Presque Isle Marathon Race Recap

I’m really glad that I decided to run this race even if it was kind of a last-minute decision so that I wasn’t able to train as much as I would’ve liked to. I absolutely love Lake Erie and just being near water in general. It would be incredible to have a beach house one day. Both my family and my husband’s family live near there, so I had a lot of support. My dad even came out to cheer me on! He has a lot of health problems, so it is difficult for him to get around. Also a huge shout out to my mom for coming. She’s a nurse with a crazy work schedule, so she was functioning on basically no sleep. It meant the world to me that so many people came out to watch me run.

Expo/Packet Pickup:

This day was also my sister-in-law’s wedding day. It was such a chilly and rainy day! I felt awful for her, but her and her husband didn’t seem to be phased by it. I was having anxiety because I was pretty traumatized by how awful the weather was at the Rock’n’Roll DC half that I ran back in March. I really didn’t want a repeat situation like that.

This is a really small race which is capped out at 2,500 people so there really wasn’t much of an expo. It was basically nonexistent by the time that I got there to pick up my packet a half an hour before it ended. I found out that there had been a few vendors earlier in the day, but they had packed it up because of all of the rain. I really didn’t mind at that point since I was pretty tired from the cake making and wedding attending festivities. I was able to grab my packet and shirt and head out in just a few minutes. Easy-peasy!

I stopped for a quick pic on the rainy beach on my way out. I tried to take the pic with my race bib, but it was way too windy for that.

IMG_8036 IMG_8037The Night Before:

The nice thing about the wedding being so early was that I was still hungry for my traditional pre-race dinner. We had the usual Wegman’s frozen veggie pizza with white sauce for dinner so as not to mess with my routine and stomach any more than I already had the past two weeks.

Everyone else went to the bar, but my husband, daughter and I just hung around his mom’s house and relaxed. I set out all of my race day essentials and what I thought that I wanted to wear. I had a backup outfit in case it felt too cold in the morning. I tried to get to bed as early as possible in hopes of getting some sleep. I was so worried about the rain that I was up constantly though. I think it finally stopped some where after 2am. IMG_8041Race Morning:

I had some fancy Keurig coffee and made my ritual pre-race breakfast: PB & honey sandwich with bananas and cinnamon. My stepsister-in-law apparently keeps bees now so she had brought some delicious honey with her from Wisconsin. I tried to be quiet sneaking around the house so that I didn’t wake everyone up.

I didn’t understand why the race could only accommodate 2,500 runners until that morning. Traffic was a nightmare! I was glad that I got there so early, but the start of the race actually ended up being delayed 15 minutes because traffic was still backed up with runners trying to park for the race. Part of this was due to one of the parking lots that they had planned to use being flooded.

Once I parked and got all situated, I wasn’t sure where to go then I realized that there was a glow stick walk way. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it looked really cool. I thought that was such smart idea.

IMG_8047I found my way to the port-a-potties, then once again later. The line was much worse by my second trip. I’ve never seen so many people just going in the bushes!

I walked around and stretched out. Right before the race was to start, I checked my bag. I’ve never done a bag check before because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle. I was nervous because there was a long line to check bags, but it went really quickly.IMG_8048Next I went to find the 3:35 pace group, which was my goal time in hopes of qualifying for Boston.

The Race:

Finally at 7:15am we were off. I hated being crammed like sardines for an additional 15 minutes, but really it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I stuck with the 3:35 group for the first half and I felt great. I just kept telling myself that I could do it and I really believed it. Something happened around mile 13 and I just couldn’t hold that pace any longer. Perhaps I hit the proverbial wall. Perhaps it was my diet and sleep habits being totally out of whack for 2 weeks. Who knows, but I watched my Boston dream slip through my fingers as I fell further and further back.

By mile 24, I was pretty much done. Some lady was running near me and saying how she was over this and was ready to be done. My thoughts exactly! I saw another struggling runner too and my heart went out to her. I just kept running though. I knew if I stopped to walk for even a second that would be the end of it.

Right around mile 26 a bunch of vultures were circling over head and I was sure that they were coming for my dying body. I know this sounds dramatic, but that’s really how I felt at that point.

It was at that point that I saw my husband, daughter and my husband’s mom and step-dad. My husband said that the finish line was right around the corner and I kicked it up to finish as strong as I could at the point. After I crossed the finish line, I grabbed a Tru Moo chocolate milk and got wrapped in my fancy foil blanket. I also got a Tru Moo sweat towel.  How exciting! My mom and dad were waiting with my favorite G2 raspberry lemonade and some beautiful flowers for me. presque isle marathonIMG_8064I’m still very proud of myself for finishing strong. I really do think that my sleep and diet being off was a contributing factor to my slowing down, as well as not enough training. I still earned a 10 minute PR which is awesome and I’m that much closer to Boston. I’m only 13 minutes off what I need to qualify so I’m sure that I can reach that goal one day. I have my whole life. Boston I’m coming for you! 🙂

The rest of the day was mostly spent relaxing and eating. My in-laws took us out for a delicious brunch at The Breakfast Place.

