The perfect time to train for a marathon

When is the right time or the perfect time to train for a full marathon?

perfect time marathon

Christina at Crazy Mama Runner asked that question last week in our Sweat Pink Ambassador group. She got varying responses but almost everyone agreed, there’s never a perfect time.

Everyone has their reason for running. A marathon is no easy feat so deciding to train for one isn’t an easy decision. I didn’t start running until Ally was 10. She was fairly self sufficient, didn’t keep me up all hours of the night crying so I may have a skewed outlook.

But, here are my thoughts anyway.

  • Kids ages. Ally was 12 or so when I decided to train for my first full. I was already running before the sun came up while my family slept so it wasn’t a big adjustment. The biggest thing was my early bedtime. To get up at 4AM for a mid-week long run I had to go to bed by 9:30 at the latest. Sometimes I was in bed before Ally (still am). While I didn’t have the all night feedings and diaper changes, she had homework, sports, church, dinner had to be made, laundry done. All the other things that parents have to do.
  • My age. Since I didn’t start running until I was about 35 I guess it’s never too late. I was 37 when I ran my first full. And my training partner was 40. So no age excuses.
  • That pesky job. I train before the sun came up. I had to, still do. If I don’t, it won’t get done. I’m actually used to it now. Sure, there are days when I just want to skip it, but I have people waiting on me to show up. After working and dinner and all of Ally’s activities I have no time to run at night. I don’t even make it to the gym in the evenings either.
  • Your pace. I don’t like that excuse. As long as you can finish in the posted time limit no reason not to do it. You can run it or run/walk it and it’s still a full marathon!
  • Your family and friends will tell you not to. I still get “those” comments. Usually from non-running friends, about how running long distance is bad for my knees, etc. So was being 40+ pounds overweight with high cholesterol. I’m in better shape in my 30′s than I was in my 20′s.  Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you.

There are always going to be reasons not to train. But for every reason not to I could find a reason to do it. It wasn’t easy, there were days I wanted to quit and almost did. My running buddies can attest to that. It’s a huge accomplishment and you will feel like a rock star!

run for

When you make the decision you want to do it, just do it.

Are you currently training for a marathon?

Just finished one?

Happy running! You are a rock star!

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She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. Proverbs 31:17

P.S. I love Proverbs 31!

Marathon Monday: it’s taper week!

It’s finally here, less than a week to go. And guess what? I woke up congested and not able to take in deep breaths. I’m going to the doctor this afternoon.

grumpy cat

I got a new book and running journal. I’m excited to get into it.

Books

marathon training

Training last week: January 11-17

Sunday: Gym day, 3 treadmill miles plus weights

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 5 miles

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 7 miles

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 6.4 miles, hills, at Nola race pace. This group rocked those hills!

group pic

I’m participating in the #SweatPink #NoExcuses challenge this month. Last week included burpees, squats and planks. There’s something new every day.

Sweat pink no excuses

I haven’t done burpees in a looooonnnnnggggg time.

Burpees

Saturday we shared our favorite healthy snack. I came across these apples last month and love them. The new health/organic food store here is carrying them.

Peeled snacks

Today’s challenge is 30 seconds of mountain climbers. My goal is to get that done tonight, after seeing the doctor. Right now I’m struggling to take in a deep breath.

Got my Nuun on board and my new Kate Spade tumbler. Someone (not naming names) dropped my chevron tumbler and it cracked.

Kate Spade tumbler

This week is all about water, Vitamin C and good food! Hubby grilled chicken last night, I made a home made turkey pot pie for dinner tonight. I got the McCormick Thyme in my #FrostyVoxBox in December. We are starting this week off right with food prep!

pot pie

Do you food prep?

Anyone use a running log or journal?

Happy running,

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Marathon Monday: training update

It’s just under 2 weeks until Rock N’ Roll New Orleans full marathon! A lot has happened in the last few weeks after Dallas. I finished Dallas not wanting to run New Orleans. I know that’s crazy to decide at mile 26 never to run another full again. But, oh well.

So, here I am 2 weeks out and I think I’m as ready as I’ll get. I have not had great runs since Dallas. I’m not sure if I was properly rested and recovered to continue training. I did the best I could, kept getting in miles that I could.

marathon training

Training last week:

Sunday: Gym day, stair master and legs

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Gym day, elliptical, arms, abs, lots of stretching

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 6 miles, it was 16 degrees. I should get a medal for that.

