Monday, May 20, 2013

Colorado Colfax Marathon Race Report 2013

Marathon #4 has come and gone and now it’s time to move on. But not before I write a really lengthy race report and show you a ridiculous number of pictures. By the end of this you will feel like you have just run a marathon, or you will be sound asleep.

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I guess I could be disappointed with the way things turned out. Probably a year or so ago I would have been. Maybe I’ve learned to take it easier on myself or maybe I’ve come to the realization that race times aren’t everything. Since I started running a few years ago I have learned so much about myself - how much pressure I put on myself, how hard I push, how dedicated I am, how much my colon works against me.

What I have also realized more recently is that sometimes I have tunnel vision that keeps me from enjoying what my body is actually capable of doing. I’ve grown weary of judging myself all the time and not celebrating the fact that I am 46 years old and can run a marathon even having come through some pretty major injuries. I swear, it’s all about reframing things. My attitude has shifted from a place of “it’s never enough” to a place of “I have everything I need.” That makes me happy.

Race Report

3:45 a.m. wake up call and the first thought was “Ugh. Can I run a marathon today?” Great attitude. But, I knew I could and I knew I would. Ken (who was running the half) and I headed down to Denver for my 6:00 a.m. start.  This was a pretty small race, at least for the marathon, with only 1,200. I dropped the kids at the pool (or the porta potty – child abuse), I threw my junk clothes and half eaten bagel at Ken  jumped in Corral B at the last minute. The weather was perfect, the morning calm. I felt ready to go.

For the first few miles I hung right on the ass of the 3:45 pacer like he was my own personal savior. My primary goal for this race was to qualify for Boston and I needed a 3:55. My marathon PR is a 3:42 but that was on a very fast and downhill course (Colorado Marathon), so I didn’t expect that time or anywhere near it. To give myself some room, I had created a 3:50 pace band (about an 8:46 average), and I knew in the first 8 miles I had banked some time.

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I was going to do this. I comfortably passed the 3:45 pacer, feeling lots of energy as I ran through a downtown firehouse (damn firefighters were not naked and not even topless) and through the Bronco’s stadium. My energy waned a bit as I realized that there was no water as promised between miles 2 and 8. This made it hard to get down a gel, and kind of threw me off my fueling schedule. I got to mile 10 in about 1:29 (8:54 average), which still put me about 3 minutes ahead of my goal of 3:55. I knew I needed to keep on pace or I wouldn’t hit it. I started to feel nervous about not having more leeway (foreshadow).

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That’s when the steady climb began.  We were also running on Colfax, a major/busy road that goes from West to East Denver. Plain and simple, it’s ugly with lots of strip malls and car dealerships. Part of downtown Colfax is know for it’s wide array of hookers, pawn shops and liquor stores with bars on the windows. I thought I might turn some tricks for a bit of extra cash, but didn’t want to mess with my time goal.

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No huge hills, but just about 10 miles of gradually heading up.

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I knew my friends Joie and Kathy as well as my kids would be somewhere around mile 14. As I began to tire, I frantically searched for them, wanting to get a mental jolt. And, then there they were.

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Kathy and the kids:

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Gave a quick hug and was out of there.

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More car dealerships. Who needs mountain views when you have those?

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In all fairness, there were some pretty parts to the course, like running around this lake:

I love this picture because it shows amazing running form. Everyone should hyperextend their leg behind them. P1130828

I plugged on hitting 16 miles in 2:21. A couple of things happened. First, I got the dreaded “low battery” message on my iPod and it died. I really rely on music the last few miles of a marathon and I’m pretty sure I yelled “F&ck! Sh!t” to anyone who would listen. The other thing that happened was that I realized I was still 4 minutes ahead of my qualifying time and had been running an 8:48 average.

Then the wheels started to come off and I felt it all slipping away. I got nauseous. My legs didn’t want to move as fast. My stomach started cramping badly. I don’t think the antibiotics I was taking were doing me any favors either. Joie met me at mile 22 to pace me to the end. She was trying so hard asking what I needed, what I had to do to BQ at this point, and I could not even think. What I needed was to lay down and die.

