Houston Half Marathon Champs

Wow, what a weekend! It started off right with a good-luck present from my Love.

Matty and I at the "Beatles Love" show in Vegas the week after the race.

Matty and I at the “Beatles Love” show in Vegas the week after the race.

The new Garmin 220. It is absolutely fabulous.

The USA Half Marathon Championships was my goal race for the segment that I started in September coming back from hip/foot injuries. I was really looking forward to seeing friends and sharing a room with my sister from another mother- Mel. We had SO much fun! Just like being back in Michigan!

Dot, me, and Mel with Wendy Shulik :

I have been trying to break 1:15 for 2 years now, ever since I PR’d with a 1:15:32 at the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon in 2012. This was a huge breakthrough for me not just physically, but mentally also. Dot told me that she was proud of me for being so aggressive (usually I am not) during the race! That is a huge compliment!

Pre-race Brooks shipment. I love my vest + heater hog. Love.

Pre-race Brooks shipment. I love my vest + heater hog. Love.

Dot, Me, and Mel. Love these ladies!

Dot, Me, and Mel. Love these ladies!

Race Day Outfit

Race Day Outfit

You hear people say that when they have a breakthrough race that it almost feels effortless, like they are in the zone. That is exactly how it felt. Don’t get me wrong, it was NOT easy by any means, but I just had this quiet confidence that I knew I could do it if I could accept the pain and push through.

We had a great pack of 5 girls and we ran together right until mile 11-12ish. Usually by mile 8 in a half marathon I know the pain train will be hitting me, but this time I was able to hold it off until about mile 10.5. Then I was working very hard. At about mile 12, I wasn’t sure I was going to finish, ha! I think everyone feels that way at some point in any race you are giving your all…at least I hope I am not the only one!  I would have liked to finish stronger than a 5:47 mile, but I will take it.

Post-race coffee!

Post-race coffee!

I am very proud to have finished in the top 20 with a 1:14:22 gun/1:14:19 chip time. I am excited to run faster and get to my 1:12-1:13 half marathon goal. Time to put on the big girl pants and get to work!

I am now officially qualified for the 2016 USA Olympic Marathon Trials (In LA Feb. 13th, 2016!!) List of qualifiers from Mark Hadley’s site Elite Marathoning with the ‘B’ standard by running under 1:15 for a half marathon. ‘B’ standard means that you can run in the trials, but you have to pay your own way. In a half marathon you can only achieve a ‘B’ standard. There is no ‘A’ standard for the half marathon distance. For the 2012 Olympic Trials I earned the ‘A’ standard by running a 2:37 marathon which means that USATF payed my travel, lodging, food, etc. for the trials. So, as you can see, ‘A’ is the way to go. USATF Qualifying Standards This year you need to run under 2:37 for the ‘A’ standard which I will shoot for in Chicago this fall.  For now, I will continue to work on getting speed into these legs of mine!

Signing Wendy’s 2012 Trials poster. Photo Credit- Wendy Shulik

Race and Race-Prep Takeaways:

  •  I can be aggressive and stick with a pack. Such a huge mental/confidence breakthrough for me. Huge. My mantra for the weekend was “Don’t be a baby.”
  • I still need to work on my finishing kick so I don’t get passed in the last half mile.
  • I expected it to be very painful and prepared myself mentally for the pain. That really helps. Just expect it to feel AWFUL.
  • I have been training so well thanks to John and my training partners JT, Brett, and Ricardo. I love being in Phoenix so much. Puppies and rainbows all around.
  • Dr. Asp’s visualization CD’s have really helped build my confidence. I listen to them in my Epsom salt baths.
  • Making my ‘run nerd’ board and posting my goals where I can see them everyday has helped so much. Keeps me focused and committed.
  • OSMO works! Used it the day before the race and race morning. No breakfast, no gels, just Osmo. I LOVE this stuff!!  1389878069474

Race Results: http://www.usatf.org/events/2014/USAHalfMarathonChampionships/results/WomenResults.html

Garmin data from the race: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/433063682

<3 Photo credit: Wendy Shulik

Next up- A local 5k this weekend. I have not raced a 5k since I ran 16:59 at Carlsbad in 2012. Oof, that is a whole different kind of pain to prepare for.

Run Happy Friends!





  1. So proud of you beautiful Ariana! You go girl – you can do anything!

    • Thanks girly! Yeah, Dr. Asp rocks, I can hear his voice telling me during my runs “Legs powerful, like powerful PISTONS” love it! 🙂

  2. Congrats Ariana! So proud of you and all of your hard work!!! Amazing! ????

  3. There weren’t suppose to be ??? in that last comment lol…it was a kiss emoticon argh! Xoxo

    • Thanks Amy! Can’t wait to see you at the Tucson 5k sufferfest! 😉

  4. Sooooooooo stinking proud of you Ari!!! Congrats on the new shiny PR and the mental break through. Finally cashing in the the greatness you have! Annnnd yeppers, 5k’s a definitely a different type of pain. Keep inspiring chica!!

    • Thanks Lee! So good hearing from you! Hope all is well on your end!

      • Going good Ari! Finally getting back into a nice rhythm again 🙂 I’ve got Gasparilla at the end of the month. After all the marathon based training I’m trying to get my speed back and chase down a much overdue PR in the 5k! Happy training!

  5. BOOM. Under 1:15 like a boss! Congrats! You continue to be an inspiration to us all 🙂 I seriously love reading your blog. It really gets me in the mood to work hard- even though right now I’m not training for anything, ha. Super good luck in your 5k! You know you got this!

  6. yay! congrats on your awesome race! i heard that my buddy sarah cummings was in your pack…she said she loved racing with you! also, i wanted to let you know that i too have the purple garmin 220 and i totally love it (despite resisting getting a garmin for years and years). lastly, tell me more about this osmo stuff. will it prevent me from having to pull a paula next time?? =)

    • Meagan!!!! Osmo works so well, you will not pull a Paula again, I promise! 🙂 I have a super sensitive stomach and it works really well for me. The Pre-Load night before and morning of, and the Active Hydration drink like any sports drink. The flavor is great- a really light mango. Sarah is awesome, so glad to have met her! Hope to see you soon!

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