Delaware Marathon: Reflections Part 1

Hey there, I’m back!

I had to go on a quick work trip shortly after I posted my recap, but I’m home now and I think I’ve fully digested the experience that was Delaware.

Delaware Marathon Race RecapCharissa brought up the good question of my fueling/nutrition during the race, which I had completely skimmed over (to keep the post from getting excessively long). My intended strategy for the marathon was:

  • 4 GUs at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20 (I had chocolate coconut, vanilla, espresso love, and caramel machiato flavors).
  • Drink water/Gatorade at almost every aid station (I wasn’t carrying water).
  • Hydrate well the day before (I think my mom and I did this).
  • Have a big, hearty lunch with a good balance of carbs and protein the day before and a lighter dinner that’s low on fiber.
  • My pre-race breakfast was a GF bagel with almond butter and jam and half a banana.

Everything went according to plan up until around mile 20. I had done my GU’s almost as scheduled, with a little variation to try to do them closer to water stops so that I’d be able to wash them down. Those things really stick to your mouth on a hot, dry day.

Around mile 20 was when I started feeling pretty horrible. I tend to think of myself as having an iron stomach (which is generally true), but I was feeling pretty queasy by this part of the race. I went to do my last GU and immediately felt my stomach say no no no. I held onto it for probably around a mile, hoping to try to suck it down slowly, but I just couldn’t. I tried to decide which would be worse – to do the GU and possibly throw up (seemed like a definite risk) OR to completely skip it and try to get some calories from Gatorade at the water stops. After a while, I decided to go the Gatorade route.

Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t fuel at mile 20, the spot where my glycogen reserves would have been the most depleted and where I needed it the most. Is it seriously any surprise that from mile 20 on, my splits were almost a minute slower than what I’d been averaging the rest of the race? Yes, part of that was probably the heat, but I can’t help but wonder if things might have looked a little different if my fueling had been better for that final 10k.

I think I need to experiment with this before my next marathon. I learned that doing 5 GUs in the span of 4 hours might just not be right for my body. In the future, I might try some salt tablets as well. I do tend to sweat a lot, so I think those could be helpful.

All in all, I think the race was a good reminder for me that while I’ve been running for years and am very experienced at the half marathon distance, the marathon is a whole different animal. My first marathon was 2 years ago and I really wasn’t racing that one with the competitive spirit that I approached Delaware with. There was never much of a chance that I was going to master something as difficult as a marathon on a second attempt, but that’s part of the thrill. Now, I have years and many marathons to look forward to PR-ing in. 🙂

So like the crazy runner I am – I’m happy with my 3:57 – but already thinking about how I can improve on that. 🙂 Once my toenails heal of course.

The Delaware Marathon: Race Recap

I knew the Delaware Marathon was going to be a BIG race, but I had no idea just how epic things were going to get. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have an idea what I’m talking about. 😉

My mom and I trained our butts off for this for 16 weeks and for the first time, we were both shooting for aggressive time goals. Maybe a little too aggressive on my part, but I’ll get to that.

Friday morning, my mom and I road tripped down to Wilmington, Delaware.

Delaware Marathon Race RecapThe trip was pretty easy and took just about 6 hours because of some traffic we hit on the George Washington Bridge in New York. We made our way to the official host hotel, the Westin and were able to check in that afternoon. The location of the hotel was absolutely perfect – it was located right across from the Wilmington River Walk, which had tons of different restaurants, and it was an easy 1 mile walk to the Tubman Garrett Park which was where packet pick-up and the start/finish were. We also had a great view of Wilmington’s minor league baseball stadium right from our hotel room!

the Delaware Marathon Race RecapSaturday morning, we slept in and relaxed a bit before getting ready to head out on a little shakeout run. It also marked Day 6 of the clouds and rain the Northeast was stuck under all of last week, but we tried to not let it dampen our spirits. We ran down to the park and picked up our race packets and checked out the expo.

Delaware MarathonRainy selfie at the park.

We checked out the expo after we picked up our swag (short-sleeve shirt, pint glass, and a hat), but there was not a lot to see. I knew it was going to be small, but I was still a little bummed that they weren’t selling any Delaware Marathon-specific merchandise – it was just the basic running headbands and apparel. After that, we headed back to the hotel room to take it easy since they say you shouldn’t be on your feet too much the day before a marathon. We ended up going to see The Jungle Book at a theater right down the road, which was the perfect low-key activity.

