Rainy Week and Ultra Advice

This morning was met with cloudy skies, the first reprieve from the rain that we’ve seen this entire week! I’m looking forward to the hovering English weather to make way for normal New England spring weather next week. If only marathon Monday could have had cooler temperatures as this week!

FullSizeRender (4)Photo credit: @alalehc

I have felt a little out of sync with my running and goal-oriented nature after Boston. Over the past five years, I have lined up the marathons and half marathons in a continuous training cycle. I didn’t train hard for most of them, but always had my next goal lined up. This time, I am purposefully taking a break, which I know is mentally and physically ideal for me—but has left me with a strong urge to get back into my next phase of goal-setting.

Here are some of my fitness goals for the next few months:

2015-09-treetops-day-2-5Photo credit: @imnotquitejack

  • Yoga once a week! Last night’s sweaty yoga session reminded me again how much the practice complements running. There are so many benefits to yoga, and I particularly like how it relaxes me, increases flexibility, coordination, and strength as well.
  • Get through my first trail run this July, and then move on to training for another goal marathon this fall. Fall races that I have on the calendar include Wineglass Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon, and think I will aim for Wineglass as the goal and MCM as the fun, follow-up race! They’re only three weeks, apart, so we will see how this will pan out.

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Speaking of trail running and ultras, I had the opportunity to chat with Nike-sponsored trail runner, 50k National Road Champion & Masters American Record holder Caroline Boller. Caroline is also gifted at the marathon distance, and ran the Olympic marathon trials this past February. She also placed 9th masters at the 2015 Boston Marathon and 2nd masters at the 2016 Houston marathon, running a 2:44.


Caroline started running at age 38, not having run in high school or college. In her blog, she describes her background:

“Starting in my twenties, running consisted a very on-again, off-again relationship with the treadmill (mostly off). I lived in London and worked a time-intensive job in the investment banking industry, never running outside due to traffic and pollution. These sporadic attempts at running continued in fits and starts throughout the years, running just a couple of miles here or there. In my late thirties, following issues with elevated blood pressure, my husband watched me banging cluelessly away in the only way I knew how — the treadmill — while he hit the local trails. Finally, with his encouragement, curiosity got the better of me and I ventured onto dirt for the first time. It was nothing short of an awakening and I’ve never looked back.”


As I started to prepare for my first trail run, I reached out to Caroline for some tips on trail running and ultra-marathons. Here are Caroline’s tips for a first-timer. I think these can be applied to any long-distance races like half marathons and marathons!

  1. Understand that EVERYONE hurts and wants to quit at some point. Don’t do it!! The finish line is ALWAYS worth it (unless you have a serious injury, of course).
  2. Practice your fueling with each long run and fuel often during your race. Take in at least two gels an hour with water. Some people take three!
  3. Don’t overdo it leading up to the race. I ran three 20 mile+ runs in the week that was two weeks before my first 50k, which was totally ridiculous and completely unnecessary. Even for a 50 miler, one 28 mile run 3 weeks before race day on similar terrain will do the trick.
  4. Respect your body’s healing by eating plentiful amounts of very healthy foods.
  5. Believe you can do it. You can!

Caroline is such an inspiration!

When did YOU get in to running? Did you start in High School/College/later in life? I love hearing about how people start running!

Have a HAPPY FRIDAY!! What are your plans for the weekend? No long runs planned for me! I’ll be spending some time with friends and my mom on Mother’s day! :)

What are you training for? What distance do you have this weekend?





  1. I started running a year ago. I became a runner 16 years ago in military while stationed in Kenya. Once I got out in 2003, I stopped. I’m starting from scratch again and it has been tough. I have 3 half marathons under my belt and several other shorter distance races.

    I start full marathon training next month for my first full in October. I got some great advice from Fernando last weekend that I will definitely be implementing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I will be running the Columbus Marathon. I have a couple of half’s in August as well. I gave him a rundown of my training and my upcoming plans, he suggested that I should focus on shorter distances. Basically work on dominating 5K’s and 10K’s and I will notice a significant drop in my marathon times. He gave me other pointers but that was the main focus.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That is great advice! I notice that he does focus on some other distances in his marathon training. Fernando is such an inspiring runner!
          Good luck as you start to train for Columbus marathon! I have heard that Columbus is a fast marathon, so it should be a good first one. Looking forward to seeing how it goes!


  2. I ran in middle school but it was more for my parents (who were both runners) than for me. Following college I started working out more which lead to running my first 5K in 2011 and I haven’t looked back running 3-5 goal races each year including 3 half marathons, 4 15ks and will start training for my first marathon this fall.
    Btw Wineglass is sold out (or just about) for this fall

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so exciting!! What marathon are you training for? And yes I noticed that Wineglass is almost sold out! I registered for the marathon months ago. I think the half is definitely sold out.


