Keep It Breezy!

Meet Julia- one my favorites!  Always smiling, always grateful and always gets the job done one way or another. I am stealing her mantra and running with it.  Its too good not to:) !!!  File Nov 16, 7 24 41 PM

1) How are you feeling for marathon day!?

I am really looking forward to marathon day. I have worked hard to get to this point, so I am looking forward to this challenge. It will be a challenge, no doubt about that!
2) In a nutshell – tell us a little bit about the past 6 months of training?

Nutshell- the past 6 months have been cathartic. Running seems like such a simple thing, just go out and run….but the truth is it can be so challenging to grow as a runner and to become strong enough mentally to see it through.

I sometimes run with my boyfriend (he will be running with me) and I think the time running has made our relationship stronger. We talk more (instead of just watching Netflix) and we are living an active lifestyle. We also support one another when the long-runs seemingly never end. Running has made my relationship with him more dynamic and fulfilling.

The past 6 months were emotional, painful, and worth every second of discomfort.

3) Biggest breakthrough moment?
My biggest breakthrough moment was one day when I was running on Kelly Drive. I remember running up to the Art Museum and thinking, wow that went by really fast, I barely notice I was running. I felt so relieved that I was getting better and stronger.

4) Biggest motivator?
Myself-I am running this race to prove to myself that I am strong enough to live my best life. Before goals, I had a mentality of thinking, if I was thinner, my life would be different and better. I have decided that I am not going to wait on that “magic scale number” but rather do the best I can where I am right now. Running has made me more confident and less critical of myself. When this is all over, the greatest change will not be how others see me as a marathon runner, but rather, how I see myself when faced with difficulties.

5) Mantra for the marathon?
My running mantra is always “Keep it breezy,” which is a weird quote from one of my friends says when he is drunk but it helps a ton. It means keep it light, don’t get too heavy.

Whenever I think I have soooooooooooo far to go, I just say keep it breezy Julie and I don’t allow myself to get into that negative headspace. Whenever I think I can’t do this, I just say keep it breezy- just putting one foot ahead of another. Whenever I am thinking of something heavy that is weighing on my mind (as well as my feet) I just tell myself I can’t go there. Saying Keep it breezy to myself helps me pass through the really difficult parts of running.

I am just going to be keeping it breezy the whole race and hopefully sporting a smile.

Final Note to the Team: It is impossible to say enough about the incredible community of Goalsfit fostered by the hard work of Kasey, who consistently inspires and challenges us. I am also grateful for the encouragement by Christine, who never made me feel like a burden because I was slower. Beyond the coaches, I am indebted to the team of runners who have cheered me on every step of the way and shared this process with me. I am glad to be part of this network of determined and supportive people. See you all at happy hour.

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0 miles – Marathon Ready in 6 months = Some BadAss Sisters!

The Flower sisters will take on the Philly Marathon this Sunday.  In this 6 month program, these ladies have flowerpoweraccomplished many milestones… 1)  They ran their first non stop mile 2) Completed their fist 5 k 3) Completed their fist 5 mile run  4) Ran the loop (8.45 miles)  for the first time 5) Discovered what a “real long run” is (13, 15, 20 and so on ) but noteworthy (in my book) is they  6) have found happiness through exercising, smiles through sweating and confidence through doing (running) what they set out to do and the importance / significance in having a GOAL.   It has been awesome to see the transformation of these two sisters.   I knew it May when I asked them to be part of the program, they would have fun with it and love it.  While they both had beautiful smiles before, I honestly have to say they have been “glowing” since the program.  Amazing , what those endorphins can do to you!

 

1) 6 months ago , neither of you were runners – 6 months later your running a marathon. When I approached you to do the program- what was the first thought that ran through your sisters mind ? Who would you say talked who into doing it?
File Nov 14, 11 27 19 AMLauren:

I’ll show you the exact conversation we had about it when Kasey told us about the marathon training program. My favorite parts are how inspired we felt, motivated by Kasey’s support, and that we weren’t sure how long a marathon was exactly. And obviously, Bethany pushed us to commit. 🙂

Bethany:  Lauren probably thought “wow!” I was definitely the one to say yes first though. Same thing happened with bootcamp; Laurs sent the link for a one month unlimited to Goals and I replied saying I bought and she should too. Look at us now! We are healthier, runners, and have an awesome new support group and friends!

2)  How has Lauren/ Beth gotten stronger over the past 6 months?

