Marathon Training, Fundraising & Just Because

 

TCSNYCMarathon_r31

Approximately sixteen weeks to Chicago and eighteen weeks to The New York City Marathon. I mean WOW! Where did the time go? Am I alone in thinking that we’re not the only ones running here, that so is time! That being said, technically, I should to be in marathon training mode, which means I’m suppose to be running practically everyday working on mileage, speed, strength and endurance. In reality, I figure to take the next couple weeks to myself and run for sheer enjoyment – just because it’s Summer, it’s hot, it’s pretty and because there’s the inescapable fact looming that I’m about to embark on some crazy running; two challenging marathons in two successive months.

Rest assured, I’m not crazy, people do this all the time – not really. Not ordinary people anyhow, but then you’ve probably already figured out that normal does not describe me. Not to worry, it’s not my first time, only the second..wink..and I’ve already figured my strategy is more mental than physical. See, I’m training for a marathon so I’ll just keep running..joke..but really, it’s just a shift in focus after the first run as the next is within two weeks. This is ideal as it works to keep the momentum going. With enough sleep, training and cross-training, the right diet and proper hydration, I should be fine. In fact, I predict they’ll be runs of a lifetime, providing I stay injury-free. My past record notwithstanding, I aim to stay positive; run a few races between now and then and try to maintain top form. With God on my side, I can’t lose now, can I.

team-UNICEF-banner

On another related note, I haven’t been all-ensconed in fundraising efforts for my project – Team UNICEF re the NYC Marathon – as I should be. I’ll have to be a bit more brazen in my approach if I am to reach the $3500 goal that is allotted me. While I’d love to raise more, it being for such a great cause and all, I’ll settle for being within target range for now. If you’re reading this, please feel obligated to help a runner and sister out; plus you’ll earn bragging rights for a good cause and get your name on my running-T on marathon day. I also have a few cool T-Shirts for very generous donors and a couple pom poms for you if you go the extra mile and show up to cheer me on race day. It rarely gets better than this but I’m sure you deserve it!

 

Running for causes aside, I really treasure each opportunity I get to make a difference while running. Being a force for change is something we can all benefit from; hence why I think I take running and training so seriously leaving very little time to enjoy the sport. So excuse me while I fix that before doubling down for some record running in the coming months.

Be a trooper and support my cause here:   https://www.crowdrise.com/unicefnyc2015/fundraiser/loricaldon

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Tips for your Best Running this Summer

source:123rf.com

                     source:123rf.com

We’ve entered the official phrase of Summer, and without much fanfare I might add. Given the circus of a weather we’ve been having, it is no wonder. In any event, now that’s it here I encourage you to milk it for all that’s it worth and strive to derive the maximum pleasure allowed while running. Here’s how:

  • Run either early mornings before the sun rises or late evenings after it sets. While we love the sun, it’s only the extremely adventurous or crazy who run in it.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Nothing screams newbie as  one who goes for a run in clothing made of non-breathable material in summer!
  • It follows, you should wear proper running shoes. This is a strict rule for runners, as we value staying injury-free above all else. Plus, it fits right in with that “dress for success” saying.
  • Hydrate well. Practicing proper hydration during summer is valuable not just for runners but everyone who’s concerned with pursuing good heaIth. It can determine your efficiency & effectiveness out on the track or roads as well as save you time and a hospital bill should you collapse from heat exhaustion or the like. Plus, it’s pretty affordable to keep water on hand at all times.
  • I maintain that variety is the spice of life. Mix it up a little and get adventurous in your running this summer. Why not try some trail running. Download a trail app and discover running trails in your area you never even knew existed. Something new, something different, something that will add a twist of fun to your running routine. Running during the day is an option here, as trails come with trees and lots of overhead cover.
  • Talking about variety: What’s summer without an extreme racing experience! Ever tried an obstacle race, a mud run, the Spartan experience, a color run or any one of the dozens of races geared at thrill seekers? I promise it’s a must-have experience, even if you only ever do it just one time, though I’m betting you’ll be back for more.
  • Finally, running and friends go hand in hand. Though it can have its solitary moments, running is a social sport. Runners love people and this summer is the perfect time to hook up with a running group of some kind. Hint: I’m a meet-up kinda girl myself and I’ve met some really awesome people through those groups, so here’s another opportunity to try something different. It comes with an almost money-back-guarantee you’ll be pleased with the outcome.

