Tag: boston marathon training

Marathon Training Week 8 {Boston Marathon}


Last week was a very strange training week. I started the week really sore from the combination of running through the snow at Punk the Monk and my first 20 miler. I ended up switching my Tuesday and Thursday runs so that I wouldn’t have to do speed work on tired and sore legs but then ruined my “taper” for a tune-up race I never signed up for. I also felt exhausted and borderline sick all week. I’m not sure if it was a time change thing or if I was actually fighting something. *Sigh*. Even still, I made it through the week and got in some pretty decent runs.

Monday – OFF. I wanted to do a strength/core DVD but decided rest was probably best.

Tuesday (AM) – 7 mile recovery run (8:31 min/mile). My schedule called for a VO2 max workout but when I woke up my hamstrings were really tight and I thought it was best to run some recovery miles. I started slow and increased my pace as my legs loosened up. I felt so much better after this run that I started to wonder if I should be doing shakeout runs the day after my long run. Thoughts? It was also dark and snowing and I missed the morning light!


Tuesday (PM) – Jillian Michaels 6 Week 6 Pack Level 2 (35 mins). Nothing too exciting to say about this besides it was tough!

Wednesday – 11 mile medium long run (8:05 min/mile). My legs were still a little stiff but definitely feeling better than on Tuesday morning. I ran at an easy pace that didn’t tax my legs too much. It was really really cold in the morning and I definitely felt the chill all day!


Thursday (AM) – 8.2 mile VO2 max with 5 x 600 m at 5k race pace (7:41 min/mile). Thursday is the morning I woke up feeling exhausted and pretty lethargic. My body did not want to move. I ran three warm up miles and then 5 x 600 m at about a 6:30 min/mile. I also slowly jogged about 500 m between each interval. My body did not want to do speed work so while I was hitting my pace, I took my sweet time jogging. I finished up with a one mile cool down.


Thursday (PM) – 30 Day Shred Level 1 (20 minutes). I wanted to get in some strength but considering how I’d been feeling all day, I decided to keep it short and sweet and knock out a workout from the 30 Day Shred. I’m always so surprised by how exhausted my arms are after this workout!


Friday – 6 mile recovery run w/ 6 x 100 m strides (8:25 min/mile). I slept a lot on Thursday night so I actually woke up on Friday ready to run. I was supposed to be tapering for a race that I didn’t sign up for, so I kept my recovery short and slow and managed to squeeze in some strides at the end.


Saturday – 11 mile run with 8 miles at marathon pace (7:34 min/mile). I was supposed to be racing 8k-15k while running 9-13 miles total but I didn’t sign up for a race and figured I’d just push myself to run race pace miles. When I woke up still feeling exhausted from the week, I knew that sub-7 min miles would be both really difficult and possibly risky (it’s too close to Boston to get injured!). I decided to run a two mile warm-up, 8 miles at marathon pace, and then one mile cool down. The wind was crazy and the first 3.5 marathon pace miles were around a 7:40 into the wind. When I turned around though I was flying and consistently hitting sub-7:20′s. It was absolutely due to the wind but it was fun! I ended the run with a one mile cool down and some stretching.

A few of Ian’s friends were in Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day so we headed out to meet them. Nothing too crazy for me besides wearing holiday-themed glasses but it was still fun to be out with everyone. Plus, Emily met up with us for a bit!


Sunday – 17 mile long run (8:00 min/mile). If you follow me on twitter or daily mile, you would have seen how I completely entered this run in incorrectly. Whoops. I promise you if I find some secret way to increase my pace to 4:00 min/miles, I’ll let you guys know! I wasn’t really feeling up to running long when I woke up but I had my rice cake with peanut butter and headed out to run at around 7:30. I opted to run south along the lakeshore path which I haven’t done in a while and the change of scenery made the miles fly by. I’m also always in awe of the skyline coming back into the city, even when it’s overcast and foggy. Love it.


Strength kind of slacked last week but considering how I was feeling, I’m not too upset about it. My goal is to get 3 days of strength in this week: Monday (today), Tuesday, and Thursday and have a great final week of higher mileage before taper starts!