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 13 miles. Best run I’ve had since Dallas

I’ve been dealing with pain in my arch since the week before Dallas. Also, the same week I started in a new pair of shoes. I wear the Asics Gel Cumulus in size 8, but the last pair was feeling a little tight so I went with 8.5 this time. I think that was my mistake. I’ve run in my old pair, now with almost 400 miles on them, and no foot pain. I finally tracked down a pair yesterday and am ready to break these new ones in, just in time for New Orleans.

new shoes

My little family has had a lot of loss the last few months and this week we had to say goodbye to our sweet Ranger. He was just shy of 15 years. John and I got him right after we bought our first house. He was a mess, but oh I loved him. I did not realize how badly I would be affected by this loss. It’s been a rough week.

Ranger

I’m participating in the Sweat Pink #noexcuses challenge! Today’s challenge is a 30 second plank. Tag it on Instagram and Twitter with #sweatpink and #noexcuses.

Sweat pink no excuses

I’m ready for an “easy” week with a few 5 milers then our last long run is next weekend, it’s only 6 miles! Yay for short, long runs.

What are you training for?

Anyone running Rock N’ Roll New Orleans?

Happy running,

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Dallas Marathon race review

I’m finally getting this done. The last few weeks have been a blur. I really enjoyed my time off at Christmas and got stuff done at home. But got no blogging done at all.

Dallas Marathon

The Dallas Marathon was supposed to be my first full in December 2013. But a little ice storm kinda halted that plan, the race was cancelled 2 days before. The runners registered for that race were given a special discount price to register for 2014. So, the Dallas Marathon 2014 became marathon #2.

Training for this race was not as good as I had hoped. I missed some long runs and was just not emotionally in it. We had some loss in our family in the fall after moving in the summer. Things were crazy to say the least.

This was a large race, but very organized. I was impressed.

The expo was great, lots of vendors and lots of free goodies! Runners like that kind of thing.

Dallas expo

We grabbed our shirts and bibs and did a little shopping. I bought new sunglasses and a FlipBelt. I broke the cardinal rule of not wearing anything new on race day. I ran 26.5 miles in a new FlipBelt. It worked out though. I’ll get a review of that up soon!

This was my view the day before the race. My foot had started hurting just a little bit, so I thought maybe I’d try staying off of it.

feet up

The phantom foot pain was in my arch, it started 8 days before the race. I was supposed to run 9 miles, ended up with 4. I was hoping it was just a fluke. It didn’t hurt all that week then started the day before the race.

I laid all my clothes out the night before. I always do this to make sure I have everything. I ended up not wearing the compression socks in the race. My shoes are 1/2 size bigger than I normally get and these socks are thin. My shoes were a little too loose.

Dallas flat mama

When I bought these shoes I purposely bought a 1/2 size bigger because the last pair I bought seemed a little too tight. Now I’m afraid that’s what might be the cause of my foot pain.

Hubby drove me to the race, he dropped me off then he and Ally went to get breakfast. I met up with my group and we took pictures, stretched, used the facilities, twice. I’ve put a lot of miles on the road with these ladies, and about half of them are training to run their first full in New Orleans this month.

Dallas marathon group

This girl is one of my best running friends. She doesn’t let me quit, she also blames me for her speedy pace. I’ll take it.

Me and Alisha

I headed over to my corral to get in my spot, stretch a little more and clear my head.

corral A

The race started at 8:05AM. When I signed up for this race, I had a lofty goal and sometimes life happens and those goals change. I decided to start with the corral I had originally been placed in. I wanted to see what I could do. I started out great, felt good. I was confident I could PR. My foot wasn’t hurting at first.

I did not carry water in this race, I decided to fuel at the water stops instead. I prefer not to have the extra weight while racing. We ran through Highland Park and the fire department there had a huge flag hanging over the street, it was amazing. This is a great course, you see lots of Dallas. Most of it was familiar to me.

I saw John and Ally maybe about mile 4-5, can’t really remember. I handed them my sunglasses. I would not be needing them. The forecast was humid, warm-ish and rain. I was actually relieved at the light rain that came periodically. I was not ready for the downpour that would come later.

