15 Day Countdown and Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! Hope your week has been a great one. Mine has been fairly low key with the exception of a few intense workouts and dinner with friends last night. Definitely a different kind of lifestyle compared to even a year ago! I am enjoying the process of becoming marathon-ready, but am looking forward to a break starting February 28th, the day after my marathon!

FullSizeRender (5)Where I will be racing in 15 days! Photo credit: @visit_arizona

More immediately, I am looking forward to this upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend! I’m not much of a celebrator of the hallmark holiday, but will be nice to be out in town with my man! Arctic air is supposed to settle over Boston, but it looks like it will be pushed out by early next week. My last longish run before the marathon is on the schedule, and I think I am going to run it on an indoor track as opposed to treadmill. Running in zero degrees is not my jam!

The other side of the country is facing incredible heat these days, as opposed to the east coast. This doesn’t bode well for US Olympic Marathon trials on Saturday nor the LA marathon on Sunday (looks like it’s going to be in the 80’s and up to 90 degrees!). The marathon used to be held in early March, but race organizers pushed the race ahead by a few weeks for several reasons, one in order to combat the heat. Sounds like the heat is still an issue! 

I ran the race in March 2014 before the date change, and it was the hottest race I’ve ever run. My sister ran the race with me, and we chose LA as a destination race to motivate us through another Boston winter. Despite the heat, we had such a great time running this point-to-point course that ended at the pier in Santa Monica. You can read my full race recap here!

IMG_2015The night before LA marathon 2014

My next marathon in AZ is in 15 days. I can’t believe it we have made it to the official 15 day countdown! Only 9-10 more workouts, including 2 longish runs, and then it’s race day! I’ve been catching up on some reading this week, including the Hansons Marathon Method (I’m not THAT much of a running nerd though, I have been switching between that book and “Girl on the Train”, which I’m loving! Stay tuned for a future post on “my favorite reads”!).


I did not follow Hansons Marathon Method in this training cycle, but am intrigued by this training plan that focuses on lower-mileage long runs that emphasize quality over quantity. In their plan, Keith and Kevin Hanson throw out any conventional marathon training guidance. One large difference between their method and the one that I have followed in this cycle is the long run- their long run peaks at 16 miles (following an easy 6-10 mile run depending on the training week), whereas I was scheduled for four 20 milers. Also, their training program is they have runners out there 6 days a week in order to build cumulative fatigue and get them used to tired legs, whereas I currently usually only run 5 days a week.

IMG_1218Stretching out before my first long run during this training cycle!

As Keith Hanson said, “Running on tired legs is a big part of our plan, because you’ve got to get used to it…It’s not a bad thing to feel tired.” There are several other differences, but so far I have been enjoying my individualized training plan generated by my coaches. The plan has pushed me further than ever before, and I am so excited to continue with my coaches even after this marathon!

One thing that my coaches, Hansons method, and my other running friends and community have in common is the idea that the best way to mentally prepare for a race is to be calm. As the Hansons say in their book, “A good way to find that calm is to approach the race with ‘cautious confidence’. Step back and spend a moment thinking about your training, reminding yourself that you are fit and ready to race. Training doesn’t lie.”

I’m going to be reminding myself of this idea while I head into the weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend? Valentine’s Day plans? 

What do you do to stay calm before a race? 

What training plan do you usually follow? What do you like about it? Before my coaches, I followed Hal Higdon’s plans. While I enjoyed using Hal’s free plans online, working with a coach has really helped me reach my running goals and has been beneficial in so many ways!



  1. My weekend plans involve a 14-miler tomorrow! That Hansons method sounds interesting… I’ve never heard of it. I do like the reasoning behind 6 runs per week (when I was doing the every-day Runner’s World streak between Thanksgiving and New Year’s I felt outstanding). But I think if my longest run of the season was only 16 miles, I’d be freaking out mentally while tapering for the race. There’s just such a wide gulf between 16 and 26.2.

    Totally envious of you heading to Arizona in February… Have a great Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of agree with you, but people swear by this training method. I might try it some day, but not for Boston! Good luck with your long run this weekend– I don’t know about the Midwest, but it’s going to be COLD out here so it will be an adventure! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!


  2. I’m currently following Hal Higdon’s intermediate plan for my half marathon and really like it, although at some point I’d love to work with a coach. I’ll be doing my 9 miler indoors tomorrow since it will be too brutally cold outside. We have plans to enjoy some nice champagne, pizza, and Cold Stone for Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so excited to find a blogger like me whose training for a marathon! Mine is May 16th, and so far, I have ran 2 halfs but am building up my distance again. You’re looking great and very happy! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day weekend; I will be working for the holiday but running today!! :D

    amanda from kindofmind.net

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the Hansons book – it is both technically solid and beautifully presented which encourages reading.

    For me, one of the its big takeaways is how to progress sessions week-by-week rather than just trying to run faster – I now use that in my own training.

    Have a friend currently training to their Advanced plan for London and am interested to see how it goes for him as he was a sceptic before reading the book.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Little update – on Sunday he ran a 10-mile race in under 58 – over 2-min PB. He set 5K & 10K PBs during the course of it. His first 8 miles were at about 5:50min/mile and the last two he had the energy to do them at 5:20.


