Category Archives: Marathon

What I Would Do Differently If (When) I Run a Marathon Again

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I hope you’re all having a good week so far. I’ve been relishing the fact that *gasp* I have no exams/big assignments due this week! Woohoo! 🙂

In today’s post, I wanted to look back a little bit on the marathon again. It was just over a month ago that I was completely absorbed by all things marathon-related. And honestly, I am beyond thrilled with how it all went. But there are a few things that I would do differently, looking back now. And given that there are probably going to be a few more marathons in my future, I figured why not do a post on it!

What I would Do differently if I ran a marathon again

  1. Gently build a base before really diving into the marathon training plan.

I was running A LOT over the summer. I ran several half marathons (a few of which were particularly hilly and challenging) as well as a 10 mile race, and I was doing a lot of long runs with my mom on the weekends. And this was all before I even officially began my marathon plan. Well, it was all fun and games until I strained my toe tendon. Looking back, I wish I had eased my body into things a little more slowly, so that my muscles would have been less fatigued when I finally worked my way up to those 17-20 mile runs. I ended up having to skip most of those scheduled long runs because I could barely manage to run 3 miles with my strained tendon. So, I would be interested to see how my marathon time might improve if I was healthy and able to get in ALL the planned long runs.

At our 10 mile race this past summer. I'm still happy because I haven't injured myself yet.

At our 10 mile race this past summer. I’m still happy because I haven’t injured myself yet.

  1. Experiment more with other fueling methods during training.

I know a lot of runners have issues with gels, but not me. I love GU’s! But after sucking down 4 of those ridiculously sweet gooey packs during the marathon, I was absolutely sick of them. I’ve heard that pretzels and even bread with honey can be good on-the-run fuel, and I think I’d like to experiment with those a bit next time to see if they work for me.

What i would do differently if I ran a marathon again. Experiment with fueling

  1. Make sure my toenails are trimmed VERY SHORT before the race.

Given that it’s going to take another 7-9 months for me to grow my big toenail back, I don’t think I’m ever going to forget this one. 😉 Going along with this, I would definitely try to put some Glide between my toes next time, as blisters get pretty painful when you’re running for 4+ hours.

  1. Eat chocolate chip pancakes after.

I love chocolate. I love pancakes. What better excuse is there for this completely nutritional value-lacking breakfast than having just run 26.2 miles?! And I haven’t had these guys in ages, so next marathon – I’m comin’ for ’em!

Rochester Marathon Race Recap

 

Have a happy Wednesday and good luck getting through the end of this week! 🙂

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My Mom’s Thoughts on the Roc Marathon

Hi again!

Sorry for the long break, once again. Between classes and my toenail probs, finding the time to post has been tricky! I’m pleased to report however, that the toenail is on the mend, and I was even able to run a nice easy 3-miler this morning! 🙂 But without further ado…

Rochester Marathon Recap

When I was 25 I occasionally ran with a neighbor who was training for  the NYC marathon. ..he and I would run about 5 miles together down to Huntington Harbor and back,  and then he would take off to do another ten miles –or more. I was a bit in awe of Bill, who was 55 a the time, but I never  considered joining him, and I never, EVER thought that, at 55,  I would run my first marathon.

So, if you’re out there Bill P. from Huntington NY, and you happen to read this blog, I thank you for being an inspiration, (even if it took me 25 years to act on it) and I hope that wherever you are, you are still running!

And now to pick up where Nora left off:

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Somewhere   along the canal it began to rain and though it was a pleasant drizzle that cooled me off, the sky to my right – the direction the course would take me – looked  very ominous and I was sure this pleasant drizzle would turn into a monsoon before I got to the finish. (It would, but more about that later.)

I am pleased to say, I kept to my plan, of running a mile, and walking a minute, and managed to do this until mile 21. At that point I realized I wasn’t going to be “busting loose” or dropping the walking breaks, in fact, I started to walk a bit more.  At first I felt guilty about this, but as I started to see more and more runners on the side of the road (some obviously feeling much worse than me), I decided there was no shame in the walking, and reminded myself that this was my first marathon and that the goal was to finish, and to enjoy the experience, and that was what I decided to do. I started to walk as fast as I could, (my slowest of these last few splits ended up being 12:46 so not too bad), running for short stretches, and taking the time to thank volunteers and spectators alike. Like Nora, I really appreciated the fun signs!

