Archive of ‘Marathon’ category

Post-Marathon Musings

On Blogging:

  • As of November 5, I’ve been blogging at Dori’s Shiny Blog for exactly four years.
  • Until the Richmond Marathon surprise recap post, I’d been undecided about the future of the blog.
  • Your comments and emails in reaction to that blog post, and the one about DNFing the NYC Marathon, reminded me why I love blogging. Thank you.

[Crossing the finish line at the Richmond Marathon]

On The Exhaustion That Comes After Running an Unplanned 47 Miles in a Week:

  • My upper lip twitched for five straight days.
  • I tried emailing my brother’s dog. I only realized my error when I started typing her name, Santana, into the “To” field and was surprised when friend Sara’s name appeared rather than the dog’s.
  • After all the running and a busy work week, I  spent this entire weekend alternating between resting in bed and resting on the couch. I did nothing else. It was perfect.

[Santana looks more tired than I do. And all she did last week was sleep.]

On Things I Saw While Running the Richmond Marathon:

  • IHOP Express — I saw this during the last mile of the race and was very confused as to what it was. I love IHOP, and if there was a way to make it faster I want to know! Then I saw it mocked on SNL and apparently it is brand new and opened around the same time I saw it!
  • Many signs and other things I made mental notes to myself to remember. I remember none of these things.
  • Lots of beautiful leaves. I normally dislike fall because it means cold weather, but as I ran through Richmond, the leaves were so beautiful that seeing them while running a marathon on a perfect day actually made me happy. Much happier than seeing leaves in Central Park.


On Things That Make Me Feel Special:

  • My name in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. I ordered two copies.
  • SportsBackers, the organization that runs the SunTrust Richmond Marathon, included a link to my marathon recap in their newsletter (if you found me through there, welcome!)
  • I said it before and I’ll say it again: all your amazing comments and emails. I should fail and then succeed at marathons more often.

On My Marathon Time Stats:

  • My half split is faster than my first half marathon time on March 21, 2010. And I gave that race my all and was in a LOT of pain for days after — much more than after completing this marathon.
  • My 20K split was a very even number. I found this pleasing to myself during the race and as it turns out, Andy enjoyed the roundness of the number when he received my tracking email as well.
  • My average pace was 10:25. That is just incredible to me.

On My New Attitude Towards Running:

  • Since the Richmond Marathon, I have a newfound love of running and desire to improve. My half marathon PR at the Queens Half Marathon was amazing, and I was content to leave it at that and never try to beat it, but really I was not well-trained for that half marathon. If I can run a 2:06 half on very little training and while coming off a six-month-long hip injury, I am really curious to find out what I’m capable of accomplishing in that distance.
  • I think I’ll participate in the NYRR 9+ 1 program next year for the 2013 NYC Marathon. Just in case. Also, I REALLY want to run. A lot. So might as well race.
  • I want to find a better mix of my fitness classes and race training. I want to be in almost as good shape as I was when I filmed my Bing: Friends Matter webisode back in June, but I don’t want to abandon running to get there like I did then.

On Visiting Richmond:

  • I loved the Richmond Marathon so much that I am itching to go back. I absolutely plan to run the Richmond Half Marathonnext year. At the very least. Cough-IsaidImneverrunninganothermarathonagainbutwhoknows-Cough. I do like spending time outside in the summer when it’s nice out.
  • When we are there, spend more time exploring the city.  Last weekend, we had to drive back to NYC right after the race because my brother and sister-in-law were coming in from Seattle the next day and we had Jets/Patriots tickets. This year, with some proper planning, we can make a weekend out of it.
  • I’m getting ahead of myself, but I kind of want to make going to Richmond a yearly tradition. I wonder if I can convince Andy, who has never run before, to run the Richmond Half Marathon with me? I mean, it’s not like I didn’t just take him to get fitted for running shoes at JackRabbit.

