This Marathon Life

by a passionately stubborn runner

The Days Of My Boston Qualifier Training Cycle

runner with snow gogglesThis past April I qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon after over four years of long distance running. This is a recap of a few of my runs in my most recent training cycle, which, was laid out for me from my incredible coach David Roche from September 2016 up to the race in April 2017. Laying down the miles day after day and footstep after footstep is what lead me to have the race that I did at the 2017 Glass City Marathon. This is the story of the best training...

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Top Three Reasons Why You Should Run A Tune-up Race!

A runner standing at the mile 24 mark of a marathon.

A tune-up race is a race that you run a month or more before your goal race. This race should be shorter than your goal race. Let's look at the top three reasons why you should consider one.

  1. 3. To Go Through Your Paces

    You should do a tune-up race to prepare for your goal race day by doing a "practice race". You can practice using the hydration drink, energy gel or even your race day outfit....

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Salomon Escape Jacket Review

  • The Best Winter Running Jacket Ever?
  • :star::star::star::star::star:

Salomon Escape Jacket.

For those of you that know the struggle of finding the perfect running jacket for under 30°F weather - this is for you. I've been searching for years for a jacket that was not only warm but breathable and as well as wind blocking. Years of searching ended that one magnificent night I went to REI.

Salomon Escape Jacket Front.

First, a little bit about this jacket. This is labeled as a cross-country skiing jacket and not a running jacket. When I tried it on I...

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Roll Recovery R8

  • Expensive but so awesome
  • :star::star::star::star:

The Roll Recovery R8 in the bag it comes with.

Recently I've decided that I really need to focus more on recovery and decided to pick up the R8 because I really hate the foam roller. The R8 is a deep-tissue massage tool that is made up of eight roller blade wheels encompassed by a hard plastic casing. It's designed in Boulder, Colorado and assembled in China. I see the R8 as a solution for people who are looking for an alternative to the foam roller or who are looking for something with more control....

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This Is My Road

A lonely, dark, ice covered road.

In a boring suburb there's a dark, lonely, and icy road. This city is full of these short stretches of grey concrete surfaces. During the day they're full of distracted drivers and a few people walking with coffees and the like. But, this road isn't the beautiful winding singletrack trail up a mountain. It's never presented me with glorious views of a sunrise over snow covered peaks or a sunset over a lake. In fact, real mountains don't exist anywhere near me. It's kind of sad that a state...

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Why Running on Holidays is the Greatest

The author and her girlfriend on a run during Thanksgiving week.

I know, its a really blurry iPhone selfie. But, this photo is of me and my girlfriend sharing a run last year before Thanksgiving. Holiday runs are my most favorite runs during the year. Here are a few reasons why:

1. PREPARE

The holidays can be pretty stressful. Whether it's because you've got two parties to go to in one day and are dreading the belly explosion that's about to happen or because maybe you're hosting a dinner and the weight of...

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Dropping out of a race | Run Woodstock 100K

At the finish of my girlfriend's first ultramarathon.

Slowly making my way over in the dark to our campsite I noticed a runner being lifted up into an ambulance truck. I turned off my headlamp so it wasn’t shining in their eyes and continued on to the campsite. It was that moment when I knew I had made the right decision by dropping out of the race. Would that have been me? I don’t think that’s an answer that I’ll ever know but toeing that line wasn’t worth finding out.

When I got to the campsite...

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What are drop bags?

Aid station tent at a race with drog bags.

If you’ve ever heard of ultramarathons or runners talking about them then you might have heard the words “drop bags”. What the heck are they? Well, lets go over that and lets dig into what I pack in mine.

Drop bags are your stuff that you put inside some sort of container and leave at the start/finish area of race or give to the race staff to have them place along the course at a designated area. The idea is that in an ultramarathon you may need...

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How many miles do you run in training for a 50miler?

  • Let's take a look into my training

With my third 50miler coming up in 8 weeks I figured I would show everyone just how many miles goes into training. This chart shows how many miles per week I've done sine February. For my last 50miler I ran around 768miles total for the training cycle from Jan to April.

On April 30th I ran a 50mile race and then a road marathon on May 28th and a trail marathon on June 18th. With those races behind me now I can focus on ramping up my training to get to 60-70-75mile weeks....

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The Mohican Trail Marathon

I absolutely loved the Mohican Trail Marathon. Great race with great volunteers, course markings and course features. Living in the midwest it’s hard to believe that such a beautiful course is right here in our backyards. Here’s my race experience at the 2016 Mohican Marathon.

Course elevation at Mohican Marathon I clocked 3,660ft of elevation with 2hrs41mins of ascent time over the 26.4mile distance

I was pretty tired going into the Mohican Trail Marathon. I didn’t make it to the campsite the night before until almost midnight. I was waiting on a friend to drive...

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Saucony Peregrine 6 Review!

  • Excellent traction on the trail but uncomfortable heel area
  • :star::star:

Runner wearing the Saucony Peregrine 6.

