#Goal412 Final Update and Race Wrap Up

Yesterday was a great day. The weather was phenomenal, I had some of my best friends in town from all over America to run in the Raleigh Rock ‘n’ Roll Half and Full Marathons, and it was the culmination of a 4 month drive of, what I called, my #Goal412. As a reminder, this consisted of running the Raleigh Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in personal record time on my 33rd birthday while raising money for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. I tracked my progress of the journey to race day in a database and truly enjoyed the ride. While yesterday was fun, I enjoyed the journey more than I thought I could or would. Below are the final numbers through yesterday.


Numbers worth noting:

  • BMI went down 6.62%
  • Body fat went down 5.4%
  • Weight went down 8.82%
  • Able to run 39% more distance in 35 minutes than when I started
  • Running wasn’t the only discipline I did during this time – I also biked and swam

So, if you don’t think real change can happen in 4 months, let the numbers challenge your thinking.

The reality is, the marathon isn’t the main thing I am shooting for this year; it’s just 1 of 3 big races in which I’m competing. The next 2 are the Raleigh Half Ironman on May 31 and the Beach to Battleship Full Ironman on October 16th. The marathon was almost a training run for these other events – and I reminded myself of this many times last week! When I found myself getting nervous in the days before the race, I told myself that this weekend was the lightest (in total miles) that I will have for about the next 15-16 months (as I plan to also do the Lake Placid Ironman in 2016). 🙂 I will continue adding to my database through, at least, Kscope, as I will be presenting on it in June.

Thoughts on the Journey

My husband and I had a great conversation a couple weeks ago. Although many see me as goal driven (which I am…), I enjoy the journey much more than actually achieving my goals. Why? I love and crave discipline and the journey towards a goal teaches you those. Don’t get me wrong, crossing the finish line was great yesterday, but I loved the past 4 months more than crossing the finish line in terms of joy. And the journey is rarely, if ever, solo. I had partners in this. Each person that encouraged me online gave me confidence to keep the course. To each person that donated to The V Foundation, you kept me honest and determined to not let you down. Of my minimum goal of $1500, I am $1095 of the way there! To my husband, thank you for letting me just be me. My personality is that which I am either going 100 mph or I’m dead…and he understands that and respects me in my drive towards my goals. Such support from a spouse is crucial! And I, thankfully, have that. To my coworkers on various projects with interRel – thank you for not killing me. Yes, I know that I am picky, finicky and, quite frankly, a PITA sometimes. But, truly, your support is awesome. Thanks for not taking a laptop to my head. 🙂 And, last, but certainly not least, is my coach, Chris. I made a {wise} decision in December to get help with my goals. While I feel I am a fairly disciplined person, I struggle when accountability is not present, so I sought a partner. She put together my weekly training plans (and will continue to do so until I have knocked everything off my physical to-do list – recall, 100 mph or dead…) and I trusted her with the training process. I either correctly or incorrectly believe that if you want something done right, you should do it yourself, so choosing to have someone else plan my weeks for me was hard in the beginning. But the results came and were steady – as evidenced above – so trust became easier. Now I just do what she tells me to do and trust that the half and full Ironman’s will be successful…as long as I uphold my end of the deal to do the plans.

Race Recap

Interesting to note here…I told my husband in February 2014 that I would never run a marathon again. Yeah, that decision didn’t last.

My Garmin knew it was my birthday!


Pre-Race picture at the house with all the girls:


Getting mentally prepared for the marathon – fear the guns!


Many of you have been asking about the race – so here is the race recap! First off, the weather was perfect. Around 50* at the start of the race and 65* at the end. The sun was out and there was a breeze that felt amazing on some of the stretches. I had my girls in town to run the race from Seattle, Atlanta and Columbia (SC) and we were all ready to go. I’m normally a nervous wreck before a race. I will get in line at the port-a-potty, go, then immediately get back in the same line to continue the cycle multiple times over. My gut does not like nerves. However, because of proper training and nutrition and increased self-confidence, I had none of my previous life’s issues. I was just ready to get started! One of my worst training habits on the long runs was going out waaay to fast for the first 3 or so miles, so I made sure to be mindful to not do this in the race and mess up my last few, ornery miles. And I did perfectly on this! I was honestly feeling great and had the best support crew out there – my husband – who met me at predetermined miles to give me water, gel, almond butter or bars to keep me going. He has always rocked on support as he inline skates the race ahead of me to keep me as fresh as I can be. Raleigh is rather hilly, but our training took us on hills that were greater than the hills we experienced in the first half of the marathon. I had wonderful surprises of Chris and Juliet (another runner/biker friend who runs 100 mile races…) cheering me on at miles 7, 11 and 25.9 (I think those are correct…). What an uplift in spirits seeing familiar faces cheering you on! More on 25.9 later…