File Nov 14, 11 32 18 AMBethany (in regards to Lauren): Lauren’ s breathing has gotten so much stronger! She’s able to run so much longer, too. The biggest difference with strength though is the mental game. She used to get anxious before long runs, but before our 20 miler she was so calm and just ready. She’s really overcome the mental element of running.

Lauren (in regards to Bethany):  We’ve definitely gotten strong physically, but mostly mentally- each on our own and as a team. We just looked back the other night at one of our first runs – we had to run 1 minute, walk 2 – and we struggled to finish the two miles doing that. As it went on, even when we felt defeated or slow or weak, Bethany made it fun and just appreciated the time together outside. I’d say finding a consistent partner is a huge key to staying committed. Luckily, we never both wanted to quit completely on the same day… so we kept at it!

3) When (if at all) did you have to give your sister a Pep talk ? Outcome? When did your sis have to give YOU a pep talk/ outcome?

Bethany: You mean our daily pep talks?! I have SoOoO much respect for the people in our group who run like this without a partner. I 100% would not have completed this without my sister. The most memorable pep talk for me was when I was so sore and wanted to quit and told Lauren. She looked at me and said, “It’s a privledge we feel this sore.” I think of that whenever I start thinking, ‘I can’t do this’. There have been many pep talks throughout this process.

Lauren: We’ve had lots of pep talks – SO MANY PEP TALKS. To and from each other, from family, from friends, from running partners, from Kasey and Christine. There was a serious point a few weeks ago we wanted to quit. I felt slow, wasn’t recognizing my progress, had some really tough long runs, and wanted to give up. File Nov 14, 11 56 20 AM
Somehow- with everyone’s support, and each other, we didn’t give up and thank goodness. One way we pep talk each other is through sending eachother pictures of funny running shirts.

4) How has your sister made you stronger?

Bethany: She has held me completely accountable for the work I put in. There have been some really honest conversations throughout training; each time she’s inspiring me to keep going but also kicking me in the ass. Her holding me accountable to see this through made me stronger.

Lauren:  I admire how many on our team do this without a real close partner! Without Bethany there’s no way I’d be running this marathon, or had gotten through a lot of these runs.
Beth holds me accountable, we’d plan our runs together at the beginning of each week and stick to it. She pushes me harder, compliments me when I need it most, encourages me to stay on track, and we’ve just changed our whole way we share time together. We’ve made lots of nice memories on runs together – with Kirstin and our brother, Rob too!
We are seriously so excited to cross that finish line on Sunday!

5) One word about your sister on how she handled this training / long runs/ track practices etc?
Luaren (in regards to Bethany):BADASS.
I’m blown away by my sister is countless ways, but this training has shown me 100 more new ways to admire her. She’s so tough, she pushes herself so hard, and she doesn’t really give up ever, even when she says she wants to. I see her looking healthier, happier, and getting speedier as I trail behind her. I can’t help but feel SO proud!

Bethany (in regards to Lauren):  Insistent!

6) Mantra for your sis come marathon day!!

Bethany: Each step is a step closer to the finish line.

Lauren: Every step is one step closer to the finish line. Don’t stop! I’ll see you at the finish line!!!!

7) What would you say to someone that says ” I can barely make a lap, how in the world can I do a marathon?”

Lauren: The other day someone asked me how my long run was and I said, “Oh, I only did 8 miles”, and I had to stop and ask myself who in the hell I was. While I do wish I was faster by now, I’m impressed by how much longer I can run, and how quickly that endurance built up. I’m not dying the whole time anymore!
Sure, there was times I probably could have pushed harder, and more I could have done, but I am confident that we both did our best we could through this process with each step, and we look forward to keeping up with this lifestyle change.

Bethany:  The first day of practice you told us not to think about the marathon. Just focus on each run. Now that I am so close to being on the other side of this training I can say that is how this process works. Yes, I will be a marathon finisher after this; but more importantly I have a wholenew understanding of what my body can do. I can’t really put that realization into words yet. It seemed impossible and felt overwhelming at times, but here I am. I could not run for 30 seconds without stopping the first week of training! 30 SECONDS! But I trusted Kasey and kept working and trying and now I get to finish a marathon! I wish everyone could experience how empowering it feels to have your body do something you never thought it would.

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GoalDigger Indeed!

She has been setting PR’s since the beginning of the program.   First a 10 miler , than a half and most recently a 5k time trial.  PR’s + feeling healthy+ having a strong base + being tough as nails all indicate Kody will have a great marathon.  Along with being a awesome runner, Kody is also a full time working Mom. She finds the time to run, to work and to be a super duper Mommy.  Super Impressive Kody;  the work is done now go get yourself another PR! File Nov 11, 4 58 10 PM

1) You started the program in such great shape – What were you doing workout wise?

