Monday, September 26, 2016

Marathon Training Week 16

How is it possible that I'm on week 16 of 18? I feel like I should still have so much time, but here I am, happily entering the taper!

The fall weather finally got here this weekend, so my runs were much happier than they have been lately. Humidity is a horrible thing, and I would not miss it one bit if it didn't come back next summer.

Monday - Cross Training Rest Day

I should really just call the rest of these rest days - I always have the best intentions and then don't do anything.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I took to the treadmill for this run, partially because it was gross out and partially because I was going to be right by the gym anyway picking up an age group away from the half I ran last weekend. They gave awards to 5th place in each age group, and I placed 5th (it was a small race) of about 19.

Race Photo Credit: Nin Lei

My run was generally uneventful, which I will take over a lot of other types of runs. I played with the speed a bit and was happily not sore from the half.

5 miles @ 9:10 pace

Wednesday - 8 miles

I spent most of the day thinking I had a 10 miler to run, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I "only" had an 8 on the schedule. My legs were definitely tired, and I took it easy.

I was trying to get the cool clouds and the cow and ended up with neither. 

8.12 miles @ 10:34 pace

Thursday - 5 miles 

I was ridiculously tired for some reason, so I took my rest day on Thursday.

Friday - Rest day

I was trying to get Thursday's run done, but it was humid and gross out and my legs were not having it. I could not get them to move any faster and I was having a terrible time. So, instead, I slowed down, cut the run a little short, and actually enjoyed the rest of my run.

It was also the first run in a while with my fancy light-up vest. That thing is so nice to have, it definitely helps drivers see me on the roads when the light starts fading.

4.15 miles @ 10:35 pace

Saturday - 4 miles

I made the drive down to meet up with the Rivertown Runners for some trail miles. I was taking it easy and some of my usual running buddies were trying to knock out a long run, so I ended up running with some different people, which was fun. My gps lost me for a bit (there are a lot of trees), so I disagree with the distance/pace, but it was a fun run!

6.78 miles @ 10:32

Sunday - 12 miles

This was my last double digit run on my training plan! Guess that means race day is sneaking up on me!

If I'm running on my own, I usually just head out the door and start running  It seems silly to drive somewhere just to run by myself, but Tom told me I should check out the rail trails near us. I wish I had listened sooner!

The trails are beautiful and mostly flat, only a few (not busy) intersections to cross, and there are (clean!) porta-potties every few miles. Pretty fancy.

I felt good on this run! It could have been the combination of the cool fall weather that finally arrived and the flat trails, but whatever the reason, I will take it! It was nice to have a good run again. It has been a while since I really enjoyed a run.

12.02 miles @ 9:49 pace

Weekly Mileage - 36.07

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Marathon Training Week 15

Hi! Sorry, way late again.

That's life.

Monday - Cross Training Rest Day

Nailed it.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I actually felt decent for a change. Some of the hills felt a little less steep, and I added an extra mile on because I was feeling good. Still slower than I want to be, but I'll take any good runs that come my way.

Post-run popsicles are the way to go.

6.01 miles @10:05 pace

Wednesday - 10 miles

This run was terrible. Just completely awful. I struggled my way through it, but I have nothing nice to say about this run.

10.02 miles @ 12:19 pace

Thursday - 5 miles

I made no notes about this run, but the fact that I got back out the door after Wednesday's run is a success in my book.

5.07 miles @ 9:41

Friday - Rest Day

Saturday - 10 miles

I took an extra rest day because I decided to run a half on Sunday.

Sunday - 20 miles

I ran the Dutchess County Classic half marathon. The race was only about 20 minutes from the house so I didn't have to wake up insanely early (always a win in my book). The race is pretty small, so packet pickup was a breeze, and everything was really well organized.

When we were lined up at the start, the race director announced that Katherine Switzer was running the race with us! Apparently she doesn't live too far away from here. She is gearing up to run Boston next year and is apparently just getting back to road races after a break.