How were your workouts last week?

Marathon Training Week 5 {Boston Marathon}


Otherwise titled the week that I signed up for my third marathon of 2013.

Monday – 2.77 miles with Kelly and Maggie at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Kickoff Event.
Tuesday AM – 8 mile recovery run on the treadmill (8:30 min/mile). My legs felt stiff at the start so I started slower than usual and gradually increased the pace whenever I felt like I’d adjusted to the speed.
Tuesday PM – Jillian Michael’s 6 Week 6 Pack Level 1 (35 minutes). I find that I’m not often motivated to do core work but I feel really good afterwards.
Wednesday – 12 mile medium long run on the treadmill (8:00 min/mile). My legs still felt a little stiff but were much better than Tuesday. I’m not sure why they were so stiff, maybe because I ran a few miles on Monday? Either way, I started at a slower pace than usual and increased every few miles. I also started watching gossip girl on Netflix on my iPhone and it really helped the time pass on the dreadmill.
Thursday AM – 6 mile recovery run (8:24 min/mile). Outside!
Thursday PM – Jillian Michael’s 6 Week 6 Pack Level 2 (35 minutes). I was going to go to a Nike Training Club class but I was nervous that the “drills” would wear my legs down too much before my tempo run on Friday morning. I opted to do level 2 at home instead and it was really tough! My butt was (.. and still is…) sore for days from the pilates moves!
Friday – 9 mile lactate threshold run on the treadmill (7:40 min/mile). I ran four warm-up miles and then 5 miles at 7:10 min/mile (some slower, some faster). I’m too nervous to do hard speed work on the treadmill and the freshly fallen snow meant I couldn’t run outside. I compromised by running some tempo miles slower than my Macmillan range but close enough that I still got in a good workout.
Saturday – 5 mile recovery run (8:22 min/mile). I wanted to go to a yoga/pilates fusion class and then do my recovery run but my sore butt led me to skip the class, sleep in, and then head out for a recovery run. Oops (but in all honesty, probably smart). I loved being outside again and I enjoyed heading south along the lakeshore path.
Sunday – 18 mile long run (7:56 min/mile). The weather was absolutely perfect for a winter long run. I’ve been fueling differently, eating more an hour or so before I head out along with half a gel with caffeine 10 minutes before I start running and then taking in half a gel every 4 miles starting at mile 6. It’s been working really well and next week when I have a marathon pace run, I’ll be able to test it out when I’m really pushing myself.


I’m VERY happy with this week. For one, it’s my first 60+ mile week EVER and my legs are feeling pretty excellent right now *knock on wood*. I also enjoyed every one of my runs this week, including my treadmill miles, which reassures me that the early morning wake-ups and higher mileage weeks are worth it for me. I’m still easing my way into my new shoes, running my recovery runs in them and wearing them during cross training and wearing my old shoes for long runs and tempo runs but I’ve been blistering in my old shoes and am eager to switch over completely. How do you ease your way into new shoes?

Next week, I’d like to continue doing the 6 week 6 pack videos, get my booty to an actual class at my gym, and enjoy the slightly lesser mileage + emphasis on faster miles.

How have your workouts been?

