Category Archives: Marathon

Boston Marathon Training: Week 1 & 2

Two weeks into Boston Marathon training and I’m feeling GOOD!

After taking so much time off in October and gradually increasing my miles in November in prep for Honolulu, I was kind of worried about what my state of running would be in when Boston training began. My Achilles is feeling good. I do feel a creak every now and then. That’s got me a little concerned. I’m keeping on top of foam rolling and just bought The Stick to really dig into my calf knots. But my endurance is just fine. There’s no problem with that at all. That’s not to say every mile has been easy.

Two years ago when I trained for VCM, I did a weekly vlog about my training progress. I thought it would be fun to share my workouts again. It’s kind of fun for me to look back and review online in addition to my training journal.

A few of you have asked what training plan I’m following. It’s actually a mish mash of the plan from our Team Stonyfield coach and my own ideas. I have the prescribed workouts written out for each week but I’m trying something new this time around. I’m not going to be a slave to the plan. In the past, I’ve followed the plan to a T. If it said it, I did it. Now I’m going week by week, workout by workout. Some weeks I may run 5 days. Some I may run 3. I’m really going to try to listen to every single creak and ache in my body. Hopefully there won’t be TOO many or any at all. I’m serious about kicking my injury addiction.

Boston Marathon Training Week 1 & 2  happyfitmama.com

Week of January 5 – 11

Monday – Bike trainer 50 minutes, 15 minutes PT exercises, weights (upper body)

Tuesday – 6 miles: 1 mile WU. 10 X 1:00 @ 7:20; 2 min easy pace recovery. 1.5 mile easy pace/CD. Core, PT exercises.

Wednesday – sick!

Thursday – 6 miles: 15 min w/u, 20 min tempo @ 7:41 – 7:47, 15 min C/D. Core/PT exercises.

Friday – REST

Saturday – 13 miles, 1:54, avg pace 8:46. FREEZING cold run. Couldn’t feel my legs for hours.

Sunday – 5 miles recovery. BOSU ball workout.

Total mileage: 30

Week of January 12 – 18

Monday – Bike trainer 50 minutes, core/glute, weights (upper body)

Tuesday – 7 miles, 1 mile w/u, 90 seconds hill climb@ 6% on TM x 8, 60 seconds recovery , 3 miles easy pace. Glute/core/PT exercises.

Wednesday – 5 miles, easy pace. Glute/Core/PT exercises, weights (upper body) P.M. Yoga

Thursday – 8 miles, 1 mile warm up, 5.5 miles at easy pace, 8 x 20 sec strides, 1/2 mile cool down. Glute/Core exercises.

Friday – Active REST. Easy yoga. Glute/Core/PT exercises. Full body weights.

Saturday – 3 miles easy. Glute/Core

Sunday – 15 miles, 2:13, avg pace 8:50. Much better temps but had to walk 2x through sections with deep snow. Glutes/core. Easy yoga.

Total mileage: 38

Overall, it’s been a marvelous 2 weeks. Despite having a respiratory virus, I was still able to get my runs in. Running actually made me feel better. But then again, doesn’t it always? I’m now recovered and ready to tackle more miles. I’m ready for week 3!

Are you training for anything?

How do you track your training?

Boston Marathon Training Begins Now!

Something happened over the weekend.

Boston Marathon training began!

But first, let’s back up. Remember my Achilles tendinopathy? It was mostly gone prior to the Honolulu Marathon. I would only feel pain on the tender spot with a couple of pairs of shoes. I just avoided wearing those shoes. Since race day, I have not felt ANY Achilles pain, even with the previous shoes that hurt. I really don’t get it. I did EVERYTHING wrong.

I ran a marathon. I went hiking the day after the marathon. I wore flip flops for a whole week. I barely stretched or did my eccentric heel drops the whole time on vacation.

My Achilles has never felt better! No one has an explanation for it. Maybe 26.2 miles cures it all?

After the marathon, I took about 2 weeks or so off from running. Last week, the break was up. The weather was so great that I felt like it was a crime NOT to run. I eased back with easy runs. They were extra special that they were all in daylight hours too. I’m going to be hurting big time this week. No more sleeping in!

