Nick

Kara

10.30.2011

My thoughts on MCM - Marathon #6 (ultra) - part 1


The expo –
The expo was decent. Nothing too special but nothing lacking. It was not only raining/sleeting/snowing but also freezing cold around 30+ degrees.  Me & my sis were praying that the weather was going to change for Sunday – and it was supposed to.

The night before meal –
We went to an amazing Italian restaurant for dinner and had loads of bread and a pasta with mushrooms. It was delicious. I definitely ate too much – so hard not to do when out to eat where there is amazing food!  Our dinner was at 5:15 so we stocked up with pretzels and halloween candy to nosh on later. I had a lot of chocolate and some pretzels later in the night and peaced out around 9:30 (normal bed time!)

The morning of –
I didn’t have to get up till 6am so that was amazing. It’s like sleeping in still to me.  During the week, I’m up just before 5 usually. I woke up and got my things in order – I had to totally revamp my outfit because of the sudden arrival of winter. Luckily my sister made us fun bright pink shirts to wear and it went nicely with my black capris.  I ate peanut butter and bread and a mini snickers bar because I forgot my normal Z bar breakfast!  I drank some water and headed to the lobby to meet my sister. She picked me up and drove to a metro stop to park and we headed on the metro to the start. The metros became insane about one stop away from the start. Standing room only – and we were packed like sardines in there. Getting off the metro and trying to get up to the exit of the building and out to the start was ridiculous. They were still making people enter their metro card (individually)  and going through the turnstiles. At one point they just started letting everyone go through but I think it took us 20-30 minutes to get out of there. THEN we had to walk to the start. I swear the walk was at least a mile, maybe even longer. It was insane! And it was freezing. I was gripping my sis for warmth! We stopped at the port-a-potty line and it was already 7:55 (race start 8am). We heard the start and headed towards it. The race had already officially started – we started 10 minutes late and it was anti-climatic – we basically climbed a barrier and started walking up to the start line with tons of other people, crossed the line and started running. It took me a while to realize that I was actually starting the marathon – very weird.

The first 5 miles I was able to run with my sister. The amount of people on the course was way too much.  There was weaving and no space for at least 10 miles. It was super frustrating. I lost my sister with the crowds and weaving and just kept on going but I was definitely getting worked up about the lack of space. Someone would just stop and start walking right in front of me  or someone going super slow would not move to the side to run.  Aghh… very annoying.

At mile 11, my friend Nicole started running with me and she ran with me until mile 24! Who has a friend that is in shape to just hop in and run a half marathon? How awesome was that?? She was my snack holder – grabbing fuel for me at the stations, tour guide – telling me where we were and where we were headed and random historical stories.  She was entertaining for sure. My words were usually one word responses, like “cool” or “fun” haha and at one point I said that I didn’t want to know about mileage or distance left. It was super helpful but you know when you just get to a certain point and you just want the other person to stop talking? And when 6-4 or even 3 miles sounds like a ridiculous amount to go? I ran most of the Disney marathon with my sister and I’m pretty sure she told me to “shut the f up” or at least after the fact she told me she wanted to say that to me.   You get real moody at some point in a marathon, right?? Haha. Nicole was a great running buddy  - she only left me with 2 miles to do alone which was amazing!! And she kept passing me fuel and took action shots of me.  What a great friend - thanks Nicole! 

I felt like the entire race I was totally out of it in some other zone where I was hardly paying attention to what I was running by or taking it all in – at all. I was focused on my form, trying not to think about how slow I was running or how much my body hurt,  and excited to get to the finish line. I was smiling, and for the most part happy, but also thinking that I never want to do this again and that we’re all crazy. 
smiles

The crowd support along the course was fantastic. There were even fan-made water stops and people handing out candy and treats along the way. The crowds were great. As far as along the course, it was tough to get into a groove the first half of the race – way too crowded.  I wouldn’t run this one again, because it was frustrating. And if I was actually going for a PR, I’d be super pissed!   I thought they did a nice job with the aid stations and had lots of food to give out – oranges, gels (around mile 12), jelly beans (mile 19)  and my favorite – dunkin donuts munchkins(mile 24) !!
I felt like I was looking for water so that they could have had more water stops – they were lacking.
big sis at 23 miles, lil sis was finished already :)

The final 0.2 to the finish was a little hill in which I was cracking up at myself  because I could hardly pick up my feet at this point. I wonder what I looked like. It makes me laugh thinking about it.   At the finish, they said my name and city which was so fun!  Then it was a massive back up to get a heat sheet and your medal. The fun part about the medal was that a marine shakes your hand and puts it on your neck. Those marines are so cute!  Then it was chaos getting to meet up with Bill and my sister (who ran an awesome time today, and would have done even better if it wasn’t for the crowded-ness).   I was cursing by now. I think we had to walk about another MILE to the  finish tents. A little crazy!  They gave us water, bananas,  & a little box full of fun treats (trail mix, pears, pretzels, dark chocolate, dried edamame). I met up with Bill and Kristen and then we walked another mile to get a taxi in Georgetown. The metros were crazy with massive crowds.

