How It Feels to Run My Tenth Marathon (and the 44th BMW Berlin Marathon Review)

On September 24, 2017 I ran and surpassed my finish expectations for my tenth full marathon by completing the 44th BMW Berlin Marathon in 4:19:58.

Berlin Marathon Finisher

Berlin Marathon Finisher

My marathon “career”, hobby, passion, self torture began in 2006. Here’s a running list (while mind you there have been dozens of half marathons, 10km, mud runs, and fun runs and thousands of miles from training,  also in between):

• Boston Marathon x3: 4:13:15, 4:24:43, 4:30:45 â€¢ Cape Cod Marathon 4:15:54 â€¢ Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon 4:21:07 â€¢ Walt Disney World Marathon 4:19:12 â€¢ Chicago Marathon 4:36:30 â€¢ Paris Marathon 4:49:59 • Rome Marathon 4:38:05 • Berlin Marathon 4:19:58

While my times stay somewhat, relatively consistent within 30ish Minutes, I’ve definitely become slower over the course of time. I’m ok with that and had started labeling myself as a 4:30 marathon runner. 

I don’t like sprint work, I don’t like the feeling of my heart pulsating out of my chest, and I don’t like not having a fun time, being able to talk to others and take in the atmosphere and experience of my runcation. These are the main reasons I’ve never felt to push myself to obtain a personal record with each of my races.

Running for me, personally, is something I do for relaxing my constantly running mind (if that even makes sense) and a way to stay healthy. No more, no less. For some running is about being the best they can be every time and for others it’s learning how to complete the impossible. Running is a personal sport that can make some feel self love or self hate. The gigantic community of runners can make you feel big and small at the same time. Everyone is allowed their own reasons of why or how they run and no one has the right to judge or criticize someone’s journey. 

Berlin, particularly for me, was a huge goal to knock off my bucket list. It would be my 3rd Abbot World Major and the lottery or qualifying system to get into one of the 6 majors (Boston, Chicago, Berlin, NYC, London, Tokyo) is a huge long shot. So when I applied last November for this race, I assumed I wouldn’t get into it as I’ve been rejected from NYC and London several times in the past. I even signed up for the Rome marathon at the same time for April because I figured I wouldn’t get into Berlin. Well, luck was on my side and I made it! But I then realized I had to run 2 full marathons in 2017.

I’ve been in training since November 2016 meaning I was running 5-6 times a week, including 2x a week doing speed and hill workouts because in the back of my mind I was thinking maybe I could get a personal best on this acclaimed flat and fast course. But after Rome in April and two half marathons this summer, my body was beat. The training cycle for Berlin, specifically, was brutal. I was tired, sore, mentally drained. I wasn’t hitting all my distance targets nor completing most of the sprint work. Personally for me, more than one marathon a year tends to shut my brain and body down. I honestly was not looking forward to running Berlin about 10 weeks into my training. But then I had a mental shift to remember that having fun is more important to me than a time goal and I learned to forgive myself for having a legitimate reason to feel tired. Then the mental game clicked and I was super excited to get to Berlin.

The atmosphere of a world major marathon is one of the best experiences. The city is swarming with people from all over the world to each take on the same task. The Expo always gets you ramped up when you grab your number and buy a souvenir or two. One disappointment was that finisher shirts were not included in the entry fee. If you wanted any piece of memorabilia besides a medal, you had to spend at least 45€ and the cool jackets were closer to 90€ but that’s a rant for another day. That evening, btw my dad and most loyal spectating supporter had flown in for the marathon as well, we made our way over to Checkpoint Charlie and saw some pieces and read about the history of the Berlin Wall.

Berlin Marathon Expo

Berlin Marathon Expo

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Dad and the Berlin Wall

Dad and the Berlin Wall

 

Any disappointment from the overpriced merchandise at the Expo was quickly wiped away with the free Saturday morning breakfast run. The laid back 6km run started at the Charlottenburg Palace and ended on a lap around the track of the 1936 Olympic Stadium with a breakfast included. One of the best parts of the weekend plus I got to meet up with a fellow Run Janji ambassador and my favorite British couple that I met at the Virgin Sport British 10km in July. 

