Runfessions – October

Hello and welcome to our monthly Runfessions with Marcia’s Healthy Slice, where we acknowledge our sins, running and otherwise, in the spirit of repentance (sometimes authentic) and renewal.

Meditations in Motion
Montserrat, a 1,000-year-old monastery near Barcelona, Spain

This is my first and biggest runfession: on Sunday I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon and I didn’t actually, um…train. Oh, I meant to train. When we signed up last spring, there was plenty of time to train. I had a training plan. I just never executed the plan.

The plan was to begin training early and slowly build up my mileage. That worked up to a certain point, but then the traveling began.

The plan was interrupted briefly in the summer when we traveled to Colorado and Oregon to visit family, but we got back on track when we got home. Then we went to Boston and Cape Cod and it was interrupted again.

During the six weeks before the marathon, we were traveling for 3 1/2 of them. The two full weeks that we were at home were the two weeks right before the race when we should have been tapering. The problem is, however, there was no build-up to taper from.

We (my hubby Bill, my friend Nancy, and I) are running the Marine Corps Marathon to support our 78-year-old friend Dennis, who wants to do this race one last time. He has already run this particular race 30 times prior to this year. Dennis is now mostly a race-walker, so I don’t think our pace will be blazing, but 26.2 miles is a long way to go.


Monday should be interesting. I may be in a lot of pain.

Meditations in Motion

And then we made our first running sin even worse.

When we returned home from our beach vacation in South Carolina exactly two weeks before the marathon, we were horrified and ashamed of our lack of training. I suggested we do a long run at our projected race pace. Thirteen days before race day we traveled to a nearby rail-trail loaded up with food and drinks to carry with us on the run.

We set out on a beautiful, sunny, cool Autumn day on a rail trail surfaced with packed cinders, which runs mostly through the woods on State Game Lands.

Five miles into our planned 20-miler, Bill told me that he was getting a blister on the bottom of his foot. I asked him if he wanted to stop but he persevered for the rest of the planned run. When he showed me the blister afterward, I was alarmed: the blister was actually a discolored area deep under the skin on the ball of his foot nearly two inches in diameter.

Now being undertrained is the least of our worries.

Meditations in Motion

Finally, I runfess to booking a hotel room for a half marathon I plan to run next summer without actually signing up for the race. Yet.

Have you ever done this?

Here is my thinking: I can cancel the hotel reservation, but once I sign up for the race, I am committed.

I am planning to sign up for the race before the price increases on the first of the year, but who knows what could happen between now and then. My hamstring injury could return. A weird virus could attack one of my organs (happened once before prior to a marathon). The sun could blow up.

As I get older, unfortunately, I think of all the “what ifs” that never used to cross my mind.

I am feeling pretty guilty about this. Please don’t tell Hilton.

Does anyone recognize the mountain in the photo above? It’s the site of the half marathon I am considering going to do.

Thank you for joining me in the runfessional, friends. My burden is lifted and my soul is lighter already. Come back next month for more runfessions of accumulated sins.


I am joining Marcia’s Healthy Slice for Runfessions and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5.



  1. Laurie, I don’t want to be the one to bust a bubble, but sometimes God is speaking and we are too busy with our own lives to listen. Before you pass judgment, I’m more than guilty as charged. We keep on going, and going, and going, when His message is to slow down and regain perspective. He won’t love you any less for it. My suggestion? Just keep praying!
    Love and blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you. No what if’s.

    I do the hotel first. lol

    You’ve done a full. With no time goal you’ll be fine. You will enjoy it and get the same medal as everyone else.

    Moi? I’m a first timer. I thought my body was falling apart the last 7 miles of my 20 miler. But I will Finish!! No what ifs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hubby found a great deal on a hotel room in the host hotel, so I told him to go for it. I actually think I will be fine in the marathon too. I was tired after the 20-miler, but not exhausted and the next day I ran a fast 5K. You will do great at the NYCM. You are smart to not have a time goal. Just soak it all in and enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I often book a hotel before signing up for a race, especially if it’s close to the race start since those hotels sell out quickly. Like you said, you can always cancel with no penalty!

    Good luck this weekend at MCM! I hope that your husband’s blister continues to heal. I also think it’s so awesome that you are both running the race with your friend as it’s his last marathon – thats amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My hubby got a great deal on a room in the host hotel. For some reason, I am having difficulty making myself sign up for the race. I think once MCM is over, I will be able to pull the trigger. Thank you!


