NYCM Training Cycle Thoughts 1 Month Out

Something I haven’t talked about much in the last few weeks is how my actual marathon training is going both physically and mentally.  I go through the motions of writing weekly recaps but I don’t think that gives an accurate description of my mental thought process.  With so much else going on, I have lost the sense of actually talking about how much I love running and how much despite everything, I have truly enjoyed this training cycle.

Mentally for the marathon the more 20 milers I do the more confident I have felt that I can finish 26.2 miles.  In the last month I’ve gone from 20 milers scaring the pants off of me to actually feeling comfortable and having decent long runs.  I’ve also figured out what has worked for me in regards to fueling.

If you were to ask me about a month ago my thoughts for the marathon I would have told you I’m nervous and honestly I don’t know.  I was coming off of breaking my arm, no real long runs and my fuel was basically water.

After spending the last month researching and trying new things during runs I’m feeling a lot more confident.  September 3rd was a random Tuesday and I was bidding Laura and Heather farewell (after running the Rock and Roll VA Beach half).  The following day I started my move to Texas.  In one month I’ll be in New York running a marathon.  It’s hard to put that into perspective.



What have I learned in the last month?

Twenty milers no longer scare me.  For the longest time in my running career I was scared to run more then 10 miles.  I was scared to do it daily.  I was scared to hit 60, 70 then 80 mile weeks.  I learned by being smart that all of these dreams were achievable.  I didn’t go from running 30 miles weekly to 70 but slowly worked my way up to higher mileage and defined myself as a runner.  I never worked my way up to 20 milers but throughout this training cyle I have gone from 12 milers being long runs to daily mileage, 15 milers being medium runs and 20 milers being long runs but not scary.  Ask Laura about the 20 miler we did in March together.  I think I saw the light around mile 18.

If you had asked me after my first half marathon (1:41), in two years do you see yourself running a 1:24.49 and 80 mile weeks?  The answer would be of course not.  A year ago while feeling defeated with my cyst I would not have seen myself training for a marathon and dedicating the last 5 months to this cycle.

September 27, 2012 when I realized the cyst in my foot had caused the muscle to rip off my bone.
September 27, 2012 when I realized the cyst in my foot had caused the muscle to rip off my bone.

But I have learned so much in training for my first marathon.  I have learned that dreams can be achieved and you cannot sell yourself short.  When I was hit by a cyclist and initially thought my training cycle was over, I waited and realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  The few days after I will be honest and didn’t want to talk to anyone. (By the way my arm is fully healed now).  When I had a short knee issue (not injury because I didn’t let it get there) I waited and my training cycle is back on track now.

For me running is a beautiful thing.  Each run daily is different.  You could run the same route at the same time daily and you will never know how you will feel.  Throughout this training cycle if I have learned anything, it’s nothing goes according to plan and you must face it head on and not stress.

As I sit here one month out will the goal of a 3:10 marathon I realize despite everything (moving, knees, arms, stress) I have truly enjoyed this training process and it is everything I have hoped my training cycle could be. I have let go of daily stressors and not only feel like a different runner but a different person.

Now I must use the last month to narrow in and focus on small features that will help me achieve finishing my first marathon and finishing strong.  My goal has always been to finish my first marathon (which I’ve always wanted it to be NYC) strong but my goal is also to also finish in 3:10.


Will I be devastated if I don’t finish?


Will I be devastated if I don’t finish under 3:10? 

No, of course not.  Having never run a marathon it’s lofty to make a goal going into something you don’t know what to expect.  Then again, 2013 has brought me plenty of things I haven’t expected.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite race to date?

How do you let go of daily stress? 


  1. You’re going to rock the NYCM. I can’t wait to read all about it.

    My favorite race to date was probably the Nike Women’s half earlier this year. I agree it’s amazing the difference a year can make. I never thought I would be getting ready to run my first marathon after last year’s stress fracture.

    Running or yoga is how I let go of my daily stress.

  2. I think you will rock the NYCM.

    It’s good you enjoyed the training. I enjoyed my training way more than my actual marathon! I didn’t finish in the time I wanted. I feel like I’m capable of it, but everything that could have went wrong on race day, went wrong on race day. No matter how hard we train, we can’t control things like the weather, sun, course hiccups, a mysteriously dead ipod, a dying watch, etc.

    You definitely overcame a lot with this, with being hit by the cyclist, the moves, the job stuff, etc… I think mentally you have become a stronger person, that’s a lot to mentally deal with when training for a marathon and I think you can draw on that mental strength during the race.

    1. I think honestly (and having never run a marathon) it’s hard to even expect what will happen the very first race. Yes, you can make goals but in reality unless you are an elite runner or someone having already ran huge miles all the time it’s nearly impossible to make a goal other then finish.

      I thought you did well. The weather seemed like it was pretty hot during your race. I meant to ask you, what did your fueling look like for that race? I’ve pretty much decided what I’m going to do (I think) but I like to ask everyone.

      1. Oh okay! Well, I do a lot of my training runs unfueled but obviously I fueled during the race. When I ran my half marathon a few weeks ago (I ran a 1:54, it was a trail race and I didn’t go 100%, just ran it as a training run), I did not use any gels during the race but I did eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. So it wasn’t like I ran a half marathon on empty, you know?

