You guys, thank you so, so much for answering my questions last week. You have no idea how much I value your input – even when it’s varied and all across the board, I love reading what you have to say and try out so much of what you suggest.

Sorry it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted an inspirational running story from one of you! I literally didn’t even have a spare second last week to get one formatted and ready but I promise a few new ones this week. If you haven’t seen the last couple, check out Christina’s here and Judith’s right here. Amazing ladies!

This week. Wow. It was alternately a blur and then at times felt like it would never end. Running four days a week instead of three is definitely an interesting challenge for me. Here’s how it went down.

The Week’s Workouts:

-Monday: ran three miles pushing my 3- and 6-year old in the double jogger since I didn’t get the run in before life started at 6:30 a.m. (down to the post office in our little town and back). Whenever I think running three miles might maybe, possibly be getting “easy” – all I have to do is drag out the double jogger. I.Wanted.To.Die. I’m pretty sure the people driving by me were thinking “dude, that lady might as well walk, she’s running so slow.” But hey, I crossed off Run 3 Miles on my to-do list (even if it did include a 4-minute break to mail something).Training Week #13

-Tuesday: I did a sculpting/toning workout on TurboFire (BeachBody set my cousin, Merianne, lent to me)

-Wednesday: Did the unthinkable (for me) and since I didn’t run in the early a.m., I ran during Cam’s nap (which is usually very precious blog-working time for me that I don’t relinquish to other things very easily) since I knew I had church/family obligations from about 3:00 to 11:00 p.m and wouldn’t do it in the evening. I was supposed to go 4 miles but only got in 3.

-Thursday: Was supposed to run 4 today (since I only ran 3 Wednesday) but thanks to incredibly busy schedules all week, it didn’t happen and mentally prepared to do it early morning Friday.

-Friday: Woke up before 6 a.m. to run 4 miles only to find it pouring rain so I hopped on the treadmill (grudgingly) and ran 3 instead (not sure what was happening with my treadmill motivation this week but 3 miles was about my max each time I tried).

-Saturday: The big 7-mile run (longest distance so far) was looming before me all week. Because I shorted myself 1 mile in my weekday runs, I decided I better do 8 miles instead. I tried to talk myself out of this a hundred times but knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with my weekly goals unless I just sucked it up and did it. I woke up at 6 a.m. on Saturday, got prepared (and tried to calm my nerves) and set out on the course I had mapped out the night before. Thanks to your suggestions last week, I was armed with my running water belt (which I’ve been using for several weeks) and some energy gel blocks (that my friend, Mel, sent to me last week).

I’m not sure why but I was sluggish from the beginning. I’ve been starting out at a 9:45 or 10:00 pace but I never got below 10:15 this entire run (and most of the time I was hanging out right at 10:30 or 11:00). I tried not to overthink my pace knowing that today, it was just about getting in the miles.

Right around mile 5, I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it. I was tired, my right hip flexor was aching and I really had to use the bathroom (sorry). I slowed down a bit and decided to chomp on one of the energy gels and slurp some water. Just as I turned my pack back around to pick up the pace again, I heard footsteps to my left which was very, very odd and for a minute I had one of those quirky out-of-body feelings where something’s happening you can’t place and it takes a second or two to figure out what’s going on (like the time in college when I saw my university professor at the grocery store and it took me, like, 5 seconds to say something coherent because I couldn’t figure out why I was seeing her there). I looked over and screamed! It was my 9-year old, Walker! Remember, he’s the one that ran 5 miles with me a few weeks ago.


He and Brian had hatched an elaborate scheme after I left. When they figured I had run about 4-5 miles, they hopped in the truck and came up behind me. Walker quietly hopped out and sprinted to catch up with me so he could run the rest of the way home by  my side.

I can’t even describe what this did for me mentally. I might have even started crying a teeny bit (jeez, running has made me emotionally fragile!). I so desperately had needed a pick-me-up right at that very moment of my run. I was in the middle of cow country and was sure I wasn’t going to be able to keep running, but when Walker started running next to me (and maybe the energy gel helped to? guess we’ll never know for sure), I had a renewed sense of purpose to finish strong. Notice, I didn’t say fast (in fact, I had to keep telling Walker to slow down), but I wanted to finish without stopping or walking.

