Friday, March 28, 2014

Lillie Lately v.3

Lillie Lately

Click below if you’re interested in other Lillie-isms.
Lillie Lately v.1
Lillie Lately v.2

As I’m pulling Lillie out of the bathtub she steps on the side & kind of pushes off. Whenever she does this, I push her higher into the air, she says, “Wheeee!” and then I place her on the rug where she dries off and we work on getting her pajamas on.

Lillie: I jumped high.
Me: I know! It’s almost like you were flying!
Lillie: I’m not flying. I don’t have wings.
Me: Well, Superman doesn’t have wings and he can fly.

At this point, Lillie is either looking at me like I’m the smartest person she’s ever come across or the dumbest. (Pretty sure it’s the latter.)

Lillie: Oh. Well, daddy is Superman.
Me: (Thinking how adorable she thinks her daddy is a superhero) Aww, he is Superman, isn’t he?
Lillie: YEP. And you’re the mama Superman and I’m the Lillie Superman. We’re all Supermans!

Apparently, Lillie thinks we are the equivalent to a Commie-Superman family. Who knew?

Lillie and I were both sitting on the couch. She wanted some more Cheetos so I told her to go ahead but she had to get them herself. They were just sitting on the kitchen counter. About 10 feet from where we were sitting. She quickly hopped up, grabbed a handful, put them in her bowl, ran full blast back to the couch, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Did you save my seat for me, mama?”

My initial reaction was to laugh and think how adorable that was but then my actual reaction was, “Nope! This is alllll my seat!”

She giggled, pushed her way back onto the couch, said I was a “silly mama” and wiped her Cheetos on my jeans. Orange crusted jeans are a thing, right?

We’ve just finished bath time and I reach for the towel. It slips through my fingers and falls to the floor. Lillie places her hands on her hips (she’s naked, mind you), cocks her head to the side and says, “Mom. You’re killing me!”

(The only thing that would have made this moment better is if she would have added, ‘Smalls’ to the end of that.)

gif the sandlot *the sandlot youre killing me smalls

After running the Bearathon I called my husband to see if he needed anything from town before I headed home. He didn’t need anything but he did give the phone to Lillie so we could talk. Lucky me.

Me: Hi Lillie!
Me: I just finished running my race. I’m on my way home.
Lillie: Oh. Okay.
Me: I got a pizza!
Me: Okay, well I’m coming home as fast as I can.
Lillie: Go faster. Like me. I have fast shoes. You have slow shoes.
Me: …
Lillie: I run faaaaast. And I eat pizza. And where are you?
Me: I guess I’m going slow. Give the phone to your father.

This is not the first time Lillie has called me slow. And I’m certain it won’t be the last. Kids. Sheesh.

Real quick, I’m thinking of hosting a weekly link-up starting next Wednesday inspired by the following two posts:

Both articles are from (they have some great stuff on there) and while I was reading, I realized that a lot of the things I could really relate to. Basically it’ll be used as a weekly writing prompt to share your feelings or how you’ve dealt with the situation about the item mentioned. The majority of my posts are fitness related, so I’m hoping to just round out my blog a little bit.

If you’re interested, I’d love for you to join me. I’ll have more information about it on Monday and the first post will be scheduled for Wednesday.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, you deserve it!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bearathon 2014

I signed up for this half-marathon before my marathon thinking that 3 weeks would be plenty of time to recover, get back in the groove of things and knock it out of the park.

I was right about it being plenty of time for me to recover – 3 days after my marathon my legs and body actually felt well enough to begin running again. However, emotionally I was not ready to get back in the groove of things and did nothing for two weeks after my marathon. Except, like, eat everything. The Tuesday before the Bearathon I managed to run 2 miles (thanks to social media for accountability!).

2 miles FB statusBasically, I ran 24 miles one day, did nothing for 2 weeks, ran 2 miles and then woke up early Saturday morning to attempt to run 13.1 miles on a notoriously hill driven course. If you didn’t already know, I clearly make good life decisions.