I hit a BIG wall at about mile 15. My splits clearly show I started out too fast (rookie mistake) and paid for it later on. I saw John and Ally at 15 and 17 since it was an out and back at White Rock Lake. I stopped at about 16 at the aid station to have my toe wrapped. I was starting to limp from my toes rubbing blisters on each other.

The pain in the arch of my foot came about mile 18 or so. I was pushing through, my pace was slowing, but I would rally from time to time. The course was fun, there were tons of people out cheering but it was rough. I’m not gonna lie.

I was walking a bit at 19 so I stopped to take a picture.

mile 19

My friend Lauren was meeting me at mile 20 to run with me. I have never been happier to see her in my whole life. I’ve only been running with her since summer. She’s my new hero! I was whiny, I was not a good running friend. It was starting to rain. I wanted to quit running all together. That whole wall at 20 that everyone jokes about, it’s real. It’s no joke. Looking back, if I hadn’t started out so fast I probably could’ve pushed through that a lot easier since I had a friend to run with.

Lauren ran as far as she could, right about mile 25.5 and turned around and ran back 6 miles to her car, in the rain. What a trooper. The rest of the girls were waiting at about mile 25.something. Alisha got me as far as she could, one of the girls got this picture. I am seriously telling Alisha I am never, ever, ever running a full marathon again. Like, I may never run again at all. HAHA. She just told me to run.

We kinda look like rock stars here.

Dallas mile 26

It rained off and on the last 5-6 miles. Then it poured. I retrieved my medal and gear check bag in the pouring rain. Now I’m getting cold. Thankfully the Dallas convention center has covered roads all around it. Everyone was hiding under there. I called John and he was able to find me pretty quick. I changed clothes in the car. Something I never thought I’d do, but I was cold and wet. We got lunch and headed home. I did get a 9 minute PR, I’ll take it.

We got our 2013 medals after completing the 2014 race.

Dallas marathon medals

Marathons are no joke. You don’t go into them lightly. Most people can’t just get out and run 26.2 miles without months of training. It’s a hard race, even if your only goal is to cross the finish line standing up. I don’t walk away from a full marathon feeling good. I feel defeated. It’s weird, I wish I could explain it.

This is a good race, it’s not as flat as I’ve been led to believe. Chances are I’d run the half again. Not sure about the full.

Happy running!

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Marathon Monday: training update

Well, it’s 8 days post-marathon #2. I’m feeling good except when I try to make my legs run. It feels like I’m wearing ankle weights. I managed to get 17 miles in last week but worked hard for every mile. I have marathon #3 coming up in New Orleans January 25 and I need to decide if I can get recovered and ready for it. I’m going to go with the “less is more” approach.

marathon training

Training last week:

Monday: Rest day, went and sat in the sauna and hot tub at the gym.

Tuesday Rest day

Wednesday: 3 miles

Thursday: 4 miles

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 10 miles

Sunday: Rest day

10 miles

I’m going to the gym tomorrow instead of track and will try running again Wednesday morning for our annual Christmas Eve run.

I signed Ally and I up for the Hot Chocolate 15k in February. It’ll be her first 15k so I have to get her trained while training for New Orleans. She will start track season in February as well.

My Influenster #FrostyVoxBox came in this weekend. It’s packed with lots of goodies, I can’t wait to try them out!

Frosty Vox Box

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy this week!

Happy running,

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

2014: My year in racing {link-up}

Thanks to Montana over at Pretty Lil Mudder for hosting this link up!

  2014- My year in racing

Here is my run down of racing this year!

  • Most Scenic Course: Dallas Marathon, this course went all over Dallas. There was always something to see. Lots of pretty houses, Greenville Avenue, White Rock Lake, Highland Park Fire Station had a flag flying over the street, it was amazing to see! I’ll get the re-cap up soon.
  • Best Expo: Dallas Marathon. Lots of exhibitors, lots of freebies plus I found a great pair of Sunglasses and snagged a FlipBelt.

