Sunday, May 5, 2019

Blog Check, Blog Check 1-2, 1-2

Hey hey hey, where y'all been? Wait, you guys have been here this whole time? It's us that disappeared? About that.... YIKES. Well guess what? 

Weeeeee're baaaaaaaack!

And now, I am challenging us to update you on all the crazy things that have happened since our last post that was on June 21, 2018. The kicker will be- I challenge us to post one picture with a one-sentence caption about each event/day in a visual timeline-like format for your viewing pleasure. Ready? Here we go!


7/9/18: A's 12-week Ironman training plan kicked off.
7/12/18: A&E run DC on an unofficial running tour around
the city after jamming out to a TSwift concert!

8/14/18: A&E celebrate 8 years of mawwiage!


9/8/18: A completes the Claytor Lake Sprint Triathlon
to get his tri-legs ready for 
Ironman Maryland coming up.

9/27/18: A's big weekend is finally here as we travel to Maryland for his full Ironman.

9/29/18: A celebrates his well-deserved Ironman finish,
with the flag of his new country of citizenship
draped over his shoulders (he got his citizenship earlier this month).


10/6/18: A makes his Podcast debut with the
Like A Bigfoot Podcast about his Ironman experience.

10/31/18: After several months of struggling
with running-related motivation for
her upcoming marathon scheduled for 11/10/18,
E rolls her ankle on a run and
damages her peroneal tendons (self-diagnosed).


11/10/18: A finishes Richmond with a PR of 2:56:44,
and E barely crosses the finish line in one piece.
11/18/18: A finishes the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra
for his first 100 mile race!!!!!!!!!!!

12/24/18: Jingle for Jesus 5K group run has its
highest participation yet with around 50 people!


A starts Blue Ridge Marathon/Boston Marathon training,
while E tries to walk/run because...
...E is still hurt.


A continues Blue Ridge Marathon/Boston Marathon training.
E is still hurt, but getting better and she got new shoes for her bday!


3/30/19: A completes the Martinsville Half Marathon
for the 9th year in a row.

4/2/19: E rolls her ankle and gets hurt again!

4/13/19: A places 2nd overall in the Blue Ridge Marathon
in the 10th annual running.

A&E go to Boston and fun was had.

E gets a bike!

5/5/19: E decides 10 months is too long to go without a blog post
and finally sits down to complete this.

Now some spoilers of what may be coming up for us...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summertime Catch-up Post

It's happening again, friends. We have fallen behind on our blogging, but our running just keeps on going and going! So here we are, this summer has already been incredibly eventful, and we are falling behind on our posting. Because of this, we have decided to do a quick and dirty recap of all of the happenings thus far in the summer season. Buckle up, because we're going to go fast!

Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon

We went to Georgia to visit my family for Memorial Day as we frequently do, and I stumbled upon the Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon that was actually on Memorial Day. It was close by to where we were staying, and it was flat and fast and perfect! Alfredo didn't have any major goals besides to finish strong, but I wanted a PR and I wanted it bad! 2:12:33 was the time to beat, but I secretly wanted to go under 2:10, because I managed to hit 2:11 on a training run so I felt like it was totally possible. Fast forward through a rainy, but still somewhat cool race, which turned out to be pretty perfect, we both pushed pretty hard and did indeed finish strong. He finished in 1:25:59 which put him finishing in 3rd place overall! This was a pleasant surprise, as there were some strong competitors out there. I managed to finish in 2:07:14! So I met both of my goals! And I finished in 8th out of 23 in my age group, which was also extremely competitive so I will totally take it. I'm usually comfortably in the middle of the pack, so being closer the front was SUPER EXCITING! Oh and then later that day, I got stung by a scorpion. Crazy right? Anyway... moving on-- NEXT!

Our finish line photo!
My scorpion friend....

Martinsville Speedway Mile

This was such a fun event that both of us did: The Martinsville Speedway Mile. This was an inaugural event in our hometown on a real NASCAR Speedway! Two laps around the "half mile of mayhem" was all we had to do for our first official mile distance road race. We had big goals (his: finish sub 5:15, hers hit a mile PR of sub 7:16). We turned it out and kind of met our goals. Alfredo finished in 4:59 (!!!!!!!!!) and I finished officially in a time of 7:17 and was fairly bummed, but I guess I didn't take the shortest path along the route, and my Garmin said I hit the mile at 7:06. Big difference, so I don't know who to believe. Oh well, there's always another mile! MOVING ON! NEXT!

Coming into the finish line

I'm #1 ;)

First place age group for both of us!