Our Team Stonyfield coach, Megan, provided us with a training plan. I’m modifying mine a bit. She prescribes by time and my head just can’t wrap around that. I think in miles. I still need to play around with it some more to finalize it but I’m excited to mix it up.

Snowy trail run | happyfitmama.com

I’m feeling pretty confident right now. I had a great long run on Saturday with a new group of runners. I’ll be relying on multiple friends to help get me through this training cycle. Winter marathon training isn’t easy. But with friends, it makes the miles just fly by no matter what the conditions.

To help kick off Boston Marathon training, Tina, from Runner’s Connect, shared a ton of articles with me that are Boston specific. I’m pouring over every single one especially these three:

4 Key Workouts to Prep for the Boston Marathon Course

3 Race Quirks You Must Prepare for in the Final Weeks of Boston Marathon Training

How to Train for and Race Boston Marathon Course

Be sure to check out Runner’s Connect this Friday where there will be a huge link up for anything and everything Boston Marathon. If you are a blogger and will be running this year, you are invited to link up as well.

I am also happy to announce that I am fundraising for Girls on the Run – New Hampshire!

Even before I volunteered for the organization last Spring, I’ve wanted to get involved with GOTR. It’s a great program for girls in 3rd – 8th grade.

Girls on the Run teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

If you’d like to donate, I’d love for your help in getting the much needed funds to keep this important program running. You can access my fundraising page HERE.

I think every girl should know the power, strength and confidence that can come from running.

Here’s to a marvelous 16 weeks of training!

Have you ever had an injury get better despite doing everything wrong?

Are you training for anything right now?

Honolulu Marathon Recap

Saucony 26 Strong | happyfitmama.com

Stronger together.

That’s the best way I can sum up the unbelievable experience of running the Honolulu Marathon with my Saucony 26 Strong Cadet, Kailey.

I thought about breaking this up into multiple posts but then I decided to just let it all out in one. This is long so grab some coffee and snacks, you are going to be here for awhile.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Dark and early, Friday morning, Kailey and I along Ron, started our 12+ hour journey to Hawaii. You guys, 11 hours on a plane is a long ass time. Definitely not the most ideal situation when you’ll be running a marathon in 1 1/2 days, going through 5 time zones and a completely different climate. But, we were going to freakin’ Hawaii so it was all good. Kailey’s flight probably felt A LOT longer since she was stuck next to a guy who talked non-stop for hours.

Surprisingly, I didn’t feel too bad once we landed in Honolulu. A little dazed and confused, but my legs were fine. I crashed hard later that night after meeting all the other Saucony 26 Strong teams and our peeps from Saucony (Brandon and Sean) and Competitor Magazine (Erin). After months and months of emails, it was so amazing to actually put faces and voices to the names. We also got some sweet 26 Strong gear and two new yet to be released pairs of shoes (both quickly became my new favs while walking all over Oahu after the race).

Saturday morning we all met up again for photos, a shake out run and breakfast. The first thing we noticed – it was hot! Kailey and I both commented that we were sweating even before we ran.

shake out run  happyfitmama.com

Our first indicator that this was going to be a very, very interesting race was at the expo. Walking into the expo was like being on a Japanese game show. Everything was written and spoken in Japanese. Anime characters were everywhere. Just a precursor to what was to come race day. I spent the rest of the day hanging out on the beach with my feet up.

beach | happyfitmama.com

Race day!

I was up before my alarm at 2:45. The first thing I heard? The wind. And then I saw the rain. My rainy marathon streak continues!

We got dressed, ate horribly dry bagels with almond butter and made our way downstairs to meet our teammates. Before we knew it, we were off in the dark, windy rain for a 1.5 mile walk to the starting line.

It was mass disorganization the closer we got to the starting line. There were people everywhere. Maybe I was just sleep deprived and didn’t notice but all the signs I saw were in Japanese. I had not idea where the starting line was or where the pace groups were. I just followed the crowd. We lost everyone in our group pretty quickly. Kailey needed to use the port-a-potty before we lined up so we started off toward the field where it looked like there were massive lines and not a whole lot of bathrooms. Before we could get to the field we had to cross a canal. A canal that had two bridges and as we soon found out – an entrance and an exit. We were at the exit. We backtracked against the crowd to the entrance. I tried to convince Kailey to just go behind a tree. I did and eventually Kailey tried to with no success. Race day nerves were running high for Kailey.

prehnlmarathonOur shirts are soaked and we haven’t even run yet! (photo courtesy of Kailey)

We went across the correct exit of the park and tried to find the starting line. I somehow got behind a guy who had the same idea so we tagged along. We got up pretty close to the front which did us no good. Once the fireworks went off signaling the start, almost everyone around us was too busy taking videos of the fireworks to actually run or move for that matter. So we trotted for who knows how long. Runners (walkers?) were tripping over barricades and on the wet pavement. Pandemonium. Surprisingly, it cleared out relatively quickly.

