I CAN do hard things.

Monday morning as I laid in bed with achy legs, I couldn’t help but think yesterday was all a dream. I was a flood of emotions when the reality set in that I qualified for the Boston freakin’ marathon. I’ve checked my official time over and over again just to make sure there wasn’t a mistake. Just to make sure there wasn’t a mix up. The weekend of CIM: trying to keep it together

The Friday before CIM was a rough day to say the least. Literally, everything went wrong and I was overwhelmed with stress. The next day I really had to focus on having a good attitude and resting as much as possible. I tried to not think about the race too much and have a normal night eating carbs and watching Dateline with Dan. My happy place.

At 3:30 am my alarm went off and  I felt calm, excited, and ready. Once we arrived at the start line, we warmed up as usual and ran a mile before the race. Yes, I’ve become THAT person. I know, right.?! I asked my coach, “why the heck are we running before a marathon?!” As if 26.2 miles wasn’t enough?! His response, “Oh so you will be warmed up and ready to run on pace for 26 miles??” Touche Chad, touche. The start and the first 10 miles

Lining up at the start line of the marathon was a surreal moment. I stuck by the 3:33 pace group knowing that was my goal for the day. I needed to get a 3:35 to qualify for the Boston Marathon and 3:33 was my goal. For the first 10 miles I felt really good. I even had to tell myself to slow down and use that energy later because I knew it was going to get harder. I had my music playing and I was hitting my goal marathon pace with with even splits, just like my coach recommended. I saw my grandparents, and aunt and uncle at mile 8 and it made me so happy. Every year they are always at mile 8 and I can look forward to seeing them and their cheering faces. Mentally, I was feeling very strong. I would tell myself things like, “You can do hard things, trust your training, you got this.” I knew things were going to get harder and I would begin to approach the hillier part of the course. In my head, I was breaking down the course by 5’s. I was trying to not count down miles, but rather take it one mile at a time.
Mile 10-20: Time to put in the work

My friend Jill met me at mile 10 and I literally couldn’t tell her enough, “I’m so happy to see you.” Jill ran me through some hilly miles. We chatted back and forth at times, and someone even said, “I don’t know how you two are talking right now?!” I responded, “Just a casual run with my friend” lol.  Jill was the best pacer a girl could ask for.  She was attentive and stayed right on pace. She calmed me when I was breathing heavy and told me to “relax.” She even-handed me water over and over and would constantly check on me. At some points we didn’t speak at all. We ran through the hills together and she made it easier for me to feel strong when I was beginning to doubt my strength. We initially planned on running miles 10-17 together but as we approached mile 17 she asked me if I wanted her to stay until mile 20, and I without a doubt answered, “yes please, thank you so much.” I remember seeing my coworkers Lisa and Jeff along the way and it really gave me the extra energy I needed to remain strong and focused.  Around mile 20 we saw Dan waiting to take over pacing and they switched off.

Mile 20-22: Some of the happiest miles of the race

Seeing my husband at mile 20 was a wonderful feeling. He was so happy for me and kept telling me how well I was doing. To be honest, I think he was a little surprised. In my past marathons I always struggled prior to seeing him and never met my time goal. We cruised through miles 20-22 and I was delighted to see my dad in front of Loehman’s plaza cheering with his coworkers and apparently making a Facebook live video. After passing him, I saw my friends from the Fleet Feet Racing team and yelled to Dan, “there’s my friends!!!” I was so excited to see them and I could feel their energy. Seeing my friend Jen and Cindy made me feel a sense of comfort and ease. Their smiling faces and cheering was the breath of fresh air I needed to keep going. I Felt like I was flying. We passed “the wall” and I was ecstatic. I even said, “F  you wall, woo hoo!” I think I may have jumped up at this point. After passing the wall we were greeted by  my dad and nephew who were cheering me along and telling me the rest of the family were coming up. Seeing my family on the corner of Fair Oaks and Howe Ave was one of the most special feelings. They were screaming and jumping up and down. It put a huge smile on my face and I couldn’t have been more happy in that moment, and tears of joy fell down my cheek. My husband saw how excited I was but reminded me to relax and use that energy to tackle the Sac State bridge ahead.
The last hill and fatigue setting in

