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!

Sugarloaf marathon training: week 8

Oh what a week–lots of ups and downs in training! I started things off really easy on Monday after my half–just a short yoga class and an extra rest day. Tuesday I got my legs back under me and felt a little bit sluggish but not too bad. Wednesday I didn’t have time to fit in my usual yoga class, since we were celebrating my parents’ anniversary at Brassica (which was fantastic!!) Instead, I did a very easy run totally by feel. I did wear my watch but I set it up so that I didn’t get any pace information–all I could see was the total elapsed time. It felt really nice to run so intuitively! I have trouble taking my easy runs really easy, so I hope to incorporate more of this into my training.

Friday morning I had hills on the books and didn’t feel like getting up early to go to November Project with J, so I decided I’d run after work. As soon as I got into my running clothes, one of my friends from school texted about heading over to a happy hour for my MBA classmates–and I decided to go. It’s rare I can carve out the time to spend with people from school outside of class or study groups, and it was a blast–I even found out one of my classmates is an avid runner, so hopefully we’ll be able to get together to run at some point soon! Even more momentously, this was the first time this training cycle that I gave myself full permission to skip a run because life just got in the way–and I don’t regret it one bit. Life happens–it’s ok to give yourself the occasional break!

After drinks I went to see an amazing musical version of  The Parable of the Sower, which we read in my book club. It was fascinating, but it ran fairly late, and it took me a little bit to wind down and get to bed–not ideal before my long run. Saturday I tagged along with Alexa for the “longest long run” before Boston. It was SO fun! We took a bus out to the start line in Hopkinton with literally thousands of other runners, and then we ran the course in towards the city. It felt like a party! People were in costumes, there were cops directing traffic, and there were tons of water stops set up by various groups and charities. This video gives a good sense of what it was like. I had a pretty good run physically, but my tummy was totally out of whack–I think I didn’t hydrate nearly enough the day before/morning of the run, and that combined with lack of sleep threw me off. Either way I got 18 done and Alexa crushed her 22 miler. I can’t wait to see her run Boston! The rest of the day was pretty lazy–mostly doing homework and then watching Moana, which I adored 🙂

I wrapped up the week with another easy “watchless” run yesterday–my stomach was still really crampy and off, but I’m hoping it’s a passing thing. I did get to meet my friend’s new puppy, Toby, which pretty much made for the best day ever.

Week 8: 40.6 total miles

  • Monday: Easy 60 minute yoga class
  • Tuesday: 5.7 miles + strides
  • Wednesday: 5.1 very easy “watchless miles,”
  • Thursday: 6 miles
  • Friday: Nothing (oops!)
  • Saturday: 18.3 miles
  • Sunday: 5.2 recovery miles

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!

Friday five: my marathon training must-haves

Hello hello and happy Friday! I’ve been pretty stuck in a rut of only posting my training recaps, so I thought it would be fun to pop in with a list of my top 5 marathon training essentials for this training cycle. It has been interesting and a little bit different training for my first spring marathon–less tank tops and more warm layers. Here are some of my old and new faves!

Mizuno base layer: I tend to shy away from paying full price for any of my running gear, so I snagged this base layer on sale a few months ago after seeing lots of bloggers recommend it. It is SO worth it if you live in a cold climate!! It’s super soft and incredibly warm, while still being breathable. Plus the blue and orange is really cute.

Salted Caramel GU: I’ve always been a gu skeptic, which I am now realizing had more to do with my lack of acceptable gu technique than the gu itself. Basically, you have to take it down slowly with sips of water, otherwise it feels really icky in your throat. But this salted caramel stuff is the bomb! It tastes like caramel sauce and goes down super easy. I usually do a caramel gu or two and then a peanut butter one, since the caramel has caffeine and I only need so much of that. I digest these SO much better than the shot blocks I used to use!!
Image result for run all the miles eat all the burgers

Tasty Burger: This is a local Boston burger chain that I absolutely adore–I eat a burger and fries for lunch before my long runs or dinner before races, and it’s the BEST. Just the right amount of carbs and protein, it’s cheap and delish, and they have gluten free buns!! I swear this isn’t a paid endorsement, but I do think I should probably buy this shirt.

