Delaware Marathon Training: Week 5

It’s hard to believe we are another week closer to Delaware. Training is continuing to go well, although I have to admit I’m having some pain in my left heel that feels disturbingly close to plantar fasciitis. I don’t think it’s anything too serious yet, but I have been making a concerted effort to ice, foam roll, and stretch my calves. I’m going to keep monitoring it and if I need to skip a run or two to give my body a little more rest, then that’s what I’m going to do.

But moving on, here’s how the week went.

Monday – I did my 10 miler, which I included in last week’s recap.

Tuesday – 4 very easy miles. In hindsight, I probably should’ve switched around my rest days to give myself a little more recovery after the 10 miles the day before…

Wednesday – 7 miles on the treadmill. This was supposed to be a hill workout, but as I mentioned in my last post, my EHL tendon on my other foot had been acting up a little (what the he*% is it with my feet???) so I decided to stick to 1.0 or 1.5 on the elevation setting. I did try to make up for skipping the hills by keeping the pace up a little bit (I  alternated between a 9:05 and 8:35/mile pace). This run didn’t feel fantastic, but I think that was more the result of treadmill boredom than anything else, especially since I’ve been hitting faster paces on my long runs and usually feel pretty good on those.

Thursday – REST DAY!!!

Rest Days and Dwight Schrute | 2 Generations RunningMy legs definitely needed this one. I did 20 minutes of abs in the morning and then chilled out the rest of the day and it was glorious.

Friday – 4 miles on the treadmill, 2 at goal pace. I felt much better on this run. The 2 goal pace miles felt solid and I did my last cool-down mile in 8:35, which felt easy and comfortable. In the evening, I took the train home to visit my family and the dogs for the weekend. I hadn’t been home since Christmas, so it was a much needed visit. 🙂

Saturday – My mom and I opted to do our long run on Saturday this week since our running club was having its monthly brunch run on Sunday and who are we to say no to a run followed by a delicious potluck brunch? We headed out for 13 miles together, figuring that I would start with my mom and then head off about halfway through to do some speedier miles. It was cloudy and in the 40s when we first headed out, but after the first couple miles, we both warmed up and the sun came out. It ended up feeling more like an early spring day than February! So weird to think that just the week before it had been -18 degrees (and -30 with the wind chill)! Guess that’s New England for you.

My mom and I ended up splitting up just after 4 miles, when she paused to do a GU. I continued on, dropping the pace down into the 8:30/mile range. I was able to continue this way, except for when I hit the giant hills on my route. I’ve gotten so used to the new, much flatter routes around my apartment that these rolling hills felt TOUGH. It didn’t help that even with the warmth, there were still some icy patches on the sidewalks in shady areas. Around mile 9, I was stepping off the sidewalk to run a short stretch on the street to avoid some ice. Well, I guess I got distracted by the cars on the road, because I ended up stepping directly onto a different patch of ice and nearly went down. I swear, it felt like my body was inches from the pavement. Somehow, I magically caught my balance and continued on, this time being a little more cautious on the icy patches.

I ended up finishing the 13 miles in about an hour and 55 minutes. My pace was a little slower overall than on some of my other long runs because of the hills, but I felt ok with that. I have to admit, I was kind of excited that I was able to run a sub-2 hour half marathon on just a basic training run, when only a couple years that was my big goal for the Oak Tree Half Marathon.

Later that afternoon, I relaxed by first getting my haircut, and then my mom and I got special race day manicures for Augusta!

Race day nails

Augusta Half Marathon NailsThat’s a check mark for GA on my mom’s nails. 🙂

Sunday – 3.2 miles very easy with our running club. My legs felt surprisingly ok on this run, but I was still happy to be taking it easy and running low mileage. Afterward, we celebrated with some awesome food.

Total Mileage for the Week: 32

Motivation Levels: Running strong 🙂

And for a little inspiration, I’ve been listening to the rap song “Me, Myself, and I” quite a lot on my runs lately, so here is a little excerpt-

“Oh, it’s just me, myself, and I / Solo ride until I die / Cause I got me for life / Oh, I don’t need a hand to hold / Even when the night is cold / I got that fire in my soul”. 

Perfect for those long, hard solo runs. 🙂

How was your week? If you’re training, how’s it going? 


Delaware Marathon Training: End of Week 1

How would I sum up the first week of marathon training in a nutshell?

Marathon Training GIF | 2 Generations RunningI’m feeling great at the end of this first week, but I know there are still 15 weeks to go, so I probably shouldn’t start counting my chickens before they hatch just yet. 🙂 I successfully modified my plan to get my long run in without getting derailed by winter storm Jonas, though Boston was barely hit in comparison to the DC folks! We probably got 3-4″, but hey, after last year, we were due for a break!

2 Generations Running. Snowfall over my head.Last year’s snow… Saying a prayer that snow drifts are not taller than me this winter.

Anyways, here’s how the first week of training shaped up for me.