Jamestown Olympic Distance Triathlon

Alfredo did the Jamestown Olympic Distance Triathlon on June 9th, so a couple of weeks ago at this point. I did not participate, obviously, since I still have the whole fear of bikes thing going on. Anyway,  we traveled to Williamsburg/Jamestown that Friday for him to race on Saturday morning. He practiced his transitions the night before, then when he arrived Saturday morning he set up shop in the transition area and headed over to the swim start. The goal for the swim was to survive, and he did with a time of 33:39 for the 1500 m swim. He made his way to the transition area (which was quite a long haul from the swim finish) and quickly completed his swim to bike transition. He took off on the 40K bike course and felt strong. He finished in a time of 1:09:28, which was right on his goal of maintaining 20 mph. He had an even faster bike to run transition of just 58 seconds (!!!!!!) and then took off on his 10K run. His goal was 40 minutes for the run, and you'll never believe what his time was.... 40:00. Like, 40 minutes and no seconds. Exactly his goal. Cray-cray right? This brought him to a total time of 2:26:39, 29th overall, and 2nd place in his age group. ROCK ON! MOVING ON. NEXT!

Out of the swim

Coming back from the bike

Finishing the run!

Proud finisher!

2nd in his age group out of 16

Run for Justice 5K

I was able to run the Run for Justice 5K just last weekend on June 16. There was a 5K or 10K option, but due to the hot weather and the level of my training, I figured I'd stick with the 5K distance. I was really really hoping for a PR (under 27:30) which I thought I'd be able to do based on my recent mile time trials. But I didn't quite consider that I'm not quite acclimated to the heat. It was a warm, humid morning, and the race didn't start until 9 AM so the sun was in full force by start time. I pushed throughout, but my Garmin lost satellite reception and made me angry and confused, and I kind of just gave up halfway through. I managed to finish in 27:45, so really close to a PR. I was happy to finish 2nd overall female though! That's definitely a bright side! Enough of that, moving on! NEXT!


It's that time of year again! I am once again participating in the Runner's World Summer Run Streak! (Read about last year's streak and the year before) It started back on Memorial Day and is going through July 4th. I am doing at least a mile every day, and I am 25 days in and going strong! You can follow my posts about the run streak on my Instagram. (I am doing most of my #rwrunstreak posts on my stories.) Alrighty, NEXT!

Oh wait, what is next? That's it for now, and we don't really have anything immediately on the docket as to what comes next. We are starting to think about our fall season and our big goal races, so stay tuned for that I guess?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Blue Ridge Marathon and Half 2018

OMG YOU GUYS WE ARE TERRIBLE. Or we have just been really really freakishly busy for the past month. Back in April on the 21st (so legit over a month ago) we participated in the Blue Ridge Marathon and Half Marathon and WE NEVER BLOGGED ABOUT IT. Life has been cray cray and mad-stupid busy and if we weren't actually busy, we were busy recovering from the busy-ness. Anyway, here we go-- RECAP TIME.

We ventured north to Roanoke, VA for the expo Friday night to pick up packets. The expo has moved around a few times, and this year it was in the Patrick Henry Hotel ballroom area and it was very nice! It was a perfect area for it, and there was plenty of room for vendors around as well. We are always impressed that each year the expo seems to grow and improve.

Saturday morning we traveled back to Roanoke, since it's only an hour away, just in time for the races to begin bright and early. The half and full marathons (and the 10K) start at 7:35 AM. We took off, and all races stay on the same course til they split a couple of miles in. Of course, I didn't see Alfredo as he started way ahead of me and kept getting further ahead, but I knew where he was vaguely at least. Since the courses split a little ways in, this blog post will split at this point as well.


Alfredo here. I was really excited about this year's race. I threw myself all-in to my training since January 1 of this year. I used my cross country season last fall as a base building period, and then starting in the new year, I began my Blue Ridge specific training plan. I wasn't sure how my long distance paces would be, and I had the Martinsville Half Marathon built in as a checkpoint race back in March. I was blown away by those results, so it was a great confidence booster leading up to BRM race day which was a month later at that point.

I had a BRM personal course record of 3:07:47 that I really wanted to beat. Another goal I had was to hit a Boston Qualifying time on the course, which would be sub 3:05. Even though this race isn't an official Boston Qualifying course, I still wanted to attempt it to know if I could do it on such a tough course! But of course, my main goal, like in all my races, is to finish what I started. Also, I have a BRM streak going still. I have run it ever year since its inaugural running back in 2010, so I had to keep the streak alive!

