Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.comLast week’s workouts were kind of sort of a reverse taper. Let’s just call it a loose reverse taper. I took the week off after VT50k so this week has been easy intensity and low mileage. I even took Sunday off from running. Plan less is nice!

I will say that after a mega weekend of inspiration from Eulid Kipchoge, Roderick Sewell, the first bi-lateral above knee amputee to finish Ironman Kona World Championship on prosthetic legs, and Brigid Kosgei broke the world’s marathon record for women in Chicago, it’s hard not to go big or go home on my goals now.


20 minutes ARC trainer

10 minutes rowing machine

It was my first day back at the gym after almost two weeks off from lifting and cross training. After using the Stepmill at least 1-2x/week for the past 6 months, I thought I’d mix it up for cardio. The ARC trainer to start followed by 10 minutes on the rower. The rowing machine is an amazing full body piece of cardio equipment. Unfortunately, I get seasick on it. I wanted to give it another try today. Thankfully, my sea legs were worthy and their was zero queasy-ness

I was excited to get back to the weights. I knew I was going to be sore no matter what I did so I opted for lighter weights to ease back into it. My goal for the off season is to get at least 2-3x/week of strength training with increased weights, lower reps to build up a solid foundation for whatever comes my way next.

Strength training:

SL lunge matrix (front, lateral, reverse)

Leg press

SL deadlift

DB bench press

DB incline press

Decline pushups

KB renegade rows

Lat pulldown

TRX tricept ext

TRX bicep curls

Core work (plank variations, deadbug w/ stability ball, bridge, etc)


38 minute run, 4.17 miles

I opted for sleeping in rather than running in the dark and rain. My original plan had been to squeeze in an easy run around lunch but my eyes were still dilated from an early morning eye doctor check up. I couldn’t see anything close up even 4 hours later. Three hours later, I could finally see normal.

Usually, afternoon runs are a slog but today everything felt good. I originally had planned on a 30 minute run but got caught up in leaf peeping that I added some time and distance. Fall running is just the best!


30 minutes Elliptical intervals

Strength training:

Modified Bullet Proof leg circuit

Bench press

TRX push ups

Pull ups

DB SA row w/ SL balance

Core work

Last week's workouts }

My whole body was sore from Monday’s strength training but after a few sets, things started to loosen up. I upped the weight and finished with what I had been doing at my peak in 50k training a few weeks ago. It’s time to go up next week!


41 minute run, 4.6 miles

I fully expected it to be cold and rainy when I woke up Thursday.  Instead, it was low 50s, no rain but windy. As I set out to meet up with Kyle, I instantly was happy. One of my favorite sounds is the sound of the wind through the trees in the fall. It sounds different that any other time of the year.

Per usual, Kyle and I kept our mouths running just as fast as our legs. Especially when we start discussing Middle and High School trends/lingo that our kids will probably start using soon.  Ugh.

P.S. I wonder what people think when they see a headlamp and glowing arms coming at them in the dark?


Rest day!


30 minute run, 3.36 miles

After waking up to the amazing news that Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2 hour marathon mark with 1:59:40, I couldn’t help but be inspired. The human body is truly limitless. The best part was seeing how the pacers were genuinely thrilled for him as he crushed it. There’s zero chance that I’ll be breaking any world record but it’s a good reminder to tell yourself that there’s no limit on what you can do.


3 mile hike with the family

In case you don’t know, this weekend is peak leaf peeping season in New Hampshire. The whole state is flooded with tourists. So what did we do?  Join them!  The traffic was ridiculous (on and off the trail). But it was so pretty. The colors in the White Mountains right now are amazing. Heading to Mount Willard, the leaves were like a Bob Ross painting on acid. So vibrant and breathtaking. Even though I’m a summer-loving girl, Fall is a very close second.

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with the Weekly Run Down.

Thoughts After My First Ultramarathon

Thoughts after my first ultramarathon | happyfitmama.comAfter years and years of wanting to do an ultramarathon, I finally succeeded with the Vermont 50k. With lots of friends who run ultra’s, I felt like I had a good idea of what to expect from the race thanks to their war stories and advice. But there’s some things that I had to learn on my own. I’m by no means an expert ultra running now.

These are just my thoughts after my first ultramarathon.

Strength training is necessary.

This past year, I really upped my strength training game. I did at least 2 sessions/week of Bullet Proof leg circuits in addition to upper body. I honestly think that helped me tons not only in the race but with recovery.

Never ever did I feel relatively back to normal on day three after a marathon. This time around, I could have gone out for a run on Wednesday if I really wanted to.

Don’t carry too much stuff with you.

I packed my hydration vest with all of the stuff that I took on training runs.  I made sure I had enough for at least 13.4 miles where I’d swap out for more from Ron. It worked out well, but looking back, I could have gotten by with less.

You don’t need to run mega miles like every generic training plan says.

My 50k training plan was WAY different than a traditional, cookie cutter plan. I really didn’t “officially” start training until mid July after spending March-early July focusing on shorter distance mountain races like Mt. Washington and Loon Mountain. My midweek runs were never over 60 minutes and my long runs slowly build up with plenty of cut back weeks. I didn’t do any back to back long runs. At first I was stressing about that but I decided to trust my coach and it paid off. I felt strong and ready for the distance.

Don’t worry about time

Based on my training runs, I had a general idea of when I’d finish. Truthfully, I thought I’d be on the lower end of my estimate. It might have come true if the bees didn’t get me but the second half of the course was a lot more technical, which slowed me down, too.