That night, we went to a restaurant right by the hotel for our pre-race dinner. I opted for margherita pizza while my mom got a salad with salmon and sweet potato fries. Yum! We then headed back to our hotel room where we watched a silly movie for a bit before crashing.

Delaware Marathon Race RecapExcited to run.

The Race Day:

Sunday dawned cloudy, but with zero rain in the forecast – praise the gods! We were up at 5 am, having our pre-race coffee and bagels. Once we were good to go, we headed over to the park, with a few other runners from the hotel who were doing the same thing. We made our way straight to the porta-potties once we were there, and it was a good thing we did! There were some lines when we first got there, but they were OUT OF CONTROL 10 minutes later. We checked our bags and made our way to the corral.

The space for the corral was TIGHT. It didn’t help that they had all the half marathoners (nearly 900 participants) and the marathoners (450 participants) start together. They also had an ambulance staged basically in the corral. My mom and I managed to squeeze our way in, we waited for a few minutes, and then promptly at 7 am, we were OFF!

The course began by winding our way along the road back towards the hotel we were staying at and the shopping plaza across from it. Once we got to the plaza, the course made a hard left turn so that everyone was running through the plaza, out onto the riverwalk and then back in the direction we had just come from. It was kind of odd and while I enjoyed running on the riverwalk, it was a little too tight for that many runners, that early in the course. My plan was to keep these early miles slow and I did just that – Mile 1: 9:04, Mile 2: 9:09.

After those two miles, I decided to start picking up the pace a bit. I was nervous that it was going to get too hard for me to make up the time to my goal pace if I waited till later in the race when I was tired. I fully admit I don’t have a lot of experience pacing myself in marathons though, so maybe I should have waited longer (maybe it would have prevented me from dying at the end?)? We were heading into downtown Wilmington and it was still mostly flat. I knew I still had a LONG way to go, but I was definitely feeling the excitement. Mile 3: 8:49, Mile 4: 8:53, Mile 5: 8:44

Around this time, we passed the Wilmington Zoo, which was kind of cool – you could see and hear some of the animals! We continued on, entering Brandywine Park. This was probably my favorite part of the course – it was shady, flat, and ran along the Brandywine Creek. There was a narrow, wooden bridge that did not feel super structurally sound when we all ran over it – the boards were actually bouncing from all the runners! Mile 6: 8:51 , Mile 7: 9:00, Mile 8: 8:33. Mile 6-7 was the first of the hills and it slowed me down a bit. All I could think about was how much it was going to hurt on the second loop.

The next few miles were through a shaded neighborhood. The houses were beautiful and it was really scenic. One thing I didn’t like, was that there were a bunch of turns through the neighborhood and then we were running back the way we had come, on the opposite side of the street. It just felt like the race organizers were desperately trying to cram as much mileage as possible into the smallest amount of space. If I had only been running the half, I wouldn’t have minded as much, but by the later miles, I found it confusing and kind of annoying. Mile 9: 8:36 Mile 10: 8:34 Mile 11: 8:44 Mile 12: 8:21, Mile 13: 8:44.

In this stretch, I was still running with tons of half marathoners who were going into the final few miles of their race. I’d like to say I just got caught up in their excitement, but I know it wasn’t that. I wanted to run 8:35 splits, even though there was a part of me that guessed I wouldn’t be able to maintain that pace. I didn’t want to look back on this race and have regrets about not trying though.

The half marathoners split from the pack and the rest of the full marathoners began our second loop, running out along the riverwalk again, all the way to the end of it before making a hairpin turn and going all the way back again. Along the way, I passed my mom heading in the opposite direction and we gave each other a big high-five. We then turned into the park and got to run past all the spectators who had gathered there. This was an exciting part with all the cheering, but it was short-lived. Once we left the park, I felt an overwhelming feeling that I was pretty much on my own and that the second loop was going to be a whole lot less fun. Without the half marathoners, the field had shrunk to the 450 marathoners and the relay runners who’d breeze by you like you were standing still. Mile 14: 8:41 Mile 15: 8:41 Mile 16: 8:43 Mile 17: 8:55.

I tried to break the run into chunks at this point to wrap my mind around the miles I still had left to cover. From mile 15, I told myself all I had to focus on was the 5 miles I had to cover before mile 20. At mile 20, I would focus on the last 6.2. It was also around this time that I stopped trying to run 8:35 miles and instead began aiming for 8:45/mile. I was able to hold onto that pretty well until mile 17.

Mile 18: 8:57 Mile 19: 8:53 Mile 20: 9:39.

