2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-12, T-11)

Well, after a solid week of training (T-12), last week was the training week that wasn’t. My whole family got hit with the Norovirus. It knocked us on our backs for days. And it wasn’t until Friday where I felt ready to run again.

My husband and I started having symptoms at almost the same time on Monday. He was working from home, I was at work in the city when we started texting each other. We both felt off from the early morning (I actually had dressed and intended to run. Ran to the end of my block and realized something wasn’t right, so came home), but attributed it to what we ate the day before. By lunch-time, my husband wasn’t keeping anything down.

By 4pm, I had gotten sick at work and was on my way home. I was hoping that I would be in the clear for a window of time. Unfortunately, that window only lasted about 45 minutes. I got sick on the packed bus, which will likely remain on my list of embarrassing life moments (thankful my coworker handed me a garbage bag as I was heading home). We spent the next 36 hours in bed, with the most intense stomach pains I’ve ever experienced.

Wednesday morning it hit my oldest. And then my youngest Thursday. Once it started spreading, we knew it wasn’t food poisoning. The norovirus is a severe stomach bug going around the southern end of Staten Island. We kept the boys home from school once we realized it was a stomach bug because we were worried about spreading it to other kids in the school.

I’m 5 days removed from it and finally feel like myself again. The result was no running Mon-Thur and just easy, short running for a couple of days. Skipped all three of my workouts this past week, including a 20-miler. After days of not keeping food down, there was no way my body was ready for anything even remotely close to that distance. Sunday was a bit longer than I initially intended, but once I started running, I felt better and better with each mile, so just kept running. (More on that below.)

But it’s good. I used the weekend as a chance to rest up, clean the house, organize, meal plan (my husband and I are doing whole-30 right now) and recharge the batteries before training picks up this week.


It’s easy to become discouraged when there’s a big chunk of training that gets skipped, but I’d rather get sick and miss some days now than two months from now. In the grand scheme of training, 4-5 days is just a blip on the radar. And based on Sunday’s run, very little fitness was lost during that time.

I’m excited to jump back into training though. Will be nice to work hard and sweat again, after a week of little to no activity.

Here are the highlights from the last two weeks:

Thursday – all aboard the tempo train
Plan: 10 miles with middle 5 at LT Tempo (6:40-6:45)
Actual: 10 miles with middle 5 at 6:37 average

This workout was actually supposed to occur on Tuesday but I had back-to-back days of being up a lot with my boys so I ran easy on Wednesday then pushed the run to Thursday evening after work.

I’m much better at workouts in the early morning. Sometimes I feel like my body and mind aren’t full awake yet and so I can get through a workout before I fully realize the pain I put my body through. Evening workouts are tough for me because I have a full stomach of food, am often tired and just want to go to bed! But I got it done. That alone made the workout a success. The paces were just icing on the cake.

I started the tempo a bit conservative (as I like to do these days) and worked on picking up the pace for each subsequent mile. I kept the incline at 1% from start to finish with short 15-30 second climbs at 1.5-2% every 3 min).

This was not easy, but it felt good. I felt strong. I felt in control of my stride and breathing and I knew that I could pick up the pace if/when I wanted.

Splits: 6:44, 6:41, 6:39, 6:35, 6:25


Saturday – long tempo…long time to be in pain
Planned: 15 miles with middle 7 @ 6:55-7:00
Actual: 15 miles with middle 7 @ 6:51, 7:18 average pace

Some days I wake up and my legs just feel like they are ready to move. Other days, they feel heavy and tired and I feel winded even getting up the stairs. Saturday was the latter. I know it was from a late night workout Thursday evening – so about 36-40 hours of recovery. I usually have two days of easy/recovery days post speed, so my legs were not as fresh as they usually are.

I didn’t want to do this run in the dark, so my window of time was around 1pm (after my sons’ soccer morning). Not ideal, but I was thankful for warmer temps and daylight. Downside was the wind. It was a calm morning, but by lunch time winds had picked up to 15 or so mph. Not huge at all, but tough when you are doing a tempo on an out and back stretch.

The run included a 4 mile easy/moderate start. The miles were faster than I probably should have run them. I kept hoping that if I picked up the pace, it would help loosen up my legs and make the tempo easier. Probably faulty logic but it gave me more confidence.

