NJ Marathon Training Recap: The final stretch


That’s my bib number. I received it via email yesterday along with all the pertinent information that I’m going to need for this weekend…expo info, hotel confirmation, etc. etc. etc.

Meanwhile, I’m still riding the struggle bus.

Here’s a brief recap of my week 17 workouts:

  • Monday, April 13: Barre class. Good times.
  • Tuesday, April 14: 4 miles. Spin class and 15 minutes on the elliptical.
  • Wednesday, April 15:  An hour of yoga in the morning and then 3 miles with the MRTT crew out of Charm City Run! I felt some pain, especially when I started laughing, but it just felt so good to be running at all.


  • Thursday, April 16: 4 miles @ slow pace.
  • Friday, April 17: REST
  • Saturday, April 18: 8 miles. Spin class and 40 minutes on the Arc trainer.
  • Sunday, April 19: Okay so this was a new experience for me…I went to my first H2Run class and it was an awesome decision. H2Run is a class that targets your core, arms and legs and is held in the deep end of the pool at my gym. You wear a flotation belt and use “weights” which on land feel like flimsy pieces of foam, but when you have them in the water it’s a phenomenal workout for your arms. As resistance training it was incredible, but also marvelously low-impact for my back and I felt great when class was over.
  • Monday, April 20: I went back to Body Pump. I know that sounds kind of stupid for someone with lower back issues, but the plan was to get a good upper body workout in and go light for everything else. The class ended up being great. It had been so long since I had done things like squats and lunges and both of those things seem to have helped me return to a more normal range of motion for my back. I kind of wish I had started back sooner.
  • Tuesday, April 21: 3 miles on the treadmill. I felt so slow and out of shape. Obviously if I make it to the starting line this weekend, time will NOT be a goal.

Which brings us to today. I was supposed to do 2 miles this morning and I skipped it. I definitely could have gone out for a slow run, but I’m not trying to push it in these last few days.

I haven’t really wanted to admit it too much on here over the past couple weeks, but I have been in a mess. For awhile I was afraid that I might have slipped a disc (which I no longer think is the case). There were times that I was in so much pain that I could barely walk and forget about bending over. My core muscles felt so weak. Getting out of bed in the morning was a workout in itself.

BUT I’m feeling better. Like 100% better than I was even if my body isn’t anywhere close to 100% right now. I attribute that to cutting way back on the running and upping my cross training during my taper, stretching a lot and hanging upside down on my new inversion table. As of last week I was pretty sure that a marathon would not be happening for me this weekend. With a few days of complete rest ahead of me, I’m starting to have a glimmer of hope that I might have a new medal around my neck by the end of the weekend.

I’ve been thrown a lot of curve balls lately in every area of my life and I am so thankful for this amazing community we have. Thank you all so much for the kind words, advice and support as I have trained for this marathon. I wish the outcome had been so much different, but I’ve accepted the fact that my goal in all of this has changed. I’m ready to take on the new challenge and am looking forward to everything that lies ahead of me.




40 thoughts on “NJ Marathon Training Recap: The final stretch

  1. Sam @ The Running Graduate says:

    Good luck Salt! I hope your back cooperates so you are able to finish the race. You’ve been so strong to not give up due to this speed-bump. You can do it! But if you can’t, don’t get hurt! There will always be another marathon out there for you to run 🙂

  2. sarahdudek80 says:

    Half of training is dodging and dealing with those curve balls. Did you know that you can take up to 2 full weeks off of running without losing a lot of your endurance? So….you will probably surprise yourself. Anytime you even take a day or two off you feel “weird” and winded at first, but it is still there and you have done so much other training that you will be just fine. Fingers crossed girl and congrats on playing it smart.

  3. Sweaty Mess says:

    <> Good luck! This weekend may not go the way you originally planned, but you will finish. Run the mile you’re in. (Just don’t get yourself hurt!)

    Is there runner tracking so I can follow along?

    H2Run is awesome! I might start going back regularly on Sundays while I’m not in “training”.

  4. Chaitali says:

    Yikes, I’m sorry it’s been so bad for you 😦 It’s good to hear that the rest, cross training and inversion table are helping though. H2Run sounds awesome! I’m going to have to google that and see if we have something similar around here.

