Race Recap: Boston Marathon 2017


I was doing SO well at logging my training online…until I wasn’t! I hope to backtrack on the last five weeks of my training for people interested in seeing how the Hanson’s Marathon Method works (and believe me when I say it does!) and a race recap from my half-marathon three weeks ago, but for now, I want to focus on getting all of my thoughts on completing my first Boston Marathon out while my thoughts are still fresh and legs are still sore!

My journey to Boston has been almost a year and a half in the making. It’s always been a pipeline dream for me, and although I ran cross country in college, after I graduated, I found myself running without much inspiration or joy. Making the conscious decision to train with the scarily tangible goal of a BQ was an intimidating one but the absolute best choice I could have made. While my second year of medical school was monotonous, stressful, and never made me feel great about myself, training for a marathon was exciting, rejuvenating, and without fail gave me a reason to feel like a rockstar every day. My hard work paid off, and I qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon at the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach in a time of 3:25:26.

I spent my summer studying for Step 1 of our Boards and my fall semi-training for a half-marathon (PR of 1:32:52 at the Mohawk-Hudson Half) and acclimating to our clinical rotations (surgery, pediatrics, and family medicine were up first!).

Starting in December, I started training for Boston using the Hansons’ Marathon Method advanced plan (I used the beginner plan for my BQ). Training went okay. The plan is tough and requires a LOT of running (I averaged 60-70 miles a week towards the end). The workouts are pretty repetitive, so I’m not sure if I’ll use it again for the next marathon I run (LOL why is my mind already there!), but it definitely works. I had some really high moments/weeks, and other times (especially towards the end of training) were rough. Still, I completed the training plan to a T for the second year in a row, and even though my race didn’t go as well as I wanted it to go, I can’t say I didn’t come to the start line a stronger, faster runner than I was at the start of the plan.

So. The race.

The Day Before

Unfortunately because I was on call at the hospital on Saturday, I couldn’t get to Boston until Sunday afternoon. My parents very, very kindly drove the six hours from Maryland to pick me up to drive another three hours from Albany to Boston on Easter. My dad dropped my mom and I off to pick up my bib and explored the expo for a bit. Thoughts: I was proud of myself for not buying a single thing. There were not enough free samples. 😛


I made fun of my mom for wearing Crocs. With fur. When it was 85 degrees out. And she had been up since 4:30AM driving to come watch me run for like 30 seconds total. I’m an ungrateful daughter!


Getting dat bib!

After, we drove straight to our hotel in Woburn to hang out, relax, and have dinner. We stayed in a Residence Inn with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen which was great because I’m pretty particular/superstitious about what I eat the night before a race. Also, as a middle kid, any chance I get my parents all to myself is pretty exciting. 🙂 My mom made us an awesome dinner of salad and spaghetti, while my dad and I schemed about spectating strategies and I tried to get some studying in. My sister arrived in Boston on her flight from LA around 10:30PM, and I was so happy to see her!


I woke up at 6AM and freaked out because the sun was shining oh so bright and holy moley is it possible that all the clocks in the hotel and all of our phones were wrong?! My race didn’t go off until 10:25AM, and we had planned for my dad to drop me off at the South Street lot to take the shuttle into Hopkinton at 7:30AM, so I had some time to kill. I ran around the hotel room and personally greeted every member of my family (including our dog, Jonas), with a “TODAY I RUN THE BOSTON MARATHON!” It was not particularly well received, especially by my sister who was sleep deprived AND jetlagged. 🙂

I ran downstairs to grab half a bagel and some peanut butter for breakfast, and got dressed. I was really between the singlet vs. crop top, but then decided today was as good a day as any to rock the crop top because of the predicted hot temps. My abs may be non-existent, but what the hey!

My dad dropped me off at the South Street lot (we got yelled at for trying to stop on the side of the road because we were in the left hand lane, not the right one :O #oops #sorrykindvolunteers), and I used the bathroom before hopping on to the school bus to take me to the Athlete’s Village! Which was a freaking porta potty palace, yet still took me a good half an hour to get through the line when I arrived! I briefly saw Erin and Colleen from the Albany Oiselle Volée and then saw Rachel (also Albany Oiselle Volée) in line for the bathroom. Rachel and I hung out together (aka sat in the shade people watching and pointing out all the people we knew from Instagram but were too afraid to introduce ourselves to) until our wave was called (white bibs were second, after the speedy red bib-wearing folks!). Walking over to the start, I met Lexi who I met on Instagram through the Lane 9 Project, as well as some other Oiselle Volée, including Angie.

