Training Flashbacks

*Today is the last day to enter my Bondi Band giveaway!*

Have you ever had a training run bring back memories of a previous one? This happened to me big time last weekend, as I ran my last long run before the Philadelphia Marathon. I actually kind of like when this happens, because it gives you something to compare your current training to and can sometimes put things in perspective. Let me explain more….

The Philadelphia Marathon was my very first marathon in 2011. I had actually signed up for the Baltimore Marathon in 2010 but got injured and had to defer. I didn’t feel I would be ready for an October marathon in 2011 so I decided to run the Baltimore half and the Philadelphia full to give myself an extra month. I had gone through hip surgery for labral tear in November 2010. In February I was cleared to slowly start running again, and used the Alter G as a way to ease back into running without using 100% of my body weight.I went though months of PT which was actually a great thing for me because it was the first time I really learned how to strengthen my core, hips, and glutes. 


I started training for the marathon in the summer of 2011. The whole experience was amazing to me as I had never thought I would be training for a marathon 8 months after surgery. I had what I would like to call the perfect training cycle. I was running 4-5 days a week, taking a spin class once a week and TRX classes at my gym. Every long run was a new distance PR after 13 miles. I remember making it to 14, 16, 18, and eventually 20. The 20 milers really stick out in my mind. 

My last 20 miler was scheduled to be done 3 weekends before the race, on October 30th. Rob and I had just gotten engaged the week before, and were planning to go see my parents that night for the first time to celebrate. (We got engaged right before going away to Tucson, AZ for a long weekend, so it would be our first time seeing family). On Friday night we went out with a couple of friends to celebrate at happy hour. I had a beer, but was so nervous knowing I had 20 miles to run the next day, I think I chugged 5 glasses of water while drinking the beer! I went home to make my own dinner instead of eating out with everyone else. 

The forecast for Saturday was awful (cold, wind, and SNOW!) but I was determined to get my run done. I got out by 6am and only saw a couple other runners over the 3 hours and 20 minutes that I was out there. It  was freezing and windy, and I couldn’t even believe it but it was snowing in October. I remember as soon as I started running my hat blew off my head and I knew that was a bad sign. 

20 miler 2011

I  survived the 20 mile run in those conditions and I knew I would be able to finish the marathon. If I could run in these circumstances, I could do 26.2 miles.

I was so proud of what I had accomplished, and of course when I saw my family that night they asked if I had run in that weather. I got to say “Yes! I ran 20 miles in that weather!” I also terrified me that it was snowing in October and had no idea what weather we would have for the marathon. But luckily it turned out to be a perfect running day! 


As I got ready to run my last 20 miler this past weekend, I couldn’t help but think back to that weekend. I found myself unable to complain as much about the weather knowing what I had run through 3 years ago! It also led me to reflect on how far I have come and how much I have learned since training for my first marathon. Progress has definitely not been linear, but it happened eventually. 

I don’t know what the Philadelphia Marathon will bring for me this year, but I am sure being back on that course where it all began will bring back lots of good memories! And hopefully I will be making more great memories there on November 23rd.

philadelphia marathon

Do you ever have flashbacks of runs from previous training cycles?

What kinds of training runs stand out in your memory the most?

After I wrote this post, I decided to check out what the topic for “Tuesdays on the Run” was this week- and saw that it was Cold Weather Running! So I’ll be linking up with  Run The Great Wide SomewhereMy No-Guilt Life, and MCM Mama Runs! Thanks ladies! 

Tuesdays on the Run
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38 thoughts on “Training Flashbacks

  1. This is a great story and puts a lot of your current running in perspective. I didn’t realize you trained for your first marathon so soon after surgery, that’s pretty amazing! I definitely think about my 20 and 22 mile runs and compare back to them. Like, I’m doing better than that time but a lot worse than that! Each marathon brings a bunch of new memories too, and it’s funny to think you’ll be finding out what those are soon enough!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…8 Surprising Things I’ve Learned Eating Paleo for a YearMy Profile

    • Exactly! Comparing the runs can be helpful, as long as we can remember that there are lots of factors that come into play!

