Giving Thanks

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I wanted to give thanks for a few things in my life today on the blog:

1—I am thankful for my family and friends

·         I am thankful for my mom and dad and their love and support in my life.  This year brought a new job in my life and my parents were very supportive of the whole process.  This job change was much easier on me emotionally than my first job change, but my parents were very supportive this time as well.  They also support this running adventure that I’m on.  When I tell them where I’m going, they are always willing to watch my dog, pick me up from the airport occasionally, and always tell me I’m crazy :).


·         I am thankful for my sister Lauren.  Lauren is my only sibling but since she lives so far away sometimes it is hard for us to see each other often.  Running has definitely brought us closer together and it’s always great to know that I have a cheerleader in my corner for all of my races and long runs.

With Stacy in Ireland last year!

With Stacy in Ireland last year!

·         And I’m thankful for my friends.  My best friend Stacy (not a runner :) ) is always super supportive when it comes to my running even when it means we cannot hang out as much as we used too.  She loves the medals and when I told her about the Dopey Challenge she was very encouraging.  I’m thankful for my other real life friends and also my “Twitter/Facebook running friends”.

2—I am thankful for my health

·         This running journey has allowed me to be in the best shape of my life.  I have lost a great deal of weight during the time that I have been running and can fit in the smallest clothes I have ever been able to.  I still have a ways to go—I need to really weight train and eat better—but I’m thankful for how far I’ve come so far.

·         I’m thankful that I have been relatively injury free this year.  I’ve had hip and knee pain but nothing that has significantly slowed me down in the running department.  I’ve also been smart about my training and if it’s bad weather, I don’t risk injury by running outside.

3—I am thankful for my job!

·         It sounds silly, but I am so thankful for my new job.  I was so unhappy in my last job– I would seriously cry some evenings I was so depressed with my hectic work schedule and my lack to really have a life outside of work.  When I saw the posting for my current job, I was so excited, and after the first interview, I knew this was going to be a great job for me.  I really enjoy what I do at work and I also enjoy the money I’m making now.  It makes traveling for half marathons a reality and my coworkers enjoy hearing about my crazy stories.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Weekly Recap



Monday, November 17th: 21 Day Fix DVD

Tuesday, November 18th: 21 Day Fix DVD

Wednesday, November 19th: 8 miles running on the indoor track

Thursday, November 20th: 5 miles running on the treadmill

Friday, November 21st: 5 miles running on the treadmill

Saturday, November 22nd: 11 miles running outside

Sunday, November 23rd: 1 hour on the elliptical

This was my first really rough week I have experienced during my training for the Walt Disney World Marathon. First of all, I had to take the majority of my runs inside to the indoor track or treadmill because of the cold weather. Like many, I hate the treadmill so I was not happy about having to use it, but knew I had to in order to get my training runs complete.

My long run on Saturday was supposed to be 18 miles, but my body was basically shutting down after 10 miles and I could barely get to 11! I think this is because I had three pretty long runs the days prior without any sort of rest. My legs were just screaming at me to stop and my hip flexor was hurting immensely. I didn’t want to not finish all the miles in my long run, but I knew it would be a bad idea to keep going when I was in so much pain. So I stopped after 11 and decided to do 18 miles this weekend instead. This actually works out because I can run with Kathleen when we are at home for Thanksgiving, and I was supposed to only have 13 miles for my long run this week, so I can just basically switch the weeks.

I feel much better today and am ready to take on this training week and follow it exactly so that I hopefully don’t have any more issues. I am going to do my weekday runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and then give my body a rest on Friday so that I will be ready for the long 18 mile run on Saturday.

I am very excited about this week for a few reasons. One, yesterday started the #HolidaySweat Challenge which many of you are probably participating in and know about. I am excited for the extra motivation to exercise and eat well during the holidays and am looking forward to taking on the challenge and meeting others who are also doing it.

Also, tomorrow it is my birthday and I turn 27! It kind of stinks because of have to work until 9, but I will probably celebrate it with my family on Thursday when I go home for Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is obviously another thing I am looking forward to like most people. I will have 3 days off and I can’t wait to relax and hang out with my family.

I hope everyone has a great and safe week, and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


Weekly Recap


Monday, November 17thRest day

Tuesday, November 18th:  4.25 miles running (10:36 pace on treadmill)

Wednesday, November 19thRest Day

Thursday, November 20th 4.29 miles running (10:29 pace on treadmill)

Friday, November 21stRest Day

Saturday, November 22ndRest Day

Sunday, November 23rd7 miles running (11:03 pace OUTSIDE)

Calm week for Dopey training and I was super happy that Sunday provided great temperatures to run outside!  It was 50 degrees and overcast on Sunday—so I knew that it would be the perfect running weather.  The forecast called for rain all day, but I was luckily able to get in the run with no trouble.  I didn’t run particularly well, but I’m ok with that.  I finished the run and the time isn’t that horrible.