At this point, goal times and pace times were all a bunch of numbers in my head, and we were trying to calculate what I had to do. She got ahead of me and just told me to hang on, but I couldn’t keep the pace. I just couldn’t. I kept moving, but I needed to be at an 8:15-8:30 and I couldn’t maintain that up some of the hills. At this pint a BQ was solidly gone and the best I could hope for was a sub-4 finish. I came in at 3:59:08 and had it not been for Joie I’m pretty sure that would not have happened.

Here is me coming out of the finish. I must have looked like shit because someone asked if I “needed medical.” No I just need to get the hell out of this mess of people before I throw up all over them.

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Ken finished the half in 1:53 and was there waiting for me with the kids.

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I don’t think Heidi cared about the race. She was just happy to see us.

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She did care a lot, however, about the huge chocolate donut I brought home.

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I missed a BQ by 4 minutes and was 16 minutes slower than my marathon PR. Sure that stings a bit, but honestly, it’s just not that big of a deal. My training went well, but not great the last several weeks due to a hamstring strain. I knew it was going to be a toss up as to what would happen. I’ve got lots more races coming up this summer and I’m thrilled to be going into the season in pretty good shape and not injured. The great news is I have no aches/pains today, no post-marathon shuffle.

I am going to get kind of philosophical here – but what else I have realized is that the people in my life who love me don’t care how fast I run or even if I ever run another race. And, I think I am learning to treat myself with that same kindness. That doesn’t mean I won’t still train my ass of, but it does mean that when I give 100% and it still doesn't get me the result I want, I can be at peace with that. And, I know I gave it all I had yesterday.

SUAR

94 comments:

  1. Hah! I saw you out there. I remember glancing at you and thinking "Sheesh, she's looking intense."
    I was running the ten miler - just for training and to keep an eye on a few friends running the whole.
    Not the race you were hoping for but still a very good finishing time. It was getting pretty hot towards the end ... and Colfax has such inspiring scenery. ;)

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  2. You are AWESOME! When you posted you missed BQ by so little, I thought, "She still hauled ass!" You are my running hero.

    I had wanted to run this race, but I'm a little disappointed that there were no hookers on the route cheering. Were the firemen at least topless?

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  3. The positives of this much outweigh the negatives :) Also, Heidi is adorable!

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  4. My feet hurt and I felt exhausted just reading that. Not because your recap was tedious! But the thought of those hills, and the way you described the feeling you had at the very end.

    I like what you said at the end about being at peace with your result. As I get older I feel the same way too. I love the challenge of training/racing, but it's not my life's work. It's totally an optional activity and I'm lucky to be able to do it. Realizing that helps keep it more fun and less stressful.

    That picture with Heidi laying on her back cracks me up. What a ham!

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  5. Congrats on running a marathon at 46 years old. You are so 'spot-on' on remembering the fact that us older runners are just that. Runners. My mother and grandmothers could not have run a 5K at my age of 50. My mother doesn't get this running thing and worries about me having a heart attack at every race. Another race in the books for you!

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  6. GREAT post and GREAT job. I don't really love racing (have never done further than 10k). I get all jittery and don't typically enjoy it (except for the downhill 10k I did last summer down the mountain in Frisco, CO. Amazingness). Overall, it has to be what YOU want it to be. I'm glad you aren't being too hard on yourself. I am training for a half in the fall, my first one (Savannah Rock & Roll) mainly because my hubby just started running with me. I won't run alone past 5 miles, too boring even with tunes. lol. I have weight loss goals that exceed my running goals as far as importance. I'd love to be faster, but it's not everything to me. Thanks for sharing your perspective, as sometimes reading blogs of marathoners can make the rest of us feel like sloths. I love that we're not all that different. :)

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  7. Congratulations on a strong finish. Your story sounds VERY much like my last marathon experience trying to get that 3:55 BQ. It stings, but I think the older we get the more we appreciate what is really important.

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  8. You are a super star. I'm glad you aren't beating yourself up. Remember that your "slow" run is an unattainable goal for some of us. Congratulations on finishing the marathon! And seriously...your dog is so freakin' cute!

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  9. Great review, Beth! I've loved reading your blog...and can relate all-too-well on the whole "missing a BQ by a matter of a few minutes." What matters is that you gave it your all and "left it all out there." That is a true accomplishment in itself! On a side note...I noticed your husband Ken wearing JMU get-up. I'm a Duke Dog graduate myself and was curious to know his connection??? Hope your recovery is going well...keep running and writing!

