Category: Mission to Marathon

Mission to Marathon: 2015 WDW Marathon Recap

We’ve been following Hannah’s journey to marathon redemption in her Mission to Marathon series for a year now.  She has shared the realities of training and given up some great tips!  Well it all led up to WDW Marathon Weekend and when Hannah DID complete her first marathon, but not without some difficulties. This is a wonderfully honest recap and I’m so proud to feature it here.  


Things NOT to do when preparing for a marathon:

  1. Don’t train (like…at all)
  2. Don’t hydrate/fuel in the days leading up to the race
  3. Don’t hydrate/fuel properly the morning of the race
  4. Don’t stretch or strength train to manage a prior injury
  5. Be super anxious and stressed not just for the race, but also about other aspects of your life

Yup…don’t do those things. But guess what, you can do all of them and still finish.

I’m not in any way advising you to do those things. And, I’m not suggesting it is a smart move to run a marathon after you’ve done them, but it is possible.

But back to what you want to hear about — The RACE!


Running at Disney is like nothing else. It is a completely different experience from other races you will run in. There is entertainment and support from volunteers and spectators that far exceeds any other race. Fair warning that I do not have many pictures. Well, none from the race itself. I will try to throw a few in and at the end you can click the link to watch my video (unedited raw footage and probably not that thrilling to most people, but you can see me fake a smile while in pain and head from the finish line to the med tent…but more on that later!).

Miles 1-5: Just full of anticipation. I feel like Magic Kingdom gets further and further away with every race, but it’s really just that it seems like the early part of the race, but it is five miles in so it its quite a bit of time before you actually get there.

Miles 5-6: Oh man, that anticipation kills you from mile five to entering the Kingdom. You’re SO close! And then you get your reward, you get to run down Main Street!!! This part of the course is PACKED with spectators and they are awesome! Hang a right and head through Tomorrowland then through Fantasyland before heading through the Castle. Yup! Disney lets you run through it.

The hubs and I got separated (bathroom break) so I waited on the backside of the castle until he caught up so we could run through together. Oh, and thanks to Anna and Elsa for a the little Disney magic of sprinkling snow! You finish up by running through Liberty Square and Frontierland before heading back outside the park. I was feeling pretty good at this point. Starting to think 10k is my distance, haha.


Miles 6-8.5ish: This is a bit of a boring stretch, but it’s not that long and you’re still on a high from all the fun at Magic Kingdom.

Mile 8.5-9: Running the Track! This is truly a cool experience and the only race you get to run here! Here is where I was really wishing I’d kept up with training. Not because I was hurting, but because I knew I needed energy to get me through the entire race so I had to stay focused through here rather than enjoying myself. I come from a car/racing family so this is a big thrill for me and I couldn’t even pay attention to the cars.

Miles 9-12ish: Another boring stretch. I was starting to feel a little bit of the fatigue at this point. We had been doing 5/1 run/walk ratio and cut it down to about 4/1 at this point.

Miles 12-13: I love running through Animal Kingdom. Just be careful of your footing because the park is a bit rougher than the others! We got to see Monkeys jumping around and the park is already open by this point so people are out and cheering on all the runners. We debated riding Expedition Everest but decided if we sat down in the cars we couldn’t get back out at this point, haha.


Mile 13.1: This was such a great point for me! Halfway done and also where the hubs and I parted ways last year. It was so nice to pound through this point and keep going, TOGETHER!

Miles 13-17: Last year I hobbled through until 16.5ish after the hubs went on his way. This is a long stretch on the dreaded Osceola Parkway. It started drizzling and then raining while we were running here. This was probably the beginning of my downfall. I don’t do well with weather changes under normal circumstance and rain just makes me cold. The bigger problem came after the rain stopped and then it got muggy hot. Ick! Oh, also, they switched up one of the fuel stops and instead of Clif Shots they had Clif Bars. I wish I had looked at the course map and known this. I would’ve scarfed down one of my own gels before the water stop. Instead I tried to choke down a dry, gritty Clif bar (sorry…but that’s what they taste like after 14ish miles). I only got about a third down before pitching it.

