warm up run for the marathon

She touches me like autumn. Her fingers are sunlight, her lips are rain, her voice is a river and it lulls me, carries me, drifting in darkness, into peace.

She loves me like summer. My heart runs marathons under her mouth, my skin shakes and sweats. I am swallowed in moonlight, lost in the stars, drowned in a hundred years of short nights and long, stretching sunsets.

I miss her like winter, like frostbite. The ache that warms me, the hands that shift and rub, the restlessness of cold feet. My ribs are naked branches, reaching up and up, waiting for sunlight, waiting for green, for life.

We live like spring, like memories of the sunrise and birdsong, like Easter morning and happy tears. Her hands are promises, fresh grass, new leaves, every budding flower. Our future is daylight savings, longer and longer with each waking, promises like moonrise and shooting stars. The future is cold like a new morning and sometimes chills still shiver our spines but the frost is turning to dew and the mornings grow warmer and brighter and better every time we have the courage to meet them again.

3:47 at RocketCity in Huntsville.

This is a well organized race that begins and ends at the local auditorium so you can stay warm before and after the race. They don’t offer a half marathon option and the 3,000 of so participants all seemed to be competitive/experienced runners. The proof was that I didn’t have to navigate around a single runner who started too far in front of their pace group (my primary racing pet peeve).

I hung with the 3:40 group until mile 20 and then struggled to the finish. I think my travel schedule and short recovery from Marine Corps caught up with me. The course had a lot of turns (my Garmin said 26.5 at the finish) but I’m happy with the 3:47 and would absolutely recommend this race.

This was my fifth and fastest marathon of the year - next up, Rock n Roll New Orleans in February.


happy tuesday!

little ~5.5 mile hilly fartlek run with a warm-up so relaxed that i didn’t miss a single word of “lose yourself” (loudly, sorry neighbors), followed by lifting. all of the speed work i’ve been doing for the last 20+ weeks has been super structured and brutal and this was SO FUN and enjoyable! couldn’t stop smiling.

my friend who is visiting ran xc in middle school with me when my parents were coaching. she was talking about how she just doesn’t enjoy running anymore and i told her about “born to run” and how it serves as a great reminder that the key to keeping running enjoyable is to keep it fun, and never stop running like you’re a kid. she said, “that’s what it is! your parents used to make it so much fun!” i am so grateful for them and for that.
the reason i find so much joy in running - the reason i genuinely love sprinting up hills and running in downpours, is because i was taught that running is fun. growing up i never heard my parents talk about running in terms of weight loss or as something they ‘had to do.’ instead i saw them heading out for 18 mile trail runs in headlamps during snowstorms with a group of friends and talking about how much fun they were going to have. because running IS fun.
if you’ve been taught that running is a punishment, that running is a weight loss tool, that running is just something you do to get it done… i am really, really sorry. run like a child and the joy never leaves.


Another good run today

It was 15 degrees and I went out running; who have I become? Part of me wanted to see if the Patagonia nano puff would actually keep me warm (I bought it for ice climbing) and I wanted my body and mind to feel the way it feels after a run.

I need the sun so I went out to greet it. The nano puff kept me a little too warm, which was perfect. A storm is coming tomorrow so I stocked up on vitamin D and put a little hope in the tank.

Sometimes I forget why I like running. I can burn out and lose my speed and it can seem like I’m always injured and never well prepared for a marathon anymore. Then my mind turns on me and running becomes the enemy. It’s times like this though that remind me that I have to run because it makes me feel like me. That is really important, like food and sleep.

I’ve been leaving my watch behind and enjoying the view. Isn’t the river ice beautiful?

body language


4 weeks til Boston, we’re tapering

The gradually lower mileage continued today with a random routed 12 miler through the park and neighborhoods, the warm temps had everyone and their pooches out for a little shakeout.  The slight easing of effort gave the body a chance to vent its pent up feelings about the way it’d been put through the wringers the past few months, the legs and arms pointedly expressive with soreness throughout the run.  I tried to ignore it, and instead told myself I’m going to have to think and feel like a 25 year old if I’m going to have any chance in the 50 year old category…

I have the first three paragraphs of an XC check please AU typed up and all I can think about it how jack manages to spike himself while warming up, the first time he sees bitty and those sweet short country shorts, with no under armor in sight
He give that poor boy a heart attack good lord
Shitty just turns to him and he’s like
“Dude chill we get it bits looks good in his uniform. Either kiss him at the finish line or keep it in your pants.”
And bc professional running is /not/ one of the big four he 100% kisses bitty at the finish line bc he wants to be an Olympic marathoner not a professional hockey player okay

animalasaysrauer said: Jack runs the marathon, Bitty’s the fastest man in the world. (Please and thank you)

(I keep doing the zimbits ones from Jack’s POV. Sorry Bitty!)