On Things I’m Feeling Sad About:

  • That I didn’t think to take a photo with Andy while still in my marathon clothing and medal. I would have liked that for my desk at work.
  • How difficult my fitness classes are now that I’m slowly getting back into strength workouts.
  • That I have no big goals to look forward to at the present moment. I am not a fan of outdoor winter running — I’ve done it, I trained for a March half marathon on 17 degree February days — I just don’t enjoy it. When I would arrive home after a cold run, even though my body felt fine while running, after taking off my two pairs of gloves I couldn’t move my fingers to turn the key in my lock. I had to stand in my cold vestibule for a long time waiting for my hands to warm up just so I could get inside.

On Future Blog Posts:

  • I feel a little lost with the direction I want to take DSB in now that the marathons are over. Failing and then succeeding at a marathon brought lots of excitement to this little website, so here are some ideas for future blog posts*:
  • Failing and succeeding at an ultramarathon
  • Failing and succeeding at a triathalon
  • Highly offensive jokes
  • Axing Tuesday Blags. I started my blogging schedule as a way to keep myself posting regularly but not every day. I wanted to hold myself accountable to writing, but I didn’t have time to write every day. It was the perfect solution for me for about a year and a half, but with all the blogging I do now (and MUCH more to come) at my new job it has become too difficult to keep up. Instead of emailing myself all my random thoughts throughout the week to put in my weekly post, I might just start crafting shorter posts around each. Frequency will vary. I am not sure when this will start.
  • A website redesign. I have two websites right now, this blog and a personal one that is only half complete because managing two websites is hard. I want one site with all my information — the blog, my writing and other work samples and anything else I have.

*I plan to do zero of these

I said before that I just need to run a marathon once and my running goals will be fulfilled. People warned me that this wouldn’t be my first and only like I said. They promised that I’d become addicted.

While I don’t feel addicted to marathons, my experience in Richmond left me with a desire to see what I can do. I never suspected I had such a strong, fast, injury-free marathon in me. Same for the Queens Half Marathon. How can I just accept these successes and ignore them? What if I am actually sort of good at running? I need to try and work hard and train properly for a half marathon for once, and see if I can PR that distance. Of course, now I know that anything can happen race day and it might not be my day. But for the 13.1 distance it’s easy to find another and try again. While this sentiment is trickier when a marathon is involved, I do wonder what I can do for 26.2 miles with the confidence that I gained from the SunTrust Richmond Marathon.

I am not addicted. At least I don’t think I am, but perhaps I need more time to pass because I am still riding the high of the Richmond Marathon. I don’t have any plans in place to train for another marathon. But I am no longer calling this “my first and only.” It might be. But while feeling this great post-marathon, I can’t honestly say never.

Surprise! I Ran The SunTrust Richmond Marathon!

. . . continued from last week after I DNF’d the ING NYC Marathon.

Once I made it to 95th street, mile 18 of the NYC Marathon, I stood there with my boyfriend and friends a few minutes, crying but not leaving, but also not making any real effort to continue. I just wanted to lie down. That is all I had wanted since I entered Manhattan. I thought about pushing through and walking the rest of the race, but not only was I in too much pain to do even that, the thought of getting out of Central Park and having to make my way all the way to Andy’s AFTER I finished was too much to bear. If I finished the race, there would have been too much time between the present moment and getting to lie down. I had to do it now.

[Approximately 5 minutes before things got really, really bad]

I walked off the course of the marathon I spent a year qualifying for and four months training for.

We walked the short distance home and said goodbye to my friends.

We got home and I climbed right into bed. I laid there and cried for a few moments. I thought about all the training I did over the last four months, how much I gave up to get to this point. Not finishing the marathon is one thing, but having done so much work with nothing to show for it? THAT is what I could not handle. I said to Andy, “Can you give me the iPad? I want to look for another marathon.

I thought Andy would tell me I was crazy or acting stupid or irrationally. Instead, he told me that is a great idea and we started researching upcoming marathons. We found the SunTrust Richmond Marathon. The following weekend, on Saturday, November 12.

