Guys, let me start you with a funny story.

After Chicago, I threw my shoes into basically a plastic garbage bag, unsealed. They were wet and it was best for them to be quarantined. When I got home, I obviously wasn’t wearing racing flats for a while. Since the bag was open, I just tossed them into my running shoe pile, assuming they’d dry out if they weren’t already.

I was wrong.

This week, I pulled them out on Tuesday for my speedwork session. They were still wet. THREE WEEKS LATER. And boy, they smelled bad. Like real bad. I was in a hurry so I tossed them on the deck to deal with later, grabbed my older pair, and left.

Then it rained. While my shoes were outside. *face palm*

So I finally stuffed them with newspapers and got them dry, although they still stink. I wore them on Saturday and they dyed my feet pink. That’s neat.

Monday: 4 miles easy, 32 minutes, with RR. I had the option to go to 6 and I thought I was going to and then mile 3 felt like the longest mile ever so I stopped at 4. Jasyoga in the evening.

Tuesday: 8 miles on the ‘mill, 62 minutes. 4 progression miles in the middle, 7:37, 7:28, 7:16, 7:00. Felt comfortable, although definitely not as easy as I would’ve liked! (Always the case.)

That SLD life.

Wednesday: 6.5 miles, 52 minutes, with RR. Finally gave up and bought a new HR monitor. (Again.) Strength circuit after. Taught Pilates in the evening.

Thursday: 6.4 miles, 50 minutes. 2 miles easy, 2 miles moderate, 1 mile of 20/40s, 1.4 easy. That ended up being 8:08, 8:01, 7:37, 7:37, 7:30 (20 seconds fast, 40 seconds easy), and then 8:15ish for the cool-down. The 20/40s are great to get a little turnover and get my legs moving a little quicker. Taught Pilates in the evening.

Friday: 4 miles easy, 33 minutes. First 1k with Morgan and then 4×100 at the end. Jasyoga and lacrosse ball after. We headed up to Indianapolis in the afternoon. C has been training for the Monumental Marathon, and last week coach and I decided to pop me in the half. Nothing to lose, nothing to prove. As it turned out, my laissez-faire attitude meant I didn’t take any of my nighttime meds/supplements or any gels. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We went straight to the expo when we arrived so that we could make it to the elite technical meeting on time. While I didn’t really *need* to be at the meeting, it makes me feel fancy. Plus I got to see coach along with a BUNCH of friends who were racing. It was fun. We checked into our hotel, hung out for a bit, then went to dinner. And then to sleep.

Saturday: Monumental! This day was really about C. I was hoping to have a good race but I didn’t have anything invested in it. I had access to the elite warmup area, but he didn’t, so we had to do a little bit of juggling with dropping bags, extra clothes, bathrooms, etc. We jogged about 10 minutes together, split up for a few minutes, then reunited to head to the start. Monumental takes care of its elites SO WELL and provides an escort from the warmup area to the start so that we can get through the crowds. We did some striders and then we were able to hand off the last of our warm-ups and have them delivered back to the warm-up room. SO NICE.

I had a great time high-fiving and hugging so many people before the start. I kissed my husband and wished him good luck, since I’d be going 10-30 seconds faster per mile. Coach told me to start conservative and I was determined to listen for once, so I tried to sit back and get comfortable. I was manually splitting laps so good thing I missed the first two. I split 19:56 for the first 3, so 6:38 pace. My teammate and friend Jen ran with me briefly before going on to crush it. The next 3 miles were 6:39, 6:38, 6:40. I wasn’t really having a lot of fun, but I felt okay. I was hoping to be more in the 6:20-6:30 range, but I also hadn’t run more than 8 miles in a month soooooooooooo … I ran a few miles, probably 3-7 I think, with some Louisville friends. That was a great distraction. But they were there working/volunteering so they stopped at the half-marathon split. I had thought more than once about dropping out, and so that was kind of the decision moment. Either stop with them, or suck it up and go. I decided to suck it up. I wasn’t running really fast, but I was consistent. My legs didn’t feel great, but they were okay. 6:44, 6:43, 7:00, 6:50. There’s a lot of turns through that part and some of the road pavement was really sketchy, especially in that 7 minute mile. Also, windy, about 10 mph. There also weren’t a lot of people around, just a handful of guys. Sparse.

Last 5k. You can do anything for 30 minutes. 6:41, 6:51, 6:44, :42 (5:22 pace). I had been counting plusses and minuses over the second half — +1 for every girl I passed, -1 for the ones who passed me. I was even until the last half mile or so, when I got passed one more time, but that girl was rolling. I reminded myself most of the women ahead of me probably hadn’t run Chicago a month ago … and if they did, they probably didn’t run sub-3. (Actually, I went back and compared results lists just now and no, I didn’t get passed by anyone who had run Chicago. Validation.)

I finished in 1:28:07, 6:44 pace. Definitely not my best time, although much better than the really hot half I ran in September. I got a hug from coach, who seemed happy, and got to give hugs to another PBT girl who finished right behind me (we actually chip timed exactly the same) and set a big PR.

I headed inside and checked on Mr. Chic. Not good. He was on pace through 10k but 90 seconds behind at the half. Not good. I also know my husband doesn’t quit, even when it might make sense (that’s an Ironman for you), so I knew he’d keep running. I changed clothes, grabbed some nutrition, headed back to the hotel and hopped in the car. I was able to get to about mile 22 and got to spectate a lot of my friends. I saw Mr. Chic. He was not happy. My heart broke for him. Bad marathons suck. They suck a lot.

I hopped back in the car, drove it back to the hotel, then headed back to the finish. I ran into my friend Zack, who ran his second marathon and finished sixth in 2:21:18, less than 3 minutes off the trials qualifier.

I talked to coach at the finish, cheered for my teammates and friends crossing the line including Lindsey Hein in a big PR. Mr. Chic finished in 3:20, way off his 3:00 goal. It was a not-fun afternoon.

We did have great food and beer after at Tow Yard Brewing, which I would highly recommend post-race.

So, not a magical, fun, happy day for us. But an okay day of running for me, a quality long run at a good effort. I averaged 169 HR and kept the pace pretty even throughout.

Sunday: Rowed 1k and did my strength training circuit and called that good for the day. Watching the NYC Marathon as I write this recap!

Totals: 43.7 miles run, 128 minutes Pilates & Jasyoga, 74 minutes strength.