6 reasons to run the Bismarck Marathon

1. Weather. I've been doing 5 am long runs all summer to beat the heat, so this was very welcome on race day:
2. Same day packet pick up. It's not easy to get to Bismarck, North Dakota. My flight arrived at 10pm the night prior, so I appreciated this option. They didn't charge for it, either (looking at you with angry eyes, Myrtle Beach).

3. Held on a Saturday. Most marathons are on a Sunday and cannibalize the entire weekend. I attached this to the end of a work trip, allowing my to maximize my weekend (& childcare coverage!).

4. Race includes a relay. This is great for a few reasons: 1. creates the feeling of a larger field, so you're never lonely on the course 2. relay runners with fresh legs are good pacers 3. more participants mean more spectators, like this handsome 4 legged fella: 

5. Swag. I need a race tee like I need a hole in the head, but know I'll get great use out of a long sleeve, wicking 1/4 zip. I'm famous for overdressing on training runs, so a 1/4 zip allows me to bundle up and then zip down when I inevitably get too hot. The hat is a nice touch, too (all participants get both pieces). I also got a jacket for making the podium!

6. Flat, fast course. I was hoping for sub 4, stretch goal 3:40 (Boston qualifying time for women my age). I earned a 3:30 and 2nd female overall! 

Sure, I had things going for me during this training cycle: plenty of hill running, CrossFit keeping me injury free, great support system. That said, the conditions still have to align on race day (including the course) if that is going to mean anything.

This wasn't a personal record for me, but it's only 2 minutes off (my PR was 5 years, 2 pregnancies, and 4 kids ago). I'm really proud the performance reflects the work I put in this summer!

Thanks to my Husband, Mom, and Mother in Law for this very generous 35th birthday present (childcare coverage, airfare, registration). State number 42- CHECK! 

Myrtle Beach 26.2 (just for fun!)

Visiting the beach in March is weird. Still nice to hear the waves crash, see the water, feel the sand between my toes, and smell the salt in the air.

What's not weird? A weekend with my good great friend Jen. We made this race our 10th friend-a-versary trip and enjoyed the expo, Lulu outlet, and a romantic dinner.

Guess what my body can't do? Two sub 4 hour marathons in consecutive weeks. New Orleans wrecked me for this one. 

"Hey Suz, you aren't 25 anymore" -my body

Luckily, I had this realization beforehand so I ran the first half with my girlfriends following the Galloway method, then secured a comfortable negative split with a 4:06:03 finish.

Good thing I already have a sub 4 SC, huh? This would be a great course to sub 4 or PR on otherwise. 

We got Bojangles as our post race meal. Hooray!

This is the kind of recap you get from a woman with 4 kids under age 3. Good thing I don't blog for a living, huh?!

How to Run a Marathon (6 months after having triplets)

Once upon a time, I loved to dissect every detail of a race. It was fun to look back on and, in a world of few bloggers, was a nice way to direct other runners to prospective races.

These days, you can learn everything you need to know about RNR New Orleans with a Google search, so for my 41st state I'm going to write something for anyone who loves to race, but feels strapped for time.

Here are 3 tips for marathon training as a working mother with 6 month old triplets + a 2 year old:

1. Choose a realistic training schedule
I knew there was no way I was going to be able to adopt a schedule that said "Monday x miles, Tuesday x miles", and so on...our lives are pretty chaotic and I didn't want to feel like a failure 2 weeks in. So, here's what I did:

I committed to an overall weekly mileage goal with ONE specific long workout each week. However the in between happened was fine...and good thing, cause it varied widely. I traveled out of state for work in December and February. Our son was in the hospital for 10 days with pneumonia in January. Weather was all over the place. Even now that the babies are finally sleeping in longer stretches, it isn't at the same time.

This approach could work for anyone with a decent grip on programming because, as evidenced by the above example, LIFE HAPPENS. I was able to stick to this schedule with minimum guilt; as a Mom, I already have enough of that.

2. Get buy-in from your spouse
My Husband, Trey, knows how important running is to me. It gives me a sense of personal accomplishment, keeps me physically healthy, and connects me to the people in our community. It is a very important part of my identity outside of motherhood.

There were a number of times I had planned a long run, something or other happened, and a Goodwin child needed attention. Trey was the first to say, "get out of here! Get your run in!". He made my goal a high priority. It could have caused a lot of tension (and let's face it- the odds are not in our favor as a military family of multiples) but he truly bought in.

What if your spouse isn't supportive? This is definitely something you want to work out (pun intended!). Marathon training not only consumes time, but also thoughts and conversation.

3. Get your mind and body on the same page
One look at my avalanche style splits will tell you I'm still working on this one. I bounced back pretty quickly after my first son in 2013 and right into Boston qualifying shape- not the case this time because it is a different case.

I gained 65 pounds during this pregnancy- more than half my body weight (but still under what the Doctors recommended, as Mom's weight gain is correlated to birth weights for multiples). I had a c-section this time and am working through a pretty nasty case of diastasis recti (abdominal separation) from carrying 3 babies, albeit only to 30 weeks. It's markedly better than it was when I began training in December, but let's just say I can totally confirm all those Runner's World articles about the role your core plays in running!
You can see from my schedule under tip #1 that this was the first race in a string of 3 for the Spring. If I'm coming out of this thing happy on the other end, I have to listen to my body. I just read in Mark Sisson's Primal Endurance (not an affiliate link, just trying to be helpful!) that it takes as long as you were out of the game to get back to where you were. My last marathon was in November 2014 so by that logic, I still have a few months. Bummer for this very competitive runner, but also encouraging. Coming off an injury? Running shoes dusty? Could be something for you to contemplate, too.

That's it! I don't know a lot of other triplet marathon running Moms, but if you do be a pal and send them my way so they can tell me what I missed.

A few more pictures below. To God be the glory!

State #41, 30th sub 4
Pre-race with Marsha, who has already completed her 50 states. She BQed in NOLA! 
Just a little run with 23K of my closest friends!
Post race grub- coffee and beignets
Post race selfie