2018 NYC Marathon: 120 days

38 days...

38 days have passed since Phase 2 officially began and I can't begin to be grateful for Phase 1 of 'Tanya Velardo's Marathon Training Plan'. I'm working on my marketing materials as we speak because I might be on to something!!

Sometimes I wondered if Phase 1 was something I had created to make it look like I was training when I was actually just NOT running. Was I making excuses or running away from what I should be doing out of fear or simply just not wanting to run and put in the hard work? 

When it became officially, official. I'm in! 06:30:00 is a 15-minute mile. #goals

When it became officially, official. I'm in! 06:30:00 is a 15-minute mile. #goals

Over the last two weeks I've seen the positive results and benefits of having Phase 1. It has set the foundation for the running portion of training. Phase 1 has transformed my mind, my attitude, my will and my choices. It has built structure, self discipline, endurance, stamina and thoughtfulness towards working/running the plan every day. 

And so, I run! I'm convinced my legs and hips will hurt for the next five months. LOL. But, I continue to run. 

I'm not running alone. I'm running with a community of individuals who are cheering me on from a distance.

I'm not running alone. I'm running with a community of individuals who are present and running by my side. They help guide me, teach me and train me. They've motivated me to run that first full mile without stopping and then 5 minutes later, they motivated me to run that second full mile without stopping. I've sought friends out and asked them to run with me and many have sought me out and asked when we can run together. And so, I run.

The first morning of getting out and boots on the ground! On Thursday mornings you'll find Heather + me running through Harlem.

The first morning of getting out and boots on the ground! On Thursday mornings you'll find Heather + me running through Harlem.

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I'm grateful for friend's like Katie. She texted me on a Thursday night and asked, "What's your running plan for tomorrow?" I thought to myself, "That's right, I have to run tomorrow too! It's not just today's run." We met up and I quickly learned how the heat can affect me and I learned what it feels like to run for a second day in a row. It was a tough run for sure.

90 degrees. 1.9 miles. Scenic = hills. Extreme heat. But my friend Kevin + I ran from Fort Tryon Park to the little red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge.

90 degrees. 1.9 miles. Scenic = hills. Extreme heat. But my friend Kevin + I ran from Fort Tryon Park to the little red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge.

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During the Fourth of July week my parents and I visited family in New Hampshire. One of the highlights of going to New Hampshire is visiting my dear friends Tyler + Darbi who moved from Harlem to New Hampshire over a year ago. I was brave enough to suggest that we run together. They were so kind to me by running at my pace, walking when I needed to walk and pushing me when I needed to be pushed.

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These 3 miles were tough! It was my first run in the evening, a run after I had indulged in some lakeside food and my first run with hills. And it was about 93 degrees still at 8pm at night.

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Run/Walk + 1-mile run around the lake. Tyler gave me some good mental focus in how to look at the mileage so that I keep going, push myself + JUST. KEEP. RUNNING.

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Darbi + I sat for a few minutes while Tyler ran a lap around the lake and then it was time to hit the trail, one more time! It didn't matter how long it took. It just mattered that I didn't stop running. Tyler + Darbi were the perfect coaches for my Manchester run.

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A trip to New Hampshire in the summer wouldn't be complete without some time spent at Lake Winnipesaukee. For 20 years, my family spent the last 2.5 weeks of every summer at our family cottage in Alton Bay. Life can't be better than waking up, throwing on a swim suit and spending the day swimming, canoeing, boating and running around with friends. Diving off the dock and swimming in the lake brought back so many memories.

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Now that I'm back from the lake and time with family it's time to get ready for my first major organized run. I'm looking forward to discovering what my pace is like in a long run, how I feed off the energy of the crowd, what my endurance levels are like and how I put the lessons that I've been learning into practice. 12 Miles...I can do this!

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I continue to weigh in at Weight Watchers every week as a source of accountability. I used to weigh in on Fridays but I found that my approach wasn't the most effective. I'd enjoy 'extra' over the weekend and tighten up my meals on weekdays. I recently switched my weigh-in day to Tuesdays and it's given me an extra layer of accountability for the weekends. 

After I weigh in, my continued tradition is to indulge in a cheat meal. After a day of thinking about what I REALLY want, French Toast was my most recent Tuesday brunch! My feet and body can feel the positive impact of my recently celebrated 26 pound weight loss and I'm grateful for the progress so far. If I've come this far after a few months, I know I'll be that much more ahead over the next 16+ weeks until Marathon Sunday.

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One of my favorite morning, afternoon or post run snacks is right above! One egg + one mashed banana + a dash of vanilla extract with a serving of PB Fit on top. It's been just like a pancake for me. These are the food items that keep me going!

July feels like it's about to pass as quickly as May + June went by but before the month is over these are some of the things I'm looking forward to:

120 days until 26.2 miles...

And so I run...