot during the school year because of swimming, but I would start running right after our national meet every year.

In 2007, right before my senior year of college, my dad asked me to sign up for a half marathon with him. I said sure! I was really excited about it. We trained together and did a long run every Saturday that summer. On race day, we ran the first 8 miles together, and then my dad told me to go ahead. I finished in 1:54 and was so happy crossing that finish line.

The next year I ran a 25K right before I graduated from college and then ran off and on the next year when I was in PT school. My second year of PT school I really started to get more serious about running. I decided to sign up for the Disney Marathon. I trained while doing my second clinical rotation. My big goal for the marathon was to qualify for Boston. I ran 3:33 that day and hit my goal! After that I decided that I wanted to run a marathon in all 50 states. I signed up for the Chicago marathon the same year.

2010 was a big year for me. I ran my first marathon and I also did my first triathlon! My dad bought himself and me a bike and we signed up for the Chicago Triathlon. After that I was hooked on triathlons too.

In 2011 I was finishing up my clinical rotations for PT school in Arizona and Alabama. While I was in Alabama I decided to run a few local races. At a local 10K, I met a guy that I talked to for a while after the race. I emailed that guy a few weeks later and we ended up falling in love and getting married! Now we both love running and are training for marathons and triathlons together.

Every year I try to run at least two marathons in different states and I do a lot of other races. I’m gradually moving towards my goal of all 50 states. So far I have 14 completed.

In 2015 and 2017 I was pregnant with my kids, so I didn’t do as many marathons, but I ran throughout both pregnancies. I ran a lot more during my second pregnancy because I felt a lot better.

After having kids I’m still running just as much, but it’s been a little harder. I don’t have as much time and it’s hard for me to run as fast. I’m gradually trying to work my way back to where I was. I just ran my fastest postpartum marathon a few weeks ago and qualified for Boston again! I’m really excited to go back next year!

I’m also working on scheduling some more marathons in new states. Running has definitely been a lifelong journey that has brought me a lot of happiness. I love that it really is a family activity. It definitely brings my family closer together. I hope it’s something that my kids love as much as I do.

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Head Over Teal 5K Race Report

I don’t usually like to do any races in the 3-4 weeks following a marathon. Those weeks are meant for resting and not worrying about mileage, but I agreed to do this 5K on Saturday because I’ve done it before and my husband really wanted to do it. I thought it would be fun to do a little 5K and see if my marathon training might help me break 20. I think I could’ve done it, but it was extremely hot and humid and miserable outside. I finished in 20:07, just short of my goal, but I’m actually happy with that, especially considering how I felt during the race.

During my warmup, I realized that the race would be tough because I was already sweating a lot. I did a mile with Zach and decided that was enough because I didn’t want to get too sweaty and my legs were still a little tired. Zach and I walked around a little bit after the warmup to keep our legs moving.

The race starts up a giant hill, so I knew that I shouldn’t start off too fast. I still ended up going faster than I wanted and realized it a little too late. I tried to keep a good pace without looking at my watch for the first mile. I had 2 guys right in front of me and I decided I would just stay with them. My legs felt good even though there were a lot of hills. I repeated my favorite mantra “Stay in the mile you’re in” and thought about getting to that next mile. I crossed mile 1 in 6:36. It was a little slower than I wanted to be, but I knew I was giving it my all.

The second mile was a little easier than the first because it was mostly downhill. I just tried to keep the same pace even though I was already feeling pretty fatigued. I could feel that I had just run a marathon 2 weeks before. I tried to keep telling myself to just get through this mile though. I crossed mile 2 in 6:47. I was surprised I had slowed down that much, but I knew I was hot and tired.

Mile 3 was pretty tough because it had a lot of uphill. My legs were also pretty dead by this point. I really just wanted to make it to the finish line. I pushed myself as much as I could and I was super happy when I finally saw the finish line. I saw I was so close to 20 and I tried to sprint, but I just didn’t have anything left. My third mile was 6:44 and I realized when I finished that the course was about a tenth short.

The race was pretty tough, but I’m still glad I did it. I’m pretty happy with the time as well, even if the course was short. I finished 1st overall female too, so that was pretty exciting!

I’m starting to build my mileage again this week to prepare for the Baltimore marathon, and I’m hoping I recover quickly from this race. I’m planning on traveling a lot in the next few weeks, but I don’t think I’m going to race again until Baltimore!

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Marathon Recovery- What I’ve Been Doing the last 2 weeks!

