marathon training: lessons learned

2nd marathon (Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon) – done and done!

I finished my 2nd marathon this past saturday and it, like my first, was a success (in my book)! This time I was nervous, but not like I was for my first. I was most nervous about it not being as great as my first experience – my first (and only until now) went much smoother than I had expected.

Again, I wasn’t running for a time but simply to finish. And finish I did.

I finished in 4:21 and my previous marathon time was 4:53. That’s a good 1/2 hour difference. I wasn’t trying for time @ either of these but obviously I have gotten faster throughout the past 1.5 years of training for time for half-marathons.

While I am no expert on running (by any means), you can see some of my chronicled training in these posts:

Now, something else you can do is look at these pictures from my run:

two goofs who like to run (it was their first time!)


the team minus 1




The first picture is the result of learning lesson #1. Here’s the list of some things I learned this go-round:

1. Remember your defensive running rule, in a new light. People may push or elbow you in the first mile to get ahead and then you will have to use discarded clothing to sop up blood until you reach a first aid tent miles away.

2. It’s okay not to run the week before. I read a lot of things about how much to run the week before, and I basically just didn’t run and I ended up doing fine.

3. You don’t need coffee to fuel you (it’s delish and normally I drink it, but not this time!).

4. Gels are good. I don’t train with them and I don’t really like them but I used them during the race (not recommended to try something new during race time) and I think they gave me added energy.

5. Nike Free+ shoes are great but around mile 21 your feet will wish you had a bit more padding in your kicks.

6. There’s nothing better than having friends around pre and post race, whether or not you stick with them the whole run.

7. High-fiving every kid on the side reaching for one makes you find little bits of joy in the pain.

8. You’re doing it, no matter how slow you go, so be proud.

9. Thank the police who are blocking cars from hitting you; practice gratitude, again even in the pain.

10. Eat lots of pizza the night after you run. It never tastes better.




music, baseball, and a bum ankle

The title is backwards from the content. First, I’ll share some ankle news.

I went to a sports med doc yesterday for my injured ankle. The past week had been rough. The muscle seemed to be getting better but it was so sore to the touch.

The first guy to see me was an extremely friendly student doctor. He was so nice and caring. He’ll make a great doc one day soon! He talked to me about what happened and then did some things to figure out the injury.

Then the doc came in, asked similar questions and did similar tests, and some new ones where he took his silly thumb and pressed on the parts that I said hurt. OUCH. Really… painful…

Got some x-rays and he concluded it was a small fracture of the fibula (I think… Or tibia) and also a sprain. I now have crutches.

Which I didn’t use (oops, sorry Doc, it’s just awkward…) when I went to the Mat Kearney/Owl City concert last night.

I have loved Mat for years now and have never been able to see him live. I tried once, when I was 20. Went to the venue, only to be turned away because I was not 21… Boo.

He was fantastic. And he sang his new song, Hey Mama, which is one of my favs. He sings about his now wife, and how he met her at Anthropologie(she obviously is awesome and has great taste!). Cute. But now I’ll have to look for a new singer/songwriter to oogle over.

Chris August is in the running. He’s funny and often gets online and does some little shows and chats from his apartment in Nashville. And my friend lives near him and has hung out with him. I better have her hook us up. I’m pretty much joking. He seems funny and sings great songs… But my hopes are still set high for this guy:

Center-fielder for the Cincinnati Reds, Drew Stubbs. Mmm.

I have about 150 (90% of that guy) photos from one of the Cincinnati Red’s opening series games I went to alone. Yea, I don’t mind going to Reds games alone. I thought it was actually awesome. I could really sit wherever I wanted because it was just me with a big camera. I looked official…

Anyhwo. No gym for me today. Doc said I’m not allowed to do any physical activity, besides upper body and core, until I can “walk pain free for 2 weeks.” And then only can I start with the bike. And then elliptical. And finally, running. So maybe a month? Gross. How am I ever supposed to do this?!

Anyone have tips for good cardio without your legs!? I plan on doing some punching. 🙂

no power, no class!

We just lost power, in the midst of a beautiful storm.

Which reminds me of when I was in Africa.

I spent about 2 months in Zambia, Africa with 13 other students from my college. It rained A LOT while we were there. Losing power in Choma, Zambia is not an unusual thing. One morning, I woke up to the chant, “No power, no class!” from a fellow student in the house. There were three bedrooms for the 14 of us, 8 females, 6 males and my bedroom of 4 girls, next to the boy’s room was awaken by that high-pitched annoying chant from another. We had no power in the house, so he offered his suggestion that we also not have class that morning. Agreed, but shut. up. please.

Living in a 3 bedroom house with 2 bathrooms, 7 other girls, 6 guys, often without power, in the middle of Africa was an experience a blast. I will always cherish the time I spent there.

Here are some pics from the adventure:

bored in the house

local friends

one of many trips in the bus. new friends for life. common bonds bring you closer. Africa makes you stronger.

Simon Says with the local kiddos

rain coats and favorite people = fun bus trips

Phew. I miss that place. I miss those people. I miss the friends we made, both from Africa and America. Such. Great. Memories.


A workout tip for ya, it’s coming!

As you might know, i hurt my ankle and just cannot run. Boo. Waaahhhh.

So today I did some punchin’. It was nice awesome!

If you find that your unable to exercise using your legs/feet/ankles for some reason, punch! punch! punch! I used 3 lb weights in each hand to make it a bit tougher. I also did a lot of pilates for my legs on the mat, and some bicycles for my abs and legs.

Let me tell ya, I was sweating just as much as when I run!

I read somewhere today ( I should have saved it to send you the link) in a forum, that an injury is never an excuse not to workout (unless instructed by a doctor) but just a reason to try something new/work a new muscle! 

No excuses!