Franklin Mountains El Paso

September 9th – 11th weekend

El Paso, Texas

Born & raised in San Antonio, Texas I had never been to West Texas and had no clue the mountains were real mountains, like the real deal gnarly and beautiful kind! So I went to El  Paso and this is how I got there.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, while sitting around the table drinking polar seltzers —cuz well it was a #feelgoodmoment, Maggie told me her next race was in El Paso. The convo was something like this:

Evy “El Pasoooo, whaaat???”

Maggie “Franklin Mountain, you should come”

Evy “Ok let me look it up,” I look it up and see the badass cool skull medals, “hell yah I wanna run this for that medal”  (anyone who has been to my apt knows how much I love skulls)14324313_1848979458670012_6800282961895604129_o

Maggie “yah you totally should”

Evy “oh wait I wont be ready for a 50k by September”

Maggie “I think they have shorter distances”

Evy… I check the website again..”yah they do, ok I’m in!!!”

And after missing my morning flight, getting to El Paso was a very long day. It ain’t easy getting there in the first place. It took me 12 hours and 3 connections, which also included 1 very long 3 hour layover in Houston to finally land in Mountain Time Zone – El Paso. WOW, it felt amazing when I stepped out of the airport. Nice warm dry air. The whole race weekend was tons of fun. I finally got to meet the Race Directors Rob Goyen & his lovely wife Rachel, the awsm peeps behind Trail Racing Over Texas (TROT). I mean just look how cool this dude is – that suit, I MEAN!

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And then when I saw mariachi’s at the race briefing, I was in heaven!

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The first day was the 50k Skyrace . The runners had to deal with brutal winds at the start and it was blowing people into cactus, the tents at aid stations blew away, porto johns blew over — yikes!! It was still super windy when I got there but had died down just a bit. I am not sure if the wind was better or the brutal heat we got the next day. Anyway after my Texas waffle at the hotel breakfast, I headed to the finish so I could see Maggie finish.img_8622

I also thought I would get there in plenty of time to see the first men come thru but I should have known Jim Walmsley would tear apart that course and finish in blazing speed. So yah, he had been done for like an hour when I got there. He finished in some crazy fast 4 hours and some change. I dunno, check the website. But I was there in time to see Maggie finish and take FIRST PLACE! Woo hoo!! Stoked for her, and she looked tired when she finished and pretty sure she said ‘that shit was hard’.  So I thought uh oh my measly little 13 miler the next day was going to be tough. We hung around at the finish and cheered people in as they finished the super tough course and I met a lot of Maggie’s TROT teammates who were all awesome people too. And we also met Arnulfo (photo below on right) – the Tarahumara runner from Copper Canyon Mexico, who placed 8th. He is also known as that guy from Born to Run. He didn’t speak any English but he was nice and let us take a photo with him. Arnulfo has some steez! The photo on the left are the first place champs – Maggie & Jim.

The other thing about El Paso is the amaaaaaaazing food!!!! We chowed down on some gooooood mexican food and also lucked out one day when the mariachi’s were playing. Damn good food right here!

and finally the last day was my 13 mile jaunt thru some gnarly terrain, loose rocks, steep descents, a really fun climb and something called the Schaeffer Shuffle that the RD thought was a good idea to have us run TWICE. He’s so mean! We didn’t have the crazy wind but boy oh boy we had heat and by 8am the sun was blazing. I was stoked when I found out Hammer was sponsoring cuz I didn’t have to carry anything extra besides my Nathan water bottle in Maggie’s sweet Nathan pack she let me borrow. After a couple hours I got tired of Heed and water, I was craving a cold beer and a snow cone that I knew they were selling at the finish. I met a friend on the trail and I kept telling him just think of the SNOWCONES at the finish. He would laugh at me then go quiet. I was having a ton of  fun out there despite my feet hurting from running & tripping over so many rocks. TONS OF ROCKS. ROCKS everywhere. But hey the finish was finally in sight. I had one goal that day, well two goals, finish and have fun. I had no clue how long it was going to take me to complete. I had zero trail training leading into this race. It was tough! The hardest half marathon everrrrr. I finished in 3 hours and 28 mins. To put that into perspective my pr for a road marathon is 3:32.  yikes it was a long day for a half marathon.