Bearathon 2014 Elevation

If you’ve been here for a while, you may recall this post – Bearathon 2013 – from last year. It was the race I had been working towards which kind of catapulted me into this runner lifestyle. I even vlogged my reaction to killing it. I never knew I was a crier until I had my daughter and started running. Hormones be crazy, yo.

Anyway, back to the current race recap.


I woke up around 5:30 am, got dressed, took a selfie, (because duh) and made it to the start line around 6:30 am. The half-marathon portion was set to start at 7 am and the 5k portion at 7:20 am. The race started 5 minutes late but they had music going and kept us informed, so it didn’t feel like a big deal to me.

What did feel like a big deal to me? THE HUMIDITY. The weather was in the low 60s but the humidity was 100%. I hadn’t even made it to Mile 2 and I was already sweat-soaked.

Bearathon Weather

Around mile 2.5, I talked with a lovely older lady named Lynn, who I thought was maybe in her early 50s – turns out she was 69! She had been running for over 30 years, had both her hips replaced and was still trucking along. She was pretty motivating and right around mile 3, I said goodbye and pushed forward.

Like last year, they had students at every mile marker for the water stations – and it was insane. There was so much cheering and yelling, you could actually hear it from the previous mile marker. If you are ever in the Waco, Texas area and want a challenging course that has some wonderful crowd support – Bearathon is for you. (Also, I’ll totally do it with you too and then we can go day drinking!)

Mile markers had water and Gatorade, a few of them had snacks (there was bacon at one, but I learned my lesson last time and politely refused). I ended up using Shotbloks for my ‘fuel’ by downing a couple every 4 miles or so, it kept me feeling from empty and I’m starting to find I like them better than energy gels. Salsa Feet

I’m only smiling because I was finally done with the hills.

I went into this race not expecting much considering how little I had been running and I crossed the finish line in 3:00:31 – which is a normal for me. The course had a time limit of 4 hours which equaled a 16 minute/mile pace.

Booking it

Sometimes my music doesn’t do it for me, so I’ll cut it off and count to myself with every step. Some people have mantra’s, I have numbers. It works for me. And with all that said, the above photo is my counting face. Lovely, isn’t it?

Something I did notice was the support dwindling/stations running out of Gatorade near the end of the race for me. I mean, I’m slower than average but still finished a full hour ahead of the time limit and it can be discouraging - so I can only imagine what it felt like for those that finished after me.

For the record, this is not the first time I’ve noticed feeling like a ‘loose-end’ in a race where I was near the end of the pack. So, it’s not just a Bearathon thing (and I don’t remember feeling that way for the 2013 race) But, I do think it’s something that should be addressed for those of us out there who love to run but just do it on the slow.

After I grabbed my medal & t-shirt, I stuck around for a bit to cheer on people and then managed to steal a whole pizza. I am not ashamed.


I know I’ve provided you all with a lot of fairly decent pictures in today’s post, and that’s probably a little disappointing. I mean, who wants to see someone looking good while running – no one. No one wants to see that.

So, I know the real reason you’re here – for the crappy race day photos I’m always so proud of. So, without further ado:

Bear Hands

This was my attempt at a jumping photo.
All it resulted in was a head shake from the photographer & weird hand placement.

 No Neck, No shame

Sweat, hills, and counting make me lose the ability to form a neck.

And this next one is for those of you who have asked me how I can be so happy during a race. The fact is, often times, I’m not – I’m just struggling to get through the next mile – but when I see a camera, it’s automatic. I turn into a giant hamball who immediately goes for the thumbs up.

Run Run Camera

Until we run again, friends!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Runners Tell All: Favorite Runner Gear

You know, I’ve been running consistently for at least 2 years and I don’t think I’ve once talked about my running gear in a post. I mean, a mention here or there, sure – but nothing specifically about what I use/have for my runs. Thank goodness for this link-up (join here!)

