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croninamber last won the day on February 6 2018

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About croninamber

  • Birthday 08/23/1989

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  1. I wish I was going to be there this year to see this! I also really want to do the full, but we usually do that weekend as a weekend to visit our Maryland family, so the half works out better timing-wise. Excited to follow your training for Rehoboth and Denali!
  2. I'm so excited you'll be at Maine Coast. I'm currently trying to get my butt back in gear after a crazy week of work/and a weird weekend forced me to bail out on my long run last weekend. Also, I am seriously jealous about you running the Dingle marathon...That was my favorite place while we were there, I was so bummed when I found out the marathon happened a week before we got there. Maybe I'll force DH to go back sooner than we had planned so I can race it. Sounds like training is going well, keep it up!
  3. Never done that one. It's in July, and for some reason (the running gods hate half marathons?) it always ends up being one of the hottest days of the summer up here.
  4. Beach to Beacon is a great race. They just updated the way you register for the race, making it a queue-type system, but you have to be online at 6 or 7 a.m. RIGHT when registration opens. I love it. It all kind of depends on how far you want to run. I LOVE the MDI Marathon/Half Marathon, they are hilly but the island is home to Acadia National Park, so it's gorgeous. The Maine Coast Marathon/Half Marathon are great too. Or, if you're going for shorter and trails are your thing, a local running club puts on an awesome series at Bradbury Mountain - a 6, 9, and 12 miler all at different times during the summer. Orrrr, the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival, there are a ton of race options there. Lots and lots of options!
  5. Seriously! "What'd I ever do to you wind?" Where in Maine? I did not know that!
  6. Who wants to run a 10 mile race in the middle of winter on the ocean in Maine?...Apparently me, and about 1,000 of my friends. I grew up in Maine, have lived here my entire life other than a brief four-year stint in New Hampshire for college, but that doesn't mean I greatly enjoy running outside in the winter. It's cold, it's dark, it's icy, and living out in the boonies means there's virtually no shoulder to run on. But... Marathon training started last week, so I had to get a long run in to kick things off, and this 10-miler was the perfect motivation...back when I signed up for it in November. I woke up on Sunday morning to some fresh snow and a little ice in the driveway, but no rain - which is what the weatherman had predicted. Other than the "polar vortex" which hit Maine (and the rest of the country) in early January, it's been a pretty mild winter for us (so far, we've still go three more months), so I was pretty pumped when I looked at the temperature and it said 30* at 7:30 a.m. I suited up, grabbed some toast for the road and headed toward Cape Elizabeth for the race. Because I didn't have time on Saturday to go get my bib, I got there at 8:15 not sure how long the line to get my bib would be. I also wanted to make sure I got one of the good parking spaces near the finish line. I was the only one in line and then had an hour and a half to wait before the race. So I wandered back to my car, blasted the heat, and listened to my book for a while. About 10 minutes to race time I wandered up the hill to the starting line. A little back story on the area where the race was held. I coached cross country and track in this town for four years after college, it's an area I know well, but it's very hilly for a coastal town, so I was a little nervous going into the race. I've been running and cross training, but since Rehoboth, I think my longest run has been 6 miles, maybe. The course finishes on a really long gradual hill, which has always been one of my least favorites in the entire town...more on that later. I milled around the start for about five minutes, chatting with a few people I knew and then we were off. Mile 1: 8:53 - This mile was crowded, as it usually is in the first mile of a race, but once we got through the first half mile or so, it thinned right out and I was able to enjoy the downhill start. Mile 2: 8:56 - I was worried about this mile, because I know the road and it's full of big, rolling hills. I slowed my pace a little and felt pretty comfortable through the set of three decently large rollers. Mile 3: 8:41 - Big hills over, this section was pretty flat through a bunch of neighborhoods. Pretty unremarkable Mile 4: 8:31 - Totally missed the memo on this mile. There was no sign for it, so I never even checked my watch to see what my time was during this mile. Again, pretty boring. It's the middle of winter, so no one really comes out to cheer like they do for Beach to Beacon (same town, different course). Mile 5: 8:36 - Here is where I finally checked my watch. I was pretty happy to be running under 9 minute miles because I really had no idea what to expect. I knew that the second half of the course was probably equally hilly to the first, but with more long gradual hills vs. shorter rollers, so i was a little nervous that I had maybe pushed a little hard in the first half. Mile 6: 8:44 - We took a corner and WHAM! the wind smacked you right in the face. Good thing is that wind would soon turn