It’s been exactly 2 weeks since the Holland Haven Marathon and I think I’m recovering pretty well. It always takes me a few weeks to feel normal again after running a marathon because of the distance. I put so much physical and mental strength into finishing the race that my body and mind need to just relax for a little while. I usually keep my mileage low for the first few weeks and then gradually start building back up. This time, however, I decided to sign up for another marathon just 6 weeks after the last one! I know it’s a little crazy, but I also have a crazy goal of running a marathon in all 50 states, so I need to start getting some more states. I will be running the Baltimore Marathon on October 20th. I’m not sure if I’m going to race super hard or just have fun yet. It just depends how I’m feeling as the race gets closer.

Since the next race is so close, here are some things I’ve been doing to make sure I recover well.

1. Sleeping (or trying to). I know how important sleep is to the recovery process, so I’ve been trying to get a little more sleep. It’s been hard because of my kids, but I try to at least go to bed a little earlier if I can.

2. Stretching/ Foam Rolling. I’ve been making sure to stretch and foam roll when I have the time. It has helped to reduce soreness and I think It’s helping me build my mileage back up more quickly.

3. Hydrating. I’m not always good about staying hydrated at work. I get busy and forget to drink, but these past two weeks I’ve been really trying to drink as much water as I can. It is still really hot here too, so I get dehydrated really easily when I run at night.

4. Eating good, wholesome foods. I’ve been trying to eat enough and eat a lot of foods that help with recovery. I’ve been working with a dietician and she has helped me a lot. I’ve added a lot more fruits and vegetables to my diet and I’m making sure to eat healthy snacks between meals!

5. Taking Collagen Supplements. I’ve been taking liquid collagen that also has Branched chain amino acids in it twice a day everyday and I think it has helped with my recovery. It helps my joints feel a lot better and I think it helped reduce soreness after the race. Here’s a link to the one I’ve been using: Liquid Biocell There’s a $10 off coupon code through the link if anyone is interested in trying it.

6. Trying to gradually build my mileage back up. I ran 22 miles the first week and 30.5 miles the second week. I did a 10 mile run as my long (ish) run on Sunday at the end of both weeks. I’ll need to do a longer run next week, but I’m hoping that the last marathon will help me be more prepared for the next marathon. I don’t plan on doing another 20 miler because I want my legs to feel fresh and rested.

I’m hoping all of this will really help me recover and be ready for the next marathon. I really don’t have a lot of expectations, but I want to feel good during the race. I want to be able to finish strong and have fun!

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Holland Haven Marathon Race Report!

I’m so excited to write this Race Report because this was one of the best marathons that I’ve ever run! Even though it was not a PR, I ran pretty even splits, the temperature was pretty great, and I was able to sprint into the finish! I have run way too many marathons where I’ve hit a wall at mile 20 and have struggled to get to the finish line, so this race makes me happy. I also qualified for Boston by 12 minutes, which was my main goal in this race, so I’ve been pretty happy since I finished on Sunday.

On race morning, I woke up at 5:00, got dressed, ate breakfast, and drove to the finish line with Zach. We took a bus to the start and waited in an elementary school until about 10 minutes before the race started.

I felt pretty good when I started and I planned on keeping a pretty easy pace that I knew I could keep for the whole race. I got sprayed in the face by a cold sprinkler in the first mile, but so did a few other people, and laughing about it actually helped me relax a little bit.

I ran by feel for the first five miles and my splits were 7:37, 7:46, 7:34, 7:46, 7:45. I was running behind two people and decided to just run with them for a little while. I was feeling good and relaxed.

The next five miles got a little tougher because there were some rolling hills. My splits for miles 6-10 were 7:54, 7:47, 7:36, 7:50, 7:43. I took a gu just after mile 6 and I got it all over my hands and face. It was definitely not fun being sticky, but it kept my mind off running for a little while. Miles 9-10 were the toughest because there were quite a few hills and I was running with just one other guy at this point.

I started feeling a little more sore and tired during miles 11-15, but when I crossed the half at 1:41:33, I knew I could get to the finish line in under 3:30. I took another gu at mile 12 and managed to not get too sticky. It was the toasted marshmallow flavor, which is amazing!! My splits for these 5 miles were 7:49, 7:46, 7:45, 7:41, 7:47.

After mile 15, even though my legs were tightening up a little bit, I started feeling like I could keep up my pace for the rest of the race. I was running pretty much alone, but I started to see a few people in the distance that I was catching up to. That gave me a lot of motivation. I wanted to see if I could catch them. I also knew that I was going to see my mom, my aunt, and my boys at some point soon, so that helped me push through.

My splits for miles 16-20 were 7:45, 7:56, 7:51, 7:36, 7:46. I saw my family just before mile 19 and passed 3 people just after that. I think mile 19 was so fast because I was trying to catch the people in front of me.

Miles 21-26.2 were tough because we turned into a road going into Holland and there was a strong headwind. Some of the gusts were probably 15 mph. It was tough, but I was feeling good and strong. My splits for these miles were 7:52, 7:53, 7:40, 7:48, 7:50, 7:54, 1:44 for the last .24. I was smiling while I was running these last 5 miles because I knew that I was going to BQ and I was feeling good! I hardly ever feel good at the end of a marathon, so it was a good day! I rounded the corner to the finish line and saw Zach cheering me on. I was so excited to see 3:23:54 on the clock! I had qualified for Boston and run my fastest marathon since before I had kids!

Out of the 19 marathons I’ve run, this is definitely one of my favorites. Now I can’t wait to sign for Boston tomorrow! It will be my fourth Boston and my first one since having my kids!

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Chicago Triathlon Race Report

This race was tough because of the heat, but I had a lot of fun and I’m happy with how I finished. This was my eighth Chicago Triathlon, but I hadn’t done the Olympic Distance since 2014, before I had any kids. I was nervous before the start because I wasn’t really sure how it was going to go. I’ve been training hard for the Holland Haven Marathon, so I didn’t bike or swim as much as I wanted to this summer. I told myself to just stay positive and have fun though.

Race morning I got up at 4:00, got dressed, grabbed my bag, and headed out the door with my dad and Zach at 4:30. We biked over to the transition area, which was about 3 miles away. It was a little creepy biking on the Lakeshore trail that early in the morning. Right before we got to the transition my water bottle popped off my bike. I stopped and put it back on, but I was a little worried it wouldn’t be secure during the race. I put my bike and all of my things in transition, grabbed my cap and goggles, and walked over to the swim start. I still had about 2 hours because my wave didn’t start until 7:20.

After waiting around for a while with my dad and Zach, it was finally time to put my wetsuit on. It was hard work because it was super hot out already and I was sweaty. I got in line with my wave and got ready to start the race. At about 7:18, they let us jump into Lake Michigan. We treaded water for 2 minutes and then we were off. I felt pretty good during the swim, but it started to feel long at around 1000 meters. I finally reached the swim exit and started running towards transition. It’s about a half mile run to get to transition, which is tough with bare feet and a wetsuit on. I got there and had trouble getting my wetsuit off, so it took a little longer than it should have. My swim split was 25:27 and my first transition was 5:37.

I got on my bike and started pedaling and as soon as I started going up the ramp to Lake Shore Drive, my water bottle popped off again. I couldn’t stop, so I just let it go and kept riding. The first half of the bike was tough because the road was tough and it was really windy. I pushed myself as much as I could. After the first half, we went down to Lower Wacker and it felt amazing to be in the cool, dark tunnel. I felt like I could ride really fast! I started feeling tired with about 5 miles to go, but I think I kept my speed up pretty well. My bike split was 1:22:54 for the 24.8 miles.

I got off my bike and tried to get through transition as fast as I could. I also really needed a drink because i had lost my water bottle. This transition time was 2:38.

I started running and my quads were totally dead! It was also 90 degrees, so it was not a very fun run. I pushed myself as much as I could and drank water or Gatorade at every water stop. Every mile got a little slower, but I was just trying to finish. My splits ended up being 7:11, 7:21, 7:27, 7:32, 7:45, 8:01. I was really dying at the end, but I was so happy to see the finish line!

My total time was 2:42:33, which is my second fastest time at the Chicago Triathlon! Even though it was hard, I’m still happy with the results! I can’t wait to do it again next year!

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Holland Haven Marathon Training – Weeks 1 and 2

The first two weeks of marathon training are officially complete! I was planning on being better about blogging, but once again life got in the way, so here is a recap of the last 2 weeks.

I have still been in recovery mode since the Cleveland Marathon was just 3 weeks ago, so my mileage wasn’t very high and I didn’t do any speedwork. I’m amazed at how good I’ve been feeling though. Usually my legs are dead for several weeks after a marathon, but this time they are actually feeling ok.

The first week I ran 21 miles. This week I was really still trying to take it easy because I didn’t want to overdo it. Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday: 3 miles easy

Tuesday: 5 miles easy

Wednesday: off day

Thursday: 5 miles easy

Friday: off day

Saturday: 5 miles easy

Sunday: 3 miles easy

I ran super slow on all of my training runs and just tried to have fun with it. I got to run in Franklin, TN on Saturday since we were there for my cousin’s wedding.

The second week I ran 35.5 miles. I was feeling a lot better this week and was ready to push it a little more. Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday: 4 miles easy

Tuesday: 6 miles easy. This was a tough treadmill run!

Wednesday: 3.1 miles easy

Thursday: 6 miles. I ran this fairly easy, but ended up doing a progression run. It felt good to run a little faster.

Friday: No running. Swam 1300 yards and biked 20 minutes. It felt good to be back in the pool!

Saturday: 12.37 miles in 1:41:43. I averaged under 8:00 miles for the first 6 miles and then slowed down quite a bit. It was extremely hot and humid and I got a little dehydrated. I also ran about 1.37 miles more than I was planning to!

Sunday: 4 miles easy. My legs were really tired from my long run yesterday, but they loosened up during the run.

I’m tired after this week, but I’m ready to increase my mileage and really start training!!

How did your training go this week?

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Goals for the Holland Haven Marathon

Marathon training starts today! Since I didn’t qualify for Boston at the Cleveland Marathon, I’m going to try again at the Holland Haven Marathon. The race is September 9th, the last possible day to qualify. I know this means intense training in the summer heat, but I am physically and mentally ready. I want not only qualify for Boston, but I want to run a PR and sub 3:10 Marathon.

There are a few things I’m changing to make sure I’m as prepared as possible on race day.

1. Be more consistent with following my training plan. I say this because a lot of times life gets in the way and I don’t follow my schedule like I should. During this last training cycle, I did not do as many long runs as I should have. It was difficult because I had to push the stroller for a lot of my long runs, but I still should’ve finished them all. This training cycle I’m going to do all of my scheduled long runs and make sure to do a least 1 over 20 Miles.

2. Be better about my nutrition and hydration. I eat fairly healthy, but I know that I can eat a lot healthier. I love to cook and I want to make a lot of healthy meals for my family, so I’m going to make it a goal to make a meal plan at the beginning of every week. I’m also going to do some meal prep every Sunday so that I don’t have as much to do during the week when I get home from work. I’m also going to make sure I drink enough water everyday. I’m not very good about drinking water, and because I’m still breastfeeding, this is especially important! I’ve also added some liquid collagen to my diet because it is supposed to improve joint mobility, boost muscle recovery, and fuel physical and mental performance!

3. Be more consistent with doing strength and core exercises. I always start out a training cycle doing this, but then I start to increase my mileage, so I quit doing these. I don’t feel like I have enough time, but I know that doing core and strength will make me a better runner. I plan to incorporate some core and strength exercises 2-3 times per week.

4. Stretch and foam roll more often. As a physical therapist I know how important recovery is. I just don’t do it because of the lack of time. I’m going to try to do at least 5-10 minutes of active stretching and foam rolling every day after my run!

I’m really excited about this training cycle and I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish in September!! I will update my blog with my training every week to let you know how it’s going!

Are you training for any fall races?

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Cleveland Marathon Race Report

I went into this race hoping that I would qualify for Boston, but also wondering if I had trained enough. I put in a lot of hard work, but it was only 5 months after I had given birth to Zander, so I knew I wasn’t in the best condition of my life. I woke up feeling pretty good on race morning. I was tired from lack of sleep two nights before, but my legs felt rested. I got up about 6, had to pump breast milk (since we left Zander with my parents), got dressed, and walked to the race start with Zach. It was already raining a little as we walked to the start line.

When the race started I took off at a pace that felt strong, but comfortable. I was planning on running around an 8:00 pace so I could be right around 3:30 at the finish. It was pretty crowded in the beginning because there were people running the half marathon, marathon, and 10K. My first 5 miles felt really smooth. My splits were 7:45, 7:59, 7:45, 7:40, 7:57.

I ran a little faster than I wanted to in the first 5 miles, but I felt good, so I wasn’t too worried. My splits for miles 6-10 were 7:44, 8:01, 7:51, 7:55, 8:05. There was a very steep hill in mile 7, so that slowed my pace a little. I started to feel a little fatigued towards the end of mile 10, so I slowed my pace a little. By this time I was also soaking wet, so I was pretty uncomfortable.

Miles 11-15 started to get really tough. My splits for these 5 miles were 8:93, 8:10, 8:20, 8:09, 8:00. I felt much more fatigued than I wanted to. I got passed by the 3:30 pace group in mile 13, so I got a little discouraged. I slowed down in that mile, but then made the decision to keep pushing as much as I could.

Miles 16-20 were extremely tough, and in hindsight I probably should’ve slowed down to save my energy, but I just really wanted to stay under 3:35 pace. My splits for these 5 miles were 8:04, 8:09, 8:00, 7:57, 8:20. I felt extremely sore and tired, but so pushed through it as much as I could. That lasted until about mile 20. After that mile I just couldn’t push anymore. My legs just felt dead.

My splits for miles 21-26.2 were all over the place. I just couldn’t keep running the whole way because of the pain and fatigue I was feeling in my legs. My splits were 8:45, 9:33, 10:00, 10:44, 10:12, 11:16, 4:06. I stopped to use the bathroom during mile 23 and I just walked 30 seconds here and the last 5 miles. There were some hills in the last few miles that were really tough as well. I was so happy to finally see the finish line! I finished in 3:44:41.

Although it was not the time I wanted, I’m happy to have finished another marathon in another state. Now I’m deciding on a September marathon so I can try to qualify for Boston!