Friday, October 19, 2012

running... a look back.

on october 17th, 2002 i ran my first 5k race. and i won. i took "jogging" as a class at elmira college (yes, well spent money right there folks, we could even walk! college at its finest...) and although my winning 5k time was most likely nothing to write home about, i think this may have sparked something in side me. i was a soccer/basketball/softball player in high school, and went on to play basketball at elmira, but going out and running just to run was not something i enjoyed doing. until then.

i told my friend liz shortly after that race that i was going to run a marathon some day. i gave myself til the age of 30. being 21 at the time, i thought that gave me enough time. training for my first marathon in the summer of 2008, i ended up with a busted knee (IT band) and had to back out. training in the summer of 2009 went much better (but not pain free), and 12 ibuprofen later, i completed my first marathon in october of 2009, at the age of 28. i think we all know how the story unfolds to where we are today...

october 17th 2002 - october 14th 2012
8 marathons
15 half marathons
1 pineland farms 25k
7 mid winter classic 10 milers
20 10ks
1 yarmouth clam festival 5 miler
4 thanksgiving day 4 miler
20 5ks

mount desert island marathon this past sunday became my 80th lifetime race. for someone who hated (no, despised!) running even the one mile gym class thing in school for presidential fitness, or the timed 2 miler for varsity soccer, and even the thought of the 5am track workouts for pre season basketball at elmira made me want to puke... ive sure come a long way.

mount desert island was also my last marathon for 365 days. i know i said this last year, probably around this time, but i really am not running another marathon until then. sunday was very bittersweet knowing i wouldnt be covering that distance for a very long time. and the race was hard. marathons are hard. then throw in the rain, and the cold, and my over dramatic near death experience weird heart/almost passing out situation... again, someone who hated running just 10 years ago is upset that she wont be running 26.2 miles for another year. who am i?!

a little over a year ago i wrote a blog post about running that i thought i would revisit once again...
                        "Running is not fun. It's too hard to be fun". ~Dean Karnazes

there are days when i definitely agree with dean. i do not always find running to be fun. there are days when its easier than others and, all in all, running is hard. its hard on our bodies. its hard on our minds. we beat ourselves up in so many ways. so why do we continue doing it? day after day we hit the pavement or treadmill or trails for different reasons... weight loss. upcoming races. mental therapy...

but should it be easy? and is it fun?

an online dictionary defines "fun" as:
1. something that provides mirth or amusement: A picnic would be fun.
hmmm, provides amusement huh? the only amusement i typically find on a run is if (or more like when) i trip or fall (yes, this happens more often than you might think). and if a run is going to be described with the same "fun" as a picnic, i would hope there would be more snacks available on my run.

so why do i continue doing this? my whole body aches most days. my toenails are barely hanging on. i have blisters. im tired. (clearly i complain).

in the book "50/50" (Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons In 50 Days) by ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, is a passage from when  he ran the marathon in seattle, washington. this man is incredible and could literally motivate a slug. in no way do i believe that i could even run 50 marathons in my lifetime, let alone back to back to back... (to back... times 50 days) but if there was anyone who could get you to try, it would be Dean. this whole book is full of motivating passages (and i HIGHLY recommend this read to anyone, runner or not) but this one has stuck with me and i want to share:

"Running teaches you that there's a difference between working hard and feeling bad. Consumer culture tries to teach us otherwise. How many television commercials talk about "making life easier"? If everything you knew about life came from TV, your goal would be to live the easiest life you possibly could. You would believe that the only good feelings are sensual pleasures such as the taste of a good soft drink and the fun of driving an expensive car and lying on the beach.
But it's just not true. Challenging and testing your mind and body, even to the point of exhaustion, failure, and breakdown, can feel as wonderful as anything else life has to offer. I suppose the enjoyment of hard work is more of an acquired taste than the taste for pleasure and fun, but once you've acquired it, you're blessed with more ways to feel good, and life is better. Harder and better."

we live in a world where things are made to be easier. home delivery. internet. drive through. microwave. instant everything. but can you go out and run an 18 mile training run in less than a couple of hours? not if youre just an average runner like myself. most days i feel like i dont have enough hours in the day to just do everyday things, let alone go out and just run. so what is on my mind while im out there? the house is a mess. theres so much laundry i should be doing right now. i need to go get groceries...

and a lot of negativity.

