It’s Been A Good Run (No Pun Intended)

Dear Interwebs,

I wish I could make this short and sweet.  I wish I had it in me to just say “it’s been real” but I have always been a woman of many words and this is no exception.

I started this blog in February of 2009 with no real expectations except to journal what would come to be an extraordinary journey.  At the time, I was only a few months out of a relationship that left me eating way too much breyers and drinking way too much pinot grigio.  I had woken up one day in December with a renewed sense of energy, yet no idea with that to do with said energy.  I was always someone who went to the gym- a few days a week to bike, lift or take a class here and there.  I was in relatively good shape prior to the break up but within six weeks I went up a solid three sizes.  Let me repeat that for you…six weeks, three sizes.  Working out was really only keeping me from completely blowing out of control.  So it was time for a change. 

I decided that morning that I would run a 5k.  And by run, I mean jog.  And by jog, I mean walk.  I started walking on the treadmill four days a week.  It never really occured to me to run .  But then something weird happened after a week or so…I had the urge to run.  Unfortunately, my lungs did not share in the urges.  The thing is, I was a smoker.  Running and smoking don’t mix.  At all.  So one had to go.  Bye, bye smoking.  Hello running 🙂

Since I was working my way to finishing a 5k, at some point I felt it was necessary to actually find a 5k.  I began searching the internet and found triathlon.  Hmmm….I thought to myself, “I can do that” and without another thought, I signed up.  I actually signed up for my first tri 7 months in advance, having not known how to ride a bike and without being able to run more than 1/4 mile without stopping.  It took me 15-17 minutes to finish a mile, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO RIDE A BIKE and yet…there I was signed up for a triathlon. 

I learned how to ride a bike and with a lot of hard work and dedication started running 9-10 minute miles.  I got back into shape and felt amazing.  And I started signing up for races.  I became a runner and a triathlete.

And that my friends is how it all began

I have completed:

Ten 5k’s

Six 8k’s

One 15k

One 7-miler

One 10-miler

Six Half-Marathons

Two Duathlons

Thirteen Triathlons



And this my friends is how it ends.

Today, it’s almost 4 years exactly since I woke up that morning ready to change my life.  Running and triathlon have done exactly that- my life has been forever changed in ways I cannot accurately put into words.  And whether you have been reading my blog from the beginning or only recently, you have been able to follow me in this amazing journey.  I wrote my high highs and my low lows.  I met amazing people.  I faced insane challenges.  I fell and rose above.  I never faltered on my one mantra: Finishing is Winning. 

And I am not done yet- this journey continues.  I have at least one ten-miler and three half-marathons planned and I am looking to do the Tough Mudder all in 2012.  There may be a few more tri’s left in me- relays for sure- but I don’t know.  I do know I will never stop running. 

But, it is time to stop blogging.

This blog has taken me so many places (the best of which were Florida and Boston) and through here I have “met” and met so many, amazing and  wonderful people.  There were times when this blog is what kept me going- your comments are what kept me honest about who I was and what I was doing.  Your support was always with me– during training and in every raceYou were all there.

But this blog has run its course.  (Again, no put intended)

The dead truth is this- I have decided to take back my personal life.  Throughout my marathon training I was facing some tough stuff.  Things have gotten a lot tougher in the weeks following the race.  And I am at a place in my life where I cannot keep this blog and NOT talk about my personal life…and I just can’t be THAT open right now.  Or maybe ever again.

For every post you ever read.  For every comment you ever left.  For the awards.  For the encouragement.  For the friendship.  For being a part of what made me feel human again.  For everything.  Thank you.

With love,

Onelittletrigirl ♥

(I have email and facebook! Please keep in touch 🙂 )

Best Time Of My Life! Philadelphia Marathon Race Report!

Back when the marathon was only a wee dream I had, I always said that if I ever did one, it would be Philly.  Having grown up in South Jersey, just over the bridge, I have always felt as though I related with Philly.  I grew up taking my class trips there, spent my high school years walking around different parts of the city and yes, even spent a few years in the “club” scene.  When I turned 21, I spent many a nights partying it up on the streets of Philly.  It was only natural that when I started running, I would race in Philly.  First Broad Street, then the Philly 8K, followed by the half-marathon two years in a row…and then…the marathon!

