5 Thanksgivings

Since ending the run streak and taking time off after running two marathons, I haven’t had much to write about.  I have only ran once since the marathon and I could barely walk the following day.  My calf is still tight and my right foot is still sore; so right now I am just taking time to recuperate.  I have also been pretty busy with work and some other projects I am doing on the side, all of that being said not a lot of time to write, but since Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday and that means Thinking Out Loud, I thought I would take some time to write before going to sleep.


For those of you who know me ‘in the real World’ know that I don’t like celebrating holidays.  It wasn’t always that way, but being in the military and away for 8 years holidays just become another day, besides that I don’t like the commercialization of holidays.  That is my real pet peeve.  Though I still enjoy Thanksgiving; for the most part ‘they’ haven’t found a way to commercialize Thanksgiving yet.

This week for TOL I thought I would share 5 meaningful Thanksgiving memories.

2014:  Running–Last year Thanksgiving was also day #33 of the run streak.  When I started I wasn’t sure I could make it 33 days, looking back I’m still not sure how I made it 365 or if it was worth it.  Did I sacrifice my marathon training for the streak?  I’ll never know, but I will have another shot to run a marathon and I’ll always have that year of running!

#tbtt Throwback Thursday & Thanksgiving
Throwback Thursday & Thanksgiving

2013:  Nick’s Seat–Every year since I can remember my family has always gathered at my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving, it is the one thing I always look forward to!  I could probably tell you a story from every year, we always make memories and reflect upon years that have past and tell each other stories about the ones that have past, that we all know by heart.  Sadly in 2013 my Uncle passed away.  He was an avid golfer and I really enjoyed the times he would ask me to golf with him.  On Thanksgivings we would normally switch back and forth between golf and football depending on what time of day it was.  2013 was the first Thanksgiving without him.  Even though we don’t have assigned seats at the table we all sit in the same chairs each year.  After my Granddad passed away my Dad took his spot at the end of the table and Nike had always had the other end.  This year I wasn’t sure who was going to sit in Nick’s spot or if anyone would.  When it was time for dinner my Aunt asked me if I wanted to sit in Nick’s seat, I wasn’t expecting that.  I don’t think she realized how important or honored I was to have his seat.  So now it is me and my Dad at the ends of the table each year.

2012:  Gordon Biersch–In 2012 I really started running with people and going to different run clubs until I found one where I fit in.  That is where I met FKBT, I didn’t call him that then, I called him Tim.  If you want to know the story behind FKBT read Sarah’s blog.  Anyway, Tim was the leader of the City Sports run group and it just so happened that run group this particular week fell on ‘Friendsgiving’.  Tim had arranged for a rep from Brooks to come and demo some shoes; after the run Tim, myself, a few other runners, and the rep from Brooks went to Gordon Biersch around the corner from City Sports.  The rep offered to pay for the first rounds of beers.  After 1 or 2 rounds pretty much everyone left, but Tim and I stayed and talked with the rep for a while.  Next thing you know we were quite a few rounds in and having a blast.  At the end of the night the rep looked at us and said, so there were like 20 people with us tonight right?  We all agreed and the rep picked up the whole tab for Tim and I!  Pretty awesome!  I only tell that story because the rep no longer works for Brooks.


2003:  Surprise–This was the year I got to surprise everyone with a visit on Thanksgiving!  I missed the last two Thanksgivings, I was away in the military.  This year I flew in from Turkey and surprised everyone.  I know Turkey/Thanksgiving you can make some puns of your own.  It was great to see the surprise on everyone had on their faces.  I think I was only able to come back for 3-4 days and then back to Turkey, but it was well worth the trip.

2001:  The Redding’s House–My first Thanksgiving away from home I planned to spend in my dorm in Minot, ND.  Not very exciting, the holidays this year were especially rough being the first time away from home.  The day before Thanksgiving I got a phone call from pretty much a stranger.  She said her name when Ester Redding and she went to the same church I did.  She told me the pastor had mentioned it was my first Thanksgiving away and didn’t have any plans.  I told her that was correct; with that she invited me over to have Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family.  Normally I am not up for meeting strangers in a new setting like that, but I decided I would go.  I was pretty anxious about going, but once I arrived everyone was really welcoming and the Redding’s made my first Thanksgiving away from home a little easier to deal with.

2000:  Turkey Cup–Fifteen years ago my best friend and I asked two of our other really good friends to go golfing.  We decided to have a friendly competition, we called it the Turkey Cup.  The first year I won!  My friends did it again the following year, but I wasn’t able to defend my championship because I was in Minot, ND my first duty station.  Each year since the Turkey Cup has grown, sometimes we play on Thanksgiving, sometimes the day after.  This year we will play on Thanksgiving and have over 20 people playing.  The format of play has changed, instead of individual tournament we make it two-person best ball.  It has become a tradition we all look forward to and one that will hopefully continue for many years to come.