Approaching the bridge I started to feel my legs get more and more tired. Seeing the Team Ride coaches on the bridge was awesome. I was waiving and smiling at them. Dan kept giving me water and coaching me along the mile, but noticed I was beginning to drop my pace. He kept telling me to “pick up the pace, let’s go.” When we got to East Sac I literally  just stopped. Dan had no idea I was going to stop, and neither did I. I was starting to doubt myself and I knew the road ahead was still very long. He turned around and said, “what are you doing?” I screamed back, “I just need 5 seconds, give me 5 seconds.” He said, “you don’t have 5 seconds. These 5 seconds can be the difference between a BQ and disappointment let’s go, NOW!” I was a mess. I may or may not have cussed him out a few times, but no matter what he would never let me give up on myself.  He grabbed me by the hand and holding hands I started moving again. It’s like he was recharging me with his positivity and coaching.

Mile 23.5: Cowbell corner and starting to want to quit

Approaching mile 23.5 I was in pretty bad shape. My face was telling everyone exactly how I felt. I saw my friend by Sacred Heart and she yelled, “keep going Tiff, Goooo!” I was so happy to see Mariana and Henry. Her yelling that at me was just what I needed to push through. I could hear the cowbells from afar and I knew my Volee friends were going to be coming up. I kept telling Dan, “My friends, Oiselle, they will be there, I hear them.” He was leading the way yelling at me, “well let’s go then, let’s see your friends.” I saw my volee friends and started to tear up when we locked eyes. I was struggling and seeing them made me feel like I was going to be okay. Mile 23 was my slowest mile the entire race. I went from a strong 8-8:05 to an 8:44 split. My legs felt exhausted and I kept questioning myself in my head. I would tell myself, “I’m so tired, this is hard, I can’t, yes you CAN, you can and you will.” I was mentally beginning to give up. Dan knew I was struggling and kept yelling at me and pushing me to keep moving and never ever stop. I saw my friend walking and visibly upset as we approached the end of East Sacramento. I panicked for a second and took every ounce of energy in my body to yell, “C’mon let’s go! Follow me!!” As much as my friend needed to hear it, I needed to hear it too. Dan was shouted, “babe c’mon you need to finish this.”

Midtown: My face said exactly what I was feeling

Running along L street I had to try my hardest to stay motivated. I wanted to quit, hell I wanted to walk. I looked down at my watch when  I noticed I was losing time. For the longest time I was sticking behind the 3:30 pace group and suddenly saw them pass me. I began to freak out and yelled at Dan, “where is the 3:33 pace group, are they behind me?” He was yelled, “don’t worry about that right now, keep moving and let’s do this.” I saw my coworkers around Sutter and wanted to stop and stay with them. I wanted to cry and fall down. I felt really weak at this point.  As we passed by they yelled, because they saw how much I was struggling, “we love you Tiffany.” My heart was so happy. I knew we were getting closer to the Fleet Feet Sacramento Aid station and that I would see more of my coworkers soon. I saw Dusty and Staci and looked over to them with a look that said, “please help me.” Dusty gave me a dose of tough love and it’s what I needed to hear. He yelled, “How bad do you want it?” At that moment I had to ask myself, “how bad do you want it Tiffany?” Dan kept counting down the streets and at this point I couldn’t really hear him anymore. I was in a weird place mentally. We saw the 3:33 pacers pass us and I felt like I was seeing my dreams slip farther and farther away. Dan wouldn’t let the gap between the pacers and myself get too big. He kept telling me about “how hard I worked and he wasn’t going to deal with me upset because I gave up on my goal this close to the end.” He kept asking me what time I had on my watch and I ignored him. He kept telling me to go faster, and I yelled with frustration, “I’m doing the best I can!” At this point, I had picked up my pace but I wasn’t at my targeted pace. I saw how close the end was and I questioned if I was going to be able to do it.  Dan grabbed my hand and forced me to move faster. He yelled, “what the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve.” He had made signs with motivational sayings the week of CIM and posted them around the house. This was the one saying that stuck with me the most, and I needed to hear it at this moment.