I highly suggest to everyone who wants to see that there are real mountains in Texas to sign up for next years race. You will not be disappointed.

Me and da champion – Maggatron. And a lovely cactus flower in the desert

You can’t be in Texas without a stop at WHATABURGER, Yum Rootbeer float milkshake!!!

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And the best part of the trip —- on the way back to NYC I made a quick pit stop in San Antonio to see my fave little boys in the whole world. My nephews, I think they were excited to see me too

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If you want to see how cool this course is, take a look at the race photographers website with the full gallery. Myke is an amazing photographer. The photos of me running were all taken by Myke. https://mykehphoto.smugmug.com/Public-Galleries/2016-Franklin-Mountain-50k-Dig/n-PpfVmq/

 

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Vertical K Lake Placid

July 9, 2016

Super fun weekend at Lake Placid with friends!

It rained most of the weekend except for a few hours on the day of the Vertical K. After a short delay we were off, going straight up the mountain. I had been to Lake Placid once before in the winter and did not want to touch that mountain that is otherwise known as ‘Iceface’. Its ugly and steep! I had no clue how long it would take me to go up but surprised it was right under 1 hour. The climb turned into me crawling at one point on all fours, heavy breathing but incredible views the higher we got. 13626974_625585680939241_3339520791244663714_n13640775_1398039483545318_7712423526736264362_o

The clouds parted long enough for a photo at the top.

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The rain started up pretty soon after we were done and we spent the rest of the weekend playing games at our sweet Airbnb loft. It was this weekend that Maggie told me I should sign up for the Franklin Mtn race in El Paso. Read the next blog to hear about that!

Ralph, Ryan, Maggie, me and the dog whose name I forgot.

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Be Like Ed

I am switching gears and using my legs to pedal instead of run for a good cause in memory of my friend Ed Cavanaugh.  Ed suffered from Type 1 Diabetes and passed away last August in the El Dorado Forest. I am riding this weekend at the 2016 Tour De Cure and raising money for the American Diabetes Association. Our East Coast team has raised over 12k and I have been a slacker waiting until 3 days before the ride asking for some money. I don’t like asking for money but I will tell you why this is an important cause and very dear to my heart.

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This guy was one of the most incredible bad ass human beings everrrrrrr.  One of the many things Ed loved about the outdoors was riding dirt. He was an avid outdoorsman & motorbike rider, he loved anything on two wheels. Ed left on a motorbike trip last July 17th and that was to be his last. It is now assumed that Ed became hypoglycemic while out riding his dirt bike. He was alone and if an episode occurred it might have been difficult for him to recognize. Ed was always fully prepared and didn’t let diabetes stop him from living. But Ed was alone and he couldn’t have been prepared for an episode in which he depended on someone else for life’s most basic functions. An episode like this could occur at any moment and in any place. So when Ed didn’t return home a massive search party began out in the forest. A Facebook group was formed – Lov (Ed) that currently has over 1,700 members. It was incredible to watch how many lives Ed had touched and now these people stepping up to help in any way possible. I like most people, was attached to my phone constantly checking the Lov(Ed) group for updates. The search party grew to an elaborate production with base camp set up at Ed’s cabin in the forest. Tons of volunteers started pouring into basecamp trying to help, whether it was hiking 12 hours a day in the blazing hot sun, or help by bringing supplies, working with maps & logistics, the local police, drones, military, I mean you name it and it was involved in the search. It was heart wrenching as time went on and still no Ed. I felt helpless, what could I do to help, this was the common thread amongst his friends. The search party had asked for all the help they could get, hikers, bikers, runners, dogs, anything that could bushwhack thru the dense forest. I wanted to help sooooo bad. A friend had procured free flights from Jet Blue and she offered me a flight, I knew if there was anything I could do was use my running skills to run/walk/hike all over that damn forest if I had too. But I was working a job that involved me being chained to my computer. I had a commitment to this job so I did the next best thing I was good at —- talking to the media. I sat at my computer day & night reaching out to news organizations, websites, etc spreading the word hoping to get as much help as possible. I reached out to local run clubs in the SF area asking if any runners could head up to the forest and hike for the day. I reached out to my good friend Maggie at Nathan Sports and asked if they could donate a few water bottle and lights, and they delivered!!! It was a mind boggling time in which every person involved didn’t get much sleep — we were going to find Ed. After 2 weeks, a few days before his 45th birthday Ed’s body was recovered from the forest he loved so much.

