A note on yesterday’s post from the
editor blogger :
I didn’t think it’d be quite as polarizing a topic, but I am glad so many of you weighed in with thoughtful, educated opinions on Komen. Not all fundraising operations are perfect, and I hear the PP argument, but money towards ANY charity is better than money straight into a pocketbook. It’s YOUR money, and you have all the right (and should!) dictate where it goes and what it does. So whether it be towards a cause you first-handedly need or support, is local to you, you just freaking like the shirt, WHATEVER, consider giving to a beneficial source when given the chance.That’s the main point I really wanted to make.
That and I really do hate the bubble run. Ok, carryon!
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You asked, and after some serious arm-twisting here it is! Kristina, my training partner (also known as “the Non-Blogger”), shares her experience from Eugene – her second marathon, huge PR, and debut as “DAMN GIRL, you fast!”.
Take it away, K…
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I’ve never been a good storyteller or great writer, and that’s probably why I thought I may not be a good blogger. Do you ever read a blog with sooo many words that you just end up skimming through or going straight to the bottom? Well, sorry I’m not sorry – this might be one.
The Marathon Introduction
Where I began as a runner to where I am now, it’s hard to even explain in a small recap. I started out looking for something competitive to do outside of sports and stay in shape, which has now turned into an obsession (a good one) and is definitely that thing that you find yourself rambling about to someone you just met. I have lived in California for 2 years now and I have met so many people that also share my obsession (esp compared to my green-grass, tax-free home state of Delaware.) Running and the friends I’ve made have opened doors to some great opportunities, including the invitation to run my first marathon.
My 2012 goal was to run 12 HALF marathons – 1 each month. My arm was quickly twisted by my dear friend, SarahOUaL, to sign up for my FIRST marathon – CIM in December 2012. [S interject – “you can pop off a 1:35 barely trying and go out to run the day after? you can run a full. here’s the registration page.” was basically the sales pitch] I was shocked that I signed up for a marathon – SHOCKED!
she’s graduated from “Kristina (Lee’s gf)” to just “Kristina” since…
Training went really, really well for me, and the day of the race, I ran my little heart out. Considering the weather conditions, I crossed that finish line (still in shock, I think) and managed to pull out a BQ of 3:32.34. That was the beginning of my addiction to the marathon… For now…
“I can’t believe it, that was insane – omg I hurt so bad… when’s the next one?!”
After that build up, I was like – okay what’s next?!!?! what’s next??!! I needed to keep going!! Sooooo once Sarah mentioned Eugene, my wheels started turning. I heard about all the fun from last year and thought, why not?! So the training started again at the end of January. I sort of followed a few plans, but am not the greatest at doing tempo workouts or track workouts, so I basically just made sure I got a lot of miles in.
About half way through my training cycle, I started to develop a pain in my right glute – Piriforis Syndrome, I believe (you can read more about it here). It has really kicked my butt (no pun intended), and I learned a huge lesson on properly stretching and foam rolling – things I normally avoid or slack on. Sorry, getting distracted…
Anyway the build up to Eugene was very different from CIM. I was having a lot of trouble on long runs without getting tight in my hip area and having to stop to stretch. It was really discouraging because I had never dealt with any type of injury before. I also had a few visitors and some crazy travel days that lowered my weekly mileage, so I felt like my training was really inconsistent. I went into the weekend knowing that it would be a TON OF FUN (duh) and with just 1 goal : beat my CIM time.
Once I realized how many people would be in “Nuungene” that I did not know (so many bloggers!), I was a little intimidated. Everyone seemed to know each other already, and I’m terrible with names! But, turns out, my occasional appearances on my friends blogs worked in my favor, and everyone was super nice. We all shared training stories, had girl talk, laughed, took a lot of pictures, drank some beer, did some planks, and just had an overall “magical Eugene” weekend. #sistersinsport
thrown headfirst into “here’s a huge group of people you don’t know!” pool 8 hours after landing in Oregon…
Race day: Woke up really rested and very hydrated (<— big reason as to why I had such a great race! thanks, Nuun!) I felt confident I could run the 8min pace to break my CIM time, and thought I might try for 3:26-28’ish, but wasn’t really sure since my training hadn’t been great and it was only my second marathon. How do you know?!
I started out running with Laura and the first few miles went really quickly. I remember trucking up the hill at mile 8 and it feeling pretty easy (maybe because I knew it was coming and because of the great cheer/support!) Around mile10, I saw Mason and he gave me the scoop on how everyone was doing which was my fave part of every meet up. I went through the half at 1:43.23, right on target.
Miles 15-20 still felt really good and I just tried to focus on other things – the scenery, maybe find a lyric to sing along with and relate it to the race, or just people watch. Mason found me again at mile18, he had just left Molly and SR, and at this point I still felt really strong and knew that I was on pace to beat my original goal and maybe even 3:24. I remember looking at my watch before he left me around mile19 and was shocked that I had just run a 7:00 min. mile and I specifically remember Mason saying, “don’t be scared about how fast it says your going, just run on how you feel.” And, that I did.
the “oh man am I going to blow up after that 7 min mile?” look
After that there was the stupid park around mile 22-24, that just went on forever, and those stupid little inclines that felt like mountains. By this point, my legs were bricks. I remember starting to shut down and tell myself that I could not go any faster. My pace dropped to a 7:51 mile that felt like a 10 minutes. I started to doubt my time and where I would finish. I remember thinking, I physically cannot go any faster and if I freaking see Mason right now, I am going to say “Nope, can’t do it! Can’t go any faster!” Luckily, SR bought me some time because he stayed with her to pace her to a ridic PR (see her recap here).
At mile24, In my foggy frame of mind, I told myself not to stop – you didn’t come all this way to start walking now. I thought about all the things I am thankful for and repeated them over and over to myself. When I popped out at mile25 in the area I was familiar with from our group run Mason was there. He looked at me in his coach/dad/boss voice and said “3:18 – that sound good to you, Now let’s GO!”….yes, sir!! hop to it!!
Just when I thought I didn’t have anything left, I approached the AMAZING (WORDS CAN’T DESCRIBE) Oiselle cheer squad. There were so many of them I didn’t know where to look and I will never forget that feeling. And then my dear old friend – remember that one that made me sign up for my very first marathon and brought me here, jumps by my side, and says “Come on K, you’ve got this. I am so proud of you, you’re almost there! It’s like half a lap on the track.” (<— such a lie. it was like, half a mile)
My response – “Sarah, I can’t. I can’t”. Over and over.
‘yes you can. you are! keep going!’
But, I did. And my last mile was a 7:07 – faster than I EVER thought I could push myself. I forgot to stop my watch (the usual) so I didn’t know what my time was, but I knew I beat my CIM time.
By a lot.
Official – 3:17.04
Lessons learned : I can push myself much harder than I think. Hydration (NUUN is it for me!) and taking in calories during the race (gels, bananas, bars, shot block/chews) is key. Confidence – the mental game needs to be prepped and ready. BREATHE. RELAX. Be thankful we can and are able to run a marathon (because Chuck Norris never has).
Special thanks to SarahOUaL for the training runs and the invite to Eugene (and life chats and making due with a non-internet friend). To Mason for his ridiculous timing and his ability to pace multiple people in one race. I did not expect that, but was super grateful to have it. To the girls in our house(s) – for the support and for being really freaking cool, and amazing runners! To the great cheer squad of Friends/Friends of Friends/Oiselle’s/Nuunies/etc. You all helped to make my first Eugene trip “magical”. And, I don’t call too many places magical (except for my #1 love, Disney). Ready for next year – who’s coming?!
Now then, what’s next??!!
K, “the non-blogger”