I'll preface this by saying that I didn't rack up a ton of miles in these like I would normally before I do a review. That was because of problems I had with this shoe's design. I think it's important that I review it regardless.

Things I liked

The first thing I noticed about these shoes was the bottom. Holy traction! The aggressive outsole has a ton of grippy lugs on it and in mud it performed great. The front of the shoe has...

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Ready to go back | The Indiana Trail 50

Pile of drop bags at the Indian Trail 50 Mile.

In just about a month I'll be going back to Indiana to take a second crack at the Indiana Trail 50 miler. Last year, during the final miles I was in so much pain that I questioned if I was ever going to run again after the race or if I would ever enjoy running again. Sounds crazy, right? But, time passed and I healed and I'm stronger than ever. That's how life works - you learn the most from the experiences that are the...

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New Balance Zante v2 Review

  • Plush and responsive with great forefoot feel
  • :star::star::star::star::star:

Green pair of New Balance Zantes.

Lets chat a little about a new shoe that I've been loving! I'm talking about the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2. This shoe has a 6mm heel to toe drop. Remember, the lower the drop measurement the more your achilles and calf muscles will lengthen. I personally like shoes that are in the 4mm to 6mm drop range. I've tried zero drop shoes and I don't mind them either but 4-6mm just seems to be my sweet spot as of late. So lets get down to the basics...

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We Are The Mockingjays

Tonight, turn your running shoes against Heart Disease. Heart Disease is the number one killer in the United States. We know this, you know this, even Google knows this with the millions they are investing into research. But, there has to be more work done on the ground level. We know that we have the power to exercise, to change things. Why not give yourself a fighting chance by using the best two weapons you have - exercise and diet?

I was on a frigid cold morning run when it started pouring rain. I like to...

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I run for Team Nuun!

If you know me - you know that hydration is something I care a lot about. I'm super excited to announce that I'm now apart of Team Nuun for 2016! So happy to be apart of this team because we share the same values. Nuun is doing it right. Cheers to the future!!

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Run through the holidays!

Running on trails in the winter.(Myself during the 2015 Resolution Trail Run (FA). Photo by Keith Kohler)

:snowflake: :evergreen_tree:It's that time of year when the temperature drops, the rain and snow starts to fall and the holiday events start to stack up. Because of all this we tend to let our running dwindle down for the year.

Don't get me wrong - I am all about taking time off from running when it's needed but just hear me out. How many times have you said to yourself "Wow, I can't believe its...

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Your First Marathon

  • To all those about to enter the unknown

Just Feet Away

Fall marathon season is here whether your race is today, next weekend or next month. Being between your training season and your first race certainly will have you feeling nervous. Here are my thoughts on the whole matter as far as my experiences go.

Disclaimer: when I speak about quitting, I'm not talking about if you have an injury. No race is ever worth permanent damage to your body, you can/should quit in that case.

First thing is that you made it. You completed the training cycle. You've...

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Perfect The Art of Fall Layering

  • It's that time of year!

Trail running through the colorful fall leaves.

Runners Rejoice! Fall is the absolute best time for running because the colder temps allow you to run faster due to reduced stress on your body. Most marathons are held in the spring / fall for this very reason. With any weather change there is always an acclimation period - so be mindful that 50°F now may make you feel like you need way more clothing then you actually do. After a few weeks you should be more in tune with what amount of layers works best. These...

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Healthy Shoes!

  • Check up on your shoe health status!

Kinvara 6 sole comparison

You need to be concerned about your shoe health. Running on shoes that have lost their cushion can eventually cause injuries. The image above is my Kinvara 6's. The one on the left is a pair with 244 miles on them and the one on the right is a pair with 101 miles on them. You can see the size difference between the two soles. The Kinvara soles tend to "pancake" outward more and more as the miles rack up.

What does this mean?

This means that...

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The One Best Tip To Get Started Running

  • Goals, Goals, Goals!

Runner stretching

So, you've decided that you want to get into the world of running! The first step that you need to take isn't blasting out the door but is into thinking about why you want to start running. I'm not saying that your reason can't just be something like "I think it would be cool". Reasons like that are perfectly fine - I just recommend taking time to figure out how you think running will fit into your life. The biggest issue that I see new runners face is they say they have issues...

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Happy New Year Runners

  • Make running your chariot to health in 2015

:bowtie::confetti_ball::sparkles:

Running is a chariot to health. No, it's not easy. It's not easy because it's not what we are accustomed too. Here's the thing. No one can take care of you besides you. That's it. You only get one body and time is precious and counts down through the seconds that we have here. You can only keep saying that you are going to do something tomorrow until tomorrow is today and today is too late. Everything is fine until it's not.

If there is one thing that I wish I could do in this world...

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Prep for Your First 5K!