When we started the Marathon Program in May, I was 8 months postpartum and fresh from my first session of Track Workouts with Goals! In addition to that, I was doing Barre and Spin weekly at The Wall. Staying active throughout my pregnancy also helped me jump back into running!

2) Working full time and having a baby- what are some obstacles you face?

Time!! We recently moved to Delco so I have a bit of a commute now. If I oversleep (aka past 5am) I am no longer able to get a run in before work, and then the guilt hits me if I take time after work to run instead of spending more time with my daughter. She also hates sleeping so I still have about 3 wake-ups throughout the night which makes mornings that much more of a struggle!

3) How has this trianing been different from that last time you ran a marathon?

The training this time has been SO much more enjoyable! Running with a group of people who have the same goal is super motivating. Last time, I followed a plan I found online, and did all of my runs alone. Because I had no accountability, I skipped a lot of them and didn’t do any speed training at all. I’m honestly amazed that I didn’t get injured during training or the marathon last time, and have been to sure to really take care of my body this time around.

4) Some highlights running wise from the past 6 months?

The Bucks County Half was great! I loved getting to run it with Julie — we’ve really bonded over our journeys with our pregnancies, babies and running and she’s been so motivating and supportive along the way. I also finally beat my PR from 3 YEARS ago!!

5) What do you enjoy most about the training and what do you dread the most?

I’ve always loved the way I felt AFTER the workout, but I’m learning to really love the way I feel DURING the workout. It’s been really cool to look back on this season because when we started everything felt hard again. I remember feeling so anxious leading up to my first 10 mile run in over a year, thinking how hard it would be and how everything hurt afterwards — fast forward a few months and I was able to run 20 miles two weekends in a row and feel great! I do still dread 800s. They’re the worst. And foam rolling….woof.

6) Rituals before a long run?

I always eat the same breakfast (oatmeal, coffee and water) and stretch! I am a big time slacker when it comes to stretching, but I always make sure to take a few minutes before my long run.

7) Mantra for the marathon?

“One mile at a time” and “You are capable”

8) Goals for the marathon / running in general.

A Sub 4 hour marathon would be magical! I want to continue getting faster and stronger, and eventually qualify for Boston

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Running with a mission….

File Nov 09, 11 58 10 AMKristi is ready to take on the Philadelphia Marathon.    She enters the marathon with experience (did Philly two years ago), toughness (has what it takes when the going gets tough to push through) and a most importantly a mission – she is running for her friend Dan who is battling Lymphoma and is representing (and has raised money for) The  Leukemia and Lymphoma foundation.   She gets the job done no matter what it takes.  We will be routing for you and for your friend Dan!!! Like your mantra says, The Strong Get Stronger and so will the both of you.

1) 2nd year doing the marathon, feeling more nervous, less nervous or the same?

Probably feeling about the same level of nervousness. Last time (2 years ago), I was in great shape, did all the training (didn’t miss one training run!), and fell apart around mile 16. So I’m nervous whether I’m going to hit that wall again (happened for me right before Falls Bridge). I’m nervous about the unknown, but feel much more comfortable with what to expect from the course and the seasonal weather!
2) What has gone well this season for you and what has not gone so well?
This season, I’ve really enjoyed pushing myself to explore new running routes, no matter what hills might be on the route. I tried to plan as much as possible to work the downhills in my favor (Wises Mill!), but I could never get away from those darn rolling hills along Lincoln Drive! I also loved exploring the other side of Falls Bridge, heading up through Bala Cynwyd, and back down the Cynwyd Heritage trail across the bridge. The new routes have helped to keep my mind occupied—very essential on the long runs. (And a nice break from Kelly Drive).

I had a terrible encounter with sudden back pain during a 10 mile long run in August, and had to hobble back to my car (after forcing myself to finish the full 10). I was borderline panicking and ready to quit. But after taking some rest, backing way down on my pace, and going to see Dr. Ted, I felt better and have finished every long run since. I’ve really learned to remember the training part of a “training run.” Not every run needs to be a race against yourself or a PR. Balance is key.
3) Goals for this marathon?

Crossing the finish line—preferably with minimal walking breaks! I had a great finish time during my first marathon, despite hitting the wall with my back pain. So I’m not worried about getting a PR this year, my goal is to go slooooow. And “push the pace” if I’m feeling good the last 6-8.

4) Mantras for the marathon
The strong get stronger.

