THE Authentic Athens Marathon

It was about 16 months ago that my Uncle said “Hey lets run the Athens Marathon!” I can remember this day vividly. We were up at my Grandmothers funeral and my sister, uncle and I went for a run. Fast forward 6 months, and we actually signed up for it after my Uncle did some research. Little did I know that 10 months later, I would be in Greece running THE Authentic Marathon…you know, the one we learn about in History or in my case Latin too. The one that started it all.

If you follow me on instagram, then you saw some photos from my adventures over there. We left on November 9th and traveled over to Greece. It was a L….O….N….G plane ride. It also happened to be my uncles birthday…the awesome 7…0. Yes, he turned 70 and ran a marathon a few days later. Who does that? Needless to say, my Uncle is pretty awesome.

The first day we were in Greece, we got to see the 1896 stadium, where the marathon finishes as well as the Acropolis, Mars Hill and had some awesome Greek food. It brought back lots of memories from my Latin classes and the Gods and Goddesses. And the history…things that I had forgotten but had been reminded about while we were there. It’s hard to put into words standing among buildings and things that have been around for so long. After we went to the marathon expo to get our packets and walk through. I have to say that they did a fantastic job at the expo. It was set up to funnel you through a certain path. It is definitely not like the expos here where you get your packet and then you walk willy nilly through the expo. The expo was in the Tae Kwan Do arena from the 2004 Olympics. That was really cool. To be in that building and the athletes that have walked through there. So cool!

Saturday was the second full day we were there and it was a more low key day since we were running on Sunday. We headed to the temple of Poseidon and it was interesting to know the history behind the temple as well as the “Graffiti” that was left on the Temple. I say “Graffiti” because it was not the graffiti we know, the spray paint (Although there was plenty of that in Athens). This was people who had traveled to the Temple and carved their name or something else in the marble. But it was usually their name and the date. Who knew? After we went for lunch at a local restaurant and we were seaside, but the kitchen was across the road, so it was interesting to watch the wait staff cross the road with our food.

img_2994

The Temple of Poseidon

 

Sunday! The day of the MARATHON! We loaded onto buses and left for Marathon. It was a nice drive to the start line and we actually drove along some of the course. That was daunting, you actually got to see the hills that we would be running. Yikes! There had been some talk about “THE HILL” which started at mile 6 and ended somewhere around mile 20. Yes, you read that right, a 14ish mile hill. It was a near perfect day for a marathon. Low 50s to start and ended up in the high 60s when I finished. Much different than the Marine Corps Marathon that I ran 2 weeks earlier. The race committee did a fantastic job letting everyone know what was going on and where they were suppose to be. We took in the sights and my Uncle, Sister and I all headed to our starting areas. Before long we had all started the race.

It was surreal starting the race, I had decided to run 5 minutes and walk 2 minutes. I was feeling good and so I kept chugging along. My music was going, and I would stop and take pictures along the way. Around mile 3, we hit the memorial hill and made a big circle around it. It is where the Athenian soldiers that survived buried the ones that gave the ultimate sacrifice against the Parisians. Needless to say, quite the sight to see in your first 3 miles. The first hour went by no problem, but I did start to struggle so I scaled back my run/walk to 1 min run and 1 min walk. That worked for the second hour. I was still doing great and was working my way towards Athens.

Then the trouble hit. I started to feel sick. So I walked. I knew I could get myself under control but I had to make sure that I was on track for my personal time that I wanted to do. So it was fast walking. I was ok with that, mind you, we had that continuous hill to conquer. I have to say that the water stations were awesome. They were giving out BOTTLES of water, full bottles. I was able to stop and grab bottles of water and I did get into trouble a few times when I went by the water station and missed getting a bottle, But there was another station not far down the road. They had stops every 2.5ish kilometers. How awesome is that. For half of the race, I have to say that I had a bottle of water in one hand and a bottle of Powerade in the other with the occasional cup of coke. Yes, Coke. Coke was handed out on the course. I had gotten to the point that I would take a sip of water or Powerade and swish it around before spitting it out.

The towns along the course were amazing. They had come out to wish us luck and you would hear “Bravo” along the way. The kids from the towns had olive branches that they would want you to take and so you did, and ran with it for a bit before discarding it and picking up a new one. Everyone along the way was so incredibly nice.