On Sunday, I was able to use my new toy—Garmin 220!!  I usually always use my Nike+ app for all of my runs but I remember when Lauren was training for her first marathon, she had to get a watch because her phone could not make it after 17 miles or so.  I knew that dropping the money would be necessary in a matter of time when I signed up for the Dopey Challenge.  I actually got the watch a few weeks ago in preparation for my 20 mile run.  Unfortunately, since we had gotten snow here, I had to take my run inside to the treadmill, and the Garmin does not work on the treadmill.  And since my weekday runs are strictly treadmill only (I do not have time to run before work and I’m not running in the dark), I was itching at the bit to use my Garmin on Sunday.  Normally I would not worry about my Nike+ app failing on me, but it was kind of nice not to even worry about it as I was running and just focus on my music and my new watch.  Afterwards, I was manually able to put in my miles and time into my Nike+ app, so I can still compare myself to Lauren (I’ll never reach her miles!) and my other friends.


This week is another crazy Dopey training week.  It’s also a crazy week in general.  I have to work Monday and Tuesday and then I don’t have to go back to work until Monday of the next week.  I’ll be going back to my hometown for Thanksgiving, so I’m hoping the weather keeps calm so I can get my walks and runs in outside.  This week calls for a mini Dopey simulation.  Since Lauren is doing her long run on Saturday, I think I’m going to do the same thing as well—especially since I have my 10 year high school reunion on Saturday evening at a bar.  The training program calls for 23 miles as my long run, but in order to preserve myself, I think I’m just going to do 20 miles.  There is no need to do 23 and 26 miles—especially if I can get the miles in the required time.

Happy running :)



You Don’t Have to Dread the Long Run (At Least Not As Much!)

The weekend is almost here (YES!) and many of us have long runs planned (BOO!). If you are like me, you the long training run of your marathon plan is not your BFF. It is the thing I dislike most about marathon training. It takes up so much time, you have to plan your whole weekend around it, and you absolutely have to do it or good luck trying to run the 26.2 miles come race day!

During training for my first marathon, I made many mistakes during my long training run days. For instance, I didn’t realize my iPhone wouldn’t last the whole time so I would have to run the last few miles just hearing my exhausted breaths and slow feet and try not to focus on all the pain I was feeling. Also, I didn’t really study the route I was running so I would freak out when I had to use the restroom because I had no idea when the next one would be! Additionally, I didn’t really have a great fuel plan set up prior, so I ended up running out of water or not bringing along enough gels.

My long runs have been much better for the WDW Marathon. Speaking of the WDW Marathon, it's in EIGHT WEEKS! AHHH! Let the panic set in!

My long runs have been much better for the WDW Marathon. Speaking of the WDW Marathon, it’s in EIGHT WEEKS! AHHH! Let the panic set in!

So, for my  Walt Disney Marathon training, I knew I had to change some things up. And even though I still don’t like the long runs on the weekend, they have become a little more bearable. Here are some of my suggestions to make your long run suck just a little less:

1. Audiobooks

The Fever by Megan Abbott is the book I will be finishing up this weekend on my long run. Can't wait to hear how it ends!

The Fever by Megan Abbott is the book I will be finishing up this weekend on my long run. Can’t wait to hear how it ends!

-I work at a library, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. My last few long runs I have been listening to different audiobooks and OMG it has made the time go by so quickly! My tip would be to start the book at least a little beforehand so you know whether you are interested in it or not. Last week I had planned to listen to a new book that was out, and I started it in my car the night before. The narrator’s voice was so distracting that I knew there was no way I could listen to it for over 2 hours! Luckily, I had another one and I enjoyed that one a lot :) You can also start it and then just save the last few hours for your run, it might make you even look forward to going on your run so you can finish the book!

You can purchase audiobooks online, or you can go to your local library and see if they offer e-media. My library does and there are thousands of audiobooks I can download and listen to straight from an app on my phone. It is very convenient and saves me a lot of money!

2. Set out clothes/fuel/everything you need the night before

Study the weather the night before so you know what kind of clothes you should wear. I am still trying to get better at this! But I always set out something so I am not wasting my time in the morning trying to figure out what to wear. The less time you waste before the run, the quicker you will be to being done with it! THIS site from Runner’s World is great for giving you suggestions on what to wear based on the weather conditions expected during your run. Also, set your water bottle (or belt depending on what you prefer) out, along with ALL the fuel you plan to take with you. Make sure you figure out where to store your fuel as well (hopefully your shorts or pants have pockets, if not you need to make another plan like wearing a belt!)

