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Everything posted by SandiBeach

  1. I do enjoy both, but an earned cupcake tastes better than a purchased cupcake! I really appreciate races that come up with unique awards. There's a local race (faster than I can place in) that gives out cuckoo clocks and other German handcrafted items, which are awesome! It's just that most of the smaller races that I can place in tend to give out the same pre-made medal and I can't even tell one race from another in my collection now and I can't bring myself to get rid of them either.
  2. Delayed write-up and post due to crappy life in the beginning of October. (Subject of another post for another day.) I love running this 5K every year. The start is less than a quarter mile from my house, it’s a certified course, there’s a lot of runners around the same speed as I am, and it supports a scholarship for a student at the local high school. I was nervous about the race, more nervous than I should have been, but I was training well for the AC marathon, and thought a PR (and possibly a sub-20) could happen, so was putting unnecessary stress on myself. In the back of my mind I thought there was a chance to place overall too. The opening ceremonies started promptly at 8 (the race at 8:30), so we woke up, took care of DD, had a good cup of coffee, and walked up to town for the ceremonies. The race is in memory of a high school student who died years ago. He was very active in the school and participated in both cross country and marching band, so the marching band takes the opening ceremonies very seriously. A very moving rendition of Amazing Grace was played, followed by the National Anthem, and then speeches were made by the student’s family. After that , there was about 15 minutes until the start, so I went for a nice warm-up run. Fall had arrived the week before, so I was expecting a warm, but cooler-than-I-trained-in weather for the race. I wore a light jacket over a tank top and shorts for the walk up, and quickly removed the jacket- best part of having a stroller – holding all the extra clothes I always wear. I planned on a mile warm-up with some strides at the end. About halfway into the mile I was pouring with sweat. Apparently, it was an incredibly humid morning. I finished my planed warm-up, and got back to DH, who was running with DD in the stroller so I could race hard, gave them both a kiss and lined up towards the front of the crowd. Several hundred high school students run, and they all want to be on the line (and all sprint the start too fast anyway), so I lined up behind a majority of them (as do all the other non-students). The starting gun sounded right on time, and all the kids not paying attention screamed and started sprinting. Happens every year and is quite funny. 😁 We took off up a slight incline and ran the straight shot to mile one – 6:26. Right on my target, but knowing the course, I knew mile 2 would be slower. Plus, I was hurting. The course is a triangle, mile 1 up one side (slight uphill), mile 2 wanders some, but is basically the hypotenuse and is more steeply uphill than mile 1, and mile 3 comes back down the other side to the point of the triangle and is a nice downhill, but a little steep in places (there is also a surprise uphill with half a mile left if you are not familiar with the course – DH was very distraught over this the first year he ran it). There’s a U-turn at 1.25, and I just barely got to see DH and DD as we made the turn off the main street to start the hypotenuse, that was a nice distraction. I found myself as 5th female, but I wasn’t going to be able to change that. We started up the biggest incline and mile 2 clicked off at 6:31 – not bad for the uphill, but my legs were done, and I was overheating (I should have been in only a sports bra, which is how I prefer to run). I reached the peak and made the turn for home. I cruised the downhill, but couldn’t pick up much speed, and the little uphill took any speed left out of my legs. Mile 3 passed by in 6:37. It’s an awesome slight downhill for the last quarter mile, so the sprint home always feels fast – the last 0.1 flew by at a 5:42 pace! Based on chip time (20:22), I was 7th woman (crossed the line in 5th though), and first in my age group- so I snagged the best race prize ever – a cupcake from the local bakery!! I am always on a quest to break 20 minutes – my unofficial (non-certified course PR is 20:12) and my previous best on a certified course was 20:31 – SOOOOOO, BRAND NEW SHINY CERTIFIED COURSE PR!!!! YAY! 😀 Maybe with cooler temperatures and less humidity with a little more 5k centered training that sub-20 will be mine! (working on it for a Turkey trot)
  3. Thank you for the offer, and feel free to reach out if you ever want to discuss anything too. Being "advanced maternal age," (I'm now 36 too, but the OBs liked to throw that term around often when I was pregnant with DD when I was 34-35) you start to question fertility, so I take hope in the fact that pregnancy loss at least shows that you are able to get pregnant. After you take the necessary time to heal, I look forward to the day when you bloop and announce happy news!
  4. My heart breaks for you reading this. I am so sorry for your loss. Big virtual hugs from a stranger to you. Although not nearly as traumatic, I had a early miscarriage (4.5 weeks) on October 8. Thankfully, I was able to let it pass quietly at home with my husband and have not told anyone else about it. I can't imagine how hard going to the ED so many times must have been. It was very difficult to see the positive pregnancy test and have it all taken away just a short time later. I cried for a few days then focused on the marathon I was signed-up to do a week later. The distraction was good, but when I didn't run as well as I wanted, it was a second punch, and a lot of sad/disappointed crying happened when I crossed the line. I've now turned my slightly obsessive focus to doing everything I can to see another positive test...my DH better be ready for the next how-ever-many months it takes. I have no advice, but share in your grief. Reading your story has helped me (even if it was more difficult to read and brought up a lot more emotion and tears than I expected at the start). Thank you for sharing and allowing me to comment.