Lauren and Jonathan from U.K.

Lauren and Jonathan from U.K.

Run Janji Corps Ambassadors

Run Janji Corps Ambassadors

Jennifer and I running around the Olympic Stadium

Jennifer and I running around the Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium Olympic Stadium
Olympian in the Making

Olympian in the Making


Saturday afternoon we did a 3 hour Bike Tour of Berlin. It was leisurely and educational plus we got to spectate a little of the inline skating marathon that was taking place. After our bike tour we made our way to the sombering Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

Bike Tour

Bike Tour

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

 

Sunday I was scheduled for the 3rd wave slot that had a 10am start, with an elite start time of 9:15. Easy subway transportation allowed me to sleep til 7am and head over around 8am. I chose not to bring a drop off bag but the organization at Tiergeten Park was well defined, although you did have to walk about a mile and a half from the closest metro stop to get towards the start. Plenty of porta potties, lots of musical and video entertainment on several big screens helped the 40 thousand of us stay occupied til the gun. 

The race went off without a hitch, The temps were cool (10C/50F) with a little rain to start. The race was crowded, honestly, in its entirety. The crowd support was awesome with live bands every so often along the way. Because Berlin is built on mostly water, there aren’t many skyscrapers and the buildings are all about the same height making everything look the same with little standing out, so it was nice to have the entertainment as a distraction. The course itself is exactly as they say, fast and flat, and my starting times were, for me, quicker than I was planning. But I felt good, so I held onto the 9:15-9:30 pace up until the half way point when I was looking for my dad. I thought to myself, “if you go fast now that means you can slow down later”. Which, btw, is opposite of what pros would tell you to do. After seeing my dad I maybe had a mile at about 11 min pace but felt good enough to go back to my original pace. The volunteers and aide stations were fantastic and I really felt energized by the crowd and cool temps. So I pushed on at this pace comfortably through the second half. Upon hitting the Brandenburg Gate, I was sprinting and smiling towards the finish knowing I would have one of my best times since 2009!

The Start of the Berlin Marathon

The Start of the Berlin Marathon

Some Motivation

Some Motivation

My new Baby

My new Baby

All Smiles

All Smiles

#10 in the books

#10 in the books

 

I’m so elated and proud to have completed my 10th marathon with my 4th best time after having a crappy training cycle. My enthusiasm is renewed and my goal will be to push forward and complete all the world majors! But first a break from racing for the rest of 2017 😉.

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A Review: Legend Compression Wear 

I’ve recently become an ambassador for Legend Compression Wear and was given a pair of Compression Perfomance Socks to try during my marathon training runs.

I’ve never been one to think about running accessories that could provide benefit during and after my runs outside of proper footwear, chafing cream, and a good sports bra. However, I’ve learned I’m behind the times and have found these compression socks to be game changing.

Legend Compression Performance Socks are designed with comfort in mind. Their slogan is #rightnottight. With the runner and athletes in mind, the compression enhances power and endurance while supporting the lower leg and foot. Their unique Graduated Compression Technology assists to improve blood flow and oxygen levels. When those two systems work more efficiently, you have the increased ability to train harder and recover faster.

Before Legend compression socks, I’d have sore, achey calves with intermittent left plantar fascia following runs even as short as 30 minutes. Now, after using Legend Compression Performance Socks, I notice an efficient improvement in recovery after all my long runs. As an added bonus, I’ve had a reduction in my left heel pain as well. These socks have become part of my long run program. 

Are you like me, a late compression user? Take it from me, don’t wait any longer. They come in classic, solid colors, fit accurately, and are more affordable than some other name brands out there. As a physical therapist, I not only recommend these for athletes but for those of us who work or stand on our feet all day or those who frequently travel. An added bonus, as your ambassador, my lucky readers get $15 off their first order! Click Here for your discount!

