Tag: marathon training

How Weight Loss Is Like Marathon Training

I’ve been thinking about running Space Coast Marathon quite a bit lately, about all the hard work I put into it and what an accomplishment it was for me. From to deciding to do it, train for it, remain injury-free throughout, and cross that finish line on race day…. It was and still is such a huge deal for me. Almost three years later and I still am so proud of myself for running endless training miles and finishing those 26.2 miles. And then last night that I realized how similar training for a marathon and weight loss really are…


weight loss like marathon


You have to really want to do it. 

No one is going to sign up for marathon if they don’t want to really do it. You have to be in the right headspace and mindset to not only commit to running a marathon, but to train for it week after week. 
You have to train for it.
Running a marathon means weeks and weeks of training, following a plan, making changes along the way as needed, keeping track of your miles, and more. Weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle is very similar. To be successful, you have to plan ahead for your meals, make adjustments along the way, keep track of what you’re eating, and more. There are workouts to plan, rest days, cardio and strength training, and more. All just like a marathon.
You have to have the right gear.
When I trained for my marathon, I had two pairs of running shoes. One for long runs and one for short runs. I also had favorite running shorts, sports bras, and tank tops. I had my running watch for tracking my time and miles. Having the right gear was essential to keeping me comfortable and being successful. Weight loss is the same way. Without the proper tools, you are cutting yourself short. Meal prep containers, favorite healthy snacks on hand at all times, water, My Fitness Pal app to track my meals, lunch bag that lets me carry several meals and snacks if needed, a gym membership, a trainer who motivates me, and more. Now, not everyone needs all of these things. I know what I need to be successful, others may not need the same. But in committing to a healthy lifestyle, the better prepared you are and the more support you have, the more it pushes you to keep going. 
There will be bad days.
Not every run is fun or even good. Stellar runs that make you want to jump for joy at the end can be hit and miss. It feels like sometimes all the stars have to be aligned for that to happen. Just like in weight loss… You will have bad days. You will wake up one morning, ready to tackle the day, stick to your calories dead on, and knock your bootcamp out of the park. The next day you may wake up and want to eat the entire kitchen and not get off the couch. WE ARE ALL HUMAN. It’s okay to have a bad day. Just remember that the next day is your chance to start again and give it your best.
A partner makes it better.
While I am not opposed to running alone, I like it much better when I am running with someone. When I trained for my marathon, only about 10% of it was solo. The rest was spent with hubby running or riding his bike by my side, or running with Corinna as she would eventually decide to run the marathon with me. We had a common goal in mind and it made the miles fly by. Weight loss is the same way. It’s much easier to do it with someone. I am very lucky that hubby and I decided to make a lifestyle change together. While I calorie intake and weight loss goals are different, we still keep each other accountable and support each other every step of the way. Doing it alone would be hard and boring. 
You realize how strong you are.
When I started training for my marathon, I knew I had 18 weeks of running 4 days a week ahead of me. My friend Beth gave me great advice and I am so glad I listened. Just take it a week at a time. Don’t focus on that 20-mile run you will have in Week 16, just focus on each week. It helped so much to think of that. Week by week, mileage was added on, and I realized that I am stronger that I thought I was. I could put in more miles than I imagined I could. When it came time to run our 20-mile training run, we were ready for it. It was just 4 miles longer than the previous long run. Looking at it that way was a lifesaver for my non-stop brain that always finds something to stress over. Weight loss is the same way. No matter what your end goal is, just take it a week at a time. Celebrate each victory along the way and you’ll realize that you can do what you may have thought was impossible. 
It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Everyone wants quick results. But in weight loss, it’s just not possible. I want to lose weight and keep it off. I don’t want it to find me again. While I can’t wait to get to my goal weight, I am doing it smart, taking my time, and focusing on small goals. I will get to my end goal eventually, but it won’t happen quickly. I didn’t set out to run my marathon crazy fast, my goal was to get through it and finish. I set three time goals as training went on. First goal was to finish, second goal was to finish under six and half hours, and the third goal was to finish under six hours. My end time was 5:58:06 and I was ecstatic. With my weight loss, I another short-term goal set for summer and a big goal set for the end of the year. 
I am still excited about our weight loss journey, the strength we’ve found in the gym, and what is still out there to learn. We have goals we are working towards. Training and running a marathon was a life lesson, a very personal one. Weight loss is the same…. I know I’ll cross this finish line as well because I know how determined I am. 

