What recovery looks like and final race thoughts

There were also cookies. Lots of cookies.

Well hello there, running friends! I am back at it after a full week off of running and was literally giddy to be running again. Here’s a quick peek at what my last 10 days have looked like:

  • Sunday: 26.2!
  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Rest. And a massage!
  • Friday: Slow yoga with deep relaxation
  • Saturday: Long walk in the park with J
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: 30 minute easy run
  • Tuesday: 40 minute easy run
  • Wednesday: 60 minute vinyasa yoga
  • Thursday: 30 minute run
We went for a WALK, not a run. It was weird.

I’m sure you’re sensing a theme here–lots and lots of rest! This is probably the longest I’ve gone without working out in a couple of years and I know I needed it. Even though I felt fairly good after the race, my knees are still not back to 100%, likely due to the accumulated stress from all the downhill pounding. I’m a little bit mad at myself for not taking the active parts of recovery more seriously, but when my first jog back didn’t feel great I jumped back into icing and foam rolling twice a day, which has helped a ton. J and I went out for 40 minutes on Tuesday and once we got warmed up, I felt great and couldn’t stop smiling because I was so dang happy to be back at it.

I’M BACK.

I haven’t fully formulated my comeback strategy, but we’re toying around with the idea of running the Shipyard Old Port Half in July in Portland, ME. I had a great race there last year and I think it would be such a fun course for J’s first half. Now that he has been fully indoctrinated, we’re looking at potentially doing a race in New Zealand when we go there for our honeymoon next February/March–how cool would that be?? Any tips, anyone?

Anywho, after Chicago I graded myself on how I did in terms of my race goals and I thought it would be fun to revisit my “what I would do differently” post and do the same for this race. Here are the goals I set for myself:

  • Run a small race: A! Sugarloaf had 1600 total runners. Can’t get much smaller than that.
  • Focus on race strategy and nutrition: A! I didn’t want to share it beforehand for purely superstitious reasons, but I did have a very specific race plan that I worked on with Coach Laura. And I wrote it out in color because I am a nerd.
  • Consider investing in coaching: A! ICYMI, more on my coaching thoughts here.
  • Raise the mileage, not just the number of running days: A! My mileage this training cycle peaked at 56 miles/week, whereas my Chicago training peeked around 44 miles/week. Adding those additional miles (all EASY and slow) I think really helped me to learn to run on tired legs.

    More rose and champagne, please!

So what else? Well, life is pretty darn exciting these days. This weekend I’m heading to NYC for my bachelorette party with all of my favorite people. Next weekend I’m going to a Oiselle women’s running camp in New Hampshire. I’m less than two months away from finishing up my MBA and in 101 days I get to marry my best friend in my favorite place in the world. So–running is going to be around, with lots of other stuff, and I just can’t wait.

 

Why I hired a running coach (and you should too)

I’m probably not your typical candidate for needing a coach. I brought my half marathon time from 2:13 in 2012 down to 1:36 in 2016 all by myself. I cut 29 minutes off between my first and second marathons sans assistance. I really enjoy reading about training strategies, researching training plans, and listening to running podcasts. I’m fairly type-A and I thrive off of being busy–accountability is not a problem for me. That all said, after coming frustratingly close to a BQ in Chicago, I knew a few things had to change. I could pinpoint specific components of training that could have gone better, but I had an inkling that an outside perspective would be the thing that pushed it over the edge for me.

I honestly didn’t do a ton of research into different coaches. Coach Laura had been on my radar for a long time because of her fantastic blog. I really liked that she and I are similar runners–a lot of coaches are super speedsters and probably can’t even remember a time when they were gunning for a 3:30 marathon. I also knew, as a blog reader, that she was thoughtful, methodical, and eager to learn new things–all important aspects of coaching.

