ADC 2015-16: Austin Marathon

standard February 22, 2016 2 responses

One week out. After going nonstop all week after the race, it’s finally time to sit and reflect on a day that went by in a flash after six months of training.

FB_IMG_1455478888316

Knowing a course makes a race so much better. Last¬†weekend’s marathon was humid, hilly, and hard, but we did it. Every time I reached a landmark spot, I remembered vividly what I had felt the last time I was there. And I felt so much stronger at each point this time around. It was such an empowering recollection to physically see how much stronger and faster I have gotten since I first started.20160214_115552

Biggest lesson learned? Keep hill training. Austin courses are almost always going to include some of its infamous hills, and the marathon course is no exception. And even knowing this and having run these hills over and over, I was still not ready for them so early on. And after a long taper and a week of being sick prior to the race, my legs were screaming at me by mile 16. At mile 20, I was feeling fairly strong still, and pushed to get to 22 while I still felt good. By mile 23, I was done. Knowing I had to push my friend to her first finish, I kept moving, one mile at a time, when I honestly, desperately wanted to quit. The feeling of finishing and knowing I had finally run an entire marathon nonstop was such a raw, emotional feeling. Being able to walk almost normally immediately upon finishing was also a surprising success and testament to my training.

20160214_121015

My time goal was not met, but my second goal to run the entire race was conquered, with a 6 minute PR and a 32 minute course record. If you tell yourself something is impossible, you never work to overcome it. I honestly never thought I could ever run a whole marathon. That was too scary, too intense. My first marathon, all I wanted was to finish it. No need to run it all. Yet I just did it. I trained for it, even through each long run, doubting I actually could or would. Then we ran a very long 30k. And it was easy (ish). And it dawned on me. I can do this. I will do this. WE will do this. We can conquer big, scary goals alone; but together, we are unstoppable. Having a friend to push gave me the strength to keep going. Knowing how I would feel at the finish if I gave up kept me going. Knowing I wanted her to finish strong kept me going. This race season was about community. About pushing each other. And this race was a perfect finish to that sentiment.

PhotoGrid_1456012923763

ADC 2015-16:

  1. Run Free Texas 80s 8k
  2. Run for the Water 10 mi
  3. Decker Challenge 13.1
  4. Rogue Distance Festival 30k
  5. 3M Half Marathon

ADC 2015-16: 3M Half Marathon

standard January 25, 2016 1 response

Meeting big scary goals does not come from being comfortable and complacent. You have to put it all out there. And after 4 years of trying over 11 half marathon races, I went out and did it. And not only did I beat my current half record of 2:03 to meet my sub-2:00 goal, but I somehow managed to finish another 4 minutes faster, finishing in 1:56. 8 minutes faster than last year. Never in my life did I think that would be my sub-2 time. I just wanted that 1:59:59 chip time. Easy 9 minute miles. Net downhill elevation in my favor. Friends to keep me going. Instead, cold temperatures, frozen legs, bloody knees, and a quiet head pushed me to a comfortably painful 8:52 pace mile after mile. Knowing I had nothing left to surge forward at the end, I kept moving along, one foot in front of the other, turning the corner, finish in sight. Don’t think, just run.

imagejpeg_01

Work for it. Train for it. Trust your body. Trust your mind. Trust your legs. And GO. Do it. Don’t wait. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Surround yourself with people who push you, who tell you that you can, who run along side you, who keep you going when you think you can’t take another step. I’ve said it over and over, but it’s necessary again. People matter. We need each other. Find your people. They will change your life. These ladies have changed mine.

IMG_5129

ADC 2015-16:

  1. Run Free Texas 80s 8k
  2. Run for the Water 10 mi
  3. Decker Challenge 13.1
  4. Rogue Distance Festival 30k

ADC 2015-16: Rogue Distance Festival

standard January 11, 2016 Leave a response

The last time I ran this race, I fell apart. It was hot. It was raining. It was so long. Physically and mentally.

Three years later, it was an easy long/tempo training run before the Austin Marathon. No racing, just steady marathon goal pace. No music, just friendly conversation, and at the end, a very needed mental game to get us to the finish strong. A shorted 18.6 mile course turned into an almost 19.5 mile mental obstacle.

IMG_3794

And I finished 11 minutes faster. Right on target. Nonstop. With miles still in my legs. I have never run this far without stopping. I’ve always been a big believer in run/walk training, but having someone running with you, pushing you, you pushing back on them to get them to be their best. It’s a whole new strength. You just go. And then you realize at the end that you’ve gone farther than you ever thought you could. I’ve run 4 marathons, and I still never thought I could run a whole one all the way through. This year, not only is that happening, but it’s going to be strong and fast.

12400895_10103617357293940_3787579532705894612_n (2)

After five years of running and racing mostly alone, I am never going back. We need each other. No matter how slow, how fast, how easy or how hard, friends strengthen each other. They tell you when to take a break. They tell you when you can push harder. They rejoice in all your accomplishments. They get you back on your feet after failures. Celebrate each other.

ADC 2015-16:

  1. Run Free Texas 80s 8k
  2. Run for the Water 10 mi
  3. Decker Challenge 13.1