26 Strong: I’m Running a Marathon

So guys. I’m running a marathon. 26.2 miles. 42 kilometers. Holy crap. It’s happening.

Okay I should probably explain a little – I didn’t just roll out of bed this morning and decide this craziness.

In April, Morganne asked me if I wanted to be her “cadet” as part of Saucony’s “26 Strong” campaign. Being the incredible runner and marathoner she is, Saucony approached Morganne to be a “coach” for 26 Strong – a campaign featuring 13 veteran marathoners (coaches) and 13 first-time marathon runners – that’s me!

I was so flattered when Morganne asked me to be on her team but I have to admit, I didn’t say yes right away. I was so nervous – could I do it?! Some days I like running more than others. Some days I don’t want to run. I added “run a marathon” to my “life to do list” ever since seeing the Boston Marathon for the first time but I hadn’t planned on running a marathon this year or next. Heck, I didn’t really have a plan… however, when this opportunity presented itself, I knew it was for a reason – and it was too good to pass up.

After discussing with Morganne, my parents and doing some thinking… I did say yes! (Gosh, it sounds like an engagement story… it’s not… I’m clearly very single).

I am excited/nervous/thankful/motivated but so happy that we are doing this together and running a freaking marathon! Yay Nutty Honey Runners :)

Morganne Amy Collage

Morganne has put together a great training plan for us. It includes lots of running (I kinda freaked out seeing 20 miles on the calendar) but still time for CrossFit and rest. We will be training a lot this summer and then meeting for the first time (eek!) to run the St. Louis half-marathon together on October 19th – we are using this race as a training run. I couldn’t be more excited to finallyyyyy meet in person. Skype is nice and all but 3-dimensional is kinda nicer.

And then we will taper before heading down to Vegas (never been, woohoo!) to run the Las Vegas Marathon on November 16th. Cross your fingers for us – but mostly me, Morganne is a rockstar.  EDITED JULY 2, 2014: CHANGE OF PLANS… WE ARE RUNNING THE HONOLULU MARATHON ON DECEMBER 14TH… READ MORE HERE

Las Vegas Marathon Logo

[Image source]

So if all goes well, we will be crossing the finish line, popping a bottle of champagne (I’m serious), spending $10 at the Black Jack tables (also serious, that’s my gambling budget) and making a memory to last a lifetime. If all goes well, we will still be crossing the finish line, and still popping a bottle of champagne (or maybe an Island-inspired-drink), but instead of gambling I’m gonna hop on a surfboard (when I can feel my legs) with a coconut bra, grass skirt and then see a volcano. Yup, a pretty awesome change of plans if you ask me.

What Happens In Vegas.jpg

First and foremost, I am really excited. I am excited to be doing this with my friend, mentor and overall amazing human who I wished lived closer. I am also very excited that this race is supporting a charity that is dear to my heart. I am of course very thankful to have this opportunity – thank you Morganne for asking me! And thank you to Saucony for all the awesome support and an even bigger thank you to my family and friends for being so supportive of this endeavor.

I am extremely motivated to cross the finish line. I want to accomplish this. I am 100% committed to training and this race. But I am also nervous about the training. I am nervous how my body will hold up. I am confident I will train “smart” but I am nervous I might get injured. I am nervous about losing my muscular “gains”. I am nervous about how much time the training will take. And I am nervous about balancing CrossFit with running.

My training focus is on the “long runs” – to train my muscles and body to feel the distance and not freak out. I know I am in good shape – not in “marathon shape” but in good shape nonetheless. CrossFit makes my legs strong. Running everyday is just not good for me and my body. I know this and so does Morganne. Our training plan is really balanced and Sean (my CrossFit coach) is providing some great guidance.

I also need to figure out my fueling (during my runs). I’m thinking a few dates or raisins or even bee pollen for some energy – but chewing while running seems weird. Morganne suggested Pocket Fuel Naturals as they are a whole food fueling source – I will check them out.


So that’s my news :) I will not talk about marathon training 24/7 but I hope this can help you realize that you can do it. You can do whatever you think you can’t do. Just a year ago, I was barely running 3 miles. YOU.CAN.DO.IT. Believe it. Find your strong.

Join team Nutty Honey Runners (that’s us!) on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags:  #findyourstrong #saucony26strong #nuttyhoneyrunners so we can follow along with your running or other adventures about how you are finding your strong. 

Let’s do this!


Questions of the day…

Runners: any advice?! 

How are you going to find your strong? 



