Marathon Envy

I have a confession to make.

I have marathon envy. Not really in the sense that I’m itching to go out and run 20-milers in the summer heat, but more that I have unfinished business with this distance.

Marathon Envy | 2 Generations Running

Me addressing any and all marathons.

This time last year, I was struggling with my EHL strain (a tendon that runs from your big toe up into your ankle).

ehl culpritI couldn’t get through a 5-mile run without serious pain along the top of my foot, but I was trying not to give up hope on the Rochester Marathon (which I had already registered for, of course). While my tendon ended up feeling decent enough that I was able to run the race, it really messed up my training. I managed to squeak in one 20 mile run before the race, but I missed out on the majority of my 15-18 mile long runs in addition to a whole bunch of shorter distances that would have been critical in contributing to my endurance.

Rochester Marathon | 2 Generations Running

At the time, I was really just ecstatic that I was able to run the race, and I am still happy that I did it. My time wasn’t even that bad. But now, there’s a voice in the back of my head wondering what my marathon time would look like if I was able to fully complete a training plan, uninjured. I’ve had conversations with some very talented runners in my running club who have said that it even took them 3 or 4 tries at the marathon to really ‘do it right’ so to speak. That makes me think I can’t give up on it yet.

I would love to be training to do the Bay State Marathon with my mom. It really would be perfect for a second (possibly PR-worthy) marathon. It’s nice and flat and it’s in the early fall, so temps should be perfect for running. It’s also an extremely popular course for runners trying to qualify for Boston, so you know that means it’s a fast course. I have to be honest with myself though – I don’t have the time to train for a marathon this summer between working full-time and my 4 hours round-trip of commuting each day. At first, I was considering it and kind of wondering if I was a wimp not to do it. But, the realistic side of me won out. The next time I run a marathon, I really want to do it right, and in order for that to happen, I know I have to be patient. Still, it’s difficult hearing so many runners discussing their fall marathon plans!

So for now, I’m trying to keep my marathon envy at bay by planning on signing up for the Bay State Half. It won’t be another state or a dramatic challenge the way a marathon is,  but it will at least give my summer running some sense of purpose while my mom and I try to figure out which state we’ll be looking to cross off next. As for the marathon, I’ll do some window-shopping for the right course and work on maintaining a strong base, so that when the time is right, I’ll be ready to give it all I’ve got.

Do you get race envy? How many attempts did it take you to really figure out the marathon (if you’ve run one or several)?


Friday Five: Say Cheese!

Hey there and happy Friday!!

Once again this week, I’m linking up with Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What for the Friday Five Linkup.

Friday 5 Link-Up

I was so excited for this week’s topic – Fitness Snapshots. I LOVE a good action shot (and a good story to go with it), so I’m very excited to see what other bloggers post!

Friday Five: Fitness Snapshots. 2 Generations Running.

Ok, here are some of the best fitness snapshots of my mom and I that I could find.

1. This picture taken by my boyfriend, of me finishing the Rochester Marathon.

2 Generations Running. Rochester Marathon.Obviously, I love this picture because it’s from my first marathon, but don’t I look strong for being at the end of 26.2 miles?! There’s little sign of how much my big toe hurts (the toenail started aching around mile 18 and I knew I was going to lose it, which I did.). You can’t tell how much pain my legs are in, or how chafed and blistery my back got from my sports bra (who thinks to put Body Glide on your back?!) All you can tell is that I’m finishing my first marathon and I look like I’m just warming up. 🙂

2. This photo of my mom from the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

mudrunDoesn’t she look like she’s killin’ it on the obstacle course? I volunteered at this race, so I didn’t actually get to run it, but it looked like so. much. fun. If you have a mud run/obstacle course race in your future, check out this post we wrote on it for some helpful tips (especially on what to wear!).

3. This shot of me from my high school soccer days (I had just headed the ball, but it’s unfortunately not in the picture)

2 Generations Running.My love for running began with soccer, so it seemed appropriate to include a picture from that time. I was warming up for a game in this picture, practicing headers. Clearly, my bangs are a little out of control. 🙂 I loved playing soccer and I miss it sometimes.