IMG_8054 IMG_8111Did you race this weekend or do you have a big race coming up?

Up next is Ragnar!

If you would like to help me reach my fundraising goal for Girls on the Run, I’m including the link below. Every little bit helps and would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

Alanna’s Girls on the Run Ragnar Relay Fundraiser Page

3 weeks of Craziness (8/24-9/13)

I’ve been so busy these last few weeks with training and cake making. We got to go home (Pennsylvania) for 2 weeks for my daughter’s birthday party and then my sister-in-law’s wedding the following weekend. We hadn’t been able to go home since Christmas, so it was a long overdue trip. My only complaint was that it went so fast! It seems like it went by in the blink of an eye and suddenly fall, along with all things pumpkin, is here.

Monday-  rest

Tuesday- 4 miles

Wednesday- 8 miles

I’m thankful that Plant Fitness is cheap and open 24 hours in order to make these super early morning runs possible. It’s kind of nice too because I feel like I pretty much have the gym to myself with the exception of a handful of other crazy people. 🙂

IMG_7759Thursday- 4 miles

Friday- rest

We went family grocery shopping. I love having most of my Fridays off now!

IMG_7782Saturday- 12 miles

This was my last run in Maryland before leaving for our trip home. It was such a nice day, so we went to the splash park after my run.  IMG_7805 IMG_7811Sunday- Orange Theory

Monday- Orange Theory

I had to stock up on my OTF since they don’t have any back home. Then we made the roughly 5 hour drive to my parent’s house. Haylie wasn’t too bad in the car other than throwing things and then demanding to have them back. I’m surprised that I didn’t dislocate my shoulder frantically trying to grab things for her while driving, but we made it safe and sound.

We went for a little trip in the woods with my dad and picked some apples. Haylie really seemed to enjoy them.

IMG_7814IMG_7815Tuesday- rest

Wednesday- 4 miles

It’s a little challenging running on dirt roads. I was slightly terrified of twisting my ankle on rocks with the race coming up, but the scenery is so beautiful. Such a nice change of pace from my usual city running!

IMG_7846Thursday- 6 miles/Haylie’s actual birthday

I trimmed the tops off of her cakes so that they were nice and flat, then combined the cake trimmings with buttercream and rolled them in chocolate to make a cake pop/truffle of sorts. Haylie loved them and kept asking for more chocolate. I guess her sweet tooth is the one thing that she got from me. I made a simple cake to celebrate her actual birthday and we went out for a nice dinner with all of her grandparents. My father-in-law asked where we got the cake. Really?! lolIMG_7849 IMG_7865

I love this pic, but can't get over how grown up she looks!
I love this pic, but can’t get over how grown up she looks!

Friday- 3 miles

I decided to run through the woods which wasn’t my brightest idea considering it had rained recently. My shoes were quite muddy. Thankfully I brought 2 pairs!

Later we took Haylie to visit a dairy farm where my dad used to work many years ago. She got scared when the cows actually mooed.

IMG_7893Saturday- rest/Haylie’s Birthday Party!

It was such a nice party. I can’t believe that she is 2 already! The only bad part was our unsuccessful hayride. We had a hayride last year which was a huge hit, but this year the rain let loose as soon as we were pulling out of the driveway. So it was the shortest hayride ever. At least the rain held off until the end of the party.

The theme was ladybugs this year and mom even found a really cute happy birthday banner that fit right in.

IMG_7936 IMG_7943Sunday- 8 miles/Beach Breakfast

I think this may have been my favorite day of the entire trip. I had a great run in the morning then a big group of us got together for breakfast right on the beach. Gotta love cooking eggs at the beach on Sunday morning! I miss living this close to water. I found several pieces of beach glass. Haylie kept calling them rocks.

IMG_8004 IMG_8009 IMG_8010IMG_8056Monday- rest/zoo

I can’t remember the last time that I was at the Erie zoo. They’ve made a lot of improvements and it’s really nice now. Haylie got to see her first real life giraffe. It was a really hot day, but still fun. We rode the train then went to have lunch at Mad Mex which was amazing! I want them to open up one in Maryland. It is so hard to find a taco that has a vegetarian protein unless my husband makes it for me. I got the Herb O’vore’s Tofu Tacos and they were so good! I will definitely be back.

IMG_8016Tuesday- 3 miles

IMG_8017Wednesday- 4 miles

Thursday- 2 miles

Friday- rest

Saturday- rest/Wedding

It was a pretty cold and rainy day which wasn’t good for the wedding. Thankfully the happy couple didn’t seem too bothered by it and I was able to deliver the cake without it getting wet.

IMG_8022 IMG_8028IMG_8068Sunday- marathon

Stay tuned for my race recap.

IMG_8054Monday- long drive home

I think this picture pretty much sums up how we all felt.

IMG_8058I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Do you ever feel like you need a vacation after your vacation?

If you would like to help me reach my fundraising goal for Girls on the Run, I’m including the link below. Every little bit helps and would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

Alanna’s Girls on the Run Ragnar Relay Fundraiser Page