What I Learned During my Marathon Journey

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Note from Jen: I asked Christy to write this post because I am number one, in awe of anyone that completes a marathon, and number two, because it might, just might, be on my bucket list. Here is what she had to share about what she learned during her marathon journey…

What I Learned During My Marathon Journey 

by Christy

When I made the commitment to sign up for my first marathon, I decided to “go big, or go home.”  So, I contacted my friends at Team in Training and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and put my name down for the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco.  And I’d love to share with you what I learned during my marathon journey. 

First moment after I signed up – gulp. Panic. Gulp. What did I DO? Then, I started telling everyone. Better to get it out there and start being held accountable.

Do you know the number one statement people said to me during my six-month marathon training?  Not, “I’m proud of you.”  Not, “Wow, that’s amazing!”  Nope.

“You’re crazy.”

Oh, and that was closely followed by, “You know San Francisco is all hills, right?” (Yes I do, thank you so much.)

And you know what?  I was crazy. 26.2 miles crazy.  And I was PROUD of it!!

Just to give you a brief background, I am not a runner. Not really. I’ve always been active (my choice of exercise has always been dancing or kickboxing), and I would only run if I absolutely had to. Like, chasing after my kids in a parking lot.

But in this last 18 months, I have come to love running. Crave running. Because I have never felt healthier, stronger, and more capable than I do when I am on the course.

It started with a half marathon. I could barely clock a mile without heaving out of breath on the side of the road.  So much for being “in shape.”  I actually had someone stop and ask if they could help me or call someone. Sweet, but awkward.

Months, blisters, and looonnnggg miles later, I completed my first half marathon with my Team in Training running family.  Yes, I say family, because that is what they became.

I could barely limp back to the car, and was already planning my next race. With the heavy, solid clinking of my TinkerBell half marathon medal dangling and dancing around my neck, I vowed to register for my next half (that’s the lingo – half, full, or “just” a 10k – I felt very official). These races are addictive.

After I did two half marathons within three months of each other, I thought, “Why not?” Let’s do this. Hence the brave moment when I signed my name on the Nike Marathon commitment form.

Marathon Lessons Learned –

It’s a part-time job.
Yep, this is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You will be running multiple times per week…and your mileage will continue to increase as your training progresses.  Especially on your longer weekend runs. I know it can seem overwhelming…but it is such an incredible process to experience and more than worth the time you put in.  Remember – you are investing in yourself.

It will test you just as much mentally, as it will physically.
Sometimes more. For me, it was all about the little mind tricks I could play while running.  For example, (it may sound silly) playing something as simple as “I Spy” or talking about what happened on your favorite television show with a running buddy, or promising yourself you won’t look at you watch until three songs on your iPad have concluded.  All of these little tricks and games helped me work through the miles.

Or on the really tough miles, really tough courses, or the really tough days I just didn’t want to get out of bed, I would tell myself…”Okay, I just have to make it to that lamp post.  Then I can take a break.”  Or, “I’m just going to do three miles today…even though I’m supposed to do seven.”  I found that most of the time, I got into my groove and completed my mission for that day anyway.

Treat your body like the temple that it is.
As tempting as it is to eat whatever you want, I would caution to maintain a consistent, healthy diet.  So many of my runner friends have different opinions on protein versus carbs versus Paleo, etc.  My advice? Do your research, pick a nutrition plan that works for you and your body, and try to stick with it.  Also, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  When I’m training, I’m a huge advocate of electrolyte water.

Put in your time and put in your training.  There is no faking this.
Your body has to learn handle these miles. The only way to do this is to do the work.  Again, I would suggest doing your research, picking a marathon training plan, and stay consistent.

You will learn your limitations – and learn how to push past them.
So much of what I learned throughout my training was the ability to listen to my body.  I’m absolutely not advocating for pushing yourself to the point of injury.  However, I learned to better handle the typical aches, pains, blisters, muscle spasms, etc. that naturally come with training to run 26.2 miles.  This also meant pushing past my preconceived notions of the “right way” to train for a marathon, accepting my body for what it was, and being able to say “thank you” for each run completed. 

It will hurt…and that’s okay.  Pain is temporary.
I learned to differentiate pain versus injury. Aches versus pulls. And, all of the neat little tricks runners use to survive this process. Body glide for blisters. Athletic tape. Wraps.  Compression socks (Sexy, I know. But A-MAZING after a long run!). Knee bands. Ice baths. “GU” or gummie electrolytes for calories and energy during long miles.  Foam rollers (heavenly!).