Yes, I know I chose 6 memories, I had to add one at the last minute after I originally posted.  Well there you have some of my most memorable memories from Thanksgiving.

What are some of yours?

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Veggie Fueled Runner



1 Week without running…except for that cat

After running everyday and following that up with running back to back marathons it was really odd for me to take an extended amount of time off.  I know my body needed it though.  If you read my Marathon #5 blog you know how bad I was hurting.  The soreness, hobbling and pain lasted most of the week.  I think Tuesday may have actually been the toughest, not sure I was just really sore that day.

Last week's #tbt for Veteran's Day
Last week’s #tbt for Veteran’s Day

The place I normally go to get a massage actually called me on Monday, I had not been in for a while.  I asked to schedule an appointment and the earliest they could get me in was the following Thursday, over a week away, I was hoping it would be sooner.  Most of my soreness had subsided now, although this weekend I had what I am calling ‘phantom’ pains in my feet.  It could have been that I was standing for a while or the shoes I was wearing but it they felt like I had just gone for a long run, but no apparent reason why.

The Phantom is everywhere!
The Phantom is everywhere!

Without running what have I been up to?  Hmmmm, work mostly!  It was a pretty busy week last week, I had several early morning and evening appointments.  I also had an overnight stay on the Eastern Shore, near Ocean City.  I didn’t have time to stop by the beach 😦  I had to work on Saturday morning as well, so it was a long week.

I pack light!
I pack light!

Finally Saturday evening arrived and a little time to relax.  My best friend, John, and his brother, Jordan, came and picked my up, we went to a local bar that was closing down the next day.  They had sold the property to a company next store, that another friend actually happens to work for, and they are going to tear it down.  We had two beers and went to my friend’s house to watch the big MMA fight.  Before going to my friend Tir’s house we stopped and bought some food and drinks to take over with us.  The three of us have been best of buds since high school, so more than half our lives.  I grew up in what most Marylander’s would consider a small town, everyone knows everyone, and their business, haha.

So that didn't run out the way Vegas was hoping!
So that didn’t turn out the way Vegas was hoping!

My John and Jordan had to leave after about an hour to go to some other events but they said they would be back later, before the main event.  Sure enough about an hour later John came back, but Jordan was still out and about with some other friends.  We will all sitting around watching the fights in the basement enjoying the evening and then that is when it happened.  We heard some noise outside and the lights started flickering.  John, said ‘Is that Jordan coming back?’  Then we heard a loud pop, pop, pop, pop, just like gun shots.  My first thought was Jordan had come back but something happened.  He is a police officer and my initial thought was some sort of ambush.  We all took off running upstairs, someone was pounding on the door.  I went for the door and I heard Tir yell the house next door is on fire.  I quickly opened the door, it wasn’t Jordan it was a lady explaining what Tir had just said.  Tir’s cousin Michael was with us to and we all ran upstairs as quickly as we could to get Tir’s wife and the kids out of the house.  Tir’s wife, Amy, had the newborn, Michael grabbed the middle child, I hopped up onto the top bunk to grab the oldest, woke him up, and handed him to John who took him downstairs and outside.  Smoke was already starting to fill the house.  We all made it out safely and Amy turned around and said we have to get the cat.  I was walking down the outside steps and turned around, just at that time I saw the cat run by the door.  I went back in, that same lady held the door open, when I went in.  I kept thinking in my mind over and over, you’re never suppose to go back for the animals.  I was yelling for the cat and saw her dart behind the sofa.  I grabbed the sofa and pulled it out from the wall and grab the cat.  I don’t think I was in the house more than 40 seconds, but I was coughing quite a bit when I came out.

Fortunately, everyone is okay, and the children were not in the smoke that long.  Tir had called the fire department and they started to arrive.  The kids were cold, we all tried to keep them as warm as possible.  Amy called her aunt who lives about two blocks away and we all went over there to warm up and come up with a game plan.  I didn’t even realize I didn’t have shoes on till I was walking over to Amy’s aunts with the oldest child.  Tir actually pointed it out, once the kids were safe inside we walked back over to the house.  The fire department had contained the fire from spreading.  Tir and Michael went back into the house to get some essentials that Amy, Tir and the children would need for the night.  I stayed by the door and kept it open, the house had quite a bit of smoke still in it.  Tir grabbed my shoes for me!  His fence was damaged, the fire melted about six panels of it.


The important part is everyone got out okay, oh and as for the house next door, it was empty the people had moved out two weeks ago.  So that is the story of the time I went running for a cat.

Not the actual cat, this is a cat body-double.
Not the actual cat, this is a cat body-double.

How was your weekend?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Marathon #5-The Outer Banks

After deciding a few weeks ago I would run the Outer Banks Marathon, race day had finally arrived.  It would be my second marathon in three weeks.  My body felt strong, rested, and ready-to-go.  I woke up around 0400 hrs, to have breakfast.  I had a protein shake and went back to bed until 0530 hrs.  I woke up meandered around the hotel room and finally got dressed for the race.

