Hanging Out With a Pro

Okay, so I didn’t really hang out with a professional runner, but I was front and center at a Q&A a couple of weeks ago! πŸ˜€

I’m lucky in that there are some pretty awesome running stores around me that host cool events. I met Jeff Galloway last month at one store, and also last month at a different one, I got to meet Abdi Abdirahman.

He most recently ran New York Marathon and finished 7th overall and was the first American to finish.

Light blue shirt, orange Nikes (Source)

I didn’t know him prior to hearing about him through the Sole Sports Running’s event page, but when I saw he was a professional runner, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet him and hear him speak. And let’s be real here, I could talk and listen about all things running all day!

Andplusalso, he’s from Arizona!!

Let’s ignore the UofA shirt–Go Sun Devils!! (Source)

It was an intimate Q&A, which I thought was cool because it had a real personal feel. There were maybe 15 people there. I sat right in front of him and even got to ask a few questions (like, What is a race day ritual? He said, new socks!)

What stood out from the conversation was that he was a late starter. He didn’t actually start running til his late teens! I laughed when he said that running wasn’t a dream he had all his life and that it wasn’t like he’d always wanted to be a runner. A friend asked him for company on a run and the rest is history!

He’s an older runner, in his forties, and he said that although he respects and admires Meb, he likes beating him even more, lol! I was inspired by Abdi’s confidence; he repeated several times that despite his age, he feels like he still has a lot in him to compete at the high level. He was not satisfied with 7th place at New York (even though I thought that was pretty impressive!); he finished 3rd last year in 2:11.

Abdi will be running Boston next year and joins a long list of pros I’m excited to see!

Oh just me and a pro πŸ˜€

Pretty cool, huh?! Have you ever met a pro runner? (I’ve also high-fived Meb once!)

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2017 Scottsdale Half Marathon–PR!!

I love this course. I really do. It’s been sooo good to me and Ben and we’ve always done well here. It’s a pretty much a *flat*, fast, loop in Scottsdale, AZ–nothing majorly scenic, but it’s pretty in Scottsdale and even though you’re passing through businesses and residential areas, the landscaping is well maintained and pretty to look at, lol!

My goal was to sub 1:40. I hadn’t really been vocal about that goal (except here), but my marathon training has me doing tempo miles at that pace and I figured it was a good time to give it a go.

And I got close….

So close.

I wore my Shalane F*CK YES! Momentum bracelet because I was on a mission for a sub 1:40 Eff Yes moment. When I crossed the finish line, it was more just like, F******CK. Lol!!!

Turning the corner and looking at the clock tell me I didn’t make it.

And because I’m honest, my immediate reaction crossing the finish line was disappointment– and I wanted to cry. But because my team’s tent was at the finish line, I was immediately met with hugs and congrats and I couldn’t cry. I mean, I PR’d, how could I be upset? I didn’t want to cry and be a baby with everyone so happy for me. So, I put a smile on my face and rejoiced, even though deep down I was sad.

My brother ran it, too!

My MRTT/AZTNT crew

I know PRs are going to get harder now. So after I pity-partied a bit, I truly began to celebrate my accomplishment.Β I’m pretty damn happy. Sincerely.

I ran fast, and I ran fast from the very start. I went in with a goal and I wasn’t afraid to fight for it from the get-go. From beginning to end, I raced.

That is so freaking awesome to me. I’ve come such a long way in the mental aspect of running. I remember telling my husband after I first ran a sub 1:50, that I didn’t think I could top that. That I would be perfectly okay without bettering that 1:48. Well, here I am, a 1:42 and a 1:40 later!

I’m wanting to get faster. I’m not afraid of running fast anymore. I mean, I still sometimes get freaked out when I see myself running sub 8s, but I’m getting used to seeing them more often and getting used to making it my “new normal”.

It’s insane. I never thought I would run the way I’m running now.

4th in Age Group, what?!?

And to think that I want to run faster! That my race day mantra now is: Make It Hurt.

It indeed was a F*CK YES! moment. Who was I kidding! A 2+ minute PR!!!

Turn and burn!

Love ya, Scottsdale!

The road to Boston continues! And that’s the real goal πŸ˜‰

–Do you have a favorite local race?

–Do you like running fast?

–When was your last F*ck Yes! moment?

Never-ending

Growing up, I used to watch Mexican soap operas. And I loved that each novela would have a grand finale. It wouldn’t go on and on and on like American soap operas. (How long has General Hospital been on?) Of course there were times that I’d get sad when a novela would end–it was so good! But I appreciated the fact that they would give the viewer closure by having an end.

I *loved* watching this actress growing up πŸ˜€

What does this all have to do with running?

I don’t want BQ training to be my General Hospital.Β 

While I love training, and get legitimately sad when it’s over, I reeeally don’t want training to Boston Qualify to be never-ending. Please Lord let there be an end (and with good results LOL)!!

I’m always excited to start a new training cycle and I’m excited this time too, but…

REAL TALK: Sometimes I wish that BQ training could’ve been a continuation of NYC Marathon training–I felt so confident andΒ in it then. I honestly think it was because I knew deep down inside I could get my sub 4 hour goal, despite it requiring a 45 minute improvement. I wasn’t scared of the “end” of that cycle. I was excited. I knew I could reach my goal.

I take comfort in the “known” which is why I think this particular training cycle scares me so much. I don’t know if I can reach my goal.Β I don’t know when this BQ training cycle will end. That confidence I had going into and training for NYC Marathon is not here with this BQ training. I’m trying. I really am–to be optimistic, and tell myself that with hard work and commitment it can be possible. But the high expectations of this particular end is both exciting and terrifying.

Does that make sense? Does any of this make sense?

I love challenge. I love taking risks. I even like being scared. As far as running is concerned, this will be my biggest challenge, my biggest risk, and the scariest thing I’ve ever attempted.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t become a never-ending training cycle! πŸ˜€