I started planning to do the Philly Marathon back in 2009- but the truth is, I just wasn’t ready.  For a number of reasons, I just didn’t think it was the right time for me.  Round two, I planned for 2010.  Then I got hurt.  The injury took away my entire spring racing season and as a result I packed in racing all summer and was burnt out by fall.  I completed the Philly Half last year and consider it to date my best half- marathon.  When I finished that race, I knew 2011 was my year for the marathon.  And when it came time to register on April 1, I clicked marathon.  And,I knew the third time would be the charm!

So fast forward a few months from signing up and the training began…and it was not easy.  As always, I was fighting through injuries.  There were many moments where I questioned what the hell I was doing and if it would all be worth it.  But I kept training.  In the rain, on the treadmill, without music and always alone.  I knew from the start that it would be vital to me to be mentally prepared for hours of running.  To be mentally prepared for anything and everything.  I knew from my first long run…really long run…that none of this would be easy.  But I was determined to make it fun.

And then it was November.  And before I knew it, it was race weekend.  One of the best decisions I made in this process was getting a hotel room.  We had a room for my parents and R2 and I had a room.  This could not have worked out better.  I was .5 miles from the expo and .8 from the race site.  Perfect!  The expo was good but fast for me.  I was disappointed that the K-Tape people weren’t there as I hoped to get my calves taped, but they weren’t and I got over it quick.  We were at the expo for about an hour and then for me it was back to the hotel for rest, rest and more rest! After getting all my things laid out, some dinner and a bath it was time for sleep.  I was stunned to have slept as well as I did.  I woke up feeling calm and ready to go.

We left about 30 minutes before the race start and headed down for some photos.  The nerves were kicked in and I was feeling stressed out- but before I had too much time to think about it, the race was starting.  My mom and R2 headed down to mile 1 where I would see them first and I got in my corral.  The plan was for my mom and R2 to see me at Mile 1, Mile 6 and Mile 14.  My dad and teammates would meet up with them at the finish.  Knowing when I would see people made getting from point to point a lot easier.  I think the best way to break it down is to go a few miles at a time.

Miles 1-5:  I totally missed my mom, R2 and my friend Brian at Mile 1.  I wasn’t too concerned though as it was the beginning and I was feeling great.  I had started with the 5 hour pacer but realized quickly that (probably due to my training) I wanted to run alone.  Around Mile 2, I saw a few teammates and I was so happy.  I wasn’t even listening to my IPOD at this point because the energy from the crowds was so awesome.  I skipped the first water stop and headed into Mile 3.  I took my first walk break at the second water stop.  My plan all along, like my training, was to walk the water stops.  At least for the first half I was hoping to do no other walking than through stops.  At the same time, I also told myself that if I had the urge to slow down or walk, that was okay too.  Mile 4 was uneventful except that I had to pee.  I tried to ignore it but I knew I had to stop and go.  I saw my chance at the next porta-potty and felt thankful that there were only three other people in line.  I was glad I stopped because I felt a million times better having gone.  As I headed into Mile 5, the magnitude of what I was doing was starting to hit me.  I could feel that I was going to fast and I started to feel overwhelmed.  The 5 hour pacer passed me and I had a moment of feeling like I needed to catch up but then quickly determined that if I did that, I would not be running my own race.  So I stuck to my guns and kept moving at my solid, comfortable, slow pace.

Miles 6-10: I received a text from my mom letting me know where to look at Mile 6 and before I knew it, I was there.  I spotted her sign like four blocks away!!!  I threw them my jacket, flashed a smile, got a pic and kept on moving.  I was feeling AWESOME!  The awesome feeling stuck around until just into Mile 7 when I started to feel a blister.  It would have been too easy to focus on the pain so I stuck my IPOD in and put it out of my head.  Miles 9 & 10 were the toughest for me in the first half…I was running slow and I had to stop again to use the bathroom…but I was feeling good and running happy.  By the time I reached Mile 10, I could hardly believe I only had 16.2 to go.  I was trying to take it all in, but the time was ticking fast!