Summer is all about having fun and exploring new opportunities. It carries a feeling of all-that-you-can-do-before-the-good-days-are-gone; but you want to enjoy yourself and have fun doing it all. If you try a few of these, your running is sure to be fun -which is the main goal – hell, try them all and you’re sure to have your best summer of running yet. Runners honor!

Running And the Weight Factor

 

Source: runners world.co.za

Source: runners world.co.za

We live in a society consumed by weight, size and looks. Too often, you hear the words, “I’m too fat” spoken. And all too often you would find it incredulous, the owner of those said words. Or would you?  Hardly ever will you hear someone complain about being too skinny or rather, under-weight, which is the purpose of this post.

I have always been a small-boned person and so never thought much of it in a Trinidadian culture that approved women with a more rounded figure. Later on, as first-world ideology creeped in, it became more apparant that skinny was not just cool, it was sexy. In fact, the skinnier, the sexier..say what? Exactly! It is now the aspiration of almost everyone. I mean forget health, it is the measuring rod by which society gauges whether one is cool or not.
For my part, I struggle with this weight issue in so far as it pertains to keeping it on. As a runner it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a I-feel-incredibly-healthy-weight, and so, it is a goal of mine to strive to stay within the range of my BMI (body max index). There was a time I went to the gym for the chief purpose of putting on weight; exercise, eating, even entertainment, was designed around this goal. The problem was and is that, as with any diet, it requires adherence to the plan. The truth is, I have neither the time or inclination to eat six meals a day – a nutrition analysis showed this to be the case as I have an extremly high metabolism. In addition, it’s extremely expensive to eat healthy; I have no doubt I would be unable to sustain the cost of six meals a day for even six weeks, far less six months or longer. Between work, activities and running daily, my schedule is an endless hustle to get through my to-do
list, eating included.
I should say, I have a huge appetite for food, not snacks or junk, just food, but I’m really only in the company of food twice a day so that leaves me with a lot of meals to make up for. Thus, between time, cost and running my weight has suffered.
While I have no problem with being skinny, my goal have always been to be healthy. In my striving to attain this perfect balance, I tend to always overcompensate on my vegetable and fruit portions as I like to say it replaces snack for me, but the truth is I just love it. I drink two of the Ensure protein drinks per day, these particularly, were made with active people in mind, and I take a Creatin supplement when training. I  also indulge in protein shakes – it’s a passion of mine.
The struggle continues though. I think it’s getting to that place when I make an appointment to see my doctor. Maybe she can help.




Gearing Up For Summer Runs

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It’s been a long time coming… as the song goes..only some of us couldn’t help but wonder if it would ever get here. Summer is nigh! And I’m so overjoyed, you’d think I won the lottery. Well, all body parts are accounted for, I’m healthy and strong after surviving a brutal winter, running even, that’s a bit of a win as far as I’m concerned and enough reason to throw a party; a running party that is, since, runner that I am, there’s really only one way I know to celebrate. I figure anytime you combine running and wine at the finish, it’s officially party-time. So here’s looking forward to some awesome summer running. We will endeavor to stretch it out for as long as we can, humidity and hundred-degree-days notwithstanding.

Now that the right frame of mind has been achieved, let’s take a look at a few running events in store for us in these beautiful United States and around the world this summer:

1. Heart and Soul 10k and Half Marathon (Boulder, Colo) June 29
From the Boulder Reservoir to the heart of downtown , it’s a runner’s paradise on this dpectator-friendly course. Finishers enjoy a post-race block party.

2. Lake Tahoe Marathon (South Lake Tahoe, CA) Sept. 11-14
Options for racing include: marathon, double marathon, half marathon, 72 Ultra, 20 miler, 10k, relay or 5-mile kyack or swim.

3. Fifth Avenue Mile (New York, NY)  Sept. 13
A PR anyone? For speeders, like myself, this is a great opportunity to get in your fastest mile on record.

4. Big Five Marathon (Limpopo, South Africa) June 20                                                 Held among the wildlife of the the African savannah, it’s where marathon meets safari. Runners experience magnificent surroundings, exciting game drives and a challenging marathon route through the  the habitat of the most famous African game.

5. Lidingöloppet (Sweeden) Sept. 26-28
A bucket-list event maybe? The largest and longest cross-country race in the world hosts its 50th anniversary with its famous 30km and a few other race options.

6. San Francisco Marathon (San Francisco, CA) July 27
An opportunity for fantastic waterfront views and to run across the golden gate bridge. Who doesn’t crave some hilly terrain every now and again.

