Maui Marathon Race Recap

Last Sunday I ran my 10th marathon and my 5th Maui Marathon. It was a day I will always remember. It was an AMAZING race and no, I did not PR but what I did find was something even better than a PR.

Here's my story.

I started training for this marathon in perfect timing. I ran 20 miles on the treadmill in mid June before going on summer vacation. To be exact, that 20  miler was on June 18th. I was on track, focused, and committed. I ran on my vacation as planned and even created my plan to include less mileage during those three weeks on vacay to account for airports and cruising. I ran a beautiful 13.25 mile run in Texas and was happy getting that done. Like I said, I was on plan.

Then I came home and everything changed. School started back up, I may or may have not experienced some post-vacay blues associated with leaving my entire extended family on the mainland once again. You would think with school back in session, running would have got back into my normal groove but it didn't.

School started and so did more mommy duties, mommy duties I am unwilling to give up. Darling daughter joined the cross country team (yay!) and our weeks and weekends got more hectic. Plus, I shifted her weekend horse lessons from Sunday to Saturday to make Sunday's less hectic and more family and God focused. All things I do not regret BUT it left me trying to squeeze in long runs Saturday before horse lessons (and then before cross country!) and I was getting irritable and stressed and realized, I did not want to do this anymore. I decided to NOT run the Maui Marathon. I knew my long run training was off and I didn't want to stress about it any more. I wanted to be a better, more present mom.

I found my happy again and was still running daily and cross training like a champ. I was having fun and feeling so much better about life. I wasn't taking it easy as some of my cross training was intense! I did 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Cize, Country Heat, Insanity, and more. I kinda was insane...insanely happy!

But then it hit me...I wanted to run the marathon and give my cross training the true test; after all, I am a Beachbody coach. I wanted to really tell you more about this training and maybe part of me wanted to show you how it does make a difference.

I went into the race with the mindset, it it okay to walk. Do your best. Have fun. And I knew something BIG was going to happen. I didn't know what. I didn't expect a PR but I hope my human frailty didn't block out the BIG that I felt in my heart was on the verge of happening. I believed this to my core and was shaking with excitement on race day morning wondering what it would be.

After chatting a bit with friends and hubby, I parted and found my peaceful corner to reflect, pray, and center myself before the race start. I enjoyed the fire dancer and couldn't wait to get this show on the road. Everyone was saying it was a bit chilly. I felt it was muggy and warm and wondered if my thermoregulation was already out of whack due to hormones but hey, I can't control hormones so I let that go.

And then....the race started and off I went. I realized I once again started a wee bit fast and focused on easing up my pace and continued to run happy. I felt strong and my legs were happy. The miles seem to fly by and I knew I was running a good pace for me at around 9'30" miles. I knew I could go a bit slower but definitely did not want to go faster. I sipped on my SOS at aid stations. I prefer this over the Beachbody Hydrate just because it has  more sodium in it. I am a salty sweater and know I need that extra sodium to avoid taking salt tabs and having salt-related issues.

At mile 7 I ate one of the dates I packed. I didn't feel I needed it but felt I should consume something. I was still feeling strong and happy and was about to approach the hilly part of the course. I made the choice to run the hills and fuel again (beyond my drink) after the tunnel when the course flattened out. I was carrying food I need to chew versus gels due to me thinking I wasn't going to race and hadn't practiced much eating on the run on land versus the treadmill and did not want to choke. Not a good thing.

The half marathon point arrived and I ate a graham cracker and another date on the run. The graham cracker was a bit harder to consume but I knew it was a good fuel for me as I often eat them on long runs on the treadmill. It was just harder to manage on the roadside. My pace was on target for a 4 hour 20 minute marathon but I knew this could change. The hills slowed me down a bit but not much.

Before I knew it I was at 16 miles, still holding a happy pace, and then it hit me. I just ran the longest run in who knows how long. I turned off my music and started saying the rosary with the idea to complete it and then fuel some more. I made it about halfway through and at 16.25 miles it came to my heart to walk a bit and fuel now. I ate my second graham cracker and a couple of dates while walking, texted my friend where I was on the course for her timing purposes, heard some drums, and started running again. I was feeling good but felt now was the time to incorporate a run/walk plan.

And I did. I walked when I wanted to and tied it into eating another date or just walking to stretch out my legs. It was all under control and I wasn't walking because I had to but because I wanted to.

