Boston Marathon Training Week 14: The Last of the Work

Monday: Full Rest I was surprisingly not tired or sore from the hefty 20 miles earlier, but still felt it was probably best to let my body fully recover and take the rest day and actually rest. I don’t love running more than when I’m on a full rest day.

Tuesday: Track Day! I was so excited to get to the track for this workout. I was also a little intimidated by the workout and felt tempted to modify it – but I’m glad I didn’t. I started a lot earlier than I would have since I had a job interview in the early afternoon and needed to be done & showered with plenty of time. It was rather cold, about 25 degrees, so I decided to do a longer (4 miles), slightly hilly warm up through the backroads around the school before heading down to the track. The workout was 3X3k (2 at half marathon pace, 1k at 10k pace) with two minute rests. Last time I did this I broke up the 2k from the 1ks by resting between them. Today I ran them back to back making a full 3k. I ran the first 2k a bit fast, so I decided to just go with it. 2k at 6:25-30 pace, 1k at 5:35-50 pace. I banged out these sets with ease. I was tempted to then hash out a few quick 400s, but decided against it since it wasn’t part of the training schedule and I didn’t really have much time to waste. Finished off the morning with a 2 mile cool down.

Wednesday: Easy Run I had intended to do the full 6 miles from the training schedule, but had a rather upset stomach and had to do laps through the neighborhood to stay close in case of an “emergency”. I made it a full 5 miles before I finally gave in & called it quits. Managed to get in a Bowflex workout a bit later.

Thursday: Tempo What should have been a rolling hills aerobic run (8:00 per mile pace) quickly became a very quick tempo run – so I just went with it.  I got faster & faster, especially with the downhills, so I decided to roll with it as I wasn’t getting tired and it felt so easy. I was controlled & strong, despite the pace. First 2 & 1.5 miles “easy”, 5 in the middle “hard”. 8.5 really great miles.

Friday: Easy & Weights It was Good Friday, so the kids didn’t have school, but my husband still had to go into the office. This meant that I had to get up & out early to be able to get any running in. I assumed that because it was early and a holiday that I’d have the road to myself, but I was wrong. There was a ton of traffic! I had really intended to make up for the miles from earlier in the week by doing 6-8 miles, but because I started so early and without breakfast first, I was just starving! I absolutely had to give up at 5 miles so I could get in a quick bite to eat before heading to the weight room for squats and lunges.

Saturday: Long Run I’ve finally done the last long run of training! I hemmed & hawed about where and how much I was going to do. I’ve been following the Level 3 plan for most of my workouts, but the Level 4 plan for my long run distance. L3 asked for 1.5 miles easy, 10-11 marathon race pace, 1.5 easy while the L4 asked for 1.5 easy, 12-15 marathon pace, 1.5 easy again. I felt confident in doing the full 18 miles, but this seemed like a lot so close to race day. In my past two marathons I’ve done 18 miles 3 weeks out. & this has worked very well. I’ve also never jumped into marathon pace so quickly unless it was an actual marathon. I decided to meet both plans in the middle by doing 16 miles: first 4 easy, 10 at race pace, 2 more easy. My “race pace” was closer to that of a half marathon, averaging out at 7:00 per mile. But, again, I felt great! I had to work a bit on the last mile at pace due to some hills, but that was about it. Easy-peasy & felt amazing to be done with all the hard stuff!

That’s 47.31 miles this past week and feelin’ pretty darn groovy about it all. I feel ready to go. I’m as trained as I’m ever going to be – as fast as I’m going to get this time around. I’ve done all the work and I’ve done most of it well. Now, all that’s left to do is let my body heal, hydrate, and fuel up for the main event. I’ve got two weeks of taper ahead of me and plan on making every moment of it count. I’m planning my meals carefully – drinking copious amounts of fluids – and committing the Boston public transit maps to memory.

I am ready to go crush my 6th marathon.


Boston Marathon Training Week 13

This was a rough week. I was feeling tired and out of it for much of it and if it wasn’t for lower mileage (if you can consider a 50 mile week lower mileage!) & easier runs I may not have made it! But, despite whatever was chewing at me during the week seemed to have resolved itself by the weekend and I pushed out a great long run. I still have one more week of actual work – and one more long run- but I’m beginning to feel less nervous and more optimistic about race day.