Miles 11-15: The person who designed the split at mile 13 should know that there is a special seat in hell waiting for them.  Not only do we have to head the guy on the megaphone tell us “You are almost there!” as he yells out to the half’ers but the split is on an UPHILL and I had to watch as not only the half’ers finish but as the marathon leaders come into finish as well.  This was mentally the most difficult part for me.  I was so thankful that I had decided to have my mom and R2 at Mile 14.  I went through the half point at 2:38 and was thrilled.  My goal was to get through the half by 2:45 so this was a huge boost for me.  (My half PR is 2:23.)  Just before the Mile 14 marker I saw my mom…and to my surprise my Uncle Mark was there and my best friend Jessica.  What a great surprise!!!!  The other surprise was that R2 was not there- I felt crushed…I immediately started to get upset.  He went to get food and I could not believe he was missing me.  Knowing I wouldn’t see him again until the finish made me so sad.  Luckily, my mom had texted him and he was able to get back in time.  I took this opportunity to take some advil, eat a banana and take a few photos.  I was so glad I did this- not only did I need the real food but it was such a lift to see everyone.  As they sent me into Mile 14, I felt so strong.  It was getting hot out (high of 64!!!), my feet were tired, I was tired, I was sick of GU already but still, I felt strong.  Mile 15 was a run/walk mile and it was here I met Kristy.  It was also her first marathon- and her plan was much the same as mine.  We chatted for a few minutes and then went on running.  Meeting people along the course would prove to be one of the most helpful things for me getting to the finish.  Especially as the time progressed.

Miles 16-20:  As I headed into Mile 16, I became emotional for the first time.  It dawned on me all I had left was a Broad Street Run.  It was also when the 5:30 pacer passed me.  I had held them off for 16 miles- that was the bright side.  And in this race, there was nothing other than bright sides.  Into Mile 17, I met Donna.  Donna was running Philly for the 19th time.  She was older, and had come into the race wanting to BQ as she had a few times in her past.  At Mile 12, she got a cramp and watched as her pace group passed.  She was still so happy to be running, so energetic and still loving the run.  She was, without knowing it, reassuring me that I was running the right race for me.  I ran with Donna for a little over a mile, mostly quietly but chit-chatting at times.  Eventually, we came upon her husband- she stopped and I went on.  Miles 18-20 were tough.  As I headed downhill into Manayunk, all I could think about was the uphill back out of Manayunk.  I was slowing down even more, and for the first time starting to feel down.  That changed real fast when I realized that at Mile 20 I was entering uncharted territory.  I had no idea what to expect beyond Mile 20 but I knew I needed to snap back into my strong mental game.  The timing was perfect because the energy in Manayunk was great and I was really feeling it.  I texted my mom, “I think I’ll for for a 10K today :)” and put my positive mental game into overdrive!

Miles 21-26.2:  Just before Mile 21, I saw my friends Greg and Dee.  They had planned to run with me and I couldn’t have been happier to see them.  It gave me such a boost and we all started running together.  Then came Mile 22 and the unexpected- a foot cramp.  I had been prepared for hip pain, knee pain, ITB pain, PF pain and shin pain.  But this was the top of my left foot.  Hello marathon curve ball!!!  The pain was so bad, I couldn’t run.  At all.  I was relegated to walking until I could get it out.  Greg gave me some advil and we kept going one foot in front of the other.  Greg and Dee were amazing- kept telling me how awesome I was doing and kept my spirits up by asking me about the race to that point.  Eventually though, I had to stop.  My foot was screaming.  It happens that Greg is also my podiatrist (lucky me!) and he was able to assess quickly after I took off my shoe that it needed to be re-laced.  I was swelling so bad that my show was cutting off the circulation in my foot.  From this point I did almost all walking.  It was a tough pill to swallow but having come that far already there was no stopping me.  I was going to finish!  At Mile 25, I decided come hell or highwater, I was running.  And run I did…for the last 1.2 miles.

The finish line: It is hard to describe how I felt at those moments.  The experience was bigger than myself.  I could see my friends, parents and R2 all at the finish, screaming with excitement for me.  It was a long journey but I had done it.  There really is no feeling like it.