I actually ran near her for a while at the beginning of the race, and at mile 3 she suddenly appeared next to me and said "Only 10 miles left!" We talked a bit about the weather (it was really humid out) and I said I wished it would rain, she said she wished it would pour.

I was having random aches and pains for the first few miles and was cursing the weather. I decided to just enjoy the race (it was actually really flat for this area!) and think about how cool it was that I was running a race with Katherine Switzer!

The rain came around mile 10, which I was really excited about. It definitely gave me a little pep in my step and helped me finish decently strong.

It wasn't one of my better times, but I did end up 5th in my age group, and got a medal for it, which was pretty cool.

I planned on running the half and then adding another 7 on after, but that didn't end up happening. I ran an extra mile or so (the finish line is almost a mile from the start) and decided that was enough for the day.

I don't feel too bad for cutting my run short, I finished 2 solid 20 milers this training cycle, so it probably won't hurt me in the long run.

13.1 miles @ 9:34 pace, 1.12 miles @ 10:21 pace

Weekly Mileage - 35.32

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Marathon Training Week 14

I just realized I never posted this - oops!

I was less than faithful to my training plan this week. We were up to the lake house until the middle of the week and after getting my second 20 miler in, I was just not feeling very motivated.

Monday - Cross Training

I took a rest day after running 20 on Sunday. We went out on the boat and generally relaxed.

Tuesday - 5 miles 

I was really tired for some reason, so I finished a book rather than going for a run. I also did a little stand up paddle boarding in the afternoon.

I'm not sorry.

Wednesday - 6 miles

We were on the road home most of the day, and a run just didn't happen. The dogs were pretty excited to come home from the place we board them. Then they promptly passed out.

Thursday - 5 miles

I decided since I had missed a couple of runs that I would turn this run into a bit of a tempo run. It felt pretty good and I managed an 8:43 minute mile. I also did 30 minutes of yoga when I got home.

5.03 miles @ 9:32 pace

Friday - Rest day

Oh you know I have those down!

Saturday - 6 miles

The humidity was back full-force for my morning run with the Rivertown Runners. This whole run was just blah. One of the people I usually run with wasn't feeling it either, and we took the shorter way back to our cars. It was just one of those days.

5.28 miles @ 9:57 pace

Sunday - 12 miles

The humidity was a little better for this run, and I generally felt pretty good.

12.01 miles @ 11:07 pace

Weekly Mileage - 22.32

I don't feel too badly about this week of training. Yes, my mileage was a little lower than it was supposed to be, but it was a good mental break. This training plan is a long one, and I think I needed a little extra step back.

I have one more big week of running before I start tapering!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Marathon Training Week 13

I was going to say I'm sorry for how late in the week I'm getting this posted, but since I've gotten lazy to the point of one post per week, I'm just going to roll with it.

We spent the long weekend at Tom's family's lake house up in Canada and just got home this afternoon. I wasn't sure I was actually going to get any of my runs in, but I somehow actually stayed motivated through the weekend.

Monday - Cross Training

I should really just re-name all of these as rest days.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I actually felt a little bit of speed on this run. The humidity was a little lower and I managed negative splits.

5.01 miles @ 9:33 pace

Look how big Scout is!

Wednesday - 10 miles

As good as Tuesday was, this was terrible. The humidity was back and I had super random achilles and quad pain. The longer I ran, the worse it hurt, so I decided it was better to cut my run short than to push it.

4.06 miles @ 10:40 pace

Thursday - 5 miles

I took it ridiculously easy, but made up for most of my missing miles from Wednesday.

10.01 miles @ 11:38 pace

Friday - Rest day

We spent most of the day dropping the dogs off and driving up to the lake house.

Saturday - 10 miles

I'm really proud of myself for  actually running while we were at the lake house. I felt much better than I did the rest of the week and had fun running in a different area. Plus it's a lot less hilly than around our house.

10.07 miles @ 10:23 pace

The best place to sit after a long run.

