Thank you Mesa-Phx Marathon, I’M GOING TO BOSTON!!!

The instant I woke up on Saturday, I knew it was going to be a good day. I didn’t know if BQ good, but I knew it would be good.

I had set my alarm for 2:30 a.m. (yes, this race requires an EARLY wake up), but my body naturally woke up at 2:15 a.m.–ready to go. I remember thinking, “Nice. My body knows what to do. It’s ready.”

My buddies Scott and Marsha, and my long-time friend Nadia (also trying to BQ) rode with me and my husband to the start line. I forced them to endure my pre-race song–Delta Goodrem, Believe Again–on repeat. We found parking and got to the busses without trouble. Parking can be an issue for this race but since we had arrived early, we had zero problems.

I had prepared for a cold wait for the start, wearing layers upon layers, so I was comfortable despite the 30 something degree temps. I felt good, I felt relaxed.

Me and my ❤

We (me, my training buddy Ashley, and our unofficial/official pacer Tomio) somehow ended up starting a couple of minutes after the official start so the first mile was spent navigating through crowds. We were behind the 4:55 pace group and passed a few other pace groups as we tried to find an opening to settle into our pace.

Mile 1- 8:15

I wasn’t worried about being “off” pace. The first mile is super downhill so I was okay with having kept that above goal pace (which was really anything under 8:00). I was shooting for a sub 3:30, ambitious considering my previous PR was 3:44–but go big, or go home, right?

The big hill began just after mile 4 and that was where I was really nervous. I didn’t want to expend energy trying to speed up it, but I didn’t want to slow down too much and ruin my pacing. I just tried sticking as close as I could to Ashley. I also knew our good friend Bob would be at the top, so I just kept chanting, “Get to Bob. Get to Bob.” The top of the hill was practically his front yard so his sign was fitting.


Hill miles

I knew the hardest part was over, and that from there, it was all about settling in to race pace and holding on.

Steady was the name of the game

I came into the half at 1:45 feeling really good. I was wearing a pace band and had my watch set for individual mile splits. One mile at a time, I kept telling myself. I knew at this point of the course, the downhill was over and it was flat, flat, flat the rest of the way.

It was just after the half-way point that I saw a familiar face–my brother!! It completely caught me off guard as I hadn’t expected him to come cheer. He works night shifts (5 p.m. to 5 a.m.) and had told him I would understand if he wanted to forgo spectating for sleep.

But there he was, and I found myself getting so emotional. I reminded myself that crying doesn’t allow for good breathing so I just mouthed a silent, “I love you!” and kept on.

I thought a lot about my family during those miles. I thought a lot about the sacrifices they’ve made for me, my husband–who was also on the course that morning and finished with a 3:13!–and how supportive he is with my running.

And I couldn’t believe how good I was feeling.

I saw my brother again at mile 18 and he asked how I was. I yelled, “I’m doing it!” as I ran and I heard him say he’d see me at the finish line.

Around mile 19, Ashley fell back. I kept pace for a couple more miles, plugged myself in at mile 21 and then started to hurt at mile 22.

The farthest I’ve gone in a marathon before falling apart –I’m getting better at this, lol!

It was sudden, but it was deep. The pain from cramping jolted me but I refused to give in to them and walk. Instead, I gritted my teeth and fought, fought hard.

At this point, I stopped looking at my watch and just ran. I didn’t want to see a pace that discouraged me so I ran what I could. At the time, it felt like I had slowed considerably. I was in so much pain.

The “slow” miles…I can’t believe it.

At mile 23ish, my friend Elle (@afastpacedlife) was waiting for me and while I wanted to say something, anything–I couldn’t. I was in so much pain. Her and my friend Andrew (who had replaced my pacer Tomio–he had gone back for Ashley) ran with me, saying words of encouragement.

My coach found me just after mile 25 in pretty rough shape. I hated her seeing me like that and I tried fixing my form and picking up my pace. She reminded me to lean in, pick up my feet, and BREATHE. “Every second counts!” she yelled at me.