Yurbuds: I just found a pair of expensive wireless earbuds on eBay for relatively cheap (see above re: not wanting to buy things full price) and honestly don’t like them–I’ve tried every combo of earclips and tips and they fall out every time. I’m sticking with Yurbuds from here on out! They are super comfy in my small ears and if I tuck the cord into my sports bra strap I don’t even notice they’re there. Plus, they’re super cheap so if they break I just buy a new pair, no sweat!

Trail Toes: If you’ve ever gotten blisters on your toes, get this stuff immediately. It’s actually made for ultrarunners but it’s the one product that lasts for me and keeps any potential blisters at bay. If I’m good about applying before long runs. I can avoid blisters on my hot spots entirely.

What are your top marathon training essentials?

Linking up with  Lacey, Meranda,  and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0.

 

New Bedford Half Race Recap + Week 7

Hello hello! I’m lounging at home celebrating a very successful tune-up half marathon today–and my second to last race before Sugarloaf. I signed up for this half back in December after hearing great things about it. It checks all my boxes: semi-local, sizable but not too big, and some hills but nothing crazy. All week the weather reports said it was going to be snowing, so I was excited to see the report change to no snow… but 38 degrees with wind gusts up to 40 MPH… ugh.

Despite the conditions, I really loved this race and would totally do it again! J and I drove down at a very reasonable hour since this race starts at 11 am (amazing). Packet pickup was quick and easy, parking was free and also super smooth, and I was running a warmup by 10:40. Coach Laura and I had discussed a conservative race strategy for me to hit a solid sub-1:40 time–not necessarily a PR, but a fitness check just about 8 weeks out from my goal race. I easily slotted myself in just in front of the 8 min/mile corral and took off into a doozie of a headwind, holding the pace back to tick off some comfortable miles in the 7:35-7:45 range for miles 1-4. This worked out perfectly since the the first few miles of this course are quite hilly.

By mile 5 I was feeling really strong, and I kicked it up to a 7:20 pace–definitely bolstered after seeing J cheering like a maniac at the mile marker. The crowd had thinned out a bit and the wind had mercifully died down, so miles 5-9 felt pretty breezy at a 7:20 pace. Just as I was letting the glimmer of PR hope sneak into my mind, BAM! We hit the portion of the race along the water and the wind picked up like crazy–almost to this level, no joke. I threw my gloves back on, gritted my teeth (literally, the wind was blowing a bunch of sand and dirt into our eyes and mouths), and pushed my way through miles 10 and 11, hitting my slowest mile of the race (8:04). While the headwinds gusted for the remainder of the race, we turned off the water and they were a little bit less intense. I picked it back up and almost managed to negative split the last three miles, other than a little slowdown due to the sizable hill at mile 12 (YUP). I hit the last .1 at 5:50 pace and finished in 1:39:11, well below my goal of 1:40 and my second-fastest half to date! I finished feeling really strong–my legs actually had some juice left in them, but I was done having my breath knocked out of me by the wind. J and I grabbed some much-needed coffee and lunch at one of my old haunts–I used to work in the area and it was super fun to be back. Overall, this was a fun, competitive, and well-executed race. Highly recommend!

Backing up a bit, this week was a bit of a cutback week so I could do a mini-taper for the race. We had a fairly dramatic snow/ice storm on Tuesday, so it was perfect timing to be holding back a bit. I did a treadmill class Tuesday morning instead of running outside, and luckily by Thursday and Friday it was doable to get back out on the roads. Spring, I will say–I am so, SO ready for you. Feel free to come any time you want!!

Week 7: 35.3 total miles

  • Monday: 6.6 easy + strides
  • Tuesday: 5 miles with hills and intervals at HHRC
  • Wednesday: 60 minute yoga class + strength circuit
  • Thursday: 5 easy
  • Friday: 5.4 easy
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Race! 13.1!

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 marathon training: week 5

Hey y’all! Coming in a little bit later than I had planned with this week’s recap. I’m on break from school this week (meaning I’m *just* working 8:30-5, so relaxing) and honestly am having a little bit of trouble making myself do anything in particular. I very much thrive off of being busy, which is why I love training for races, but sometimes I can swing over in the other direction when I need a break. Luckily this was actually a great week of training, despite my laziness!