Soon we were seeing signs for Athens and so I knew we were getting close, not to mention my Garmin telling me that I only had 6 or so miles left. I had been doing math along the way to keep my mind occupied and off how much more I actually had left. Even though I sometimes failed at how much we had actually done vs. how much we had left. OOPS.

img_3052

The Sign for Athens…Almost there!

I got to about 38km and knew that we were so close! I decided to start running again, 1 minute run, 1 minute walk and I was feeling good when running and terrible when walking. Which also lead to running when I needed to and walking when needed which I was ok with. I saw the glass runner that we saw when we stopped by the stadium a few days before so I was sooooooo close. So, I just kept running and walking. Before I knew it, I was at mile 40, 2 more Kilometers, 41, ok I got this. 42km! Could it be true….I had hit 42km. So what did I do, I took a selfie! HAHA yes, I was that runner that stopped to the a selfie with the 42km sign which was right outside the stadium. So into the stadium I ran and to the finish line. 42.219 km or 26.2 miles later, I finished in the iconic 1896 Stadium. The emotions were there for sure. The experience of running into the stadium was like no other. I made my way over to our group of runners and met my mom, sister, and uncle there. I had finished in just over 6 hours and 30 minutes. My goal was 7 hours. I DID IT! I was exhausted, but I did it. We did it, my uncle, sister and I finished the marathon.

We got back to the hotel and my sister, Mom and I headed to the Aegean Sea. My sister and I were going to get in the Aegean. It was cold, yes. But it felt soooo good! Not to mention we got some amazing pictures with the sunset we had. After, we had a banquet that the tour group I went with put on. We had Greek dancers and they wanted us to get up and dance with them. I don’t think they realized that most of us had run a marathon. We were blessed with olive wreath crowns and a hand made vase to remember this moment by. It was a good end to the epic marathon weekend.

Monday in Greece was spent at the Plaka. It is the oldest part of Athens and a lot of it is now shopping and closed off to cars. We were able to go into the stores and find items that we wanted or were looking for. My foot was not liking me so my mom and I sat at a local cafe people watching after we got done what we wanted. My uncle and sister walked off to the local Ouzo bar that she had been to before. I wish I could have gone, but my foot was angry enough as it was, so it was best to stay off it. It was hard to believe that we were leaving the following day to travel back to the states. It was a great trip for sure.

img_3101

Ouzo

We made it back and we were all exhausted. It’s still hard to believe that I ran the original course, the one that started it all. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and if you ever get a chance, don’t say no. The opportunity may only come once. The tour group we went with was amazing. They signed us up for the race, planned everything out and worked through every detail so all we had to do was show up. If you are planning on going and running the Authentic Marathon, look up Apostolos Tours or by clicking here. I’m so glad that I went to Greece and ran there. It will be a moment that I will never forget. It was a truly awesome life experience.

Marine Corps Marathon Weekend

Well it’s been almost a month since my first fall marathon! It’s hard to believe that it was that long ago. I have to say that this was one of the most awful experiences of my life but also one of the best.

Let me start off by saying that it was absolutely awesome FINALLY meeting @stlrunnergirl aka Kristin in person (you call follow her adventures here and here). We clicked right away and we set off to have a blast for the entire weekend. We were able to have lots of fun and enjoy getting ready for the race while she was here.

We both ended up taking over an Instagram account, Inspiring Women Runners, and we enjoyed every bit of showing our weekend for everyone to see. We got a lot of comments on our behind the scenes photo of our flat runners.

img_2780

Anyways, race morning was like perfect weather. mid 50s with a high that day being in the 80s, yuck! Kristin and I got to the start line no problem. We were waiting around with everyone else and all the anxiety. We both were injured during our training, so we knew that this marathon would be tough but we could trudge through.

img_2781

The race started and I was in charge of our run/walk intervals. We were set up to run 3 minutes and walk 2. We were feeling great and we made it through mile 4, the hill up Spout Run, ugh that hill. We continued on and Kristin was being a champ! I in the mean time, not so much. I started to cramp up in my legs and by this time in the day it started to get warm. We hit the blue mile which is always emotional. After that I was walking more than running. Luckily Kristin was there to help me and when we would try to run, my calves just weren’t having it. We were on the Mall by now, and every medical tent I saw, I wanted to stop and have them take me to the end. I was almost crying, and so ready to give up. Kristin was there and telling me that I couldn’t. But I so wanted to, every step was agony.

