Wanted: Race Entry for Grandma’s Marathon 2016

February 9, 2016

Life has been full and busy but good. During the week Cullen and I stay busy running errands, my training runs and gym sessions, walking Sadie, and time together at home. During the weekends I have been working at Skinny Raven selling running shoes.

I had to work Super Bowl Sunday, but one of my coworkers was so kind and brought food for us to eat!


Running has been going okay. My motivation has been waning a little bit especially when I didn’t hit a couple key workouts.

The first workout was a long run with 2 x 3 miles @ 6:30 pace for a total of 16 miles. I first ran 5 miles to the gym, and then hopped on the treadmill for the 2 x 3 miles intervals. I didn’t think 6:30 should feel that hard, but I was dying. I made it through the first 3 miles, but during the second 3 mile set I had to stop half-way through. I took a break and then continued at an average pace of 6:45 for the last 1.5 miles. I was pretty bummed after this failed workout because I had been doing so well in hitting the prescribed workouts.

The second workout that didn’t go well was a 4 x 1 mile at sub-6:00 pace. I knew it would be tough, but I also thought it would be doable. I got through the first one in 5:57, but I knew within a few minutes into the interval that it was going to be tough. The second mile was 6:00. I hung on for as long as I could during the third interval, but my breathing just got too labored, and I couldn’t catch my breath anymore. I kept bumping the pace down, but after 0.75 mile I hopped off the treadmill and cut the interval short. I never do something like this! I always complete the set even if I am not hitting the right pace. I felt awful for stopping. I should have at least decreased the speed some more, but for some reason I just gave up. (So not like me!) That interval was about a 6:20 pace and the 4th and final interval was 6:30 pace.


This shortness of breath happens when I push myself really hard (hard workouts, races), but I also started to wonder if it was due to low iron again. I have been taking my iron supplement every day, but I was looking at my multivitamin and realized it only has 6 mg on iron (the daily value is 18mg). All of last year I had been taking a prenatal vitamin since I was still nursing, but since I’ve stopped nursing Cullen I changed back over to the general women’s multivitamin. The prenatal vitamin has 30 mg of iron in it, which is quite a bit more. I’ve switched back to the prenatal vitamin, so hopefully that’s what my body needs.

And now for a few fun pictures of Cullen. . . .

My friend watched Cullen the other day and she gave him a stock pot filled with a little bit of water to play with. He, of course, had a ball with it. I thought this was genius since Cullen is always wanting to play in Sadie’s water bowl. He apparently thought he needed to try and get his entire body in the pot.


This teenage moose has been hanging around our neighborhood all winter. His mom left him this past fall, so he probably doesn’t know what to do with himself anymore. Cullen was mesmerized by the moose and had to go over to our fireplace and get the stuffed moose off the mantle and bring it over to the window–too cute.


Alright people, I need your help. For the past couple of months, my coach, Nichole, and I have been trying to figure out which marathons I am going to run this year. After much discussion with her, Craig, my family, and input from friends, I decided I was going to run Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN and Moose’s Tooth Marathon here in Anchorage. So a few weeks ago, I went to the Grandma’s Marathon website and lo-and-behold the race is already full! Say what?!? It is still 6 months out, and while it is a popular race, I didn’t think it was that highly sought after! Nichole had one of her other athletes try to get into the sub-elite field with a 2:57 marathon time, but the race organizers said they were sticking with their 2:50 standard. (We thought maybe this could be an option for me as well, but nope.)

The only other way for me to run the race is to swap entries with someone who doesn’t want theirs anymore. And that’s where you come in. I know there’s a handful of you who live in MN and are connected to the running community, so if you know of anyone who no longer wants their registration for Grandma’s Marathon this year, let me know! You can comment below or e-mail me at: michelleann[dot]baxter[at]yahoo.com (Also, I would love to run the race with my sister, so two entries would be ideal!)


Grandma’s Marathon – 2012
My second time running the race and where I finally qualified for Boston.

    1. This is pretty much how I was feeling during workouts (not being able to hit paces I had hit only weeks prior and just that awful DEAD feeling) in the 2-3 weeks leading up to a massive overtrained/burnt-out crash. So even though all runners are not the same and this may be a different situation for you (since I’m no expert hehe), if this were me (and luckily now I know from experience what to look out for personally) this would be a big red flag and I would back off the training intensity immediately. It’s one thing to have one bad workout, but if it’s happening consistently and multiple workouts in a row, it’s not worth pushing through. I would not want anyone to go through what I went through so I just thought I’d describe my experience 🙂
      I hope you feel better soon and maybe the extra iron is all you need!

      1. Thanks for the comment! 🙂 I did contact my coach about this as well–I wanted to let her know what I’d been feeling. I think for the time being I’m going to continue training at this intensity because I did hit Tuesday’s tempo pace and felt really good during yesterday’s run. It is hard to know if it is just riding that fine line of training at your top intensity or you are really burning out.

    1. I had that feeling during a two week stretch in mid-January. I had to stop on a couple of key workouts. Your body adapts when you push it hard, so sometimes having to stop or back off on hard workouts is just a sign that you’re doing a good job pushing your body. After that stretch and allowing my body to recover, I ended up PR’ing on a bunch of workouts! And splits that used to feel tough are feeling really easy. I think it’s tempting to give up, since you have to pull the line back so far on what is a “hard week”—it’s easy to pull it back to zero. The key to getting faster is to pull back just enough to let your body recover, and then it will bounce back even faster!!

      1. Most definitely true! I had less mileage last week and successfully hit this week’s tempo workout, so I think I’m still moving in the right direction. 🙂

    1. I just texted a friend of mine who has paced at Grandma’s. Will let you know if he has any connections! And thanks for keeping it real. I did my 3 x 8 minutes at 6:30 and did fine on the first and second one, but the third one my stomach had me stop at the 5 minute mark. I finished the final 3 minutes after a quick pit stop, but it was super frustrating. Reaching goals should be challenging. There should be setbacks and bad workouts. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

      1. That’s why I can’t run in the evening. . . my stomach just does not cooperate. Exactly! It is the workouts that we struggle through that make us faster and it becomes evident on race day who has pushed themselves outside their comfort zone and done their homework. 😉

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