Finally, I was making   my way back into the city,   relieved to know the end was in sight.  I also noticed there were some large puddles and one officer had hung his rain jacket from the window of his patrol car. It flapped as I went by and he smiled and said, “Trying to get it to dry out.”  I realized it had rained here, but that somehow, I had been spared. (It was my marathon miracle!)

And then I was crossing the finish line!! Nora was there with her boyfriend and they were a welcome sight. 🙂

I quickly realized I had no fine motor skills left and could not unlock my phone to stop Mapmyrun, (the app I use on my phone to log my miles) so I handed it off to Nora who took care of that. I was pretty excited and wobbly, and a gentleman came over with a wheel chair, just in case I toppled over.  I didn’t but it was close!

After walking about and drinking some chocolate milk, Nora and I realized we really didn’t feel like eating anything (never a problem after a half marathon!)  and we  decided it might be best to get back to our hosts’(my sister and her husband)  house, and relax there.  (It never occurred to me to check the results in case I had placed in my age division. Later I found out, I PLACED THIRD!)  We began to walk to where Nora’s boyfriend had parked his car. And then it hit: a veritable monsoon of wind and rain that moved like a wall of water across the streets, whipping down the fences at the finishing chute, and drenching us, and the runners we saw making their way to the finish! By the time we got to the car we looked like drowned cats and I texted my sister that we would need towels! Now cold and wet, I couldn’t help feeling badly for the runners still on the course, and hoping they would not have far to run.

Celebrating our first marathon

After hot showers, and a celebratory glass of champagne, we headed to the spa, for our much anticipated, and much needed massages. It seemed somehow inappropriate to take our phones into the relaxing atmosphere, so we left them in the little lockers provided so sadly, we have no pictures of the lovely facilities. 😦 But needless to say, it was the perfect antidote to running 26.2 miles! (Though I did have to jump off the table because of a cramp in my calf, which was slightly embarrassing.) Nevertheless,  Nora and I have decided that this will definitely have to be a post marathon tradition.

So a big thank you  to our hosts, my sister and her husband,  who made their home available, who fed us, and cheered us on; to Nora’s boyfriend for driving out to support us, and shuttling us around; to the city of Rochester, its  police force, the volunteers, and the great spectators, who came out despite the rain.

Rochester Marathon Recap

To all of you, thank you for helping Nora and I check off the great state of New York in spectacular fashion!!

Running Tattoos

P.S. one of those tattoos isn’t real… 😉

 

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Black Toenails and Pumpkin Spice Everything

Hope you all had a great weekend!

My weekend started off a little rough, I won’t lie.

Blackened toenail after running a marathon

Disclaimer– if you’re easily grossed out or don’t like feet, please feel free to skip this paragraph. I won’t judge you. So after finishing the marathon, it was pretty clear right away that my toenail was turning black. This has happened to my mom a few times, and it’s never been too big of a deal (despite having what we affectionately call “mutant toes” for a few weeks). From her experiences, I expected the nail to be sensitive for a couple of days, and then to fall off after several weeks to reveal a sparkling, healthy new nail. I even painted them a nice, festive orange to disguise the gross black color of my big toe. Well, it remained very sensitive several days later, until I was in the library doing schoolwork (and wearing sandals because closed-toe shoes were just not going to happen yet), when I bumped the toe against my other foot. It was incredibly painful (only my dignity kept me from bursting into tears) and it started bleeding profusely. Just what you want to happen when you’re trying to get some work done at the library. 😉 That night, I went to the walk-in clinic to get it checked out. The diagnosis: infected and needs removal. 😦

So my past few days have revolved around picking up antibiotics, calling a local podiatrist, and sorting out insurance issues. But things seem to be figured out now, and hopefully I’ll be good as gold soon. Needless to say, I have not gotten any runs in since the marathon.

But that’s enough about the toe. I wanted to take a minute to jump on the bandwagon of healthy living blogs that are getting REALLY into pumpkin this fall. Because I love it. And I have been eating A LOT of pumpkin-things lately. Some might say too much. But they would be wrong.

Pumpkin Spice Everything for fall

Like this pumpkin spice smoothie – a couple of scoops of pumpkin puree, frozen banana chunks, vanilla Greek yogurt, cinnamon,  apple pie spice (because I couldn’t find pumpkin pie spice at the store… I figured these were similar enough!), and almond milk. So good!