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Ed was a long time educator teaching at Downtown Continuation High School in San Francisco, CA.  Downtown High gives students a second chance to succeed who otherwise didn’t in the school system, youth who have dropped out of school and who previously might not have had any motivation. This is where Ed comes in — he created and founded The Get Out And Learn Program, otherwise known as GOAL. The GOAL program uses experiential and adventure-based learning to educate and engage under-served San Francisco youth who are at risk of dropping out of school and encourages students to graduate from high school. Ed created and understood there are different ways to learn besides sitting in the traditional classroom. He taught them math by showing them how to build a 15 foot boat AND making sure it floated. He taught them survival skills by taking them on 10 day backpacking trips in the Sierra’s, he taught them trust but taking them to ropes course. Ed gave these students the skills to succeed in life, the confidence that they are worth something and motivation to be well rounded individuals. It was these same students who came out to search for their beloved teacher when he was missing. In fact, it was one of his first students he ever taught who was with the search group that located Ed’s body in the forest. Ed didn’t take shit from his students but had all their respect. He collected cell phones before they entered the class. Ed was fair & tough, most of all he truly cared and believed in each student. After Ed passed away all his students were posting stories and memories to the Lov(ED) page and it brought tears to my eyes, it still does. The impact he had on these kids lives, when they had nobody around who cared, no adult figure or no father figure, they always knew they could count on Ed. The guy with the biggest smile, tightest hugs and biggest claps had the biggest heart of all.

Ed is missed so much by so many people. It never gets any easier when a friend leaves us too soon but tears do eventually turn into smiles. I still think about the last exchange I had with Ed last summer. We were talking about the NBA and my insane dedication to my team the San Antonio Spurs.  I was hoping to see him and always got excited knowing he was coming to town. We would plan swim dates, go for bike rides, sometimes do nothing and just hang out. Those last few months before he passed Ed had reached out a bunch to me. Usually with a text or gChat asking to talk and I can’t believe how often I was ‘too busy’ or about to run out the door, which he always replied “Evy you always running.” Of course how do we know that would be the last time we speak to someone, we don’t.

Ed lived a lot in his short life and I hope you feel inclined to donate a few bucks. If not, no worries, Be Like Ed, live life, care for people, stop to listen and call that friend back who has been reaching out. Please donate on my personal page here: Tour De Cure 

Thank you.