The best thing I did for myself was mentally prepare.  I relied on that many times throughout the race.  The other best thing I did, was go in without a real time goal.  I mean, of course I did have goals, but I truly did not care.  I wanted to finish happy.  That was most important to me- to cross the line with a smile.  Because of my mental preparation and my desire to have a fun race, I took all the pressure off myself and was really able to enjoy the journey.

All my goals were met.  I did have fun.  I finished running and with a smile.  It was truly the best time of my life. I have zero regrets.

Oh and also, I have no itentions of every doing another marathon!


PS- for some reason, WordPress is not letting me upload photos; hopefully soon!!!

Marathon- Almost There!

Two more sleeps.  Or should I say, one more sleep and one try to sleep!

Honestly, I am having a hard time putting my thoughts together.  I cannot believe this weekend is finally here.  I know I have prepared- it hasn’t been the most ideal training cycle, but it was my training cycle.  The long runs are done, taper is in full force…now, all I have to do is get to Sunday.  In 48 hours from now I will have already started my marathon. 

A lot of people have asked me what my goals are…what my plan is…how my race looks when I visualize it.  I do have goals, but they are simple.  I definitely have a plan but it’s mostly logistics so that I can see my family and friends.   And I have been visualizing this run for weeks now every night before I go to bed, and sometimes randomly throughout the day.   Yet, I still find it tough to verbalize how I am feeling when it comes to all of this.

But, I’ll do my best.

The pre-race plan: My routine every night this week has been to eat a good dinner, take an Epsom salt bath, elevate/ice legs while drinking tea and try to sleep as well as possible.  I still haven’t managed enough hours a night, but I have gotten in more than usual and have slept great all week.  Tonight, I am hoping for 10 hours.   Tomorrow morning my parents will meet up with R2 and I at my house and after a good breakfast we will head into Philly.  After we park at the hotel, we will all head on down to the expo.  It’ll be kind of fun to see my dad and R2 at the expo since neither have ever been to one.  After what is likely to be an obscene amount of photos, I’ll pick up my bib and make it officially official!  We will head back to the hotel to relax (and watch Notre Dame for R2) and then have some dinner.  There is a pizza/pasta place around the corner from the hotel which is great- my parents and R2 can have whatever they want and I can be content with my pre-race pasta!  My hope is to be in bed early- which I don’t anticipate sleeping much, I at least want to be resting.

Race-Day Plan– The more I think about having gotten this hotel room, the better I feel about it.  I am less than a mile from the start.  I can stay in the comfort of my room, stay warm (high of 62 [!!!] but it’ll still be a chilly morning) and best of all, I will have my own toilet.  This makes me happy in way only athletes can understand!!!!  Before I know it, it’s going to be start time.  My plan is very simple: start out slow…stay on pace as best as possible, make sure to look for family/friends at planned check points and finish.  One foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles.

Goals– I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a time goal.  Of course I do.  I have a pace group I plan to stay with for as long as possible and I definitely know when I want to cross the line.  However- and I am dead serious- time goals come last to everything else.  The first goal is to finish.  Second to that is the finish happy and knowing that I did the best I could, no matter how long it takes me to do so.  Therefore, if in the end, I don’t make my time goals…that will be okay.  It doesn’t take away from the fact that I will have become a marathoner.  And at the end of the day, it is an automatic PR 🙂

When it comes to visualizing the race, I always picture myself happy and running.  If the stars align and I can just feel good at the start, and throughout the race, I will be happy.   I am not worried about the first half- I have done seven of those.  I know to take it slower and pace myself and I a ready for that- it’s the whole pass-the-finish-line-at-the-half-mark that makes me most nervous.  I have never had to go left to Mile 14!  I have my mom and R2 stationed to see me about half way through mile 14- it will give me incentive to breeze through the half mark like I own it!  I visualize the second half being a lot slower, with walking…but I still picture myself as happy.  I know there will be pain- pain like I have never felt- I know I am in for some hurting.  But I am committed to being focused on the positive.  I am committed to saying “I can” when I want to say “I can’t” and I am committed to saying “Keep going” when my body says “stop” because I know it is temporary.  I am know I am stronger than I ever imagined.  I just want to take the whole race in- take note of the spectators, thank the police staff and volunteers and smile a lot!  And finish.  And when I picture the finish line, I always see myself crossing it- happy.  And crying.  I have a feeling there will be tears!  And photos.  Tears and photos galore!