When I first started running, I just had cotton Wal-Mart capris and t-shirts and those did me just fine – but when I realized I actually enjoyed it and was signing up for races left & right, I decided to take the plunge and buy a few running specific items. I could certainly do without these, but they make it easier for me to get out the door and truth be told, they make me feel like an actual runner. Like, I’m not faking it when I put on my shoes and watch and runner fanny pack (yeah, I got one of those) and my own personal sassy man. I like to think I’m the real deal.

Real Deal

My Go-To Gear List

  • Shoes. I’ve been wearing Mizuno Waveriders (I’m currently in the 16s in the picture above –Christmas present from the husband, but lived in my 15s forever) and I love them. They give me enough support without feeling like they weigh me down. Shoes are different for everyone, so I would highly recommend getting fitted. I actually did that when I got serious with running – you can read about that process here – it was, uh, interesting but not scary at all. If I can face my fears of having man-feet, you certainly can.


This selfie shows off my shoes, but mostly it just proves that I’ll never be a fashion blogger. Ever.

  • Garmin 405cx. This watch lets me know how slow fast I’m going and my elevation and even where my heart rate is sitting at (if I ever actually wear the HR monitor) and so many other things that I don’t even use. I bought it on a whim, well before I actually even needed it. I was a little excited about my running future and wanted to feel like a real runner.
    For the first year of my running escapades I lived on the treadmill, so the only time I needed/wanted it was during my races. Looking back it was not worth the price (for me) because of how little I used it in that first year, but it definitely has had my back this past year as I finished my sixth half-marathon and my non-marathon.
    Basically, if you’re starting out I would not spend this much money on a watch ($180 at the time, on sale). You live, you learn right?


  • Wireless headphones. These were a surprise Christmas present from the husband. I knew I was getting new running shoes (above) and even though I dropped a ton of hints (as in, “HEY ALFRED I WANT WIRELESS HEADPHONES, KAY?”) I didn’t expect to get them because, uh, they can be pricey and he kept telling me “NO. YOU DO NOT NEED THEM.” He was right, they are not a need, I mean, my regular headphones do just fine. So, I was way pumped about them come Christmas morning. DSC02850Alfred picked out the Motorola S11 HD Wireless Stereo Headphones on the recommendation of the guy in the store (it was either Radio Shack or Best Buy). The instruction manual said they’d be good for only an hour of play time, but I’ve used them in two of my half-marathons recently for the entire 3 hours of running and they were still going strong afterwards. WINNING. They’re actually really comfortable and don’t interfere with my swanging ponytail at all. If you have extra monies and love your jams, I definitely recommend a pair.

  • Moving Comfort Sports Bra. I have a few of them (all bought on sale because pricey) and they are fantastic. My favorite ones are the ones set up like ‘regular’ bras where I don’t have to pull a boob-sweat soaked racer back over my face to get it off.

Moving comfor

I don’t consider myself huge in the chest region but I’m big enough that I need support (at a ‘full’ C, sometimes I get into the D range) and despite my best efforts, the cheapie Wal-Mart bras don’t cut it for me past the 10k mark. They chafe me every time. It doesn’t look like much but I promise you, it hurts like a mofo.
Walmart Bras hate me

A couple places where I consistently find cheap, great workout clothes are Zulily and Sierra Trading Post.

What’s your favorite running/workout gear?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Post Non-Marathon Life

Last week I wrote out a wonderfully long blog post detailing the horror of my first marathon. Or non-marathon. You know, since I didn’t actually get to cross the finish line of 26.2 miles – instead it was like, 23.5 miles.

Toe-may-toe, Toe-mah-toe, though, right?

I remember distinctly finding a ton of articles on the post-marathon blues when I was researching training plans 6 months ago and wondering what exactly that would feel like. I kind of skimmed over them since I really had no reason to look at them, with like not having completed a marathon or anything at that point.

But so you know, PMB basically means you’re sad at life. You committed and worked hard to achieve a certain goal and now you have nothing to, for a lack of a better phrase, look forward to. You’re just there. With this medal (or non-medal) hanging out trying to figure out your next step.