4. This shot of my mom from near the end of the Clearwater Distance Classic (our last half marathon!)

Clearwater Distance Classic. 2 Generations Running.Look, she’s smiling and waving! (she says it was forced, but I think it looks pretty natural.) Not bad for probably having 11-12 miles under her belt. (Full recap can be read here if ya want!) Given the bajillion feet of snow we have right now, it will probably be a while before we’re running in tank tops again.

5. And lastly, another throwback picture of me from high school, this time from indoor track-

2 Generations Running. Long Jump.I’m doing the long jump here (not randomly flinging myself into the air in case you were worried about my sanity.) I wasn’t the best long jumper in the world, but it was pretty fun! And I loved my bright red Saucony track spikes, I felt like a bada** in those.

Did anybody else play soccer or long jump before getting into running? Ever tried a mud run (and was it as awesome as it looks?!)? Have a great weekend!


Lessons Learned from Marathon Training

Hey there!

While my training for this marathon has been less than ideal because of my EHL strain, my mom has been powering through the plan (an intermediate level Hal Higdon plan for any curious runners out there), and doing fantastic! In today’s post, she is sharing some of the lessons she has learned since stepping up the mileage for the marathon.

Lessons Learned While Training For a Marathon - Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

  1. Walk

We did a little more research to prepare for this marathon than we had done when training for our first half, and so after a runner friend of Nora’s dad recommended a couple of  books, we were on our way. We settled on Jeff Galloway’s running /walking method. (Galloway says the mix of running and walking is what prevents injury – despite all the added miles – and that appealed to me!)

I decided to try running a one mile followed by walking a minute – and this interval seems to work for me. It’s gotten me through a 17, an 18, and a 20 mile run (a little more about this one later). Even after running further than I ever have before, I ended the runs feeling great, and more importantly, I was able to walk just fine the next day.

Don't be afraid to incorporate walk breaks into your marathon training

(I also decided to keep taking my walk breaks during the shorter runs during the week, reasoning that since the goal was to keep my legs fresh for the long run on the weekend, it couldn’t hurt to take it easier during these hot, humid mornings. Which brings me to the second thing I learned: WATER.

Hydrating properly is key.

  1. Water

Drink it! One of the other books we looked at encouraged runners to walk through the water stops as they hydrate. (I like this because it’s hard for me to drink and run at the same time. Without choking at least.) So in addition to carrying a bottle on the longer runs, I started carrying a small bottle on short runs, and sipping as I took my one minute walking break. What I discovered was that, between the walk breaks, and sipping some water, I could run between 4-8 miles on a hot, humid summer morning and still feel really good, whereas in the past, I would have been drained and cranky.  I was also surprised to discover  that when I looked at my watch, I was only off my normal pace by 20 to 30 seconds, so despite the walk break, my times were pretty similar.

Make sure you're eating nutritious meals with plenty of carbohydrates.

  3. Food

Eat it! Training for the half marathon three summers ago, Nora and I just did some carbo-loading the night before and that was about it. But for this race, we had purchased Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners, and began paying close attention to what we ate – and how much –  and making sure we had good snacks, especially some carbs, frequently during the day.

Nancy Clark's Food Guide For Marathoners

But as it happened, on the two consecutive days before my scheduled 20 mile run, I had “special outings.” I ended up eating late lunches (in one case just pizza, so not balanced) and then just having ice cream for dinner!! (this is occasionally something that happens in our household). Now these are not things you have to avoid when training for a marathon, but these meals were not complete and so I learned the hard way that my muscles hadn’t been fueled properly. At about mile 12 of my 20 mile run, I felt my legs tiring, and even a few cramps. This was surprising to me since I had run the 17 and 18 mile runs without any discomfort!  I kept fueling during the run, and managed to keep a positive attitude all the way to the finish. But later that day, as I realized I had messed up my diet during the two previous days, I realized just how important it is to  maintain  a good diet. This Sunday, I will make sure I eat balanced and nutritious meals in the days leading up to my last 20 miler before the race.  And lastly: Ice.

Ice your feet during marathon training.