7. Summerfest Rock and Sole Series (Milwaukee, WI) June 14
Milwaukee Summerfest is the world’s largest live music festival over 11 days and 800 performers and its namkesake racing event hosts a marathon, quarter marsthon and 5k. Finishers join the after-party and get a free ticket to one day of the festival.

8. 2015 Endless Summer Trail Run Series ( Hyland Park Reserve – Bloomington, Minnesota) August 4                                       A fun and runnable 7 mile course mostly run on double-track grass and wood-chip trails with a few bills thrown in.

It’s all well and good to have information at our fingertips but it behooves us to not only take it in but to use it to our advantage. Enjoying a great summer of running means that we will have to actively engage the resources available to us. This will most likely mean setting forth a plan to do so, since life has a habit of happening and before we know it, it’ll be that time again. We don’t want that. We want to relive those memories and carry it through the cold months that will surely come.

A good and purposeful plan should include some of the most basic stuff like purchasing some new active summer wear, signing up for a few races – including some fun runs, hitting up a running meet-up to get some form and fitness in and eating and hydrating well. There’s nothing like new sexy shorts & racer backs & even a new hot running shoes to make you all excited about getting out and signing up for a few races. While we’re at it, let’s remember to get our music hook-up; a hot new mix on our running song list to inspire some bad-ass running. Another important hook-up is either a hydration belt or a funky water bottle..they so do funky. We have to be especially cognizant of the humidity and the potential for dehydration and a funky reminder works. Always keep it filled up and ready to go.

Also, summer running comes with the opportunity for forging friendships and hooking up in the best way in some really fun places. Who knows you might even get a goal or two in, hell even a bucket-list event. It’s all good. That’s the promise of summer along with some intense heat. Did I mention it’ll be hot? Hella hot but such a calorie burner.

sources: competitor.com, activetimes.com, Runnersworld.com, Forbes.com

In Honor of National Running Day

Source: dreamstime.com

Source: dreamstime.com

What’s the fuss? Someone asks. I respond with the very cliché, ‘If you must ask, you won’t understand.’

National Running Day: a day where runners all over this great country share their bragging rights and love for running, or for the results of running.

Like any great occasion that impacts people the world over, and thus deserves a day of recognition, honor and celebration, running gives us runners the opportunity to live it out loud; to tell the world why we indulge in the pain, the sacrifice, the dedication, the insanity of a sport that many will call torture.

We beg to differ and think that running rocks!

Here are a few reasons why:

  • It builds community and individual spirit
  • It fosters a healthy lifestyle and overall good health
  • It encourages drive and purpose
  • It provides opportunities to positively affect the lives of others
  • It develops healthy attitudes and behaviors
  • It educates, informs and facilitates personal and social development
  • It negates the racial, political, cultural and social divide and brings people of every creed and race together with a common winning goal
  • It empowers our competitive spirit and inspires our ambitions

With all the good that running does for our nation and world community, there’s a lot that we, as individuals, get from it. Here are just a few reasons why we run:

For freedom, health, strength, beauty, peace, companionship, a PR, happiness, escape, meditation, solitude, direction, purpose, charity; For causes, for those who can’t, because we can, for satisfaction, achievement, inspiration, encouragement, for the love of running, for life and a million other reasons that space and time does not permit here.

For my part, it is my happy place and I go as often as I can. So, wherever you are today, be sure to holler or high-five another runner as we celebrate the only way we know how; running of course.

Happy National Running Day!

Miles For A Cause: Running the TCS NYC Marathon 2015

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It’s not everyday you wake up and decide to run a marathon. It’s not everyday you wake up and decide to run 26.2 miles for a good cause. I want to stress that this is not about being a hero or looking for a pat on the back or any such thing..on the contrary, this is about how the sport of running has changed one runner’s single drive for self-satisfaction and personal achievement to a dream of transforming lives one step at a time.

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Every year I have goals, more notably running goals. Prior to last year all those goals involved me either striving for a personal best or running a particular race or series of races. What has changed and why you may wonder. Well for one thing, I’ve grown; in character and in running and I give a lot of credit to the sport. In an earlier post, I called running my saving grace and it is; it has caused me to take a long, hard look at life, particularly mine and suss out exactly what purpose and who did running serve.  After much internal debate and struggle, I came to the conclusion that for running to really matter and serve a tangible purpose, it must speak to my heart for others. Thus, I determined to tie in my passion for serving the lesser advantaged with my passion for running and so the idea of miles for a cause was born. No big fan fare or anything, just a quiet, determined decision to run some of my major races this year for a charitable cause.