Overall – I was trying to enjoy the day and tell myself this was my last one for a while and try to stay positive. I was super negative the first 10 miles and angry!  The crowds definitely helped and running with Nicole. It feels nice to finish!  That was marathon #6. Maybe I’ll do Philly for fun?? Haha, these things are addicting but I don’t think so.   More with my splits & fueling coming next.

In the end, besides the mile to the start, 2 miles after the finish  - my garmin clocked 26.6 miles. Almost 30 miles today, ha! Ultra-marathoner right here :) 


 


 

 

 

10.28.2011

3 - 3 - 3 - 3

Here are 3 things that I'm into right now:


Toffee Chip Power Bars. What is the obsession? Totally processed sugary power bars. I love these things. I have maybe 1/2 before working out and the rest post workout. Then I eat a bowl of cereal an hour later for breakfast. They have mini chocolate chips on top and they are so good.  I don't recommend them though, they're addictive and have a big list of ingredients.


PHILLY CREAM CHEESE
I can't get enough of this stuff. Bagels, Potatoes, pasta...with a spoon. I don't know where I came up with this one!



CHOCOLATE AND MINT
I want these now!! 
I remember my mom making these all the time growing up. They're all the rage!

I made the thin mints. I told you they would never look like the picture but all that really matters is the taste, right?

 ---------------------------------------
Now let's talk about some less sugary ideas - COOKING

I also learned that I like to eat salmon, but I can't cook it then eat it. I'm just starting to eat fish and that is the only one I will try because of its nutritional powerhouse nature. I followed this recipe and tried some of it and it was delicious, but then mentally I couldn't eat it anymore knowing that I cooked it and it was fish. Ha.



This was a great recipe that my friend Lauren shared.

what the heck is on those potatoes?? Is that cream cheese?? :)

On the recipe board for this week:
Some kind of pumpkin cranberry bread? Care to share a recipe??

Oatmeal Scones that look great!

Pumpkin Ginger Cookies
Nutri-Grain Bars



What's on your list?

10.26.2011

Winner of the Compression Shorts - Aspaeris

Jessica! You are the winner of the awesome Aspaeris compression pivot shorts. Lucky girl!
Please email me your info! tosha25italia at yahoo.

Everyone else thanks for entering!!



To run or not to run

RUN OR REST???
Here is my schedule this week so far:
Monday - swim - that seems like it was 2 weeks ago! (moving day!)
Tuesday - 5+ miles - easy
Wednesday - spin and lift
Thursday - easy run? abs? elliptical? something else? OFF?
Friday - swim
Saturday- maybe nothing
Sunday - 26.2!

I just realized that if I do a couple miles on Saturday there will be no off day this week. I want my legs to be rested, so what is my best bet here??

CAKE CONTEST!
There's a cool Cake Boss contest going on and Chari made a sweet 4th of July cake (seriously, so talented). Check it out and "like" her cake!   That counts as a vote. I really think she did a great job with it!




BAKING
We're settling in to the new place and I really want to make some thin mints. I can't find any of our extracts, ugh!! I might just have to make the batter.


MOMS
For stay at home moms - how do you deal with feeling lonely? Do you feel lonely?
I feel like I need to meet up with a friend almost every day to have someone to talk to. How do you plan our your week?

JACKETS to DONATE?
In addition, I saw this on Peas and Thank you! Do you have any warm coats that you don't use anymore? Donate them! Check out this site.


Help make a difference with CamelBak

Do you use CamelBak products? When I think of CamelBak, I think of the bag that goes on your back for long runs to hydrate you. I never got into them, but I have gone from the CamelBak Groove - which has the built in filter, to the CamelBak Chill which is great for biking and is what I now carry around.  CamelBak is really trying to reduce the need for single use water bottles and they have also teamed with Water.org to provide drinking water to those who do not have it.

