Insta Friends to Real Life Friends

So I started this blog over a year ago and last year the post went a lot better than this year. I don’t know, I just feel I’m not as interesting. I promise to change that as the year goes on. 🙂

We all have those friends that we know by their user name and come to look for interaction with. I have met some really awesome and wonderful friends, who I have not met yet because we met on social media but I hope that changes sooner rather than later.

I don’t know exactly when we became friends, friends, but I do know this past January I was IG stalking one of my most come to be known awesome friends as she was getting ready to run the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. Stlrunnergirl! I feel like that’s a superhero name! Anyways, I direct messaged her for her last name asking for her last name so I could track her during her races. I know, stalker right? But by this point I had followed her training and told her that she had this, and all of this too! She kindly obliged and I tracked all of her races. Not to mention, she did phenomenal! And I’m totally jealous that she has done Dopey! It’s on my bucket list. Not to mention we found out that we have the SAME first name spelled exactly the same way!!! That NEVER happens!

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A few weeks later here in Virginia, we got SLAMMED with snow. I was dog sitting so I had to clear the driveway and sidewalks so the family didn’t get hit with some fines. Mind you we got 36ish inches of snow. And yes, you read that right, 36ish. While I was over at this house we were talking constantly through the direct message from IG. We quickly learned that neither one of us were harmful and I shared my number with her. I shared lots of pictures of the snow, and boy there was lots of it to share. It literally took weeks to melt and took several days for some roads to see plows. But I still talked to my friend @stlrunnergirl.

It’s been a few months and since then and we continue to text daily! And by daily I mean that we are talking throughout the day. From sun up to past sun down. I know right. I even somehow convinced her to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon Lottery. Which we both got in, and that will be the first time that we actually meet in person! I’m so excited for that. Kristin has been an amazing encourager and supporter for all of my events throughout the year so far. I mean she event told me that she was going to run 10 miles virtually while I ran my 10 mile race without training!!!! Who does that?

I’m so grateful that I’ve met Kristin. She’s been one in a million with encouraging me and helping me through my tough running times. I’m so grateful that she agreed to come out and run the Marine Corps Marathon with me. She’s a true friend and I can’t wait to meet her in person.

Do any of you all have a friend from social media that you can’t wait to meet?

 

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.

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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.

2016 Goals

Have you ever stared off the new year with big goals? And I mean REALLY BIG GOALS?!

This year I have and the biggest one has been to train for my 3rd marathon which happens to be outside of the US and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s the original marathon, the one that started it all. The Athens, Greece Marathon! The one that ends in the 1896 Olympic stadium!

As a former swimmer and collegiate swimmer this is bigger than you realize! Just running in that stadium will be a fan-freaking-tastic memory but the fact that I will be there with my sister, cousin, and uncle will be an unmemorable memory!!

I can’t wait to make this happen and this will definitely be one of the highlights of 2016! I can’t wait to show you pictures and to make it happen! This is going be one fantastic year!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

I got it!

I got my NYC Marathon bib# and corral placement!!!🎉🎉

I’ve been so stressed about where I was going to start for the NYC Marathon. I started to think I was going crazy. I didn’t want to be in the last wave….and be freaked out by the straggler bus, so my wish came true. I’m in wave 3 (I’m not a fast runner) and I’ll be starting at 10:40am.

Now to figure out what the weather will be so I can pick out my outfit. Yes, a sparkle skirt and visor will be involved. 😀 I’m hoping that it’s not too cold and not windy. I would love to be able to run in clothes that I run in normally and not have to dress in layers. I get so hot when I run and I would really like to be able to run comfortably.

Anyone else get Wave 3 Green? Oh and I need song suggestions!!!

VA Wine Country Half – Half Marathon #9

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be still on this crazy half journey. When I started running in 2011 I thought I was crazy and totally didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I’m so grateful to be on this journey as much as I curse it sometimes…ok…most of the time.

Yesterday was half #9. It was a great morning for a run. I was nervous since the most miles I had up until that point was 3 on a training run. And in fact, I almost canceled. It was one of those things that I just knew it wasn’t going to be any record breaking personal bests or close to it. I just wanted to finish. I met up with T and D as it was their second half of their journey. It was great to share this experience with them. I’m so happy to share my experiences and what I’ve learned as they train for their first marathon this fall. The first part of the race was great! I had to stop and readjust my shoes to make the laces a bit tighter. Then they were almost too tight but they were ok. It was humid, but we had an overcast so it wasn’t humid and sunny which would have been worse. Around mile 5.5 we hit the gravel road. I thought I was going to be ok ok the gravel but oh no, I wasn’t. I ended up walking a lot of the gravel. And hills…holy hills. Around mile 9 we hit pavement again and that was awesome! It was so nice to be back on the pavement. My left hip took a hit with the unevenness of the gravel and so I’m stretching and dealing that today. I’ll be mended in no time 😉

I finished in just under 3 hours, I started my watch late oops. I’m honestly afraid to look at the results to see what my time really is. I’m disappointed in myself for not training better, but glad that I finished. It happens and we move on to the next race.

The medal was great! The bib was even better! One of the most unique bibs that I am now in possession of. It was very fitting that the run started and finished on the premises of a winery. I know cool right!

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The after party was awesome, and so glad to have some other wineries around to taste. I came home from the run and after party and showered, well got food too, and slept. I took a good 2.5 hour nap. I was even in bed early at 9. It was a long/short day if you know what I mean. It was a great day, it really was. I was happy to see the smiling faces at the finish line.

I hope you all have had a great weekend thus far and it continues to be great today!

Cheers!