You will own this title of “Marathon Finisher” for life.   Be proud!  YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

Marathon Blog_2

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The Dailey Method Newport Beach

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The Dailey Method Newport Beach

The Dailey Method, a unique barre studio specializing in ballet barre work, core conditioning, muscle strengthening and yoga is excited to announce the grand opening of the first location in Orange County, The Dailey Method Newport Beach.

One of my old (I mean former) high school friends from San Diego recently emailed me to introduce me to the owner. She wrote to me with such passion, I had to share:

taryn “I wanted to let you know about a new exercise studio opening in Newport Beach.

It is called The Dailey Method and the owner, Taryn Fischermann, has been an instructor at the studio where I take classes here in San Diego.

She is not only a total sweetheart, but a fantastic instructor!!

I have been taking Dailey Method classes for the past two years and I love it!!

I have seen great results and feel stronger than I’ve ever been.

I tried out several barre studios before landing at the Dailey Method.  One of the distinguishing characteristics is that they offer onsite childcare!  It has been a lifesaver for me. The community of women is fantastic as well.  Very supportive and encouraging…” 

What is The Dailey Method?

The Dailey Method is a one-hour barre workout that combines elements of ballet, Pilates and yoga. It was founded 13 years ago by Jill Dailey, a fitness enthusiastic with a degree in kinesiology. The workouts focus on proper alignment, small range of motion exercises with high repetitions to build muscle and stretching to shape and lean out the muscles.

In short, the types of exercises that build beautiful dancer bodies!

Try a Class for Free This Week

Starting tomorrow, January 8th through January 14th, Tiny Oranges readers can try any class for free at The Dailey Method Newport Beach. To sign up, click here, set up a profile with your name and email address, click your class of choice, add the promo code “TinyOranges” and you will be registered to attend the class (subject to availability.)

Grand Opening Party & Free Classes All Weekend 

There will be a grand opening party at The Dailey Method Newport Beach on Saturday, January 11th at 12p. At the event, you can enjoy food, drinks, check out the studio and onsite childcare room. You can also sign up to try out a class for free this weekend! But spots are filling up quickly, I think Saturday’s are almost full, but there are spots on Sunday. Again, click here to register for a free class.

Raffle Prizes

Speaking of these free classes, anyone who takes a free class from the 8th – 12th will be entered into a raffle to win prizes from local sponsors including Spa Gregories and Wild Strawberry Cafe.

Grand Opening Special 


Now through January 15th, for only $125, you can purchase 6 weeks of unlimited classes.

Onsite Childcare

Now the really, really, really good news. The Dailey Method Newport Beach offers onsite childcare in an adjacent room for only $5/child. Kids have to be a minimum of 8 weeks old. Prior registration is required to sign up your kids for childcare; you can do so online.

I love a fitness studio that offers childcare. Moms need that time to focus on themselves and their fitness, and I love that The Dailey Method supports us OC mommies!

For more information visit:

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Surf’s Up

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Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how…at the new SURFSET Fitness classes at Spa Montage! Cowabunga dude!

Ok, enough with the surf phrases. But seriously, the new fitness craze, first seen on Shark Tank has officially launched this month with Spa Montage serving as the exclusive destination to experience SURFSET Fitness classes in Orange County.

Susanne and I had the opportunity to take a class recently and I had NO idea what to expect. But fitness is a passion of mine, so I love mixing up my workouts and trying new things.

The SURFSET fitness classes take place on a custom kinetic surfboard balanced on exercise balls and tethered down, so, when standing on it, you have to pretty much use every muscle to stabilize, especially in your core. When I took my first step up, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to stay on the board! But after we got into the hang (10) of it, balancing got “easier” so we could focus on the moves while grooving to surf tunes.

A single session can burn anywhere from 500 – 900 calories in only 45 minutes. By using your core to balance on the board, you are able to build core strength, burn fat and build lean muscle. Just imagine planking on the board. Takes planking to a whole new level.

The following packages and offers are available now through February 28th at special introductory prices. Final pricing for the remainder of 2014 is still to be determined. If you know anyone who loves doing different fitness classes, this would make a great Christmas gift!

SURFSET Private Training Sessions: 

Single Sessions: $100
Weekend Warrior (3 sessions): $260
Hang 10 (10 sessions): $650

**The above can be private sessions or you may combine your sessions with any of the SURFSET group classes offered.  Each session/class comes with spa access for the day that includes spa facilities, additional wellness classes, spa pool, and fitness center.