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Rach and me before our races!

The Race

The race went by FAST with all of the changing terrain and spectators lining the sidelines almost the entire 26.2 miles. Various friends from so many walks of my life had texted/reached out to me letting me know where they would be, and the excitement of looking for them in the large crowds really kept me going when times were tough. I saw my family twice (it would have been THREE times, but they missed me by a few minutes in Wellesley!), cross country coach from college, Alison, cross country teammate from college, Laura, other friends from college and med school, and the Oiselle gang scattered along the course.

The awesome sign Alison had for me! She had texted me earlier in the morning with where she would be and this pic, but I didn’t have my phone on me past 8AM and unfortunately didn’t see it until after the race. But I DID spot her and her daughter Hazel during the race on one of the toughest hills! And it was magical.

I know people keep saying “last year was so much worse blah blah blah,” but as far as I’m concerned it was HOT out there. I took water/Gatorade at almost every station, most of it to pour on top of my head to stay cool (the water, not the Gatorade LOL). I’ve also never participated in a race this large before, so the logistics of even getting water amongst a huge crowd was new for me. Luckily there were aid stations on both sides of the road at every single mile, but each time, I had to come to almost a complete stop and weave in and out of other people trying to rehydrate, too. Might have *almost* taken down some peeps with me. SORRY. 30,000 people trying to run a marathon in a sunny 70+ degrees ain’t no joke! There were SO many times during the race that I’d look ahead of me and just be amazed by the sea of runners ahead. It was insane. I’ve NEVER seen anything like it. I’ve also never seen so many guys just unabashedly peeing on the side of the road mid-race. (Sorry not sorry for all the tangential writing).

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Running is hard.

Unfortunately, my watch started bugging out around mile 15 and not recording my pace or mileage accurately. And let me tell you, when you’re at mile 15 of a marathon and already dying, you do NOT want your watch to be telling you you’re averaging 10 minute pace (…I wasn’t). I tried to play the fun game of calculating splits in my head, but when you’re mid-marathon loopy, that doesn’t go over well. Instead, I ended up playing the, “Okay, if you average the 30 minute pace you’re FEELING right now, looks like you probably won’t PR…” game.

I started hyperventilating/bawling with about a mile to go because of the sheer realization of what I was about to do. So many people all around me. Runners doing their thing after their own months and years of preparation and hard work. Spectators cheering for ME and sometimes by name (thanks, Angelica, for writing my name on my bib before I left in the morning)! I felt like a rockstar crossing that finish line.

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Looking back on my splits, I’m surprised by my consistency at the start. People who were following later told me they thought it was just averaging splits along the way. Compared to the Shamrock Marathon, I felt a lot more stressed at the start of this race, which I attributed to the heat and rolling hills. I freaked out a little about not feeling too relaxed, and it may have bit me in the butt, but whatchagonnado. And although I knew I was dying towards the end, especially the last three miles or so, my pacing wasn’t as far off as I imagined it would have been. I mentally checked out a bit more than I usually do/know I shouldn’t do and wasn’t able to get into that super uncomfortable place I’ve trained myself to sustain in countless workouts, even in the last couple miles, which was disappointing after months of hard training. Blame it on the heat, the hills, or poor pacing, but it wasn’t my best race.

Still, I PRed! And know I’m much fitter than the time suggests. And if I choose to run Boston again next year, I should be able to get into it without a problem.

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Pretty much sums up the last couple miles of the race for me.

Post-Race Reflections

My main goal was to enjoy the experience and have fun, and as much as I was hurting, that I did! My favorite parts of the race were running through Wellesley and high fiving as many kiddos as I could throughout the entire race. Cross country and track were never “cool” sports in high school and I constantly had to defend how running IS a sport to people, and it was fun to see so much support out there for us football players, basketball players, baseball players runners in Boston.

I’m not sure if I’ll run Boston again next year or even what my next race will be (gotta focus on finishing out third year strong and rocking Step 2 of our Boards this spring and summer!), but one thing’s for certain: yesterday was a beautiful, unforgettable day. 🙂