Let’s do this!!!!!


Thoughts On The Marathon- One Week Till Go Time

Here I am, one week away from marathon day.  This time next week, I will be recovering with the biggest margarita ever and a lot of ice cream! Maybe at the same time, who knows 🙂

And now for my favorite kind of post- list post!  Here are some of my thoughts with one week to go:

  • Taper sucks! I never felt this way with half-marathon or triathlon training, but I feel it now.  I am going out of my mind!  For one, everything hurts.  Bones and muscles I didnt even know I had are hurting.  I am having nightmares of the most ridiculous nature; showing up naked being the most popular, I constantly think I am sick if I so much as sneeze and all I want to do is eat and sleep!!!  I am totally over taper!
  • My 20 mile run was easier than my last long run yesterday.  I was completely beat before I even started the run and I struggled through the whole thing.  I was downright exhilarated when the run was over!
  • I am so excited for this week- I know it is going to crawl by but I don’t even care.  I am just happy to only be working two nights.  I have plenty of time to rest, elevate my legs and sleep, sleep and sleep!
  • I have officially become obsessed with the weather.  I check it one or two or ten times a day.  Yesterday it said 57 and raining and I was angry.  Today, it says cloudy and 54 and I am all about it.  I know God is busy with things like the Superbowl, NBA lockout and the Oscars, but if he is listening, I would like it to be in the low 40’s at the start with it getting no higher than mid-50’s by the finish.  And if I can be really picky, partly sunny.  Whatever the weather, please please please NO RAIN, please!
  • I have three outfits picked out.  I will probably pack a weeks worth of stuff for one night.  Possibly more.  And I bet you, I will still forget something.
  • I am staying overnight in a hotel.  I live less than 20 minutes from the start line. I don’t care.  I know I will feel so much better if I am there when I wake up.  Not only will I not have to leave until 15 minutes before the start but I will have my own toilet to poop in; there really is no better reason!
  • I am starting to get very emotional when I think about the race.  Anxious, nervous and emotional. I’ll probably cry like a baby when I cross that line.
  • When I start to feel worried about race day, I go back and read past race reports.  Especially, Philly half from last year.  It helps immensely.
  • I am looking insanely forward to my massage this week. Ridiculously. Like, I cannot describe.  I am looking even more forward to my post marathon massage.
  • I have worn Brooks Adrenalines since 2007.  I hated the new ones that came out and needed new shoes.  I have officially been running in Saucony’s for the last 5 weeks.  Still, there is a part of me that wants to run in my Brooks on race day.  I am sure they have 26.2 miles left in them 🙂   Let’s face it, I’ll probably pack both!
  • So many people are so excited for me, that I am getting so excited.  I know that no matter when I cross that line, my family and friends will make me feel like a winner.  And I am, because I have them in my life.
  • I have taken more Airborne and more vitamins in the last 8 weeks than ever before.  Next to getting injured, getting sick has been fear #2…I have 6 days to go, so lets hope my body stays with me on this one!!!
  • I have gained weight and quite a bit of it.  Gaining weight while marathon training…of could I would! 
  • This is hands down the hardest thing I have ever done.  I can honestly say, without a doubt, this has never been fun.  I have been thrown so many curve balls- having first planned for run a marathon two years ago.  When I am training for half-marathons and tris, I actually have fun.  But these last 15 weeks have tested in me in many ways.  I have sacrificed a lot to get here- and I have worked so hard.  I didn’t always get my work outs in, and I went three weeks in a boot hardly working out at all…a lot of people told me I should bag the race…but I kept at it.  I decided as long as I had my doctors blessing, I was only going to listen to myself.  I worked hard to get healed and picked back up my training.  I trained in rain, I trained on boring courses without music, I did long runs on the treadmill (seriously, there is nothing fun about 16 miles on a treadmill!!!) and I trained alone most of the time.  I did all of this while working a full time job and a part time job.  I did this while changing full time jobs.  I did this with some personal stuff happening.  I did this with still maintaining a social life as much as possible.  But it should be noted, I could not have done this without the unending support I have received from my parents, R2, my friends and my amazing support group here.  My parents and R2 have definitely felt the hit of my training personally- my time with them is much more limited, they deal with my nerves, self-doubt and anxiety and they have changed their schedules to work around my long runs when needed.  No, marathon training has not been fun for me…but it has taught me so much and I know that all the hard work will pay off when I cross that finish line.  And I cannot wait!!!
  • And last but not least…the most important thing I must always remember…my mantra for race day…

