elisariva

Seizing life's joys and challenges physically, mentally, and emotionally.


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California International Marathon

I would love to report I had a PR in PR – pouring rain. But alas it escaped me. I did run my third fastest marathon with an unofficial time of 5:30:12. For my seventh marathon in by far the most challenging conditions, I will take it with joy. I have run two marathons where both of my legs cramped up from calf to quad for the last thirteen miles – that was tough and I was much slower than today. But never have I run in a complete downpour with twenty mile per hour winds – until today.

The start had a steady rain and for the first mile we ran right into the wind. From miles two through five we were a bit shielded from the wind. I ran in a garbage bad to protect me more from the wind than rain. I knew I would get wet. By 1.7 miles I ditched the bag. The good thing about the day was the temperature – 58 degrees consistently so I didn’t need gloves. I wore a short sleeve shirt with shorts, a nylon vest, and arm warmers. One painful lesson – wear body glide under the elastic of the arm warmers. I chaffed terribly. At mile five two things happened. We turned into the wind again and then the consistent pouring rain turned into a torrential down pour. I am not exaggerating. By mile ten the rain returned to the steady pour. At an intersection around 10.5 we crossed a flooded intersection. The triathlete in me instinctively took over and I ran with high knees through the ankle deep water. I never thought open water swimming would help me in a marathon. So, even though I had on my Goretex trail shoes, water got in through the ankle and I was running in water filled shoes. Surprisingly, by the half marathon mark I was still on target for a PR.

The California International Marathon is billed as a net down hill race. Stress net – yes it does end up dropping 320 feet, but the first 16 miles are rolling hills. Climb 80, run down 100. Climb 150 run down 180. Over and over. By sixteen miles I was coming close to missing a PR. The rain finally reduced to a drizzle at that point, but I was spent. It was an exhausting experience and I still had ten miles to go. My hamstrings were screaming and I had not walked at all. At this point I decided to walk a minute each mile. That worked and at mile twenty a few good things happened. The rain stopped, the sun came out, and the local Caldwell Banker office had a huge “Hit the Wall” celebration. That gave me enough energy to get to mile twenty one. Then the extreme fatigue and pain hit. I kept running, but my pace was slowing and my heart rate wasn’t. At this point I just wanted to finish. I knew it wouldn’t be a PR, but I wanted to finish in 5:30. And that I did.

Along the hardest parts I had many of the self doubts marathon runners have. “I am never doing this again.” “I am not sure I will even do the Syracuse 70.3 in June.” “I am getting too old for this.” Now that I am a few hours past that (and in beautiful San Francisco as I write), I can not say with certainty that my doubts have passed. Yes, I am entertaining a marathon maybe next year, but far from committing. I love the half marathon and will continue running those distances. I love triathlon, but I need time to think on committing to 70.3 or, yikes, even 140.6. From February through today I have done a lot. I have run three half marathons, a five miler, a 10K, a ten miler, three sprint triathlons, a half iron triathlon, and a marathon. Eleven races in eleven months and a sprained ankle that kept me from racing in April. The rest of December will be my recovery month. I will continue to train, more swimming, but no serious hard workouts. I did have a sign today that may lead me to think my doubts will pass. I was in Union Square here in San Francisco texting a friend about my doubts. I turned around and saw this:

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It isn’t over yet…


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Trust Believe Run

I made it to Sacramento safely and on time. Actually a little early. My rental car pick up went smoothly and I found the hotel easily last night. So far all is going well. This morning I ran easy for 15 minutes just to get the blood flowing in my legs. It was raining and about the same temperature expected tomorrow – around 58 degrees. This was a good chance to get a feel for what to wear tomorrow. I mapped a route from my hotel to the race finish area and back that was about 1.5 miles round trip. If it is going to be raining at the finish, I want to know exactly how to get back to my hotel as quickly as possible. My run was just over 15 minutes and I have a good feel for the area. As for what to wear, I know long sleeves and a rain jacket will be too much. I was covered but warmed up after a mile. Too much coverage to run 26.2 miles. I am thinking a short sleeve/arm warmer combo with a thin vest will work. The vest has enough pockets for my GU gels and to stash the arm warmers if I get too warm.

