Women's Running Magazine article!

You know when there is something on your 'to do list' but months and months go by and it's still there?  Well, this past week, I finally dug up a piece of writing about my postpartum marathon journey, and submitted it to Women's Running Magazine.  Since I didn't know anyone there, and had no idea if they accepted unsolicited material, I figured there wasn't much chance they would even consider publishing excerpts.  But, still worth trying.  

Well, to my surprise, they got back to me immediately saying they loved the piece, and they would publish portions of it this week as a lead-in to their Mother's Day features.  How awesome is that?!

You can read the whole piece here.

Breaking 1:40: a new half marathon PR

Ever since I ran a 1:40:17 half marathon in December (this was also without doing any race-specific training, other than running a couple tempo runs here and there) I made it my goal to break 1:40 for the half marathon in 2016.

The winter was tough training wise (but when is it ever not tough)--my mileage was still on the higher side due to my coaching, but most of those miles weren't "my" miles--so that left little room for any sort of hill repeats, tempo runs, or a couple double-digit "long" runs.  I did manage to do a 10 mile race and place 4th in my age group in February, which definitely was a surprise (especially since it was 2 degrees outside, but it felt like -13...Fahrenheit!).  In mid-March, I decided to sign up for a women's only half, following the same course that I had done in December.  Even though I again hadn't aggressively training for it, I knew that I could still aim to see how close I could get to 1:40 or under.

On race day, it was already raining before the start.  And I had had a couple nights (including the night before) where I hadn't sleep very well...I blame my teething 16 month old.  I started as close to the front as possible as to not lose time weaving in and out.  Then we were off.  We thinned out almost immediately...some ladies were FAST...clocking sub-7 (and sub 6:30) miles.   For this race, I told myself to try to keep my pace around 7:30-7:35 as long as possible and not have anything under 7:25-7:20, or anything above 7:40.  Usually I tend to run with more "range" in my splits, sometimes with the thought that I could get some "money in the bank"...but since I know my body a little better, I knew that if I started to have a couple miles around 7:25 or under, I fade really quickly (as I learned during the marathon!).  My fitness isn't quite there yet.

With each mile that passed, my splits were like clockwork.  But never once did I tell myself that I had it 'in the bag'  to break 1:40.  It was also a little tough because for the first time...there weren't a lot of people around me that could motivate me to keep going and stick with them!  It was an out and back course, so at one point, one person who I had lapped told me I was #10.  While this was certainly a boost,  I'm glad I didn't get too confident...because at mile 11, I got a bad side stitch and my pace hit 7:50.  Fortunately, I pulled it together, and got myself back on track for the final two miles.  I pushed it hard until the end as I wanted to be as under 1:40 as I could summon the energy for.  When I finished, my time was 1:39:25.  And it turned out, that I actually got my first age group award...#3 for the 30-39 age group!  I don't know what I was more happy with...breaking 1:40, or getting an award!  

A couple days after, my fellow coach Tom congratulated me on my race, and asked me if I thought I could still do better.  I took a minute to respond, as while I definitely pushed myself during the race, and when I crossed the finish line I felt like puking and nearly peed in my pants (I did not)...I never was sore in the days following the race.  And, I didn't train hard for it.  I thought strategy-wise, it was my best race, but I definitely think I could still bring my pace down just a bit.  So yes, I definitely think I have the potential to break 1:39, or even 1:38.  Or maybe someday 1:35.  But who knows...I am just really happy with my current result.  And really proud of how far I've come.  When I ran my first race, at age 28, it was  half marathon--I finished at 1:56.  And now, at age 34, it's 1:39.  At one point, I will "peak" (have I already?) and then just get slower.  That's what happens.  But for now, I'm living in the moment, and like where I am.