Oct 16

It’s Good To Have Goals

Last week I set three goals for my much trained for half-marathon.  Do you remember?  Certainly you do!  What? You mean you don’t commit all of my goals to memory?  You have other “important” things to think about you say?  Ok well, here’s a reminder:

1.  Finish without being broken

2.  Finish with a PR of 1:30 or better

3.  Make the top five females in my age group

Well, I’m beyond psyched to say that I accomplished ALL THREE!!!  Yay!!!  I finished in 1:29:32 which is a personal record for me by two minutes, I was absolutely not broken but ecstatic and pumping my fists across the finish line and I finished exactly fifth in my age group out of 582 and the 26th woman overall out of 3,897.  I killed it.

My stats!

My stats!

There is something to be said about putting your goals “out there” for the world 100 people to see.  After I did, quite a few people came up to me and said “I can’t believe you posted that!”  Which made me kind of freak out…for like 10 seconds.  I did it for that reason.  I wanted to put myself out here and just see what happens. After all, what’s the worst outcome?  I don’t meet my goals.  Ok, it happens and I move on.  Would I be disappointed?  Of course.  Would the haters have a little dance party?  Probably.  But I would run another day.  Luckily, everything went right on this day.

It all started when, on race day eve (yes, it’s like Christmas for me) I opened my mailbox to this:

Are you talking to me?

Are you talking to me?

Those people at Runner’s World are geniuses! Certainly this was a sign.  If Summer Sanders thinks I can do it, then I can!

Race morning the weather was perfect – 50 degrees without a cloud in the sky.

All smiles with my bestie pre-race...and a man on a horse photo bombing us.

All smiles pre-race with my best friend…and a man on a horse photo bombing us.

I felt great at the start and, when the gun went off, I just knew it was going to be a good day.  I stayed on pace (6:52) through the first six miles pretty easily, fueled with my Chomps! when I needed too and was totally focused on my goal.  My dad (because he’s the greatest human being on the planet) was waiting for me with my boys at mile 10 in Elizabeth Park.  In my head, I just needed to get to mile ten.  My aunt (my number one fan) and uncle were also at mile ten so I was ready for my cheering section.

Just as I approached the park I saw the 1:30 pace runner.  A pacer is put into races for people who are trying to meet certain time goals (me!) and helps them stay on track and finish at their desired time.  They basically take the guess work out of it.  It’s like a personal coach guiding you to the finish.  The only problem is, you have to stay with them!  I have to admit that I panicked a little when I saw the pace runner because then I had my wingman.  Now I needed to keep up with him through the brutal final miles.

I can hear my dad before I see him.  He has the loudest whistle you can imagine.  I’m not sure if all Cubans posses this high pitched ear music or just him, but it’s unmistakable.  Then I saw my boys.  The issue is, when you’re racing toward an important goal, it’s emotional. Then, when you see your 4 year-old boys running beside you beaming with pride followed closely by your dad whistling his little Cuban buns off (he wouldn’t want me to say “ass”), you can’t breathe.  It was the greatest part of the race by far but I expended so much energy waving my arms and blowing kisses and yelling “I love you’s!” that I think they need to stay home next year!!…either that or I could possibly have run a 1:28.  Either way, it’s a moment I will never forget.

Post-race near the beer tent, I'm all smiles!

Post-race near the beer tent, I’m all smiles!

Since I know you don’t want the sugar coated version – the last three miles were pretty hellish.  Everything in my body wanted to stop, drop and roll.  I say that because my piriformis or little thing in the dead center of my left ass cheek was on fire!  I kept checking my watch as if I could will it to move faster.  I kept checking my wingman who was running ahead of me and actually waving me forward with his hand as if calling on a tired dog.  Was he an angel?  A demon?  The clock would determine it.

Finally, mercifully, the final stretch came into view.  It’s one I know well.  I have raced this half course four or five times and the marathon course three times.  These were the arches I ran under when I qualified for Boston and where I finished my very first marathon ever.  Then, my wingman said the sweetest words a girl could hear “you’re way under time”  God bless you Mr. speedy pants.

An amazing friend of mine (thank you Shelley!) took this video of me crossing the finish line.  I’m the little one in pink with the black hat.  Am I really that short?  Dear Lord!

I was smiling the entire time and even gave a little fist pump at the finish.  I was ecstatic.  I had done it.  I also gave a huge high-five to my wingman who was curiously out of breath.  Shouldn’t this pace be easy for you, dude?

So, after cheering some of my other friends in, I had a celebratory beer because carbs are a runner’s best friend and beer tastes sweeter when it’s earned through blood, sweat and tears.


Cheers bitches!

Cheers bitches!

When I finally made it home I was exhausted and had to snap back into mommy mode faster then the first female finisher (who set a new course record of 1:13:19 – show off!) but I made sure to mark my bib, as I always do:

Time for you to take your place in the garage!

Time for you to take your place in the garage!

Today was a good day.

P.S.  My Aunt informed me yesterday that the “official” results list me as 4th woman in my age group.  Not sure what happened but I’ll take it! 


