I’m not back in the training swing of things, but I am running semi consistently again.

Saturday I met up with another semi local blogger, who I happened to meet earlier this summer when we were both on a long run on the same paved trail. 10 miles in 19 degrees went by much faster with her. I am fairly certain that running in sub freezing temps will never be easy. The coldest long run I’ve ever gone on was 12 degrees and that is where I draw the line. My water bottle was freezing at the spout and I felt insane. I usually head to the treadmill if it’s below 20 but if I have a chance to run with a friend I’ll suck it up and be chilly.

Sunday I ran with my speedy friend Meghan {speedy as in she has qualified and run in the Olympic Trials for the marathon}. She always pushes me to run faster than I would if I was alone. I was pretty pleased with our pace and even more happy that we chatted the whole time which made 14 miles go by in the blink of an eye. Not exaggerating on this one – I could have kept talking/listening for at least another hour. We always push the pace on the last mile of every run and I’m never sure if I am pushing the pace because subconsciously I want the run to be over, or if she is pushing the pace because she is just a rockstar like that and my hard pace is her easy pace.

8:11/7:56/8:04/7:58/7:38/7:37/7:35/7:41/7:46/7:48/7:57/7:27/7:24/7:08 – 14 miles – 1:48

Monday I ran 8 miles on the trail solo. My mother in law watched Colton for me and even though my legs felt a little sore from the day before I was REALLY happy to be out running. Some days running is just running other days running is therapy. There is this part of the trail that I ran all three days that is one of my absolute favorites. The trees seem extra tall and it’s almost like a cathedral ceiling in a church. It feels cleansing to run through {one day I will stop and take a picture}.

Yesterday I went to the gym for an hour of pilates and oh my it was just what I needed. I swear that I am not a sane person if I am not working out or running. I remember thinking when I was in high school {and incredibly lazy} that people that did something athletic every day were insane. When a friend would tell me they were going to the gym after school – I would ask WHYYYYY you went on Monday? – didn’t matter that it was Thursday. It just seemed crazy to me to workout more than say once a week. I like reflecting back and giggling about things like this because its a moment to remind myself how far I have come. It helps me stay motivated and not feel down and out when I don’t feel like I am where I want to be in running or in life.309


I’m still deciding on a spring marathon {other than Boston} – here is what is in the running.

Races I’m debating between:

RnR New Orleans: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/new-orleans – Something new, looks flat as heck from the elevation chart, and I’ve never been to New Orleans. Only draw back is that it’s in February – which would mean a very short training cycle.

RnR USA: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/usa – I’ve run this before and it’s hillier than MCM. I want to do either the half or the full because I really would love running longer races that are SOO close to home.

B & A Trail Marathon: http://annapolisstriders.org/2014/BandAdetails2014.pdf I’ve pr’ed on this course twice and LOVE how small it is and that there is no runner tracking {tracking stresses me out}. I have unfinished business with this race after literally having one of the worst races of my life there earlier this year. I also really enjoy running races I’ve already run – hence why I’ve run Marine Corps 8 times.


Have you run any of these races? Thoughts? Any other spring marathons you suggest I look at? What races do you already have on the calendar in 2014?




  1. I’ve done RnR Nola – the half as a relay – and it was a lot of fun. The course, at least the part I was on, was gorgeous and, yes, flat. I thought there were quite a few spectators and the weather was nice. NOLA is a great place to do a girls weekend but the call of Bourbon Street could hurt a race.

  2. Did the RnR Nola full this past February – you’re right, it’s pancake flat. However, it was a total disaster race for me. I did all of my training runs outside in the freezing cold. Come race weekend, it was in the 70s and 80s, and it was hot. And my body was not prepared for the heat at all. I think it could be a great course for a PR, so long as you’re prepared for the heat. Not to mention, Nola is just a great place to hang out with friends. Lots of great eats and drinks to be had.

    You should also look into the Little Rock Marathon. Great course, great organization, and medals bigger than your FACE. Not kidding.

    Also, what all did you wear for your 20-degree run? St. Jude Memphis (which is the number 1 marathon I recommend.. the kids!!!, but it’s not in the spring) Marathon is this weekend, and temps will be in the 20s; I’m not sure what to wear! It hasn’t been this cold all year, so I haven’t had to dress for anything like it in my training. Help!

  3. Wow great job on the runs! I am much like you with running in the cold weather. It is so cold where I Live that most of the time I just stay indoors on the treadmill! I am still looking for a spring marathon but I am not selecting one until I know that my leg is back from healing from a femoral stress fracture. Taking things one step at a time :)

  4. I live 10 minutes from the B&A start line (okay, fine 15 if you hit a few red lights) and the course is back to it’s original course. You know, the one you’ve won twice :) Just saying. And if you come I’m inviting you for a BBQ luncheon.