Miles 17-20: When you really look at it, you are in ESPN for quite a long time! Its a nice change of pace because you get to run off the track, but its also a windy route so its a bit confusing and turns you around. It started drizzling again through here. Also, my LEAST favorite part of the course. I HATE running through the baseball stadium. At this point in the race (or at any point) you don’t want grit and dirt kicking up into the backs of your shoes. You gotta slllooooooowwwww down to avoid this and it stinks. The crowds through there are a great, but I gotta be honest that they could cut this out and I wouldn’t care a bit.

Miles 20-22: This is where I really started to sink. I think everything just started hitting me at once. The Achilles in my right foot and my left IT band/knee were killing me so I was doing a bit of a shuffle. The hubs kept trying to get me to run, but it wasn’t happening.

Miles 22-23: Hollywood Studios! Woot woot! A little boost of energy to run through the park, but only after a pit stop for me to sit down and breath. I know sitting is bad, but I was light headed and afraid I’d pass out. The chocolate candy (holla at ya Hershey’s!) helped, but not enough. But the run through the park, past the hat and out the entrance was great!


Miles 23-25: What? We’re this far into the race? Really?! Running through the Boardwalk was really neat, but that lightheadedness and the slat boards of the boardwalk were just making me dizzy. Hubs said there were a lot more spectators out by this part of the race last year, but it was pretty sparse when we came through. Still fun and a great part of the race!

Miles 25-26: The LONGEST trip you will ever take around World Showcase! BTW…anyone else on the slower than slow track of this marathon, did you see John Stamos at Mexico? Hubs says “That guy looked like John Stamos” and I said, “I’m pretty sure it was” and then we kept moving. He had a sort of entourage and came running out to cheer someone on, so we’re thinking it was actually him? Anyone confirm?? On the bridge between World Showcase and Future World I took my 3-4 sit break to catch my breath. At this point I realized I wasn’t sweating, but there was no way I wasn’t finishing!


Miles 26-26.2: Hubs tried to get me to run the WHOLE .2 miles but it wasn’t happening. We did hold hands and run across the finish line! Yay!! Such vindication after last year. It felt awesome!

Post race: But immediately after the finish line I veered right towards an RN from the medical tent and a wheelchair. She, of course, got us our medals before wheeling me to the tent itself where they checked my vitals, gave me fluids and a heated blanket. We were there for about a half hour while I got my body back under control. They didn’t officially say what it was, but we are thinking heat exhaustion from my symptoms. After about 10 mins of being there I started getting really confused and was shaking and crying…but they gave me the heated blanket at that point and some powerade and after another 10 mins I was feeling much better.

I am so very grateful to have my wonderful husband who puts up with me and all my craziness. He was the reason I crossed the finish line and helped calm me down in the medical tent. He was so encouraging and uplifting. I was afraid I was disappointing him, but he was just so proud of me pushing through. And, I am so proud of him for finishing his second marathon (without training)!


We hopped a bus back to our resort, grabbed some food and rested in our room for a bit (with compression socks on…get some if you don’t have them). We were planning to head to Downtown Disney in the evening, but it was chilly and rainy, and my left knee was killing me. We ended up just doing a walk up dinner at Maya Grill at our Resort, Coronado Springs. I highly recommend this restaurant, especially if you are staying at Coronado. The food was delicious! We only ate about half our meals so we took them back and enjoyed the remainder for breakfast the next day (cold Tex-Mex is pretty good)!

So you CAN do everything wrong and still finish a marathon, but you will hurt like you’ve never hurt before, might end up in the medical tent, and will be so mad at yourself that you won’t enjoy the race.

That’s my recap!

Marathon Finisher Hannah

Congrats Hannah on finishing your first marathon and for being so honest about your experience.  I know first hand that it is an incredibly difficult experience.  

Here is Hannah’s raw footage from the Marathon and I think it perfectly shows the ups and downs of the race.  It’s not all smiles and running…and that’s ok 🙂

Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

Mission to Marathon: Packing for a RunCation

I can’t believe the time is almost here for Hannah to take on the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge!!  It seems like just yesterday when she wrote her first Mission to Marathon post on putting her training plan together for this race weekend.  Boy time sure does fly!  Well as she is continuing to taper, she is getting ready to leave for Walt Disney World and she is here with some great packing tips for a RunCation!