SURFSET Group Classes:

“Drop Ins”: $20 (for those guests who would like to take a class only.  No locker or amenity usage.  Parking not included.)

Single Group Class with Spa Access: $75 (includes parking validation and all day spa access)

Let me tell you what an amazing deal the single group price is at $75! You see, once you step foot into Spa Montage Laguna Beach, you are not going to want to leave. Trust me.

The $75 includes access to the spa for the ENTIRE DAY. This means you can take advantage of the oceanfront spa pool, steam, jacquzzi, sauna, cold plunge, relaxation room, the works.  People would pay $75 for that ALONE, so to get to do one of the SURFSET fitness classes is like a super cool bonus! Like I said, amazing holiday gift. Click here to purchase a Montage Gift Card.

Or, plan a spa day with a bunch of girlfriends to do one of the SURFSET Fitness Classes at Spa Montage. You will get such a kick out of it, and a great workout at the same time!

[Disclosure: We received a complimentary class.]

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Get in the Orange

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sponsor-banner Orangetheory Fitness Newport Beach

Orangetheory Newport Beach is a unique fitness studio nestled in the Westcliff Plaza at the corner of Irvine Ave. and Westcliff Dr. in Newport, one of my regular shopping destinations.

After their Grand Opening early this year, I was intrigued by this juicy new workout, because of course, we’ve got a citrus bond going on, but beyond my “orange” obsession, I kept hearing people around town raving about this one-of-a-kind workout.

The juice on Orangetheory Newport Beach

You gotta try it mamas. Seriously, after my first workout, I was hooked.

First, a little about the physiological theory behind the workout.

The workout is based on what is known as the “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption” or EPOC theory, which is the exercise “after burn” effect. In this case, the after burn doesn’t mean sore muscles (although those are a common side effect!) but this kind of after burn means an increase to your metabolism and calories burned 24-36 hours AFTER you workout.


How is the after burn created? 

Everyone is given a heart rate monitor and POD so you can track your 5 Zone Interval training sessions in the Orange 60 one hour workout.

All the names and heart rate percentages are displayed on a big screen during the hour so you can see exactly how hard you are working.

If you exceed 84% of your maximum heart rate –  you “Get in the Orange” – the sweet spot!


To get you into your sweet spot, there are multiple intervals designed to produce 12 – 20 minutes of training within the Orange Zone, to create that after burn effect.


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Two Great Postnatal Exercises

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Today Erica from Knocked-Up Fitness is sharing two effective full body postnatal exercises to help jumpstart your workout routine after baby arrives (of course with your doctor’s blessing!) In case you missed it, last week Erica shared easy tips on How to Get in Shape Quick After Baby.

Here are two of her favorite exercises, with instructions, directly from her Prenatal and After Baby DVD’s, written by Erica Ziel.

Squats with Rotation 

This is a great pregnancy exercise but I LOVE it for everyone, especially after baby. It’s a great way to turn on your glutes, core, plus a little arm work if you add some light weights or an exercise ball. I use this as a warm-up exercise for many of my clients.

1. Stand in a wider than shoulder stance with your legs with feet rotated slightly out.

2. Go into a deep squat.

3. As you stand up out of your squat, rotate to your right pivoting your leg foot. Think about lifting and rotating through your center, working your core muscles. Go back to your center deep squat then repeat on your other side.

Do 20-30 reps

Lunge with Arms

This is another one of my favorites because it works your entire body. Start slowly as you move through these lunges, and yes, even your abs will working to help with your balance.

1. Start standing on your left leg, keeping your knee softly bent the entire time, with arms behind your body, triceps squeezed.

2. Balance and hold your right leg up (if that’s too hard keep your right toe lightly touching the ground to help with your balance).

3. As you lunge back with your right leg reach your arms up to at least shoulder height and work your way up towards getting your arms to your ears.

Do 10-20 reps on one side, then switch.

Try even just doing these 2 exercises back to back 1-4 times a day and see how you feel.

Tips for doing squats and lunges more effectively:

1. Keep most of your weight in your heels.

2. Stick your butt back so you’re working your gluts and not overworking your quads.

3. Think about gently drawing your shoulders down away from your ears, even when you’re lifting your arms up.

4. Kegel it up the entire time, plus scoop your belly in and up when you exercise.

Thanks Erica for sharing these great postnatal exercises. If you have any questions for Erica, please feel free to comment below!

[Disclosure: Knocked-Up Fitness is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.]

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