boston qualified

My one and only running goal this year - qualify for the 2020 Boston Marathon.

The plan is to run LA in March as training and go all out in the fall or winter for a BQ time.  Based on my marathon PR (4:32), one would reasonably ask, “how is that even remotely possible?”  But it is possible.  Let me explain.

(1)  I’m old and in pretty good shape. That helps tremendously. Boston handicaps for age. If I have an edge, its the older I get, the faster I get relative to other old guys.

(2)  A  late fall or winter marathon this year will count towards a 2020 Boston qualifying standard.  On race day in 2020, I will be 65 and a youngster in the 65-69 age group. The current official BQ time for that age group is 4:10:00.  In actuality, let’s call it 4:05:00.  Very doable according to item #3, below.

(3)  My PR at every distance short of the marathon adjusts to a sub 4 hour marathon, including the recent 1:49:31 half marathon. Unfortunately, I get relatively slower as the distances increases.  So there is room to question whether I can BQ, but, in my heart, I feel there is enough of a chance to suffer for the possibility.

(4)  I’ve always been an average athlete, skillful and quick but under-powered.  Well, I’ve finally found the sport that rewards skinny.  The way I see it, this is my chance to be an all-star.  According to one statistical analysis, only 12% of marathon finishers run a BQ time.  I want to be in that 12%.

(5)  Its now or never for me.  I can’t cheat the aging process forever.  Besides, I have chronic foot issues that could end this pursuit at any moment.  I feel like Captain Ahab, chasing Moby Dick.  If I make it, great.  If I don’t, great.  Because I will have tried.

Only one surprise from 23 and Me

Beth gave me a 23 and me genetic testing kit for Father’s Day and I just got the results. The test confirmed what a casual observer would guess about me…I’m of Northern European descent, lactose tolerant, predisposed to be normal weight, etc. I paid extra for the health reports and was relieved that I’m not at risk for any genetic diseases nor do I have any recessive risks that might have been passed to my kids (I will admit that I was nervous to see those results).

The only real surprise is that apparently I’m genetically biased for fast twitch versus slow twitch muscle fibers. The report explains that this variant likely only makes the difference between a very very good athlete and a world class, Olympic athlete. I’m neither but I would be interested to know what percentage of Boston qualifiers have the slow twitch variant.

8

Race Recap- Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon

Hi hi! I thought I’d write a quick race recap of my amazing race weekend while it’s fresh in my memory!

Logan wasn’t able to come with me to Nashville since he had grad school orientation on Saturday, so my mom took an impromptu trip with me! It was honestly such a good weekend with her. I grew up watching her race and run marathons and sometimes it’s just really nice to have someone be there who understands the pain of 26.2 miles on a very real, intimate level. My mom has been in the pain cave many many times, so it was so nice having her there, especially at the finish line when I knew she understood every single wince and ache I was feeling.

We had a whole day to explore on Saturday before the race, so we had a nice brunch and then headed over to the Opryland Hotel, which was absolutely beautiful with all of the Christmas decorations. We spent the majority of the day shopping around since it was so rainy and gray outside. Eventually we headed over to packet pickup, which consisted of a few dudes handing out envelopes. For being such a small race, I was impressed with the swag though! I got a personalized long sleeve tech shirt, another shirt, a sticker, some Sword electrolyte mix, and a magnet! The packet also had a sweet tribute to a longtime friend and fellow runner of the Original Monkeys that passed away this year, who made it to the gates of the Barkley Marathons at some point during his running career (if you don’t know what I’m talking about- NETFLIX NOW).

Saturday night was kind of wild because on the eve of my Flying Monkey Marathon, there was a FREAKING TORNADO that came through Nashville. It was so bizarre! And then the next morning, one of the Original Monkeys was dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz 😂. The race director was in a straight jacket. Honestly, the entire race was put on by a bunch of weirdos who run for the damn fun of it and I LOVED IT. The race is known for being very anti-establishment, with no sponsors and is intentionally not USATF certified (aka you can’t qualify for Boston with it and all miles are approximated).

I don’t remember a ton about specific miles of the race. It was the toughest race I’ve ever done. But here’s a breakdown from what I can remember:

Miles 1-5: a breeze. Not that it was flat or downhill, but my legs felt very fresh and it was so nice to let them do their thing after a long taper week. It was chilly so I struggled with a runny nose and some mucus issues but other than that, these miles were super enjoyable, just taking in the beauty of the park.