im gonna tell you something that might blow your mind... my life is NOT tough. (phew. glad i got that off my chest). i have a beating heart. oxygen in my lungs. shoes on my feet. heat in my house. a job. money in my bank account. family and friends who love me. for someone who probably has more than i am even thankful for, i sure think a lot of negative thoughts. and most of those come out when im all alone, out on the road. running.

running challenges us all in different ways. it is truly a selfish act. no one else is going to benefit from your run, whether it be struggling through just one mile or a three hour weekend training run. so why not allow it to help YOU. think positive. challenge yourself. i really think running can be fun if you make it fun for yourself. be thankful you can be out there putting one foot in front of the other. think about the stresses in your life, but think about them in a way that is encouraging and positive, rather than stressful and negative. im glad i have laundry because that means i have clothes to wear. my house might be a mess but i have a house and people that live in it to mess it up. i know those might sound really lame but i personally think im way too negative on my runs and it ultimately affects my overall running experience.

ive selfishly cried because i missed a PR by one second. ive celebrated a sub 4 hour marathon goal, a sub 1:50 half marathon, a sub 23 minute 5k, a sub 7 minute mile... while others are celebrating another year, another day even, on this unpredictable/unforgiving earth.

80 races later ive discovered my love of running, and i have discovered a lot about myself. i cried many times throughout the 26.2 miles on sunday, but not because i was sad. i was happy. i was doing something i loved, surrounded by people who felt similar challenges i was. i had a best friend beside me pushing me, laughing with me, reminding me why "I LOVE RUNNING SO MUCH" (caw!caw!) i had friends who care about me on the side of the road cheering me on in the pouring rain. i often take for granted some of the things i can do that others cant, and running is one of them. ive pushed myself harder and i havent given up, knowing at any moment this gift could be taken away from me.

and if i have learned anything over the past 10 years of running and training and racing, its that running, like life, is not easy. and some days, its not fun. but the more i run, the harder i train, the easier it gets. and that just allows me to work harder to get faster, to run farther. the challenges never end unless you sit back and allow it to be easy.

and to me, easy is boring.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MDI marathon- caw! caw!

ive been sitting in front of this blank screen since i woke up at noon (yes i slept last night, yes i went back to bed... after getting up at 3am to take meg to the bus station and getting pulled over and having to run in and stop the bus and save the day!) but thats a whole other story...

ive said this a few times before on this blog (most likely on all of my marathon recaps), but this is a very difficult recap to write. i have NO idea where to start. most people would say "well duh, start at the beginning". which makes sense. but i think ill hold your attention a little better if i start at the end...

at mile 24 i was walking at a 14:30 pace. tears were rolling down my face. i couldnt feel my fingers and the rain was beating down on me. there was no dry spot on my clothes or body. with 2 miles left to go, 29 minutes if i kept walking, i contemplated stopping and figuring out a way for someone to pick me up. my first marathon DNF. i didnt think i had it in me to keep going.

TWO MILES. after powering through the previous 24. this was the mental game i was now battling.

one final up hill, the "final push" water station, and a sign at the 'top of the hill' restaurant that said "MDI runners, 1.5 miles left. its all downhill from here". so i started running. albeit not fast, but i was determined to cross that finish line. andy met me on the bike with less than a mile to go, i handed him my water bottle, and i took off. as i crossed the finish line, got my medal, elizabeth wrapped me in a tin foil cape, i saw sarah and hugged her and cried.

then i did something ive never done in any race ive run. i went to the medical tent.


minus the pouring rain, this marathon/marathon weekend went just like all the others for the most part. scratch that, the rain is included. 3 out of my past 4 marathons were in the pouring rain. thanks for that, weather gods. i dont mind running in the rain but come on!

a bunch of us crazy runner people got together friday night for food (CAKE!), drinks, and scrabble, and eventually the baseball game after spending what seemed like hours on the phone with time warner cable threatening to burn their place down (i cant believe i did this in order to watch the yankees game!?)

must be mdi weekend!

meg, ally, and christy had flown in earlier in the day, brendan, andy, sarah and ruddley joined us for the festivities, and once the night calmed down, i cheered for the cardinals while andy passed out from a few too many bud lights. sarah and i woke him up bright and early for an easy 2 mile run (and it was a whopping 30 degrees. yay). we packed up our stuff, ate 9 pounds of bagels and french toast for breakfast at mr.bagel, and headed on our way... mount desert island bound!