  5. AWESOME!!! and congrats on the age group win! I was quite jealous of the half runners at the turn around... you definitely missed the worst part of the weather!
  6. The short version – I thought I put in enough training, but “the wall” hit me good, and the marathon humbled me… as it should! Not super disappointed because it was my best effort for the day, and I have a lot more respect for the distance again. BQs are not easy and that's why they are magical! I will be trying again! The Atlantic City marathon is my 17th marathon, but only the 3rd that I have raced, and the first that I have raced in 10 years. I followed a Garmin-provided training plan pretty-well but missed the longest runs just because I didn’t want to give up family time for 3 hour runs. My longest training run was 16 miles and I thought I could push the final 10 miles. Spoiler alert. I was wrong. Oops. A week out, the weather looked perfect - 50-65 degrees, partly cloudy with light winds. Then Nestor formed in the Gulf. I studied the hourly forecast obsessively since Thursday. The storm was supposed to get to AC around 10am, and ramp-up the wind and rain between 11 and 12 with winds out of the ENE (a direct headwind for the final 5 miles with 4 of those miles on the exposed boardwalk). Not a good forecast for someone aiming for a 3:20-3:30 with an 8am start time, and the forecast was pretty much spot-on. Possibly dumbly, but I’ll never really know, my race strategy was to try to go slightly faster in the first half to maybe beat the increases in the wind. So, I started at the fast end of my goal time. There was not much to note at the start. Parking in the garage was easy. I found an out of the way bathroom in the casino that had no line and I got to the start with a nice 15 minutes to spare and easily made my way to the 3:20 pacer. (side note – only 50% of us starting in that area were NOT wearing the Nike shoes – maybe that’s why I missed my goal– Ha!). The weather felt pretty nice, but oddly I didn’t feel chilled at all so maybe it was warm and humid. I wore a thin t-shirt, shorts and detached sleeves, which was perfect for what happened. There was a countdown clock at the start line and the race was off exactly on time! Nice organization. My plan was to stay with the 3:20 pacer and see what happened. He went off on the fast side and our first mile was 7:18, but we settled in around 7:35s after that. It was a great group. I was happily chatting away as the first 6 miles just clicked by. I was feeling good- amazing even! DH and DD were at the 10K split cheering for me, and I waved and smiled as I passed. Life was good! We got back to the boardwalk at mile 8ish and DH and DD were there again. I separated from the group and ran over for a DD high-five and was still feeling great! We passed the finish line at mile 9ish, and slight fatigue started to creep in, but nothing too bad. Then something happened between 10-11. I got a slight side-stitch, which has been happening in some training runs too. Then I lost my place in the course. I thought we were coming up on 12, when it was only 11 – bleh. The wheels started to come off here. (I rolled my sleeves down hoping that would help – it didn’t) I decided to slow up to hopefully get rid of the side stitch, so dropped from the 7:35 miles to 8:05 for 12 and 13, which would still be good for under a 3:30. It started to drizzle. I started to hurt. Where did my awesome feeling go???? Thankfully, my Mom was cheering on the second half of the course, and she was at 14ish. I was hurting, but as a veteran marathoner, she had the sage advice to keep going you never know how you’ll feel in a few miles. She was right I slowed to 8:30s ( BQ still possible) and started to feel better from 15-20. I was trying to mentally convince myself that there was only a 10K left, and that got me through to mile 21, but then we turned into the wind, and steady rain. My Mom was awesome at getting all over the course to support me, but it wasn’t helping my physical state. My words to her at 21ish were “everything just hurts.” It did. I tried to focus on body parts that didn’t hurt, but that just pointed out how even things like my nose hurt with the wind and rain. Oddly, my muscles were feeling as good as could be expected, but all my joints hurt. The tip of my toes hurt, my feet ached, kneecaps were screaming, hips throbbing, ribs and shoulders were tight, and my nose, even the tip of my nose, had a stinging sensation. At this point my running slowed to 9:30 and that was a struggle. I knew BQ was out of the question. Finishing was going to be hard enough, and I HAD to finish so I could wear the shirt. It is a cool shirt! Haha! At 22 I was done. Completely done, and thirsty. I was drinking every water stop, but I was thirsty, which I’ve never felt before while running. I focused on running to the next water stop. Then I was going to walk and enjoy Every. Last. Drop. of the Powerade and water! I did just that! BUT oh, walking hurt too, and differently. It accentuated the hip pain but helped with the rib pain. Whatever, I had to pick up some form of run, or it would take forever to finish and I was getting cold. (I put my sleeves back up – Yay sleeves – I do love those things). So, I shuffled along at an 11:00 pace, but would get a disconcerting pain under my ribs and I was also making some horrible grunting noises. Since my time was shot already, I’d just walk every time that pain would start and pick up a shuffle when it went away. Miles 22-26 