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Monday, November 28, 2016

Fueling for Success

Back in June I went for my first test with Insidetracker.  I was nervous and excited, but mostly relived with I saw my results were pretty decent.   I needed some work on my fasting glucose, and my lipids, but I really wanted to see my DHEAS increase, and cortisol levels decrease.  DHEAS is defined by inside tracker as "Dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, or DHEAS, is a hormone precursor that is synthesized in the adrenal glands from cholesterol. The body uses DHEAS to make different steroid sex hormones, including estradiol and testosterone, as well as other sex steroid precursor molecules. DHEAS levels increase from childhood until age 20-30, then decline steadily with age. Healthy DHEAS levels in women are associated with a healthy immune system, increased energy, better bone and muscle health and good sexual function. Having lower levels of DHEAS throughout life is associated with decreased immunity, poor cardiovascular health, and unstable blood sugar levels."  I took the advice given to me on ways to improve my diet.  All of which were small changes.  To see the changes suggested see my blog post entitled "Getting Stronger From The Inside Out"I was far from perfect in my pursuit of eating "healthy", but I would day 75 percent of the time, I used the recommendations and put effort into eating to better fuel my body, and went back to work to chase down some goals. 


My training ramped up, and about 2-3 weeks after making those small changes, I started to feel quite a bit better.  Racing was going pretty well despite less than ideal conditions.  I wasn't racing very fast, but I was feeling good, and winning. So I was happy with the way things were going.  I won all three Akron Rubber City Race series races. An 8k in June, and the half in August were scorchers.  Over 80 degrees, and just gross.  The final race, the full marathon had better conditions of mid 70's and less sticky.  I felt great from gun to finish line and despite it not being fast, I knew I was very fit. You can see the recap of The Akron Marathon here.  My recovery was very easy, and I felt pretty good with very minimal down time.  The main changes I made to my diet were eating avocado nearly every day on a turkey or chicken sandwich.  Switched from rice or noodles to quinoa.  My snacks were dark chocolate in a scoop of peanut butter, and chia seeds on my yogurt.  It is incredible the difference that small of a change can make!





Since then I have been training for some faster turn over, and working to get my aerobic threshold lowered, and have my sights set on USA 15k in Jacksonville Florida on March 11th.  I have been feeling really good, and seeing very consistent improvements in training.  So on November 18th I had another blood drawl to see where things were. My feeling better was no fluke!  

My test results came back with better lipids, slightly lower glucose, though it could still use work.  A nice jump in my DEAHS levels (15 pts), a small increase in my testosterone levels, optimal inflammation indicators, and a 4 pt decrease in cortisol levels. My ferritin levels have improved, and instead of being just inside the optimal level, they are near the middle, and up almost 60 pts!  They gave more suggestions, and I am going to take them to heart and work toward another step forward in my fueling game! 

I had a bit of a scare seeing my iron (different and much more finicky than ferritin) levels, but after consulting with a dietitian, I am fairly confident those results were skewed by having taken an iron pill before bed and then having my blood test in the morning.   I will test again soon to be sure it is not something that needs further attention. 

A few days following my test, I laced up and raced the Powell Turkey Trot 4 miler.  I felt great, ran 22:29  (5:37 pace), on a rolling course, and won.  I knew fueling my body correctly was a huge part of the movement forward I have had over the past 4 months. 

I look forward to working with Inside Tracker in 2017 to help me reach some ambitious goals. 

Check back on the blog in the next couple of days for my Turkey Trot Recap, and goals for 2017!

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Midwest Holiday Flystyle Guide

I have had a number of friends and family ask for advice on what Oiselle picks are the best for various situations over the past couple weeks.  So I thought a Midwest Flystyle Guide was in order. Here are my top pics for the Fall 2016 season to help get us through a Midwest winter.


 The perfect sweatshirt. It is my single most favorite piece from the Fall 16 line.  It is soft like cream cheese frosting.  While some liken it to butter, I don't want to rub butter all over myself. However, cream cheese frosting?  Now we are talking my language! It has a great lifestyle look to it, perfect with jeans and some sneakers to run errands, but is totally runnable!  I have put mine through a 15 miler and many a workout warm up and cool down.