I actually entered a giveaway for a free month of coaching from Laura and when I didn’t win, she reached out anyway and offered a free two week trial of her services. From then on, I was 100% in. After starting with an in-depth evaluation of my background and goals, Laura and I got on the phone to hash out a plan of how to get me to my BQ. In case you’re curious, here’s what came with my one-on-one coaching package:

  1. Detailed daily workouts with specific goal paces based on both time and effort delivered daily to your inbox and via the Final Surge app (see a sample to the right)
  2. Built-in plans for fueling, nutrition, recovery, and dynamic warm-ups
  3. Individualized feedback on every workout (sent on a weekly basis)
  4. Bi-weekly 30 minute phone calls
  5. Unlimited online communication via Slack
  6. Specific strength training routines utilizing whatever equipment you have available (I ended up buying a set of resistance bands but otherwise everything was at-home and equipment-free)
  7. Incredible flexibility in terms of switching long-run days, tailoring the plan due to travel or work commitments, or change-ups due to weather

I’m planning to put together a full post on the specific training tweaks that I think made the difference for me, but for now I’ll just say that I had the race of my life and blew my goals out of the water, thanks in no small part to Laura’s guidance and support.

Also! Just so it’s out in the open, coaching isn’t cheap. I saw this as a major investment in my running goals–for me, it was worth it to pay for coaching instead of a gym or yoga studio membership. Coach Laura is more affordable than many other coaches out there, luckily, but this isn’t a financial decision to be taken lightly. Think and do your background research before you sign on the dotted line. Full disclosure: if you end up signing up for Coach Laura’s services and tell her I referred you, you get my undying love + you earn me a discount on future services I get from her as well. It’s a win-win 😀

Please feel free to comment below or reach out directly if you have ANY questions about coaching! This was a big decision for me and I’m more than happy to do what I can to help.

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud Thursday!

Sugarloaf Marathon Race Recap (BQ!!!)

Hello hello and greetings from could 9, where I’m riding the incredible high of yesterday’s race! There’s a monster post ahead but TL;DR–I ran by far my strongest and smartest marathon and finished in 3:28:30, smashing my A goal, PR-ing by 7.5 minutes, and qualifying me for the 2018 Boston Marathon with a 6.5 minute cushion.

Let’s take it back to the beginning… when we hit the road Saturday morning for the drive up to Maine. Armed with lots of bottles of water, we scooted up to Portland and got yummy sandwiches at Sister’s Gourmet Deli (amazing homemade bread, both gluten free and gluten-full!) J and I drove my running buddy Denise and her friend Alisa, and my parents and brother caravaned along with us. We then drove another hour to pay a quick visit to our cabin, where J and I are getting married in September! It’s getting a long-overdue renovation and it was so fun to see it coming together. The last leg of the trip took us on backroads up to Sugarloaf, where we picked up our bibs at the “expo”–marathon for the girls, 15k for J. The bib pickup was smooth and easy, which makes sense given that the race is TEENY–just 1600 runners total. The rest of the night we took super easy. We had a little condo for me, J, my big bro Ari, and my parents–complete with a decent kitchenette that we used to cook up some chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, and a simple salad. Extra salt on everything for me, and some pasta for the gluten eaters. I kept this pre-race meal carb-y and simple, which I think was a big part of why my stomach behaved so well during the race.

After a just ok night of sleep, we were up and at ’em at 5 am for a quick gf bagel (with pb, banana, and salt) and coffee before grabbing the shuttle bus to the race start. We were running a couple of minutes late but we made it onto the last shuttle, which was great until the shuttle BROKE DOWN and had to turn back to the hotel. We still had an hour to spare before the race, but there wasn’t another shuttle in sight (cue freak out)–and then in a glorious moment I ran into a friend from track who offered us a ride to the start! Everyone else did make it on another shuttle, but big ups to Steve for the extra few minutes of cushion. The second amazing coincidence was that I walked directly into Denise and her friends Amy and Sarah who were already halfway up the porto potty line!! We did our business and then shed our layers (it was in the high 30s–BRRRR) before dropping our check bags and lining up at the start. One jarring shotgun shot later, and we were off! 

The first few miles were gorgeous and slightly downhill, but we stuck diligently to the plan and kept them at an easy 8:00-8:10 pace. It was absolutely beautiful along this stretch–still lakes, mountains, and sweeping forests. Once the feeling crept back into our fingers and toes, we hit the first series of rollers, keeping the pace around 7:55-8:00 through mile 8. We knew the hills would be over by the end of mile 10, so we ran based on effort and actively kept the pace under control, even on the rolling downhills.  Mile 9 was a doozy with 178 feet of elevation gain, but all of that training on the Newton hills paid off and we hit the top feeling steady and strong at an 8:26 pace for that mile (by far our slowest of the day, as it should have been!)