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Enter, The New York City Marathon and the opportunity to make every step count.  I’ll be honest, I debated with myself for a long time as to whether I would be able to pull it off – to be sure there’s a part of me that’s not too excited about having to raise a minimum of $3500 – but what cemented my decision was the happenstance of the earthquakes that struck Nepal. What a tragedy, I thought along with the world. Only… wait I can help; I can make this run count for something more than personal achievement. And so, I took a step out on faith and after careful consideration of the charities listed, decided to run for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in light of all the work they do on the ground in disaster-stricken areas and in particular for children. I was especially touched by their theme this year: Believe In Zero. No child should ever die from a preventable cause. I, too, believe that if we work together Zero is achievable. It is my hope that through social networking and other methods, I will not only achieve my fundraising goal but that many will come to know the part they either play or can play in making our world a kinder and better place to live in. That one step at a time it is possible.

Click the link below to learn more about and contribute to this amazing cause.

The Skinny on Recovery Runs

Source: my treadmill trainer.com

Source: my treadmill trainer.com

You’ve heard about that post-race run that all élite athletes and those in the competitive world of running make much ado about. Sounds like it might be something to get excited about and may even be beneficial to you in some way. But what does it really mean to you the runner? Is it a have-to? Can it have bearing on your future performance and ability? What’s all the hype about? Based on my experience and the information out there, I’ll attempt to shed some light on what is quickly becoming characteristic of runners today.

By definition, a recovery run is that which you do the day after a hard workout (race, long-distance run, speed work etc.)

I haven’t always been an advocate of recovery runs, truth is for much of my running life I’ve more-often-than-not, done my thing. I believe in whatever works for you and not necessarily a one-size-fit-all approach. Granted, there are times it’s necessary to toe the line as happens with particular training techniques and smart training practices but in my opinion, we are all unique and respond differently, adapt at our own pace and acquire different skills and abilities special to us. And so I’ll never be a “Jesse Owens”  but I can be the best me if I’m willing to sift through the crud and embody what really matters.

The Experts

Elite athletes, coaches and avid runners will tell you what we all know to be true, practice makes perfect. You want to get good at something you practice hard, you want to be great, you practice harder. Coaches are big on recovery runs as they believe it enhances training leading to optimal performance and so most of their workouts are designed with this in mind, whether it’s hill repeats, sprints, interval training or others ( key workouts aimed at challenging your body to resist causes of high-intensity fatigue) are usually followed by a period dedicated to recovery. The belief here is that exposing your body to these key workouts simulate adaptations that enable you to resist fatigue better the next time (Matt Fitzgerald, competitor.com). Matt proposes that because recovery runs are gentle enough to not to create a need for additional recovery, they allow you to perform at a high level in your key workouts and therefore get the most out of them. In his words, ‘It is a way of squeezing more out of your key workouts.’ Coach Jeff in an article titled “Maximize Your Running With Planned Recovery Days” on RunnersConnect stresses that the body gets faster and stronger by breaking down muscle (hard training),and then allowing the body to build itself back up faster than before (recovery) and then repeating the process until you’re in shape and ready to race. A slightly different twist but with the same emphasis on allowing the body time to assimilate and recuperate to come back stronger.

My Experience

Two years ago, after running my first marathon, was the first time I gave any real thought to doing a recovery run. Rebel that I am, I felt I didn’t particularly need it and that since I pretty much ran all the time anyway, I had it covered. Then I ran 26.2 miles of joy and sorrow that ended with me in a boot for a month, wishing I could get out a day or two after as that discomfort would be preferable to what I then had to deal with.  See the magic in the recovery run lies in forcing you past your limits to not only embrace pain..you did that with the “hard workout” but it challenges your body to go beyond the point of fatigue, again you already achieved this; to embrace it. The run is done in an entirely fatigued state thereby boosting fitness. That is to say, you’re so doggone tired and hurting, how about 5 miles on top of that. Sounds machochist right?  Don’t worry, there’s a method to the madness; you get to slow down to an easy pace where breathing and carrying a conversation is easily done and the distance could range from anywhere between 3 to 5 miles. Plus it’s a tiny price to pay for you who see an ultra in your future.Thinking about rolling over the next time after a key workout? Think again. Your next race may depend on it.