Saying goodbye to 2014…

I am a total sucker for year end posts. Celebrating the good times from the year as it comes to an end, reflecting on the times that maybe were not the best but made me grow a little more, and looking forward to the new year ahead.

I really thought 2013 was the year of running, but 2014 really was. I set PR’s and tackled the very scary goal of training for and running a full marathon – something I never thought I would do.

Best Damn Race Safety Harbor 2014 (PR!!!!!!)

Best Damn Race Orlando 2014 (And another PR!!)

Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay 2014

Friends, lights, and more at Electrodash 5K

Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014

A Father’s Day 5K

Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure

Space Coast Marathon

Santa, an Elf, and the Best Damn Race


I earned a whole display full of awesome medals for the year….





There was also non-race related fun this year….

The one where I talked to Jessica Simpson about Weight Watchers

Happy 3 years! It’s my blogaversary!

Family time…

Vegas Vacation!

I Run 4 Daisy

Dance, dance, dance!

A Visit with Winter & Hope at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Dolphin Tale 2





I also faced the hard fact of gaining weigh while marathon training. My weight loss definitely took a back seat when I started training. It is very common to gain weight while training and I did just that.

Weight and Marathon Training


I had to face my depression head on….

Weight Watchers Update – June


And I got to review a some pretty cool products….

Apera Bags

WIN Detergent

Mizuno Wave Rider 18


While 2014 was a good year in many ways, it was also a hard year and I am ready to start a new year with a new personal focus and new goals which I will share soon. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy this last day of 2014 and have a fun date night with hubby.





Thank you for following me for another year! Have a safe and Happy New Year!


What is one of your favorite memories from 2014?

{Race Recap} Space Coast Marathon

I can’t believe I am writing this race recap. Ever since the minute I registered for Space Coast Marathon back in February, I knew that writing this recap would be both amazing and surreal. Needless to say, this is going to be a long post. It’s taken me three days to write! Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and make yourself comfortable!

Hubby, my mom, and I drove to Cocoa on Saturday morning the day before the race and arrived at the Expo just after lunch. First on the agenda was to get my bib and shirt. I also picked up my friend Corinna’s bib. There were a lot of people there and the layout of the line for bibs / shirts seemed very haphazard and probably could have been laid out better. But honestly, I was so excited to be there, I just went with the flow and within about 20 minutes, I had both in hand. After that, I bought a Space Coast Marathon Christmas ornament, a 26.2 car magnet, and a 26.2 shoe charm. I was determined to share my 26.2 mile accomplishment with the world!




IMG_2242     IMG_2245



After the Expo, we headed to our hotel to check-in and relax before dinner. I chose one of the host hotels so we could utilize the shuttle to the race the morning of, so our hotel was not terribly far from the race. We napped for a bit and then headed out to dinner with Caitlyn who drove in to cheer us on at the race. It was also her birthday so we had another reason to celebrate! (I’m going to leave out the part where I took us to the wrong restaurant because my Facebook Messenger was acting up, so we ended up being late when really we would have been early.)

After dinner, Corinna gave me the sweetest gift. I had given her a card, thanking her for training with me and how excited I was to run the marathon with her by my side. It was a wonderful turn of events that allowed her to run the race after it sold out, so I was happy that she was there. Her gift to me was a beautiful bracelet with 26.2 engraved on it, along with a wonderful card. It was so sweet and thoughtful… I will never forget it. I have worn it every day since…




I finally crawled into bed around 9:30 after getting everything ready for the next morning, including setting three alarms. I had to be up at 3:00am to have time to eat breakfast and get ready without being rushed so that we could make the 4am shuttle bus. I actually slept pretty well and woke up excited when the alarm went off. I was thankful that hubby and my mom got up at the crack of dawn with me to ride over. Corinna and her kids met us at our hotel just before 4am so they could take the same shuttle. Riding all together was great. We had a good two hours before the race would start, but I was happy to be there and not be stressed by being late or not knowing where to go or where to park. Oddly enough, running a race never makes me nervous – it’s all the logistics leading up to it that make me nervous.

I was also excited to sport my I Run 4 Daisy tattoo I ordered on Etsy awhile back. Daisy is a sweet little girl in the UK that I run miles and miles for. I knew that thoughts of her would keep me company on this run!