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Boston numbah 3

120th Boston Marathon

April 18, 2016

A week has passed since that long slow heat suffer-fest I completed, this year’s Boston was full of excitement just not as I expected. Then again its BOSTON, its not suppose to be easy and the course will remind you of that year after year. So let me back track real quick to catch myself and YOU up. I started 2016 full of excitement and ready to begin my 3rd Boston training. I hired a new coach, the ever calm & well liked Mr Edgar Gonzalez. He owns We Run SA specialty run shop in my hometown. I have known of him for years thru friends & family and didn’t really get to know him until a few years ago. He had asked to coach me but I was committed to my former coach and didn’t really see a reason to switch at the time. Fast forward to now, my previous coach dissolved all contact with me and the first person I called up was Edgar. I showed up to his run shop asking if he would take me on and he said yes of course! phew!!! Gonzales y Gonzalez was on!!! Edgar has been coaching since 1996 and I am not even sure how many runners he still coaches, its a lot. He coaches all level of runners and has quite a few speedsters that I enjoyed running with everytime I was in town. Besides running a successful shop, coaching all level of people he is also the Cross Country and Track coach at TMI (Texas Military Institute). And he ain’t just a coach, has a few impressive accolades that he would never brag about: All Heartland Conference Cross Country in college, Boston Marathon Qualifier, 2 Time Full Ironman Finisher, Leadville 100 Mile Trail Run Finisher and Jemez Mountain 50 Miler finisher. There ya go now lets move on and back to me, hahaha.

Training started off slow & easy and I didn’t have any issues until a month in when my shoes started giving me gnarly blisters. I ran in the Hoka Clifton last year and LOVED them. I bought the new Clifton 2’s and they are the WORST!!!!! Turns out they are made more narrow, even for my skinny ass foot. I was rubbing blisters on both arches, it hurt so bad, I kept running and it was throwing my gait off, which then thru my hip out, then was pulling on my IT band, groin, hammies and all kinds of discomfort. I kept going tho. I would tape those bad blisters up and think I could just run thru it. I remember one 14 miler I came home almost in tears from the new blister on top of my old blister. I was more upset that I was about to hop on a plane to go snowboarding and the blisters might prevent me from that. But nope, my handy boyfriend created a bandage out of a pantyliner, no joke. Ladies, it works!! Snowboarding was on and I got some mountain running in too. Now back to these dumb shoes, I was so annoyed and it was costing me training time and money. I visited my chiropractor & massage guy 3 or 4 times in a 2 week period. I had signed up for the Caumsett 25k in early March for a fitness test. I went in treating it as a training run. My fitness felt great but my body was still mad at me for disabling it in the wrong shoes. So what did I do? I ran the race in the shoes. I know I’m so dumbhhhh but I didnt have anything else. I thought all my other shoes were too old. But then to my surprise I ended up winning my AG Division. Hooray, fitness on track!

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After Caumsett I went to my local running shop and returned the damn Hoka’s. And after much research including talking to some runners, the Clifton 2 are just awful.

Those who live on the East Coast know we had an ugly winter, we didn’t get all the snow like last year but it was still cold. We got a lot of rain and ice. Every now and then we would have a nice day and of course that would be my rest day. Last year’s Boston was pretty miserable weather, especially for fans. This year’s Boston was HOT. Weather weather weather, its what everyone talks about leading up to the race. 1 week before the race it snowed in Boston but temps were showing high 50s, then high 60s and finally 70. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! 70 is just crazy.  Here is another thing about Boston weather. Boston proper can be 10 degrees cooler than inland, so temps were saying 50s and its like oooooh ahhhh perfect running weather — WRONG. The race finishes in Boston, we start 26 miles out in Hopkinton and run thru all the inland towns where it is warmer an throw in the course has zero shade.

With marathon training you can usually gauge where you should be. My goal (again) was to hit 3:30 or less, and that equals 8:00 min pace. I was well below in all my training and was confident I could run comfortable 7:55 – 7:50 pace. Being my 3rd time I wasn’t nervous about the course but rather excited to run the course faster than last year. I finished in a nice 3:33 last year and a 3:46 my first Boston, so this was going to be my year to get that sub 3:30. Did I mention it was HOT??!!!  I stayed at a hotel 15 mins from the start and it was 60 degrees at 8am. Holy moly! bright sun and perfect conditions to be spectating on a nice warm spring day. My crew (the boyfriend & Adrienne) dropped me off at the start by 9:30am. When the men’s elite started temps hit 70. oh sheeeeeet was all I could think. There was no shade and I plopped myself down near the starting corral waiting for my 10:50am start. I was baking in the sun and immediately started my nutrition. If there was one thing I learned from my previous heat stroke was get as much nutrition & electrolytes in as early as possible because I knew the time would come when I prolly was gunna have trouble. By the time the gun went off I was over heated and my race plan went into cautious mode. I started out super conservative thinking this would at least keep me together for at least 20 miles then I will just gut out the last 6 miles. oh how wrong I was. my race was over at 10k, like over as in over baked put a fork in me.IMG_7063

