When it’s Time to Move On

“Endings are a part of life, and we are actually wired to execute them. But because of trauma, developmental failures, and other reasons, we shy away from the steps that could open up whole new worlds of development and growth.” –Henry Cloud

You know what happens in your late 30s? You stop doing shit you don’t want to do. Also, you stop giving all the f*cks.

That’s why the half marathon I’m running with Mel on Valentines Day will probably be my last one.

Put on the Righteous Brothers because I’ve lost that long distance lovin’ feelin’.

I don’t feel like running more than about half an hour anymore. I don’t have the drive to make myself run much more than a half an hour.

And, when I do run more (usually more than an hour, though), I feel awful afterward–headache, achy body, and upset that I’m losing a whole day because of a run.

This happened yesterday after a 10-mile run with my friend Mel (Tall Mom on the Run). We had a pretty good run; and great conversation, as always.

Mel and me after 10 miles yesterday.

I was fine immediately afterward. My son (who had been playing at Mel’s house with her boys–thanks Tall Dad) and me went and got a smoothie and then shopped for a little bit before heading home.

On the drive home, I felt the headache coming. I’ve come to expect it after a long run. And it got worse and worse till about 9 p.m. when I couldn’t tolerate it anymore and caved to the pain (took Ibuprofin). I was asleep by 10:30 on a Saturday night.


Me, last night.
Me, last night.

Yes, I know there are some factors that could bring on these headaches–such as dehydration–but it doesn’t seem to matter. Fully hydrated or not, I usually start feeling like absolute crap about 2-3 hours after a long run.

Today (Sunday), I still have the headache and my calves are very angry with me.

I need to face it: I don’t enjoy the act of distance running as much as I used to. I loved going after those big goals a few years ago, but as I told Mel, I’ve done everything I needed to do.

The one thing I still enjoy about distance running is the social aspect, which I don’t need running for.

I just like walking more these days. And I love to lift.

When I run long distances, it feels as though my body is being broken down. When I lift, it feels like my body is being built up. Lifting makes me feel powerful inside and out. Distance running makes me feel weak. (Shingles, anyone?)

I still love the 5K distance, and I’m excited about maybe a sprint tri or two this summer. And I’ll never stop wanting to do relays with my friends.


But I think my long distance running days are coming to an end. The only thing that bothers me about that is that Mom vs. Marathon will no longer be relevant. Maybe it just needs a new name…

Book Review: How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald

Book Review: How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald

I’m ashamed to say that I let the title of Matt Fitzgerald’s latest book turn me off. This is the second time in the past few months where I did not buy a book based on the title…and then regretted that I judged a book by its cover (ha) because I really enjoyed it.

How Bad Do You Want It? the cover asked me when it was first released back in October.

I was taken aback by the question. I mean, well, I’m not sure. Probably not that bad. Probably I should just stop running altogether if I don’t want it bad enough. Yikes! I better not read that book in case it makes me feel bad about my running goals.

So I might’ve overreacted. I eventually decided to buy the Kindle version of How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle ($14.71/$9.99 Paperback/Kindle on Amazon) because I am a Matt Fitzgerald #fangirl.

How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald

Across 12 chapters, Fitzgerald tells the story of 12 different athletes and how they used the power of their minds (AKA coping skills) to help them overcome obstacles in achieving some of their greatest accomplishments.

Each chapter is a compelling and inspiring story with an underlying lesson about how you can use these same sports psychology “tricks” in your own goal-chasing. Athletes include triathlete Siri Lindley (featured in what was probably my favorite chapter, called “The Art of Letting Go”), runner Jenny Simpson, Pre, amputee and Ironman Willie Stewart, Olympic rower Joe Sullivan, 8-time Ironman World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser, and many more elite endurance athletes from the world of running, cycling and triathlons.

I particularly loved that Bernard Lagat, who won three NCAA Championship titles at Washington State University (also my alma mater), and continued training at elite levels after college, got a mention in chapter 8.

(I was disappointed, however, that Fitzgerald—or his fact-checkers—called Lagat a “Huskie.” First, the Husky is the University of Washington mascot—fierce in-state rivals of the WSU Cougars. Second, “Huskie” is not how you spell Husky. But to Fitzgerald’s credit, he responded promptly to my tweet about it saying that he’d heard from a lot of Cougars about this and that the publisher is supposed to be fixing it in the Kindle edition.)

That very minor mistake aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Fitzgerald’s latest. It made me want to do better and believe that I could, and it inspired me to have a more positive attitude toward my sport. It also ignited a desire to go after a difficult goal (although I have yet to define what that is). This is a book I know I will read many times.

Don’t let Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It? scare you. It is a fast and engaging read about endurance sports that will have you believing you can do whatever you put your mind to.

Here are just a few of my favorite passages from the book:

“Any factor that tends to increase self-consciousness during a race makes flow more difficult to attain. One of these factors is negative thoughts.”

“Self-belief cannot be manufactured through obsessive yearning toward one’s goals or through the elimination of all ‘distractions.’ In fact, it requires the opposite: an empty mind and total immersion in the process that builds the proof of potential that is the only solid foundation for true self-belief.”