      1. I am running the Dick’s Sporting Good Marathon in Binghamton, NY. Someday I’d like to do the Wineglass, but it’s so pricey! Glad to hear you got in. Best of luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. we need a reprieve from all this rain in NYC as well! it’s pouring again today, such a bummer. i’m going upstate this wknd to see the fam for mother’s day and hoping to get some good outdoor runs in, weather permitting. i’ve been telling my boyfriend i need to do some hiking and New England exploring this summer as well – i always mean to and never seem to make it a priority, so i’m hoping that changes! i started running very casually in college just to stay in shape, but it was just 2-5 miles a few days a week, nothing big…not til my late 20s/early 30s did i start even thinking of doing distance races. all my full and half marathons have been in my 30s, actually! my pacer last fall for the Mohawk Hudson marathon had also paced the Wineglass the weekend before, and i’d love to do that one if they weren’t two weeks in a row and i hadn’t already committed to the Mohawk. enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your running story! And you and your BF should head up north for some hikes this summer- you won’t regret it! Love it up there! Are you pacing or racing Mohawk? Sounds awesome!


  4. I started running later in life, which at 17 years ago makes me feel old. But I started because I was working in DC right along the Mall and saw so many people running by the monuments and thought I should give it a try – plus our fitness center started a running group. Those “monument” run days were some of my favorite and are what got me hooked.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it was my first in 2000. Ran it a 2nd time in 2003. A wonderful race but a logistical challenge if you drive there in the morning. Some of my favorite runs in DC were past Arlington Natl Cemetery over to Iwo Jima.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a 5K I signed up for right before my 35th birthday, and then I need to start looking at summer triathlons. My biggest race will be Ragnar in September which I am doing with a team. It will be my longest race distance (running) of 15 miles.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome post and engaging question! I started running at 46! Reconnected with a childhood friend the year we both turned 50. We met up in St. George Utah, and each ran our first marathon!! And both BQ’d!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I started running at the age of 42, I am now 47 and training for my 3rd marathon later this year. My next goal is a 50K when I turn 50, so thanks for the ultra advice! I have been doing a local 5K race on Mother’s Day for the past several years, they also have a one mile kid’s race which my daughter runs. She is 8 now. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I am running the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon this October. I live in Wisconsin and I have done the Chicago Marathon and Grand Rapids. I figured I should do one in Wisconsin. ;-)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I currently have no firm plans to run a race and it’s hard to say out loud, but good for me. I’m also planning to start trail running, hope to do my first next summer (dirty 30 race to celebrate my 30th birthday) so loved the tips from a pro! :)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I started running track in high school but it was kind of a joke. I just did it because I was bored during softball and the team was co-ed. I really started running about 5 years ago and doing races 2 years ago. I’ve never looked back!
    My weekend was today and I got a lot of things done. I finally launched my new blog and caught up on laundry and groceries. I feel satisfied :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was a late adopter and started running 2011 only so i could complete a triathlon…i rode a bike but couldn’t swim and didn’t run which are kinda key to a successful triathlon! After finishing the tri’s, running took over when I set a goal to run a marathon…it’s pretty much been all running since then, though I would love to do an IronMan one day, though my swimming is awful. I’m prepping for the 2 marathons in 3 weeks (RnR Seattle/Missoula) coming up in June/July and then my first ultra in August…gonna be a fun summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I do enjoy your blogs, a lot of inspiration in the words and pictures.

    You asked for comments of when did you get started. Mine was a late in life journey, I quit smoking 5 years ago and started running 18 months ago, last year a 10k and a half this year 3 x 10k, 10 half marathons and a 27k. All of which I am doing in the name of a local charity.

    I am loving the doing but resent the training, despite knowing it’s an essential part.

    Keep up the blog and stay lucky in your runs this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Excellent advice. Find what kind of food and eating works for you during the long hours. And hydration too. I find I don’t eat as much as I think I will but I’m happy to drink water all day.

    I started running when I was 28-29 something like that. My mom was 49 and running her umpteenth marathon. I figured if she could do that I could run at least one.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s very inspiring story about Caroline Boller. I started running at 42 …. my pace is slow, but I have done full marathon… I train by myself, so reading your blog and others really help me to improve my time….thank you…too bad that this year I don’t get the entry for MCM, I did twice in 2014 and 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A very inspiring post.
    I started running a few years ago, and joined a Couch to 5k group and then the connected running club last year at 56. I ran my first 10k yesterday on my 57th birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

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