When I stepped outside I was immediately hit by a constant forceful wind.  I walked down to the beach and the waves had to be 6-7 feet high and rolling in!  The wind would be at my back most of the race so I actually welcomed it, the temperature was in the upper 50’s.  The weather wasn’t as good for running as it was in Baltimore a few weeks ago, but it was much better than it had been the day before.
  I drove to the parking lot where the shuttle would pick me up and take me to the start, as I walked towards the bus I saw Jim and his wife Suzanne.  We rode to the start line together, chatted a bit when we arrived, and then made our way to our starting corrals; Jim and I were both in Corral A.  Jim started further up in the corral and I started towards the back, I wanted to make sure I followed my plan of starting out slowly.  The race started right on time at 0720 hrs., the first mile I think my Garmin had a hard time picking up satellites.  It was telling me I was running a 10:30 pace but I knew I was much faster than that, when I reached the mile marker it beeped and displayed a 9 minute mile.  I was right where I wanted to be, now I just needed to hold that pace and wait to speed up later in the race.

My calf was tight and bothering me a bit, the tightness had gone away in previous runs but it was sticking with me now.  It wasn’t enough to worry me yet, but knew I needed to listen to my body.  Through mile 4 I was keeping my pace at 9 mins, I wanted to speed up and it took a lot for me to hold back.  Somewhere in mile 5 my back spasmed, it caused me to jump up and threw my stride off.  It only lasted a second or two, that had never happened to me before while running.  The pain didn’t last and I kept going making sure to refueled with a blok.

The course support was excellent at almost every mile marker there was a water station, bathrooms, and a med tent.  The course support was some of the best I had seen.  Along the first seven miles there were lots of spectators as we ran through the neighborhoods, my only complaint would be the winding course.  It was hard to figure out the tangents, but a little extra never hurt anyone right?  Halfway through mile 7 my stomach was starting to feel uneasy.  I was wondering if I could make it the whole race without stopping, nope, I made it to mile 10 and stopped to use the bathroom.  I wasn’t to concerned about losing time.

After my bathroom break it was into the woods.  Miles 10-13 were on the trail, any of you who know me, know I do not enjoy trail running.  I didn’t realize there was a trail portion when I looked at the course map.  The trail was uneven and hilly, like any trail usually is.  My stride changed and I slowed down to around an 11 min pace.  I could feel my IT band getting tight as I was using different muscles in my stride to stabilize.  It seemed like I was on that trail for much longer than I was; I was very happy to see pavement again at mile 13.

As I hit the asphalt, I tried to get my stride and strike back.  Normally I am a toe to mid-foot striker, but through the trail I was running on my heels more.  I tried getting back to mid-foot striking but my calves were tired and I couldn’t stay ‘up’.  I knew I was going to have to adjust my stride for the rest of the race.  The rest of the race I was striking heel first, which made it feel like the shock of hitting the pavement was reverberating through my body.  My pace fell off a bit but I was still around 9 mins.

I was making sure to take bloks more frequently than I have in past races to hopefully keep some glycogen in my body for later in the race.  I had to make another bathroom stop at mile 16, my stomach didn’t want to cooperate with me today.  After the second unexpected pit stop, I noticed I was starting to chaff under my arms and it was starting to bother me.  I decided at the next med tent I would get some vaseline.  Mile 17 nor 18 had a med tent, finally at mile 19 there was a med tent and it felt so good to put the vaseline under my arms.  Then it happened…

In the middle of mile 19, my body said enough.  The constant heel strikes for the last 8 miles, the run streak, the marathon 3-weeks before hit me.  My legs didn’t want to go anymore.  The pain in my quads and claves was almost intolerable.  It felt like my muscles were ready to jump through my skin and out of my body.  I started stretching on the side of the road  and while I was stretching I was looking at my watch, I could still break 4 hours I just needed to push through this and get going.  I popped another block and started running again.  The run didn’t last long before I was walking again.

My body has never felt like it did those last 6 miles; during a race or in training before.  During those miles I though that maybe running marathons 3-weeks apart after a year of running wasn’t the best idea.  After a year of constant running, tendonitis, and 3 more weeks of training my body decided it was time to rest.  The last 7.2 miles took me around 90 mins to complete.  I knew by mile 21 I wasn’t going to break 4 hours, I just wanted to finish the race.  I ran, walked, and shuffled my way to the finish line.  I somehow found the tolerance to run the last half mile and crossed the finish line at 4:40:52.  I added 29 mins to my time from just 3 weeks ago.  I didn’t really care, I was just happy I didn’t give up.

I made my way through the finisher’s area and sat down.  I wasn’t sure I was every going to get up again.  I had never felt so bad after a marathon before.  I sat there for about 20 mins, planning how to get up and make it back to the bus that would take me to my car.  I finally got up and hobbled to the bus.  It was about a 40 min drive back to the parking lot.  I replayed the marathon in my mind and wondered if I could have done anything differently; the only thing I could have done differently is not run.  Although my body felt good going into the race, I think it was still recovering and wasn’t ready for another 26.2 miles.

