Tag Archives: Running

You Know You’re in Marathon Training When…

You Know You're in Marathon Training When...  happyfitmama.com

Over the weekend, it occurred to me that I have developed marathon training brain. It’s all about running. All the time. Every day. Every minute. I know even when I’m not training for anything, I talk a lot about running. Running pops into my thoughts often. But on Saturday, it got a little out of hand. I was obsessed with the hour by hour forecast for my planned 20 miler. It’s a long story but the 20 miles didn’t happen because I got too wrapped up in the forecast. Gah! Anyway…I know I’m not alone. There are plenty of us who are “suffering” from this marvelous condition.

You know you’re in marathon training when…

You obsess over the weather forecast. Particularly your long run days. At any given time, you know the projected forecast for the next 5 days, including sunrise and sunset, chance of precipitation, windchill factor, and whether there’s even a remote possibility that a winter storm can blow through, dumping extra snow before your run.

You are really, really upset when the weather is going to be better the day AFTER your long run and you can’t rearrange your schedule.

You arrange your long run around the warmest part of the day in the winter/coolest in the summer. You delay getting started because even a slight degree in temperature change really does make a difference.

Sleeping in on the weekend is still 5 a.m.

All you can think about besides running is eating and sleeping.

You want to eat all the food.

Your skinny jeans are just a little bit skinnier around the quads and calves.

Marathon Training Run | happyfitmama.com

You arrange your schedule based on how many miles you have to run that day.

You wonder a lot…will this make me too sore for my run tomorrow?

You think 9 p.m. is staying up late.

You ponder your long run outfit more than your daily “real clothes.”

You want to know the details of the race course from every person who has run the race before.

You spend lots of quality time with a foam roller, The Stick, Lacrosse balls and other sports equipment for relief even though it hurts like hell.

You wear compression socks for recovery no matter if it’s 90 degrees and clashes with your cute skirt.

You wear compression socks under your “real” clothes.

You talk about your training in any and all conversations without even trying. People talking about the weather? You comment on how awful/wonderful it is to run in this. Plans for the weekend? Running, of course.

You have a training journal that you write in everyday. It’s like your diary from middle school years, full of all your hopes and dreams.

Believe I Am Journal | happyfitmama.com

You have a whole stash of GU, Honey Stingers, Huma Gel or whatever mid fuel run you love.

Your laundry basket is always full of sweaty workout gear.

You second guess yourself often - Why am I doing this?

You have a countdown calendar app to race day.

You want to talk about training plans and running with everyone. Oh wait, that happens even when you aren’t training for anything.

Your feet have more callouses than you can count but there’s no way you are getting a pedicure till after race day.

Your turn! You know you are in training for ______ when…

Why I Run

Sunrise Run | HappyFitMama.com

I was going through articles I had written for magazines and websites through the years yesterday when I stumbled across this post I wrote two years ago for Run Vermont. It was right before my first marathon, Vermont City Marathon. They wanted to know Why I Run and the story behind my running. A patient of mine, recently asked me the same question, “Why do you run?” Of course, he followed that with, “Why would you do that to your body?” At the time, all I said was “Because I love it.” And really, I think that more than explains it. Do what you love, right?

As I’m thick in training for Boston right now and the early morning runs are getting earlier and harder in intensity, I sometimes need a reminder of Why I Run.

Here’s my story of Why I Run from the beginning.

Throughout my life I’ve enjoyed movement. I dabbled in running throughout my teens and early 20s just for the calorie burn. I was more of a gym rat hitting the cardio machines, classes and the weight room. In the back of my mind, I always secretly had a goal of running a half marathon or a marathon. One day, in the summer of 2007, I decided it was time to go after that goal. What was I waiting for? That year I did my first half marathon. I didn’t know anything about pace, tempo or Fartlek’s. I just ran! As I was running that race, I knew I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next one.

Seacoast Half Marathon 2007

Life had a different course for me to follow. In 2008, my husband, Ron and I decided to try for our first baby. We were beyond thrilled when we found out we were pregnant. When I was 10 weeks pregnant, I miscarried. I had gone running that same morning. Even though my doctor reassured me the miscarriage was not from running, I stopped running on that day. I knew that the two were not related but I associated the two events together. I didn’t want to have anything to do with my running shoes.