Alisa had been driving along the course and we had seen her a few times, but I knew my folks were going to be at mile 11 and it was so amazing to see them after the first steep stretch of downhill. We held it back but let the pace dip to a 7:42 during mile 12 (158 feet of elevation loss), and then settled in around 7:50 until mile 20. Thanks to Coach Laura, I had split the race (in my head) into a 20 mile long run and then a 10k progression run, so we kept joking about the fact that we were just warming up and that the race start was still ahead 🙂 The focus during this section was definitely on fueling every 45 minutes and drinking at every water stop (I ran with my handheld until mile 20, where I ditched it, but I drank whenever we passed a stop and refilled 3 times).

At mile 20 the pain had started to creep in, but my legs had some juice left in them so we amped the pace up to the 7:40s and started to pick people off. It had gotten hot at this point, and I was pouring water over my head at every water stop. I kept repeating my mantras in my head (STRONG. FAST. CONFIDENT.) and Denise and I checked in with each other every few minutes. My knees felt a little bit creaky and I was nauseous, but I managed to hold it together and maintain a sub 7:50 pace through a gradual but deadly uphill climb from miles 23-24. At this point I knew we were safely in BQ territory, but I didn’t let myself get too excited about a sub 3:30 until we rounded the corner into chute. A big perk of such a tiny race was that we finished by ourselves–talk about feeling like a rock star! We decided to grab hands and hold our arms up, and it felt like we flew across the finish at a 7:25 pace.

It was over, finally, and I gave everyone the sweatiest hugs and shed a few incredulous tears when I saw that we had not only BQ-ed (sub 3:35), but that we had broken 3:30 (my A goal) and that I had PR-ed by 7.5 minutes off of my Chicago Marathon time. And oh yeah, we ran a super solid negative split, crossing the first half at 1:45 on the nose and nailing the second half in 1:43:30. Ari finally hit his goal of breaking 3 hours (yup, he’s a beast) and J ran his longest race ever and finished the 15k at a killer 8 minute pace! After the race we showered, snacked, and hit the road towards some decadent burgers and well-deserved beers/ciders in Portland.

I have so much more to say about this race experience, but I have to give the biggest thanks to Jeremy for being incredibly supportive and tolerant, to Coach Laura for her belief in me and her deep well of wisdom and support, and to Denise for being a wonderful friend and for carrying me through the last few miles with grace and strength. I am finally a BOSTON QUALIFIER!!!!!

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin), with Eat Pray Run DC for her training linkup, and with the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits).

Sugarloaf marathon week 14: the taper begins

Greetings from the first week of taper mania! I have to say that despite the mileage going down, this week didn’t feel particularly easy. I think that has something to do with the fact that it was a really busy week outside of running. I always make a concerted effort to see friends once classes wrap up for the semester, but I’m very guilty of making plans every night and burning myself out. I’m also feeling a few of the mental demons sneaking their way in, so I want to really cement my mantras and mental strategies during these final two weeks before race day. Here are my goals for the taper:

  • Run my marathon pace runs at MGP, not faster.
  • Carb load in a smart, gradual way and take it easy with the sugar and vino.
  • Really give myself a mental break and take time to chill the eff out.

On the logistical front, I started rotating in a lighter pair of sneakers that I plan to use on race day–and they feel great! I usually run in Asics GT 2000 4 and my newer shoes are the Mizuno Wave Rider 20. I have done speedwork and racing in the Wave Rider 18 and these are a great new version. I have super narrow feet, especially in the midfoot/heel, so my sneaker options are limited to those that come in a 2A width. If there are any other tiny footed people out there looking for shoe options, these two work well in rotation for me. I plan to get about 50 miles in on the Wave Riders before race day. I did spend a silly amount of timing deciding whether or not to return a pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33s–does anyone have thoughts on these?? I’m all ears!

Also, Denise and I are planning to run Sugarloaf together! We run really similar paces and are totally in sync with our race strategies, so I think it will be great to aim to stick together–of course with the caveat that we’ll both need to run our own races and do what we need to do to take care of ourselves day-of. We ran a really strong long run together on Sunday so I’m very confident about our plan. I am starting to think throgh nutrition planning and race strategy also–more to come on those 🙂

Week 14: 45.3 miles total

  • Monday: 6 easy + strides
  • Tuesday: 4 “watchless” easy miles, banded strength circuit
  • Wednesday: 8 MGP miles, fast finish
  • Thursday: 6 easy
  • Friday: 4 easy
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: 10 easy, 6 MGP for 16 total at 8:20 average

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin), with Eat Pray Run DC for her training linkup, and with the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits).

