Blog MAKEOVER {coming soon}

Pardon my lack of posts…this blog is getting a makeover….

Blog pic makeover

Head over to my FACEBOOK page {or the other Social Media channels in the top right corner} for daily love and fun!!

xox0,

Victoria

One of my Goals…. Yoga Guest Post

If you actually read my last post, you may have seen that practicing yoga is on my goal list. I know how important yoga is for all athletes and that fact that I feel great even after a 25 minute YouTube video session is awesome.

 After last week’s RnR Savannah, I joined up with other runners and a new Yoga Studio, Savannah Yoga Barre, in Forsyth Park for some downward dog and post-run leg lovin’.

yoga in park 2013

And I was reminded quickly that yoga does a body good. But who could argue with the scenery of being outside in Savannah with 75 degree weather in November??!!

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A few weeks ago I reached out to my college friend, Britt, and asked her how she balanced a centered life on the go. Her job requires a bunch of travel and she maintains a yoga practice that keeps her centered. She agreed to provided myself and you all some great tips! And don’t worry— you’ll hear from her again ;)

Oh and sorry, Britt… here we are in 2004 in my college apartment… Britt and I are on the right, both in pink!

baldwin 2004

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Nomad by trade, yogi by choice.

Hi my name is Britt and I have known Vicky for about 10 years now. We met in college and often enjoyed early morning work outs together as we are both morning people! I was really excited when she asked me to share about my love of yoga and how I have used it on my life’s journey. It was in college when I started running and going to yoga as a way to deal with no longer being active from high school sports. I quickly fell in love and 10 years later have incorporated yoga into my daily life. My yoga mat has also been my sole go to place for the hardest 3 years of my life (more to come on that as we delve into my yoga series) and has provided me a safe place to heal, cry, laugh and challenge myself every day. I have taken my mat to every corner of this earth and through my practice have opened my heart to new cultures, people and adventures.

Britt 1

{Britt practicing yoga in Tanzania}

I travel a good amount for work to both places that are full of life and places that are full of pain and danger. However, each of those types of places are full of beauty and love. You just have to seek each in their own elements. Traveling is a great way to expand your practice through new teachers, music and air to breathe in. Each time I roll out my mat in a new place there is an excitement that jumps inside as I never know what will happen on my mat or what emotions might come to the surface, especially when jet lagged or recuperating from eating street food! Travel and yoga really are a great mix whether you do your own practice in your hotel room, attend a retreat or enjoy a new class in a studio. Variety is key. Yoga can also help boost your energy after a long flight or car drive, keeps your immune and nervous systems strong and keeps your muscles limber. Those are the physical benefits. Yoga will also open your heart and mind to all the new adventures you seek each day.

britt 2

{Britt practicing yoga in Montana}

My travel essentials for maintaining my yoga practice anywhere:

Lavender oil for a good nights sleep

Badger Yoga and Meditation Balm

Tiny Buddah by Lori Deschene

8 Tracks iPhone app for great music

travel yoga mat

Think Thin Crunch Bars

coconut water

Yerba Mate Green Tea

britt 3

{Britt practicing with friends in India}

After any long time sitting, I always go straight to my mat for some sun salutations to stretch my body out. I also get up during most flights and go next to the bathrooms to do some basic poses (yes, I am THAT girl). So get a map out, pick a place to go for a few hours, days or weeks that will inspire you, challenge you and give you new senses to explore while on your mat. It will open your heart, mind and body in so many new and exciting ways. Another way to travel for a few minutes is to do a great meditation and lead your mind to a place you want to explore or a place where you have a wonderful memory. That will give you the same mind motivating energy! Conquer your mat, travel, explore and share the love with those around you. Namaste.

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I can’t wait to learn more from Britt and continue on my yoga journey to help me become a better athlete.
How do you OMMMM? With YouTube Videos? Practice in a studio? Daily reflection on a mat with candles lit?

What is Next?

So on Saturday I ran my 6 or 7th half marathon and PR’d at 2:35.47 at Rock n Roll Savannah.

Now welcome to the world’s crappiest race recap.

