Tag Archives: Marathon Training


Boston Marathon Finish LIne | happyfitmama.com

One year ago I toed the line of the Boston Marathon for the first time.

The whole weekend leading up to the race was electric. I was riding a runner’s high despite having some serious taper crazies. The expo. The meeting of long time friends for the first time in person. The history. The symbolism.

I was running the Boston Marathon. Holy sh!t.

It was more than I could ever have imagined it would be like.

And then all the excitement and energy came crashing down a mere 8 miles into the race of a lifetime. Even though it’s been a year, I still remember every single event of that day. From trying to run off the pain. To painfully making the decision to walk off the course to a med tent. Riding the most somber ride of my life with all of the others who were getting a big fat DNF that day. To aimlessly searching for my family in a haze. And then hanging out with the transit police for what seemed like hours until we reconnected.

You would think after a year, the hurt, anger and frustration would fade. It has to some degree. I’m much better than I was 6 months ago.  I’m so thankful to be up and running! I can’t even begin to imagine what I would be like if I was not. But I’m not going to lie. Seeing my Facebook or Instagram feed filled with Boston training posts for the past 4 months has been hard. Really hard. And then this weekend, it escalated. My social media feed was flooded with everything Boston. Of course, it would be because almost everyone I follow is a runner. I stayed off Insta for most of the day on Saturday. I didn’t want to see it.

While I am so extremely happy for those who are running, I’m flat out jealous. I want to be back to where I was a year ago before Marathon Monday. I want to feel that joy, the strength and the excitement.

Team Stonyfield Boston Marathon outfit | happyfitmama.com

Immediately after getting injured, I had a plan in my head. I wanted victory. I wanted another chance. I wanted redemption. I wanted to get a BQ so I’d be able to run again in 2016. Of course, when you are unable to run for 6+ months after April, that dream is not even an option. And now I’m at a point where I’m questioning if I have a marathon in me anymore. My body seems to be doing odd things lately. Can it handle another round of hard training? I’m not sure but I’m also sure that I still want redemption.

Sunday morning during savasana in yoga class, our teacher told us to lay our left hand over our heart and cover it with our right hand. In doing so, she told us to forgive ourselves. Forgive. A light bulb went off in my head. I need to forgive myself for what happened a year ago. I’ve been holding on anger towards my body.  My body failed me when I needed it to be strong. Why me? Why during the race? Why???

That simple word – forgive – flipped the switch. I felt at ease. I don’t know why it took so long for it to register. Maybe because Boston was front and center on my mind yesterday. Maybe because I was finally ready to accept and forgive.

By Sunday evening, I could face social media. I wanted to see what was going on. I wanted to see the happiness in every single post. I wanted to see the celebration. Seeing all of it made me happy. Happy for all of the runners who worked their ass off to get there. Happy to be a part of such an amazing running community. And hopeful. Hopeful that I will be back to the greatest celebration of running again.

I can’t wait for my phone to be giving me updates all day as I track all of my friends running. Best of luck to – Sarah, Sandra, Mairead – Go TEAM STONYFIELD!, Kim, Becca, Heather, Chris, Michele, Nat, Laura, Sarah and Jess. I’ll be screaming for you louder than the girls at Wellesley!

To all the runners – This is your day. Run strong. Run proud. Enjoy every single step on Marvelous Marathon Monday.

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.