Sugarloaf training: week 13 (peak week!)

Y’all–peak week is over and the mini-taper officially begins!! I’m so, so proud to have gotten though four 50+ mile weeks in a row, topping out at 214 miles for the month of April. I’m also grateful for the lovely comments last week about not getting too caught up in the numbers. While this wasn’t quite my highest mileage week of training, I know I nailed both of my key workouts and kept the easy miles nice and easy. In fact, I didn’t even bat an eyelash when my “20 miler” was actually 19.58 miles. Who cares?? GPS watches are never 100% accurate and that extra .42 miles running up and down my block wouldn’t have added anything to my training.

The week started out pretty misty and rainy, which I actually kind of love. I turned off my podcast during an easy, foggy run just to spend some time in the mist and the quiet. I nailed a hard workout on Tuesday with two sets of 3 miles at HMGP–it felt really hard, but good, to see 7:28 for the first set and 7:23 for the second set! This week also had a bunch of easy/recovery miles, which I happily took extra easy given the tough workouts that were sprinkled in there. I especially loved that J and I managed to fit in a recovery run together on Wednesday–he’s killing his 15k training and mentioned that he might even consider a half soon!! Proud fiance alert!

Once the week cleared up it got really warm, so I pushed my long run from Saturday to Sunday and opted for a yoga class instead. I really miss my practice when I’m marathon training and can’t fit it in–I was soaked and sore from this one but it felt soooo good to get back to it. Sunday my girl Alexa was BACK and like a true badass, she joined me for 14 of my 20 mile workout–which included 2×3 sets of MGP miles. I’m so proud of her for running a strong Boston despite the weather, and love having her back on runs.

If you missed it, I wrote a post this week about working on my mental game with “I am, I can, I will statements”–it’s an amazing technique and really helped me get through the last set of MGP miles on my long run today. T-minus 3 weeks from today I’ll be done with Sugarloaf–I’m so excited to put all this hard work to the test!!

Week 13: 55.1 miles total

  • Monday: 8 easy
  • Tuesday: 2×3 miles at HMGP, 8.5 total
  • Wednesday: 4.8 recovery miles with J
  • Thursday: 8.1 easy
  • Friday: 6 easy
  • Saturday: 90 minute sweaty yoga
  • Sunday: 20 (well, 19.58) mile long run! 8 up, 3×3 miles at MGP, 1.5 down

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin), with Eat Pray Run DC for her training linkup, and with the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits).

Sugarloaf marathon training: week 12

I think this might be one of the quietest weeks in the Boston running world. I knew this was coming, but it’s strange to be ramping up when it seems like everyone else is in recovery. I’m definitely getting ready for the taper, but I’m not there quite yet–this was a big week with my longest long run and next week will be my “peak week” of training. Either way, I’m less than a month out from Sugarloaf, training smart, and feeling strong and healthy! WOOT. Also exciting: I only have 3 more classes left this semester, so after May 2 I have a glorious 2.5 week “break” before race day.

My mileage looks a little bit deflated this week since I threw off my schedule by skipping a rest day last weekend and taking it on Monday instead–meaning I ran all 7 days last week. Phew. And of course, my “day off” was Marathon Monday, so I was on my feet screaming and yelling all day 🙂 Sometimes I find myself getting a little bit too caught up on the numbers, but I know it’s about the bigger picture–and last year at this time I peaked at 43.6 weekly miles compared to the 50+ I’ve been running consistently this year, so I’m truly more ready than I’ve ever been.

A few weekly highlights were:

  • Seeing the Boston documentary! While there were some unnecessary tangents, it was really inspiring and fun to watch with lots of other running nerds.
  • A really strong tempo workout on Thursday, hitting a 6:47 at mile 8 of a tough run.
  • The March for Science on Saturday! Despite my legs being shot from my long run, it was amazing to get out there and protest–and the signs were HILARIOUS.

    Marching for science!

