Steamtown Marathon Review

Steamtown Marathon Review


I ran the Steamtown Marathon on Sunday, October 12!  This was a point to point race that finished in Scranton, PA.  Scranton is where “The Office” tv show is supposed to take place :)

I was extremely nervous for this race because I had been fighting off a sinus infection for the past few weeks.  I felt better that weekend and got to the expo Saturday around 3PM.  I did not expect the expo to be so large!  It was held at a high school and the local running store had tons of clothing and running items for sale.  It was pretty crowded, so I didn’t stay too long.  I kept thinking of this race as a small race, but 3,000 people were signed up to run.


I really liked the long sleeve race tec shirt we got at packet pick up.  I was happy with the color purple!  We stayed at a brand new Best Western hotel that was about 10 minutes from the start line.  Since Colby wasn’t running, he was able to drop me off, see the start of the race and then drive to the 8 mile spot, 17 mile spot and finish line to see me.  He did a great job of finding me!  The race was chip timed with a chip that tied onto your shoe lace.  I’ve been running larger races in the past that have text/website tracking but this race only showed your finish time.  I wish there were a few mats at different points of the race to track us more.


Our baby Bella stayed with my parents for the weekend.  It was cold so we got out the pink sweater!


When I saw my bib number, I was hoping it was my finish time too!  My marathon PR is 4:28 from Pittsburgh 2011, so best case would be to beat that time.  I wasn’t sure I could do it since I was sick the weeks leading up to the race, but I really wanted to make sure I was under 5 hours.  I ran another marathon in 2012 and was 5:06 and had stomach issues the whole race.  I also threw up at the finish line! Gross!

I wore a pink tec t shirt, long sleeve cotton t shirt that I thought I would take off (I kept it on the whole time) and shorts.  I also wore a fuel belt for the first time.  I got this one on amazon that had two bottles.  I filled one bottle with water and the other with a 1/2 tab of Tropical Nuun, three vanilla Hammer gels and water.  I had no stomach issues, so I guess this worked for me!  The Hammer gels are thin, so they mix well.  I refilled my water a few times during the race at water stations.  I loved not having to drink out of the cups at water stations.


My pre-race dinner!  I was not in the mood for pasta and when I saw a Wegmans – I knew I wanted sushi!


This picture is near the finish line in Scranton.  The weather was beautiful, but cold at the start! It was just over 30 degrees!  At the end, it was about 65 degrees.images

I’ve had the same Garmin 405 watch for the past 4 1/2 years.  It has been acting funny since this past summer.  The main screen freezes and the battery dies.  When I was at mile 21, I got the dreaded “LOW BATTERY” signal!  I wanted to cry!! It lasted until 21.46 and then died.  I tried not to freak out, but my quads were killing me!  The first 23 miles of this race were practically ALL DOWNHILL!  I tried not to go to hard at the beginning, but it probably was a little too fast.  It just felt so good!  I was proud that I ran the first 14.5 miles before walking, and that was just to fill my water bottle.  My first major walk break was when my watch beeped 18 miles.  I knew I needed to maintain around an 11 min. mile to the end to PR.  Once my watch died, it was hard to stay motivated through the pain.  Walk breaks started and I had no idea how long I was walking.  With my watch, I could keep it to just a few minutes for a walk break.  This was the worst part of the race.  All I had to look forward to was the mile markers.  22-26 never seemed to take so long!  Lots of hills at the end too!

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My splits until my Garmin died.  Garmin is great though.  I emailed them and they told me my options.  I could send my watch to them to get fixed/replaced for a $79 fee (since my watch is out of warranty).  OR I can trade it in for a new watch and get a $79 credit.  I opted for a new watch and it should come in the next week or so!  I’m excited!


I wasn’t very hungry at the end of the race.  The food tent line was kinda long, so I decided to just get out of there and find fast food.  Wendy’s was first and a chocolate frosty and french fries were the perfect meal.  I ate lots of pizza that night once my stomach settled!

Finish time was 4:44:31.  Not my best, but I was happy!  2nd best and I think I will do Steamtown again next year!  It was a great race, good course and organized!

Marathon #3 This Weekend!

Things were going well with my marathon training.  I had a good 13.1, 15 and 16 long run.  The 18 was tough, but I was happy with it.  Then… the big 2-0 long run.  The day before I ran 20 (Sept. 20) I started feeling sick.  As a teacher, I’m used to getting the typical sinus infection in the fall.  Lots of new germs going around with elementary kids.  So the sore throat and fever started to hit.  I took zinc like crazy and hoped for the best.  I fell apart on my 20 miler.  I started later that morning and it got hot.  Like, sunny and humidity.  It was not pretty and I walked a lot at the end.

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My first slow split was at mile 9.  It was a long morning.  I pretty much walked the last two full miles.  I finished and was happy to have my typical ginger ale.  I laid in bed for the rest of the day and ate cold pizza.  I didn’t run for over a week after my 20 miler and got antibiotics.  The sinus infection wasn’t getting better and I started to panic.  I was going to blog about all of this, but I was freaked out.