Best of luck Hannah and we can’t wait to see you get all that runDisney bling in a few short weeks!


Holy Moly, can you believe its December! And, halfway through at that!? Time is flying…I would know. I turned 30 on the 5th and it just came and went and wow…I can’t believe I’m in my 30s now! But enough about me, here’s some info on how to get yourself all packed up and read for your Disney RunCation! This post is highly focused on those flying into their destination, but modify as you will for those driving/train-riding/etc.

[Side note that I’m still in my temporary living arrangements so I wasn’t able to dig out the suitcases (in storage) or do a big full Disney packing photo montage. Sorry!]

First things first…

BEFORE you pack anything, check the weather and then check it again, and again, and possibly plan for weather different than what you’re anticipating…Florida is notorious for drastic weather changes.

Your Race Day gear is the MOST important thing you’ll pack. I strongly recommend laying out the clothes, socks, shoes, underwear, etc that you will need for the actual race before you do anything else!


Pack your race day gear into your carry-on luggage. You do not want this getting lost.

Next up I add in my cover-wear (my throw-away clothes).


And finally I add in all my race “extras.” Things like my sunglasses, my running belt, compression socks (for after the race), gels, etc…



You can use your discretion with what is “essential” for race day to determine what needs to go in your carry-on. The rest can go in checked luggage.

Here’s all my race stuff laid out, ready to be packed!


Once your race day gear is packed, you will have a better idea of how much room you’ll have for other stuff and how much luggage you’ll need.

When I pack for Disney I tend to know ahead of time what park I will be visiting. I then plan my clothing accordingly. I will typically pack one black pair of shoes and one blue pair of shoes and then make sure all of my clothing matches one of the two pairs of shoes. For each day I lay my clothes out like this:


Once I get my whole trip laid out I will pack it all into my luggage.

This trip will be a bit interesting as we are flying with a new airline and are limited with both carry-on and checked luggage (ugh, don’t these new airline luggage rules stink?!). Between the hubs and I we are planning for one carry-on, one checked bag, and two personal items. Make sure to check your airline for their restrictions and guidelines before you start packing.

I hope this helps you out and allows you some relief from the packing stress!

Things to remember about packing for a running vacation (because we all know I can’t resist a list):

1 – No NEW is good NEW… pack the stuff that’s tried and true for you. This is not the time to find out that the cute new top chaffs like no other.

2 – Extra shoes if you’re running multiple races. You do not want to be starting out a marathon with soggy shoes because it rained the day before.

3 – Check out the expo and race info online before you go to see if they’ll have the gels/fuel you like. If not, pack some from home!

4 – Don’t freak out if you forget something. While its not ideal to wear new shoes for a race, it can be done. Don’t let missing something in your packing add additional stress where its not needed.

5 – HAVE FUN. If you’re running a Disney race, then you will definitely have a good time. But don’t let PR’s or PB’s, or PD’s, or anything else get in the way of enjoying your race. 99% of us are not running for a place in these races, so just remember to have fun with it!


Here is my January 2014 Run Training Plan:


28 – Week Jan 5: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 13.1; Sunday 26.2

        Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – long stretches

29 – Week Jan 12: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 3 miles

29 Alternate: Walk Disney Parks!

        Stretch, Stretch, Stretch and then stretch again. 🙂

30 – Week Jan 19: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 3 miles

31 – Week Jan 26: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 3 miles

Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

Mission to Marathon: Crunch Time and Taper

I think that Hannah and I are sharing the same feeling of craziness in that our lives seem to be getting more hectic by the minute!  However she is at crunch time for her marathon training on top of everything else, so I give her a lot more credit for keeping things together!  Today she is back with some great tips (and fun photos) for getting through the final push of training and onto the all important taper.  


Part of me can’t believe a month has passed since I wrote my last post for RAD and another part of me can’t believe October was just a month ago. Does anyone else feel that tossed around and pulled in many different directions? We have had a crazy month and it shows by my constant yawning and deep urge to hibernate. The good news is that since it’s November, we FINALLY get to talk about crunch time and taper time for the Walt Disney World 2015 Marathon Weekend! Woohoo! We are in the home stretch!