3. Eat the night before like you have a race the next day

omaha pasta dinenr

Pasta is the dinner of choice for many runners the night before they tackle a big run!

Before my long training runs, I eat the types of food I would the night before a half or full marathon. So basically my Friday night (or Saturday night depending on when my long run is) dinners have consisted of a lot of spaghetti and bread lately! I remember during my training for my last marathon I decided to eat pizza and drink some beer the night before a 17 mile run. Let’s just say, this was not a great idea and I paid for it the next day during my run! (Severe stomach cramps!)

4. Know your route

I am lucky to get to see beautiful animals like this one on the trail that I do my long runs on!

I am lucky to get to see beautiful animals like this one on the trail that I do my long training runs on!

Figure out what route you are going to take prior to actual getting out there on the day of your long run and just trying to figure it out. My first few long training runs for the Grandma’s Marathon, I thought I would just go to the park and run around until I reached whatever mileage I was going for. I didn’t know the exact number of loops I had to make or which way would be best to go, and this ended up making me feel very anxious for some reason and added anxiety is never good for running! Then, after I realized I should just find a longer trail to go on, I didn’t study the map of the trail before so I didn’t know where any of the bathrooms were, if there were any water fountains, or how hilly it was. So when I had to go to the bathroom I was in a panic because I didn’t know how long it would take before I would actually run into one!

5. Bring along a GPS watch to track your miles

My Nike+ GPS watch

My Nike+ GPS watch

If you are training for a marathon, I would highly suggest purchasing some sort of GPS running watch to track your miles on. When you get past a certain amount of miles, your phone is probably going to die, so you cannot rely on the GPS tracking on your phone. I have a Nike+ watch that allows me to sync easily to my Nike+ account, and I can just use it to track my miles and then listen to my music/audiobook on my iPhone and not even have to think about my phone dying. Plus, just in case something bad happens during your run, it is very important that you have a working phone with you if you need to call for help.

6. Take it Easy!

There is no reason to rush through your long training runs or feel like you have to go the pace that you want to during the actual marathon. My training plan actually suggests that I go 60-90 seconds per mile slower than I intend to during the race. I usually don’t end up going that slow, but I am getting better at pacing myself throughout the run. Back in the Spring when I was training for my first marathon, I was going at a much too fast pace during my long training runs. Looking back, I feel like this may have burnt me out a bit and made me more tired than I needed to be. my legs would be absolutely dead at the end of the run and I was in pain for the rest of the week! Now, for my last several long runs I have gone at a reasonable pace and if I find myself getting out of breath, I made a conscious effort to slow down. Even though I am sore after, I am not in an intense amount of pain and after some protein and water, I feel like I can do more with the rest of my day.



2014 Recap Part 2

Last week, I recapped my first 6 races of 2014, so today I’m going to recap the final 6 races of 2014.


- I always wanted to run the Chicago 10k and this year with a new job, I was able to finally sign up!  The race had a great tech shirt and a huge medal.  I was super excited to meet a fellow Dopey runner at this race and I really enjoyed how I could do packet pickup the day of the race (I paid $10 to do that… well worth the expense!).  *RECAP*


-My next race was first double racing weekend.  On Saturday, I completed a 5k during the weekend of the Healthy Human Race in Rochester, Minnesota.  I took the 5k exactly the same way I want to take the 5k in Florida in January—nice and slow.  I got a fun medal and my first official 5k race.  *RECAP*

-The day after the 5k was the half marathon, the real reason for making the trip to Minnesota.  I enjoyed the speaker series at the expo—Jeff Galloway and Apolo Ohno—and this was the first race where I was able to walk from the hotel to the start line (great Priceline find).  The half marathon went fairly well except for a huge hill which almost lasted a mile in the middle of the race!  The bling was fun and I’m glad I made this my Minnesota half!  *RECAP*


-My Dopey training called for a half marathon to be done in September and I thought what a better excuse than to do another state?!  After a little research, I decided to do the Omaha Half.  While the organization and elements could have been better (also I had a crazy ordeal with my rental car), I almost had a PR—9 seconds short.  *RECAP*


-When I got my new job in July, I was nervous about all the races I had already registered for.  Ultimately, I was/am able to complete all but one of them!  Detroit was one of the ones that I was able to complete.  The experience crossing into Canada over the bridge and then coming back into the USA in a mile long underwater tunnel was incredible.  The expo was huge, the medal was nice but the weather was very cold (30s).  Crossed another state off the list!  *RECAP*


-My final race of the year was the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago.  I always wanted to run this race and I’m glad I finally got to.  The swag and the medal were nice, but this is a one and done deal for me.  The race had over 40,000 people and the corrals, while enforced, were filled with people who were not being honest about their times at all. *RECAP*

2014 was a busy racing year for me!  I’m gearing up for an even busier 2015.  I currently have 9 races that I’m already registered for and that only gets me thru the beginning of May!  I’m expecting summer to be a bit slower and then a few busy weekends in the fall :).