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I skipped the long run (12) the weekend after my 20 and ran an okay 4.5 mile run.  This past weekend, I ran a great 8 (above).  I was still congested and tired, but my legs felt great.

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I ran a faster 4 miler on Tuesday and I’m planning on running my last run (2.5) tomorrow before the big race.  To be honest, I was thinking of dropping out of the race last weekend.  I felt terrible and I didn’t want to run a marathon sick.  I’m feeling better and hoping for the best!  I also got other people to cover my BODYPUMP and CXWORX classes this week so I could take a full week off from classes.

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Steamtown Marathon Link

Wish me luck!

What Makes My Legs Happy

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I did a comfortable 12 miles on Sunday to finish out week 12 of my marathon training plan.  I haven’t been able to stick to the training plan exactly as it should be (run on Tues/Weds/Thurs/Sat).   For week 13, I started out with my 9 miler.  Amy ran with me and we ran all 9 after school Tuesday night and almost got caught in a major thunder storm!  It rained on us, but nothing we couldn’t handle :)



On week 13! 18 this weekend!

How I Make My Legs Happy…

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This past weekend, I ran my 12 miler from my parents house.  I ran to the grocery store the night before to get some breakfast stuff and the Naked protein juice smoothie shown above.   It tasted pretty good and had like 30 grams of protein.  I’ve found drinking protein after a long run or teaching BODYPUMP helps my muscles recover FASTER.  I’ve been lazy in the past and done nothing, or grabbed a protein bar… but it’s just not the same.  The only issue with this drink? It was over 400 calories! That’s like drinking 4 miles! Since I did 12, I didn’t care but I wouldn’t drink a whole one after a shorter workout.  I also like Perfect Fit Protein when I’m making a smoothie at home.

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My secret weapon?  Most runners know the magic compression socks can do for your legs… but my secret is which ones I love.  I have the “big” name compression socks geared towards runners.  They’re okay, but NOTHING compared to my… Walmart compression socks!! I’ve talked about these before, but they are amazing!  So tight on my legs, CHEAP and I’ve thrown them into the washer/dryer a million times.  You can find them at Walmart near the pharmacy, or on Amazon here.  Seriously, they are the best.  I even hide them under my dress pants at work in the winter ;)

How Les Mills Classes Help My Running



Hello!! I’m back to school (teaching) and just finished my first week.  I’ve been teaching BODYPUMP/CXWORX and violin lessons over the summer, but on my own time.  Now I’m getting back to a regular schedule and trying to fit it all in again!  I got a little behind on the blogging, but I did a lot of house projects this summer and was enjoying my time with family and our puppy :)  I will definitely post about the home improvements once things are complete, because I had great success with Pinterest projects!

Above is the Hal Higdon Marathon Novice 1 training plan I’ve been following for my upcoming October marathon.  This will be my third marathon!

I am going to finish week 12 this weekend.  I’ve been trying to maintain teaching my Les Mills classes along with this training plan.  Sometimes I’ve dropped a mid-week short run, but I’m okay with it.  I have to stop being obsessed with the training plan and just go with the flow!



Above are my iPhone workout notes from the past two weeks.  As you can see, I’ve been teaching BODYPUMP and CXWORX each week and trying to fit all my runs in as well.  I have gone DOWN on my leg weights for pump (squats and lunges) to prevent dead legs on my long runs each weekend.  Once I got to week 8, my long run was 13.1 and I need to take care of my legs.  I just want to stay healthy and keep my body injury-free!



I just realized that you can search distances on Garmin Connect!  I had an amazing 15 miler the other weekend, and looked up my other 15 milers from past training seasons.  This 15 was my best, by far!! I like that I can see them all in one spot.  I ran the first 5 on my own, and then my buddy Amy joined me for the last 10!


After my 15 miler, my body was tired.  I felt tired the next week, was hungry all the time and my legs were tired.  I know that is pretty normal, so I didn’t get upset that my 16 felt tough.  It wasn’t as good as my 16 miler in 2011, but that’s okay.  I didn’t do a 16 miler for my 2nd marathon in 2012 because I pulled my calf.

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I’ve still been teaching BODYPUMP 90, because I like the release so much!  I’m ready to switch out a few tracks for a change this week, but I’m so ready to start memorizing 91!  I LOVE release 91!! I can’t wait to teach it and I’ve been listening to it non-stop on my long runs!

I’ve been trying to focus on my upper body when I teach pump since I’ve been going lighter on my leg tracks.  I can always build my weight back up after the marathon.  I know my legs are stronger from the muscle I’ve built because overall, my running has been so much better.

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I LOVE CXWORX and I’m still teaching release 15.  It’s still hard for the class and still has my face dripping with sweat after the oblique track!  I LOVE the music for release 16 and I can’t wait to teach it soon.  My core is stronger and the class really works my shoulders, BACK, legs and hip flexors.


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Not fitness related, we got new furniture and Bella approves!


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