My training buddy/neighbor Denise, who is also running Sugarloaf, proposed that we do a “time on feet” run together on Saturday morning. This basically meant that we would run for 3 hours and 15 minutes at an easy pace, focusing on time vs. distance. Despite some cold drizzle, we had a great morning and did a little sprint in for 22.22 miles total. I felt a couple of little niggles near the end, but overall this was a strong run and I couldn’t have been happier to have the company.

Week 12: 49.6 miles total

  • Monday: OFF
  • Tuesday: Tempo day! Workout was 3 at MGP, 2 at HMGP, and 1 at 10k/threshold. Paces were 3 miles: 7:55, 2 miles: 7:29, 1 mile: 6:47 (!!!) for 9 total.
  • Wednesday: 4.6 recovery miles
  • Thursday: 5 easy miles + 3 at MGP for 8 total
  • Friday: 5.6 easy miles in the rain and a much-need massage
  • Saturday: Longest long run! Run by time for 3:15, which worked out to 22.2 miles.
  • Sunday: OFF/Vinyasa with deep relaxation yoga class

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin), with Eat Pray Run DC for her training linkup, and with the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits).

Sugarloaf training week 11: Boston Marathon weekend!

Expo testing (v. serious)

Well kids, the most magical weekend of the year in Boston is over and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I had so much fun with friends old and new. Read on for the play by play!

Monday-Friday: Some pretty kick ass training, if I do say so myself. I was really happy to hit this mileage without feeling beaten down or sluggish. The highlight was definitely that little guy over there on Thursday–3 sets of two miles at my half marathon goal pace getting faster with each set!! These workouts absolutely feel hard as heck, but I know they’re going to get me to my goal. So, worth it. Friday I hit up the Boston Marathon expo with Alexa–the expo is a BLAST and I was tempted to buy all of the things. But I didn’t.

Saturday: I met up with one of my running pals, the lovely Megan! She moved to Philly about a year ago after running an incredible Boston last year as her first marathon. Megan is the loveliest person and we just jump right back into it whenever we see each other. We decided to run the BAA 5k, which was sort of insane and frustratingly so crowded we couldn’t do much more than jog the whole time. Pro tip–if you want to RACE this race, get as far up in the corrals as possible! Either way, Megan and I spectated, laughed, and insta-ed our way over the marathon finish line and then of course headed to mow down on some brunch. After we parted ways I wandered over to the Strava popup store to pick up my free socks for completing their marathon week challenge, and got a quick peep of the elite women’s invitational mile around Copley Square. Never a dull moment on marathon weekend! The rest of the day was studying, grocery-ing, and meal prep. #adulting.

Sunday: The weather was supposed to climb into the mid 80s (WHAAAAT) on Sunday, so I got up at an ungodly hour to meet big bro for an 18 mile fast finish long run. We took the shadiest route we know of and sweated it out–it was a little bit of a sufferfest but I was grateful for the company and even more grateful to be training for a spring marathon–last August, we did this every.freaking.weekend. Post-run I was pretty depleted, but made it to a fun Easter brunch in NH with J’s family.

Marathon Monday: Like last year, I signed up to volunteer at the mile 21 water stop with a couple of running pals. If you’ve never volunteered at a distance event, DO IT! It is such an incredible honor to support the runners who have done so much work to get to race day. As I’m sure you’ve all heard/read, it was a tough day weather-wise but I am so proud of all of the amazing finishers for battling it out. Especially Alexa, who gave me the best giant hug of the day. It was also super incredible to see so many of my favorite elites up close and personal (Meb! Galen! Desi! Jordan!)

Week 11: 56.3 miles

  • Monday: 7 easy + strides
  • Tuesday: 8 mile hilly progression run (last 3 at 7:54, 7:41, 7:19)
  • Wednesday: 4.6 slow recovery miles
  • Thursday: Tempo! 1 up, 3×2 miles at HMGP (sets at 7:30, 7:27, and 7:19) with 3 min recoveries, 1 down
  • Friday: 4.6 easy
  • Saturday: Easy BAA 5k with Megan! 3.9 total
  • Sunday: 18 mile fast finish long run (last 6 at 8:04, 7:57, 7:57, 7:54, 7:56, 7:28)

Also! One of my grad school pals wrote a post about part-time MBA students with full time jobs who run marathons. Check out my ramblings here.

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin) and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup. Also, joining the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits)–congrats on a strong Boston, Jess!!!

 

My Boston 2013 story, and why I want to BQ

Visiting the old homestead on the marathon course!