What has been your greatest lesson while training for an important event?  What is your favorite mantra during tough parts of the race?

Marathon: Freaking Out Edition!

It’s official.  With 17 days to go, I have officially begun to freak out!!!  What if I get hurt?  What if I get sick? What if my hotel loses my reservation?  What if I oversleep?  What if I get major cramps during the race?  What if there is a snowstorm? What if I can’t stop using the bathroom?  What if all my training still isn’t enough? What if….what if…what if….

Here’s the thing.  Pretty much throughout this whole thing, I haven’t asked for much advice.  Hardly any, actually.  Mostly because everyone has something different to say.  But just because I didn’t ask…doesn’t mean people aren’t offering.  And I am starting to feel like I am on information overload.  Should I get the flu shot now or after the marathon?  How much sleep should I be getting?  What should I be eating each meal?  How often should I eat?  How long should my longest run be?  How much taper time do I need?  What should I wear?  And on and on and on and on….

The truth is, I have all of those answers within me.  I know what is best for me personally.  I know my body.  Every single person is different.  With that said, all the things people say…it’s still in my head.  Swimming around causing me anxiety.  I don’t honestly know why I am freaking out so much.  I have prepared for this- I am ready for this!

I guess what all that freak out is, is the taper madness everyone always talks about?  It is crazy hard to keep all my emotions at bay!  I have been thinking about a marathon for two years and now it is almost just two weeks away!  I have my music ready, I have my clothes ready (three different options weather depending) and I feel good!  I have some aches but I expect that- I am on my feet four nights a week in addition to all my running.  My legs and feet are crying for a break.  And thankfully, I am giving that to them just in time!  R2 and I are heading to Vermont on Tuesday and staying through Sunday.  Six whole days off from both jobs!!!!  The whole trip is planned around rest and relaxation.  We will be visiting his parents and luckily his mom has a treadmill.   I’ll be able to get in all my runs and rest up for the big day- when I get back it’ll only be a week away!  I also took off the two nights before my race so I can rest as much as possible and get a few good nights sleep in before race day.  I have a feeling I won’t be sleeping much the night before!

It’ll be here before I know it!!!   

I know quite a few bloggers are racing Philly- let me know if you’ll be there and I’ll keep an eye out!  I am hoping to meet up with a few people at the expo 🙂

All Things Marathon

OMG.  Less than a month.  A month from today I will have ran a marathon.  Could this really be, finally, happening??  I have never been this close, having to back out twice, and it is starting to get very real.  Wow. Holy wow!

I have shyed away from really talking about the marathon and my training for two reasons.  The first reason being that there are some opinions I don’t want.  There is a plan for everyone; I like my plan and feel good about what I am doing.  Often, I know I can be discouraged by what others may say if they do not agree with what I am doing or how I am doing such things. (Does that even makes sense?)  Also, I haven’t talked much about it, because in all honesty, its big enough.  I am not running this to break any records, get to Boston or anything like that.  My sole purpose for running this marathon is for myself.  So that I can say I did something bigger than myself and something that I never imagined I would do.  From day one there have only been two goals.  Finish injury free and finish happy.  Time. Does. Not. Matter.