Sunday - 20 miles

I almost talked myself out of this run. I shortened it several times over in my mind, but once I was out the door, I just enjoyed the scenery and somehow managed to hit that 20 mile mark. One of my blisters from my last 20 miler was a little less healed than I thought it was and it started giving me a hard time around mile 16, but otherwise I felt as good as you can expect to feel after 20 miles.

20.11 miles @ 11:17 pace

Weekly Mileage - 49.26

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Marathon Training Week 12

This week has been a little all over the place. I had a couple of good runs and really started to feel like I had made some progress. And then my long run hit and I felt like I would never run well again.

Monday - Cross training

I have really good intentions....

Tuesday - 5 miles

It was actually a little cooler out, with less humidity, so it was a pretty nice run. The blister on my arch from last week's long run was a little tender, but I felt pretty good for most of this run.

5.06 miles @ 9:46 pace

Wednesday - 6 miles

I took an unplanned rest day - I was really tired!

Thursday - 5 miles

I shifted my runs by a day and ran Wednesday's 6 miles on Thursday. I took it pretty easy, but felt good and actually felt stronger on the hills than I have lately. Progress!

My cow friends

6.13 miles @ 10:48 pace

Friday - Rest day

I ran Thursday's 5 miles on Friday. I drove to the gym and ran on the treadmill. It was pretty uneventful.

5 miles @ 9:35 pace

Saturday - 6 miles

I met up with my running group for some trail miles. A bunch of them had a 20 miler to get in this weekend, so they were already 12 miles in when we started at 8am. I had a really nice run! My pace wasn't amazing (it never is lately), but I felt good and had fun visiting with everyone. I also spent a little time with the stick roller and some yoga when I got home!

6.77 miles @ 10:38 pace

Sunday - 12 miles

This was a miserable run. I was walking on the hills after the first 2 miles and I just wanted to go home.

But, I didn't.

One of my blisters from last weekend (on the arch of my foot) is pretty much healed up, but the one on my heel was less healed than I thought it was.

So, that was fun.

I actually ran all the way up the worst hill on my route (it's over a mile long), which I usually end up doing a run/walk trudge on to get to the top. It's a segment on Strava (which I occasionally look at), so I was looking forward to seeing what my time was for that segment when I got home.

I hit 12 miles a good mile and a quarter from the house, but since I wasn't feeling the run to begin with, I walked the rest of the home.

Once I got home, my watch was giving me a hard time about uploading my run, and then it just decided to delete it altogether. I can still see the summary (time, average pace, distance) on the watch, but there's no more specifics available to upload. Guess I won't be checking that segment on Strava after all.

It was one of those runs where you just have to put it behind you, and hope that the next one will go better.

12.05 miles @12:04 pace

Weekly Mileage - 35.01

I still have 6 weeks of training to go since I am doing a longer training plan this year. That means I still have plenty of time to actually feel prepared for Steamtown.

In theory.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Marathon Training Week 11

I started writing this on Sunday, and then I got distracted and forgot all about it. And then I went to bed at 9:30. Marathon training is exhausting!


I ran my highest mileage week ever this week! I'm still feeling ridiculously slow, and unless I miraculously become much faster once this heat and humidity goes away, I don't know how Steamtown is going to go.

I was hoping to break 4 hours (I ran 4:11 last year), but my training paces were much faster at this point last year. We'll see how it goes.

Monday - Cross Training

Lets all laugh together, of course I didn't do anything.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I was definitely still feeling my long run from last week, but managed negative splits. I may throw a party when the wonderful fall running weather gets here.

I had to stock up on some gels. I've been going through them like crazy with all these long runs.

5.01 miles @ 10:26 pace

Wednesday - 10 miles

It was slightly less humid out, and I actually remembered to bring water with me. It only takes a half a dozen longish runs without water for me to learn that I should probably bring water with me. I'm really smart sometimes.

10.06 miles @ 11:18 pace

Thursday - 5 miles

All these miles are adding up, and I had some seriously tired legs, so I took it easy. I also did a little stick rolling when I got home.

