Cap City Half Marathon Race Recap

How ’bout that 7 minute PR!

Heck yes, that happened. I went into this race with little expectations. I trained for 12 weeks but it was loose training. I did 13.1 miles 3 weeks prior to race day but otherwise I wasn’t as rigid and anal as I usually am about my training, and guess what…it paid off! All the races I’ve trained for in the past I’ve been so worried about the weekly mileage and sticking to my schedule but this time around it was right after our move and in the middle of house hunting so I went into it just wanting to cross the finish line. On the other hand my training runs were fast and I was aiming for that sub-2 but I’ve done that before. I’ve trained averaging 8 minute miles and then choked on race day (I call it my half marathon curse) BUT don’t worry there is a happy ending, on this day the curse was broken!

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The race morning was great. I had my usual peanut butter on toast and our friends Hope and Paul picked us up to head downtown bright and early. Paul and I were both in the same corral and Jon stood nearby as our cheering squad. It felt good to be back in downtown Columbus for a race, it reminded me so much of the marathon and made my heart and soul REALLY happy. The gun went off and I felt good. I paced myself the entire race and stuck around the 8:08/min mile range for the first 5 miles. Then mile 6 came and I slowed it down. I saw Jon at mile 7 and my spirits shot back up. Around mile 9 we started to head into German Village and this is where I lost my way. It was SO smokey (there was a huge factory fire in south Columbus the night before) I felt like I was about to have an asthma attach any minute or maybe it was just in my head. Regardless I panicked a little and my pace fell to the 8:40 range. It was a serious struggle to run those last 4 miles but I tried to put it into perspective… 4 miles, that’s an easy day, you got this!… I trucked on through and finished with a 1:52:04- oh snap!!! That is a 7 minute PR for this girl and I could not have been happier A) with that time and B) that that race was over.

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At the end of the day, every race has its hiccups but it’s how you react to those obstacles that make you a true runner. I so badly wanted to walk, quit, go get a hotdog at mile 10 but I pushed through. It took everything in me to get up that final hill at mile 12 but when I crossed that finish line I was stronger than I was 2 hours prior. That’s why we do this crazy thing known as running right? To see what our bodies are capable of. At least that’s why I do it. 🙂

Hot Chicken Takeover is the best post-race meal, hands down.IMG_1410

Week 15 and the run I will never forget.

Sooo I ran 20 miles on Saturday and it was AH-MAZ-ING! And now that that is over it’s all about maintaining until race day….relaxing, eating, sleeping. Honey boo boo style.

In all seriousness, I cannot believe week 15 is over and there are just 5 weeks left to go, it’s been a looooong road (pun intended ;)) To be honest, I was in a bad place a couple of weeks ago where I just could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt exhausted, bored, anxious, overwhelmed and a mix of a million other things. I read that a lot of people feel this way right after they hit the halfway mark.  It was as if the training was never ending and between work, family and being insanely busy this summer I felt like I was just staying afloat with everything. BUT…with that, just as running can exhaust you it can also make you feel like a million bucks. All it took was one 5:30am sunrise 4 miler to get back to my happy place.

We were staying at my parent’s house last week which meant gorgeous lake running routes.

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We made a stop the 9/11 memorial on our way home from work last Thursday and spent a couple minutes reflecting on that day 13 years ago. We were both freshmen in high school when the planes hit the twin towers and it was a day I’ll never forget. Living just an hour outside of the city many people in my area were affected and things were never really the same. Now New York City is like home to Jon and I and we’ve seen this massive tower being built over the last 4 years and we’ve never really stopped to think about the whole thing. It was nice to take a moment and really digest what happened that day and all the lives that were lost.