Perfect post race warmth.

Perfect for my High School HOF induction with a pair of kaki pants.

When it is below 30 degrees, windy and slushy, A.K.A. everyday from December- March in much of the Midwest.  We will be left with two choices; suit up, or DREADMILL.  My go to cold weather outfit will have any runner ready to go on the snowing and blowing days.
Aero Jacket, Moto Tights, Soft Shell Mittens, Lux Earband, and Wazzie Wool Gaiter make up my weatherproof look



Start with any base layer (I prefer a Lux Raglan Long Sleeve or Lux Raglan Short Sleeve and don't forget the Lux Verrazano Bra ), then add an Aero Jacket.  This Jacket is a soft, slightly fitted and just thick enough to really stay warm in wind and even some of the wet stuff. I also love it to wear for XC meets, its flattering, and comfortable through a long day.

Looking for the perfect cold weather tights? My choice is the Moto Tight.  They have a fun color block look with flattering pintucking, to keep me looking snazzy.  Throw in their soft fleece lining to ward off the cold, and they are a perfect combo of fierce and functional. 

Accessories make this outfit!  My favorite glove of the season has to be the Soft Shell Mittens.  When the wind and the snow is coming down. I have to have mittens, no glove will do.  The soft shell mitten is wind and water resistant, and the perfect mitt for any distance in the elements.  The thumb is touchscreen ready so you don't have to worry about any chill getting in! These are a great addition to anyone's toolbox in the midwest!  They are roomie enough to fit a pair of lux gloves in for some added warmth on the really cold days. 
Lux earband- For some reason most hats slide up, and don't keep my ears covered when I am running, so I am an earband girl all the way (maybe I have a big head?)!  Make it in Lux and I want to wear it!  Light enough it doesn't make sounds muffled, and warm enough for even the coldest day.  
Finally finish off this warm, weatherproof look with a Wazzie Wool Gaiter.  This gaiter is clutch on a cold windy day.  Keeps your neck warm and into the wind, just pull it up to keep your face toasty too.  The wazzie wool is breathable, yet strong enough to ward off Jack Frost's best attempt to at your nose! 

The sloppy, too dangerous days will happen, but tackling the treadmill is much more fun in the right gear.  For me a Hi-Ten Bra, and Mac Rogas are the way to go! This "less is more" approach leaves me feeling like I am flying...
Ok, maybe not, but I don't overheat, and feel as comfortable as possible on the hamster wheel.  *Full disclosure- I am a 36 AA bra size so any covering will do.  If you need a little more support check out any of the great bras Oiselle has to offer here

So now you have it, how to stay comfortable in the Midwest from December- March...or April...or May! All that is left to do, is choose which colors you want!  If you ask me, anything in heather shine or oba blue is a safe bet! I am 5'4"tall and weigh 115 lbs I wear size 4, or small in everything described, except bras I am a size 6. If you have any questions, please send them my way in the comments or email me at beckispellman@gmail.com!

Have a safe and runderful winter! 











Monday, October 3, 2016

2016 Akron Marathon Recap

I have struggled with how to write this blog for over a week!  Putting into words what this race means to me, and the incredible sense of pride I have for both it and our amazing city is darn near impossible.   But here is my best effort.

 I usually have a very clear numeric goals going into a race, but for this race I knew things would be different. The weather was not expected to be great, the race has about 2500 feet of elevation change, and I had only been back to real training for four months. So my goal was somewhat ambiguous sounding, despite being very detailed in my head. My goal was to race the course to the best of my ability on the day, and to put myself in position to race over the last 5,000 meters, if there was someone to race (the last time I raced Akron in 2012, Recap Here, I lost the race during this portion).

I felt pretty calm going into race day.  I knew what I could and what I could not control, and I focused on what I knew would be my strengths that morning. After a quick 10 min warm up, I changed into racing flats and headed to the start line. I hugged what felt like a thousand people and loved getting to see so many friends.  The support was incredible.  7:00 A.M. sharp the gun went off.  It was 65 degrees, with a high dew point, and 84% humidity. I am more a fan of 45 degrees and light drizzle for racing, so not my favorite. But it didn't feel too bad. 