Power hike the hills

I was told by all my ultra running friends to power hike the hills, run the downhills.  I thought that was general knowledge. Imagine my surprise when I saw many people who continued to run the hills even when I was passing them by power hiking. Why blow through your energy running if you can walk at a slower pace?

Stick with your hydration/nutrition plan.

An hour into the race, I overheard some ladies talking about their nutrition plan. They were eating every hour. I started eating something 30 minutes in. I momentarily started to think I was going to over do it and was going to back off.  But then, I reminded myself that was what worked in training so stick with it.  Eat early, eat often.

Boiled potatoes and salt are life.

How did I live so long not knowing this?  Fun fact: I hated potatoes of all kinds as a kid. I would gag on mashed potatoes. Now I love them!

You will cycle through feeling good and feeling not so good multiple times.

As multiple friends told me prior to race day, the good thing about the distance is that it’s long enough to feel good again after feeling bad. Don’t feel like the race is donzo as soon as you start to feel poorly. Assess the situation (usually it’s an eating or nutrition issue) and take care of it. You’ll probably feel better in a few miles.

Repeat your positive mantras throughout the race – even when you are feeling good.

I had three things I told myself on repeat:

I will not fall.

I will not sprain my ankle.

I am strong.

I can’t tell you how many times I said those words during the race. I started repeating it early and said it until I crossed the finish line. When a negative thought would pop up, I’d replace it with a positive.

Remember: The physical side of running is tough but the mental side is what’s going to get you across the finish line.

Running an ultra with a friend would have been much more fun.

I saw quite a few groups of friends running together. I got a little bummed out missing all of my running friends, wishing that I had someone to hang with for all the miles. For my next race, I’d love to recruit a similar paced friend to do it with.

Having family/friends at aid stations helped so much.

With the Vermont 50k, Ron and the kids could only see me at two points along the course. I basically broke the race down into two parts based on when I could see them – Start to mile 13.4 and then 13.4-28.5. In addition to counting down the miles until the next aid station, it also gave me something to look forward to. Seeing their faces made me so happy and a nice burst of energy.

A 50k felt easier than a marathon.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was hard AF to do but there was something about it that felt easier to me. The softer terrain, the slower pace, feeling like it was OK to take walk breaks, the relaxed atmosphere…I don’t know. I had that thought come up multiple times out on the course and afterwards.

Never say one and done before you’ve done the one.

The last few miles of the race, I had an internal debate of whether I’d want to do another 50k. I was tired, my hips were starting to ache, my quads hated every downhill, I never wanted to see another switchback and I just wanted to be done.  I was leaning towards the never side.

But then I crossed the finish line, laid down in the grass for 10 minutes and let out a word vomit to Ron of all the things that happened in the past 7 hours while I was out on the course. Ron could tell instantly that I was not one and done. I had way too much fun.

Just like childbirth, you forget all the bad points and remember all the good.

I’m not done just yet.

Last Week’s Workouts – Recovery Mode

Last week's workouts - recovery mode |

Last week’s workouts were less about workouts and more about recovery mode from the Vermont 50k.

Prior to race day, I had planned on taking one whole week off from exercise anyway. But then, the bee stings at around mile 18 happened and that became more of a total rest type of recovery than what I had envisioned.

Monday morning rolled around and I woke up feeling tired. I slept maybe 2 hours total Sunday night. I knew it was coming since I rarely sleep well the night after a race. My ankle/leg was itchy and swollen from the bee stings but nothing too crazy. I was sore, like gripping the banister to get down the stairs, sore. I wisely had planned for the day off from work so I could relax and be a bum all by myself.

When Ron came home from work that evening, he looked at my ankle and promptly said, “Maybe you should get that checked out?”

The swelling was worse. My ankle/lower leg was so puffed out and hard that it felt like it was going to burst.  I’d get burning sensations and intense itching fits. I then decided to go to the Walk In Clinic.

The funny thing is that the way it looked ^^^ that night wasn’t even the worst of it. The next day it was worse.

When I walked out of the clinic, I had a prescription for Prednisone and Hydrocortisone and instructions to stay off my foot as much as possible with it elevated for the next day or two.

Good times.

So my recovery mostly consisted of couch lounging and Netflix watching. By the way, I am so sick of TV.

By Wednesday, the swelling had gone done but was still puffy. I could finally make out some bones in my foot.  And amazingly, my muscle soreness was gone. I never felt that good so soon after a marathon. Maybe 50k’s are my thing? 😉

When Thursday rolled around I was feeling good as new. No swelling, no soreness. However, I was still committed to no exercise until Saturday.


3.54 mile run, 8:47 avg/pace

I rolled out of bed Saturday to 33 degrees. Yes, that’s right 33. Thankfully, the sun was out which made a world of difference but it was still c-o-l-d. I was ready to run but I was not ready for the cold temps.  It’s too soon!

As much as I didn’t want to, the long tights came out. I thought for sure I had at least another month of shorts. Womp. Womp. Womp.

My legs felt springy for the whole run. I did notice a little right quad soreness but mostly I felt really good. Yay!


6.3 mile run, 8:36 avg/pace

Kyle and I met up for a run so I could give her all the details of VT50k. It was another morning of 30 something degree temps with frost on the ground. The sun was shining and our mouths were running as fast as our legs.

It felt good to run with no plan. I miss that. I’m looking forward to the off season to do whatever I want until I nail down my plans for 2020. I’ve already got some ideas.

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with the Weekly Run Down.