Over the years, I've realized that I can't run anyone else's race, and I just have to run my own race. That's exactly what I did this year at the BRM. I know that pacing for this race is very difficult, and you can't just set a certain pace and stick to it. One minute, you could be running an 8 minute mile, and then you hit a down hill (mountain?) and you could be able to hit a 5 minute mile. From the time they fired the starting cannon, I had this thought front and center in my mind: RUN YOUR OWN RACE. So as people were taking off, passing me right from the start going up Mill Mountain, they were running THEIR own race just as I had to run mine. As time passed by, we bypassed Mill Mountain (that's where we split from the other runners) and marathoners headed up their first mountain: Roanoke Mountain. It was smooth sailing, and everything felt great. We went up, then my fun began going back down the mountain. That's something I look forward to ever year. I always am able to hit some of my fastest paces going down the mountains in the BRM! But then, the fun is over pretty quick after coming down Roanoke Mountain, because then we get back on Mill Mountain and get to go up it to the Roanoke Star. I'm always thankful when I make it up to one of these peaks. I feel like I'm on top of the world! But then I get to come back down again, so that's fun too. 

Unfortunately this year, coming down Mill Mountain, I started experiencing some hip and knee pain. I had been battling some pain and soreness in these areas for the last couple of weeks of training, and everyone kept telling me they were more than likely just “phantom pains,” but I still tried to rest them in case it was something more serious since I was in taper anyway. But I'd come to realize at this point that they were probably not phantom pains, and they were pretty real. Despite the pain, I knew I was going to finish strong. I figured I'd already made it halfway, so even if I was suffering, I was going to keep on trucking! Fortunately I was able alter my gait a little for some relief on the uphills and the straightaways. However, my fun parts trucking down the hills were no longer fun since they were causing the shooting pains in my legs. This also made me realize that it may be time to upgrade my racing shoes. Unfortunately this thought came too late so I just had to suck it up and learn from my mistake (and order new shoes ASAP!). This hurt my time coming back down the final mountain: Peakwood. Coming up Peakwood is always challenging, but I usually make up for lost time going back down, but not this year. I saw the 3rd place overall guy coming back down as I was going up, so he was probably about a minute ahead of me at this point. We both waved, said our “good job/good luck/keep it up” words of encouragement, and he kept going down Peakwood, and I kept on climbing. The nice part about this course is that the marathoners get to run alongside the half marathoners for most of their course. The marathoners just split in the beginning to up Roanoke Mountain, and then at the end at mile 22 to add 4.2 lonely miles to their course. I always enjoy running with other people, so the little extra 4.2 miles can be a real bummer. It is kind of easy to fall behind without the added motivation of spectators and other runners. That's when you really have to get in touch with your own motivation and DIG DEEP. I'm sure this is just from my point of view since I had no one around since the other marathoners hadn't come through yet either. But I made it through and managed to stay steady. In the last 3 tenths of a mile, I climbed the last little slope and took off on the last downhill to the finish and gave it all I had til the end. With a time of 3:07:12, I walked away with a new BRM course record for myself, a BALLIN' finisher's medal, as well as fourth place overall/first place age group placing. I did, however, fall a bit short of my BQ goal though. All in all, the day was painful yet successful I would say. And the BRM 26.2 streak continues! And I'm already signed up for 2019...... Am I stupid? Am I crazy? Nah, I just got a 50% off code for completing the post-race survey, so I'm just savvy!

Elizabeth here now, taking back over. I was so impressed with myself that I ran the first 3ish miles of this year's course, which included the beginning of the ascent up Mill Mountain. Last year, I only made it a mile and a half before I had to walk. It wasn't a sprint by any means, but I kept on chugging along. I took a brief break at mile 3ish then I took off down Mill Mountain. I relished in the little flat-ish section in between the 2 mountains and I got my pace back down and kept it there. Then once I went through the tunnel at the River's Edge Sports Complex, I knew I'd be heading up the neighborhood hills before entering PEAKWOOD: THE SECOND MOUNTAIN! Those neighborhood hills are really draining, considering you have to do some rolling hills before you go up the final mountain, then you have to go through them again once you come down Peakwood. But this year, I was pacing pretty well. Last year I completed the course in 2:38:19. I had the goal in the back of my mind to at least beat last year's time, but I also wanted to break 2:30. I knew that would be a stretch for me on such a tough course, but I ran beside the 2:30 pacer for a little ways up Peakwood, but then she had to leave me. I was crushed. Devastated. And I wanted to give up. But I knew I would still have to go back down Peakwood. I definitely regained some time going back down, and lo and behold, I caught back up to the pacer at around mile 12. And then I passed her. And I finished in 2:28:28! Goals met!

NOW: Other random pictures from race day to tide you over until we do our blog post recap of the Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon  that we did on May 28 (Memorial Day). We'll get around to it... eventually.... 
Unfortunately, this year we have a similar complaint--
Photographers and volunteers were in the way of the finish line.

He couldn't even stop running til he got past them!
They need to BACK UP from the finishing chute!

1st place age group award!

Close up of his award

A with a buddy of his who's run every BRM since 2010

Aren't we presh?

Melvin (left) is another Martinsville/Henry County runner
who loves the BRM! Just like us!

Love this ice bath shot haha

I love that BRM used A in their cover photo on Facebook!
Love this shot!