  1. Ice

Though I haven’t been able to have a full-on ice bath yet, I have enjoyed filling a basin with water, some ice, and a couple of my frozen Dassani water bottles (I also use these alone sometimes, rolling them  under my feet as I watch TV). This modest ice bath feels really great after a hard run, and though it can’t help with the blackened toenails  (that’s what dark red nail polish is for), it cools your toes and feet,  and gives you an excuse to sit back and relax and think about how amazing it is that you’ve just run so far!!

18 Miles during marathon training

20 miles during marathon training

So there you go! Have a wonderful long weekend (and maybe go for some long runs if you can!) 🙂


The Rochester Marathon

We did it.

My Mom and I can both officially say now that we are marathoners. After months of training and reading anything and everything about marathons, we finally went out and completed 26.2 miles. There was uncertainty, crazy weather, and blackened toenails, but we made it.

Let me start from the beginning though. 🙂

Late in the afternoon on Friday, my mom made the long drive up and picked me up from school. It was fantastic to see her again and we chatted the whole time as we made the drive into Rochester. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle, so it was a great mini-family reunion. Friday night, we just relaxed, ate pizza and visited, before turning in for an early bedtime. We wanted to make sure we got plenty of rest in preparation for Sunday.

Saturday, we slept in a little, before going for a gentle 2-mile jog, as prescribed in the training plan my mom and I followed. We were also keeping a close eye on the weather that morning, as the forecast for Sunday was looking awful. There was a strong chance of severe thunderstorms from 6 am on throughout the whole day. In the paper, there was an article that explained that if there was thunder at the start time (7:30), then the race would be delayed ten minutes. If the thunder continued – the race would be cancelled. My mom and I were freaking out. At that point, I felt like I would gladly run through the pouring rain, as long as I got the chance at my marathon.

So obviously, we were pretty concerned. We went to pick up our packets as usual though, hoping for the best. Packet pick-up was held at a local running store, Fleet Feet, and it was hopping when we arrived.

At packet pick-up for the Rochester Marathon

My mom and I loved the race shirts, but we were also excited to pick out another commemorative, first-marathon-ever shirt! We both went with these awesome long-sleeve Nike running shirts.

Rochester Marathon Shirt

We tried to stay relaxed on Saturday, but the weather reports continued to predict strong chances for thunderstorms. We organized our running materials that evening – putting pins on our bibs, packing our GU’s in our fuel belts (I wanted to do one every 5 miles through mile 20, at which point I was going to switch to Sports Beans aka jelly beans for runners). With the predictions for rain, my mom and I both made sure to bring hats to help keep the rain off our faces.

We had a simple meal for dinner that night to round out our carbo-loading routine – grilled chicken and baked potatoes. After that, it was a little TV and then bed time.

While I had a little trouble falling asleep, I was shocked at how well I slept until the alarm started ringing at 5 am. My mom and I quickly got up and started prepping the coffee and bagels (with almond butter and raspberry jam of course – our favorite!). It was a little hard to stomach at such an early hour, but we knew it was important to eat early so we would have time to digest a bit before the race began.

A friend of mine from school was running the race as well, and she got dropped off at my Aunt and Uncle’s so that we could bring her to the start with us. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather as we drove into the city of Rochester – a little cloudy, but warm with no rain!

We checked our bags (complete with all the necessary post-race items, including sweats, Snickers bars, and a hairbrush. All completely essential.), and made a last porta-potty stop. Kudos to the race organizers for having enough porta-potties to accommodate all the runners, as this always seems to be problematic!

At the start of the Rochester Marathon

Then, we excitedly went to the starting chute. Of course, there was time for some pre-race selfies.

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

We stretched for a few minutes and I reveled in the fact that it was not raining on us. I think all my worry about the weather left me feeling more excited for the race than nervous. Then, the race announcer led us with a moment of silence for a Rochester police officer, Daryl Pierson, who was shot and killed three weeks ago. It was a touching moment, and so important for us as runners to show our appreciation, as the entire Rochester police department was out, directing traffic and lining the course to help keep us safe and the race running smoothly.

Next, the National Anthem played… and we were off and running our first marathon!!! Ahhhhh!