If you’ve been following along for a little while, you probably know that I love, love, LOVE my hometown. Boston is a wildly imperfect, occasionally uppity, student infested, cold, beautiful little mess of a city. I’ve lived in and around Boston my whole life, and most of that has been within spitting distance of the marathon course. As a kid, I literally watched the race from my bedroom window. I was, however, a dedicated non-runner until about 6 years ago, so the notion of running Boston (or any distance over a couple of miles on a treadmill) didn’t really cross my mind.

Fast-forward to 2013 at my first “real” job, when a project fell into my lap–to coordinate our organization’s Boston Marathon team. For those who don’t know, thousands of Boston runners every year gain entry by raising money for nonprofit organizations. I had just started running myself, so I was stoked to land such a fun project. We had a small and mighty team of 6 runners, and my coworkers and I were cheering our heads off at mile 23 when I started getting some funny texts from my friends that something had happened at the finish line. I ignored them at first, figuring it was some small shakeup, until word started to spread that we needed to move away from the route and head home. I managed to shoot off a text to J and my parents that I was ok before cell phones signal shut down. The next few days were a bit of a blur–confusion, lockdowns, and all the rest.

The site of the bombings
An eerily empty Boylston Street
The makeshift memorial at Copley Square

Everything really clicked for me when I took a walk downtown during the days following the bombing. It’s still a little bit hard for me to look at these pictures, but I was so moved to see how fiercely my communities–both the community of runners and the Boston community–came together to shout our love for each other into the void of hate that had shown its face.

Even though I didn’t fully realize it at the time, it lit a fire that was somewhere deep down in me. I was fully and completely a runner. I started to take my running more seriously–I cut my half marathon time down from 2:12 to 1:36 and ran my first marathon in New York City in 2015. For the first time in my life, I had found an athletic activity that I enjoyed and that I was actually pretty good at.

Slowly but surely I came to the realization that not only could I run 26.2 miles, but I might be able to do it fast enough to qualify for Boston one day–not only to run, but to earn the right to do so by committing to taking myself seriously as a runner. My brother’s scary experience at last year’s race only served to stoke the fire–this community is so strong and supportive even during the hardest times.

I’m close. I’m doing the work. I’m going to have an amazing time this weekend, and I’m going to be a little bit jealous. Because that jealousy will just fuel my drive to earn my spot on that starting line in Hopkinton. So to those running this year–you are amazing. I can’t wait to celebrate with you and support you and keep you nice and hydrated. And I’ll be focusing on Sugarloaf and fighting with every muscle fiber to for the opportunity to toe the line with you.

Thinking-Out-Loud2
Linking up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud Thursday!

Sugarloaf marathon training: week 10

Well, the Boston marathon is 1 week away and things are buzzing! I absolutely love living in such a mecca for runners and the atmosphere around the marathon is super special. This year, my goal is to let it feed and inspire my running, instead of letting myself fall prey to the jealousy monster. If all goes well, next year I’ll get to be a true part of the madness!

This week was another mileage test for me–I ran 52.9 miles total and truly didn’t feel any sluggishness at all! My major lesson learned in terms of adding mileage is to skew the additional miles towards easy/recovery runs. I’m really thriving with some harder workouts on Tuesdays/Thursdays, long runs on Saturdays, and keeping the rest nice and easy pace-wise.

I did hit the track this week–and of course, it was in the high 40s and pouring rain for our workout. Thank goodness for my girls and their gosh darn positivity for holding me accountable! It’s never ideal, but there is something about running in the rain that makes you feel like a real badass. Plus, you never know what kind of weather race day will bring–gotta be prepared for anything!

Another major highlight this week was really nailing my fueling during my first 20 miler of this training cycle! I got 3 gels down with no GI distress and felt perfectly hydrated throughout (thanks in no small part to adding Enduropacks to my water). I also ran the last 10 miles of this one solo, which was a good mental exercise for me since I’ve been doing most long runs with friends. On Sunday Alexa and I went to a really lovely workshop called “Be Race Ready” with one of my favorite yoga teachers/runners. We did some gentle yoga and meditation using mantras and other calming techniques. It really helped me to focus on trusting my training–I’m working so hard and it’s SO important to keep my mind in the game along with my legs!