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49 thoughts on “26 Strong: I’m Running a Marathon

  1. I’m so excited for you!! What an amazing opportunity to be part of a great campaign AND check off one of your goals. My half-marathon training starts officially on Monday so maybe I’ll get to pretend like I’m playing along. :)

  2. Ahaha “What happens in Vegas… goes on the blog” — totally laughed out loud at that one. Congratulations!! So excited to read your announcement today! You’ve totally got this! As far as fueling goes — my favourites are Honey Stinger Vanilla Energy gels because they have very minimal ingredients and taste just like honey… very appropriate for you ;) and Clif Shot Bloks because they take time to suck on and chew, and when you’re running for multiple hours sometimes you need a little distraction haha. Can’t wait to hear all about your training and progress!

  3. So exciting!! I was going to run the half in Vegas, but I decided to focus on workouts that make me happy… and after training for a couple marathons I am done with running and focusing on CrossFit! I cannot wait to follow your training and how it works with CF. :)

  4. What an awesome idea!! A marathon is on my bucket list for some point, and you have literally just named all my fears with regards to actually achieving it! Really interested to follow your journey :) you’re gonna rock it!

  5. Hahah love the name Nut Honey Runners. Sounds like a perfect team name to me. So excited to follow you through this training! I will be running vicariously through you.My advice would be to keep your legs strong with cross training throughout. They’ll be tired sure but less prone to injury if you keep ’em strong! That was my downfall i think (not that I was training for a marathon but like ya know)

  6. I love the Nutty Honey Runners! You guys are fab and you’re going to have a blast. And afterwards, popping bottles of champagne in Vegas sounds like a hilarious beginning to a night of $10 worth of gambling. Can’t wait to follow your training path as you get back into running and figure out how to balance muscles and running endurance! So proud that you always jump on opportunities and are excited about life. Is that ok that I want to be proud of you? haha xo!

  7. You are going to rock it!!! I ran my first marathon in December, and loved the experience!! Just keep remembering what it’s going to feel like to accomplish that goal, even on tough training runs. It will hurt and it will be hard, but each time you’ll get stronger and prouder and have a new found respect for what you can make your body do!

  8. Just when I thought you were a CrossFit girl, you go and do this. =) No really, that’s awesome! Good to hear you already are making a training regimen with everything considered. You’ll find your strong and power through training and the 26point2 I’m sure. Good luck!!

    1. I’m definitely still a CrossFit girl – I like to think of myself as a CrossFit-runner :) (I’m already looking for my first competition post-marathon). I’ve been getting (lovingly) hated on at my box!

  9. Soooooo happy for you! That really is exciting. I just finished my first half marathon and I am sooo excited to do another. Just stay strong and take your rest days seriously. I never rested like I should have and have ended up with a bum knee. Can’t wait to see your updates !

  10. Having run my 1st full this past January, I applaud you. It’s not easy. But at the same time the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment is amazing – not too different than setting PRs or doing your first muscle-up. It just takes longer. One suggestion about the training phase is to plan out your runs so they don’t become boring or monotonous (i.e. back & forth down a trail or around a track for 20 miles). We ran all over our little city & at one point stepped in 4 different ones during 1 run!

    During the race, fuel & pacing is key. Talk it your friends, enjoy it, laugh, pause at water stations so it doesn’t go all over you (experience). I’ve ran the RnR Las Vegas Half & it’s utterly amazing. Great choice for your first! The lights & spectators are incredible. When I did it, it was very cold so plan a couple outfits accordingly, just in case.

    As for CF, all my gains dropped but once running was done, it all came rushing back so that was nice. My knees & joints got over worked, so lots of foam rolling & mobility work was a key for me.

    Above all, congrats & have fun with the new challenge!

    1. Dave, thank you so much for the truly incredible advice! You are so right about planning my runs, I have also enlisted a buddy or two. I’m hoping my muscles recover for CrossFit after the training/marathon like yours did. I know I will feel frustrated if they don’t – but definitely worse things in the world. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and offer your thoughts; they are very helpful. Congrats on your marathon… amazing!

  11. OK, obviously I’m late in commenting but I already knew the big secret, and you KNOW I couldn’t be more excited for you. Running a marathon is such a huge accomplishment, and I know you are going to dominate it. I really love your plan of focusing on the long runs and making time for what you know is working for your body right now (a little less running and a little more Crossfit). I also agree with Dave / your response above that you need to be careful with the Crossfit right before and right after the marathon. During that little bit of time, I would suggest you focus on letting your body rest (and then recover). Not that you asked – ha! GO TEAM NUTTYHONEYRUNNERS!!!!!!!!

  12. AHHH! This is so exciting. So glad I was finally able to read this post – it has been a pretty hectic past few weeks, and I’m working on getting through my feed. =) You are going to ROCK THIS! I know it.

  13. This sounds amazing!! What a great way to run a marathon and have a built-in support system right there with you going through the same thing. I’ve always thought about running a marathon, but I’m not sure that my body (mainly my knees) could handle it. Looking forward to following along your marathon journey – good luck!

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