Checking in on 2015 Running Goals; Stay Motivated

Source: truemotivation.com

Source: truemotivation.com

The daily grind can get to us. It can cause us angst and all-too-often disillusionment. That’s why I think it’s important to have constant reminders and even accountability; this helps us to maintain focus and stay motivated. Frankly, it’s all happening so fast these days, with so much of our environment, social media, the news, and just about everything else, geared toward our constant striving to stay afloat, it’s no wonder we sometimes feel overwhelmed, insecure, frustrated and dejected. The good news, if you can call it that, is you’re not alone. This fight for survival, for attainment, for our own person glory even, is not yours to fight alone. It may not sound like much, but if you can find solace in that you’ll be well on your way to getting past the first hurdle.

So you’ve taken a look back and you’re either impressed or not with the trail you’ve blazed for the past 4 1/2 months; presuming you’re pleased with what you see, then you’re pretty set for the next few months. What you’ve done has worked and I applaud your hard-work and dedication, you have a soul sister. On the other hand, we know that life can get in the way sometimes causing hiccups; know that it is ok to stop and breathe. In fact, sometimes it is necessary to do so or we risk setting ourselves up for failure. Who needs that? It is the wise person who recognizes the need to stop & reassess and sometimes reorder their goals. In that vein, you’re on the right track and would benefit from spiriting away to a quiet place, away from the clutter and noise that is your life – try a trail run outdoors, where it’s just you, nature and God – and empty your mind of everything but the moment. Revel in where you are now and be thankful. Stay there for a bit and just love yourself. You see, every now then you need to indulge in a bit of self-love, not narcissism or anything like that, but honest, real, love; only then will you be able to be real about your needs and what your plans are. This shift in focus from the worries of life and the world at large will bring you, your dreams, and your goals this year, to the forefront once more, allowing you to revise and better align your plans with your reality. That PR, Boston Qualifier, Marathon, Half-marathon, Triathlon,Iron man, Ultra, Running group, Charity run etc… whether it’s one of these or a few, is still possible. If you’ve fallen ill or something of that nature, then that’s beyond your control but if not then by God’s grace you are able.

You want to realize your desires, you have to be willing to make the necessary adjustments or/ and sacrifices. We, who know about hard-work and sacrifice, know that it will never be easy, if it were, it would not be worth it; that if we fall ten times, we stand up eleven. Failure is never an option. Indeed we have just over seven months to ensure goal realization. It is possible. You are possible.

In Running, Age is Just a Number

Sir Randulph Fiennes - Marathon des Sables 2015

Sir Randulph Fiennes – Marathon des Sables 2015

They say, “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” I think they’re right. When I look back on my years of running, while I’m no dinosaur it’s been more than twenty-five years, I can honestly say that I have never felt better, run faster, been stronger or as confident as I am today. I’ll say credit that to maturity, training and practice, but what I believe more than anything is that experience is the greatest teacher. Each race I run, I’m always looking for a better time, I constantly push myself..my boundaries, I’m always eagerly looking at new and or different methods, exploring new technologies, meeting and talking with runners. The idea here is one of openness and willingness to learn, to grow, to achieve my highest human potential.

I think about the elders in the field, I mean we’re talking those in their 70’s and 80’s, there is no game plan they’ll tell you, just passion and life and all the challenges that come with it. Recalling my first competitive 10k takes some doing but this 75 year-old Trinidadian native I will always remember: Granny Luces, as she is endearing known locally, was then a regular at the races. The race didn’t start nor end without Granny and you felt it an honor to run with her, so legendary was her passion and dedication to the sport. Today, she’s 85 and still running I’m told. Back then I use to think I wanted to be like her and I still do. I want to be 80, even 90 and still running. I recently read an article on the 71 year-old Brit who finished The Marathon De Sables 2015, a 6-day ultramarathon, raising approximately £1 million for charity. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, though he is a veteran explorer having crossed Antarctica and hiked Mount Everest, described the hair-raising experience as hell on earth. But he did it..over 150 miles..you have to give kudos to the essence of a person who at that age with his health issues would not only attempt but achieve something so monumental. Mind you, the oldest competitor in the 30-year history of the Marathon des Sables race is an 83-year-old Frenchman, so 71 might seem ok in comparison. The point is that 71, 83, 40, 23…age is just a number. How you feel mentally and physically will determine a lot more than how old you are.

