Tag Archives: Marathon Training

Lessons from Marathon Training {So far}

Saucony 26 Strong running  happyfitmama.com

Hey guys!

I’m so excited to have my cadet for this year’s Saucony 26 Strong, Marina, guest posting for me today. She has been absolutely killing her training plan for Chicago. To go from never doing any formalized running workouts to now Fartlek-ing, hill repeating and tempo-ing like a boss, in just 11 weeks, is pretty impressive. And she just crushed her 18 miler last weekend. The thing that I most love about guiding Marina through training? Watching her confidence in herself grow. I knew she could do it. I think she’s seeing that now.

Without further ado, here’s Marina’s lessons from marathon training {so far}.

Here I am, eleven weeks into my marathon training plan. YIKES! That means I am more than half way through and the numbers of miles that I need to run just keeps growing…and its intimidating…sort of.

When I first looked at the plan, it looked doable because the amount of times a week I would be running was the same that I always run-4x a week. All I really had to add in was yoga two other days a week before work, and it really didn’t seem to overwhelming, The overwhelming part was looking at the long run miles-16, 18, 20 miles in one run! I tried to tell myself just to go week by week and not to get too ahead of myself with worry. Could I really run that far? How would I fit it in? Was I crazy to take this challenge on?

Saucony 26 Strong Marina  happyfitmama.com

Well eleven weeks into training and I have learned a few things! Here are 5 things I’ve learned so far…

1. I can fit it all in. Its not easy and it definitely takes planning, but it is possible. Just like anything else, it has to be a priority. So for me, early mornings before most people wake up is the way that I fit it in. This works best for me as I try to impact my kids and my husband and our family plans as little as possible.

2. Be flexible. I’ve had to switch around runs and cross-training in the last few weeks due to working a little extra. I was also on vacation one week and I didn’t pressure myself to follow my plan exactly. No yoga, no strength training, running only.

First outfit Saucony 26 Strong | happyfitmama.com

3. It’s a lot easier when you have a cheering squad! Support from my coach, family and friends helps so much. I can email or text Angela anytime for expert advice when some sort of running question comes up. My husband is so encouraging and helpful with the kids while I get in my workouts. My family and friends have been so supportive! They are always asking how training is going and are always positive.

4. I love the running community! Everyone is so positive and helpful. I love meeting other runners and hearing their advice or ways they do things.

Saucony 26 Strong chatting  happyfitmama.com

5. This is probably the biggest one…Self-confidence. How could I not feel awesome?! I just ran 18 miles and felt amazing! Eleven weeks ago I remember thinking “how the heck will I do that?” So as I look ahead at my plan for August, the long runs are 16, 18 and 20 miles. But really, 20 miles is only 2 more miles than what I did over the weekend. I CAN do that!

I can only imagine what the next seven weeks will bring!

I’m so excited to see Marina cross the finish line of the Chicago Marathon in October! Btw – All photos (except for the third to last pic) are courtesy of Nils Nilson who was our awesome photographer from the Saucony 26 Strong photo shoot for Competitor Magazine. Be sure to pick up or look for the August Competitor issue in print or online – Marina and Michelle are the featured track stars for a speed work article! How cool is that?!?!

Competitor Magazine Cover | happyfitmama.com

Not the Boston Marathon Recap I Wanted

Boston Marathon Boot  happyfitmama.com

Say hello to my little friend.

Prior to the afternoon of April 20th, this was going to be a Boston Marathon recap full of excitement, celebration and tears of joy.

Rather, I have no race recap but lots of tears.

At mile 6, one of my worst fears came true. I got intense ankle pain out of nowhere. It wasn’t an ache. It was radiating pain that went down into the arch/beginning of my heel. I tried to walk it off. I tried to stretch it out. It wasn’t going anywhere and just got worse with every step.

At mile 8, as much as I wanted to keep going, I knew my race was over.

I’m disappointed. I’m angry. I’m sad. I feel bad for having my family make the trip to watch a race in the freezing cold, pouring rain and then not even get the chance to see me run by.

I’m f*cking pissed off. You know what also pisses me off? When I’m trying to write f*cking in a text and it auto corrects to ducking. Really?

Why on this day? At this race? At this time?


I’m distancing myself from social media for a bit. While I’m so extremely happy for everyone who had an amazing race, it hurts way too much to see it. I need some time to wallow in my grief of what was supposed to be my “IT” race of the year. I had huge expectations for it and to see those expectations disintegrate within minutes, is quite painful. Yes, I know it could have been worse. Yes, I know I have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, I know it’s only running.

But it meant a lot to me.

Thank you for all the kind emails, texts, tweets and Instagram messages. I truly appreciate the concern. I just need some time to lick my wounds.

Boston Marathon Training {Week 13 & 14}

Boston marathon training week 13 & 14  happyfitmama.com

7 days, people. S-E-V-E-N DAYS!

The last two weeks I’ve kept it easy. At the beginning of the taper, my right knee wasn’t feeling so good. The hay is in the barn so I knew taking it really easy was the best idea. BTW – If I got paid a $1 for every time I’ve said that in the past two weeks, I’d own a barn. And hay. After Eastern States 20 Miler, I took 3 days off from running to really make sure everything was good. It did the trick and I’ve been free of knee pain ever since. What a marvelous feeling!

I’m feeling good and ready to run just so I don’t have to hear one more person ask me “Are you ready?” or “Are you nervous?” Please, please do not ask runners this before a race. Why? Because you just made them nervous.

Here’s the rundown of the past 2 weeks of Boston Marathon training.

Week of March 30 – April 4 (27 miles)

Monday: complete rest

Tuesday: Easy 50 minutes on bike trainer

Wednesday: 60 minutes on bike trainer, core/hip exercises

Thursday: Easy 6 – knee GOOD! P.M. Yoga

Friday: 7 miles – 2 mile w/u, 2 miles @ GMP, 2 miles at 1/2 marathon pace, 1 mile c/d. Core/Hip exercises, strength training

Saturday: A.M. Yoga, 14 miles on the hilliest route I could think of just to practice downhills one more time.

Sunday: A.M. Yoga

Week of April 5 – April 12 (32 miles)

Monday: 50 minutes bike trainer, core/hip exercises, strength training

Tuesday: Easy 6.25 + 6 x 20 sec strides, P.M. Yoga

Wednesday: Easy 5, core/hips, strength training

Thursday: 10 miles – 2 mile w/u. 8 x 800s @ 10k pace, 400 recovery, 2 miles easy. P.M. Yoga

Friday: Rest

Saturday: A.M. Yoga

Sunday: 10 miles w/ 6 inadvertently at GMP. I guess that pace just comes naturally now. :)

On tap for this week is easy miles, staying hydrating/fueled and finalizing my race day outfit. Friday afternoon, a bunch of us are heading down to the Expo. Woohoo!

Things are getting REAL now!