“The truth of the matter is that the stronger or more capable the body is, the weaker or lazier the mind can afford to be.”

Recommended book pairing: Lauren Fleshman’s Believe Training Journal ($14.63, Amazon). Here’s a little peek in mine:

Pair How Bad Do You Want It with the Believe Journal

Next running book review: Run! by Dean Karnazes

Run the My Better Half Marathon with a BRF: Get $10 Off Before Prices Go Up Jan. 1

My Better Half Marathon with Your BRF | Mom vs. Marathon

You guys, your My Better Half Marathon team name is not as good as me and Mel’s.

Wait. What? You haven’t registered for the My Better Half Marathon on Valentines Day?


Dude, prices go up tomorrow! Get on it!

Me and Tall Mom Mel are doing a Tina Fey/Amy Poehler thing. Team Galentines! (We got amazing shirts for the race–can’t wait!)

There are four fun categories in the My Better Half Marathon: Bromance (two guy friends), Besties (two girl friends), Lovers (romantically involved) and Lonely Hearts. There is also a 5K and a 10K option, or you can make the half a 2-person relay if you want.

Dress up with your running partner–it’s going to be a fun race out at Seward Park!

Get $10 off your registration for My Better Half Marathon with my code: MOMVSMARATHON

The shirts are super cute half-zips and have thumbholes, which I love.

My Better Half Marathon shirt

Of course, you also get a medal and other goodies. And I heard there will be a tunnel of love on the course.

Oh, and hot food at the end. Hoping for breakfast foods…


2015 Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report


Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Me, Alyssa, Mel, Goober and Giblet, and Zoë at the Frosty 5K last Saturday.

It was weird not to feel nervous about a race.

Normally, I put a stupid amount of pressure on myself to run fast in races—especially at Santa Runs Tacoma’s Frosty 5K because (usually) you get a cool mug if you finish in the top 100 runners.

I knew that wasn’t going to happen this year. I haven’t run much more than a mile here or there since the marathon in September. And I’ve put on 5+ (okay fine, it’s closer to 10 pounds) by eating cookies and drinking eggnog every day since Thanksgiving.

Yes, I’ve been working out, but I have not been eating well, and so I’m putting on muscle…and fat. Good times.

Luckily for me, most of my friends have been on a running break, too, so we all planned to run together. Zoë even brought her kiddos (Goober, 5, and Giblet, 1) to ride in the double-jogger!

We didn’t have a specific theme this year for the race. Two years ago, we all dressed as snowmen.

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Alyssa, Chelsea, Tiff and Me. Mel took the photo.

We have been running this race since 2010…

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Total Santa race noobs.

…which was my son’s first race…

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Little runner guy.

…in 2011, we matched and Kim was here…

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon

…then I missed 2012…and Zoe missed last year…

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Will and Tiff, Mel and Me. Where’s Alyssa? She was there, I promise!

…and, sadly, Tiffany missed this year. It happens.

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Selfie credit: Mel’s amazing arm! :)

This year, we just Christmassed out. Nobody could’ve topped the ladies that dressed as nutcrackers. They had awesome costumes. It was raining a little, so I didn’t get to wear my Christmas tree glasses.

I ran with Zoë, Mel and Alyssa (and Goober and Giblet), and it was so much awesome. We took it pretty easy and chatted and joked for 30 minutes and 45 seconds, letting Zoë and her stroller set the pace.

The Frosty 5K is flat, except for one small overpass hill, which we had to walk about half of because of the heavy stroller, even though Goob let us know that we better get running again. Little coach in training!

I wasn’t pushing anything, but I definitely felt the extra weight I am carrying. Despite that, the pace was perfect and we even passed a lot of people, including some other strollers at the end of the race, and we finished four-wide across the finish line. (Hopefully there will be a cute picture.)

Afterward, we went to breakfast, of course, where I had about ¼ of my mimosa before getting buzzed, listened to Goober tell me hilarious nonsensical jokes, and then losing my Debit card (which I found in my wallet after Zoe paid for me—I swear I didn’t plan that!).

Pretty great morning. Running with friends it the absolute best—even better than PRs and mugs*.


*Our fasty friend told us no mugs this year. Hopefully, they’ll be back next year.

Get $10 Off the My Better Half Marathon & 10% Off the FitFam Challenge

Race Discount for My Better Half Marathon and FitFam Challenge

Are you sad that your Christmas race is over?

Don’t be sad. Sign up for another race!

Here are two options to get your 2016 race calendar started:

My Better Half Marathon

Seattle friends should check out the My Better Half Marathon on Valentines Day! I think I’ve got my friend Mel talked into running it with me. There are four fun categories: Bromance (two guy friends), Besties (two girl friends), Lovers (romantically involved) and Lonely Hearts. There is also a 5K and a 10K.

Dress up with your running partner–it’s going to be a fun race out at Seward Park!

