Monday, May 23, 2016

Back in the Saddle

Weeks of rehabilitation, easy runs, and not increasing more than 10% per week has allowed me to get back most of what I lost due to this weird hip injury.

guess the cortisone shot in my hip worked - I'm able to run without debilitating pain shooting up into my hip, but I still have groin issues. It's as if the bottom of my psoas and the inguinial ligament get inflamed and then rub against each other to cause trouble. Mind you PT, Athletic Trainers, Chiropractor, and Mom - it is NOT my mileage that causes the inflammation ... of course it isn't!

At the track, I've been taking it easy - 6:30 to 7:30 minute pace in shorter intervals, and nothing shorter than 200 meters - so no abrupt stops and starts. Today though, was a little more difficult, I did 300 meter repeats, mixed in hill repeats, and then back to the 300 meter repeats. I actually went to do another set of hills after the last set of 300's, and when jogging down from the first repeat, I saw my coach.
He yelled, "Beth, You're done. 
You don't need to do another set of hill repeats - only one set!"  
We laughed! I so grateful - I gave him a big hug!

I know I have more to give, but I'm holding back a bit. I don't want to re-injure myself. I focus on every little ache and pain. I'm really trying to control any inflammation. Before I got injured, my Crohn's flared up. It never ceases to amaze me how much good nutrition plays a part in sport performance. It's not that I didn't eat healthy - I'm a freakin' dietitian - I know what to eat, and what I should eat more of if I want to increase certain vitamins, minerals, healthy fats - blah, blah, blah. When you have IBD, though, you don't absorb your nutrients - you just crap 'em out. I can relate every injury to either a lack of sleep/poor recovery or a Crohn's flare up.

Trying to get Crohn's under control without medicine is not easy - it's all based on food. Now, I'm pretty much following a Pegan Diet - no grains, very little legumes, very little dairy (only yogurt, and some goat cheeses), lots of vegetables, and a little meat protein. Every once in awhile, I will have cravings - but making flour-less bread and my date protein balls really helps to squash my cravings.

The biggest problem is eating out - and not knowing how they prepare something. The last few times I had an upset stomach was directly due to eating out.

Probably one of the biggest helps to curb inflammation include some supplements I take:

  • VSL #3, a daily probiotic - this is a medical grade probiotic, but if you don't have IBD, I recommend Bio K+, Culturelle, or Align. Sometimes I'll take more than one kind in a day, if my stomach is acting up - like after those restaurant meals.
  • Metagenics Omegagenics SMP Active. I learned about this through (one of) my chiropractor(s). I had such great results in squashing my inflammation, I decided to sign up as a Professional Provider, to get the product for my clients
  • Ac-11: An herbal supplement that helps protect your DNA, like an antioxidant, but also helps support DNA replication to prevent errors leading to chronic inflammation, and disease. 
  • Healthy Cell Mutivitamin: I think the most amazing aspect of this vitamin is the incredible restful sleep I get when taking this vitamin. It has 90 supportive vitamins, minerals, antioxidants (including Ac-11),  and enzymes. As an athlete, what really caught my eye was the nutrition support to boost mitochondrial health . Remember from biology, our mitochondria is where we make our energy!

Like the Omegagenics, I decided to become a Professional Provider for the Ac-11, and Healthy Cell. First, I tried them. Over one month, I tried both - I introduced them to my system, and then I stopped them, individually. Without the support of these supplements, I went from some debilitating GI pains and upsets to increased pain and flare-ups - and this was even with following the Pegan diet. What was really noticeable was that with an occasional cheat - or when I'd eat out and not know what they're using - I had fewer problems. Instead of being sick for 3-4 days, I had just one day of irregularity. 
With the flare ups  - comes the groin pain, and the slower training. Taking the Metagenics SMP Active, Ac-11, and Healthy Cell Vitamins, prevents the IBD flare ups, squashes the groin inflammation, and allows me to run and train to reach my goals.
So everyone keeps asking: What's the next state? 
I'm thinking Ohio in June!
What are your healthy goals? 
What's holding you back?
Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Runner Down!

