Race Report: MiniMussel & IMLP Build up

“Difficulties in life are intended to make us better, not bitter.” – Dan Reeves

Eeep! 2 weeks ago (I guess not THAT long ago) I raced a sprint triathlon in Geneva, the MiniMussel. Last year I did the half here and decided I wanted to add another race (more experience) in addition, Doug was doing the half on Sunday, so we spent the weekend up in Geneva. Here’s the race report for the Mini Mussel:

Swim (750yds) – 12:29 (1:37/yd) *PR

This was my first in water swim and after Syracuse, I wanted to remind myself that I am tough, that I can swim fast as well as not freak out in the water. After what seemed like forever in the water to start, I pushed, hard. I found a great pair of feet for a few 100 yds before she went too far right (we swim to the left) and then I just kept pushing. I didn’t have a clue where I was but I wanted to be proud of this swim. Before I knew it I caught men from the first wave, but literally, they were a few feet in front of me when I first saw them as the water was so green you couldn’t see. Eventually I finally got to the ramp, saw my time, saw Coeur Teammate Jenelle not too far in front of me and I knew I swam well. Not to mention that I was on there verge of getting sick – unsure if it was because I swam hard, the water was gross or because it was so warm, but I kept on trucking!

Gear: BlueSeventy Reaction Wetsuit, Roka R1 Goggles (love, love love these), Garmin 735xt.

Bike (16mi) – 45:18 (21.2 mph) *PR

I wanted to go, I had permission to go, and legs felt dead. I reminded myself to be tough and give everything that I had. So I did. It was weird to not eat or drink THAT much (hello ironman training), but I tried. Unfortunately, I didn’t make as much ground on the girls in front as I had hoped but pushed as much as a I could. ps. hello major headwind on the way out, but the last part of the course is utterly beautiful.

Gear/Nutrition: Coeur Sports Zele Tri Top, Coeur Sports Team Shorts, Rudy Project Aero Helmet, Smith Pivlock Sunnies, Shimano SH-WT60 Triathlon Shoes, 1 bottle of Osmo, 1/2 sleeve of Clif Shot Bloks.

Run (5k) – 22:41 (7:07/mi)

Started the run hoping to really get after it (did you get the theme of the race?) and let me tell you – my legs were.. OUCH! There was just nothing. I was trying to hold on for dear life. I tried everything – getting on my toes, pumping my arms, telling myself it was ONLY a 5k. Nothing worked, but that was ok. I reminded myself what I was training for.

Gear/Nutrition: Coeur Sports Zele Tri Top, Coeur Sports Team Shorts, Smith Pivlock Sunnies, Saucony Grid Type A Shoes, Feetures Socks.

Finish: 1:25:25, 1st AG, 8th Female, and 40th OA * PR

I ended up pr’ing – only other sprint course I’ve done is CLT (twice). I absolutely love local races, their convenient, you get to see all sorts of friends and it’s fun! As always, a big shoutout to the volunteers, thank you for everything you do! If you’re looking for a great, fun, family event. Musselman weekend is definitely ideal! There’s something for everyone, besides sprint and half races there’s a fun family/kid event friday to kick off the whole weekend! Not to mention, local wine and almond butter as AG/Overall Prizes! 🙂

Prior to Mini Mussel, I put up two of my biggest training weeks ever which were truly incredible. One of my favorite sessions was my 100 ride around Skaneateles and Otsego lakes. It was beautiful. Up next: Ironman Lake Placid.

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looking at Skaneateles Lake

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Obligatory Puppy Snuggle Pic

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Overload DONE

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Cursing my wetsuit, as always

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bike, bike, bike

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Mini Mussel runnnnning, it hurts.

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Podium

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Doug racing Musselman

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Friends!

Race Report: Syracuse 70.3

We must believe we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie.

To be honest, I didn’t want to write this post. I’ve been feeling an overwhelming amount of emotions, mostly embarrassment, sadness, and even some depression. I’ve thought about what happened, I’ve wondered how I let it happen, I’ve thought about people I’ve let down. I’ve swirled in the negative emotions since Sunday, but now it’s time to let them out and let them go. I have bigger dreams ahead and it’s time to focus on those.

The build into this race was probably the best three weeks of training I’ve ever had. I’ve been swimming some serious sets in the pool, finally found my speed again running, and had been doing some crazy things on the bike. I knew I wouldn’t be as recovered going into Syracuse this year but I tried to be positive and get excited to open my 2016 triathlon season.

