Boston via All American (again!)

I did not plan to run the All American marathon. I had registered for the half, intended as a long run within my Oklahoma City training plan. Once I saw a forecast for beautiful weather and felt my body was healthy enough to pull it off, I bumped up registration at the expo- totally on a whim. 
24 hours ago, it was 13.1
"Runs" in the family
A cannon, rather than gun, marks the start of this race
I have described this race in detail in a previous post, so I'll spare details here. How does one approach 26.2 miles on a whim? Same way she does when it's planned out months in advance. 

"Run the first 10 miles with your brain. Run the second 10 miles with your legs. Run the last 6.2 miles with your heart.”

Put another way: the first 10 miles is the warmup. The second 10 miles is the workout. The last 6.2 miles is the race.

That's probably the best advice I’ve been fortunate enough to receive and the way I approached my 48th lifetime marathon. 
The Blue Mile memorializes those who gave all
Best part of the course, thanks to Wear Bluek
In the pain cave
Just as any race effort, the last 6.2 miles were tough. There were several points where I knew I could either hold pace and earn a respectable sub 4 hour time OR put the hammer down. I chose the latter.

It was painful.

It was worth it.

Last 100 meters. Feels like 100 miles.
On Sunday, I earned my second Boston qualifying time since the Goodwin triplets were born. Once I had crossed the finish line (where the clock read 3:40:03), I knew that I either missed it by a few seconds or secured it by a few. Thanks to chip time, – I BQed by 9 seconds (3:39:51) and earned 6th female overall while I was at it. 

I'm proud of answering the call to dig deep and can say, without a doubt, I ran the last 6.2 with my heart.
BQ- by the skin of my teeth!

Great 13.1 for Mom, 26.2 for me




5 Mistakes I Made at my 46th Marathon


14 years ago, I ran my first marathon in Georgia. It took roughly 5 hours and 20 minutes.  After that race, I ran more marathons in different states- neat way to combine a love for travel with my hobby. I set a goal to run one in each of the 50 states, hence this blog.

Along the way, I got faster. Soon, the "stretch goal" became to do each state in under 4 hours. Obviously, the best way to do this is to just run the initial marathon in under 4. That doesn't always go as planned.

While I only have 9 states to go to fulfill my initial goal, I have 24 to do in under 4. The Georgia Fitness Marathon was a "do over" state for me. It was my 46th lifetime marathon, so you'd think I would have made less mistakes. Nope.

Here, in no specific order, are 5 mistakes I made: 
1. Didn't look at the course map
 
Two 13.1 mile loops- ironically similar to my first marathon at Tybee Island. I don't recommend this- way too mentally draining.

2. Made a wrong turn (twice)

I'm very grateful to the good folks at North Gwinnett High School for providing volunteers. My piece of advice for 2018 is to brief said volunteers on the entire course- not just the single turn they are stationed at. 

 During my second loop back in George Pierce Park, the same thing happened twice: a friendly volunteer said "take a right here!" but then had no clue what I should do at the next immediate fork on the greenway. There were only 35 marathoners total, so "just follow the person in front of you" wasn't a strategy.  I quickly self corrected after wrong turns were made, but estimate I ran about a mile and a half extra because the course wasn't marked appropriately. 

I knew there was a possibility of this in an inaugural race...but didn't seriously think it would happen. I "knew" the possibility about like I "knew" the possibility of having multiples with an IUI.

In speaking with other runners (one who made 3 wrong turns, another who had to jump over a utility vehicle that was blocking the course), I think I got off pretty easy with a 28 mile day. Bonus: I was so angry in the later miles that adrenaline masked the pain I typically feel at mile 24 and beyond.
 
3 out of 3 runners WILL take a wrong turn on this course

3. Forgot to check the weather

It was 35 at the start. I packed a tank top and shorts to run in.

4. Didn't pack breakfast

What kind of Starbucks doesn't open until 6:30 am?!

5. Forgot to look at the positives
 
I ran a 3:38:21 and got my sub 4 Georgia marathon. I placed second female overall, less than a minute from the leader. I got to do something I love. It was a great day and those are the things I'm holding on to from this experience. To God be the glory!