  4. Have so much fun running MCM! In my experience the marathons I truly race are the ones that make me sorest. The ones where I take it easy are easier to recover from. I think you are wise to jump on the hotel before the race entry. As long as the race doesn’t sell out. Wow that looks gorgeous! Thanks for runfessing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Our little group is very excited about this weekend! Actually, I think I will recover from this one pretty quickly. I did a fast 5K the day after our slow 20-mile training run and I was fine. Thanks for opening up the runfessional!


  5. Not only did I make hotel reservations before I signed up for a race, I also made flight reservations for myself, husband, and daughter. This was for a small half marathon in Oregon that I didn’t think would sell out or anything like that. When I finally went to sign up for the race, I contacted the race director to ask her a question about my daughter who was also going to run the race and she responded back quickly that the race was cancelled and the website hadn’t been updated yet. I was in a total panic. Then she suggested another half marathon that just happened to be the day after the one I was supposed to run, in the same town (Eugene). I’ve never been so relieved! I signed up right then and it turned out to be an awesome race. Where is the race you’re running? it looks beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The race I am running is also in Oregon. The mountain in the photo is Mt. Hood. I ran the Eugene Marathon and loved it! Hubby ran the half and my son ran the 5k. This was when he was a graduate student at Oregon State University. Eugene is such a cool town! Glad your half worked out for you after all!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally get your logic for booking the hotel and not registering for the race! I tend to sign up for races as late as possible. If there is a good chance I will run it I will sign up a little earlier to try to get a lower registration fee. Otherwise I will sign up like the week before!
    Good luck in the marathon! Hopefully the blister and the minimal training isn’t a big deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am pretty sure I will run the race, but my hubby got a great deal on the room rate, so we just decided to go for it. I have 2 months before the price goes up for the race. Thank you! I am sure I will post a race report to let everyone know how MCM went!


  7. Hmm. Doesn’t look like Rainier. Someplace in CO, since family is there? Actually, booking a hotel room before the race is one of your more sensible ideas (I mean that in the kindest way). Easy to cancel the room, but scrambling for a room last minute is never fun.

    I hope that you guys have a great “time” this weekend, and definitely hope that you’re not in any significant pain afterwards. Those race walkers can be darn fast. I’ve been passed by them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was really happy about the hotel room. Bill found a room for $119 in the host hotel, when the group rates for the race are $199! You are close guessing Rainier! It’s Mt. Hood in Oregon.

      One time a race walker actually won my age group (50 – 59) in the Jacksonville Marathon!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Hello–welcome to life with RA. I’m scared to commit to anything far in advance anymore. Look at how many races I DNS’d or dropped down to a shorter distance. So I totally get it. Sadly, my work isn’t flexible and I can’t just ‘jump in’ to races unless I’m already off that day. Ah, life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never thought about that, Wendy. Thanks for educating me (and others) about life with RA. I missed a lot of races my friends did when I was teaching too. I couldn’t just take a long weekend during the school year. I got 2 personal days each year, so my traveling was limited to the summer. You are right…”life”!


  9. I’ll take a wild guess – did you book at the Zermatt Hilton Hotel? That looks like the Matterhorn to me. I saw go for it – make that one be the last 1/2 marathon you run and I know you are the same age as me, so do it while you are able to. Good luck on Sunday – hope Bill can manage this walk, not run, that you are doing in solidarity for your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I wish, Linda! The mountain is Mt. Hood in Oregon and I booked a Doubletree in Portland. The race has a shuttle between the Doubletree and the race start. I wish we were going to Switzerland for a race. Hmmm…now I may have to check out race listings for there!

      Bill’s blisters were not an issue yesterday, but unfortunately, our friend got swept from the race when he missed the time cutoff at mile 17. We had to leave him when it became clear he would not make the cutoff.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll bet you have looked already Laurie! I even Googled to find a Hilton hotel and there is one nearby – it looked a little like the Matterhorn and I should have recognized Mt. Hood since fellow blogger Sabine who lives nearby (I sent you a link to her blog when you were going to Orgegon) often has Mt. Hood in the background in her photos when she is out hiking around.