Needless to say, all week I felt like a whale. I felt huge, sluggish, exhausted and seriously emotional. It didn’t help that it was my birthday the Wednesday before and I kept being paranoid about what I was eating, drinking and lord knows what else. I wasn’t sleeping and definitely wasn’t recovering. It was probably the most negative week I’ve had in a long time.

BTW, my birthday was incredible. I felt so loved.

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Bday dinner with D ❤

Doug and I headed home to my Mom’s on friday, where we relaxed and ate a lot of pizza (yay carb loading!). Saturday I woke up feeling excited about racing, we headed to Jamesville Beach to get my race packet and rack Timmy. It was already pretty warm out at 10AM. Reminded myself to keep pushing fluids down and eating lots of salty foods.

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Dropping Timmy off.

After Timmy was dropped off, my mom and I headed to my Aunt’s/Uncle’s/Cousins’ house to help with my cousin’s HS graduation party. I had a great time, tried to stay off my feet, drinking all the hydrating beverages I could find (including my own 2L of fluids), and caught up with my wonderful family. Looking back – it’s definitely not my ‘normal’ pre race day as it was still really warm out in the shade, but I also know it kept me distracted from looking at the race. In any rate, eventually we made our way home, where I did some last minute race prep (getting bags around, bottles filled etc) so I didn’t have to think as much in the AM.

Race AM went pretty smooth, I ate a normal pre race breakfast and enjoyed my coffee. Got some puppy snuggles and before we (Doug, my Mom and myself) knew it was time to head to Jamesville beach. We took the long route – which was by far the winner – and before I knew it I was rushing solo off to transition to load up Timmy and get everything ready for the race. This is where I met Coeur Teammate, Olivia Haverson (sorry I wasn’t more talkative), our bikes were racked next to each other! Once done, I went to get in the porta-potty line and then proceeded to get my wetsuit on. Well, actually I proceeded to sit in the grass, choking down a Honey Stinger Waffle, trying to hold myself together. At this point, I had almost cried 4 times this morning and was (making myself) nauseous with anxiety and fear.

Upon getting myself together, I decided I should get in the warm up area and see if I remembered how to swim, and swim in my wetsuit. I also needed to make sure that I liked my NEW ROKA R1 Goggles. Don’t worry – I LOVED them. So clear and so comfortable. Didn’t think about my goggles the rest of the day – except in T1 because I didn’t want them to get stolen (what?) or crushed. Once I did a little swim (I’m terrible at warming up for triathlons – I get so annoyed and just want to be left alone) I found Doug and almost lost it again. His response – Just keep swimming.

Before I knew it, it was time to line up for our wave. I was in wave 4, which is a mix of AG. This is where I found Rebecca, it was so great to catch up! I think I voiced that I was so nervous and anxious, but we talked about it would be fine when the cannon went off…

Swim (1.2 miles) – 39:34 (2:02/100M), 35 AG (out of the water)

Well, the cannon went off and I tried to start, then the unthinkable happened.. I had a panic attack.. I couldn’t breath, couldn’t even get myself to put my head in the water. I floated on my back for a minute, trying deep breaths, tried to swim again (side stroke – to keep moving), tried to swim normal, couldn’t again, floated on my back.. Watched my wave swim away. I stared at the kayaks, I stared at the platform, I wondered why they didn’t ask me if I was ok (glad they didn’t, I always tell the life guards to not save me at the pool, let me suffer). I thought about quitting. I thought about quitting triathlon. I thought it was all so stupid. What’s the point in making myself so exhausted.. I thought about how my family and friends would be ok with it.. and then.. I thought about what Doug said.. ‘Just keep swimming,’ I thought about the lovely gift my ex-roomate gave me for my birthday, a bracelet that said ‘just keep swimming’. Then I decided I would get through the swim.. one stroke at the time. Oh- and this all happened between the start and the first buoy. Go Lisa.

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Our Swim wave. Photo cred: Olivia

So I started swimming, really terrible at first, breathing to my right every two strokes (which my normal is 3). I started gaining on people. I tried to go 3, and started to panic, so went back to 2. I did this until the turn around. I started catching people. At the first turn, I thought about how stupid I was, how I cost myself my race, how I cost myself my goals, and then I decided I was just going to focus on the here and now, and just keep swimming.