And this was where things began to fall apart. At first, I had firmly told myself no walking. I hadn’t trained 16 weeks to walk in my marathon. But by this point, I started walking at the aid stations, drinking my water and splashing the remainder down my back. It had gotten hot. The temps were probably in the low 70s and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Great Mother’s Day weather for sure, but not ideal conditions for running a marathon. And then, I was taking walk breaks on the hills, mentally beating myself up each time I slowed down, picturing my sub-4 hour finish fading away.

I also thought about something I had heard on the Runners’ Connect podcast. I forget which guest it was, but someone (a sports psychologist or doctor possibly) had said “When it feels like you are absolutely drained and have nothing left, you’ve really only tapped into about 30% of your energy reserves”. It sounds simple enough, but what this leaves out is the importance of listening to your body – which I began to ignore as I pushed on into the file 10k of the race.

Mile 21: 9:32 Mile 22: 9:09 Mile 23: 9:32. As you can see, my pace continued to slip. I felt so hot. I distinctly remember having the thought, “my feet feel red”. That doesn’t even really make sense, but it shows the kind of mental shape I was in. I just wanted to be done and I was having fantasies about laying down in the grass and never moving again. I was also wondering why the hell runners put themselves through this. The half marathon distance is so civilized in comparison! Even a 20 mile race I would enjoy. Why aren’t there more 20 mile races?!

Mile 24: 9:58 Mile 25: 9:33 Mile 26: 10:16.

The last mile sucked. so. much. I was on my own, with only a few runners up in the distance ahead of me, and I was running through downtown Wilmington. I knew it was going to be a turn to the left to the finish chute and every single side street, I would peer down, thinking I had made it and getting more and more depressed every time I realized I had further to go. I was also feeling pretty dizzy by this point. Again, I ignored the signals from my body, thinking about the advice from the podcast. Not smart.

FINALLY, I was making the left turn and entering the finish chute, pushing hard and mentally cheering as I realized I had done it and squeaked in under 4 hours, with a 3:57. I received my medal and then began to wobble, almost toppling over. I think some EMTs saw me and they immediately grabbed me, helping me over to the med tent. They helped me lay down and took my temperature – 102 degrees. Oh… So that’s why I felt so incredibly awful the last few miles.

It was all really overwhelming as the EMTs covered me with ice packs and helped me sip Gatorade while we waited for my body temperature to come down. I felt kind of stupid and guilty for not paying better attention to my body and for being so focused on my time goal. Once my body temp had dropped a bit more, they put me in a kiddie pool filled with ice and water – which you would think would feel good after running a marathon, but it felt awful. Finally, one of the EMTs was able to find my mom who had just finished (in 4:15 – a new PR, but not the time she had hoped for either) and brought her over. That was when they told us I was going to have to be transported to the ER. No champagne toast, no chocolate milk, no post-race food for either of us.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur of the ambulance ride, the ER, and then just waiting – for my IV of fluids to finish, for the blood work to come back, for the word that my mom and I could leave.

Delaware Marathon Race RecapIn all the downtime, my mom checked the results online and saw that we had both placed in our age groups! She got second in hers and I was third in mine. Luckily, she was able to contact one of the race organizers who brought over the trophies along with our bags that had been left at the bag check table.

Delaware Marathon Race Recap | 2 Generations RunningOur selfie with our bobblehead trophies once we were finally released and back at the hotel.

I feel like I am still trying to process this race. On the one hand, I’m happy that I broke 4 hours, even though I had even more ambitious goals that I really thought I could hit. On the other hand, it’s pretty scary how it ended. While I’m totally fine now, I have to admit there is no time goal worth sending yourself to the ER over. No matter how many years I run and races I complete, I think there is always something new I’m learning. The lesson from this race was pretty simple – Respect the distance and listen to your body. I didn’t do that this race. I put my competitiveness and ego ahead of my common sense and I tuned out the messages from my body and it landed me in the hospital. I don’t know when I will run another marathon (it won’t be for a very long time), but I do know that I won’t make the same mistake again.


The Final Race Preparations

I am so freaking excited for this weekend.

I know the nerves will probably kick in at some point, but for now, I’m just really looking forward to everything about this trip – checking off another state (this will be #11!), a fun road trip with my mom, and obviously, THE MARATHON!

This last week has been full of some of the more fun (and equally important) aspects of preparation. 🙂 The 20 mile runs are behind me, and I am fully embracing the taper. I hear some runners get freaked out by cutting their mileage back so much during a taper. I don’t. I’m one happy camper.