Summer “Time”

I wanted to quickly recap my day trip to London. I had won an entry to participate in the Virgin Sport British 10k from an Instagram giveaway by @themarathonmarcus.

I was excited to get a little getaway with a shorter distance run while taking in all the attractions of London. At the same time, I was meeting up with a few runners from the Instagram community as well.

I found a cheap flight with Ryan Air and made my way over. After taking a bus into the city at 5:30am, I found I almost had the city to myself. It was quiet, after the Pride celebration, with empty streets. I had an instant moment of tranquility, feeling like I had the place to myself; it was nice thought. It quickly vanished as I made my way to the start of Virgin Sports, who were putting on this event. The win not only got me a bib into the race but we had special VIP treatment as we were assigned a special place with the media center. At the media center, we were allowed to have a meet and greet with Mary Wittenberg, the CEO of Virgin Sports. Her enthusiasm and passion to get a movement of people getting involved in sport was absolutely contagious. She was humble, friendly and made each of us feel like we were making a difference by participating, with a sense of calmness during such an important day that she was directing. I don’t know how she does it but I want to be like her when I grow up!

The race was big with over 12,500 participants filling the streets near Green Park. There were bands and spectators along the entire route which brought us winding through the city and past sites like Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, along the Thames, up past the London eye and Big Ben. And although it was hot, there was shade for the first 5k and bottled water along the course. The best part was the runners I met up with (@themarathonmarcus, @xpatrunner, @runyourmindfree, @confi_x, @jonathan.barr) stuck together. For some, it was a quicker pace and others it was slower but together we made this a fun run!

That’s the best part about running, you can do it for competition and there are times you do it to motivate others. It’s your sport! 

Today I’m relaxing at home with my new kitten, Brady and reveling in the Sunday Funday I had. It inspires me to stay motivated for my marathon training towards Berlin. Time will tell if I set a personal best or not. 

Speaking of “time”, in the meantime, you can treat yourself and take advantage of  the Amazon Prime sale tonight and tomorrow and get this Jord Wood Watch Frankie Series at 30% discount!

JORD Wooden Wrist Watches for Women – Frankie 35mm Series / Wood Watch Band / Wood Bezel / Analog Quartz Movement – Includes Wood Watch Box (Zebrawood & Champagne)

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Recap: ING Night Marathon of Luxembourg 

This past weekend, I ran the ING Night Marathon of Luxembourg. The race included a half marathon distance, full marathon, and a team relay marathon. I opted for the half while Julien did the full. 

Me and Julien at the start

Me and Julien at the start

First off, as I mentioned in last week’s blog Tips for Hot Race Weather, it was going to be a hot one. And it was so incredibly hot. At race time which was a 7pm start (remember it’s a night run, however the sun was still blaring up for a good hour and a half into the run), the temps were at 88F/31C. Holy Moly.

Getting to the start was a little chaotic. The highway closed the ramp to Kirchberg from the French side, making everyone detour with poorly visible signage, especially for those who aren’t familiar with the area. Once making our way back to the city, we discovered most parking was brought to a single lane entrance to the nearby shopping center. This was slow and frustrating dealing with parking for 15,000 runners.

Leading up to race day, I was drinking 4L of water. On race day, the steak continued and then some. I initially wanted to wear shorts, basically wear as little articles of clothing as possible, but even on the walk from parking the car with 2x application of chaffing gel, I knew my thighs wouldn’t let me run in shorts. So I switched quickly into some Capri leggings in the bag drop off area.

The start and finish of the race is at the LuxExpo in Kirchberg, Luxembourg. It’s a huge hall to fit the finish line, which was indeed inside, food court, bag drop off and even temporary showers were brought in on trucks. 