The race to the finish line

I saw my coaches and suddenly knew I was approaching the finish. You know when they say “run with your heart?” That statement has never been more true than the last half mile of the race. I had to dig deep, and run with what little energy I had left in my body. My legs were exhausted, and mentally I was done, but the heart is a powerful thing. I raced as fast as I possibly could with every ounce of my heart I had left. My arms were all over the place and I could hear my family yelling my name. I could see the clock and see my goal getting closer and closer. I ran as fast as I could. As I was beginning to pass the finish everything went into a blur. I felt my body need to throw up. I moved to the left side of the finish and began throwing up. I felt like I couldn’t breath and was crying. My body was in shock. A woman came over to me and told me we needed to move me over and I asked her “to stop my watch.” I had no idea what time I had finished at. I didn’t think I hit my goal, especially after seeing the 3:33 pacers pass me. I laid a few feet away from  finish line, collapsed forward. As I began to stand up I could feel myself dry heaving and very light-headed. Again, I stumbled past the crowd and fell to the floor and threw up water and bile. My husband rushed over to me. As I sat in vomit, completely exhausted he received a text with my official time. He looked at his phone and showed it to me and yelled, “You fucking did it babe!! You qualified for Boston, YOU DID IT!!” A flood of emotions took over both of us and we started crying, I couldn’t stop crying. We hugged and held each other and it’s like at that moment we were both relieved and happy it was over. For the record, Dan was NOT crying haha. Dan had something in his eye that generated tears and he was NOT, I repeat NOT crying.


Warning: Ugly crying face above

Finally, I stood up and drank some water and began to feel better. I saw my family waiting in the cheer section. My parents shouted at me, “Did you get it, did you get it?” I broke down sobbing and said, “I did it!!! I qualified for Boston!!!” I hugged my mom, dad and sister and we cried together. This was the first marathon my sister has ever been to and it was a special feeling having her there. My parents were ecstastic and my mom cried as much as me! Being greeted by my family at the finish is always one of my favorite highlights. We all hugged, we cried, and we laughed. My niece and nephew who are only two and four were so excited to see me. My nephew asked me to carry him and my niece wanted to wear my medal, I love these two so much. My friend Mariana and Henry met us at the finish and we cried and hugged. She has heard me complain and talk about everything running for months, and always encouraged me to never give up and go for a BQ, even when I doubted myself.
I am a Boston Qualifier!!! What I learned.

For anyone who knows me or has been following my journey for sometime will know the journey has not always been easy. My first marathon in 2014 I finished at 4:57, a year later my second at 4:29, and my third 4:17 in April 2016. Initially, my coach and I decided my goal for CIM would be to try to run a 3:45 marathon. It was a big push from my last finish in April. After running Urban Cow half marathon and talking to my friend who encouraged me to go for it, I asked my coach if I could try and train at a 3:33 marathon pace. We decided we would try it out and in a few weeks evaluate how it was going. I had two separate injuries during this training cycle (my IT & hamstring) and we didn’t know if it would be possible to get hit my GMPs during the marathon. I missed runs because I needed rest and would email my coach weekly asking if I should change my marathon goal. Every week, he said no. No matter what, he would never let me quit and calmed my nerves even when I would go into panic mode (which was often).

I learned that with consistent training/good coaching, a strong support system, my family, and whole lot of determination anything is possible. If someone were to tell me last year I would become a Boston Qualifier at this CIM I wouldn’t believe them. When I showed up to the start line I was a new person, a runner I had never been before. I was strong, focused, and determined to run my heart out. There were so many times when people doubted me or even made me question if meeting my goal was possible. Heck, on some days I didn’t think I could do it. I’ve learned that dreams really do come true and we are much stronger than we think we are. I’ve learned that I can work through anything I put my mind to and to never give up even when things get hard. The two-year journey to reaching my goal was some of the most valuable life lessons I could have ever imagined. Dream big guys, and as always never stop running with heart. 

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Put me in, coach.

 Running for Carbs blog just turned one! A year has flown by so quickly and it slipped my mind that I’ve had this blog for an entire year. At the start of 2015 I made it a personal goal to start a running blog and try and post at least once a month. Some months it’s easier and some months it’s harder but with the ongoing love and support it’s kept me motivated to keep writing. With that said, I will be celebrating by fundraising $2,500 for the charity Water For People and running the New York Marathon in November!!! To celebrate Running for Carbs one year anniversary it was only obvious that I would try to achieve a goal I thought would be impossible. That’s the beauty about running, it allows us to reach the impossible and motivate ourselves to reach for new goals.

Team Water For People will be running all of NYC’s 5 boroughs to support Water For People and mirror what millions of people around the world do everyday–walk long distances to collect clean water for their families. Not Everyone runs a marathon, but Water For People believes that everyone should have access to clean water and proper sanitation Forever.