I also made pumpkin butter by mixing equal parts pumpkin puree and peanut butter. I sweetened it with honey and added more of the apple pie spice, and I have been eating this on toast or with bananas nearly every day.

And today, I went grocery shopping and was so excited to discover this-

Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt

I had to get it. I mean, COME ON, it’s a limited batch!!!! So yeah, I guess you could say I like pumpkin.

Stay tuned for some marathon-related thoughts from my mom! ♥

What’s your favorite fall food and/or flavor?

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The Rochester Marathon

We did it.

My Mom and I can both officially say now that we are marathoners. After months of training and reading anything and everything about marathons, we finally went out and completed 26.2 miles. There was uncertainty, crazy weather, and blackened toenails, but we made it.

Let me start from the beginning though. 🙂

Late in the afternoon on Friday, my mom made the long drive up and picked me up from school. It was fantastic to see her again and we chatted the whole time as we made the drive into Rochester. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle, so it was a great mini-family reunion. Friday night, we just relaxed, ate pizza and visited, before turning in for an early bedtime. We wanted to make sure we got plenty of rest in preparation for Sunday.

Saturday, we slept in a little, before going for a gentle 2-mile jog, as prescribed in the training plan my mom and I followed. We were also keeping a close eye on the weather that morning, as the forecast for Sunday was looking awful. There was a strong chance of severe thunderstorms from 6 am on throughout the whole day. In the paper, there was an article that explained that if there was thunder at the start time (7:30), then the race would be delayed ten minutes. If the thunder continued – the race would be cancelled. My mom and I were freaking out. At that point, I felt like I would gladly run through the pouring rain, as long as I got the chance at my marathon.

So obviously, we were pretty concerned. We went to pick up our packets as usual though, hoping for the best. Packet pick-up was held at a local running store, Fleet Feet, and it was hopping when we arrived.

At packet pick-up for the Rochester Marathon

My mom and I loved the race shirts, but we were also excited to pick out another commemorative, first-marathon-ever shirt! We both went with these awesome long-sleeve Nike running shirts.

Rochester Marathon Shirt

We tried to stay relaxed on Saturday, but the weather reports continued to predict strong chances for thunderstorms. We organized our running materials that evening – putting pins on our bibs, packing our GU’s in our fuel belts (I wanted to do one every 5 miles through mile 20, at which point I was going to switch to Sports Beans aka jelly beans for runners). With the predictions for rain, my mom and I both made sure to bring hats to help keep the rain off our faces.

We had a simple meal for dinner that night to round out our carbo-loading routine – grilled chicken and baked potatoes. After that, it was a little TV and then bed time.

While I had a little trouble falling asleep, I was shocked at how well I slept until the alarm started ringing at 5 am. My mom and I quickly got up and started prepping the coffee and bagels (with almond butter and raspberry jam of course – our favorite!). It was a little hard to stomach at such an early hour, but we knew it was important to eat early so we would have time to digest a bit before the race began.

A friend of mine from school was running the race as well, and she got dropped off at my Aunt and Uncle’s so that we could bring her to the start with us. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather as we drove into the city of Rochester – a little cloudy, but warm with no rain!

We checked our bags (complete with all the necessary post-race items, including sweats, Snickers bars, and a hairbrush. All completely essential.), and made a last porta-potty stop. Kudos to the race organizers for having enough porta-potties to accommodate all the runners, as this always seems to be problematic!

At the start of the Rochester Marathon

Then, we excitedly went to the starting chute. Of course, there was time for some pre-race selfies.

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

We stretched for a few minutes and I reveled in the fact that it was not raining on us. I think all my worry about the weather left me feeling more excited for the race than nervous. Then, the race announcer led us with a moment of silence for a Rochester police officer, Daryl Pierson, who was shot and killed three weeks ago. It was a touching moment, and so important for us as runners to show our appreciation, as the entire Rochester police department was out, directing traffic and lining the course to help keep us safe and the race running smoothly.

Next, the National Anthem played… and we were off and running our first marathon!!! Ahhhhh!

Along the course of the Rochester Marathon

With all the excitement, the first few miles flew by, but my mom and I did a great job pacing ourselves and sticking to our Galloway method-inspired strategy: run a mile and walk a minute. I really enjoyed checking out the beautiful 19th and early 20th century mansions that we passed along East Avenue.

