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About Me

  1. Turns out grad school takes up a lot of time. I haven’t written since January (when I was between class periods) and have barely been able to even visit the loop. I feel out of touch. Ultimately it will be worth it, but it’s going to be busy until late 2020 at least. My training has gone relatively well even with working full time and taking classes. All I do is run, go to work, study, eat and sleep. (More or less) It’s a good thing running feels mostly like a break to me and I never had any social life. Otherwise this would never work. After a good training season, I thought shooting not
  2. I recently read my Top 5 Running Highlights of 2017 when searching for my yearly mileage history list. I was correct when I noted in that post that 2017 would be hard to top! My 2018 running wasn't quite what I wanted, but I have a lot to be thankful for. My Instagram Top 9 wasn't far off! My Highlights Were: With 3,047 miles, I ran my highest yearly mileage ever, surpassing my 2017 mileage by 4 miles (the 2017 mileage was a huge yearly mileage PR). I had 8 weeks of mileage in the 80s, which before this year I had only done for 1 week
  3. Oh goodness, where to start? The New York City Marathon was so much more awesome than I ever imagined, and I’m sure I won’t do justice to the experience here. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try! I left DC on Thursday via Amtrak (my favorite way to travel anywhere on the I-95 corridor), with coffee in my hands and manic excitement in my eyes… I arrived at NY Penn Station around noon, and walked the handful of blocks north to the Port Authority bus terminal, where my mom was due in at 12:30 from MA. We walked another handful of blocks together up to Hell’s Kitchen, where our (defi
  4. Hello and good morning! I didn’t plan on posting anything today, but I have stuff on the brain and I need advice. My post title song will probably be in my head (and your heads) all day now. I hope I don’t sing it where I can be heard. The reason for today’s title is related to where I am with my Achilles recovery and my relationship with running. I’m having good days and I’m having bad ones. I have runs where I feel almost normal and there’s pep in my step and no limit to how many miles I feel like I can run. I also have runs where I look down at my watch and say, “that can’t be rig
  5. There was a time when I would look forward to the punishment of the long run on Saturday mornings the feeling of preparing Friday nights, getting up while most were sleeping in, the freedom to eat and drink Saturday night knowing that you just clocked 16 miles because you could. Those days are a distant memory to me, my last race was the Marshall Marathon in 2013….2013! Many of you from the old loop remember my post about how I got to that point and how I changed my life. While I am still able to keep the weight down, my blood pressure has become an issue again and to be honest bouts of depres
  6. amarie2009

    Austin Marathon RR

    I finally finished marathon #7! It took 3 tries. It was a long time coming and it was hard. It took 3 days before I felt mostly normal again. By Wednesday I could stand up and sit down without whimpering or using my arms. Stairs were no longer to be feared, but walking down was still uncomfortable. The massage at the chiropractor hurt so good, and I felt a lot better after. I didn’t run at all until yesterday, and my legs still felt all those marathon miles when I did. Tomorrow I’ll go back to running before work. Travel down to Austin went well, all the St. Louis Team in Training people
  7. amarie2009

    Race day is Sunday

    The marathon is Sunday! Forecast for Austin looks ok. Low 47, High 67, chance of rain. It’s going to feel warm compared to what I’ve been running in but should be manageable. Hopefully it doesn’t rain but I’ve run a marathon in similar conditions before (Alaska was steady, moderate rain for the first 13 miles and a bit cooler.) It was soggy, but fine. I’m more nervous than I’ve been for a race in a while, but it’s been more than a year and a half since I completed a marathon. I’m nervous about the travel too. It’s been more than 3 years I think since I’ve flown and that makes me nervous t
  8. I know it's already February, and some people might think that the ship has sailed on end-of-year bloops. But hopefully none of those people are here, and if they are, they're free to move along. Maybe my bloops just like to be fashionably late? So. 2017. In retrospect, this year was really focused on race experiences more than goal times. I started out the year in questionable fashion, battling a nasty bout of piriformis syndrome in January and February after not quitting a long run when I should have because finishing that run would mean breaking 60 miles/week for the first time. In re
  9. amarie2009