        That’s great news about Bill’s blisters – a full recovery but unfortunately your friend was not there to finish with you and Bill. I hope your weather was good as ours was abysmal for 24 hours straight this weekend (rain and high winds).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Really?! To both statements – is it like ballet and much pressure is put on your toes when running? I’ve never been a runner, but I did take ballet for a while, as an adult, to be limber mostly and to be more graceful and for something different to try. I never got so far as putting wooden blocks in my ballet slipper toes but yes, you stand on them and put pressure on them and there is no support in ballet slippers. I’ve not thought of those ballet classes in decades! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, lots of runners, especially marathoners, lose their toenails. One running friend actually has lost her toenail so many times it doesn’t grow back. She just paints it in! I don’t have a problem with it, thankfully. My gym is going to begin offering a Barre class this winter. I took ballet many years ago when I was a kid, but haven’t been on my toes in years! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting – I never knew that marathon runners lost their toenails. As my fingernail grows out where I smashed my finger in early June, the nail and finger tip have gone from feeling fine once the bruise went away, to being tender once again, as that part of the nail thumps against the keyboard, and if I do a lot of typing during the day, it is worse The woman who taught this ballet class was elderly when I took it. She had a dance studio that was decorated like it might have been in her heyday (50s or 60s). She taught tap, ballet and ballroom dancing. She had no group classes, just private lessons, but they were not expensive as I recall. We did barre work too. It was a fun class, but she is long gone from this area.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So was Bertha Ray – in fact I searched around for her when I commented back to you. It was hard to get a handle on how old she was – I thought she was old, but it might have been her demeanor and her studio was rather archaic looking. It was fun – I never took ballet when I was young. Accordian for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I took lessons for three years, but when we moved to the U.S., there were no accordion teachers/lessons to be found, so I never played again. The instrument is in the basement. If you click the tiny header picture in this link, you can see a picture of the full-sized accordion that I graduated to and still own (full keyboard and 120-bass buttons; you start off with a smaller keyboard and just 12 bass buttons).

        Liked by 1 person

      • They are awkward, especially if you are young and using a full-size accordion. Our starter accordion was cute … bright red, not much bigger than a concertina. To make the loud music and the oom pah pah sounds, you have to really work those bellows, as the bellows is what gives the accordion its versatile sound. It is easier to stand and play so you can pull the bellows out as far as you can. I never learned all the bass buttons, because we only used the main sounds/buttons. I took lessons from age 7 to age 10 … I could play a mean “Lady of Spain” back in the day! Drove my parents crazy playing the same song over and over again from one class to another … we gave recitals at Christmas and went to retirement homes around the holidays to entertain the seniors so had to have a repertoire of songs to play.

        Liked by 1 person

      • After hearing my kids play the guitar, drums, saxophone, and piano, I can only imagine what it must have been like for your parents listening to an accordion player practice! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha ha – yep, only a parent who had a youngster learn an instrument would “get it” with the practice everyday and I am sure they bemoaned having me learn an instrument sometimes, especially when all you did is the scales, over and over again. A few times I was relegated to one room with the door shut so they could concentrate to read the newspaper or a book – my parents were avid readers. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. oh dear. hmmm. well. I think you are at a good enough fitness level to just do the race with your friend. My friend Graham just ran Chicago marathon also untrained. Not that we recommend this to others, right? You will be fine. It’ll be a great story afterwards. How’s the blister now on Bill’s foot? What happened that it was so bad?

    I reserve and cancel rooms all the time. Every year when I enter the London marathon, I reserve a “free cancellation, no deposit” room in case I get in (which is hysterical, really, since I likely will never get in through the lottery). I also reserve a room for Berlin marathon weekend, since every year my husband says “we should just drive down there and support”. The one year I didn’t reserve, we actually went. I reserved a hotel room already for Chicago next year the day after the marathon (but I know I’m going unless things DON’T get better with my body but there will be a fight for that!!) But if you have the intention, then I think it’s ok. Maybe you change your mind later. That’s also ok 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Renee. Unfortunately, our friend got swept from the race yesterday. We had to leave him when it became apparent he was not going to make the cut off at mile 17. The blister on Bill’s foot was not an issue. I think it first became an issue when he got some sand in his shoe when we were running at the beach.

      I read someplace that the chances of getting in the London marathon by lottery are 5%. It is not 0%, though and I do know someone who got in that way. I hope you eventually get in!


    • Thank you, Meranda. We did have a lot of fun. The only bad thing was that our friend who we were running with got swept.

      Hubby got a great deal on the hotel room – cheaper than the group rate for the race!


  11. Book a hotel room first is a great idea! When I did the NYC Half I booked TWO hotel rooms until I decided I wanted to stay near the start vs. the finish. 🙂 Good luck tomorrow. I be you will do great. I hope your husband’s foot is ok!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hubby’s foot did not give him any problems and I felt good for almost the whole race (until the final mile, but hey, it’s a marathon, right?) The only negative is that our friend who we were running with got swept from the race.


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