Category Archives: The Many Faces of Running

Guest Post Series- The Many Faces of Running- Cynthia

Hi peeps!  It’s been a while, eh?  I had quite the whirlwind weekend; a meeting at the Mohonk in New Paltz (stunningly gorgeous), a wedding in Buffalo and then the Buffalo Bills game on Sunday, which was cold, rainy and le mis.  I got to spend time with my friend Kara though so it was still a lot of fun.  Also.  Let’s just say I didn’t quite abide by my no drinking wine in the two weeks before the half marathon rule.  What can I say, the wedding was a lot of fun! 😀  My new baby car has over 1000 miles on her already.  I am a bit ridiculous with it.  I use the heated seats even when it is warm out.  It feels good on my back!  Anyway.  I have a great guest post for you from Cynthia of It All Changes.  Cynthia is really sweet and I can’t wait to meet her this weekend!  She talks about getting back into running after sustaining an injury.  Her story is really inspiring and I encourage you to check out her blog!  Take it away, Cynthia 🙂

From Walker to Runner
Hi I’m Cynthia!

I blog over at It All Changes.  Katie is one of the many awesome bloggers I’ve met in the Capital District of NY. (They’re nice enough to let me join in even though I live in Massachusetts 🙂 )

I love reading the Many Faces of Running Series as a reminder we all didn’t just wake up one day, throw on a pair of shoes and run a marathon.  Wouldn’t that be awesome!  Well maybe not.

For me running never came naturally.  In High School I cringed at the thought of running “the mile” and laughed at my band director who made us run laps if we misbehaved (which was often).  I was NOT a runner.  I was a walker and proud of it.  Why would anyone want to run unless they were being chased?

I held firm to my walker status through childhood, those pesky teen years and on into adult hood.  In fact, my first 5K was in Germany as a kid with my mom; we walked the entire thing.  We even got a cool candy dish for it 🙂 Walking was so easy and I could enjoy the scenery and talking with others which I definitely could not do while running and gasping for air.

I used walking as my primary exercise throughout my weight loss as well.  One day I woke up with the thought…What if I could run?  That thought was quickly brushed away because I was a walker.  Then my weight loss plateaued and I went crying to my trainer for help.  Her suggestion…running.  I could escape it!  That darn exercise was following me.  I complained that I couldn’t do it and she suggested the Couch to 5K plan.  I moaned and groaned and complained but she would let me leave her office until I promised to give it a try. 

I agreed reluctantly and dragged my track star friend out for my first run.  This running thing wasn’t that bad.  Notice I didn’t say good either.  At the beginning you still do more walking than running.  I kept my promise and went out for my runs three times a week.  I actually started to look forward to them as an escape from the craziness of seminary studying.
I knew I loved running and not just liked it the day I put on my shoes, clothes and then a foodie to run in the rain.  Me running in the rain?  It was insane and I loved every second.  The cool mist hitting my face as I ran around the neighborhoods near my school and the glances from everyone driving by as I ran.  I knew that running was a part of me and I was hooked.
Before I even finished the Couch to 5K program I had signed up for a race Labor Day weekend.  

I also ran a few more 5Ks and a 5 mile race that fall. 

Then I injured myself…again and again and again.

Through all the injuries I held firm to my identity as a runner.  It is part of me.  I am now the girl who puts on her shoes and runs…just not a marathon.  I take care of myself to be a life long runner and love every second of it. I’ll be back on the course as soon as I have the okay because I love it…injuries and all.

If you had told the walker in me that I would be a runner I would have laughed.  Today I can look back at her and tell her “One day…just you wait.”
Why do you keep running? 
Cynthia 🙂
-Healthy Living Blogger

Cynthia, you’ve had quite the running journey!  Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story 😀  I keep running because I love the feeling of accomplishment and all of the energy that it gives me.  There is nothing like seeing your time improve or being able to go farther than you could a month ago.  Tell me, why do YOU keep running?

Have a wonderful day friends!  I’ll be back later with a meatless Monday recipe (it’s a good one!), albeit a day late. 

If you would like to be a part of The Many of Faces of Running Series, please email me at FitToWed at gmail dot com.  I’d love to have you!