Runner Down! Runner Down!
9-1-1!
I think I've been binging on too much "Blacklist"
Seriously, I haven't run since my half in Arkansas last month. Well - if you call the hobbling I did March 10th "running" then I guess it's been almost 1 month. 

I thought the pain I had in my hip would heal on its own - sort of like with my knee and hammy injuries over the years. You know the deal, you back it off, forego a couple of races, stretch, strengthen, roll - and you get back at it.
Not this time. 
No relief - no matter what I did. Physical Therapy, Active Release Therapy, Quitting all Grains and Dairy. Yeah - as for the nutrition - I scaled down the grains, cheese, and milk, big time because in the middle of all of this, my Crohn's decided to rear its ugly head, like a bat outta hell! At least I found some tasty recipes to try out in the meanwhile!
Almond and Coconut Flour Banana Nut Bread!
c/o B3yond Nutrition, LLC
Ok. So - that was Part 1. 
Part 2 is that I went to see my favorite Orthopedist, Dr Metzl at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.
Always fun driving cross town to HSS!
NOT!
Dr Metzl ordered an MRI to rule out Stress Fracture and Sports Hernia. I thought for sure it was a stress fracture. I mean, why wasn't I healing? And some days felt worse than others. I was miserable - and sort of still am. 
Well, it was neither!
No damage seen to my Psoas, Pectineus, or Adductors (All the parts that I read about in other runners' sad stories of things that could cause hip pain). So, Dr Metzl asked me to hop up on the table, again.
He manipulated my leg -
 Nope, no pain when you push like that, no pain when you push like this, Ouch! But YES! TO PAIN When you take my leg, bend it and move it side to side.
I must have looked like a deer in headlights,
What do you think, Doc?
Dr Metzl's got a real cool factor about him, and an aura that says, "Don't worry. We can fix this, and you will be able to run again." Of course, I'm like a moth to a flame! And in that manner - he said nonchalantly, "It's your hip joint. We are going to get you a shot of cortisone in your hip."
Me: And then I'll be able to run again?
Dr. Metzl: Yup! But you gotta strength train. 
It was like music to my ears - two of my favorite things in the whole world - strength training and running. Sorry Coach Joel, Speed Workouts are not my fave! So off I went for an ultrasound guided 
shot of cortisone into my hip joint.
I couldn't work out for three days!
Finally, yesterday I did a strength work out in the morning which was followed up with some residual soreness. And today I did some flexibility exercises, along with 11 miles on my Eliptigo. - 
The verdict ...
I'm still walking! No pain, yet. A small twinge twice today, but nothing like what I've been going through. I'm also experimenting with a cell rejuvenation supplement. More on this in the future....
Until then, 
I'm taking it slow, and looking to run maybe towards the end of the week. Keep your fingers crossed!
And
Train Smart Today!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Game On in Arkansas!

State #27: Little Rock, Arkansas
Game On!
This was a tough race. I chose this hilly course as a way to train for Boston. I've been avoiding hills for the last year because my hamstring issues. Since I've been training a little differently, my hamstring issues are gone, but now I have new aches and pains!