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    1. YES! Ken and I both went to JMU. He graduated '88, me '89. I still miss the 'burg and my time there.

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  10. Congratulations on #4, Beth! I love this recap, not the least because I am running #4 this coming weekend. (Remember way back when, at the bloggers' conference in Boulder when I introduced myself and rambled on about my running and our similar times and my just-happened BQ...OK, maybe you only remember me for not making the mt. bike trek the next day. ;) ) Anyway, I've so enjoyed keeping up with you on your site and hearing what you're taking on next. I LOVE your ending to this post. YES to treating ourselves with kindness and remembering that those who love us, just love us, no matter our race finishing times. Cheers to giving it your all and finishing another 26.2--you're amazing!! xo
    - Heather

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  11. WOW. Great post, great race recap and AWESOME job! I was feeling much the same way (although I am no where near a BQ - really....no where near) with my last marathon and reading this post really was a good reminder for me and helps me put it in perspective. Thank you! You rock! OH - and that is a great running skirt - care to share the brand?!

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    1. Thank you!! Skirt is from Athleta. Similar to this one, but not exacat: http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=86354&vid=1&pid=580961032

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    2. Every time I go to Athleta I try on the skirts. They're soo cute. But I hate the skin squeezing under bloomers that come with. I wish it was more of a swimsuit/opaque underwear bottom. That last one I tried on-skirt was grey-had lime green boy shorts under it. Awful! That would lead to a vagina wedge for sure.

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  12. I was waiting to hear how it went for you (and to see heidi).
    Great post - it's incredible how hard we can be on ourselves, and then how freeing it is to let it go once we know how awesome we are.

    Love the line about those who love you not caring about times or racing...you're absolutely right. We will all be right here.

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  13. I've read your blog for over a year and this is my first comment (sorry for sucking like that). First of all, awesome marathon! I'm breaking my long silence to tell you that I so totally. get. the evolution in thinking from being all about the PR to being grateful for what my 48 year body can do. Hamstring strain = missing my second half-marathon next weekend = alot of couch time to philosophize. Thanks for your writing - I really enjoy it.

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  14. Injuries and setbacks are so hard to deal with but really teach us great lessons. Do I always want to improve my time and PR - yes of course! BUT I have learned that it is far more important to be greatful for every step! At 45 or 46 running marathons strong, being out there any enjoying what we love, getting inspiration from other runners that have overcome far worse than I have and at the end of the day, I just ran 26.2 miles!!! I will never beat myself up again for ANY finish! Love the run and all that finsh line stands for!! Congratulations on your race!

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  15. I so get this one. I'm 51 and still running Marathons as well. Last fall I needed 4 hrs for Boston.... did 4:02. I gave it my all but just couldn't hang with my pacer. I was really bummed but I have done it before... and I will again. Great post! I need to read this one again!

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  16. I so get this one. I'm 51 and still running Marathons as well. Last fall I needed 4 hrs for Boston.... did 4:02. I gave it my all but just couldn't hang with my pacer. I was really bummed but I have done it before... and I will again. Great post! I need to read this one again!

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  17. congrats on a great race..... and thanks for the reminder.... i've got my second marathon on sunday and while i have a goal, i need to remember to have fun and be kind to me :)

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  18. Great race...even missing that BQ. Your attitude and outlook are fabulous; exactly what I am striving for! And, you looked fabulous...love the skirt!

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  19. I freaking LOVE this post. I am just getting to the point in my running life where I am learning to not get down on myself if I have a less than ideal day. It's NOT easy so good for you for realizing it and embracing it.

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  20. I love reading your posts but this one really spoke to me. First, congrats on your race. Your performance may not have been exactly what you were hoping for, but still, amazing! Most of all, I love your philosophical tangent...yes, yes, yes! My 40's have been such a time of self knowledge and self kindness. Such an important component to life that I neglected for far too long. Not sure why it seems to take some of us so long to 'get' it, but at least I am working on it now. Sounds like you are too! Beautiful, SUAR!

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  21. I so know how you feel. I'm 46. I missed qualifying in New Orleans this year by 1 min 49 seconds & then I missed it again in Carmel, IN by 3 mins 54 seconds. I'm over it now & targeting the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis.
    Thanks for inspiring me to keep on going after it!