  • No new things, Planning, Hydration, Kick Butt

my race kit for my first marathon(My race kit for my first marathon)

So, you've put in the hard work and training miles and the big day is coming up soon. I have a core set of rules that I follow whenever a 5K race day is approaching. The rules are simple really and while there are a ton of different combos of crazy situations that can happen - these rules never impact me negatively.

  • No new things. I know it may be tempting to buy a really cool race day...
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Run Location | New Orleans

  • The lowdown on where to run in NOLA!
  • :airplane::deciduous_tree::palm_tree:

I had a business trip to New Orleans back in October and one of my favorite things to do in new places is go on a run to explore the area. I will admit that I spent a good amount of time researching to find a safe and beautiful route. It's not easy finding out this kind of information so I gathered it all up for you in case you ever visit this historic city.

My route started from my hotel in the French Quarter. The total mileage there and back was around 6 miles but doing...

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Hoka One One Clifton Review!

  • Pleasantly cushy and bouncy but wish they were wider
  • :star::star::star::star:

blue hoka clifton shoes I wanted to pick up a pair of these shoes for a really long time and was really glad that I did. First off, yes the shoes are chunky. We’re talking a 29mm heel. I do want to mention that the shoe’s offset is 5mm and they only weigh 7.7 oz. The cushion in the shoe allowed me to just run and I never got any foot soreness like I sometimes get on my longer 16 mile+ runs. That was good, that was really good.

Things with me and my Hokas...

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Saucony Kinvara 5

  • Light, Comfy and I wish they lasted forever
  • :star::star::star::star:

Saucony Kinvara 5 shoes This shoe is my jam! Much better then the the Kinvara 4. The upper is more plushy and the side heel part now has some cushion instead of just a piece of fabric. I’ve used these for multiple 10 - 17 mile trail runs as well as my daily pavement runs and it performs well in either condition. The shoe comes with a new “pro lock” lacing system that seems to keep the laces locked in. The only thing that caused me to give this shoe four stars instead of five is...

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Saucony Kinvara 4

  • Good fit, bad quality
  • :star::star:

Saucony Kinvara 4 shoes I really liked these shoes when I first put them on because they are light and well fitting but shortly after 50 miles the upper started to fall apart with rips and stretched out fabric. The heel of the shoe wasn’t made with much padding and as a result doesn’t feel sturdy. Also, currently whenever I try to run in them they make a really loud clicking nose whenever I take a step. You’d think I was a herd of cattle running down the street. I did enjoy the 4mm drop and...

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Running at Night

Runner running at night With fall and winter comes what I call “the trudge”. The trudge is running on dark cold and sometimes snowy and/or slushy nights. If there is one helpful piece of advice I can give you it is to be careful. People are incredibly self-absorbed and you will find yourself almost being hit by them in their cars on most nights. I always make sure to ditch my headphones and be on guard the entire duration of the run. If I see a car coming up to a stop sign or light I...

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Nuun Review!

  • A must have, tasty and tons of flavors!
  • :star::star::star::star::star:

Nuun 4-pack and singles Last year (2013) I had trained with water and Gu Brew as far as hydration goes. I heard of a new product called Nuun and after hearing it was a more natural beverage I decided to try it. I am pleasantly surprised by all the different flavors there are. So far I really like the Wild Berry Energy(40mg Caffeine). The taste of Nuun in 16oz of water is similar to if you were to add a little bit of fruit flavoring to your water. Nuun is not as heavy tasting as Gatorade...

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Bayshore Marathon Race Recap

running the Bayshore Marathon Being my second ever marathon - I was scared. I was really scared. The pain I felt during my first marathon was indescribably horrible so naturally I was scared I was going to have to endure that again. I am here to tell you all really good news. Doing more miles really does help! I had a much bigger mileage base then my previous marathon. I racked up 580 total miles during the 16 week training period for this marathon compared to the roughly 382 miles I had in preparation for my...

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Martian Half-Marathon Race Recap

running the Martian Half Marathon I would highly recommend the Martian Invasion of Races to anyone. The course is a little hilly but the little green blow up martians along the course are cute enough to make up for it. Post race they had snacks and also Bear Claw Coffee had a tent out which was awesome.

I went into this race not expecting to do spectacular since it was a warm up race before my marathon next month(May 2014). The race started and I was running with the 2 hour pacer but she started...

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Long Run, Long Thoughts

Did a 19 mile long run this morning after watching the new Steve Jobs movie on Netflix and I couldn’t stop thinking about a quote Steve Jobs said during the movie.

"It has got to be something that you’re passionate about because otherwise you won’t have the perseverance to see it through."

It really hit home for me because it’s exactly how I feel about running. Spending countless hours out alone running in the cold winter and spring months is really hard on the body and mind. Though, in the end, it is passion that beats out the...

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Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do

runner with snow goggles Sometimes its 6 degrees F outside with a negative wind chill and you have got to get your miles in for the day. This works. This really works. Cover your skin from head to toe and make sure your core is very warm and you can successfully get your run in. And yes, these are my snowboarding goggles…:snowflake::snowflake::snowflake:

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