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Finally, the congratulations I’ve been waiting for…I’m officially entered into the Marathon!  Huge thank you to everyone who supported my fundraising for Team R4V.  Because of your support, I was able to raise over $600 to support our vets!

I’ve never run a race as part of an organization before, but am proud to be part of this team.  Team R4V is much more than just a ‘show-up-for-your-t-shirt-and-swag’ team, it’s a group of athletes who are dedicated to supporting our vets and supporting each other.  Within a day of registering, I was added as part of their Facebook group, where fellow runners from all over the country are posting about their upcoming races, receiving support + inspiration, and providing helpful tips for their fellow team members. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about free t-shirts, but it’s feels great to be a part of something bigger.

Training is officially in full swing (it kicked off with bootcamp can you believe it?!) with many more details to come.

Has anyone else ever run as part of a bigger team or organization?  Curious to hear your experiences!

As always, run on runners.



We’re in!

I am pleased to announce that the entry saga of the Marine Corps Marathon 2014 is over….we are IN!

Honestly, this year’s registration for the MCM was worse than applying for colleges. (Sorry MCM, I love this event, but it was a hassle) As you’ll recall, team BylMiles was planning on getting into the marathon through the 17.75 event that guaranteed you a spot in the big race.  Well, 9 minutes of registration for the 17.75 went by while I was on the phone and BAM – sold out.  9 minutes, no joke.  Then a stream of texts from friends that were also trying to get in confirmed the same thing: none of us were running the 17.75.

Our next order of business was to register for the lottery.  I’m going to be very open and say that I really don’t agree with races that have a lottery for entry.  Not only is it nearly impossible to get your whole team in (even for just two people!) against those odds, but the stress of waiting for your acceptance is unbearable.  Nevertheless, we registered for said lottery about a month ago, and patiently waited…until today.

While refreshing four different tabs on my computer, we waited for the big “yes” emails saying we were into the run.  Quick props to the MCM social media people for keeping their pages updated + letting people know that emails were still being sent out.  About three hours into our wait, my dad gets his email – he’s in! So, at this point we just need the second email to make our 2014 MCM dreams come true.

So we waited.

And refreshed.

And waited.

And tweeted hopefully at the MCM team.

And got nothing.

No lottery entry for me fellow runners, I was bang outta luck. Now, of course, panic sets in.  No lottery entry means that I need to find some other way to get into the race.  Enter Team R4V. I had never heard of this organization before, but they were ready with their posts calling for racers to join their team that hadn’t made it into the lottery drawing.

After a quick scan of their website, I was sold. Team R4V is a non-profit that provides assistance to all branches of military veterans through athletic races/fundraising – how awesome is that?! So, you are looking at the newest member of their team!

I’ll be fundraising as part of my participation, so be on the lookout for more info here on how you can support Team R4V (and of course, my race!).

To everyone who made it into the lottery, congrats! To everyone still looking for a bib, I feel you pain, best of luck in your search!

And now, for the sentence I’ve been waiting to write since we entered the lottery a month ago…Marine Corps Marathon 2014 – HERE WE COME!

As always, run on (marathon) runners.


Marine Corps Marathon 2013

There is nothing like a marathon. Every time we head to DC for the marine corps I am reminded of the dedication, determination and excitement of everyone involved. Runner, volunteer, Marine or spectator, you can feel the energy that this race gives off.

This year, my dad and I queued up again with 30,000 of our closest friends for the gun to sound. As the national anthem blared, we looked up to see about ten parachuters gliding down to us with flags.  They landed in and amongst the runners while the whole crowd cheered.  Honestly, it was one of the coolest sites I’ve ever seen.  Rock on Marine Corps.



The gun sounded and we waddled our way towards the start. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the hurry-up-and-wait of a marathon start, your heart is pounding and your bouncing up and down, ready to go, but your surrounded by a mass of people on all sides, and there’s nowhere to go until you officially cross the start line.

In typical marine fashion and as expected as a second-timer, the race was very well-organized, plenty of water stations and bathrooms. My only complaint was that we didn’t get food, oranges, until mile eight (two years ago, we got this two miles earlier, made all the difference!).  Now, it was right around these oranges that my run started to go south.

My feet had started to hurt, so I popped two Tylenol to take the edge off, but the real problem was my stomach.  For those of you who don’t know, I’ve had pretty bad stomach issues for the past month and a half.  Found out that I’m basically having a bad reaction to a naturally occurring bacteria in your body (so not awesome).  So, of course, my stomach decided to put up a fight to all this running.

We ran on, until mile 10, where I literally left my mark on the race course in the most un-attractive way possible, by puking. Shout out to the woman who congratulated me with a spirited “better out than in!!”. I shook it off, and ran, much more slowly, onwards. We hit the next aid station where hero #2 of the race traded me one of my citrus goos (my stomach = no citrus for now) for a chocolate one. At this point, my stomach started throbbing, literally. I won’t go into gory details, but a shirt we saw on our run sums it up nicely: “Nothing can stop us now, we’re champions, going str….wait, hang on, dry heaves!!”.

My dad, the most awesome running companion you could ever ask for, started walking with me during mile 14.  I won’t lie, the tears were flowing, I was crushed. It was taking everything I had to keep going, but all I could think was, just keep moving.