Your donations go directly to Water For People to finance their water and sanitation programs in Africa, India, Central America and South America–programs that grow out of their belief that Everyone should have access to clean water and proper sanitation Forever.

Water For People is an international nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to creating reliable, safe drinking water resources, improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs in the developing world; it currently operates in 10 countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, India, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia & Peru. The organization’s unique business-oriented approach works to establish partnerships between local and national government institutions, nongovernment organizations, private enterprise, and entrepreneurs to enable local communities, districts, and municipalities to plan, build, finance, maintain, and operate their own safe water and sanitation services. Water For People puts long-lasting solutions and 100% coverage of a region with safe water access for everyone at the forefront of its strategy. It fosters innovative solutions to water and sanitation problems that are adaptable worldwide, and through monitoring and evaluation of its program impact for at least 10 years post-implementation, Water For People ensures that its work is sustained by local partners.

I am asking all of you to please donate $26.2 dollars to help me achieve my $2,500 goal. If you are unable to donate 26.2 please donate whatever amount you are able to afford. Any donation will be helpful I achieving my goal. On top of working full time (40 hours a week), being a student, and training for marathons, I have taken on a second job to help me pay for the expenses of my trip to New York. I truly believe in this cause and will do everything in my power to meet my goal. Thank you for your support!

#RunningforCarbs #TeamWaterforPeople

 

 

I’ll quit when I’m finished!

This is by far the fastest post race blog post ever. Should I write the word post again?!  I just finished marathon #2 and am writing in bed with sour cream and onion Pringles and a bag of sour worms. I’ve already eaten a sandwhich, fries, and a soda. I feel like I can eat ridiculous amounts of food today and I’m really looking forward to an all out carb binge. FINALLY! Beware: lots of tears ahead, I’m a crier.

Let’s see where do I begin?!

Pre-Race vibes

I worked the information booth at the CIM expo the last two nights and enjoyed every minute of it. The excitement was contagious and was surrounded by all my running friends. I even made a new friend named Doug who gave me free foot massages under the table. (See pic below). Okay I know it may seem very strange but he told me he use to work with elite athletes until he got very sick and could no longer work. He was a very sweet older gentlemen and seriously changed my feet. I had zero foot pain during the race, but then again I guess that’s what a two hour massage will do to you. lol

Race morning

I had my alarm set for 4:30 but ended up waking up before my alarm. I was way to excited and immediately checked the weather. Dan dropped me off at Fleet Feet where I met our training group. It was so much fun riding the bus with friends. Everyone was so excited and the bus driver was even playing Christmas music. At one point we were listening to Rudolph the red nose reindeer and we all said “Yipee” at the same time. Haley and I sat together because DUH and chatted the entire way. Once we got dropped off to the start area we had an awesome tent with lots of delicious food and drinks. It was amazing! Oh and we even had our own porta potties. Talk about convienent!
 The start line

 I made my way to the 3:55 pace group. It was great to see Jamey (the pace group leader) and  a familiar face since we had ran with him on a 14 mile training run a few weeks ago. It was packed and raining but it was okay because we were about to start the race. David Guetta’s “Titanium” was playing and I knew it was a good sign that great things were in store for me.

The first 13 miles

I was feeling wonderful the first half of the race. I felt strong even though I was soaked and my headphones weren’t working. I was embracing my pace and felt unstoppable. I saw my grandparents and aunt and uncle around mile eight and from the videos I looked so happy and enthusiastic. They were so cute with their signs cheering me on. They are the BEST. Dan met me somewhere along the way and I gave him my headphones since they weren’t working.

 Mile 14-19 THE WALL

I hit the wall very early on or should I say the wall hit me. Things got really rough around here. I was alone with no music and no friends. I started giving up on myself. I walked at some parts and even contemplated quitting altogether. At some point while walking I read my text messages from friends and family and said to myself out loud, “YOU ARE NOT A QUITTER!” Even if I crawled to the finish line I was not going to give up. Not one thing in particular hurt but I was feeling very exhausted and my legs felt like they had bricks attached to them. At this point GUs and my electro drink were not tasting good and I couldn’t stomach it anymore.

Mile 20ish: Suavamente and smiling faces

Around mile 20ish I saw my parents, my brother, and niece and nephew and started to tear up. I yelled, “I am so happy to see you guys!” I gave them each a hug and refueled with real food that I gave to my mom yesterday just in case I needed something else to eat. Suavamente was playing (my favorite Spanish song) and I even felt like dancing well slow dancing, okay more like wiggling. At one point my three year old niece asked me for some of my water and it made me laugh. They were a breath of fresh air and exactly who I needed to see at that moment. They were the cutest littlest fans ever and make my heart so happy!