into a tailwind. Again, there wasn't a mile marker for this one, so I just kind of cruised along. Mile 7: 8:33 - When I saw where I was I decided I would push hard for the last three miles, just to see what I had left. Ouch. Mile 8: 8:19 - The finish is so close! This is a pretty long downhill section so I really scooted my booty through here to try to bank some time for what I had been dreading, the hill at mile nine...dun, dun, dunnnnnnn! Mile 9: 8:12 - Huh? That wasn't as hard as I remembered. I've been doing workouts at OrangeTheory Fitness as speed and strength training, so that must have kicked in a little bit. A lot of the days include incline work on the treadmills along with whatever strength work they have scheduled for that day. Mile 10: 7:39 - I owe this all to "Party Up" by DMX. I was pushing up the end of the mile 9 hill and trying to catch this guy ahead of me who had passed me around mile 6. The song flipped over to "Party Up" and I dropped the hammer. I'm not sure why, but that song always gives me an extra boost of energy - it came on at mile 18 of my fall marathon just when I was feeling crummy and I felt new life, and then it came on around mile 9 at Rehoboth, same thing. We made the last turn into the high school parking lot and there are about 600 meters to go, so I started kicking early. The race directors have gifted runners with a down hill finish, which is usually great, but that headwind that smacked you in the face at mile 6 came back with a vengeance. I was able to push through the wind to the finish, passing the guy I wanted to on the way there. Final time 1:25:12. I went into the race with an A, B, and C goal. C: Just finish the race and use it as a training run. B. 1:30, A: 1:25. I was really surprised I was able to basically hit my "A" goal with the amount of training that I had under my belt. I thought for sure I'd be running around 1:30-1:35. After that, I'm feeling energized for the start of my Maine Coast Marathon training! Feeling a little bit tight today, my hamstrings are really feeling those hills. Going to do a short run after work before boot camp. We're looking at a little bit of a snowy week this week, and maybe some more this weekend as well, so I might have a few more treadmill runs on my hands than I'd really like, but that's fine.
  7. I'm not sure I'd trust the race day average for the Vermont Marathon. Memorial Day weekend round these parts can get quite warm. But I've heard only good things about the race too. I was supposed to run it a couple of years ago, but that plan was derailed by injury. I'd give a plug for the Maine Coast Marathon on May 13. HotPinkSneakers and I are both running it! I did it last year, and, provided the weather is good, it's a fast course.
  8. Definitely wish it could have been longer, with the in-laws down there too, things always get a little wonky. So great to meet you! Congrats on your finish, even when it hurt!
  9. Thanks! Good to see you too! Hopefully I can get back again this year, or maybe next...depends how vacation time shakes out.
  10. I've been doing OrangeTheory classes and a HIIT-style class at a different gym. M, W, F at the HIIT class and usually T, Th, Sat, at Orange Theory. Great to see you!
  11. You too! Looks like we'll all have to be in the same place at the same time again, so we can chat more!
  12. Merry (belated) Christmas, Happy (belated) Hanukkah, and Happy New Year! As usual, I'm late the the party with this bloop. I meant to do it right after getting home from Rehoboth, but work got crazy and I didn't have time to bloop from my desk so it just didn't happen. DH and I made the long drive down to Delaware the Thursday before the race - it's about 8.5 hours from our house to the hotel in Rehoboth. Two years ago we used a Hanukkah visit with DH's mom (who lives in Baltimore) as an excuse to go to my first Loopfest, and I had so much fun we did it all again this year. We met up with the in-laws Thursday night at the hotel and spent the day with them on Friday. I'm always amazed at how many places are open there into December; in Maine, a lot of the coastal towns shut down for the winter in mid-October, so its crazy to see so many places still open. Saturday morning arrived and I was out of bed at 5 to grab a bagel from the hotel continental breakfast by 5:30. Once I ate, I lounged around in bed for a while before waking DH up to get dressed and ready to head to the start. In the lobby we met up with DH's mom and her boyfriend along with two of their friends who live down there - one of them was running the half also. We all wandered to the start line together and signed our goodbyes and good lucks (DH's parents and their friends are deaf), and I headed over to the start line. While I was waiting for the start I was scanning the crowd for any Loopsters I might know, but I didn't see anyone so I popped my headphones in and got my playlist ready to go. I didn't have a time goal going into the race. I wasn't sure that I could even match the time I ran two years ago (1:58:xx), but I was going to try. Leading up to the race I hadn't been running a ton, out of laziness - I just wasn't motivated - so when the gun was about to go off, I was nervous. I wasn't sure how fast my mother-in-law's friend was, but he looked quick, so I tried to stay with him, right around the 2 hour pace group. He and I passed each other back and forth for the first few miles until he pulled ahead - I kept him in sight for the entire race, but wasn't