By the next turn buoy, I started getting competitive. I started fighting my way. I got into my natural swimming pattern, despite the awkward chop on the way back in. I tried to find fast feet, but I was swimming faster (tried to not get disappointed in myself again, knowing I let all the girls go). I just kept counting the buoys and just kept swimming. About 2 buoys from the end of the swim, I thought about how I just wanted to do another loop and pretend I had more time to catch people and just practice my swim for placid, but clearly decided against that 😉 Before I reached land, all I could think about was my panic attack, that I’m sure Doug was wondering what the heck happened and was wondering if I should even continue.

I eventually hit land and started moving. Yelled at the wetsuit strippers to not worry about my watch or my wetsuit and just rip it off so I could get going (sorry!). I yelled to Doug that I had a panic attack and waited for feedback where he just said don’t worry. I finally reached my bike and had a heavy heart when I saw that there were hardly any bikes there, but focused on just getting my stuff together and just be ready to ride hard.

Swim positives: my sighting was awesome (best I’ve done), I felt strong (once I got myself completely under control).

Gear: BlueSeventy Reaction Wetsuit, Roka R1 Goggles, Garmin 920xt.

Bike (56 miles) – 3:04.57 (18.4 mph), off the bike 10 AG, 9th fastest bike in AG

Got on the bike and just started eating and drinking and reminded myself it was time to get to work. The first ~14mi on this bike course are all uphill, a pretty steep uphill, so it’s hard to eat and drink. I’m always aware that I need to just start right when I leave the park. Then you climb, and you climb and you climb some more. The first half of the bike is the same as last year, the last half well.. is a lot harder compared to the previous course ha.

It was my first race using power as a metric along with HR, so honestly, I ate, I drank, I watched my power (which kept dropping) and watched my HR. I kept it in what ‘felt’ like 70.3 bike effort. I make sure I was following the rules. I made sure I looked around at the beautiful country side. I played leap frog with another women for almost the whole ride, that was fun and really helped me stay focused. I thanked policemen and volunteers.

I enjoyed riding around DeRuyter lake, especially after having to scream at the top of my lungs on a crazy downhill for a guy to get out of left of lane as he was just monkey-ing around. C’mon man. That’s dangerous. Another guy thanked me for it. Above all, I tried to stay positive. I tried not to think about the swim, I tried to focus on catching the women (and men) in front of me. I tried not to get negative again when my goal bike split came and went. Instead I ate and drank more and prayed that others were riding about the same speed. I prayed that my run legs would be there every incline when my quads burned. I also prayed that when there was a speed cap, I didn’t get a penalty. Wasn’t sure what I would have done if that happened too.

Finally made my way back to T2, tried not to cry as my swim didn’t go well and I really had no sense of how my bike was. It looks like the Bike was ~700-1000 ft more of climbing than previous years (based on other people’s Strava files, my watch is also broken). Again, I thought about calling it a day. I felt like my bike sucked and just was over the race. Then I thought about my athletes I coach, and my athletes in the race. I sat on the ground (to pee in the grass – at least I drank enough!) and put my stuff on and decided to go see what my body could do.

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Gear/Nutrition: Coeur Sports Race Kit, Rudy Project Aero Helmet, Smith Pivlock Sunnies, Shimano shoes (idk what they are!?), 5.5 bottles of Osmo, 2 sleeves of Clif Shot Bloks, 1 Honey Stinger Waffle, Base Salt Lick every 10 mi.

Run (13.1 miles) – 1:47.16 (8:11/mi), 7th AG, 2nd fastest in AG.

Starting the run, I felt terrible. Strangely, I thought of Jennie Hansen’s blog and how she always feels terrible off the bike. Doug told me not to worry about the bike, as everyone ran slow. He said I was 35th out of the water (which I was glad I didn’t know prior to getting on the bike) and I didn’t hear where he said when I got off the bike. I groaned when I saw B. Jackson and he reminded me of Kona – all I wanted to do was cry, thinking my dreams were gone. Instead, I put one foot in front of the other, took gatorade at the first aid station (literally all I want when I get off the bike), forced some Honey stinger gummies down knowing I need to practice eating even when I didn’t want to (nauseous, anyone else?), put sponges on my shoulders and ice down my top. Did this routine this at every aid station.

Rather than worrying about my pace, I reminded myself to be a runner, not a shuffler, and look for women. The men out on the course had already started cracking and I was determined to be strong. This run course is tough too, not to mention it was getting hot. Fortunately, I didn’t really feel effected by the heat, I just kept doing my thing and focusing on what I could control and prayed that I would fall apart less than others.