Filed under The Many Faces of Running

Guest Post Series- The Many Faces of Running- Jen

Hi peeps!  I hope y’all are doing well on this wonderful Wednesday.  I am stoked because I just finished the last of four presentations, woohoo!  Now I am off to explore Lake Placid 🙂  I do miss blogging and reading/commenting on all of your blogs- my reader is out of control.  I will be back with bells on this weekend to report on my 11 miler (awesome), my 10 miler (that I haven’t run yet), a 5k recap and oh yeah, a recap of the wardrobe challenge.  I “met” a cool blogger that is also embarking on a wardrobe challenge of her own so I will be giving her a shout out as well! 

For now, I am very happy and honored to introduce you to Jen, a local blogger that I first connected with on dailymile and then had the pleasure of meeting in person!  We had an awesome running date and she is such a sweetheart, not to mention incredibly inspiring.  She is running her first half with me (well not with me but you know) on the tenth too!  Woohoo!  Here is Jen 🙂

My name is Jen and I blog over at, where I write about my life in healthy food and fitness. Thanks to Katie for allowing me to write a guest post for her Many Faces of Running Series. I’m honored! 🙂
Let me first say that I wasn’t always a runner. In fact, for the majority of my life, I wasn’t athletic at all. I dreaded “the mile” in gym class and almost always came in dead last. I didn’t have an athletic bone in my body, and I never thought I would.
And then, two years ago, something changed. I wanted to get in shape. I was overweight and tired of it. I wanted to work exercise into my daily routine. One day I decided to try running a bit during one of my walks…and I could just run a half a mile without stopping. I figured running would be the quickest way to burn calories and get me toward my goal of losing weight faster. It did! Slowly I made it to running three miles without stopping, and with that, a weight loss of 80 pounds!
But, I wanted more! I needed a fitness goal. I signed up for a 5K: The Freihofer’s Run for Women, in Albany, NY in May of 2009. My goal for this race was to run, without stopping, the whole time; to finish! That was it! I was so nervous about it, I hoped that I could complete my goal. Without ever stopping to walk, I finished the race in 37 minutes. I felt incredible. I felt like I had found my place, like I’d discovered my passion. Words can’t even really describe the feeling I had–I had come from being 80 pounds overweight and unathletic, to a person who successfully completed running a 3.1 mile race! I cried at the finish line, I was so  proud of myself. I had never felt this feeling before. It was so strange to me! And now I wanted more-more races and longer distance. I had been bitten by the racing bug!
Throughout the year I kept running, trying to improve my 5K time, and increasing my distance. In March of 2010, I ran five miles for the first time. Again, I felt another great sense of accomplishment. I thought to myself, once I can run five, I can keep going! I ran the 2010 Freihofer’s 5K this year, and finished in 27:18, shaving 10 minutes off of last year’s time. I felt awesome.

Since then, I’ve ran two other 5Ks, two 10Ks, and this summer, trained for and ran a 15K, where I finished in 1 hour and 39 minutes. I’m currently training for my first half marathon, which takes place on October 10, 2010. Finishing a half marathon will be my ultimate accomplishment, and I know I can do it. And I can’t wait!

For me, running has become more than just a way to burn calories. It helps me relieve stress, and allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment whenever I finish a run or race. I can always push myself farther and set new goals for myself. It teaches me more about myself every day and I believe because of it, I’m a better person. I’m more healthier and happier than I’ve ever been in my life. 🙂


Jen, you are seriously amazing!  I can’t wait for you to cross the finish line of your first half-marathon.  You are super fast so I’ll probably be crossing a few minutes after you 😉  Thank you for sharing your story!

Have a great Wednesday friends!


Filed under Running, The Many Faces of Running

Guest Post Series- The Many Faces of Running- Lindsey

Hi friends!  I hope y’all had a great weekend.  Mine was filled with getting ready for a conference + an 11 miler with some Bikram yoga thrown in.  And purchasing a new car.  Yessss.  Heated seats are an awesome luxury essential in upstate NY winters.  Good stuff 😀 

Today I am excited to introduce you to Lindsey from Eat, Read, Run.  She is incredibly inspiring and will be running Boston next spring!   She also just returned from Ireland and has some amazing pictures posted on her blog!  Her post is really interesting- she discusses achieving an ultimate goal and then the slump that follows.  Here is Lindsey!

Hello all! My name is Lindsey and I blog over at Thank you so much Katie for allowing me to contribute to The Many Faces of Running guest post series you’ve got going on over here. I was immediately drawn into this series as I started reading other runners’ stories.