img_6287

At one point, I stopped by the medical tent and asked for salt. I ended up eating every bit of salt that was left in the bottom of a pretzel bag along with the pretzels. Kristin was being such a trooper with my negative Nelly attitude. We ended up walking the rest of the way and I have to say that she was right, the out and backs were insane. I was filling up my water bottle at most of the stops because I was going through water like crazy. We were literally counting down the miles and we made some new friends along the way.

img_6300

We finished the marathon, but it definitely wasn’t pretty! It was more like a survival. We both were like, never freaking again. I’m done with marathons and that’s it. But I still had one 2 weeks later. Are you kidding me….who’s bright idea was that?! We made it back to our hotel and I was texting with a few others that ran and found out that they came across the same difficulty. It was mind boggling that others had the same issues and hit the same troubles around mile 10. I was definitely glad to hear that I was not the only one.

img_6331

It wasn’t long after the race was over, that I started talking about a redemption race and having to run the Marine Corps Marathon again to redeem this last marathon I had with them. I could not let that marathon be the end all be all. True runner fashion!

So, what did I do, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon lottery. I told a friend of mine that I had signed for the lottery and he goes, “I thought you swore of the 26.2 mile distance.” Yeah well, never trust what a marathoner says after the most horrendous 26.2 miles. 🙂

Saturday Morning Training Runs

I don’t know about you, but my sleep schedule has been messed up for the last week due to the Olympics. I absolutely love watching the Summer Olympics. I like Winter too, but being a former swimmer and now a runner and swim coach, there’s just something about the Summer ones that gets me every time. So as a result, my body is screaming at me for even attempting to get up at 5am to go workout.

But this past Friday night, I stayed up to watch the swimming events at night and with the heat that was taking place the next morning combined with the humidity, I just was NOT looking forward to a long run on Saturday Morning. It was the last thing I wanted to do. My running buddy on my Saturday mornings, texted and asked if we were running. Again I desperately wanted to so NO, I’m running inside. But I didn’t. I said sure and we set up a time to meet and get rolling.

Saturday morning came, and my alarm went off at 4:57am. I KNOW! It’s earlier than my weekday alarm, but I was up and ready to go in no time. I was excited to get out there with my new shoes and planned my outfit around the Olympics. I know what you’re thinking, who plans a training run outfit? Well this girl does, especially for long runs because why not?

Durning my Saturday run, my friend and I were talking about how easy it is for us to get up on a Saturday earlier than we should have to but have such a hard time during the week to get up. As we continued talking about it, we went on to say how we both enjoyed the early morning time to get our run in and to enjoy each other’s company all while talking about what happened during the week. It’s funny how the conversation goes from one topic to another and it lets the miles fly by. I’m so grateful for that.

And how perfect is this?!?! Another awesome friend of mine just texted this to me.IMG_2482

#streakingwiththeCOOLKIDS – June 2016

If you’ve never heard of PinkCupcakeGirl she is defiantly one cool lady! She’s always posting inspiring things on instagram. Definitely check her IG out when you get a chance. Well she’s hosted some of these challenges before and I ALWAYS wanted to complete one but NEVER did. I had so many excuses that would pop in my head. So I never finished one of these awesome streaking challenges before.

Well this time…I did finish it. I completed the streak and even better yet! I’ve kept my streak going. It’s funny how once you get through 30 days of “having” to do something it becomes automatic. It’s been a great way for me to get back into my training plan and running. Which brought me to a total of 58.93 miles for the month of June! YAY!

Not to mention all the cool new friends that I’ve now followed on their streaking journey. AND this awesome cool app that you can create calendar collages with. How cool is that?

IMG_1182

Marathon Training – Week 8

I can’t believe we are are already in week 8 of training. I know I picked a 30 week plan so I have 22 more weeks of running before my first marathon. You know, just saying that makes it seem like it’ll be here in no time.

My training has been spotty due to work and injuries. But that is no excuse, well maybe the injury part. Just a little bit….ok. Next week I plan to get my act back in gear with the help of Jen from PinkCupcakeGirl.

We’re going streaking!!!! During June, I’m planning on running at least 1 mile EVERY DAY! 1 mile! That’s it. You can walk it, jog it, run it, skip, hop or jump it. Just 1 mile. If you run more…great! But the key is to keep going from June 1 all the way to June 30. Think you can do it with me?

Make sure you follow myself (runnerchick29 on IG) and Jen (pinkcupcakegirl on IG) and anyone else that you want to follow during this challenge. We’ll encourage each other and make sure that we get this streak completed and rocked!