Brian caught the whole 50 second surprise on video. {Watch how Walker’s sprinting to catch up to me and you’ll see that I totally jump/squeal in surprise.} It’s taking a lot of courage to post this because: a) I’m running really slowly, b) I look like I’ve been running for 23 miles, not 5 and c) let’s be serious, you can’t hide a lot on video. But this was a really defining moment for me – I realized how much my family’s support means to me. It completely changed the outcome of this milestone run. I also realized {again} that I can do hard things and that even though the progress seems slow, I’m making it!

Despite the fact I am unbelievably sore today (definitely the most sore I’ve been since I started 13 weeks ago) and couldn’t get up out of my chair yesterday without assistance after watching three soccer games in a row right after running, I still can’t quite believe I ran 8 full miles. I RAN 8 MILES!!!

I suppose I better start to come to terms with it since I have to do it again Saturday. P.S. A special thanks to my friend (she knows who she is) who let me knock on her door at 7:30 a.m. at mile 6 and take a 30-second potty stop.


This Week is Pretty Straightforward

-3 miles Monday, cross-train Tuesday, 4 miles Wednesday, 3 miles Thursday, rest day Friday, 8 miles Saturday.

My Goals This Week:

-Get all my runs in early morning of the actual day they are planned – this will require a little more self-control to get to bed before midnight but will help so I don’t procrastinate the runs all day to the point that they sometimes don’t happen until the next day (or at all)

-Map out a few new courses since my go-to’s are getting pretty boring

-Take both my older boys out for one or two of the runs to help them with their upcoming 10K

-Incorporate more stretching (even on non-running days?) – my hamstrings and hip flexors are really tight and sore and I want to avoid injury as much as possible…I need to google some foam roller exercises


You, You, You!! How was your running week?

51 Responses to Training Update: Week #13

  1. Jennifer says:

    Ok, I started to tear up when I read about your son coming to run with you. So sweet!

  2. Rachael says:

    Just FYI, you SHOULD be running your long runs slower–about 30 to 90 seconds slower than your goal pace. I promise. 🙂 It’s hard mentally to do this, but you don’t want to leave your best miles out on the training course, and if you push your long runs too fast, then you won’t be able to go strong during the shorter midweek runs. Plan on running about 70-80% of your weekly miles at a slower pace and then really pick it up for your speed days.

  3. Lisa says:

    I got a little teary just reading about your son surprising you on your longest run and again watching the video. That is one of the sweetest things ever and I love, love, love the support your husband and kids are giving you. Keep up the great work, and I hope I get to meet you after the half next month (eek!).

  4. Mel B. says:

    Awwww, what a sweet boy to run with his mom (and props to Brian for making it happen)! brought tears to my eyes! You looked great, not like you wanted to die. Well done!

  5. Jennifer Ammerman says:

    Awwww that video warms my heart <3 What a sweet boy!

  6. Jennifer says:

    I have always loved running, but with five kids and all that comes with family life, it had fallen by the wayside. So when you posted a few months ago that you were going to run your first half-marathon, you gave me the push to do what I have wanted to do all my life and run my first half-marathon, too. Reading your updates every week has been so inspiring and uplifting for me in my own running journey. And I am coming upon a super long run this weekend. So this post has been just what I need to remember the support I have from my family and that hard things can be done! I, too, love your food and recipes, but am so appreciative of your running posts. You definitely inspire me. And 8 miles! So amazing! Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Jennifer! I hope your long run went really well and I’m so excited you’ve gotten back into running. Keep me posted on your progress!

  7. Jessica Romney says:

    Okay, I HAD to comment today. I have been running for 20 years and it’s my very favorite. I’ve run 3 marathons and wanted to run them yearly for the rest of my life! I had a really bad knee injury (while playing with my kids!!) and the repair has made it so I can only safely run 15 miles/week, so no more marathons. I carefully trained for 2 half marathons last year and was so thrilled to run long distances again. I’m training for #3 right now (it’s May 30th) and have loved reading about your journey.

    Annnnnyway, during marathon #3 (I was trying to qualify for Boston), I came out waay too fast the first 13 miles and was majorly done my mile 22. My (at the time) 11 year old son surprised me by jumping in at that point and ran super slowly next to me, not saying much (he’s a quiet kid), but just encouraging once in a while and waiting while I stopped every half mile to stretch my completely failing quad muscles and it was one of the sweetest memories of my period as a mom. I kept thinking, during that race, “I have to show him that I can do it even if EVERYTHING is telling me I can’t. Your story brought back the tears from that day and I loved you for sharing it.