  
  

Mile 21: I’m pooped

Dan got lost and couldn’t find the race. (Insert sarcastic comment here) Thanks that’s exactly how I felt. I mean hello?! This wasn’t my first rodeo but he finally found me before mile 21 since we were talking on the phone. Yes, I was on the phone while running. A lady thought is was hilarious and she even took a picture of me. Dan ran with me and encouraged me not give up and keep going. I was telling him I felt like crap and that I was going to throw up. I took out all my rage on him. “I hate my GUs, I can’t drink my drink, I’m tired, I want to walk!” Luckily, he knows how I am and kept pushing me the entire way. He’s such a wonderful supportive husband. We saw my grandparents, and aunt and uncle again on the corner and they were cheering me on with their signs and encouraging words.

 Mile 22-Mile 23: the struggle is real

At this point I was running and walking off and on. Everything hurt and I felt naseous. I saw two of our Fleet Feet coaches and Cami said, “But you look pretty!” It made me giggle and kept me going. At the Sac State bridge (the worst part of CIM for me last year) I saw fellow ambassadors Amy and Leo. Their positivity and humor made me feel good even though I was dying inside. Along the way I saw my friend Mariana and her family and I started to tear up. She was cheering me on and telling me to “not stop and keep going”. I told her “It was really hard” and she knew that we both knew I was on the struggle bus. I saw the 4:10 pace group leader pass me and I tried to stay with them. I couldn’t and I was okay with that.

Dan met me again at a spot that I had struggled with last year. Right before L street. In Dan’s words, “You didn’t look good and you were really struggling.” It’s true. I was. I felt like I could either pass out or throw up or do both at the same if that’s humanly possibly. I was with the 4:25 pace group for a few minutes but was struggling to keep up.  I kept stopping to walk but Dan wouldn’t let me. He left me at one of the hardest points of the race because he had to leave and go to work. Last year he ran the last few miles with me. I was pissed he was leaving me but knew this wasn’t about anyone else but me. It was up to me to finish the race and push my body.

Mile 24-26: Is it over yet? Please tell me it is.

The music was getting louder and we were finally in downtown. I have driven these streets so many times but after running over 20 miles down them it was getting really difficult to come up with positive mantras. The crowds were getting larger and I could see the end getting closer. Around mile 25 I saw a man begin to walk and I tapped his shoulder and told him, “Do not walk, keep going and finish this race!” He looked at me and smiled in a way that said thank you without saying it and he kept on running. It’s funny because I was having such a hard time finishing the race and wanted to walk too but knew he had been working really hard the whole race.

We were finally on the side of the capitol building and passing clubs that I once use to party at and now am running races past. There was a women who had been running the race by me for miles and she started to walk. Again, I tapped her and told her, “Do not walk, you got this and you are almost done!” She looked at me and asked me “Are we really almost done?” I told her, “You see those lights over there and around that corner that’s all you have left” and off she went. They both passed me and I was proud of them. My friend Abby screamed from behind “TIFFANY!” I was so happy to see her. She encouraged me to keep going and not stop and that I was her motivation, I looked at her and said “today you are mine, go girl!”

Approaching the finish

Out of nowhere my legs started moving. I noticed if I hurried I would make it before 4:30 which earlier I didn’t even think was possible. I was pushing and not going to let anything stop me from finishing. I turned the corner and gave every last ounce of what I had left. I heard my family yelling my name and looked over to them and cheered with them. The woman who I encouraged to not stopped, gave me a hug and thanked me. It was truly one of the best moments I have ever experienced at a race. At that moment I knew that running had taught me something very special. I met my family and told them the stories about the people I helped encouraged along the way and they all had tears fill their eyes. They were so proud of me.

  
  
  
  

     
  
 I am truly blessed to have such a supportive family. We cried, we hugged, and we took lots of pictures. They knew it wasn’t the race goal time I had wanted but still made me feel very special and for that I will always have lots of wonderful memories.

What I learned

This marathon taught me more than I could have ever imagined. In the past when things get hard or I don’t like it anymore I just stop and go on to the next thing. But running has always been the one constant in my life. It’s made me realize I am much stronger both mentally and physically than I had thought. It has taught me that I can do anything and that my purpose in life is to help others and encourage them to do their best too. When the woman thanked me and gave me a hug suddenly everything made sense to me. Today wasn’t about pace or PRs today was about being the best version of myself.