Miles 6-10: getting a little harder. I knew at some point I needed to take my jellybeans, but I didn’t want to stop and chew them since some guy told me I was 5th woman (I get fiercely competitive in races). So I pulled my jellybeans out and snacked on them like I was watching a movie with popcorn while I was running 😂

Mile 11-15: woah Nelly. There’s that soreness I remember so well. It hit me sooner than other races, most likely due to the gnarly elevation changes. The hills were unrelenting, up and down and up and down. No part of the course was flat. I took more jellybeans at mile 14 but was fighting to keep them down.

Mile 16-20: I was doing okay holding about an 8:30-9:00 pace until I hit THE HILL. The Hell Hath No Fury Hill at mile 18. A 300 ft climb in under a mile, with a gnarly grade. My pace slowed down to an 11:30, but I refused to walk it. Nope nope nope. That hill would not defeat me. I ended up getting passed by a woman roughly my age on this hill. What a badass. She killed that hill. So impressed. At the top of said hill, almost had a panic attack, had trouble breathing, grabbed water and started climbing another smaller hill. Complete torture.

Miles 20-26: DEEP IN THE PAIN CAVE. I couldn’t will my legs to move faster, even on downhills. Absolutely everything hurt. I couldn’t force myself to take my last gel, afraid I would vomit. I stuck behind a man running in a flying monkey cape and just focused on keeping him in front of me.

The last 0.2 miles were spent flying down a grass hill and across the finish line with a big smile on my face and my mom cheering. She immediately took a picture for Logan (can you see the pain in my face) and then wrapped me up in a space blanket and more blankets. My hips completely seized up once I stopped. Total agony, but mom spent several minutes massaging them and they felt better afterwards.

We didn’t really know the results of the race or if I had placed. The results weren’t really immediately available and we couldn’t stick around since we had a long drive back. Mom said she thought I was for sure in the top 10 females.

We checked the results the next day and I ended up placing 2nd in my age group and 9th overall female! We also looked up the Wikipedia page for the race and found out it has been ranked in the top 5 toughest road marathons in North America (YES WOULD AGREE- the race was 3600 feet elevation gain and 3600 feet elevation loss). It made me all the more proud of the hard work I’d put in and that I was able to meet my time goal.

Definitely a race I would recommend to anyone who wants a challenge. I won’t be surprised if I find myself wanting a second monkey next year.

Sunday Morning

It’s a Sunday morning, and one week from today I’ll have finished my … 8th marathon (I had to count them, and I’m not sure I didn’t miss one). 

With any luck, I’ll set a new PR, and with even more luck I’ll qualify for Boston. At this point there’s only so much I can do to improve my chances. Taper the distance and intensity of daily runs, make sure I’m getting enough sleep, and of course load up on carbs. I’m confident that I’ll be itching to knock out those 6:55 miles when race day comes around.

With one exception.

I’m not too pleased with the forecast for race day. With 7 days to go, there’s a reasonable level of accuracy to this, especially in terms of broad temperature patterns. This fall has been unusual; the cool, crisp weather has been replaced by heavy, humid conditions albeit not as hot as summer, but still not ideal for running performance. It’s been happening in cycles of a few warm and a few cool days, and unfortunately it looks like marathon Saturday is going to be a return to a warm cycle.

I’m just going to cross my fingers that the cool trough on Friday gets pushed along a day and ends up on Saturday instead. I mean, look at the hourly forecast numbers! Humidity of 100% at the race start? And 70F by the time I’m finishing? Ugh. :(

And let’s not mention that “chance of rain” that’s scheduled for the morning right before the start. Rain forecasting is a fickle thing so it could move earlier or later, or disappear altogether but the chance is there.

Compare that to the historical conditions (below) from the last time I ran this race which was perfect running weather, and is what mid-October in Connecticut should be like. 

I don’t really know how I feel about this weather forecast, I’m going to be obsessively checking it all week. I think that the warmer weather is probably the remnants of Hurricane Nate that struck the Gulf Coast yesterday. It was a very fast-moving storm so hopefully that means it’s slightly unpredictable and ends up somewhere else.

Which brings me to my next dilemma: should I make a contingency plan? If the weather truly is in the 60′s combined with a humidity that high I know that my chances of a PR or making a time worthy of a BQ are reduced quite a bit. One option would be to use Hartford as a laid-back training run and shift my focus 5 weeks later to Philadelphia. I’ve run Philly twice before, it’s a fun race, and registration is still open. 

