i started training that first week of 2014 for the maine coast marathon. 7 months postpartum. the need to get out and run, the desire to see what i had in me. up to that point i had run 8 marathons... and run is exactly how i would describe all of them (well i did my fair share of walking in many of them as well). sure, i had gotten that sub 4 monkey off my back, but even that didnt seem like i was actually racing the marathon at that point. a huge improvement from my first marathon, however (4:43). little did i know what id have in store for me in 2014, but i set out with the mindset of "why the hell not".
fast forward to the end of april (shortly before maine coast marathon) and i had 4 race distance PRs under my belt (5k, 10k, 10 miler, half marathon). i felt strong and ready to actually race marathon #9. despite the heat, and missing a BQ by mere minutes, i couldnt have been happier about the race i had that day. a 22 minute marathon PR.
exerpt: may 12 2014- maine coast marathon recap:
"as i turned left into the university of new england, i knew i had probably a half mile left to run to get there. i looked down at my watch and saw the time change to 3:34:00... i had 59 seconds to get to the finish, and i knew it wasnt possible. 18 weeks and 26 miles flashed before my eyes at that very moment, and i just took it all in. 4am (or earlier) alarms. the dreaded (but grown to love) treadmill. 100m/400m/800m/1000m/1200m/1600m sprints. long runs. ice baths. compression gear. foam rolling. garmin. gatorade. gu. heart. fear. dedication. smiles. tears. friends. family. ty. henry... nothing could take away the work i had put in to getting to me to this moment, but i also couldnt change the result i was about to face. and instead of throwing in the towel, giving up, or hanging my head, i pushed thru... turned left into parking lot 16, ran under the bridge, and came around the corner to see the finish line. i threw up my arms as if to say "oh well, better luck next time", and ran into the arms of my best friend as she placed the medal around my neck."
i prepared hard for lehigh valley marathon in september and sadly was sick, dehydrated, who knows what else (i drank a pumpkin spice latte two days previous and it made me sick... ugh... never ever again). i ended up with a DNF, which at the time hurt. it hurt so bad. but in hindsight, it was likely the exact thing i needed to gear me up for chicago. and that is really the race i have been thinking about the most lately. i got into chicago early on in the year by a chance lottery entry. kristal and i had randomly entered thinking "that would be a pretty cool race to do". i truly didnt believe i was going to actually get into the race. i think today about what this whole journey would be like today had i not gotten into that race. what marathon would i have qualified in? would i have even qualified? the weather in chicago was close to perfect. a flat course (which actually isnt as awesome as it sounds unless youre a freak who wants zero elevation change). i made many mistakes that race (cough cough stupid damn water stop at mile 25!), but it didnt matter when i crossed the finish line. 3:35:03. a 4 minute and 57 second boston marathon qualifying buffer. (although those following along at home had slight heart attacks thinking i had missed qualifying by 3 seconds, despite the many times i wrote about how i needed a 3:40 for boston 2016 because im old... sara bradley im speaking to you)...
and yay for being old!
i swore after finishing that marathon that i never wanted to race a marathon ever again. i never wanted to try to qualify again. marathons are hard and why do i even want to do this any more ever again?! of course i have since completed two more marathons and a 40 mile run around a track... running. its a funny sport.
i changed a lot of how i thought about running and racing marathons leading up to and running chicago. i let go of a lot of negative thoughts i used to carry with me and basically just went with the mentality of "ive done the work, whatever happens, happens". there were dark moments out on the streets of chicago, but i remember the good/fun moments way more (halfway point singing and dancing with jamie!). providence marathon wasnt all smiles and sunshine, but even on a bad day i ran a 3:44:17. something was changing with my running... for the better. i spent last summer training hard for mdi marathon with a new training plan i had never used before, only to have the most amazing race there, start to finish (3:40:47). ive been running races now for almost 15 years... i think im finally getting the hang of it.
as much as i say i dont want to race marathons, i dont want to re qualify... of course i really do. i mean, i cant deny from posting all of my training here that i am training for the freaking boston marathon (ho.ly.SHIT!... again), and i am training at paces at/near bq minus 10. ish. some runs are faster, some are slower. but i have learned this little trick called discipline... i dont use it a lot in my own personal life (other than putting hen in time out pre 6am for throwing the remote or having a meltdown over mommy saying he cant eat the cheerios he refused to eat for breakfast out of the trash...) but yes. discipline. pacing, recovering, resting. im taking it all very serious. and i will take boston, april 18th, very seriously. because it might be my only opportunity... so why the hell not? i put in the work to get myself there, i owe it to give that course every damn thing ive got.