After breakfast I headed over to the expo. I am staying at the host hotel and it is perfectly located. The expo is right across the street and the finish area is a half mile away. Marathon expos are my favorite activity the day before a big race. The volunteers are excited to help and the energy of all there is invigorating. We get nice nylon back packs that double as our gear check bags tomorrow. Besides technical running shirts, we also get running gloves and a band that can be used as a headband/head cover/neck warmer. Nice extras to take back. I was surprised that not only are the timing chips worn on the shoe instead of on the back of the bib, the chips are not disposable. They are the hard plastic squares that are secured to your laces. At the finish the volunteers have to cut them off. While at the expo I picked up a few things including a nylon race cap for tomorrow. Yes, I did bring one, but this one matches my vest. It may be raining and windy, but I will still be stylin’!

Despite the weather, race weekend is going very well. The sun did pop out briefly, then the next band of rain moved in. All things considered, I am very pleased with my experience so far. Tomorrow I will take the bus to the start, which is 26.2 miles away. In previous races I have had trouble with race shuttles. They have been late and even never showed up. This is the 30th year for this race on the same course, I certainly hope it is well organized by now on transportation. All I can do now is eat a good dinner and get downstairs in the morning in time to hop on a shuttle. I am confident in my training. Wind and rain are out of my control but not something I haven’t experienced in training before. It is time to trust in my training, believe in myself, and just keep running.


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Contingency Plans

This morning my run workout was thirty minutes easy, shake out the legs. I was able to run right within my desired race pace and keep my heart rate right in zone two. Two days before a marathon, this should make me happy. While I am happy at my progress, I still have feeling of trepidation. The latest weather forecast now estimates winds at 23 miles per hour at the start. Coming from the South West, and the point to point course runs South West… I received so many comments of encouragement from my post yesterday that have given me much to think on for motivation. Thanks to Steve at Chasing Fifty, my main mantra will be “Just keep running.” And if all else fails, Jim at Fit Recovery will have me singing with Dory “Just keep swimming.” Let’s hope that is not the case.

Being a planning type A’er, I have a few contingency plans in place. Of course plan A is get to Sacramento and run the race I have been training for all these months. Worst case – my flight to Sacramento from Houston is cancelled and the race is cancelled. My plan B – get to Austin, TX tonight and visit a friend then head to San Francisco on Sunday for the rest of my vacation. Also plan B includes a run alternative. The Jacksonville Marathon in Florida is December 16th. I have enough points to fly free and the race offers same day registration. Not to mention it is a flat course. Then there is plan C – I make it to Sacramento but the race is canceled or the weather prevents me from finishing – Jacksonville is still an option.

To many it may seem silly. I am writing from the plane on my way to Houston and I have already come up with two back up plans. To me, it helps relieve stress. (And I know there are others reading this, nodding their heads, and saying “Amen sister, me too.”) My daily desire is to appreciate the day and all it brings. For me, controlling the things I have control over helps reduce stress and allow me to focus on the now. What do I have control over? Not much, but I do have control over my attitude and how I chose to perceive my surroundings. Back up plans help. The weather – well I live in Northeast Ohio, I get rain and clouds. I can’t control it. But I won’t let it get me down. One thing I know is I will enjoy the days ahead. Rain or shine.


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It Never Rains In California?

Today was a complete rest day. Normally I would go to bed by 9:30, which I did last night, and get up around 4:30, which I did not do today. I slept in until 7:15. It felt wonderful. Then I checked my messages. I find a post on Facebook from the California International Marathon that read “Folks! The CIM will NOT be cancelled this weekend. This is a rain or shine event…” The rest of the post just continued to make my stomach flip. I knew that rain was in the forecast, but now I learned that a very heavy rain storm is expected (with high winds) to last from Friday through Sunday. Joy.

Then I received an email from Jill at JoggingJeans at 8:29 this morning. She sent me a link to Team Hoyt. Dick Hoyt had recently been mentioned to her and she wanted to share his story with me. I was familiar with the story but didn’t know his name. His son, Rick, was born a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. In sum – Dick now competes in running events and triathlons (including several Ironman races) to raise awareness and funds for his charity. Oh and he brings his adult son Rick along with him. The entire race. I read Jill’s email and replied thanking her. The timing was perfect. Aware of the story, I know a little rain (or torrential downpour) is not a huge challenge compared to what Dick Hoyt voluntarily puts himself through for a wonderful cause. Jill replied writing that she watched the video on the site and was struck that Dick is not a young man, he is in his 60’s and still competing. As for the timing of her encouragement, well we both agree there had to be some divine intervention involved.

