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.




NJ Marathon Training Week 16 Recap {Taper Week 1}

Now that I’m tapering (thank god), I’m starting to stray away from the plan I’ve been using since December 22 and I’m throwing that whole grading system thing out the window. If I didn’t my report card would probably look worse than any I ever bought home in high school. I was not a good student in high school.

Monday, April 6: Rest Day. With the second 20 miler behind me, I took this day off completely.

Tuesday, April 7: 5 miles. This run was unbelievably awkward to start, but once I got past the first mile it was fantastic, even if it was a little rainy.


I got a chance to start really breaking in my new Hoka Clifton and ended up with some great splits. I LOVE these shoes.

Wednesday, April 8: 4 miles on the treadmill @ 8:10. This was supposed to be the final pace run of this cycle, but I don’t have an intended pace anymore so I just did whatever I wanted. I felt good after this was over, but got really sore later on in the day. Yoga that night helped a little bit, but not much. There were elderly women in the room that were far more flexible than I was. (Not that you are supposed to compare yourself to others in yoga class, but I couldn’t help but notice it.)

Thursday, April 9: Super easy 5. (9:25 pace) Not the worst feeling run ever, but I was just tired and ready for a rest day.

Friday, April 10:


Saturday, April 11: This was supposed to be a 12 mile long run, but the inactivity from the previous day left me feeling more beat up than when I started. I opted instead for 50 minutes on the Arc trainer at the gym and then an hour of yoga. That day I took Betty downtown to play tourist for the day because the weather was so beautiful and we did a TON of walking.


I was pretty sore by the end of the day. Luckily I have the sweetest child on the planet who with absolutely zero prompting grabbed my massage stick and rolled out my back.


Sunday, April 12: At first I thought I might try to switch my 12 to Sunday, but after another sore night I decided I was not going to push it. I went to the gym and did 4 on the treadmill, then called it a day. We ended up going down to the Orioles game and I did a TON more walking so I definitely earned my beer at the ballpark!


Okay it was beers plural.


I got my confirmation for my hotel on Friday. It’s getting real up in here.

The big news for this week is that I ordered an inversion table which should be to me hopefully sooner than later. I can’t wait to spend lots of time upside down. Other than that my plan is to run if I can, but if I can’t then I’ll be on the elliptical to keep some of the stress off my back. Also continuing with yoga and doing some exercises/planks to re-strengthen my core because over the past couple weeks I’ve been feeling weak in that area.

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Special shout outs to all of you who ran at Cherry Blossom and to Sue because OMG PARIS MARATHON!!! And good luck to all of those who are in the taper home stretch for races this weekend. I can’t believe Boston is in a week. I’ve got so many people to root for!



It’s all GOOD! {The Friday Five}

I want to give Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia a big ol’ group hug today because I needed this topic. Over the past couple weeks I’ve been so focused on the negative and I’m sure I haven’t been a very fun person to be around. My spring goal race that I’ve been training for since December is now 24 days away, it is my peak week, and I have run exactly one mile this week. ONE. I’m supposed to run 20 miles on Sunday and I bet you can all guess what is absolutely not happening.

Anyway this is not supposed to be a pity party. Today I’m going to attempt to focus on the things in my life that are GOOD right now even if I have to dig really deep to find five.


1) Aerial Yoga

AKA the brightest decision I made all week.

A quick summary on what the past couple weeks have looked like for me: strep throat (antibiotics), rotator cuff flare up, infected tooth (more antibiotics), and then it was like my body completely revolted against me. My lower back, hips, and glutes have been in excruciating pain for some reason unknown to me or the yet-another-in-a-long-list-of-doctors that I visited. This would be why I’m not running right now. Until yesterday I could barely walk. I’ve been trying to put on a happy face and act upbeat about life in general, but frankly it totally sucks.

So then I decided to sign up for aerial yoga. I’ve been doing it on and off for years, but had forgotten about it for awhile until Chaitali started posting that she was taking classes (thanks for the motivation, lady!) Every time I go to aerial I leave feeling a little taller. Maybe that’s what I needed right now; to stretch everything out because my whole body just felt stiff and tight.

It was a small group and the teacher knew that I was there with back problems so I felt like a lot of it was geared directly toward me. It was marvelous. And then during the portion of class where we are encouraged to explore our own aerial yoga I did nothing but hang myself upside down in bound angle for about 10 minutes straight.

Source: Swide.com. I unfortunately don't have a photo of me doing this one.

Source: Swide.com. I unfortunately don’t have a photo of me doing this one.

I could literally feel my lower spine opening back up. After class I hurt, but then I drank a ton of water and by the time I was getting ready for bed I was feeling noticeably better. Now I can actually walk. It still hurts, but it’s progress.

2) Half Days of Work

YAY it’s GOOD FRIDAY!!! This means that I get to leave at 11:45. What in the world am I going to do with my several hours of free time this afternoon? Usually this would be a no-brainer; it’s going to be 70 degrees outside. But I’m still afraid to attempt running so we’ll see I guess. Maybe a nice long walk. Maybe I’ll get a Starbucks or go buy more unnecessary things at Target. The possibilities are endless. All I know is that I won’t be sitting in an office chair, which has been complete hell on my back.

3) These Greek Yogurt pops


I made sure to take a picture of the box before devouring all of them. (Not in one day.) These are SO GOOD. They are also very natural, gluten-free, low in calories and fat and with a nice dose of protein. My grocery store had this flavor and also a vanilla bean (yum), coffee chocolate chip (yum), and coconut (gag), but apparently there is also a chocolate chip cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, and some others that I need to track down and try. Next time I need to get more than one box because I couldn’t take one out without Betty eating half of it.

4) The Haute Bar


Pure genius. The Haute Bar is a blow dry bar located not too far from my house. What is a “blow dry bar”? you may be wondering. Or not, but I’ll tell you anyway…

This is a place where people like me go because they are hopelessly hairstyle-challenged. (I’m not quite as makeup-challenged, but they do that too.) I typically spend no more than 5-10 minutes on my hair every day because it’s long, straight, boring, and there’s really not much that can be done with it besides making sure it’s not wet when I leave the house and then putting it in a ponytail.

Anyway you go in to Haute Bar and for a very reasonable fee, a skilled stylist will transform your head into magic. I heard about it from an old coworker and was immediately obsessed even though I had no occasions coming up that would warrant me spending money for someone to do my hair.

Well last weekend I had a wedding to attend and my head has been looking like a “hot mess” lately as Betty would say. (Seriously. She tells me this.) I made my appointment for a dry style which was $25 and worth every penny and then some. I got compliments on my hair when I posted some photos on Instagram which some of you may have seen. So that’s my secret. I didn’t do my hair myself and THAT is why it looked so cute.


Betty did not get her hair styled and just look at how naturally cute her hair is. Which brings me to…

5) Betty

You knew she had to be on this list because no list of good things would be complete without her. She’s the reason I haven’t come completely unhinged lately. Both because she’s wonderful and I can’t not smile when I’m around her, but also because I’m her mom and I consider it my duty to stay sane and take care of her.


That doll she is holding is another “good” thing. Ella the Runner is a Go Go Sports Girls doll and currently one of B’s favorites. I’ve been pretty excited about these dolls ever since they popped up on Zelle the other week…they promote a positive, healthy, active lifestyle to youngsters and we need more toys like that out there! She’s so cute that I kind of want to get a second one for me. 🙂

Thanks again to our lovely hostesses for bringing a little happy back in my morning. More than anything in the world, I really don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me right now.  I have already gotten some very long runs in in preparation for this race and maybe that will be enough for me to at least finish it. I’m trying not to get too defeated yet.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.