Our Decision as Runners.

Something random I’ve been thinking A LOT about lately as I’m figuring out my 2020 running goals and what my plans are after a heartbreak race…

I’m really grateful to running for is how resilient it makes us.

If I do my math correctly, I am positive that I’ve had more races that weren’t so magical vs races that were.   And the thing about running is that it isn’t just something random on the side in our lives that we don’t really care about the outcome—> We get out of bed earlier than what sounds comfortable most days of the week, we go out in the heat/humidity/freezing cold/snow, we run up hills that most people would never consider going up without a motor, we put on our running shoes and log the miles on those mornings when we are so very tired and we follow training schedules that scare us when we look a few weeks ahead.  We put a lot of ourselves into the training.

And then we sometimes have those experiences after all of those months of training and hard work where we miss our goals, by a little or sometimes by a lot.

But then we have to make a decision to either give up trying or to be resilient and come back from the set-back stronger than ever.

Let’s keep choosing to try again and again (with breaks when needed).  As you start building up for your spring racing season and you dream up bigger goals than other people think you should dream about for yourself… Don’t be afraid to fail because each time we do, we get that much closer to making it happen.

The real success is showing up and trying again.  Take the lessons that you learned from the times you missed your goals and grow!

Oh and those races that don’t go your way, in my experience they sure add a lot of fuel to my fire to make it happen the next time.

(Photo from Luke Webster)

PS My coach had this quote on our training plan for CIM and it really describes runners perfectly because we are tough.

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Just the two of us yesterday for church.  Andrew flew to California to pick up Brooke (when I was pregnant with Skye taking Brooke to California and was so crazy sick on the airplane/at the hotel… Andrew decided it was going to be his job to take her out from then on).

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She really took advantage of the last few hours where she had free range of Brooke’s stuff by playing with her toys, using her water bottle and wearing her boots.

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I took a 2 hour nap and it was in the top 10 best naps ever because I felt so much better when I woke up and I had a dream that Andrew and I got to sit in the back seat during the filming of Carpool Karaoke.

Skye took a 4 hour nap.  She was excited to FaceTime Brooke when she woke up.

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We made PB no-bakes to take to my sister’s house.  I am very grateful I no longer have to clean the pb spoons… Skye takes care of it for me.

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We went over to dinner at my sister’s house and my brother-in-law made a copycat recipe from Carrabba’s… The Chicken Bryan and it was heavenly!

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And then Brooke came home and it felt so so good.  That was a long stretch for us but I’m very grateful she had such a great time!

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Brooke asked if we could go skiing after school today and I can’t wait.  PS this is what Skye does whenever she gets thirsty while skiing.

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How has running helped you to be more resilient?!

Have you come up with your running goals for this next year?

Have any recipes/meals that you like to make at home that are similar to your favorite restaurant meals?

I would LOVE some help from you guys on a question I received from a reader that I really want to help—>   “I just got my period and feel like every time I get my period it just messes my training plan up!  I know I get worse cramps than others so I’m definitely atypical in that I don’t run at all usually on my period but others have to be affected while on it too right?  I’m wondering if others just slow down or are things they do so that cramps aren’t that bad.”

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51 comments

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Skye is hilarious!!

I have my goals mostly sorted out. I want to try to race every other month this year. I have January already done (a half marathon on the 1st!) and March and May are already set.

No advice on the cramps, other than the pill works wonders for me and I only feel sluggish for the few days before.

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Way to go on your half marathon 5 days ago… you are already on fire! So glad that the pill works so great for you! I hope you are having the best day!

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This copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s zuppa soup is AMAZING! https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a45873/copycat-olive-garden-zuppa-toscana-recipe/

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I love that soup so much so I cannot wait to try this out! THANK YOU!

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I ❤️ your ability to find the positive. You did AWESOME at CIM and never let anyone (including yourself) say otherwise! My heart aches when I see the pic or you looking so sad 😞 and I commend you on sharing such a vulnerable pic. 🤗 I do know that 2020 has wonderful things in store for you! 😃 Just you wait!