  5. The South-West is definitely beautiful! I don’t know how people come here and then leave?! We stayed and we love it.

    Thanks for pointing out another running book to read ( I had enough on my list already!) it sounds very interesting.

    I’m looking forward to an extra long run tomorrow as the wife and daughters are headed out to pamper themselves. We’re in the 60’s here so I’ll be minimally attired and basking in the sun.

    I’m currently following the plan outlined by David Roche, a winningest trail runner and coach and generally funny guy. It calls for 5-6 days of running (essentially the 3-2-1 method) but I’m going 7 days right now to keep up the streak.

    Check out the March 2016 issue of Trail Runner Magazine. It has a big central piece about training authored by Roche. More info = good stuff.

    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback- I will be sure to check out the trail runner mag! have you read Dean Karnazes’ book “Ultra Marathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner”? I just started it and although I’m not an ultra runner (yet), I’m really digging the book. He’s amazing. Check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome! Is that the woodlands marathon? Hope the weather is nice for you! Also I am thinking about signing up for an ultra…but haven’t fully been convinces yet. I saw that you’ve run a 50m, and other ultras– how do you like the ultra distance compared to 26.2 miles? Thanks for your help!


  6. Just 15 days! I feel it was yesterday that I started reading your blog and you were months away! Soo happy for you! I have loved your training and have learned a lot.
    I’m also intrigued by this book, it’s just so different from others points of view! In my case, I design my own plans (I took a RRCA certification) and that’s been great for me! I have only had one injury in 6 years so I’m happy with training myself.
    I’m in LA and I remember the 2014 marathon as one of the hottest! They moved the race to be able to host the Olympic Trials so they could have 4 months to train for the Olympic Games otherwise 3 months wouldn’t be enough. The sad thing is that the race seems to be cursed!!!! We had very cold days until last week and now an out-of-no-where heat wave hit the city ☹
    Anyways, wish you a safe and sound taper 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! You’re lucky to live in such a great city!! I would love to go back some time. Did you watch the Olympic marathon trials?! I loved watching part of it on TV- especially the stressful finish!


  7. I have a playlist of very chill music that I listen to before a race. A lot of folks like to get all pumped up before running. I prefer to start very relaxed so I don’t over do it early in the run.

    Enjoy the Valentine weekend! I’m taking my wife out for dinner. That’s about as fancy as it gets w/ two little ones at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you and your wife had a great date! Thanks for your comment. As an ultra runner, I have a question for you: have you run any race/heard much about the north face endurance challenge series? If so, do you know much about the ultra in Ontario? Thanks in advance for your help!


  8. I try to remind myself before races that I’ve already done all the hard work. Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of my labor (sometimes it works haha). Before I got a coach I used the Hanson’s plan and it worked! I won and PRed a half marathon. At this point in my marathon training I’ve already run more than their highest mileage. I also love to read about the Hansons-Brooks distance project and look forward to watching Desi and Katie Kellner tomorrow in the marathon.
    OMG THE OLYMPIC TRIALS ARE TOMORROW! I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about everyone. That’s what dreams are made of right there!
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I watched it on three devices! CBS.com only gives you a 45 minute free trial…so I had to improvise (only negative to not having TV)


  9. That book sounds interesting. I usually pray and talk to myself before my marathon to convince me that I can do it. I just finished my second marathon and hoping to do an ultra (50km) in March. I am from the Philippines and it is nice to connect with a fellow runner across the globe. My husband and I dreamed of being able to run somewhere in the US anytime soon….good luck on your run. You’re looking great!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. my first ever marathon was in Az – Tucson, best of luck with the rest of the taper…it will feel good to get away from those crazy cold temps you’ve been having. I’d like to try Hanson’s one day…I have the book but haven’t really read it in much detail yet. I think trying a coaching system one day would be good too for a very specific goal or target race.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome!! How did you like running in AZ? Any tips! I’ve heard great things about the Tucson marathon. I’m just excited to escape these frigid temps! I think you should hire a coach- even for one of your 50 marathons. You’re so dedicated to this sport and your goal, why not try it out? I love my coaches, and would continue working with them for years to come if I could!


      1. Running in AZ was nice…Tucson is held in December so it was also a nice break from the winter and we stayed at a very nice resort. The Tucson race is point to point and downhill but not sure about Phoenix. You will notice the very dry air, so hydration not only on race day but a couple days leading up to the race is critical. I’m sure the race starts early so hopefully temps won’t be an issue but definitely plan on your warm day running gear! I probably will try a coaching plan for one of these cycles…just have to identify the target race that I want to target some very specific goals. Enjoy the final week of taper time!


  11. I’m excited for you! Where’s your marathon at? The photo looks like it’s beautiful!! I’ve used three different plans and I feel like the basic advanced marathon plan from the big book of marathon training has worked best for me. Run less run faster wasn’t enough mileage, Pete pfzinger was almost too much. A lot depends on your gene makeup, lifestyle, and life stressors. I personally found advantage with throwing in a 22 miler during marathon training. Just one of those. I can’t afford a coach at this time but man, it’s sure be awesome to see what I could do with a little extra professional push! Valentine’s?? I worked. Yay!;-)


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