Who else is is going streaking?!

Things Happen For a Reason

I’ve had quite the last few interesting months. At one point I was working 3 jobs a day, planning a weekend for my sister and her friends to celebrate her upcoming wedding, and not to mention trying to find the time to run or even just workout.

Coaching ended so I got some of my nights back, but I was still getting up early to work at the fitness studio 3 days a week so I could have my Sunday back. That was amazing. To have one of my weekend days back, YES! I could attempt to get things done after Church. But then I did the crazy (and some may even say stupid) thing of signing up for 2 marathons that are 14 days apart. Um, say what? Yes, I signed up for 2 marathons that are 14 days apart. You can read about that craziness here. So I knew that I had to really reign in my training knowing that I didn’t want to slack and have the possibility of getting injured so that I then couldn’t participate in the second marathon. I want my Marathon Maniac status!

So I did the only sensible thing, and turned in my resignation to the fitness studio. It was a sad day, I didn’t want to do it but knew that it had to be done. But I gave them a month to find someone to take my shifts. Lucky me, they found someone sooner and so I’ve been able to start running again in the mornings. It’s been a wonderful thing.

I also think that me signing up for these 2 marathons were telling me to stop and to slow down a little. I was packing my days so full that I didn’t have time to breathe. With me now training properly, I am able to sleep, eat, talk to friends and relax when I need to.

Everything happens for a reason, even those difficult decisions to take a leap of faith and know that everything will be fine on the other side.

Race Recap – Reston 10 Miler

Sunday was a fantastic day for a run. It was nice and cool in the morning and the sun was out towards mid morning. Little did I know that I would be struggling through a 10 mile run. Well ok, I DID know I was going to struggle through my 10 mile run. I haven’t been training since I’ve been working 3 jobs finding the time to get a run in was dang near impossible. Being up at 4am and working until almost 11pm, yeah…where’s the time? I’m totally blaming my sister for the peer pressure on this one. She told me that she wasn’t going to sign up unless I did. So naturally the pressure was put on and I did sign up. You can tell me how stupid that was later. HAHA

Saturday my sister and I jetted down to Reston PR to pick up our packets since we don’t like picking up our packets before hand. We prefer having everything we need so we don’t have to worry about it that morning. She and I got to Potomac River Running in Reston and it was seamless getting our packets as it usually is. There were lots of people in the store and so we jetted out pretty quickly. I laid out my race outfit the night before and of course had to post to IG. I of course had to wear all the colors with the upcoming holiday of St. Patrick’s Day.

IMG_9022

My 10 Miler Outfit

 

Sunday came and she and I headed down to South Lakes High School. I totally wanted to bail. I knew I hadn’t been running so this was not going to be a stellar run by any means. But I also knew I was going to be really, really sore the next day. We got down there to South Lakes with plenty of time and picked a parking spot. We were just hanging out in the car until about 7:30 before heading into the school to find restrooms and to hang out some more. I knew lots of people running and would find them at some point. I wasn’t ready to head out into the cold, and it wasn’t too bad that morning, but standing out there just wasn’t my idea of fun.

I was hoping to meet up with a running buddy but we crossed paths and totally missed each other! Big Bummer! The race started and I was hoping to finish in under 2 hours since I just haven’t put in the work. Oops! Don’t recommend running long distances without training but that’s exactly what happened to me. I started off running 4 minutes and walking a minute which quickly turned into running 3 walking 2. Add in the dreaded hills. (Who knew Reston was built on hills?!) I was walking up the hills because I just wasn’t running them. Yup, not doing it.IMG_9077

I did ok through mile 5. After mile 5 it all went downhill with an uphill climb. Ugh. My splits tell you exactly how I was feeling. HAHA. I kept turning around to see if I could see my friends. I didn’t know if they were in front of me or behind me. So I kept trudging along to the finish line. Oddly enough this race was mostly right hand turns. HAHA. There’s 1 or 2 left hand turns on the race course and so when I hit that first one, I knew we were almost done. YAY!

I finished in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 54 seconds! Just under the 2 hour mark. Thanks goodness! I freaking survived. Woohoo! That was something to celebrate! It wasn’t a pretty 10 miles, maybe pretty for 5 miles, but the Reston 10 miler is always a great course with great race support.

Thanks to Potomac River Running for another great event. I’ll surely be back.