Along the course of the Rochester Marathon

With all the excitement, the first few miles flew by, but my mom and I did a great job pacing ourselves and sticking to our Galloway method-inspired strategy: run a mile and walk a minute. I really enjoyed checking out the beautiful 19th and early 20th century mansions that we passed along East Avenue.

Mansions along East Avenue. Rochester Marathon

Absolutely beautiful. We continued along, sticking to a pace around 10:30 minutes/mile. Just before mile 5, we came up on our cheering section who surprised us with this awesome poster. 🙂

Of course, we had to stop to take a picture.

We had to stop to take a picture.

As we continued along, my mom started telling me to take off. I was feeling great at the pace we were running, but she wanted to dial it back a little because of the humidity we were dealing with. We had planned on staying together longer over the 26 miles, but with her blessing and some good luck wishes on both our parts, I headed off.

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Around Mile 6 or 7 (I think… it’s all blurring together a bit), we turned off and ran along the Erie Canal bike path, which was pretty, despite the clouds rolling in. Soon thereafter, it started to rain – and I thought to myself, “This is it. It’s going to pour, and I’m either going to have to run another 15+ miles soaking wet or it’s going to thunder and they’re going to pull us off the course.”

Thank god that’s not what happened. It rained lightly for maybe 15 minutes, just enough to cool me off, and then it stopped! It was a marathon miracle. 🙂

I was feeling great, and got super excited when I reached the 13 mile marker – halfway done! And I kept feeling great through mile 18, and that’s when it truly started to feel like a marathon. My big toe was starting to hurt (ironically, not on the foot where I struggled with my EHL strain – that foot held up like a champ.). I was running behind someone with a shirt that read “Black Toe Racing”, and I remember thinking a lot about the foreshadowing and symbolism of that. 😉

I kept chugging along though, desperately looking forward to each 1 minute walking break whenever I completed another mile. While I cherished those breaks, I noticed that after about 19 miles, it hurt just as much (if not more) to walk as it did to run. Ugh.

Around mile 20 of the Rochester Marathon

I certainly wasn’t the only one taking walking breaks by this point though.

The last 6.2 miles were the most challenging miles I’ve ever run. I knew I was close to being done, and I just wanted to cross that finish line and for the RUNNING TO STOP. Thank goodness for all the fantastic spectators along the course, and for the people who cheered for me, reading my name off my bib and encouraging me that I was almost done. I also loved all the creative signs –

  • Toenails are for sissies (so true.)
  • Keep Calm and Don’t Poop Yourself. (Also excellent advice.)
  • You’ve been training for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married. (gotta love humor at the expense of the Kardashians.)

FINALLY, I was turning off the canal path, back onto the major roads, and knew I was close to being done. I passed the 26 mile marker, and I pushed it into high gear. Next thing I knew, I was crossing the finish line in 4 hours, 36 minutes. I look pretty damn good for having just run 26.2 miles, right?!

Finishing the Rochester Marathon

Marathon complete.

I was so happy to be done, and to see my boyfriend at the finish. It was good that he was there, because I kept losing my balance and tilting over. Also, my fine motor skills were shot, which made texting interesting.

I couldn't text at all after running a marathon

I tried to type “I’m done” and autocorrect thought I was trying to say “I’m conspiracy”. So that shows you how successful I was. 😉 After that, I made my boyfriend send the texts. We also took some snapchats to send to my friends at school, who had been amazing about sending me congratulatory and good luck texts-

post marathon

And some regular pictures. In between bites of a bagel, obviously.

After finishing the Rochester Marathon

My mom also ran an incredible race (SHE GOT THIRD IN HER AGE GROUP!!!) and finished in 4 hours, 58 minutes.

What an amazing race. After so much concern over my EHL strain and the fears about the weather,  I feel so lucky that I was able to run my marathon. After 9 half marathons, it was time, for both my mom and I.

More marathon reflections are coming, but this post has already gotten ridiculously long. Thanks for reading it and also, thank you SO, SO MUCH for all the advice, and good luck messages sent our way through this blog. It meant the world to us to have so many people rooting for us.