This is me right past the 10k mark, I had already stopped sweating. First bad sign. uh oh! I screamed at my crew I was so hot, thats all I could say. I grabbed my bottle of Heed Adrienne had pre-mixed for me and started chugging so fast. I took my boyfriend’s water bottle and dumped water all over myself. My face was on fire, even my feet were on fire. I wanted to sit in some shade and cool down for a minute, thinking back now I should have done that but there was no shade. NONE. NADA. My fans were also hot standing there waiting for me and got so sunburned.  So there ya go i should end the report here. GONZALES COULDNT TAKE THE HEAT!  But I kept on and stopped looking at my garmin. It was no longer goal race but rather survive race. I had all the heat symptoms; stopped sweating, nausea, dizzy, couldn’t see straight and this was all before the Newton Hills. Here is another picture of me right before Mile 16 when we enter Newton. That is my friend Thunder and I went over to collapse on him. I kept saying to him “IM SO HOT,IM SO HOT!”942249_10208069483988744_7256876551527729329_n

If you look closely in my right hand I had a drop left of my Heed. This was suppose to last me thru the hills and Heartbreak, so another words I started chugging at Mile 6 planning to take sips until Mile 20’ish or so and it was already gone at Mile 15.8.   I was already nausea at this point and couldn’t stomach another Hammer Gel or drink water. The only thing I could still swallow were my Endurolytes Extreme which is what prolly saved me from severe heat cramps. I would swish water in my mouth then spit it out. I would pour another cup of water on my head, then another cup down my shirt. Its so hard to describe running in the heat, your body just doesn’t move. Its like slow motion, or one of those dreams when you try to move but you can’t. It doesnt matter how good of shape you are in da heat knocks everything out of you. I kept moving along, somehow made it thru the hills still running and this is when I started to get cold. WTF! So I had to stop running thru sprinklers & getting wet. Boston fans were so amazing and made some crafty water relief stations. I ran thru every single one. I think the best was the outdoor shower someone made and hung it on a pole, oh wait another person had a water hose connected to the back of a high powered fan. Seems like an electrical issue but whatever, Boston fans are the best!!! Due to the warm weather Boston fans came out in droves, it was awesome!! When I crested heartbreak hill I was freezing, nausea and wanting to sit but thank gawd for the crazy drunk Boston College kids. They saved my life!!! They were much louder than the infamous tunnel of scream Wellesley girls. I high fived all the way to Mile 21 until my hand hurt but it was the first time I had a jolt of energy. I got to Mile 22 where my crew had another bottle of Heed waiting for me and I just stopped. I was hanging over the gate with tears in my eyes and they were just stunned, I looked awful and wanted to rest. I never wanted to quit tho, I just wanted it to be over Sooooooon. I was also getting more and more cold. After a good 5 minutes feeling sorry for myself I finally decided to finish. I saw lots of  runners doing the cramping jog/walk/limp/jog…repeat. The best thing happening for me at this point, was no cramping. I had been running at a consistent positive split (haha) so I wasnt running anywhere near my potential, which means I actually had legs in me to run those last few miles. Not fast, but I could run them. It was finally cool and we had been running into a brutal head wind after that heat. This is when my brain turned to BEER!! I looked at every fan hoping someone would have beer those last few miles. I did find a grape ice pop and it tasted amazing and it didn’t make me nausea. well duh, I prolly needed the sugar so I decided to drink gatorade the rest of the way in. I never drink gatorade but at this point sugar was a good thing for me now. I finally took a peep at my garmin and it said 3:36, I got so angry knowing I was already done by 3:33 last year but this time I still had THREE MILES to run. uuuhhhhhh noooooooo and I still had that last hill as you go over the bridge passing the CitGo sign with 1 mile to go.

