This is going to be long, I hope you will stick around through all 26.2 miles[which may mean multiple posts], but if you don’t that’s okay. These posts are more for me than for anyone else. I want to remember how I felt in 2011 and this was a huge part of my whole year that all came together on this one day in October.

In 2010 I unexpectedly became pregnant with baby #3. I ran the whole time but there would be no fall marathons for me. I knew it was only one of many sacrifices I would make for this little baby growing inside of me. I couldn’t help but miss the marathon. When my mom asked me if I would run Boston Marathon 2011 with her only a mere 5 months after my due date I thought, sure why not. 5 months seemed like a long time to have a baby and get training. In hindsight it was not very much time at all.

When the opportunity presented itself to become an Ambassador for National Marathon I thought why not sign up for the full. If I am going to run I might as well go big and run the full rather than the half. I was tired and getting no sleep but I wanted to show myself and other moms that it is possible to achieve a goal even in the madness of raising 3 kids one of which was a nursing newborn. I set the goal for myself of PR’ing in the marathon and possibly running a 3:15. I didn’t really have training paces I was sticking too because my body was still recovering from childbirth. The 3:15 was just a number I decided I wanted in my head. A number I crazily thought I could achieve 4 months after having baby C.

Around the same time I started using twitter more and found lots of new bloggers that I wanted to follow.  I felt like I would be friends with some of these girls if I knew them in real life. One of those girls was Lauren. I read her blog and felt like a stalker. When I looked at the picture of her and her sisters I couldn’t help but feel like I wished she was my sister too. Was I strange? Why did I like this girl I barely knew. I don’t know and can’t explain it but I felt like she was a friend.

When I found out she was running National and had the same goal as me I asked if she wanted to try to meet up before the race and run together. I had never run a full marathon with anyone, let alone a stranger, so I am not sure why I made this plan. I am also notoriously a freak before races. My friends know this – so they hold nothing I do before a race against me. They know I have to get to places beyond early, sometimes drive alone to the same races, and just generally do my own thing. Lauren and I texted but it was a little hectic at the start so we never ‘ran’ into each other. She ended up running a 3:18:18 and me a 3:26:43.

I loved my time because the race was on 3/26 and I ran 3:26. I loved her time because it had 8:18 in the number.

When I found out that nuun was putting together a team comprised of female bloggers for Hood To Coast Relay the first person that jumped to my mind was Lauren. I knew she was a relay LOVER and knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime she wanted. I wanted to be on the team but really would have given my spot to her if I had gotten picked and she didn’t. Why was I willing to do that for a girl I didn’t even know?

Fast forward to Hood To Coast….Lauren arrived at van decorating and I suddenly felt like I was in high school. Would she like me? Did she even care to meet me? I put up my defenses and stuck with Melody the only girl I semi knew….I didn’t want to get my feelings hurt if Lauren didn’t think I was as cool as I thought she was. Yes I did just say that. Even at the age of 29 I still have not outgrown that feeling of wanting someone to like me.

Lauren and I had requested to be in the same van together and actually ended up together with Emily (who I also REALLY wanted to meet/be friends with). It was perfect.

I still haven’t written half as much about Hood To Coast as I want to because I STILL don’t want to admit it is over. I knew going in to the race that it would change my life in a major way and it did.

I ran my first race mile in the 5’s with a 5:59 on my first leg. I dreamed big and my dreams came true.

I won’t go into why Hood To Coast was amazing because I know I’m about 8 paragraphs into this recap and I haven’t even begun to talk about Marine Corps. What I will say is that I made friends at this race that I know I will have in my life for the rest of my life.

When I found out Lauren was signed up to run Marine Corps I again thought to myself – ask her to run with you. So I did. Then I freaked. Who was I kidding. I’m always telling people to run their own race. How can I run my race if I am running with Lauren. How can she run her own race if she is running with me? We will push each other at the wrong time….ugh…

Then a sense of calm came over me. I realized that even though I had only met Lauren once I felt like she was a long lost friend. I could tell her how I felt and what my race plan was and she would understand.

We agreed to not waste energy weaving in and out of people. If we lost each other we would catch up and meet up again. If one of us was feeling good we wouldn’t feel bad about leaving the other. We would run our own races but also hope/pray/wish that most of our races were run together. We were totally on the same page. We would push each other to better races than if we had tackled 26.2 alone.

We were #teamwatermelon and we were going to rock the 36th MCM! 

Game plan set. Ready to Run 26.2…….


  1. I LOVED this recap! I have only run in two marathons but I ran both of them with a good friend. (A different friend in each marathon.) We didn't talk much and we kept a good pace but it was comforting knowing that someone else was right there with me- as if we were a "team." I totally get the importance of Team Watermelon. You girls did great!

  2. Loved reading this!!! You are amazing lady and make me want to run, run, run!!! XO!

  3. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Tia and Caroline – you girls are great! Thank you :) xoxo

  4. This was awesome, made me smile! I read Lauren's blog too. Sounds like you two were destined to be friends, definitely a gift to treasure 😉 I have a great running group, but have yet to find that running buddy like Lauren. I hope sooner than later I can find my soul mate runner buddy too!

  5. Spartan300workout says:

    Nice view at the venue, great race. Congratulations for a great job well done, looking forward always.

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