I was running late this morning since I slept in, so I didn’t take the time to watch the video. All day the weather in California did stay on my mind. I even searched for other marathons in December that are not full that I could run in the even the race actually is cancelled or worse yet I am not able to finish. I knew I wanted to incorporate Jill’s email into this post, so when I finally finished all I needed to do this evening, I watched the video on the web page. Watch it. Please. I was so moved by a video only as long as the song playing. The pictures tell it all.

My perspective has changed for this weekend. My greatest concern now is just having a safe flight in tomorrow to Sacramento. Once I am there, what happens – happens. Strong wind and rain are forecasted, as long as I am able to make it through the race I will do so. Yes I am frustrated that I have trained so much and so hard for this race. I have it in me to set a personal record. The common thread in all reports on the CIM site is “don’t expect a PR in this weather.” Okay…. My goal now is to finish. I have friends I will see both at the race and then I am off to San Francisco and Napa Valley for a few days. What really is important? The quality of my race or the quality of my life with those dear to me? I will take those dear to me.


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Eighteen

I have gone from counting down weeks until my marathon to counting down days. Eighteen. Once again perspective is everything. If I had to wait eighteen days for an order from Amazon I would think that is a very long time. Knowing I will be running 26.2 miles in eighteen days seems like it is too soon. Way too soon. My immediate positive self talk is to remind myself I have the training in. I have run several long runs longer than when I trained for my last marathon and that one I set a personal best record. I still have one more twenty mile run this weekend to condition my body. Knowing this helps. A little. I am also encouraged because I received a text today from a friend in San Francisco who will definitely be there to cheer me on. To all reading this who have cheered friends on at races – from 5K to marathon – it means SO much.

My workout this morning was a speed run. After a two mile warm up I ran 12 one minute repeats fast with a one minute jog in between followed by a one mile cool down. I chose 6.8 again on the treadmill, which is close to a 8:50 minute mile pace. I was able to sustain the pace for all of the repeats and I even kicked it up to 7.2 for the twelfth one. I have two more speed workouts before the race – in eighteen days. The goal of those will be similar to what I did last week, a few repeats of long intervals. Again, I will probably target 6.8. This is my stepping stone to my next goal 5K time. Notice I said stepping stone. I do not have a “goal” pace I want to achieve. That is limiting, I would rather see how fast I get over time. But I know the next step is to break 9:00 pace. (Ah, nine, half of 18)

This evening I did my new resistance workout. I have many more step ups, side steps down, lunges, side crunches, and balancing acts than ever. Gone are my chin ups (sad) but in place are several repeats of one arm lat pull downs while sitting on a stability ball. My core darn well better have a six pack by the time I am finished with these core exercises. There it is again – six, a third of eighteen. (Hint – I am a numbers person through and through)

As I count down the days, I also want to remember to enjoy each day as it comes. Living for “one day”, whether it is one day soon or one day maybe, is dangerous. Life passes by and goes unnoticed. So I will also look at today and make it count. It sure was a jam packed day when I look at all I did in between workouts. For today, my eighteen will be made up of the number of only a fraction of people and blessings I am grateful to have in my life. That is an eighteen that neither too long or too short. It is just right.


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Perspective and Success

When I started training for my first marathon 13 years ago I started with absolutely no running base at all. I remember the thrill I had when I ran my first 9 mile training run. I couldn’t believe I was able to run (and walk a bit) that far. As my training progressed, I reached the “real” long runs that were 14 to 20 miles long. Every other week the coach scheduled a shorter long run of 12 miles in between the longer runs. By the end of my training my thought process – or perspective – had completely changed. I went from marveling at running 9 miles to looking at my training scheduled and actually saying “I only have 12 miles to run.”

That was 13 years ago. Today I had a shorter long run of 14 miles and I was so excited that it was all I had to run. That perspective just keeps changing. It wasn’t easy though. The first nine miles were run at my marathon goal pace. The California International Marathon (CIM) has a net elevation loss of 320 feet, but the race organizers stress it is not a downhill course. The first half has several rolling hills and it is important to pace yourself. After talking it over with my trainer, my plan is to run 11:30 pace the first half and then pick it up to 11:00 pace the second half. My primary goal is to finish and set a PR. My previous PR is 5:19:19, I am targeting 5:00. If I break 5:00 I will be thrilled.

