December 6, 2014

Final countdown

We're in the final hours before CIM... It's here! I've thought about tomorrow for a long time, envisioning this race, my marathon debut, for years. In recent weeks, December 7 has never been far from my mind; each day, I've dedicated to being prepared, fit, and confident on the start line in Folsom. And now we've arrived! Time to execute. 

I'm nervous, but trying to find the calm that comes with knowing that I've put in the work to be successful. Running a race is really no different than taking an exam or giving a presentation at work - if you've adequately prepared, you'll be good to go. And prepare I have - for the past 12 weeks on the roads in Providence, for the past 6 years when this Olympic Trials dream first took hold, for the past 20 years since I fell in love with running. More miles than I can count, and so many joyful memories! I'll be holding those close tomorrow and drawing strength from the countless experiences that have led up to now.
photo credit PAUL KITAGAKI JR./SACRAMENTO BEE
There's not much more to say - it's just time to run. But I will say thank you to everyone who has contributed to my prep for this race - high school teammates, college roommates, sisters in sport. Mentors, teachers, coaches past and present. Davis-ites, Bay Area folks, Clevelanders, and my new friends in Providence. Dear friends who've sent texts and cards, family members who've ridden bikes while I'm trained, fed me when I've been comatose post-long run, and traveled far and wide to scream their hearts out for me in races... you know who you are, and I'll be thinking of ALL of you tomorrow at some point during the 26.2! Much love and gratitude to you!

See you on the other side...
Kaitlin

PS - I had the great pleasure of talking with the Sacramento Bee ahead of the race - you can read here about how my marathon debut has been a homecoming and family affair: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/article4305119.html#/tabPane=tabs-14eb96af-1

November 26, 2014

Pittsburgh 10 Miler Race Recap and Expressing Gratitude

November is just FLYING by and I've suddenly found myself less than 2 weeks out from CIM and my marathon debut... how did that happen? Well, this month was busy (are any months ever low-key??). I'm excited for the next few days, to press "pause," reflect, and express gratitude.

Here's the quick run-down of recent happenings:
  • November 1 - my little brother and my dear friend got MARRIED! Yep, Brendan and Jonah finally tied the knot. It was a beautiful celebration at home in Davis and I was proud to be part of one of the fastest wedding parties in history :)
  • November 9 - Off to Pennsylvania for the Pittsburgh 10-Miler! The race was fantastic - the Pittsburgh Marathon folks are an awesome team who are passionate about the sport and supporting emerging elite runners like me. They put on a great event and I was determined to take advantage of the opportunity for a fast race. 

The race itself was magical - one of those days where you somehow feel amazing, even in the midst of marathon training. I went out controlled, ran my own race, and with 3 miles to go found myself reeling in some of the top Americans. The last 2 miles were a tactical battle; I made a hard move at Mile 9, surging into 6th place. Kara Lubienecki ended up nipping me in the final meters and I finished in 7th overall, 1 second out of 6th but as 4th American (and in the prize money!). Even though Kara caught me, I was overjoyed with my race - it was finally, FINALLY the race I knew I had in me (not to mention a 3 minute PR!). It felt so good to see all my hard work pay off, and was a great confidence boost leading up to CIM.

  • November 10-14 - From Pittsburgh I headed to Cleveland to put some time in at Movable HQ. I got to run on some of my favorite Ohio trails and survived my first snowy run of the year!

  • November 26 - Now we're just a week and a half away from CIM! The hay is in the barn, the taper is in full swing, and I'm just doing a few tune-ups as I spin the wheels and get ready to race! Tomorrow -- Thanksgiving -- I'll be giving thanks for making it through this marathon segment healthy and full of running joy. Preparing for a successful marathon takes a village, so I'm full of gratitude, appreciation, and love for all the wonderful people who've supported me on this journey. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Joyfully,
Kaitlin

November 8, 2014

From apprehensive to assertive

Please excuse my lack of blogging, as I've had my nose to the grindstone training hard for CIM, working lots, and traveling. This last month saw me race a half marathon at San Jose in early October, where I finished 6th in a PR of 1:16:19, feeling comfortable and strong. Then it was back to work, with longer runs and workouts than I'd ever done, prepping for my 26.2 debut.
Thankfully, Providence has blessed me with beautiful fall weather, making this training block go pretty smoothly. Of course, there have been a few challenging days, but I can honestly say that I've enjoyed this process -- this journey -- more than any other training segment I've done! Changing it up with a new event was just what I needed; combine that with the welcoming, wonderful running community in Providence -- sisters in sport -- and I'm doing pretty good!
Another change is that instead of being intimidated by workouts, I'm excited for them - I'm eager for each long run and hard effort, approaching them ready to get after it and see what I can do! This is a shift for me - away from the at times timid runner that I've been in the past, from apprehensive to assertive, a change toward dwelling in positivity and truly running joyfully!
So riding this wave of positivity, I'm racing the Pittsburgh 10-Miler tomorrow! A tune up for CIM that's a month away, this hilly 10-miler across Pittsburgh's 3 rivers should be an excellent opportunity to practice running assertively, competitively, and of course joyfully. Tune in to Twitter tomorrow morning at 8 am for live race coverage - follow @PGH10Miler or hashtag #PGH10Miler #PGHElite for updates!
Yes, this is a personalized ketchup bottle - awesome race gift from the PGH 10 Miler team!