It was definitely a chilly morning – both Corinna and I wore jackets to keep warm while waiting for the race to start. I also knew that I would warm up quickly once I started running.





The half marathon started at 6am and then we lined up at the start line. This was probably the craziest start line I had ever been in. It was a few blocks away from the race village and it was like herding cattle to get us all there. There weren’t true corrals, but you could get a general idea of where you should be by the pace signs. We lined up somewhere around the 10:30 pace sign – not because we were feeling that fast, but because it seemed like a good place to stand in the sea of people.




Sticking with the space theme, they had a countdown to the start (lift-off!) and had a large screen with video of a shuttle launch on it. It took several minutes for the crowd to start moving where we were, but before we knew it we were off. The sun had just started to come up and I knew we were in for a pretty day ahead. About two miles in, I had to stop and take a photo of the beautiful sunrise coming up over the water. I felt like we were back in Clearwater Beach on a training run!




All through our training, on our long runs, Corinna and I would run the first mile before taking a walk break. After that we would take them on the mile marks or as needed. I told her that we were just going to take this one mile at a time and just like our training, we weren’t out to break any records. The splits for the marathon were at the 10K, half, and mile 20. Amazingly, we ended up holding a really great pace the first half and our estimated finish time was 5:35. I liked these updates coming in on my phone, so I knew how we were doing overall. Even though my main goal was just to finish, I still had that under 6 hour goal over and over again as we ran.




Since the course took us back past by the start line, we saw hubby, my mom, and Corinna’s kids at the half mark. It was nice to see them there watching for us and we were both able to get more fuel from them as we planned.





As we headed south after the half mark, we saw Caitlyn and Genna cheering. It is so nice to have people cheering for you. Even strangers who don’t know you, if they see a name on your bib and cheer for you as you run by, it’s such a pick-me-up.




We were still taking it a mile at a time, but around mile 16, we slowed down. We were starting to feel it and the sun was hot. By this point, we had both stopped a few times for potty breaks, and would stop a few more times before it was over. I think we both stayed very well hydrated along the way. I was so impressed at the number of hydration stations for this event – just about every mile. We refilled our water bottles when we needed to and both drank Gatorade a couple times. As for fuel, I had my Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews and pretzels. Corinna had Gu Chomps. We fueled just about every 5-6 miles, just like we did for our long training runs.



Once we passed mile 20, we knew that it was very likely we could finish under 6 hours. The mile markers were off compared to my Garmin, but, even with that discrepancy, we knew it would be close.

In my promise to keep it real, this is where it got hard. Really hard. When they say the race starts after 20 miles, it’s no joke. We were lucky to have a good 20 mile training run, one that really boosted our confidence and showed that we could absolutely tackle 26.2 miles. But a couple factors were different…. It was later in the day than we would normally be running and it was very warm with the sun high in the sky. Among our normal conversation talking about anything and everything, Corinna and I would ask each other how we felt, if we were okay. We walked when we needed to and ran when we could. We walked much more the last several miles but there is no shame in that.



There were spectators just about the whole way, but certain areas had more. Many homeowners had tables set up with snacks and beverages. One house even had pancakes and bacon! I would have loved to partake in that, but I felt like I needed to stick with my chews and pretzels and not take a chance of having an upset stomach.

When we hit mile 25, there were more even spectators along the route. With just a mile to go before we would turn an enter the finish line chute, we agreed that we were going to run it in, no matter what. And we did just that.




Just as we turned, our friend Caitlyn was standing there cheering us on. I learned later on that she texted hubby to let him know she saw us. We ran through the chute, hundreds of people clapping and cheering for all the runners. It was so surreal. I’m pretty sure I had goosebumps from there on out and I got pretty emotional. Going around the last little bend, we saw hubby and Corinna’s kids hollering and cheering for us. Just past them was my mom with her phone ready to record us crossing the finish line. She loves to do that at the races she goes to. Can we say proud mom? I love it!

And then we were done. Crossing that finish line felt amazing. It was every bit as emotional and exciting as I imagined it to be. I was crying, tears of happiness and overwhelming accomplishment. I felt so proud in that moment, knowing that I set a big huge scary goal, trained for it, stayed injury-free, and ran the race giving it my all. I love that I crossed the finish line with Corinna, who has become such a dear friend in the midst of our all our running and crazy marathon training. And best of all… Our finish time was 5:58:06. Goal met.



