Boston Marathon Training (T-9)

I feel like my motivation to run in the cold is dwindling. I think it’s easier to suck it up and run in sub-0 temps when you know it’s just one or two days. But, for the last week, it’s been mostly sub-0 in the AM – and the 7 day forecast doesn’t look any better.

Too funny not to share…and kind of what I have been feeling!

Last week included a bunch of treadmill runs. Monday’s mid-week long run, Wednesday’s tempo, Saturday’s long tempo, Sunday’s recovery – all happened on the treadmill. Wednesday and Saturday I opted for the treadmill because the real-feel was single digits and my coach and I both felt that it was okay this week to use the treadmill to get the workout in (I would have had to adjust my paces significantly if I did them outside to account for the cold temps). Tuesday and Thursday were early morning runs outside (small victories).

Planned: 10-11 miles with 6-8x :20 strides

Actual: 11 miles with 8x :20 strides

I followed the same plan as last week’s run and incorporated a lot of 1:00 spurts of climbing. This week was 20x 1:00 at 4.5% incline. The remaining time was at 0% to give my achilles a break. Changing up the incline and / or pace are the only way I can get through a treadmill run these days. Although this run was almost 90 minutes, it went by surprisingly fast since I was playing with the incline every 1-3 minutes!

Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Planned: 7-8 miles, easy

Actual: 8, 8, 6

Similar to last week, I swapped my Friday run with Sunday’s rest day. My husband and I went out for an early Valentine’s Day dinner – and I ended up drinking a lot. So much, in fact, that I nursed a nasty hangover for most of the next day. That coupled with my youngest having a high fever, and a rest day seemed like a logical choice.

photo (31)

Dinner at our favorite SI restaurant!

Thursday’s run was hills – lots of climbing over those 8 miles. After a few weeks of focusing on hills, I finally am beginning to feel like I’m getting stronger!


This picture doesn’t do the hill justice. It’s a steep, long climb – and just 2.5 miles from my house!

Planned: 2 mile warmup, 5 mile tempo (6:40-6:50), 2 mile cooldown
Actual: 2 mile warmup (8:07, 7:48), 5 mile tempo (6:47, 6:42, 6:39, 6:37, 6:31), 2 mile cooldown (8:16, 8:05)

This workout had me nervous from the moment I saw the drop in paces from my coach (they were a bit faster than my 4 mile tempo I did two weeks ago). I’ve had a few great weeks of training and am feeling like there is some momentum behind me so I was excited to give it a try.

The first mile didn’t feel great (but they never do for me). I found a good, controlled rhythm somewhere at the end of that first mile and stayed there until around 4.5. I was increasing the pace as the tempo went on as well – which was a huge confidence booster. The last 1/2 mile, I dropped the pace to about 6:15. It was not easy – but I wanted to practice finishing hard and fast.

The 5 miles were at a 6:39 average – treadmill at 1% incline. Pretty happy with this workout!

Planned: 3 miles easy, 8 mile tempo (7:00-7:15), 4 miles easy
Actual: 4 miles easy, 8 mile tempo, 4 miles easy – 1:58:54 (7:26 average)

I waffled back and forth about doing this one outside or inside. I wasn’t worried about running in the cold – I was concerned with hitting the paces coach had for me in the sub-10 degree weather. In the end, I opted for the treadmill since I felt like it was more important to get the prescribed workout in.

Warmup/easy miles were: 8:12, 8:00, 7:47, 7:31. I worked on getting those last two miles down to about 7:20 pace so that when I started the tempo, it wouldn’t be a huge drop in pace (and a shock to my body).

The tempo started and I felt awful. 7:13 pace felt uncomfortable and the thought of anohter 7.7 miles at that pace (or faster) seemed impossible. But, I forced myself to relax and focus on something else (good thing I had some trashy tv to watch -> Vanderpump Rules). Once again, by the end of that first mile, I had found my rhythm and felt good.

Tempo splits: 7:13, 7:13, 7:08, 7:08, 7:08, 7:03, 6:58, 6:54 (average 7:06)

For the entire 16 miles, I played around with the incline. I kept it at 1% the whole run, but every couple of minutes, would jump it up to 1.5-2.5% (for 20-45 seconds)- nothing major – but enough to simulate some rolling hills while hitting the goal pace.

I was ready for the cooldown miles but found that I recovered quickly (only 2-3 minutes). I wanted to get off the treadmill as soon as I could so I picked up the pace again for the last few miles.

Last 4: 8:02, 7:35, 7:18, 7:13

valentine's day

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with as much pink as possible. And a kick-a$$ long tempo!

Total of 58 miles for the week with 2x 30 minute trainer sessions, 2x strength session (Mon/Thur) and 3x core sessions (Mon/Tues/Thur). Doing the “extras” definitely takes time and effort – but they have slowly become part of my normal routine and I strangely look forward to the exhaustion that comes after a tough strength workout!

Hope you had a great weekend and Valentine’s Day! <3

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    15 thoughts on “Boston Marathon Training (T-9)

    1. I want to get to a point where I am doing work outs, tempo runs and running long… often. My plan was to do that this winter for my half marathon in March, but the cold and snow has got the best of me. I have had the hardest time getting outside and the treadmill just doesn’t do it for me.
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    2. What is the logic in running fast miles for a cool down. I notice you often get back to near workout pace. I thought a cool down should be slow and easy.

      • Yes! You are definitely correct. In this case, I probably shouldn’t have called them cooldown miles because they weren’t supposed to be cooldown pace. My coach wanted them to be long run pace which is 7:30-8:00. The last two were a bit faster, but he’s okay with me doing a fast finish on these runs.
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