In 2009 I ran both races with th 5 weeks apart, which was miserable decision because I was undertrained and not prepared for it (I finished 4:29 and 4:11, respectively). This time I definitely have more experience and a higher level of fitness, and I should be able to go rogue on training plans and hit another peak?

I guess besides Philadelphia my other options would be to find a destination race somewhere reliably cool in January/February, or to just refocus on an April or May marathon. I’m not going to worry about this too much for the next few days though. For now I’ll just try to keep focused on Saturday’s race and I’ll decide what my strategy will be when the day comes. Probably Thursday when the forecast should be solidified.

2

Five miles of hill repeats with almost 900 feet in elevation climb. Felt great… even mentally and the hill next to the local dam is my new “zen zone.”

When I got home a lady walking her dog stopped by and chatted. Apparently her friend down the street recently qualified for Boston. The neighbor said she remembers seeing me in the fall when I started running regularly and she remembers how it was more of a jog then. Then she said, “Now you are legitimately running around the neighborhood.” Made my day. 🙌🏼

Golf outing tomorrow then 10 miles on Wednesday. It’s the final big buildup week then time to taper! ❤️✌🏼🏃🏼

How to Qualify for Boston

So you want to run the Boston Marathon. Here’s a nice long post on how to get yourself there and start/finish strong.

1. Do the research. Make sure you know exactly what time you need for your gender and age. Also, know that running a BQ time does NOT guarantee you a spot in the marathon. It gives you a chance to register. Every year, hundreds to thousands get turned away due to capacity limits. Many people try to aim for a BQ - 5 mins to be safe. This years Boston had the largest cut off time. You had to run 2 minutes and 28 seconds faster than a BQ to be accepted into the race. (For 18-34 men, this means 3:02:32, and 18-34 women, this means 3:32:32). If you’re close to Boston, I highly recommend watching the race before trying to qualify. It’s absolutely incredible and it’s definitely worth the trip.

2. Pick a race. The nice thing about qualifying for Boston is that there’s races all over the country (and world!). You get to pick! Check on the Boston Athletic Association’s website to make sure it’s a USATF certified course before you make your final decision. I recommend choosing a flat course. There’s also multiple websites out there that have BQ and PR rates for lots of popular marathons. Plan a race far enough out that you can map out your training (with a bit of room for adjustment) and increase your mileage safely. Fall is a popular racing time, but since registration opens in early September, running a fall marathon will likely qualify you for Boston 2 years out (for example, running a marathon in October 2016 would get you a BQ for 2018). Races mid summer and winter also have the possibility of being cancelled due to blizzard or extreme heat, so you may want to pick a back up race if weather is questionable.

3. Be realistic. Most people aren’t gonna qualify during their first marathon, while racing injured, undertrained, over trained, or during extreme weather conditions. Be flexible with yourself and be willing to adapt your plan/goals to what’s happening. I found that making ABC goals help a lot. A is best case scenario, perfect weather conditions, etc; B is maybe not gonna quite hit a BQ but here’s another goal; C being it’s not my day but I’m confident I could finish in X. The C goal should be something you know you can do, so you’re not completely devastated if things go wrong.

4. Do the training. Build mileage SLOWLY. You don’t become a marathoner overnight. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to your body. 10% is a good rule of thumb for how quickly some people can increase weekly mileage, but as a frequently injured runner, I would recommend 5-7% to be safe. You don’t want to train for a marathon injured, trust me. (Seriously, TRUST ME.) My body tolerates workouts and speed work VERY poorly. I know this. I know I can’t do Yasso 800s or mile repeats or hard farther runs. All of these are recommended in nearly every training plan I’ve seen. So I don’t use one. You can be successful doing one “tempo” run a week. This pace is up to you. My “tempo” runs when I BQ'ed were 20-30 seconds slower per mile than my BQ pace. Most of your running will be much slower than your actual goal pace. Run hills too. They’re good for you.