But I was fading fast in that last mile, and as I turned the final corner, I saw my friends and my coach’s team yelling at me to GO!! I could see them, but I couldn’t hear them.

The final stretch to the finish line was time standing still. I was moving, but I wasn’t. I could see, but I couldn’t.

I knew I needed to finish soon. Things were getting ugly.

That was a Must. Finish. last mile

Throughout training, I envisioned crossing the finish line so many times. On so many tough runs, I pictured myself arms raised triumphantly, BQ time glaring on the clock screen. I pictured myself smiling, crying tears of joy, hugging whoever was near me.

Yeah, things didn’t turn out that way, lol!

I was in so much pain, so much pain that I honestly couldn’t even feel the pain anymore. I was on auto-pilot, system failing, Houston-we-have-a-problem mode. At that point, I had no idea what my time was, I had stopped looking at my watch a couple miles back. Instinctively though, as soon as I crossed, I stopped my Garmin and finally looked down.

And that’s when the tears began to flow. SUB 3:30!!! I had done it.

I waited at the finisher’s chute to see if Ashley had gotten her BQ–we had trained so hard, so long together I wanted both of us to make it. And she did!!! 3:34–six minute cushion for her, too! My friend Nadia found us having finished ahead and with an amazing BQ time of 3:26!!

But there was really only one person I wanted to see at that point. The one person who truly knew how much this moment meant.

I honestly couldn’t ask for a better partner in life. ❤

My rock. My everything. He’d been with me the whole way. When I was feeling strong, I thought of him. When I was feeling pain, I thought of him. Seeing the time on my watch filled me with so much joy, but there was nothing like telling him that I’d done it.


I’m going to Boston.


Thank you all so much for your support, words of encouragement, BELIEF in me. When I first started this blog, qualifying for Boston was a distant dream. Friends, dreams do come true!!! They really do!!! Whatever they may be…




P.S. Random, but a big deal to me, lol!! I was SO looking forward to accepting my new PR on Athlinks.


If you have an Athlinks account, find and friend me!! If you don’t, create a profile here and you’ll have a sweet place to record your race times, find friends, and find races! (ICYMI, I am an ambassador for Athlinks and as always, only ever promote companies I actively use and love. Pretty easy to love honestly, lol!)



It Went Down In Phoenix–The Expo

It happened. It went down in Phoenix.


I’m honestly still registering emotions and coming out of shock so I’m starting with recapping the Expo as I try and collect myself, lol!


Whew, okay… expo.

My friends Scott and Marsha were here to get married (on the course) so we all did expo together. I had convinced my buddy Carlos (you know him as Carlos The Runner on IG) to come down to Phoenix for the race and he joined us on our expo-dition.

Photo courtesy of Carlos 😀

I’m biased, this race is my favorite, and a big part is because I get to meet SOOO many people (partially because I convince many to come, LOL). I met Heather from Heather Runs Fast and her BRF Jolene from Zebra Girl Runs. These speedy ladies rocked the half marathon (Heather) and full marathon (Jolene).

They gave me speedy vibes ❤

I got to see Emily (RunEMZ on IG) and it was Carlos’ turn to fangirl (I did when I first met her in 2014, ha!).

Another Carlos original

After expo, we went back to my place for Scarsha’s rehearsal dinner….and I FINALLY got to meet Elle from A Fast Paced Life!!!!! You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this day!!! Elle has seriously been with me on this crazy running/blogging journey since the beginning and knows how far I’ve come–all the ups and downs and craziness.

I didn’t get a pic of us before the race, but here’s one of us drinking bloody marys after 🙂


We called it an early night as we had a SUPER early wake up call (2:30 a.m.!!) the next morning. My flat me was ready and I was ready for bed! I wasn’t nervous…I felt good, I felt relaxed–probably the calmest I’d ever been the night before a race. I was excited! ❤ 





Week 6: #itsgoingdownatphx

Here we go, one more week! So many exciting things happened, not so much to me lol, but to running friends near and far .

