The Hay is in the Barn

I heard that expression last year when people were talking about the tapering time before the WDW marathon and how you must trust your training to help you get over the mental hurdle of the downtime you have before the event.  I was anxious about this run, but knew I had to use that anxiety to help me through it.

On December 19th I ran my 26.3 mile run per the Jeff Galloway plan. It was a perfect day for it. The temp was around 40 and the sun was out. I changed up the route so that I wasn’t running the exact same route as my 23 mile run. I ran about 5 miles more in Northford before I headed into Wallingford so once I ran the easier area in Wallingford mentally I was remembering how much more I had to go, but in reality I was further along at that point.


I wanted to try using Nuun again for my hydration although I won’t be using it during the marathon.  I chose to use it because it doesn’t have sugar in it.  I thought I needed the sugar to help me with avoiding the wall; but I knew I was going to use Gu and chews so that would do the trick.  I also looked at how much sugar is in a bottle of Gatorade and the 42 grams just scared me away.  Yea I will be burning 2,000 calories, but that doesn’t mean I needed to take in additional sugar.  That’s a lot of sugar.  I am more conscious of the nutritional elements of long distance training after listening to Tara Gidus on the Mickey Miles podcast (episode 124).  So I am making smarter choices with my foods and drinks before, during and after training.  This time I mixed up my Nuun the night before and didn’t seal the lid on the container so that it would lose the fizz over night. I packed 4 gus and some Gu chews and pretzel fish.

I began with a 1:00/0:30 interval for the first 20 miles. Then I switched to 30/30 because my legs were feeling tired. What a difference it was when I switched to the 30/30. I stayed fresh towards the end.  During my 23 mile run I was feeling the fatigue at the end and would run a little walk a little without using an interval, just to get to the end.  So this time I made it a point that I would change my intervals towards the end of the run and see if I could be more consistent.  It worked out well.  I think it was also a factor in my quick recovery.  The days after I did not feel as sore.  In fact I didn’t even feel like I ran 26 miles the next day.  I felt tired in the beginning of my run.  My legs had been more sore in the past week because I had been running several runs on snowy roads which used my muscles in a different way than when the roads are dry.  My friend Shannon told me it is similar to running on the beach.  I totally can see how the two would be similar.  I was feeling it in my quads.  I also think I was a little bit tired of long runs and marathon training.  There does come a point where you start to burn out a little.  I wasn’t dreading it, but didn’t feel as fresh as I did on my 23 mile run.  I had hoped to finish at 5 hours 15 minutes, but instead it was 5 hours 36 minutes.


To aid in my successful recovery, I did what I did last time and made quinoa pasta with broccoli and shrimp for my dinner that night and focused on staying hydrated and using my foam roller and ice that evening.  The next morning I also iced first thing in the morning and needed to roll a little bit, but not much.  I didn’t have runner’s knees this time.  My legs felt strong.

I am pleased with my training this fall and am looking forward to my race in less than 3 weeks away!


#WhyIRunDisney filming of Kimberly Markey Torres

Kim and Bob post run

On Tuesday, December 17th, I had the opportunity to run with Kimberly Markey Torres and four of Kim’s close friends, Allison, Jolynn, Nicole and Janice. Not only were we getting together for a run, but runDisney was there to film us running together as they capture Kim’s story about why she runs Disney.   RunDisney is running a contest on Instagram called #whyiRunDisney.  She was selected to be filmed.  It was a beautiful snowy cold 16 degree morning, but that never slows us runners down!

Last Friday Kim had her 5th chemo treatment for breast cancer and Monday she had her white blood cell shot which sucks as much as the chemo. She could barely get out of bed. She said she got up to make the bed and just collapsed back into it. But what did she do the next morning? She went out on a run with all of her friends! Despite her nausea from the chemo and all of the drugs she has to endure, she still got out there for a run and smiled! And what I observed when we were all together is the strength of her friendships. I had met Allison and Janice at previous races. In fact, I met them both the same day I met Kim at the Cheshire Half marathon in April, 2013.  After we met in person at that race we kept in touch over the summer.  That’s when she told me in July that she had breast cancer and was undergoing the double mastectomy and chemo but would still be running the Dumbo Double Dare challenge which I was running also.  That race was the carrot at the end of the stick for her to recovery quickly from her surgery so she wouldn’t miss out on all of the run in store for that inaugural race.  So we planned to hook up in California and the rest is history!

While running I was talking with Nicole and Jolynn and learned how they met Kim. She has great friends. During the run we had to stop a few times for filming purposes. I could see Kim was tired, and she had said she was tired. We were all concerned for her and were there for her. It was amazing to see us all come around to make sure she was ok. But she still did it all with a smile!

She truly is amazing. I have traveled with her the day after she had to shave her head.  I wasn’t sure how she would feel about it, and she bravely carried on with her cute color coordinated scarves.  While we went to the parks, she was the one I thought who dragged me around the Magic Kingdom.  When we ran the Tower of Terror 10 miler race, she took the lead with the intervals and has a great coaching spirit about her.  It is evident in her take charge attitude for starting and stopping our intervals, watching out for obstacles in the road and keeping our pace.  I enjoy running with her.  Kim is so determined.  I hope the essence of her determination and love of running is captured by the filming of why she loves to run Disney. I am glad she asked me to join her and her friends for this event.

She is training for the Dopey which is a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon in January. She has one last chemo session left the week before the Dopey event and I am hoping and praying her body will make it through the event. I know how challenging just running a few of those races are, but ALL of them in another story. It’s a major event and I know that she has the will to do it, there’s no doubt about that.