5. Do the other training. Yeah. Cross training. And strength training. You should do both. Chances are, you’re not going to run every day. My body maxes at about 4 days a week of running, which is totally fine. Some days you’ll wake up and just not want to run, which is also fine. As mentioned above, I don’t tolerate speed workouts well. Every running workout I have ever done has resulted in a serious injury. But I can do bike sprints all day no problem. Bike sprints are great! Slow biking is great. Elliptical is great. I have found that long distance biking is really good for building mental strength (in an “I don’t want to do this but I’m gonna sit here and do it anyway” sense). Some gyms have different machines like zero runners or stair steppers or others so see what your resources are. Strength training doesn’t necessarily involve lifting weights, but it can if you want it to. Running Strong (by Jordan Metzel) is a great injury prevention book which involves lots of different exercises (some body weight and some weighted). Runners World also regularly posts articles like “6 core exercises you’re not doing!” or “arm workout for runners”. The Nike+ Training Club app also has good, short strength training workouts. Most are 15-30 minutes and require little to no equipment. If you’re going to lift weights, don’t do leg day immediately before or after a hard/long run, you WILL regret it. Also, core. Really important. It’s not just “doing abs” either. Core also involves your butt, your back, your chest, etc. Everything that’s not your arms or legs is “core”. Having a strong core reduces impact elsewhere on your body and helps prevent injury. Do core workouts!

6. Do the long runs. Pace yourself appropriately. Your long runs don’t need to be at marathon pace and this certainly shouldn’t be your fastest run of the week. You’re gonna need to run 20 miles, at least once, but twice would also be good. You don’t need to do it every week for 3 months. That’s completely unnecessary. Some people do long runs up to 24 miles but I also think that’s unnecessary. I have done one 22 miler in training for each of my marathons (which fit within my weekly mileage goals) but I wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner runner. I’ve read before that your long run shouldn’t take up more that half your weekly mileage, meaning in your peak weeks which you’re doing 20, your total for the week should be near 40. It’s not an exact science, and life does get in the way sometimes, but don’t go out and try to do 20 if you’ve barely run all week. ALL training plans are adaptable. Nothing is set in stone.

7. Nutrition. This is important. I’m not just talking about mid run nutrition either. Your body is working 24/7 to repair broken down muscle, decrease inflammation, get stronger, function normally, etc. You need to eat. You need to eat appropriately. This probably means eating more than you eat right now. There are countless books and resources out there with recipes, recommendations, info, etc. You don’t need to count everything or measure or weight all your food. You need to eat carbs. You need to eat protein. You need to eat fat. You need sugar. You need salt. You need everything!! For shorter distances runs, I personally don’t find that I need to take in much fuel. Water usually works just fine. The standard recommendation for gels is one every 45 minutes, taken with water (DONT FORGET THE WATER). Take gels with water, NOT Gatorade! Some people cannot tolerate gels. There’s tons of different gels, blocks, chews, waffles, jelly beans, etc. You can also eat real food. Clif bars, Swedish fish, dried fruit, etc. Any carb based snack that’s easy to carry will work just fine. You can also just drink Gatorade or something similar. Or do a combination of both (this is what I usually do). You need try different things to find out what works best. Every runner has a favorite, so feel free to ask around! If you plan on not carrying you own nutrition on race day, find out what’s on the course. Typically, all races half marathon and above will have water, Gatorade, and some type of gel. Post run I usually like some kind of electrolyte drink, plenty of water, and a meal that involves a significant amount of carbs but protein also. 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein is what runners world and other resources usually say, but you don’t have to overthink it. It isn’t rocket science, just listen to your body!

Side note on nutrition: If your weight needs to be adjusted (like actually though. Not I need to lose X pounds so I can have X% body fat and be lean and fast!! I’m serious, like a real medical professional suggested you need to lose or gain weight) then I HIGHLY recommend speaking to a real medical professional about that. Losing weight and gaining weight (I’m talking more than a few pounds fluctuations, which are normal and will happen as you adjust your training) are both EXTREMELY difficult to do when you’re putting your body through so much stress. Marathon training is incredibly demanding, and to demand more from your body that you’re already pushing so hard can have devastating outcomes.

After months of anxiety over my plans for the year, I think I’ve finally gotten it all figured out in terms of how to organize vacations, conferences, races, training cycles, and staying sane. The thing that rarely gets mentioned about training for a marathon, particularly when you’re really pushing it towards a goal, is the mental effort that it takes to keep going at it every day, focusing everything you do around achieving maximum performance for a single event that may be many weeks away. 

I feel like with this schedule figured out, I’m ready to get my head in the zone and tackle proper training again. Last year was a half-assed effort that ended with a 5K in 19:14 followed by a 1:33:51 half-marathon the next day. While I was pleased with that effort, after that my motivation fell; I was never properly dedicated to my plan. 