Marathon Training Week 4 {Boston Marathon}


Monday – Decided to take a complete rest day after my long run + marathon pace miles last Sunday.
Tuesday (AM) – Easy/recovery 7 mile run (8:16 min/mile). My legs felt surprisingly good after the faster long run over the weekend. I noticed it was starting to get light on my morning runs, bring on Spring!
Tuesday (PM) – I originally planned on going to a PiYo class but was nervous that trying something too new before a tempo run might be a bad idea. Instead, I did 6 Week 6 Pack Level 1 (35 mins).
Wednesday – Lactate threshold 10 miles with 5 miles at 15k pace (7:42 min/mile). I ran a two mile warm-up and then increased my speed to between 7:00 and 7:10 min/mile for five miles and ended with a three mile cool down. I felt strong but struggled to stay within the tempo pace range provided by the McMillan Running Calculator (6:51-7:07). It’s still early in training so I’m not too worried about it.
Thursday – General aerobic medium long 11 mile run (8:00 min/mile). Kept things easy after the tempo run on Wednesday and ran by feel. My legs didn’t feel nearly as sore as I thought they would.
Friday – Recovery 6 miler (8:43 min/mile). I was so happy about this run. I have issues with running true recovery miles because I don’t like to see the slower paces BUT I know that I need to be running between 8:40 and 9:27 min/miles for optimum recovery. Well on Friday, I nailed my recovery pace. I really think it made a difference in my long run on Sunday too.
Saturday – Recovery/Easy 5 miler (8:16 min/mile) + 6 Week 6 Pack (35 mins). It was chilly out and I hadn’t had my 30 Rock fix in awhile so I ended up going to the gym and watching 30 Rock on my iPhone while I ran. Originally, I wanted to take a class or go for a quick swim, but Ian and I had plans so I decided to squeeze in the workout DVD instead.
Sunday – 17 mile long run (7:43 min/mile). To be honest, when I woke up on Sunday, I didn’t really want to go for a run. It was cold out and I was tired. It’s totally normal to be a little unmotivated from time-to-time. After sitting around the apartment for an hour, I finally got my butt out the door. Well, I ended up having an awesome run! I’m not sure if it was the slower recovery runs or a different way of fueling but I was surprised how easy the miles were feeling. I hope this is a sign that my training is working.


(add 35 minutes to the above time to get a true picture)

I had a great week of running but felt a little guilty about missing out on a class at the gym. I had a few penciled in to my schedule but life got busy and I had other priorities that needed attending to… such is life. I’m proud of myself for not giving up when I knew I wouldn’t meet my goal (2 workout DVDs + 1 class) and still got in the workout DVDs. This week, I’ve given myself two options on different days so hopefully one of them will work for my schedule.

How have your workouts been? Do you use DailyMile to track your training?

Marathon Training Week 2 {Boston Marathon}


Trying to explain to Ian how I feel like I have dinosaur feet
when I wear Injinji socks. [Only running-related pic this week.]

Monday - Took the usual OFF-day. I’d love to be motivated enough to strength train on my day off from cardio but usually I sleep in and miss the opportunity to work out in the morning and then just want to go home after work. I am human.
Tuesday – 11 mile medium long run outside (8:07 min/mile). It was almost 60 degrees when I woke up so I knew I had to run outside even if it was drizzling and windy. Had a great start to my run but when I turned around, I realized I’d been running with the wind at my back for the last 5.5 miles and that the last 5.5 miles would be straight into the wind. Oh well, I’ve heard Boston can have a major headwind so maybe runs like this one will come in handy!
Wednesday – Recovery 5 miles on the treadmill (8:17 min/mile). Talk about a temperature swing. By Wednesday the 60 degree weather was gone and we were way down into the teens. My recovery run was too fast (McMillan says I need to be slower than an 8:48…) but I just wanted my time on the treadmill to be over.
Thursday – Lactate threshold (tempo) 8 miler on the treadmill (7:39 min/mile). The weather stayed super cold so I kept my butt inside and on the ‘mill. Had some treadmill issues but I was able to complete three warm-up miles, 4 miles sub-7:20 (started at 7:20 and picked up the past each mile so my last mile was close to a 7:00 min/mile), and then one cool down mile. My tempo miles should be faster, 6:51-7:02, but I wanted to keep it easy on the treadmill. Injuries are no fun.
Friday – Recovery 5 miles on the treadmill (8:33 min/mile). Kept it pretty easy and watched 30 Rock on Netflix on my iPhone. I’ll most likely continue to watch something during my recovery runs because it stopped me from constantly checking my miles/time like I do when I watch the news.
Saturday – Easy 5 miles outside (7:43 min/mile). Ran outside through the snow and slush and had so much fun. I kept my pace easy — but I was feeling really good — and just enjoyed an old route through the city including my old neighborhood.
Sunday – 15 mile medium long run outside (8:00). It was 15 degrees feels like 8 when I woke up and I seriously considered just going to the gym. However, I knew that Kim was going to be running outside and I didn’t want to feel like a wimp so I bundled up in three layers on top, two layers below, two pairs of gloves, and a neck warmer and I headed outside. It honestly wasn’t so bad until the wind and snow picked up but even then it was pretty! My pace jumped around a lot- when the path was clear I tried to run around a 7:45 but when it was icy, snowy, or slick I just ran whatever pace felt safe and comfortable. I took half a Double Espresso Clifshot at mile 7 and then finished it at mile 11, I was surprised how much energy the gel packed!