In keeping with my compulsive list-making self I’ve compiled yet another two for you! First is about crunch time (those last few weeks of long training runs) and the second is about tapering and why it is important (reasons to repeat to yourself over and over when you get that “I just need to do another 20 miler” urge to give yourself a confidence boost). Oscar Bean offered to help demonstrate some of the Crunch time tips and provide motivation for resting during taper…

Without further ado…


  1. Seize the day … or the hour.


Now is the time to make sure you are getting your long runs in. These are the Saturday and Sunday runs on the RunDisney site. But while you’re at it, make sure you’re getting your weeknight runs in too. If you can’t get a full 45 mins, but can do a mile or two, that’s great. More time on your feet will help in the long run.

  1. Don’t overdo it.


While its important to get your training runs in, don’t feel ike you have to suddenly up the game and add in extra runs. Trust the plan. Also don’t try to increase your overall weekly mileage or speed up your time too quickly. Take it easy. Remember avoiding injury is the most important thing at this point.

  1. Stretch and stretch often.


Formal stretching is important. Where you take time to roll out on the foam roller, take a yoga class, or just stretch at home, its essential to get you to race day and beyond. BUT, I personally recommend taking little opportunities throughout the day to stretch. I love stretching my calves in the shower in the morning with the hot water on my tight muscles (I have plantar fasciitis and have difficulty walking in the morning sometimes). I also stretch at work…calf stretches at my desk, touch my toes each time I get up to go to the bathroom, and make sure I am stretching out my back, shoulders and wrists throughout the day (office work can take a toll and your arms are more important to running than you may think).

  1. Keep yourself motivated.

Motivate (1)

Whatever it is that motivates you, now is the time to keep up with it. I love reading blogs from other marathoners and flipping through quotes on or Pinterest.

  1. Test stuff out.


Now is the time to test out the new stuff. New gear, wear in new shoes, try new fuel, etc. You still have time to recover if something doesn’t work, but its close enough that the clothes and fuel will react the same (similar weather, etc).


Tapering typically occurs 3-4 weeks before a marathon and 2-3 weeks before a half marathon. These are three reasons why tapering is important and why you shouldn’t ignore the sanctity of the taper.

MAXIMUM POTENTIAL: Tapering allows your body as much rest as possible before race day. A rested body will allow for maximum potential on race day.

PRESERVE CAPABILITIES: Tapering allows your body to rest without losing your aerobic capabilities (proper tapering that is…)

RELAX: Rest surpasses mileage as the most important part of your training. Enjoy it! If you’re a race addict, then this is probably one of the only times you’ll be able to run decreased mileage (b/c you’ll turn around after your marathon and start training for another one). If you’re not a race addict, then you’ve probably been dying to get some family time/couch time/extra work/holiday shopping/etc done…now is the time!



Here is my December 2014 Run Training Plan!

23 – Week Dec 1: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 6 miles

24 – Week Dec 8: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 7 miles

25 – Week Dec 15: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 12 miles; Sunday 26 miles


26 – Week Dec 22: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 6 miles

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Long Stretches

27 – Week Dec 29: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 7 miles

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Long Stretches

Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

Mission to Marathon: Getting Through The Holiday Season

It seems like every year the holidays arrive faster and faster!  The food, the parties, the shopping…it’s SO easy to get off track in the next few months.  This can be hard for so many people to manage and since there are so many races coming up (WDW Marathon Weekend in January!), it’s important to do your best to stay on track.  Hannah is back with more GREAT tips and this month they are on how to survive the upcoming holidays.  


Every single time I am training for something far away I feel like I start training at the beginning and have amazing intentions to get every training run in and be so strong for the race. Then before I know it, training is half (or entirely) over and I’ve been terrible about keeping on track and am nowhere near ready for my race. Guess this time isn’t any different. At least I’m realizing it now and can make some improvements to get myself back on track. If you are having trouble keeping on track with your training feel free to leave a comment to reach out to me and maybe we can work on things together.

