Category Archives: Marathon

Last Week’s Workouts

Last Week's Workouts |

This week’s workouts kicked off with my mantra for the week courtesy of Home Depot:

Let’s do this.

Simple but effective words. Enough of the FOMO. Let’s do this marathon training business.


I woke up Monday feeling like a million bucks. I didn’t need to have a death grip on the banister as I walked down the stairs first thing in the morning. Monday’s are reserved for cross training and that’s just what I did. Forty minutes on the recumbent bike followed up with 30 minutes of strength training that included my injury prevention essentials workout.

Last week's workouts |


Tuesday morning was a run with Annie and Lori. We had not run with Annie in a long time so it was nice to catch up over some miles.

7 miles

Morning Flow Yoga class at Bending Bodhi.

Last week's workouts |


What’s better than running hill repeats in the super early darkness?  Running hill repeats in the dark during a snowstorm! I was anticipating slippery conditions and having to walk down after each repeat but the road was actually not too slippery. I wore my Saucony Peregrine trail shoes just in case. Lori and I did an easy 1 mile warm up before hitting the hill 9x. My best time was 2:12 for the 13.81% grade climb two weeks ago. This time around, I improved to 2:11. I’ll take the one second given the snowy conditions.

Later in the day I squeezed in 20 minutes of strength training during my lunch break at work. A perk of working in a rehab gym.

5.51 miles

Last week's workouts |


I opted for sleeping in instead of running first thing in the morning. When I was ready to run after yoga class, I was hungry and not into the run. I ate a little something but it did nothing to power me through the run. Easy pace felt labored. The top of my left foot felt weird. I was hungry. Basically, I wanted to be done with the run even though it was a gorgeous sunny and warm day. Not all runs are meant to be heavenly!

Morning Flow Yoga class

8 miles


A glorious rest day!

Last week's workouts |


Friday’s rest day was much needed. I woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat. Looking back, maybe that’s why I had a blah run on Thursday as my body is/was fighting something? I went into this run with a feeling of dread. The plan was to run a super hilly route similar to one we did a couple of weeks ago. I felt ok during that run except the last 2 miles kicked my butt big time. I was slogging. This time around? SO much better. I felt stronger and had much more energy. The bad part? My brand new watch shut off on my twice during the run. Wtf?!?!?! And then at the end of the run, I somehow deleted all the data that I did have. I’m not sure if it was because there was less than 30% charge left on it. It couldn’t have been because of the cold because I’ve run in colder temps with it and had no problems. Btw – the hourly forecast was way off again. Predicted: 20 degrees. Actual: 13 degrees. HUGE difference. Especially on my poor butt at the end of the run. Ouch.

13 miles

Last week's workouts |


I squeezed in some easy recovery miles before we headed up to the mountain for the kid’s last group ski lesson. My legs felt great running but I kept it super easy to flush out the soreness. I spent the rest of the day snowboarding and even got an hour of riding in by myself. It’s such a weird feeling to go out solo when I’m used to being with someone on the chairlift especially. Thankfully, this time around I didn’t get stuck with guys vaping like I did last year! Lol.

Btw – anyone want to guess how old my vintage snowboard is? :)

4 miles

Linking up with Ilka/Angela and Hoho/Tricia for the weekly workout wrap up.

How was your week in workouts?



Saucony 26 Strong : Chicago Marathon

Saucony 26 Strong Chicago Team |

I’m back to reality after an incredible time in Chicago over the weekend with the Saucony 26 Strong crew.

Again, I’m kind of at a loss for words. I’ve had two amazing weekends (Rise.Run.Retreat. was the weekend before) in a row filled with powerful women, new friendships and inspiring moments. I can not believe the doors that have opened all because I love this crazy sport called running.

While I would have loved for this to be a race recap, it’s more like a spectating recap. Things on the other side of the course are just as tough!

Saturday morning the whole team finally got together. It was great to reconnect with some of the other coaches from Honolulu, the teams that were in San Diego as well as meeting the new ones. I’m still amazed at how you can know someone from social media yet when you meet in person for the first time, it’s like you are old friends.

We took team photos and then did a short shake out run. And yes –  I ran!!!

Shake out run Saucony 26 Strong |

It felt so amazing! I think I exclaimed those very same words to Morganne and Kendall at least 10 times.

Afterwards, we had a team breakfast and words of wisdom from Sharon Barbano, Saucony’s Vice President of Public Relations.

Saucony 26 Strong - Sharon

Her words spoke to me. Big time. There were chills. There were tears. Sharon is one of those people that looks you straight in the eye and can motivate you to do anything. You know she threw in a few #FindYourStrong moments too.

After cleaning up, I headed to the expo. It’s always fun to see all the gear and just feel the excitement of the upcoming race. And I didn’t have to worry about having tired feet either!

Chicago Marathon Steps

Sunday morning – race day!