Jack doesn’t care for sprinters.

On TV he has great respect for all different sports, of course. But personally? In the corners of his mind? He doesnt see the point of sprinting. Of course he can pour on the speed for 100 yards or so. But what’s the point? The point is excellence under duress. Jack’s learned how to turn on almost superhuman speed when he’s already run twenty-five miles. He pulls out speed when nobody’s expecting it. That ought to count for something more than coming into a stadium completely rested, warming up, and then rocketing around a track for a couple of laps.

But nobody idolizes marathon runners. Even Jack’s father figured that out early on in his career and went for the short sprints. And now all eyes are on this American sprinter, the one they’re calling the “fastest man in the world.” Eric Bittle, his name is, and he’s won fame not just for being a rare American medal favorite in the dashes, but also for being the kind of personality that just sparkles on the screen. He grins and waves, telling the interviewers in a sweet Southern lilt that “Well, I’m just gonna run like all get-out and we’ll see what the timer has to say!” It’s not the temperament of a serious athlete. It’s.. too playful. This is serious competition, not a race across the yard of your parents’ house.

And yet that very same Eric Bittle has just blazed past him in his morning run. Not just blazed past him - slapped him on the shoulder and shouted “Tag!” on his way.

Jack speeds up. Bittle has turned and is jogging backward, waving a bright hello. He probably thinks Jack’s another one of his fawning fans. Jack catches up to him and tries to scowl down that smile. “I didn’t realize running backward was an effective training technique,” he says.

“Boy, you’re just about as pleasant as they say you are,” Bittle replies lightly.

Okay, so he recognizes Jack. That’s… gratifying, in a strange way. “I’m here to run, not be pleasant,” he says.

Bittle gives him a wary look. “Did you know you can do both?” But the smile he gives is uncertain.

Jack’s going to leave it at that, let Bittle have his zinger and jog on in silence. But something about that uncertain smile bothers him, and as he and Bittle run side-by-side down the winding streets of Rio, he keeps glancing down. Bittle’s slight, but his body is defined and his features are strong. Attractive, even. The soft glisten of sweat at his hairline is inviting somehow. An image flashes through Jack’s mind, unbidden: the two of them, stopped at the side of the road, Jack lifting his fingers to wipe off that sheen of sweat.

He shakes it away. “A bit longer than your usual run, eh?”

Bittle lifts his chin, and his gaze registers dim surprise that Jack’s broken the silence. “I usually do 5 to 10 K in the mornings,” he says. “All depends on how I’m feeling and what all I’ve got coming up later. How about you? Suppose you do a hundred miles a day, hm?”

“Something like that,” Jack says with a soft smile. “Think you can keep up the whole way?”

“Suppose that depends on how much you have left to run today,” Bittle answers. His eyes flash. “How much farther you going?”

“That depends on how long you can keep up,” Jack says. He’s surprised to feel a smile stretching across his lips.

“Oh, really?” Bittle gives a soft whistle. “Well, it’s on now, Mr. Zimmermann.”

“Fair enough,” Jack says, and ups his speed a mite. Bittle makes a noise of surprise behind him.

He catches up without a problem, though, and Jack gives him an approving nod. He heads for a side street that crawls up one of Rio’s challenging hills. Bittle follows him without complaint, but Jack is gratified to hear his breathing accelerating. Up and down the streets they go, and onto some back roads that take them through tree-lined ascents and up to a scenic overview of the beach.

Jack can’t help but slow down as they jog past the vista. He thinks he sees Bittle’s expression go slack with relief, and he takes it as a small victory. But he’s starting to dread the moment Bittle really can no longer keep up. It’s been such a great run so far.