I was trained. I was not injured. I did not want to spend another week training. Richmond is a six hour car ride. The race got incredible reviews. I registered.

I told no one.

OK that is a little bit of a lie. I told my family, my close friends and my coworkers. But I did not announce it on Facebook or Twitter. I did not tell most people. I did not mention it here even though by the time I wrote last week’s post I was already registered.

Making such a big deal out of NYCM made DNFing that much harder. People were tracking me, tweeting about me, reading my automatic updates on Facebook. They saw me slow down. They knew when my tracking stopped. They wondered what had happened.

I didn’t want people wondering or knowing or feeling invested in any way. I just wanted to run the marathon I trained for. Of course, there was the fear I’d have to go back and publicly admit, yet again, that I failed. But if no one knew, I wouldn’t worry about what other people thought.

And so it was that Andy and I took off work on Friday and drove down to Virginia in a rental car. It’s funny how easy it was to get a spot in this race. I just paid the entry fee and I was in. Drastically different from NYCM where I had to run nine qualifying races and volunteer at one event just to earn my place. The expo was small and overwhelmingly crowded, but I got what I needed, including a brand new headband.

After all, I needed this race to be somewhat different.

The night before the Richmond Marathon, I slept much better than I did the night before NYCM and the days leading up to that. A good sign, because of the many things that went wrong in NYC, I think my overall anxiety about the race was one of the biggest contributing factors to the pain. Anxiety and the stomach have a strong connection.

But to be sure, I did take my acid reflux medicine this time. I also took a swig of Pepto.

[Also different? I wore a skirt.]

Like the weekend before in NYC, the weather started out cold. The race began at 8 am and I was surprised to see frost on the car when we went outside.


Despite the chill, I felt more comfortable than I did in NYC. There is something that just seems so easy about simply driving to a parking lot near the start of the race and walking over to the corral. I guess that something is the fact that it is easy. No worrying about which transportation time to take, no worrying about how many hours you’ll spend outside in the cold. You just drive to the race and then you are there. I wore my throwaway clothes but I didn’t have a long wait until the start, and I was not cold for long.

[$12 Grinch pajama pants. Was sad to see them go.]

My nerves were considerably less than the week before, evidenced by the fact that I only peed twice at the porta potties. For a nervous peeer like myself, that is a big deal. As for the claim that Richmond is America’s Friendliest Marathon (as emphasized on their website, race shirt and medal), people already started chatting with me like we were old friends.

I said bye to Andy and entered the corral. There were four corrals, but no one was monitoring them and it was easy for me to accidentally walk into the wrong one at first. I realized my error and moved back to Corral 4, for people with an expected finish time of 4:30 and above. I did not want to start with fast runners!

I didn’t hear any national anthem (which I found strange for a place like Richmond, Virginia, although it is entirely possible I just didn’t notice it) or gun shot, but I used my deductive reasoning skills and determined that the the race began because everyone started running.

And then I crossed a marathon start line for the second time in one week.

This marathon starts and finishes in charming historic downtown Richmond, once the capital of the south. The scenic, fast loop course takes in all of the city’s old neighborhoods, traveling up Monument Avenue, past statues of Confederate soldiers and Richmond native and tennis star Arthur Ashe, through the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, then alongside the James River. Along with the typical water and sports drink stops, this is probably the only race in the country that offers junk food stops, at miles 16 and 22, stocked with Gummy Bears, cookies, and soda. There are also two wet-washcloth stations, at miles 17 and 23, perfect for cleaning up for your finish-line photo. Three party zones set up along the way with free food, prize giveaways, and noisemakers for spectators and family means lots of enthusiastic, cheering support. The last mile features a fast downhill to the finish in the trendy Shockoe Slip area, where there are plenty of postrace goodies, including bagels, fruit, and pizza, and a band to celebrate your finish.” – Runners World, 2005

The first couple of miles ran through downtown Richmond, with shops surrounding us. I was more into sizing up the other runners around me than noticing my surroundings. It was interesting listening to everyone’s conversation. I guess I was eavesdropping. The difference is that I knew that if I wanted to interject at any time, I would have been welcomed. Which ended up happening a little later on.