Once we got to the half marathon and marathon course split, my friend Tara and I headed towards the “schools” portion of the course, as I put it. We ran through Meredith College then NC State University. The water stations were, bluntly, spaced too far apart, especially for the heat and sun…and distance in this race. It was during my run in Meredith that I realized I would need more water than planned for the race because I got completely confused on the loop run. I couldn’t figure out why the mile markers were going backwards. It wasn’t until we exited the school grounds that I realized the mile markers I saw going backwards were ones that I had already passed. (you can say, “DUH”, if you want…but mentally it was getting tougher to stay on track). My original goal for the race back in December was 4 hours 30 minutes. At the halfway point, I was at 2:17 on my watch. Perfect! And I was feeling relatively good, so I kept the pace. Around mile 16 one of my favorite songs came on my playlist. It is my husband’s ringtone, we saw the singer in concert a couple weeks ago and the singer (not song) was my husband’s and my first dance at our wedding. The song was “Heartbeat” and I just can’t NOT dance whenever I hear it. So, dance I did from mile 16 to 17! My friend was cracking up and my run-dancing, jump and arm pumping. The best part? The police officer on that stretch started dancing with me, too! Soooo much fun! Then came about 2 miles of hills that tore me up physically and mentally. I wasn’t able to keep up my 4:30 pace and the hills just.would.not.stop. My original plan was to get to mile 20, then belt out the last 10k of the race. Well, the 17-19 miles nearly defeated me. I wasn’t going to quit the race, but I was almost punching the air in frustration. I knew 4:30 was not going to happen. So I created a new goal on the spot – beat 5 hours. My previous best marathon was 5:39 in 2011. If I could get in the 4 hour range, I’d still consider that a big win…especially given this course.

Throughout the race, Tara and I had been talking off and on to pass the time and distance. Right around mile 21, I was thirsty, tired and ready to be done. She started talking and I realized that where my head was would not allow for me to enjoy the conversation and I needed to focus on putting one foot in front of the other and zone out to my music. I felt so bad for her, but I had to tell her that I just could not talk or listen to her for the remainder of the race. I just didn’t have the capacity to mentally function at that level anymore! She was definitely taken aback, but complied in silence. 🙂 When there was 0.75 miles left in the race, I realized that not only could I break 5 hours, I could break 4:50 if I kept going. No walking the last ¾ mile and the pace needed to be quicker than a shuffle. So, I told Tara that I needed her – right then – to carry me to the finish in under 4:50. I told her that was her job for the next few minutes. I turned down my music really low so I could hear the crowd at the finish line and enjoy the last few seconds. At mile 25.9…half of the 0.75 miles I had left…I saw a couple people jumping and screaming. I was not in a mental place to process familiar faces…but it eventually came to me – it was Chris and Juliet right there near the finish line…and it gave me some much needed mental energy. So I high-fived them, got my mojo back…and told Tara, “I needed that.” From that point to the finish line, I sprinted with everything I had…at 4:43 min/mile pace across the finish line. My final time was 4:49:20. Broke 4:50 and crushed my previous best time.

Finish line picture:




Amazingly, I was not sore last night nor am I today from the run. I feel GREAT. Not saying I want to run another 26.2 miles tomorrow, but I’m not walking gingerly or looking like I ran a marathon yesterday. Truly, it came down to – again – proper training and nutrition. And I am grateful!

So, I accomplished my goal of running a marathon on my 33rd birthday in personal record time. Special thanks to the following people that financially supported my goal of raising money for The V Foundation. You kept me motivated more than you know. I wrote “NOT TODAY” on my hand yesterday to remind myself that (yesterday) today, I am not quitting. I am not letting my contributors, YOU, down. I’m not letting Chris down. I’m not finishing weak. I’m not giving in to pain. I’m not giving to fatigue. I’m not giving up. Not today.

  • Jes Borland
  • Debra Lilley
  • Helen Sanders
  • Michael Rainey
  • Jeff Smith
  • Tim German
  • Wayne Van Sluys
  • Debbie Gollnick
  • Tim Tow
  • Jake Turrell
  • Jason Jones
  • Opal Alapat
  • Rene Antunez
  • Rajesh Patel
  • Jennifer Anderson

…What is cool about this list is that all of you are my “geek” friends, meaning either Oracle or otherwise database people. What a fantastic geek community I have! I am grateful to you!



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