    Anyway, you’re such a star. I love your honesty and how you aren’t perfectly reaching your goals every week, but setting new ones anyway and totally DOING IT! I’m excited for you. Thanks for sharing your it all with us.

    (Typed while I wait for my Lemon Yogurt Sheet cake to bake!)

    • Mel says:

      Loved your comment, Jessica! I can’t even imagine how you must have felt to have your son join you at the end of an arduous marathon. That gave me chills – what a neat experience. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Rachel says:

    Ah, I love the video! What a sweet little running buddy. I’m putting a water bottle belt on my shopping list this week. I’ve been carrying a collapsible water belt on longer runs, but it’s kind of a pain to carry it. Great job on the training–you are doing great!

  9. Mollie says:

    One more thing… I know you mentioned you are super sore, and want to prevent injury, I found this standard warm up ( which I started doing before all my runs. I think it’s really helped making sure my body is ready for my run, and I haven’t had any injuries since i started doing it. It’s only 8 minutes, and so worth it. I also try and do yoga (I use FitStar yoga) a couple times a week, especially if I’m feeling tight somewhere. They have some “freestyle” sessions that seem to really focus right where I need them, “Happy Hips” and “Back Balm” but I’m sure any yoga workouts you can find (I know Runner’s World has some free yoga for runners videos on their site) would probably be helpful. Being injured is the worst, so I’m trying to be very proactive about prevention now.

    • Mel says:

      I agree, Mollie – I’m paranoid about not getting injured. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been doing some yoga videos from Runner’s World but am bored with them now that I’ve done them over and over so I appreciate the recommendation

  10. Mollie says:

    Love this video! I’ve really enjoyed running with my 11 year old this year, but this has me thinking I need to get my 9 year old out there with me too! I have also been struggling with getting my runs in when I really should, and have had way more stroller runs lately than I want to have. My goal is to get up at 5 and run, but it has been a really long time since that has happened. I was suppose to run 8 miles this Saturday, but rain interfered and I only ran 5.5 – but your inspiring me to make sure I get my 9 miles in this Saturday (rain or shine)! One good thing to look for when your plan your routes is places you can stop and use a bathroom. I’ve got a trail I really enjoy, partly because it runs along the columbia river, but partly because there’s a public restroom every mile or so! Good luck this week – I love your goal of sticking to your plan. That will be my goal the rest of this week.

    • Mel says:

      You and me both, Mollie – sticking to my plan this week even if it kills me! Waking up that early is so hard but I know if I just embrace the self-control to do it, it will be worth it so my workout is done before the day gets insane.

  11. Julie says:

    I loved the video Mel– you look great! Your blog is inspirational in every way, from the meals you prepare and how creative you are in the kitchen, to how you are setting big goals for yourself (like running a half-marathon) and working so hard to meet them, and how you have such a loving and supportive family and marriage. Congratulations on 8 miles last week! I did it right along with you, and I about died from thirst and heat, but felt so happy that I did something hard that was good for me!

  12. Heidi H says:

    I’m kind of late to this party since I had to wait till I was cleared to run postpartum, but my sister and I are running (our first EVER) half marathon in September. I’m doing the couch to 5K right now to start out, and today I had a day like you described just now (cept I just had to jog/walk for 30 minutes, not a million miles). It’s so amazing that you are willing to be vulnerable like this because you bring so much strength and hope to so many others!! I feel better after this uplifting post. Vulnerability is strength!! Thank you!!!

  13. Debbie A says:

    You are totally AWESOME!

  14. Tiffany says:

    It is rewarding to run a new long! Great job, and I love reading these posts, very motivational, thanks!

  15. Kelly says:

    Fantastic Mel. I love your food–but the running posts are my favorite. They are motivating and inspiring. It helps me get out the door on my runs. I started on a similar running journey a couple years ago when my youngest was 3 and I decided I wanted to tackle the running goal and get back so some proper health, strength and fitness. Two years later I still struggle to get out the door some days, but love the feeling when I do. Since I run solo, by choice,your posts help me feel connected to another 30 something mom who loves to eat and kinda loves to run.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for your comment, Kelly! It makes me feel better that I’m not the only one that struggles to just get off running some days. I run alone, too, and I appreciate you commenting because my main source of connection is hearing from those of you following along. You have no idea how much it means to me! It’s like one big virtual running group.