As we made our way to the first mile, Alana Hadley and I were side by side. We came through the mile in 6:04, and that felt very comfortable.  My break down goals were to run the first 5 miles pretty comfortable, the next 5 a notch less comfortable, and the same from 10-15, and 15-20.  "Don't work too hard, but don't be a baby", I reminded myself in the first few miles.  I awkwardly had to pee quite bad, but thought it would go away. 31:30 brought us through 5 miles and heading back into downtown.

As we passed though downtown the crowds were amazing as always, and our first major hill coming back across the Y bridge was behind us.  During mile 7 I couldn't handle needing to pee anymore so I took a quick pitt stop.  I started running again, and told myself to slowly work back up to Alana by mile 10.  Around mile 8.5 I caught back up to Alana, and slowly moved past her keeping my effort goal in mind. I came through 10 miles around 1:03:10--31:40 for this 5 mile portion.


I was headed back toward downtown one last time before heading into West Akron. The crowds were incredible and I couldn't help but smile. I had so much support on this day, and so many wonderful people wanting to see me accomplish my goal!  I was having so much fun!  But some pretty serious hills were coming up!  This 5 mile portion would be the most challenging of them.  I reminded myself of the goal to turn up the effort one notch, and keep pressing. I came through the half in 1:23:12, and at this point I still felt very very good. Well within myself. I put my head down and tapped out mile 14, up, up, up.  I hit 15 miles in 1:35:51--32:41.


Since I had broken the race into 4x5 miles and then 3x2 miles in my head, I was now in my last 5 mile portion, but my stomach was starting to hurt. The mile 16 marker was way off so I had a wonky 5:49 split in there, followed by 7:51 for mile 17. In races past this would have threatened to derail me, but I didn't even give it a second thought. I came down Thurmont st. and ran along my old 2 mile loop, then got to run along my 1k loop down by Fairlawn Country Club.  This was starting to get pretty hard,  but I couldn't stop smiling. Anyone who has seen me race before would probably agree, I don't usually look happy during a race.  Today I was having so much fun, and it was written all over my face.  Heading up Wiltshire I started to feel pretty bad.  I realized I needed a bathroom. I took a quick peek over my shoulder.  Nothing. So I took a quick pit stop...again, at the old 20 mile marker. Then hopped right back in, and was back in the 6:20's, feeling MUCH better!  I was through 20 miles in 2:10:23--34:32

I started to get excited, but there were a number of hilly miles ahead, I enjoyed miles 21, and 22.  Mile 23 was tough with Garmin St. to manage up, and my left calf was starting to cramp.  So I backed off just a hair on the hill.  As every step took me closer and closer to Angel Falls Coffee shop I started to get excited.  I had legs, and knew I could close well.  Miles 25 and 26 would be the fastest and 3rd fastest on the day, running 5:52, and 6:04 respectively.  



As I came down Main St. I saw the Treier/Harbert group and started to tear up a bit. But I told myself "no one wants to see you cry!  Pull it together".  I thanked my lead cyclist, and can canned my ass across that finish line! Threw in a happy dance, and promptly threw up on the race director's shoes!  Oops!  haha!  2:51:34, and the win by 10 minutes.  The time was slow, but I felt I had run a smart race, and achieved my goals.




                                                 




I can not thank everyone enough for the support!  After a very rough start to 2016 with an injury going into the trials, coming back and running 2:51 on a tough course, was a very solid step forward on four months of training.  I am excited, knowing that was a well controlled race, and know a sub 2:40 is not far out of reach.  Thank you Akron Marathon for putting on an incredible event.  Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed!  Thank you Oiselle, for supporting me, and giving me a family of birds all over the world that make every step more fun, exciting, and worth the while.  Thank you to Insidetracker for helping me to see the areas I can change to make me a stronger more efficient athlete. Thank you to my family for your consistent support and helping out with the kids and allowing me the time to chase goals like these. Thank you to the Treier family for your never-ending love and cheers, for a warm soak bath, and a cozy bed.  Thank you Akron Family Restaurant for making me feel like a total celebrity the next morning.  Thank you Maria and Alex for being EVERYWHERE on that course! Thank you Akron, and your amazing citizens for cheering and making the race so much fun! And finally, thank you Ryan, for putting up with me, and my training schedule on top of all life's other responsibilities.  I love you all! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Training Update July 2016