In fact, at the track Wednesday, I had to go home. The first time ever that I didn't complete a work out. I couldn't - my iliospsoas was too tight - it felt like a sharp stabbing pain. I actually started to cry. And really, I have been doing so well.
I've been finishing sub 8-minute miles on my
 long training runs for the upcoming Boston Marathon. 
I've been feeling so strong!
Even my long standing hamstring issues have cleared - I started to be able to stick with the other runners running up hills on Sunday mornings. My biggest problem has been my Crohn's disease. I've had to run circles in the local park to stay close to the Port o Johns. To help my tummy issues, I tweaked my diet. I had some cramping yesterday, around mile 10 - that's the usual mile of late where my stomach has been falling apart. But no sense of urgency - and I pushed through. My stomach was even okay after the race - which is super unusual for me. I tried to pick it up after the cramps in mile 10, but those sharp psoas pains veered their ugly head. I looked at my watch, and saw I was running 7:20., so I backed it down a bit.
Not wanting to push it, 
I made it a point to hang with the 3:25 marathon pacers.
At about mile 11/12, the marathon and the half marathon split. So I was on my own for about 1.5 miles. I pushed, a little, and came in feeling pretty strong (all things considered) at 1:42:35. I was happy that I ran that strong for such a hilly race. If I were in the age group above me (45-49) I would have taken first! But you know, you're only as good as your competition. I came in 5th for my age group. First place ran 7:02! And second wasn't far behind her! Great job ladies!
Overall, it was a great race that took you through downtown 
Little Rock. A couple of highlights stood out to me ...
It was great hearing the live bands playing along the course. 
They were mostly church groups praising Jesus! It was so very Southern Americana! The streets were dotted with little churches, and their congregants stood outside playing music and singing praises! It was very cool passing through the streets, hearing their voices on a Sunday morning.
Another highlight was the guy in Coral B standing next to me. 
He had a bib on both his front and his back. The woman next to me asked him why he was wearing 2 bibs. He told us that he was running for a friend - they were training for the half, but she recently got hit by a truck and lost her leg. I told him that I just ran with someone who ran on two blades. He was amazing! I also run with someone who also was in a motor vehicle accident - she didn't think she would ever walk again, let alone run again. She saw me hobble off the track on Wednesday and texted me: "You get to the start, and God will take you to the finish". I told this to the man that was running for his friend. I pray one day she can get a blade, train, and make it to the start. For sure God will carry her to the finish. 
I can only think that's how I made it through yesterday.
Amen!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Training Smarter!

I've been keeping up with my training despite the snow. Yes, I cried when I saw that the snow on the track finally melted! And I cried again, when it snowed again and covered the track before my next speed session.
I simply loathe doing speed work on the street. 
But you gotta do what you gotta do to prepare for race day and I have two on the horizon:

My training was off, and I knew it. 
I had to change it up.
True confession: I was upset that I took second Overall Female Masters in Alabama - I missed out on first by 28 seconds - or something annoying like that. It's not that I thought I deserved it, it's just that I trained really hard - and to no avail. My hamstring was still sore, my left achilles wasn't improving, and I had no force production in the second half of that Alabama Half. I couldn't understand why - especially after all my training.

So, I decided to go to the local training experts: Parabolic Performance and Rehab. I mean, if their coaches helped Peyton Manning, who just won the Superbowl, maybe they could help me?

The first thing, and probably the most important thing they told me was that I have an overuse injury. But Duh, right? Heck, Dr Mike has been telling me that for years! 
You run, you run, you run - of course you're gonna have an overuse injury.
But this time it was told to me differently.

They told me that I have an overuse injury not only because of logging the miles, but because I have been training the same way for several weeks months in a row. Even though I would mix up some exercises, on certain days. I was still doing the same type of exercises - and this kept stressing the muscles in the same way. 

So they gave me a plan that rotates every three weeks. So far, I've been taught exercises - using bands or just my body weight - that I never knew existed! My ankles burn from balancing exercises - to the point I want to grit my teeth! 
So-long plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis!
And my hamstring - at the top, where it connects to the ischial tuberosity - where all my hammy pain lies - is getting hit by this one exercise better than any hip thrust or hip heists.
I'm Killing the Hills!
Well, okay, I'm a little over zealous on that one, but I haven't had to say to the other Sunday runners, "Go ahead up this hill. I'll catch you at the top." I've been able to hang!
Heartbreak Hill ...Here I Come!
The bottom line is, I feel stronger, so it must be working. The best so far - my daughter came home from college this past weekend and told me that my butt looks bigger ... but 'in a good way'! 
This has to be by far, 
one of the best compliments I've ever received!
Train Smart: Avoid Despair and The Infamous Wall
Train Smart Today! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

First Light Half Marathon: State #26

I'm officially more than half-way to completing a half marathon in all 50 states + DC!
Woot! Woot!