I kicked things off with my usual Charles River loop and caught an incredible sunset. I love that as the days get longer I get these amazing city views and sunsets on my after-work runs. And while I’m generally a morning runner, I love having the flexibility to run after work if it works better for my schedule that day.

Tuesday I tackled a fun but challenging tempo workout. Coach Laura has been putting a number of half marathon paced tempos into my plan as I gear up for the New Bedford half in a couple of weeks, and I felt really strong during this one, hitting below my goal pace for all of my tempo miles. I am not necessarily aiming to PR at New Bedford (honestly, if my PR from the Cambridge half is my forever PR I’d be pretty damn happy), but I would like to break 1:40, which would mean an average of about 7:37/mile. We’ll see how things go!

Wednesday I nailed my goal from last week of committing to strength training with a tough 20 minute workout using resistance bands to add some intensity. These little suckers don’t look like much but the really up the ante in terms of basic strength moves like clamshells and leg raises! I also got a massage on Wednesday and definitely need to keep up with the at-home rolling to keep my back nice and loose.

Thursday and Friday were fairly uneventful, although it was really nice to run with J on Friday after work! He’s running the 15k at Sugarloaf (and he’s gonna CRUSH it)–it’s so cool to see him learning to like running and I’m hoping we can keep running together at least once a week during training.

One week apart. WTF?

In a crazy change of events from last weekend’s 70 degree run, this weekend was FRIGID, with temps in the teens. I procrastinated and pushed my long run off on Saturday but Sunday wasn’t much better–the wind was howling and the real feel was 1 degree when I started! I got through it, though, and nailed all my paces (see details below). I need to work on starting out slower during these kinds of workouts, because I was cooked by the end of 14 miles.

This week I’m STOKED for a 17 mile long run (yes, you read that right) because I’m heading out with friends to do our run as a point-to-point on the Boston course thanks to this cool free event hosted by Boston Road Runners! Boston runners, check it out 🙂

Week 5: 37 total miles

  • Monday: 5.4 easy miles
  • Tempo Tuesday: 1 up, 2 miles @half MGP (7:30, 7:19), 3 minutes easy, 2 miles at half MGP (7:23, 7:24), cooldown
  • Wednesday: 20 minute banded strength circuit (similar here), 60 minute massage!
  • Thursday: 5.1 easy hilly miles
  • Friday: 60 minute yoga class, 5.6 easy miles with J
  • Saturday:Rest
  • Sunday: 14 hard miles! Workout was 6 up, 4 miles of 1 minute at half MGP/1 minute recoveries, 2 miles easy, and 2 miles fast finish.

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 marathon training recap: week 4

img_1598Wow–what a week! I was feeling a little bit down after last week’s treadmill slogs, but this week perked me right back up with some beautiful (albeit really scarily warm) weather. I busted out the shorts multiple times and even got TAN LINES on Saturday. Yikes, people–how is this February??

To rewind a bit, I kicked things off Monday morning with an easy spin around my favorite loop on the Charles. Tuesday I skipped some short/speedy stuff at track for a more marathon-specific tempo workout that was a 1 mile warmup and 6 miles at marathon goal pace (MGP). The target range was 7:55-8:05, and I ended up running a 7:49 average–it felt SO amazing to be back out on the roads at a challenging but comfortable pace! I think I needed this confidence boost after having to cut my speedwork short on the dang dreadmill last week.

img_1618After a tough hip-focused yoga class Wednesday and some recovery miles Thursday, I hit up November Project on Friday with J for a hill workout. We did “full frontal” hill repeats on Summit Ave, which is a .4 mile hill that varies from a 7-8% to a 16-17% incline. This hill is KILLER–in just 4 hill repeats, I climbed 735 feet. For reference, I will climb 942 feet during the entire 26.2 miles at Sugarloaf. I was proud of myself for running the entire time, but I was feeling this in my hip flexors like whoa. Also, I swear that Jeremy is the one who enjoys this torture! I just automatically revert to a corny peace sign pose when faced with a camera. *facepalm*

Saturday I had 16 easy miles on the books, and I knew I was going to need some company to get through it. So J and I met my brother Ari the first 6 miles together, then Ari and I ran the next 8, and I finished up the final couple by myself. The weather was really hot (close to 70 degrees) and I was drained by the end of the run. It’s good to get used to all kinds of weather conditions–you never know what you’ll get on race day!