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Sorry for all the sad stuff, lets turn this post around and talk about happy things :)

Speaking of happy things, lets talk about the 20 miles I did on Saturday (Garmin pic below for proof!) It truly was amazing/ life changing and I NEEDED it. I only stopped once for about 1-2 minutes to refill my water bottle otherwise I trucked through all 20 miles and felt strong throughout. This was HUGE for me, I have been stopping a lot on my long runs because let’s be honest its been summer and its been HOT! Saturday was in the high 50’s and it was glorious. My legs started to hurt in places I never knew existed but I reminded myself “pain is temporary” and it eventually went away. Mile 19 was my fastest mile and I felt like a rockstar. It was exactly the run I needed to boost my confidence. I even got a little emotional at the end (oh yeah I’m totally going to cry at the end of the marathon, lets just get that out there right now). The important thing is I totally had 6.2 more miles in me and I officially feel ready to rock this race in 5 weeks. Hallelujah bring on the Chipotle!

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Paris is for lovers.

We just got back from our 1st anniversary trip to Paris and mannnnn was it perfect! First off, it could not have come at a better time, between work, training and some tough family stuff going on we NEEDED a little getaway big time.

Paris was way more beautiful than I imagined it to be. It was like stepping into a movie and I will admit I may have watched Midnight in Paris a few too many times before our trip, but it seriously was magnificent. From the quaint cobblestone roads to the street corner bistros buzzing with people watchers morning, noon and night it was truly an experience. I feel kind of guilty saying this because Florence Italy has and will always hold the key to my heart but Paris is VERY high up there on the most magical cities list. Here is a list of my top 10 favorite things:

1) It was SO romantic. Between the love lock bridge, candlelit brasseries, champagne for days and midnight strolls along the Seine it’s no wonder everywhere you turn people are cuddling up everywhere. The place screams romance.

2) It was clean! Like really clean. It may be because I’m exposed to New York City and the Jersey turnpike every day that my clean scale isn’t that high but honestly Paris is one clean, smells good city.

3) The people were SO nice. Shame on you stereotypes!

4) The Eiffel Tower at night is one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen.

5) Running in the Luxembourg gardens

6) The Lourve Museum. Many people said don’t bother with the Lourve go to Musee d’Orsay instead but we obviously couldn’t leave Paris without seeing the Mona Lisa and we’re not really museum people to begin with so we went andddd it was really freakin’ cool! From the “medieval Lourve” in the basement to Napoleon’s apartment there were tons of neat things to see.

7) Ladurée and their macarons. Quite possibly the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, vanilla specifically.

8) St. Germain and The Latin Quarter

9) Fresh, 7am baguettes and chocolate croissants

10) Reims, Epernay (beautiful places) and anything relating to champagne.

We honestly could not have asked for a better 1st anniversary. From getting engaged in Florence, honeymooning in Hawaii, and celebrating our first anniversary in Paris we are really setting the bar higher than high! Our motto has always been- there is no time like the present; go everywhere and see everything and that is what we’re doing (more like run everywhere, see everything for me :-P)

Here are some photos from our trip.

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18 miles and Paris is always a good idea.

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18 miles, 18 whole miles! Who am I? It felt SO good to get this run under my belt. This one was super important to me because for some reason conquering 18 miles makes me pretty confident that I can complete 26.2. I had to stop a few times for water and shade due to the heat but all in all it wasn’t terrible.

Another reason I am SO happy to have gotten up to 18 miles is because I’m taking a few days off from running. There is some MUCH needed romancing & celebrating in order with my handsome husband for our 1 year anniversary! We tried to think of the best place to do all of this romancing & celebrating and obviously decided on PARIS! As Aubrey said…

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Au revoir!

Country living and halfway there.

Last weekend we roadtripped to Ohio to visit Jon’s family for the weekend. I absolutely love visiting my in-laws because they live out in the country and it’s such a relaxing change of pace from our city lives. We’re starting to become champs at the 8 1/2 hour roadtrip, it’s really not so bad when you have family (especially an adorable niece and nephew) to look forward to. I had only been to Ohio once for a volleyball tournament before I met Jon and now it’s my second home. Who would have thought this crazy Jersey girl would end up with tractor driving, Carhartt wearing midwest county guy! I love it. You know who also loves our visits out to Ohio, little Miss Finley, she was in heaven all weekend with acres of open land to play in.

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We spent a lot of time over the weekend exploring Dublin which is right outside of Columbus and I never wanted to leave because of two things; Jenis ice cream and a chocolate shop that hosts the local running club, my kinda people!

