Whidbey Island Marathon – 3:03:08, 1st place (as a workout)

What an absolutely beautiful marathon! Wow. Wish I could have taken pictures during the run!

I ran very smart, starting in about 7:30 pace and warming into sub-7s. It was hard to judge paces since there is about 1200ft of elevation change. Two of the hills are literally 1.5 miles long and average 3.3% and 3.8% grade. Yikes!

I ran with two of the other lead women until about 8 miles. It was fun to chat with them and have company for the first part of the run. There was a water stop at 8 miles and somehow we became separated. It was also the start of the first of those long climbs, so perhaps that’s what separated us? I was a little sad to lose my conversation and company! 🙂

Top 3 women!  Fun to have such great  company!

The rest of the marathon went by pretty quick even though I was completely alone. I took the time to look around and enjoy the absolutely BEAUTIFUL scenery. At one point I had to make a beeline to the side of the road for a bathroom pit-stop (first time during a marathon!). I tried to wait for a porta-potty, but I don’t think they had any…

With 2 miles to go, I tried to see what I could do. 6:00-6:10 miles for those two and I was closing fast on the guy ahead of me. I tried to keep my head up and reel him in, but just didn’t have enough time 🙂

There were a lot of people that recognized me from my expo presentations which was super fun. One 12 year old (Ryan Vasileff – keep that name handy, he’ll be speedy! 1:32 1/2 marathon at the age of 12) specifically sought me out to take a picture. He went to one of my talks and asked a bunch of questions. His goal is now to make an Olympic team 🙂

Ryan and I.  Hoping he stays in contact with me so I can follow his running  dreams! 🙂 (Also note: we’re the same height!)

I purposefully took the hills and downhills much easier than I otherwise would because I’m nursing a VERY tight soleus (lower portion of calf, in between the achilles and gastroc).  It flared up early last week and has become progressively tighter – to the point where the day before  the marathon I became pretty worried about it during just a 4 mile easy run & stopped to stretch it multiple times.  I’m especially concerned because I know this puts added strain on the achilles, and this is the achilles I partially tore before the Olympic Trials.  Rut roh.  No injuries, PLEASE!  Right now the soleus is hard as a rock and there’s some definite swelling around the achilles.  So – I’ll be icing like a crazy woman and hitting up cross training options later this week (after about 2-3 days totally off… I’m not messing around with this).

Awesome medals!  Nate ran the 1/2 marathon in a new PR, despite the hills. Not bad for hopping in the day before the race!  Think he’s ready for a great race at Fargo Marathon! 

Awesome medal!  It rained a little during the race but the sun came out for awards. So nice to feel the sun (and to be on green grass!) – it snowed another 3-4 inches in MN today 🙂

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  1. Congratulations on your run! Your talk on Saturday was very inspirational to Ryan Vasileff. He enjoyed listening to you and talking with you after the race. Thanks again.

  2. Congratulations Nichole on your win. My husband and I listened to your talk on Saturday as well. He ran the 5K that day and I did the 1/2 on Sunday for the first time. You have inspired both of us and we are now going to train for the Skagit flats 1/2 marathon in September. Thank you for taking the time to talk on Saturday. I do wish I had taken more time to prepare. I had several questions but forgot most of them during your talk. Anyway, Thank you for being you and never giving up.

  3. Just wanted to let you know that Ryan Vasileff will be running again this year in the Half Marathon in Whidbey and his goal is to break 90 minutes. Thanks again for your inspiration for him to keep going.

  4. Nichole:

    Just wanted to let you know about he 1/2 Marathon for Ryan Vasileff. This year was a little slower but was a lot hotter than last year. No rain and near the 70's. He finished in 1 our and 37 minutes (48th overall), which is still a huge victory considering the field had amost doubled to about 1700 people. He also has been invited to go down to Vancouver Washington by the President of the Vancouver USA Marathon and run over Fathers Day Weekend, he is still deciding on that one, good news to that course though it is a flat race. Thanks for the reply and he will keep in touch

  5. Nichole:
    An update on Ryan Vasileff. He ran his third half marathon yesterday in Vancouver Washington in the personal record time of 1:31. He finished 38th overall out of 2200 runners and finished 1st in the 13-15 year olds and finished 2nd in the 19 and under category. Just wanted to keep in touch with you on it. Thanks

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