What We’re Training For Now

Hey, all! To follow-up on our last (well, I guess, technically first) post, we just wanted to drop in to talk about our most favorite thing — RACES — and share our fall goals!

1.) Atlantic City 70.3

Ladies first, right? So, here’s the deal. I (Jen) sort of lost my marbles this summer. Kind of like the time I decided to the Dopey Challenge as my first marathon.

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If you followed me on The Final Forty, you may know that I was just starting to dip my toes into the triathlon waters, and had signed up for my first sprint triathlon last summer: the Jersey Girl Triathlon.

Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news? I finished the race that day.

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The bad news? I am now utterly and COMPLETELY obsessed with triathlon. (I’ve got the negative bank account balance to prove it).

I’ll follow-up with a post about how I got sucked into spending my summer swimming with the sharks and tricking my husband into buying me a sweet new road bike, but for now, suffice it to say that I’ve since done a handful of Olympic distance triathlons and have definitely been bitten by “the bug.”

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Me and my new best friend

As soon as I finished that first longer-distance tri last summer — the Atlantic City Triathlon — I almost immediately felt the itch to see if I could move up to the next level. (After all, that’s just what I do.)

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Tri AC, 2016

And that, my friends, would be the Half Ironman distance: a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. And what better place to do it then back in Atlantic City for IRONMAN Atlantic City 70.3?

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Tri AC, 2017…same race director, similar course, so I figured it was great practice for IMAC 70.3!

Much like the decision to register for the Dopey Challenge, the idea to take on a Half Ironman came to me somewhat impulsively. I knew I could complete a half marathon, but a 1.2 mile open water swim and a 56 mile bike?

Well, let me tell you, I’ve busted my ass this summer. Between 5am wake-up calls for group ocean swims to 3+ hour bike rides on Sundays to back-to-back bike and run brick workouts, this summer has been rough. I’ve never been so exhausted in my life. But I’ve put in the hours of training and I’m happy to say that my BIG RACE is coming up this Sunday.

And, yes, in case you were wondering — I’m scared shitless and I’m in full-on panic attack mode. More on that later this week. 🙂

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This summer’s first triathlon: War at the Shore

2.) Wineglass Marathon

Todd and I registered for the Wineglass Marathon earlier this year as our fall race. We thought it would make for a lovely little race-cation, and, well…I loves me some wine. 😉

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Photo credit: wineglassmarathon.com

Sadly, I signed up for the marathon long before I realized that my life would revolve around triathlon. And guess which of the three disciplines got the shaft when it came to my training this summer? I followed a somewhat newbie-friendly 70.3 training plan, but let’s just say that I chose to focus my energy on the sports that scared me the most — biking and swimming — and I’ve been pretty much logging just 1-2 shorter weekly runs and a long run on the weekends. Oh, and I only made it up to 17 miles, and it’s too late to cram in additional training without impacting my race legs for IMAC 70.3. So it ain’t gonna be pretty.

For Todd, however, this marathon is going to be his SUPER FAST RACE. Last fall, he ran his fastest marathon ever — in 4:20 — at the Steamtown Marathon, after several months of grueling training and a ton of speedwork. (In the heat of summer, no less).

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Our previous PR was just under 5 hours at the New Jersey Marathon (thanks to my usual meltdown at mile 20), so he has really come a looooong way. And left me in his dust. 😉

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The day this man proved he is now *SIGNIFICANTLY* faster than his slowpoke wife. 😉

Needless to say, I’ll be running this race solo “just for fun”…which is fine by me. There’s gonna be wine. 😀

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My new obsession in life? Wine slushies. ❤

3.) Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon

I’ll let Todd take over here. (‘Cuz there’s no way in hell you’re going to catch me running in the woods) 😉

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The reason I no longer do trail running… 😦

On October 8, I’ll be participating in my first trail race, the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon in New Rochelle, New York! It takes places on the trails of five different parks in the Westchester area, and from everything I’ve read, it seems well-organized and a great race for first-time trail runners.

I just started trail running earlier this summer and have been doing one to two short trail runs each week to get used to the different surfaces and obstacles I’d encounter. I’m a little nervous about taking on a trail race of this distance so quickly, but I’m hoping that my marathon training will give me the endurance to make it through 13.1 miles in the woods. My goal here is simply to finish (and of course, not take a major tumble), and since it’s just one week after Wineglass, I know I’m going to have to take it slowly.

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That time we got lost in the woods…

4.) Baltimore Marathon

Okay, we won’t say too much about this because we haven’t actually signed up yet. But we are thinking about possibly registering for a secondary fall marathon: the Baltimore Marathon. Mostly just as an excuse to take a race-cation, not gonna lie.

I (Jen) am already SIGNIFICANTLY underprepared for the Wineglass Marathon, but Todd is the type who likes to “get the most out of his training” each fall. And it’s not like it’ll be the first time we’re running back-to-back marathons.