So I guess you’re all wondering what my story is and if or how it might be different from yours. I wanted to contribute to this series to offer up my running rut experience and talk about the kind of runner I am. I’ll warn you now that it isn’t too inspirational and probably won’t make you want to head out for a nice long run, but if we’re being honest about our running, then I feel I have to share it.

I’ve been a runner since high school. I took a short hiatus in college (while focusing all my efforts on my…studies, ahem), but post-graduation I was back in the running game. I started with 5ks and then found myself signed up for 15k. When that race was over, I thought, okay – what’s next?

See, I’ve always been a list-maker and a goal-setter. When is the next race, what is my next goal time? That kind of runner. I’d like to claim that I run just for the pure joy of running, but even if I don’t vocalize it, I usually have some goal in mind. I can’t seem to help it.

So anyway, eventually I worked through my running goals and found myself facing the inevitable question – is a marathon next?

Indeed it was. I convinced a good friend to train and run with me for my very first marathon in October 2009. It was an eye-opening experience and as many marathoners say, I learned a lot about myself that day—my limits and just how far beyond those limits I could go. And I finished in a very respectable 3:54:57. I didn’t have a goal time in mind – I just wanted to finish.

After my finish, everyone asked if I would run another. I said “No,” I’d accomplished my goal and that was enough. But… and there’s always a but, right? Then I started thinking about my time and Boston dreams began bouncing around my head. The “what ifs” were just so powerful.

I’m sure you can guess what comes next. I signed up for another marathon with the lofty goal to qualify for Boston. I didn’t even give myself a full year. I decided to run the Pocono Run for the Red Marathon in May 2010. And so I set to work on accomplishing my next goal. I trained through the winter (that is definitely a unique experience), had some big ups and downs, and finally it was marathon day.

Long story short – I BQed in May 2010 and felt ecstatic! For a little while anyway. And then I hit my running rut. It was like I had hit a wall. What was the point of running now? I didn’t have a big goal. I’d qualified for Boston – what else was there? Oh yeah – I suppose running Boston was always something, but it wasn’t immediate enough to get me revved up. I had almost a year to wait after all.

From May 16, 2010 through September 12, 2010, I think I ran maybe a total of 10 times. To go from running five days a week to hardly at all was extremely strange and drastic. It felt like I didn’t have a purpose. I channeled my energies into work and tried to focus hard on my career. I read books like crazy. But, if I’m being honest, I think I always felt a little lost. There was always something missing and deep down, I knew what it was.

So you’re probably asking why I didn’t just go out and run. Believe me, I tried. Those 10 or so times I tried, I thought each time was going to be the one. The run that got me back into the game. The run where I enjoyed it and felt fabulous. But it didn’t happen. Each run was harder than the last.

Toward the end of August I pretty much just gave up. My husband and I went on a vacation to Ireland for 11 days and nights, so that occupied me entirely. Running in Ireland didn’t even cross my mind. We had an amazing, fantastic, completely unforgettable time. And then one night, when we were taking a walk in the town of Dingle, we came across a runner. He was running along the beach on a tiny path and suddenly I felt something. It was hard to place at first, but slowly I began to recognize what it was: jealousy. Here I was relaxing and having the time of my life in this beautiful country, not a care in the world, and I was jealous of this lone runner.

I knew then that things might be a little different when I got back. And so far they have been. It hasn’t been easy. I won’t sugarcoat it. I’m out of shape. And when I say that, people say I’m crazy, but from a runner’s perspective I am. I have a lot of endurance work to do. I’m also training for a half marathon and am following a training plan.

I guess my point is that I realized that I can’t really fight the kind of runner I am. I need lists and plans and goals. It’s who I am in my life and it’s who I am as a runner. I know that I’ll always be a runner, even if I do have future ruts. But I think this tough time has taught me a lot about myself and how important running has become to me. I’m hoping that going forward, knowing what I know, I’ll be able to face future slumps head on and realize that it doesn’t mean I’m less of a runner—just a runner who is driven by different things. And I guess maybe that isn’t so terrible. 😀


Lindsey, thank you so much for sharing!  You are a fantastic runner and you will definitely rock your half-marathon!  I’m very excited to follow along as you train for Boston 🙂

Well friends, I’m off to Lake Placid for the week.  I’ll see you on Wednesday with a guest post from Jen!  Have a good one 😀


Filed under Running, The Many Faces of Running

Guest Post Series- The Many Faces of Running- Sara

Happy Friday my friends!  It is a rainy day in the Capital District but no matter.  Yesterday I got in six rainy miles after work with my running buddy Melissa.  We were thinking of putting it off but it isn’t like you can ask for perfect weather come race day! 