It is now time to rest, recoup, and start thinking about next race season.  This one is over and though it ended on a bad note, it was a great race season.  I had two PRs (half and full marathon) and came close to a PR at 10 miles.  I’m looking forward to trying for some more PRs after allowing my body to heal!

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Outer Banks Race Weekend


After work I set out for the Outer Banks, the GPS said it would be about a 5 1/2 hour drive down.  Along the way I decided to stop when I saw a sign for Wawa and get a sandwich.  Much to my disappointment as soon as I exited the highway the sign for Wawa said 3 miles, rather misleading from the highway sign, but I still went refueled and had a sandwich.

Water tower just off the exit!
Water tower just off the exit!

When I finally made it to the Outer Banks it was dark, but much to my surprise my hotel was right on the beach!  (I didn’t notice when I booked the hotel)  After I changed I walked down to the water, it was ice-cold!  I didn’t go in any deeper than my ankles, there were still a few people trying to eek out the last little bit of light as they were surfing.

Cowabunga Dude!
Cowabunga Dude!
Last of the light!
Last of the light!

I came back to the room and text my friend who is also running the Outer Banks Marathon this weekend.  He and his wife are doing their first marathon.  We made plans to meet for dinner at a place nearby called Chili Peppers.  For dinner there were seven of us, he and his wife had brought along four friends who were doing the half marathon.  It was great to meet everyone, the conversation was light as I got to know everyone.  One of Jim’s friends mentioned they were thinking about starting a blog, and I recommended doing it!  Of course we talked about mine and then how I become a vegetarian.  Jim’s wife and a few of her friends said they were going try being vegetarians for 30 days, they were inspired!  Woot Woot!  I told them they have to keep me in the loop.

Lots of business had signs up welcoming runners! First one I saw when I entered Kitty Hawk.
Lots of business had signs up welcoming runners! First one I saw when I entered Kitty Hawk.

After dinner, I went back to the hotel to watch some television.  There wasn’t much on, I watched a show on Discovery called Pacific Warriors.  It was about ‘local’ Hawaiian fisherman.  It was hard not to laugh.  I lived in Hawaii for four years, the people on the show were no way locals.  They didn’t talk like the locals and had problems getting the native dialect (pidgin) correct.  I could be wrong but I very much doubt these people actually grew up in Hawaii.  After a good laugh I went to bed.


I slept in, all the way to 0900 hrs.  That is actually pretty late for me.  When I woke up I had a few banana chips and went for a shake out run.  I ran about two miles, trying to keep a slower pace.  I want to start the race really slow around a 9 min pace.  I know I have said that before but I really mean it.  It was already warm and humid outside.  I am hoping the weather forecast is right and the cold front comes through or it is going to be a long race.

Cool wind turbine.
Cool wind turbine.

After the run I walked down to the beach for a little while and there were quite a few people surfing and doing stand up paddleboarding.  I took a shower and made my way over to the running expo.  The parking lots were small and I had to drive around to find parking but the expo itself was pretty nice.  They had lots of vendors and a nice swag bag.  I walked around the expo for a while before deciding it was time for lunch.  A Harris Teeter was only a mile away so I made my way there to get some lunch and sunscreen.  I’m not sure if it is going to be sunny tomorrow, but I figure I should probably get some just to be safe.

Maryland Harris Teeter's need this section!
Maryland Harris Teeter’s need this section!

I had pizza and some desert and then took it easy.  I decided to take a nap, hey you can never have too much rest before a marathon 😉  While I was napping I thought I heard a knock at the door, before I could answer the door was opening.  It was someone trying to check in.  Apparently, the hotel does not have good record keeping.  The people apologized and went to sort out the issue, I did notice it was raining pretty hard.  Hopefully that will cool things off.

Surprisingly I’m not nervous or worried about this race like was for Baltimore.  I don’t know why.  I have a plan for this race and hopefully everything comes together and I can break the 4-hour mark.

Around 1800 hrs. I went over to where Jim and his friends were staying.  Some of his friends had made a runner’s dream dinner, Ziti!  Time to carbo-load.  I had gone to Harris Teeter and bought coconut cake for dessert.  Dinner was excellent, on top of the Ziti in pasta was OBX made with noodles (Forgot to take a photo).  After eating we watched the movie Inside Out, normally I am not one for animated movies, but it was pretty good!  When the movie was over we all wished each other good luck and I headed back to the hotel.  I arrived and my room key did not work, I went to have it rekeyed and told the desk staff about my unexpected visitors earlier.  She said she would let the manager know.  I watched some television, set me alarms and went to sleep.


Very windy, these waves were between 6-8 ft.
Very windy, these waves were between 6-8 ft.