RnR 2013

I felt like my I had on my version of speedy pants until mile 10… you can even see it in my splits. In fact, when you check out my splits, your computer while make a huge BRAAAAAKE sound when you gaze at mile 10+. Oh well. A PR is a PR and another note to myself to not go out too fast, silly. BUT on the positive, my calf held up and was only cranky right towards the end. So I am super happy with the results!

{race recap over. yep. there ya have it!}

So what should I do next? I kept telling myself that I would run a spring marathon since RnR Full was off the table thanks to my asshole calf. But honestly, when the split in the course came and went, I had no remorse. No shoulda, woulda, coulda.

For now I think I have a “new, revised, but can be edited at any time” plan of attack and it looks like this:

Victoria Runs goals 2013-2014

You may notice that I don’t mention a Spring Full Marathon on there and you would {possibly} correct! I think I need some time back to myself, back to my Saturdays with “shorter” runs and to focus on quality speed workouts for myself. This past year, I really pushed myself some. But that SOME needs to be MORE. And that MORE I know will turn into faster 5ks and half marathons for now.

So the 2014 marathon may happen in Spring. It may happen in Fall. It may not happen. But I am 100% happy with however it does happen!

****Injury Update****

Good news is that my calf only get slightly cranky during RnR Savannah and I am still working on it with my sports masseuse and icing plus stretching. I am just happy that the Ortho did tests and it was not a blood clot and showed only a little disturbance in that area, so a calf strain it is!

 But I also have a 16 year old injury {and it pains me to admit that its been that long!} that I need to be cognizant of.

I completely tore my left ACL, meniscus and small fisherions when I was 15 years old. Back in the “good ole days” they used to cast your leg for months…. thankfully that process stopped the year before my surgery and I was only in a CPM machine (continuous movement) for over a month with physical therapy and crutches for the better part of a year.

The Orthopedist told me that I would never be able to run if I stayed my size.

I didn’t care nor fully understand those words, because I was fine.

before nf

{morning of North Face Endurance Race Series Half Marathon}

Last year, after I DNF’d the North Face Half Marathon in Pine Mountain, GA due to throbbing knee pain in that knee; I had an MRI. Funny things those MRIs…. they tell it all and apparently my left knee is riddled with arthritis due to the injury I sustained at 15.

Oh Joy.

Fortunately, my knee hasn’t been an issue the past 6 months. But I really attribute that to a few pounds lost and adding cross training in… but I don’t want to push it nor up my chances of a knee replacement.

And my rambling concludes with, I am going to maintain my mileage, work on my speed, listen to my body {which I feel like I do a good job with anyways} and a 2014 marathon is a 50/50 chance. I think by keeping my training fun and a marathon as a 50/50 “fun” run…. I won’t have as much pressure and I can keep on enjoying running while listening to my body!

Moral of this long, double topic post…. 1) realigning your goals is alright. Keeping my body healthy and switching from the Full to Half Marathon was not an ego strike, it did not upset me that I “couldn’t post it on Facebook”… it’s my health and a calf tear was something I wasn’t willing to risk.

2) Sometimes advice, as blunt as it is, can come in handy 15 years or so down the road. And by being realistic with your goals while keeping that far enough out of reach that you still need to push yourself.

Where do YOU find Inspiration?

I was asked the question, “where do you find inspiration” in regards to running while in a meeting the other day. I felt like a circled around the answer but knew deep down that it deserves something more than a rambling response.

Everyday I find inspiration for my running. I believe everyone can find inspiration for their running, you just need to know where to look. So this is my best attempt at a non-rambling response, but the answer is always evolving along with your life. So ramble on….