Monday: A truly needed REST DAY. I was surprisingly not sore, but I was nearly burnt out from the weekend’s 22 miler and wanted nothing more than to stay on the couch watching TV. I pushed myself to clean up around the house, tend the animals, and be somewhat productive – but man! I was really tired & thankful to take a day off.

Tuesday: The dreaded hill repeats. This workout had me scared & I wanted to put it off, but I knew this was needed more for mental toughness than physical. Like I’ve done in previous weeks, this workout was modified to be gentler on my poor Achille’s. My reps were shorter than the 800m prescribed workout (I don’t think I have a half mile continuous hill around here) to a mere 400m, though it was a steeper hill (10%+ grade). I ran up the hill has hard as I could, then back down the other side fairly quickly, making it roughly 800m in all. This was done 4 times with a 2 minute rest between. It was capped at both ends with a slow, hilly 3 mile warm up & cool down giving me a 8 miles. I focused on arms, shoulders, and back in the weight room once I got back.

Wednesday: Easy 5 miles through the neighborhood before the kids were let out of school early for yet another snow storm.

Thursday: March’s 4th storm, thankfully, didn’t dump quite as much snow as predicted, however the kids still had a 2 hour delay, which meant running later than I’d planned. I did another easy, light run (but a bit hillier), though it was an optional day off. I was feeling guilty about not having a lot of time to run the day before & wanted to make up some of the miles, so I did another 5.7, followed by a kettlebell & squat workout in the weight room.

Friday: I did not want to run today. My heart, mind, and body were just not in it. I kept looking for excuses to skip it. I was tired & feeling a bit off, but I knew I’d feel guilty, so I waited until it warmed up a bit & headed out for a tempo run. I started developing a headache in my warm up that just kept getting worse & worse. I attempted the workout, but the headache became a screaming, pounding pain. By the third mile I began to feel dizzy and nauseated, so I stopped. I decided it wasn’t worth pushing a 6 mile tempo run if I could barely do half of it, so I just jogged the rest of the way home very slowly. Still, I ended up with 7+ miles. I then made myself a cup of tea & felt sorry for myself on the couch watching British sitcoms.

Saturday: I finally got to run some flats! My sister ran a 5k race by the shore and I went to cheer her on & watch her children while she was out on the course. Then we swapped and she watched mine while I fit in a quick run before the award ceremony. 4 easy miles with no hills in the way – it felt amazing! I’m thinking of driving down to the shore later in the week for more workouts.

Sunday: This was a great Long Run with a fast finish. 10 miles easy (8:30-40 per mile except no down hills); 8 miles at marathon pace (7:15-20 per mile) and attempting to increase the pace as I neared the 18 mile mark; 2 miles of easy cool down (8:30 pace) all on rolling hills. While this was indeed some serious work, it really wasn’t as hard as I had anticipated. And, the best part, I did not feel wiped out for the rest of the day after this run. I actually felt pretty good! While I did have some fleeting doubts about being able to hold the pace for a full 26 miles (miles 15-18 are hard!), I did feel pretty great about this workout over all.

Boston Marathon Training Week 12: For the Joy of Running

This week I didn’t cover quite as much ground as I had hoped due to a snow storm and then some general laziness, but I still got in a very productive week. I came through just shy of 60 miles – 57.19 to be exact – while logging in the cycle’s longest run. I got back to the weight room this week. I had been slacking on that & need to make lifting a habit again, so I plan on sticking to a Tuesday/Thursday schedule for now. I have also seem to have fully recovered from whatever my Achilles/calf issue was, probably thanks to my husband’s nightly massages.

Monday – Active Rest: Though it was a scheduled rest day, I felt the need to move to get the blood flowing & work out some of the kinks from the previous day’s hilly race. I did my warm up loop through the neighborhood at a very slow pace, then did a handful of strides plus drills & stretching. I followed this up with another slow lap for a cool down. Quads were a bit tight, but that was to be expected. All the other aches & pains from the week before seem to have worked themselves out. 4.5 light miles for the day.