Mansions along East Avenue. Rochester Marathon

Absolutely beautiful. We continued along, sticking to a pace around 10:30 minutes/mile. Just before mile 5, we came up on our cheering section who surprised us with this awesome poster. 🙂

Of course, we had to stop to take a picture.

We had to stop to take a picture.

As we continued along, my mom started telling me to take off. I was feeling great at the pace we were running, but she wanted to dial it back a little because of the humidity we were dealing with. We had planned on staying together longer over the 26 miles, but with her blessing and some good luck wishes on both our parts, I headed off.

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Around Mile 6 or 7 (I think… it’s all blurring together a bit), we turned off and ran along the Erie Canal bike path, which was pretty, despite the clouds rolling in. Soon thereafter, it started to rain – and I thought to myself, “This is it. It’s going to pour, and I’m either going to have to run another 15+ miles soaking wet or it’s going to thunder and they’re going to pull us off the course.”

Thank god that’s not what happened. It rained lightly for maybe 15 minutes, just enough to cool me off, and then it stopped! It was a marathon miracle. 🙂

I was feeling great, and got super excited when I reached the 13 mile marker – halfway done! And I kept feeling great through mile 18, and that’s when it truly started to feel like a marathon. My big toe was starting to hurt (ironically, not on the foot where I struggled with my EHL strain – that foot held up like a champ.). I was running behind someone with a shirt that read “Black Toe Racing”, and I remember thinking a lot about the foreshadowing and symbolism of that. 😉

I kept chugging along though, desperately looking forward to each 1 minute walking break whenever I completed another mile. While I cherished those breaks, I noticed that after about 19 miles, it hurt just as much (if not more) to walk as it did to run. Ugh.

Around mile 20 of the Rochester Marathon

I certainly wasn’t the only one taking walking breaks by this point though.

The last 6.2 miles were the most challenging miles I’ve ever run. I knew I was close to being done, and I just wanted to cross that finish line and for the RUNNING TO STOP. Thank goodness for all the fantastic spectators along the course, and for the people who cheered for me, reading my name off my bib and encouraging me that I was almost done. I also loved all the creative signs –

  • Toenails are for sissies (so true.)
  • Keep Calm and Don’t Poop Yourself. (Also excellent advice.)
  • You’ve been training for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married. (gotta love humor at the expense of the Kardashians.)

FINALLY, I was turning off the canal path, back onto the major roads, and knew I was close to being done. I passed the 26 mile marker, and I pushed it into high gear. Next thing I knew, I was crossing the finish line in 4 hours, 36 minutes. I look pretty damn good for having just run 26.2 miles, right?!

Finishing the Rochester Marathon

Marathon complete.

I was so happy to be done, and to see my boyfriend at the finish. It was good that he was there, because I kept losing my balance and tilting over. Also, my fine motor skills were shot, which made texting interesting.

I couldn't text at all after running a marathon

I tried to type “I’m done” and autocorrect thought I was trying to say “I’m conspiracy”. So that shows you how successful I was. 😉 After that, I made my boyfriend send the texts. We also took some snapchats to send to my friends at school, who had been amazing about sending me congratulatory and good luck texts-

post marathon

And some regular pictures. In between bites of a bagel, obviously.

After finishing the Rochester Marathon

My mom also ran an incredible race (SHE GOT THIRD IN HER AGE GROUP!!!) and finished in 4 hours, 58 minutes.

What an amazing race. After so much concern over my EHL strain and the fears about the weather,  I feel so lucky that I was able to run my marathon. After 9 half marathons, it was time, for both my mom and I.

More marathon reflections are coming, but this post has already gotten ridiculously long. Thanks for reading it and also, thank you SO, SO MUCH for all the advice, and good luck messages sent our way through this blog. It meant the world to us to have so many people rooting for us.

 

 

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Why I Know I Can Run A Marathon

Hey there!

As you probably know, my mom and I are running our first marathon, the Rochester Marathon tomorrow. We are so excited (and definitely nervous too!). If you want to keep up with the adventures and hear about the race in real-time (and can’t wait for a race recap), I will be tweeting and Instagramming like a crazy blogger-type person, so you should definitely follow me to hear how it all goes!

I tweet @RunningDuo22

Instagram @AdventuresMotherDaughterDuo

The past few days, my mom and I have been focusing on reasons to be confident going into this race.