love these girls

clearly we needed to stop to see the moose

andy wanted in on all the picture action too

we got to the expo, picked up our jackets and bibs, and snapped a few pics, obviously.

two bad ass crow chicks
caw! caw!

we then proceeded to stuff our face with ALL THE CARBS... bread, pizza, ravioli, chicken, pasta... you name it, we pretty much ate it. i of course had the same meal i ate last year (i pretty much havent stopped talking about it since)... bucatini pasta with pecorino cheese and a poached egg on top. filled with garlic and butter and yummy goodness. amazing.

post pasta face stuff fest

i could bore you with the late night details, but long story short... i became a huge emotional mess and needed to let it all out, and didnt want to scare my bed mates. so after watching a few innings of the yankees game, after we all headed to bed, i put on my jacket and uggs and took a walk around the hotel parking lot. the night sky was clear, and i just tried to clear my head and focus on the race the next day. i walked back into the hotel room, sat down on the bed with andy, and started bawling. it just all came out. he didnt really know what to do and i felt pretty stupid, so i said "apparently my walk isnt over yet" and i went back outside, sat on the hood of my car and cried. and cried and cried.

heading back into the hotel after i had somewhat pulled myself together, meg had gotten worried and came to see if i was ok. we all headed back into bed and apparently sara was awake too, so we called in to andy to ask for a bedtime story....

"once upon a time there were three craaaaazy runners who couldnt sleep the night before their very hilly very long distance race... along came the handsome gallant bike rider who inspired them to go faster..."

i think we eventually fell asleep, and woke bright and early to the sound of rain. lovely. it actually ended up being water just falling off the roof, but the forecast had rain. and rain it did.

self explanatory, complete with big pimpin sweatpants and race braids
per the norm

crazy awesome runners ready for the day
sara, me, christy, sarah, ally

christy and me

after crying through the national anthem (wtf is wrong with me?!) and cheering/jumping up and down during "thunderstruck", the gun went off and the race started. sarah, christy and i ran together for the first few miles, talking and just enjoying the run. we met up with my friend kelly and talked with her for a few minutes before she took off (and crushed her first marathon! yay!)

mile 1: 9:44
mile 2: 9:35
mile 3: 9:47
mile 4: 9:17
mile 5: 9:39

sarah and i decided to stop at the port-a-potties during mile 6 just because we could. we were not running for time (after coming off her first marathon at smuttynose and my sub 4 there, we just wanted to enjoy this race together... which we absolutely were). our stop took a bit longer than we had thought but we headed out again and made up a little time and carried on.

mile 6: 12:34
mile 7: 9:05
mile 8: 9:09
mile 9: 9:25

the miles were going by so fast. we both were enjoying ourselves, talking to others around us, cheering, laughing, and for once... not complaining! it had started to rain a little bit but we just kept having a great time. all along the way were messages spray painted on the road, much of which read "caw!" and every time we would pass one, we'd yell out "CAW! CAW!" clearly we were slightly delusional. (for those of you who dont know, MDI marathon is put on by Crow Athletics. join us, you'll see what its all about)

this boat was out in the water with a sign that said "i like running!"
only in maine...
mile 10: 9:36
mile 11: 9:27
mile 12: 9:26
mile 13: 9:14

we got to the halfway mark/relay exchange at just over 2:06. i felt good overall but was having knee pain (normal). i stopped and hung onto meg so i didnt fall over stretched at the exchange and then we took off. continuing to have fun, meet more people along the road. the miles just kept going by, and we both commented on how carefree it felt.

mile 14: 10:12
mile 15: 10:04
mile 16: 9:57
mile 17: 10:08

the rain started to come down harder, the hills were getting a little bit longer, a we started to slow down a little. we shared a few miles in silence, which is perfectly normal for the two of us. sarah and i have shared our entire year (particularly all summer) training for these races together. weve had our ups and downs, fast days and slow days, smiles and tears... but we have never given up on each other. we have been side by side through thick and thin...

at mile 18.5, something went wrong. my heart was beating out of my chest. and fast. i slowed down to a walk, with sarah a bit up ahead of me, and when she turned around to see what was up i stopped and bent down...