They head back down toward sea level, and finally, as they cross onto one of the main drags, Bittle lets out a breathless laugh. “All right, uncle! I’m done.” he says. “Whew! I’m impressed. Think I’m going to walk back to the hotel.”

“You did well,” Jack says, turning toward him.

“You don’t have to sound so surprised about it,” Bittle says. His pout is… well, shit, it’s adorable.

Jack can’t help himself. He lifts his hand and draws his thumb across Bittle’s hairline. There’s more than a trickle of sweat there now, and Jack has to wipe his fingers on his shorts. But the moment of contact with Bittle’s damp, flushed skin is worth it.

“Same time tomorrow?” he hears himself say as Bittle’s about to turn the corner to head toward his hotel.

Bittle turns back and flashes him a grin. “If you’re lucky,” he says, and is gone.

Jack is hoping he’s lucky.


Starting over is hard. And it sucks so much- I am not going to lie. But you have to start somewhere, and you can always get back to where you used to be and beat your old best.
These photos were from the top of my running game last year.
December of last year I was running 4-5 miles a day (on average) with a long run record at around of 9 miles. Now I struggle running 2 miles. It was a long and cold winter and I did not run more than maybe 10 times. But I will not give up. I am back to running, back to my training plan, and back to signing up for races. This May I will run a 5k and hopefully a half marathon in June or July. I will not let myself slip this time. The weather is finally warm and so so happy to run in and I absolutely love it.
If anyone is in for a fresh start with me then feel free to join me :) Whether you are beginning to run or workout again or anything else you want to add back into your life then do it! It is never too late to start over!


Indy Mini W11D1 - easy 5

It was chilly and snowy after work, but I bundled up and headed out! It really wasn’t that bad after the first mile. I easily warmed up!

These miles went by nice and easy though! Nothing exciting. I chatted with Scott on the phone for most of these miles! A nice change to my usual music or podcast :)

Hope everyone had good Mondays!

It finally happened. I qualified for the elite corral of a race!

Three years ago, I was squeezed into corral A at this race SO jealous of the elites who got to hang out in their own space and warm up before the gun. Now that will be me!

My Chicago Marathon time was better than the 2:50 they required. Now I just have to go out there and prove it. Definitely looking to go under an hour at this one.

Weekend Running:

Saturday: 20 miles

Wow, was I ever achy after this one. It’s been a WHILE since I ran this far on the road and my body doesn’t miss the pavement pounding y'all. I ran a few bonus miles beforehand and then met with the marathon training group I am helping with to do 17 miles. When we started it was still completely dark outside and within the first mile I was startled so badly by a Halloween decoration in someone’s yard that I very nearly soiled myself. The participants running with me got a good laugh out of that one :) What can I say? I am an admitted scaredy-cat. The weather was weirdly warm and humid which ended up being bad news for me. I felt relatively decent throughout the whole run, we did the local half marathon course which I enjoy and as always I had fun running with the people in my pace group… but near the end my hamstrings started cramping up and I felt like I could barely keep moving forward. Ouch! I know it was definitely due to the fact that I wasn’t drinking water with Skratch like I usually do. I ran out of my bag at home and planned to fill up at the aid station the group normally has set up for our runs, but the Skratch cooler was empty by the time I got there. No electrolyte supplement + humidity = cramp city y'all. Thankfully it happened near the end, otherwise that run would have been toast!

Sunday: 6 miles

Sunday = trail day! I was so looking forward to this because my legs were feeling seriously creaky after all those road miles the day before. First my friend Kim and I met up pre-dawn to get in a couple bonus miles before the trail group we lead met up at 7am. We did the two miles by the light of Kim’s headlamp with me being startled by every single rustle in the trees… I wasn’t kidding about being a big baby that’s afraid of the dark, y'all, ha! I would never survive an overnight long distance run like people do in hundred mile+ races. After our two bonus miles I sat in the back of my car and registered for the Oak Barrel Half Marathon– registration opened up at 6:30am that morning and it filled up last year within hours– no way was I missing it this year! The ridiculousness of taking a break from running to register for another run was not lost on us.