were between 10:30 and 12:45 pace. To be honest, I felt so bad, I didn’t even notice how windy and rainy it was until after I finished, so I doubt that impacted my race too much. To sum up how I felt in those last 4 miles… The 3:50 pacer passed me with 100 yards to go, right where DH and DD were cheering and said, “you can’t let me pass you now in front of the kid,” and I just yelled back, “sure I can!” and I did. BUT I still finished under 3:50 and I was 5th out of 71 in my age group and 25th woman overall, which I believe indicates the tough conditions of the day. Today, I am proudly wearing my “finisher” shirt as, even though my time wasn’t what I hoped, I am proud of my effort and that I put it all out on the course yesterday. Plus, I can say I finished a marathon in the remnants of a tropical storm! Oh, just as a kicker, today the weather is absolutely gorgeous! Race day thoughts: “I’m happy I did not qualify for Boston – I’m never racing a marathon again.” Day after race day thoughts: “This race would count as a good long training run…I wonder what local marathons there are at the end of November? Maybe I could run Philly better…” Contemplating it at least! 😊 Lessons learned: Marathons are a special form of hard and you can’t underestimate them. Only racing a marathon can show you what racing a marathon is like (kind of like only childbirth can prepare you for what childbirth is like– and that is the only comparison that can be made between those two things). I don’t think a perfectly flat course worked for me. The only inclines were before mile 5 and I think the complete flatness contributed to the joint pain. There was no variation on what was being impacted with EVERY step. Don’t wear shoes that do not fit perfectly – duh – stupid rookie mistake for someone that is not a rookie. Practice fueling – my fueling while running was pretty much non-existent, which probably contributed to that wall-smack. Not what I hoped for, nor what I expected, but a finished marathon is a good marathon (since although in some pain today, I believe nothing is injured)!
  7. Thank you for the advice! I needed it to reinforce that a warm up was a good idea since I never tried doing more that a couple of jumps in place before other races. I may have done a little too much though, given the warm and humid weather conditions that I didn't realize were happening until I was dripping with sweat after a mile jog. Ha! Working on the RR now.
  8. I read a piece of advice on tinamuir.com about writing a letter to yourself providing the advice you would tell a friend if they were having pre-race nerves. So, this is my letter to self. The letter is regarding an upcoming local 5K this weekend that I set as a pre-marathon goal race. The pain of a 5K is some kind of special, and I always get more nervous for them than anything over 10 miles. Plus, in the back of my mind, I want to place well, and maybe PR, and maybe break a time barrier that has always been slightly out of reach…, and so I spiral down the mental path of too much pressure about a race that should just be a test of my ability at this specific point in life, AND more importantly should just be FUN!! Dear Sandibeach, It is so exciting that your race is finally coming up this weekend and you can see how well your training is working! You’ve worked very hard to regain all the running fitness (and then some) that was focused on other, more important things last year. You are now in the best running (maybe even any) shape that you have ever been in! Yay for that no matter how fast you can race a 5K! 5Ks are difficult and its hard to make even small gains in time for the short distance, but you can feel the fitness in yourself. You’ve seen the increases in pace over the last few weeks with the added 5K specific workouts. I mean you ran a 6:36 mile as the final mile of a 4-mile tempo run without being at max effort. That felt pretty awesome, didn’t it?!?! Less than a year ago you couldn’t run a single mile under 7 minutes, let alone one after three other hard miles. Just look how far you have come in one year! Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and don’t worry about who is going to show up, and whether there is a chance to place overall. These things are out of your control, so stop wasting energy on them. The race is your opportunity to see just how far you’ve come and provide an idea about how far you can go. Push yourself to see what you can do, no need to waste energy on strategies to compete with other people, as that will not necessarily show you all that you can do, but will allow others to control you and your race. The goal should be to execute your race for your best time, and the race results and the items out of your control will fall where they will. Don’t doubt your abilities. You can do hard things. The race will hurt, but you can push through. Embrace the hard to see how far you have come and discover the impacts of the training plan. Think of the training plan as the hypothesis of a big science experiment and the race as the results of that experiment. After the race, you can draw conclusions and develop a new hypothesis/training plan. You would be selling yourself and the training plan short if you don’t just go out a run the best race you can run. This is your chance to show off the abilities of the plan and the work you have put into following the plan. The race is the finish line. The hard part is done, and now is the time to SHINE, celebrate, and feel the results of the work payoff. Go out there, be smart, and run the race that the training has made you capable of and that the conditions of the day will allow (whatever the results may show)! Sincerely, Your BIGGEST fan!
  9. Because mind games are fun?? I should know, I play enough of them with myself. Seriously though, I'm glad to see the summer running paying off for you now that fall has arrived!
  10. SandiBeach