Tuesday – Forced Rest: Due to yet another snow storm & the kids’ school being cancelled I was forced into taking a day off. I did lock myself into the workout room to dedicate an hour to the Bowflex & weights.

Wednesday – Speed Session: I really wanted to do this workout on the track, in fact I had really been looking forward to getting on the track since it’s been awhile. However, the track was buried under at least 6 inches of snow, so I had to improvise. I ran the loop through my neighborhood because it’s sort of flatish and the loop is three quarters of a mile. 2 miles warm up, 2K at half marathon pace, 1K at 10K pace (2 mins rest between each) twice over, followed by 6x 1 minute speed surges (because I did not feel like attempting to measure out 400m) with 45 second rests, capped off with a 2 mile cool down. This was a surprisingly easy workout and I think I will make some tweaks to it in the future. 10 miles for the day.

Thursday – Easy Run: An easy jog around to more or less work out any kinks from the day before. Threw in a few light hills, then hit the weights again. I am determined to fix my upper body strength issues! 6.5 miles for the day.

Friday – Free Run: My plan asked for marathon paced miles, but I was just not feeling it. It was a gloriously sunny day and not too frigid and I had been dying to get into the woods. So, I ditched my training plan and drove out to the state forest to do some loops around the reservoir. I tucked my watch under my sleeve and just went out for the joy of running. The trails were not in the best conditions since we’ve had a rather rough winter. I probably should have brought my spikes for the ice, or maybe my boots for the mud, or perhaps galoshes for the deep puddles. I also got to practice my hurdling for the all the downed trees. It was a mess. I ran slow through the tricky parts and ran fast when it was clear & had a blissful hour of running however I wanted. Covered 6.66 miles.

Saturday – Progression Run: I felt a bit guilty for blowing off the workout, so I made up for it by doing a mini-workout. I didn’t want to go too fast or crazy because I knew I’d have a very long run to do the next day, so I did what I call a “progression light”. I started off at a conservative 8:35 pace and ramped up each mile by about 15 seconds, finishing at my 7:15 marathon pace. This was a great little run to get the legs churning and the lungs working without over doing it. It was also a great exercise in self control & pacing. 7.5 miles with light hills.

Sunday – The Long Run: This was my cycle’s longest run, a whopping 22 miler. I toyed with the idea of doing my typical 24, but due to the low temps and fierce wind, I decided that 2 extra miles wouldn’t make or break my race, but would take up more time. The BAA site’s plan wanted this run to be 18-20 miles at “aerobic pace”, so for me that is 7:50-8:00 miles. I decided to take this run to the Farmington Canal Trail (a 30 min drive for me) since it is fairly flat and I’d have a better chance at actually holding the paces. It was about 20 degrees with the wind gusts giving it a “real feel” of 8! I was adequately layered, fueled up with a pouch of Hammer Endurolite electrolyte capsules and bee pollen tablets along with my hydration pack, and ready to go. The plan was to sip water every mile and take fuel every 5 miles. I started off with 2 miles to get going – and man was it tough! The wind kept knocking me around and I feared that my heavy legs would never wake up. The first two miles of the actual run were a bit rocky and not on pace. In fact, I didn’t even “click” until after mile 4, that’s how long it took to warm up. This was to be an 11 mile out and back (no getting lost, no real hills, no needing to think – just run). Once I was warmed up, I did do an awesome job with holding the pace; 4 of the first 11 were at 7:46/mile, while 7 of those 11 were under 8:00. At 11 miles I turned around and was smacked in the face with the wind. I thought the going out was bad – the going back was rougher. I was in a head wind almost the entire run back to the car, which made things a little difficult because I was getting tired. Then I discovered at mile 15 that my mouth piece on my hydration pack had frozen! I choked down my fuel without it, but opted to skip it at mile 20 since it was too difficult to take without water. I kept all of my return miles under 8:00 and finished my last two under 7:40, averaging a 7:53/mile pace for the whole run.