Marathon #3 – Athens, Greece

I have super huge news! My sister, uncle and I had been discussing this for quite some time. And some time being around a year or so. We started last year talking about signing up for the Original Marathon. The one that started it all! Athens, Greece!!!!!!

IMG_8473

Serious discussions started when we were at my Grandmother’s funeral in August. I kept thinking that this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and how exciting that it would be. I’ve never run any races with my uncle. My sister and I have done a handful of half marathons, a decent amount of 5ks together and a handful of other races. But this will be the first time we are all running a marathon together. My uncle and my sister are going to blow me out of the water. They are amazing runners and I can’t wait to experience this with them. It’s going to be one pretty awesome experience.

If you don’t know the history behind the marathon here is a mini recap for you. The original marathon started after the Battle of Marathon when Pheidippides ran from Marathon, Greece to Athens, Greece to relay the victory to the citizens. Unfortunately he was only able to exclaim, “We were victorious!” before he collapsed and died. Now, I don’t want that to happen to us that are running that marathon. And it’s hard to believe that us runners still compete in the marathon event after such a horrible start.

Last night we booked our trip and I’m so glad that my Mom is going with us to experience this with us. She won’t be running but she’ll be there with open arms and our official photographer (She doesn’t know that yet). To say that I’m geeking out about where the finish line is would be an understatement. I’m super excited to be finishing (fingers crossed) in the 1896 Olympic Stadium. Any athlete’s dream, well at least mine!

2015 In Review

Happy New Years Eve! This year seems to have flown by. There’s been a lot of things that have happened. Some really awesome and amazing experiences and then some not so great ones. I think that happens in everyone’s life and just how you deal with it and make the best of every situation.

January 2015 started out amazing. My swimmers were determined to have a great rest of the winter season and we certainly did. By the time conferences happened, they made it known they wanted to make it to states and still love every second. Which they did. January 16th also brought one of the most exciting “OMGsh” moments of the year, I decided to sign up for the NYC Marathon lottery knowing that my chances were slim to none about getting in. More on that later. I didn’t run too much in January. In fact I only ran 6 times for a total of 23.14 miles! I had made my goal of 1000 miles in 2015 and yeah not off to a great start.

IMG_3991

On the pool deck coaching my swimmers!

February came around and it was just as fun as January. I was still coaching and we got some snow. My swimmers did amazing at regions and states and we saw some of our seniors graduate. February brought back memories of my very first ever half marathon from 2012, the Disney Princess half. I will never forget running down Main Street in Magic Kingdom and it will always hold a special place in my heart. February didn’t bring lots of running either and I had 2 half marathons to prepare for in March. I did complete a 5k, a 10k and a virtual half marathon. My monthly total for February was 26.54 miles, still a long way from my 1000 mile goal.

16286859920_b63bd8fbea_o

March blew in with a vengeance. I had a very ambitious goal of 2 half marathons 8 days apart. Who ever thought this was a fantastic idea, me, was crazy. I ran the DC Rock ‘n Roll half with 2 great friends and had a great time even though it RAINED the entire time! It was fine when I was running but after I was sooooo cold. Then just 8 days later, I ran the VA Beach Shamrock Half which was so much fun. It was flat and a great course and great people along the route. My plantar fasciitis was really killing me but I survived and completed my 8th half marathon. The other HUGE thing that happened in March was the lottery results of the NYC Marathon, and yes I GOT IN! My first try and I was accepted! I was in total shock but in awe of the year I was going to have. I was super excited. My total mileage for March was 35.69. Better but still a long way off.

image2

Me and my new friends…the racing Presidents!

April brought in spring and my marathon training started. I decided to opt for a long training plan because I had not been running the entire first 3 months like I would have liked. So I figured I would start slow and steady and get to the end. I also ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler which turned into 9.5 miles due to some unforeseen circumstances on the race course and we all had to be diverted. That was a fun race, and we had a FANTASTIC day for it. I would run that race again in the future, it would just be hard to beat the full blooms of the cherry blossom trees and the great weather. April brought 39.88 miles for me.

IMG_4833

Obligatory Selfie with the Cherry Blossom Trees

May, couldn’t believe it was May already. May brought on 10 training runs, with 3 of those being races. So it was defiantly not my month. I got to run the color run for the 5th time, think I enjoy that race? I also got to run Carter’s Walk 5k to support Dandy-Walker Syndrome and then the DC Wine Country Half at the end of may. Did someone say wine? It was a great race. It was my slowest ever half marathon since I had not trained for it, but I did finish and had a blast with my 2 friends who were training for their first marathon and ran it was well! I had 40.37 miles. Getting there but still not quite where I should be.