        Marathon morning I ate my breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. I took most of a Gu at mile 7ish, then the rest of it like Mile 10 or so. I think the next one was maybe mile 14 or 15 and it was a whole Gu. I took another Gu at mile 20 and then somewhere around 22-23 I ate an orange slice at an aid station.

        I alternated between water and gatorade at the aid stations. All total it was 3 Gus.

        It was extremely hot during the last hour of my race. The marathon I ran SHOULD NOT have been held in late September in SC. The sun here is still really strong then and most all marathons happen December-February. The organizer of my marathon doesn’t know what he’s doing anyway but I think they can only get the race track during certain weekends too so that affected it.

  3. I definitely think you are going to rock this marathon. You are super dedicated and have put the time in DESPITE randomness trying to throw you off. I am so happy that you are in a good place right now and I am so excited for you to run NYC!

  4. You are going to have such a fantastic race! Mentally, look at how well you’ve handled all the challenges and craziness that life has thrown at you. You’ve overcome all of that and (to me) you are stronger mentally for it. And physically? Come on! You’re amazing, we both know it! I wish I could be in NYC to cheer you on, it’s going to be a great day.

    1. I wish so too. I cannot wait to celebrate with you sometime soon. I wish I could create concrete plans but lord knows the government shutdown (as you can imagine) has probably put another monkey wrench in our moving plans.

  5. Reading about your running journey for this marathon really makes me miss running. I finally got in 3 miles yesterday after my accident resulting in 30 stitches in my knee 5 weeks ago.
    I’m hoping to do the MCM in the next couple of years–I must redeem myself from my less than stellar debut marathon where i had heat stroke and was dry heaving from miles 14-26… fun times =/

  6. You are as well prepared for the NYC as anyone I know and will do great! I have to say my favorite race was my first full marathon in Richmond last year. A close second would be the Colonial 200 Relay we just finished. Really starting to love the relay format.

  7. My favorite race to date was my first half marathon. I just felt so good afterwards and I was pretty proud of myself. I had a really great kick and it was just all around good. I can’t believe your best time is 25 minutes faster than mine! Speedy girl!

  8. I mean those high miles still terrify me but you are rocking those distances. way to keep at it, if anything you have been thrown every wrench in the book.

  9. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited for a blogger’s race as I am about yours. I’m sure you are going to have a fantastic debut, and I think you have your head in the right place when it comes to finishing the marathon vs. time.

    My favourite race to date was my PR half marathon from 2010. You’d think I’d pick the marathon I won, but really I only won because the fast people didn’t turn up on the day – since when is 3:20 a winning marathon time? Never. So I was most proud of my race in 2010 because it symbolised so much for me, and I felt like such a strong person back then.

    I tend to internalize stress, and I have approximately 1/1000,000th of the stress that you have to deal with. I really admire you for coping with it all!


    1. Thank you for your support throughout all my training Jess-that really means a lot. I really am excited for your races next year as well.

      It’s funny because I’m the least stressed I’ve ever been. When I moved to Texas, I let go of most of the stress and that was the best thing I could have done for myself. I can’t wait to move in a bit and be able to finally settle down though. 🙂

  10. “I have learned that dreams can be achieved and you cannot sell yourself short.” <– I love this. I struggle a lot with shooting myself down before I even give myself a chance. I look at some lofty goal and think "there's no way you're going to be able to do that… why bother even trying" — not the best approach to achieving my goals and definitely something I need to work on. I think, for me, taking the first step is always the hardest. Once I fall into the motions of doing something, I find out it's really not as bad as I thought it would be.

    And I have to echo Jess and say that I'm really excited to see how you do in NYC. No pressure or anything 😉

  11. Ekkk, one month away! Cannot wait to watch you kick butt and take names on race day. (Our running store is hosting a cheer zone, and you better believe I’ll have a poster for you. 🙂 )

  12. I love that picture from VB so much, I think I’m going to start using it in every single post of mine from here on out just because it makes me happy.

    I think you are going to absolutely rock the pants off of NYCM. I am really glad to hear that you’ve found a groove with your training and you’re finding what works for you. You’ve dealt with so many twists and turns over the past few months and handled them all with so much grace and positivity. I see nothing but great stuff for you ahead 🙂

  13. I really enjoyed this post!
    For one thing, it sounds like what maturity as a runner to me sounds like. Even experiencing a freak accident, you had the wisdom not to immediately freak out, but wait it out and play it safe, and now…you’re running a marathon!

    As someone who has yet to be bitten by the marathon bug (though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time) it’s wonderful to hear about the progression of your confidence in the various distances you considered, “long” and your weekly mileage.
    I can’t wait to read about your final month!

  14. I just recently came across your blog and love it! I love how speedy you are 🙂 You are going to ROCK this race! I, too, am looking to PR with a time under 3:10, but that race (in Dec) will be my 9th marathon, so you go girl! Have faith in your training plan and your THANG! So excited for you.

  15. What do you drink? I get thirsty if I’m in the sun when I just do like 3 miles, but I pee A LOT so I worry that I’ll have to pee if I’m running longer than a mile. It’d be nice to have water, but I don’t want to carry it. What do people do?! Haha. What has been your all time favorite (FLAT) 1/2? I want to register for one somewhere else!

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