I enjoyed reading all of your reasons for running.  Many thanks to Amanda for such a great guest post!  Today I have a guest post from Sara, another Capital District female attorney (woo!) who is running her first half in the same race as me!  Woohoo!  Sara used to blog but hasn’t been as of late.  You can catch up with her on twitter @lawgirl329.  Take it away, Sara!


First off, thank you Katie for letting me participate in The Many Faces of Running!  It felt great to blog a little bit again. 

 I’m not really sure why exactly, but last September I decided I wanted to learn to love running.  I had just graduated from law school and taken the bar exam and I guess I wanted a goal, since for the past 3 years all of my goals had been law school related.  At the time, I was actively blogging, and read about the Couch to 5k program on a few blogs.  I checked it out and after I saw that I only had to run 3 days a week and for only 60 seconds at a time to start, I decided to give it a try.  For someone who wanted to learn to love running, I wanted to run as little as possible.

 Couch to 5k was a really bearable running program.  It definitely eased me into running, and before I knew it, I was running two miles, without stopping.  To top it off, while running those two miles, I didn’t want to die.  I was shocked!  After I hit that two mile mark, I decided to sign up for my first 5k right around the time I was scheduled to complete the Couch to 5k program.  Despite a new job and moving 4 hours away, I sucked it up, stuck with the program, and got ready for the 5k.  The last few weeks of the program, which were the first few weeks at my new job, involved a lot of improvising, but come race day, I was feeling pretty prepared.  Prepared, and really, really nervous.

 I won’t lie, that 5k was hard.  I wanted to stop running after the first mile.  The wind that day was unbearable.  The course was somewhat hilly.  I hadn’t trained on hills.  To be honest, the thought never even crossed my mind.  I kept pushing though.  I really wanted to finish that race.  And slowly, but surely, finish I did.  In 41 minutes.  Despite my less than speedy pace, I was so proud.  I’d finished a 5k.  I ran, albeit slowly, every step of the way, and for someone who only two months before could barely even run for 60 seconds, I was thrilled.

 After that, I officially caught the running bug.  New York winters can be brutal, and last winter was no exception, so I had to take some of my running indoors to the treadmill, which I loathe, but I did it.  I started doing long runs on weekends.  Before I knew it, a three or four mile run became the norm for me as a daily run.  The craziest part?  I was actually enjoying running, especially the way I felt after a run.  Not to mention, running immensely helped with my 2010 New Year’s Resolution: to finally lose some weight! 

 Three months later, once spring time finally started to hit New York, I signed up for my second 5k.  Fifteen pounds lighter and with three more months of training under my belt, I was nothing but excited about this race.  I went into the race armed with a goal: to beat 35 minutes. 

 While 35 minutes still might not be all that fast, it was six minutes faster than my first 5k, or two minutes per mile faster.  That’s a big difference.   I told my sister to expect me to cross the finish line at about 35 minutes, so to make sure she was there with the camera.  Well, good thing she came by a few minutes early, because I crossed the finish line in just over 33 minutes.  I was so proud to have chopped so much time off my 5k time!

 Unfortunately, after that race I was sidelined by a bad hamstring strain that required physical therapy.  I had to take eight weeks off of running.  I still did the elliptical and walked on the treadmill five days a week to keep up my weight loss and maintain my cardio.

 When I was finally cleared to run again I immediately signed up for a 5k.  I had zero expectations on my race time because I’d only been running for a couple of weeks before the race. So, when I crossed the finish line at just over 29 minutes, I couldn’t believe it.  Under 10 minutes per mile pace.  And, it felt good!

 After that race it was official, I had learned to love running.  It was then that I did something I never thought I’d have the guts to do, I signed up for a half marathon.  Race day is October 10, so it’s fast approaching.  The training has been going pretty well so far, I just completed my 11 mile long run this past weekend.  Every weekend when I tack on one more mile to that long run, all I can do is smile during that last mile.  No matter how sore and tired my legs are I bask in the fact that each step is one step farther than I’ve ever run before.