My corral

My corral

A little sign of encouragement

A little sign of encouragement


The start had 7 corrals mixed with the two distances plus team relay, I was in 5th and it took me close to 15 minutes to cross the start from the gun. The race organizers reminded us to take it easy with the temps and actually introduced an additional water stop starting early at the first mile instead of at the first 5km, then they were placed approximately every 2km. Each station was mostly well stocked with water, electrolyte drink, energy bars and oranges. Here is where I saved myself, besides starting about 30 seconds slower pace than usual, I took always two waters (one to drink and the other to pour on top of my head) and at every other stop I took an electrolyte drink. And with this routine, I saved myself from cramping or worse heat stroke. 

Thanks to my friend JJ for capturing my triple fisting

Thanks to my friend JJ for capturing my triple fisting

The course is relatively wide open through Kirchberg, running through the main roads that were blocked off to traffic and stayed mostly flat. Heading over the bridge towards Glacis Parking, we caught a glimpse of the elite making their way back. I heard that even the elite were up to 15 minutes off pace due to the temperature too. 

The atmosphere at Glacis was a big party with flamenco dancers, drums beating, drunk spectators everywhere screaming and cheering you on. It seemed like an awesome time! We then made our way through the luxurious neighborhoods of Limperstberg, where the one way streets became a little narrower and fresh legs were turning over for the first exchange in the team relay. The neighborhood really gets into the spirit though and so many kind neighbors brought out water hoses for the runners while they laughed and casually sipped Champagne. Again, if I wasn’t running, this seemed like a really good time! 

Heading back towards Glacis we made a turn into the Public Park. Here the race track got super narrow and made it impossible to pass other runners, so you were stuck for a bit with a controlled pace, which I didn’t mind all that much as I already adapted to not setting PRs and just to have fun. 

Then we made our way into the old city center. This was easily my favorite part of the race! We split off from the marathoners at Place de Guillaume by the town hall and the half marathoners took a turn towards the palace and city bars where people yelled, cheered, and even did the wave. Really next year I may seriously need to consider being a spectator, it was such a party. 

Passing by one more time through Glacis, we made our quiet exit back over the bridge towards Kirchberg again. Here I started to see several runners starting to crash and burn, requiring serious medical attention with still 5km to go. It was eerily quiet as we lost a lot of the spectators and the course started a slow, progressional incline back to the finish. I can see why this could play havoc on dehydrated individuals. With about 2km left to go, we saw the first male marathoner making his way back at about 2:06. Its astonishing what these professionals can do. Finally, I made my way back towards the expo, where a crowd surged again right before the finish. The actual finish line was 200m inside the expo with a big blue carpet and disco lights and loud music. It was super interesting and helped me get inspired to sprint my tired legs in for a 2:12 performance. With easy access to finishers medal, drinks, showers, and bag access, the race organizers really thought of everything. 

Course map courtesy of ING

Course Map courtesy of ING


After the finish, I met up with my friends Lindsey, who finished her first half marathon, and her husband and another friend Aline, who participated in the team relay, for some celebratory beers while waiting to cheer on Julien in the full marathon. 

Finishing half marathons deserves a beer or two

Finishing half marathons deserves a beer or two


Overall, a moderately challenging race that got a bad rap due to the heat.

Julien at the finish

Julien at the finish

Me at the finish

Me at the finish

5 Reasons Why Runners are Technically Insane

I’m sure you’ve heard the definition of insanity from Albert Einstein stating that, “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. It’s also defined as extreme foolishness.

I’ve come to discover how I might be portrayed as loopy, crazy or nuts when I talk to people outside of my running community. 

Here are some examples of reasons why runners (or maybe just me) can be perceived as technically insane…

1. We pay to run

Last time I checked, you can step out your door and start running. I mean if Forrest Gump did it, so can I. But of course we drop anywhere from $15 to sometimes up to $200+ (Boston 😳) on a race, because of a mass produced medal, pride for finishing, and taking the priceless Instagram photo.

Gelato and Rome Marathon Medal

Gelato and Rome Marathon Medal

2. We talk about goo, poop, losing toe nails, and bleeding nipples

Running terms can sound like we’re talking baby chatter or lines out of a horror movie. Perhaps our conversations might even dumb us down a bit. Take your pick. 