Day 120/120 of #bostonmarathon2017 Training: Not quite the time I was hoping for, but a PR and an incredible day nonetheless! Might have started bawling with a mile to go because the whole darn thing was so overwhelmingly awesome. 🏃🏻‍♀️🦄💙💛 – Holla at the best family (@angelicahyi, @thomasyi21042, @helenyi1963) for traveling all the way from Maryland and LA to cheer me on, and friends who encouraged me both in person (especially @comeback_runner, @laurarunsthe617, @lapzyn10, and the @oiselle gang!) and via text (WISH I could tag you all!). Floored by the amazing hard work culminating in beyond stellar races by the 30,000 runners and the 500,000 high energy spectators supporting us with all the cold Gatorade and high fives today. I know I'm capable of so much more than today's 3:24:17, but I'm extremely humbled and happy to have been able to share this Boston journey with you. What. A. Day! – #beboston #bostonmarathon2017 #medschoolrunners #runningmedschool #runningformentalhealth #stillirun #oisellevolée #capitalregionbirds #hansonsmarathonmethod #sportsbrasquad #ihavearunnersbody #mileschangeyou

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Race Report: 2016 Mohawk Hudson River Half-Marathon


On a running/training high earlier this spring, I signed up for the Mohawk Hudson River Half-Marathon the week before the Shamrock Marathon. Not knowing how running during Step 1 studying and starting rotations would go (lol surgery), I didn’t want to commit to a fall marathon (that kinda training is time/mind consuming!), even though I had been feeling awesome leading up to Shamrock and ultimately ended up rocking the race. This race literally ends 3 miles from my house and a good portion of it takes place on the bike path that I run on at least once a week. It’s pretty neat knowing exactly where you are during a race!

I ran the Mohawk-Hudson Half last year in what, at the time, I thought was an awesome time of 1:41:27 (7:45 pace). I would have called you absolutely crazy if you told me what my time this year was, but that’s the cool thing about running: if you put the miles in, a lot of the time, you’ll be rewarded with fast and happy PRs!

I learned from the Hogsback Half a couple weeks ago that eating a lot of food the night before your race at 8:30PM is not a good idea, so I made sure to eat dinner at 6PMish to give the ole GI system some extra time to work its magic. The night before I was up pretty late studying (got through a record number of UWorld question bank questions! #anothercrazysaturdaynight) but when I got in bed around 10PM, I couldn’t get to sleep! Must have been too excited. Or, more likely, had too much computer screen time whilst studying.

I woke up at 5:15AM, got dressed (phew! Found that missing singlet!), packed some extra warm clothes for after the race, had half of a sesame seed bagel with a liiiiiittle schmear of peanut butter on it, and grabbed my watch that had been charging the entire last day…only to find that it hadn’t been charging at all! After an fjdakeowdksonmWHYYYYYY moment, I plugged it back in and willed it to charge as quickly as it could in the next 15 minutes. By some miracle, I was in the car by 6:15AM with a not-so-reliable Garmin with one battery bar on my wrist heading down to State Street where the bus shuttles were lined up. Good. To. Go!

We arrived at the start at Colonie Town Park on da skool bus about an hour before the race would start at 8AM, so I killed some time chatting with some kiddos on my college cross country team who were volunteering at the race (you know you’re getting old when you only know, like, two people on the team…and are calling them kiddos), some Oiselle teammates, and other friends, and then made the decision to stand in the incredibly and ridiculously long line for the actual bathrooms because 1) they were warm, and 2) I still had a half an hour to kill. After the little pit stop, I was chatting with a friend, Maria, about ten minutes before the start when she went to sync her watch. Which made me realize I hadn’t synced mine. Ya know, that same watch that was casually dying a slow and painful death on my wrist and also takes half an hour sometimes to sync. NO JOKE. I pressed that little pink button and prayed prayed prayed that it would get its act together in time.

It didn’t. I was not impressed. I’m in the market for a new one. Maybe for Christmas. Hint, nudge, Dad! 😉 Anyway, I had this vague premonition that the watch was going to die, so I started my Fitbit a little after I pressed the start on my Garmin for some security. And after like two miles the darn watch did die. #shocker

It was a funny thing running a race without knowing what pace I was running. In fact, I’m not even really sure what to write about in this Race Recap because I usually write about mile splits and pace and numbers and blah blah blah. Luckily, each mile on the course was marked well, and my rusty mental math skills gave me some idea of what was going on in the world. It was oddly freeing and terrifying to not be able to look at the times I was running, but it seemed to work out okay in the end!

