three’s a charm. right?

I have finally decided to give the full marathon another go. It has been eight years and a lot has changed. Like, when I did marathon’s 1 and 2, I lived in Montreal, I didn’t have a kid, I didn’t have a dog*, I didn’t have any major commitments, I would go for a 3 hour run and no one really noticed (Mike was often still sleeping), I didn’t have GPS (I would make Mike drive around the city the night before a long run calculating distances with the car’s odometer. Actually, one of the only things that remains the same since that last time I ran a marathon is the car. Go VW!

I am now +8 years older and although my life is not thaaaat hectic (I mean really, I only have 1 kid and 1 dog and a supportive husband who lets me run as much as I want) it is still hard to fit in all of the training. I have kept up with running and enjoy doing a bunch of races every year but it’s been on my mind to do another full. Yes, it will be hard and yes I may will curse many times during the 42 kilometres but I get a t-shirt and chocolate milk at the finish line so I think it’s worth it.

Marathon 1 was epic. Philadelphia. Mike, my sister and my brother-in-law came for support and my parents and aunt surprised me by driving all the way from Nova Scotia to cheer me on. There is no better way to see a new city than run around it for four hours. Long story short, I finished in 4 hours and 16 minutes and mustered just enough energy to stumble up the Rocky stairs at the finish line for a fist pump. Marathon 2 was not so epic. Montreal. Mike and Henry cheered from what was literally our backyard. It was a course I had run almost every day and I was recovering from an ankle injury. I managed to finish in 4 hours 9 minutes and the highlight was the last 500 metres… we finished by running into the Olympic Stadium. The closest I will get to Olympic glory.

So what will marathon 3 bring? Well, I should start by registering. All talk no action. The plan is PEI – a little sentimental because it’s where I ran my first half. I know some others who plan to run but sadly, I am doing the full alone. I have been told to expect rolling hills and lonely trails. I really hope ‘rolling’ is an exaggeration and that my summer of HHH Training (Halifax’s Hellish Hills) will pay off. I am also hoping the wind will be much tamer than a certain red head we all know!

Now, as for goals… I have decided to set 5… the most realistic goals are listed first.

  1. Register
  2. Finish
  3. Finish in 4 hours and 30 minutes
  4. Get a personal best of 4 hours and 8 minutes
  5. Finish under 4 hours

Okay, #5 is pushing it for me… and I know that but I think it is important to aim high as you never know what you are capable of… and speaking of… I don’t win often… actually, I’ve never won before, but I did and now you can too! Wanna score a copy of Runner’s World Training Journal? I won a copy but I don’t think I need it. If someone out there wants to put it to use, please send me a message. I am addicted to my Nike+ Running and Runner’s World Smart Coach apps so I will just stick to using those.

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And one final thing. I am working on a playlist. I try to pick songs that are fun, upbeat, nostalgic a little trendy and a lot cheesy. So here is what I have so far… Full disclosure: I don’t usually listen to most of this stuff but I do like it. Yes, even Pitbull! If you have any suggestions, I am eager to hear them as this playlist will start repeating before I finish. And don’t worry, Eye of the Tiger will be added for race day.

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Hopefully all will go well with the last month of training and I can make it to the start so I can get to the finish. Good luck if you have a race coming up too!

psst. If you are reading this and are thinking, gee i’d love to join Meghan for a 42 km tour of potato island, please join me! I’d love a buddy. I’ll even buy you a chocolate milkshake at the finish line in Charlottetown.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

*Henry (the dog) was around for marathon 2 and was actually a great training companion. He now prefers sniffing and walking more than running. 

I ran SF

Remember that time I put my name down for the Nike Women’s Marathon • San Francisco lottery and I actually got picked? Yah well, DID IT DONE IT – I conquered the hills!

Let me begin by saying WOW!

NWMSF

One thing I can say about the NWMSF is they know marketing and event planning. This was the second biggest run I’ve done (30,000 ladies and a few good men!) but by leaps and bounds, the most organized. Every detail of the event, from your first acceptance email to the post-race follow-up, was designed to make you feel proud to be a woman conquering the roads of San Francisco. For me personally, it was not my greatest running achievement, and to be completely honest, I was a little disappointed in myself that I wasn’t there to do the full marathon, but I still felt special as a participant. I will probably never be able to top the experience of finishing my first full marathon but it has inspired me to keep going and consider doing another full – and hopefully doing so in San Francisco.

The run itself started at 6:30am in Union Square. Mostly due to my cluelessness of distance conversion, I registered with a pace as a seven minute mile. Opps, that lined me up in the elite group but all was good in the end. The first three kilometres involved the usual weaving but I was able to get my pace quicker than usual. Despite the city’s reputation, the course was as flat as pancake for the first six kilometres, so much so that I felt like I truly belonged with the elite! However at kilometre seven, we started climbing and peaked at kilometre ten. After that, there were lots of ups and downs – the ups however were bearable because the speed on the downs made balanced it out. The race passed the ferry terminal, fishermen’s market, the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Coast and ended on the shore line of Golden Gate Park.

Who needs a tour bus when you can see everything by foot – and all before breakfast!

Crossing the finish line of the Nike Women’s San Francisco Marathon is what makes it one of the biggest and most popular races… A Bay City fireman, wearing a tux, gives you the coveted Tiffany’s finisher’s necklace.  I was very fortunate to have my parents at the finish – they’ve been an on-going support in my love for running and I was thrilled to have them with me in the city.  xomeg

Nike Window

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Psst… Speaking of San Francisco, more on California in an upcoming post!

these are a few of my favourite things

You know the song right? Well if I was Maria, and singing along with the Von Trapp children, I’d put San Francisco and Running on the list of a few of my favourite things. So I was pleasantly shocked last week when the powers from above combined them and now I’m planning a trip to California for the Nike Women’s Marathon • San Francisco.

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I know, I know, more Cali-love but long story short – I entered my name in a random draw to run and figured I’d have a slim-to-nothing chance of getting in. I unsuccessfully tried to get in the New York Marathon three years in a row and figured this one would be even harder. The Nike Women’s Running series has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and when I saw that it’s the 10th anniversary, I decided to put my name on the list and VOILA, i’m in! (Glad I didn’t sign up for the full marathon because i’d be seriously freaking right now). 21 km is doable, nothing to stress about and an easy recovery which will allow me to enjoy the rest of the holiday. I am a ‘little’ worried about the hills and may not love my two loves when combined but I will give it my all and enjoy the view… not to mention the Tiffany’s necklace handed out by men in tuxedos as motivation to get to the finish line.

Halifax is a great city for hill training – and after running a 12 km trail race in Wentworth over the weekend, I am reminded that practice won’t hurt!

As for my vacation plans –This will be my third time to California and second time to San Francisco. I’ve already walked the city and saw a lot but I didn’t get to vist Alcatraz and the SFMOMA. When we were in San Francisco, David was 8 months-old so it will be nice to have a bit more freedom to hop on a trolly and stay out later than 7pm. The other plan is to leave the city and drive to Yosemite and then come up the Pacific Coast. Not too sure on the details but it will be fun and something to look forward to. xo-meg

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​David and I at the top of Lombard Street, 2009