Tag Archives: Marathon Training

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! 🙂



Filed under Marathon, Thoughts

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?


Filed under Food, Marathon

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!


Filed under Marathon, Thoughts

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!


Filed under Food, Marathon, Training

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


“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


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?


1 Comment

Filed under Marathon, Thoughts, Training

Running Long and Volunteering

Happy Labor Day everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend. As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to test myself with a ten mile run on Friday. I wasn’t sure if my foot would cooperate with the increase in mileage, but I was excited to give it a shot!

I woke up bright and early, drank a cup of coffee while eating some toast with peanut butter, and grabbed two GU’s to power me through. I was super excited to try a new flavor – salted caramel! We had ordered them just before my foot started bothering me, and so I had never gotten to test this delicious-sounding flavor. Instead, I jealously watched my mom use them! 😉

Salted Caramel GU - testing a new flavor of gels!

I decided to run along the same course of the race that I was volunteering at on Sunday, the Oak Tree Half Marathon. It’s a gorgeous course that runs through conservation land, and it was gloriously quiet. I think two cars total passed me while I was on that stretch of the run. I also saw four deer bounding away through one of the fields, which added to the peaceful setting.

Beautiful 10 mile run during marathon training

Long story short, it was a fantastic run. The salted caramel GU – so good! I think vanilla might still be my favorite, but this would be a close second. 🙂 And *drumroll please*… my foot didn’t bother me! Yay!

10 mile run

At mile 8, I ended up walking up most of this giant hill which is why I slowed down a lot, but I was happy with the speedy negative splits that I hit on miles 9 and 10! Now that I know I can handle 10 miles, it’s time to test it again this week with an 18-20 miler.

On Saturday and Sunday, I helped out with the Oak Tree Half Marathon. I ran the race last year and really enjoyed it! It was also the first race where I broke 2 hours in the half marathon. It’s a fantastic race that is put on to benefit the Genesee Valley Conservancy and I was really happy to be involved in it this year. Saturday evening, I helped with packet pick-up and got to meet a lot of friendly and excited runners. The running community is so fantastic and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. Sunday, I got up bright and early to help with race-day registration.

Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse, and it ended up being a cool, rainy morning. Not terrible for running in, but not great if you’re standing around outside as a volunteer! The runners didn’t seem to mind the conditions though, as a course record was set in the half marathon with a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes. That is just over a 5 minute mile. Pretty freakin’ incredible.

Kip Tisia won the half marathon, setting a new course record in the process!

Kip Tisia won the half marathon, setting a new course record in the process!

Kip Tisia, winner of the Oak Tree Half Marathon

Today, I relaxed and enjoyed the day off from classes. 🙂 I slept in, went for a 6-mile run, and caught up on some homework. So overall, it was a pretty darn good weekend!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

1 Comment

Filed under Races, Training

Lessons Learned From Marathon Training.

Hey there!

While my training for this marathon has been less than ideal because of my EHL strain, my mom has been powering through the plan (an intermediate level Hal Higdon plan for any curious runners out there), and doing fantastic! In today’s post, she is sharing some of the lessons she has learned since stepping up the mileage for the marathon.

Lessons Learned While Training For a Marathon - Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

  1. Walk

We did a little more research to prepare for this marathon than we had done when training for our first half, and so after a runner friend of Nora’s dad recommended a couple of  books, we were on our way. We settled on Jeff Galloway’s running /walking method. (Galloway says the mix of running and walking is what prevents injury – despite all the added miles – and that appealed to me!)

I decided to try running a one mile followed by walking a minute – and this interval seems to work for me. It’s gotten me through a 17, an 18, and a 20 mile run (a little more about this one later). Even after running further than I ever have before, I ended the runs feeling great, and more importantly, I was able to walk just fine the next day.

Don't be afraid to incorporate walk breaks into your marathon training

(I also decided to keep taking my walk breaks during the shorter runs during the week, reasoning that since the goal was to keep my legs fresh for the long run on the weekend, it couldn’t hurt to take it easier during these hot, humid mornings. Which brings me to the second thing I learned: WATER.

Hydrating properly is key.

  1. Water

Drink it! One of the other books we looked at encouraged runners to walk through the water stops as they hydrate. (I like this because it’s hard for me to drink and run at the same time. Without choking at least.) So in addition to carrying a bottle on the longer runs, I started carrying a small bottle on short runs, and sipping as I took my one minute walking break. What I discovered was that, between the walk breaks, and sipping some water, I could run between 4-8 miles on a hot, humid summer morning and still feel really good, whereas in the past, I would have been drained and cranky.  I was also surprised to discover  that when I looked at my watch, I was only off my normal pace by 20 to 30 seconds, so despite the walk break, my times were pretty similar.

Make sure you're eating nutritious meals with plenty of carbohydrates.

  3. Food

Eat it! Training for the half marathon three summers ago, Nora and I just did some carbo-loading the night before and that was about it. But for this race, we had purchased Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners, and began paying close attention to what we ate – and how much –  and making sure we had good snacks, especially some carbs, frequently during the day.

Nancy Clark's Food Guide For Marathoners

But as it happened, on the two consecutive days before my scheduled 20 mile run, I had “special outings.” I ended up eating late lunches (in one case just pizza, so not balanced) and then just having ice cream for dinner!! (this is occasionally something that happens in our household). Now these are not things you have to avoid when training for a marathon, but these meals were not complete and so I learned the hard way that my muscles hadn’t been fueled properly. At about mile 12 of my 20 mile run, I felt my legs tiring, and even a few cramps. This was surprising to me since I had run the 17 and 18 mile runs without any discomfort!  I kept fueling during the run, and managed to keep a positive attitude all the way to the finish. But later that day, as I realized I had messed up my diet during the two previous days, I realized just how important it is to  maintain  a good diet. This Sunday, I will make sure I eat balanced and nutritious meals in the days leading up to my last 20 miler before the race.  And lastly: Ice.

Ice your feet during marathon training.

  1. Ice

Though I haven’t been able to have a full-on ice bath yet, I have enjoyed filling a basin with water, some ice, and a couple of my frozen Dassani water bottles (I also use these alone sometimes, rolling them  under my feet as I watch TV). This modest ice bath feels really great after a hard run, and though it can’t help with the blackened toenails  (that’s what dark red nail polish is for), it cools your toes and feet,  and gives you an excuse to sit back and relax and think about how amazing it is that you’ve just run so far!!

18 Miles during marathon training

20 miles during marathon training

So there you go! Have a wonderful long weekend (and maybe go for some long runs if you can!) 🙂



Filed under Marathon, Training