Do you sign up for another one as soon as possible to try and beat your time? Do you choose to step up your game and look at ultra-marathons? Or triathlons? Or do you simply stop doing any freaking thing that is remotely fitness oriented (other than wearing race shirts) and ignore your feelings altogether by drinking fruity cocktails your husband prepared?


DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!

It’s not that I haven’t thought about it – especially since I have a half-marathon coming up next weekend that I signed up for before marathon day (not exactly my smartest decision) – it’s just that I haven’t cared too. The first few days after the marathon, I could chalk it up to giving my body a break. I had just ran nearly 24 miles in really crappy conditions and I was all sorts of emotional about it. But by Wednesday, I was no longer sore and really had no excuse.

I simply didn’t want too.

I figured to get myself out of the funk, I’d make myself go for a run that Friday – nothing forced, maybe 2 or 3 miles – but my husband had other plans. He couldn’t handle the fact that I officially had a better story to share with friends/family concerning my marathon so he just had to do something about it.

He decided to hammer metal to the point that it splintered and flew into his eye, cutting it. Like, literally cutting his eye. Not the area surrounding his eye. Or the lid. But the actual eyeball itself. It’s called a corneal laceration and resulted in 5 stitches. In his eye. He had emergency surgery Friday, was home Friday night (it’s an outpatient procedure which is crazy because there are stitches IN HIS EYE) and needless to say, any idea of my wanting to go out for a run was quickly vanished as he became the priority.

Als eye

Here he is hopped on pain killers after surgery channeling his inner pirate.

Also, I’m a filthy liar because he in no way planned on doing this to outshine me on the pity party story. But he has. Damn one-upper.

He should be able to regain full vision back but it’s going to take time (2-3 months possibly) and well, that’s frustrating for him because he needs to see to do work. And that’s frustrating for me because, well, if you’re married or in a long-term relationship, or live with someone, or basically have had any interaction with anyone ever in your life you know why – people get pissy when they’re frustrated and can’t do things they’re used to doing.

Like bending over. Picking things up. Or anything that would strain the eye in any capacity. 

For someone who is a farmer/plumber/operator, uh, that’s next to impossible. So, prayers are always welcome as well as any positive thoughts you may have lying around.

Anyway, that’s pretty much been my post non-marathon life. Not working out & taking care of dead eye. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.

Hopefully we can follow up these shenanigans with non-eventful and boring weeks. They may not be glamorous but at least they don’t result in hospital bills, am I right or am I right?

Have a great one, friends!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Marathon Story

My Marathon Story

This is the only picture I could currently find – courtesy of the Buffalo Soldiers MC Killeen – TX

I don’t even know where to start with this. Probably because I’m still trying to figure out what I feel about my very first marathon. Sometimes I think back and want to give myself the biggest pat on the back and say, “Damn. You went for it, girl. Who knew you had it in you?” and then other times, all I can do is feel like I somehow failed because when it comes down to it, I only completed 23.5 miles out of 26.2.

And despite what many people have told me, 23.5 miles is not equivalent to a marathon (even if the waddle in my step for the past few days wants to argue otherwise!)

…and I’m about to start crying again.

It’s been going on like this for the past few days. This rollercoaster of emotions, which probably looks pretty similar to the elevation chart for The Army Marathon. Ba-dah-bing, ba-dah-boom.

2014 Army Marathon Course

Oh, yeah, in case you’re wondering I’m one of those people that channels sadness into cheesy jokes and awkward dance moves. I won’t confirm or deny whether I did something similar to The Robot just then.

I thought about starting this out with an apology for the length of this post you’re about to read but that would be doing myself a disservice seeing as I want to remember this - all the good and the bad. But mostly I’m going through it all so I can remind myself that I’m capable of anything even if the circumstances are completely shitty. Phew. Okay. Here we go.