IMG_2311         IMG_2573


I really don’t feel like I could have given it anymore out there. I don’t have any regrets on how I ran it. It was an amazing first full marathon experience, one that I will never forget. Yes it hurt. Yet the last 6 miles were really hard. But I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I did it. I am a marathoner! I am included in the less than 1% of the U.S. population who has run a marathon. So much of this is incredible to me. Especially since there was a time that I swore I wanted nothing to do with a marathon. NOTHING. I am glad I listened to that little voice in my head when it started nudging me to run one. I am glad I registered for it and didn’t change my mind. I’m glad that I trained for it, and even though life got in the way the last few weeks, I still got every single long run in. I am glad that I never gave up on myself.




I am also very thankful that two of the most important people to me were there with me for that weekend, to support me. Hubby trained much of those 18 weeks with me, keeping me company in the dark and making sure I was safe. My mom was excited for me and proud of my determination to get it done. It meant so very much for them to see me cross that finish line and share in my excitement. It was a day I will never forget. The moment I crossed the finish line, I was forever changed.




IMG_2565      IMG_2564




So…. The biggest question I’ve had since running Space Coast is, will I do another full marathon? The answer to that is…. No. Corinna and I joked about this quite a bit and our motto is “one and done”. That distance is no joke. And the training for a marathon is intense and time consuming. It literally took over my life for 18 weeks. And while I am so glad I did it, it’s not something I could easily do again. I will be happy sticking to half marathons, my favorite race distance, and shorter races. I would also love to get my 5K time under 30 minutes. That will be my next goal.

In addition to that, I have to get my eating back on track. Another side effect of marathon training is weight gain. I take full responsibility for it but now, it’s time to realize that my eating habits need to change since I am no longer training for those 26.2 miles.




I am so thankful to everyone who supported me and cheered me on during my training and on race day. You have no idea how much of a difference it makes. So, thank you to everyone!


I am a marathoner.

Forever changed.

Pre-Marathon Thoughts…

Somehow, 18 weeks of training has come and gone. I completed 90% of the training plan but life got in the way the last several weeks. However, I didn’t miss a single long run knowing those were the most important.




As I am just days away from running Space Coast Marathon, I have so many thoughts running through my head and I thought now is as good a time as any to share them since this is an experience I want to remember for years and years to come.



  •  Training for a marathon is hard and a real commitment. While I knew going into it that I was dedicating 18 weeks of my life to the training, I didn’t really know to what extent that meant. Very early bedtimes, getting up at obscene hours of the morning,  fueling for energy not just to eat, gaining weight, and sometimes running when maybe I didn’t want to.


Challenge excepted! Oct. 13, 1st full marathon.




  • Through this commitment, however, I learned more about myself. By tackling a goal as scary as running a marathon, I was making the decision to not let that fear stop me. Yes, I was afraid of those long runs once I got over the half-marathon mileage, but I took it a week at a time and looked at each new mileage as a milestone.


Can't wait to complete my first Marathon in a little less than 2 weeks! :)




  • Having a support system during marathon training is so important. Hubby ran so many miles with me throughout my training, keeping me company on so many dark and early mornings so I wouldn’t be alone. On the long runs, he would either run or ride his bike and carry extra water and fuel for us. My friend Corinna also ran right along side me on the long runs. Caitlyn and Angelina also joined us for some of the long runs. Along with a handful of other running friends who cheered me along during my training. And my mom, who loves to tell everyone that I am running a marathon… I am so lucky to have had such support during all of my training.



Online run club: weekly email tips/motivation/workouts + a private facebook group for support. Perfect if you've been wanting to train for a race but need a little motivation! #running #fitness #fitspo




  • I was lucky to not have any injuries during training. This was high on my list of priorities. I never ran for time on any of my runs, I ran only for endurance. And in doing so, my times were exactly where I was comfortable with them being. As the mileage crept up to 17, 18, 19, and then 2o miles, I knew that that endurance would get me through it. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.Believe You Can Run a Marathon! Print



  • I never lost site of my love of running while training. I think this was mostly due to the support I had and just knowing that I was working towards a goal that scared me. After tackling the 19 and 20 mile long runs, I can say without a doubt that I am no longer afraid of running the marathon. I know that I can do it.