This new schedule puts me with a half marathon in a manageable 10 weeks, a 20K road race ten weeks into marathon training and the goal marathon 8 weeks after that. While I’m slightly dismayed that an October marathon is past the Boston Qualifying cutoff for the 2018 race, it puts the hardest training weeks in cooler weather and the race in a crisp fall climate. This cycle is also perfect for tackling a local 5k here or there for some racing experience and confidence boosting.

This may return to a running blog. I’m going through the process of establishing a base right now and ironing out any issues. I’m taking runs according to a rough mental plan and feeling things out. This morning I encountered an aching tension in my right ankle which was corrected with some stretching, last week it was discovering that my hamstrings are incredibly tight. Stretching, massage, and movement drills are all in order, and it’s probably time to pick up some new shoes as well (my current ones are in the 600-mile territory).

I love these legs. And because I love them, I’m resting them.

One of the physicians I work with was kind enough to take a look at my ankle today and he confirmed I agitated a tendon above my ankle and recommended 2 weeks off from running. So 8 more days to go…

He is also a runner and he totally understood my disappointment. Running is my out. It’s how I unwind from my day or pep myself up for a long one… But he made me feel tons better with this:

“Laura, you have already qualified for Boston. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself right now. It won’t hurt your training that much and you’ll be grateful you didn’t injure yourself more in the long run.”

Since long running is what I do best, I think I’ll take his advice.

“i wrote down my goals so when i get them i’ll know i was brave enough to want them.” - alexi pappas.

r

10 years, 10 goals. tagged by @neu-run. thanks for this one, it’s unique & timely given it’s a brand new year!

1. get back in the habit of strength training. My runner heart hates lifting weights and pushups but I know I need strong bones and muscles if I want to continue to fully return to the kind of mileage I want to be doing.

2. With that, I want to run some fast 5ks, break 40 in the 10k, and race a half and full marathon. The ultimate goal is to do the Chicago marathon and qualify for Boston.

4. This feels kind of weird to write but, be a freaking audiologist!!! I’m one quarter in, essentially 2 and 3 quarters to go but I’m so excited for the path this career will take me on.

5. continue to cultivate confidence in my professional and running life. Speak up more when I know the answer. Become the student I always dreamed of being.

6. read more! (hehe I left this one). I need to stop with the binging of nextflix when I’m stressed and pick up a book or an article instead.

7. publish! (hehe I left this one here too!). My professor approached me as the end of the quarter to start working in his lab this quarter and onward and I would love if we find something!!! Either that or when I start my capstone next year is another great opportunity to publish.

8. be more environmentally aware. consume less plastic, walk when I can, public transportation when I can.

9. Continue to cultivate the strong relationship between J and I. I don’t know exactly what our plans are but I love living this life with him as my partner (and me in his cheering partner squad)

10. Travel more! J and I have a list of national parks to visit and we can’t wait to get started on them. I also want to travel out of the country once I’m financially independent!

tagging people that tagged me or anyone that wants to do it!

@joyfulrachel, @aliciaruns, @curious-desk, @splendidly-odd, @rachelwillbe, @busybeerunningfree, @littlebean-jellybean

anonymous asked:

Dear Jess, I love your stories! Could you please continue writing the Percabeth American Ninja Warrior AU? It was perfect!!! It's a combination of my favorite things: Percabeth, ANW and your writing:)

previously on: so you want to be an american ninja warrior


Annabeth doesn’t realize how serious Percy actually is about this American Ninja Warrior thing until it boils over into a full blown obsession.

To be fair, Percy proposes at least one implausible idea that he has no plans to follow through with a month. How was she supposed to know that becoming a reality show competitor was the one he’d go after instead of, say, opening a seaside burger shack or marrying her?

She probably should’ve figured out it when, two weeks after their first conversation, the Boston qualifiers airs and one of the competitors is a fellow New York firefighter. The guy walks out on stage in full turnout gear, roaring for the crowd as he takes it off, but makes a poor showing, tripping on the third quintuple step (okay, maybe Annabeth’s started paying more attention to the show than she’s ready to admit) and dramatically belly flopping into the pool.

Percy’s finishing a night shift when the episode airs, but they must’ve watched it at the station, because it’s all he can talk about when he gets home in the morning.