July flew by in a flurry of fun!  We went to Madeira Beach, with Ryan's family for the 4th of July, and had a family filled blast!  Lots of swimming, sand, and bud light filled up my last down week prior to really getting into marathon training for the Akron Marathon on September 24th.   I enjoyed the week of short runs with Ryan and Kelsey, but was eager to get back to training when we arrived back in Ohio. 

Vacation was a blast!





These two turned TWO YEARS OLD!!


Since then my training has looked like this. 


July 11-17 
80 miles total 
Workout 1- 4x2 miles in 91 degrees averaging around 6:20 pace
Workout 2- 10 miles medium averaging 6:49
Long run - 20 miles




July 18-24  
85 miles total
Workout 1- 9 miles tempo averaging 6:15 in much better conditions than a week prior. 
Workout 2- 19 miles total with 10x1 mile repeats around 5:55 on 90 seconds recovery. 
Long run 15 miles of Mohican trails

July 25-31  
77  miles total
I was at XC camp and the lack of sleep really was a hit to my weekly miles, but it was awesome, hilly and a bunch of fun!
Workout/Long run combo for this week- 20 miles with miles 7-18 alternating 6:00/6:30 pace and averaging 6:13 pace. I felt good until the cool down, and then I was beat! 

In August I hope to see quite a few more miles, and I am planning to run the Goodyear Half Marathon on August 13th in Akron Ohio.  It is the second race in the Rubber City Race Series. 
I am excited to test out where things are but plan to race on tired legs that week, coming off my highest weekly mileage of the year, which should be right around 100 miles. 

We are 8 weeks out from the Akron Marathon on September 24th, and I love challenging myself though my training to see how fit I can get to tackle the course on race day! 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Getting Stronger From The Inside Out

It has been awhile since my last blog post. Largely because things here have been pretty monotonous, and not too thrilling.  I ran two races in June, and all things considered they went pretty well. After 3 weeks of solid training done largely on feel I ran the Columbus 10k to see where my fitness was.  The morning of the race I woke with a sore throat, and headache. But I decided to  see where things were anyway.  I ran 36:52 on a very muggy morning. I wasn't very happy with the result, but it was what it was. I went out too fast, and slowed quite a bit in the second half of the race. I finished 3rd.

Shortly after the race, I was thinking about asking for insidetracker for a birthday present.  I spoke with insidetracker, signed up, and planned to have a blood drawl shortly following my next race at the end of the month.  In 86 degrees, I won the Akron National Interstate 8k in 29:55.  Much slower than I was hoping to run, but again in the conditions, and on a very challenging course, the results were what they were.
Columbus 10k

Three days later I had my blood drawl.  I was eager for my results, and a bit nervous to know what I had done to my body with not eating great over the years. When my test results came in I actually felt a huge relief!  Most of my markers were optimal!  It was really neat to see where things were and where things should be.  I have a few issues to work on!  My DHEAS is low, still within normal range, but less than optimal.  According to insidetracker "Dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, or DHEAS, is a hormone precursor that is synthesized in the adrenal glands from cholesterol. The body uses DHEAS to make different steroid sex hormones, including estradiol and testosterone, as well as other sex steroid precursor molecules."  
They suggest that I consume more dark chocolate, ummm consider it done, dark meat chicken, you don't have to tell me twice, avocado, pecans, and a number of other nuts, and granola.  Hello Breakfast!  

My fasting glucose was higher than optimal.   I was not too surprised to hear this as it has been a problem in the past. Again, while in normal range, my levels were 7 mg/dl higher than what would be considered optimal for me. The suggestion for helping to lower that are, a number of fruits like blackberries and raspberries, as well as white beans, chia seeds, fiber cereal, rolled oats, along with bulgur, and kamut. 