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  22. Heidi is insensitive.

    Now onto the real comments--I love your attitude. That's really how we should all treat marathons and racing. You damn well did just run 26.2 and you did it in a great time. Congrats to you for the run and the philosophy.

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  23. Congratulations Beth! Extremely well done! You are so right about being satisfied with your effort. It's so much more about your own personal accomplishment than a specific time. There are people half your age who couldn't do half as much, so be proud. Your determination, training, resolve, grit and sheer love of running is something to admire. Thanks for the inspiration! Happy recovery!

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  24. love it, love it, love it! Thanks for sharing, really inspirational for me.

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  25. I love the authenticity of this post. It's not easy to go out there, give it everything, come up literally a few measly minutes short, and say "It's all good!"

    But it is! It is GOOD! Because you're out there. YOU are doing these incredible things that some people only DREAM about because they don't have the motivation or fortitude (or stock in Charmin) to even TRY them.

    Nice job, Beth! Very proud of you checking off marathon number four!

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

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  26. I love your attitude. I think it is great that you ran a sub four marathon which is not easy! I am hoping to do just that this Sunday. My past two marathons have resulted in my wheels falling off around the 20 mile marks so I am hoping and praying that my third marathon is not a repeat! Congratulations!

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  27. I think you did fantastic! You are an inspiration to me - great attitude, great run :)

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  28. GREAT job! And your bod is ridiculously awesome.

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  29. I love your race recap and you whole attitude towards racing. I have been reading your blog over the last year and you are so real about running and always make me laugh.

    I ran the Cleveland Half Marathon yesterday. It was supposed to be my first full, but an injury over the winter caused me to change to the half. I knew it probably wasn't going to be a half PR, but I got to run with my Husband, 12 year old son, brother and Mom who all did the 10K. I finished the race, and it was not a PR or even close. I could feel the disappointment flooding over me. At the finish line my family was waiting and my brother looks at me and says "you better put a smile on your face, you just finished ANOTHER half marathon and that is always something"....and he was totally right it is something! Every race isn't going to be the best, and the fact that you get out there and do it is what matters. We runners need to remember that because usually the only one putting pressure on ourselves is ourselves!

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  30. Congrats, Beth - a sub-4:00 is fantastic, and heck, finishing a marathon is just plain incredible. I had to drop out of my first marathon last year due to an injury sustained during a 17 mile training run, so I am still awe struck by anyone who puts the grueling work of training in and makes it through the start and finish lines healthy. I'm hopeful that by taking it a bit easier on myself this time around, I can follow in your footsteps this fall. Congratulations again - I think you are pretty amazing!

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  31. You are one tough runner with a great attitude!

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  32. I have been eagerly awaiting your race report! I am running my first ever Full marathon this coming Sunday (the 26th), at age 38, and have been following your training since I have only been a week behind you. I needed to read about your positive attitude and not getting too upset about not making those goals we set for ourselves. My first marathon should only be about finishing, but I stupidly had to put a 'time goal' on it and now it is making me nuts. I keep telling myself that I will be happy just to finish, but that time piece is nagging in the back of my head. I told my family to be at the finish around the 4 hour mark, as I am hoping to finish in about 4-4:15, but now I am wondering if that was too optimistic of a time to predict? "Trust the training" is going over and over in my head as I worry about where I will get the strength to pull out that last 6.2 miles (my training had my longest run at 20, so of course, I am worrying). Several people have told me to just have fun and make my goal to finish, so I am really, really trying to ingrain that in my head this week!! I love your blog and congrats on your run yesterday (and no pains today!). Thanks for this! I needed it!!

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  33. Great Blog!! I just discovered it. The firefighters WERE topless at mile 11 of the 1/2. We enjoyed them a lot.

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    1. That is so so unfair. Why did ours have shirts on? They could have at least taken off their pants.

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  34. I totally could have written this part myself "how much pressure I put on myself, how hard I push, how dedicated I am, how much my colon works against me."

    Love your attitude, and you are right - you have much to be proud of and to feel good about. Not an easy course, and no topless fire fighters?? WTH?? :)
    Congrats!!

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  35. Congrats, congrats!!!!!!!!! Super girl you!!!

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  36. Congratulations! I love your honesty.