  16. Sarah says:

    What a fun surprise! Having such a supportive family is definitely a blessing and really important when you’re trying to fit in all those long runs to an already busy schedule. My running week didn’t go exactly as planned, but we did have some running victories in our house – our 12-year-old daughter ran her first half marathon in 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 58 seconds!

  17. Jenna says:

    Thank you!! Now I am going to wash dishes so I can get to bed before midnight too and hopefully get up earlier tomorrow. EIGHT miles!! YAHOO! You inspire me. Thanks! 😉

  18. Liz says:

    Like Brian said in the video: “You are amazing!!”

    Thank you so much for sharing this and all you do share.

    Bottom line: You GO girl!!!

  19. Helen says:

    I loved this .. And got a little ‘teary eyed’ myself . although I’m not really training like I had hoped to be for this 1/2 marathon I’m still going to do my best to be there and cheer you on. I read and follow all your updates and feel inspired by you and your supportive family. Life got complicated with a missionary leaving for Armenia in July and my hubby recently lost his Job, so we are job hunting and trying to stay on top of it all .. While juggling 6 kids last month of school schedules .. Which includes a graduating senior who leaves for the MTC 6 weeks after graduation .. Wish me luck. Reading your blog updates and your great recipes are 2 of the only things that are keeping me sane during this totally unexpected and stressful turn of events in my life … Good luck Mel .. You are amazing !!

  20. Emily says:

    I don’t know you, but Iam so proud of you for how far you have come. It is really motivating. Thanks keep up the hard work.

  21. Peggy says:

    I wanted to leave you a note to say how inspiring you are. I look forward to reading your running updates. I’m running my first 10K this year and reading about your journey gives me something to relate to. I also love reading through the comments to get extra tips 🙂

    Love the video! Thanks for sharing.

  22. Stacey says:

    Oh, how sweet! Love it.

  23. Holly says:

    It’s fantastic to see how happy and supportive your family is! I can tell that they are so proud of you! Way to go Mel!

  24. Sheila says:

    Humility is so good for the soul! To all of us, you inspired us again by being willing to put real moments forth for all to see and know. We can identify and be stronger when that not so good moment comes upon us again. I always tell my kids love has very little to do with words or emotion but love is an action. Running isn’t making you emotional. It is the overflowing, strong love of supportive, kind family whose actions speak loudly of how much your dreams, desires, and goals mean to them. Kudos to Brain and Walker! You are a winner already, Mel, in this journey. Just look within your family and your blog family of how much goodness has been the outcome.

  25. Mary Sorensen says:

    I still get sooo nervous for any run longer than five miles. Like, can’t sleep nervous. I would love to hear anyone’s advice on how to overcome jitters… And don’t you just want to shout to everyone you see about how far you ran?! Sometimes I’ll be at the grocery store later that day thinking to myself, I ran eight miles today. I really did it!

    Great job this week! It seems like with running there are ups and downs. Glad to see you have such a successful week.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Mary. It makes me feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one that gets nervous but I echo your question – I’d love anyone else’s input on how to overcome that!

  26. Jackie says:

    Oh, and you handled the surprise very well. If I was out running alone and someone snuck up behind me I would have FREAKED OUT!!!

    • Mel says:

      Haha! I actually did freak out – especially in my mind (overactive imagination alert) – and was glad Brian wasn’t close enough to hear me shriek.

  27. Jackie says:

    That is a great surprise! I love how supportive your family is! And that is awesome that you did 8 miles in 1:27, that is like 15 minutes faster then I finished mine.

    My biggest obstacle is scheduling. Just getting out the door can be SO HARD!!! Last Saturday I actually left my house 3 times intending to go run and never actually did. Then I figured I would just make up for it during the week but between having sick kids, being in charge of our Cub Scout pinewood derby and other family stuff I only got 1 run in the whole rest of the week. I’m getting worried, I really need to kick it into gear! June 13 is coming up fast!

    • Mel says:

      I hear you, Jackie! Just finding the time is brutal. I have all these dreams of waking up before 6 to get my running in but it is usually an epic fail because I’m up so late finishing everything that didn’t get done during the day.

  28. Tanya M. says:

    AWESOME!!! Way to go, Mel!! I love the video and the fact that they planned it and he snuck up on you! SO SWEET!!!

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