In my day to day life, no one cares about how fast I run, what my splits are or what time the clock says when I cross the finish line.  But with my teammates and in the blog world, a lot of focus is placed on times, paces, splits, goal times and etc.  For someone who runs on the slower side, like myself, this can be discouraging.  When I read that walking takes away from the glory of a marathon or when I read that everyone should finish in such a such time, I feel discouraged.  And the most important part of my training has been to stay positive.  I have had to restrict from reading some blogs and training with groups, so that I can keep a positive mentality.  And trust me, I know (most) people do not make statements to hurt anyone, but do so without realizing what it can do to a person’s pysche.  Although I am a very strong person, I am also very sensitive.  I have made major efforts to improve my confidence and keep positive through this training.  And so far, mostly so good!

While I haven’t talked much about the marathon up until now, I probably won’t be able to talk about anything BUT the marathon for the next four weeks!  I have so many questions and feelings…I totally get how major this is, regardless of how different my goals might be from others.  The marathon truly is such a personal journey.  And in less than a month I will be running (and yes, walking) with thousands of others on their own personal journeys.  There is something so significant to me about all of this that I get emotional when I think about the day.  I have visioned it so many times.  During training runs, visioning the race helps me so much.  I think about the crowds, my family and friends, the music, the energy and of course the finish line.  I try not to think about the exhaustion, the pain and the time!  I am going to be out there a long time.  But at the end of that long time will be the long-awaited finish line.  And that will make it all worth it.

Every day is different- Some days I love the training, some days I hate it. Some days I feel strong and others not-so-much. Some days I am excited and others scared to death.  But on November 20th, 2011, I am going to toe the line of my very first marathon.  And I have a feeling that the feeling I will have in those first moments, and in the moments crossing the finish lines, are ones I cannot begin to imagine.  Only live.  And I get chills thinking about it.

Can you remember how you felt in the weeks and days leading up to your first marathon?  Please share 🙂

Music For My Ears

I have roughly 4 half-written marathon type posts.  If I wasn’t so busy eating, running, working, icing, running, sleeping, working, running, rolling, working, eating, sleeping, rolling, running and eating, I might have time to finish them!  Seriousy, how do you people do it?????  I feel like all I do is eat and sleep whenever I am not working or running!

One of the things I have really concentrated on during training, is my mental health.  I know how important it is to stay physically healthy through the training but for me, I know come race day, I am going to need to be mentally with the program!  I have been posting photos to my facebook as daily motivations, I have photos on my mirror at home and desk at work and I spend time visualizing the marathon almost every night.  But the one thing I am doing that I think will help me the most is also the craziest- I have done every single long run without music.  Every single one.  I used to refuse running more than two miles unless I had my IPOD and now I am running almost 20 miles, music-less. 

To be honest, I like being without the music.  It forces me to focus on my body; how I am feeling, what I am feeling and moreover, my thoughts.  When you are out there that long, going as slow as I do, self-reflection is unavoidable.  I would be remiss if I did not say that this training has taught me more about myself and what I am capable of, then I ever thought possible. 

And yet, the notion that I am going to complete 26.2 miles in less than five week, blows my mind completely.  It leaves me wondering if I am ever going to be able to wrap my head around it until I actually do it. 

I know that come race day there will be ups…and downs…and ups.  I know I will be challenged in crazy ways.  I am trying to be preapred…so even though I am not training with music, you better believe I am going to run with it!

That said, here is my playlist thus far. 

