Bay State Marathon Training: 1 Month Check-In

Today’s post is brought to you by my Mom! Enjoy!

Bay State Marathon Training: 1 Month Check-In

So we are nearing the end of week four.

To date, I have logged 123 official miles since beginning on June 30.

Bay State Marathon Training Check-In | 2 Generations RunningMe too, Forest.

Overall, I would have to say things are going pretty darn well, so here are a few highlights.

The Good Times Series 5K :

So far, this is the only place I’ve deviated from the training plan, typically ditching the Tuesday workout in favor of the Good Times Series 5k in Lowell, which you have read about in Nora’s other posts.

Lowell Good Times Series 5k(In the beginning I would walk a few miles in the morning, but these last few Tuesdays have been so hot and horrible that I’ve even given that up and just try to conserve my strength for the evening’s race.) After not doing any races in this series last year, I’ve come back a bit faster, and aside from my surprising PR of 25:31 on week two, I seem to be settling into running a pretty consistent 26 minutes and a few seconds. There is no race this week, and while I’m grateful for the break, I really want to break that 26 minute barrier at least one more time!

Which brings me to probably the biggest challenge so far.

Hills!! Racing hard on Tuesday night (my new competitive side has really taken over and even in the heat, I want to do my best), followed by a hill workout scheduled  the following morning – in exactly the same hot, hazy conditions –  has been tough. Still, I seem to be getting a bit more “comfortable being uncomfortable.” I won’t say I am beginning to enjoy the hill workouts, but, I think they have helped my 5k times so I’m determined to keep up (the-hill) the good work. 😉 I bring lots of water, and take a short walk break if I need – but never on the hills.

One Mile Time Trial: So, this was a new one for me. I went up Nora’s old junior high school track where it was already 70 degrees at 9 AM. Still, that was cool compared to the race conditions of the night before, so it didn’t feel terrible. As I ran my warm up mile (four times around the track for our non-running readers) at a sluggish 9:30, I  played with my GPS watch and figured out how to use the special lap function. With my technology issues, I was almost as proud of this as I was of my speedy mile. It was Run as fast as you can…and oh, yeah, remember to hit the lap key so you can see how you do each lap…1:59, 2:00, 2:00, 1:51…which comes to 7:50!  I know this isn’t the fastest mile I have ever run, but it wasn’t bad, and I wanted to make sure I left a little room for improvement.  And after I ran my cool down mile, this time ignoring my watch, I was pleased to see I had kept up a pretty nice pace of 8:40. So I walked a victory lap, sipping ginger water!

And what am I doing special (or weird) in my training?

2 Gens Running | Bay State MarathonI’m still eating a lot of fresh ginger for its anti-inflammatory properties. I have read in numerous sources that it’s really good for this, so I’m sticking with it. (Good thing ginger is inexpensive!)

I’ve tossed all my flip flops because I think they were behind the beginnings of what I thought might have been plantar fasciitis, which scared the heck out of me, as it was so early on! (It’s possible I’m just paranoid but that twingy feeling has disappeared.)

And I’m reading some great medieval thrillers by Eric Jager, because I was beginning to drive myself crazy reading about running all the time!

So stay tuned for more updates on my 5k results, marathon training, and general running adventures!

Hope you had a great weekend! Flip flops – yay or nay? Do you have any special/weird habits during marathon training?


Gearing up for Marathon #2

Today’s post is brought to you by my Mom! Enjoy!

On the road to Marathon #2 | 2 Generations RunningSo, it’s official. I am in the second week of training for Bay State Marathon, using an intermediate race plan from The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training.

Runner's World Big Book of Marathon TrainingThis plan is a bit more aggressive than the one I used when I trained for The Rochester Marathon, but I figured I could step it up a bit for marathon #2. (Definitely think I can cut out some of those walk breaks!)

But despite my not so speedy time of 4:59 for that marathon, I know I did focus on the right things. I   was determined to finish, but I also wanted to enjoy the race. So when I’m running this October, I want to remember – again –  to enjoy the day and to be grateful that I am able to run, and to remember that I don’t need to  finish the race crying and crawling to my car to have had a “good” race.

Which brings me to an interesting point.  At this week’s Good Times 5k, the members of our running club were chatting about the winning runners,  (I am always stunned by the times posted by the top women in my age group!) and one of my fellow Squannies (shorthand for our running club – the Squannacook River Runners) remarked that I’ve probably got a little more speed in me because I never “look uncomfortable when I run.” (She had finished the 5k long before me, so she wasn’t there to see me stumble over the timing mat: I could NOT have looked comfortable!)

But really, I do know what she is saying: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and you can go faster!

But here’s the thing. I’m one of those women who never participated in sports as a kid. I ran a bit on my own in college, mostly to keep my weight down, but this is all relatively new to me. So, for the most part, I’m pretty happy just running injury-free, and looking for the occasional PR. I don’t think about winning and there is definitely a place where I draw the line, where I tell myself, “You’re doing great, you don’t need to go harder…”

But I have to admit that since I’ve moved up a bit in the standings at the Good Times Series, I am beginning to wonder if maybe I can push that line out a bit.

And I find I’m excited about the new training plan with hill repeats, speed work, and time trials – all sorts of things I have never done before. (I even had to look up what they meant.) I know it’s going to be interesting and challenging and I guess that somewhere along the way, I will discover where that new line is between, “I’m uncomfortable but it’s all good” and “This is stupid, I’m too old for this…”  And then I’ll work from there.

And I figure that by the time I run my marathon in Lowell on October 18, though I may still slow down before I cry or crawl, I will definitely let myself get uncomfortable.Rochester Marathon | 2 Generations RunningNora and I at the expo before our first marathon!


Are you training for a fall marathon?