(i guess i had a lot more to say this week than last week... dear diary...)
week 9 ending with a pretty solid 18 miler meant week 10 started off pretty painful. and i was sick. but it was also 70 degrees so outside i went (and graced westbrook with the whitest stomach ever... likely blinding drivers. sorry about that). my shirt i wore for the first mile or so was pretty fitting though.
do you expect anything else?
this weeks speedwork was the bomb... and full of sweat. havent you always wanted to see the evolution of sweat from a 2 mile progressive speed set? (this coincides well with the butt sweat post. man you readers are so lucky).
shameless sweaty treadmill selfies just for sara
again i nailed the rest day on friday... im so good at fridays. i also decided to optimize my rest by doing the speedwork thursday super early, and planning my long run for saturday afternoon. i might be blonde but i have good ideas every now and then.
temps on saturday were in the low 50s, but oof. the wind. rude. im fairly sure i wanted that run done and over with as soon as possible... my miles were a bit too fast (i dont get to say that too often). the effort was certainly more than the time said, and my legs paid for it sunday.
nail your MP miles, promptly die on bffs front porch
and i sure know how to fuel post run
but my baking/chocolate dipping skills are less than to be desired
basically my "run" sunday was more of a walk waddle
mondays run... 8 miles... i have it written down that i did 8 but i dont even remember when i did this run. oh, after i woke up (i worked overnight til 1am and then my dad took hen for a few hours. so awesome!). nothing special to this run, felt pretty good i think. im so tired right now i cant think straight. for all i know this run sucked and i complained a lot. per the norm.
so, as with every tuesday, we get to the long run... 2nd to last 16 miler before the big day. this run really couldnt have sucked any more, from start to finish. with minor moments of "maybe this will be ok" in between. i woke up dreading it, just not feeling it. the rain outside was a bummer and didnt help with my ho hum mood. i set up ifit to run along approx 7 courses for the 16 miles so that every 2-3 miles the scenery would change... only to get downstairs to start my run and the internet wouldnt work in my house. no ifit. no computer for netflix for nurse jackie. welp, this is off to a good start.
after 5 miles (watching netflix on my phone) i tried again and the internet was back! a miracle!
3 episodes and 9.25 miles later, i decided i no longer could take one more step on the treadmill and decided to run outside.
yay off the treadmill! yay all the neon!
boooo freezing cold rain and this run sucks kill me im hungry k bye
and then i had to do 1.75 more miles on the tm because i am a loser. seriously this run was awful. but its over. although i only did 15 miles, not 16. i could not move one more inch. this. freaking. plan.
just say no to this weather for boston
and just say yes to cake
3x2mi strength- (goal 15:20-15:40)- 15:33, 15:31, 15:30. felt great, finished strong. not entirely looking forward to next weeks strength workout but i deal with then it comes.
9 @MP- (goal pace 7:48-8:01)- 7:52, 7:49, 7:48, 7:47, 7:47, 7:42, 7:44, 7:46, 7:43. had little to no motivation to get out and run, but once i was out there it felt great. minus the stupid headwind. that was no bueno. my watch would be screaming at me here and there and i ignored it because i thought it was telling me my pace was too slow. whoops. the effort for this run was certainly more like 7s flat im sure, and my legs paid for it the next day. dumb. remember when i walked marathons and had snacks and texted/called people? lets get back to that again!
long run- (goal pace 8:20-8:42)- average pace 8:46. blah.
and because im obsessed with timehop and i love this little guy... 2 years ago. man, time flies.
his little tush is too cute for the internet
(also refuses to sit down in the bathtub anymore)
10 weeks down, 5 to go! i can do this...