able to overtake him. About a half mile in, 9 minute miles felt too slow, so I started to push a little bit. Mile 1: 8:39. Feeling good as we headed out of town, I decided to push the pace and see how far I could take it. Miles 2-5: 8:25, 8:14, 8:08, and 8:24. My plan was working, I was pushing, but I didn't feel too uncomfortable, so I kept at it, slowly picking people off as we went. The road turns to trail around 6.5 or so (I think), and I was pretty happy to get onto the packed gravel. Miles 6-8: 8:21, 8:08, and 8:28. It gets pretty packed in the trail, but I felt like I had room to pass when I wanted to and kept pushing the pace through the woods section. Miles 9-11: 8:15, 8:19, and 8:18. Once we popped back out onto the road, I looked at my watch and saw that I was definitely going to PR, but by how much? I decided to drop the hammer and use what I had left in the tank going for gold. Miles 12 and 13: 7:59 and 7:48 (the .1 was 7:30 pace). I crossed the finish line in 1:48:29, a 10-minute half-marathon PR. I could not believe it! My longest run since my full-marathon in October was about 8 miles, but I have been diligently attending boot camp classes 5-days a week, so that must have helped a lot. After I finished I met up with DH, his parents, and their friends. Their friend had finished about 1 minute ahead of me at 1:47:25 (I told you I could see him the whole way). In the end, even though I could see where he was, I just didn't have enough to catch him...The pain faces in my race photos are epic (for some reason I can't get them to attach). We said our goodbyes (until dinner) and I headed back to the hotel for a quick shower before heading back to the beer tent. Our friend had given us his wristband for the beer tent, so DH unexpectedly tagged along. We had a beer while we tried to find people, and then trotted down to mile 26-ish to catch up with a few people. As always, meeting people (some I hadn't met before, and a few I had) was the best part of the weekend for me. It was nice to have some familiar faces there to pull me out of my awkward shell (DH helps with that too, he is much more social than I). Apparently DH was giving out some sort of beer-needing vibe because people leaving the tent kept handing him their tickets, so the tent party continued well past the three-beer "limit!" After some tent-time, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner with DH's parents before heading out for the night. Two years ago we were overserved during the late-night festivities, making the drive home the next day horrible. This year we made a pact that we were going to leave at midnight, no matter what, and we stuck to that plan. Bright and early Sunday morning we were on the road - a little sleepy and a little hungover. Before we even left Rehoboth, we stopped to get bags of chips for the trip home. After a stop to see my sister in Connecticut, and a stop for Dibella's subs (and more chips), we were back on the road and home by 5 - ready for bed. Thanks Loopsters for another great weekend! Can't wait to come back!
  13. I thought so too, but I don't know if I could have stomached it at the time. I had a handful (or two) when I got home.
  14. The babe with the power... For some reason my whole life, my sister and I have had a strange obsession with the movie The Labyrinth our whole lives - Bowie is dreamy. Random, I know, but it fits in with my 2017 MDI Marathon experience because I added "Magic Dance" to my playlist for the race. As I mentioned in my race preview, I wasn't feeling super confident in my training going into this race. It had even come to the point where I was telling myself, "if you don't finish, it's okay, you can rationalize it with the training..." Regardless, I got up on race morning and felt pretty good - a little tightness in my lower back that I had been dealing with for about a week, but everything else felt fresh at the start line. This race has the best start line tradition. After the National Anthem is sung or played, they blare "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, and the atmosphere at the line immediately becomes charged. It's something I've never felt before at another race. Halfway through the song, while everyone bounces and dances in place, a cannon sounds and the race is off. Mount Desert Island is a really hilly island, so almost every part of this race is up or down. Miles 1-5: I was right around 9 minutes for all of these miles. There's a killer hill that lasts from basically 3-5 miles. It's not steep, but it goes on for all two miles and can be a little bit soul sucking. One of my favorite things about this race is that it winds its way through tiny towns across the island, and there is support all over the place - some locals sit on their front porch and give you a nod or a little wave as you wander by while others are banging drums, strumming banjos, or bouncing up and down cheering their heads off. Having lived in Maine my whole life, I find that it is a really interesting snapshot of Mainers. Miles 6-13.1: This section might be the "flattest" of the whole race, while definitely not being flat. I was still feeling really great at the halfway point, averaging between 9 and 9:30/miles in this section. I made it to the halfway point in 2:01:42 and was really surprised at how good I felt. I had a friend running who was doing the two person relay, but her partner got injured so when she was supposed to switch out with him at the halfway point, she kept going. Usually