Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kentucky Derby Marathon... Race Recap!

This past weekend was the KY Derby Marathon. Since it's so close I didn't exactly plan... anything... per say. So that led to a quick facebook "Who's going to be in Louisville and wants to entertain me" post. Luckily I have quite the slew of crazy running buddies, which not only make me feel relatively normal with my running but are available for a relaxing pre-race dinner and early bed time. Right? ... Errrrr....

Pregaming the... Marathon?
How does one start a marathon weekend? Assisting in a felony, joining a bachelor party, and taking shots, naturally! We headed over to the expo and found Shannon having some ATM trouble. Solution? Try to retrieve the card using tweezers. NBD. After raiding candy from every vendor at the expo (more on the expo in the race ratings tomorrow) we headed to Marathon Maniac, Abbi's house to catch up with more maniacs... and start drinking. If you know anything about Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale #KBBA, you know you can't have just one. You also know that you should never have more than one!

A few beers later we found our table being invaded by a bachelor party who offered to buy us shots. Everybody knows white gummy bear shots are the secret weapon to marathon running! Right? No? Hmmm well now you know! It was also a great time to catch up on all the Marathon Maniac drama! Wow if you ever doubted the affect of pheromones in marathon running, you should just hangout with the maniacs for a bit. A bit of booze, chatting, and a little hottie-runner-facebook-stalking/friending... and I'd call that a successful pre-race evening. Wait, what? Yeah, don't worry about that last part.

Race Morning!
The hotel we stayed in had an Einstein Bagel in the lobby. We bageled up, got some coffee and headed to the race! No I wasn't hungover- I'm an expert in pre-race drinking. Dave picked up awesome 'We Run for Boston' shirts for all of the girls that Fellow Flowers is selling and sending all proceeds to One Boston Fund. Not only do the shirts support a great cause and feel great (sweat wick), they are also quite eye-catching. Everybody from spectators to runners commented on them throughout the race. Go buy one!

The group got a little split up at the start, but Heather, Shannon and I started running together. We committed to starting around an 8:30 pace and seeing where it went from there. 

We found Kim right before we went into the "hilly" portion of the race which included a series of sharp uphills with equally fun downhills. The roller coaster took a lot out of us but that's what running buddies are for-- when your body has quite and your head is faltering, they give you encouragement... boom. I've actually never ran hard with anybody in a full race before... especially other women. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that we all worked together so well. If somebody had to go ahead or fall behind everybody understood. We also each took a turn pushing the others when we were individually feeling good. 

In the end we all ended up completing the races exactly how we wanted... and we added TWO more members to the Maniacs. Welcome to Kim and Nicole!!! Oh and then we drank some more!

Post-Race and Chub Rub!
You may have noticed the "My Fitness Pal" widget (feel free to friend me) in the top right corner of the blog that is tracking "lbs lost." I've gained a couple of pounds since I was in my racing prime. Nothing drastic but I was feeling a bit heavy while running, so I decided to lose about 8 in total. 2 down so far, but I was very surprised to get a new running "experience" after all these years... CHUB RUB. 

I've never been one to need or use "glide" or other products to help with unwanted friction. Oh my dear Lord... the pain! I couldn't cross my legs and even in a dress I was burning. Let's not even discuss the post-race shower situation (I'll be having nightmares for years). I ended up picking up some Desitin. Yes, what you put on babies butts for rashes! If that isn't encouragement (boom) to lose the last few pounds I don't know what is! I'm never going to a race without my emergency Desitin again! Hey- maybe they will sponsor me. :)

Well... at least I'm not a guy! There are SOME things I don't have to worry about... haha suckers!!! Sorry John!
What now? More hills!
Two days later and I am freaking SORE! It has been a long while since I've really felt sore after a race, which means I really pushed myself this weekend. My quads don't seem to want to support my body and with each step I picture myself looking somewhat like a high-stepping pony.... with high heels. Awkward? Yes, very.

I've been training a friend to complete his first half marathon. That half marathon just so happens to be the Flying Pig. If you know anything about the race, the hills on both the half and full course can be brutal. So we're going out tomorrow morning to run the hilliest section. This is gonna hurt, but it's the best thing to do while beating my body back into submission! It will also get me ready for the next race. Up next: The Flying Pig Marathon THIS weekend! Woohoo.

Who's Running the Flying Pig???

Off to take on the Cincinnati hills! Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Making a (Bloggie) Comback...

Welcome to Stephanie's 100 Marathon Challenge (brought to you by the producers of "Steph's 50 Marathon Challenge")! If you followed my old blog that covered my crazy journey of marathons across 50 states, you'll know what to expect-- mostly sitcom-esque moments strung together that make up my life. My inspiration-- this past weekend's marathon-- isn't any different, which inspired me to start a new blog. There is just too much good material to not share.

I've taken some time off from blogging... and racing (hard). After the 50 states I tried my hand at triathlons, training for a half-ironman only to have it turned into a short race due to heat. I was exhausted from all the training, I had changed roles at work, was knee deep in my MBA program and I bought a house- so you can imagine why I chose not to continue training tri-style. I could barely find the time to run, let alone all that crazy training. Besides, I realized that I HATE biking. I just don't get how people can ride for THAT long. I would get so completely bored and I just couldn't push myself the way I can running. I digress...

What is this Blog About?
  • Marathons... Marathons... and many, many more marathons! For those geographically challenged... no, there are NOT 100 states! Crazy, right? I'm presently at 79 marathons (April 28th, 2013) so that leaves 21. The great part? I can choose whatever races in whatever states/countries/continents/planets (planets?) that I want! I have a little bit of constraints...
  • 50 Sub 4! Running all 50 states in under 4 hours has been a goal I've checked off as I could. During my first go-round I wasn't able to get them all due to things like pacing, double marathon weekends, high elevation, and just plain rough days! This past weekend I picked up 1 more (KY) and only have 14 left. It won't be my primary focus but if good race options come up in those states I'll be sure to hit them up. Any suggestions?
  • Getting my Groove Back! A little burn out from running and tri-training, mixed with an MBA program, have caused me to slack in racing. Running with a couple of fantastic girls at the race this weekend (much more on that to come later this week) has encouraged me to get back at speed/race training. I'll be done with my MBA in August and I'm mentally at a good place to get back to racing and putting in some quality training! Getting my speed back will be a big goal for the year!
  • MB! Oh you know the crazy lady will be around. She finished her 50th state at the LA Marathon in March, 2012 making us the first (and so far only) mother-Daughter 50-state marathon finishers. It was her idea to get 100 in. We haven't set a time frame or a race but it doesn't seem like its going to take too long!

This week at Stephanie's 100 Marathon Challenge
There is a lot coming up this week so stay tuned. Some of you will be happy to hear I will be doing race re-caps and the return of full "Race Ratings." Besides the technical side, I'll also be discussing this crazy flower business. If you know me I'm not the type to mix flower-or general girly things- with sports, but after being well-informed (and slightly brain washed) I gave in.... and you will too! This past weekend was (unsurprisingly) very focused on unity, pride in marathon, and being #BostonStrong!

To find out more about these great shirts and the cause they support, stay tuned!

I'm very happy to be back and look forward to sharing a fun journey with all of you!

"Run to Win" - Meb