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komen race 2012

{their first 5k after No Boundaries Program May 2012}

I find inspiration within the three various groups I have helped to coach/mentored with Fleet Feet Savannah over the past two years. Seeing many of them start a journey with an open mind and be willing to do something just for themselves, now that is amazingly inspiring.

hey girl

{Ryan Gosling got it right…}

I find inspiration from my blog readers and those who follow on my FaceBook page. Many are new to the run scene. Taking that first step and knowing that sometimes a run may suck and not getting scared away…. it’s an awesome thing. I harness that energy and determination on the days that I want to just hit snooze….

inner strength

{strong inner core to match my (getting) stronger body}

I find inspiration from ending my marriage. I didn’t really talk about it on the blog, because this is a ‘run and fun’ blog and not a ‘personal, share everything with the world’ blog. Divorce brought me to a new relationship with my running shoes. The clarity and self-talk that occurs during a run is not filled with judgement from others but with love for oneself. I continue to fully believe that while it was the hardest year of my life, the most amazing things have come from that pain.

camp

{come on’… who wouldn’t lick a banana slug for some laughs/ewwws from campers?!?}

I find inspiration in Camp Ukandu. I can’t imagine for a second what these kids go through on a daily basis. But I do know that for one week; I get to see how strong, brave and FUN they are!

whats your number

{providing Race Day laughter for Half Ironman participants}

I find inspirations through others’ races. Being a spectator at a race is one of the most inspirational places to be in the sports scene. I get goosebumps at start lines and finish lines every time. From the Elite Athletes edging out a competitor to the final athlete digging deep within themselves to finish a race through whatever adversity they were facing that day. If you have not spectated a race and cheered your cute butt off for one yet… do it. Now.

all grou

{the wind beneath my wings and whatever other corny quote you can imagine}

I find inspiration knowing that you have a group of runners  who are ready to run a few {or 22!} miles with you to help you meet your goals. They are there for you when you don’t meet your goals and there for you when you do. They may not be the friend you would see yourself with if your paths crossed in another manner, but due to running, you couldn’t imagine your life without them. Open minds, open hearts, open roads. Inspiration is everywhere.

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So, where do YOU find your inspiration for your running? Does it change each year? I know mine is always changing. I would love to hear what your RUNspiration is…

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And yes. I’m pretty sure I mentioned I would blog more and I am pretty sure that’s not gonna happen. Life is fun and so I’m living it! For updates that are pretty much daily on what’s happening, make sure to “Like” Victoria Runs. I am going to try and blog twice a month– I feel that is attainable while keeping it fun :)

Have a great week!

Strong Legs and Even Better Friends

The other day I tried Standup Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga for the first time with the girls through a groupon deal. I have always wanted to try it out, because I love to SUP and love anything water related and figured this would be the same jam.

And boy was I right!

I tried to let go of the fact that every time I bent over, my tuckus that bared some insane chaffing (whoops– forgot to glide “there”) was pretty much on display for the chick behind me, but to keep inline with the fact that we were out on the paddleboards and one with the ocean.

Yeah. I was that person for an hour. And it felt freakin’ amazing.

SUP yoga

Every time we got into downward dog, I didn’t criticize my thighs for the dimples… but I thought about the fact that they just ran 12.6 miles that morning. Or that they ran 15 miles the weekend before or did countless burpees that week. They are getting stronger, toned, but most of all; they are able legs to do what my body needs them to do. And for that, I was thankful and enjoyed the crystal clear blue skies above while ignoring the chaffing on my arse that hurt.

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Along with strong legs, over the past two weeks have been strong workouts. Recently I decided to strike the Powercut classes {that I never went to} and con Jenn and Nancy into doing HIIT workouts with me on Tuesday/Thursday mornings. The night before each workout, I text them the workouts. Some I pull from other blogs and modify, but this one needed no modification. We were going to die.

HITT

Janetha from Meals and Moves {source} really posted a doozy on her instagram and we sweated it out!! Those inch worms are no joke! Hollerz! Strong legs are not made on the couch!

***

And now I’ll do a non-existent segue into a series I just made up called “AmazeBalls, Butt Punches, and Pathetic Cuteness”.

jenn PR

Amazeballs! Jenn PR’d her Half Marathon time during the Virtual Half Marathon we did {Hangover Half Marathon in which our medals have Baby Carlos on them!!!}. I am so freakin’ proud of her. And also, if you are ever in the Savannah area and attend a runner gathering, this lady will probably make balls for it. Protein balls, spinach balls, whatever. And yes, we are five years old and giggle the whole time.