Weekly Recap



Monday, November 10th: Rest day

Tuesday, November 11th:  4.22 miles running (10:40 pace on treadmill)

Wednesday, November 12th: Rest Day

Thursday, November 13th 4.24 miles running (10:36 pace on treadmill)

Friday, November 14th: Rest Day

Saturday, November 15th: 8.5 mile walk outside (14:55 pace for 7.75 miles—then phone died)

Sunday, November 16th: 20 mile run (10:33 pace on TREADMILL—AHH!!)

Well, I did it!!  I completed my first 20 miler on route to the Dopey Challenge in January!  To say I’m getting excited now is an understatement.  The final RunDisney race before Marathon Weekend was held this weekend, so now it’s all excitement towards Marathon Weekend.  I just have seven more weeks of training left.  Two big running weekends are left and both of those weekends, I will be in my hometown, so I’ll be able to run on the Constitution Trail (a great running trail that goes all over the town!).  I’m hoping that Lauren will be willing/able to do on these long runs and walks with me too, so it doesn’t make it so lonely!

As you noticed above, I had to do my 20 mile run on the treadmill.  The original plan was to do the run outdoors, but when I went to bed on Saturday night, it was already snowing and I knew there was a good chance I’d have to do the run indoors.  When I woke up on Sunday, the sidewalks were still snow packed and I decided it was not worth an injury running on potentially slick surfaces.  I’ve come too far to slip, fall, and not be able to do the Dopey Challenge.  The 20 miler on the treadmill was not as horrible as I thought it would be.  I basically did it in hour long segments.  The treadmill only lasts an hour, so I’d run an hour, refill my water bottle and then start up again.  I saw two fellow co-workers during my run too, so that was really encouraging as well and helped break up the time.  Unfortunately, my new garmin that I bought only works outdoors so I had to rely on my phone.  Well, at 17 miles it was just about to die, so I had stop and recharge my phone.  My goal was to complete the run in 4 hours, but I successfully completed it in 3:30:59!  I’m really hoping to do the marathon in about 5 hours (the whole goal is just to finish and be under 16 minute pace) and after today, I only had a 10k left to complete the marathon—which I think I could easily complete in 1 hour and 30 minutes!!  Hopefully my training will continue to go well so I can keep going come marathon day.

This week is much easier—only two 45 minute runs and a 7 mile run on the weekend.  Work is also a bit calmer too and I just need to finish up a few projects before Thanksgiving week (2 day work week for me).

Happy running and stay injury free!



Weekly Recap


Monday, November 10th: Rest Day

Tuesday, November 11th: 21 Day Fix DVD

Wednesday, November 12th: 8 mile run

Thursday, November 13th: 3.45 mile run

Friday, November 14th: 21 Day Fix DVD

Saturday, November 15th: Girls on the Run 5K (Walk/Run 3.11 miles)

Sunday, November 16th: 17 mile run

Winter is definitely here, even though it is still supposed to be Fall! The temperatures dropped significantly this week AND we got snow, so my runs were definitely affected! I pretty much got everything done that I was supposed to, but I am not a happy camper about this change in weather this “early” in the season. But I knew I would have to deal with this since I am training for a marathon held in January!

On Thursday, I was supposed to run 4 miles, but my hands were pretty much frozen about 3 miles in, so I raced back to my apartment as soon as I could so that I didn’t get frostbite! It was awful! I even had two pairs of gloves on, so I upgraded this weekend and bought some thermal gloves (hopefully those will keep me warmer!).

In the middle of the week, I was asked by one of my friends if I could fill in for her and be a “running buddy” for a 12 year old girl in the Girls in the Run 5K held on Saturday. I said yes because I have always wanted to help with that great organization, and I knew I would be running anyways, so why not help a child (and my friend) out? So on Saturday, I braved the cold and headed downtown St. Louis at 7:30AM. I was pretty much frozen, but all in all it was a great experience and I’m happy I was able to participate in the race as a running buddy.

Since it snowed a little on Saturday night and then continued this on Sunday morning, I decided to take my long run inside to the indoor track Sunday morning before work. It was brutal, but I got it done. It is definitely not fun to run so many laps on the indoor track (11 laps = 1 mile), but I have a cold so I didn’t want to make it worse and I didn’t want to risk falling on the snowy sidewalks. I probably looked like a crazy person to the staff there, but they might be seeing more of me if the weather does not cooperate!

I hope everyone has a great week! Stay warm!