So that’s my story, I decided I wanted to learn to love running and I did.  I had tried this many times before, but this time I was successful because I finally realized that running isn’t all physical, so much of it is mental.  Couch to 5k got my body in shape for running.  It slowly built endurance in my legs and my lungs, but it was my mind that got me past that wall I’d always hit before.  Once I was in the mindset that running was something I really wanted to do, I found that I was talking myself into running farther, even when my legs started to get tired.  I think that people don’t realize how mental a sport running really is.  I’ve definitely had runs where my body is fine, but it’s my mind that isn’t getting me through.  Unfortunately, they don’t have a Couch to 5k program for that. 

If you’re like me and really want to become a runner, try a beginner’s running program to take the guess work out of it and just try to relax and enjoy it.  I’m shocked at how natural running has become for me.  Even more importantly, get your brain on board, not just your body.  It’s amazing what you can convince yourself you’re capable of doing.  And of course, when all else fails, try bribing yourself with new running clothes.  It always worked for me  🙂

Sara, our running stories are so similar 🙂 I love the Couch to 5k program; it completely transformed me from a non-runner to a runner.  If you’re a runner, how did you get started?  Like Sara and I?  Or were you a runner all of your life?

If you want to write a guest post for The Many Faces of Running Series, please feel free to email me at FitToWed at gmail dot com.  I’d love to have you!


Filed under Running, The Many Faces of Running

Guest Post Series- The Many Faces of Running- Amanda

Hi guys!  I’m a bit late to posting this due to a minor fender bender snafu but all is well now.  I am incredibly honored and excited to feature Amanda from Run to the Finish as the next guest post in “The Many Faces of Running” series! 😀  Amanda’s blog is one of the first ones that I read and I find her to be incredibly honest, real and inspiring.  She is an amazing runner and a great motivator.  I really love the fact that she posts a gratitude journal of all the things she is grateful for that day.  We should all do that, because there is so much in life to appreciate!  Enough from me; here is Amanda!


I try not to spend all my time talking about running because most people don’t really understand it. Well meaning friends always ask “Are you still running?” or “What are you training for?” and I try to keep the answers brief, knowing the very next words that will be uttered: “I could never do that”.

I always laugh and say “that’s not true…you could do it, you just don’t want to and that’s fine.” I truly believe that barring any medical or physical issues anyone can run…for me it’s a true passion that I was lucky to find my Junior year of college and have embraced nearly daily for the last 8 years…. But why would anyone want to spend so much time running? Where do I get this all consuming passion for running?

  • Burns calories: Hello cookie
  • Relieves Stress: Some days the frustration from a bad call or bad day can really boost your run…others the run is exactly what it takes to realize that stuff just doesn’t really matter. What matters is at home; it is the people who love you…yeah running can make you a little sappy too.
  • Meditation: I always feel more centered after a run. I have time to reflect, to plan, to do my taxes really…what can’t you think about while zoning out during that time??
  • Exploration: I know a city or area faster than many who have lived there for ages from seeing it through a runners eyes and not the passenger window of a car.
  • Pride: There is an undeniable sense of accomplishment at the end of a run. You see it in new and old runners alike…that moment of “I did it” never really wears off because it never becomes easy.

I don’t look down on anyone that doesn’t run…I simply believe they’ve found their own niche for all these things…maybe it’s biking, scrapbooking, blogging, writing…I just hope they know running is about more than the heavy breathing, exhaustion and sore muscles. Why do you run?


Thank you for this thought-provoking post Amanda!  I run for many reasons, but one of the main factors is the sense of accomplishment and the fact that I can actually physically feel myself making progress in my fitness abilities.  It is extremely motivating!  What about you guys?  Why do you run?

If you want to write a guest post for The Many Faces of Running Series, please feel free to email me at FitToWed at gmail dot com.  I’d love to have you!



Filed under Running, The Many Faces of Running

Guest Post Series- The Many Faces of Running- Lee

Good morning!  Thank you for all of your comments regarding my 10 miler 🙂  After an ice bath on Saturday and a one mile recovery run (pace: 13:15 hehe) and bikram yoga yesterday, I’m not even sore!  Gotta love that.

This morning I am very excited to share a guest post from Lee, the author behind In My Tummy.  Lee is a fellow newlywed and runner with one of the cutest golden retrievers ever.  I want to travel to Atlanta just to meet up with her and hang out at her new house 🙂  That sounds stalker-ish; I promise I’m not a stalker 🙂  She also celebrated a PR this weekend- make sure to stop by her blog and congratulate her.  Here’s Lee!