  5. I’ve never run a marathon, but I’ve been running in Minnesota… I’ve done a couple runs in the teens, lots in the 20s. I wear UA compression cold gear tights, compression cold gear base-layer top, and a half-zip (technical) mock-turtleneck top over that. Socks are SmartWool crew. (Nothing special, but they are WARM and keep your feet feeling dry.) Thin wool-blend gloves – they’re not running gloves, but it’s super easy to take part of each hand out as I warm up. Any hat that’s nearby. I HIGHLY recommend some kind of a face mask. It makes my whole body feel warmer! I have this ugly thing, size small: http://www.amazon.com/Seirus-Innovation-Neofleece-Combo-Medium/dp/B0018BGFF4/ref=sr_1_3?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1386170073&sr=1-3&keywords=running+mask

  6. I’m undecided on spring races as well. Have you done Shamrock half/full in Virginia Beach? It’s my favorite regional race.

  7. I’m considering/planning on doing the Run USA full, and have heard from a runner friend (who can be skittish) that it’s a really tough course. I haven’t run in DC in years, so I’d love to get any first-hand advice on what the course feels like and if I should start training hills like crazy for the next several months! The B&A trail looks like a good Plan B…!

  8. I’m trying to think of something near me so I can meet you in person, but there’s not much early in the year! =) I know of a TINY marathon in April you could probably win, but it’s the weekend after Boston. (The first female last year ran 3:21. http://www.runforthelakes.com/ )

  9. I LOVE winter running:-) but I have a very deep hatred for treadmills so I guess I’ve just taught myself I’d rather be cold!

    I would HIGHLY recommend the Asheville Marathon run entirely on Biltmore Estate on March 16th. This will be its second year and they added a half option. Not much more beautiful than running by the front steps of the Biltmore House and through the gardens. I would say this though: hilly (not constant hills and plenty of flat and down), mixed terrain between roads and packed trails/access roads, but GORGEOUS every step of the way! Definitely a destination race to add to the bucket list!

  10. I almost did B&A 2 years ago, it is still on my radar, maybe one day! I have Boston in the spring but think that will be the only full I do in spring.

  11. I’m with you on the local(ish) marathons! I am going to run the Charlottesville Marathon this spring (I think). I’ve run the 1/2 and Full National (or RnRUSA now). 1/2 course is great; full is a bit boring and yes – hilly. I’d say 70%+ run the 1/2 so it can be a mental downer to all the 1/2 runners split off and then it become rather desolate. Good luck on the decision! Mine changes weekly – this week being Charlottesville ;).

  12. Ivy, you are a far more brave woman than I am. I cannot imagine regularly running in the teens and 20s, but I suppose now is a better time than never to embrace the cold and get away from the dreadmill. Thanks for the face mask rec! Might just try that out!

  13. Do RNR USA!! I’m signed up for the full. Don’t know anyone else doing it, I decided to go out on a limb for this one and just sign up. Pretty much the only spring marathon I can do considering Kaitlyn’s cheer competition schedule. :)

  14. I’m not back in the training swing either – I’m blaming grad school finals but deep down I know it’s winter getting to me.

    I’m signed up for RnR USA Half! Would be so cool to know you’re out there on the same course somewhere way ahead haha. Have you ever run Richmond? I just ran the half and everyone said it would be super hilly and I didn’t feel like it was. If you’ve run it would you say RNR USA is more or less hilly?

    Also once I’m up to the full marathon I definitely want to run the Country Music marathon in Nashville in April, so that would be my suggestion :)

  15. Come to Maine and run Sugarloaf with me:) And stay a few extra days at our family’s beach house. http://www.sugarloaf.com/marathon

  16. Oooooooooo I may have to consider this!!! xoxo

  17. I had fun the year I ran it Lisa!!! I’m sure you will do great :)

  18. I’ve done the Richmond full and both the half and full at USA. I would say that the USA half is MUCH hillier than Richmond, but I know that the Richmond half is a bit different than the full….so I can’t make an exact comparison. The full USA course is really only super hilly in the first half – after that it was much easier on the 2nd half.

    I’ll have to check out Country Music for another year! Trying to find one in March or Feb for 2014 :)

  19. thanks for the heads up – i just re looked at the richmond elevation courses and the marathon looks like it has bigger hills, but fewer, whereas the half seems to have less steep but more frequent incline changes. ah well. i generally train with hills so we’ll just have to see what happens! it’ll be my first RnR race so i’ll just be happy to cross the finish line :)

    have you thought about the myrtle beach marathon? it’s in february. i love any excuse to get to myrtle beach personally 😉

  20. immune boosting foods Thanks for a lovely society.

  21. How about the Shamrock Marathon in VA Beach in March? It’s relatively close, they have awesome race swag and a very flat course. Could be a great PR course!

  22. Hi Christine – have you run that race before? Thoughts? I’ve always heard that it can be crazy windy even though it’s flat – which is why I haven’t run it yet!

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