she's way ahead of me, but she was taking a break at the half when I came around the corner and jumped back into the race with me. I remember telling her that I might have been a little aggressive in the first half of the race, and that I was going to try to run for as long as I could before taking a walk break. She said she was going to run to the St. Jude aid station (mile 19) and drop there. She got a bit ahead of me, but I was proud that I could keep her in sight for the rest of my race. Miles 13.2-20: About mile 15 I started to feel the first half of the race a little bit. I thought my pace might have been a little aggressive for the level of training that I had put in, but I maintained the 9-9:30/mile pace through this section. This part of the race is pretty lonely as you are running down Solmes Sound - fun fact, it's the only fjord on the East Coast - which is totally isolated except for the aid station at mile 16. However, an awesome surprise this year was a big fishing troller in the water blaring music and honking its horn with the crew waving and cheering. They were a huge pick me up. At this point my play list was really playing a big part in keeping me moving. I basically danced from mile 16 to the finish as a distraction. In retrospect, I'm pretty impressed with the playlist that I put together; it ran the gamut on genre and it was excellent. When I passed my parents at mile 18 "Magic Dance" from the Labyrinth came on my playlist and I briefly serenaded my mother as I ran by her. Miles 20-26.2: Here's where my early pace caught up to me. I ran every. single. step. through mile 20. Considering I didn't do a single 20 mile run during my training for the race (things kept coming up each time I had one planned), I was pretty proud of this. Even after 20 miles, my walk breaks were short, and typically hill related. Basically, once you turn the corner at mile 20, the rest of the race goes uphill. I was still feeling pretty good at this point, despite taking some walk breaks. This part is really spectator friendly so DH and my parents basically leap-frogged me in the car from about mile 18 to the finish - I saw them before this, but it's not super easy to get to most of the "spectator spots" on the course. We've got it pretty much down to a science at this point since this was my fifth time running the race. I see them at mile 12, 18, and then they stop as many times as they want until the end of the race. It was really nice to get a little boost from seeing them each time they would stop. When you get to about mile 24.5 you've made it to the top of the last hill and are greeted by the best aid station in the whole race. First, they had cardboard cut outs of Star Wars characters set up along the prior mile, and their music is so loud you can hear them before you see them. At this point in the day it was drizzling, so they had been standing out there for a while getting wet, but they were so enthusiastic. One woman had candy corn in a bucket which she was covering with her jacket; every time she offered it to some one it felt like a shady street deal, which was making me giggle. From the top of the hill aid station it's a glorious, but painful downhill to the finish. I hit about 25.5 miles and all of a sudden I hear my name over a loudspeaker and a couple of short siren blasts. My dad is a retired police officer and he had friends at the race. My parents and DH saw two of my dad's cop-buddies at the finish line getting ready to leave and jokingly said if you see her blow the siren. And they did. It was a really funny moment as people looked around to see who the cop was cheering at. It started raining a little harder as I got closer to the finish, but I was pushing it. I realized at about 25 miles that I was close to matching the time I ran at the Maine Coast Marathon earlier this spring (I was in much better shape for that race but the rain, cold temps, and gusty winds squashed my time goals), so I was pushing hard. I ended up finishing in 4:13:52, three minutes slower than my spring race, but way ahead of where I thought I would be. I never feel much like eating as soon as I'm done the race, but I wandered into the food tent and grabbed a bagel to snack on because we wouldn't be stopping for food for a little bit (MDI is VERY rural other than Bar Harbor). The worst part of the race is that parking is about a 1/2 mile from the finish line. The last thing you want to do after running a marathon is walk a 1/2 mile to sit down. I'm just about a week and a half post-race and everything feels great. I recovered quickly from the race and was back to my normal routine (maybe a little slower) on Wednesday last week. As far as the rest of the year goes, I've got a couple of turkey trots coming up in November and then Rehoboth in December. Can't wait! I'm running the half again this year. Not only is it a super fun trip with Loopsters, but we get to see DH's mom and stepdad while we are down there for our Hanukkah/Christmas celebrations. They live in Maryland, so it's an easy excuse to go down for the race. Happy running everyone.
  15. croninamber

    Be Uncomfortable

    Congratulations! I understand the torn up feet, mine will be fine for a whole training cycle and then race day... Boom, blisters! I'm so proud you embraced the "Be uncomfortable"-ness of the run. This weekend I'll be embracing Maddon's "Try not to suck" for my race. My team's out so, "Go Cubs, Go!"
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