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Another big perk of being out in the country is that it is perfect for peaceful and scenic runs. Jon joined me for my 13 miler on Sunday (best husband ever).

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Side note- If anyone’s reading this in the Columbus Ohio area you NEED to check out Buckeye Bounce. It’s a huge trampoline place thats great for kids and even more fun for adults :)!photo 5 (2)

We soaked up every minute of family time and relaxation all weekend. As much as I love living in the big city, a weekend in the country really hits the spot.photo 1 (3)photo 4 (2)

 

Starting to get this thing down.

I’m starting to get this marathon training thing down. My pace is finally staying around the 8:45/min mile range which makes me very happy. 9 days off in Alaska + running in the heat set me back earlier in July but I’m feeling great now. I also started 2 new things! 

Thing 1: Ice baths! Sitting in an ice bath after my Saturday long runs has helped me tremendously. No soreness, no lead legs and I feel spectacular for the rest of the weekend. Why didn’t I think of this sooner!?

Thing 2: Gu Energy Gels. I put trying these off for a long time because they are straight up gross BUT I absolutely need to find some good fuel for these long runs and for marathon day or I will be dunzo at mile 6 and to be honest if I don’t make it to the free beer at the finish line I will be one sad lady. I decided to give Salted Caramel a try and it wasn’t so bad. I don’t get how someone can eat the whole thing in one go but I guess I’ll get there right? :-\ The important thing is that it worked. No stomach ache, no cramping, and I felt a burst of energy to carry me through the rest of the run. This has caffeine which I’m realizing is a total must have. I’m going to stick with this and give some additional flavors a try.

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So far- 12 miles down this week. I am LOVING this cooler summer weather and the sunrises have been on point all week!

Monday- Strength training/arms

Tuesday- 6 miles

Wednesday- 3 miles

Thursday- 3.2 miles + hills

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Hope everyone is having a great week! 

Finally! And grabbing this year by the horns.

Finally, my best week yet! I feel like shouting from the roof tops so that’s what I will do. This week kicked butt. I took it easy during the week to try to give my body a little rest so that I could tackle my long run on Saturday and it totally paid off, 12 fantastic miles from start to finish! I slept great the night before and woke up at 5:45am on a Saturday (who does that!) to get my run in before Jon’s flight lesson. It was about 15 degrees cooler at that hour than my usual 9:30am runs and it made a HUGE difference; I could breathe, I felt energetic and I felt like I could run for hours. I also brought a towel with me this time which was a huge help. It’s so hard to wipe your sweat in a tank top mid-run, I must look ridiculous when I do that. Moral of the story: I will never do a long run past 6:30am in the summer again. This was exactly what I needed especially after last weekend’s horrendous long run. I feel so much more confident in this marathon training and I’m 110% ready to take on that 26.2!

Weekly mileage:

Monday- Rest

Tuesday- 6 miles

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Wednesday- 3 miles + hills

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Thursday- 1 mile sprint + 6 miles on the bike

Friday- Rest day

Saturday- 12 GREAT miles

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Sunday- 2 miles

Total= 24 miles

Aaaaand the totally rad reason that I had this awesome run was all thanks to Jonny’s flight lesson being so early on Saturday. Yes, Jon flew a plane!! This has always been on his bucket list and he finally did it. He was super nervous at first but he was a total pro, the instructor even let him take off! I definitely see a pilot’s license in his future. We always joke that one day we will quit our jobs and become professional travelers/ tour guides, now we’re one step closer 😉

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This summer has just flown by and it’s sad that everything you look forward to in the winter goes by so quickly but this year is truly all about doing everything and ANYTHING we want. Whether it’s flying a plane, a trip to Alaska, numerous late nights out in the city, a spontaneous trip to Paris or running a marathon, we are grabbing this year by the horns and making every second count. Life is tooooo short to wait for the right time to travel or complete items on your bucket list. People say we are always so busy, and hell yes we are- every second counts and each adventure we take is another story in our wild, fun, roller coaster book of life.photo 4