I don’t have any copycat recipes but great idea! I’m about to make those no bake cookies 🍪 yum! I think I may add some dark chocolate chips!

Another shoutout to Andrew for being awesome and taking Brooke back and forth. My husband does a similar thing for me because he WANTS to make my life less stressful. 🐶

Have a wonderful Monday! 🍩

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Thank you so much friend! I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for all of us! I hope you love the cookies:) . Oh your husband is awesome, we are both so lucky! I hope your Monday is a great one too!

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Doesn’t the book ROAR touch on this? this to include in your diet to help PMS symptoms. Personally am usually way slower about the 5 days prior through the 2 day of my cycle, but I don’t deal with cramps that frequently.

I have no running goals for this year, again! I am not competitive enough to care enough to push myself;-) haha or maybe just lazy. I do have a goal of doing 3 triathlons and a duathlon. I also am registered for 2 half marathons and it would be nice to PR…I will have to see how motivated I can get to add in speed work! For so many years I stressed about running, eating, staying active that it is nice to just stay active and not be stressed about it.

I bet Andrew and Brooke enjoy their time on the airplane together too! How sweet!

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Yes yes yes… ROAR is the best! I am very happy you don’t have to deal with cramps often! YOU ARE NOT LAZY! Look at all of your goals and what you are registered in so far… 2020 is going to be great for you! I hear you on how freeing it is to not be stressed about all of the things now… I do not miss my constant thoughts about food one bit! Thanks friend!

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Oh I love your thoughts on running!! And it’s true for life as well. Each time we fall and get back up again, makes us stronger! Such a good positive reminder as we start this new year/new decade.
I am trying to figure out my running goals for the year. I really want to be consistent with weekly mileage and paces….pacing for me is really hard!
Skye’s personality is killing me lately! She is too funny and cute 😊
As always, thank you for sharing your positivity! Have a great Monday Janae.

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It really is, running just makes us so good at life too or maybe life helps us to bounce back in running:) . You’ll have to let me know when you come up with your goals! Hahah Skye really has taken things to the next level lately. Thank you Wendy and I hope your week is a really great one!

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I just came up with my new goals and goal race! I’m so excited! Had my first big workout yesterday and it went surprisingly well (despite being FROZEN from thinking it was still 70 like it was the day before and it was actually 36 oops).
I used to make homemade crunch wraps (like the Taco Bell ones haha) and they’re so good, and way better for you. I haven’t done those in a while though….maybe I need to add that to the meal plan this week! :)
For the girl that asked cycle questions, I’ve also heard very good things about the book Roar. It wouldn’t be so bad to schedule in a rest week every time you’re in that down period so you’re not messing up your training plan. Do the hard work when you’re up to it and rest when you need it! :)

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AHHH You’ll have to let me know what your goal race is, I’m so excited for you. 70 one day and 36 the next? That is nuts. Okay, I need that crunch wrap so bad… those remind me of college. I love your tip for Amy, I think that is a fabulous idea. Hope you are having a great Monday Mollie!

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Thanks Mollie and everyone else who suggested Roar! I put the book on hold at my library!

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I want to improve my 5k time this year! Already told my friends so they can help push me during track workouts and tempo runs. Goal is to break 26 minutes.

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You can and YOU WILL! I can’t wait to hear all about it and I’m so glad you have friends to help you accomplish this goal! Have a beautiful day Mariah!

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My goal this year is to run a 50k in Oregon! My first ultra and a trail run… I’m excited! Love hearing your tips & encouragement, it helps on those days when I’m not motivated to get out the door.

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Oh Brittany. I am THRILLED about this goal and you have to keep me updated with how it is all going. I bet it is going to be a gorgeous one, I love Oregon. Have a beautiful day and thanks so much!