5.06 miles @ 10:54 pace

Friday - Rest Day

I'm trying to be proactive so I went to the chiropractor. I pretty much got a gold star - if describing my alignment as "not too bad" counts as positive.

Saturday - 10 miles

I had a total distance runner moment and felt much better after running 10 miles than I did before I left.

I really hate putting everything away after my runs. It just seems like so much extra work!

10.02 @ 11:27 pace

Sunday - 20 miles

I hate waking up early. It's the one crazy runner trait I haven't developed. I got up shortly after 5 and took forever getting organized while I waited for the sun to come up.

Once I was finally out the door it took a good couple of miles before my legs felt mostly normal. It was wonderfully overcast and cooler this morning, which was a nice break from the oppressive heat we've been having.

At about mile 11 I realized the heel of one of my socks had slid down and my shoe was rubbing directly on my heel. And I could definitely feel the start of a blister on the arch of my foot. Since there wasn't much I could do about either, I fixed my sock, and kept going. The last mile was really unpleasant, but my impressively large blister was (fortunately?) still in tact when I got home.

I drank all the water in my pack - 2 liters! And at no point did I get that sloshy feeling. It's possible I was a sweaty mess by the time I was finished. I can't wait for fall running weather!

20 miles @ 11:54 pace

Weekly Mileage - 50.15 miles!

Scout "helped" me stretch. And by that I mean he climbed in my lap and made any stretching impossible.

He's cute though!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Marathon Training Week 10

The weather has been terrible this week. Hot, humid, horrible. The one decent weather day, I really didn't want to run and cut it short. A couple of other days were cut short because of the heat. I keep trying to remind myself that sticking it out through these days will make fall running feel amazing - I just wish the cooler weather was here already!

Monday - Cross Training


Tuesday - 4 miles

I didn't want to run at all. I spent a bunch of time at the laundromat (which doesn't have air conditioning) and it put me in a really bad mood. I compromised and ran 2 quick miles rather than doing nothing at all. My second mile was a 7:59!

2.04 miles @ 8:55 pace

Wednesday - 9 miles

The humidity was crazy. This run was miserable and I cut it short.

6.04 miles @ 11:30 pace

Thursday - 4 miles

I didn't want a repeat of Wednesday, so I took to the gym for my run. Podcasts, air conditioning, people watching, yes please!

4 miles @ 9:27 pace

Friday - Rest day

I'm the best at rest days.

Saturday - 9 miles

I drove down to meet up with my weekend running group. It was already 80 degrees and ridiculously humid when we set out at 8am. Several people had gone out early to get their long runs in, and we were all dragging. I knew my long run was going to be brutal on Sunday, so between that and the weather, I didn't push for any extra miles on top of our usual run.

6.4 miles @ 11:07

Sunday - 19 miles
A photo posted by Becky H (@ddreamb) on

The things we look into when we're marathon training! I checked the time of the sunrise, and what the weather was going to be like before I set my alarm on Saturday night. I knew the humidity was going to pretty much be terrible regardless of time since it has been all week.

I was up at 5am (one of my least favorite things is waking up early), had a cup of coffee and a piece of this strawberry rhubarb tart thing we bought at the grocery store, and tried to organize my hydration pack. I had a brief debate about how full to fill the bladder of my hydration pack (water is heavy!) and then decided that carrying a little extra weight was better than running out of water.

I managed to get out the door shortly after 6am, which is super impressive for me. I'm so bad about morning runs.

For about half of the run I wasn't sure if I was going to hit 19 miles. I figured as long as I had water I could keep going, and had my phone to call Tom for a ride home if I did run out.

I didn't run out of water.

I did:

  • walk more than I wanted to
  • make a few pathetic whining sounds
  • listen to Catching Fire on audiobook
  • end up with a bunch of little bug bites around the tops of my calf sleeves
  • hit 19 miles
Considering the humidity this week (not to mention the heat), I'm really happy with how this run went. I'm not terribly happy when I look at the pace, but I decided that pace doesn't count on days like this.

19 miles @ 12:15 pace

Weekly Mileage - 37.48
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