“ — can’t believe Ladder 18 is the first company to get a guy on the show and he makes an ass out of himself. How humiliating,” Percy says, gesturing with the half eaten apple in his hand. Annabeth darts under his flailing arms to get to the coffee maker. “Makes us look pathetic, you know? ‘Specially going after the NYPD guy who had the fastest time of the night. Ugh. It had to be a cop.”

If there’s one thing Annabeth’s learned since Percy became a firefighter, it’s the that long standing animosity between New York’s fire and police departments could equal any number of epic rivalries between her immortal Greek relatives. Knowing that, she probably shouldn’t have said what she did, but there’d been a severe lack of coffee in her system and even daughters of Athena make mistakes when lacking caffeine.

“I guess you’ll just have to show them what a real firefighter looks like next season, hmm?” she replies, grabbing her thermos and standing her tiptoes to peck him on the cheek. “I’ll see you tonight, okay?”

Even with that comment, Percy’s dream might’ve just stayed a dream if a familiar face hadn’t popped up on the platform during the San Francisco qualifiers the next week.

“And let’s give a big welcome to this Ninja Warrior rookie, 25-year-old Jason Grace!” Matt Iseman’s introduction is almost as enthusiastic as the stream of beer that spews from Percy’s mouth when their TV screen fills with Jason’s handsome face. “Jason’s a history teacher here in his hometown of San Francisco, and a former college football player who waited in the walk-on line at the urging of his wife, Piper!”

“What the fuck,” Percy hisses as the camera pans to the sidelines where Piper, wearing a Superman shirt, stands and cheers. “What the fuck is this.”

“Looks like Jason’s living your dream,” Annabeth says dryly as Percy dives over the couch arm, frantically reaching for his cell phone on the end table. “Oh, I think I see Frank and Hazel in the stands! How cool.”

Percy lets out a strangled growl, his eyes darting from his contact list to the TV where Jason is waving to Piper, showing of the legion tattoo on his forearm. He’s wearing athletic shorts, a shirt with a Superman logo that matched Piper’s, and, surprisingly, his thick, black rimmed glasses. Jason squares his shoulders, breathing out through his nose, and gets ready to start his run.

“Jason’s friends call him the blonde Superman,” Akbar Gbajabiamila adds to the commentary, “and he’s hoping to fly right through the course to the final round. Let’s see how he does!”

The buzzer sounds and Jason’s off, breezing through the quintuple steps. Percy has his phone jammed up to his ear by the time he gets to the next obstacle, the rolling log, and trouble sets it.

“His 6’2” frame will help him get a good wrap around the log, but can he hold on? He’s got a good rotation, almost made it… whoa! Did you see that, Akbar? Jason Grace made it, but he lost his glasses on the log roll!”

“They’re in the pool!” Akbar responds breathlessly as Jason gets up on the mats, shaking off the dizziness. He glances around for his glasses and, when he doesn’t spot them right away, shrugs and moves on to the next balance. “Matt, I don’t believe this! Jason lost his glasses and he’s going to keep competing. Hello Superman, goodbye Clark Kent!”

“Oooh, good one, Akbar,” Annabeth says, mostly just to annoy Percy, who shoots her a hurt look. He and Jason might be forever bound by the vows of their sacred bromance, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a healthy bit of competition between the two of them.

“WHAT THE SHIT, JASON,” Percy hollers into the phone a moment later. On screen, the son of Jupiter makes it past the paddle boards balance obstacle with only a minor trip toward the end. “AMERICAN FUCKING NINJA WARRIOR?”

“Oh, is the episode airing already?” Jason’s tinny voice says, clearly not noticing the utter betrayal in Percy’s tone. “Yeah, that was Piper’s idea. I would’ve said something, but it’s kind of embarrassing, you know?”

EMBARRASSING?” Percy repeats, still at roar level. Annabeth kicks him in the thigh and he lowers his tone, “Akbar called you Superman, dude! You’re living my dream! My dream! How could you?!”

There’s a long pause on the other line and then Jason says, hesitantly, “Oh, um, I didn’t know…?”

“If you’re going to break up with Jason,” Annabeth says loudly, as Percy opens his mouth to rage some more, “can you do it out on the fire escape? I’d like to critique his run in peace.”

Percy pulls the phone away from his mouth to grumble, “We’re not breaking up, what even,” under his breath, but gets up and stomps over to the fire escape window, hissing angrily at Jason the entire way.

