My First Full Marathon

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2018 Vernonia Marathon Recap

Image may contain: Steffanie Seiler, smiling, text

The good, the bad and the ugly. I experienced it all. Most of it was good. Heck, even pretty great. Why is it then, that I am so wrapped up mentally in the bad... and especially the ugly? I have been through a roller coaster of emotions these past 24+ hours. It's hard for me to even talk about it or put it down on "paper".

Image may contain: Steffanie Seiler and Jennifer Cooper, people smiling, people standing, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: 4 people, including Steffanie Seiler and Jennifer Cooper, people smiling, hat and outdoor
The race got off to a great start. No rain (yet). No wind. Temp 46°. I was cruising along at a decent clip. The first mile was mostly downhill then went flat until mile 7. I was hitting sub 9's which was way ahead of my GMP(goal marathon pace) of 9:33. I'd been warned about starting out too fast, but it felt so easy, so I went with it. Between mile 7 and 8, a very gradual uphill begins. I still managed paces below 9:10 from mile 8 through mile 11. Miles 12 and 13 were slower but still below my GMP. I knew mile 14 would be tough. It includes a steep zig-zap downhill and then steep switch-backs uphill. The grade here is up to 11%, according to the trail brochure. Going down, you have to hold yourself back and going up, you feel like you might as well be walking. And I did... just a bit. That mile was a 10:08. Not surprising. It started raining steadily right around here and continued for the rest of the race. I managed to pick it back up from mile 15-20, even had a couple more sub 9's, with all of them below my GMP. This part of the course is a nice downhill with about a 3% grade.
Image may contain: 5 people, including Jennifer Cooper and Steffanie Seiler, people smiling, outdoor
I was feeling so good, so strong, so happy with my performance at that point. I knew I was way ahead of my "A Goal", which was to finish with a 4:10. But with the paces I was keeping, I started to think maybe a sub 4 hour finish was possible. I thought even if I slowed to my GMP of 9:33, I stood a chance. Well... here is where the bad and ugly come in.
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, shoes and outdoor
Mile 21 marked the end of the downhill. From here on in, the remainder of the course is flat. Piece of cake, right? Wrong. The next few miles my pace got slower and slower. Somewhere around mile 23, I was taking walk breaks which got progressively longer as the miles ticked by. My calves were tight. My hip flexors ached. My feet hurt. I started to doubt myself, even got mad at myself. Fought back tears as I watched the sub 4, that just moments before I felt at my fingertips, slip away. One of my other goals was to not walk. I walked... too much. Then there was the occasional feelings of hyperventilating... probably brought on by the emotions. There was a touch of nausea. Getting that last GU down was tough. And let's not leave out the real stuff... feeling like your body might want to make a movement at the most inopportune moment. This also prompted more walking. My body was stressed. I tried to fight. I hung on, even if it felt like by a thread.
Image may contain: Steffanie Seiler and Brandi Tarrel, people smiling, people standing, outdoor and nature
One of my running friends, Brandi Tarrel, graciously ran in the last mile with me after completing her own half marathon just an hour before. I wanted so bad to show her the strong runner that I had been for much of the race. To pull it together for the finish. Unfortunately, I couldn't manage much better than what I had fallen into the last few miles. Bless her though. I needed her for my mental state if nothing else.
The race finishes with one lap around a high school track. I had hoped to run the whole lap, even if it was slow. My body had other ideas. More walking. Right near the end with maybe a little more than 50m to go, I managed a tiny sprint (it was probably slow but it felt like sprinting) to pass one more runner and clear the finish line solo.... with a smile. This was followed quickly by hyperventilating... then tears.
Image may contain: Steffanie Seiler, smiling, outdoor
Image may contain: Steffanie Seiler, standing
With my husband Jim, my boys  Nicholas and Andrew, my mom Heidi, her husband Ron, my training partner and brf Jennifer Cooper watching, it wasn't the victorious finish I imagined. I have to say I was almost embarrassed at how I finished. And the really sucky part is --- I BEAT MY "A" GOAL. I finished sub 4:10, and with a nice margin. But my ugly finish had, and still is, getting in the way of me savoring this accomplishment.
Image may contain: text
I ran a freaking Marathon. And I came in well under my goal time. And I'm still walking today. I KNOW all of this and I hope sometime soon that can embrace THIS and not the other stuff. I ran a strong race. Even elites runners have struggles in one form or another. Watching the Boston Marathon today showed me that. Some of the strongest contenders fell way back or didn't finish. We runners are still human. We can't control everything... much as we try.
No automatic alt text available.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Addendum...
Looking back on this now about 48 hours later. I'm mentally in a much better place. Honestly, the Boston Marathon being the day after my own marathon could not have been more perfect timing. Watching it, reading all the recaps and interviews --- it has been so therapeutic for me. It has helped me work through my own anguish and taught me a lot about how tough it is to run a marathon, even for professional athletes where this is their JOB. Having now experienced this for myself, I have a whole new appreciation for the marathon and anyone running them. 
Yesterday I was in denial that I hit the infamous WALL, as if admitting that would be some kind of defeat. Today, I realize that I probably did... No, I DID. If that wasn't a wall then I don't know what is. Maybe I imagined it more tangible, that it made you physically stop and prevented you from finishing. Now I realize that it can be more of a moving target. For me, it was a very slow moving target pushing against me. I'm picturing the images from TV where a person is trapped in a room and the walls are literally closing in on them. My wall was only on one side but it was between me and that finish line. I had to push back hard and it took all my strength to do it.
I have questioned various things... 
Why did I hit the wall? Was it because I started out too fast and kept it going for much of the race? Was it because I didn't stick to my plan, my goal marathon pace of 9:33 per mile and just hold it steady as long as I could? Maybe. All I know for sure is that speed helped me beat my goal of 4:10. But it also may have contributed to my later less than stellar performance.
My Garmin watch also died at the 24.33 mile mark. I lost the ability to see how I was doing those last 2 miles. Another question... if I had still been able to see my pace, would it have motivated me to push harder? Without anything visual to motivate me, it was easier to let go.
Although moving, walking, bending was difficult on THAT day following the race, I have felt remarkably well since. My knee caps hurt a little going up and down the stairs yesterday as did my hip flexors. But today they are fine and my quads are just minimally sore. All of this makes me wonder... DID I leave it all on the course? COULD I have done more? Maybe I had more in me and I didn't push hard enough.
It's SO easy to second guess yourself. To compare yourself to others. I tried to run with no regrets. And for the most part, I feel I did. I know that in those last few miles, I really was pushing as hard as I could. I gave it my all. I gave it my best.
Now that I know what I'm capable of, I can set new goals.
*****
My final stats:
Finish Time - 4:05:34 <--- beat my A Goal of 4:10
Pace - 9:21 <--- well below GMP of 9:33
Gender Place - 36/70 <---middle of the female pack
Age Group Place - 3/7 <--- 3rd place ribbon!!
Overall Place - 92/172 (102 male/70 female)