The trip to Mobile, Alabama was a blast. Both kiddies came - and I have to say, both Ron and I were impressed that they wanted to go. Yes, of course they wanted to cheer me on ...at the finish, of course - neither one wakes up any earlier than 8am to see Momma off! God forbid we lose some of our Winter Break sleep. But really, I was impressed that they were genuinely eager to see what it was like in Mobile. Running these half marathons is such a great way to see parts of the country that I would most likely never visit, or experience. Did I tell you I also joined the 7 Continents Club? (I'll save that for another post!)

And, wow, I'm glad they came! The Gulf Coast of Alabama is beautiful! I didn't expect it to be so beautiful! We saw dolphins, and pelicans, and this beautiful sunset!
Sunset on Ferry from Dauphin Island, Alabama
Gulf Coast, Alabama
This of course, was after my big race upset!
See, I wanted to run the race 1:40 or better. I planned on keeping a 7:40 minute mile pace. I was going strong until mile 8. Then, I couldn't hold the pace, and I sunk to 7:45-7:50. I should have been able to hold this pace - especially since the race was a pretty flat, and I trained pretty hard. In and of itself, the race was very sweet  - it ran through very quaint residential streets and neighborhood of Mobile.
Yes, I would recommend it!

About mile 12, out of nowhere, came these two young girls. It was as if I were standing still when they passed me. I joked and said, "As long as you're not 50 or so, you can pass me." What I didn't see, but heard, was another woman behind them who yelled, "I'm 52!". She blew by me with the young girls. Grrrr!

But every cloud has a silver lining and mine was Meredith O'Brien. Meredith ran the 2016 Back-To-Back Challenge. I thought I heard her say that she was a pacer the day before(?). I had my eyes glued to Meredith's back for the last 5 miles. Somewhere around mile 9/10, Meredith started to take little stretch breaks, to stretch out her calves or ankle (?) Personally, I can't even imagine running back-to-back half marathons at that pace! As I caught up to Meredith, I'd yell, "C'mon girl, Let's go!" Then she'd start up again - and once she did, she'd blow by me only to have to stop, and stretch again. I'd shout out to cheer her on, and off she went, like a little EverReady Bunny! 
This went on until Ms Stimpson (aka 52/F) passed me.
Then Meredith started coaching me, 
"C'mon, you can do this. That's it, that's it!"
Thank you, Meredith, during that last 1/4 mile - I really tried to push. I wanted so bad to come in under that "1:42 my hamstring still hurts" rut I've been stuck in for a year now. I truly appreciate your shouting out me as I sprinted into the finish!
Meredith is in the red shirt!
It's all good.
I took Second Overall Female Grand Masters!
Yes I am freezing,
and No, I didn't drink that beer - well, just two sips!
 And I got to spend a great weekend with both kids during their winter break!
Luvuguyz!
Train Smart Today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Helping you Make It a Truly Happy (and Healthy) New Year!

Wow! This past week, I have been inundated with calls for nutrition consults. Looks as if everyone wants guidance for their 2016 New Year, Healthy Lifestyle Resolutions.

I'm all for helping! I love when clients reverse their pre-diabetic diagnosis, start to eat healthy, and begin an exercise regimen. I love it when clients tell me that they have more energy, don't binge eat anymore, and have tried the new recipes I forwarded them.

But you know, there's an "evil" lurking out there. Yup, and it's designed to ruin your healthy intentions, your best diet plans, as well as your midsection! It has a name (drumroll please) ....

The Food Industry!

Okay, okay, I know. Quit the drama Half-Crazed! But, I just had to say it. Here, see for yourself:

What's a Food Industry to Do? By Yoni Freedhoff

And now,
I have a new favorite expression: Real Food for Real People!

What's holding you back from reaching your goals?

So Stay Warm ... It's cold out there, literally - I couldn't feel my feet this morning running strides on the track! But I had to train - only four more days until my half in Alabama, my 26th state!

 ... And Stay Safe. 
How? 
By Eating Real Food!
C'mon, I know you're real!