On the show, Jason gets as far as the end of the first tilting ladder, but can’t make the five-foot leap to the second ladder, missing the rung by the tips of his fingers. He goes splashing into the pool and Iseman makes a crack about the ladders being Jason’s Kryptonite. He gets out of the pool, smiles winningly at the camera as someone off screen hands his glasses back to him, and says, “Could’ve used these on that last jump!” before the show moves on to the next contestant.

Annabeth shoots Jason a quick sorry about my idiot, you did great! maybe get some contacts next time, huh? XD text and settles in to watch the rest of the episode.

Jason’s run joins the others in her mind that she turns over and analyzes for flaws during the commercial breaks. Not wearing secured glasses was his biggest mistake, obviously, but Jason’s form on the tilting ladders had been poor (“He doesn’t know his alphabet! Where are those L’s?” a voice that sounds an awful lot like Akbar’s asks in her head). Even if he’d had a good enough swing off the first, he probably would’ve dropped from exhaustion toward the end of the second ladder anyway.

She wouldn’t make those mistakes, Annabeth determines with a firm nod, before she realizes how ridiculous she’s being. 

Oh, gods. What has watching this show done to her?

Percy misses the last half hour of the show as he bawls out Jason over the phone, stomping back into the living room just in time to see that, despite his fall, their friend had landed in the top 30 and will move on to the city finals.

“That’s it, it’s on,” Percy declares, pointing a threatening finger at the screen, which has son of Jupiter’s name highlighted in yellow. “Jason can suck it. Next year, that’s going to be me on that leader board.”

Even then, Annabeth’s sorry to admit, she doesn’t actually believe he’s going to go through on that promise.

Or that he’ll succeed in dragging her along with him.

5

when i was little, my mom signed me up for a sunrise mile race

i had an asthma attack

i thought to myself, i will never be able to run a mile

when i was in middle school, i ran the mile race for my track team

i’d finish winded and completely exhausted.

i thought to myself, i will never run a 5k

when i was in high school, i ran a 5k

i finished first place

i thought to myself, i will never run a half marathon

when i was in college, my sister talked me into running a half

i crossed the finish line almost in tears

i thought to myself, i could never run double this distance

last year, i signed up for my first marathon

at mile 18, i cried and sobbed “mom it hurts so bad”

i finished 26.2 of the hardest miles i have ever run with thousands of people screaming and cheering.

i thought to myself, i will never be able to qualify for boston. 



tomorrow is my day. and if it turns out not to be my day, i will try and try and try until it is. 

5

Fun, family weekend at the Go! Marathon and Half Marathon in St. Louis!

Mike and I have run hundreds of races by ourselves, so it was really fun to have a family watching and running this weekend. My brother, running his first marathon, Boston Qualified by 8 minutes. That’s him in red. He will join his wife, in orange, who Boston Qualified at her first marathon last fall. Wow! It was very exciting to see him come in after running a fantastic race with even pacing throughout.

I ran the half in 1:58:10 which I am pretty happy about about. I’ve run this distance faster several times, but anytime I get under 2 hours I’m pretty happy. The day was perfect for racing and I got a little sentimental running the course. I worked downtown as an auditor at Price Waterhouse my first few years out of school, and it was fun to see all of the businesses where I used to audit and places I used to go to eat. Very fun!

I’m Boston bound! (2016 of course). I ran a 3:03:26 and placed second in my age group and seventh overall. Horrible weather (which made a seven-mile out and back on a bike trail extremely slippery), and I fell and busted my knee and ankle. But I don’t care. So very happy right now.

Edit: thanks for all of the encouragements and kind words, everyone. And to all running Boston this year, I’m hoping for great weather and looking forward to some great race recaps.
#43: hamilton full marathon / race report

-I was 22 seconds shy of my “A” goal of breaking 3:20 for my first marathon, despite being sick the last 5 weeks and running on very low mileage/intensity. Qualified for Boston 2016.

-I frickin loved it. Such a trip over that big distance. So much fun.

-This: “It was fun and I was pleasantly surprised! Definitely a different type of fatigue than anything I’d experienced before but I wouldn’t say worse. Your legs get really trashed running that distance and sometime around [36]K the time on my feet just caught up to me physically and mentally. I have a whole new respect for marathoners now. At the same time, there was never the lactic acid or cardiovascular pain you get in shorter events, so in some senses it was better than I anticipated.” - Rachel Cliff stealing the words out of my mouth.