My goal for the next couple of weeks is to commit to strength training and taking a full rest day once a week. We’ll see how I do! Full recap below:

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“Holy moly why is it so hot??”

Week 4: 38.5 total miles

  • Monday: 5.8 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 1 up, 6 miles at MGP
  • Wednesday: Yoga class
  • Thursday: 4.2 easy
  • Friday: 5.4 miles of hills
  • Saturday: 16 miles
  • Sunday: Rest!

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!

Week 3 training recap + ski weekend!

img_1542Greetings from the end of the first “real” week of marathon training. This was a tough week to start–the weather was a mix of cold temps, slush, snow, and rain, which made the sidewalks pretty treacherous. I don’t know if it’s just me but solo treadmill miles are my least favorite thing. The paces feel SO much harder inside than outside, and I just don’t enjoy it anywhere near as much. I was incredibly happy to finally get back outside on Friday and Saturday. This coming week is going to be crazy warm (64 on Thursday???) so I might even get to break out the shorts!

This felt like the first week I’m really digging into marathon training–my long run was the most I’ve run at once since Chicago, and I did my first real tempo workout in addition to track. I’m also starting to test out some fueling strategies and work on my recovery and cross-training to stay healthy and injury-free. I just got a set of resistance bands, so I’m excited to add those to the routine.

img_2263Saturday I met up with Alexa for 14 miles, which we kept at a pretty easy pace and chatted the whole way. After a quick shower I hopped in the car and headed up to Jackson, NH for a ski weekend with my J, my parents, and my brother. I grew up cross-country skiing and Jackson is one of my favorite places to do it–the trails are varied, fun, and really well maintained, and the scenery can’t be beat. The added bonus was that all of the gross weather down in Boston was snow up north, so the base depths are within 2-3 feet. Plus, the weather was in the 40s-50s so we didn’t even have to worry about bundling up! Saturday we only skied for a couple of hours but it was the perfect easy shakeout for my stiff legs. After a fabulous dinner at Saalt we turned in pretty early.

Sunday we had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out for a 16k jaunt. The warm temps made for some really slow snow, but we took our time and enjoyed the scenery, including a requisite stop at the Cocoa Cabin (yup, the BEST). There were a few raindrops along the way but it cleared right up and turned out to be a beautiful and fun day.

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Week 3: 34.1 miles total

  • Monday: 5.5 “easy” treadmill miles
  • Tuesday: Track–Strava got all confused but the details are here (in the description). 5.6 total miles
  • Wednesday: 60 minute yoga, strength training routine (clamshells, squats, etc.)
  • Thursday: 5 miles of tempo intervals (2x 10 minutes at 7:10-7:20 pace) on the dreadmill
  • Friday: 4 easy (outside!!)
  • Saturday: 14 miles + skiing
  • Sunday: Skiing!

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!

Race Recap: Super Sunday 5 Miler

img_1499Hello from Boston, where everyone is freaking out about the Patriots. I’m not much of a football fan but it’s fun to be a part of the triumphant atmosphere around the city. Plus, this year I got to spend the morning racing–way more up my alley! I found out about the Super Sunday 5 Miler from friends and thought it would be a good opportunity to lay it all out there and get a read on where my fitness is at after base building for most of December and January. I had an easy 10 miler on Saturday, which I worked super hard to keep slow (not easy) in order to save my legs for Sunday morning.

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Crowds on crowds on crowds

J and I drove over to the race and Alexa had grabbed us our bibs, so she and I went out for a 2 mile warm-up jog while J stashed our bags. It was COLD–in the mid 20s and feeling even colder with the gusty winds, so the warm-up was key just in terms of keeping the feeling in our fingers and toes. Afterwards we gingerly ditched our outer layers and did some dynamic drills before heading to the start. We all crammed into the starting area and true to form for these shorter races, the start was a mess–we loaded in the corrals and then had to turn around completely, so the speedsters were in the back and the more causal runners were in the front. Ooops! I ended up jammed in with some November Project folks who kept the mood light and positive with a little customary bounce.