    20 done

    I’m tired. Like really tired. Falling asleep ½ hour early every night and almost falling asleep at work tired. (Good thing I’m not an air traffic controller or a surgeon). Afraid at moments it’s an oncoming flu, but so far so good. I’ve never been more germophobic. I ran my one and only 20 miler for this training cycle on Saturday. It went well enough – I finished at a fair pace for me, but the IT band grumbled slightly again in the last 2 miles. This happened when I ran 15 a couple weeks ago. My 18 miler in between was fine. I’m working the MRTYL routine and core work and foam rolling hoping
  10. The short: My finishing time of 2:54:XX (I have a few different finishing times at this point, but they all begin with 2:54) was nearly 10 minutes slower than the big dream goal time I went to Houston to chase, but I finished the race at peace with that. My attempt at double-peaking failed, which I knew was a risk, but I don't regret taking the chance; I had to try. I executed my race plan well, but simply didn't have enough in reserves. At mile 16 I knew that I could run 10 more miles, but I also knew it was going to be nowhere near 6:15 pace. I then went on to provide a fantastic ex
  11. Back in 2016 when I trained for the Fresno Marathon in November, I was in the best shape ever and ready to go for sub3...the race came, the weather was perfect and the miles passed by until mile 21 when my hammy had enough for the day....on 2:55 pace, I booked my first DNF, oh well. Fast forward, a 50 miler and a 3:02 training marathon later, I started training for the California International Marathon in August. The training cycle was mixed. Besides moving from Seattle to altitude in Denver, I had some issues with left lower hammy in October. The hammy/knee eventually improved bu
  12. I wrote an excessive amount of detail about this race (links at the end of this post), but here is a short-ish overview! When I chose CIM, I selected it with the express purpose of trying for a 2:45:00 or faster marathon. God placed the dream of achieving an Olympic Trials Qualifying time on my heart, and after an almost painful amount of marathon research I decided that CIM would be my best chance after the qualifying window for the 2020 Trials opened this fall. As race day grew closer, I felt like I was ready for a PR, but not for a 2:45. 2:46-2:47 felt more realistic, and I lamented
  13. Marine Corps Marathon 2017 But there are times in our lives when we need to tilt at windmills, times when the scale of the quest frightens us, focuses us, and motivates us to stretch higher than before. The fact that we’ll more than likely fail is largely the point. (Jonathan Beverly, Runners World) This was my 3rd time running the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) and my 8th marathon. Getting a BQ back in January put me in an interesting place for this marathon. I wasn’t worried about my finishing time and that meant I could just race
  14. Jeff C.


    A long time ago… The four of us huddle in the dorm room, lights low, a single candle burns on the coffee table. The candle sits in a mountain of wax covering what was simply a Budweiser bottle just a few hours ago. Each of us digs at the candle, at the wax-mound with glowing hot paperclips. Heat the paperclip in the flickering flame, sculpt the wax; heat, sculpt, repeat. We’re stoned silly. And profoundly drunk—yet hyper-aware, attuned to our surroundings. Deafening music rattles the room. Screaming guitars, pounding bass. Each note dissected and analyzed. Our sharpened senses regist
  15. Hello everyone! I wrote this post a little over a week ago and posted it in my non-Loop blog runeatralph.wordpress.com. If you’ve been reading there, you might know that I ran the Richmond Marathon, which I trained hard for 16 weeks to prepare for with the hopes of a Boston Marathon Qualifier. Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out the way that I’d hoped or planned for. That’s the tough thing about marathons, really. You can do it all right up until race day and just not have it. I didn’t have it. I was supposed to run with MC, but we never met up at the start. I ended up spotti
  16. I think my best answers are: ...worked late, completed my second run of the day, then helped my daughter with homework, prepared and ate dinner, and did other random things at home, then quickly it was 9:00 p.m. I went to bed wearing the clothes I'd run in, and then the next morning I woke up and ran in them again! ...almost ran 3 times in a day. I had a double, and ran my second run at lunch, but all of my days were running together and I forgot I'd run it. I got dressed to run after work, and then saw my lunch run laundry and double checked Strava to ensure that I was in fact do
  17. mattw