Saucony 26 Strong and the Bean  happyfitmama.comPit stop at The Bean before wishing the ladies GOOD LUCK! and heading off to mile 8 on the course.

But first let’s take a bathroom mirror selfie.

Saucony 26 Strong Sherpa Selife |

Grayson, Lindsey, Allison, Erin (not pictured above) and I were on Sherpa Crew duties. Behind every runner is a crew, right?


We had to make a fast get away to make it for Lindsey and Allison’s live news broadcast.


Go Deena!

Deena Castor Chicago Marathon

Before I knew it, Erin and I were up. I don’t know if I was shaking more from the cold or nerves!

Saucony 26 Strong ABC 7 News Broadcast |

Live TV is hard! Especially when the questions that you prepare for weren’t asked, there’s sirens going off all around you. Not too mention cowbells, cheering and clapping. Oh and that little earpiece thing is full of static! But it was also a ton of fun. And I said camaraderie without getting tongue tied – BOOM!

Next stop was mile 23. We saw Kat and  Lauren cruise by looking great.


We were expecting Bridget and Olivia (Lindsey’s cadet) soon after based on their splits. Since Lindsey is injured, I volunteered to jump in and run with the girls for a short bit to check in. Bridget came cruising by all smiles, looking fantastic. But Olivia wasn’t with her. I decided to let Bridget go and wait for Olivia. She soon arrived. She was tired but had a laser beam focus to keep trucking. I wanted to run with her some more but we needed to hop on the train to make it to the finish. BTW – Olivia finished in 3:59:59 – how awesome is that?!?

I wish I had more pics to share but my phone was dying and I still needed it to help coordinate with the Saucony and Competitor people. The finishing area was crazy especially when you are trying to coral multiple people to one spot. My eyes were glazed over by the end of the day after looking at hundreds and hundreds of runners funnel through the finishing area. Spectating is HARD work!

Going into the weekend, there were a lot of emotions. It was another race that I was supposed to be running. Another DNS. Even before I was asked to be a part of 26 Strong this year, I had my sights on Chicago.


Even though I am on my way back to running now, I’ve still got fear and doubt in where my running life is going. Of course I say I just want to run again. But really, I want to see what I can do. I want PR’s. I want new distances to cover. Basically, I want to see what I’m made of. I had so many words of encouragement from everyone. I’m taking those words and moving onward. I’m truly looking to #FindMyStrong.

While I wish my first trip to the Chicago Marathon was one of me running it, seeing the race from the other side of the barricade makes me want to come back to this race even more. It may be next year or the year after. BUT I will be back.

I can not thank Saucony and Competitor Magazine enough for this unbelievable experience. They stuck with me even though I wasn’t able to run the race. Words can’t even begin to describe my gratitude. My heart is full and overjoyed. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Saucony 26 Strong – Chicago


Here we go again!

Last year I had the honor and the privilege to be a coach for the Saucony 26 Strong program. Saucony and Competitor Group chose 13 coaches to guide 13 cadets for their first marathons. We were 26 strong women on a journey of a lifetime.

Running the Honolulu Marathon with Kailey and several of the other members of 26 Strong was unbelievable. I definitely thought it was a once in a lifetime experience. When Saucony contacted me in early April to ask if I would be a coach for this year’s program, I couldn’t believe it. Was this for real?

Honolulu Marathon mile 25 |

You never will forget your first marathon.

This year all 13 teams will be running the Chicago Marathon on October 11. It’s quite funny that my running partner in crime, Sarah, had been trying to convince me to run Chicago with her all winter long. When Saucony contacted me to ask if I would be a coach for this year’s program, of course I immediately said YES! I’ll go anywhere! And then I found out it was Chicago. Obviously, it was destiny!
To have all the teams running the same race this year, is going to be amazing. We truly will be 26 Strong.
Saucony 26 Strong |


Say “Hello!” to my new cadet, Marina!

My name is Marina, I am 33 years old and live in New Hampshire. I am married to my super tolerant, supportive husband, Jordan and together we have two awesome kiddos and one crazy dog, Archie (my running buddy)! I graduated from University of New Hampshire with an Exercise Science degree and currently work part-time in the Diagnostic Testing center of a hospital. I grew up watching my mom run regularly, but never began running myself until my mid to late 20’s. Running a marathon was something I had thought about, but never had the guts to try on my own. Given the opportunity to have a coach guide me through the training for a  marathon was something I could not miss out on! I am most looking forward to challenging myself and learning ways to improve my running to complete 26.2 miles!!
Marina Saucony 26 Strong Chicago

I’m so excited to be along for Marina’s first marathon! We got to know each other about 5 years ago when we both were new mama’s trying to figure out what the hell we were doing. She’s one of the nicest people you will ever meet and is just completely real about everything. While she’s nervous about the distance and how to fit in all the miles for training, I know she will do great. She will find her strong and it will be marvelous.

I can’t wait to say the words, “Marina, you are a marathoner!”