So the final preparations have consisted of:

1. Getting my nails done.

Delaware Marathon Nails | 2 Generations RunningI didn’t think it would be possible to top my Augusta Half Marathon nails, but these guys might have just done it.

2. Loading up my playlist with tons of new songs. My new favorites are:

  • “Something Beautiful” – NEEDTOBREATHE
  • “2 Heads” – Coleman Hell
  • “Inside Out” (feat. Charlee) – The Chainsmokers
  • “Gasoline” – Halsey

I’m going to try to resist the temptation to listen to these too many times before the race so that they’ll still be fresh and exciting when they come on during the marathon.

3. Carbo-loading.

Carbo-LoadingLOL – This episode of The Office demonstrated so perfectly how not to carbo-load, it still cracks me up.

4. Advising my mom on road trip snacks and music. For snacks, I’ve requested Terra Sweet Potato chips (absolutely love them) and trail mix. There may or may not be a bottle of wine (or two) packed for the hotel as well. 😉 The drive itself will be just about 6 hours, so bring on the Starbucks and CDs!

5. Trying to figure out what the eff I should wear for the race. I know, I know. They say you should wear whatever you wore on your long runs on race day so you don’t have to worry about chafe-age or it riding up weirdly. Well, I did the majority of my long runs wearing my long winter capris, but the forecast is showing high 60’s for race day, so that’s not exactly going to work. No matter what I pick, I fully intend on coating myself in Glide.

6. Reading up on all aspects of the race in other blogger’s previous race recaps. I’m a firm believer that there’s no such thing as too much information and I like to know what to expect, especially when it has to do with running 26 miles. 🙂

Delaware Marathon Elevation MapFor example – where will the hills be? Looking at this, I know I can expect a good climb between mile 6 and 7, another smaller one at mile 12, again at mile 18 and then a final hill at mile 24. I’m sure that last one is going to be a blast…

7. PACKING!!! Don’t forget your sneakers Nora, whatever you do!!! I’m also going to be sure to pack sunscreen, my compression socks, GPS watch and charger, and a good book. I made this list a while back that’s actually pretty helpful in terms of packing for a race-cation.

The Runner's Packing Checklist. 2 Generations Running

If you want to keep up with us on the whole adventure, I will be tweeting, posting to our Facebook page, and obviously Instagramming! Wish us luck 🙂

The Delaware Marathon: 1 Week To Go!

When my mom and I signed up for this race in December, May 8th sounded very far away. 16 weeks of training later, and here we are – This Sunday, we’ll be running 26.2 miles (in a row!)

Delaware Marathon and Running Festival | 2 Generations Running

It’s been a long 16 weeks, full of ups and downs. There have been moments when I’ve been confident in my training and just full to the brim with my love for running. And then, there were times when I told myself that I freaking hated marathons and would never train for one again (like when I ran 20 miles in the cold rain.) Even I would have to admit, that’s probably not going to be true though. 😉

At least, assuming I make it through this marathon without losing a toenail again.

Marathon TrainingRunning through the slush has finally given way to sunshine and flowers.

At the beginning of this whole process, my mom and I talked a lot about our goals for this marathon – namely, qualifying for Boston. Like so many other runners, I desperately want to run that qualifying time and earn my spot in Boston, especially now that I’m living in the city and feel so connected to its running culture.

For me to qualify, I would have to beat a 3:35 time by a couple of minutes, which translates to between an 8:05 and 8:10/mile pace. It’s fast. Really, really fast.

For the most part, my training has gone well. There were some schedule adjustments and missed runs due to work travel and weather, but looking back, I know I did the absolute best I could. I will have no reason to feel any regret on Sunday, no matter what happens because I have given this my all. From the 4:30 wake-up calls, to running in the snow and rain, it’s all been worth it.

But what I am trying to get at with all this nostalgic rambling, is that a BQ is not going to happen for me this race. And that’s ok. I came across this quote on Instagram recently, and it captured my feelings perfectly –

“Choosing differently isn’t failing, it’s just readjusting course to get to our end goal.”

Based on the pace I’ve been typically hitting on my long runs, it’s just not realistic for me to try to go out there and run an 8:05 average pace for 26+ miles. It’s not going to happen, and I risk bonking hard if I try. So, I’m choosing to be responsible, and set aside the BQ goal (temporarily).

This will only be my second marathon, and I have a lot of years of running ahead of me. I feel like I learned a lot through this training cycle and have some really solid ideas about what I need to add to my typical running regimen to make myself a stronger athlete. My end goal is still that BQ, but I know there is some significant behind-the-scenes work I will have to put in (even before beginning a training cycle) to get there. I’ve accepted that and made my peace.