Dallas expo

  • Best Post-Race Food & Beverages: Cowtown. They had the usual but also had soup and ice cream.
  • Best Swag: Cowtown. I got 3 shirts and 2 medals for 2 days of running.
  • Most Unique Medal: Cowtown. It’s a 3 year series, all buckles.
  • Favorite Race Shirt: DRC Half (Dallas Running Club). It’s long sleeve, tech and bright pink.
  • Favorite Overall Race: I guess DRC Half. As far as races go, they were all well run, good courses, but DRC now holds my PR. It was during a rough time and I needed that race and needed to know that I could do it.
  • Best Course Support (aid stations, volunteers, people cheering you on, etc): Dallas Marathon
  • Race You Are Most Proud of Yourself for Completing: Patriot Half, I fought real hard to just finish this one. Set out to make this my first 1:50 half but it became about finishing on my feet. That was a rough day. You can find the recap here.
I had a lot of races this year, lots of goals. Some of them a little lofty (ie. marathon goal). It’s ok to have lofty goals, but I also needed a realistic goal. I accomplished a lot this year, had some set backs, but am pushing through.

New Orleans Rock N Roll is January 26, 2015. It will be my first race of 2015. Other than that I don’t have much I’m registered for. I need to make some decisions about what to run next year.

Be sure and check out the other bloggers list, you might find your next race!

Jeanette: Fit In Louisville (http://www.fitinlouisville.blogspot.com)
Amy: Running Escapades (http://runningescapades.com)
Melanie: Runner Girl in a Rocking World (http://runnergirlinarockingworld.com)
Erika: MCMMamaRuns (http://mcmmamaruns.com)
Krystal: The Runner Within (http://therunnerwithin.com)
Tamsyn: Fat Girl to Ironman (http://fatgirltoironman.co.uk)
Erin: Love for Running (http://loveforrunning.com)
Sammy: Peace Love & Ice Cream (http://peaceandloveandicecream.com)
Kelly: Miles to Go (http://miles-to-go.org)
Sue: This Mama Runs for Cupcakes (http://thismamarunsforcupcakes.com)
Lara: Uptite Mamas (http://uptitemamas.com)
Kristin: Kristin’s 5k (http://www.kristins5k.blogspot.com)
Montana: Pretty Lil Mudder (http://prettylilmudder.com)

You can link up your racing recap for the year until Sunday!

 

Happy running!

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Marathon Monday: training update

SIX MORE DAYS!! And there’s no ice in the forecast, so I’m getting excited!

marathon training

Sunday: Gym day, elliptical, abs, upper body weights, sauna

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 5 miles

Wednesday: Gym day, legs, abs, sauna and elliptical

Thursday: 5 miles, all hills, uphill both ways. :)

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 4 miles

Saturday was supposed to be 9 miles, but I got 2 miles in and my foot had been hurting with every step. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk so I turned around. It seems fine today, going to try running tomorrow. I wore shoes on Friday with no support or cushion at all, so I’m hoping that’s the culprit. It’s happened before.

This week is all about eating good, drinking lots of water and resting. I’ll get some miles in, but nothing crazy.

The group I run with had our Christmas party last night, it was so fun. We exchange gifts, I got a new water bottle and some gels and chews. We had so much food, you can tell we are runners. It also looks like we haven’t eaten in a month.  Every counter space in my kitchen was covered in food.

Food

This is my friend Summer, she blogs at Cut the Grain.

Me and Summer

Ally rode in the Christmas parade this weekend on the 4-H float. I didn’t get any Christmas shopping done this weekend, we had 3 parties to go to. This was a whirlwind weekend. Next weekend I have nothing to do but run 26.2 miles!

In case you missed it last week, I updated my marathon playlist!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Are you done shopping?

Any races left for the month?

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Marathon playlist

With the Dallas Marathon 10 days away, it’s time to update the playlist and get my iPod ready to go!

Marathon playlist

I have lots of different music and this is just a sampling of some of my current favorites. Some are new and some are just “new to me”.  I don’t normally listen to music when I run, unless I’m alone. But I always have it when I race, since I usually don’t have a race partner. Mostly with just one ear bud in. But I have a feeling about mile 22 I’ll have both in, blasted as loud as I can stand it.

Playlist

Do you have any suggestions?

What’s in your playlist?

Do you even listen to music when you race?