We turned off the main road and there I saw my first Brightroom photographer along the course (I saw a couple at the start). I am really excited to get these photos and I’ll probably bore you all with a post of just those photos next week. Anyway, we turned again onto a beautiful street called Monument Row. The houses were huge and gorgeous, the street was quiet and lined with trees.

This video gives a great overview of the course:

I started chatting with some women. I told them about my NYCM experience and they talked to me about their own training. I saw that I was running just under a 10:30 mile and worried I was too fast. I felt great but worried about burning out too early or injuring myself. Every now and then I would hold myself back from these women because I didn’t want to run at their pace just because I was talking to them.

Around mile 4, a girl in a cute running skirt came up to me and said, “I just read your blog for the first time last week and I think it is amazing that you are out here today.”

I got recognized. By my blog. During a marathon I told no one I was running. WHAT!

This girl who happened to read my post about DNFing in NYC — who informed that she also ran NYC — noticed my pink arm and leg sleeves, and confirmed it by seeing my name on my shirt. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked, but imagine how surprised she must have been to have read a random blog for the first time and then see the blogger in a race that she didn’t say she was doing!

Another nice burst of energy from that encounter!

After I broke away from Katye, I found myself catching up with those women again; the ones I thought were maybe a little fast for me. It just felt right. So when I saw the 4:45 pace group right in front of me, I excitedly told the woman I was talking to that I’d like to try and keep them in sight for as long as possible. I knew they would be way too fast for me, but figured I could test myself for awhile and see if I could stick with them.

As I ran on their heels, I actually felt like I was walking. It felt slow. Uncomfortably slow. I looked at my watch and it was just over 11:00. Even though that is the pace I hoped to maintain for the entire marathon, it didn’t feel right.

I broke away from the women I was talking to and I broke away from the 4:45 pace group.

I needed to feel comfortable if I was going to do this marathon right, and on this day, running an 11:00 pace did not feel comfortable. That mile with the 4:45 pace group ended up being my slowest mile of the race, and the only mile that hit the 11 on my watch at all.

Non-NYRR races often get blasted for their poor organization efforts but the Richmond Marathon was extremely well organized. As long as you started in the right corral you didn’t need to weave. There were water/Powerade stations every two miles, and every mile after 20. When the stations are every mile, I stop every mile. I liked this spacing because I could maintain a pace and still stay hydrated.

Richmond Marathon - Dori's Shiny Blog

The volunteers were incredible. Later into the race there were two wet washcloth stations and two junk food stations which also served cola.

While the entire course was lined with spectators, the best thing for us out of towners was the step-by-step directions the race provided for spectators to get from the start to each Party Zone at miles 7, 13, 19 and the finish.

Because of this, I knew exactly where I would see Andy.

These party zones were as much for the spectators as they were for the runners. With live bands playing (and many more along the course) , there was food and coffee available for the spectators. How nice is that!


And Andy got to meet local celebrity Ros Runner, Richmond’s NBC12 Meteorologist. Fancy!

Because this race was relatively small (3,500 runners compared to NYC’s 47,000) it was easy to see Andy. At mile 7 I stopped to give him a kiss, shout “I am loving this!” and request that he bring my Vaseline to the next party zone. You guys swear by your Body Glide but sorry, it is a hard stick and does not do the trick of my ooey gooey Vaseline. My underarms were chafing and I needed slippery goo.

After I left Andy I ran over some really great downhills and over to the James River. I was looking forward to the river miles ever since spotting this photo on the Richmond Marathon’s website:

[It was even more breathtaking than it looks here.]

I have only run in one other spot as beautiful as this river was, which was in Kirkland, Washington last year. I can’t put into words how amazing it was running along the James River. I felt happier than I have on a run in a very long time.