Thank you all for all the lovely comments throughout my training and today. I write for you and hope to inspire you to run for carbs and be the best version of yourself! xoxo


#RunningForCarbs #ByeGirl

 

Tut-Tut, looks like rain.

Check my out flossin with our Clarksburg race bibs. The Clarksburg 20 miler race is the longest run we will be running for our CIM training plan. Preparing your body physically, emotionally, and mentally all week takes a lot of preparation. My favorite part of getting ready for a long run is eating carbs, obvs right?! To be honest by Friday I was pretty over carbs and missed the amount of protein I was eating before. Unfortunately, I was having some major calf issues all week and was only able to get through three miles on Thursday. I was literally limping around for days. I felt like Pinocchio and  my legs were brittle like toothpicks.  I got a massage from the most amazing massage lady Jodie. She helped me get my body back to a physical level that I felt comfortable running 20 miles.

The day before the race I went to Sports Authority and picked up our  bibs. I was on bib pick-up duty and felt pretty excited once we had our race gear. The night before the race I made sure to carb up, drink lots of water, and at least 8 hours of sleep.   At 5:00 am my alarm went off and I was already awake. I was nervous and excited for the morning ahead. I prepared my two waffles with jelly and maple syrup, a banana and coffee. It was literally FREEZING! (California+change of weather=Uggs) The morning of the race and I made sure to layer myself for the drive to Clarksburg and went with my super comfy pj bottoms and purple Uggs. I know I look ridiculous but I was warm.
  Haley and I drove together and we met up with our friends Emily and Jennifer. I love getting to a race and seeing the excitment and energy that every runner brings. It becomes contagious and any doubt or nerves you may have are forgotten.
  The start of the race happened so quickly and I was still snapping pictures when I heard the start sound go off. To my surprise the race had begun and it was time to run 20 freakin miles! The start of the race was beautiful and a nice change of scenery from our normal long runs in Sacramento. The first few miles were cold and my calves were just warming up. For some strange reason my left foot was numb for a few miles. I couldn’t tell if my foot was hitting the ground or turning sideways, luckily it was hitting the floor and I was able to get through it. I felt warmed up around mile 7 and made sure to drink my electrolytes (Nuun) and take a GU pack about every 3 miles.

We decided as a group we would count the miles in fives and break it up into four parts this way were weren’t always thinking 20 miles, it was less intimidating this way. By mile 10 I was getting really warm and even contemplated taking off my top. We were feeling good and the miles just seem to zoom by. We even got a point where someone called us “the pack” and we loved that someone named us. I was feeling so good even with a little rain, I decided to snap some pictures of Emily and Haley. Oh and of course a running selfie, because why not?!
  Around mile 15 I felt amazing! I picked up my pace and was at a comfortable 8:40 pace. It started to rain and it was coming down pretty hard. At that point we were passing the other runners from the half marathon and seeing our friends who were at a faster pace for the 20 miler. I was overwhelmed with joy and wasn’t thinking about the rain but the excitement of living in the moment and waiving to my friends and cheering eachother on. At one point a woman yelled, “Running for carbs! How is your calves?”. I was so excited that someone called me running for carbs and could not wipe the smile off my face. I even told the man running next to me “almost there” which he responded “no we aren’t” and I just chuckled. I felt unstoppable and pushed through until mile a8 happened.

Around mile 18 I started to feel nauseous. I knew my body was telling me something. The rain started to pout down and I felt like my feet were so heavy. Running through puddles while trying not to throw up was a terrible feeling. Luckily, Emily and I were together and I asked her for some electrolytes.  She handed me a tablet and I immediately threw it in my water bottle. We both realized at that moment that I was suppose to take it as pill because it was definitely not a tablet. I threw out the contents of my water bottle and desperately pushed through the miles until I finally got to an aid station. Unfortunately, they only had Gatorade which for me is way to heavy during a run. I chugged down a cup of Gatorade and grabbed a second.  I was looking for anything to help me get through the last few miles. I kept thinking in my head you only have less than a 5k left you can do this girl.