So what’s on tap for my marathon weekend? First off, lots of runs in shorts this week–it’s going to be lovely out! I’m also planning to head to the expo with Alexa on Friday, Saturday I’m running a fun BAA 5k with my friend Megan who is visiting for the weekend, and then I’ll be volunteering at the mile 21 water stop yelling myself silly on marathon Monday. Can’t wait–best of luck to everyone who is running! You are all AMAZING!!! Also, happy Passover if you celebrate–go carb load with some matzoh balls 🙂

 

Week 10: 52.9 miles total

  • Monday: 7 easy + strides
  • Tuesday: Rainy track day! 7 miles total, speedwork at 6:56 (details here)
  • Wednesday: 5.1 recovery miles, banded strength circuit
  • Thursday: 1 up, 6 at MGP, 1 down–8 miles at 8:00 min pace
  • Friday: 5 easy with J
  • Saturday: 20 miles!
  • Sunday: “Be Race Ready” yoga/mental prep workshop with Cara

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin) and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup. Also, joining the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits) for their weekly recap linkup!

Sugarloaf training: week 9 (my first 50 mile week!)

Guess what you guys? It FINALLY feels like spring here in Boston!! Also, (brag alert) guess who has two thumbs and ran her first 50 mile week ever… this gal! I was super duper jazzed to finally get past this mileage hurdle feeling strong. Rewinding to Monday, this week started out with a nice rainy easy run, during which I ran into my mom and her gal pals powerwalking around Jamaica Pond. #squadgoals.

Tuesday I had the first of two hard workouts–during which I finally managed (sort of) to program my Garmin for interval training. I was running 4 2k (1.25 mile) intervals at a 10k pace. The wind was kind of crazy during the back half of this one and I couldn’t figure out how to see my pace during the workout, but I managed to run pretty even splits at goal pace just by feel! It’s cool to trust my body to know what I want it to do… sometimes. Wednesday I did another easy run over to my book club meeting–nothing like a run that ends with guac and red wine! Thursday was the second hard workout–5 minutes easy running alternating with 2 minutes hard for 7 miles. I actually had trouble with this one. For some reason I kept feeling jolted in and out of the intervals and didn’t find my rhythm–but I got through it and the back-and-forth made 7 miles fly by! Friday was a few early miles before…

We got hit by another noreaster. With snow. In April. UGH! I took this one in stride because it didn’t actually accumulate, but it was pretty nasty while it was happening. J and I had a really nice Saturday of yoga, errands, and celebrating my Dad’s birthday before heading to an all gluten free dinner party!! This was a pretty big deal for me–usually dinner parties are minefields of breadcrumb hell, so it was super cool to be able to eat everything. Because carbloading? Yup! One of every dessert pls.

Denise is boxing, I am laughing.

Sunday morning things were looking up! The roads were almost completely clear, and my friend Denise (who lives on my block and is also running Sugarloaf) and I hit the roads for an 18 miler. We ran an out and back on the marathon course, with the first 12 miles easy and the last 6 at MGP. This run felt really, really strong, which I totally needed after last week’s crampy mess. Denise is a great, steady pacer and she’s super fast, so it’s fun to challenge myself to keep up 🙂 After the run we scooted out to support Alexa at her marathon fundraiser–which was a really intense boxing class. The boxing was actually super fun but it was laughable how little I was able to do after 18 miles.

Also, a TV crew came to film some of my coworkers pretending to be cheering during the marathon. I barely make it on camera, but my ponytail did. The little teaser video came out really well (ponytail is famous around 7-8 seconds in).

Onwards and upwards–7 more weeks til race day!

Week 9: 50.2 miles total

  • Monday: Easy 7 + strides
  • Tuesday: 1 up, 4 x 2k at 10k pace (7:35, 7:16, 7:06, 7:10), 1 down for 8 total
  • Wednesday: 5.6 “watchless” easy miles
  • Thursday: 7.3 mile fartlek (5 min easy/2 min hard)
  • Friday: 4 easy
  • Saturday: 90 minute yoga class
  • Sunday: 18 miles! First 12 easy, last 6 at MGP (7:56, 7:58, 7:50, 7:50, 7:50, 7:29)

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Miss Sippipiddlin) and with Eat Pray Run DC for her training recap linkup. Also, joining the Jess’s (Jess Runs ATL and The Right Fits) for their weekly recap linkup!