Baystate Marathon Training: Week 2

Happy Labor Day!

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend! I for one, felt like I was due for a day off and fully plan on soaking in the extra time to myself today. 🙂

So last week, I touched on my first real/full week of training for Baystate. I’m not starting from scratch, but it’s the beginning of my focused training plan for Baystate since I signed up for this race pretty last minute (not exactly advisable for the marathon distance but oh well). After being pretty stoked with Week 1, I’d have to sum up Week 2 in one word (or syllable for that matter):


There was really nothing too great about this week, apart from Saturday’s long run. Frankly, it didn’t even include much running.

Monday: Rest day after Sunday’s successful 15-miler.

Tuesday: 5 miles nice and easy. By my Garmin, the average pace on this was right around 10 min/mile. Right where I want to be for those recovery miles. I was happy I got this run in during the morning because that afternoon, I flew to Charlotte for a work trip.

Wednesday: No running. In an ordinary week, this would have been a prime day for a hard effort, but my coworkers and I were up and working by 8 and basically worked straight through till bedtime. Part of our trip was touring a venue that we’ll be putting on a race at in the coming months and it entailed driving 4-wheelers around the trails to plan the course. This was my first time 4-wheeling and I discovered that I’m pretty horrendous at it. I tend to be nervous biking on nice, paved roads. Well, throw me in the woods on some uneven trails, with plenty of trees and ditches, and I get even more nervous, which in turn leads to panic. End result? Me on the ground, with a sore butt and a 4-wheeler on top of me. I walked away with only a few minor bumps and bruises so despite it being pretty embarrassing, I guess I’ll call that a victory (sort of).

Thursday: After hitting some horrendous traffic driving to the airport to catch our flight back, my coworker and I sprinted through the Charlotte airport. So, I guess that was my speedwork for the week. 😉

Friday: I was thinking I would run an easy 6-miler in the morning before heading home for the long weekend. As soon as I started running though, I felt slow and sluggish. Both of my calves felt tight with knots. I got progressively more grumpy about it as I ran and decided to call it just after 3 miles. I think my body just had not reset from all the traveling.

Saturday: I did my long run on Saturday this past weekend since I was volunteering with our running club on Sunday at a trail race. After reading up some on specificity in marathon training (this just refers to the idea that you should tailor your training workouts to match your race day goals), I decided I wanted to aim for negative splits and to do the last 5 miles at goal marathon pace. After Friday’s fail of a run, I didn’t know what to expect from my legs.

My mom and I set out at around 8 am after a quick breakfast of half a sweet potato warmed up with some maple syrup (I’m trying to experiment a bit with my fueling techniques). We did the first 5 together at a nice, comfortable pace. From there, we split up since we were aiming for different distances. I went out to tackle the next 13 miles, but I broke it down into chunks, each with specific pace goals. For miles 6-10, I focused on keeping my splits at 9:30/mile. For the most part, I was dead on with this. For miles 10-13, I worked on gradually increasing the pace so that the goal pace miles wouldn’t feel like too much of a shock to my body. I was around 9 – 9:15/mile for these 3 miles. Then, I finally got to the race pace miles. By the time I hit these, I really felt like I had almost finished the run. Even though I still had 5 miles to go, it was the last “chunk”, which made it seem much more manageable. Unfortunately, I hadn’t timed it quite right, and I hit some killer hills in Mile 14, so that split was not quite where I wanted it to be. Apart from that though, I did pretty good. I had a few that were 8:55/mile (a little slow), a couple that were right on, and then for my last mile, I ran an 8:33! Negative split success!!! This run gave me a lot more confidence after Friday, and I feel ready to dive into Week 3 now. I won’t be traveling at all for the next 3 weeks or so, so that will give me some time to really start focusing on ramping up the mileage. I’m pretty excited. 🙂

Happy Labor Day!

If you’re experiencing a crappy run, are you more likely to call it quits or do you try to gut it out?


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