2015 Boston Marathon – All the Other Special Moments

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Up until about 4 weeks ago, I wasn’t 100% sure that the Boston Marathon would even happen. I didn’t have a hotel yet and knew that I couldn’t afford or justify a couple of nights in Boston in a hotel by myself (hotels are super expensive that weekend). I happened to catch something that Kris tweeted and decided to take a chance and message her to see if she would be interested in sharing a room. It sounds SO strange because up until this weekend – we had not met in person. But I’ve been following her on social media for over three years and knew other female runners who were friends with her…so it was worth a shot.

Rooming with Kris set the tone of the entire weekend. From the moment we met in the expo, I felt like we had been friends for years. I spent a lot of the weekend asking her endless questions about anything and everything even remotely related to running – her diet, her strength routine, what she eats on race morning and during the race and so on. But we also spent countless hours just chatting about everything NOT related to running – family, background, future plans.

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    Boston Marathon Highlights

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    Rocking my 2009 Boston Marathon hat

    Monday morning started at the ungodly hour of 345am; I was out of the house at 4:30am enroute to pickup my sister, Nicole, on Staten Island and then Leticia in Brooklyn. Thankfully, we hit virtually zero traffic during our 200+ mile trip north.

    After getting turned around a few times (due to road closures), we managed to snag the last spot in the shuttle bus parking lot – SCORE!  As we were getting online to get screened, we ran into Katherine who I met at the Runner’s World Festival in 2012!! She was calm and smiling and looked ready to take on 26.2 miles!

    The shuttle was a quick 5 minute ride that dropped us off at the end of the corrals. Easy peasy.

    We heard the introductions and gun go off for the elite females as we were walking up (BOO!!) but managed to make our way to the start area for the elite men’s and wave 1.

    Seeing the Start Line and marathon signs literally gave me goosebumps. {Photo credit to Leticia for the next two pictures!}

    To be honest, on the drive up, I had told my sister and Leticia that I had no intention of running Boston again anytime soon. It’s far enough away from where we live to warrant a trip for a few days and the cost of hotels, work missed (for my husband) and figuring out child care (if we don’t bring the boys) makes closer marathons seem more appealing. However, my mind changed after just a few minutes of being surrounded by the magic of the Boston Marathon. Soooo maybe Boston 2015 =)

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      Spectating the NYC Marathon

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      First, I just want to give a HUGE congrats to everyone who raced Sunday at the NYC Marathon. Conditions were not ideal (15 mph headwind for 20 miles makes me legs hurt just thinking about it) but there were so many amazing PRs, first time finishers and perseverance in spite of the poor conditions. Special shout-out to two girls I coach (Jen and Leticia) and some friends: Veronika, Theodora, Sarah, Monica, Jess, Maggie, Beth, Pamela…and probably a ton more that I am forgetting.

      I’m embarrassed to admit it but this is the first time that I have actually spectated at the NYC Marathon. When I really began to get into running, I was in the military living in Texas so spectating was not really an option. The last few years have been tough with the boys and family plans that always seem to fall on the same weekend. This year I told my husband well over a month in advance about my intentions to head into the city (alone!) and cheer.

      It was one of the most magical, memorable days. There’s nothing quite as exciting as running the NYC Marathon, but I’d argue that it is pretty darn exciting to be on the other end and to be able to cheer tens of thousands of runners on. And you have no idea what this does for my excitement for my own upcoming marathon. AGH!

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        Enjoy Each Mile

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        Graduation and Commissioning Day (May 30, 2003)

        Today is 10 years since I graduated from West Point.  The last 10 years feel as though they flew by.  I can so clearly remember being back at West Point.  But at the same time, being back at school seems like a lifetime ago.  I’m always amazed at how it can feel like that.

        My four years at West Point were where some of my best memories were made and where some amazing friendships began.

        Looking back, life seemed SO easy then.  Yes, we had a pretty heavy course-load, extracurricular activities and the occasional room inspection that would take us hours to get ready for (truth be told though, I loved having a spotless room =) ).  But, that was really all we had to concern ourselves with.  No little ones to look after, no cooking, no bills.  We were in college, enjoying our freedom, and making cherished memories with one another.

        The best part, for me, was that my girlfriends and I were all together.  I was in the same company (and roommates) with my girlfriend, Lauren, for the last three years.  I lived with Annie during our freshmen year.  But, we were never more than 1/4 mile of each other.  Meeting for dinner, tv watching, and girl talk was an almost daily occurrence.

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          Pre-NYC Half

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          The NYC Half Race Recap will be up tomorrow but I’ll save the suspense…I PR’d by over 2 min!!! I didn’t get my sub-1:32 but I was darn close (1:32:23) and could NOT be happier with how the whole race went.  I don’t think the smile has left my face since I crossed the finish line.

          And want to know one of the best parts about the weekend?  I am not the only one who PR’d…SO many friends set massive PRs this weekend:

          • Kristin ran the LA Marathon in 3:20
          • Ashley ran a 1:43 at the NYC Half -> PR by over 2 min
          • Jess took 10 min off her half and ran the Rock N Roll Half in 1:33
          • Gia got her BQ at the LA Marathon after missing it by 10 sec in the fall – she ran a 3:32
          • Theodora ran a 5 min PR in 1:50 at the Rock N Roll DC Half
          • Erica got her sub-2 half at the NYC Half
          • Lindsey crushed her previous marathon PR with a 3:13 at the Shamrock Marathon
          • Ashley ran a 2:05 to crush her PR that she’s had for 5 years at the NYC Half

          On the Run Interview

          I am so happy and honored to have been featured in their coverage leading up to the NYC Half. In case you missed it on WABC or on their website, here is the video:

          Saturday Expo + Shopping

          I headed to the NYC Half expo Saturday morning to get my race bib (with the coolest # ever – 1234!).  It couldn’t be located so I had to be given a replacement one (#1900).  Kind of bummed because 1234 sounded fast but I forced myself to not something as trivial as a race # pysch me out.