December 25

Thursday, December 14, 2017

It's Recipe Reveal Day at The ScrapRoom!
Each designer gets to create a double page layout with an assigned Flavor of the Month kit. Mine is Bella Blvd, "Illustrated Faith: Advent".
I am always a fan of Bella Blvd...another one of my favorite manufacturers. I LOVE the "Adorned" piece with the ornaments. I wanted to make sure it played a big role on my layout so I cut a large circle using my Creative Memories giant circle cutter. Yes, I still used my CM circle cutters...all the time. Probably my best purchases from that company. Anyway, the layout is pretty simple really. Some long strips extending across the bottom. A couple of well placed 3x4 cards as compliment to my photos. The die-cut title is from Silhouette. A few enamel dots (some from another TSR kit, gold ones are from my own stash), a paperclip and some die-cuts from the kit. That's it!

If you would like more information about The ScrapRoom, the FOTM kits or would like to know how to become a subscriber, you can visit us on the Blog. At the top you will see links to Learn About, Purchase, visit the Website (which also has idea pages) and view Current Challenges. Also, as a TSR subscriber, you get access to all of the recipe layouts complete with measurements and directions for assembly.
So come check it out. You won't be disappointed!

One final note...
This is my last reveal with The ScrapRoom. I have decided to step down from design team obligations for a while. My life is taking on a new focus right now which just leaves less time for scrapbooking. I will still be at it...I could NEVER walk away...but I will be going at my own pace without the pressure of deadlines. Not that I need to explain myself. I know you all get it. I'm not sure how much I will be posting here on my blog though. Only time will tell. 
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and I hope to see you in the new year!🎄🎅

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 11, 2017


Hello again! Today I have a layout featuring a collection from Simple Stories called "Very Merry". It's one of the December Flavor of the Month kits from The ScrapRoom.
This layout was created using The ScrapRoom's monthly sketch. You can find the sketch on their website by clicking the link above. I rotated the sketch counter-clockwise. I did this primarily because my photos were horizontal, not vertical as they are in the sketch. That, and I just wanted to be different! 

Simple stories is always a favorite of mine. The colors, the variety of prints, the sticker sheets...there is always such a great assortment of things to choose from. And if you get the embellishment kit, there are chipboard pieces to give you even MORE choices. I managed to create this entire layout using NOTHING from my stash. Well, except the cardstock base. I swapped out the black for vanilla, but that's just personal preference. And the best part? I still have a lot of the kit left to create more stuff!

