Marathon Training Tips

One of the coordinators at ABC2 (the Brain Cancer Charity I run for) just emailed me asking:

Would you be willing to write a “letter” of training tips from your experience training for the LA Marathon that I can share with our other runners? We do something similar to this with fundraising tips from top fundraisers, but I think it would be great to have training tips from someone who actually ran a marathon as well.  Any advice/pointers, or things will help keep people motivated.  Any things that you found worked really well, or even things that did not work well for you.  It doesn’t have to be long, maybe just a short paragraph about why you chose to run a marathon with us, how you went about figuring out your training schedule, and then you could even do a bullet point list of your tips.

I feel very honored to be writing this letter to upcoming ABC2 runners and one of my tips is going to be to join a running community (in my case YOU FABULOUS FITBLRS)  for inspiration, motivation, accountability, and TIPS 

I’d love to get some tips from YOU that I can include.

What is your marathon training or overall running tip?

All The Highs That Are Better Than A Runner’s High

I love my runners high and disagree with the list, but the first few paragraphs made me laugh. 

Via Thought Catalog


I am never closer to death than I am in the 25th minute of a 30 minute run. I look at the people on the treadmills around me and they actually seem happy. Dancing along in their flattering workout clothes, sweating just enough to look glistening and invigorated, it’s a sickening display. Especially when I glance at the mirror in front of me and wonder why no one has called the cops. Saggy sweatpants, a worn out t-shirt from a blood drive that I definitely never donated to, and a look on my face that says “at least when the heart attack comes, I’ll be allowed to stop moving my legs.” Seriously, every time I finish jogging, I’m shocked not to see Noah Wyle standing behind me with paddles in his hands yelling “Clear!”

But other people genuinely seem to enjoy this running nonsense. Often times they’ll do it with friends, make a little activity out of it. To me, that’s like bringing a witness with you to commit a murder. Why would I want anyone to watch the atrocity of fitness that I’m about to commit, much less a person I know and care about? I don’t want people to see me work out, I don’t even want to see it myself. I’d run in a windowless room with the lights out if I could. Solitary confinement: that’s my idea of the perfect gym. But when I’m finished, when I’m done with my daily death march, I’m happy. Both because I’m still alive, and because I’m never furthest from the next jog then the minute after I’ve finished the current one. For the next 24 hours I can be fitness free, and that makes me smile. But the happiness doesn’t last. Because the second I smile, the minute I show actually human joy, another fellow runner, one of the glistening gorgeous few, will walk up to me and say “Runner’s high, right man? It’s the best.” And then everything’s ruined.

There’s no greater exaggeration known to man than that of the runner’s high. Despite my complete hatred for the activity, I’ve been a regular runner for over 10 years. I’ve also been a regular enjoyer of highs over that same period, so I can assure you, the two have very little in common. “Oh Look, All The Treadmills Are Taken, So Now I Have An Excuse Not To Run Today High”…that totally exists. Or the “I’m So Hungover That I Think I’d Puke If I Tried To Run High”…definitely a thing. But the elation of cardio? Give me a break. Satisfaction, sure, but calling it a high is a insult to everything else that makes you totally high. So, in the hope that no jogger ever walks up to me after another workout again, here is a list of many highs that are better than a runner’s high.

  • Tom Selleck Moustache High (the little jolt you get just from seeing Selleck’s Stache)
  • Sweet, There’s Still Vodka Left in This Bottle High
  • Getting a New Release from Netflix that You Totally Expected to Wait Weeks For High
  • Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, Vicodin, Percocet, Alcohol, Angel Dust, PCP, Opium, Ecstasy, Acid, Shrooms and Meth High (Note that we did not include crack. Running is actually better than crack. Crack is not something humans should do.)
  • Farting in Public and Not Getting Caught High
  • Hey, That Guy’s Still Alive High (when you see an actor in a movie that you could’ve sworn was dead.)
  • Unexpected Voicemail High (when you call someone you really didn’t want to talk to and magically get their voicemail.)
  • Eating Something Off the Salad Bar at Wholefoods without Getting Caught High
  • Moving a Couch High (similar in effort to the Runner’s High, except your couch is in a new place. Tangible progress)
  • Meeting an Internet Date That Actually Looks Like Their Pictures High (Particularly potent for OKCupid users, due to rarity of occurrence)

and last but not least… 

  • Open Window High (Yes, opening a window in a stuffy room actually gets you more high that going for a run)

And of course there are many, many more. So we never have to hear about Runner’s High again, right?


RPM class yesterday was everything I hoped it would be and MORE.