The website has been updated and has some cool features worth checking out, including a tag reader when scanned by a smartphone that will direct consumers to detailed product information, "The Lab" which includes behind-the-scenes video of CamelBak products hydrating NASA astronauts, as well as research, development and testing videos of its most recent product innovations, a detailed search capability that directs people to the hydration option best suited for them based on activity, capacity, look and season, and more. 



For the holidays, CamelBak® and Water.org™ will be teaming up for the 2nd year to help all those who lack access to safe water. With the purchase of a limited-edition Water.org reusable water bottle, $10 will go directly to support Water.org’s mission of providing clean, safe water to those in need.

Water.org was co-founded by Matt Damon and has provided access to clean water in Africa, South Asia and Central America. 

Water.org and CamelBak have created a limited time custom design for the CamelBak Groove™.The artwork evokes the ripple effect of water droplets and is available in BPA-free Tritan plastic for $25 or insulated stainless steel for $35. These would make a great holiday gift! They are available at Amazon or  http://gift.Water.org.

Like CamelBak on Facebook to spread the word. When 100,000 fans are reached on the facebook page, they will have raised $50,000 for water.org.


10.25.2011

Back to some sort of normalcy

Alright! We sold our house and we moved yesterday. We are entering a time of normalcy where I can look around at a mess and not have to worry about it after months and months of our house being on the market and then having to pack everything up. The last 6 months were probably the most stressful in my life. It goes head to head with when I taught middle school for one year. I'm not sure which time period takes the cake.  I'm just excited to enjoy what is left of the fall now without a million worries and things to do!

We moved into my Aunt Mary's house - a 3 BR duplex- she passed away in April and my mom had bought her house about a year ago and was looking for renters. It worked out well and we're lucky to be able to have the opportunity while we look for houses. It's a relief that our house sold and I'm finally now feeling that way. We moved a few towns over (about 15 minutes away) and the Y that I belong to was 15 minutes in the other direction so I had to find a new gym temporarily. I went this morning to check it out! They had a 1 week free pass and it will do. I needed to know I'd have a routine. This gym is about 3 minutes away so it's nice. The kids have a yard to play in, Kara has a legit room (not an office with built in desk/cabinets, etc) and Nick gets a big boy bed! I was excited about the bed for probably 3 months. I bought the bedding when it was on sale months ago and couldn't wait to put it on the bed!

With everything going on, holy moly, it's MARATHON WEEK?? I feel like I haven't even thought about it AT ALL! I'm excited for it. The marathon is on Sunday when we'll head to DC for the weekend most likely without the kids. I'm not sure what I'm more excited for - the race or the sans kids part. Ha ha. The kids adapted well to our stepping stone house right now and tonight will be their first night sleeping here. Hopefully it will go ok!  Here are the kids at the house:


sharing a crisp fall apple

At the orchard this past weekend

I haven't even come up with a plan of tapering this week. I ran 5 today, swam yesterday and plan to spin tomorrow, run Thursday and take Fri and Sat easy. Easy run, easy swim. What do you do the week of the marathon?

 I picked up some of this to celebrate: Have you tried it? I couldn't decide between mint chocolate or the nog. I'll try the mint next!







10.20.2011

Creativity wanted

I'm trying to think of a name for a math tutoring website that is somewhat creative and would come up in search engines for "math tutoring" or "high school math tutoring" or "SAT math tutoring." Anyone creative out there have an idea?  Lil runner is my blog name so as you can see, I'm at a loss. 

Before I head for a nervous breakdown any minute from the packing, moving, kids, lack of job, marathon training and more kids, I figured I'd try to focus on something. So who is creative out there?

Here are some recipes that I want to make:

Thin Mints 
mine will never look like this, I assure you

Homemade Goldfish Crackers

Again, Mine will never come out looking so cute.

What did you make this week? What do you want to make?


10.19.2011

Review & Giveaway: Aspaeris Compression Shorts

I had the opportunity to review a pair of Aspaeris compression shorts. I have been waiting for a good pair of compression shorts to come out for a while, thinking how tired my legs can become while running, especially during long runs. I have only used compression socks before and I had not seen any that shorts jumped out at me until I saw Abby's review of these shorts. As soon as I saw they were designed for women and read about the pivoting concept, I knew that I wanted to try them out.