My name is Lee and I blog over at  I want to thank Katie for letting me participate in her Faces of Running series. 

Here goes:

Once upon a time, I ran a marathon.  Specifically, in March of 2007.  I’d gotten into running two years prior and had completed two half-marathons and several shorter distance races.  Before I discovered healthy living blogs, I discovered running blogs.  A lot of these runners were training for marathons and the idea appealed to me.  For some reason, I even though training for one was somewhat glamourous.  (Later, I found out that there is nothing glamourous about being tired and hungry all the time and losing toenails.)

The idea bounced around in my head for a while.  Atlanta has the Atlanta Marathon which is on Thanksgiving.  I knew that I didn’t want to do that one because I usually go home to Maryland to visit my family.  I also didn’t want to travel for a race either.  Enter the Inaugural ING Georgia Marathon.  To my delight, I realized that Atlanta decided to have another marathon, this time in the spring.  My mind was made.  I signed up.

I followed a Hal Higdon novice marathon training plan.  Looking back, if I had done it over, I would have joined a group of some sort.  20 mile training runs on your own are pretty lonesome.  But I did it.  I followed the training plan the best I could and before I knew it, it was race week.

The race was in the end of March.  I’d been training all winter.  In the cold.  (I might have a different definition of cold as you do, living in the South, but point was, I trained in wintertime.)   Like any racer does, I became obsessed with the week of my race.  And do you know what the high temperature was supposed to be on marathon day?  90.  After training in 50 degree temps, I had to run the longest distance of my life in a freak heat wave.

Lee-Faces of Running 

Ready to go!

The race started out fine.  The first hiccup was around Mile 6.  There were “Powerade ahead” signs but no powerade ahead.  My mother and one of my friends were supposed to be standing at mile 9.  Fortunately, they were and they gave me a cold water bottle which I drank from and handed back.  I was still doing fine at this point.  After I left them, they agreed to meet me at Mile 11.  It had started to get warmer out and at Mile 11, they insisted that I run holding the water bottle.  I didn’t especially want to run 15 more miles with a water bottle in hand, but I did and looking back, I’m very glad.

I was fine until about Mile 16.  The temps had gotten into the high 80s by that point and I was definitely feeling it.  Around Mile 19, I started to alternate walking and running.  My mom and some friends were standing at Mile 22 and after what felt like an eternity, I got to them.   Later, my mom told me that I did not look good when I got there.  I’d been filling up my plastic water bottle any chance that I could, but the heat was pretty unbearable.  Maybe if I’d trained in the summer, I’d of been okay, but I trained during the winter and this was March! 

My attempt to run pretty much dwindled at Mile 22.  I tried to shuffle along, but my pace rapidly decreased into a walk.  To make matters worse, I could feel one of my toenails falling off.  My mom and more friends were at Mile 24.  Just two more miles.  Sounds like nothing but at that point, I was seriously considering giving up.  My friend Erin made me continue on and encouraged me to finish the race running.  She ran the last two miles with me.  She was wearing flip flops which gives you an indication of just how slowly I was running.

That finish sign was the best thing I’d ever seen in my life.  Only instead of happiness, all I felt was disappointment.  I’m not a fast runner by any means and I’d sort of expected to finish the race in around 5 hours.  Nope.  Not even close.  The marathon took me 6.5 hours.  After we went home, I got really sick.  Probably some sort of heat exhaustion or dehydration.  I couldn’t stop throwing up and just felt awful.  My mom went home the next day and that was it, the marathon was over.  Months of training went into these few hours and I’d run a crappy race.

Going into it, I was hoping that I’d catch the marathon bug.  I was hoping that it would be one of the best accomplishments of my life.  But it wasn’t.  It took me a long time to get over my disappointment with my time and how the race went in general.  It took a long time to realize that so many factors were at play that contributed to it.  The heat was unbearable, the course was hilly but, plus this being the inaugural race, they weren’t prepared.  They ran out of powerade almost immediately and water shortly after. 

Here it is three years later and I have yet to run another marathon.  But, I’ve run the ING Georgia HALF marathon three years in a row since then. (They’ve since fixed the water/powerade issues).  I think that sometimes, as readers of healthy living and running blogs, we see running a marathon as almost commonplace.  But it’s not.  It took me 6.5 hours and lots of walking, but I am one of those people who has completed a marathon.  I have a 26.2 sticker that I earned.  After the race, everyone asked if I’d run another one and the answer was a resounding NO.  But sometimes lately, I think maybe I’ll give it another shot one day. 