0400 hrs. I woke up to have a small breakfast and went back to sleep for a little while.  0530 hrs. time to get up and prepare for the race before leaving around 0630 hrs.  I drove to where the parking lot was near the start line and took a quick shuttle ride to the start line.  Before getting on the shuttle I ran into Jim and his wife and we rode over together.  The start line had plenty of porta-potties so the line the use the bathroom was not long at all.  The race started right on time 0720 hrs. and we were off!  I will have a full race recap later this week, let’s just say things did not go according to planned and it was a painful race.  After the race I took the shuttle back to the parking lot, hopped in my truck and went back to the hotel to shower.  My body has never hurt so much after a race.  I didn’t feel like eating anything so after showering I hit the road to get home.  I stopped once to refuel and grab a little something to eat.  I still didn’t feel like eating but knew I had to.  I finally made it home around 1930 hrs.  I unpacked, put my laundry in the wash and went over my best friends to watch Sunday Night Football.  After the game, I came home and fell asleep almost immediately.

The race didn’t go as planned and it wasn’t a PR, I will detail that more in my recap, but looking back I don’t think it was a good idea for me to run two marathons within a 3 week period.  Especially after my 365 day running streak.  My race season is officially over, it is time to rest and let my body repair itself.

How was your weekend?  What recovery tips do you have?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


CH3CH2OH Thinking Out Load

Perhaps that is a bit of an unorthodox title to this week’s Thinking Out Loud.  I can’t blame you for being confused.  Most of the time I write quite a bit on a certain topic.  Tonight I have decided to change things up a bit.  Often times I struggle from Monday to Wednesday thinking about what I am going to write about for TOL.  This week, as Thursday approached, nothing came to mind; I could have written about my upcoming marathon, this weekend, but I felt like I have stressed the importance of that enough.  So I was at a loss as Thursday approached.  On Wednesday, I watched the Country Music Awards and was inspired by them and some other life changing events that occurred of the week.  (yes I am a country music fan)

As I collected my thoughts I knew I had more to say than I could fit in one edition of Thinking Out Loud, so I thought it would be a good idea to lay out some of my thoughts in an outline and discuss them over the next 5 weeks.  After all I have noticed most bloggers who write on Thursdays create a list, so I thought I would create a list to follow as a guide to my blog on Thursdays over the next five weeks.

I hope you enjoy my Thinking Out Loud series in 5 weeks!  It may not make sense now, but in the end I hope it does and it may not always be related to running, but it is always meant to get you  Thinking Out Loud!

The five topics I will be covering are (not necessarily in this order):

  1.  Tennessee Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon
  2. 365 Days and 10 years later
  3. You are who you believe you are
  4. 4 Minutes (When you couldn’t wait)
  5. A Letter to:

Bonus Points if you know what the title means 😉

-Veggie Fueled Runner


365 Days Later

I wanted to end my running streak where it began, Central Park in NYC.  Last year on October 25th my friend, Lizzie, and I went to NYC and ran in Central Park while we were there she didn’t know at the time but I was starting a run streak.  Heck at that point I wasn’t sure I was going to; 365 days seemed like such a long time.  The next morning at breakfast I told Lizzie about my idea of a run streak and that I was becoming a vegetarian.  I’m not really sure what she thought, but I do remember her telling me that is was great that I was becoming a vegetarian but I needed to eat healthy as well.  Advice I followed over the last year.

Penn Station in Baltimore
Penn Station in Baltimore

On Friday I woke up early before work and ran, I wouldn’t have time later.  Lizzie and I were taking the train to NYC and had dinner reservations at 2200 hrs.  The train ride to NYC was pretty quick and painless, last year we took the bus and that was rather interesting.  Once we arrived we walked to our hotel, changed, and walked to dinner.  We had made reservation 3 months ago and had been looking forward to dinner for quite some time.  If you ever find yourself in NYC and want an absolutely amazing meal make reservations at Per Se!  Trust me it is worth it!  We actually had to take one of the dessert courses with us because we were so full.  I can even put into words how amazing the food was!


Saturday morning Lizzie went to meet one of her friends and I decided to go for a run in Central Park.  Our hotel was only 2 blocks away.  I wanted to try and get a longer run in since I had been taking it easy most of the week.  On Day 364 I managed to logged 12 miles; I looped Central Park and then did an out and back path.  There were so many people in the Park, bikers, runners, walkers, horse carriages, there was even a race going on.  I really enjoyed the run even though it was a bit chilly.  After the run we met a friend of mine for lunch, rested up a bit, had a dinner at supposedly the best falafel cart in NYC according to Yelp!  We aren’t so sure about that but it got the job done.  After dinner we made our way to Times Square to see An American in Paris and enjoy wine from a sippy cup!  Definitely  a highlight!  The show was fantastic.  Again I would recommend seeing it if you have not and are in NYC.

IMG_6242 (1)

Sunday had arrived, this was day 365.  There were plenty of times I thought it wouldn’t get here but it had.  It was gloomy out and a light rain was falling in the city, but it was time to run and weather couldn’t stop us.  We left the hotel and started to walk towards Central Park, Lizzie said to me ‘Are we going to walk or run?’  With that we starting running towards the Park.  We ran out and back and stopped to take a selfie, just as we had done 365 days ago.