At mile 21 I was still feeling amazingly strong and it dawned on me. My core and upper body strength were strong. I always felt weak at this point with an aching back wishing the CamelBak wasn't on me. Not now. It didn't bug me one iota. I stretched my arms a couple of times and kept on going.

The walking breaks were slowing down my overall pace and in marathons, I am always slower the second half. I plan to work on that. Trust me, I do.

The final mile came and I was still feeling in control of my body. Yes, I was slower but I felt strong and capable if that makes any sense. The final half mile was in sight, an amazing song I love came on, and I flew to the finish line one happy runner.

My time, 4:47:51. My slowest and strongest marathon. I finished strong and had more energy in my reserves. I was hesitant and at mile 16 decided to stop racing and turn my run into a training run. My gut knew this was my longest run in who knows how long and I wanted to be smart. Perhaps some may say I played it too safe but I am happy with my race.

I found that my cross training paid off. My last three long runs in the double digits prior to race day were the 20 miles on June 18th, 13.25 miles on July 2nd, and 10 miles on July 23rd. I should not have been able to run a marathon like I did. Not based on my running alone. As a running coach, with that running prior to race day, I am not sure I would tell the client to go ahead and race. In the almost two months heading up to race day I did not have one single double-digit run. Worse, very few days were over 5 miles. It was purely the cross training that I did that carried me to the finish line....not faster, but stronger. That means something, y'all. Something HUGE.

And something BIG did happen. God touched my heart and revealed Himself to me in an AMAZING way. As I prayed along the course I thought of all the people I have prayed for and felt their presence alongside me too. I was not alone. I am never alone. None of us are. I can't even begin to express this experience in words but it still does, and will always, bring me happy chills whenever I reflect on it. I am so lucky to be called to run for God, to run for Toby, and to run to make a difference in this world that seems so messed up at times with so many people hurting.

What is next?

My 11th marathon on January 15th. As of today my marathon training is back in full swing with runs getting longer and cross training staying a central focus. Imagine what I can do when I keep God central in my life, run my long runs, and cross train like a champ. Now that will be a fun story to tell but we are all going to have to wait a wee bit for that ending.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my 10th marathon and my very quick recovery post race.

Daily Bible Verse: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11


3 sleeps until the Maui Marathon

What a crazy time it has been. My training is completely unconventional and I seem to have caught a bit of a cold bug BUT taking today off of work and resting, resting, resting seems to be helping big time. I didn't sleep much but I did stay lazy on the lounger per darling daughter's instructions and binged on NCIS. And I think she will approve of my warm Epsom Salt soak in the tub doing my personal development reading for the day. I strive for 10 minutes a day and today I did a whole whopping 30 minutes....pretty much until the water got too "cold" for me.

AND...the weather here as been BEYOND crazy. I am talking thunderstorms, lightning (yes, those are weird on Maui...well, at least until the past year or so and then it has just been weird), flash flood warnings left and right (never knew my phone gave alerts like it does!), a tornado, landslides, road closures, etc etc etc. All I can say is thank goodness I am not the race director of this race as I would be a basket case. There is road work along one segment of the course and a landslide (or two) on another. Cars stuck in water. Stress. Stress. Stress. But he may be more of a chilly type of guy than I am. I hope so. I don't want him overly stressed pre-event.

The good is I hear the weather should be done with its craziness tomorrow, which is good. Darling daughter has the Front Street Mile Saturday, dear hubby and I have packet pick up, and the Maui Marathon is Sunday. Woo-hoo!!!

This is definitely going to be a just enjoy the experience race. Go with flow race. Be happy race. At least, that is my plan because I do have lots of variables coming into play. Obviously the weather and its impact on the course. The new start and finish lines that kinda mess with my race course mindset. That is the downside of running a race for the 4th time (if I am remembering right). You get used to the course and minor switch up's can mess with you but then, they are really minor and I may like them. Female mother nature may also NOT be on my side. I am hoping for the best because I tend to have 10-12 hours of pure torture each month where I can't wander to far from a ladies' room. Those hours on the cruise ship were torture! My poor daughter had to be dragged away from fun so many times for me to tend to nature but all was okay. I just don't want to be hitting the porta potties every hour along the course but good thing I am not striving to PR. And honestly, it is all out of my control. But I do have to ask, why do marathons and female mother nature like to try to collide so many times for me?!