Aspaeris designs apparel specifically for females, most especially the developing female as hips develop and muscle mass decreases.  The shorts were developed inspired by the number of ACL injuries in the US suffered by women every year.  From the website:

Aspaeris Pivot Shorts™ are actually two pairs of shorts bonded together. The Outer Short is a high performance compression short designed to support your muscles. The Inner Short features our breakthrough, Dual Sensory Compression Bands™. These cross-knit bands guide your muscles into the proper position, thereby improving your pivot performance, which helps prevent ACL and hip injuries.  Aspaeris is meant to keep your body aligned properly and improve performance.  Research has shown that athletes wearing Aspaeris shorts showed reduced Valgus Collapse, better balance, faster sprint times and reduced variability between dominant and non dominant legs.  




As you may know, I am currently suffering from an upper hamstring injury and could not wait to try these out for my long runs. They came in the mail hours after I finished my 20-miler a couple of weekends ago and I put them on and wore them around for a couple of hours while we were packing.  I felt like they were helpful in recovery and was barely sore the next day.  I wore them for 2 short runs the next week and felt great on my runs! My legs felt lighter and really like they were being engaged. You know how they tell you to picture the muscles working as you lift a weight to engage them? I was doing that for my run and felt like I could feel my muscles working to run.  Next I wore them for my long run this past weekend and I just felt like they were holding everything together for me.  My knees nor hamstring were not bothering me, I was focusing on my form and I believe they helped me to go a little faster than the long run the week before.  I really love these shorts and would recommend them to you. 

At first, I didn't feel comfortable wearing them alone - but here they are under my running skirt! I actually think they are quite flattering if you wear them alone so go right ahead! The odor shield also works nicely!

front
side view

Check out Aspaeris on Facebook and Twitter.

I was provided with a complimentary pair of shorts to review.  The opinions expressed are solely my own.


DO YOU WANT TO WIN A PAIR FOR YOURSELF?

In order to do so, you need to:
1) MANDATORY ENTRY Visit the website and leave a comment about something that you learned.


bonus entries: (leave one comment per entry)
* Like Aspaeris on Facebook
* Like Aspaeris on Twitter
* Post about this giveaway on your blog and let me know that you did.

giveaway will end on Wednesday October 26 and winner selected at random.

10.18.2011

Squash and Bean Soup

Check out this awesome fall soup! 



Roasted Squash and White Bean Soup ala Mama Pea
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 2 c. roasted winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin, etc.)
  • 3 c. organic vegetable broth
  • One 15 oz. can white beans (Cannelini, Great Northern, I used sauteed chick peas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t. curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prepare onion and squash for roasting by cutting and seeding squash and peeling onion and placing it cut side down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Roast for 40-50 minutes, until onion is starting to brown and squash is starting to caramelize.
  • Scrape the squash into a blender, along with the onion and remaining ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Transfer soup to a large pot and heat through over medium high heat.
MMM! Great for fall and delicious!

Here's how we are handling packing:






10.16.2011

Where are you, runner moms?

My last long run = done

2 weeks from today is Marine Corps! Once again, I have not put in the time for training which should tell me something, and I think I've got it this time, but we'll see. My thoughts while running the long run yesterday: won't be doing another marathon till I'm 45 (last week it was 40).  Yesterday I did 15 miles. I was aiming for 18, and usually I do 12 two weeks out and ended up in the middle. It was another SLOW long distance.  Last weekend was 20, the weekend before was 16. The 20 went well, the 16 was awful, and this one was partially awful and partially decent.  I am going so slowly (averaging 10:30/11 min miles) that it's kind of crazy. Maybe it's a mind block? During the week, I am more in the 8:45-9:15 min range and feel strong.

Here was my outfit and soon I will have a review for you of the compression shorts. I think this will be my marathon outfit - I can't come up with any costumes and it's doubtful I'll actually be able to run w/ my sister anyway if we could think of something fun :( 

While I've been out there running with the group, I feel like I can't find people to run with (understandably because who is running at the pace I am - not many people) but in general, I feel like it would be nice to run with moms with small kids and chat. I'm starting to wonder if the moms are at home making pancakes and enjoying their Saturday morning with the family?  When I wake up, I usually dread it, but when I'm out there, I have mixed feelings - I have the morning off and I wish I was doing something else, and/or it's beautiful out. Depends on how the run is going. Right now, not so good. Just have to get to the finish for this one!

I did make THE pancakes I wrote about on Friday. They were delicious but a lot of work. I don't know if I'd make them again honestly but would love it if someone could make them for me! They were REALLY rich!! As delicious as they were, I don't even feel good if I eat much this type of thing anymore. The pancakes without the cinnamon and topping would have been good enough!



