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Running for Change: How Gina’s Marathon Prep Empowers Children Affected by Addiction

Running For Change. Follow Gina's marathon journey that will take her from Seattle to the NYC Marathon

Gina has been marathon training and fundraising for her first marathon, the New York City Marathon in November. Not only is she training, but she is also fundraising for Eluna, an organization that supports children impacted by a loved one’s addiction. Running for change gives Gina additional motivation to train for the marathon.

Gina works as a program manager for an intensive children’s mental health program and runs an overnight camp for children who have been affected by addiction in their families. Some days can be stressful, and, along, with being on call, this can affect her running.

You can read her first interview here and her second interview here.

How Is Training Going?

Training is going really well, I think! It has been hot here (well, in the 90s, which is hot for us in the Seattle area), and running through the Seattle Summer is character building. I keep telling myself it will be worth it to train through the summer on race day. That is yet to be determined but we will find out.

So far the running volume is right around where I have peaked for half marathons, and I know it’s only going to get higher from here so I’m preparing myself for that. I’ve been doing easy runs on the treadmill because that works better for my family’s schedule some mornings. I always do workouts on the road and keep trying to find hillier routes which has been hard around here.

My legs feel really good for the most part. That being said, I’m definitely tired at the end of the week. I’m hitting workouts that I never thought I could and learning that my mental game is pretty weak and my body is capable of much more than I realize. I’m trying to trust in the coaching versus getting worried about workouts.

How Is Strength Training Going? 

I have given up strength training at the moment. It’s hard for me to find the time to fit it in on days when I’m running and I am finding that my body really needs full rest days (not strength training on rest days). I want to get back to at least 2 times a week of strength, but we’ll see. I have done some yoga for runners, which is also not my favorite, but it does keep my body feeling good.

What Does A Typical Workout Week Look Like For You? 

My coach at Lift Run Perform writes all of my workouts. It’s nice not to worry about creating a plan. 

My typical training week is:

  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: usually 4-6 miles easy with strides or 3; Iecond hill repeats,
  • Wednesday: workout (total has been 6-8 miles including the workout, some shorter stuff like 800s, 400s, Ks at threshold pace)
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: easy 5ish miles (with or without strides depending on if Saturday is a workout)
  • Saturday: long run (sometimes with a longer workout, 1 or 2 mile repeats, sometimes just a long easy run),
  • Sunday: easy, short run 3-5 miles).

Last week I hit my highest mileage week ever (the bar is pretty low). I felt pretty good on my Sunday run, which was a good confidence boost.

This schedule is a little different for me, I used to try to take one of my rest days on the weekend and one during the work week. I think my body feels better with two weekday rest days as I’m always tired during the workweek.  When I’m not training for something, I like having one weekend day fully off. Working in children’s mental health can be exhausting both physically and mentally so I am grateful for the extra work week rest day. 

Are You Planning To Do Any Races Before The New York City Marathon? 

I don’t currently have any races planned. I’m considering signing up for a half marathon at the end of September. The race I’m considering is flat but I’d like to find a course with some hills to practice on.

We’re looking forward to following Gina’s marathon training as well as her running for change through fundraising.



Hollie is a runner, hiker, swimmer, residing in California. She has worked in run specialty for nearly 8 years and has fit hundreds of people for shoes. Outside of the running world, she enjoys the general aviation world, her two cats, and spending time with her spouse.