I can’t get over how much I missed RPM. Other cycling classes don’t compare for me. There is a RPM culture and I love it. There was hooting and hollering from participants and lots of motivation from the instructor. AND BLACK LIGHTS!

I already feel more in tune with my body than I have in weeks. I’m stoked for my 5 mile run this afternoon.


Yesterday was a a big day….

I kicked off Marine Corps Marathon training with a 3 mile run and felt great. I was able to keep a solid pace and my new shoes kept my heel happy. 

I also FINALLY joined a gym. I am back at Gold’s. I was a member of a franchised Gold’s in Auburn, but now I’m at a corporate location which means I can go to all their corporate locations in a 25 mile radius with my membership. There is a BEAUTIFUL facility 2 miles from work that offers RPM at times I can do! There are some other locations 6-8ish miles from my apartment that I can use on the weekends. It seems like the best of both worlds. The was a great rate for Mason staff that is taken out bi-weekly. I also took advantage of a promotion for 3 one-hour sessions with a trainer. I have clear fitness goals, so I’m looking to a trainer to show me some stuff that I can do throughout training and also to keep from aggravating my heel injury.

Tonight I’m going to RPM and am SUPER STOKED! I also have a volleyball league game later tonight…I’m hoping we can actually WIN a game. 

18 weeks of Marine Corps Marathon training kicks off next Monday which meant I needed to get some new running shoes.

My current shoes (Brooks Ravenna 3s) were overdue to be replaced despite only getting them in February. Plus the Ravenna 3s were not the most not stable or cushioned shoe. In light of my heel spur and plantar fasciitis I wanted to get the best shoes possible for my feet and stride. 

I gave myself a pep talk as I drove to the store to not let color or visual style keep me from getting shoes that were the best option. And boy am I glad I gave myself that pep talk because I got some UGLY shoes. 

Before I get into shoes, let’s talk about the running store. I was very attached to my small local running store in Auburn. Since I’ve been here I’ve kept hearing good things about a running store called Pacers which has 6 stores in the region. There is one by work and also one by where I live. Last night I decided to go to the one near my house. 

The shop was quite busy at 6:30pm. Some people were shopping and others were just hanging out – I learned there was a 7pm weekly running group. In fact they have running groups that meet 3 times a week. Tonight’s running group stopped every so often on their route to cross train. How cool! 

Anyway after a few minutes a saleswoman was able to help me. I gave her a rundown of my situation and she then recorded me on the treadmill in my Ravenna 3s. I already knew I over pronated and told her that, but after she recorded my run she measured my heel/ankle/mid knee pronation angle with cool technology built into their system. 

In my shoes (see above picture) I was in the 168 degree range. She said ideally you want to be between 172 and 174 degree range. After I told her I was a womens 11.5 in running shoes and she went to the back to grab some shoes. I was SHOCKED when she came with a stack of 5 pairs of shoes. I said there is no way you have that many 11.5 womens. I was correct they were all Mens 10s and 10.5s. TYPCIAL. 

I tried on 3 different types of Brooks. Visually I really liked the Glycerins and they were cushy, but when we looked at the pronation angle on the treadmill it was better, but still room for improvement.

I don’t remember the style name of the second pair Brooks, but the cut on the box wasn’t good for me. 

We then tried the Trance 11s in both a 10 and 10.5 mens. The 10s fit my right foot, but seemed a little snug on my left foot and since my left foot is my problem child we went with the 10.5 mens.

The Trance 11.s got my pronation angle to the high 172s. The saleswoman and I had a good conversation about what my feet and stride tell her on the video verses the wear of my shoes. My strike looks like it is a heel strike and rolls on video, but the wear of my shoes and her watching me run outside shoes I do hit midfoot. The midfoot of my shoes are VERY worn, yet the heels look new. She thinks how my feet move IN my show could be part of my pronation issue and having a more stable shoe will help. 

The Trace 11s seem comfy, Pacers has a 2 week return policy on their shoes, so I am going to try and so some short runs to prep for the start of marathon training.

New shoes have given me a positive outlook on running. I had been feeling pretty down in light of my heel pain. However I will wear expensive ugly shoes if it means my heel feels better!

Intuitive Eating Workshop

HR at work is offering an Intuitive Eating Workshop for free this week, so I signed up for it. The description says:

Intuitive eating is all about trusting your body and its signals when eating food. This session will define the concepts of intuitive eating and provide helpful techniques for successfully completing the intuitive eating program’s first steps. Join us for a seminar filled with intuitive knowledge that will help you reach your weight loss goals! 

We shall see what I learn!