Then finally…..Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston, tears started again and that sound of cheering is like nothing else. Finally I crossed the mat at 4:08.

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Grateful for my 3 Boston Finishes. No plans now to BQ again for next year, but I will be back, no doubt!

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My friend Maria who is also coached by Edgar, she is a speedy beast! We consoled each other for having bad races then I quickly perked up with that ice cold beer.

My burns and heat blister, thanks for the battle wounds Boston! But it all felt better when I cooled down with a pint of Victory Garden goat milk ice cream, yes I ate the whole thing!

 

 

 

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NYC Marathon-PRinFun-EndofYear

NYC Marathon, November 1, 2015

If you read my previous post you know that I was running NYC with my good Brian (#thatsbri), and we planned to have a lot of fun. What we forgot to do was train, not really, well sorta. So instead of a lot of words I am going to let the photos do the talking. We had a freeking blast, took our time, stopped at least 15 times to pee, stopped every time we saw friends, high fived every hand possible, yelled, cheered, sang and managed to pull out a pr in fun. One of the best runs I’ve ever done along with 50,000 other runners. I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring and stoked to be selected as a Hammer athlete again for next year. Time to get serious again, start running, hire a new coach, and get focused again.

Thanks to all my friends who came out and supported us, thank you Jared for keeping us company for a few miles, my parents for flying out and bringing the balmy weather, my boyfriend for letting us ambush his skate shop for a pee break and Hammer Nutrition for always keeping me fueled!! Enjoy the photos from the best marathon and fan support ever.

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Summer Catch up, Parting ways with Coach plus Brooklyn RnR Half

Let me catch up from the summer. After Boston I took it easy through the spring focusing on relaxing, spring turns on the hill (snowboarding!) and letting my body take a rest. After about a month off I started running again just for fun. I entered the Oakley New York Mini 10K in Central Park to spin my legs. It was hot, humid and 1 quick loop thru the park. I was surprised to have a bit of speed left in my legs since Boston. But after this race I knew I needed a mental break from running so I wouldn’t burn myself out.

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Over the summer I decided I was going to swim 5-6 days a week and bike ride only, no running. The only runs I did was to the pool and back, which is not even a ‘run’. Its .9 miles, not even 1 mile. Felt amazing to be back in the pool and keep my endurance up. I knew I had the NYC Marathon November 1st and planned to resume running in August. By the time August rolled around I felt pretty good and rested. I had gotten pretty strong from all the swimming and kept my legs strong by bike riding everywhere in the city, but its still different putting foot to pavement. I was also at a loss for running because I parted ways with my coach. My former coach took me places in running I never thought possible and believed in my abilities and knew I would hit my goals. I’ve enjoyed running since I was 3 or 4 years old but to hit goal races I need a coach and I LIKE being coached. I like following a plan, doing the work and seeing the rewards. So I took upon myself to follow old training plans from my coach. This wasn’t easy because I had no one to “answer to”.  I also didn’t have a goal race. The upcoming NYC Marathon was going to be a fun run with my good buddy Brian. So running became an afterthought for me but I kept at it.

I signed up for the RnR Brooklyn Half October 10th,  as a test to see where my fitness level was. I dislike RnR races very much and the inaugural Brooklyn half didn’t disappoint my dislike. The organization doesn’t really care about runners. That being said I showed up to spin my legs and have a  good time, screw the organizers!