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In answer to the reader’s question – I too get TERRIBLE cramps. Like stay home from work-worthy cramps. After a failed attempt at a copper IUD, a nurse suggested I might have endometriosis, and I finally found a doctor who would investigate it more and the nurse was right! I would suggest if she hasn’t been seen already about her terrible cramps she should go see her OBGYN. I spent most of my life (in my 30’s now) thinking that everyone had these horrible cramps just like me, but it’s not true – we shouldn’t be in THAT much pain. I’ll probably have to be on some hormonal birth control to try and combat it. Other than at only large amounts of advil help my cramps. Running usually helps them subside a little bit (if I can get myself up and out the door), but then they return after a workout. Hoping you find some answers!

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Endometriosis here too – I also always thought my pain was normal. I wish so badly to educate women and maturing girls that it’s NOT NORMAL! I had pain for 10 years before having surgery in June 2018 and unfortunately need it again very soon. I agree, if I can get out the door, running actually helps the cramps, but if I can’t – then a hot bath and being very still is all I have found to help. If I’m training, I know when my worst days of pain will be and schedule rest days so I don’t have to worry about getting off schedule – stress adds to the pain and running shouldn’t be stressful – it’s a stress relief!

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I was going to say that too – have you been investigated by a health care practitioner for why your cramps are so bad? It sounds unusual. Perhaps there is an underlying issue that can be treated.

Have you tried ROUTINE pain medication? A simple regime available to everyone without a prescription would be taking 1 gram of Tylenol And 400 mg Advil (all at once) every six hours ROUTINELY for your entire cycle (you could even try starting it in the days leading up to your period can help.) I have some people who will say “yes I tried advil” but it turns out they tried one tablet one time … or some variation of that! Just a thought.

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Sorry and one more thing – how about birth control to eliminate your cycles so you don’t have to worry about the cramps? I know some people think that’s unnatural or bad for your body, but so is being in excruciating pain for 25% of your life …. There are tons of options – oral pills, IUDs, rings, injections or patches can make periods very light or non existent. I hope you find an answer and please keep us updated through Janae!

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Thanks Tess, Rachel and Andrea!
I have talk to my OB and she said I was normal during my exam and suggested I take birth control, but honestly I’m just too scared to try birth control. At least I want to learn about and try all the other options first!
Thanks for the suggestion for the routine pain medication, I’ll look into it! I do find that taking naproxen a few days before my cycle is supposed to start is really helpful (especially with the severe nausea I get).
I’m really relieved to hear about others going through similar stuff… Makes me feel less alone!

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Amy, just keep in mind that nearly all women with endometriosis will have a normal exam.

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Tess, Rachel and Andrea! THANK YOU all for the help for Amy. I really appreciate your help, thank you for taking the time and being so open. Rachel, I hope your surgery goes really well and I am so sorry that you have to get it. Tess and Rachel you guys are so strong for going through what you do with Endometriosis. Andrea, Andrew was telling me about ROUTINE pain medication too. Thanks for your help everyone!

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Hi Janae! Thanks for posting my question!! I don’t have any of my 2020 goal races picked out yet but I’m working on my mile time. I figured once I get my mile time down I’ll have some good speed and be ready to go for PRs at all the distances again! Happy Monday!!

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Thank you for asking and there are so many great tips and advice in the comments! I love that plan for the mile pr time and you are so right, gaining the speed there will help bring the other prs too! Have a great day.

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Hi Amy! I saw your comment and figured I’d just reply to you directly. I’m not sure exactly how severe your cramps get, and if you’re on the level of endometriosis. I have always had pretty terrible cramping – not EXTREME like these other ladies, but bad enough that I spend a portion of the first 2 days hunched over from hurting.) Anyway, I started hearing about organic feminine products and that women have had way less cramping when using them, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I fully switched over to only organic…and it totally worked!! Like, pretty much zero cramping my last period. I still can hardly believe it! Anyway, like I said, if yours is something more serious this wouldn’t be the answer, but it might be worth a try! I have liked the Rael brand from Target, but I know there are lots of brands out there. Good luck!

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Woah!!! That’s crazy and something I can try out right away!! Thanks Gina!!