"i think im about to pass out"

she came running back and held me up. i have no idea what was happening, and i have never felt this way before, but i was really scared. i hate some sports beans, walked through the upcoming water stop, drank some gatorade, and grabbed one of my salt pills when our support car came by. i felt better and we carried on, but the whole situation kept in the front of my mind. i wasnt comfortable with what had happened and was worried it might happen again.

mile 18: 9:49
mile 19: 10:56
mile 20: 11:07
mile 21: 11:25

as sarah wrote on her daily mile entry: "miles 16-20 were a little rough and i could feel my body starting to get tired. D needed to back off on the pace a little around and she told me to go ahead. i had promised her we would cross the finish line together and i did not want to leave her. we argued from mile 18-21....

D: just go, ill be fine... youre gonna fuckin PR this thing
me: no, im not leaving you out here
D: you pushed me to bust my ass this summer, now it's your turn... GO!"

she also told me that she had promised ty she wouldnt leave me, and im pretty sure she said something along the lines of "your husband will KILL ME if i leave you!"

but as i walked through a water stop up a hill after 21, she powered up and kept going. she turned around to see where i was, i gave her a thumbs up, and she never looked back (she did send andy back to check on me though, i know i never left her mind). (side note: she went on to CRUSH her marathon pr by 17 minutes... which was two weeks ago in her FIRST marathon. holy crap, so proud of this girl!! xoxo)

mile 22: 10:37
mile 23: 12:03

the next few miles were brutal. my head was everywhere. i was walking a lot and running very little. i was freezing and wet. i couldnt feel my hands. our support crew had driven by to go to the finish and i knew i had missed my chance for them to give me my warm/dry jacket. i only had one glove so i kept switching it from one hand to the other. at mile 23, i started feeling my heart beating again and i got light headed. i was really scared now. i didnt know what was happening, and i was afraid of dying. i know that sounds dramatic but that was where i was at right then.

mile 24: 14:21

and with 2 miles left, i contemplated ending the race.

mile 25: 12:22
mile 26: 12:40

head back to where this blog starts... i somehow found the strength to get to the finish... with a smile on my face... and was greeted with all my friends at the end.

finish line love
photo courtesy of Kevin Morris

i headed to the medical tent, told them what had happened out there, and they sat me down in front of the heater and gave me a warm blanket. my heart rate and pulse ox were fine (92 and 100%), and my blood pressure was 105/60.

**...we interrupt this blog post to bring you an earthquake. weird. apparently a 4.5, felt from maine to boston. i thought my house was going to explode. carrying on (and im not going to even start with the zumba situation... horray maine.)**

so as i was saying, i got checked out in the med tent, sat for a few minutes to warm up, and figured i should try to get to my car and get into some warm clothes. we had to walk about a half mile, i changed in a gas station bathroom, and meg bought me a hot chocolate and a banana which were the two greatest tasting things EVER. and i saw this car in the parking lot and had to snap a photo:

marathon freak, run long, crow athletics, marathon maniacs
i was meant to find this car.

we all headed back to geddys restaurant in bar harbor to stuff our faces with 10 lbs of spinach and artichoke dip (ok maybe just me and andy), then we all took off for home. but alas, our weekend adventure was not over as i somehow took a wrong turn and almost drove ally and christy to canada.

butttt we made it home in one piece. oh wait, we also stopped for gas and got the leftover chocolate cake out of the trunk and indulged.

the end...

...well not really...

congrats to SO MANY friends (i apologize if i forget anyone...) sarah, sara, brendan, jamie a, jamie t, jen, donna, john, kelly, molly, Ryan & bethany, christy, ally, ruddley, lauren... a HUGE THANK YOU to andy, meg, elizabeth, and sarahs mom for their course support, and a SUPER HUGE THANK YOU to mary ropp and gary allen for yet another great race. caw caw!!
theres a lot marathon maniac in this photo

mount desert island
marathon #8
481/907 overall
33/65 age group

a bittersweet end to a crazy 4 year marathon journey

to be continued... october 20th 2013

Monday, October 1, 2012

smuttynose marathon

i opted not to do an official "september recap" as i had a really low running total, a close to nothing bike total (18 miles), and other than a lot of puppy chasing (and growing!), it wasnt an all too exciting month. last month was the lowest running mileage month i have had since april at 115 miles. i made it to the 1,000 mile mark for the year and then just decided i was tired. i knew i had a race coming up (that i didnt tell anyone about) and i felt more like resting my legs than trying to go out and run all the time and get faster and go further and push it and all the things i did leading up to my epic breakdown of a marathon in july.