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Finishing Loop One. Photo Cred B. Jackson

Before I knew it, I was at the turn around for the first loop, which is also up a massive hill, and gave a hoot. I got a couple strange looks, but knowing that I had already ran up the toughest part of the course once and only had once more was exciting to me ha. Running back I focused on seeing familiar faces. I saw Dave, Lynn, Rebecca, Olivia and kept a look out for my athlete/best friend Alex (although I knew I’d only see her once on the second loop – her swim wave was almost an hour after me).

Back through the turn around I saw that I had made up more ground on the women in front of me and just keep chugging along. Once I hit mile 8, I started counting down the miles. It seems like a lot, but for some reason – 5 miles to go or one hand to go, is relaxing to me. Kept shoving ice down my top, water on the back of my neck and gatorade down my mouth. My multitasking in aid stations is awesome – I wish I could do it more regularly. I hit the turn around again, walked through the aid station making sure I could get as much in as possible – then really started moving. I was paranoid the girls behind me would start catching me and I did NOT want that to happen. So I moved and I wanted to be done. The last strip went by fast. On the downhill, I finally saw Alex, and had to hold it together. If you don’t know – she had a baby 4.5 months ago, was racing, put in serious training and then her back flared up in the beginning of taper. So seeing her on the run, being in my emotional state was all I could do to not cry.

 

Before I knew it, I was back on the annoying grass part (you know what I’m talking about), back on the paved path and in the finish chute.

Gear/Nutrition: Coeur Sports Race Kit, 3/4 pack of Honey Stinger Chews, Gatorade at 5 aid stations, Smith Pivlock Sunnies, NB 1500, Feetures Elite Cushion Socks.

Finish: 5:38.35, 7th AG, 23rd F

I struggled the rest of the day, fighting feelings of disappointment, failure and all the other negative emotions. I went to my dark space – of hating my body, all the insecurities I have reared their ugly head. Who am I kidding, I’m still struggling with those feelings, I’ve cried – a lot (mostly alone), I’ve walked around with my head down feeling defeated. But I’m ready to let it go, it’s time to let it go. I know I wasn’t fully rested for this race, I know this wasn’t the race of my potential, I know I have more in the tank. This was the hardest 70.3 I’ve done to date. It’s also my 2nd slowest. This wasn’t the race I wanted/needed to give me confidence, but I know that I’ve been putting in the work. I need to trust that it’ll be there on race day in Lake Placid. So I’m keeping it real and I’m going to let it go.

I can’t thank my  friends, family  and teammates enough for the support, luck, love and encouragement, it really does take a village. Here’s to my overload weeks. Someone pick me up off the floor when I’m done.

 

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”—Christopher Robin to Pooh, A.A. Milne

 

The Boston Marathon: The Race

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent van Gogh

Monday morning arrived fast. Before I knew it, it was time to head to the T with Mom. Once off the T, it was quick and easy to get to Boston Common and find the buses to the start. After I said bye to mom, I went through to the loading area. I was able to get right on the bus right away and settle in for the ride to the start. Thankfully, our Bus driver right off the bat knew where he was going and let all of us know. I sighed with relief after Stephanie said last year her bus driver got LOST. Say what?!

I ended up sitting with a woman from Australia which was amazing to me. She had only been visiting for 3 days and had a large trip planned in the states. We chatted on and off, mostly about how long it was taking to get to the start and that we were running a far, ha.

One we arrived to Hopkintown, I started to get excited. The athlete village was CRAZY. There were three HUGE tents, all the food and drinks you could want, plus a SEA of toliets. I decided that I would get in line for the porta-potty ASAP as I hoped it would eat up time but also I really had to go! I was scanning the crowds/lines while in line and wouldn’t you know who I saw? KRISTIN! I was so grateful!

Once we made it through the line, we just sat and chatted until we saw another college teammate Erin (who was in my wave/corral). It was a nice distraction especially since it was starting to get warm. Before we knew it Kristin was off to start. Erin and I just continue to chat before they would let us head toward the start.

It was finally our turn to walk to the start. Now, I was ready to just get going. One more bathroom stop and we headed to our corral. Finally it was the countdown to our turn to go!

To sum up the race, I broke it down to some thoughts per mile – otherwise we’d be here for weeks 😉

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The Start: “Ooof, legs are a little stiff. They can get better, just need to loosen up.”