When I got to the next party zone at mile 13 I was still loving the race. Once again I embraced Andy quickly, smothered Vaseline on and took my next baggie of Shot Bloks from him. I started fueling at mile 5, eating one Shot Blok every 2-3 miles depending on how I felt and when I remembered. I also took both water and Powerade every two miles, walking through the stations and squeezing my cup to create a spout. A really sweet friend who works at New York Road Runners put me in touch with a coach there after my NYC Marathon experience, and she told me runners should never drink from the cup without squeezing it first because that is how air gets swallowed.

Obviously I was extra careful about this. And I’d like to add that in my opinion blue Powerade > yellow Gatorade.

I slowed down for a couple of miles before finding Andy there, but seeing him gave me a burst of energy because when I next looked down at my Garmin, I was under a 10:00 mile. Oops. SLOW DOWN! I said that to myself. Out loud.

I ran my 14th mile in 10:01.

Before this race I heard a lot about the Lee Bridge at the 15th mile being the most difficult part of the race. A mile long and a gradual uphill, they said that many runners struggle through this hardest incline in the race.


A sign placed in the ground just before the bridge: “Make the Lee Bridge your bitch.” I guess I did because I didn’t really find this bridge tough at all. Maybe I am used to the hills of Central Park. Maybe I am used to running back and forth over the Queensboro Bridge — which really is a long, slow, gradual, difficult incline. While the bridge was gradual, it was so gradual that it was never steep. I did put on my music as I approached, for the first time, because it looked like a long road ahead with little crowd support and I thought I’d need a little push. But really, I didn’t find the bridge difficult. I was also fortunate that there was a tailwind that day; usually runners experience a headwind during the marathon. I ran that mile in 10:05.

The Queensboro Bridge is also at mile 15 in NYCM. This felt drastically different and I loved it.

Immediately following the bridge was a short, steep incline that felt more difficult than any step of the Lee Bridge. I guess it’s the steep hills that I mind, but the gradual ones don’t bother me.

I took off my music after that because the crowds were back in full force and also because my music was distracting from my experience. I brought my iPod because I didn’t know if I would need the extra motivation or to zone out, but until mile 15 it never once occurred to me to use it. That’s especially amazing because while training, I relied heavily on my music. I only ever ran without music if I was talking to a friend. This was my first time really running without anything for an extended period of time and I really loved it.

And of course, I did not want to miss anyone shouting my name! Once again there was chanting and I loved it. Also, tons of compliments on my bright pink! Two girls running near me for awhile wore tutus. I thought nothing of it because I see lots of runners in tutus in New York City, so I was surprised to see the crowds go crazy about this! “Tutus! Go tutus! Love the tutus! I used to wear one myself!” That last one came from a guy who was joking. The people loved the tutus. Who knew.

Also wonderful was the bands. Before I got to the river one band was playing The Cranberries’ Zombie. Having learned my lesson the hard way last week, I did not sing along with them. Though it was funny to hear a man singing that. I waved and smiled at every band and I think they liked it, especially the band playing The Beatles. One DJ was cheering for people by number on the microphone, but another called out my name and made a comment about my pink socks. I loved it.

When there wasn’t a band there were often speakers. I even heard some Counting Crows. Rain King. I approved.

At the 18th mile I could not believe the difference in how I felt here compared to the 18th mile one week before. I also could not believe I ran 9 miles in that pain. 18 miles is HARD, even without pain. I knew with certainty that I would finish this marathon. I mean, I knew it earlier too, but I felt comfortable admitting it to myself here. I passed where I was last week. I had this.

Dori's Shiny Blog - Richmond Marathon

I approached the mile 19 Party Zone and couldn’t find Andy among the spectators. I looked carefully and then when the Party Zone was over I felt sad. Either he didn’t make it there for some reason or I somehow missed him. I was planning on handing my iPod to him because I decided I didn’t want it with me when I finished, but after not seeing him I thought I should make the most of the situation and just use it. I don’t think that makes sense in retrospect, but I like justifying things.