This post is about all the crazy temptations that might interfere with your training as you venture through the holiday season and some tips on how to muscle through them and still get done what you need done to finish your race.

PROBLEM #1: A Full Schedule

This is probably the hardest one for me. Year-round I feel like I will look at my calendar and say “I have something the next two weekends, but then I’m wide-open for X number of weeks.” Then I go to bed and wake up the next day and I’m booked solid for 6 months. Does this happen to anyone else?


Here’s how I’m handling it this year…

– Block off your training on your schedule WELL in advance (mine has been on my calendar since summer and I sit down and look at my calendar once a week to keep myself on track and adjust training days/mileage as needed so I am at least getting on my feet and getting runs in, even if they aren’t “full” runs).

– Tell your family and friends. Tell them you are training for a race and send them your training schedule. Let them know well in advance the dates that you are NOT available because you have to get your run in. They will understand if you are open and honest. And if they don’t, well its their problem.

PROBLEM #2: A Full Belly

Actually its the temptation of all the delicious holiday foods that is really the problem. Avoiding a belly full of junk food and foods that make you slumpy and irritable.


Here’s how I’m handling it this year …

– Eat healthier on days/meals when you have control over what’s on your plate. For me this means we’ll be eating VERY clean and healthy on weekdays and for meals we control on the weekends. That means for weeknights we are cutting out as much processed food as possible, dropping refined breads, cutting back on starches for breakfast and dinner, and adding in TONS of veggies, lean meats, and healthy fats.

– Add to the meal. When you are going to a party or dinner with family or friends, offer to bring a dish and then bring one that is healthy and within the confines of what you like to eat. A vegetable tray or roasted vegetable salad is a great option to add to the mix for almost ANY meal. Just be sure to check with your host and if necessary explain your situation. Also, try to let the host know as far in advance as you are able to. As a frequent host of dinner parties, getting a call three hours before dinner is NOT enough time for me to accommodate a meal addition. I will kindly, gently, politely, accept and pretend like I understand, but my poor husband will have to deal with my rant about how my DETAILED DINNER PLAN has been ruined…just saying.

PROBLEM #3: Weather issues

I have mentioned this previously in posts about getting the right gear for all weather running and about dealing with excuses, but if had a winter like we did last year, you’ll know that even some things are outside of your control.


Here’s how I’m dealing with it this year …

– Have a flexible training schedule. You don’t need to stick to your training schedule exactly. If you are following the Jeff Galloway plan provided by Disney you are doing 3-4 runs a week. The longest run of the week is probably the most important, and if you are doing a back-to-back race like Goofy or Dopey, then getting a few back to back training runs in, is probably the second most important. Your weeknight runs are ones that COULD be moved or removed, if necessary due to weather issues. I’m not suggesting you cut them out all the time, but missing one or two weeknight runs will not ruin your overall training.

– Get creative with your workouts. If you are going to miss a training run, for whatever reason, try to do some other beneficial work-out to fill in. If you can’t make it to the gym for the treadmill or don’t have ice running shoes, then you probably aren’t headed out for a 45 min weeknight run. Instead, do a strength workout or spend a LOOONG time rolling out your muscles with a foam roller and stretching with some yoga. At least you are doing something beneficial for your overall training.

PROBLEM #4: Guilt

No matter how much you do with planning ahead and making sure you have everything in order, things do not work out as planned…ever. Then you feel bad that you haven’t done the training, or eat a HUGE meal an feel terrible, or indulge in the alcohol a bit too much.


Here’s how I’m dealing with it this year …

Let the guilt go. Things won’t go as planned and that’s just life. I’m just letting it all go. I’ll do what I can and do my best. My old boss used to say “sometimes you have to redefine what a win is” and that’s the truth.

Here’s my November 2014 Run Training Plan!