Notice the goos and tube of body chaffing cream: runner essentials

Notice the goos and tube of body chaffing cream: runner essentials

3. We love to support each other with inspiring quotes, pats on backs and virtual high fives but we’ll easily tear someone a new one if we’re hangry 

Ok maybe this is just me, but my boyfriend is fully aware of what he calls “the black eyes”. This is when I haven’t had food in 2 hours when I’m marathon training, or not training for that matter.

I'm only happy because there is food in front of me

I’m only happy because there is food in front of me

4. Our idea of R&R includes deep tissue massage and bringing our sneakers and workout clothes on vacation 
Sports massage can be a combination of deep tissue, active release, Graston, and/or trigger point therapy. The best way I like to describe it is a hot knife cutting through you. You’ll sweat, moan and groan, and think your muscle is being ripped away from your bone. These are not a day at the spa. And to top it all off, I take several runcations. If it’s not running; it’s hiking, biking, paddle boarding, wake boarding, snowboarding, swimming, golfing, paragliding, etc. Even if I’m at the beach, chilling and reading, the book is about running. 

I even get my friends to run when on vacation, suckers

I even get my friends to run when on vacation, suckers


4. We have a tumultuous relationship with running

Our running relationship can have the highest highs and the lowest lows. We laugh, cry, have fear, crash and burn, sometimes sh*t ourselves, and say never again, yet we still comeback. We always come back.

 Pretty much how I feel after every run

Pretty much how I feel after every run


I know some of my runner friends will have a chuckle. Others will continue to ponder my sanity. I may have even deterred some of you from running, but if we can’t have a sense of humor how can we laugh at life’s absurdities?

Maratona Di Roma: Race Review

April 2, 2017 finally came and went. I originally signed up for the Maratona Di Roma (Rome Marathon) in October 2016, a good 6 months before the race date. My main reason for choosing the race was to be a tourist first in the Roman city, as I had never stepped foot there or Italy for that matter. Well, I stepped foot…a lot of them, covering well over the 42.165km throughout my stay. Here’s some insight to my race weekend!

Friday:

I got to Rome on a 2 hour flight from Luxembourg. There is an express train from FCO to Termini in downtown Rome called the Leonardo Express that gets you there directly in 32 minutes for 14€. From Termini, I took the metro one stop to Cavour and walked 200m to my hotel Casa per Ferie Santa Sofia. This location was so central and amazingly convenient to the Colosseum and Altare Della Patria. It’s an old monastery converted into an affordable hotel. One suggestion is to ask for a room not facing the courtyard. The building is old without soundproof windows and on the weekend nights the piazza fills with a bunch of drinkers til 3 or 4am…lesson learned a little too late. I met up with my dad who had flown in early that day and we grabbed some pizza next door to the hotel. Oh the food, thank goodness I had a marathon to run!

Colosseum at night

Colosseum at night

My dad and I in front of the colosseum

My dad and I in front of the Colosseum

Pizza

Pizza

View from my room looking into piazza

View from my room looking into Piazza

Another view

Another view

 

Saturday:

We woke up around 8am and had breakfast that was included at the hotel. We made our way to the Race Expo located at Palazzo dei Congressi, easily accessible by metro, which we ended up getting a 72hr pass for 18€. 

The Expo was decent sized with hundreds of near and far races advertising. The bag pick up included a dri-wick Tee from New Balance that had the phrase all roads lead to Rome on the back. It’s not the prettiest shirt, but it’s certainly practical. We also all received a legit blue backpack from New Balance with the same phrase on it. It would also be used as our race bag for luggage drop off on race day. Inside we had plenty of samples including full sized Powerade, fish oil supplements, sports detergent wash, laces, and more marketing material along with the race bib. The expo left little to be desired race gear wise. Only 2-3 stands and no huge discounts. I didn’t end up buying any additional tech ware but was able to buy anti-chaffing cream. Upon leaving you find a wall with all the participants name and I was able to point mine out easily.  Here I learned that women only made up 19% population of the race, keep that in mind single ladies 😉. We made our way through in less than 30 minutes and discovered we had beat the rush by getting there for 9am.