My goal was to PR ( with a far-off, distant, starry-eyed goal of sub-1:33), and my gameplan was to stay relaxed through the first 10K (no faster than 7:10 pace), pick it up the next 4 miles, and then bring it home the last 3 miles. My first mile was 7:25ish and knew I was going to have to start moving if I wanted a chance at a PR. I did a good job of staying relaxed the first part of the race (too good of a job?!), but once we left the road and hit the bike path, I started to push some more. I didn’t feel as fresh as I did at Hogsback two weeks ago, but I felt okay until probably the last 2ish miles and honestly don’t remember much of the race after that. At that point, I had a lot of runners around me, which was encouraging in the last bit of the race. It’s actually one of my biggest pet peeves when people get paced by friends in the last few miles of a race (like, we all just ran 10 miles, and you’re making this look easy…is that really nice?! Also, I’m stubborn/independent and try to do things on my own), but it seemed to work to my advantage this time and push me towards a great final time, crazay negative splits, and a shiny new PR.


Hi guys! I PRed by 1:12!

What a crazy transformation from last year (precisely an 8 minutes and 25 seconds, 20 pounds lost, and a much happier mental state due to finally being in third year difference!):


[And for my own bookkeeping purposes and because if I don’t, I will continue to overanalyze these very strangely selected splits (2015/2016): 4.9 miles (7:56/7:23), 6.9 miles (7:37/7:10), last 10K (7:53/7:01)].

After the race, I ran walked back to my car to change clothes, got some Doritos and a chocolate milk, and jogged over to the 25.5 mile point on the marathon course to cheer on the other runners, most especially my best friend, Moira, who was running her second marathon! And like a boss, she PR’ed, too!


After, I put some desperately needed gas in my car (forreal, the thing was gonna break down in about 3 miles when I finally got to the gas station) and found out the Co Op already ran out of my favorite sweet potato/egg/black bean breakfast burritos 😦 , came home, took a shower, and prepped food for the crockpot this week, I reviewed results on my bed and was faced with the age old dilemma: am I more tired or hungry right now? Luckily, Phil came to pick me up at home to go to Salsa Latina for some delicious Mexican food! Because he’s da best!


I was originally planning on canning the racing until Boston next April, but I may look into a November or even December half if I can find one. It would be nice to get back into a more regimented training schedule because it did me so well in preparation for my BQ at Shamrock and see where it takes me, but focusing on enjoying the awesomeness that is running without too much stress for the next couple months and then focusing on Boston (…and school, ya know?) starting in December also sounds really appealing. Who knows what else the rest of the year has in store for me running-wise! Stay tuned! 😀

2016 Mohawk Hudson Half-Marathon

Time: 1:32:52 (7:06 pace) was a PR!

Overall Place: 52/915

Gender Place: 20/605

Age Group (25-29) Place: 3/69



Sunday Runday: Week of 10/3

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Monday, 10/3: 7.5 miles with Moira in the Cemetery! We always have such a great time catching each other up on our days and logging some miles. On Saturday night, we met up at Walmart to work on Operation Alumni-Sweatshirts-for-Our-College-Team’s-“Home”-Meet, and it just felt unnatural since we always meet up on runs!

Tuesday, 10/4: We felt surprisingly good during our 2.5 mile warm-up, and Moira wanted to move her legs a bit, so we started trying to do 3 x mile at Moira’s goal marathon pace (8:20ish; I personally think she’s capable of much more!). The first (8:04) felt pretty pedestrian, so we tried for a faster, but consistent pace for the last two in 7:34 and 7:33. After, we did some pick-ups/striders on the straights for 2 laps, bringing my total up to 7.5 miles with our cool-down, and, like, 10.5 miles for Moira! We felt great, which is exactly how we want to this close to her marathon and my half-marathon on Sunday!

Wednesday, 10/5: 6 miles nice and easy because my body was super tired before Grand Rounds at 8AM. I think it might be the lack of sleep… Waking up isn’t the problem, it’s getting to bed early enough that is tough!

Thursday, 10/6: Off!

Friday, 10/7: 6 miles easy (56ish minutes) in the dark before heading to the hospital. I don’t love running in the dark, but when I have a lot of work to do in the afternoon/night, it’s nice to stay at school all day after work to study because nothing ever gets done at home!

Saturday, 10/8: Easy 2 miles down to packet pick-up because I didn’t want to deal with parking! We picked up wayyyy too much free stuff (the pens were okay, but then the 203491284 granola bars and two bottles of water were a bit too much), so I got a ride back with Maria and Moira back to school!

Sunday, 10/9: Hudson Mohawk Half-Marathon in 1:32:52! aka a PR! aka I am exhausted and want to sleep now. 😀 Probably a total of 14ish miles with warm-up and cheering for Moira as she finished the full!

Total = 43 miles

The Girl in the Sports Bra

Race day.