Get $10 off your registration for My Better Half Marathon with my code: MOMVSMARATHON

The shirts are amazing half-zips and have thumbholes, which I love.

My Better Half Marathon shirt

Of course, you also get a medal and other goodies. And I heard there will be a tunnel of love on the course!

FitFam Challenge Virtual Run & Ride

Another fun option would be a virtual race like the FitFam Challenge (Jan. 15-18) Virtual Run & Ride. You get gender-specific shirts, a race medal and even a real race bib–so you get everything you would get with an organized race, except the crazy crowds, wild parking and having to get up at the crack of dawn!

Race Discount Codes

Plus you get to help support a great cause. FitFam will give $1 for every registration, plus any additional donations to KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.

There are a bunch of race options:

Run/Walk Options

  • 1 Mile Run / Walk
  • 5K Run / Walk
  • 10K Run / Walk
  • Half Marathon Run / Walk

Bike Options

  • 10 Mile Bike Ride
  • 25 Mile Bike RIde

You could literally do these distances anywhere with anyone. I especially think it would help make some of those long distance training runs a little more interesting. I mean, if you gotta run 13.1 miles, you might as well get a shirt and a medal–plus help a charity.

Use MOVETHEMISSION10 to get 10% off of your registration for the FitFam Challenge!

Okay. What are you still doing here? Go sign up!


How Much Should You Run? Probably Less Than You Think

How Much Should You Run? | Mom vs. Marathon

Do you feel like in a running world of Kara Gouchers, are you an Alysia Montaño?

What I mean is, do you like running shorter distances, but feel like you aren’t running enough because everyone’s all “which marathon should I do next?” or “signed up for my next 50-miler!” or “got my 14-mile run in by 7 a.m.”?

(Okay, obvs Alysia runs a ton, but she’s an 800-meter runner. She races shorter…and faster!)

I’m totally an Alysia these days, except without her cute flower, or her speed, or her abs. But good news! A study by the Mayo Clinic found that just 50 minutes of running a week–A WEEK!–has health benefits, such as reducing your chance of having a stroke, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and even some cancers, according to this article from Huff Post.

That’s like a mile or two five times a week. That’s it!

I’ve totally been getting less than 3 miles a week, though. (Sometimes less than that.) Like, so far this week, I’ve run about a mile…today…while I was doing sprints while watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

How Much Should You Run? | Mom vs. Marathon
Working on my RHOBH selfie skills while on the treadmill.

By. The. Freaking. Way. RHOBH fans, SHOW YOURSELVES because I’ve discovered a new podcast you will love. Bitch Sesh is a Real Housewives breakdown podcast hosted by Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider, and I love it for all its stupid-girly-silly-sarcasticness. I’d abandoned Real Housewives because I just didn’t have anyone to enjoy it with (I work with a bunch of dudes). Now I have a reason to watch again. My favorite Real Housewives was New Jersey. Is that one even still on or are too many of them in jail?

Okay, back to running. So, I have a new goal. Just try to get 50 minutes a week. That’s it. I think I can do it. What about you?

Why is Running Times Magazine Closing?

Why is Running Times Closing? | Mom vs. Marathon

Did you see that Running Times magazine is going to stop…um…running? Rodale is ceasing publication of the magazine after the January/February issue.

This is terrible news.


As a former print journalist, I hate to see print publications die…especially at the hand of other print publications.

While Runner’s World is a fine magazine, its articles lean toward the newer runner. I find it a little fluffy. A little too, well, magaziney. That’s fine, of course, but in my opinion (unless they plan to change), they miss out on a big section of the running community.

Running Times took running a little more seriously. Took runners seriously. More content about running, less pretty models pretending to run in photos. More running news you could actually use. Running Times also covered a lot of news on high school and cross country runners, as well as news about masters runners.

RW doesn’t do that.

I’ve had subscriptions to both magazines, as well as Women’s Running magazine (which I hated, btw; newflash Women’s Running: women runners are athletes, too, not just girls trying to lose weight).

Running Times was my favorite running magazine. A few years ago, I unfortunately did some budget-cleaning and got rid of all my magazine subscriptions. Last week, I had just signed up to renew my RT subscription. And then I saw the news on Monday about it being killed off.

I was like, What? Whyyyyyyyyy?!

Well, I have an idea and I really don’t think the problem with RT was its content.

You know what I think it is? I think it just isn’t sexy enough for advertisers. The text-to-photo ratio was just too darn high. Too much reading. Reading isn’t sexy. But you know what is? Fitness models.

Ugh. I’m disgusted. Really, really disappointed. Why does everything have to be sexy nowadays?

I blame the Kardashians.




Don’t forget to check out FitFam, the new virtual run company. Sign up for the FitFam Challenge Virtual Run & Ride (Jan. 15-18) and get your year started off right. You get gender-specific shirts, a race medal and even a real race bib–so you get everything but the crazy crowds and having to get up at the butt-crack of dawn! Deal!

I’m thinking about signing up for the mile–feel like a little time trial is in order to see how slow I am.

Use MOVETHEMISSION10 to get 10% off of your registration!