Train Smart Today!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trying to Stay Motivated While Dogging It!

Today, was track day!
It was a grueling work out. Coach says he's getting me ready for State #26 on January 10th:
First Light Half Marathon in Mobile, Alabama. Woo-Hoot!
After a 1 1/2 mile warm-up, and 6 strides, I was ready for my workout today. I had to do five 1000 meter repeats at 7:20-7:30 minute/mile pace.
After #3, I shouted to my Coach, "You know I hate you, right?"
He shouted back, "Best compliment! Thank You!"
I really do think the man has a sadistic side!
After every 1000 meters, I had a 200 meter jog recovery. The last set, I walked across the football field. Coach said, "What's that? You were supposed to run that last 200 meters!"
"I know, but I'm wiped out! I need to do more of these."
Maybe, I'm just not normal?

Coach laughed - he actually started to look human again! "What? You told me you hated me, but you want to do more of these?"
I shouldn't have died in that last set.
I should have had it in me to push out a measly 200 meter jog. I was even dogging it through my mile cool down - and I usually do a 1 1/2 mile cool down. I gotta do more of these.
It's not like I don't stretch, strengthen, or foam roll, either. 
Get this set up after Sunday's long run: 
You name it, I got it!
It's hard to stick to a stretching and foam rolling routine when your dogging it. So, how do I stay motivated to follow through with my recovery? Here it comes, helpful hint of the month: 
Runtastic Tabata Timer App. 

With this great little timer you can set your workout time, and a short rest time between sets (aka Tabata). It's a great way to push yourself through your stretches, foam rolling, or switching between jump rope, burpees, abs, and push-ups for strength. I've gone through a few timers, but this one, I love!
Maybe I needed to set the time with some short rests 
between each quarter mile cool down and push an extra 1/2 mile?
...Neh!

How do you stay motivated when you're dogging it?
What's your favorite recovery routine?
Train Smart Today

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I'm a 261 Fearless Ambassador!

It all started last month, when I went to my local Montclair Fleet Feet Special Speaker Meet-Up. I had heard of Katherine Switzer, and always thought she was pretty cool - but to hear her story, from her own lips was quite inspiring, and emotional.

Katherine Switzer is the woman behind 261Fearless.
Katherine was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. She entered as K. Switzer. Back in 1967, women were not allowed to race - but just like you and me, when someone says you can't, even if you say you can't, there's a part of you that wants to say,
"YES I CAN!" 
And that's what makes Katherine's story so emotional - we can all connect to someone in our lives who told us we couldn't do something - even if that someone was ourselves! Instead of listening to those negative thoughts, Katherine was motivated by them: she was motivated to train, and she was motivated to run - even if it were illegal!
Her bib: #261!
While she was running, 
The race director found out, and tried to push her off the road!

Katherine's teammates helped to push him away. As you can see. the news media caught it all. Katherine knew she had to finish, for all women, everywhere - to prove:
"YES WE CAN!"
You can learn more about Katherine's beautiful career as a runner HERE. Now, as she readies herself for the 50 year anniversary of when she ran Boston, Katherine has developed the non-profit organization, 261Fearless. 261 Fearless is a global community of women (walkers, joggers, runners, from the front or back of the pack), who have found strength, power, and fearlessness from putting one foot in front of the other. We are a community of supportive, and respectful women who want to take on their personal challenges through running or walking. This community embraces and respects our differences be they religion, ethnicity, language, body-type, or athletic ability by connecting through social media as @261Fearless, through closed social channels, and personally in our home communities, clubs, groups, and events. 
As a part of this community, 
you know, 
you are not alone. 
So, if you are a female runner, or want to be, come join me in the 261 Fearless Movement! If you are already a female runner, you know how empowering running can be, and how you can use that power to overcome obstacles, challenges, and set-backs in your lives. If you are thinking about joining us female runners, I encourage you to run with us. Running will empower you, and help you face other life challenges with a sense of strength, courage, and confidence.
Together we will run strong, 
we will run fearless ....
261Fearless!
To learn how to join, Click HERE.
Want to sign up for the 261 NewsLetter? Click HERE.
Join the 261 Fearless Facebook Community! Click HERE.
Join us on Instagram! Click HERE!
Follow @261 Fearless on Twitter.
This month, 
We are helping each other prepare for running in the dark,
now that the days are shorter.
Check it out: 

I can't wait for you to join me!
Train Smart Today!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

You know Your a Runner When ....