I double knot my shoes and redo my ponytail for the fifth time this morning. My watch is synced, my thumb on the start button. Imprecise quantities of excitement and nervousness permeate the crisp fall air surrounding my best running-clothed self. I step up to the starting line and look ahead.

There she is. Just behind the men in shorter shorts than my own, the super fast looking woman in just spandex shorts and sports bra stands confidently in front of me. I’ve seen her a million times before: winning cross country races in high school and college, calmly gliding on the treadmill at the gym, and flaunting her toned abs on Instagram. Her confidence radiates like sunbeams ricocheting off her perfectly sculpted figure, and I swear I hear the echoing hum of angels projecting from behind her. Simultaneously intimidated and in awe, I start my watch as the gun goes off and watch her sprint ahead.

I can’t help but gawk. Her form is effortless. Her flawless anatomy seems made for running, and her arms and legs move in perfect synchrony and rhythm. She picks off the men, all while looking like she’s just out for her morning jog. She maintains equal parts tenacity and poise while surging ahead of her nearest competitors without batting an eye. Goodness, how does she make it look so easy?

I look down at my own body. I suddenly feel awkward and uncoordinated. My arms flail, crossing my body, while my legs struggle to maintain my stride as I ascend the hill. My breathing is labored, my movements beyond inefficient. I’m timid in moving past other runners, unsure as to whether they will re-pass me in another quarter mile. My eyes gravitate towards my watch to check my pace every two seconds. I have at least 30 pounds on her, and I feel every extra ounce in each step I take.

My mind begins to cloud with the same self-destructive thought that creeps up on me in almost every race:

I’m too fat for this.

It’s a bit of a complicated relationship, this running and body image thing. On one hand, this beautiful sport has taught me to embrace what my body can do, not what it looks like. It’s impossible not to respect that this incredible body of mine has literally carried itself on a bicycle across the country, completed an Ironman triathlon, and run thousands of miles over my lifetime. It’s fought hard and won epic battles against injuries, high mileage weeks, and sleep-deprived nights of studying.

At the same time, the competitive, perfectionist part of me repeatedly tears this same body down. I reprimand myself for not being able to say no to that ice cream, essentially choosing not to look and run like that girl in the sports bra. The harshest part of my brain tells myself that the less excess body weight I have, the faster I can be. I put so much time, effort, and mental space into running. Is it really that much harder to eat healthier and lose weight? Aren’t I better than this? Don’t I want to see how fast I can get?

It wasn’t always this way. The unwelcome negative words judging the way my body looks, how it should look, and how I’m so far from that ideal echo endlessly in my head, covertly chipping away at my self-value and worth. I’m reminded of the girl on the bus telling me, “You’re fat and ugly, and everyone in my homeroom thinks so, too.” I re-feel the insecurity provoked by the coach who transformed a discussion of my academic pursuits to one about my weight. I struggle, yet again, with the well-intentioned comments from family members that my joint pain and inability to own faster PRs would disappear if I shed more than a couple pounds. I carry so many unsolicited opinions and pieces of advice that I would give away without a second thought if I was in the business of making others feel awful about themselves.

Does it even matter? I know I’ll never be more than a slightly above average age group runner, but, honestly, the ramifications of such comments have affected me more than I’d like to admit, even beyond running. It’s more than easy to let these pessimistic lies snowball, a slippery slope of self-doubt and contempt that creep into my everyday, non-running life. As much as I try to cover up my insecurities with loose bandages of smiles and positivity, an “I’m feeling slow and fat today” quickly morphs into “I’m not and will never be good enough,” running and otherwise.

I shake my head purposefully and refocus. Maybe I don’t and may never look like her, but I’ve worked and will continue to work hard, too. Mile by mile I’ve slowly but surely mustered up something that almost resembles confidence, and I’m prepared to use it.

She might as well have a target on her back because I’ve made it my mission to reach her. My arms relax, my stride widens, and I take deep breaths. With each expiration, I forcefully kick my anxiety of and frustration with those hurtful words of my past to the curb. I reach deep in my memory, recalling the hours upon hours of training to get to where I am at this very moment. The sacrificed time and energy I spent burning off a disheartening day of work, catching up with friends, daydreaming about anything and everything, and getting to know myself more intimately are moments I wouldn’t give up for anything. The opportunities to test my physical and mental limits, to be disciplined in something when school is daunting and unpredictable, and to bond with others over a common passion are all God-given gifts that I truly cherish. My growing confidence and faith in my running ultimately translates to a growing confidence and faith in myself as a med student, future doctor, and general human being. These deep-rooted insecurities will always haunt me, but for a few miles, I’m able to reflect on the amazing journey towards inner peace that my (imperfectly) beautiful body has led me to. 