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Marathon Monday: training update + Nuun review

The Dallas Marathon is in 2 weeks! It’s taper time! I cannot believe it is already here. It’s been a rough training season, but I think I am finally ready.

marathon training

Training last week:

Monday: Light gym workout, stretching, abs, 10 minutes on the elliptical and sauna

Tuesday: Track workout, 8×300 with 200 recovery, 2 mile warm up, 2 mile cool down

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 15 miles

Friday: Shopping (this would be cross training!)

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: Gym day, elliptical, abs, upper body weights and sauna

I’ve been using Nuun to hydrate for a few years now. I’ve used it exclusively this training season to see if it that alone will keep my dehydration headaches away. Between water and Nuun tabs it’s been a pretty good season.  Nuun sent me these 3 flavors to start with and I’ve already gone through them and purchased more.

I received free product to try. I was asked to write a review. All opinions are my own. 

Nuun tabs

I really like the Lemonade and the Lemon Lime. I do mix up my Nuun the night before, it helps get the fizzies out and gets it good and cold for the next morning. I suggest leaving the top open though. The tab has sugar-free electrolytes that dissolve in water. The tube makes it easy to throw in a gym bag. You can also break them in half for smaller bottles. I will throw a few in a baggy to carry on race day.

Nuun hydration

I grabbed this Nuun energy recently but haven’t tried it yet. I’ll get on that so I can let you know if I like it too!

Nuun Energy

Nuun Hydration has a Cyber Monday sale with 30% today! There’s free shipping and $20 four-packs. Grab a friend or 3 and share a pack to get started.

On Thanksgiving morning my group ran their long run so we wouldn’t have to over the weekend. We all definitely earned our turkey that day! I also earned a shirt and medal for a virtual Turkey Trot with through our running club. Last years shirt is one of my favorite long sleeve t-shirts.

Turkey trot

I did a little Black Friday shopping again this year. It’s a shop til ya drop day for me and my friend Alisha. I snagged an early present for my family, the Nutri Bullet. I love it!

NutriBullet

And my new MRTT tank and car magnet came in, so exciting!

MRTT shirt

Did you race this weekend?

Any big races coming up?

Happy running!

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Marathon Monday: training update

I know you all haven’t heard much from me lately. My family has had some heartache these last 2 months and I just haven’t been blogging. I have been running, with the exception of one week off. I’m still training for my upcoming races, but I’m unsure about setting goals for them just yet. Part of me is just plain scared to.

Here’s what you may have missed:

It is just under 3 weeks until the Dallas Marathon, that’s #2 of 3 coming up quick!

marathon training

Training last week:

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Track, 2 mile warm up, 6×400 (1:47-1:53) with 400 recovery,1 mile cool down

Wednesday: Gym day, light weights, elliptical, stretching and sauna

Thursday: 8 miles, 8:53 pace

Friday: 5 miles, 10:06 pace

Saturday: 20 miles, 9:38 pace

Sunday: Rest and recover!

Saturday’s 20 miler was tough. I started out feeling great and then about mile 17 I was done. My legs were so mad at me. I know marathon training is about training your legs to run when they are tired, but I think the 3 days in a row caught up to me. By Saturday night everything hurt, but miraculously Sunday I was pretty much back to normal.

I’ve been using Nuun Hydration before and during my run and also started using Advocare Rehydrate Gels. I do not like the consistency or taste of Gu or the other products out there. I’m really liking the Advocare version, it’s just the packaging is a little big.

20 miles is no easy feat. I enjoyed breakfast afterward with my training partner and friend. We might have had a mimosa as well.

mimosa

For the life of me I cannot figure out why we didn’t remember to take a picture at the lake. It was so pretty that morning.

me and alisha after 20

It was Alish’a longest distance so naturally I had to try something new that day as well, guacamole. Yep, I’m the weird one that doesn’t eat avocados or guacamole. It wasn’t too bad, the salt covered chips probably helped too. I might be convinced to try it again.

We are finally settling into the new house, got a few more things done this weekend. There is still a lot to do and now it’s almost time to get the Christmas stuff out! I do not decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over, usually sometime that Friday after, then it gets put back up usually by New Year’s Eve.

Do you eat guacamole?

When do you decorate for Christmas?

Happy running!

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1