IMG_5155

Enjoying all the colors in May!

June was a an ok month. My training started to slide for the NYC Marathon and I was still in the low mileage month. I traveled to Jekyll Island for a work trip and had an absolute blast, although we did get diverted to Pittsburgh on the way home which then ended up in a car for 4 hours and getting back to DC around 4:30am. I did go into work that day around 11am and I was in my comfy clothes for sure. June also brought me admitting to myself that I was not as healthy as I assumed I was. You can read about that post here. I got to see 34.45 miles during June which brought my 2015 total to 200.07 miles! Do you think I’m going to hit my 1000 miles for 2015 goal?

IMG_5319

A very brutal 3.88 Miles on Jekyll Island

July was a quick month which had the anticipation for our family vacation to Cape Cod. We always love going to the Cape and enjoy the early mornings and how serene it can be. July also had impromptu trips to Swarthmore, PA to visit my grandmother and needing to do a 7 mile training run while up there. Also I got to really hang out with my cousin who is 10 years older than me and that really was the first time we had to talk and get to know each other and that was fun. At the end of July I had a very low 28.92 miles. Yikes, but I do love running on the Cape!

IMG_5718.JPG

Running on the Cape with my Sister!

August was the heat of the summer and also saw some somber times. My grandmother died on her 97th birthday! I was so glad to have gone up the month before to see her. My cousin that is living in Hong Kong came back over for the funeral and my cousin and his wife from Iowa drove out for the funeral. It was great to have everyone there and to really spend time with them. I think we were up until midnight or later talking and drinking and having fun. Something we have never done. There were not a lot of miles for August. OOPS. Even with the NYC Marathon looming, oh well. I had a total of 23.78 miles. Yeah, not hitting my 1000 mile goal. I’ll save that for another year.

IMG_6130.JPG

My amazing Uncle, Sister and I getting ready to go for a morning run!

September was amazing. I got a new boss at work (thank the Lord) and it saved me a lot of stress. September was also dreadful since the lump in my breast that I found last year and got tested (everything turned out ok) grew. New worry. So there were a lot of unknowns. I also was still training for my marathon and well that just was not going well. At this point I didn’t know what to expect for my marathon and it brought on a lot of anxiety. I got to run the Color Run again! Time number 6! What really helped in September was a friend of mine who would text me on Friday and ask if I wanted to go on a long run with her. It’s always better when you run with friends. Even though I didn’t want to a few times, I knew I needed to and I am forever grateful to her for having me along for the run! I had a total of 43.57 miles in September.

IMG_6298

October brought on the 30 day countdown to the NYC Marathon and my sister’s Marine Corps Marathon and a goal that she has been working towards for the majority of the year. I ran the Marine Corps 10k as my last long run before my marathon the week after hers and I discovered a little gem in covering my watch and just going by the feel of it when it vibrates to tell me when I needed to run or walk. Huge for the following week when I went to NYC. We had a blast and I’m a proud sister to have her achieve her goal of being able to apply for the Boston Marathon! She’s amazing and tells everyone that I got her into run, which I did. So next September she gets to apply! My fingers are crossed for her! This was my taper month, YAY! Who doesn’t love taper? October was also filled with doctor appointments to figure out why my lump grew and what to do about it. Ultimately, the doctor decided that removal and surgery was the best option and luckily I could postpone that until after the marathon. I had 51.46 miles for the month! Best month to the year!

IMG_6697.JPG

Getting ready to run one of my last long runs on the C&O Canal

 

November was my marathon month! The NYC Marathon!!!! I was super stoked and scared all at the same time. We had a great day for it, great weather and I couldn’t ask for a better experience. The people that lined the race course to the messages of encouragement I got on Facebook and text messages were amazing. You can read my race recap here. Soon after that was my surgery to remove my lump in my breast. It went better than expected and I was home at my mom’s house by 10 the morning of surgery. I stayed off my legs and running until December 6th when I had a 5k scheduled. It was good so I could let myself heal and not pull the stitches out. I had a total of 26.78 miles for the month of November. Just the marathon.

IMG_6984

My medal! It’s beautiful!