I woke up Saturday morning with a twinge in my back, I tried to ignore it as I got ready to pick Lillie up (she stayed with her grandparents the night before) so we could head to the Expo and pick up my bib and race bag swag. It was faint but nothing to really call home about. I popped an ibuprofen but by the time we were heading back (it’s about an hour and fifteen minutes from my home) I knew what was happening.

Back spasms.

A little background – right after I had Lillie I began having back spasms. Since all the muscles are connected, not only my back hurt but my ribs as well.They were so bad I made my way to the ER at least twice in the year after Lillie because I thought my gallbladder or appendix was about burst. They also have a tendency to make me throw up. Like, a lot. And they would last for days. I went to a chiropractor for months and he helped me immensely (Dr. McMullen in the Waco, Texas area. Highly recommend). He showed me stretches, adjusted my back and he explained why he thought it was happening. Basically, I was overweight, had bad posture and my purse (and diaper bag) was entirely too big/heavy and it was throwing my spine out of whack. The spasms were just a way my body was trying to straighten me up. Once I started working out regularly, they vanished. I haven’t seen him in over a year. If I did have a spasm, it would maybe last a couple hours and was manageable.

Back to the current spasms – they were intense, so I panic texted Mojgan who advised me to take some Advil, take it easy and stretch. I slept off and on throughout Saturday afternoon, while Lillie got her fill of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She typically only gets to watch 1 episode a day, so this was like a vacation for her. Kids can be pretty intuitive and depending on what’s going on it’ll either be really creepy (read: But mommy, there’s a weird man in my closet) or right on the money, so she knew something was wrong with me and would randomly come and rub my back or try to bring me Gatorade without me asking. Alfred came home (he was out working all day) put Lillie to bed and I felt slightly better so I got all my things together for the morning. Alfred and I made a plan for what I expected to happen the next day and filled Emilie in on it as well via text. I planned on leaving the house at 4:45 am and did not intend on forcing my husband and daughter to wait around for 6 hours for me to finish. So, Alfred & Lillie would ride with Emilie, Justin and their son, Tanner (aka TanMan). Once everything was figured out, I managed to eat a popsicle without it coming right back up and just prayed the spasms would lighten up just enough for at least most of the race.

I woke up Sunday morning seemingly spasm free. I pulled on my running capris, yellow tech shirt (I wanted to be bright so Alfred could find me!), Spibelt, music, watch, shoes and after glancing at the weather grabbed my red pullover just in case

The weather started out close to the 70s. It was beautiful running weather. I crossed the start line feeling excited and ready! Mile 1 went quickly and I seemed to be right on pace with where I wanted to be. This great feeling continued on until right about mile 8. At that time, it felt like the temperature was drop kicked off a fucking cliff by a gawdang Spartan. It just kept going down. I was starting to see my own breath. It was now in the 30’s and with the wind, it felt more like the 20s.

Miles 8-13 were not fun. But not because my legs were tired – they actually felt really strong. It was my hands that were over it. I simply couldn’t feel them. I was running into the wind which made it worse – I couldn’t even open the zipper on my spibelt to get my fuel out (I went with strawberry shotbloks). I had to get the volunteers to do that for me at the water stations. They had swollen to about twice the size they normally are. I already have sausage fingers, so yeah, it was intense. I wish I could have taken a picture.

Anyway, I’m not ashamed to admit I kept looking for gloves on the side of the road that someone may have dropped. Spoiler: I did not find any. I started telling myself just make it to the halfway point. I kept moving simply because if I stopped to walk, I would start shivering and it felt so much harder to pick my legs up to get going.

By the time I hit 13.1 miles (at 3 hours, so I was right on pace with what I expected/hoped for) my back spasms reared their ugly head. I finally cut on my music to try and focus on the lyrics and kept moving forward.

Then the sleet started coming on and off. It wasn’t bad but it was there and I could feel the tiny iced rain droplets attaching themselves to my eyelashes. The bitches.