More than anything, this week was an amazing confidence booster. With only a month to go until the marathon, I am feeling amazing, strong, confident, and ready to crush it. But I also really had fun this week. I actually enjoyed running – something that I haven’t really felt in a while. I’ve been so hyper focused on the watch and the pacing and the miles that it’s lost some of the joy & become work. In the last few days though, I was able to find some of that joy again (an argument for more free runs!) I only have two more weeks of work (a few tempos, one hill session, one speed session, one more long long run) before I begin the taper. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and maybe Spring will show up during those two weeks.

Boston Marathon Training Week 11: Tired

This week was a lighter week with more easy days & I was thankful for it since my legs have been screaming at me. I’m not quite sure if it’s the upped mileage (I’ve never run this much volume in my life!), if it’s the excessive pounding on pavement, or if the colder temps are just messing with me. Either way, I’ve got something nagging at my right calf/Achilles, and the past few weeks have been less than amusing. Because of the constant leg pain, I modified the few workouts that I did have and I think it ended up being more beneficial because by the end of the week I was faster, stronger, and (relatively) pain free.

Monday: This was a rest day, but I felt the need to get a bit of a shake out since my legs, especially quads, felt like thick, heavy logs. Ran an incredibly slow & easy 3.2 (10:42 pace) miles on the trail (squishy!) with the dog.
Tuesday: I could not face the day’s workout of 6x800m & 5x400m HILLS – I just could not. I had overslept until 9am, was still feeling exhausted, and my right lower leg had a burning sensation. Again I took to the trail for some slow, easy, and soft running then opted for shorter hill charges in the grassy field across the street. My legs actually felt better after this workout. 6.2 miles in all, 8:46 pace.
Wednesday: Another snow storm was on it’s way in and again I overslept! Leg still a bit sore, but because the snow hadn’t accumulated yet, I felt obligated to get in a slow 6 miles, 9:05 pace.
Thursday: Snow storm left the roads a mess, trees & wires down, and the kids off from school, so this ended up being a forced rest day. I did not complain.
Friday: What should have been a 7 mile aerobic run (11 total) was cut short due to severe right Achilles/calf pain. I barely got through a warm up & attempted the faster pace, but called it quits less than 4 miles in. Unfortunately, I still had to run back. 6 miles total for the day (7:53 pace)  & I began an Aleve regimen & living in compression socks.
Saturday: More switching of workouts! I did my “long run” today. Plan asked for 9-11 miles easy, but since I was “easy” all week I went ahead and did an even 12 (7:30 pace). I tucked my watch under my sleeve with the idea of not worrying about pace & just going easy by feel. Well, I ran just shy of marathon race pace and even pulled a 7:06 on the final mile split! There was some nagging discomfort in my leg during the last 2 miles, but otherwise I was pain free. This was such an easy, blissful run, I swore I could have gone on forever! I added on 2 more miles (10:07 pace) with the dog as a cool down, giving me 14 for the day.
Sunday: I went out to #comerunthehill at the Bolton Road Race 5 Miler. Honestly, I was petrified of this race as it is advertised as an incredibly tough course (a BIIIIG hill at the end) and it is a USATF Gran Prix series race, which means there is a lot of competitive runners out there. But, I won entry to this race during a 5 Miler that I won back in October, so I felt obligated to go. I’m glad I did. Not only did I beat my goal of 32:30 (by a whole heck of a lot!!), but I also bested my 5K by nearly a minute. I came in 4th female (33rd overall) with a time of 31:53 (6:18 pace). I didn’t die on the hill and my leg didn’t bother me. With a 2 mile warm up (8:14 pace) and a 3 mile cool down (8:00 pace) I ended the day with a solid 10 miles

My first race in my NB 1400v3 racing shoes!

So, yes, I didn’t run as much this week and what I did run was fairly slow. But I’m happy with my 45 mile week & I’m very happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish. Looking ahead on my schedule, and I see that the next few weeks will be asking a bit more from me before the taper begins, and as long as my legs and the weather cooperate we’ll be able to get it all done.