Did you race recently?  What was the outcome?  How do you celebrate your accomplishments, big or small?








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  1. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama

    CONGRATS Allie! What an amazing race! You are a total rockstar, badass, hot mama all rolled into one beautiful package! So proud of you!!

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much!!! I was absolutely thinking about you when I was out there getting it done. Like you wrote today – it’s hard putting yourself out here (this was also my first big race as a blogger) but I think it makes the highs higher and the lows less so. Everyone is so supportive. Plus, you’re going to kill that marathon!!!

  2. Shannon

    Still on the high and still so amazingly proud and motivated by you! Love it!

    1. vita88

      It was so great having you there, crushing goals of your own! I look forward to many more races with you…:-)

  3. thedoseofreality

    YAY!! So proud of you! 🙂 That is awesome! You rock, and we think you are the best!-Ashley

    1. vita88

      Thank you!!!! wooohoooo!! I’ll be dancing around in public today for sure – ha ha…

  4. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance

    Oh my gosh you are so speedy!! That video of you just blew me away. That is what I look like sprinting after many hours of rest! 🙂 Congrats on accomplishing not just one but all three of your goals! That is so amazing and you should feel so incredibly proud of yourself! And I think it is so adorable that your boys were running along with you.

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much. It’s funny because when I watch the video I feel like I look slow!!! I was definitely struggling at the end to keep my pace. The best part, by far, was the boys (and my dad) running along with me. I’ll never forget it.

  5. Heather

    I love this blog! Thanks for sharing the real story…It’s tempting to think that because it “looks” easy, it is easy. In the moment of the doing, it feels like death, but when it’s over, and the life comes rushing in, it’s all worth it!
    Love you girlfriend!

    1. vita88

      That is a perfect description!! Thank you SO, SO much!!!

  6. Mothering From Scratch

    {Melinda} Good for you! You are so inspiring!! I don’t run (except on the treadmill at the gym), but I set lots of goals for myself in my writing career. I’m not good at celebrating my accomplishments/goals, though. My writing partner and I were just talking about this very thing!

    We are plotting a BIG celebration when we finish writing our very first book in December!! 🙂

    1. vita88

      You need to celebrate! It’s important to at least reflect and say “wow, I did that!” I can’t wait to read and promote your book. I just know it’s going to be fabulous…since you both are:-)

  7. Dana

    I am SO glad your friend took the video. I was smiling while I was reading, but I smiled even bigger when I saw your little self cross the finish line! (I’m that short too). I’m so happy for you, Allie – you rock!

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much Dana!! The friend who took the video, did it unbeknownst to me and then she posted it on my FB page!! It made me smile and cry…and then laugh at how small I look!

  8. Kristina Walter @ Kris On Fitness

    You did awesome! That soooo cool! You rock!

    1. vita88

      Thanks so much Kris!!

  9. Tamara

    You’re not that short. Those other runners are freakishly tall.
    And you are awesome!! Way to go! Glad the CT weather cooperated too. It’s been quite beautiful lately. Next time I’m coming to watch! Oh wait..would that make it worse? If someone watched me on a photography gig, I’d die of shame.
    Anyway. You’re amazing.

    1. vita88

      Thanks Tarmara!! They’re mostly MEN too which makes me look smaller. As for coming to the race? I would LOVE it if you were there!! Des will be able to run with my boys by then:-)

  10. misszippy

    Love it, Allie! What a great, great race you ran! I think staying behind the pacer is brilliant in the beginning, then catching up (and passing!) him or her near the end. Perfectly executed. And all that hell was worth it, wasn’t it?


    1. vita88

      I was actually *ahead* of the pacer and he (and his pack) caught up to me! That’s what made me a bit nervous, but pacers are usually a little too quick so…
      Thank you so much! As YOU know, you go through hell but a finish line with the right numbers on the clock make it all worth it. THANK YOU!

  11. Michelle

    Yay! Congratulations Allie! Cool video! And I am so with you on writing goals down. I find when I do that, I’m a lot more likely to accomplish them!

    1. vita88

      It really works! I’ll be doing that from now on. Thanks Michelle.

  12. Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama

    Allie, when I read this this morning I was allllll misty on the train imagining your boys and dad running next to you! AWW!

    You rock girl. There is no other way to say it. You simply rock. I am SO proud of you for putting it into the universe about your goals and then knocking them out the park! SO awesome. 4th place!! You are a force to be reckoned with Ms. Allie.

    I just love that video, you are of the perfect height in my opinion. 🙂

    1. vita88

      You are too sweet Nellie. Thank you so much. Those kids are killers when it comes to the emotions – geez!
      If you think I’m the perfect height, then that’s all I need to hear.

  13. Hope

    Dang lady! That is awesome! Congrats. If you thought you looked slow crossing the finish, you would’ve looked like a blur at the start.lol. Way to crush those goals. My next half is Dec 1 space coast. I’d be happy to come in under 2, but I don’t see me hauling my tail across the finish before 2.lol

    1. vita88

      You are cracking me up! I can’t wait to hear about YOUR half. Under 2 hours is a great goal. You can do it!!