Today I ran out and back on the towpath on a section that picks up about 80 feet in elevation the first half. So the first 7 miles I was consistent at keeping 11:30 pace. I felt good and my heart rate stayed in the upper zone two lower zone three range. At the turn around I picked up the pace as the elevation was slightly decreasing and was able to keep 11:08 pace for miles 8 and 9.  A good trial run at race pace and I was pleased. The last 5 miles I took a bit easier, but I still finished strong and with my goal time for the day.

Several bloggers who are newer to running and triathlon have expressed similar amazement at their accomplishments and commented that they don’t even think of doing the distances I haven done this year. I remind them that it is only a matter of time before they are on this side of the curve. A good friend of mine has told me for years that there is always someone faster and someone slower. I still consider myself slow, I just have decent endurance. But I am getting faster – according to my standards and my perspective. And that is what it is all about. Yes I participate in races. My biggest rival is myself. Thousands of people participate in races like CIM, but only six people really receive the official honors – the top three men and women. There is expected to be 8,000 runners in this race. Of that, 7,994 participants just want to do their best. Well maybe 7,990, I always feel so bad for the fourth and fifth finishers… But my point is it only matters how I do to me. I may be dead last in my age group, but if I set a personal record – I am thrilled. What matters is the bar I set for myself in life, not the judgement of anyone else. That is part of seizing the day.


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Mindful Run

Six weeks from today is the California International Marathon. That phrase also became one of my mantras today while I ran my 16 mile long run. My run this morning was one of my best longs runs ever. The day was was perfect for running – sunshine, low 50’s and little to no wind. Again I went to the towpath in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for the flatter terrain. As I started out, I could tell it was going to be a great run. My pace was over a minute per mile faster than last week and my heart rate stayed in my zone 2. I felt so good I actually started to become a bit concerned. If I kept at the pace I was running, I feared I would burn out early. It took effort but I did pull back a bit. By the time I finished my first 8 miles I was still feeling strong.

The second half was a bit slower, but not by much. Since I started running longer than 13 miles, I have been dealing with sore hamstrings past 13 miles. This week the burn did not start to manifest itself until just before mile 15. By that point I told myself I didn’t have far to go, run through it.

All along my run I reminded myself the race is only 6 weeks away. It came into play during the first 8 miles when I wanted to push faster. Getting the miles in right now is more important that the speed. Going too hard could burn me out, or worse risk an injury. The second 8 miles the reminder helped push me through. My trainer scheduled the long run as 15 to 16 miles. I decided 16. By 11 I started toying with cutting it to 15. My race is in 6 weeks.  Okay, push on. When I started feeling the burn in my hamstrings at 14.7 (thank you Garmin) the desire to walk a bit entered my mind. Again my race is in 6 weeks. Keep running. When I finished I was spent, but happy. My pace for the entire 16 mile easy run was 34 seconds per mile faster than the 16 miles I ran last week – the run that included a few miles at race pace. This is a day to bottle up and bring out in 6 weeks.

I did do a few things that I plan on continuing until race day. I made sure to eat part of an energy waffle every hour and take an electrolyte capsule every hour. The third thing may be more psychological, but I always wear an Energy Armor negative ion bracelet. Some people claim it helps with balance and flexibility. Others say it is a scam. I have noticed I am more flexible and one thing for sure – when ever I take it off I get a little head rush. Lately I have been wearing a stainless steel bracelet that has negative ion dots on the inside of the links. It is the “regular” strength band. I also have a silicone band that is the Superband with five times the negative ion strength. I wore that one today. Better nutrition? Better electrolyte replacement? Powerful Superband? Maybe all three. Regardless, it helped because it was a great run.

Just yesterday I was talking with a friend at the pool and we were commenting about how so much that may hold us back is in our mind. Our fears of injuries returning mostly. But also we have the ability to rise above and use our minds to advance our physical ability. The same friend ran the Columbus marathon today and she set a personal record. (running 7:24 per mile!) My mantras and little changes got me through a great long run today. Sometimes it is all in the mind to make the extra push to new levels. At least that is what I think…


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Surprises For My Long Run

Honesty and truthfulness are two core values I live by. With that said, I can not lie and must say when it came to today’s run, I was dreading it. The weather forecast called for 60% chance of rain and temperatures in the mid 60’s to lower 70’s – wet, humid, ugly day. What was dread quickly turned to joy when the clouds parted, a nice breeze picked up and the sun came out. It was a lovely day to run after all!