Kara enjoyed them with her Poppi.
I also decided that I'd rather give birth than pack up a house and move. Anyone agree?

10.14.2011

weekend treat

Here's what you need to make this weekend!!!

Well, I came across this recipe on Kate's blog and I think that you might need to have pancake Sunday this weekend. I plan to bring back Pancake Sunday. Mmmm!  I might just have to decrease some of that butter and sugar though, we'll see.


Packing is completely overwhelming. I have felt like an awful mom over the past couple of weeks as I'm trying to spend the spare moments packing and getting frustrated very easily. We are renting until we find a house and I'm hoping that we'll be settled soon enough. We move in 10 days. The whole process = very stressful and not knowing how long we will be renting is KILLING me. It's not in the same town which means early morning workouts are not going to be convenient and that is my ONLY sanity! I know I will figure out a routine - including making those pancakes every Sunday? - but the lack of control is very hard for me to handle.



What's your favorite Sunday breakfast?

10.12.2011

recipes & packing

We're moving in less than 2 weeks so my life has become packing! Over the weekend though, I made this awesome recipe that I want to share!! And a great lunch too.


Lunch was a wrap that was created from a picture that Kate posted on her blog that I had to replicate!  It was a tofu wrap with cashew sauce that I created. The sauce was cashews, water, olive oil, lemon juice and nutritional yeast & spices. I really liked it!

tofu cooking!

cashew sauce

greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mmmm

first time using a rice wrap
 And then, the Stacked Enchiladas - oh man. I am definitely making this again! I followed the recipe as it was posted.








 I have been using compression shorts the last 2 days and my runs have been great! Also, I keep focusing on my form and it really makes a difference! 

What's your favorite current EASY dinner??

10.08.2011

20 - done!

Whew! So relieved that I had a better long run this week. Last week I was a complete MESS! I think that I ran SUPER SUPER slow today, but I don't really care. I felt good at the end and throughout most of it. I was thinking about my form whenever I lost interest or had negative thoughts. I also was smarter about hydrating and fueling.
6 miles-  milky way (fun size)
11 miles - snickers fun size
15 miles - milky way fun size

for drinking, about every 2 miles, I sipped a water/zico coconut water combo. I wasn't a fan of the taste of the coconut water while running, I just wanted plain water, but I think it really helped. Anyone else use the coconut during long runs?

Well, I'm glad that is in the books! Probably my longest (time-wise) long run ever, but the longest run I've done in over 2 years!

Afterwards, I had a power bar immediately - packed with protein. I stretched and took a wimp version of an ice bath when I got home. We didn't have much ice and I started with warm water in the tub so it melted most of the ice. I feel so much better than I did last week when I felt like I couldn't move from the couch the rest of the day. (I must have gone really really really slow!)


10.07.2011

Running form and Clif winner

I have been trying to work on my form while I'm running and focus on it. I was talking to some people that I swim with and they recommended this video below, which I found helpful. Check it out here - the first video on the page. Does anyone use the Newton shoes? I hadn't heard of them until this morning!

Also, 2 articles to share:
Cross Training Exercises  

and

Fluid and Carb Recommendations for Marathoners

Wish me luck with my Milky Way run tomorrow. I'm trying to get myself excited by focusing on form and thinking about Milky Ways. We'll see how long that lasts :-)

A recipe to share from this week:

Crockpot Chili - I added in Boca's veggie crumbles and this was tasty! It would go well with cornbread but I never got around to that.

The winner of the Clif Bars is Jaime
Please send me your info! tosha25italia at yahoo.



10.05.2011

Recovery & Clif Bars (Giveaway)

On Saturday after that long run, I was passed out by 8:30 and slept until 7am. That whole day I was totally shot - useless. On Sunday my legs hurt like I had ran a marathon on Saturday. It was a bad scene! My hamstrings are actually still sore from Saturday's run. I don't know why?! I feel like they are weak and whenever I do lunges, they hurt for days. I'm not sure how to strengthen those babies!  I'm planning to run 20 on Saturday and play it by ear. I am using Milky Ways as my fuel for this one and seeing how that works but my concern is how to carry them and being messy. Tips on that? Maybe I will freeze them and shove them in a pocket or fuel belt?  We'll see how it goes! I was also wondering if compression shorts would help my legs - does anyone have a recommendation for them?

We sold our house and we're moving in less than 3 weeks! They wanted a quick settlement and we just got through the inspection and appraisal. We'll have to rent until we find our future house for now which I'm totally bummed about, but so happy we sold and can move on. That process was extremely stressful!

