Tag Archives: Marathon Training

The Last 20 + Horne St. School 5K

Morning Run | happyfitmama.com

I’m still trying to remember if this weekend even happened.

At some point on Sunday afternoon, I asked Ron what day it was. It just didn’t seem possible that the weekend was almost over. Where was I?

The short answer – running.

It was a marvelous weekend in running.

On Saturday I ran my last 20 miler before Baystate Marathon.

My original plan called for it to be this coming weekend (the 27th) but I’m running Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon that day. I debated about adding on the extra miles before and after the race to get me to 20 but in the end decided that I didn’t want to miss the after party or leave Ron and the kids waiting for me any longer than need be. BTW – thanks for all the feedback from everyone when I posted my #RunnersProblems on my Facebook page.

I had to do the whole 20 miles solo this week. I wanted to get it done as early as possible so I stared off dark and early on my treadmill. I cruised through 7 miles thanks to the distraction of watching the episode of Extreme Weight Loss where the contestant runs the Honolulu Marathon. I can’t believe I’ll be running there in less than 3 months!

From there, I took to the streets. I was kind of shocked how chilly it was – 35 degrees! I’m sad to say I had to pull on the long sleeves, capris and gloves. It just seems way too early.

I picked a favorite route that took me down to the Bay. Running near water just makes everything better in my mind. Maybe it was the views. Maybe it was the colder temps. Whatever it was, I had a really great run.

My fueling was great.

Nothing hurt.

My pace was great. I even managed goal marathon pace from miles 10-15.

I got so into adding mileage that I didn’t realize I’d hit 20 miles way before reaching my house. Initially I thought about calling Ron to come get me once my Garmin said 20.00 13.00. But then I figured out I was about 2 miles from my house. I could run the rest of the way and walk if need be. It would be good for muscle recovery anyway.

I finished with 21.6 miles.

The last 1.6 were a slow pace. I walked up two big hills and just took it easy.

I’m glad I did it just to be over the mental hurdle of 20 miles.

I was feeling so good that I raced a 5K on Sunday.


Horne St. School 5k | happyfitmama.com

I had registered for the Horne St. School 5K before mapping out my marathon training plan. It’s the 8th race of the Dover Road Race Series that I started in March. I felt like I would do it with the expectation of not even coming close to racing it.

I woke up Sunday morning to pouring rain but at least the temp was near 60. What a difference a day makes!

I was pleasantly surprised that my legs were feeling pretty good other than my calves being a little tight.

I still wasn’t feeling too confident in racing even when the rain let up as Mariette and I warmed up. As with most 5K’s, my plan was just to go by feel and do what I can. Keeping the negatives away is always the hardest part.

The first mile consisted of downhill followed by an uphill.

Just before the one mile marker, my shoe became untied. I always, always double knot by shoes but for some reason did not this day. Gah! Time lost.

Mile 1 – 7:27

More gradual rolling hills. I was dreading this section just because I run it often and it sucks every single time. I tried to remind myself after the hills came the flats.

Mile 2 – 7:56

The race course changed a bit to include a short out and back section. I saw Mariette looking strong up near the front of the pack. Once we got through that section it was almost pancake flat with a downhill to the finish line.

Reminder to self – don’t check out now!

Mile 3 – 7:21

Thank you race organizers for the downhill finish!

Mile 3.1 – 23:10

Not a PR but I’ll take it after running 21.6 miles the day before.

Oh and super speedy Mariette had a photo finish for a close 2nd place overall woman. Woohoo!

I’m going into this last full week before taper feeling good about where I’m at with my running. I hit another mileage milestone – 54.

Wow – I can’t believe I ran that much! To some it may not seem like much. To me it’s huge.

I’m not sure of what my goals for Zooma will be yet. Maybe go for a new PR? And my goals for Baystate have changed too but we’ll talk about that later.

But then again, who knows? Everything can change on race day!

Did you run long or race over the weekend?


Fall running | happyfitmama.com

Last week I hit a milestone in running.

52 miles.

The highest weekly amount of running I’ve ever done.

I’d love to say that it was an all around stellar week but it seems like my marathon training is more like a roller coaster these days.

I have really high peaks of nailing my workouts and feeling awesome. Then there’s heart dropping low points where it seems everything hurts and I’m questioning,

“Why am I doing this?”

I went into this week coming off a strong weekend of running. With my impromptu 16 miler on Friday, I followed up with a 9 miler on Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday was an easy 8 miler.

Wednesday was a 10 mile tempo. I don’t know why but tempos make me super nervous. Way more so than speed work. With speed work, I feel like I “only” have to run a certain distance and then I get a break. With a tempo, there’s no break till you’re done with your mileage. Plus, when I see the prescribed pace, it always makes me think, “There’s no way I can hold onto that pace for X miles!”

But you know what?

Those fears seem to vanish as soon as I start to run. I start to see, “I can do this!”

When I finished the tempo, I was flying high. I nailed it except for falling off pace a little for a hillier section.

The bad part of that run was afterwards. I had to scurry home, shower, eat and get ready for attending an education class for 7 hours instead of my usual work day. It was a good class but sitting for 7 hours after running 10 miles does horrible things to the body.

I’ve never been so stiff. My hips. My quads. My calves.

I don’t know how people with office jobs can stand sitting all day!

After Wednesday, I focused on rolling and stretching everything out. Despite my efforts, I was still pretty tight by Sunday’s long run. Which btw – best decision EVER to delay it one day. I usually do my long run on Saturday but it was freakin’ crazy humid and hot. Sunday turned out to be in the 60s and zero humidity. Perfect!

Anyway, going into my long run, I was doubting myself big time. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go with my legs and just mentally.

Thankfully, Mariette had 20 miles to run too. Misery Marathon runners love company! The first 10 were great. We cruised right along. You would think we’d feel a second wind at the turn around point but for some reason we both started to fade. The last 10 were when we had to dig in. My legs were tired and stiff. I was hungry even though I’d been eating.

I had hoped to finish the last 3 at a fast pace but the universe (and my body) didn’t want it. I wanted to walk more than run. And I did at one point after having to stop for a moving truck blocking the road. That threw me off totally. My legs didn’t want to start up again. But they did albeit it felt like I was crawling.

20 miles | happyfitmama.com

Not 02 miles but 20 MILES! (I’m blaming my fatigued body for not noticing this when I posted this pic to Instagram).

I’m glad I made it this time. I don’t think I could handle another horrible run like 2 weeks ago.

And so I hit my mileage milestone.

52 miles total for one week.

To some, that’s nothing.

But to me, it’s a lot and I’m proud of myself for getting there.

It’s given my confidence a little boost. A boost that’s been marvelous.(Thanks for the link up Katie).  And one that was really needed.

This week it’s a cut back week but also Reach the Beach on Friday and Saturday. My biggest fear with it is getting too stiff in between runs. After Wednesday’s experience, I know I need to be diligent with stretching and rolling when not running.

I don’t want to be knotty again!

Did you run over the weekend? How was it?

Relay veterans – any van rolling/stretching tips?