We came around a bend and found the American University pep band cheering us on.  When they saw my alumni shirt, they started going nuts, yelling at my dad and I to just keep going!  But, at this point, both my dad and I knew there was no way I was going to make it the last 10 miles to the finish.  In true solidarity, he ran with me the last mile (no matter how much it hurt, I refused to stop my race on a walk), to where our friends and family were waiting at mile 16, our finish line.

I’ve never not finished before. Slow, tired, hurting, I’ve been all of these things, but I’ve always pushed through and made it across the line. To say that I was devastated was an understatement.  After months of prepping and getting excited, ending everything early felt like a cop out.  Admitting that I had failed felt even worse.

And then, after the love + encouragement from my friends and family had finally gotten under my thick skin, I decided to quit feeling bad. Sure, I didn’t make it to the finish, I don’t have a medal to prove it, but I ran my heart out.  A marathon is just a distance, that’s all. I ran 16 of those 26 miles, and know that I left everything out on the pavement, there weren’t any miles left in me.

Now, I’m picking myself up, dusting off a rough run and getting my head in the game for the next one. The best part of all this? I have even more motivation for next year. MCM 2014 is going to be the race to end all races (and even if it isn’t, I’ll know that I did everything I could).   Congratulations to all of my friends that completed the MCM 2013, so proud to have run with you!! Can’t wait until next year!!


As always, run on runners.



1 month, 16 days

As of today, we have exactly 1 month and 16 days until the big marathon day! If the amount of posts on here (aka minimal at best) is any indication, my training has been rough.  It’s now the final lap towards the finish and I’ve got to seriously buckle down and make this happen.

Between now and marathon day, I plan on running over 200 miles as part of my final training.   Thanks to MapMyRun, I have a goal tracker set up that sends me daily updates to keep me even more accountable in the last stretch.  My appreciation for the extra motivation cannot be understated, it’s a fantastic tool.

I’m not going to lie folks, this marathon is going to be an interesting one, but my faithful running partner, Michael, has promised to help me muscle through the finish line.  With work + training ramping up at the same time, we’ll see how busy my days get, but at this point, I’m just excited to get to DC! Not to be cheesy, but it’s the final countdown, so runners, run on with me.


Training Schedule

Alright my fellow pavement stompers, for the first time ever I’m being super organized and mapping out my entire training schedule from now until race day.  This is still TBD (I need to add a few more races in here and there before the biggie) but hopefully gives you a snapshot of what I’m up to on my future runs!  Feel free to join in 🙂

As always, run on runners!


Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 3 mi 3 mi 3 mi Rest 4 mi CT
2 Rest 3 miles 3 mi 3 mi CT or Rest 5 mi CT
3 Rest 3 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 6 mi CT
4 Rest 3 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 4 mi CT
5 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 6 mi CT
6 Rest 4 mil 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 8 mi CT
7 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 10 mi CT
8 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 8 mi CT
9 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest Color Run 5k 12 mi
10 Rest 4 mi 3 mi Rest CT or Rest 10 mi CT
11 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 14 mi CT
12 Rest 5 mi 3 mi 5 mi CT or Rest 10 mi CT
13 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 5 mi CT or Rest 16 mi CT
14 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 5 mi CT or Rest 12 mi CT
15 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 5 mi My bday! CT 18 mi
16 Rest 5 mi 3 mi 6 mi CT or Rest 12 mi CT
17 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 6 mi CT or Rest 16 mi CT
18 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 20 mi CT
19 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 12 mi CT
20 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4mi CT or Rest 12 mi CT
21 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 5 mi CT or Rest 16 mi CT
22 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 20 mi CT
23 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 12 mi CT
24 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 5 mi CT or Rest 12 mi CT
25 Rest 3 mi 3 mi 3 mi Rest 8 mi CT
26 Rest 2 mi 2 mi 2 mi Rest Rest RACE!

Marine Corps Marathon Times Two

It’s official, the Byl Miles team is registered for the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon!  Despite the slowness of the website and the awkward timing of registration, my dad and I made the list, and just in time too!  Apparently this year’s registration was sold out the fastest in running history, at 2 hours and forty-one minutes.   Clearly the marathon madness has already begun.

The next step?  My new running schedule.  Currently in the middle of midterms, but as soon as I have it laid out, you can bet it will be on here, so stay tuned.  Also on my pre-marathon list of things to do is decide on our Byl Miles team outfits!  Last year we sported some pretty sweet and slightly ridiculous animals hats that I’m sure will make some sort of a reappearance.

My goal for this year’s marathon is to shave off some time, have fun and cross the finish line with a smile on my face.  Anyone else going to be there this year?  Can’t wait! As always, run on runners.


The Right Recipe for Long Distance Training

As I sat here drafting a piece about long distance training, I got my weekly email from and it seems they beat me to the punch.  I loved what they had to say and completely agree with their suggestions, so I’m not even going to try and top it!  Here’s their article with keys to successful long distance training.  Definitely check it out if you’re like me and are starting up training for your next long distance run.

Anyone else registering for the Marine Corps Marathon?  Registration begins Wednesday, March 7th at 3pm.  Be sure to sign up right away, it filled up in less than 5 hours last year!  Hope to see you there!