First Day of Marathon Training

May 1, 2019 was the first official day of marathon training for 3 crazy ladies. And, this is the start of my story telling as we train and prepare for the Twin Cities Metronics Marathon on October 6, 2019. It will be the first time for any of us to run a full marathon, all 42.2 km or 26.2 miles of it. We hope…

I have the honor of training with these two fabulous ladies. We have nicknamed our marathon training trio the Struggle Busters. Each one of us has had to overcome physical and psychological struggles in our lives. Running has been our salvation.


Stephanie is a busy working mother. She juggles her time between work and family. As many mothers do, she has put her family first for years. Her daughter is in competitive swimming. Her son and husband are busy with football. Stephanie works full time in a busy dental practice.

Running for Stephanie is “Me Time”. It allows her to clear her head and de-stress from all the days chaos. I can usually tell when Stephanie has had a particularly bad day. When she is stressed, she picks up the pace, leaving Anita and I either struggling to catch our breath, or leaving us in her dust.

Her family has told her that it is her time. They are fully behind her training and running in this marathon.

I predict that Stephanie will be the first of us to cross the finish line of the marathon.


Anita has struggled with health issues. She is the manager of a very busy store. The pressures of her days at work take a toll on her. Anita takes pride in doing quality work, so works long hours to get everything just right and flowing smoothly in her store.

When she isn’t working, she is looking after her family.

During 2018, Anita had a series of health issues, including bronchitis, shingles and an ankle injury. Having to stop running to concentrate on her health, Anita is now back on track and running again. She started her comeback about 8 weeks ago, but is now already running 10 miles.

Stephanie and I are so impressed with how quickly Anita has recovered her running. She’s so determined and dedicated. Once she sets her mind to something, she does it. I will take inspiration from her perseverance.

I predict a fabulous finish for Anita.


And then there is me. I am Tricia. I went through cancer treatments back in 2013 and 2014. My health suffered from the treatments, including liver damage, chemo brain and blood clots. Running has been my salvation and journey back to health.

I was running well in 2015, until my doctors put me on Tamoxifen. My running declined gradually while I was on this medication. I struggled to keep running, suffering from bad cramping and poor muscle recovery. My doctors changed my medications and I have been slowly making a comeback. I feel I am now back to where I was running in 2015 and determined to tackle my first marathon this year.

Anita and Stephanie predict that I will finish around 5 hours.

First Day of Marathon Training

Our busy schedules means that we won’t always be training together. And this was true of our first day.

We declared May 1, 2019 to be our first official training day. That puts us on a training schedule of almost 21 weeks.

I run everyday, so did a running workout. Anita and Stephanie both did cross-training, having run the day before.


Stephanie did a strength workout. Limited on time, she did a full body workout using free weights that she had at home. Following the Ultimate Full Body Dumbbell Workout, she worked up a good sweat. Some of the exercises were Dumbbell Halo, Reverse Flyes, Deadlift Walk, and Dumbbell Squats. It works upper body, legs and core and is a great cross training session.

I did the warm up, circuit 1, 2 and 3, but couldn’t make it to the end and still use good form. It was a tough workout.

— Stephanie, telling me about her strength workout —
Stephanie doing her dumbbell workout
Planking on a yoga mat at home.


Anita tried a Cardio Tramp class for the first time. It looked fun and she wanted to try something new.

Cardio Tramp is a small trampoline-like device that is attached to the end of a pilates Reformer machine. You lie down on the platform that moves back and forth and bounce off the mini-trampoline with your legs. It adds a cardio element to a pilates strength workout. There are many exercises that can be done on this machine.

Anita doing a core workout on the Pilates Reformer.

Anita loved it. She feels it will really help her long runs. The leg. core and upper body workout was top notch and more challenging than she thought.

This was a great full body workout. I am not sure how much I will be able to move tomorrow. I like the challenge of the class so much that I signed up for the next 8 weeks.

— Anita, after her first Cardio Tramp class —
Anita on the Pilates Reformer
Planking on the Pilates Reformer.


Still recovering from my half marathon on Sunday, I did a slow 5 km run near our local golf course. It was a cool day and I had to pull out my winter run gear again. I sucked it up and ran in the cold wind. I warmed up enough by the first kilometer, so was comfortable for the rest of my run. It started to snow as I finished. Crazy Spring weather for May, but I had a good run.

I tried to take some selfies on my run. I wanted some good pictures to show you. They didn’t turn out as I planned. It is difficult to snap photos when you are running. Maybe I will get better at it as time goes on. But if you want a good chuckle, here are the series of photos I took.

In the first photo, I was concentrating too hard on figuring out how to position my phone and actually hit the button to take the photo. It was all done with one hand. I definitely need practice.

The next photo is the worst. Maybe I don’t have the skills to take photos on the run? I’m not sure why I look so terrified.

The last photo is a bit better. At least I am smiling; a weird, rabbit-style smile, but a smile at least. I completely missed the nicer area along the golf course though. There is a chain link fence in the back drop, but at least I got in a smile.

I didn’t do a plank that day. I am going to have to up my game to keep up with these two.

If anyone has any tips for taking photos on the run, please let me know in the comments below.

Join us on our journey to the marathon here at Sign up for our newsletter so that you can follow along with our workouts and training. I will be blogging periodically as we progress.

Thank you for reading our story.


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