Sure, I get that frailty is more than likely by the ripe old age of 80, that my bones will atrophy with time and this will surely slow down my game but I’m thinking to see this through, to take it as far as it’ll let me while doing the best I can. I think at the end of the day it’s all we can ask. I should add that longevity runs in my family, I have a grandmother who’s 102; her twin sister, my great-aunt, died last year at 101, my dad’s 93 and my mom’s 84. God bless them and me I pray. I intend to be around and running for a long time with His blessing.

A Recap of Running The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon

 

The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon 2015

The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon 2015

Last Sunday dawned awash with color across the New Jersey sky, the beautiful face of sunshine setting the tone for a stellar day weather-wise and otherwise. We stood at the start wrapped in our heat sheets, an anticipated chill in the air. The buzz was high. Many were expecting to do good here; rumor had it the course was a fast one. Having observed no worrisome inclines on my review the evening before, I was excited to see how it would pan out. Part of my excitement stemmed from the “unknown factor.” I enjoy discovering a course while running. My adventurous spirit revels in the uncertainty and mystery of what will come next and I was not disappointed. I had heard a bit about the twists and turns following mile 13 but I wasn’t concerned, as long as there was some variety to be had, I had nothing to fear from monotony.

As it turned out, our 3:30 pace group leader was a veteran marathoner with 50+ marathons under his “shoes,” most recently Boston two Monday’s ago. His humor was trying at best as he attempted to entertain us early in the race; though on a marathon course, you learn to appreciate anyone who tries. He did however, marshal us into maintaining a steady 7.5 pace for first half of the race, which had a few of us antsy considering the burn out issue. Still, there were others who were interested in upping the ante, feeling strong then I guess. I’m headstrong yes, but not stupid, and I am fully aware of the idiom – marry in haste, repent at leisure – no way was I even interested in trying to outdo myself at such an early stage. Good sense prevailed and we stayed together and strong. You can tell New Yorker’s anywhere you go and that was true of those running in the group; chatty, competitive, brash even but open and warm. Some willingly carried the pacer’s sign, which he promised to ditch early on, right to the end. For much of the way, miles 1 through 16, we poked fun, had the odd conversation, commented on pace and fed off the crowd, which was a surprise in itself – there were quite a bit of cheer going on. We were thankful for that and showed our appreciation with waves and mouthfuls of thank you. The volunteers, as instrumental to the race as ever were a beautiful bunch; filled with encouragement and fuel, they were with us every couple of miles along the way.

The fight and challenge to finish strong came around mile 18. So far it had been a scenic, flat and full-out sunshine course. The wind was co-operating fully with just the right amount of ruffles to make the sun a pleasure but suddenly it wasn’t so easy anymore. The sun was now head on and hot, the stretches began to seem to long, no one was talking anymore, the pacer appeared to be going too fast, I could hear grunts coming from my far left, where was the guy with the time pick? And the other one who was beside me for much of the way? We appeared to be losing people, a couple were ahead but surely some were behind. Shouldn’t the pacer check to see what was happening to the group. It was then I realized that it was all he could do to remain focused and stay the course. He had set the pace and carried it for three-quarter of the way, it was our job to take it home. I felt we had lost some time, a few seconds of the last two miles maybe, but with four more miles to go and the shore beckoning, it was doable, it was happening. I recall his last words before my heart took over – a hug at the finish.

It’s what is known as heart running. When you feel like there’s nothing left to give. You’ve done all you can, all the training; cross training, speed work, running, has culminated into this moment right here..this is it. With two more left to go, it’s breakaway time. My heart is thumping, my legs are unreal..I don’t even feel them, all I can see is the stretch in front of me, all I can hear is the voice in my head – you’re almost there, over and over – I’ve left them behind, the crowds are thickening, the waves are crashing, my feet are pounding, I can see the finish. This is so happening. With 800 meters to go I stagger and look behind me and there’s my girlfriend who ran the entire way with me, I thrust out my hand to her – “come on, come on,” I say. She reaches out, I grab her hand and we sprint to the finish; huge smiles on our faces for the camera as we cross the finish line. I pull away, retching with my head between my knees and she’s gleefully saying, “we did it! We did it! Sub 3:30! Are you ok?” All in that order. A few minutes and I was fine, the pain would follow in a bit but just then I was super excited to have PR’d and qualified for Boston 2016 by just over ten minutes. We did indeed indulge in those hugs and a few tears following the reciept of our medals. They say pain is temporary, pride is forever. I’m so proud of me.

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