Mile 1: “Wow, stomach cramps already? Why do my legs feel so dead? Just shake it off. I’m nowhere near the goal”

Mile 2: Dodging people – “stay relaxed,” “Where’d this hill come from? I thought the first 3 miles are all downhill.. guess not. Poop.” “Why is my HR so freaking high..?”

Mile 3: “Ok, get some water and some gatorade. Stomach should feel better.”

Mile 4: “Umm.. this doesn’t feel right…why do I feel so terrible?… I have another 22 miles to go?…. Sh*t this is going to be a long day.”

Mile 5: “Take your gel – it’ll help. Ignore the stomach, ignore the legs. It’ll be ok..”

Mile 6: “I only have 20 to go… 20 miles is far.” “Look there’s the T, Kristin said I could ride for free..” “Just keep moving..” “Mom cursed me by buying that stupid jacket..”

Mile 7: *looks at watch* “Ignore the pace- it’s fine.” “It’s hot… this sucks.” “Maybe I should stop by medical and call my mom and Doug? They’ll know what I should do.” “Ironman Lake Placid is more important – what do I do?… I don’t know what to do>”

Mile 8: “Don’t cry,” “These hills suck and we’re not even to Newton.” “Santa get out of my face.” “Is that Stephanie?”(starts to hyperventilate – she would be my life savor). “Keep it together, Lisa.”

Mile 9: “calm down, calm down..” “I’m so glad I caught Stephanie.. she’s doing awesome” (Stephanie was telling me stories about her trips to Boston..). “Just run with Stephanie for a bit..”

Mile 10: “Take another gel.. just get it down..” “That last mile went by fast” “10 miles down, we’re doing this,” “Thank goodness I found Stephanie.” “I hope my family knows I’m ok as long as I keep moving..” “Hope everyone is still proud..”

Mile 11: “Wow, these miles ARE going fast,” “Are those the Wellesley girls already? They weren’t kidding about those screams.” (Just kept chatting with Stephanie).

Mile 12: “Those girls are LOUD…”

*This is where I read every sign the Wellesley girls had.. they were comical*

Here’s some of my favorites (view them & more here):

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*from here spectators are lined the rest of the way to Boston.. it’s insane.*

Mile 13: “Look for Oiselle.. There’s cowbell corner.. WAVEEE and look I’M SMILING!” (Unfortunately we were on the opposite side of the street. I also celebrated a little here – I made it halfway and was in a good place mentally – as good as I could be.)

Mile 14: “Gatorade down my mouth.. water over my head..” (I’m sure some guy ran into Stephanie this mile too.. and almost every mile after..).

Mile 15: The miles then went by fast – not sure what we talked about during this mile..

Mile 16: Newton = hills. Walked with Stephanie.. Back started cramping. “TWO HANDS TO GO!” (Yes – you get this desperate – 10 miles doesn’t seem that far.) “This is a big hill..”

Mile 17: Nuun guys were here – I thought that would be a good idea. “Nope.. (spitting it back out immediately).. not what my body wanted.” A woman says she has pretzels..”NOMS, that is definitely what I want.”

Mile 18: “Walking up the hills isn’t so bad.” “arhhhh.. quads cramping.”

Mile 19: Walking up a hill.. a fellow walker looks over and asks us why we’re walking… “Thanks for reminding me that my race is crap, and that this isn’t my day..” “Oohh.. it’s kind of cold now..”

Mile 20: “Eeeeeeek! We’re almost to one HAND and we’re past 20!” “Booyah” “AHH There’s Caitlin!” (gave her a big, gross, sweaty hug..) “We’re going to do this.” “Thank you to you volunteers” “Thank you to all the police officers” (this happened the whole rest of the way).

Mile 21: “Oh Heartbreak Hill.. this was easier than the first hill..” “MAPLE WATER GET IN MY BELLY” (That maple water totally saved my crampy upset stomach). Also where I saw my friend Matt  – finally someone who can tell Doug that I am not fully ok – but functioning.

Mile 22: “4 miles away. ONLY FOUR” “Hmm.. I see what Stephanie meant.. the road is sticky from the gatorage.. yucky..”

(At this point, I just soaked up all the noise – the drunk BC college bros made me laugh.. a lot.)

Mile 23: “Hmm.. Those people during the first 8 miles were cheering for me.. not some girl named Giselle…” (Stephanie laughs at me because I didn’t put two and two together, after we already talked about the Gieslle cheers were because people didn’t know it was Oiselle. I seriously thought there was a woman named Giselle around me at the beginning. Yes- it took this long.).