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  37. It takes a lot of ingredients to get the fastest times we are capable of. Some of those are under our control, and some aren't.
    To really race, you have to bet the farm...sometimes it all comes together, and sometimes not.

    But another sub-4 and a solid healthy training cycle and race is excellente!

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  38. Congratulations. And thanks for sharing your stories and thoughts with us. You should be proud of all you've accomplished running. You inspire me to run harder.

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  39. No water between 2 and 8? And I thought it was rough to have no water between 7 & 10 on the half.

    Also, the most devastating part of this report is that you didn't get a picture with half naked firemen. It was really the best part of my race.

    Glad you are happy with a sub 4, sorry you missed BQ.

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  40. I think so many people (and myself) can relate to your struggle with a positive attitude and needing to reframe perspectives sometimes. Thanks for being so honest about it.

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  41. Although I'm not nearly as fast as you, I get the whole time thing. My husband tells me I'm miserable before the race (nerves), and miserable after the race (because I didn't run the time I wanted), and it literally takes me a few days to get over it, give myself a pat on the back for running a half marathon at the age of 47, and move on and sign up for the next race. Kudos to you for marathon #4, and keep writing. You inspire me, make me laugh, and make me not want to give up!

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  42. Nice run still considering the antibiotics. I've yet to run a marathon where the wheels didn't come off near the end. Something I'm still working on.

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  43. That's an awesome run! Yes, it sucks to miss our goals but you DID run a freakin' marathon! I don't care HOW old you are, that's amazing! There will be other races. And didn't you tell us you're planning to still be running in your 80's, when your BQ is a tad higher? Gotta keep focused!

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  44. Two things:
    1) WTF, firefighters? It's not like you're putting out fires. Take your damn shirts off.

    2) I think you're pretty awesome (in a "yes, I stalk your blog and feel internet-kinship because we live like 20 miles apart and have kids nearly the same age" way) for finishing the way you did.

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  45. You are awesome!

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  46. Okay, three things:

    1) I had this clever little post all typed out, but wasn't logged into wordpress, so now I have to try to recreate it with these other two things:

    2) WTF, firefighters? You're not fighting fires, so take off your damn shirts. People aren't running through your station because the station is awesome.

    3) I think you're awesome (in a "I feel non-creepy internet-kinship with you because we live like 30 miles apart and have kids the same age" way) for finishing the way you did. Yesterday was beautiful but a tough day to run.

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  47. Thank you for this post and how you captured your race experience. It's just what I needed to hear going into my 7th marathon this weekend and hoping to BQ. I need to take some of the pressure off and just be thankful my body is (hopefully) able to get me through 26.2 miles. I needed that perspective.

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  48. Great job and thanks for always keeping running and life in perspective! The last picture of you and Heidi is priceless! I look forward to reading your posts each day.

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  49. Congrats on a marathon finish and an awesome frame of mind. It's so easy to get caught up in numbers and goals and PRs and BQs, that sometimes we forget putting all of ourselves into something is a worthy accomplishment all by itself.

    Looking forward to your season of race recaps, and more pictures of Heidi :)

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  50. Dang - you did awesome!! Congratulations on finishing and pushing through the hard parts at the end.
    BTW - I love your outfit - super cute!!
    And, I love that you are smiling in so many of those pictures - the true joy of running!!

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  51. If your firefighters looked anything like the ones I saw during my recent half, you should be grateful they had their shirts on! ;-)

    I'm sorry that the race didn't go as well as it could have, but it sounds like you handled yourself well, considering the circumstances. And like you said, the people who love you don't care what your finishing time was. My half marathon finishing time was 2:37 and yet my mother couldn't stop bragging about me. You ran a f*cking marathon, girl! You're awesome!

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  52. Well said. Race times certainly aren't the only thing that defines us as a person or a runner. I've been running for 6 years and it does seem that the older I get the more I'm ok with just being healthy and able to run,race, and enjoy my life. Congrats!!! (Awesome medal too!)

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  53. Your running is awesome, and your blog rocks! Thank you for making me laugh each and every time I read it. Congrats on your 4th marathon! I am a 56-year old raising teens (oops, I got a late start at that motherhood thing). I run one 5K per month, and I offer no apologies for my slow times. I LOVE the energy and spirit of those runs. I plan to hike, run and whitewater raft for years to come. I say kudos to all of us for getting out there and moving and laughing and enjoying life!