Jackie BUTT

Butt Punches! So I dragged my friend, Jackie, out to run 5 of our 13.1 miles with us and sadly she got a taste of what it’s like to run with us crazies. She was having some serious IT band issues, so being the sweet person I am, I sucker punched her in her arse. #yourewelcome.

Oh and if you ever need to know any fashion deals, check out her site…. Shop My Savannah for the latest. One day, I WILL raid her closest!

Virtual Half

Pathetic Cuteness! Not everyone run is gong to be a great run. My body was not feeling up for it, so I just enjoyed the company of my friends and took the run as miles/time on my feet! And who doesn’t want a medal with Baby Carlos on it!?!

And to wrap up this past weekend, I went down to St Simons for a night to enjoy one of the girl’s bachelorette parties! As we were about to leave the beach house… I found Klackers! Which is pretty much my new jam ever since my trip out to Durango, Colorado earlier this year.

Klackers

Let’s just say that I am one happy girl!!

And yes, I know my photos keep flipping if you read from your phone. I swear I edit them and WordPress takes on it’s own mind!

Manic Monday #2

I feel like it was just Friday. Sheesh.

Manic Monday is here and I still wish it was the weekend!

Friday night I had Nancy over for a “Run-Over”. Since we had 15 miles on the agenda for Saturday and we needed to get in about 7-8 miles prior to the 6 mile CREW group run, it was easier for her to stay the night and watch Lifetime movies while lounging in our Zensah compression sleeves.

With a 3am wakeup call…. you can only be so cheery in the morning. Thankfully both of us are morning people and we weren’t too grumpy ;) We scooted out the door and were running by 4:15am. We had placed water at a friend’s house mid-way through the run, so that was nice to cool off with and refill our bottles since it was already hotter than hot out. We got in 7.25 miles which worked out perfectly because after the group run all the coaches supplied breakfast for our runners at Maressa’s house– so we just ran there for an even 15 miles!

Nancy 15 miles

We ice bathed…. ate… and stretched….

ice baths

What a perfect Saturday.

And to top it off, I met up with some of the runner girls for sushi and fro-yo later that night. Pretty much the perfect Saturday. Actually, next Saturday is going to be the perfect Saturday…. but you will just have to wait a whole week for that recap ;)

After a great night of rest with a full belly, I woke up refreshed and excited for the Parking Deck Crawl I arranged. I was excited to see faces I hadn’t seen in a while and meet new runners. I was also collecting school supplies for Back Pack Buddies to help kick-off the fundraiser via my 1,000 Miles Challenge.

deck crawl

Heart is filled up with love, y’all.

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Let’s see how my week is going to shape up {fingers crossed}:

Monday: 3.5 miles- easy since my left calf is still a little wonky

Tuesday: HIIT workout {am} and swim {pm}

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: HIIT workout {am} and yoga {maybe…. depends on a networking event after work}

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 12-14 miles and a FUN water activity…. photos will come later ;)

Sunday: rest.

What are YOU doing this week?

Toast to Thursday

Toast to Thursday.

Congratulations we have made it Thursday. Which is one step closer to our weekend. And another step closer to our long runs…. ahhhhh. Sweet, sweet weekend!

Toast to Thursday will feature Cheers (happy, happy, joy, joys) of the week and Jeers (crap, did that really happen?) of the week. Kind of like a mini-recap thus far… so let’s see how the week has been since last Thursday.

MAIN CHEERS PIC w cheers

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 *Dinner with the girls for my friend Jennifer’s ___ Birthday was super fun with great company and even better food at A.Lure.

pre run

*My 5 mile and 6 mile (well, garmin got it at 5.82) went great!!

SampleHarvest (2)

* My fundraiser for Back Pack Buddies via the Second Harvest Food Bank kicked off this week! You can check out the 1,000 Miles Challenge Page for more information on this awesome charity!

MAIN JEERw jeer

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* My new bedding was on my bed for less than 24 hours before Hunter got sick. And yes. It is dry clean only.