When I was running in the Chicago Marathon, I passed a person who was on the "sideline" holding a very large cardboard sign. The sign read:
"I will never do what you are doing!"
I remember laughing so it must have been early in the race - there's no room for laughter in those last 6 miles!
There are those who run, 
and those who don't -
and as runners,
we don't understand why everyone doesn't love to run..

Maybe it's that runners have a different outlook on life. If you've ever been bitten by the marathon bug - you know, running becomes a lifestyle. You totally morph into someone driven to log an insane number of miles from week to week. And even though everyone has their own "Why", there are some things that we share. Hence the post.

You Know Your a Runner When You ....

* You promise yourself in the last few miles of a marathon that you will never ever make yourself run ever again if you just finish - and even your beaten down 22-mile conscience laughs in your face!
Chicago 2015: Keep chugging, girl ...
And keep making those ridiculous promises!
* Open your closet and have at least a dozen pair of running sneakers
* Open your closet, and can easily categorize these sneakers as:
  • First pair of marathon sneakers – will always have a special place, and never get donated
  • Retired faves that are good for knockin around, traveling to races, picking up race packets
  • New, new faves that you only wear for track days and long runs, but never if it looks like even a sprinkle of rain
  • New sneakers – not your favorite – okay to wear if it rains
  • Free and light support – there for recovery runs when legs, acchilles, and feet are feeling strong
  • Cushioned galore, and super supportive for recovery runs or days when you and your legs, acchiles, hammies, and feet need extra tender loving care
  • Retired and ready for donation
* Plan your Saturday nights, so you can make those early morning Sunday long runs
* Get antsy planning vacations, thinking when, and where you can squeeze in your runs
* Think of your strength training, stretching, foam rolling, and running routine as a part time job
* Will pee just about anywhere during a run, and think this is really okay.
* Carry a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, and massage stick with you wherever you go - car, work, bedside.
* Read Runner’s World Magazine from front to back.
* Have tried running "unplugged"
* Have at least one AC/DC song in your repertoire when preparing for a marathon ...

* Get teary-eyed at an expo when you spot elites like Kara Goucher, Shalane Flannagan, Meb Keflezighi, or Dickson Chumba
* Own several books on running: Strength training for runners, How to run faster, How to train like ..
* Still get that back to school sick to your stomach feeling on track days
* Have trained using a variety of techniques: speed at the track, on hills, slow runs, negative splits, strides, pick-ups, even the latest greatest "Chi Running"
* Buy Gu from Amazon in bulk
* Have so many race shirts, you enter races thinking who you can give the next shirt to
* Had to buy a wall plaque to hang all your race medals because they were getting out of control
* Planned 4 months of races for the next year, and it's still November
* Watch the weather channel before you go to bed, to make sure all's clear for tomorrow's run
* Know several Bill Rogers running quotes
* Think calf sleeves are actually cool looking
* Have people say, "Don't I know you?" and then they realize they don't know you, they just see you running all over!
* Know how far it is to certain neighbors houses, your local running store, different parks in your town - and for that matter the surrounding towns too -  and can easily answer how far it is to the corner grocer and back ... like about 5.45 miles!
* Are your stuck in traffic think, "I wish I could run this fast."
*Eat, sleep, drink, think running, and
Read this and get at least 98% of what I'm saying!

Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2015 Recap

Yes, I cried when I crossed the finish line. 
I've only run two marathons. Last year, I ran the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, and this past Sunday, I ran the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Like I told the man from Tokyo, who asked me at the finish, 
"How was your race?" 
Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was painful. 
And when I asked him how his race went, he replied, 
"Same. It was painful." 
Then, we laughed and walked to the bag check together discussing our times. He was off a sub 3:30 by seconds. I was off my goal by one minute. Nonetheless, we were happy to finish. I told him I want to run all six world major marathons. He told me that he has the same goal. We laughed some more through our aches and pains. He told me that he was running Boston next. I laughed and told him I don't know why, but I am too! We shook hands, and hoped to meet up again on April 18th, 2016!
Frank Shorter has a quote:
"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. 
Your mind can't know what's coming."
I don't know why I would want to put my body through the grueling training, and agony of running another marathon, it's not even for the fact that I am Half-Crazed. 
4:30 AM october 11, 2015:
With NYC painful memories behind me,
I was ready for the Chicago Marathon
Still, I was terrified to run on Sunday. 
I was more afraid this marathon than last year in NYC. I know more about all the things that could go wrong during such a long race. Plus, I have few injuries - I have a few small hamstring tears, and my left achilles and calf are tighter than a wet knot in a strand of wool. Aside from that, I didn't want to let my Coach down. I've been training with Joel for 5 years. Joel has helped me finish 25 half marathons, and one marathon (now two). He knows me. He wanted me to go for a sub 3:30. I was afraid to push that much with the hamstring. I told him I'd go for an 8-minute mile pace, and hoped to come in 3:30. I didn't tell him but his goal pace for me, 3:27, was my secret wish time. Maybe Boston?

The marathon is an extraordinary event. I'm still mystified that I finished, let alone set a new PR. I'm also amazed at all the crazy thoughts that run through the head while running a marathon. The funny thing is that just like my sharing pain and marathon goals with the man from Tokyo - I'm sure you find that you too have the same thoughts while running - and I hope they make you laugh:

Starting Line:

  • OMG. I think I hafta pee again. What should I do? There a sewer plate over there. Maybe those 30 people or so standing around won't really mind? How am I gonna run 26.2 miles with a full bladder? Maybe it's good that it's full - like my extra source of water. Okay, stop worrying, it will all be reabsorbed by mile 16. But what if I pee on myself while I'm running? I drank all that Beet Juice. People will think I'm bleeding. Okay stop! You're getting out of control - it's just because you're cold and shivering.
  • Sssh, ssssh ssh. They're playing the National Anthem. Okay don't cry. Pray for our troops. Thank you God for our troops. Bless them and our country. Home of the Brave! Okay did I just shout that? Ech girl, you really gotta calm down.
  • Okay we're moving up! We're starting. Take off your throw away shirt. 
  • Hope I see those pace signs still at mile18!
  • Start the Garmin! No wait. We're stopping. Stop the Garmin. 
  • Okay go!
Mile 1-13.1:

  • Holy crap there's a ton of people! I hope no one steps on the back of my shoe.
  • OMG! Do I have cotton mouth? Am I really this nervous? Whatever you do don't spit out the gum!
  • Follow the blue line. Rebecca said to follow the blue line - it's exactly 26.2 - not a step more.
  • Oh boy. You gotta keep this pace up for 26 more miles!
  • I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this ......
  • I can run this! C'mon. I run my halves faster than this! I can at least do this for 13.1 miles!
  • God bless me, God bless me, God bless me, God bless me, God bless me .......
  • Just get to 13.1. Then start to worry.
  • Okay. Relax. Look at that guy up there. He looks so relaxed. I gotta be relaxed like him. Try running like him.
  • Yes! I am halfway there!
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
  • Just keep following the pacers and the blue line!
Mile 13.1-20:

