Hello wall, my name is Kiersten

The first 15 miles of the marathon I felt great. I had to be there extra early because the half marathon my roommate was running started an hour earlier. So I sat in Starbucks, reading the NY Times, and munching my mini-wheats. I started with the 4:15 pace group, but it felt too slow. There were a couple other women who felt the same way, so we took off together. We ran a 9:15-9:30 pace and it felt easy. We ran through the military base and through a gauntlet of soliders. They were all hoo-raying and slapping us five. They we looped back through the center of Virgina Beach and ran down the board-walk. It was lined with people cheering. I felt like a rock-star. Then came mile 16. We headed back out of the downtown on a long straight run. It was now 10 am, and the sun was blistering. There was no shade, and we were away from the seabreeze. My poor body, acclimated to the cold after a winter of long runs in the slow and below zero temperatures started dying. At mile 18 I threw up, and then proceeded to continue to throw up and dry heave all the way to the finish. My muscles started seizing and I was dizzy. I realized I lost a goo. We still hadn't turned around and headed back towards the finish. I dropped down to running 5 minutes and walking 1. Then running 4, and then 3. Then I walked half a mile. I was still only at mile 20. My four hour marathon was gone. I felt terrible. So terrible I considered quitting. But deep down, I knew how mad at myself I would be. I could always walk to the finish. Except walking was taking FOREVER. So I started running again. 1 minute of walking, and 1 minute of running. I finished in 4:24. I collected my finishers medal, my hat, my shirt, a bottle of water, and a banana. I limped to the beach and collapsed crying. I couldn't get up. I couldn't take a sip of water or a bit of my banana without heaving. I didn't even get my free yingling. After an hour my wonderful friends drove the car as close to the finish, and I dragged myself to it, then concentrated on not throwing up in their backseat. When we got to the hotel, I fell onto the bed and slept for 2 hours. Finally 7 hours after finishing I managed to eat an Italian ice. This race broke me.

It's time!

Today was my last run before the race. A short, east 45 minute run. And at the end I was tired. Which leaves me asking, how am I going to run 21 more miles on Sunday?

Freak Out Week

I am now less than a week away from the marathon. This is probably my least favorite week ever. It's too late to get any more training in, so all I can do is question whether or not I did enough training. And I can't even go for a nice long run to calm myself down. Also, the left side of my body is not happy. My foot is still bruised and swollen from where I tripped over a giant metal spike in the dark last week. All because I had to race my boyfriend to the car so he couldn't open the door for me. (Don't ask me why??). Next my left calf is as hard and tight as a rock, despite copious amounts of stretching and foam rolling. And then my left hip doesn't seem to want to stay located when I put any amount of pressure on it. This happens sometimes. But why is it happening now?

snot rockets

Let me preface this by saying that I am not against snot rockets while running outside. In fact, I have allergies and a chronically drippy nose, so I frequently resort to the method for clearing my head. But only when outside, and only after checking to make sure I'm not going to hit anyone.

This morning at the gym, the guy next to me on the elliptical was blowing snot rockets into his hands, wiping it on his sweatshirt, and then placing his snotty hands back on the elliptical. NOT OK AT ALL.

International Women's Month

I missed International Women's Day on Monday without even noticing, which is a statement about the level of attention the day gets in this country. When I lived in Italy. March 8th was a real holiday: women stopped each other on the street, women were given flowers, women met in large groups for dinner, where they were given free drinks. At first this made me feel a little strange because I don't think that just because of my sex I should be treated specially. Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. Women should celebrate themselves and the women around them. I am grateful to all the women who came before and broke the path. Without women like Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton I would not be able to vote. Without women like Katherine Switzer I wouldn't be able to run in official marathons. Without women like my Mom I wouldn't know that women can do it all (raise a family, have a career, fix a flat tire, grill a steak, drive a boat). So this is my challenge for all you women out there- what are you going to do to raise the bar?


Ever year we I go up to Sugarloaf with my Mom and her "band." They play guitar and fiddle. It's a whole weekend of nothing but skiing, eating, and music. I wasn't feeling well (probably the result of a warm turkey sandwich I ate out of desperation on the plane home Thursday), but I didn't want to miss the weekend. Saturday, I went downhill skiing. They had gotten 36 inches of snow the weekend before and conditions were as good as they ever get. It was an intense day of skiing. I was skiing with family friends, who are avid back country skiers, and we met up with a group of their friends, one of whom was a fellow Olympian. We were skiing all the double diamonds, and we were doing them fast. By the time I hiked to my car at 4 pm I was exhausted. But the good, I've pushed myself to the absolute limit exhausted.

Sunday morning, we got up early and went cross country skiing. Normally, cross country skiing is a consolation prize for me, when I don't have the time or money to go downhill. But exhausted and still feeling sick, I found it to be exactly what I wanted. It was the perfect temperature to be comfortable, but no so warm that the snow was mushy. The sun was warm, and the trails had just been groomed. I had a waltz that we played the night before playing in my head, and I was skate skiing at an easy pace to the beat. There was no one else around. Just me, the soft woosh of my skis, fresh air in my lungs, and the trees. Perfection. Restoration.


I turned 35 in June. It's an age that felt both momentous and ominous to me. I'm not just an adult, I'm an ADULT. I've never...