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            Race Report: Cold Feet 10k

            Cold Feet 10k

            Saturday morning was the Cold Feet 10k, a local trail race through the Greenbelt on Staten Island.  Even though I’ve lived on Staten Island a good part of my life, I always seem to forget how expansive the trail network is here – there’s over 2800 acres of trails, parks, and natural areas.  It’s amazing!

            It was the first trail race I’ve done since this 25k last year and only the second time I’ve been on the trails in over a year.  For a long time, I was only focused on big(ger) races – mostly those organized by NYRR.  I don’t really know why I was shying away from smaller races for so long – the last two I have run have been smaller (with under 200 runners) and I have LOVED them.

            I woke up to huge snowflakes falling outside.  Not exactly the weather conditions I was hoping for…but snow is 100x better than freezing rain.  With a 10am start time and the race only being about 15 minutes away, I was able to stay home until 9:15! No early wakeups or leaving in the dark. Score.

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              Future Prom Date + 10 Mile PR

              Good Morning!!  I already feel like this week is dragging and it’s only Tuesday :/

              We had SUCH a fun day yesterday!  My girlfriend, Nicole, and her daugther drove from LI to spend a few hours with us (it was her first time on SI!).  Nicole and I met last year through twitter / blogging and were so excited when we found out our due dates were only 4 weeks apart.  It was a blast to go through pregnancy and now motherhood side-by-side with her. =)  We’ve been planning a playdate for weeks months and FINALLY put a date on the calendar! It was so much fun to meet her beautiful daughter, Olivia after seeing pictures of her from the first day she’s been born!

              Our little ones are only one month apart in age – Liv is almost 4 months and Ryan is almost 5 months!  I think they make a pretty cute couple…what do you think? BTW – this picture was totally spontaneous – we didn’t pose them or their hands!

              Nicole brought THE most delicious cookies I have ever tasted.  Seriously…Ever.  They were GF Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Garbonzo Bean Flour (the recipe for this tasty morsels can be found here). I don’t even want to tell you how many cookies I ate yesterday afternoon / evening – I totally blame it on yesterday being my first swim workout for IMLP training (more on that in tomorrow’s post!).

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                No Greater Sacrifice

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                After four years at West Point and over six years serving on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army, I have seen my share of death.  The number of friends, classmates, and coworkers that have been casualties of the war on terror is too high for me to begin to count.

                I think there might be the perception that you expect death or become almost immune to it if you are in or around the military.  Yes,  death is always a possibility when you deploy but I think most service men and women would tell you that they expect to return home to their loved ones.  You know there is an inherent risk when you join the military, but the desire to serve your country is greater then any fear you may have.

                And let me tell you.  It doesn’t get easier. In fact, I would argue that it gets harder.  You get so tired of having to say goodbye to friends and coworkers, of good people losing their lives way too soon, and of seeing happy families torn apart and changed forever.  You get frustrated because things seem to stay the same despite their giving of their life.  And you get annoyed when other trivial stories get more press than your friend’s passing.

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                  Strong women in my life

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                  From an early age, my mom taught my sisters and I that no dream was out of our reach…that we could achieve anything we put our minds to.  Even to this day, if I am struggling with self-doubt, my mom will sit me down and ask me Why can’t you achieve this?  Why NOT you?”.  She set the stage for me to believe in myself – to always push a little bit harder to reach a certain goal.

                  I have always been surrounded by successful, type-A, confident women – my mom, my three sisters, and my three closest girlfriends from high school have all exceeded a hundred times over with what they have tried to accomplish in their lives.   So it comes as no surprise to me that I still find myself drawn to the same types of females as I get older.

                  Being around strong women makes me stronger.  I see what they accomplish, I’m proud of/for them, and I feel empowered to go after my own impossible dreams.  It has nothing to do with being competitive or wanting to outperform these ladies…Being around their accomplishments and seeing/feeling their drive to succeed gives me confidence in MYSELF that I can follow in their footsteps and do something similar.  These strong females are strong in mind, body, and spirit – they embody success.

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                    Back to Blogging!

                    Enjoying the 80 degree weather in TN!

                    Hey Everyone!

                    I have been somewhat of a ghost the last few weeks…I realized today that my last blog post was posted over TWO weeks ago!  Hopefully this post explains my lack of writing/tweeting/reading blogs:

                    – There has been a lot going on in my personal/running life.  I will go into more detail early this week (just too much to write all in one post) regarding this topic…I am not purposely creating a cliffhanger (I promise)!!

                    – Two weeks ago, I finished up the redesign of my blog.  I have been itching to have it redone since December, but could not bring myself to lay out the large amounts of money I was being quoted by various web designers.  My blog does not provide me with an income yet, so spending upwards of $1,000 to “make it look pretty” was not a justifiable expense.  Thankfully, a friend on twitter recommended Blog Genie, a fantastic company that offered the same services at a fraction of the cost.   And to save myself even more money, I put on my creativity hat and redesigned the header!

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