Boston Marathon Training {Week 14}

Peak.Week.

What a week it has been. Mileage is all down hill from here to race day. I’ve been feeling more anxious about race day this week. I don’t think it is so much the distance, but the race itself. It’s the Boston Marathon. A marathon that is for many, like myself, the holy grail of marathons.

It was fitting that this week, as my anxiety levels started rising that this picture popped up on my Facebook memories.

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Exactly five years ago last week, on a work trip to Boston, I took advantage of my opportunity to visit the marathon finish line. I had my coworker take my picture to show that yes, I had been to the finish line of one of, if not the most, prestigious marathons in the country.

Back then I was a 5:07 marathoner who had not gotten through a race without crying because I was tired and questioning my sanity. I had an eight month old and honestly didn’t know if I would do another marathon. I NEVER thought I would be fast enough to qualify for Boston. That was my moment to ‘cross’ the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Fast forward to today, now I have two kids and am just 20 days away from running the race I never thought I’d be fast enough to earn a spot in. I still cry occasionally at races, but they’re usually tears of joy as I cross the finish line. While I want to take a little break from the marathon distance after Boston, I know I’ll run another one.

The tears I shed as I crossed the finish line at Lake Wobegon, after smashing my qualifying time, almost seem like a dream. Did it really happen? Did I really qualify last May? Can I really run that fast again?

It really happened. I really did. I really can (I hope). I have worked hard. I worked hard to get back into running after having Ella and ran my first sub-5 hour marathon. I worked hard to get back into running after having Anderson and ran my first sub-4 hour marathon. I’ve worked hard to take off nearly an hour and 40 minutes off my marathon time to run my first sub-3:30 marathon. I’ve worked hard to qualify.

I worked hard. I earned my spot. I deserve to be there among some of the fastest marathoners in the world.

Now I just have to get through taper.

Monday – 9 miles w/7 at tempo
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Orangetheory (3.68 miles)
Thursday – 6×1200 @ 6:40 min/mile w/2 mile WU and CD
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 22 mile long run
Sunday – Walk

Boston Marathon Training {Week 13}

I try not to have back to back speed workouts for several reasons. The first of which, is my body need recovery time. Obviously the fresher the legs, the better my speed work will go. The second, doing tough workouts back to back, is a recipe for injury. No one wants that. I also try not to do a tough run the day before my long run. Nothing like heavy legs trying to run long distances.

Last week, I broke my own, unspoken rules. After my Orangetheory workout on Wednesday, my legs were exhausted. For nearly a half hour, we did push, after push, all-out after all-out. While I felt like I was dying a bit, I hit my fastest 30 second all-out ever at 11.8 mph (5:05 min/mile!). That was pretty exciting! Anyway, Thursday came and I just did not have the energy to get my intervals done. I grudgingly, pushed my intervals to Friday morning.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, my legs were so tired. I told Amy, who wasn’t feeling great herself, my legs were a bit upset with me. We toughed it out in some pretty rough wind conditions with a plethora of hills to keep us on our toes. It was a tough run for both of us. Breaking my own rule had definitely affected my long run. I will not be repeating that this weekend before my last (!) long run before taper.

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 8 miles w/6 at Tempo
Wednesday – Orangetheory (3.5 miles)
Thursday – 30 min walk + 15 min bike + stretching (dead legs from OTF)
Friday – 6×800 @ 6:40 min/mile + 2 mile WU/CD
Saturday – 18 mile run
Sunday -Rest

Boston Marathon Training {Weeks 11&12}

I could not find my rhythm. I drank more water, wiped the sweat from my brow and started the treadmill up again. For the third time, I’d stopped the treadmill to do this. I was mentally struggling. My legs felt like bricks. I hadn’t slept well the night before and was a bit on the dehydrated side. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I needed the run to be over. I probably should have just thrown in the towel, but with only two weeks left before taper, I wouldn’t let myself give up. I slowed down my tempo pace, but still, I was struggling. A run that was easy last week, felt like torture.

My run had a case of the Mondays. Runs like this leave me questioning my fitness and my ability to make it through a marathon. Obviously, I know I can run a marathon. I’ve done it and I will do it again next month, but I feel so slow. When I reflect on how I felt during training for Lake Wobegon, either I’m romanticizing it, or I was in way better shape.

Going into this weekend, I needed a solid long run. I warned my friends that I was going to pick up the pace. Though I’d stay at conversation pace, I wasn’t going to dilly dally. Saturday morning was COLD. It was about 6 degrees with a windchill bringing it down to about -8. Needless to say I had lots layers on and was thankful that Amy was willing to brave the cold with me for 10 of my 21 miles. It was exactly the run I needed. I felt GREAT. Even at conversation pace and tackling hills, I was hitting low 8s. After I dropped Amy off back at her car, made a pit stop to refill my water bottles, I was off for the last 11 miles. I still felt great, singing along to my music and shouting out to the other runners on the trails. Much to my surprise, my average pace for the run was 8:09. Obviously this doesn’t count my two bathroom/gel stops, but those was brief. Hopefully I will feel this good in 32 days.

Over the next few weeks, I’m trying to make sure I get more sleep, stay better hydrated and watch my eating a bit. With the onset of Lent, sweets were eliminated which is really tough for me. I crave sugar. I love sugar, especially after a savory meal. We will see how it goes. The peak of training can be hard and maybe it’s just that I’m ready for taper.

Week 11:

Monday – 7 miles w/ 5 at Tempo
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Orangetheory (2.79 miles of hills)
Thursday – 7×800 @ 6:40 min/mile + 2 mile WU/CD (9 miles total)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 17 mile run
Sunday – Rest

Week 12:

Monday – 8 miles w/ 6 at Tempo + body weight exercises
Tuesday – Body weight exercises, but mainly rest.
Wednesday – 5×1200 @ 7:03 min/mile w/2 mile WU/CD (8.75 miles total) + BW exercises
Thursday – Orangetheory (1.87 miles)
Friday – Body weight exercises, but mainly rest.
Saturday – 21 mile run
Sunday – Rest