4) Biggest motivator for long runs and workouts?
This year’s training and marathon is dedicated to my friend, Dan, who is currently battling lymphoma. It’s been a rough road for him and his family, and they’re still fighting the good fight today. He turned 34 a few weeks ago, has a 2.5 year old son, and will be starting another round of inpatient chemo this weekend. Every time I had a hard time getting out the door, or wanted to give up, I thought about Dan. I wish he was out there running with me, but there’s always next year! And thanks to my family and friends—I’ve raised over $1500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Team in Training… so huge thanks to everyone who donated!

5) How do you juggle your late hours, choppy schedule and still find time to run?
A combination of planning and flexibility. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, the work day runs late, or I just feel exhausted. So I tried to maximize my off-days to get the runs in, and occasionally get up early (or run in the neighborhood late). I also kept the schedule close by, either in my favorites on my phone or printed out, so I was forced to look at it every day, and felt guilty if i skipped a scheduled run.

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This one puts her toe to the line having done everything possible for a GREAT RACE!

File Nov 08, 3 01 00 PMDiscipline , dedication and drive are just a few words to describe Andrea.  She has put in the miles,  put in the strength work through boot camps and kettle-bells and has even put in the flexibilty and mobility work (yoga) to make  she stays strong and healthy for the marathon.  She has done it all.   She certainly will put her toe to that starting line- having done all the necessary work for a GREAT RACE!   Stay confident and relaxed and remember one bad mile does not mean a bad race so no giving up till the end.  You have worked super hard (and woken up super early so many mornings) for this marathon so give it all you got girl.  And I am hoping it will feel like a breeze- you deserve it since every other race you have ran was hot as hell:) !

1) 2nd year doing the marathon, feeling more nervous, less nervous or the same?

I think I am definitely more relaxed than I was last year. I was so anxious last year I printed out an actual weekend itinerary for myself and my family that was visiting, complete with half and full marathon maps and highlighted notes about where I needed them to be. Partly because they weren’t familiar with the city and partly because I’m crazy. But even though I’m more relaxed, I’m also realistic with myself about how much the last part of the race can hurt. I know what’s waiting for me after mile 20, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Also, being my first marathon, just finishing last year was a PR, whereas this year I really feel the pressure of a time goal. So overall, I am more relaxed but there are still some nerves there for sure.

2) What has gone well this season for you and what has not gone so well?

I was able to increase my mileage from last years’ training season and remain injury free. Having yoga available through GoalsFit this season definitely helped with that. One thing I really wish I could have accomplished this season that I wasn’t able to was a half marathon PR. I know I have the ability to crush my half PR, so that is going to be added to my spring 2018 goal list. With high mileage weeks and super long weekend runs, speed kind of has to take a back seat to endurance so I’ll be excited to have fast training runs again.

3) Goals for this marathon?

A Goal: Sub-4hrs
B Goal: Marathon PR
C Goal: Finish injury free and enjoy the experience…because no one wants to celebrate with a grumpy disappointed person

4) Mantras for the marathon?

Last year I used the quote from A League of Their Own, ‘It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” This year during the marathon, I think I’ll be relying more on something like, “You’ve done this before and you can do it again…just a little bit faster.”

5) Biggest motivator for long runs and workouts?

I got into the habit of writing out my week in terms of all the runs and workouts I wanted to do each day. Once it was written down, it usually stuck. For me, I think the biggest motivator for long runs and workouts was just knowing the satisfaction you get from completing them. The feeling of accomplishment is waaaay better than the feeling of guilt I would have from skipping something. When I’m on a long run I don’t think about how much I have left to run, I just go out and do it. The only runs I remember really having to talk myself through were the super hot runs earlier on in the training season. It was also helpful to have friends to run with on those longer runs to keep your mind off the mileage; I logged quite a few training miles with Caroline and Jess this season – thank you ladies!

6) And most importantly share your secrets with us- how do you stay so motivated and disciplined. I have seen you out there in the wee hours of the morning (or night still ) – how do you do it- what helps you stay so so disciplined?

I told myself that whether the alarm is set for 4:45 (or earlier some mornings) or 6am, it’s still no fun to get out of bed to go to work. So, I might as well get a workout done beforehand if I can. And surprisingly, I was always able to get up right away for my workout alarms…if you’re putting in the effort to get in an early morning workout, you don’t want to sabotage yourself by wasting any of that time lingering in bed. You woke yourself up with an early alarm, so get up and go! Also, knowing that there is a purpose for all of the early alarms and an end in sight is helpful too. I wanted to make sure that when I showed up at the starting line that I did everything I could to have my best race possible and I think I’m pretty close to that.

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