The Boston Marathon coordinators have announced bib and wave/corral assignments, which is exciting. I’ll be starting in Wave 2, Corral 3 which is good since I have a really bad habit of jack rabbiting out. Hopefully having a crowd in front of me will help me hold my pace a little better. I’m bib# 10724, which means there will be a LOT of folks ahead of me! Man, I am ready to get this done & over with – I’m tired!

We are closing in on a month to go!


Boston Marathon Training Week 10: Lots of Miles!

This week was an awesome week despite the tight calves and late winter Nor’easter that blew through. I got a lot of really good, quality miles in and have been ticking along, hitting paces like never before. Now, I’m not going to say it was easy, because I really had to push through & work hard, but I ended my Sunday night having felt very accomplished.

Monday: My typical rest day. Man, I love my rest days!
Tuesday: I needed to do some pace work, so I needed a flat place to run, but doing mile repeats on the track sounded tedious, so I decided to run to the Farmington Canal Trail in Cheshire. It’s a solid 30 minute drive, but it was worth it to be away from traffic and off the big hills. The prescribed workout was 5xMile repeats at 10k pace with 3 minutes recovery, but that just didn’t sound like enough work. So I altered the workout to mimic tired legs at the end of a marathon & attempting to hold pace. I did my 2 mile warm up, then 5xMile repeats at 10K pace, but instead of recoveries, I did half miles at marathon race pace – followed by 2 mile cool down. This was so hard! I had to push through & really dig deep for this, but I did manage to fall within range of my target paces, and even busted out some faster speeds on the last two. I felt like a champion at the end of this workout & actually look forward to doing this again, however, I will switch it to half miles at 10K pace and miles at marathon pace, and maybe do a few more sets. (Total 12 miles)
Wednesday: My legs were so sore from the speed work the day before that it felt like I was dragging tree trunks. I picked a hilly-ish course for a recovery run, which probably didn’t help, but I wasn’t in the mood to drive anywhere either. I felt a bit better by the afternoon, so I went out for another easy 2.5 miles with the dog. I think the second jog of the day helped work out some of the kinks in my legs. (Total 7 miles)
Thursday: A second easy day in a row! The plan called for 4-6 easy miles, but I decided that a few more miles would be beneficial, especially since it took me nearly 3 miles just to warm up – so I did 8. I ran them all on the trail because I really needed a break from the hard pavement. (Total 8 miles)
Friday: A Nor’easter was crashing it’s way through the state, so I planned to run early. Well, sort of early. I still had to get the kids ready for school, but left them with my husband to put on the bus. I wanted to start my run as early as possible in the hopes of beating the snow. I also still had to get to the grocery store, and wanted to get that done as soon as they opened. Snow was predicated to hit in the afternoon & I didn’t want to get caught in it. The rain was coming down pretty hard when I set out on my warm up, and unfortunately, quickly turned to freezing rain & sleet. The wind gusts were phenomenal & I’m a bit surprised I didn’t get blown into the street! All I needed was a 5 mile tempo (with 2 easy miles at both ends) at half marathon pace, but the cold & weather really motivated me to run faster! I averaged about 10 seconds under pace & was never so happy to see my front door. It turned out that the kids’ school was cancelled & there was no need to get them ready! Later in the afternoon the kids begged for a snow run, and since there was no traffic out due to the poor conditions, I decided why not! So we did a quick jog around the neighborhood & played in it. Everyone had a blast! (Total 10.3 miles)
Saturday: Another day of easy running & my daughter begged to run with me. I let her do the warm up loop with me, which she did in an outstanding 12:00/mile pace (not bad for a wee 5 year old!) and then went off on my own for an additional 4+ miles. (Total 5.56 miles)
Sunday: This was my longest long run of the training cycle so far. It was an excruciating 20 miler on a much too hilly course. I ran the first 10 miles easy, and then attempted the next 8 miles at marathon pace. The hills got in the way in a few spots and I had to wrestle with my brain to keep going. I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. I wanted to not be a marathoner. If I had had my cell phone with me, I would have most likely called my husband to come get me. I pressed on. I had to stop caring about the watch & the pacing and just focus on getting to the next mail box/tree/driveway. I had to just get to the next mile marker…finish that 20. I had already quit on a long run this cycle, I wasn’t about to do it again. I pushed through those last five miles. I did it. And I accumulated 2200+ feet of elevation gain. It was rough, but looking back over the data, I realized it wasn’t so bad. I actually stayed within range of my target paces for all but two lousy miles: Mile 9 which was 300 feet of hill and Mile 16, another 233 feet of hill. While this run was not exactly fun, it was what I needed, and more for the mental workout than the physical one. (Total 20 miles)