Reasons to feel confident going into a marathon

My Mom Says:

I Know I can Run a MarathonI’ve been married 29 years and that is worth several 26.2 mile runs.

I spent 10 years writing a historical novel, which requires just as much discipline and commitment as running a marathon. And maybe someday when I spend less time running, I may actually have time to figure out how to get it published! 🙂

I know I can run a marathon because when I fished reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace (all 1,250 pages, mind you!), I thought there should have been a sequel.

Reasons We know we can run a marathon

And here’s what I think:

I Know I can Run a Marathon

I played violin for 12 years and know what it takes to stick with something, even when you’re doubting yourself and it would be easier just to quit.

Every time I finish a half marathon, I’m thinking about signing up for another one.

I ♥ carboloading. Bagels, pasta, sweet potatoes – that’s my jam!

How much harder can it be than a college-level economics course? (Not that much harder I’m guessing ’cause econ was pretty darn hard.).

Reasons I know I can run a marathon

Wish us luck!

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Prepping For the Marathon (5 Days!)

Hello again!

Sorry that I’ve been MIA for almost a week, I had my first exam of the semester yesterday and I wanted it to be a successful one so I was prepping for that! 🙂

I cannot believe that this Sunday I will finally be running the Rochester Marathon alongside my mom. After so many months of ups and downs, I am incredibly grateful to be feeling healthy and to have happy feet.

Yes, I am essentially a dancing penguin right now. 😉

This week, I have a few short runs planned to keep my legs fresh without tiring them out for Sunday. Today, I did a nice, easy 3 miles that felt spectacular in the cooler weather that’s setting in.

Running happy in cooler fall temps

When I got back from my run, I decided to refuel with a new smoothie recipe.

Ingredients for my key lime smoothie

Key Lime Smoothie

It was delicious! I also added a few drops of lime juice to pump up the tanginess. It was the perfect refreshing treat for after a run, and I was in heaven. 🙂

In what spare time I’ve had, I have also been reading up on last minute tips for the marathon. Here’s a few things I’ve learned and am planning to try:

  • Pack some cozy, loose sweats to change into after the race. When you stop running after going for 26.2 miles, you cool off FAST, but you want to be comfortable enough to enjoy the post-race festivities.
  • Turn off your music at the start/finish of the race. This lets you soak up all the excitement and spectator support. Running a marathon is such a huge accomplishment and you really want to be able to take it all in. 🙂
  • If you can, arrange to get a massage later in the day. While there might be massages offered at the finish, the lines get so long that it can be a little impractical. I’m very excited for the massages my mom and I have scheduled at a local spa!
  • Add some new, exciting music to your playlist in the days leading up to the race. There’s nothing like a new song that you haven’t yet heard a billion times to pump you up while you’re out on the course.

If you have any tips for a first-time marathoner, I’d love to hear them! Have a great week!

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Reactions of Non-Runners

Happy Hump Day!

As I mentioned in my last post, I ran 20 miles last week. Now to all the runners out there who know this is the height of marathon training season, that might not seem that weird. It might even seem NORMAL (us runners are a strange bunch, I know). 😉 I got some pretty funny reactions though from my non-runner friends though when I told them how far I had gone.

Why the Eff would you run 20 miles?

Reaction A: Question My Sanity

“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!”

“That’s crazy!”

You Ran How Far?

Reaction B: You Did This To Yourself

Me: “Ugh, I’m sore, I just finished running 20 miles.”

Friend 1: “Well yeah, I’m not surprised you’re sore. That’s what you get!

Friend 2: “I just don’t understand you. Why would you choose to do that to yourself?”

Me: “Because I’m running a marathon in a few weeks, so I had to!”

Friend 2: “Well why would you choose to run a marathon?”

Me: “I want to!”

Friend 2: “You and I are so fundamentally different.”

Reaction C: Congratulations

Congratulations

Reaction A seems to be the most common. Sometimes people will transition through all three reactions (“You’re crazy! Why would you do that to yourself? Congrats though!”) . So fair warning- if you’re thinking about training for a marathon, be prepared for people to just assume you’re crazy. But here is the big secret that we as runners know, the one that non-runners often cannot wrap their heads around –

Running is worth it.

Have you ever gotten any funny reactions about your running?

 

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