Those last two miles I ran with my heart and I even said that out loud.  I wasn’t even sure if my legs were moving they felt so heavy but I could hear the crowd as we were approaching the finish. I made it to finish line where I tried to leap over a huge water puddle but ended up right in the middle of it. It didn’t stop me I kept going and saw Emily shouting at me. My goal was to finish under three hours. I finished at 3:02 but placed 11th in my age group. I was really happy because this was  huge PR (personal record) for me. Last year I ran the race and finished at 3:47. I beat my last time by 45 minutes and could not be more proud especially with the weather. Here is a photo from  the race photographer where I was surprisingly looking happy and finishing strong!
  
After checking our times I  talked to Dan over the phone and was shaking with excitement, oh I was also soaked. Luckily, Emily’s husband brought an extra towel that literally saved me. My calves surprisingly felt okay and I was happy to change into warm clothes.

We headed to the cafeteria where they provided us with pasta, salad, bread, and fruit. I’m usually not able to eat a huge meal after a long run but I have been working on eating food within the 30 minute time frame to help replenish nutrients. I slowly ate the past and bread and chatted with friends about the race and the weather. It felt good accomplishing that mileage in the rain. CIM weather is so unpredictable it was great to run in potential weather and give me a better idea about what to change for the big race. About three more weeks until my second marathon and I cannot wait!!
  
  

#RunningForCarbs #ByeGirl

Race day recap: Shamrock Half Marathon

Some races aren’t PR days and that’s okay.

On Sunday, March 15, I ran my seventh half marathon! Way to go me! As happy as I should have been to complete another half, I was initially disappointed. The day before the race I did everything I would normally do to prepare. I was overly careful about not eating spicy foods (my weakness) and made sure to hydrate during the day. For dinner I cooked the same meal I make every night before a race: ground turkey meat, whole wheat spaghetti, marinara sauce, and garlic bread. For dessert I ate a juicy fuji apple and a piece of Cadbury’s dark chocolate. I left my husband the rest of the chocolate bar in hopes he would save me some. Wishful thinking…

Race morning: I woke up before my alarm and had this uncontrollable hunger feeling. I wasn’t sure if maybe I was nervous about the race or if I was just really hungry. Then it happened. I rushed to the bathroom and threw up. “What the hell is going on? NOT ON RACE DAY!” I tried to get myself together and eat some breakfast. I was literally laying on the floor, forcing myself eat a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter. I was feeling nauseated and overwhelmingly stressed about having to run 13.1 miles. By the time we got to the race I was feeling better. I even ate a banana.

Then…it happened. Shit happened. I figured I might as well try to go to the bathroom again like I do five million times before we start, but this time, it was different. It felt like my stomach had taken on its own personality and started going zombie apocalypse inside. Of course I was standing in what appeared to be the women’s restroom line but was really the men’s. That meant there were six stalls, one without a door and about 15 women ahead of me. I started sweating and didn’t know if I was going to make it. Luckily I did and rushed to the start line.

During the race: I felt much better and felt like I had started the race strong. I was at a 9:00 minute pace and was starting to think it was going to be a PR day. My best half marathon time is 1:55 and I was secretly trying to finish at 1:50. The first few miles felt great and I was happy with my pace. Then I hit my wall. Around mile six, I started slowing down significantly. I told myself around mile nine that if I felt good I would speed up and power through those last few miles. Well, that didn’t happen. During my training runs, I ran at a nine minute per mile pace and trained to speed up on the last few miles during a long distance run. For some reason this morning was different. I felt really hungry by mile eight and had no energy to push myself. By mile 12 I realized a personal record wasn’t going to happen and I made a conscious effort to “just” enjoy the rest of the race. I waived to people and I smiled as I finished along the course.

13.1 miles later: Cheering me on at the finish line were my parents and husband. They later told me they were worried about me because of course I told them to be there way too early. It didn’t help that we started in waves either-so although the “race” officially started at 7:45, my wave wasn’t due to start until 8:00. After the race I felt sick and really wanted to go home. We didn’t stick around afterwards with the other runners. I even passed on my complimentary beer treat! I sulked in the car. My husband parked miles away and during our walk I was complaining about how “bad” I had done. I had ran six half marathons before and every time I achieved a PR.

This was a hard pill to swallow. After really thinking about it and eating a large burger, fries and a milk shake, I decided it was ridiculous to be so upset.