The year went by so quickly and December was here before I knew it. I had a 5k scheduled for December 6th. I did great for just having surgery a few weeks before. I finished and had a good time. Coaching started again and therefore we had our meets as well. I didn’t run in December besides the 5k since the 3 jobs and my swim meets were getting in the way and I would need sleep at some point. December is also my birthday month! YAY! Happy Birthday to me! So I only had 3.16 miles in December and 177.68 for the second half of 2015!

WLUZ9362

2015 has been a fun year especially when I look back on it and think of all my friends that I have made in different states and friends here in Virginia. I can’t ask for better running friends and better friends period. Ones that text me and ask to go running or to figure out what races we all are doing. It has been an amazing year full of 377.75 miles! Way less miles than what I wanted and shooting for but miles are still miles. Lets see if I can beat 377.75 miles in 2016. Seems doable. HAHA.

2016 will bring on lots of new adventures and my first international race! I can’t wait! I hope you all have had a spectacular 2015! Cheers to 2016!

Let’s talk Inner Age and Blood Tests

A few months ago I took the plunge and took the Ultimate Test from Inside Tracker, www.insidetracker.com. I was scared of the results but also wanted to better myself and be ready to make the change. The results I got back were definitely not the results I thought and they were much worse than I expected. You can read about it here, I’ve Been in Denial.

Well, about a week ago, I took the plunge for another round of tests. Lots of things have changed in my personal life since the first test was taken. New boss at work, another job (adding to what I already have on my plate), surgery, a marathon, you name it there was lots of changes. I was able to get an early morning appointment so I didn’t have to go long without food. YAY! I was nervous about the results and I actually forgot about them until the email showed up in my inbox early last Friday morning.

I anxiously opened it and totally forgot my password since I was not on my normal computer. But I got in! That’s all that matters. I took a look at my results and starting going through them like a champ. There was lots that I needed to work on from the first round. This time through when I just logged in I could see that I had 4 that were at risk, 9 that need work, and 15 that were optimal. Compared to last time, I had 5 at risk, 11 needed work, and 13 that were optimal. Scary right! I was relieved that I was able to improve and that there is always room for improvement.

The biggest difference from the last test to this one, was my liver functions. I was able to get out of the at risk zone! Before I had 1 marker that was at risk, 2 that needed work and 1 that was optimal. This time, I had 3 optimal and 1 that needed work. This was such a huge relief to see. I did try hard to not drink as much as I had been before. I still have my wine from time to time.

image001

Another area that saw another huge improvement was the oxygen transfer and blood function. Before I had 1 at risk, 3 that needed work and 1 that was optimal. This time around I was able to improve to where I had 1 that needed work and 3 that were optimal! Great news right?!

The biggest shock to me last time was my Inner Age. I was a shocking 52.7. I was 31.5 at the time I took that test. Can you imagine what went through my mind when I got those results. 52.7!!!!! Holy heck something was really wrong. I was nervous getting these results back this time. I knew that I could have eaten better, could have done more workouts, and taken vitamins to make it better. But I hadn’t. Go figure. So when I got to this page of the results I was so happy and excited to see that I was now a 45.4 year old. I’ll be 32 next week so I’m getting there! I was able to add some years to my life! YAY! Now to bring it down a wee bit more and to make me 32 or younger, now that would be awesome. Raspberries, blackberries, avocado, and spinach better watch out. I’m coming for you!

image001image001

I still need to work on my Vitamin D. That did not fair any better than last time and is still at risk. OOPS! Other markers that still need work is the strength and endurance ones. I hope that I’m able to get those in check the next time around.

image001

What’s great about Inside Tracker is that they recommend foods to help counteract the results if they need work (as you can see in my examples above). It is so helpful to have that information. Most often, you are told that something just isn’t right and then here take this pill to help. Well that pill may help in one area but defeat another. What good does that do? I was able to take their recommendation and get some Vitamin D3 and Vitamin E to help with some of the markers along with eating the foods that they recommend. Now, I will indulge every once in awhile and sure have those wings or pizza. But I need to make better conscience choices about what I’m getting ready to put in my mouth to fuel my body.

I would definitely recommend Inside Tracker. Lots of people use it for different things and to optimize their training, weight loss/management, and everything in between. Contact them and they can help you determine what the best type of test is for you. I’m really glad that I’ve taken this step this year and can’t wait to see what next year’s results bring.