    Piece Of Cake

    The chocolate cake in the glass case caught my eye as soon as I approached the counter of the small town coffee shop. My wife saw it too and smiled knowingly at me. I said, "But I gotta have some kind of lunch first." I asked the guy for a bagel and he said, "Sorry we're out of bagels." It was approaching 1 o'clock; you can't expect bagels to be available all day. "Okay," I replied without much hesitation, "I'll have a piece of chocolate cake. And a glass of plain milk if you have it." Chocolate cake is not good fuel for a Sunday long run. Running Buddy Tim who is training for Phoenix has
  18. TL;DR: Wineglass Marathon was amazing! I ran my most consistent race and got a PR by nearly 6 minutes. Parents and Loopsters made it extra-special. 10/10, would run again. The parents and I arrived in Corning, NY, late Friday afternoon. We checked into our hotel and met up with Liz and Peg for a drink and bite to eat nearby. It’s always great to catch up with Loopsters, and it was fun for my parents to meet some of the people that I talk about so much. It had been a long day of driving from Massachusetts, so we called it a night pretty early. Saturday morning started out with a short
  19. 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 go
  20. amarie2009

    Intimidating 18

    At what point does a distance start to get intimidating? For me right now I think it seems to be about 18 miles. Up to 13 I do all the time, even when I’m not training for anything I will run around 10-12 miles every weekend. It’s always nice to be ready to run a half at any time. 14, 15, 16 seem like only a tiny bit more – no big deal. But 18? 18 miles took me 3.5 hours this past weekend. 18 requires serious planning. I need make sure I have enough gus, water, sports drink etc. I know I need to think more carefully about what I do the day before. A lot can go wrong in 18 miles. You want to ma
  21. Hi guys! I feel like a lot has changed since I used to post a lot more a couple of years back. The difference between my first marathon (2010) and my tenth marathon: one of them I just wanted to finish, and one I was desperately trying to hit a certain time goal so maybe, possibly, I could come close to a BQ. Just wanting to finish was my goal last week, for the running of my tenth marathon. Isn't life freaking funny? Spoiler alert: I did finish, and it was an hour and two minutes slower than my first marathon, and idgaf. The difference between now and then is that I've realized some thi
  22. Avivocaruns

    I did a thing

    First: Good news! My dad does NOT have cancer! His oncologist said it looks like a cyst on his kidney and they will do a follow-up MRI in six months to see if it has desolved or changed. He still has Hep C, so he will begin treatment for that soon. Now. I did a thing. I printed out a marathon training schedule that takes 30 weeks and builds slowly and steadily. I am signing up for a marathon on October 27 (aka payday). It will be the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon on April 28. I planned to do a fall marathon but then I remembered that my husband is gone for work for
  23. I’ve been putting off writing anything about Chicago because I feel ungrateful and a bit guilty about the race. I ran a decent time but it was pretty far off where I thought my fitness was but in hindsight I think I was over trained and the weather did no favors. Going in to the race I had had a good training cycle, never felt great throughout and definitely bombed a tune up but I had been hitting MP in some pretty humid weather and figured after a taper I’d be in a good position to run a big PR. However as the race got closer my legs never got any pop back and
  24. J Zee


    Note: All 5 of the other Loopsters who participated in the Wineglass weekend are stellar individuals, outstanding people. Words don’t do justice, so I have copped out and not written about them. It’s too difficult to find the right sentiments. To be honest, it’s hard enough to write about this race. My feelings are complicated. Despite the successes across the board that the weekend brought to us, I feel we’re all poised for even better things. May the running gods smile on us, every one. October 1, 8:15 AM: The gun fired and we were off. September 7, 6:15 AM: I panted,
  25. This is my first post on the new Loop! Woot woot! While I'm sad the other one left, it was nice to see so many people sharing their appreciation of each other. Love you all! The last marathon I ran was 2016 Grandma's Marathon, where it was black flagged, hot AF, and I got the worst sunburn of my life and had to put medical grade burn cream on it. I had signed up for Kalamazoo Marathon in May, but I didn't go. I hadn't trained in the least and I just didn't want to. I was sick of traveling here, there, and everywhere. I can't wrap my mind around running more than 13 miles. So, I took the s
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