The first 5 miles flew by as we ran through the empty streets of Honolulu and Waikiki. Christmas decorations were out in full force. It seemed out of place since we were running in tanks and shorts. It felt more like August! The rain and wind were still coming down. At times it was a mist which was nice. Others, it was pelting us in the face and hurtful. Thankfully, at least the temps were warm.

There were so many people dressed up in characters that it felt like we were running  a Disney race. Nothing was off limits – including running with a stuffed pig on your head or wearing a giant cat costume complete with matching head. A group of Japanese high school boys also kept us entertained for those early miles. They had so much energy and excitement. I’m not sure they realized they had 20+ more miles to cover!

hnlmarathon

I was feeling really good for the first 16 miles. Kailey was not. Her nerves were still in high gear. She kept telling me to leave her, but there was no way. We were a team. That meant stopping for bathroom breaks as needed, walking through water stops and just keeping it easy. Just as Kailey was beginning to feel better, I started to feel nauseous. It wasn’t in my stomach but more up high in my throat, like I was ready to throw up at any second. And then the calf cramps started around mile 20. It was the kind where my calf would just tighten up and not release. We ended up run/walking quite a bit the last 6 miles. I begged Kailey to leave me and to finish the race strong. But she refused. We were in this together!

After walking (and literally being pulled by Kailey) up Diamond Head at mile 24, it was time for a sweet downhill to the finish. At that time the sun came out too. I told myself DO NOT WALK till the finish line. Just as we were about to enjoy the downhill, we saw Erin, Brandon and Sean cheering us on. Nothing is better than seeing  familiar faces to get you out of a funk.

Honolulu Marathon mile 25 | happyfitmama.comThe last 2 miles were long. Like really long. Finally the finish line appeared. We crossed the finish line and I told Kailey – YOU ARE A MARATHONER!

Finish time – 4:33

I’m so proud of Kailey for not giving up and pushing through. She didn’t give up on me either. I had a number in my head about what our finishing time would be. If everything had gone as planned, I truly believe we would have reached it. But things happen. Plans change. We did the best we could with what we had. And I think that’s pretty marvelous.

What followed after the finish was more mass confusion. It didn’t help that I still wasn’t feeling the greatest. Thankfully, Ron found us relatively quickly. After that we were shuttled to the finisher’s area where we were handed a cup of water. Yes, one small cup. I was still nauseous so Kailey went to find us food as I sat down with my head between my knees.

Honolulu Marathon Post | happyfitmama.com

I tried to choke down a bagel but couldn’t do it. And then I started to get really cold. My soaking wet clothes were now making me shiver, my teeth chatter and my fingernails turn blue. I pulled on my cotton finisher’s tee just to get a little warmer as we started our 1.5 mile walk back to the hotel. I finally started to feel a little normal during our very, very slow shuffle.

Later that night, Saucony and Competitor put together a great post race dinner for the whole team. It was fun to hang out, relax, enjoy celebratory drinks (a margarita never tasted so good!) and reflect on this amazing experience.

Saucony and Competitor Peeps  happyfitmama.com

I can’t thank Saucony and Competitor enough for this opportunity. Words can’t even begin to describe my gratitude. My mind is officially blown. I was a fan before I was even asked to participate in 26 Strong, but now, you’ve got me for life.THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Going into this, I was unsure of why I was asked to be involved as a coach. My marathon experience isn’t like the other coaches – I had only done one prior. And it was a really horrible experience. I didn’t feel like I could give a whole lot of words of wisdom to a newbie. But after this, I know that one thing is sure. No matter how many marathons you’ve done, one thing stays the same.

Marathons are freaking hard!