    I bought a treadmill.

    The outside cutoff at 65 degrees sounds about right for my comfort zone too, and had me laughing. Also, the garage sale comment/joke caught me off-guard and caused me to LOL. Glad I didn't read this at the office, and happy to read that you are back to full mileage and feeling pretty good!
  11. Good job maintaining pace in the heat, especially with all of those possible "reasons" for running poorly ready😀! It was a smaller race than I expected. I wish I could have made it down, but I couldn't pass up a chance to go on a family day trip to Hershey (skipped my scheduled 2-hour long run for that too).
  12. SandiBeach

    Sorta scary.

    So happy to read that the injury isn't as bad as initially feared! Maybe the forced cut-back weeks will be a good thing in the end too.
  13. SandiBeach

    Summer rain

    Huh, never heard of it before, but looks really nice - dinner and shirt included for a fairly low entry fee! 6:30 is going to be hot, but I've always enjoyed evening races at the shore (did the Cpt. Bill Gallagher Sea Isle 10 miler several times, but can't this Saturday due to a life conflict - It's a really tough, but a simple and nice race mostly on the sand). It's a difficult time for us to make it home for bedtime, but I'm considering it now. I'll let you know if I'm going to be there. Have a great run!!
  14. This is not something I wanted to read... hoping that it keeps feeling better with each run!
  15. SandiBeach

    Summer rain

    It was a freaky little cloud...I don't even think it showed up on radar, but it felt amazing! Just hang on until tomorrow!! ❄️ <-- Haha!
  16. I can't believe you ran 10 miles today - 4 was enough for me. I guess it was slightly cooler than it has been the past five days. Awesome job! The heat breaks tonight!! (At least that's what I keep telling myself)
  17. SandiBeach

    Summer rain

    Actual temperature = 99* Heat index = >110* antsy to get outside and move 105 minutes on the schedule = 20 minute short run just to burn off some energy, be smart, and stay safe mile 1 = lots of sweat, but happy to be moving (9 minute mile) mile 2 = one single rain cloud- summer downpour! splashing through puddles, soaking wet, unconsciously increasing speed = joy and uncontrollable laughter = looking like a grinning crazy lady running mile 2.25 = perfect rainbow mile 2.5 = 20 minutes = I don't want to stop, rain ends 21 minutes = sun returns - puddles on blacktop = hot bath water splashing up and running down my legs. 2.64 miles = home, dripping with sweat and rain, soaked to the bone and so thankful for the perfect joy-filled run, even if not the long run on the schedule. Just what I needed.
  18. SandiBeach