*Those two body pump classes that I was scheduled to go to this week…. Tuesday, I slept in… and Today, well… I didn’t turn my 4:30am alarm on. I had my 6am alarm on. #fail. BUT I need to get to yoga tonight. NEED. NEED. NEED. WANT. WANT. WANT. Ok, I am done with my 2 year old tantrum ;)

*****

So I raised my glass last night and toasted to a great Thursday and the weekend….  CHEERS to fabulous long runs, long bikes or sitting your tuckus in the sand! Make it a great weekend, y’all!

What do you have on the books for this weekend?

3rd deck

I have a 15 miler on Saturday and I am hosting a Parking Deck Crawl on Sunday {which I may be more observing/directing or literally crawling!}.

ALSO– if you want to volunteer for the Chase the Sun Ultra Marathon– please GO HERE for more information!!! 

Transformation Tuesday

Happy Transformation Tuesday!

Two years ago I ran a full marathon.

victoria3

It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t pretty. But I did it.

Throughout training for the 2011 marathon I knew I had to cross train and eat well. I just didn’t. And I can’t really tell you why.

Picture 007

I thought I trained hard. And I thought I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. But I didn’t.

Picture 011

I listened to my coaches and learned a ton from them. But I didn’t use the information to the full extent that I could.

I knew I could do more. And I wanted to.

Then something clicked. Something changed. I evolved more as a person all around. And I wanted, needed, and desired to run better. I’m not saying every run is pretty , but I am doing it for me and I am loving it.

FF

And somewhere along the lines I realized I wasn’t by myself. But with an amazing support cast to include runner friends, non-runner friends and my two awesome parents who loved to support (or course my dad probably enjoys cheering at races more than watching 4 hour dance recitals, right, Dad??!!)…. and vice versa!

me post pitt

I ran another full and while I didn’t PR…. I crushed the hills and am ready to rock a flat full course!!

north face1

I started to look at life as a big adventure… even more than I did before! Traveling for races made training even MORE fun. Running in towns during work travel or on vacation broke up any sense of monotony.

sweaty summer

I took my training more seriously. I am reaching OUT of my comfort zone. Sticking to my workouts and paces I lay out for the day… and getting faster.

And figured out what foods work best for me. And I learned that it’s ok to have a cheat meal that involves chips/beer/cupcakes for dinner with a Lifetime movie in the background just because I can… I just make sure those days are far and few between. And I don’t let them get the best of me.

4thJuly.KristinasBridalShower 115

And I’ve learned to embrace cross training. Swimming, cycling (still need to work on this one), body pump, yoga, walking, HIIT workouts, yogilates, whatever {except today’s Body Pump— I slept in…. man, my bed is super comfy!}. You need to be active. Lifestyle changes people, lifestyle.

mbc girls

Taking time for myself, with the people I love {I am on the left}. Make those moments.

Not sure if that is even a fully comprehensible Transformation Tuesday in between the power having gone out 3 times in the midst of my typing it {beautfiul Savannah thunderstorms!}… but you get the point. My transformation over the past year is really more about keeping tabs on my body and how it feels. My body feels like a whole new person just by making sure I do the 4 simple steps….

Be active. Eat clean{er}. Have fun. Be good people.

Manic Monday

Manic Monday

It’s just another Manic Monday!

Ever feel like that?! I am so glad that this weekend was relaxing! The past 5 weekends I have either been out of town traveling or had guests in town. So I was in desperate need to have a weekend at home without any plans but to run, sleep, and eat. It was divine.

And with that being said, I wanted to bring some routine back to my blogging. I am going to try {and see how many weeks I can routinely do it} blog on Mondays (Manic Monday), Tuesdays (Transformation Tuesday), and Thursday (Toast to Thursday).

Manic Monday is a preview of what’s going on for the week and anything super exciting from my weekend!

Transformation Tuesday I used to do this routinely and would LOVE to share other’s success stories with either running, weight loss, trying something new, transforming a room in their house, etc. Email me at victoriaruns1(at)gmail.com!

Toast to Thursday is my version of a ‘Cheers & Jeers’ of the week. What are some awesome things and some duds of the week. New recipe that I was jazzed to try and was an epic fail?! Yep, that will be a big Jeer. Cheer to a new topic that I found interesting in the running world that may be helpful?! I’ll let y’all know!