IMG_4702  Morning of the race I didn’t want to get out of bed from being sick, I was a bit worried. October in New York started out with crazy cold, then mild, back to cold, mild, windy, rainy and it seemed like everyone was sick. My body had been drained for days and I felt like I was on the edge of a full blown cold. I readjusted my goal as I was taught in the past. Decided I would show up, then take it from there. Started out conservative to get my body awake, I swear I was still asleep 5k in. After an Espresso hammer gel my body was waking up and I started picking up the pace. I slowly caught up to the 1:45 pace group and ran with them for a couple miles. Then caught up to the 1:40 pace group and hung with them until the last couple miles where I finished strong.

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I had ZERO energy at the finish. This was def not my fastest but I was happy with my performance. I ran with no watch or garmin but I know I negative split the race. I also knew if I was running a 1:40 half right now I should be in decent shape for a fun NYC Marathon that was only a few weeks away. WRONG!!!! I ended up with a full blown cold the next day and in bed for a few days. I had planned a 15-17 miler that week but instead barely got out of bed and jogged 45 mins twice that week. Leaving me coughing, tired, sneezing and no energy. The next week I lost my voice for a few days and still couldn’t get well. I had to readjust my game plan and knew I couldnt try and catch up miles, the best I could do is keep my endurance and spin my legs the best I could.

The fall season is here. Post RnR Brooklyn Half, I’m so tired in that photo. All I wanted was to sleep and feel better.

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my 2nd BOSTON

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April 20, 2015

Its been almost a month since Boston and I am finally warm. This was one of the toughest weather conditions race I’ve ever ran, and I’ve run thru a lot worse but when you combine wind, rain, cold, and stronger winds while trying to keep focus for 26 miles — its tough but hella fun! All everyone was talking about was the weather, will it rain, be cold, not so windy, headwind predicted etc….I couldn’t look at my facebook feed anymore without getting annoyed. Yes it was cold, and windy, and adding rain to the mix sucks, but who cares. I kept telling myself the winter was way worse, its not suppose to be easy and its BOSTON!!! Respect the course and do your best. I was so excited to be returning and grateful at the chance to run the greatest marathon in the world. So my mental game was ready. I felt good, was confident in my training and couldn’t wait to start.

Race morning was chilly and I sat bundled up with my throw away clothes waiting for my corral to be called. The rain started 5 minutes before my start. I had a quick chat with some ladies in my corral with one in particular who told me this was her 5th Boston and she is a 3:22 marathoner. She asked my goals and said start out easy, run smart and finish strong. And she said no, your time goal— oh duh, I had to say it out loud, I wanted to break 3:30 and I felt confident and ready. When we took off this lady told me I was running too slow and I smiled and waved her off.  She will come up later in my blog 😉

The first 10k felt easy to me and my body was sorta warming up. It was still a cold steady rain but I kept smiling and focused. I had Adrienne & Dan waiting at the 10k mark and handed me half a bottle of heed. I had started to notice how hungry I was, the cold was causing me to burn calories much faster, so the Heed really saved me. I chugged it pretty fast and somewhere about mile 10 the rain picked up. It was a hard downpour and I remember a fan on the sideline saying ‘here comes the rain’— in a very Boston accent, made me laugh.

oh yah- let me interrupt here and talk about the fans. One of the reasons Boston is so great is because of the fans. Its Patriots Day, a holiday for Boston and everyone comes out to cheer no matter what the weather. I was in awe that the course was packed with fans. The weather was miserable  to be standing there for hours. Not a fun parade but Boston peeps don’t care, they really make the race. I made sure to high five as many fans as possible. Might have cost me some time but who cares, those fans kept me smiling and focused.

So the rain was coming down and I’m keeping a consistent pace and each time I hit a timing mat I would think of all my friends & family tracking me. Thank You! My hands never got warm. Half way point is the famous Wellesy girls, otherwise known as the Tunnel of Scream. Experts will tell you to be careful and not get carried away, the excitement really has an effect. Its the best energy boost ever. A father & daughter running near me asked if I was ready for the screaming girls, I said something like ‘hell yaaaaah i’m going over to high five each person along that gate’. And I did!!! I watched them give out so many kisses to all the men. Nothing beats that mile thru Wellesy College.

