Marathon Training Run (20 Miles)

So this weekend turned out quite a bit differently than I had expected. The plan was for me to emulate a shorter version of the Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, Half and Full in 4 days). Therefore, I had 3 miles scheduled for Thursday, 5 for Friday, 8 for Saturday and 20 (with Rachel) for Sunday.

However, Rachel ended up surprising me on Thursday night with SEC Championship tickets for Saturday evening. We decided to push the 20 miler to Saturday morning so that we wouldn’t feel the pressure of 20 miles the next day.

So I changed up my schedule as well. After doing 3 miles on Thursday (before I knew about the tickets), I did 8 miles on Friday morning before tackling 20 miles on Saturday with Rachel.

We got up bright and early Saturday morning. It was quite chilly to start (36 degrees which is pretty cold in Atlanta). We ended up going back out to Cochran Shoals since it’s a good path that we are both very comfortable with. (Plus the scenery really helps as you are running for that many hours)

We knew it was going to stay in the 30’s for the first hour or so before getting up to the mid to upper 40’s by the end of our run. So we layered up so that we could shed as we go. (We even got in a quick “before” picture…we look way too happy for it to be that chilly)


The goal was to keep a steady pace throughout the run. (That’s one of Rachel’s biggest strengths as a runner, while I have a tendency to start too fast) Here we are around mile 11. Still smiling which is a good sign!


At one point we came across a few deer which was pretty neat.

I believe we were crossing the 14 mile mark here. I had started listening to music by this point for extra motivation. Rachel was getting ready to take another gel.


Crossing mile 18. Only 2 miles to go. Still feeling good!


All in all, we finished within the time frame we were hoping for. Rachel said her feet were starting to hurt the last few miles or so but nothing major. I hit a “mini wall” around mile 16, but I know it was due to poor fueling on my part. I am bad about waiting too long to take fuel before I need it. Although, I have been much better during this marathon training than I was last year for my first full. Anyways…I was so proud of Rachel. She even said she could have gone a few more miles if needed which is always a good sign.

At this point, we are down to the final month before the WDW Marathon on January 10th. We will do one more 20+ mile run in 2 weeks before tapering. I am planning on using that weekend to mimic the Dopey Challenge again. But I’m definitely feeling good about that as well.

How was your weekend?



Things I’m Thankful For (Part 2)

I love to run. There’s no question that if you told me I would say this 10 years ago, I would have laughed right in your face. But over the past several years I have turned into that person who loves to run.

So today I am thankful for running and the running community. Over the past few years, I have gone from running 3-4 miles to half marathons to (this past January) a full marathon. I never thought I would be able to say the words “Marathoner.” In fact, my first full marathon was a part of the Goofy Challenge at WDW, which is a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday for a total of 39.3 miles.

One of my favorite parts of running is that Rachel started to run with me a few years ago. I even got her up to a half marathon distance with me (I think taking her to Disney did the trick!). She even got into different kinds of running gear (Pro Compression socks, Raw Threads clothing and Brooks running shoes for instance).

And finally, I’m thankful for the amazing running community. I’ve met so many people through running different races and social media. The movement #WeRunSocial began this Spring among a bunch of runners who love to “run all the miles and then kill it on social media.” My new friend Pavement Runner (Brian) blogged about the movement here (

Whether it’s #WeRunSocial meet ups at races or twitter chats on Sunday Nights (#RunChat) or Tuesday nights (#BibChat), I love how supportive and encouraging the running community is.

Below are just a few running blogs I love to read and social media friends I have made over the past few years. These are just a small sample of the amazing runners and blogs that are out there. Feel free to give them a follow. They are all awesome!

Brian KelleyAshley Lynn / Carlee McDot Linzie Starr / Team #runDisney

Marathon Training Run (19 Miles)

This morning Rachel and I headed over to the Cochran Shoals Trail, which runs alongside the Chattahoochee River. We had 19 miles on the schedule, which would be the longest run Rachel had ever done. We are both running the marathon at Walt Disney World Resort in January. I actually am attempting the Dopey Challenge (4 races over 4 days: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon), which comes to a grand total of 48.6 miles.


I had been mimicking Dopey this week, so Wednesday I did 3 miles, Thursday 5 miles and Friday 7 miles. The weather this morning called for mid 40’s when we began and warming up to around 55 throughout the morning. Cochran Shoal Trail can run a little colder since it’s right next to the river. Rachel ended up wearing her pullover the entire run. I shed mine after about 4 miles.

We had no true goal in mind except to take it easy and finish 19 miles with smiles on our faces (which is a good philosophy that my friend Carlee likes to use during her races). The terrain at Cochran Shoals is ideal for most runners as it’s flat, not paved and there is a lot of beautiful scenery to look at.


We spent the first 12 or so miles just talking, with a few walk breaks in between. Here we are at mile 14. Just rocking along with a nice steady pace. Not used to taking a selfie while running (we started listening to music around mile 12 to give us an extra boost!).


Another selfie as we raced past 17 miles. Only two more miles to go. Still smiling and feeling good!


We ending up finishing at 19.3 miles, which was a little more than what we were aiming for, but we both felt great and definitely like we could have gone a little further. I was so proud of Rachel as she is hitting this higher mileage like a champ!

Now on to 20 miles!