Given the line-up snafu, the first mile of the race was a little bit disheartening with runners passing me left and right. I meant to hold back during this mile, but I ended up at 6:46–a little fast. img_1500The cold, wind, and slight hills definitely slowed me down, but I was able to keep pace with one of the guys I had started with (nice job Malcolm!!) and stay in the 6:40s-6:50s for the next few miles. By mile 5 I was feeling pretty cooked–my goal was to leave it all out on the course and I knew I had. I pushed the pace a bit and tried to pick off runners as I could, but the 5k course had rejoined at that point and it was tough to choose who pace with. My customary final kick didn’t materialize, but I did pick up a 6:29 final mile for a 34:24 finish–average pace of 6:45/mile. While that wasn’t a PR, I think for the conditions it was a strong performance. (The last 5 miler I did was actually on a notoriously short course, so according to Strava my average pace for that one was 6:57/mile–so sort of a PR??)img_1501

As some of you saw on Instagram, I’m officially back in marathon training mode! At 31 miles, this was my longest training week since November and it felt AWESOME. With the help of a coach, I’m headed for the Sugarloaf Marathon on May 21st. Can’t wait to tell you more on all of this in an upcoming post!!

Happy day to all of the Pats fans (and to the Falcons fans and basically everyone else–sorry?) I’ll be back soon to dive into my marathon plans and goals for #bqorbust round two!

Linking up with Tuesdays on the run 🙂

Chicago marathon training: week 16

img_0535Greetings from the end of an incredible first weekend of fall–my absolute favorite season! I know it’s cliche, but I’ve always loved the cooler weather, yummy treats, and gorgeous New England foliage. I’m a shoulder season gal through and through, but I’ll take fall over spring any day. The weather this weekend could not have been more perfect for a couple of outdoor adventures: our first time doing “real” rock climbing (which we LOVED–longer post later!) and my annual apple picking outing with my high school gals. More over on the insta, as always.

Oh yeah, and the official Chicago Marathon countdown = 12 days!img_0508

This was actually one of my best weeks of training so far, despite the accumulated exhaustion that I am definitely feeling. I hit a total of 39.9 miles (HA) and ran my fastest long run to date, aside from races. Track on Tuesday was a challenging set of 12-16 x 400 at 5k pace with a couple of mile paces thrown in, and I knew I was pooped after 12. So I pushed myself to do one more and then headed home. I definitely am trying to be extra tuned into what my body is telling me to ward off any potential last minute tweaks or injuries. I also squeezed in a 90 minute hot yoga class on Friday, which my hips desperately needed.

I hit the road solo on Sunday morning after an much-needed 9 hours of sleep and had planned to run 2 warm up miles, 10 at my marathon goal pace or MGP of 8:00/mile, and then 2 slower miles to cool down. I actually ended up feeling really strong and running most of my miles in the 7:40-7:50 range–despite the fact that heartbreak hill falls smack in the middle of my running route! More than anything, I think at this point this run just showed my that I AM fit enough and trained enough to hit my 3:30 goal. Mental training is just as important as physical training, if not more so.

img_0504I also just want to throw it out there for anyone who is curious–I am following a specific training plan very closely, so even though this may seem like a lot of miles this close to the race, it’s all done completely intentionally. I think a lot of us fall into the trap of picking and choosing our favorite pieces from different training plans and piecing them together (more on this topic in this week’s Run to the Top podcast, which I adore). This cycle, I have been really strict about following my coach’s plan to the letter, with the only deviations being dependent on how my body is feeling. If you have a good coach who knows their stuff, listen to them!

Full recap of the week below 🙂

Week 16:

  • Monday: 4.4 miles @ 8:11 average pace
  • Tuesday: Track! 400 x 13, 6 total miles (speedwork at 6:33)
  • Wednesday: 5 easy miles
  • Thursday: 4 sweaty evening miles at 8:04 average
  • Friday: 6 easy miles plus 6 x strides, 90 minute yoga
  • Saturday: Rock climbing/OFF
  • Sunday: 14 miles at MGP (plus a little bit), 7:51 average

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap, hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin!