Athens Marathon Recap

21 Nov

Last week, I joined the ranks of people crazy enough to run 26.2 miles just for the fun of it. The day didn’t turn out quite how I hoped it would, but the thing about the marathon is that you spend a tremendous amount of time and energy preparing for a single day wherein dozens of crucial details will be out of your control … Which is to say that the day probably won’t go how you hope it will. We don’t get to choose the frame our hard work gets hung in.

The trip to Greece was fairly uneventful. MrKef was thrilled to have 6 hours of in-flight entertainment, while I was content to watch Girls’ Trip on rapid repeat for the duration of the flight.

My aunt and uncle picked us up from the airport and a three-day Greek feast commenced. My aunt was so thoughtful and prepared all kinds of perfect-for-running meals– pasta, salmon, salads, and I considered more than once declaring a new marathon event: eating 26.2 pieces of my aunt’s cheese pie. But that wouldn’t be hard so everyone would do it.

And then it was race day! JetSet jaunted in from Dublin (as one does), and we headed to the expo. It was superwell organized and, despite being forced to walk through all the vendors, we managed to have some fun.

Afterward, we met my cousins at the spectacular new Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, which is a spectacular building and worth a visit.

One tram ride later that nearly ended my running days for good (because when the tram comes but you still have no tickets, you stick your leg in the door until your brother gets the ticket machine to work), and MrKef and I were settled into the hotel. For the first time in my life, I actually chose to eat in the hotel restaurant because they were serving salmon and that’s what I like to eat the night before a run. We enjoyed a surprise date night– we were the only ones in the restaurant for most of the meal and got to dine by candlelight with the whole place to ourselves.

I got my things ready for the morning and settled in for a good night’s sleep. That lasted for about 2 hours, after which I woke up and was totally unable to fall back to sleep. MrKef came back from some revelry with JetSet around 3, and there I was… wide awake. I must have fallen asleep again sometime around 430, and when my alarm went off at 515, transferring to the eating race crossed my mind once again.

Despite my lack of sleep, I was feeling great. I ate an RX bar,  blasted my feel-good playlist, and headed out to the bus. My bus experience was seamless– I got on about 640 and was at the race start by 730 or so. I was hoping to sleep but, alas, it eluded me. There’s a short walk to the stadium, and there are tons of portapotties (but inside the dugout there are flush toilets whose lines are shorter and faster–a win!).

Here’s where the fun started. We were supposed to use the track at the Marathon Stadium to warm up, but the portapotties were lined up in the outer lane of the track, so of course the lines formed around the track. Undeterred, a group of guys in Spartan costumes started doing laps in the center, so there was a hilarious layered effect of portapottie lines, then people stretching and lounging about, and then the inner circle of Spartans and their growing ring of joggers.

And that’s also when the heat started– temps called for 65F with 98% humidity at the start. I knew the day would get hotter as the race went on, but also knew that the cloud cover would be my best friend. Well, my BFF was nowhere to be seen at the start, and I was already sweating before the race for underway. I was not thrilled by this turn of events, but was still feeling jazzed to get this show on the road. The race started promptly at 9, and I was off by 920 or so.

Things started off well enough.

My race plan was to keep things around 9:30 effort, knowing that the opening and closing 6ish miles were downhill, so I’d be able to bank some time in the beginning  before heading into 12 middle miles of hills. I kept to that perfectly for the first ~4 miles and felt good, but realized I was getting HOT quickly. I slowed down a bit for the next two miles and poured water over myself every water stop, but I just could.not.cool.down. The sun was definitely strong and I could tell other people were struggling as well, but it became clear pretty quickly that overheating was how the lack of sleep was going to manifest itself. I started to feel exhausted around mile 5- not muscle or mind fatigue, just get-me-to-my-damn bed tired. With 21 miles to go, this was not a good sign.

Luckily for me, we entered the first big town since Marathon right around then. Whole families were out to cheer, and people lined the street blasting traditional music, performing Greek dances, and cheering us on. I got a second wind, high fived everyone I could, and took in every “Bravo, kouritsimou!” that came my way.

At that point, I thought my tired troubles were over. The promised clouds showed up and I felt slightly less hot. I got a huge boost when I passed the first of my family members who came out to cheer — it was so special to have them out there. I was starting to feel pretty good. Maybe I had run through the fatigue.

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Or maybe not. Just when I was starting to cool off and feel better, the hills started. And continued. And kept on going. These hills went straight up Elizabeth Warren on me and frigging persisted. 

I got to a water station somewhere around mile 12 or 13 and suddenly knew what it meant to “hit the wall.” I struggled to open my Nuun packet to refill my water bottle and was starting to feel dejected. I slowed down to a walk and just tried to focus on getting the damn Nuun open. And then all the Greek Gods smiled upon me from Mt Olympus– I heard my aunt calling my name and my uncle reached out, ripped open the Nuun and poured it in my water bottle before sending me back off on my way.

I passed JetSet somewhere between miles 16 and 17  — a good brother will fly to across the world for ~30 hours to watch you run, but the BEST brother will BRING YOU A SPINACH PIE AND OFFER IT TO YOU DURING SAID RUN.

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I was all smiles there, but I knew I was sunk — I was feeling so crappy by that point I even refused the spanakopita.  I can’t even revisit such a low point in life. So let’s keep going.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find any energy to pull it together. There were maybe 30 seconds after seeing my aunt and uncle where I felt like I could finish the race running. I ended up run-walking the rest of the way, sometimes using long time intervals to break up the running with walking, and other times just trying to run until the next telephone pole. I was on track to finish under 4:10 until about mile 15, and then it was a never-ending descent into “I have no idea WHEN the hell I am going to finish.” The distance  between kilometer markers stretched on so long that I convinced myself that someone had messed up and used kilometer signs to mark off miles. Not good stuff.

The crowds only got bigger as we entered the city. The downhill felt good for about 3 kilometers, and then the wall I had been pushing since the halfway point became The Great Wall. After what seemed like 10,495 hours, I finally made the left turn and could see the stadium in the distance. The crowds were huge at this point, and all the excitement and adrenaline I had been hoping for finally kicked in and I made a mad dash for the finish. Running through the original Olympic Stadium was incredible.

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4:42:36. Certainly not the time I had trained or hoped for. I eeked into the top 40ish% for total participants, gender and age group– so that’s something. About 4,000 people who started the race didn’t finish. Everyone was hot, most people were doing at least some walking, and the last 6 miles were filled with  many audible promises of “never again.”

I’m disappointed about my time, but I really meant it when I said the other day that the amazing 22-mile run was validation enough for a training cycle of hard work. I wish things had gone differently performance-wise, but I’m not too hung up on that.

The biggest disappointment to me is that I wasn’t in a good enough place to really enjoy myself. I wanted to finish the race exhausted but exhilarated, feeling proud of myself and filled with all the warm and fuzzies of having done some certifiably awesome. There were definitely times when I could appreciate how special this race is: running through an entire town of people dancing the Syrtaki, kids giving out Laurel leaves and olive branches throughout the course, couples in their 70s and 80s cheering on runners, seeing my family throughout the race and at the finish line, a cadence-quickening percussion troupe in a tunnel near mile 24, and — of course — that historic finish in an Olympic Stadium. But I was just too tired for too much of the race to really savor any of those moments.

There are definitely things that I’m proud of. Despite feeling like crap physically and knowing that I just didn’t have what I needed to run the race I wanted, I was never actually in a bad mental place. I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to have a great day and can say for sure that I made the very best of it that I could. I finished the damn thing, despite being out in the hot sun 30 minutes longer than I thought I was going to be, and despite the fact that I wanted to quit pretty much every step of the way after mile 12. I’m hoping that, with a little time, the disappointments fade and make some space for the special memories of the day.

When everything goes wrong, what a joy to test your soul and see if it has endurance and courage! –Nikos Kazantzakis

I am so, so grateful to my family, who cooked runner-friendly meals, watched thousands of people run by just for a sweaty mid-race hug from me, flew across the world and then made the ultimate sacrifice and ate my spinach pie for me, waited for hours at the finish line (and then almost an hour more when I messed up the post-race meet-up point…), and congratulated me as if I had won the whole damn thing. Plus, they made sure I had the headgear of a champion, and I am now the proud owner of TWO στεφάνια, the famous leaf wreaths:

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AND DID I MENTION THE POST-RACE FEAST???

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That’s right, people– TWO kinds of wreaths, and TWO kinds of cheese pie. Our Greekness is your weakness.

And, of course, I can never say enough about my incredible husband — who cheered me on throughout the training, delayed his summer vacation until November, and only complained about the months of early-to-bed Friday and/or Saturday nights when it meant he had to go alone to see whatever new superhero movie was out.

I don’t know if I’ll run another marathon. Of course, a part of me would love to go back to Athens next November and show that course what this Spartan woman is made of … but another part of me would be happy to never, ever, ever run farther than 22 miles ever again. I’ve known for some time now that I strongly prefer training to racing — so I might train for a spring marathon without signing up for one to keep mileage high and pressure low. But who knows– I may get the itch to try my legs at this beast of a race again. Only time will tell.

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Athens Marathon Training: I Can Do Hard Things

9 Nov

Greetings from somewhere over Iceland! I’m attempting to tap this out on a tablet … So let’s just overlook any typos and hope I manage to avoid causing an international incident because I can’t find the caps lock, shall we?

Speaking of caps: IT’S RACE WEEK! I had a couple short runs this week and now all I have to do is keep running for 4ish hours come Sunday to cover a distance I’ve never done before on a course I’ve never run before. No big deal.

With just a few days to go, I’m alternating between heart- swelling excitement and pants-wetting fear. It’s basically starting the ascent of that first rollercoaster hill– as I inch closer, a sense of “who the hell thought this was a good idea?” grows, but eventually I know I’ll get over that crest and the dread will give way to sheer exhilaration… Or I really will pee my pants. But I’m cautiously optimistic because, as my Oiselle teammates like to say, I am an athlete who can do hard things.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, I am already incredibly proud of myself and the work I’ve put in to get to this point. A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed that I could run 22 miles, but it turns out that I can and that those 22 miles would become the best long run I’ve ever had. So I’ve already won, if you ask me.

… But because I am who I am, I still have some other goals, too.
A GOAL: have the time of my life, soak up whatever good stuff the day holds, finish the race feeling strong and proud of myself. Also, to scream “eff yes!” at the finish in tribute to Shalane’s epic bad-assery at the NYC marathon finish last weekend.

B GOAL: finish under 4:20. In life, I am quite sure I have a sub-4 marathon in me, but I have no plans to make myself nuts chasing it on a punishingly-hilly course with rain in the forecast and end-of-race temps projected to get close to 70.

C GOAL: finish under 4:30. Or really, just finish. B

Lots of people have asked if they can track me– you should all, of course, feel free to download the app and  wake up at 1 am EST to watch my little geotag bounce along some 7,000 miles away… Or just check Instagram Sunday morning ( EST) for an update.

Athens Marathon Training: The More Things Change

30 Oct

Yo, man– this marathon is less than two weeks away. I finished my last double-digit run this weekend, and now the most I have to do is all the running around to get ready for race day and a much-needed vacay with MrKef.

Today, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to revisit the ghosts of runs and races past. I originally thought this post would be about how much my running has changed over the last 7 years, but it turns out I’m not overturning any old adages this time– the more things change, the more they really do stay the same.

Athens Marathon Training Week 14: The More Things Change

Monday: Yoga Nothing at all exciting to say about this, so let’s throw it back to my very first race: the Capitol Hill Classic 10k. I can’t remember why I signed up for the DC Road Runners CHH10k training group, but I still remember the thrill of finishing my first Saturday Long Run (which was probably only 3.5 miles) and how quickly I fell in love with starting my day with the sound of my own feet on the pavement (and the cheers of my own personal fan club–shout out to North Capitol St of yesteryear!)

Tuesday: Arms & Abs at Solidcore. Here’s something that has definitely changed– I used to be a sporadic (at best) strength trainer and nevvvvvvver did speedwork. Thanks to the good advice of… everyone … I cut that ish out, and am now a weekly speeder and strengthener. Aaaand if you look very closely, you can see some baby abs poking out– excuse ME.

Wednesday: Unintentional rest day. Sadly, there is no amount of speedwork in the world that will help me get a good race picture. Some lowlights, from top to bottom:

1) COTTON pants … in a race … in MAY

2) at a 10k where the photographer caught me changing

3) looking every bit as cold and dead as I felt while waiting for the worst-produced race of all time

4) securing my spot as the poster child for the Mall Walkers of America

Thursday: Run 45. After this lovely run, I ate a lot of blueberries. This, too, seems to have been a pattern since the beginning of my running days.

Friday: 3x 1-mile @ 7:25 plus warmup and cool down. Just because I know speedwork is good for me doesn’t mean I look forward to it. Track workouts get me a little worked up– what if I can’t make the intervals? what if I can’t finish the workout? what if I die right there on the Banneker track and by the time anyone finds my body the smell of fries from the Georgia Ave McDonald’s has seeped so far into my cold, dead tissue that people think Happy Meals are being served at my funeral?

But the thing is- I almost always nail my workouts. And even when I don’t, I dig deep, fight hard, and am getting stronger and tougher just by trying. This week was no exception- I came in way under time (7:10, 7:12, 7:20).

This, too, has been recurrent in my running: I set a goal, face down whatever self doubt bubbles to the surface, and end up surpassing the original intention.

Case in point–3.5 years ago, PurplePenKef sent me an email with the below subject :

To which I responded:

And — because PPK has always been one of my biggest champions, and because she has often known things about me before I knew them myself, and because one of the main reasons we have stayed friends all these years is so that we have someone to email between 5:08 and 6:32 am — she quipped:

And now here are, less than a fortnight from my first marathon. I really hate it when she’s right.

Saturday: run 90 minutes. I was up in Staten Island visiting family, and this run was pretty close to race conditions- hilly, 68 degrees, sunny with little shade, and long stretches of decidedly-unscenic highway views. I wasn’t feeling it at first but I eventually dialed into a groove and had a great run. The next double-digit mileage I will do is 26.2!!!

Weeks to race day: 2

Total Miles This Week: 20.25

Gains: lots of time

Losses: anything witty left for this portion of recaps

Athens Marathon Training: Signs

23 Oct

I’m running late, tired, and probably going to be hungry for the rest of my life… so here’s this week’s rundown, including Saturday’s AMAZING TWENTY-TWO MILE RUN (!!!!). It is accompanied by random signs I found on the internet, which may or may not be actually related to running. Some other week I may have tried to be wise about the signs– this week, I defer the work to you: find meaning where you see it. 

Athens Marathon Training Week 13: SignsFullSizeRender (41)

Monday: maybe yoga? Can’t remember.

Tuesday: 45 min run + Solidcore Arms & Abs — I have said it before and I will say it again: if you are serious about getting stronger, go to Solidcore.

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Wednesday: 90 minute run. Every now and again I get out there and surprise the hell out of myself. This was one of those times– I ran ten miles under 9:00 without even really thinking about it and loved each and every one of them. Also, that new Kesha song is strangely great for running, especially if you are infuriated by abusers who are protected by the system. Eff all of you.

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Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Run 30. Nothing to say about this except that I love Howard homecoming.

Saturday: Run 3:30 I RAN 22 MILES AND I LIVED TO TELL THE TALE !!
I was a little nervous about this run– my most recent 20-miler had only gone okay, and my darling husband bamboozled me into breaking my usual pre-long-run dinner and routine (8:30 pm: “Don’t run Saturday–go running on Sunday so we can have fun tonight! Have another glass of champagne with me.” 8:37 pm: “Wow, I am so surprised to see you drink 2 glasses of champagne the night before a run. I think I’m gonna call it quits for the night so I can be rested to really go out tomorrow night.”)

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But I decided to just head out there and see if I could enjoy myself, anyway. I picked a pretty hilly course on purpose so I could mimic the race course as much as possible. Amazingly, the miles just flew by and I just felt stronger and stronger as the run went on. The hills didn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought, and I even had plenty of juice left in the tank for the annoying mile-long slog out of Rock Creek Park at the very end. I ended up negative splitting the run, with my last mile coming in at 8:54. Go right ahead, Chef Kef.

I’m saving lots of emotions for the moment I cross that finish line in a few weeks, but I will say that this run made me so very, very proud of myself. I ran 22 well-paced miles, kicked butt on some of RCP’s toughest hills, kept my thoughts positive, and didn’t let my brain get in my body’s way. A year ago I wouldn’t have believed that I could have even run 22 flat miles at a crawling pace. I have worked really hard this training cycle and –even if it all goes to hell come race day (not tempting you, Fate!) — this run reflected that, and I can be really proud of it. So, that’s what I have to say about that.

Lord Jesus–that post run, though. First I didn’t think I could be on my feet for even one moment longer… but then I found out how hard it is to sit DOWN after 22 miles, and THEN I found out how hard it is to get full after 22 miles. I will be tired and hungry for the rest of my life, it appears.

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Weeks to Race Day: 3
Total Miles This Week: 40.05 (!!)
Gains: a new personal distance record (long run and weekly milage) + I am now almost 100% sure I can run 26.2 hilly miles 🙂 
Losses: 
all semblance of energy and not being sore for the next week.

Athens Marathon Training: Greece is the Word

16 Oct

Apologies for the blank email/fake link yesterday and thanks to the many of you who told me about it– I really should not be allowed near technology.  Good news for everyone who could not care less about running is that I actually did some cooking over the weekend, so one of these days we will talk about something other than whether all ten of my toenails are going to survive this race.

Turns out, my first marathon is JUST ABOUT ONE MONTH AWAY.  When I was in school and would tell people I had XX months left, I wished a slow and painful death on anyone who responded “Oh, that’ll fly by.” But these couple months really did — guess I like running better than busy work and B.S. tests. Who knew?

I am starting to get cautiously excited about the race itself, but I am unabashedly enthusiastic about my upcoming time in The Hellenic Republic. So today we’re gonna focus on the nation and people who have given the world everything: Greece!

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Athens Marathon Training Week 12: Greece is the Word

Monday: Arms & Abs @ Solidcore. Since revisionary history seems to be the creative trend these days, I am going to pitch a show wherein the Spartans had the megaformer Pilates machines that Solidcore uses– think “Man in the High Castle” meets “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Insane Spartan discipline + side plank crunches = total world domination. The opening sequence would be this group of Greek women pushing each other up the Acropolis in a display of their brute strength:

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Tuesday: 60 min run I had to run after work, which is generally not my preference. Despite that, I was smoking the damn sidewalk Tuesday afternoon — not quite sure what got into me, but it was one of my speediest runs in awhile. If I had been in Greece, I would have known that this was a run fueled by the most beautiful part of the day: the afternoon light.

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But, instead, I was in DC and was perhaps fueled by my hatred for the new development at the Wharf, which will certainly ensure that the low-income housing left in that part of SW will disappear within the next 5 years.

Wednesday:Hills for breakfast. I lugged myself up and down Capitol Hill  several times. Whenever I thought about stopping, I remembered that this damn marathon is going to be hilly — but if I finish the damn thing and live to tell the tale, my post-run feast will look like this:

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I am thinking Pheidippides didn’t really care about telling the Athenians about the outcome of the battle — he was probably running all those miles just to get to his Aunt Lena’s eggplant pie, too.

Thursday: yoga + ST. I don’t have a lot to say about tree poses and lunges, but no post about Greece would ever be complete without what remains my favorite picture of all time:

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Friday: rest day, mostly because I was at work until 8:45. That’s bad enough on a Friday, but it also meant I had to push back my weekend runs, which I don’t love.

Saturday: 30 min run. Nothing to say about that.

Sunday: 90 min run. I’m gonna let this training cycle finish, but this was one of my best runs OF ALL TIME. The miles just flew by, they were all paced within a few seconds of each other, and I was feeling so good at the end that I actually opted for the route home with more hills. Praise the sweet Lord baby Jesus.  Speaking of babies, here’s my favorite little moraki, edited for his mother’s privacy concerns:

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Weeks to Race Day: 5
Total Miles This Week: 25
Gains: a new goal: eat all the Spanakopita I can post-marathon 
Losses: 
you know, this week was a lot of wins– let’s just leave t there.

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Athens Marathon Training: Other People’s Runs

9 Oct

I’m plum out of even-remotely creative ways to say “I ran a lot and I’m tired.” So this week we’ll intersperse the recap with stories of other people who run a lot and may or may not be tired.

Athens Marathon Training Week 11: Other People’s Runs

Monday: Rest Day after last week’s epic 20-mile trek to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and back. Snuck in some restorative yoga, which is really just napping that ends with “namaste.”

Tuesday: Easy 40 min run. You know who never runs easy because she’s too busy killing it? This woman:

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We realized we are basically the same person after about 6 minutes of running together, and I’ve been a huge fan of LifeTwinKef ever since. From 5 am meet ups to Half Priced Wine Nights (and a lot of her waiting on me to get to the damn track in between), she’s the best addition to Georgia Ave since the original Fish in the ‘Hood. She’s speedy and determined, and I’m a better runner for training with her. Plus, we’re snarky about all the same things–and that, folks, is what it’s all about.

Wednesday:  60 min run One of the loveliest runs I’ve had in awhile, even though it was at 8pm or so and I generally hate running at night. You know what I don’t hate? Everything about The Mirnavator.

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Teacher, body positive advocate, and amazing ultra runner, Mirna Valerio is pretty much everything I want to be. If this blog goes dark for weeks on end, you’ll know that I am off running all the trails in Western New York hoping to “bump into” Mirna and her XC team.

Thursday: ST and Yoga. Blah Blah Blah.

Friday: 45 minute run, also at night, also lovely. Who knew?

Saturday: Rest day, pre Army 10 Miler. Let me use this opportunity to say that MY BROTHER IS THE MOST BAD ASS RUNNER EVER TO RUN THE CHICAGO MARATHON, AND I INCLUDE GALEN RUPP AND JORDAN HASSEY IN THE LIST OF PEOPLE WHOSE ASS HE IS BADDER THAN.

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Do not adjust the settings on your screen– JETSETKEF RAN 26 MILES THAT WERE EACH UNDER 7 MINUTES AND FINISHED THE WHOLE DAMN CHICAGO MARATHON IN LESS THAN 3 HOURS. Is that overkill on the caps? Okay. But I was never a more proud Terror Twin than when this alert came on to my phone (okay, maybe also the time we finished off an entire watermelon before MamaKef even knew we had started it… that was an athletic feat nearly as impressive). You go, JetSet!

Sunday: Army 10 Miler. While JetSet was off torching the pavement, I was busy trying not to get torched by the insane humidity that came back to stink up DC. After that disastrous half marathon last month, I had no interest in making it a goal to PR this race. I had two goals: A) to negative split and/or B) to not lose my shit. My race plan was to try to run miles 1-3 at 8:45, miles 4-5 at 8:30, miles 6-8 at 8:45, and then miles 9-10 with whatever I had left. It became pretty clear pretty quickly that that was not going to be the case:

Miles 1-3: 9:08, 8:46, 9:12
Miles 4-5: 8:45, 8:57
Miles 6-8: 9:04, 9:29, 9:27
Miles 9-10: 9:26, 8:40

Here’s what I’ll say about this: by the time I made it to the finish line, the officials had decided it was so hot/humid that they had to convert the race into a “fun run” (meaning they weren’t keeping track of what place you came in) and that they eventually had to re-route people to shorten the course and get them off the road. Although my paces didn’t go as planned, I stuck to perceived effort, and you better trust and believe when I say it felt like I was negative splitting. The best thing was that I really kept my wits about me and didn’t get into any mental ditches, and I’ll take that over a PR on the day, for sure.

Weeks to Race Day: 5
Total Miles This Week: 25
Gains: ran most of the race in just my sports bra, which felt a lot like this
Losses: 
pretty sure I was an unwilling participant in a cooling-station-turned-wet-tshirt contest at the last water stop. Grown ass men who behave like frat boys give me the damn heebie jeebies.

Athens Marathon Training: 20 All Over Again

2 Oct

For those of you crying over the lack of recap last week, fear not: you missed almost nothing. I was on a dial-back week and only ran ~15 miles total and mostly just did a lot of yoga. But it was also FERRAGOSTO week, which must be recapped. Hopefully I will get to it this week but y’all already know not to have any expectations.

This was a great running week, with lots of fall temps and mornings with low humidity. I had another TWENTY MILE run again over the weekend, and so in honor of the big 2-0, our theme this week will be: things that were cool when I was 20 years old but are definitely not cool now.

Athens Marathon Training Week 10: 20 All Over Again

Monday: Arms & Core @ SweatDC. Fresh off the Ferragosto high, I rolled out of bed and walked a few blocks over to SweatDC. It was a nice way to get the blood pumping. I’ll have to take a few more classes before saying whether I like it or not, but I am pretty sure the instructor was the poster woman for the ultimate fashion trend when I was 20: the Juicy Jumpsuit.

~So trendy~

Tuesday: run 45. I discovered that my new job is RIGHT on an awesome running trail in DC, so I had a wonderful run during lunch. Were I still a 20 year-old sophomore, I probably would have been borrowing my roommate’s iPod Nano and listening to “Don’t Cha” while I ran. In other news, that song was my mother’s ringtone for about 3 years. Seriously.

And in still other news, did everyone else know YouTube was founded in 2005? It’s funny to think of all the cool things I used to use YouTube for in comparison to its main function for me now: watching someone else screw Nut A onto Washer B because any “some assembly required” instructions might as well be written in Japanese. #thisis32

Wednesday: Run 60 Another wonderful trail run in perfect weather, this time before work. I work in a high school where staff can use the locker room showers before class… rather than describe my experience, I will just let you each meander back in time to that particular peculiarity of your teenage years. Woof.

Thursday: Solidcore Arms and Abs. Not. I couldn’t get out of work on time and missed class, which really pissed me off. Here’s something that, somehow, became a thing when I was 20 and will piss me off forever:

Even one is too many.

Friday: Run 30. Fall is the best because EVEN AT 430 PM IT WAS AMAZING RUNNING WEATHER. When I was 20, we easily threw away 30 minutes trying to figure out what.the.hell a Facebook “poke” meant.

Image result for you have been poked

Saturday: Rest day is the best day! Went to see my aunts in PA. I thought for sure I would be able to find a picture of us from one of the many family events in 2005 somewhere on Facebook, but it would appear there was not yet the album function, which makes me feel like I was 20 a really, really long time ago.

Sunday: 3:00-3:15 run. I had hoped to get in 21 miles just so I could keep exploring those unknown miles, but when my watch ticked off the 20th mile at 3:08, I surely did not have another 7 minutes of running left in me. This run was both wonderful and a struggle– the weather was PERFECT and I went off on a new route to the Woodrow Wilson bridge and back, and really had a generally lovely time. The way back was pretty tough– my mind was refusing to stay occupied and I had to make a few stops  just to settle back in and refocus. And I hate to stop on long runs almost as much as I hate starched, layered polos. I am still not 100% certain where these other 6.2 miles are going to come from, but I suppose that’s a question for another day. For today, I am just loving that I ran another 20-miler and lived to tell the tale.

For our final throw back, here’s a trend I was TOTALLY INTO– the dress-and-jeans thing. Somewhere is a picture of me dancing on my brother’s Village A coffee table with almost this exact outfit, which is mercifully absent from Facebook:

so let’s just all be glad that I write a food/running blog not a fashion blog.

Weeks to Race Day: 6 (WAIT CAN THAT REALLY BE RIGHT???)
Total Miles This Week: 35
Gains: several new running routes
Losses: any pretense that what I did/wore/listened to in college were stand the test of time.

athens

 

 

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