The Countdown is On

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New York City

Two weeks. The TCS New York Marathon is 14 days away. Our flights have long since been booked, hotel reservations made, and theatre tickets secured. I am totally ready for our trip to New York! But, this trip is in no way about me. John has been training for twenty-three weeks and is finally in the homestretch.

Two Saturdays ago marked his first twenty-mile run. He did this long run on the Tanglefoot Trail and it went really well. John felt strong and was trying to mimic the elevation of the New York marathon by running on this flat, fast trail. He fueled properly throughout the week, didn’t go too fast out of the gate, and never hit a wall during his out and back jaunt.


John put in 15 miles yesterday and will start tapering this week. He’s excited. He’s nervous. But, most of all, he is ready! He’s got his outfit ready to go, which, as it turns out, is not nearly as important to this race as it was for my Princess race, but I don’t think anyone is surprised about that.

John’s ankles are sore. He had a bone spur in his heel and tendonitis in his achillies. He has beaten up his body to train for this race, but like I said, he is ready. He stuck to his training plan and is prepared for what lies ahead. I asked him what he has learned from this process and he shared several keys to his success.


1. You have to be flexible with your training plan and modify as it meets your needs.

John had a strong training plan that was put together for him by Lynn Holland, a great running coach and friend of John’s. There have been days that he hurt and rather than running just because his plan said to do so, he listened to his body and took a day or two off. This has kept him free from any major injuries and has enabled him to rest when he needed it without straying too far from his plan.

2. Run with a Group

John is a member of Team X. Because he runs with this group of men and women, he has accountability, safety, and interesting conversation. He has made new friends and pushed himself more than if he had just been training alone. Because of Team X he has joined the Tupelo Running Club and has met even more folks in the running community, including the skunks at Ballard Park.

3. Cross Train. Cross Train. Cross Train.

Cross training keeps you healthy and less prone to injury. John loves to swim and has enjoyed swimming laps at the Tupelo Aquatic Center as part of his cross training. He also does yoga for runners to stay loose, as he is prone to stay tight. Make all the jokes you want. I always do. While it is time consuming to add more training on your running days off, he is committed to this race and has done a great job of putting in the work that needs to be done.

4. Summer miles bring fall smiles.

If I’ve said it once on this blog, I’ve said 100 times. It’s been a miserably hot summer. The vast majority of John’s training has taken place during the summer months and even the fall months have been sweltering thus far. But, two Saturdays ago when he ran 20 miles, it was 54 degrees, was one of the best training runs he has had at an 8:58 pace, and he never looked back. It looks like the weather in NYC is going to be similar to what we are experiencing now, with marathon temps hitting the mid to upper 50’s. Because of the miles John has put in, he’ll be ready.


We are excited about our trip to New York in two short weeks. I’m signed up to run the Abbott Dash to Finish Line 5K, which takes you on the final three miles of the marathon with the same finish in Central Park. I can’t wait to experience the same thing that John will get to do the next day, minus the first 23.1 miles. Some fabulous friends of ours are coming to the city to help cheer on John, so we’re looking forward to a wonderful long weekend in the Big Apple.

Have you run the New York Marathon or been a spectator during the race? I’m still researching where to go to make sure I get to see John other than just at the finish line, so I would love to hear about your experience.

2016 Miles to Go: 799


Start Spreading the News!


Way to go, John!

There always seems to be a let down after completing an event, activity, or trip that you have looked forward to for a long time. Post Princess Half Marathon weekend is no exception. 

I love to have something to plan and organize, something to work towards, train for, or countdown. Well, last night the next thing showed up. John got confirmation that he was selected to run the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon! Out of all the thousands and thousands of people who enter the lottery, he was chosen! We were so excited last night when the e-mail came through, you would have thought he had won a free trip somewhere, not the opportunity to work hard and train for the next eight months in order to put his body through more than it has ever been through before. But, we are thrilled! 

After he helped coach me through my magical 19.3, I get to be the supportive wife during his journey to 26.2. I just bought the new Runner’s World Cookbook and can’t wait to cook my way through it to help get John race ready for November. There will be many prayers, many pep talks, and many words of encouragement shared with him over the next eight months, and I can’t wait! 

I have had several people ask me if I would quit blogging now that my race is over. My answer? No way! I’ve caught the RunDisney bug and am already plotting my return and how I can earn the coast-to-coast medal, but we’ll talk more about that later. For now, we are celebrating John and the huge feat that lies ahead of him. To put it into perspective, 14,326 applicants were accepted out of 80,080 lottery entrants for this year’s NYC Marathon. Wow! NYC, we’re heading your way! 

2016 Miles to Go: 922

Running Resolutions Met: PR in Enchanted 10K