The course volunteers were handing out those warm foil sheet things to runners. The wet cold was something else and the wind was starting to pick up. The temp had really dropped. It was the wet kind of cold that gets to your bones, and once you let it bother you, its over…………. and this was not going to happen to me. I was coming into Lower Newton before the famous hills and started to pass people. It seemed too early to be passing people already but the bad weather was causing lots of runners to slow down. Not me, the only thing I was fighting was the damn wind. It was hitting pretty strong at this point and I kept pumping my arms refusing to let the cold get to me. Smiling really does help, I’m sure I looked a little crazy. So that woman who told me I was starting out too slow….well I passed her around mile 17. I didn’t catch her name at the start but she had told me she was from Colombia, so I yelled HEY COLOMBIA. I could tell she was struggling and she looked over and waved at me but then noticed it was me, she said WOW you are running well  and I said yah, look who is going slow now ha ha!! She laughed and I laughed, and then she told me to keep it up. It was all in good fun and I encouraged her to stay strong before we both waved again. I am telling this story because I know that woman can kick my butt anyway, she has fast times and looks like a super strong runner, but this shows just how tough it was that day. It was such a struggle for so many amazing runners, the elites and the regular folks like me.

I am wrapping up the Newton hills and still feeling great. My coach told me at mile 18 starting picking it up and as I got closer to Mile 18 that darn wind was standing in my way but the rain was letting up a little. It was now a steady drizzle instead of downpour and my hands were officially frozen. After I crested Heartbreak Hill at mile 20 I was lowering my pace which I continued to do until the end. I was able to negative split starting at Mile 19 and when i hit Mile 23 where Adrienne & Dan were with another half bottle of Heed, that I couldn’t really slow down. I was in a nice groove and dropped the bottle because my hands were frozen, bent down to pick it up which made my quads very angry, and kept going. That Heed was a life saver again because I had not been managing my electrolytes well. Everytime I tried to pop an Endurolyte I dropped it. my hands were that cold and numb. I even tried taking off my gloves and moving my fingers but they wouldn’t come to life, so the cold wet glove went back on. I saw another awesome friend – DANIELE, cheering at Mile 24 and I flew by her barely blinking because I was in the zone and running well. I looked down at my garmin one last time between Mile 23 and 24, I knew it was going to be close to pull off a 3:30. I was dropping my time but didn’t know if it was going to be enough. At this point I didn’t care. I was so pumped the closer I got to Boylston street. I couldn’t believe how good I felt, I was still feeling strong, no cramps, no issues, no pain, just pure excitement. I made that left on Boylston and smiled throwing my arms in the air like if I was Meb when he won last year. Its so loud, so amazing and the best finish ever. I hit the finish mat at 3:33:03!

The cold hit me as soon as I was done. My body went into a hyperthermia like feeling. My lips turned blue, I was shivering, shaking so bad it hurt to walk, my neck was aching, my arms hurt, it was awful. All I wanted was to be dry and in a warm place. Now I really understood why so many runners had bad days. It would be so tough trying to keep going if I had those feelings during the marathon. I did not sub 3:30 but I am so stoked with the time I ran under those conditions. I BQ’ed again and can’t wait for Boston 2016.

Thanks Hammer Nutrition for fueling me. I had a gel 15 mins before start and 1 every 45 minutes. I had endurolytes when I wasnt dropping them, 8oz of Heed at 10k and mile 23, and recovered with Chocolate Recoverite and Chocolate Whey. Thank you to my amazing coach Zandy who also ran an incredible race. He ran a 3:01, check out his race report here  And THANK YOU to Adrienne & Dan for standing in the cold wet rain to cheer me on. You guys rock! It made my day.

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