Marathon Training After a Six Year Break (Part 2): 10 miles to 22 miles

As I neared the end of the 10 weeks to 10 miles training plan, I considered training for half marathon (the thought of training for a full marathon was still too daunting). I decided to use Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training: Novice 2 plan to see if I could use the first nine weeks to get me to the half marathon distance and if all was going well I could continue on to the full distance.

I started the training plan in October and here is a summary of how the 18-week training plan:

Week 1-5: Training weeks went pretty smooth. Week 5 ended with a 12-mile long run. For the long run, I opted to run a 3-mile loop through the neighborhood multiple times. This kept me close to home.

Week 6-7: Week 6 was a recovery week and Thanksgiving, so I did not get all my training runs in but did complete the long run. Week 7’s long run was a 14-mile run and I could not find the time in my schedule for it, so I broke it up into two runs, a 4-mile run in the early morning, followed by a 10-mile run closer to lunch. I was only able to get 9 miles in during the second run, making my long run 13 miles.

Week 8: The 15-mile long run. It took me three weeks get through this training week comfortably. These three weeks happened leading up to Christmas with my long run completed on Christmas Eve morning. I thoroughly enjoyed the early morning run and seeing the holiday lights.

At this point, I made the decision to keep training for a full marathon. I picked three marathons in Georgia, each a weekend or two apart. I told myself if I was ready I would run the earliest one, and if I had to repeat training weeks I could run one of the later marathons.

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Marathon Training After a Six Year Break (Part 1): Building to 10 Miles

Almost six years. It has been almost six years since I laced up a pair of running shoes, put on a race bib, and stepped up to a starting line. During this time, I have grieved my father’s passing, given birth to baby #3 (Baby G), stepped away from a career, stepped down from pursuing a PhD, started a business, and attempted to get my running groove back several times. I also never stopped thinking about the next marathon I would race, though that dream often felt like it would never happen again.

Baby G was born in February 2020, just before the pandemic and lockdown. When she was three months old, I tried to ease back into running, but my body was not ready. I was nursing an exclusively breast-fed baby and the stress of being older, work, homeschooling two older kiddos, all took a toll on my milk supply. I spent the next several months prioritizing efforts to maintain my milk supply while occasionally getting out for a 20-minute walk. When Baby G turned a year old, I started trying to ease back into a running schedule. Over the next year, I would build a few weeks of running, logging runs three or four days a week (totaling 6-8 miles), then something would happen… a minor injury/ache, a sick kid, which meant a sick mommy, tummy troubles, weird fatigue issues, or simply a lack of time and running not feeling good. The perpetual pattern of not being able to stay consistent and being 30 pounds heavier since my last race made me feel like a failure, like I would never find my stride again, like I was too old to do it anymore.

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One Year Later: Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Today is November 14, 2019. One year ago today, at the age of 61, you took your last breath. I am taking the time to write you a letter today because I feel that it is the best way to recap the past year. The days and weeks after you passed were filled with to-do’s, going through old photos, and figuring out the holidays. Amidst the busy stuff and being submerged in the things that made up your life, it felt like you were still with me. I spent time sorting through your old surf shirts, looking at photos from jobsites, surf adventures, snowboard trips, and hunting days.

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2019: Resolutions and Races

As we enter into the third week of January, many will have already given up on New Year’s Resolutions, where as I am still planning them out. I consider January a special month, in part because it is the first month of the year, winter is my favorite, and it is my birthday month. I used to give myself the entire month to think and develop my resolutions and then formalize them in a day planner at the end of the month. That tradition slipped through the cracks as life took numerous twists and turns over the past seven years. This year…. things will change.


My first resolution for 2019 is to declare and formalize some resolutions and goals for year ahead.  And look at me write… I am already working my way through my first goal. Without further ado, My goals for 2019 are as follows: Continue reading