So what do you all think? I am going to try to not be a ‘once in blue moon’ blogger and create some structure without blogging about my every move, because that just isn’t my thang. I would love to hear input on what you think!

*****

So back to Manic Monday.  I got to dog sit for my friends Chris and Mel this weekend while they were up in Ohio for Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Race. Chris did amazing and finished in the Top 20. I hate to drive 100 miles, so the thought of running it makes me want to vomit. But I fully support my friends who train and do!

Congrats, Chris!

Chris 100 Mile

Aside from enjoying dogs who can out run me– I enjoyed afternoon naps, girl time with trashy tv shows,  such as Pretty Wicked Moms , and good food with great runner friends. Enjoying time without all the hustle and bustle is what I needed!!

Looking ahead at this week and it is jam packed with workouts:

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: Power Cut (like Body Pump) in the AM and if  I can get out of the office in time- open water swim with the Tri Team in the evening

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: Power Cut in the AM and Yoga in the PM

Friday: off

Saturday: 15 miles

Sunday: something outside and active…. kayaking, SUPing, biking…

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What is on YOUR calendar this week? Whatever it is, make it a great one!

Make it by Midnight

A few months ago, some of the girls asked if I could pace them in a summer half marathon in Macon, GA. Of course, I said yes and then I learned it was a night race. Ugh. Night running?? You see I hate night running. I will come up with every excuse not to run at night. “I don’t want to take two showers a day”. “It’s so hot outside”. “My stomach is never quite right at night….” etc etc.

But enter the Make it by Midnight Marathon and Half Marathon and a fun night away with the girls… and I was sold.

mibmlogo

{source}

When I reached out to the Race Directors to see if I could pace the girls, the race was already full— and so I decided I would bike along and just support with my sparkles, tutus and whatever else would strike my fancy that day. Plus, I hadn’t really run more than 7 (-ish) miles for a long run since I ran Pittsburgh Full Marathon… oh, over two months ago! And apparently, this area of Macon was quite hilly.

So fast forward to Saturday morning— the girls and I loaded up my SUV, put the bikes on my rack, and headed on I-16 towards Macon…. when I get a message from our run-buddy Chris. His friend wouldn’t be able to run the race and I could have her bib. SWEET! I can run the half. Oh wait, crap…  I haven’t trained how I would normally for a half**.

Oh well… bring it on. It’s going to be fun and if I feel like death, I can stop after the first lap (half marathon was two laps around a hilly neighborhood that is not a big fan of street lights).

midnight finish line

After we checked into the hotel, we picked up our packets and watched a few runners who had already started the challenge! You get to pick when start your race… just anytime after 3pm! Such a fun idea— and you either get….

pumpkin or tiara

a TIARA {you made it on time} or a PUMPKIN {just after midnight}! But everyone gets a medal that finishes their race!! And the swag bags were awesome! Tech tees, race bottle, race flashlight. Plus they give you glow necklaces and bracelets when you start. Such a fun race!

I ran with my friend, run partner and co-CREWbie Nancy…. I didn’t know how far I’d be able to get or how long until I would feel like I would putter out. But I felt great the whole time. We laughed, cursed the hills and kept on truckin’. Surprisingly, I had fun on the hills and my legs turned over {unlike at Pittsburgh}. I think all the CORE WORK that Coach Jane prescribed has been working!

I would definitely recommend this race for a summer fun run! Just please remember your HEAD LAMPS!! I saw a ton of people without them. I was shocked!

Oh and the awesome medals…

midnight medal

Totally cute! Thanks Jenn for letting me steal your photo… I actually didn’t take a medal nor a crown… since I was running under someone else’s bib. I didn’t pay, so I felt bad for taking anything {but I did enjoy an orange slice or two on the course!! Thanks!!}.

Oh and you know what… night running was a blast! ;)

So check out this race if you live around GA… it’s only 45 bones, fun, and a chill vibe.

**I really think that keeping a moderate base mileage and some (really should be more) cross training helped. I would definitely not recommend this fly by the seat of your pants method but it worked this time. I can’t wait to rock this race out next year!**.