Having a hard time processing the Olympic Trials Marathon experience...so many layers. In the meantime here's answers to your Twitter questions!

What are changes u make to your diet when training that you know for sure make a difference?
I give up alcohol and sugar for 4 weeks before a goal marathon. It's more mental for me and forces me to replace empty calories with more quality ones. I doubt anyone eats more sugar than me though...

Late to seeing yr tweet, but would love to hear about USTF support of race as it has been criticized.
— Lea 
Honestly, that was depressing to read. I went in so starry eyed I didn't see the flaws. After reading the account, they was hard to ignore. It put a pit in my stomach I wish wasn't there. But I'm refusing to let it tarnish my memories of the experience which were shaped by my family and friends. I hope the support improves, I hope people are trying to do their best.

Congrats on being one of the top 100 female marathoners in the country! What's next? What is your next goal for your running?
Amy Abrew 

Also, what's next for you? Olympic Trials long been a dream so time to think of another. Congrats!

My goal is to get stronger from the base out and keep racing. I'll be signing up for local races to stay near my family.

Q: do you consider wings on your shoes a fair advantage? _ Awesome to see you run in person.

Dennis Ryan 
Ha! I know an athlete whose coach wouldn't let them race in the Shwings. I passed her in LA and saw he finally let her race in them. Obviously they are a huge advantage, but a bit of extra weight. ;)

How amazing was it to see so many badass teammates on the course? 😍
The Oiselle cheer crew was unreal. And to have the honor to race in the kit with women I've admired for years was unbelievable. Every time I saw my women out there I cheered for them. Kara was a huge focus of my day, I wanted to see her dreams come true. 

I'm curious what the race setup was like! How were the logistics/procedures different from other marathons?
Very similar to my few previous elite experiences. I'm such a nubie on that front though.

More geared toward CIM, but when you're running a race that's so time focused, do you find yourself checking your watch too much?
I really tried not to obsess my watch. I find I run faster when I run smooth and by feel. CIM was also amazing because we had a pacer. I left him at mile 22, but as long as he didn't pass me back I knew I was fine.

Now that you've achieved such a huge life goal, is it difficult to think "what's next"?
It was at first, after CIM I felt so completely satisfied. After LA I have more I want to do. More inside.

How do you juggle it all-family, work, running? What was the hardest thing that day? And congrats on your race! All the s(Miles)
Mandy E
If I have to be honest...I don't think I do it very well. But I try to do my best to balance. But I want to be the best at everything, and balance can mean not feeling great about anything. Feeling good but not great. I would say naturally I have too much energy and that helps. But I can count on one hand the amount of times I've made dinner for my family in the last 3 months, and can't count the amount of nights I had frozen waffles at 8pm for dinner. Things drop.

The hardest part of the race was accepting that I wasn't going to be a surprise success. My really smooth, great feeling blew up huge around mile 21. I had to walk through a water stop and I started to have a legit panic attack. I could feel my throat like a pinhole. I had the very clear vision that this could end with a DNF. That floored me on all levels and I could barely breath. Luckily my dad was right there and he talked me down off the ledge quickly, because we speak the same language.

Maybe I'll ask you questions I'm asking myself...what was most unexpected about the whole experience? xoxo
Allison Maxson 
I didn't expect the melancholy feelings. I was fully ready to run slower than I wanted, to just celebrate getting there, but around mile 10 I started to get cocky, I thought I might crack the top 50 or higher. I thought I might have a secret in me. Then at about 17 miles the wheels were falling off. I was shocked. And left the finish with a feeling of wanting a re-do.

Congrats on your great race! How do you deal with the mental demons that sometimes emerge in the marathon?
Erin Jones
I thought about my family and reminded myself to tap into our hereditary stubbornness. ;)

Was there a mile in particular that you just loved more than the others?
cecille joan 
Honestly ... complete blur. Any mile with family or water!

Single favorite moment? Was it everything you hoped it would be? Are you sad it's over? What's next for you?!
Marilyn Keys 
Single favorite moment...when my baby finally recognized me! And when Trisha, Shal and I cruised through the finish after mile 3 and the announcer gave us a huge shout out. When I made that fourth lap and high fived my family and my Oiselle family.

Ready to run another?!
Emily Bumbulsky 

How did you fuel for the days leading up the the race? How did that affect your race (esp bc it was so warm)?
Karissa K. 
Added Pedialyte to hydration. Not much different. Should have taken more of my bottles through mile 15.

#womanupLA #runningstarfishblog Since ur tumble&scare of injury, r u back 2 eating broccoli? :P

Wendy Hetherington 
Never! Trust no broccoli. Only brussel sprouts.

The classic...but a goodie...What would you say to the you of 2 or 3 years ago when you really decided to go for the OTQ?
You're doing to make a like a Dixie Chick and take the long way around, but hang in there and enjoy the ride.

Also, are leather shorts as uncomfortable as they sound??

Leila Zelnick 
No! They are like buttah!

Rumor has it there's video footage of you doing some fierce Rio dancing at the welcome dinner...care to comment?
My moves speak for themselves.

Were you able to be in the moment and enjoy it?
Shannon McCarthy 
Most of the time! But I still wish I could hit re-do on the whole thing.

How often were you getting fluids in and how much at a time? Did you stay on top of dehydration? How is recovery going?
Renee Harden
Every 3 - 4 miles, but I didn't take it seriously enough. I was taking sips and tossing bottles through mile 17, BIG mistake. I should have carried them and finished them ... and filled them higher.

Hi Mac! did you have a time goal for the race? Did you feel more pressure to perform since it's such a high level race?
After seeing the forecast my goal was to hit 6:20s though 10k and take it from there. I was in it for place. It didn't go well at the end, but I did what I could.

What did you tell yourself to get through the entire race in those conditions?
Running 'n' Reading 
My mantra was 'do it on the day'. It's something my old coach would sign off on emails. I didn't get it until later in that race...I think it means do what you can on the day. Adjust but don't make excuses to punk out.

Wow there are so many questions already! 1: what did you/how did you explain it to PJ, 2: how did you stay so smiley?
Anne O 
Well smiling makes me feel better and all my smiles are on camera... taken by people cheering for me. Hard not to smile. There were plenty of pain train faces, just escaped documentation.

As for PJ, she totally understood the importance of the elite badge. Snagged that up right away. She was oblivious, but after the event ran around the AirBnB yelling GO PJ!!! GO PJ!!! Something sunk in.


  1. Thanks for sharing so much of your experience with us. I'm sorry it didn't go how you wanted, but you still accomplished something amazing that not many people do. Can't wait to see what you do from here (big and small)!


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