Total miles: 49 running

I’m really working hard on hitting the right paces for each of my runs. Last training session, I ran my recovery runs and my long runs too fast and my body peaked too soon leaving me tired before the Goofy Challenge. I also know that if I am going to be running more slower miles, I need to be able to hit the faster paced tempo and speed work paces as well. I keep telling myself to trust the plan but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me nervous!

I’m also reworking my fueling. What worked for me during training for Goofy was too little too late when it came to race day. Any suggestions? At what distance do you start fueling and how much do you take in how frequently?

How has your training been? Have you had crazy weather this past week?

Marathon Training Week 1 {Boston Marathon}


Last week was not only my first week back after completing the Goofy Challenge, it was also the first week of Boston Marathon training. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t have enough time to recover between the challenge and training but I took the first few days easy, felt out how fast my legs wanted to go, and trained pretty smart. By the end of the week, I was back to feeling like me again!

So here’s how things went:

Monday – OFF
Tuesday – 8 mile general aerobic run on the treadmill (8:26 min/mile). I wore my lovely Brooks with the toe cut out (see above) and wrapped my toe in some gauze and cautiously ran the 8 miles. I started close to a 9 min/mile and as my legs and hips loosened up (I felt so tight!), I increased the pace. I also stopped every 2-3 miles to stretch and gauge any pain– sometimes when I’m running, I can’t tell if I’m hurting. Fortunately, I felt no pain so I just continued on with my run.
Wednesday – Recovery 4 miles on the treadmill (8:37 min/mile). I actually felt pretty sore and stiff before this run and worried that I’d done too much too soon. I took the run very easy and after about 2 miles, my legs loosened up and I felt almost normal.
Thursday – 9 mile general aerobic run on the treadmill (8:07 min/mile). By this point I was starting to get very sick of the treadmill but it was so cold outside that it was either run on the treadmill or not run at all. I started at an 8:40ish min/mile and then increased the speed at least every 2 miles. I finished running a 7:47 min/mile and felt strong. I also didn’t wrap up my toe and I wore my newer pair of Brooks (without the hole), progress!
Friday – 5 mile recovery run (8:24 min/mile). Pace is a total estimate since I ran outside for the first time all week and I forgot to charge my Garmin. It was on the colder side (but manageable) and it was snowing but it was pretty out and fun!
Saturday – 5 mile general aerobic run (7:27 min/mile). This was supposed to be a recovery run but after waiting until afternoon to run and being inspired by all of the F^3 runners, I really had to hold myself back. It was cold but beautiful out and I had a great run.
Sunday - Medium long 13 mile run with 8 miles at marathon pace (7:46 min/mile). I ran the first four miles between 7:43 and 8:08 min/mile and then I increased my pace to what I hoped would be a 7:38 min/mile for the next 8 miles. I managed to get pretty close and depending on if I was running on cleared sidewalk or snow/ice, I averaged between 7:22 and 7:46. Most miles were sub-7:38 but I’d like to work more on consistency and finding the ideal pace, I seemed to jump around a lot. After leaving the lakeshore path, I ran a cool down mile.

Total – 44 running miles

Next week I increase my mileage and add in a mid-week double digit run. I’m hoping that I continue to feel strong and that my toe keeps getting better.

Did you have any good workouts last week?