A smile widens on my face. I don’t look like her, and I’ve re-remembered that that’s okay. I, too, can be the confident, fast girl in the sports bra without changing anything about myself, including my body. But regardless of how we look and our times, what matters is that we do what makes us smile and respect our bodies as the amazing machines that they are.

These deep-rooted insecurities will always haunt me, but for a few miles I'm able to reflect on the amazing journey towards inner peace that my (imperfectly) beautiful body has led me to. • • • Some (entirely too personal) thoughts on body image, self-confidence, and sports bras over on the blog today (see above for link)! Holla at @moiraleigh03 for participating in Operation-Take-Awkward-Pictures-in-Sports-Bras and 7ish effortless miles in the dark! • • • #strongnotskinny #sportsbrasquad! #medschool #medstudent #womeninmedicine #medschoolproblems #medschoollife #medschooldiaries #oisellevolée #capitalregionbirds #womensrunningcommunity #runnerscommunity #runnershoutouts #runshots #halfmarathontraining #mohawkhudsonhalfmarathon

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Sunday Runday: Week of 9/19

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I’m finally starting to feel good (i.e. not like I’m going to throw up) after a couple weeks of being sick and recovering from that awful bout of food poisoning! These are exciting times, people. Feeling pretty encouraged by my race on Saturday and excited for half-marathon #2 of the fall in two weeks!

Here’s what last week looked like:

Monday, 9/19: Well, first, I found out I was accepted into Boston! #woo! After my first day of Peds Genetics clinic, celebrated with a meh 8.25 miles with Moira. For whatever reason, we just haven’t been feeling it lately.

🤗🤗🤗 #boston2017!

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Tuesday, 9/20: First workout in a long time, and it didn’t go so badly! 2 mile warm-up + 7 mile tempo on the treadmill (49:26; 7:04 pace) + 1 mile cool-down = 10 miles total. This was mentally really hard for me. I dreaded it all day and went into this workout anxious and afraid that I wouldn’t deliver. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well to prove to myself that Saturday’s upcoming race will go okay, which just stressed me out more! Still, in retrospect it wasn’t a bad workout. Sometimes you need to meet yourself where you are because you can’t change your circumstances.

Wednesday, 9/21: 9.25 miles with Moira at the end of her 20 miler! Girl finished her run out like a boss. I, on the other hand, fizzled because I was too freaking hungry halfway through. Like. What. My stomach just gets so sensitive sometimes and when I know there’s not going to be much time for digestion, I get scared of not having a good run…and then I don’t eat and have a bad run.

Thursday, 9/22: A slow 6.5 miles was exactly what my body needed. It’s been a long week running-wise, and it’s “taper”-ish time for the race on Saturday! Although Moira and I have been saying that you can’t really taper if you never really worked up to training all out to begin with…hehe

Friday, 9/23: My legs weren’t feeling as fresh as I wanted them to the day before a race, so shuffled a sloooooow 3 miles at legit 10-11 minute pace. I’m a big proponent of higher mileage over speed. The speed eventually comes with lots of miles!


Saturday, 9/24: Hogsback Half-Marathon Day! 1.5 mile WU + 13.1 mile race (PR of 1:34:07!) + 1.5 mile CD = 16 miles total for the day.

Sunday, 9/25: Off!

Total = 53 miles


Race Report: Hogsback Half-Marathon


One of the perks of being a part of the Oiselle Volée is the instant network of runner girlfriends it connects you with. Part of the reason I made a new Instagram and blog was to be able to communicate with and follow other runners. It serves as a huge inspiration for me!

Back in December, another Bird, Kelly, who is the race director for the Hogsback Half-Marathon in Colebrook, CT, reached out to the Northeast Oiselle Birds and gave us each a promo code for 50% off our race registration. Meaning it was legit $25.50 to register, about a third of the price most races of the same distance are. So who cared that I was in the wee early stages of training for my second marathon, was drowning in our GI theme in my second year of med school, and had no idea what I was going to be doing with my life 9 months from then?! If I couldn’t make it, I couldn’t make it, I told myself.

Luckily, call during my current Peds rotation is only one weekday night from 5-10PM and one weekend call from 6AM-7PM during our two weeks on inpatient. I started with inpatient and got those buggers out of the way, so I was a free lady!