Cancer sucks. It really does. All too recently it has affected family members and close friends in my life; but I have also seen what cancer does to those that unfortunately have to fight it. And those who do are warriors. When I am having a bad day or a tough run, I think about those who have had to fight the battle of cancer and talk myself out of my tough place and really dig deep to think of how hard they are fighting to just have a normal day, let alone run. And Kim is doing that while working, taking care of her family (who is also taking care of her), training for her Dopey Challenge and healing her body. She has a lot ahead of her with her reconstrutive surgery and other surgeries to prevent further cancer spreading; but like she has fought before she will pull through with more future races on her horizon to carry her through.

Thank you for asking me to join you for this event Kim! I am so glad to have met you and become your friend and am looking forward to your finish line of this cancer treatment and your Dopey challenge! I also can’t wait to run the Princess Glass Slipper Challenge with you!

Getting ready for the run in Kim's house

Getting ready for the run in Kim’s house


The camera man filmed us from the trunk of the car!

The reservoir covered in fresh cold snow.

The reservoir covered in fresh cold snow.

Kim doing her interview during the run.

Kim doing her interview during the run.


Staying warm on the sidelines and watching out for cars!

Staying warm on the sidelines and watching out for cars!

Marathon 23 mile training run – Right on course

December 2 and I am right on schedule for my marathon training.  Despite getting a little behind during Tower of Terror weekend, I was able to make up the mileage nicely and didn’t get injured by increasing my long run miles by 5 miles one week, instead of the recommended 3 miles or 10%.

In the morning, my mind was trying to get the best of me.  I was feeling nervous as usual about my long run.  I slept good the night before so that helps.  I got the kids off to school and then hit the road at 9:30.  Miles 1-3 were a struggle as always.  I had a few times where I took some longer walk breaks around mile 4.  Then I started to get into a groove.  I changed up my route so that also helped me get through miles 5-10.


Then I ran my usual route through Wallingford which always seems to pass the time quickly for me and is pretty flat with sidewalks.  I started to get a little more tired around mile 16 so I walked through a few of my intervals.  I ate some sport beans and headed into North Haven.  Around mile 18 and was getting anxious.  My phone would announce my miles and the estimated finish time and I was between 4:29 and 4:40.  I really wanted to break the 4:30 mark since I came in under 4 hours on my 20 mile run.

At mile 20 I was struggling.  This always happens to me when I hit the longest mile I had done previously and add the additional miles.  The last 3 were hard.  That is why I like to go the full distance prior to the marathon so that my body had done the distance already and it is prepared, no surprises of the additional miles added to my longest run.  At mile 21 I thought about my friend Michelle Aitro who had just done the Iron Man on Sunday and remembered that she had already swam, biked 111 miles and then ran the marathon!  So I knew that I could do this.  I had also thought about my friend Kimberly Markey who had done marathons after each 3 chemo treatments.  So I knew, being healthy that I could do this.  I walked up the hills and instead of the original route I was planning on taking which would cause me to finish the 23 miles before I got to my house, I took a detour which ended up ending at 23 miles right at the bottom of my street.  This detour decision was good.  I again walked up any hills and ran downhill.  I had to switch up my intervals and instead of doing 1:00 run/30 seconds walk, I was more or less doing a 20/20.  I just wanted to finish.


I finished successfully in 4 hours 28 minutes.  After the run I felt really strong.  I took an ice bath, took a shower and went to pick up Adrienne.  I went from “runner” to “mother” and carried on with our day.  Then my husband came home and we took a trip to home depot to purchase a new bathroom sink.  So despite having done a 23 mile run, I really didn’t feel like I ran except for the extreme chaffing I had.

Running Gear

I wore different pants this time and around mile 16 my underwear started to move around.  At that point I should have stopped and made sure everything was flat and in place.  This is what caused the chaffing.  I also have special running underwear that I bought from my running store Sound Runner in Branford, CT that I used last year for my long runs and my marathon.  I should have worn those.  Lesson learned.  That’s why it is called a training run.


I tried Nuun tablets for this run instead of Gatorade.  I am not sure yet how I feel about the tablets.  I know that there is no sugar in them.  I think I need the additional sugar to overcome mental hurdles in my runs; but this could all be mental.  I had my first Gu at mile 4, another at mile 6 and 11.  Then I started to eat some Goldfish pretzels at mile 13 to add some density to the contents in my stomach.  Then I started to eat the Sports Beans at mile 16 to get some more sugar into my system.  I had my last Gu with caffeine at mile 19.  When I got home from my run I had my skim milk with Ovaltine.


After my run, I took my cold water bath for 15 minutes.  Then showered quickly and went off to Adrienne’s school to pick her up.  So I kept active for the remainder of the day.  On the way to her school I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grapes and a cheese stick and sipped coconut water to help replenish and re-hydrate.  For dinner I had quinoa pasta with a little olive oil, broccoli and shrimp.

At night when I did get the chance to sit down I iced my knees to help get ahead of the runner’s knee that I usually feel after my long runs.  The next morning I felt great.  Little stiff, but I ice my knees again, did some foam rolling and I’m feeling pretty fantastic after this run, even after I had shaved 30 minutes off my time from last year!

During my run at mile 8 I was listening to my Mickey Miles Podcast and they were discussing training, nutrition and recovery for multi race events like the Dopey.  At that moment I was pretty serious that I wanted to run the Goofy in 2015.  But I still need to make serious consideration about that.  It’s not a small feat.  I could just plan on walking 1/4 or most of the half; but it’s still a whole element of training to prepare for.  Both Adrienne and Kevin will be in school all day so I could plan the longer back to back day runs as 1/2 days and full days off in the late fall of next year.  It’s something to consider.  I remember reading Laurel Moffitt’s blog about her DNF at Goofy and I know it is serious stuff.  I did the Dumbo Double Dare, but going from a 10K and half to a half and a full back to back are just two different types of races.  Stay tuned!