These same foods will help to lower LDL cholesterol, and higher HDL cholesterol. Again my makers in those areas were slightly outside of the optimal zones. 


Finally the big one for me is Cortisol. While I am in the optimal zone, I am high within it. I have a high level of anxiety during the day that I want to learn to handle better anyway. So next week I am beginning work with a therapist to help to learn better, more constructive ways to handle my anxiety. 


I am really excited to work on the things insidetracker has laid out for me and work on becoming a stronger athlete from the inside out!  I am not sure yet if I will get my next blood drawl before or after the Akron Marathon in September, but I can't wait to see what changes I can make from learning to manage anxiety better, and eat foods that will help to fuel my body more effectively. 


I am so glad I have had this opportunity to look at what I can do to become a more healthy athlete!  A huge thank you to insidetracker for steering me in the right direction!  Ryan and I hit the grocery store and have been working already toward the goal of being as healthy and fit as possible this fall!   


If you have any questions about my experience please feel free to ask!  Check out insidetracker here


Photo after the Columbus 10k with the fastest cheer squad around!  Thank you for your support Hilliard Davidson XC!





Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Muddling Through

It has been quite awhile since I have posted a new blog!  I know it is hard to believe, but I really did not have much to say!  I have been muddling through getting back to some semblance of fitness. So I will get you up to date on what has been going on!   My last race was the Olympic Trials in FEBRUARY!  I really can not believe we are half way through May! Coming back from the trials has been a long experience, yet somehow the months have flown by.


My abs pre babies, were strong, and kept me moving forward fast, and pain free. 

A few months later they started stretching a bit. 

Then this happened...Wowza. 

They were followed by this...Ok, worth it! 


Then this, they were still saggy and stretched, but way different than just a year prior. 



By the Olympic Trials, I felt that this was about as good as things would get. 
But as it turned out, just because the skin was going back, did not mean things were in working order. 
I ended up taking about 5 weeks completely off running due to back/butt/hip pain. In that time I was working my arse off getting my transverse abdominus back to firing, and then building on strengthening it back up to handle the rigors of training. You can see my blog here on the fun and super exciting exercises I started doing to get back.  If that workout isn't muddling, I am not sure what is!  I missed running desperately in this time, but my elliptigo kept me sane. 

Finally mid April I was able to start doing workouts.  Despite them being kinda slow, and short in duration.  I was on the path back to fitness. A month later, I am still doing painfully boring exercises, but seeing a huge difference in the way I feel, and seeing significant improvements in my fitness from week to week.  I am going to test the waters soon at the Columbus 10k!  I can not wait to put on my red, white, and blue Oiselle kit and hit downtown for a fun test of where my fitness is! I am still slowly ramping things up, hitting just over 50 miles a week, and doing workouts by "feel", so it should be fun to see where I am!   If you live close, come cheer on June 5th!  

Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Workout - Transverse Abdominis

I am excited to share what I have been doing over the past 6 weeks after finding out that my transverse abdominis  (TA) was not firing. Here is a forewarning, it isn't exciting. It is really boring, but I have seen vast improvement!  I am not a doctor, and I can't promise this will work for everyone. I am simply recapping what has worked for me.

The first thing we did was find the TA by placing my hands on my sides, and just to the inside of my pelvis very near to the C-section scar.  It took a lot of mental power to press these muscles outward to feel a slight push on my fingers. Then try to do it while breathing...this was nearly impossible.  



So I practiced, 3 times a day, 10x3-5 seconds hold, and it quickly became easier. Like within the day even. Then we added the following series, all while activating and engaging as described above. 


1.Childs pose -- build up to 60 seconds. At first I could only hold this for 10-15 seconds at a time, and had to take breaks.

2. Cat Camel -- 3x10 holding the TA in the engaged position and slowly moving. At first I could only do 3 sets of 3 or 4 and slowly worked up to 10.  As soon as I could no longer keep the muscle engaged I would take 30 seconds break, and do as many of the next set as I could.

3. Supine Low Back Twist. -- 3x30 seconds. engage the TA and slowly lower the knees, holding each stretch for 30 seconds before slowly moving back to the middle and then to the next size. Again I could only hold for 10-15 seconds starting out, and had to take breaks.