    May (yes, May) in Review

    Congratulations on such a wonderful May full of amazing things!! Huge PR and wedding AND business recognition on top of it all! Awesome month!! I can't wait to read about the 5Ks when you get around to writing them up. I know how that is... I have a RR from June 1st that I need to post still.
  19. SandiBeach

    Keep showing up

    I can't wait to see the results!! It's exciting to think about!
  20. SandiBeach

    Keep showing up

    I am tempted by the OC 1/2 too as a prep race, but that one has a bridge...such a mountain for south NJ AND it's run 2 times! HAHA! AC is much flatter! I've been thinking about the weather, its around the same time as when Sandy hit, as well as the one year that there was the snowstorm on Halloween... Hoping for some nice fallness to see the heat training payoff! The tempos/long intervals have been hard, and I'm slowing about 45 sec/mile. After an easy 30 minutes today, I'm thinking anything harder than easy will be a no-go Friday-Sunday. Hoping the avoid the storms and get something a little harder in tomorrow.
  21. SandiBeach

    Keep showing up

    Definitely keeps me from rushing to finish, which I would do EVERY run with distance-based plans. It's especially helpful in the heat to keep me from forcing a certain distance when the conditions just don't allow it.
  22. SandiBeach

    Keep showing up

    When I was 15 I visited San Diego, and I thought I was going to live there someday. It was beautiful! Just need to convince the rest of the family now! Ha!
  23. SandiBeach

    Keep showing up

    I always thought distance-based was better, but I found myself running hard to get easy runs done faster - not really the point of easy runs. With time-based, running faster doesn't make the run end any sooner, so I find it keeps me from "hurrying" easy and recovery runs.
  24. SandiBeach

    Keep showing up

    I've made a commitment! Sort of a commitment that is. I picked a marathon to attempt a BQ, but I have until August 31 to sign up before the price increases. As such, I have not signed up yet, and really haven't made any commitment to the race yet. (Working on baby #2 might come first--we'll see) The commitment part is only that I started a training plan (good training for possible future pregnancy too). The goal race is the Atlantic City Marathon, and my training plan started on July 1st. I'm using the Marathon Advanced plan provided by Garmin, which is time based and starts at around 30-35 miles per week at my paces. So far, I've been pretty good at completing a majority of the assigned runs, but have "failed" at two workouts. The first was a 90 minute long run that I cut 2 miles short due to lack of bringing hydration with me (DUH it was close to 90*), and coming off of a summer cold, The second was a hour-long run with 40 minutes at a "steady pace." I managed two miles of the steady pace before a cramp made me decide that finishing the run in quarter miles of running with walking until the cramp subsided was not worth it. First two weeks = 27 miles per week - not exactly marathon training distances (but it IS only week 3 - I was running around 30 miles per week before starting the plan), and the current week is going better - for now. I'm at 22 miles so far, with completing (yay hydration!) a 90 minute long run on Sunday and a 3 x 10 minute tempo run (5.7 miles total) today with easy runs to fill in the rest. That same "steady pace" run looms ahead, along with a handful of "recovery threesies" to total 16 more miles - big jump in mileage... We'll see about the steady run based on the record-setting heat and humidity predicted for later this week. I might cut it to an hour of easy, or 40 minutes (or 30 - same as last week) with 20 at pace- also depends on whether I can find time for DH to watch DD- it will likely be too hot at the times I can get out for long stroller sitting. I'm getting on the bandwagon to complain about running in heat and humidity. Don't get me wrong, I really do LOVE 90* and low humidity days for living (less happy about the high humidity we've been having, and the almost 100* coming this weekend), but summer is THE BEST! However, I don't enjoy seeing my paces slowing with each hard effort. I keep telling myself, that I will see AMAZING things once the temp/humidity drops, but since I've never before trained outside through the summer, it's hard to convince myself this is true...I'm stubborn-HA! Every so often I miss the treadmill, and its predictability of weather and paces. Anyway, I'm going to quote Des Linden, and just "keep sowing up" and optimistically dream about the zoooooming that will happen in September/October! 😎 Enjoy the sun and sweating everyone!
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