Confessions of a Half Marathoner

As an avid runner and half marathoner x 14 there is a common question that you get asked.

“So when are you going to do a full marathon?”

My usual answer is never!!! and I mean it.  Really I do.  I don’t like running longer than 25k.  I can feel the fun being sucked out of the run with every step after 25.  So that pretty much does it…right?…Or does it?


All summer I had decided that I was running the Scotia Bank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 42.2k.  That’s right, you heard me!  The full shebang.  I was going to be the first person to train for a marathon without one post on Social Media about it.  In fact I had only really told one person that I was doing it.  My friend Allison Van de Kemp is running her first one in October and I texted with her that I had decided to do it.  I only told Petja right before Seawheeze (Mid August) that it was a possibility.

After SeaWheeze.  What a great weekend!

Then we ran the Seawheeze half.  We did it slower than my normal half pace to enjoy the experience and the beautiful West Coast scenery.  The pace we ran was about what I figured I would do for a marathon.  But at 19k I felt my usual fatigue and was praying for the finish line to appear.  I couldn’t even image doing the same thing all over again.  So long story short…I’m not ready and I can’t get ready in the few weeks I have left because my problem is strength.  I am just not strong enough, which leads me to :


Many times I have had a personal New Years Resolution or Summer Resolution or New School Year Resolution to work out in our basement and get stronger.  We have all the equipment that I need to get stronger.  There is no good reason that I don’t do it except that I don’t make the time. So really it is my own fault that I’m not ready.  I have known for years that my core, lower back and gluts are too weak and that they are the parts that scream on long runs and at the end of 21.1k.  So that leads me to …


I am happy to announce that I am a new member of Orangetheory Fitness.  Yes, I have all of the same equipment at home but here is a list of things that I don’t have:

  1.   A coach to tell me that I am not working hard enough because they can see my heart rate.
  2. A predetermined workout that I don’t have to plan. It is so nice to show up and not think. (I love not having to make a single decision once I am there.  #MomWinNumber1 )
  3. Music that is selected and pumping to keep you moving. (That I didn’t have to download, remember to arrange, control the volume of.  #MomWinNumber2 )
  4. It is one hour of pure towel soaking sweat.

Which leads me to…


After a few classes with the heart rate monitor I have learned ONE BIG negative thing about my running.  I am kind of lazy.  I get into my aerobic training zone (You know it.  The one where you feel like you could run forever) , I settle in, and would really prefer to stay there.  I don’t push myself.  It is uncomfortable to incline higher or run faster and I just don’t really do it.  I often think I am training harder but after ACTUALLY running harder at Orangetheory I realize that I don’t ever truly get “uncomfortable” which leads me to…


I have one strong heart.  I have learned TWO BIG positive things using the heart Rate monitor .


  1. I have to work pretty hard to get my heart rate above 83% of max.
  2. I recover very fast.  When we switch to activities or move over to the weights my heart rate drops very fast and I am finding it very difficult to high enough in the “green zone” that I can get back to the Orange on time.

It has been a big couple of weeks of self discovery. So, to sum it up:

  • I like being a student and have someone tell me what to do
  • I need to get stronger
  • I have finally done something to get stronger
  • I have an awesome heart
  • I have to work that awesome heart harder and stop being a lazy runner
  • I am not running a full marathon (yet)



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