4. Pelvic Tilt -- 3x10 moving very slowly, and maintaining engagement through the movement. 3-4 of each set was hard at first.

5. Bird Dog -- 3x10 again very slow movement keeping the TA engaged the entire time, and making sure the glute was firing to straighten the leg going back.

6. Mckenzie Extension -- 3x10 This was very hard for me, use your arms to push up using VERY LITTLE LOW BACK.  I struggled to do this for 2-3 weeks.  As soon as I would push up, I would let the TA loosen, and have to start over. I focused on doing one right, and slowly was able to do more. 


7. Bird Dog on the Physio Ball --3x10 same as bird dog.  I really struggled to be able to breathe while doing this at first. It took a lot of mental power to handle staying stable, breathing, keeping my TA engaged and using my glute. 


8. Prone Cross Crawl-- 3x10 Keeping the TA tight while slowly moving and firing the glute. 

I am sorry these are not photos of me, but I had such a response asking to see the exercises I wanted to get the blog out! 

To answer the question the Taylor Swift can't stop asking, NO we are not out of the woods yet! I have a lot of work to do, and I will be getting more progressive training exercises in the near future.  I look forward to sharing them with you. Please feel free to post any questions you may have!  


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Getting My Transverse Abdominis Up and Running

I am finally back out running!  It took me 6 weeks of elliptigo and many many hours of rehab just to get back on my feet.  I learned after the Olympic Trials what was going on, and why I was in so much pain. My transverse abdominis was not firing!  The transverse abdominis is cut during a C-section, and my brain and this very important muscle were no longer communicating due to the trauma.  It took a lot of mental power just to get the thing firing again, and after about 3 weeks of brain aching, very small movement workouts it finally became more and more easy to get it firing, and working again.  I was still in some pain, so I was on the elliptigo for 6 weeks.  2 weeks ago, I slowly started back to running a little.  I am still not doing any hard workouts, and spending a lot of time working on building the strength back in my core.  I feel lucky to have Dr. Leo figure out what was wrong and prescribe the very boring, yet effective workout to start the process. 


                          


As you can see here the TA is a large part of the core, and explains a lot about how I have felt over the past 2 years in coming back to running. I felt like I would tire more quickly than I used to, and unfortunately attributed this to coming back from having the kids, and something that would just take time to get back to.  In marathons in the past I would begin to really feel fatigue around mile 22.  But at Grandma's I felt it around mile 15, at columbus around mile 18, and at the trials things were too messed up from not using it all this time, that I was beat up by mile 11. I thought I simply had a long road ahead of regaining fitness, and tried to stay patient.  Since finding out what has been going on I feel immense hope of the future!  I should not be able to run fast without using this muscle as the function of the TA's main function is to activate the core muscles and stabilize the pelvis and low back. This explained why my back and butt was a mess. The exciting part is that I can fix it!  It is going to take a lot of boring, brain numbing, and annoying work to get my body working as a whole, but when it is...I will be faster!

I can't wait to be back in this beautiful singlet and chasing down some PR's!  I have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to it!  I encourage mommas out there to find a good Doctor and PT to help you get back at 100%.  I wish I would have done it sooner.  My next post will be sharing my activation series for all of you out there looking for how to get the TA back up and running! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Olympic Trials 2016 Recap

If you have looked at the results from the Olympic Trials, it took you awhile to get to my name on the list of finishers. You would have to scroll through the names of 140 other women, before seeing mine. My goal was not to be that far down on the list. In fact, I had not just hoped, but I had trained to be further up on that list, about 30 minutes further up on that list, had the weather been more formidable.  My training had been nearly flawless, including the fastest 10 and 16 mile tempos of my life while feeling very well within myself.  Eight days after the 16 mile tempo, where I had averaged 6:04 (goal marathon pace),  my butt/hip tightened up.  It finally did let up about a week later, it only cost me 2 full days off, but quite a few miles.  Instead of the typical 6-10 miles I would run daily during taper, I was getting in 4-5 miles.  My last long run was 21 days prior to the race, and missed some final workouts. None the less, I was pretty convinced it would not be to big a deal, so long as I could get to the start line healthy, I believed, I could put my fitness to the test along with my Cleveland Elite Development, and Oiselle teammates.