Due to my longest long run happening this week, as well as extra easy paced runs, I’ve managed to hit the most training miles in one week. This is the most miles I’ve ever done in a week since college. I topped out my week at 62.86 miles! Looking ahead at my training plan, it doesn’t look like I’ll be beating that number in this training cycle. I’ve got three more weeks flirting with around 50-55 miles per week, then I’ll start my taper, which will probably be about 30-40 miles. I am excited to have stepped over that 60 mile barrier – it is a confidence booster that makes me feel like I really do have a place in Boston.

The end of a fun, snowy, windy mile.

Boston Marathon Training Week 9: Quality Miles

I did a lot better this week. In fact, I’m awfully proud of myself for sticking to my plan and running smart. Because I did so I didn’t end up getting sick, injured, or feeling exhausted. I also tipped over the 50 mile mark for the week (yay!) which has been a real struggle for me.

Monday Full rest – even though I was itching to run, I followed my plan and took the day off.
Tuesday Hills – I didn’t exactly follow the plan on this one. I’ve struggled with hill repeats this training cycle (which is odd because I actually love hills!), so I approached this one slightly differently. Instead of measuring the 800m that was requested or timing/pacing (10K pace up, marathon pace down), I just ran a hard hill. The most psychologically daunting hill for me is Maple Tree Hill, so I tackled that one – 8 times! I didn’t even look at my watch, I just pushed up it as hard as I could and jogged back down, then went at it again. The kids were home from school for February/President’s Day break and my husband had to get to work, so I was a little short on time, but when I looked at that data later, I realized I did run it at 10K effort. I have learned to NOT look at my watch on hills & simply work on getting up. Deal with the pace later!
Wednesday Recovery – A nice, easy 7 mile recovery run. Something weird must be pinched in my back or hip since my feet & legs were numb/tingly through the whole run.
Thursday Tempo – Another 7 miles (after a mile and a half warm up with some drills), but much faster, close to race pace. Felt nice, though I did still have some odd tingly. Wrapped up my cool down with the dog & tried foam rolling.
Friday Rest – It felt odd to have another rest day, but I took it. It was needed since the time off allowed whatever it was that was causing the tingling in my feet & legs to fix itself. It also gave me time to go shopping for a party dress for a much needed night out with my husband 🙂
Saturday Workout – I was dreading this workout all week, then of course I find out that I had been off by a couple of weeks in my plan and it wasn’t even supposed to be run! Oops. 2 miles warm up, 2X5miles at marathon pace (half mile recovery between), 2 miles cool down. Of course, it ended up being a piece of cake! I ran faster than marathon pace – a bit closer to half marathon pace – but I think that was ok considering that it was only two 5 mile chunks. I felt like I could have easily gotten a third set in, however I had to take my daughter to a birthday party & didn’t have the time. I am actually looking forward to doing this workout again, when I’m supposed to.
Sunday Recovery – Here I chose to run slightly longer than my plan called for so I could bump myself up over the 50 mile mark for the week. It was cold and rainy and I just did not want to deal with traffic (or hills), so I decided to run on the bridal trail, even though I knew it would be sloppy. And sloppy it was. In fact, it was down right flooded. At first I attempted to avoid puddles, but gave up before the second mile. My feet were soggy, but the pace was easy and I was having fun. There were periods of hard rain, but I didn’t mind it. There was no one else on the trail except the animals, and I enjoyed the solitude.

I felt good about this week. I had some strong paces and quality miles. Boston is quickly approaching and it’s becoming a bit intimidating, but I am feeling confident that I will be prepared. Only a few more long runs to go!