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Yes, menstrual cups are a great option and personally reduce my general abdominal discomfort a lot. Big disclaimer I don’t get cramps like yours, but throwing it out there! Diva cups are often available at places like Whole Foods but there are many choices and discussions comparing them online.

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I get horrific cramps while on my period too (most of my adult life). Finally found out that I have uterine fibroids. They are diagnosed by ultrasound. My doctor gave my the option of birth control pills or a hysterectomy to treat. I choose the pill, which seems to be helping. My doctor also gave me prescription naproxen to get me through until I started the pill. Good luck!

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Me too! No endometriosis, but fibroids. I got a Mirena IUD and it has literally been life changing. Now when I occasionally get a little bit of cramping I can’t believe I used to live with much worse for a week at a time for YEARS.

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First of all I love your blog – you are inspiring!!!

So far I’m signed up for 3 marathons – Napa, Newport OR, and Chicago, and my first relay race – Cascade Lakes. I’m hoping to find my speed again and push myself. I’ve gotten complacent with my training so now I’m back to actually putting in the tough training runs and focusing on diet and sleep!

I went on continuous birth control to eliminate my period and boy has it been great! My daughter did the same due to her cramps as well.

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Thank you Lisa, you just made me smile really big. YOUR YEAR LOOKS AMAZING… I’m so excited for all of your races (and I want to come do them with you;). I think that complacent time is perfect for going into your big year of running because you are well rested and ready to go. SO glad that you and your daughter no longer have to deal with those cramps! Keep me updated on your training.

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In regards to the runner with her period and cramps have her read the book ROAR. I use to get so stressed out about my period and running but after reading that book I embraced that time and realized I am actually stronger and even PR’d in marathon this fall while on my period!

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YES YES YES! Such a great recommendation Tara, that books is amazing. HUGE congrats to you and PRing on your period… you are so strong!

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I can’t say I’ve ever had a heartbreaking race, but I have definitely had my fair share of disappointing outcomes. I guess, as with any disappointment in life, I try to learn something from it, grieve a bit and then move on.
I just made up a stir fry recipe that turned out amazing! Cut into chunks and pan fry protein of choice (I used stew beef). In a separate pot, cook until tender sliced carrots, onion, broccoli, and mushroom. Add the protein, and then for the marinade, dump in about 1/4 cup of terijaki sauce, large scoop of coconut cream, and about 2 tbsp. peanut butter. Mix altogether and serve over rice of choice. Soy sauce as desired.
As for tips for your reader: #1 Definitely seek advice from your OBGYN. Consistently getting cramps so severe that you can’t run at all is concerning. I hope she gets relief soon.

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Stacey! I need that stir fry right now, that sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it. I totally agree with your tip and thanks for your help, Amy is very grateful. I hope you are feeling well and I’m just so excited for you.

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I needed this post today! Thank you! I’m so excited for spring racing to get here, and the training that goes with it! I think that being a runner helps me to be mentally tougher in all areas of my life, and that I’m able to better cope when hard times come!

Paige
http://thehappyflammily.com

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You are so welcome Paige! I can’t wait for your spring racing and I am so excited for you. So much truth about how running helps us in the rest of our life. Have a beautiful day!

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LOVE Carpool Karaoke, who was the artist? What was the song???

Ok, the slide(s) at your sister’s house… do the kids seamlessly go from one to the next. I think I see two ramps.

Life is a journey, a marathon not a sprint. Sometimes it takes a few completed sprints to realize this. We might say, “Ok, sprint’s over, onto the next.” But then the run says, “No, this is not over because it’s really a marathon”; and it takes a few of these to realize all of this. This applies to periods, also known as FLO living or being a female. Those who came before took different approaches including hormone-affecting drugs (aka band aids with a delayed punch). Now we have a variety of resources providing marathon supporting information including IGs like @goodfortheswole, @getmomstrong, @deliciouslyfitnhealthy, @floliving, @hope_with_hashimotos, @downshiftology, @thewholejourney and @drhendersonmd. Would you like some bottom lines? Get to know your body here are some ideas: 1. FOOD (many try elimination and reintroduction processes to help; do you consume dairy and sugar??), 2. BASAL body temperature charting (take it every day as soon as you open your eyes, note it and chart it; if you have a dr appt, take your chart(s), drs can work with data and so can you, plus you can Google about it.) 3. LEARN what you can do for yourself. Meditate on the questions you have along this journey, type them into Google, and get the book or follow the link. You are here for bigger things than cramps, so doing this right will keep you on track for your bigger things! Safe journey (safety first).