and apparently it worked.

three days after my around the lake disaster, i registered for the smuttynose marathon. i needed redemption. i already knew where i had gone wrong (started off way too fast, was over confident, my fueling needed help)... and i knew that mount desert island was not going to be the race for me to attempt sub 4 again. smuttynose was said to be a flat, fast course, so i thought i would give it a try. and i convinced sarah to join me for her first marathon (despite her super awesome ultra marathon 50k finish, she had yet to toe the line of an actual marathon). and we decided to keep it just between us (which turned into telling a lot of people as the day got closer... but my mom only found out at about 8pm saturday night haha. she wasnt all too pleased....)

like i said, i cut my mileage waaaaaay down in september. probably not the greatest of ideas heading into what i wanted to be a major PR marathon, but my legs were tired. physically, emotionally, and mentally i was broken down. i raced a 10k for the lobsterman triathlon as a relay with andy, averaging about 8:20s but felt like junk. i had a solid 22 miler a few weeks ago at about 9:20 pace but that was really the only run i felt good on. so going into sunday i had no idea if my legs were going to be rested and up for the challenge, or if i would fall apart like i had done in the past 6 marathons.

i started my taper after lobsterman, and gave up caffeine and alcohol (I KNOW!?!?) i chose not to do the long run/carb depletion/long run/carb load thing like i did last time. i think it did work well before but just didnt feel like doing long runs or giving up carbs haha. instead i did a few 2 mile runs, a couple of 5 milers, and my longest run was a 7.

runner of the year here folks.

anyway... i felt well rested on saturday as ty and i headed down to pick up my bib. the expo was really nothing to write home about but i got to see my friend liz who was preparing for her first marathon there and we went out to eat and did some shopping in kittery. i was in bed by 9 with the alarm set for 4am. ugh. just like last years marathon i woke up and it was raining. the forecast called for 30% chance of precipitation... how do these weather people not lose their jobs?! luckily it wasnt freezing, but it was certainly not warm either. i decided to wear my under armour compression capris and a long sleeve shirt over my reach the beach top (hot pink... which did not match my red REV 3 visor. fashion fail). i also brought gloves (those and the long sleeve top came off by mile 2).

i picked up sarah and andy at 5am and we made a quick stop at dunkin donuts before getting on the highway. we got to the race with about an hour and a half to spare, picked up sarahs bib and hung out with our friend jim for a bit (he was running the half). we also met up with my friend from college, sarah and her fiance jim (sarah was running the half), and also found liz and elizabeth (sarah, sarah, liz, elizabeth, jim, jim.. haha sorry for the confusion). college sarah had tried to send me salt pills in the mail which ultimately got returned to her due to not enough postage, but i was worried that the FBI had confiscated them (a ziploc bag with 5 pills, some which had exploded with a white powdery sketchy haha). she gave me a few to take on the run with me just incase i needed them.

marathon maniacs photo pre race

elizabeth, sarah, and me

me and liz. we clearly love pink.

the reason i accomplished what i did today
couldnt have done it without this girl

with about 5 minutes to go, andy and jim wished us all good luck as we headed to the start. i lined up with timmy, the 9:00 pacer. i found it odd that they only had pacers for the half marathon, but i was so happy to have him to run with so i didnt go out too fast like i usually do. jim told me that timmy was usually spot on so that was good to hear. i was feeling a little nervous but knew i needed to try my best and if sub 4 wasnt in the cards i wasnt going to be upset about it.

the first mile i felt alright, weaving up and down side streets of hampton beach. i had no idea where we were going, which was kinda nice. i just ran, keeping timmy next to me. the road was very crowded but i wasnt needing to weave in and out of people. i just ran whatever pace i was at, trusting him. when we got to mile 1 at 9:25 i thought "uh oh..." we settled into about a 9 min pace after that, with a few sub 9s to catch back up. i had a half gatorade/half water 22oz handheld with me (which got SO heavy, ugh), so my plan was to grab a cup of water at all the water stops. of course i forgot at the first one, and then ran through the 2nd and ended up at the gatorade table and had to back track for the water... which then caused me to have to run 8:40s to try to catch up with timmy. i was not pleased with this, but i saw him up ahead and decided to stay a ways behind and hope to kick it back up at the end if i was needing to. at this point i was almost 2 minutes ahead of my 3:59 pace band i had so i felt ok. my stomach was grumbling by mile 3 which made me a bit nervous but i took a peanut butter gu (a little earlier than planned) and some sports beans which seemed to help.