Only a couple hours drive from Albany, Phil picked me up from my house a little before 6:30AM, and we were there by 8:25AM (a little close for our 9AM start time if you ask me, but it ended up being fine). Because we were one of the late arrivers, we did have to park almost a mile from packet pick up. We turned the packet pick up trip into our warm-up, but coming back up the massive hill to the car after the race was a pain in the butt. And the quads. And the calves. You know what I mean!

I ate a heavy pasta dinner at 8:30PM the night before and had a bagel with a generous amount of peanut butter, too, for breakfast, and my stomach was not feeling good at the start. Like. A I kinda have to use the bathroom but I just can’t kinda feeling. (TMI? Perhaps). My nutrition’s been really stinky lately, and it’s definitely something I need to get a handle of.

There were pacers for goal times of 1:40 and up, separated by 10 minutes each. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with my race, but I thought 1:35 was a good goal for the day given the recent food poisoning circumstances, so I joined the small group in front of the first pacing group and tried to exude confidence and speed. I made a promise with myself the night before that I would NOT go out faster than 7 minute pace. Because when you go out too fast, you die and THEN have to crawl the rest of a race and that is not fun at all.

Did I listen to myself? Of course not!

I knew I was moving too quickly, but I tried to reason with myself: I feel as relaxed as I did on my 10-11 minute pace jog yesterday morning! Come on, the next girl in front of you is juuuust there! Are you really going to let that those boys beat you? #lol #jokes #watchwhathappens My watch has an awful habit of logging more distance than I actually run so the splits aren’t exactly accurate, but here’s a glimpse at how that went down:

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To be honest, I felt decent the first 9 miles or so. I was cruising on those rolling hills and having a blast catching boys! I started off as the 6th-ish place woman, but knew I was in third by around mile 9. I could see I was gaining on the second place woman, so I set my sights on her and focused. I caught up to her around mile 9-9.5 and began running behind an older gentleman. He shrieked, “Do NOT slow down. Do NOT slow down. PASS ME. DO NOT SLOW DOWN.” Um. I wasn’t gonna, but you’re running freaking fast so I can’t pass you! I didn’t know what to do, so I surged just ahead of him, after which the man said in a news announcer voice (and I kid you not): “You are now the 9th runner and 2nd place woman. The 1st place woman is in 7th place.” What. Is. Happening.

I continued on. I heard the man repeat a similar pleasantry to the, now-third-place woman as she passed him: “You are now the 10th runner and third place woman. The 1st place woman is in 7th place. The second place woman is in 9th place. You guys should work together. The first place woman is dying. You two look strong.” Again. What. Is. Happening. Whatever happened to just having fun?! The weirdness of the situation must have freaked her out as much as it did me because before I knew it we were running side by side, pushing each other over the next mile.


Early in the race, pre-dying. So unconcerned with what was to come… 😛

The relentless rolling hills definitely caught up to me, and I lost her just a couple miles before the finish. The last mile was all uphill (in retrospect, was it actually a massive hill or did it just seem like it because we had already run 12 miles?!), and as reflected in my splits, I died. Once we made a left turn at the top, though, I realized I was heading towards the bridge and the finish was right there. I kicked it as hard as I could and not too long after, I had a 7 minute, 20 second PR to my name!

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IDK. I felt like this was hilly, but who knows.

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Kicking it in!


All of my and everyone else’s happy in this picture makes me, well, happy!

It was a fantastic event. The weather could not have been better with a 50-55ish starting temperature, the scenery was beautiful, and the event went off without a hitch. Phil and I had a great time after our races enjoying the food and just taking in the beauty of the changing leaves of the New England trees. I met a couple of new Bird friends (holla at Michelle and Kelly!), got to know to Cat (the second place woman I had run with for a couple miles; she also happens to be the Radiology Residency Coordinator at Mt. Sinai), and chatted with some other really nice ladies in line for a massage.


Top 3 Women


Me and Phil after the race! There had been pictures of these beanies and these adorable hog-shaped cookies for winners. Obviously, I am motivated by such things. We also scored a bottle of wine!


I would be lying if I said I didn’t think I was going to PR today (my old PR was 1:41:27 from last fall before I started really running again, and it would have to have been a really, really off day not to), but I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t wishfully hoping for a faster time. Still, after a sucky two weeks of training due to the food poisoning incident, I also can’t say that I’m too upset about the situation. I’m excited to have another chance at a PR at the Mohawk Hudson Half-Marathon in just two weeks!

Hogsback Half-Marathon (Colebrook, CT)

Time: 1:34:07 (7:12 pace) was a PR!