Mile 24: *Laughing at all the Gieslles* “ONLY 2 more miles” “THERE’S THE CITGO SIGN” “This is ANOTHER HILL? My legs and BODY hates me”. “Oooh that sign is funny – ‘If Trump Can Run, So Can You!'”

Mile 25: “OH GOD.. a mile.. That’s it..” *tears started to cry*

RIGHT on Hereford – *HOLD it TOGETHER HOLT – HOLD THOSE TEARS BACK* (this was my FAVORITE MOMENT on the course. IT was SO LOUD and it gave me goosebumps.. or it was that I hadn’t eaten in 3 hours ;))

Mile 26: “Here’s your Left On Boylson” “Wow, I can’t believe I’m here” “Oh Look there’s Doug!!! *Waves* I wonder where Mom is.. hope she’s not missing this” “Stephanie is amazing – she just did a marathon 19 weeks preggo.. wow”

Finish: Crying. *Hugs on hugs to Stephanie*

We were coherent, we were safe, we did it. I’m disappointed in my race (trust me really bummed) – but I had a great experience during the race. I was in a deep, deep, dark place prior to finding Stephanie. Full on tears at one point. I know this is no indication of fitness and I’m proud of the fact I finished (I owe a lot to Stephanie – if you didn’t get that). I’m proud of the determination, the grit and the fight I gave to this race. I’ll be back and I’ll try again, but any day I make it to the finish line is a great day.

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See I was smiling! pretzels in hand.

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One I’ll always remember

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The stupid jacket 😉 Thanks Mom ❤

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Post Race Snuggles

Post race hills, downhills and stairs were really fun, NOT. Biking the next day after race was hysterical. Still not entirely sure what happened race day. Part of it could be it was hot, part could be I finally got part of Doug’s cold I had been trying to avoid, or part could have been it just wasn’t my day. We learn, we live and we move on. Here’s to moving on and being proud of the races that don’t go right.

I’m impressed you made it this far, Thanks. I owe a big hug, lots of love, and thanks to all my friends, family and more for the support, tracking and love I felt that day. Words can’t describe how much every text, tweet, and message meant to me. I’m getting emotional as I write this now. I hope you all know you carried me to the finish line. Always and forever grateful ❤

The Boston Marathon: Pre Race

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent van Gogh

What a weekend – my heart is full of love, there’s fuel in the fire and I’ll be back to run the Boston marathon but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Doug and I headed home Thursday night so we could pick up my Mom and head out to Boston together for the marathon weekend on Friday AM! We rolled out around 10:30 or so and we had plenty of time to arrive as Doug was planning on running the BAA 5k. We had high hopes he would feel better as he happened to catch a cold a few days prior. I on the other hand was taking all the vitamin C I could.

We stopped for lunch in Albany, so we could visit with Stephy, Eli and Evie! It had been months since we had see each other and it was absolutely lovely to catch up. I sure give her a lot of credit and her kiddos are adorable ❤

After the rather long lunch of mostly me playing with the kids, we sent out to finish our trip. We finally arrived at where we were staying and were welcomed with a nasty set of looks in a rather unsure place. Fortunately, our host was nice and patient with me, while he let me know we were not in the correct location. In fact we were in the oldest part of Boston and as we were leaving, Doug spent some time reading us facts about it – like townies, shamrocks, and other rather scary facts.

We finally made it to the correct (& safe location) around 7:30.. woof. After lugging everything up 3 floors and settling in, we ventured to a ‘tropical’ grocery store for some  dinner. Our apartment was great for what we needed it for (mostly a roof, beds and a shower), but I would never be able to live there, no stove, the dishwasher was broken and we set off a circuit breaker by using a blow dryer! It was kind of crazy, but it was convenient!

The next morning, Doug decided not to race, but mom and I wanted to head in to see the race, hopefully meet some Oiselle teammates and practice the T, as I was going to take it race morning to catch the bus. We ended up in a starbucks for some tea (mostly for the restroom) and cheered for friends in the 5k before heading back to get off our legs and clean up before the expo and then my Coeur Team Dinner.

The expo was a piece of cake, I was amazed by all the people, it was so surreal picking up my bib. After, Mom and I walked around the expo soaking it all in. After we hit Trader Joe’s and then met up with one of my best friends/college teammate Kristin, who was also racing! It was so nice to briefly catch up with her and her family.