I have some seasonal flavors of the CLIF bars to giveaway - to enter, leave a comment with your favorite Clif product!  I'll pick a winner randomly on Friday, October 7th.




10.01.2011

I don't know if I can do this!

Today was my make or break 16 mile attempt. I was focusing too much on the triathlon training and the longest runs that I have finished for marathon training (in 4 weeks) - 13 miles. I was doing 11-12 milers on the treadmill and my first outside long run was the Rock n' Roll Philly. I am so behind and my heart was never really in it, but I really want to do it. I signed up, I'm running with my sister and I've never done this race. Here is how my long run went :


 I'll start with the hours of midnight on. My kids are great sleepers and have slept through the night since 8-10 weeks old. Here and there when they are sick, teething, they are up in the night, but not often. It was around 1:30 when Kara started crying. I went in and rocked her, put her down and she seemed ok. 5 minutes later she was crying again. We took turns until probably 3am when I gave her tylenol, milk and a mini clif bar and finally she cried a little bit but cried herself to sleep by 3:30. Maybe she was hungry? thirsty? teething? I never know what to do in the middle of the night, especially when it lasts more than 15 minutes so I was trying to cover all bases. Back to sleep. 4:30 Nick is crying. I go in there and he had fallen out of his bed. Are you kidding? He went right back to sleep easily. I got up at 6:15 to do this run and had a bad attitude about it. I didn't feel like doing it! I ate a 1/2 of one of the butternut squash doughnuts that I made, and had a scoop of peanut butter and sips of tea. Headed out the door to meet up with the Fast Tracks group at Valley Forge at 7am.

Even though I've been running with them on and off since last October, I still don't know that many people, and I was hoping to meet some moms but I feel like no one there is my age or in my situation, so usually I feel kind of out of place : ( I recognized a guy that I had run with back in the late winter while training for the Caesar Rodney and we started running together - then I remembered I was running 8:30s for the long runs back then. He was gone quickly but I linked up with another girl, Michelle, who was doing 16 and we stuck together for the most part for the 16 miles. For the first couple of miles, I thought we were definitely running 8:30-8:45 and I look at my watch to see 9:15. Crap! I told Michelle that I didn't know if I was going to make it. She was training for Denver and just wanted to finish the miles so we stuck together. Around 5 miles, another guy joined us and I was lagging behind this guy and my new friend. I felt like I was doing ok though, and had a positive attitude. We were heading out for 8 miles and then heading back. We were on parts of the trail out to Collegeville that I'd never been on before, so this helped with my attitude towards the run and finishing.

There were water stops from the running group at 3 miles, 5 miles and around 6 and 8 miles. Around 7 miles, I was running alone and a new member to the group was running behind me and joined me. He is training for his first marathon - NYC - for his 30th birthday. He was entertaining me and then Michelle turned around at 8 miles, and we both did also so the 3 of us were running together but once again, I lagged behind. My legs were tired by 9 miles. 7 miles to go, ah. The gels & shot blocks have been messing with my stomach lately so I waited until I felt like I needed one to have a gel - mile 10 - probably a mistake. I had that thing on and off for about 10 minutes.

Heading to the final stretch - the last 3.5 miles on the river trail, I tried so hard to keep up with my running buddies and other group members who were just ahead and just could not keep up! I was so frustrated. I wanted to cry. The last 2 miles I was running and then walking on and off. I was going so slow, I felt light-headed and my legs were just heavy and I wanted to give up. I couldn't wait to just be done. I was proud of myself for finishing, but all that I could think was - there's no WAY I can do another 10 miles. Absolutely no way! I walked the last half mile to the table with the food and drinks and felt totally disoriented. I ran into a guy that I used to work with and just felt messed up! I needed food in my system. I screwed up on the nutrition. It's been so long since I ran longer than a half, I guess I just did not prepare - and I am not in condition for this right now! See my splits:
Next week I was planning to attempt 20. I think that I still will, but I don't know what to do. Obviously I am not trained properly - the long bike rides and all the cross training were not beneficial to me? and my endurance is not there.

Although I feel better about this run hours later, that I finished it, it was so slow, I feel like I have no business running a marathon in 4 weeks, and I don't know what to do :( Looks like I can handle a 10 miler and that's about it.  Do I bag it? Try the 20 and see how it goes? I know that if I do this marathon, it will be my last marathon for a LONG time. Maybe for my 40th birthday I will do another.