Not all marathon stories are triumphant.  Not all races go as planned.  But do I call myself a marathon runner?  Yes, I do.


Lee, I think that you are amazing for persevering and finishing the marathon in such awful conditions!  A marathon in the most perfect conditions is incredibly difficult; in that heat and lacking fluids finishing one is straight hardcore!  Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

If you want to write a guest post for The Many Faces of Running Series, please feel free to email me at FitToWed at gmail dot com.  I’d love to have you!

Have a wonderful Monday friends!


Filed under The Many Faces of Running

Guest Post Series- The Many Faces of Running- Linzi

Hello and happy Friday friends!   I am glad that you guys enjoyed reading about Nicki and her running journey.  A lot of interesting and thought-provoking comments gave me great ideas for a future post, but that is for a later time.  Today I am honored to introduce you to Linzi, a fellow runner who is training for her first marathon.  She is SO inspiring and I wish that we lived closer to one another- we would definitely partake in many wine nights together!  😀  One of these days I’ll have to make it out to Idaho!  The photo of her running below is simply breathtaking- I want to run there!   Here’s Linzi!


Hello my name is Linzi and you can find me rambling and running over at Destination 26.2. I was excited when Katie asked for guest bloggers as it an honor to write for her. Katie and I share a love for running, drinking wine and men in uniform! LOL – but seriously I am excited to share a little bit of my marathon story with you today. Thanks Katie!

The idea to run a marathon sort of hit me like a ton of bricks. I had only been running for 6 months when I decided that I was going to embark on such an adventure. But that’s The Linz for ya, a girl with big goals. But I knew if I made the goal I would accomplish it.
So I am here today to tell you that if I can run a marathon YOU can too!
When I first made the announcement to my family and friends they were happy for me but too realized that I just declared I would run 26.2 miles. At the time my longest run was only a 5k.
But that’s the thing, I didn’t worry about the fact I had only been running for 6 months and I that I had no clue what was even involved in running a marathon.
I decided I would have a Just Do It attitude. Which is so fitting considering I ended up picking the Nike Women’s Marathon as the race I would train for.
I picked my race almost a year out to give me time to mentally and physically prepare. I told everyone I knew that I was going to run a marathon as a way to hold myself accountable. And I even started my blog as a way to document my journey along the way. I never let the negative thoughts set in that I couldn’t do this.
Okay, so I haven’t actually ran the marathon yet – but in merely a month I will be able to say that I did!
I basically became a marathon runner overnight, or so it feels that way. I didn’t have a core group of friends who were already running and training for these kinds of races so I knew needed something else to keep me motivated while training. I joined forces with Team in Training as way to make new running friends and to run my first marathon with others who maybe were new at it too.
Another cool thing about joining Team in Training is the fact that you fundraise for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. So not only are you running for yourself, but doing something bigger than that for a great cause. I have personally raised $3600 for the cause and couldn’t be more excited about it.
Training for a marathon has been a lot of hard work.
I have had to go to bed early every friday night in order to make it on my long saturday morning runs. I have had to resist the urge to drink wine on MANY occasions. And I have even forgone any cute clothing shopping and declared my love for all things spandex.
I know it sounds rough, but it’s truly been an amazing experience thus far.
I have pushed myself and my body in ways I never even knew were possible. The first time I did my 10 mile run I almost cried as I realized that I was really doing this.
My marathon story is more than just a girl who is training to run 26.2 miles or is raising money for a great cause, it’s of a girl who has overcome HUGE mental & physical obstacles and has embraced her body for what it is capable of doing not what it looks like.
In the back of my mind I started training for this race as way to get in shape, honestly I have not lost a single pound but have gained a wealth of self-esteem!
So take it from me, that girl who roughly a year and a half ago put on running shoes for the very first time – that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! You are stronger than you think and you truly can do anything you put your mind to.
If you have any questions about training for a marathon or just want to follow me as I cross the finish line of my first marathon I would love for you to stop by Destination 26.2 and say hello!


Thanks so much for sharing your story, Linz!  Isn’t she incredibly inspiring?  I love to follow along with her training and will be cheering for her from afar once she crosses the finish line in San Francisco.   Linzi, you are amazing!

If you want to write a guest post for The Many Faces of Running Series, please feel free to email me at FitToWed at gmail dot com.  I’d love to have you!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!