Overall Place: 9/356

Gender Place: 3/223

Age Group (25-29) Place: 2/17

Race Report: Ellicott City Labor Day Classic 10K


I’ve always wanted to run a race on my birthday, and this year it was on a Saturday! I was headed home for the long Labor Day weekend, and as luck would have it, the Ellicott City Labor Day Classic 5K and 10K races (hosted by the St. Louis Knights of Columbus) were on my special day, less than a 5 minute drive up the road from my house at the Shrine of St. Anthony.

I was torn between running the 5K or 10K up until Tuesday or so of that week. I never thought running a 5K PR (a speedy 19:42 on an indoor track in college) would be possible, but that was pre-BQ and pre-getting my post-college butt back in shape. I’m super pumped to work on my speed and bust out some fast 5K times, and the first goal is to break 20 again. The last 5K I did was back in December in 21:12 although it was juuuust when I was starting marathon training and before I was really in shape. I freaked after Tuesday/Wednesday mile repeat attempts that were not anywhere close to the 3 x mile at ≤ 6:25 (20 minute 5K) pace and ultimately signed up for the longer 10K race.

I was excited to test my fitness, but let’s be real. I was more motivated by the swag. Winners and age group winners were promised Under Armour shoes (yes, you read that correctly!), and I was determined to make them mine.

Our pre-race dinner was not ideal. Hunan Manor, our fave Chinese place at home in Columbia, is always delicious, but, as we all quickly learned, not 12 hours before running a race.

The morning of, we got to the Shrine around 7:15AM to pick up our packets and warm up before the gun went off at 8AM (for the record, I don’t think there was actually a start gun). Angelica (my sister), Phil (my boyfriend), and I jogged around the Shrine, but we quickly lost Angelica and then I lost Phil, so I found myself warming up in circles by myself. I knew the area well because of growing up running and biking the same roads in high school and college, so I didn’t really take the time to look at the course map too closely. Somehow I forgot the area is super hilly!



IDK is this super hilly?! It sure felt it!

I settled into a front-ish spot (behind men with shorter shorts than I have on, but in front of anyone with headphones) and took off! I sized up my competition a bit; remember, goal = shoes! The 5K and 10K have the same 3/4 mile start to the main roads, at which point 5Kers go left and the 10Kers go right. There were lots of women in front of me, and so I panicked a bit: if these were all 10Kers, birthday shoes will not be a thing! Luckily when the sea was parted, I counted only two women in front of me within striking distance. Sort of. Like, I could at least see them. If I squinted my eyes. Goodness, were they moving!

My goal going in was 42 minutes. And then the first set of hills quickly reminded me of what was in store for the next 5 miles. I told myself to relax and not to go out faster than 7:00 pace, but the pacing was not terribly consistent because I am a terrible hill runner (something happened to me between high school and college that made me pathetically afraid of hills…and consequently, I avoid them) and so I tried to maximize my downhills. I passed the petite woman I could have eaten for breakfast in second place without gunning too crazy and pressed on, focusing on the men and woman ahead. I eventually passed the number 1 woman, but she crushed me on the last mile and a half of killer hills and ended up beating me by a minute. (I complimented her on being a hill crusher after the race, and…**crickets** #awkward #waitwhat #sorewinner?) Still, I had an incredible morning smiling, thanking all of the volunteers, cheering for the other runners, and thinking how lucky I was to find so much joy in running and surrounded by people who equally love the sport.  Angelica also got third woman overall in the 5K, and Phil finished up nice and strong, too.

I ran mostly with a young man with (forgive my, perhaps, political incorrectness) some degree of autism or developmental delay who was an incredible athlete. He would settle behind me, and I would encourage him to keep running faster. And then he would. Like legit just take off like a machine until I caught him half a mile later. The last half mile was just up up up hill to the finish line, and I happily crossed it just behind him. Even though this pic, according to my sister, makes me look like I’m excited to have beat him:


After, we enjoyed coffee, donuts, bagels, and all of the watermelon a girl could dream of! I felt deprived of my watermelon this year (I’m way too lazy/inept to cut it), and it was the greatest post-race birthday treat ever! I met new friends (Tammy was the 3rd place female and we chatted about our upcoming races), caught up with old ones (an old high school teammate and family members of old teammates), and took in the happiness around me that I was determined to bring back with me to school.



And then, there was the rest of my birthday with my whole family who had come home! I’m a blessed, lucky girl. 😀

Ellicott City Labor Day Classic 10K

Time: 43:46 (7:04 pace) was a PR!

Overall Place: 15/181

Gender Place: 2/93

Age Group (25-29) Place: 1/13