It felt good to complete the streak.  I’ve never done anything for 365 days straight before, at least nothing that required me to go out of my way to do it.  In total I estimate during that time I ran approximately 1355 miles, with lots of them coming during marathon training.  I’m glad I completed the streak, but as Lizzie pointed out to me a year is an arbitrary number, so very true.  Why not make it two years?  I’m not, but what made me choose a year?  I suppose I thought it would be a good measure of time and give me something to do everyday.  Some people have said it was inspiring, I didn’t do it to inspire anyone but I’m glad I did.  I do hope that I have motivated someone, somewhere to run, or embrace a healthier lifestyle.  In the last few weeks of the streak I began looking forward to stopping and resting my legs.  I thought about some things when it comes to a streak and keeping it going.  One person who inspired me and has a streak she doesn’t keep track of (at least I don’t think she does, anymore) is my Mom.  Twenty years ago she gave up smoking, I still remember the day she quit.  We were at the park fishing and it started raining, my Mom, Dad, and I started running for the car.  Before we made it we stopped at a pavilion to catch our breath and that is when my Mom quit smoking.  She took out her cigarettes and threw them in the trashcan.  She was pretty winded and finally realized smoking was destroying her lungs and her health.  She hasn’t smoked since.  I’m really glad she quit that day.  I know my Mom is going to read this so ‘Keep up the streak Mom, you’ve got 19 years on me!’

Not the actual trash can
Not the actual trash can

Looking back on the streak it was challenging at times, but helped me stay on track and maintain a balance in my life.  I am sure I will write more about what the streak has meant to me in the future, when I’m ready to share some things.  In the meantime I am looking forward to letting my legs rest.  If you are wondering did I stop, no, I ran on Day 366.  It is Tuesday evening about 2145 hrs; as I begin to write my blog for Thinking Out Loud it feels odd that I haven’t ran today.  As I showered tonight I actually thought about running after getting out of the shower, and I’m thinking about running now, but it is late and I am much to tired.  Just a few days ago that wouldn’t have stopped me, but today is finally a rest day!

2014, yikes!
2014, yikes I had gained way to much weight!









I’m not going to stop running or training, I decided to try and break 4 hours in the marathon again!  I’m running the Outer Banks Marathon on November 8th.  Between now and then I will be training, but with a few more rest days.

Stay tuned!

Have you added a race to your season?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

–Running 3:16–

Day #…



After the marathon I was exhausted, but already started thinking about the next marathon.  After finishing a marathon I’ve never started thinking about which one I wanted to run next, almost immediately!  Perhaps it was because I was so close to my goal and I knew what I did wrong in the race to keep me from reaching it.  (Read about it here!)

PR Bell Sign

I left the marathon went home and watched the recap on television and hobbled around most of the day.  Hurting more than my legs were my arm pits, they were rubbed raw by the arm warmers I was wearing.  That night we had a post-marathon party at my house and some of my run friends were able to make it.  Sarah and I could both celebrate that our race season was over and we finished with PR’s!

Running done! Party Time!
Running done! Party Time!
When I woke up the next morning I was starving, but to my surprise able to walk without much pain, just some general soreness.  I’m not sure if this is because I stood out in cold for so long after the race that it helped with the swelling or my training paid off; perhaps a combination of both!

About mid-day I decided to attempt  to keep my run streak alive!  I ran a mile and felt pretty good!

I’ve ran everyday since the marathon and Wednesday was day #361 of the run streak.  Four days to go until 1 year.  I will have a lot more to say about my run streak once it is over.  I never thought I would make it this far into the streak when I started, I wasn’t even sure I could run 3 days in a row.

This weekend a friend and I are going to New York City for the weekend, that is where I began my streak and I thought it would be a good place to finish it.  Sunday in Central Park a year of running will come to an end, but it has been a great year that has really helped me focus on not only running but other things as well.  I look forward to sharing some of those stories in future Thinking Out Loud updates!

On a completely separate note a few weeks ago I was selected as a Shower Pill Ambassador!


If you haven’t had tried these out before they are great for post-run when you don’t have an option to take a shower.  They even work great if you just want a mid-day wake up and refresh.  They are athletic wipes you can use to combat, sweat, stink, and the salt build up if you have been going really hard!

The sweat life or the salt life?
The sweat life or the salt life?

Use my code for a discount!

showerpill code

What is your must have gear for a race?  How was your race season?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


BRF Marathon in…

My alarm went off at 0400 hrs, thank goodness it wasn’t time to get up just yet.  I wake up early to eat and then go back to sleep for a little while before big races.  I had an Extend Nutrition bar with some water and went back to sleep until 0530 hrs.  A cold front was suppose to have come through overnight and the weather was cooler than it had been the past week, which made for good running conditions.  I dressed in the tank top and shorts I had been running in all summer, but put on a winter hat, gloves, and arm warmers since the temp was only in the upper 40’s.