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  54. Great job! I love the race report - the longer the better. It's always a good feeling to know that you "left it all out on the course." You have a great attitude and your posts always make me smile or spit coffee all over the screen.

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  55. Congratulations! I checked your blog before my facebook today in anticipation of your race report. Sorry you missed your primary goal but glad you've shifted focus a bit and can celebrate all the other successes. And, am I the only one who noticed that you put on more clothes for your photo with the kids at mile 14? That probably cost you a minute or two! haha (I'm guessing that was really a pre or post race photo.)
    Great work and thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. Hahaha!! That's not me in the picture - that's my friend Kathy! People tell us we look alike sometimes.

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    2. Whew! It was pissing me off - how good you look in your running photos. I always look half dead with my mouth open.

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  56. Many congrats on running this race! I love your braids and how happy Heidi was :) Your description of the course cracked me up, ha ha

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  57. Great post! I know how much it totally sucks to miss a goal you've trained so hard for, but I appreciate the attitude + honesty. You're an inspiration!

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  58. Glad you're at peace. Sometimes it's your day, and sometimes...it isn't. [Especially when you've been sick...and on antibiotics...] Mostly, it sucks when "not your day" happens on a 26.2 mile day, rather than a 5K day, but we don't really get to choose.

    Glad you got through your training cycle healthy, though (major bonus). And it's (sort of?) good that you aren't feeling too badly in the aftermath. At least that tells you that you probably had more in your legs, if the rest of your body had cooperated. And seriously...no water between miles 2 and 8? I think that should probably be illegal in a marathon. I'm all about hydration. But, with this one in the books - on to bigger and even better things!! Keep looking forward...

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    1. Yes, yes and YES...thank you for the kind and wise words.

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  59. Sorry about no BQ - but if it makes you feel any better you look great in all your pics: strong, healthy, just gorgeous.

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  60. Great attitude! Running should be fun. Even though we are our biggest competition, sometimes you just have to be proud of what you DID accomplish! I think it's awesome! Next time pick a marathon that has shirtless "firemen" and when I put that in paranthesis I mean, hot guys in turn out gear. Because frankly, of all the firemen that I know, only about 15% SHOULD take off their shirt...ever.

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  61. I'm so sorry you weren't feeling well during the race. The bad thing about running races is that our perfomances depend on so many things that we can't control; you need an almost perfect day to have a great performance. But, you pulled through when you were feeling awful and finished, which is a huge victory. P.S. Love the photos of your dog; she's adorable!

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  62. Congratulations and thanks for this post. You are amazing!!!!!! I read your posts every few days and gain lots of inspiration and knowledge from you. This post really helped me to remember that every day we can run is a good day :)

    Also, there were firefighters on my half-marathon this weekend and I really wish they would have had their shirts off too, but they were really nice to me when I all too enthusiastically waved at them...guess they were a welcome site either way.

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  63. Oh Beth, I thought about you out there on that course (as I was running with Katie in the half)....I was hoping for the best for you - could you hear me cheering you on? I know it's disappointing, I've been down there so many times....but you are right, the people who care about you and love you and enjoy your company mean more than any time a clock displayed. You gave the race your all, that that shows some seriously grit you have inside. You'll get the BQ if that's what you want one day; you have such a fierce determination and I know you will do whatever you desire.

    P.S. The fireman on the half course were shirtless. Next year, just do the half!

    Miss you. Will email you soon!

    xo

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  64. First of all, congrats! What a huge accomplishment! As I prep for my first full, reading reports like these help me focus and set realistic expectations.

    Second, the reason I love your blog is how well you phrase exactly what I'm thinking. I identify so much with your entire intro about appreciating what you're capable of and not putting too much pressure on yourself! Thank you for putting that into words, and showing me that I'm not the only runner who feels that way!

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  65. It’s obviously a bummer to miss some of the time goals that you set. But it’s great to read about the balance you have in yourself to realize that you did in fact run 26.2 miles on your own, under your own power, because of your own dedication to training, and in that training, your own sacrifices. I’m scoping out which marathon I want to make my first. And I’m hoping to be able to balance those same things. I will put 100% effort towards it. I will have goals; and the only one ahead of simply finishing the damn thing will be to enjoy it. Congrats on another 26.2 down. You rock!