Meh. My music was OK because the crowds had thinned, but I didn’t need it and I knew I didn’t need it. I looked up and saw arms waving wildly. It was my sweet Andy!

I ran up to him and said “I thought I missed you!” as you can see in the video here.

I was so happy! He went further down past the Party Zone because of traffic or congestion or something.  I didn’t care. I got to see him! I Vaselined up again, this time on the other side too, and took off before realizing I forgot to give him my iPod. I shouted his name and ran back to hand it to him. Yes, I ran the opposite direction during a marathon, but just for a few seconds.

I made sure to speed up after because I felt so great and knew I could maintain my pace. I was no longer worried about hitting a wall or hurting my knee or my hip. I felt amazing. People were on balconies and on the sidewalks cheering. I saw cheerleaders. People called out my name. Some people shouted out compliments or words of encouragement. The race got more difficult but I felt strong.

We turned into a beautiful private community of homes. From mile 21 on, things got much more difficult. Now, I just wanted to be finished. It stopped being about how amazing I felt and started being about pushing through to the finish. I didn’t want to run anymore but I entered into PDR (personal distance record) territory and it was exciting.

When people cheered for me, I did my best to acknowledge them with a tiny smile and little wave. I stopped saying “Thank you” for the most part and stopped the big waves. The race was getting tough and it was all about getting to the end. There were some small but steep uphills. The crowds were incredible, offering orange slices, doughnuts and beer. Beer?!

At one point, someone shouted “It’s all downhill from here!” YES! I got really excited until a few seconds later when there was a challenging uphill. What the hell!

I pushed on. I felt like I was crawling, but looking at my splits, miles 21-24 were actually some of my fastest of the race. I guess my pushing was working, even though it did not feel like it! I did see a few Brightroom photogs though, and seeing them always gives me a burst of energy.

I did slow during mile 24. I don’t remember much from that mile. During 25, someone else shouted “After this turn, it is all downhill!” We were turning into the downtown area and I got excited. I made that turn and . . . MASSIVE UPHILL.

Seriously people — what the hell!

I know the last half mile is a 700 foot drop downhill, but come on!

It is incredible what your body can do at certain times. Despite the fact that I found those last miles extremely difficult, I not only had enough in me to run mile 26 in 9:53, but look at the split for the last .37 (more than .2 because of any weaving and the run back to give Andy the iPod):

Yes.  8:24 pace for the final push. After already running 26 miles. After DNFing a marathon a week before. After being worried I was running too fast throughout most of the race. After doubting I could even finish under 5:00.

During that last half mile, I felt no pain. All the tiredness, soreness, running on autopilot and hoping for the end disappeared. I don’t know where this energy came from, but I felt light and running felt effortless. I glanced down at my watch and saw my pace was in the 8:50/mile range and I briefly wondered why I don’t always run like that. I felt like I was flying as I ran down the final chute, somehow alone, hearing my name shouted by strangers on all sides of me. Of all the times I heard my name during this marathon, this was by far the most exciting. I knew I looked strong. I knew I was running fast. I knew these people were going crazy cheering because I looked so strong and had a huge smile on my face. Andy was one of these people, but I couldn’t pick him out. I just ran.

As I flew through the finish, I heard the announcer call me Doris. Not my name, but funny! What I did not hear at the time was Brown Eyed Girl playing through the speakers; the same song that I chose to sing while running the NYC Marathon. The same song that might have caused me to swallow some extra air. Also, my Bat Mitzvah video montage song. That has to mean something. Or not.

Dori's Shiny Blog - Richmond Marathon

I floated through the finish. Really, I floated through my first full marathon.

In 4:33:29.

About 25 minutes faster than I hoped or expected. My goal was to finish under 5:00, even if it meant 4:59. It is possible that I underestimate myself.

I do believe that things happen for a reason. At least, that is how I justify the good things in my life, the things that work out.