  • Okay. Those pacers are too fast. I thought we were supposed to do 8 minute miles? They said 8 minutes to the end - a nice and easy pace. Where' the hell did they go?
  • Oh no. Maybe my Garmin is off. Oh, God. What pace am I going?
  • Does anyone know what pace we are doing?
    • Other racer: We are running about 7:47' mile pace, but I'm starting to fade.
  • Okay don't listen to him - just because he's fading doesn't mean you are fading!
  • Hey, what time are you going for?
    • Other racer: 3:30.
  • Okay. I think I'm on track. I don't think my Garmin is lying. Where the hell are those pacers?
  • Water, yes, I need water: OMG! What's this woman doing? "Hey, Sister, sister, sister - you gotta keep moving. Grab your water and keep moving!"
    • Other racer: Some people are clueless. There's a really annoying woman up there. She keeps cutting in and out.
    • Me: I know who you're talking about. White shirt?
    • Other racer: Yes!
  • Where'd everybody get those sponges? I missed them again? How come I never see the people giving out the sponges?
  • I'm so glad I didn't wear my name. Every time someone yells Beth, I want to turn and look. I hope this other Beth will either run ahead of me or drop back! This is so annoying. Remember to never, ever wear your name on your clothes! 
  • Okay the blue line is in the sun. To hell with the blue line. I'm staying on the shady side of the street!
  • Take a Gu. Don't swallow your gum. This is gross. Keep the gum.
  • Oh, no. I'm behind this guy blowing his nose, again. Ech. WTF? I don't want your snot on me!
  • Crap. I'm giving some time back. That was 8:09. C'mon girl! You trained for this.
  • Remember seeing Kathrine Switzer talk last monday? Her foundation is 261-Fearless. Run Fearlessly!
  • F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S .....
  • Okay God, You gotta keep me strong! Just please. Keep me strong!
  • John, Carry me through to the end. On the wings of angels!
  • Holy crap, that girl just passed me like I was standing still!
  • Where's the blue line?
  • Take another Gu. Don't swallow your gum!
Mile 21-26.2:
  • When will mile 22 get here? I've been running this mile forever!
  • Ech, I'm giving more time back! Oh no! Is this the wall
  • Take more Gu! My last Gu! 
  • Wow! I can't believe I didn't swallow my gum!
  • Mile 22: Yes! I'm back.
  • Oooh! Stretch dude - Ech poor man grabbed his hammy in pain! Oh God keep me strong. Don't let that happen to me!
  • Gatorade. I need Gatorade!
  • Oh noooo! Sorry mister. OMG! I just knocked his Gatorade out of his hand! And now it's all over him! 
  • Okay. Don't run in the sticky Gatorade. It will slow you down.
  • Where's that line? It's blue, right? Where'd that line go?
  • Holy crap, why is that guy stopping? He only has a few more mile. Just friggin shuffle if you gotta! Didn't he ever hear of that Australian guy, Cliff Young? Just shuffle!
  • If one more person yells only a couple more miles, I am going to lose it!
  • When will mile 24 come? I've been running way more than 1 mile. I don't think this course is marked right.
  • I promise. Just finish and you will never, ever hafta run again. I promise you. If I just finish, I'll never make myself run, ever, ever again!
  • Holy crap, more people are stopping! Why are they stopping? Just friggin' shuffle if you gotta!
  • I'm not stopping. It'll never end if I stop! There's no way, I'll stop! Kathrine Switzer said that she'd crawl to the finish if she had to - so will I - If I hafta!
  • Mile 25! There's Ron and Juliette!
    • Ron: Finish strong. It's just one more mile!
    • Juliette: Go Mommy! Gooooo!
    • Me: This is f@!cking hard!
  • 800 meters: Pretend your on the track with Coach Joel! It's just 100 meter strides, 8 times! Count to 25 for every meter!
  • Have I been counting for a quarter mile?
  • To hell with that line!
  • 400 meters! Is that Sweet Caroline playing in the background?
  • That person doesn't look as fit as me. Younger, yes - but not as fit. I worked harder. I gotta pass her. Kick it in! Pass her! Yes!
  • Keep that fast twitch going! The slow twitch is spent, but you got some fast twitch left.
  • Kick it in!
Holy, Lord! I did it!
I did it!
I finished!
3:31:22!
2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Thank you Lord!
OMG! 
I want that medal!
110 minutes slower than Dickson Chumba's time! 
The closest I got to him was at breakfast, the next day! LOL!
Train Smart Today!