Filed under Running, The Many Faces of Running

Guest Post Series- The Many Faces of Running- Nicki

Hi friends!  I am incredibly excited to introduce a new guest series- “The Many Faces of Running.”  Since becoming a runner, I have been amazed by the variety and sheer number of persons I have encountered in this little huge community.  Heck, I got smoked by a 79 year old man (literally, I may or may not have specifically looked at the race results to check) on my last 5k.  This is what I love about running.  It brings people into your life that you otherwise may not have had the pleasure to encounter. 

With that, I am honored to introduce you to Nicki.  Some of you may already know her; if not, I encourage you to go check out her blog.  I can barely keep my running schedule together and I have just myself to take care of, where Nicki makes running look effortless while caring for six children.  Now that is amazing! 


I have said it again and again.  I didn’t ever intend to run a race.  I started running, if you could even call it that when I first started, to hopefully outrun all that heredity was trying to give me.  I had had six children in ten years, watched my marriage dissolve, and watched the “baby” weight not go away.  I decided, as my parents were diagnosed with more and more health issues, that I was not going to accept these things.  I was going to fight back.  That was Labor Day weekend of 2007.

Even last summer, logging at least 25 miles a week, I didn’t consider myself a runner.  When a good friend introduced me to his mom, he said “and she’s a runner like me.” Now, he is a Boston qualifier and has run multiple marathons.  I had to correct him.  I still had no intentions of ever running a race.

Then, I went as my friend’s support team to a marathon.  I loved it!  I loved the camaraderie!  I loved everything about the race.  I knew I had to try a race so I started looking for a fall 5K.  I found one but then kid things – this is a Mom phrase which means something you probably should be at, if possible – came up and I kept looking.  I found one in Seneca Falls, NY.  It was the “It’s a Wonderful 5K”in conjunction with the town’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”weekend. Now, I was a runner.

The holidays came and went.  I was talking to a friend who does mentoring for Team in Training.  I told her I thought I wanted to try a half marathon.  She asked me a bunch of questions and then told me her sister is a race director for one in Sullivan County.  The Celebrate Life Half Marathon was approximately nine weeks away so I had to start training.

I took to the internet with a renewed passion.  I printed off all kinds of training plans.  I decided on a Hal Higdon novice training plan for my first half marathon.  I needed to do this right because as soon as I had registered for the Celebrate Life, I turned around and registered for a half that was closer to home and three weeks after the first, the Skunk Cabbage.

What played into my choice of training plans?  I needed one that had some flexibility in it.  I did not run the planned races at the planned times.  I never ran a 10K prior to my half but I did run one more 5K.  I also wanted one that the number of runs per week were five.  I knew my body.  I knew that I needed two days off each week.  Cross training could take part on one of those days but I would also, on occasion, throw in a second rest day.

I have to be honest.  I am not a two mile or three mile runner.  I don’t like 5Ks because they are not long enough.  I have discovered I am a distance runner.  My half marathon training was runs I liked the distance off each week with the exception of the long run.  I always ran the long run distance.

When I decided in July that I was going to run an October marathon, I again started looking at training plans.  They were all 18 to 20 weeks.  I had 12 weeks to train.  The good news was I was already logging between 25 and 35 miles a week.  I took an 18 week training plan and started at week six.  This training plan, unlike the one I chose in January, was an intermediate plan.  It was tough and intense but it was doable.  The only deviations I have made from this plan is to switch around the days runs take place on to fit into my life.

Even as an intermediate plan, I know there are things missing from this current plan.  I need to add speed work into my next training plan.  I need to add weights, at least upper body, into my next training plan.  I have used this plan to test all kinds of things: gels, bloks, beans.  I have tested drinks and strengths of the drinks.  This is what training is for – to get you ready for the real event.  I will run, not even a full year after my first race ever and just slightly over a year from attending my first race ever, a marathon in October.

Nicki Conroy is a freelance writer and single mom.  You can read more from her at Nicki’s Nook.  While still not sure she is a runner, she has run ten races this year through the end of August.

Nicki, thank you so  much for sharing your story!  You are truly an inspiring woman and I know you will rock your first marathon.  🙂

If you’re interested in being featured as one of the many faces of running, please send me an email at FitToWed at gmail dot com. 

Thank you for reading and enjoy your day!


Filed under The Many Faces of Running