If I never got that freak pain during the NYC Marathon and I finished that race, I would have stayed with my friend for just under 5 hours and not listened to my body’s own cues. I never would have known what I was capable of running a 4:33 marathon. I never would have traveled to Richmond for the first time; never would have experienced a gorgeous new city by running 26.2 miles through it; never would have had the most idealistic, fun, exhilarating run of my life.

[Also easy about Richmond: Andy right on the other side of the barricade after I finished. Also, pizza there? Who wants that!]

I finished a marathon!!! My training was not for nothing and I did so much better than I ever thought I would!

No hip pain, no knee pain. My left knee actually hurt during NYCM when everything fell apart, but I  think my legs just had to work much harder since my body was under fueled and in pain. I’m also much less sore this week after 26.2 than last week after 18. And I suppose I am not too pale to run a marathon after all.

I know NYC is said to be the greatest marathon in the world and that is probably true. But as someone who grew up in Queens and has lived in Manhattan for the last six years, I can tell you that the race is ugly. Aside from breathtaking views of the city while running over the Verrazano Bridge and of course the miles through Central Park, the race is run through city streets. Buildings, concrete. Lots to see in terms of costumes, spectators and bands — but not a lot of scenery.


By contrast, Richmond was just a beautiful race. We ran past gorgeous stately old homes, monuments, alongside a stunning river, through lots of tree lined streets and past colleges. I didn’t need music because there was so much to take in and the crowd support was phenomenal without being overwhelming.

There were motivating and humorous signs placed throughout the course, which was especially awesome in spots with no spectators, like by the river. I wish I remembered these signs so I could share with you, but I don’t.

It was so thoughtful of the people drove the course sticking these signs along the way. Better than a person cheering in some cases and very much appreciated during the quieter miles without spectators.

Richmond Marathon - November 12, 2011

Have I mentioned that I loved every single second of this race? I never once felt bored and there was just so much to take in. I highly recommend the Richmond Marathon to those looking for a fall marathon next year.


I bought a finisher’s shirt, which I am wearing above, for $10 in the tent after the finish line. I somehow didn’t get a heat wrap even though everyone else around me did!

And then I ate all the pancakes at Cracker Barrel.


And modeled my medal a bit more.

I am so happy. I can’t stop smiling and this marathon is the only thing I ever want to talk about. But apparently my coworkers would like to discuss other topics, such as work.

I was a wreck last week. Even though I had already signed up for Richmond when I wrote that post, I was in a pretty rough place and your comments helped me more than you can imagine. People that read my blog regularly and people that never read before left incredible comments and sent emails of encouragement and support. I thought I was finished crying last Tuesday, but your comments and emails made me cry some more. Happy tears!

It is hard having a blog and using social media and putting yourself out there this much. I was embarrassed to have to write that post, but because of you, it was worth it. I needed to hear positive things about my experience. I needed to know that I didn’t do anything wrong. I needed to know that DNFs happen to other people.  I needed to know that you weren’t judging me. I needed to know that you did not see me as a failure.

Running such a strong marathon has definitely changed my perspective about running. I didn’t do any speedwork while training because I was coming back from an injury. Now I wonder what I have in me if I worked harder. I didn’t do much cross training towards the last couple of months. I wonder about that too. This marathon also showed me that the logistics do not have to be stressful and a huge race like NYCM might not be right for me. I was so stressed before NYCM about being cold outside for a long time, transportation and even the process of getting out of the park after. As I said before, anxiety and the stomach are intertwined. The ease of this marathon was much better suited to my personality.

I know I said I don’t want to devote for months to training ever again. But I am a competitive person and I know how strong I felt at the finish, how much less sore I am right now than I expected. It is hard to think about working so hard for 26.2 knowing that the unexpected can happen and derail me. But maybe one day. Maybe I’ll work harder for my next half marathon and see what I can do there first. I ran my half marathon PR of 2:06 without much training. Maybe I should make a new goal for 13.1 and take it from there.

I never loved running as much as I do right now. I am a marathoner.

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