Monday – And the first day of marathon training began with NO running. Womp womp. Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day though and I had the day off from work so I had time to get a nice cross-training session in. I started with a 22 minute abs and obliques video (Fitnessblender) and then headed over to the gym for about 40 minutes of upper-body work.

Tuesday – 6 miles easy. We had a serious cold spell last week with highs for the day in the 20s (so it was around 7 degrees in the morning when I got up.) Definitely treadmill weather. I woke up at 5:10 so that I could have a quick cup of coffee before getting my butt to the gym by 5:40. I know there are going to be a lot of these early mornings during the next 16 weeks and while the initial getting out of bed part sucks, I don’t mind it so much when I’m at the gym surrounded by all the other early birds. Plus, I love being able to come home and just relax after work and not have to worry about getting my run in.

I ended up averaging around 9:25/mile on this run and I played with the pace and elevation over the course of the 6 miles to keep my mind from going numb. First run of the training cycle complete!

Wednesday – 4 mile hill repeats (again on the treadmill) at an average of 9:22/mile. Once I had warmed up, I cranked the elevation up to 4.0 (sometimes 4.5 for the last bit) and held that for 2 minutes. Then, I’d drop the elevation down to .5 to simulate the downhill and would recover for around .2 of a mile (I picked this recovery distance kind of randomly because I usually felt good enough to for another repeat by then). I increased the pace over the course of the 4 miles, but capped it at 8:57 since this was not supposed to be a speed workout.

If anyone has any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill, I’d love to hear them! An elevation of 4.0 felt challenging, but I’m honestly not sure what that would translate to as a hill in real life. I don’t want to slack off on these hill repeat workouts!

Thursday – Much needed rest/core work day. By Thursday, I think the early mornings had caught up to me, and I was EXHAUSTED. I was still going to bed around my regular time, but by getting up so early, I was getting almost 2 hours fewer sleep each day. I’m definitely going to need to work on getting to bed earlier as the weeks progress. I called it quits after doing the 22 minute abs/obliques workout again and went to bed by 9:30.

Sleepy GIF | 2 Generations Running

Friday – 6 miles on the treadmill again. I warmed up for the first mile and a half or so and then alternated between 8:40 and 8:34/mile for the rest of the miles before going into cooldown mode for the last mile.

Saturday – The long run!!!! 🙂 Maybe it’s just the excitement of finally training for a big race again but I was really looking forward to this 9-miler. Despite the brisk temps and impending snowfall, I headed into Boston so I could run this one along the Charles again. I guess this run was technically closer to 10 miles since I jogged the half mile to and from the subway stop!

Running in Boston | 2 Generations RunningIt was cold, cloudy, and windy as hell. And there were still a ton of runners out getting their miles in before the snow, which was so awesome and motivating to see. Even though I was technically running by myself, it felt nice to have the company of other “crazies” out on the path and it helped me push myself through the cold and the wind. I was shooting for a pace around 8:42/mile, but that didn’t exactly happen – I ended up averaging 8:51/mile. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be thrilled with that, but I know this was a result of the god awful headwind I encountered on many of the miles.

Headwind GIF | 2 Generations RunningThat’s what it was like, but running. The wind was actually whipping tears from my eyes. I’m sure it looked like I was having a blast 😉 Those super windy miles ranged from 8:51 – 8:59/mile, but that pace was HARD. When I had the tailwind, I easily ran 8:24 – 8:40/mile. So not exactly what I had hoped for, but I know there will be other long runs to push the pace on where I won’t feel like I’m fighting a tornado.

Adding to all the fun, I took out my phone around mile 8.5 to take a picture or two… and my phone died immediately after the one photo. After that, I just wanted to be done. I quickly finished the last half mile and then headed to a grocery store right next to the subway stop because all I could think about during the run was hot, delicious pancakes. I picked up a gluten-free mix and some syrup and I was on my way!

PancakesBest decision ever. I spent the rest of the day in my compression sleeves and sweats, doing a little laundry and a lot of relaxing.

Sunday – 6 miles, 4 (ish) at marathon pace. I woke up to tons of sunshine and 4 inches of perfect white snow. It was beautiful out, but I didn’t feel like dealing with snow in my sneakers for 6 miles, so I headed to the gym to get this done on the treadmill. I warmed up for the first mile, then paused a minute to stretch before diving into the tempo section of this run. I gradually increased the pace from 8:57 down to 8:05/mile over the 2nd mile, then held that pace for 4 miles before slowing down again for my final cooldown mile. I am finding that breaking the run into sections (warm-up, cooldown, actual workout) really helps the workouts seem shorter and mentally easier.

I did a short round of arms and abs after this before calling it a day.

Total Mileage: 31

Motivation Levels: Sky High

And my mantra for this week –

"If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough | 2 Generations RunningI’m excited for week 2 of marathon training and for the fact that I have a half marathon to race in 1 month!!! I have strong feelings that Augusta could be a new PR for me in the half because of my increased focus on pace during my training runs.

Any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill? How was your week? Are you buried in snow from Jonas????