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Hey Lee! I don’t even remember who the artist was or the song, I was just so excited to meet James Corden in my dream haha. The slide wasn’t completely seamless ha but they had a blast. I’m going to check out all of those IG accounts you shared… thank you. Thank you SO much for helping Amy out, she really appreciates it! Have a great day.

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Hey Janae,

It’s my pleasure! Love this community!

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Running is such a good metaphor for life! Some days I have to take it just one step at a time :)

I have a major running goal for this year, now I just need to work on some mini goals.

I make a copycat zuppa toscana recipe and it’s my fav!

Gosh, I have found that running while on my period actually helps me with cramps. I recently had an ablation because my period has gotten much more painful after having kids and such and that has helped so much!

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FYI, not sure when the movement to take drugs to cancel periods/ ovulation started, however, there is information now regarding this approach. The information is out there for us to access easily. We do not have to go through the local librarian or a single doctor (who is human with limitations).

Dig into resilience, put your back in to it, honor yourself and prosper!

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For your reader with cramps so severe she can’t run – if that’s happening more than 1 day per month she should definitely go see a doctor to see if it’s a serious medical problem like fibroids or endometriosis. Periods shouldn’t prevent you from taking part in normal activities – sure, you might run a little slower but you should still be capable of running. In addition to seeing a doc/specialist, taking a baby aspirin at night plus a magnesium supplement the week leading into your period can alleviate cramps.

Couple of other random comments on recent previous blog posts that I didn’t comment on because I was all over the place:
-Brooke’s dirty lunchbox? Yeah my husband did that from December 19 to December 30. Gross.
-Running breaks – yes yes yes. If you work your body for a long time, it needs time to repair and this goes beyond muscle repair and gets into hormonal/systemic recuperation. This is one of my favorite sports science posts about it https://alancouzens.com/blog/off_season.html

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Victoria, that article was just what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing. We all need to read that. Thank you for the tip for Amy too and I’m glad I’m not the only one to forget a lunch box! Hope you have a great night!

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My goal is to run my first half marathon on my 55th birthday in March.

Training so far since the hamstring injury is pretty much on target. I did feel a bit of a very minor tweak after my longer run last week – so I am giving myself about a 70-30 shot right now. Still staying optimistic! Realistically, I think I may need to back down on the times right now and just worry about the distance.

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I think I am definitely resilient because of running or vice versa. At least that is what a lot of my friends tell me haha.

My running goal this year – I put my name into a lottery for a 100 mile race. I have been wanting to do this distance for a couple of years now, but I figure now or never. This would be my big goal for this year. I kept putting it off but there have been a lot of events in the lives of people I care about in the past year that made me realize we don’t have forever, so I might as well go for it while I can.

And you are so right about races not going to plan. It is life.

I am so glad Brooke is home with you guys! Have a wonderful day Janae!

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We love re-creating restaurant meals! We have been researching/YouTubing how to make a Bloomin’ Onion from Outback but we haven’t taken the plunge yet!

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Some runners would kill to run even an 8 minute mile.
It helps to have some perspective:)

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Last year I ran my second marathon with a stretch goal to qualify for Boston (which would have required a 37 minute PR just to hit the standard for my age group). I knew it was a long shot to take that much time off but I figured go big or go home. I ended up having a 27 minute PR and missed a BQ by 10 minutes. Immediately after the race I told my family that I was never doing a full marathon ever again, but later that evening I told my boyfriend that I was already thinking about going for Boston again this year.
On February 1, I’m planning to sign up for the Columbus (OH) marathon for another attempt at a BQ!

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