Monday, June 25, 2012

Marathon tips Monday: Melissa.

After a one week break, I'm back with Marathon tips Monday!

Today's tips come from one of my training partners for the New Jersey Marathon, Melissa. Melissa inspires me with her ability to run fast while pushing her 2.5 year-old daughter, Mia, in the jogging stroller. I can barely break 10 minute miles while pushing my son in that thing, but Melissa? Well, she puts me to shame. She's speedy -- in fact, she recently ran a 34-minute 4-mile race while pushing her daughter! 

Melissa crossing the finish line of her second marathon in the month of May, alongside her daughter, Mia.

Not only does this 33-year-old mother-of-one (and wife of Joe, who also runs) run fast while pushing her daughter in the stroller, she knows a thing or two about marathons. So, let's check out today's tips from Melissa:

How many marathons have you run?

6 attempted, 5 completed (2 in the month of May!)

Two marathons in one month . . . I'm always amazed when I think about that! What was your favorite marathon?

New York City, it’s like one big party the whole way. The crowds are amazing.

And what is your marathon PR?


What is your favorite part of marathon training?

The long runs. During my last training cycle I did my long runs with a group of amazing women (including the Happy Runner). In the past I have done my long runs by myself for the most part and always dreaded them. This time I found myself looking forward to them every week.

I felt the same way! Loved the long runs this spring. So, what is your least favorite part of training?

Probably trying to balance training with the rest of life, but I love it so with the support of my wonderful family I am able to do it.

How long do you typically train for a marathon?

I have always followed 16-18 week training plans and I run 5 days a week.

What advice would you give to runners setting out to train for their first marathon?

Ha ha!! I have a lot of good advice that I should learn to follow.

Don’t start out too fast and run your own race. I went into the New Jersey Marathon with the goal of breaking 4 hours and I knew exactly what pace I needed to maintain to get there, I even made a pace band. Instead I let myself get caught up in the race day excitement and took off like a maniac. I ran the first half with a pace 30 seconds per mile faster than I should have. I felt great and was mentally thinking how I was not only going to break 4 hours I was going to crush it. Then at around mile 16 I started falling apart. I hadn’t trained to run a marathon that fast, I should have stuck to my plan. I ended up with a 10 minute PR at 4:23:59 but I was disappointed because I knew I could have done better if I stuck with my plan. I’m still extremely proud of that race and I learned a lot from it.

What race are you training for now?

My next race is the Utica Boilermaker a 15K on July 8th. I feel like I am in good shape from just coming off a marathon training cycle so I am going to focus the next few weeks on recovery and maintaining that. After that I will be running the Hudson Mohawk Marathon in October and finally getting that sub 4 hour marathon!

I bet you'll get that sub-4 in October, for sure! Aside from running a sub-4 marathon, do you have a "dream marathon" on your list that you'd love to run some day?

There are several marathons on my dream list. One is the Big Sur Marathon in Big Sur, CA, I have seen photos of this race and it’s a beautiful course. The views are spectacular. I hope to run it in the next few years. Another one on my list is the San Diego Marathon. I had just signed up for it in 2009 and begun the first few weeks of training when I found out I was pregnant with Mia. I decided not to run it since I didn’t know how my body would handle pregnancy and running let alone attempting a marathon, plus I didn’t want to spend the money on travel across country for a race I most likely could not put my all into. I would also like to participate in a Run Disney race, either the Walt Disney World Marathon or the Disney Princess Half. They look like such fun races!

*     *     *

Awesome, Melissa! That was wise to beg off the San Diego Marathon to see how your body would handle running while pregnant. I hope you get to run San Diego someday! And, thanks for sharing your marathon advice.

You can read more from Melissa at her blog:
Or, if you have any questions you'd like to ask Melissa about her marathon experience, leave a comment and I'll pass them along!

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

PS: If you would like to be featured on Marathon Tips Monday, send me an email at felicehalf at yahoo dot com.


Kate said...

This is an excellent interview. I particularly like the point about not going out too fast.

I love the marathon tips Monday - looking forward to more!

Justin Torres said...

Nice article. I really enjoyed this while looking on the picture together with your daughter.

running Philippines

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