My long run called for 16 miles – the first 10 miles easy in zone two and then picking it up the last 6 miles running at race pace. My metabolic training is paying off – I was able to run – not run/walk – the first 10 miles and keep my average heart rate at 130 – 3 beats under my zone two threshold of 133. Then came the last 6 miles – I ran race pace the first two miles. At this point I am 12 miles into my run, right where most of my longest long runs over the past three years ended. Training for half marathons has also trained my hamstrings to going into a burning rage past 12 miles. The final four miles I ran faster than the first 10, but not at race pace. I still have several long runs before the marathon to train my legs to go the distance. It was during these last four miles that I also used my mantras – I Believe I am able, I know I can do this. And I did.

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a flat to slight downhill course so I ran on the towpath in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. With the sun shining and the trees near peak color, I had beautiful scenery my entire run. A crushed limestone path, a flowing river, beautiful trees, and a leaf covered path made it all the more enjoyable. The leaves did cover one thing I didn’t expect – a snake. Garden variety I am sure, but I am not a fan of snakes. I hopped over the critter on my way out around mile 12. On my way back as I was finishing mile 14 it had made it across the path and slithered right on to my shoe as my foot landed. While I was tired and my legs hurt, I had enough adrenaline in me to yelp, hop, and fling the critter across the path. Nearly landing on the cyclist approaching me. Never a dull moment.

So I had a few surprises on my long run today. Pleasantly, the weather surprised me and provided a lovely day to run. A snake decided to sneak up on me – twice – to make sure I was paying attention – two surprises I could have done without. But most of all I surprised myself – I made it through the last leg of a tough run, I dug deep to remember my mantras to get me through the hard part, and I finished strong. Believing in my ability – I WILL do this.

After my run I visited with my dad and then came home. Before going inside I went across the street and sat on the edge of the lake I live on. My blog banner has a picture I took a few years ago of the foliage. My day was capped with the most beautiful view – another pleasant surprise on what should have been a terrible day. Here was my view.

My favorite part about living “so far out there”.


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Endings and Beginnings

Still riding high on such a great experience yesterday, this morning I was up by 7:30 AM to get to the pool and swim. My legs are sore today, a sign I gave all I had in the race yesterday. But my legs were not sore enough to keep me from swimming. I really haven’t had a good swim since the Thursday before I left for vacation. After checking in with a few friends, I knew I would be in good company today so I made it to the pool a little after 9:00 and swam 2,000 meters. One friend was already there and the pool was full, so I shared a lane with her. It felt so good to swim again, I am working right now on cleaning up my flip turns. I made sure to flip during warm up, main set, and cool down. It was a good endurance workout that kept me going with very limited breaks between sets.

Even though I spent most of last week at a spa, I could not resist spending time in the hot tub after my swim. Feeling the warm water on my legs helped to loosen them up while I stretched. I took my time getting dressed too. This is my last official day of vacation, I am going take advantage of it. Another friend made it later and she and I got to catch up before I left. Catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a few weeks was good to ease myself back into my regular routine. Although, with marathon training in full bloom, my routine has completely changed. As I have said, change is good, and so far I am enjoying it. On my way home from the gym I did something I very rarely do on weekends – I stopped in my office to go through mail, email, and organize things. Now I feel ready for the week to come with no surprises when I walk in on Monday.

Along with my vacation ending so does September. My goals for September were to do well in the half iron race as well as the half marathon. Additionally I planned on focusing on my marathon training while still swimming a few times a week. Well, without lamenting again the results of my half iron triathlon, I will say that I did well in that I finished the race despite some painful stomach issues. My swim, which I have worked so hard on all year, was very good. My training paid off. My transition times improved too. As time has passed, I am satisfied with the experience and enjoyed the time I spent with friends at the race too. My half marathon yesterday went well, so much so that I registered today for the Akron half marathon next year. Hey, when I spot a good thing, I stay with it. I am full in to my marathon training and see the benefits paying off. Swimming – I have done twice a week as planned.

So now October begins tomorrow. Wow – fourth quarter already. This Sunday I am running a 10K race on the towpath. While I am running 12 miles easy the day before, I think I have it in me to do well. My goal is anything under an hour. I also am planning a 5K race at the end of the month. This has been my PR 5K race the past two years. It would be nice to have a three-peat. As for training – I have my October running plan all lined up and I am looking forward to it. Additionally I am adding pilates once a week and a resistance workout my trainer designed for me once a week. I know I can swim twice a week, possibly three times now, and I am adding spinning. After going over with my trainer the days I would like to spin, she thinks it is worth a try spinning twice a week. If my legs are fatigued, then I will cut back to once a week. Never a dull moment indeed.