  14. Holly

    Woo hooo Allie! I absolutely love your story here and the honesty at the end. I an only imagine the rush of emotions going through your head as you approached that finish and girl you deserve it! Im in agreence with you about stating your goals- they become more of a reality when you tell someone. Your hard training and attention to details have paid off! You are such a speedy inspiration and sounds like you have a one of a kind cheer section at races. Hope you recover well and celebrate your victory!

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much! It was a definite rush of emotions. One of my good friends was at the finish line and she doesn’t really know anything about running or races and I started crying when I saw her. She was like “I get it! It’s very emotional.” It would have been embarrassing if I didn’t know her so well.
      I’m definitely celebrating…and have been for days now! This is the best part.
      Thanks again! Your comments really mean a lot to me.

  15. Kristine (Pink Cupcake Runs)

    That is so awesome – congrats! I’m running my very first half marathon on Oct. 26th. I’m so excited, but also very scared. I just started running this past May, but I know I can do it!! I loved reading your experience of running a half!

    1. vita88

      That is awesome!!! I love new runners and hearing about their perspective and experience. I will definitely be checking out your blog so I can see what happens. I’m sure you will be great.

  16. Kim

    Whoop! Whoop!!!
    I’m so very happy for you – I’ve been waiting to hear all about the race and this was definitely worth the wait!!! You totally rocked that race and those goals!!!
    I got tears reading about your dad and kids and then watching the video – so very cool!!
    Way to go!!!

    1. vita88

      Kim – thank you so much!! I know you understand the family support and what it means to have them watch you race and just be there for you. I’m so glad my friend took that video so you could see me in action.
      I don’t know HOW but someday, we need to run together!!

  17. Leah

    Yahoo!!! Awesome!!! I’m so happy for you that you achieved your 3 unbelievable goals! There is something motivating about letting the world see them. I love that your Dad is so supportive. I want to be that way for my kids one day:))) And it must have been amazing to have your boys there too watching their Mama cross the line!!! So great!!!

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much! It was an unbelievable day. My dad is really the best. He’s always there for me and has had to be my mom AND dad for so many years and he’s excelled at it! My kids are lucky to have him as well and, of course, they think he hung the moon:-)

  18. Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady

    Congrats Allie! You kill all of thee raises. So happy that you reached your goals!

    1. vita88

      Thanks Joi! After the Duathlon, I’m looking forward to some much needed REST!!!…and food…and massages:-)

  19. Eli@coachdaddy

    I think Summer Sanders would love that you put your goals out here for God and everyone to see (and I’m not just saying that because I hope Summer Sanders googles herself, finds this comment, and goes directly to my blog. I love her).

    I think you should have stepped in front of that tall dude and kept him behind you for the finish!

    You’re an inspiration, you know. Well done.

    1. vita88

      Love it!!
      I should totally try to cut people off at the finish – good tip:-)
      Thanks so much Coach!

  20. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    You absolutely killed it! Amazing job, Allie! And so inspiring… breaking 1:30 is on my someday list in the half. And you look so happy, like it was the easiest thing… huge congrats, my friend!!

    1. vita88

      I’m glad I LOOK that way! I was exhausted. My dad ended up taking the boys for another few hours so I could nap. My husband was out of town so I needed that rest badly!!
      I’m surprised you haven’t accomplished this already Ms. Speedy!! I have no doubt that if you put you’re mind to it, you’ll get it done.
      Thank you so much!

  21. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Um – awesome freaking job!!! The last 3 miles are always my most challenging too. So much mental, but then you’re body is figuring out that you’re not stopping yet and it’s telling you that you’re crazy. And what is it about the left ass cheek? That’s where my piriformis issues reside. Congrats again – awesome job!

    1. vita88

      Thank you! YES, that’s exactly what those last few miles are like and YES my piriformis is hating me. I’ve been living on a foam roll. But it was absolutely and completely worth it!

  22. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    CONGRATS!!! So freakin’ awesome! Love the video of you running like a champ across the finish line. You’re a little peanut! 😉

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much!! I was so happy my friend took that video, and also laughed at how small I am!!

  23. Alison

    Allie, you rock, congratulations!!
    I think putting your goals out there keeps you accountable. I for one, am very goal-oriented. It keeps me focused, so I totally understand why you did.
    And look, you DID IT!!

    1. vita88

      I know – hooray!! I think it really works.

  24. Sara @ Fit.Fun.Femme

    You are amazballs and I strive to be like you. I’m fist pumping you from afar :). What’s your next goal?

    1. vita88

      Ha ha!! I love “amazeballs.”
      I’m headed to Arizona next week for the Duathlon National Championships. After that? REST!
      Thanks Sara!!

  1. 5 for Friday: Post Marathon Plans - Work in Sweats Mama

    […] It’s also been several years since I’ve raced a half-marathon. The half is my favorite distance, and I’d love to train for a race and go after the 1:30 mark. And now I can call up Allie from VitaTrain4Life and get her tried and true advice! […]

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