BRF Expo on Thursday
BRF Expo on Thursday

I pulled into the parking lot at M&T Bank stadium around 0645, I sat in my truck till 0730 then made my way to the start line, it was cold but I knew I would warm up once I started running.  As I waited in the starting corral I went over my game plan in my head; go out slow and try to make up time later in the marathon.  A woman came up to me while we were waiting to start and we started to make small talk and introduced each other, her name was Sandy.  She noticed my Garmin and asked what pace I planned to run and I explained my plan; she said if it was okay she was going to run with me for a while.  I didn’t mind and she said she was hoping to finish under 4:19.  This is just another reason why I love the running community, you never know when you are going to meet someone new!

Made it on TV!
Made it on TV!

The marathon started just after 0800 and we were off, we took the first mile out at around a 9 min pace, right on target, the first few miles were a slight uphill towards the Maryland Zoo.  My hat at gloves were gone by mile 2, I threw them off to the side of the road.  As we ran Sandy and I talked about where we were from, running, and just got to know each other.  Our pace quickened a little without either of us really noticing to around an 8:30 pace.  That was a little faster than I wanted to go out, but I was feeling comfortable.  The first few waters stops were pretty crowded, so crowded only one of us got water, but runners being courteous people, we got enough for each other.  As we passed through the Zoo, some of the animals were out to greet us.  We saw some penguins; while some runners stopped to take selfies we kept on moving through.  Our pace had quickened again and we turned in a sub-8 mile, I knew we had to slow down and bit and we eased off the pace.

Sorry for the thumbnail, I’m not paying $65 for 5 photos, waiting for the discount!!!

As we left the zoo, the course had a few hills but then flattened out.  St. Paul street to the Inner Harbor was downhill, so we could relax a little bit.  Running through Harborview we saw some of my friends and I dropped my fuel belt with them.  It was getting really lose during the run and was becoming annoying.  I took the bloks out and put them in my pocket before dropping it.  As we circled the Under Armour factory I really had to pee; Sandy said she would slow down and run along the side of the road so I could catch back up.  A tree made a great substitute for the port-a-potty that had a line, hey I wasn’t the only one doing that!  To catch up to Sandy I threw down a 7:30 mile, I had a feeling that would come back to hurt me.


Passing the 13.1 mile marker, Sandy saw some of her friends.  I thought my Garmin said 1:50, but looking at my times on the marathon website it said we ran the first half in 1:54, I could have seen my watch incorrectly.  Either way we were making good time maybe a little too fast.  I mentioned to Sandy maybe we should slow down a bit, she said we should just keep up the pace.  I was still feeling good and we did.  Going through Harboreast I saw all the people I know from Lululemon at their cheer station, it was motivating to high five all of them as we went by.  Coming out of Harboreast Sandy and I both noticed how quite it had gotten along the course, there weren’t many spectators for the next couple of miles.

mile 16

Approaching mile 16 and Patterson Park I slowed the pace a bit; Sandy kept the pace going and we lost each other in the crowd as the half marathon and marathon merged together.  I saw my parents cheering on the sidewalk, which was some more motivation.  After passing Patterson Park, I didn’t see Sandy anymore and the climb to Lake Montebello started, for the next 4 miles there would be an incline.  In mile 18 I lost my steam, someone was handing out full bottles of water and bananas, I grabbed both and walked while I drank the water and ate the banana.  I finally cleared the hills and made it to Lake Montebello at mile 20 I started doing the math in my head of how fast I had to run each mile to make it under 4 hours.

Alternating between walking and running I watched the time tick away on my Garmin.  Going out faster than I wanted was coming back to haunt me.  I tried to find the energy to keep going, my legs were exhausted.  Mile 22 was the final incline and it really slowed me down.  I was going back and forth between 9:20 pace per mile and 11+ min a mile, I was in trouble.  At mile 24 I still thought I had a shot at breaking 4 hours, but I would have to throw down two sub-7:30 miles, my legs didn’t have it in them, or my mind wouldn’t let them do their thing.  Either way it wasn’t going to happen.

Still waiting for the MarathonFoto discount emails!

I crossed the finish line at 4:11:16.  So close to breaking the 4 hour mark yet so far away.  Even though I didn’t break 4 hours I was happy with my time; I PR’d by 32 minutes.  I immediately started analyzing the race in my mind and where things went wrong.  Then I started thinking about when I can run another marathon and when I could be ready.

foil blanket

I made my way over to get a foil blanket, I was freezing, I had tossed my hat and gloves a long time ago and the temp dropped after that.  I finally got a foil blanket, met my parents, and got my jacket from them but I could not get warm.  I think it was in the low 40’s or upper 30’s by this point.  We took some pictures and stood in line for a while to get my Maryland Double Medal and King Crab Challenge medal holder, in total I was outside for about an hour and shivering the entire time.

waiting in line

I did get to ring the PR Bell!!!  Everyone before me went up got there picture and struck the bell once, after my mom took the picture I struck the hell out that bell several times!!!