19 – Week Nov 3: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 8.5 miles; Sunday 20 miles

20 – Week Nov 10: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 6 miles

21 – Week Nov 17: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 7 miles

22 – Week Nov 24: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 10 miles; Sunday 23 miles

Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

Mission to Marathon: A Long, Slow Run

I’m not going to lie…long training runs are my downfall.  Just the thought of heading out the door alone for 2+ hours will make me come up with any excuse possible.  Thankfully Hannah is back with some great tips on how to get through those long runs and makes some sense of all of those excuses we come up with. Sigh…now I really have no excuse… 🙂


The past month has just flown by for me. We have had so many changes over the past few weeks (sold our house, moved in with the in-laws temporarily until we find a new house, started a new job, and awaiting the arrival of our second niece)! It has been difficult for me to get my training runs in and I’ve failed on many occasions. I will be adjusting my training plan so I can build mileage a bit more slowly rather than just jumping in where the plan is now. If you are in the same boat, drop a message below or on my blog and we can help motivate each other to get the runs in!

Back to the point of this blog … getting those long runs in is super hard! I often find ways to avoid them for really “legitimate reasons.” While I love the running events, trying to do 13 miles on my own is not so fun. Below find 5 Quick tips for getting your butt out the door and making the run a little easier and 5 Excuses for NOT running your long-run.


1 – HYDRATE/FUEL – I cannot stress this enough and every running source will concur. Make sure you hydrate before, during and after your run. Find what fuel works for you. For those especially long runs (hey we are marathon training) try gels, beans, blocks, etc. If those don’t work for you, try googling other options (raisins, craisins, peanuts, pretzels, etc). *Test your fuel BEFORE race day so you’ll know if you have “problems” with it.

2 – DRESS RIGHT – Pick out the best gear for the run that day. If it’s hot, wear less. If it’s cold, wear more (see my August post here on Running At Disney). In all seriousness, if you’re too hot or too cold it will be hard to get out there to begin with and even harder to finish your full mileage.

Mission-to-Marathon-Long-Run-Photo 1

3 – PLAN AHEAD – Figure out where you want to run and where you can stash water/fuel and/or stop for a potty break. Pack your gym back or layout your clothes the night/morning before your run. Just like you would with a race, plan ahead so you’re not scrambling for your favorite capris and find a reason to bail.

Mission-to-Marathon-Long-Run-Photo 2

4 – FIND A FRIEND/TELL A FRIEND – find someone else training to run with you, or just a kind soul who runs to tag along. I have a runner friend who gets people to help with certain portions of her run. For example, if she has a 12 mile training run, she’ll get one friend to do the first half with her and one friend to do the second half. Neither friend gets worn out with the full 12 when they aren’t training, and she gets a “refreshed” friend for the tough second half. That same friend, she posts almost daily about what she’s going to do and uses social media as a great resource for finding running buddies and motivation. She also posts her accomplishments and gets lots of “congrats.”

5 – REWARD YOURSELF – I’m not necessarily talking about the cupcakes, brownies, cookies (I have a sweet tooth), or even new gear. But reward yourself and celebrate small achievements. It makes the ordinary (not that long runs are ordinary) extraordinary and special. Finish your 12 miles? How about getting a pedicure later that day?


1 – THE DOG ATE MY PLAN – Um, not gonna lie…in my house this could very well be true. Make a new plan and quick. Check out for local runs others have done near you!

Mission-to-Marathon-Long-Run-Photo 3

2 – I DON’T WANT TO RUN ALONE/AT NIGHT/IN THE MORNING – Find a friend? Run at the gym on the treadmill (not ideal, but certainly gets your time on your tootsies)! Figure it out…no excuses.

3 – I’M TOO TIRED – Run anyway…You’ll feel better after. As Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) would say, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. [Happy people don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t].”

4 – I’M HUNGRY – Eat something

5 – I’M HUNGOVER/DON’T HAVE CLEAN CLOTHES/DON’T KNOW WHERE TO RUN/ETC – Stop making excuses. You should’ve planned ahead. But it doesn’t matter. Take a Tylenol, wear dirty clothes, hop on or just get outside, and figure out a solution to every other excuse you’re listing right now.

Nike said it best, “Just do it.”

Here’s my October 2014 Running Training Plan for the Goofy Challenge!

15 – Week Oct 6: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 3 miles

16 – Week Oct 13: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 7 miles; Sunday 17 miles

17 – Week Oct 20: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 5 miles

18 – Week Oct 27: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 6 miles

See you next month!



Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

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