So then, what are my goals for this race? Here they are, in ascending level of difficulty.

  1. A big PR. I was not in the best shape for my first marathon, so I’m confident I can achieve this. This would be anything faster than 4:36. Unless I fall and break my ankle or something else disastrous, I know I can do this.
  2. Sub-4 hours. Based on my half marathon times and the paces I’ve been hitting, I think this is completely doable.
  3. Break 3:50.
  4. Run a 3:45. I have to say these last 2 goals will be heavily influenced by the weather. It’s looking like the high of the day will be around 70, so it’s going to be warm.

So there you go, I’m laying it all out there! Mainly, I’m just really excited that the race is finally here. I feel like it’s been on my mind for the past 6 months and at this point, I’m just ready to see what happens.

Delaware Marathon Nails | 2 Generations RunningMy nails are race-day ready. 🙂

My mom and I will be road-trippin’ up to Delaware on Friday to avoid the long drive the day before the race. Wish us luck!!


Delaware Marathon Training: Week 2

2 weeks down, 14 weeks to go til Delaware!!!!

Bulu Box ReviewIt was another solid week and I’m feeling really optimistic about this second attempt at 26.2 miles. 14 weeks is a long way to go though, so I’ve just got to really focus on getting the most out of each individual workout. Here’s what this week looked like:

Monday – 30 minute boot camp class. I already posted about this, so moving right along…

Tuesday – 5 miles easy. I was scheduled to do 6, but I decided to cut a mile so that I had a little more time to get some stretching done before I had to head off to work. Surprisingly, I felt relatively ok during this run, but part of me knew I was going to be more sore the next day.

Wednesday – And as expected, the soreness really set in on this day. I had 5 miles of hill repeats to do though, so I sucked it up and headed to the gym to get this done on the treadmill in the morning. Charissa had left me some GREAT advice on how to do hill repeats on the treadmill, and I was excited to try some different variations. Actually, excited may not be quite the right word, considering how sore I was… There may have been a little bit of dread mixed in. I warmed up the first mile, then increased the elevation to 5.0, and turned the pace up a bit, being careful to keep it in my aerobic zone though. I held that for 2 minutes before dropping the pace and elevation for a 2 minute recovery. When I got bored with those, I mixed in 2 longer hill repeats of 1/2 mile at 3.0 elevation and a slightly faster pace. Those I enjoyed a lot better than the short intense hills.

Thursday – My rest/cross-train day. My friend had tried to convince me to go to another boot camp class with her and I strongly considered it, but ended up passing so that I’d feel fresh for Friday’s tempo run. I still ended up going to the gym after work though, I just focused on my arms and abs. It was so crowded though! Since I’ve gotten so used to getting to the gym by 5:45 am, I had forgotten how crazy it is in the evenings. My gym has a really small area for stretching and core work, and so it can be difficult to snag a spot there. I saw way too much of this on Thursday night –

Delaware Marathon TrainingThis KILLS me. If you’re not working out, stop taking up the space!!!! Ok, mini-rant over. I probably did about 45-50 minutes and then headed out.

Friday – 6 miles, with 4 at 8:06/mile. These 4 fast miles were kind of challenging. I’m getting much more comfortable on the treadmill, and it is more convenient to run these types of fast runs in a warm, well-lit gym than out on the roads in the dark, BUT I find myself much more comfortable running a faster pace outdoors. Maybe part of me is just irrationally afraid that I will fly off the back of the treadmill? (See 9 people who lost to treadmills)

Saturday – I decided to get my long run out of the way even though my plan technically calls for a Sunday long run (I think I may stick with this throughout the 16 weeks). It had been ages since I had done a run with the club I joined a few months ago, and they were planning on 10-14 miles, so I figured I would meet up with them. My plan called for 9 miles again, but I figured I would play it by ear and go a little longer if I was feeling good. I ran to our meeting spot, which ended up being exactly 3 miles from my apartment. These 3 miles I did at 8:51/mile, which is a little fast for a warm-up for me, but I was nervous I was going to get lost and I was cutting it close from the time I left my apartment. Luckily, I made it there, no problem. There was a good sized group of 8 or so runners and we quickly headed off on our route after introductions.