I was at the end of the pack, there were maybe 2-3 runners behind me but when I hit mile 15 I started passing people. My legs still felt good (or numb, whichever), my back spasms had stopped and the way the course was set up I wasn’t really running into the wind anymore so my hands were halfway thawed out. I started focusing on the person in front of me and before I knew it, I had passed 5 people by the time I was coming into Mile 20. I looked at my watch and knew at that point, I probably wouldn’t finish by 6 hours. It’d be more like 6:20 but I didn’t care. It was happening.

I started tearing up a bit as I ran past that Mile 20 marker. I knew that I was going to do it – I was going to run a fucking marathon. I wish I could bottle up and sell that feeling to you people, because that shit was golden.

When I closed into Mile 21 I saw Alfred, Lillie, Emilie, Justin & TanMan (BTW – I couldn’t ask for better friends!) I was ridiculously excited and I yelled for Alfred to grab my gloves. He crossed a 4 lane highway to get to me (my hero!) and then proceeded to warm my hands up under his armpits. Classy, I know. I didn’t want to waste a lot of time, so after a couple minutes he helped me put the gloves on. And by helped, I mean he did all the damn work. I am not exaggerating when I say I couldn’t feel my fingers. He had to guide each one into the correct finger and it took at least 10 minutes. Later on he told me I also had ice on my face but didn’t want to mention it to me at the time thinking it might freak me out.

He’s a smart man.

I took off feeling revived! My husband, my daughter, my friends were here! My hands were warming up! I was so close! Then I heard it.


LOUD lightning.

I vividly remember saying out loud, “No. NO. NONONONONO.” The Army Marathon had already expressed in their emails/facebook that their was a possibility of closing the course if lightning struck. But I was almost there. I could feel it. That finish line photo. That medal dangling from my neck. That feeling of “FUCK YES I RAN 26.2 MILES BITCHES”

And in case you are wondering, crossing a finish line of something you trained 5 months for abso-fucking-lutely qualifies as a reason to curse.

I started speeding up (or at the very least I felt like I sped up) and then the wind started howling. And the clouds started darkening and at mile 22 a police officer pulled up next me on his motorcycle. My heart briefly sank as he said, “We are closing the course. It’s no longer safe. You can try to finish it out but we are picking people up. Someone will be by in a little bit.”

I don’t even think I looked at him as I briefly said, “Okay” and pushed forward thinking well, he did say you could finish it out so that’s what I’ll do. I don’t care what the weather says. I got this. I can’t get this close to not finish. NO. At least he’s not telling me I’m so slow they’re going to pick me up. Positive thoughts. Positive thoughts.

And then it started getting worse. And rain/sleet started coming down a little harder. I heard a motorcycle coming up behind me. I kept running as the office informed me the course was closing. I had to get into the car that was following him. I yelled, “But I’m almost there!” and he replied, “We’ll bring you to the finish line, you’ll still get your medal. You still did it. We know you would have finished but it’s not safe, now get in the car.”

He stopped his motorcycle. I turned and looked at him and in a last ditch effort to keep moving I said, “But my husband, he’s right up there. Can I just run to him?!”

Alfred wasn’t there. I couldn’t see him. But I could see mile marker 24. And the officer, God bless him, knew I was lying. He parked his motorcycle, put his arm behind my back and led me to the passenger seat of a small, green car as I wept. I wanted to scream and yell, “It’s not about the medal. It’s not! I just want to finish!” but all I did was cry silently in the car as we passed other runners being picked up and the lady driving tried to console me.

She drove me to the finish line, about 20 feet away, looked at me and said, “Come on. I’ll run in the rain with you! You did it! Congratulations!”

I crossed the finish line, refused to let them put the medal on me (actually, I still haven’t worn it. It’s sitting in my console in the truck as I type), they gave me a windbreaker jacket, and sent me to the warming tents where I silently cried as I sipped on chocolate milk and watched other rain soaked runners come in after me.

I heard a text message go off, so I struggled to get my phone out of my arm band, figuring it was probably Alfred or Emilie wondering where the hell I was. And then roughly 6 minutes later it rang.