(Just wait ’til we tell you what it was like to run the Rome Marathon AND the Paris Marathon over the course of two weekends during our honeymoon).

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So, we shall see… 😉

Catch us up! What are you training for this fall?

Who has newbie triathlon tips for Jen and trail running tips for Todd?!

Our New Blog (…And Where I’ve Been)

Hi, everybody! If you’re joining me from my former blog, The Final Forty, you already know that, sadly, it’s been well over a year since I last posted. And a LOT has happened since then.

For starters…this. 🙂

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(Photo credit: Randy Chapman)

Todd and I got married in November at the most magical place on Earth. It was a dream come true, and I promise we’ll do a full recap with lots of those beautiful, romantic photos that every bride dreams about. 🙂

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…like this one. 😀 (Photo credit: Randy Chapman)

Not to mention our EPIC European honeymoon…where we ran two international marathons and somehow lived to tell the tale.

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For all of my friends from my previous blogging exploits (for a refresher on my life story, click here), you already know Todd, a frequent star over at The Final Forty. My new(ish) hubby and I are both marathon runners and writers, so we thought it would be fun to launch a new blog together. We’ll post race recaps (of course) in addition to training updates, tips, and all kinds of other good stuff related to our ongoing journey to be the best mediocre runners we can be.

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Finishing the Rome Marathon…in the pouring rain…in 6.5 hours…

As for me…I’ve decided that after a year of abandonment, I will no longer be updating The Final Forty. The blog started way back in 2010 as a weight loss blog, where I planned to write about the trials and tribulations that I faced after losing 80-some-odd pounds and yet still being labeled by BMI charts as “obese” until I could lose 40 more. (Hence the name “the final forty”…’cuz I’m clever like that.)

I planned to talk about how no matter what I was doing, the scale just wasn’t budging, and commiserate with those of you who could relate to the frustration of trying to achieve that magic number: my “goal” weight.

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My first “after” picture at 80 pounds lost

I was fit and active for the first time in my life, and I could shop in any clothing store and walk out with a size 10/12. I refused to starve myself or do anything to lose weight that I wasn’t willing to do the rest of my life to maintain it, so, I turned my focus to new goals. Like seeing if I could finish a marathon. Or a triathlon.

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I apparently just really like taking pictures in this location. 🙂 Atlantic City: 2007 and 2017

So, the truth of the matter is, maintaining a weight loss blog was starting to make me feel like a fraud. It means so much to me that so many of you have reached out over the years to tell me about your own personal weight-related struggles, and how I, in some small way, inspired you. I will never, ever forget that.

But I’m no longer concerned about my weight. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with running (and swimming…and cycling…and martial arts…), and today my goal in life is to be as healthy and fit as I can possibly be — regardless of what any scale has to say.

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My first marathon…the day I started to see myself as more than just “the fat girl”

Although my weight loss journey will always be part of my story, I wanted to write about a life in which I’m not just a former fat girl. The “old” me will always be there. Believe you me — I still struggle with her existence every single day. There will still be plenty of talk here about navigating my life as a pseudo-athlete while battling my lifelong tendency to look in the mirror and feel self-conscious about my large thighs or, even better, all of the loose skin on my triceps (or my “wings,” as they are now so affectionately called).

Especially while wearing all of that tiiiight triathlon gear. And having to squeeze my body, inch by inch, into a neoprene wetsuit. Need I say more?

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I ask you..is there ANYTHING less flattering than a wetsuit…?!

But at this point in my life, I want to celebrate the person I am now…and The Final Forty just wasn’t calling me anymore, as much I missed blogging. Plus, truth be told, planning a wedding and doing the whole “let’s get married” thing basically consumed my whole life for a while, and after so many months passed, it got harder and harder to hop back on the blogging wagon.

To that end, Todd and I have figured out a solution. We’ve decided to launch this new blog to capture this new phase in our lives. We thought it would be a fun way to celebrate our marriage and our ongoing adventures in fitness and running.

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…and eating, our other favorite activity. 😉

For all of you who have connected with me in the past, I hope you’ll join us over here at the new blog (which will be redirected). And for those of you who are new (welcome!), we hope this blog provides a (somewhat humorous) look at what it’s like to be your middle-of-the-pack, “lesser-known” distance runner while still juggling all of the responsibilities of married life. And, you know, life in general. 🙂

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The funny part is that we got married in November…and this is from January. Had to milk the whole “bride” thing for as long as possible, haha

Thanks so much for reading. I can’t wait to reconnect with all of you and share what we’ve been up to lately…including next week’s BIG IMPORTANT post on the crazy goals we’ve set for ourselves this fall. Including my first half Ironman! 😀

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…can I bike 56 miles? We’ll find out on September 17th!

Until next time,

Jen