my knees started hurting me around mile 8. this might have been when i started questioning if i would a) go sub 4, and b) finish. i hadnt taken any ibuprofen so i knew i would probably have some aches and pains but i kept pushing. i was a bit of a mental mess shortly after the half way point, but i knew (well hoped...) andy was going to be at mile 16 to take me the last 10 miles and i looked forward to having him there to push me to the end. (i had told him if i didnt see him i wasnt waiting around, so i was just hoping he made it there.... which he did). the second i saw him and we took off i handed him my water bottle and tried to get feeling back in my left arm (i had been switching it from hand to hand but i hate running with it in my right hand and i just couldnt get comfortable with it). i talked to him for a little bit and then turned my music back on and just got lost in the run. i told him if i stopped or started to really slow down that he needed to yell at me (im not sure he could actually yell at me, but luckily i didnt need to find out). i did stop one time around mile 18 to stretch my knees out and then again around mile 20 to get a rock out of my shoe. other than that we just continued to run side by side in silence. which was just what i needed. we also saw our friend eric a bunch of times along the way on his bike, my friend brett (his wife erin was running), his mom kelly & scott (and erin's sister/brother in law) were out and about on the course cheering us on, and liz's husband and friend courtney were at mile 8 & 20 ish... all were such great supports for me :) thank you guys!!!

side note: i really hope you all have such great/supportive friends/family as i do. leading up to this race i got so many words of encouragement and support from the people who knew i was running. i had my best friend and running partner at the race. i had a great friend running next to me to make sure my mental doubts didnt allow me to quit. i got a "tip of the day" for the 5 days leading up to the race... run smart, pacing, its the journey not the destination, breathe.... and one text that came in saturday night read: "dont forget to just run for the love of it. thats why we do it, after all". just what i needed to hear. and i got gorgeous roses from ty when i got home (awwwww).

theres a pretty sharp uphill at mile 22 and then a nice downhill to a flat finish. i walked through the water stop at 22, slapped the sign (favorite mile/#), and knew this was it. i had 40 minutes to run 4 miles. i didnt want to start my push just yet but i tried to keep a constant pace around 9 min/mile. mile 23 was really hard... i stopped and stretched and talked to andy a little, and then decided to start pushing it. my pace for those miles doesnt show it until the last mile, but i felt good. "fix you" by coldplay came on my ipod and i started crying... but it was what i needed right then. with over 10 minutes to run the last mile, i knew i had done it. (im very happy to be able to write that mile 26 was an 8:25 rather than 22:28. and no puking either.)

the last half mile was the longest stretch ever. i took my salt pill shortly before andy left me just incase i cramped up. i couldnt see the finish line and i kept looking at my watch seeing the seconds tick by. when i finally saw the finish line up ahead and had secured the sub 4 hour mark, i pumped my fist in the air and ran strong through the finish, giving college sarah a huge high five in the chute (see below for the awesome video her fiance snagged of me! yay!) sarah came running over to me and i broke down crying giving her a hug. im now 2 for 2 with her at my races for huge PRs (hyannis half breaking sub 1:50).

i met up with andy and ruddley (sarahs husband) after i finished and we cheered (and cried) as sarah came thru the finish chute completing her first marathon. theres nothing quite like that feeling and im so proud of her for overcoming so much to get herself there yesterday.

i finally did it :)

course profile:
elevation gain: 333 ft
elevation loss: 335 ft
min elevation: 1 ft
max elevation: 88 ft

official stats:
finishing time: 3:58:14
average pace: 9:05
overall place 342/868
division 46/158

i probably should have bought a lottery ticket or something yesterday... my 7th marathon, a 17 min 14 second PR... lucky #7? i also found it really odd that i had the very same race bib number (960) as i did at my very first marathon in 2009 (i was nervous pre race that it was a sign this one might be my last...) buuuuut things went well, im feeling alright today (despite swollen black and blue knees)...

bring it on Mount Desert Island marathon... 13 days :)

proud finishers

pretty even splits overall