It's official

It’s official

Met some Gladiators

Met some Gladiators

Leaving my signature

Leaving my signature

Entering Race Expo

Entering Race Expo

 

After the expo, we made our way over to Vatican City. When we stepped off the metro we purchased skip the line passes for the museum and Sistine Chapel (which one ticket includes entrance to both). It was higher price than the regular admission (normal 16€, skip the line 29€) but completely worth it as it will save you 1-2 hours waiting outside. 

The museum itself is interesting with artifacts from Caesar himself and artwork throughout time of Catholicism. However there’s only one entrance to the Sistine Chapel and it takes over an hour to get through the museum, being shuffled like cattle with thousands of tourists. This is not the place to be if you don’t like people. But the chapel is worth it, its massive and the artwork by Michaelango will blow you away. You aren’t supposed to take photos once inside, but I “accidentally” had my phone on and it must have went off by itself.

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani


After we had a light lunch with Caprese and salads, then went to the Fontana di Trevi. Completely crowded but so spectacular!
Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Me at Trevi Fountain

Me at Trevi Fountain

 

After having walked over 10km we made it back to the hotel for a short nap. Feeling refreshed I did a quick shakeout 2 mile run and was able to experience the main road blocked off at the marathon start and finish. This got me so pumped up for the next day!

Altare Della Patria

Altare Della Patria

Start and finish line

Start and Finish line

Colosseum

Colosseum

Imperial Forum

Imperial Forum

Altare Della Patria

Altare Della Patria

View of the colosseum

View of the colosseum

Start and Finish of Rome Marathon

Start and finish of Rome Marathon

 

Of course we finished off the evening with pasta and gelato and I got my race gear ready!

Pasta and vino

Pasta and vino

Race gear

Race gear



Sunday:

I made a plan for my dad to catch me on the course route at 13.5km and at 37km, had breakfast then I walked over to the start by the Colosseum around 7:30am (only an 8 minute walk). The start was very well organized for bag drop off, with plenty of porta potties. I got to my corral by 8am with a planned start of 8:51am. So we stood for a while, huddled together with a humid temp of 50 degrees. With predicted rain in the forecast, you could see the dark clouds looming near by. The wheelchairs started at 8:35am and then the elite followed by additional corrals. As soon as our gun went off, the rain started and would continue for the next hour and a half with lightning and thunder. This resulted in slick cobblestones and I saw a few runners tumble. 

The course heads south towards Circus Maximus, Basilica San Paolo and the pyramid. It comes back north along the River Tiber where I first saw my dad. It then turns left over the river headed towards the Vatican. One of the most memorable views is the street running towards the St. Peter’s Basilica. The course was sufficiently supplied with water and salts with fruit and solid foods at every 5km, and hilariously enough were the poor volunteers who had to pass out wet sponges. The irony was the rain let up for a little bit allowing us to enjoy some sounds from bands and DJs along with crowd support which was surprisingly abundant despite the weather. 

The course, I found out later, has a total of 77 turns! We made our way more north around some gardens and neighborhood areas. The course is relatively flat except for a couple gradual ascents near the beginning and at miles 18, 21 and 41km. We started to make our way back towards the center of the city around 36km weaving in and out to catch views of the Castle Sant’Angelo, Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. Here my dad caught sight of me at the second point which is when the skies opened up and caused a torrential rain with gusting winds and dropping temps. The last 5km should have been tightly packed with spectators but unfortunately the rain scattered them away when we needed it most. My Garmin was slightly off and ahead by almost a half mile with the remaining checkpoints so I was lost with how much mileage I still had remaining. The last stretch involves going slightly uphill to a water stop under a long covered passageway. While I never hit the wall, this moment I walked because it was dry. And in my cold, wet, dehydrated state I was attempting to calculate how much distance I had left. I decided once I hit the end of the covered bridge I would kick out my fastest part of the race. Luckily for me it was just one kilometer, that went downhill and brought you back towards Altare Della Patria with the Colosseum in sight of the Finish. I had an unofficial time of 4:35ish and close to 27 miles on my Garmin, but the officials clocked me at 4:38:05. Whatever, I’ll take it! It was a gorgeous and happy run despite the weather. My intentions were to be near the 4:30 mark and beat my Paris time last year which I did by 11 minutes! 