As always, if you would like more information about The ScrapRoom, the FOTM kits or would like to know how to become a subscriber, you can visit us on the Blog. At the top you will see links to Learn About, Purchase, visit the Website (which also has idea pages) and view Current Challenges.
TTFN🌲

FALALA

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Good morning and welcome to the second reveal for this month!
This page features "FALALA" from Crate Paper. It's just one of the four December FOTM kits from The ScrapRoom.
LOVE the muted colors of this collection! It really gives you a lot of room to play and lets your photo take center stage. I splattered white cardstock with coordinating red and green before getting started. I chose a single photo and cut some different sized pieces of patterned paper to layer beneath and help to frame it. I knew right away that I wanted to used the "festive" print (with FALALA on one side) as part of my title. I chose to box cut the letters individually and create a banner. I used both of the adorable paper clips included in the kit and also the glitter frame, which I layered over the snowman card, and the acetate snowflake. From the embellishment kit, I chose a few of the phrase stickers. I love the soft feel of this page. It makes me feel cozy inside!

If you would like more information about The ScrapRoom, the FOTM kits or would like to know how to become a subscriber, you can visit us on the Blog. At the top you will see links to Learn About, Purchase, visit the Website (which also has idea pages) and view Current Challenges. I hope to see you there!
-)

Make It Merry

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

HELLO and welcome to December!

It's time for a new round of Flavor of the Month kits from The ScrapRoom. Incidentally, it's also my last month working with them. For personal reasons, I have decided to step down from the design team...at least for now. 
Anyway, without further ado, here is the first kit featuring Carta Bella's "A Very Merry Christmas" collection.
This collection reminded me of old greeting cards my grandma had tucked away in a shoe box. Very reminiscent of a time long ago. To be honest, I wasn't sure what direction I was going to go with this particular kit. Placing any "current" photos on this just seemed like it was going to be out of place. But, then I stumbled upon these and the colors seemed right...so I went with it. 

I kept the design pretty simple while still managing to including bits and pieces of nearly every print in the kit. I made a couple of tags and tucked them behind the larger photo. I cut apart a die-cut frame and used it as a border element peeking out from behind my photos (red stripe scallops). The enamel dots were a great way to add a little interest to the layout, along with a few wood stars from my stash. In the end, I really like how it turned out!

If you would like more information about The ScrapRoom, the FOTM kits or would like to know how to become a subscriber, you can visit us on the Blog. At the top you will see links to Learn About, Purchase, visit the Website (which also has idea pages) and view Current Challenges.

I hope you've enjoyed the first installment of the December kits. Be sure to come back and see more in the coming days!

Breaking TWO

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It's Recipe Reveal Day at The ScrapRoom!
Each designer gets to create a double page layout with an assigned Flavor of the Month kit. Mine is Pink Paislee "Turn the Page".
I love the hexagon print in this collection and wanted it to make a bold statement on my page. So I decided to fussy-cut it (although this wasn't too fussy at all!) and use it as a lead-in to my layout and also a place for my long title. From there, I cut 12" strips in a variety of widths from the remaining patterns to create a place for my photos to rest.

The inspirational chipboard pieces are what really led me to my photos. I had a goal to beat 2 hours in a half marathon event and at this race, I did it. "Trust the Timing of Your Life" and "Believe You Can" pretty much sum it up!  

If you would like more information about The ScrapRoom, the FOTM kits or would like to know how to become a subscriber, you can visit us on the Blog. At the top you will see links to Learn About, Purchase, visit the Website (which also has idea pages) and view Current Challenges. Also, as a TSR subscriber, you get access to all of the recipe layouts complete with measurements and directions for assembly.
So come check it out. You won't be disappointed!

Look What's Cooking!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hello again! Today I have a layout featuring a collection from Carta Bella called "Welcome Home". It's one of the November Flavor of the Month kits from The ScrapRoom.
I used the Freaky Fast Formula to create this page. I layered several of the cuts to the left and then worked my photos toward the right. This collection from Carta Bella has a very warm and home-y feel to it. The "homemade" tag made me think of home-cooking which drew me to these photos. The colors in this collection really complimented them nicely, don't you think? I used a few die-cuts in my fotm kit and also added some stickers from the embellishment kit. I love how it turned out!

As always, if you would like more information about The ScrapRoom, the FOTM kits or would like to know how to become a subscriber, you can visit us on the Blog. At the top you will see links to Learn About, Purchase, visit the Website (which also has idea pages) and view Current Challenges.
TTFN🍂
 
FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATE BY DESIGNER BLOGS