The Mental Marathon Plan

Alright as I get closer to running this marathon, I am starting to prepare even more. First let me say, I am terrified. I have had some really disappointing long runs and I feel like I am not ready for this. Second, I am so over this training… I’m so ready to not have to plan my schedule and life around long runs and hoping that it doesn’t snow just yet! I can’t wait for this to be over.

This Tuesday will be my last really long run before race day and I am looking forward to getting it out of the way and desperately hoping that I feel awesome and finish feeling confident that I will be able to do this 26.2 miles in a few weeks. As I prepare for this long run, I have been preparing myself for race day. This is my last chance to prepare and practice my strategy before the big day. I have been researching a lot of mental strategies and motivations for finishing a marathon. I have also been researching getting through the wall and overcoming common race day obstacles (especially bathroom issues).

I want to me as prepared mentally as possible so that it is one things less I have to think about come race day. So here is what I have planned and am going to try on Tuesday. As a Birth Doula I am planning this out like a woman in labor. After all labor is a marathon (I need to write a whole post on that)

First I plan to break the race up into 5 mile segments. For me 5 miles is an easy segment and I know I can run 5 miles pretty smoothly. Each segment I plan to focus on something different to help me get through it and prepare myself for the next one to come. I am planning to write these focuses on my arm in case my mind goes blank and I can’t remember while I am running. So here they are:

Miles 1-5 (Pre-labor) Focus on breathing, relaxing, and warming up. Many people push themselves at the start of races and I do not want to burn out so I plan to focus on my own pace and not get wrapped into other people’s paces.

Miles 5-10 (Realizing you are in labor) I will be focusing on pace and form. Form is really important for me and I know during these few miles if my form is not good I will be hurting the rest of the race.

Miles 10-15 (Start of Active Labor) I will be focusing on my body and checking each piece from my toes to the top of my head. Thinking through what hurts, if anything needs a stretch, and how things feel. I will also focus on maintaining nutrition and hydration.

I know I can get through these miles pretty smoothly so up to mile 15 is all focused on preparing for the challenging miles ahead and giving myself the best possible circumstances.

Miles 15-20 (Water breaking/Epidural thoughts)  will be focused on enjoying the race. I plan to look around, read every sign, give as many high fives as possible and simple take it all in. I know after this point I won’t be able to focus on taking it all in and I don’t want to miss it. So this will be a good distraction as I lead to that place.

Miles 20-25 (Transition) will be all about distracting myself mentally. I plan to use each mile to pray for something different (writing them on my arm ahead of time) and really think about that person or situation. I plan to dig deep and use my why and mantras to push through these last few miles (more on that in a post in a few days).

Mile 25- finish (Pushing and Baby!) Will be all about taking it all in and enjoying the accomplishment that I am achieving. I don’t want to miss a second of the last mile. Even if I have to walk this whole mile I am taking in every second of it!

I am hoping with these goals and focuses I will be successful in completing this marathon and feeling accomplished at the end. I plan to try them out on Tuesday in my last long run and really get a feel for what needs to change and what is working.

Have you run a full marathon? What was your mental plan?

Ready, set, tri


This week I have been gearing up for my first ever triathlon! I know, crazy! As you may remember a triathlon is on my 30 list for this year. I have been working to cross a few things off the list so far and this will be a big one.


This weekend I will be racing in Race on the Base. I have done the 5k a few times and the triathlon as a relay, but this will be my first ever complete tri. As I get ready I am nervous! I haven’t trained for it at all and now that it is here I am worried. What did I get myself into?

While our weather has been horrible the last month or so, it has been really hard to think about training. So this week I have put a lot of effort into mental training. A triathlon has many components and walking through it mentally can be a huge benefit. The transitions are especially important to be prepared for. Last week I bought myself a transition mat (more about that later). I decided to this to help me stay organized and it will be useful for other events like Ragnar.

Trying to figure out what to wear has been another struggle. It needs to be good to run in, comfortable for the bike, but also able to be swam in. As this is a sprint distance I am not going to change clothes between legs. So hopefully I have picked out a good outfit.

So here is my packing list… Am I forgetting anything? Let me know so I can pack it!


  • Tank top
  • Shorts
  • Sports bra
  • sweats (for before)
  • Ragnar Jacket (for before)
  • Flip flops (for after)
  • Comfy clothes (for after)


  • Running Shoes
  • Hat
  • Sparkle Skirt (I know not needed but so great!)


  • Bike
  • bike shoes
  • helmet
  • Water bottle


  • Goggles
  • Towel


  • Transition mat
  • Fuel/hydration

Next week I will recap the race, and do a full review of my gear (especially my new transition mat). I may even do a giveaway! Stay tuned.

Ragnar 101 pt1

I Recently did a Ragnar 101 event on Facebook. It was successful so I want to share some of my information with you! It will be in a few different segments.

What is Ragnar Relay and  how does it work?

There are two types of Ragnar Relays, Road races and Trail races. So far I have only done the road races, so most of my information is about the road version of Ragnar. I will try to include as much trail information as I can throughout. I do plan to do a Ragnar Trail this year!

Ragnar Races are 12 person (Road) or 8 person (Trail) relay races. Each road races covers around 200 miles of running as a team. The team is split into two vehicles with the first 6 runners in one and the second 6 in the other. (more about vehicles in another post). Each car does their 6 legs letting one runner go and driving to the next exchange to switch out runners. Once all runners in their car have done their first set of legs they hand off to the other car and then go get food and rest before their next set. Each runner runs 3 separate legs of the race averaging around 12-15 miles total. Most teams finish in around 24-30 hours.

Teams can have less runners if needed for the team. In 2015 our Napa team only had 8 runners. It ended up being really fun as we were all in one van together and got to be one team for the entire race. In this race we skipped the set of legs that those runners would have done. Some people choose to make up those legs by running extra legs when they do not have enough runners.


For a typical Road Ragnar the cost per person without hotels usually ends up around $300. This depends on what car you use or rent, decorations and team shirts ordered, sleeping arrangements, food, gas, etc. This seems like a lot of money, but it can be done cheaper. If you are willing to cut out conveniences and comfort you can make your Ragnar experience pretty cheap.

When you form a team it is best to get all the registration money up front. This makes people have a financial commitment in the race and they are less likely to drop out. Nothing worse that trying to find a replacement last minute because team members aren’t committed.

So if you have decided you are going to do a Ragnar Relay check out their website to decide which race you want to do. I love Socal and Napa! Then find 11 friends (or strangers) to sign up with you and form your team. Then start the planning and training process. My teams have always been from different states and countries. This can make planning difficult. We usually set up a private Facebook group for the race so that we can talk about all things Ragnar and make plans. If not everyone has Facebook, we usually do group emails.

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Monte Rio and Jenner

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Ragnar Relay So Cal 2016

Another successful Ragnar Relay! This time I was on the Ragnaliens team! My van consisted of some pretty amazing people, me, my mom, my dad, my cousin Cameron, friends TC, and Melissa. We had such a fun team of people. … Continue reading