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I’ve had to learn with racing that I am not racing against anyone but myself. As a runner, sometimes I feel I’ve become far too competitive with myself and set my expectations too high. It’s nice to have goals but sometimes goals cannot be met right away. I appreciate  this race now and use it as my guide to train harder and stay more consistent with cross training. Like a lot of things in life, running has its good days and its bad days. Learning to appreciate and grow from the bad only makes you a stronger more skilled runner. So, I thank you 2015 Shamrock’n half for motivating me to push myself more!

image2Check out my cool new watch the Garmin Forerunner 15. Too bad I had no idea how to use it during the race. I kept confusing myself if I was looking at my pace or the time. Lesson learned I need to play with my watch before using it!

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Here’s a photo with my friends before the race! These ladies are amazing! We typically do our long runs together on the weekends and it’s always a great time to catch up.

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#RunningforCarbs #ByeGirl

Spotlight on running friends: Amanda

Running with friends makes you accountable and faster.

Every month I will post about one of my running friends. My first post is a very special post about my best friend and sister Amanda. Amanda has been running since 2011 and participated in many 10ks and half marathons. She is one of my favorite people to run with because she pushes me to be faster.

Her running story is truly inspiring. She began running with our family and continued running before and after the birth of her daughter Rosie (my god daughter). Throughout her pregnancy she was consistently walking and even walked the day before she gave birth. She may be small but she is one tough cookie.

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I wasn’t able to run this particular race because I had just had surgery but Rosie and I walked the 5k and cheered her mom from the sidelines. Rosie was proudly sporting her medal and was pretty nervous waiting for her mom to finish.

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Running with a friend helps push me to be a faster runner. There is something about running with someone who has the same goals as you and will actually wake up early on a weekend just to run. Amanda has a pretty busy schedule and anytime she can fit me into it for a run is a nice treat. I love running with her because she pushes me to be the best runner I can be. When I feel I can’t do something she always encourages me and holds me accountable to the goals I set.

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This is the race Rosie earned her first half marathon medal! Amanda and my cousin Aaron took turns pushing her throughout the course. The pic below is Rosie after the race. It’s tough being pushed throughout San Francisco and she was refueling her carbs. Just like her auntie, she clearly loves bread. Even Rosie runs for carbs. IMG_1221

Watching my sister pass the finish line for this half marathon was emotional. I was really happy for her because she made it a goal to complete this half with her daughter and she did it!

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Another race we both did together was the Davis Moonlight half marathon. This was one of the most difficult races because it was over ninety degrees throughout the entire race.  Amanda and I decided for our post race meal we wanted In-n-Out burger which we deserved after sweating our booties off. We even opted to go inside to pick up our order so everyone could see our new medals because-hello we needed to show off! “Yes we did just run 13.1 miles, thank you!” We didn’t stop there. We then decided to get hats and take pictures with the nicest employee! Oh the things you do on a post-run high…

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Embrace running friends and appreciate that others are as crazy as you. I used to be a solo runner but sharing my time with friends who run, my life has drastically changed for the better. I can only hope that I give all of my running friends the same encouragement as they give me. It’s not every day that you meet people with the same hobby and goals. So, go give your running friends a big high five and a piece of chocolate, they will love you for it.

#Byegirl #RunningforCarbs

15 Reasons why I run.

Today is National Running Day! I’ve been looking forward to this day since I marked “going” to a running event on my Facebook calendar. I decided to come up with my top 15 reasons why I run.

1. It keeps me healthy and strong. I use to hate having skinny chicken legs but after I began running I learned to embrace my legs which have turned into strong legs.  2. I can eat loads of pizza and ice cream and not feel as guilty.

 3. It relieves my stress and keeps me sane. It helps me gather my thoughts and leave my cares and worries behind.

 4. I love my running friends. They make me laugh and are the only people who don’t mind talking about running for hours. 

 5. Earning super cool medals is always a good idea. Not to mention the variety of work out tops. 6. It makes me really happy. My husband will ask me two things when I’m grumpy: have you had coffee? have you gone on a run?

 7. When everything else is going wrong running makes it right.

 8. It’s free. Doesn’t cost me a penny to lace up my shoes and go outside for a run.

 9. Running reminds me to count my blessings.

10.  It’s taught me to love myself and build my confidence.  11. It gives me an excuse to buy really cute work out clothes.

12. It helps me stay focused on a personal goal.


13. It makes getting older that much easier.

14. I run to be the best version of myself.


15. Because I can! I am blessed with legs that take me to my happy place.

#ByeGirl #RunningforCarbs