Bachman Turner Overdrive You aint seen nothing yet
Black Eyed Peas Pump It
Black Eyed Peas I got a feeling
Bon Jovi Who says you cant go home
Bon Jovi It’s my life
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen Hungry Heart
Bruce Springsteen Glory Days
Chris Brown w/Lil Wayne Transform Ya
Christina A. Fighter
Dierks Bently Free and Easy
Don Henley Boys of Summer
Drake Forever
Eminem Lose Yourself
Eminem/Lil Wayne No love
Estelle American Boy
Fleetwood Mac Go your own way
Garbage Only happy when it rains
Jay Sean Down
Jay-Z Run this town
Jets Crush on you
Journey Don’t stop believing
Justin Timberlake Sexyback
Katy Perry Waking up in vegas
Kayne West Stronger
Kayne West Jesus Walks
Kenny Chesney Big Star
Kesha Tik tok
Killers Mr. Brightside
Lil Kim The jump off
Lil Wayne Mr. Carter
Lil Wayne with Jay-Z Mr. Carter
Lil Wayne/Chris Brown Look at me now
Michael Jackson Don’t stop till you get enough
Michael Jackson Man in the mirror
Michael Jackson The way you make me feel
Midnight Oil Beds are burning
Miley Cirus Party in the USA
Miley Cirus The Climb
Natasha Bedingfield Unwritten
Nikki Minaj Super Bass
No doubt Spiderwebs
No doubt Just a girl
Pink  Raise your glass
Pink  Just like a pill
Pink  So What
Queen/David Bowie Under Pressure
Rick Ross Boss
Rick Springfield Jesse’s girl
Rob Base It takes two
Rob Base Joy and Pain
Rolling Stones Start me up
Rusted Root Send me on my way
Sheryl Crow Soak up the sun
Sugarland Settlin
Taylor Swift Love Story
Tina Turner Proud Mary
Tom Petty Running down a dream
Tom Petty I Won’t back down
U2 Beautiful Day
Van Halen Running with the devil
Young the Giant My Body

 With very few exceptions, most of this music is geared towards the paces I feel like I will be running throughout the marathon.  And when I say running, I should note: running/jogging/walking. 

What are you favorite songs to run/jog/walk to?  I am looking to add another 30 songs…I like pretty much all music, so let me know what you recommend!!!!!


It Shall Not Go Unnoticed

One year ago today, the blog world lost a great guy and I lost a great friend.  A year ago today, I woke up ready to race Warrior Dash but was presented with some sad news as soon as I opened my Facebook.

Rick was a great blog friend, always ready with a funny comment and great advice.  I have missed him through this last year- we intended to meet in Boston, and while I felt his presence there, he was so very missed.  I have missed his humor while I have gone through many ups and downs with my racing this year and I think of him often.  I know Rick will be on my mind as I run Philly this year.

One year- so much happens in a year.  Days might go slow, but man does time fly.

Hope you are resting, and running, happy 🙂

30 Days Of Truth- Day 9

Day 9- Someone you didn’t want to let go of, but just drifted

This is easy.  Her name is Kara.  I survived high school because of Kara.  And at times, I survived life because of Kara.

Kara and I met on the first day of high school.  She had a spacious end locker for the first few hours of freshman year.  Some little girl (me) came and ruined this blissful happiness though because she could not reach her top locker.  Thus began what would eventually become the friendship of Kara and Jill.  By the end of freshman year, Kara had finally forgiven me for stealing her locker.  When Sophomore year rolled around, we both joined Interact and found ourselves spending a lot of time together.  We were different in every way but the at the same time we were so much alike.  During that summer, we began hanging out on a more regular basis.  And pretty much from there we were inseprable. 

Our friendship never faltered through high school and college.   Through relationships, various hair colors, ups and downs with other friends, big moves, graduations…everything.  Kara was the first person I ever drank with, who I took some of my best shore vacations with and who knew me better than I knew myself.   We were there for each other through everything.  Every memory I have for the series of years we were close, somehow involves Kara. 

Unfortunately, after college she moved with her boyfriend and our time spent together became less and less.  Emails and phone calls became sparse and at some point we just stopped making time for each other.  As alike as we were for all those years, our adult lives took us down completely different paths.  I have only seen Kara twice in the last 3 years. I think about her often.  I have nothing but love for the girl who I feel shaped much of who I am. 

Do I wish we were still close?  Of course.  But I think our friendship served a purpose (for both of us) and I respect that we have moved forward in different directions.  I feel like the next time I see her, it’ll be like we were never apart.  Kara and I will always be able to pick up where we left off.  Even though we have drifted, I don’t think we will ever let go of each other in heart.


Day 1 –> Something you hate about yourself

Day 2 –> Something you love about yourself

Day 3 –> Something you have to forgive yourself for

Day 4 –> Something you have to forgive someone else for

Day 5 –> Something you hope to do in your life

Day 6 –> Something you hope you never have to do in your life

Day 7 –>Someone who has made your life worth living

Day 8 –> Someone who made your life hell or treated you like shit