Luckily for me, it took me 10 minutes by walk to get back to the hotel after receiving my medal, wrap and another goodie bag filled with fruits, biscuits, water and Powerade. The race was remarkably well organized with a beautiful course that kept me entertained throughout. This should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Walking towards the start

Walking towards the start

Bag drop off

Bag drop off

It's go time

It’s go time

8.5 miles in

8.5 miles in

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

Completing my 9th marathon

Completing my 9th marathon

I did it for the medal

I did it for the medal

 

After a nice hot shower and change into warm clothes I was able to celebrate with my dad with more pasta, lots of beers, and more gelato!

La Bottega del Caffe

La Bottega del Caffe

Gelato

Gelato

 

Monday:

Woke up a little before nine, feeling the usually post marathon stiffness and had a last breakfast with my dad. Checked out of the hotel but left our bags so we could get in a last bit of sight seeing. My dad and I walked to the ruins, Pantheon and Castle. 

Dad and I at the ruins

Dad and I at the ruins

Forum of Caesar

Forum of Caesar

Pantheon

Pantheon

Italian steps

Italian steps

Castle Sant'Angelo

Castle Sant’Angelo


My dad had an earlier flight back to the states so we got him back to the train station to head back to the airport. I wasn’t leaving until 8:30pm that night so I did some more exploring of the sites I passed along the run.

Basilica San Paolo

Basilica San Paulo

Pyramid

Pyramid

Borghese Museum

Borghese Museum

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps

Fontana Della Barcaccia

Fontana Della Barcaccia

 

Great City and race. Grazie Roma, Ciao Bella ❤k

April Happenings!

4 days until the Rome Marathon. Holy Moly time went by fast. I’m ready and a little beaten up today from my girl, Gigja Kristinsdóttir, who works at LuxChiro with me. It was a “good pain” to find someone who does deep tissue massage like myself. I told her my life story, in any attempt to prevent me from laughing or crying of pain, and practiced meditation and breathing while she worked her magic. I typically get sports massages before each of my marathons but hadn’t thought about it last year in Paris. Evidently it is part of the key to my success because without it last year I had my worst finishing time, so here’s hoping!

I head to Rome with a direct flight out of Luxembourg and meet up with my dad who is flying in from the states on Friday night. Saturday I hope to eat amazing pasta, take in some sights and venture to the Expo to grab my bib number. I’m hoping to meet up with an Instagram running friend, Stephane, from Lyon, France as he’ll be running his first marathon ever in Rome. Sunday I’m starting in the last wave with a start time of 8:51am. The weather will end up in the high 60’sF (a little warm for my liking) with 40% chance of rain. If the rain holds off and there is cloud coverage, I’m expecting my race to go pretty smoothly. 

My Instagram page is continuously growing. The support of the running and fitness community on there is abundant and with it comes my desire to take great photos. Rome should be no less scenic and I can’t wait to show it off! 

This weekend I’ll also be taking over the account @inspiringwomenrunners, who has almost 28k followers!!  Speaking of Instagram if you aren’t following me @thefitwanderluster, go ahead and do that 😍 I request this because I have an awesome squat challenge coming up in April that I’m hosting with some of my other favorite Instagrammers where YOU, the participant, gets to gain strength while having the chance to compete for some pretty awesome prizes!!! 

There will be weekly prizes from cool companies like: 

Curio Spice
73 Threads
Gear By Shock
Roll Recovery
Mind Over Matter Athlete

The a grand prize of the newest model of Saucony Ride sneakers!!!!

How cool is all of that?! Want a booty? Go ahead and follow my challenge!!

April Squat Challenge

#nosquatnobooty