It took me 6 minutes to get my phone out of my arm band because they’re were that cold. And probably would have taken longer if it wasn’t for a nice older gentleman (in his 50s) that saw me struggling and helped me out citing “Paternal Instincts”. He also covered me up with an extra blanket.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – runners are awesome.

I finally talked to Alfred, they weren’t able to get close to the finish line to pick me up but they had shuttle buses to a parking lot nearby and I could meet him there. About 45 minutes, I was changed into dry clothes (changed in the truck in the parking lot) and we decided it was time to go eat. To be honest though, I wasn’t feeling it. I just knew the kids were probably hungry. I stopped crying but continued to ignore all the wonderful comments on facebook/twitter from my friends and family who saw that I had crossed the finish line at 5:56:59.

Chronotrack time

I wasn’t trying to be rude by ignoring it. I was simply tired of thinking about it. Thinking about how maybe I should have just pushed away from the officer and kept going. Or maybe I should have trained harder to finish faster. Or damnit, Tamara, why the hell didn’t you just wear your gloves in the first place? There was a lot going on in my head. Eventually I did post a status to let everyone know what had happened.

The love and support from my friends and family was amazing. I’m seriously blessed to have such wonderful people in my life, whether it’s people I talk to daily or people I only interact with online. It definitely took the sting away from the huge hole of disappointment that had nestled itself inside of me.

But it hasn’t taken it all away. I don’t know if it ever will. This was my first marathon. This was supposed to be a day of joy, a day of laughter, a day of crappy race pictures to commemorate this amazing accomplishment.

And it felt like none of that.

I know, first world problems, right? I have so much to be grateful for.

This was the longest I’ve ever ran – mileage and time-wise.
I successfully trained for 5 months.
I did not quit.
I did not get injured.
I had some amazing races & accomplishments (2 PRs – 10k and half!) during those 5 months.

I am not trying to diminish any of those things but like I said in the beginning, 23.5 miles is not 26.2. And on some level, it feels as though I failed. My only goal was to finish. I couldn’t even do that. And while it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t, that still doesn’t help the feeling.

As far as the race goes, I would definitely recommend The Army Marathon. They did a wonderful job! They had plenty of water stations with extra goodies (I consumed a fair amount of gummy bears and fruit snacks) and lots of cheering. This was a point-to-point race and we were on some fairly busy roads. We were constantly surrounded by EMTs going back and forth on the course and police officers directing traffic. It was well organized (Lillie and I got a TON of stuff at the expo) and went off without a hitch. The only thing I didn’t account for was that this is Texas. And even if Saturday was 80 degrees (it was) that does not mean Sunday will be. I swear we can have all four seasons in one damn week.

So, at this point the most common question I’ve had is, “When is your next one?”

And truthfully, I don’t know. I mean, there will be a next one it just won’t be anytime soon. One of the hardest things I’ve found with my training is working around my mom schedule and trying to keep that a priority. There were days when I felt like I was just going through the motions (because I was tired, or focusing on what I needed for my next run) and so, I knew that without a doubt that once I completed this marathon I would not complete another one for quite some time. At least until Lillie was a little older.

But now that I haven’t actually completed 26.2 miles, I feel like I’m in limbo. Should I just sign up for one and get it done? Or should I wait it out like I wanted to in my original plan?

After many tears this week (a lot of them while writing this post) I’ve decided that I’m going to focus on improving my pace. I want to get faster. I need to get faster if I want to train for another marathon and have more time for my family during the training process. Faster times mean I’m out on my feet less during my training runs even though I’ll be going the same distance. I’ll start with the 5k and move up from there.

I’m hoping by really trying to put in some speed work and increasing my strength (New Years Resolution), that this plan will really get me to where I want to be.

At the fucking finish line for my next 26.2 miles, wearing the shit out of my medal, finishing at a faster pace than I ever thought possible.

What I thought was going to be my moment may not have come when I hoped it would but I’ll be damned if I don’t ever get it.

Until we run again