PR Bell Sign

PR Bell

Waiting around the finish area I looked for Sandy but didn’t see her anywhere, we actually connected later in the day and caught up a bit, she finished in 4:01:40 a PR for her as well.

When I finally made it to my truck I was so happy to be able to turn the heat on and get warm.  The warm shower felt great once I was home, except on my arm pits, the arm warmers had rubbed my arms raw, really raw.  I continued to analyze the marathon in my head for the rest of the day and watched it on television.  I had recorded it.  That night the tradition of the marathon party continued, it was smaller than usual, but still a good time!

Not an endorsement of Coors Light

I have continued to think about what I could have done differently over the last few days and will probably do that for a while.  I am looking at doing a half marathon soon, but will probably wait until the spring to tackle another marathon.

My Mom made the sign 🙂

How was your race season?  What are your goals before the end of the year?

Check back tomorrow for Thinking Out Loud and see if the streak continued…

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Returning to the BRF

If you are reading this on Saturday morning, I am out running around the great city of Baltimore!  Race Day has arrived and I have returned to the Baltimore Running Festival after taking a break last year.  I haven’t ran a marathon in two years and the last one was a very poor performance, I ran without training.  This time I am prepared and as ready as I can be.


During the last four months I have logged lots of miles with lots of great people.  To be more exact during my training I have run 470.81 miles since July.  I cut back on some training runs but I’m hoping I put in enough to get my goal time, under 4 hours.


The first time I ran the Baltimore Marathon was in 2012.  I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been and didn’t take training serious until about six weeks before the race.  Once I hit the wall around mile 18 things sort of fell apart, but I was happy to finish my first marathon.

No, I didn't grow an extra hand, just some photo cropping.
No, I didn’t grow an extra hand, just some photo cropping.
In 2013 I had signed up for the marathon almost 10 months in advance, by the time October came I was burned out from the previous year of running.  I had run something like 15 races that year and had sort of lost interest in training.  I had thought about dropping out but all my friends I had been running with were running so I did to.  What a horrible idea!  By mile 12 I had enough of the marathon and wanted to quit, but finished anyway.  Let’s just say the finish line was pretty empty by the time I got there.  But it was an awesome party at my house afterwards!!!

I don't listen to music and run anymore.  I've also come to the conclusion I was never meant to have blonde hair...long story.
I don’t listen to music and run anymore. I’ve also come to the conclusion I was never meant to have blonde hair…long story.
2014 I pretty much gave up running all together.  I still went to run club and ran but it was sporadic.  I dropped out of a marathon in May, I knew I wasn’t ready so I withdrew about 3 weeks before.  I only ran a couple of races that year and knew running at Baltimore wasn’t going to happen.


If you have been reading my blog you know what 2015 has been like for me!  I’m feeling good, my body is strong, other than some minor aches; I am ready to run the Baltimore Marathon for the 3rd time! (4th marathon total).  I’m hoping this is my year.

Hoping the third time is a charm, in Charm City!
As I ‘toe the line’ tomorrow, okay let’s be real I’ll be in the middle of the crowd somewhere, it will be sort of odd.  It will be the first time in Baltimore I’m not running with anyone I know.  All of my friends have finished their marathons!  I’m sort of jealous.  I have a game plan in my head and just need to stick to it tomorrow.  I’m sure lots will be going through my mind tomorrow as I run the streets of Baltimore and I am sure I will reflect a lot on the past marathons, training, and the people who have helped my prepare for the race.

I'll be Running 3:16
I’ll be Running 3:16
I’m looking forward to sharing more thoughts after the race and hopefully being able to share a story of a PR!

What pushes you to run?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


4 Months in under…

I now look forward to Thursdays and Thinking Out Loud, even if I don’t get to post every Thursday!

For those of you who are regular readers of the blog you may have noticed I haven’t posted any training updates for the Baltimore Marathon.  Not to worry, I completed Week 16 and 17 of the training plan, the run streak is alive, and I am ‘enjoying’ taper week.  The Baltimore Marathon is Saturday.


Hill repeats with November Project
I’ve been running for 354 days straight and training for the marathon for the last 4 months according to the Hal Higdon Training plan.  That training culminates on Saturday.  The last few months I’ve had many nights were I’ve lost some sleep thinking about the marathon and if I will be able to complete it in…under 4 hours.  


Final 8 Mile Run, with a fast 5k to finish!
I feel prepared!  I’ve never trained harder for a marathon!  Now it is time to hydrate, carbo-load, and run!


Trying to keep my feet rested while standing at work!
I will have much more to say about the marathon on Saturday, so check back!  Not a very exciting blog post this week.

4 Months, in under 4 hours


Is your race season over, how was it?

-Veggie Fueled Runner