Ryan and I arrived in LA and LOVED the LA Athletic club, where we stayed. We enjoyed our time together, and loved coffee on the rooftop!



I met all of my Oiselle Haute VolĂ©e teammates and we did a cool photo shoot. It was so much fun to meet them all.  I feel very blessed to be a part of Oiselle. Despite our serious faces, we were all laughs between shots!

I spent time with all the ladies racing from CED and former Clevlanders Nicole, and Heidi as well. I loved getting to see everyone. I did get antsy, and taper/pre-marathon angry and had to apologize for being sassy! haha, sorry ladies, I love you (I know I don't have to tell you that)!


The day was hot. As we warmed up, I thought about how lucky I was to be pain free, and so excited to be able to race. I was thrilled to be at my 3rd Olympic Trials.



The gun went off, and we had a great group of gals together. The goal was to run smart, and NOT be the carnage that the heat was going to leave along Figueroa street.


Jess, Nicole and Ellie, toward the back of this pack in pink (Jess) and yellow tops(Nicole and Ellie), all would run well in the heat and finish in 58th, 71st, and 29th respectively!  
Beth would run a stellar race as well and finish in 43rd.


Our group came through the mile in solid flying V formation, I felt well within myself in 6:18.



Despite my best efforts, and being around some amazing gals to help pull me along, I simply did not feel like I could settle in on a pace. I was running 6:30's for miles 6-10 and still felt off. 

I shifted focus to just trying to maintain effort. I was starting to really struggle and feel quite a bit of anxiety during the second loop. I was having a hard time believing I was feeling this poorly and we weren't even at the 10 mile mark yet! 

At mile 11 I was certain I would not be able to finish the race. I took a second, let Ryan know I may have to drop out, shook it off and started running again.

The crowds were incredible.  The Oiselle cheer section held some of the best spectators athletes could ask for.  Screaming words of encouragement and making me grin. Seeing Ryan 10 times on the course was incredible, as well as my family, and so many other friends.  The support was amazing, and I hope my smiles showed how much I appreciated you all out there...for so long! 

When I saw Kelsi Nutter on the sidelines in her boot, I remembered how lucky I was to be out there.  Injury is very prevalent, and I was so lucky to be "pain" free and running in this race. No matter how long it took to get to the finish line.  I resolved to finish unless I would worsen my injury. I was feeling no pain in my butt.  My legs were trashed, they felt beat up like they typically do around miles 20-22 by mile 10. 

I had become part of the carnage, I had trained so hard not to be part of.  Slow or fast, we pressed on.   Around mile 22 I caught up with Lyndy Davis, and the 2 of us worked together to get through the last hellish lap. This was huge for me! Thank you Lyndy! I felt so uplifted by every cheer, every person spending their Saturday to cheer for us! 

As I neared the finish line, I couldn't help but smile.  16 miles earlier I didn't believe I would be able to cross that line.  After swallowing my pace pride, and making the decision to hang in there, despite things not going the way I had wanted, I felt proud to finish the race. 25% of the women who started the race did not make it to the finish line, due to the heat, injury, and many other reasons. The longest marathon of my life was completed. 3 hours 11 minutes and 37 seconds. 7:18 pace. I was disappointed yet proud. 


I had a great time later that night, with some amazing ladies, and signing posters for all the people who poured their hearts into cheering us along earlier that day, and talking all things running, racing, and Oiselle.  We are lucky to have such an amazing support group! Thank you to everyone who spent the day cheering us on, and supporting us, you are inspiring, incredible, and make running worth all the rough days! 

Early the next morning, Ryan and I had to say goodbye to the sunshine and head home.  

While I wanted a lot more out of this weekend in the way of faster results, and higher placing, I know better races lie ahead. I am thankful for this opportunity!  I am hungry to get back out there, train smarter, work hard to get my core issues resolved, and with a little luck and a whole lot of work, I plan to give the 2020 Olympic Trials hell! On to the next one.