On the bright side, I am itching to run. I have been sticking to just a mile days all week and my cross training has been yoga and one 10 minute ab session yesterday. I was really trying to rest up as much as possible to combat the urge I had to run 20 miles since I decided to go for it and race two weeks ago. That would have been a bad idea.

I have faith I am trained well. I have been working out hard and am in the best shape ever. Really, I am. I have much more upper, lower, and core body strength since like forever and I can't wait to see how that helps on the race course. Plus, if I decide I can use this as a training run and add back in all my cross training PLUS long runs and run the Maui Oceanfront Maui come January.

Maui Marathon, see you in 3 sleeps!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for growing self esteem and confidence.

Daily Bible Verse: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. ~ Psalm 56:3


If Girls Ran the World Update

It is almost October...kinda, sorta...and I am stoked to be part of this campaign through SweatPink.

I am also stoked that thanks to a wonderful supporter, Jeremy, I have already raised $43.76 of my $250 goal. That is WAY cool but I still have a ways to go and need your help to get there.

I am raising money for Save the Children.

From their website, Save the Children "invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children's lives now, we change the course of their future and ours."

They operate in 120 countries, providing support for health, education, protection, disaster relief and so much more. This fit well with my desire to help the whole world....to extend my corporal acts of mercy to all the corners of the Earth.

I am also committed to running 125 miles in October so you can envision it as a sponsorship of $2 per mile. If I raise more than $250, I will run more! How about that?!

The bulk of my running will be done on my treadmill at home but I am hoping to hit the roads some with darling daughter now that she is falling in love with cross country running....although I may need to bribe her with a trip to the coffee house afterwards to get a cup of coffee for me and a nice fresh baked pastry for her. Hey, girls gotta have fun!

But I also am teaching her about charity through the gently used items we donate, contributions to charities, Med Packs, Action Packs, and I am thinking we need to do a "penny jar" with all October contributions going to this cause.

I love running for a cause. Won't you donate today? Every little bit helps! Thank you and may God bless you.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Jeremy's donation and for yours!

Daily Bible Verse: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. ~ James 2:14-26


Feeling egg-celent!

You gotta eat your protein!!!

For who knows how long, I wasn't getting enough protein. I don't really want to look back into it and find how long because it will only highlight how long I was being foolish. 

Protein is important for repairing tissues and is a building block for strong bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, and blood. Protein is also important in enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

Are you getting enough? I found out I wasn't when I took a good hard look at my eating plan and realized I may have been getting 1-2 servings of protein and day and a million servings of carbs. And when I look at the signs that you may be lacking protein red flags were BLARING! Here are those signs:

  • You experience anxiety or depression (amino acids fuel the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine that prevent depression and anxiety) - CHECK
  • You recover slowly from injuries (protein fuels muscle recovery and regrowth) - hmmm….the pesky hip????
  • You are losing hair or it breaks easily (protein supports collagen production in the hair, skin, and nails) - CHECK
  • You are having a hard time focusing or staying focused (amino acids support brain performance) - CHECK
  • Your muscles always ache (protein helps muscle recovery and aids in repair)
  • Your nails are brittle or breaking (protein supports collagen production in the hair, skin, and nails) - CHECK

Now I start each day with a serving of protein (2 eggs) versus my traditional start of the day with carbs and fruit. I still eat my serving of fruit!!! And sometimes I add some veggies to my eggs especially when I am eating a hot breakfast at home. At work I traditionally bring two hard boiled eggs.

And eggs are an egg-celent source of protein. Each egg contains 6 grams of protein PLUS 5% of vitamin A, 2% calcium (good for dairy free me), 11% vitamin D (good for me again since I had to be put on supplements last year to get my vitamin D back up there), 10% vitamin B-12, 3% iron, 5% vitamin B-6, 1% magnesium (which actually can help keep anxiety at bay!), and 1% potassium.

Now let's talk the iffy side of eggs....cholesterol. Eggs have had a bad rep and I have to say, if you have cholesterol problems talk to your doctor about eggs and whether or not you should include them in your diet. For me, I do.  They are a good portable source of protein that is friendly on my budget. And eggs DO have nutrients in them that can actually lower your risk of heart disease.

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all diet for all of us but I have noticed a huge difference in my energy, life, hair, nails, etc. when I increased my protein intake and eggs, like a I said, have been an easy and affordable go to. But nothing in my life is set in stone and I would love to hear how you get your morning protein? And I do not want to turn to bacon and sausage.....

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a more energized body.

Daily Bible Verse: Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? ~ Matthew 6:26