    • Yep whenever I run certain places I definitely think back to other times that I have run there!

    • Haha I can’t really believe I did that either…marathon training will make you do some crazy things!

    • It’s only good when it makes you feel like nothing could really be worse! Like when you wake up from a nightmare and are just grateful that it wasn’t real life.

    • I really didn’t want it hanging over my head when I went out to celebrate that night with my family. I also wanted to be able to enjoy some drinks with no worries! It sounds pretty crazy looking back on it all now:)

  2. Aw, it’s amazing when you start to feel sentimental about races and training. I had a lot of that going on when I trained for my last half marathon, since I was running in what was my very first half, and I was coming off a long road from injury. It really brings things into perspective and reminds you of why you love to run! I live in Philly, good luck on this year’s marathon!!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Tuesdays on the Run: Cold Weather RunningMy Profile

  3. I can do cold but wind makes it soooo difficult. I did an 8-mile training walk last year since I couldn’t run and it was gray and very windy, which made it pretty cold. I decided to park by a Dunkin Donuts so when I was done I could pop in for some hot chocolate.
    Lesley recently posted…Cold Weather RunningMy Profile

    • That was a smart idea! But I couldn’t imagine walking 8 miles in the cold and wind…that is pretty remarkable!

    • You should definitely do it one year! I love that its easy to take the train there so the travel isn’t too stressful. And less hilly than Baltimore which definitely made it more appealing:)

  4. Wow, I can’t believe you did your 20 miler in that weather! I don’t know if I have that kind of determination…I might have pushed my run to another day.

    I think that “Progress has definitely not been linear, but it happened eventually. ” is a great insight that probably applies to all of our running. I know for me personally, looking at where I’m at holistically is a much more fruitful activity than trying to track linear progression through my Garmin stats or something. There will be good runs and there will be bad ones, but overall, I’ve come a long way!
    Brenda @ Don’t Lose the Trail recently posted…Season-change reflections & an October roundupMy Profile

    • Exactly! I have learned that lesson and I need to keep it in mind when a race or a run doesn’t go as planned. Over time if we keep working we will make progress, and thats what counts!

    • That used to happen to me all the time when I used to run with music! And now when I hear certain songs I remember something about them related to running, like if a song was on my playlist while training for a certain race.

  5. That’s a great story! I’ll have to bookmark this so that anytime I complain about weather conditions I can get my butt into gear haha. I’ve yet to do a 20-miler at all, but to do it in those conditions. That’s awesome! Long runs definitely stand out in my mind the most too. I just think it’s so fun to be driving somewhere and be like “oh, I’ve ran this distance before” and being in a long movie and thinking how I can’t believe we run for that long :)
    Hailey recently posted…3TV Phoenix 10k RecapMy Profile

    • Haha I have never thought about things that way! Next time I am in a long boring training at work I am going to remind myself than I have run for 3 or 4 hours at a time!

    • Yes I think that is what is unique about getting better at running! We can’t just look at each run because there are going to be ones that don’t go well, but over time if you are putting in the work it will show!

  6. What a great story! It’s always amazing to look back at our big accomplishments and realize what we’ve overcome. Somehow it makes current obstacles seem smaller. Thanks for sharing and for linking up with us today!

    • Thanks! I always find that looking back on difficult experiences helps to keep things in perspective.

  7. Well, seeing what you ran through makes me more motivated than ever to train this winter! I’ve definitely had training flashbacks – especially on routes I ran regularly when I was training for my fall marathon. It makes me feel so proud to think about how much easier it is to run certain hills now. You’re going to rock this marathon!
    Hilary recently posted…Treat Yourself Tuesday No. 4My Profile

    • I get similar feelings when I run certain routes! Its always a confidence booster to see improvements!

    • Me too, but then I have to remember that there are many factors to keep in mind, like the temperature, other workouts that week, etc.

    • Yes, exactly! I can always think back on it and remember that I can run through pretty much anything!

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