Boston Marathon Training Week 8: Mental Blocks

This week was tough, maybe one of my toughest yet. I had a mental let-down and that’s been a little tough for me to get over. You see, I started the week off with a wicked head cold. I spent a lot of time on the couch, drinking tea and doing nothing. My body needed rest. I modified all of my workouts just to get through them. I’m sure I could have run the prescribed workouts, I’m positive my body could get through it, but my brain just wasn’t there this week. Instead of doing mile repeats I ran 800 meter repeats, and I still cut the workout short by two reps. Instead of running three-mile repeats I opted for a tempo run. And when it came time to do a fast finish long run, I cut the whole thing short at 12 miles and went home. I spent the rest of Sunday licking my mental wounds and feeling sorry for myself.

Laying on the couch with my cat, not even doing laundry.

Marathon training can be just as mentally fatiguing as it is physically. It takes a lot to keep telling yourself to get out there and push out another set, especially when you already don’t feel well. Some days the workout is just too daunting to even start. And then you question where your mental fortitude will be on race day…

Repeats on an unmarked gravel track are HARD.

It was frustrating to fail. I have had some fairly decent training this cycle, so to have a whole week that was just “off” was very tough for my ego to handle. But, looking back over my training log, I can easily see why it wasn’t clicking.

  1. I wasn’t running the prescribed workouts. The training plan builds on itself and picking and choosing workouts doesn’t give you the strength & stamina that you’ll need for the next hard workout. By amending workouts, cutting them short, doing them on different days, and running them out of order, I’m not really getting the full benefits of the prescribed workouts.
  2. I run too fast. I run too fast too often. I know I’ve mentioned this before, and apparently I’m not learning. Easy days should be EASY and running two tempo runs back to back is going to make for a difficult long run the next day. I know this, but I’m having a hard time sticking to pace for some reason.

I cut Sunday’s long run/workout short because I wasn’t hitting my target paces. I was struggling and I was hurting and I knew there was no point in pushing something that just wasn’t going to happen. I was risking injury by attempting to push through and where would that get me? I don’t feel bad for pulling the plug on a bad workout, but I do feel bad for having set myself up for failure all week.

Monday: Legs were a bit sore after the long run, so instead of a rest day I went for a light shakeout on the trail with the dog. 4.5 easy, slow miles.
Tuesday: Cold became much more severe than the day before so I took it as a rest day with intentions of pushing the prescribed workout to later in the week.
Wednesday: Probably should have taken another rest day, but felt sluggish & lazy, so I decided to hit the track. Down-graded the mile repeats & 4X4 workout to 8X800m & 4X400m. While I was able to hit my target pacing, it was a real struggle and I cut it short at 6 reps on the 800s. Then I felt bad, so I ran two extra 4s, giving myself a workout of 6X800m (3:05 target), 6X400m (1:30 target). Wobbly legs for the rest of the day.
Thursday: Surprise warm weather! I felt a little too good and what was supposed to be a easy recovery pace quickly slipped into marathon race pace. I was constantly checking myself, but then gave into it because I felt good and the pace felt easy. Finished up 8 miles a bit too fast.
Friday: I had a 3-mile repeat workout on the books, but the kids’ half day of school threw a kink in my plan and I didn’t have time. I threw down another 7 mile tempo run in the time I had before the bus dropped them off.
Saturday: I went into the woods because I knew I would be forced to run slower on the trails. 4.5 miles at a very easy pace, but I rolled my ankle coming back in the driveway and twisted everything from the ankle to the hip.
Sunday: My shins and hamstrings hurt right from the first step. I never loosened up in the first hour of running, and when it came time to pull out the work (6X 3mins at 10k pace, 2mins at marathon pace) I just wasn’t able to do it. I called the workout on the 4th set and limped my way home. A whopping 12 miles.

Week total: 49.58 miles

Into the woods to slow down & recharge.

Maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up too badly – the training is hard, I’ve been doing fine so far, I was ill, there still several more weeks of training to go – but I feel like there were a lot of excuses and dumb mistakes were made. Hopefully I will learn from this and move on with grace & wisdom.