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Mr Sam Adams himself

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Sampling the 26.2 beer

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Kristin ❤

Next we headed to Maggiano’s for the Coeur Team dinner. The dinner was perfect to catch up with new and old friends – lots of laughs were had. After dinner, Mom and I took the T home and turned in for the night.

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Coeur Team Dinner!

Sunday involved a a relaxing morning, a shakeout, takeout (see what I did there) and more relaxing prior to a Oiselle Team Dinner at teammate Rebecca’s House!

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Oiselle Team Dinner – Photo Credit: Ashley

Rebecca’s house was great to chat with the teammates’ I’ve raced with before but also meet some new ones. It really is awesome to me that we can all just bond and mesh well together. A big shoutout to Rebecca for hosting, after reading her weekend recap – I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together, ha! You go girl. Around 6:30pm, mom and I made our way back home and turned in for the night.

Stay tuned for the more interesting The RACE in part 2..

St Patrick’s Day 4-Miler & Catching up

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’ Frederick Douglass

Wow, life really does fly by. I can’t believe we’re almost halfway into March! Life has been really busy. but it’s your normal stuff. I’ve been focused on my job, coaching, more coaching and training, while still making sure my family and friends love me, ha!

Work is going well, we have a lot of fun events coming up (and just passed).  Coaching has been awesome, We hosted our conference meet and it was a phenomenal 3 days that I won’t forget. Truly inspiring performances, and if you know me, there were a lot of tears and hugs. It was amazing not only to be a part of the meet, but I was able to meet and catch up with a  lot of the alum. My voice wasn’t normal for 5 days, it was that insane.

Training has been going well – I’ve put up some of the biggest weeks I’ve ever done accomplished. Truth be told, I learned a new level of exhaustion. There were tears, there was frustration, there were smiles, and there was doubt. I’m wrapping up my recovery week but am finally starting to feel ‘normal-ish’ (today – on day 7). How do I know I’m starting to feel normal-ish – I’m feeling ready to dive back into training and see what else my body is capable of.

Now to the part you are probably interested in – the Race Report! Doug and I woke up yesterday morning and got ourselves around and headed to the St Patrick’s Day 4 Mile race in Binghamton. Once we arrived (super easy to get to), we picked up our packets (easy as pie) and before I knew it, it was time to warm up.

Nothing spectacular on the warm up happened, I turned off my mind and just prayed that my legs would be there (read above). I stopped mid warm up to do some drills, then continued on my way. After some more drills and stretching, I was finally starting to feel some pep in my step. Eventually, I switched into my trusty oiselle singlet and my saucony racing shoes. Prior to the start, they had a lovely Irish drumline, but to be honest, I just wanted to get going.

The gun finally went off and first mile was fast and slightly down hill. I tried to stay focused on myself but I still wanted to be competitive in the race. I didn’t pay attention the the first mile split but knew the miles 2-3 were honest and rolling. This is when I wanted to work. I was focused on my arms, my cadence and just trusting that my body wouldn’t fail me. Finally reached halfway in 12:35, saw my second mile was 6:34 and realized my first mile was 6:00. Instantly glad I didn’t look. Mile 3 was there a little slower than I would have liked but I just focused on my race (6:39). Finally the last mile came andddd there was nothing in the tank (6:36). My legs couldn’t move despite how hard I pumped my arms. Finished in 26:04.

Once we cooled down, we hung out and chatted with several friends who also raced 🙂 I learned that I was 7th Female, 1st in my AG and ended up winning a sweatshirt and both Doug and I won pies.

Post race thoughts: I was pretty upset. I know I’m fitter than that. I know I can run faster. Hours after the race: Ok I did 3 weeks of over 15 hours of workouts (last one almost 17), this is pretty good. Boston is going to be fun. Now: I’m somewhat happy with it. There was nothing left in the tank AND it fueled the fire for my running, which I think is something that has been missing. Finally, really looking forward to Boston.

Here are some pictures:

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Finishing the St. Patricks 4-Miler

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Who doesn’t love free stuff!

Until next time!

A little late on the end of 2015, hello 2016

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

I can’t believe 2015 already passed (and that we’re almost halfway through January as I’m writing this blog.. oops). I learned a lot from 2015; there were tears, smiles, sweat (lots of sweat),  joy, pain and more emotions than I can think of. I reached goals and I missed goals.