Then it was time to start with our trail group. The plan was to do two 4 mile loops for a total of 8 miles. Right after setting off into the first loop my hamstrings rebelled again– CRAMPING FOR DAYS!!! It was terrible. I was barely keeping up with the group and I honestly just wanted to turn around and go back to the car. Thankfully Kim was running on tired legs as well, so we hung in the back together and she made sure I didn’t die going up Death Trail. I decided against the second loop and called it in with 6 miles for the day. It was time to go home, drink some Gatorade, eat something salty, and spend some time in an Epsom salt bath.

Not the strongest weekend of running, but still okay. My confidence was shaken after having to quit at 6 miles on Sunday, and I kept thinking, “I have an Ultra in a month, HOW AM I GOING TO DO IT IF I CAN’T DO THIS?!” The more logical part of my brain knew it was simply a bad run, they are bound to happen sometimes, but that still didn’t stop me from worrying just a little. So I just kept repeating to myself– I believe I can. So I will. And sometimes that’s all you need to say to shut up that irrational, self doubting, terrified part of your brain.  I BELIEVE I can. So I WILL

Finally had time to run this morning after 3 days off for a busy weekend. And of course it’s non-stop raining until I have to leave for work. It didn’t look like it was coming down too hard, so I put on a hat and jacket and walked out the door.

Unlike Boston a few weeks ago, it was actually a warm rain (~65 degrees). It didn’t take long for me to overheat and wish that I had left the jacket behind. I wanted to avoid getting sick the week leading up to my half marathon, so I had to play it safe and not get too wet.

Nothing special about my pace. I thought I’d go faster with the extra rest, but the weather was taking more of a toll. Unfortunately, it’s looking like this will be the weather we get on Sunday morning, soooo good practice? Blech. Can I have a race in nice weather in 2015, please?


Post marathons robble complete. (Run hobble). I actually feel pretty good. My knees hurt, I assume from 60+ miles of pounding. But really they’re okay. After my muscles warmed up, it turned from a robble (more hobble less run) in to a solid runble (more run less hobble). No doubt thanks to the massage. I plan an easy week though. Rest may only have four letters but it’s not a four letter word.


Indy Mini W7D4 - TEMPO 3

Target pace: 9:00
Actual pace: 8:48

I did not want to do this run. It’s not really cold out, but it’s super windy. I hateeee running in the wind. More than any other weather. But I headed out! Once I got into my warm up, I realized I really should have foam rolled this week because my calves were screaming! I stopped and stretched and did some quick warm ups and they felt better after that. I was still wondering if this run would turn into an easy run, but I figured I should at least try the tempo miles!

Once I got started in the tempo miles, I felt decent! It still felt tough, but I just kept pushing. I did the first one a bit too quick! I need to learn how a 9 minute mile feels. But I still have a lot of time to get it down. I just need to learn to relax into it more. I always think if I’m not faster than my target pace, I’m going too slow. And that’s not true. If I relaxed into it more, I’m sure I would feel better. I’ll learn with time!

Once I got through all 3 tempo miles I happily did my 1.5 mile cool down. I did a lot of stretching and foam rolling tonight, so hopefully my legs will feel better tomorrow. No big pains, just “training sore”. Comes with the territory I guess ;)

Happy Friday eve!! Can’t wait for the weekend :)

100 mile training started today. Officially.

Okay it kind of started yesterday but I didn’t get my schedule until after I ran, so it doesn’t really count.

Today 8 miles, with a few faster miles at the end. 3 by 10min. I did a steady 25 minutes with increased effort, with no rest. The first 5 miles were with @elkay723 and Gina. I really like running with these two…it’s a nice distraction from the tedium of miles.

So my HR was a max of 140s during the recovery, warm up, easy part of the run, then pushed to 165 during the harder effort. My resting HR has dropped steadily since the marathon, which is what I’d like to see. I know resting HR goes up with increased stress, so just gaging recovery, I like the lower numbers. I’m back to 39, down from 45 post marathon.

I like the science behind it. Even if I don’t really understand it all.

I started a new book too, my year of running dangerously. So far, I like it. I found myself chuckling along a few times. What’s your favorite running books? Think of lesser known books because I’ve read all of Dean Karnazes’ books. My favorite is probably The Long Run by Matt Long. It was the first running book I listened to while training. And it reminded me I can keep going, no matter how difficult the run gets. He was ran over by a bus…and came back to finish the NYC marathon and an ironman. Yeah, very inspiring!