The tempo started and I had the wind to my back at first. So faster to start than usual. When I turned around, it was a fight. I did the tempo on a 1.5 mile route – so for about 10:15, I was miserable. BUT, it also gave me something to focus on. Get through the next mile and then it’ll feel easier.

Overall, it was a solid tempo run. Didn’t feel great but these are the runs where you grow.

Splits: 6:54, 6:56, 6:53, 6:48, 6:43, 6:52 (6:51 average)

I finished the remainder of the miles on the treadmill because I was freezing and miserable. I am usually pretty good with layering and picking the right amount of clothing based on the weather, but I made the wrong call last weekend. So once the tempo miles were over, I beelined to my house and warmed up down the basement.


Sunday – miles of smiles
Planned: 10 miles
Actual: 10 miles

This is more miles than I usually run the day after a long tempo, but I decided to run with two running friends. I knew the pace would be a bit slower than my recovery pace, so made the call to run the entire run with them. Miles with friends are good for my heart =)


Sunday – getting my groove back
Planned: 10+
Actual: 14 miles at 7:16

Coach and I decided to scrap the 20 miler. Too many miles immediately after being sick for so long. I set out around 1pm (when both my boys were napping) for what I planned would be about 10 miles.

Sunday is my day to include hills in my route, so I immediately turned left from my block (I can either go right or left from my dead end street). I avoid making the left during the week because there is about a mile stretch with no homes and just a city park. So for safety reasons, I avoid that area in the mornings. Not on Sundays.

Each mile felt better and better and although I couldn’t see my current pace, I was getting notifications of pace after each mile. At 5 miles, I decided to go 6. At 6 miles, I decided to go 7. I had thoughts of continuing and making it a 15-16 miler, but opted to pick up the pace a bit more and end it at 14.

14 miles. Faster pace than last weekend’s 15. Progression run with last 6 miles being at/around goal long tempo pace (average of 6:58 for last 6).

Splits: 8:01, 7:41, 7:33, 7:21, 7:17, 7:17, 7:32, 7:18, 7:09, 7:03, 6:55, 7:01, 6:51, 6:51

Garmin says 1,300 ft of gain, but I think it was closer to 500-750. Still, a pretty strong run and great way to jump back into training this week.

We finished the weekend with the Super Bowl on the couch with the boys. I love that they are getting old enough to understand sports and have an interest in watching it with us.


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    12 thoughts on “2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-12, T-11)

    1. I have just started reading your blog and luckily landed on this page. Good to hear that you are feeling better. You are truly an inspiration for all the woman. Looking forward to visit again to read some more interesting blog on marathon running.

    2. This is a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! I hope to read more of your post which is very informative and useful to all the readers. I salute writers like you for doing a great job!

    3. I am glad to hear that you are feeling better. This is the first time, I am reading your blog and I have to ask how do you find the time to do all your runs? I am so impressed.

      • Hi Nicole. Welcome! And thanks so much for commenting!

        So most days I get up at/around 4/4:15am to run before I have to get ready for work. I’m naturally an early riser so the early AMs work for me.

        Have a great day!

    4. Glad you are over the norovirus, but wow, that sounds awful. As you said though, thankfully it was now and not the weekend of your race. Too bad your boys had to endure that too. I always hated it more when my child was sick than myself. Last year I was hit with food poisoning about 40 hours before the start of the Boston marathon and had two bags of IV fluids from a late night hospital visit that got me through the race. I had earned my spot through blood sweat and tears and wasn’t going to miss hugging my 88 year old mom along the course near where I grew up. Yes, I’m that stubborn.

    5. So happy to hear you’re feeling better and are still attacking your training runs!! I’m running my first marathon and you’ve been such an inspiration as I’ve gotten into my training more and more over the past few weeks. Keep doing what you’re doing & I can’t wait to hear how much butt you kick in Boston! :)

    6. Oh Michelle! That is so, so awful. I know exactly how awful because it came to our house 2 years ago and I STILL have nightmares about it. So glad you are all recovering and you have the best attitude about missing 4-5 days of training – no biggie, especially this far out. Another solid week for you even after such an intense sickness!! Let’s hope all the bugs are behind you and you’re healthy until April :-)
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    7. Wow, glad you are all feeling better !I don’t even know how you have time to post at all with your busy schedule, but I’m grateful that you do because I really enjoy your blog!