Some of the group was going a full 14 miles, but I peeled off with a group doing 8 miles, bringing me to a total of 11 miles for the day. I’m going to have to do more of my long runs with them! We averaged 8:33/mile for our 8 miles, and I felt great the whole way. There was a lot of stop and go, waiting at street crossings, which may have partially contributed to how good I felt. I forgot how much I love running with groups though! The miles tick by so much faster and it just felt really good to mix things up. The weather was BEAUTIFUL too; it felt more like the beginning of spring than the last day of January!

After we finished up, I decided to take an Uber home, rather than tack on an additional 3 miles, running back to my house. My Uber driver noticed my running clothes – turns out, he had run a couple of marathons many years ago! We chatted about running and training during the short drive back to my house and he wished me luck on my marathon.

Then, I came in and the newest issue of Runner’s World had arrived. I had been hoping it would come for days, especially after I saw the newest issue at the grocery store (and was almost tempted to buy it, despite having a subscription) It was seriously the best morning ever!!! 🙂

So Happy GIF | 2 Generations Running

Sunday – 6 miles. I probably should have run these slower, but I wanted to see how it felt running my goal pace outside versus on the treadmill. My splits were:

Mile 1 – 9:00/mile, Mile 2 – 8:38/mile, Mile 3 – 8:03/mile, Mile 4 – 8:47/mile, Mile 5 – 8:09/mile, Mile 6 – 8:40/mile

Miles 3 and 5 were when I was aiming for 8:05, so I was a little under and a little over, but not bad. Running this pace definitely feels more manageable outdoors (at least on the flats!) It was a gorgeous day to run again, with temps in the mid 40s. All the birds were out, and it felt like spring. I stopped to take a pic during the last mile-

2 Generations Running

Total Mileage for the Week: 34

Motivation Levels: Still High!

And this week’s inspirational quote:

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together" | 2 Generations RunningAnd now I’m off to Ohio for work! Be back soon 🙂

How was your week? Would you rather run long with a group or by yourself?

Delaware Marathon Training: And So It Begins!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Years! I don’t care if it’s cheesy or cliched, but I’m really excited about 2016. Things are lookin’ up around here!

Despite all my nerves and indecision about training for a marathon through the winter, I feel good about my choice. I am opting to follow the plan that my mom used when she trained for Baystate this fall, from the Runners World Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training (<- A great resource that I highly recommend!) However, I do plan to play with the workouts a bit.

Hansons Marathon MethodAfter hearing so much about the Hansons Marathon Method, I knew I wanted to pick up this book and learn more about the Hansons marathon training regimen. I haven’t made my way through the whole book yet, but so far, many of the concepts and workouts make a lot of sense to me. However, I know it’s not realistic for me to attempt this training plan for Delaware. There are a few reasons for this, but the big one is that I work 8:30-5:30 during the week, and this plan has HEAVY mid-week mileage. I think I would drive myself crazy waking up at the crack of dawn to run 6 days a week, and I don’t want to experience marathon burnout. I do like the idea of the strength runs though (these are runs that are completed at around 10 seconds/mile faster than goal marathon pace). It makes sense to me that if you can get through longer workouts at this faster pace, then on raceday, your goal pace should (in theory) feel easy.

So I’ll probably be adding some of these strength runs into the Runners World plan, and I’ve also boosted some of the early mileage in the plan to reflect my current fitness level. I’m planning to incorporate lots of cross-training during some of the prescribed rest days as well.

While the plan doesn’t officially kick in until January 18th, I’m already thinking of my workouts as the beginnings of my marathon training! Last week, my mom and I went on a great 10 mile run, completed entirely at her goal marathon pace (9:15/mile). We did a great job maintaining the pace, even with some tough hills thrown into the mix.

Now that I’m back to my apartment, I’m beginning the work of dialing into my own goal pace – 8:05/mile (otherwise known as scary fast.) On Friday, I did a 6 mile tempo run, with 4 miles at goal pace. I ended up averaging 8:04, 8:07, 8:09, and 7:58 for those miles, which I was pleased with, especially considering I was up pretty late for New Year’s Eve the night before! I paused before my cool-down mile to take this photo to commemorate my first run of 2016 –

2 Generations Running | Running in BostonI followed it up with a long run on Saturday – 9.3 miles at 8:37/mile. I think my legs were tired from the tempo run the day before, and this was pretty tough. I spent the rest of the day in my compression socks, and groaning in pain anytime I was forced to walk up or down stairs. Guess I should get used to that since that will probably be the new norm for the 16 weeks!

Sunday, I decided to give my legs a much deserved rest, but did go to the gym to get a little cross-training in.

Overall, a pretty solid start to 2016!

How was your New Years? Any big resolutions this year?