The Bismarck Marathon is just over 18 days away, on Saturday, September 15th. If you're running in it like I am, you've been spending at least part of this summer doing your training.

I'm a habitual runner. Heading into this summer, I often run between 4 and 5 miles per day about five or six times a week. There are times when I'll add high-intensity interval training workouts after some of those runs. However, until I decided to run in the Bismarck Marathon (10K), I don't think I fully understood the challenges that would come with hard training each week.

April Lund of Verge Fitness, a very experienced trainer and race runner, has been coaching me and creating my daily training schedule to prepare for the race. Her training schedule has helped to continue to faster finish times and feel stronger at further points during my runs. Trust me, I don't exactly look forward to 'speed days.'

Sticking to a training schedule isn't easy during the summer. Most of us take vacations and have other obligations come up that may throw us off a bit. Sometimes, even slight injuries can hamper us, or maybe just your legs aren't feeling the best to run what you want to that day. I've dealt with all of these and had setbacks that I've needed to overcome The toughest thing is coming back from those instances to keep staying consistent. But it's not impossible if you do it correctly and keep pushing yourself.

I've been training with April since late June and I'm hoping when September 15th comes, all the hard training will pay off for a competitive finish in the 10K at the Bismarck Marathon.

Along with the 10K run that I'll be participating in, there's also the full marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 5K run and walk, and the kids' mini-marathon, which happens to take place on Friday, September 14th. To register for any of the races, the link to do so is here.

There's three more weeks of training before the big race. Good luck to all others participating in any of the races. I hope to see you out there on Saturday, September 15th.