My friends inspiring me to run has not only been good for my health, but has also helped me work on developing my inner strength....




  • When I signed up for this marathon, I did it with one goal in mind and that is to finish. There is a 7 hour time limit and one way or another, I know I will cross that finish line within that time frame. I will admit, though, that through my training, I have set a few time goals based on what I’ve done so far. And as suggested by my friend Beth, I am going to walk up to that start line with 3 goals in mind. The first, to finish. The second, to finish under 6 1/2 hours. And the third, to finish in under 6 hours.


At a marathon, even as you get in line at the start, you're already a winner, as you would have done what most had failed to do. You showed up.




I am so excited about this weekend…. The expo, the excitement I’ll feel the night before, lining up at the start line, and running those 26.2 miles with all my heart. I am sure that I will be a blubbering mess when I cross that finish line with hubby and my mom there to see me. No matter what my finishing time is, I will walk away a marathoner. And that, ultimately, is my goal.


Marathon, then try an ULTRA!  50k, 50 miles, Double marathon!!!!  JUST RUN!

Week 10 Marathon Training

Holy miles, Batman. It’s getting up there. I am on a runners’ high after this morning’s long run, so let’s get right to all the fun details of the week!


my week in marathon training graphic




Week 10

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 4.15 miles

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 8.00 miles

Friday – 4.08 miles

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – 17.35 miles

Total for Week 10:   33.58 miles


I took Monday as a rest day again and ran Tuesday instead. This finished off September and I tallied up my miles for the month…




I missed PiYo class on Wednesday, hopefully this week I get back to it. Wednesday’s run, I moved to Thursday because it was raining. We had 8 miles to do instead of 7 so we changed up our route just a little bit. I also found $6 laying on the ground while running – BONUS! Friday, I ran a solo 4 miles a little later in the morning. All 3 weekday runs were good and I ended the week feeling good about going into a new long run distance of 17 miles.

I planned out a 17 mile route and guesstimated it to take about 4 hours, maybe a little less. Amazingly, I had not nerves or jitters going into this run, I was just excited to get out there and do it. Especially since we had our first cold front come through yesterday and I knew it would be cool for this run. I was in bed by 8:45 but didn’t fall asleep until around 10. Before I knew it, the alarm was going off at 3:30am. Good grief that is early but I was ready to go. I ate pumpkin bread for breakfast, packed water and fuel, and headed to the Memorial Causeway for our 4:30am start. I planted my cooler of water in our usual spot, but we ended up not really needing it.

After feeling fantastic on our 15 mile run, I wondered how this one would feel. Maybe that 15 miles was a fluke and this one would stink. Not every run can be great, right? But, we lucked out again. It was a very cool 59 degrees when we started and no humidity. There was crazy wind but it didn’t stop us.

Corinna and I had a great run. Before we knew it, we were 2 hours into it and headed back over the Sand Key Bridge. We stopped when we passed back by the main section of Clearwater Beach to take a few photos and then kept heading north. We ran along a different street and oohed and aahed over the amazing homes before turning around and heading back again.



IMG_1368     IMG_1370





We realized just before mile 15 that we were about 3 minutes faster than when we did 15 miles two weeks ago and that was a huge confidence boost. Despite my lack of math skills, I calculated that we would be under my guesstimation of just 4-ish hours and that was a huge boost to finish on.




We even went a little over the 17 miles, finishing strong at 17.35 miles in 3:37:30. That is a 12:32 average pace…  Ah-mazing! We even had negative splits along the way!





I never thought I could run these kinds of distances. Anything over a half marathon seemed almost far-fetched. But now, I know I can do it. I KNOW I CAN. When I’m out there running, I think about what I’m doing and how amazing it is. It makes me feel incredibly strong and healthy. I am not a fast runner and yes, I take walk breaks along the way. But I have come an incredibly long way since I started running.





And now that Week 10 is done, it’s time to move on to Week 11! Mileage for Week 11 will be 5 miles, 8 miles, and 5 miles during the week, and then 18 miles next Sunday. I am doing the Race For The Cure next Saturday so I need to decide how I’m going to work my mileage in with that.


What is your favorite part of a long run? Do you enjoy the scenery along the way or do you just keep plugging along to get the miles in?