2016 excites me, it’s going to be a great year; there are a lot of goals, which will take patience, strength, composure, belief and a lot of the unknown. I wouldn’t have made it here if it wasn’t for the constant support and I hope you’ll join me for the next chapter in this book of life! A unconditional thanks to my friends and family for the love, support and encouragement, Coeur Sports and Oiselle for the support and not to mention cute, comfortable apparel, Honey Stinger and Osmo nutrition for keeping me full and hydrated, and FLRTC for the extras I need!

Before we say goodbye to 2015, here’s a photo recap of some of my favorite memories!

 

Race Report: 5k Chili Challenge & 2016 News!

The dream is to keep surprising yourself, never mind the audience.” – Tom Hiddleston

I love local races. I love the convenience, I love the community and I love knowing the courses. The 5k Chili Challenge is no different. It’s a fantastic local, race where the all sorts of people come, young and old and it’s all about the community and encouraging others. Not to mention Doug and I were pretty thankful for the extra hour of sleep as we both needed it (hello easy drive and daylight savings). Once I woke him up (oops) we were out the door and on our way to the race venue.

I had picked up our packets the day before, so when we arrived at Taughannock State Park, we hit the john and then started out warm up. The 5k course is very similar run course to the Cayuga Lake Triathlon, which we know very well. We were really lucky with the weather – it was PERFECT. Clear, upper 50s and no wind. To be honest, first I didn’t really want to race, but once warming up, I was getting in the mood. The weather helped. Last year I volunteered and it was rather blustery and it SNOWED. Now, I know I live in NY and it is November but still, doesn’t mean I like to hang out in it for hours when I’m freezing. Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about it.

After warm up, drills, some strides and understanding the full course, it was time to get on the line. I didn’t feel like I was sweating, which made concerned me a little, but I brushed it off. Once we were off with the sound of the siren, Doug bolted ahead and I dodged some of the young kids.

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The first part of the course is an out and back to the falls. This is my favorite part of the course (and the turn around for the CLT run course) – I love the gravel path and turning around at the falls. There weren’t too many people around. After Doug there was a local ultra runner (he’s not too shabby at those long distances :)) and I was in the pack with a few other men and one other woman. We were together through the first mile and then I decided I really needed to get moving. I kept reminding myself to not settle considering it was only 3 miles.

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There was an awesome cheering section back at the start, lots of noisemakers! Mentally, it was hard to run past them to do the second out and back. I was feeling pretty crappy which made it the next part of the course hard – not to mention it’s my least favorite part of the course – running over the bridge. Such a hard part of the race as it just breaks my rhythm. However, running on the edge of the lake is so beautiful. When I finally reached the second turnaround, I just tried to leave it all out there. The turnaround was helpful as it kept me honest when I saw some of the women weren’t too far behind me.

I crossed the finish line in 19:37 which I’ll take as a positive since it’s a very XC like course. I was 4th OA, 1st Female, and apparently broke the course record. It hurt haha.  Cooling down was spent cheering on other runners and some delicious chili. Doug and I were probably some of the last to leave as we just spent it relaxing and visiting with others in the community. Again, I love local races. A big thanks to Gary and Wendy for the effort they put in!

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Next exciting news: I’m SO excited and honored to part of the 2016 Coeur team again. This is my third year with the company and I couldn’t be happier. The apparel is just amazing, I mean #noangrykitty is awesome, but the company, people and my teammates are so inspiring, are always positive and so encouraging. If you have any questions – PLEASE let me know.

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I’m also equally excited to be chosen as an ambassador for Honey Stinger. As an athlete who trains ALL the TIME, I like to be really aware of what I’m putting in my body – especially this year! Can’t be much more natural than Honey!

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The 2016 race calendar is starting to fall into place. Besides running the Boston Marathon in April. I’m ecstatic to announce that I’m going to compete in Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Arizona. I’ve decided to sign up to compete in the 2016 Ironman Lake Placid through a Charity Slot. The charity slots with the IRONMAN Foundation help provide funding opportunities to local nonprofits within the Lake Placid community. 100% of the proceeds go directly back into the community.

Lake Placid has a special place in my heart and I wanted to give back to the community for all they do and give to the racers during this event. If you can/want to make a donation, please do so here. Every little bit helps, thanks in advance!

Competing in the 2014 IMLP

Competing in the 2014 IMLP

Last but not least, I’ve decided to start my own coaching company! I’ve been coaching a few athletes on the side now for over a year and I really enjoy the one-on-one coaching experience. Through the current experiences, I realized how much I love helping others achieve their goals. Let me know if you are interested or have any questions! Feel free to check out my webpage!