Monday, 11/27–8 miles

I met up with a friend I met through my coach for this tempo run. She’s faster than me but we had similar mileage. And I’m inspired by faster runners anyway 🙂

I had 5 at Active Threshold pace (7:40) with a 90sec recovery in between each one.


Started off a little excited but then settled in to the right pace. Coach says to stay close to pace even though we feel we can go faster. “The goal is to raise your blood lactate to it’s threshold , and then hold it there for the duration of the workout. Training at AT increase the speed at which acidosis occurs, enabling you to hold a faster pace in races. With training, your pace at AT will increase.”

Tuesday, 11/28–Strength, Stretch, and Roll

Did some core and strength videos for 60 min. I’ve been feeling/seeing the benefits of actually doing these things, lol!

Wednesday, 11/29–4.5 miles

Easy run around the hood. I say easy but my overall pace was 8:46. I don’t know who’s easy that is but it’s certainly not mine. But, I’ve been feeling my easy pace start to creep into the 8s. I seriously don’t know who I’ve become. Mile 1-9:20, 2-8:36 <—told myself to slow down –> 3-8:41, 4-8:29 <— I gave up.

Thursday, 11/30–6.5 miles

This was awful. Just, awful. Hills+Speed=Death.

I was not looking forward to this workout at all. But, I knew I had to do it so I somehow (seriously) got myself out the door.

Finished November with 138 miles. 

Friday, 12/1–Strength, Stretch, and Roll

I put my easy Friday run in Wednesday since I’d moved that workout to Thursday. I have a way of complicating things.

Saturday, 12/2–16 miles (10+6)

Splitting my long runs isn’t my jam, but breakfast with Santa got in the way so I had to be home earlier than usual. I got 10 in with a friend

then I got 6 in later solo.

This was such a good run and I know I would’ve felt just as good had it been done in one shot, lol!


You guys, oh em gee. I had so many friends KILL it at CIM this weekend!!!!! My coach ran a 2:55 like a boss, two BTB teammates ran a 2:50 (PRs for both), another BTB teammate ran a 3:21 (PR), a good friend got a BQ, my loyal training buddy Ashley matched her PR, countless IG friends met their sub 3 hour goals (HOW is that even possible?!), aaaaaaand Elle surprised us all by getting a PR and BQ!!!!!! It wasn’t a surprise that she ran that time, it was a surprise in that SHE DIDN’T EVEN TELL US SHE WAS RUNNING!!!

I was left so freaking inspired. It’s no secret I want to Boston Qualify, and I’ve made my goal very public. I like the pressure. I really don’t mind it.  And I like the pressure of having friends Boston qualify at CIM because it just further ignites my fire. I know I want it bad. But their success makes me want it more. I want to run Boston with them. I know for some, publicizing their goals doesn’t work, but for me, I feel like I get to show people my journey, good or “bad”.

Elle made a good point in her blog by saying how “announcing your goals on social media is detrimental to actually achieving your goal because the praise you receive for the attempt fulfills your achievement needs.”

But I honestly don’t think I let it affect me. I mean, I appreciate peoples’ encouragement throughout my training, but I don’t share my journey for the likes or comments. I don’t think I work less hard because I get praise before the actual race.

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know that I started off this blog with a 4:44 marathon. Four years later, I’ve cut an hour off that time. I’m not a natural runner. I work freaking hard. And that’s what I like sharing. That it’s not easy. That’s there’s setbacks a long the way(hello DNF!)–that would happen if I blogged about it or not.

What I love about Elle is that she did things her way. I LOVE THAT. And I love that she shares her type of journey. I know she’s been wanting a “good” marathon and she went out and did it. Her terms. And freaking nailed it.

People get caught up into thinking they have to do things a certain way, train a certain way, to succeed at their goal. Nope. Here’s Elle sneaking in a BQ like a total badass, and here I am for the world to see me try. She did it, and now it’s my turn! 😀 (And guess what?!? Elle will be in Phoenix to cheer me on!!!! ❤ )

Week 7, I’m ready for you!!