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  66. Congratulations on a great race! Sorry you didn't make your BQ but you pulled out a great finish when you weren't feeling great, and that's hard! Great race report/photos.

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  67. YOU are my freakin' HERO! I can only HOPE to be active at 46, never mind you running MARATHONS. Rockstar. Well done.

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  68. Congratulations...enjoyed reading your post. Such an awesome accomplishment. seriously, you ran a marathon...that is not something many people can do.

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  69. I love this post. I love the final paragraph. I love the pictures of your family and your sweet Heidi.
    (I write simple sentences. Ha!)

    Good work girlie!! Keep on pluggin' away!

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  70. CONGRATS Beth! So so so impressed with you mental toughness--that looks like a mean course and could kill your legs early. I haven't attempted another full since my last bonk in May '11...You totally inspire me.

    And, can I tell you how much I LOVE HEIDI?! I just wanna cuddle with her--I think my Cooper has a crush on her too.

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  71. You are absolutely awesome!
    Inspired!
    I'm training for my first 1/2 Marathon in September and just the thought has me nervous as hell. But, i'm training and have already passed my first milestone this past weekend.
    I can't imagine ever getting to Marathon level but reading your posts certainly has me inspired to go as far as I can!

    Thanks

    Mrs White
    http://bringingfurmanhome.blogspot.com

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  72. Thank you for your eye opening recap. I also ran my 4th marathon this weekend with hopes to set a PR, but fell very short of my goal due to the downpour of rain all 26 miles of the race. I have been beating myself up over it but after hearing your great attitude about your race, it gives me a better perspective on things. next time perhaps!

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  73. I so needed to read this today. I was having a "why do I even bother" day today and you are always so uplifting in some way.

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  74. OMG, the disappointment of no firefighter nudity. Unacceptable! Glad you decided to push through rather than stopping to turn tricks. As a half ass runner, these are the comments that stood out to me.

    Seriously, thank you for a great post. Congrats on the marathon and the attitude. And thanks again for writing this blog. I love it.

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  75. your thoughts are so true! I ran a half this weekend and was so disappointed I didn't PR. I'm trying to tell myself that my body just ran 13 miles! Most people don't care about my time, they are still amazed I did that. I just need to tell myself this more often!

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  76. Bless you for your attitude! You're such an inspiration, and it's good for me to hear both the good and bad of your experiences. Thank you for sharing--you are awesome and it's so wonderful to hear you be kind about yourself, especially with having been sick and your recent hamstring issues.

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  77. YOU ARE AWESOME!!!! You ran a stupendous race and you should be proud. I love how Heidi is on love with you and does not care if you came in first or last. She loves you unconditionally and knows she has a great family to be with throughout her years to come!!!Congrats again to both you and Ken on your half and full marathon. WOW

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  78. That is still so Awesome!! Great job. I love your running skirt btw:)

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  79. You still did a great job! I can only hope to finish a marathon someday. I ran the Urban 10 Miler and had kind of the same thing happened. I ran the first part well (under 28 minutes by mile 4), but then I took a GU gel at mile 5 and there was no water....by mile six I started getting abdominal cramping like I've never had before. It took everything I had just to keep running. I'm pretty sure the altitude played a big role in this as well, since I'm from SC. I finished in just over 80 minutes, though, so I came close to my goal. Love the finisher medals and shirts!
    Did you see the purple and black lingerie in the middle of Colfax? I stepped right over it....

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  80. You have an amazing attitude and this is one of the many reasons why I enjoy reading your blog. It's admirable how you took things in stride (haha get it!?) when your music player died and you hit the wall. Congrats on sticking through and finishing the race - also I really really want a chocolate donut now.

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  81. Love this post for everything that it is... reaching for goals is so motivating and when we fall short, it's a matter of realizing what is important. The fact that we are able to do this "running thing" is a testament to our strength and determination. Heidi has it down. It's all about chocolate donuts and showing our tum tums. :)

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  82. Congratulations on your finish! I saw you at Sloan lake looking strong and focused, while I was darting off course to use the restroom(UGH). I missed my sub-4 hour goal, but had a fantastic time anyway.

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  83. I wanted to congratulate you on marathon #4. Always great to read recaps and to see how people grow and change with each new accomplishment.

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