After 2 years of trying and not even thinking about running, we finally became parents in June 2010. Not just to one baby but twins! While I was pregnant with the twins a friend of mine was as well. We made a plan to run a local half marathon in November as a way to get back into shape post baby. She was unable to do it but as soon as I was cleared to run at 6 weeks postpartum, I laced up my sneakers. That first run in more than 2 years and after delivering twins was NOT pretty. Everything hurt. It felt like my brain was loose, just floating around in my skull. My internal organs felt the same. See? Not pretty.


But the more I ran, the more I remembered the love I had for training. The love of having my body move through space and time. The way my mind could just BE. Even though I wanted to spend every single moment with my babies, I forced myself to take time for myself. Sure napping sounded wonderful, but running was just as relaxing. In November, I crossed the finish line of my second half marathon, 4 ½ months after my twins were born. When I saw Ron and the kids, I burst into tears sobbing. I was overwhelmed with emotion and exhaustion. My time was actually slower than 2007 but I felt such a sense of accomplishment for sticking to my intention.

Since 2010, I’ve run many races – 5k’s to marathons. I’ve often thought, what would my life be like if I never found running? Would I be just as comfortable in my skin? Would I be just as confident? Running is not just physical exercise to me. It’s an emotional exercise in patience, persistence and overcoming negativity. It’s made me a stronger person, no doubt about it.

Wanna Race? | HappyFitMama.com

So why do I run?

Early morning runs seeing the sunrise and knowing I accomplished more before most people wake up.

The endorphins and the sweat. Every physical activity has it’s own endorphin high but running is my favorite way to get it.

The music my footfalls make with each step.

The chance to sort out my thoughts with no interruptions.

Solo time.

The running community – there’s never a shortage of conversation amongst runners even if you have nothing in common other than running.

It makes me thankful for the ability to move.

The sweetest sweat I’ve ever known.

The places it takes me mentally and physically.

I can do it anywhere at any time. I can walk out my front door and just go.

It makes me happy.

It makes me ME.

Why do you run?

What does your running story look like?

How to Run 10 Miles (or more) Before Work

Post run stretch | happyfitmama.com

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by belVita through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about belVita, all opinions are my own.

I wake up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off.

Sweet! I don’t have to hear that annoying sound. I loathe alarms and snooze buttons.

I tip toe down the stairs, avoiding the ones that creak, to change into my running clothes. I don’t want any little ears to wake up.

Phew! Made it.

I quietly dress, pull my hair back into a ponytail, slip on my running shoes and on a good day, head out the door. If it’s like the weather has been lately, I grab my iPad and head into the basement where the treadmill awaits me.

It’s time to run 10 miles (or more) before work.

I remember I was in a panic when I saw a weekday 10 miler on my first marathon training plan. Don’t they know I have to shower after my run, get the kids up, fed, dressed, dropped off at school all before 7:30 a.m. when I have to be at work?

My zero dark thirty run just got a little darker.

Thankfully, I’m a morning person. Even if morning occurs in the dark. There are a few things I’ve learned along the way that help make the morning run (haha) smoother.

How to Run 10 Miles (or more) Before Work

1. Prep and plan  – Lay out your running clothes the night before. Are you running inside or out? Make sure you have all the gear you will need in addition to knowing your route if heading outside. For me, it’s sometimes easier to run on the treadmill when I’m time crunched. In addition, pick out your work clothes and pack lunch/snacks for the next day. Have everything in one spot so you won’t have to search for anything.

Winter Running Essentials  happyfitmama.com

2. Set your alarm (or more than one if you need it) – I can’t stand the alarm clock. Thankfully, I rarely hear it since I naturally wake up a few minutes before it on most days.

3. Stretch/Foam Roll – Make sure you leave at least 5-10 minutes post run to stretch your tight muscles and roll out any kinks. Your legs will thank you later!

4. Eat – Your body worked hard, now it needs to refuel. The night before you can prep oats in a jar or grab a belVita Bites, fruit and Greek yogurt for a quick, on the go breakfast. Each packet of belVita Bites contains whole grains, fiber, no high fructose corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oil and no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. With two flavors, mixed berry or chocolate, it’s like eating cookies for breakfast. Can it be any better?

belVita Bites 2  happyfitmama.com

5. High 5 yourself – You just got in a long run before work, ate a nourishing breakfast to fuel your busy day, got the kids to school safely and yourself to work on time. Now I call that a #MorningWin.

What’s the longest run you’ve done on a weekday morning before work?

What’s a #MorningWin for you?