  5. klregan says:

    Oh no! I’ll be thinking about you this weekend. I really hope your back lets up a bit and your pain remains manageable. Good luck and be safe out there.

  6. Karen @ runningfifty says:

    You seem to have a great attitude about all of this despite the hurdles you’ve faced. I hope you are really happy with how the weekend plays out. Have you considered acupuncture and/or massage? I experienced a pretty intense back pain issue about a week before a half marathon and after a massage and an acupuncture session I felt immensely better and had a great run. I don’t know if this would be helpful for you but I’ve had excellent results. Good luck!!

  7. aliceruns says:

    All best of luck! I am sorry to see you struggle with the pains and at the same time I am rebuilt by your high spirit and the drive to make the best out of the situation. Warm hugs!

  8. charissarunning says:

    Dear Salt,
    I am so glad you are feeling a bit better this week. You have such a tough decision to make… :/ I’m just putting it out there but what are the possibilities of switching to the half if you’re really not feeling like your body can run the full? Anyway, if you decide on the full still, I’ll be waiting to see you finish ❤

  9. Run Colby Run says:

    Hang in there my Sweet Friend. I am rooting for you and am proud of you for getting through this, adjusting and carrying on. Run with your heart and listen to your body this weekend. I’ll be cheering Salt. And sending you healthy vibes. xoxooox 🙂

  10. Jessica @ VEGGIE RUNNING MOMMA says:

    Awe..darn sorry about your goals for this race having to change. I’ll be thinking about you and hoping you get through.!! glad you’re feeling a lot better

  11. Jess (JessRunsHappy) says:

    You’ve totally got it in you to finish this weekend. You’re a strong, smart, capable athlete – and just because your body isn’t cooperating with you doesn’t mean you’re not going to accomplish this goal for yourself! Even if you have to walk – A LOT – you can do it, I know you can. We’re rooting for you! ❤

  12. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Uggh, so sorry you have been struggling but glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better! Just take it easy and listen to your body!! That pool workout…is that at your gym??

  13. Hailey @ Striding Strong says:

    Keep doing what you’ve been doing and I think there is a very strong possibility that you will have a nice, new, and very well-deserved medal :). And no matter what, you made some huge leaps in this training cycle. You’ve had some incredible runs and you’ve really listened to your body and kept things from getting even worse, which is something I’m sure wasn’t easy when you saw the day of the marathon getting closer as each day passed. Marathon or no marathon, nothing can take those moments of you being such a strong runner, both mentally and physically. I’m proud of you! 🙂

  14. Kristin says:

    H2Run sounds quite interesting!! Cool concept!! Sounds neat! Great job on your workouts and I’m glad you’re feeling better!! I know you’ll rock your marathon!! I’m so sorry you’ve been thrown some curve ball lately… hugs to you!! You are so strong!! I know you’ll achieve whatever you set your mind to because duh, you’re Salt!! 😀 Smooch!!

  15. Sun says:

    I’m rooting for you girly! Fingers crossed you are able to make it to the start – and finish line – of the marathon this weekend. Just continue being smart this week and listen to your body. A skipped or shortened run or two won’t matter at this point. And after all, better to get to the start line feeling fresh rather than sore and overtrained.

    I think a shiny new medal will be yours 🙂

  16. Change of Pace says:

    So sorry this has happened this close to the race you’ve been training so hard for. Make sure you don’t toe that line if you think it’ll do more damage than good (easier said than done!) But, if you are able and feeling good, a marathon is amazing feat no matter the finish time!
    Good luck!!

  17. Anna @ Piper's Run says:

    It’s so hard battling injuries…trust me I know 🙂 You’ve totally rocked this training and even though you’ve had some set backs, you’ve listened to your body. I’ve been talking to a few runners lately and all we can talk about is strengthening our body’s more. I know I need to focus a little less on running all week long and more strengthening workouts – hoping to get at the Iron Strength soon!
    Good luck Salt!

  18. fitfoodiemama says:

    Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well but happy you’re feeling better now!!! I am sure you’re going to ROCK this marathon! You are a rock star already, now you just gotta show the course who’s boss!

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