The end of vacation, the end of a month, the end of a quarter… also the beginning of a dynamic and changed training plan, a new month, a new quarter. How true it is that the one thing that stays the same is that things will change. Being a type A person who plans things out, I am learning to embrace the changes around me. What does not have to change is who I am – my values, my character, the principles I live by – all things that equip me and surround me as events go on around me. It is what defines me. All too often we define who we are by what we do – our profession, our family roles, our activities and sports. Those are roles in our lives that change with time. Strip those away and inside is who we are. Something to ponder in this ever changing world.


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Akron Road Runner Marathon and Half

My day began with my alarm going off at 3:00 AM – even for me that is early. I thought of my friends on the west coast who were probably just going to bed and here I am getting up to get ready for my race. I had a smoothie for breakfast along with my coffee – keeping full and fueling on foods that would agree with my stomach was my goal today. I met my trainer at 5:00 and we drove to Akron for the race. I must say, The Akron Marathon is the best organized running race I have participated in. From the little details to the big, they had it covered. While the start and finish were in the heart of downtown Akron, there were several parking garages open and FREE to park. The lines of port-o-potties were far longer than the lines of people waiting, briefly, to use them. The corals for starting times were very well organized and the start went off with fireworks and cheering crowds. This race was a combination of half marathon, full marathon, and relay marathon teams. In fact it boasts the largest number of relay teams for a marathon.

The day was perfect for running. The sun came up and out by 7:30, the race started at 7:00 so it was cool to watch the skies brighten, the temperature at the start was 45 degrees and probably around 55 by the finish. The course is challenging.  The lead sponsor for the race is Time Warner and the race is called the Akron Road Runner Race – a play on the internet area of Time Warner and the Looney Tunes Road Runner. The entire route is marked with a bright blue line – as if the Road Runner himself sped along and left his mark. The first six miles are relatively flat, but from six through ten it gained quite a bit of elevation and of course there was a nice incline around mile twelve before the downhill finish. The second half of the marathon is even more challenging. Growing up in Akron, I am all too familiar with the terrain the runners were turning in to when the half marathon split from the full marathon just before mile 11. The finish area is in the Akron Aeros ballpark, a double A affiliate to the Cleveland Indians (with a much better winning record as well…). Again – an incredibly well organized area. Finishers did not have far to go to get their medals, finishers caps, and the warming mylar blankets before being ushered into the food tent and then to gear bag pick up.

My experience was equally pleasing. I did not eat any gels but rather ate a Honey Stinger Waffle right before the start and half of one at mile 9.5. I brought my running bottle and hand carry case filled with Accelerade – all things I have trained with. My stomach held up very well. My legs did too, but the course did present some challenges for me. In February I set a personal best in the half marathon with a 2:19:19 in Jacksonville, FL. The course was much flatter than today’s race. The total elevation gain in Florida totaled 466 feet, today it was 2,175. Today I finished in 2:25:59 (yeah! I wanted 2:25 or better, got it by a second). I was right on pace for my marathon goal time. I compared today’s race mile for mile with the race in February. Garmin Connect breaks down the details so well. The interesting thing is mile for mile the first six miles I ran the same pace give or take a few seconds. It was just past mile six that the pace comparison began to diverge, just when the elevation picked up today. Seeing the details was encouraging for me. It was a technical course and I am focusing on training for CIM – a flat to downhill course. I looked at my results of half marathons over the years. I have run 11 races since 1999 and this was my fourth fastest. In fact all four of the fastest I have run with in less than two years. To be faster in my mid 40’s than my early 30’s is such motivation to keep at it.

My trainer did very well – she place second woman overall in the half marathon. I was so happy for her, she is very humble of her success. When I saw her, the first thing she said was she saw me finish and I looked strong. I had to ask how she did! Several of my friends participated in the half and relay, the energy was in the air, they all did well. I even ran into a guy I haven’t seen since high school who had run the race. It was so good to catch up now that we are officially “grown ups”. All in all it was a great day. I napped in the sun in the afternoon before getting up and about among civilization. My legs feel sore from the run, a sign I gave all I had, but it is a good sore. So now I end the day feeling happy and content. A long, yet wonderful day.