Training in Review & Goals

It’s that time again to look back at my training and share my goals for Boston.

This training cycle I pushed myself a bit more with both mileage and speed. While I kept my base training plan, I added an additional warm-up/cool down mile to my interval workouts and tempo runs. I reviewed and speed up slightly my various paces to reflect my last marathon and half marathons. These paces got HARD. I typically stayed at the lower to middle end of my pace ranges, though at times, I was able to speed up to the higher end.

The additional mileage added up to just over one hundred more miles run, than when I trained for Lake Wobegon. I planned to add a slow recovery runs on Sundays, but the way my schedule worked out, Mondays were a speed workout day, so I kept my Sunday rest day. I also didn’t want to overdue my mileage increase.

My average weekly mileage is still what many marathoners, would consider low, peaking at about 45 mpw. It has worked for me, so while I was willing to increase it slightly, there was no way I was going to up it to 60-80 mpw. I frankly don’t have the time to do so. Nor do I think my body would respond well to it.

Here’s the breakdown:

Total Miles Run: 574.18 miles
Average Weekly Mileage: 36 miles
Highest Weekly Mileage: 44.44 miles
Number of Tempo Runs: 15
Number of Interval Runs: 15
Fastest Interval Pace: 5:05 min/mile (Orangetheory), 6:07 min/mile (400 m)
Number of Long Runs: 16
Average Long Run Distance: 15.9 miles
Number of Orangetheory Workouts: 15

So how am I feeling now? Other than the usual taper exhaustion, I’m pretty good. I feel random aches in pains, such as stiffness in the big toe on my right foot and a little ache under my left knee. Oh and I caused a strain/spasm in my trapezius muscle on my left side when I napped too long on my arm last Saturday. Obviously it was really tight and that was just the cherry on top. It’s been so sore and stiff, I haven’t been able to turn my head to the right or sleep. On Tuesday, I went to see a physical therapist who adjusted me, gave me a painful massage and acupuncture. 

Ouch! The stiffness is much better, but after my easy 30 minute run on Wednesday night, it seized right up again and was really painful. I had one last appointment on Thursday which definitely left me with some nasty bruises. Hopefully it will be all squared away by race day. I need the power in my arms to use when my legs get tired.

Now onto goals. Are ready? You won’t believe me…

I don’t have any.

I suppose that’s not entirely true. My goal is to take in the experience. Take in the crowds and the course. Enjoy my victory lap that I worked so hard to take. I want to run a smart race. Start slow and not be defeated by the Newton hills. Seriously, that is it.

I’d be lying if I did say I’m really nervous. Part of it is because it’s the freaking Boston Marathon. Another part is that I have a lot of eyes watching/tracking me. The support is amazing, but also totally nerve wracking. All I can do now is trust my training, hydrate, eat right and rest. So that’s what I’m doing.

WIAW: Boston Marathon Week Edition 

My sensitive stomach when running has been a source on issues for a few years now. After experimenting with the low FODMAP diet, I’ve found what I need to avoid in order to try to prevent any GI issues during the race. Basically that means anything that tastes really good, is out. No onions, garlic, avocado, apples, pistachios, peanut butter, etc. Oh and no wheat or dairy. While I’m not a celiac, it does cause some digestive issues. I only care before a race, otherwise, give me all.the.bread.

Last May when I ran the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, I had no stomach issues and had plenty of energy. I attribute a lot of this to my bland diet and an appropriate amount of carbs the week prior. I’m basically copying it this week. Without further adieu, here’s what a typical day of eating during marathon week looks like.

Breakfast: Two Gluten-Free Blueberry Waffles with a banana and some raspberries with a glass of water.


AM Snack: Doesn’t really count as a snack, but to up my carbs I need sports drinks. Mid-morning I drank this G2. Regular Gatorade obvious has more sugar, but I just cannot handle how syrupy it is.

Lunch: Turkey sandwich on gluten-free bread with carrots and gluten-free pretzels and a big glass of water.

Afternoon Snack: I crack open a Smart Water while I snack on two graham crackers with almond butter. I spent the rest of the night sipping on that bottle of water. While I need to hydrate, I don’t need to overdo it.

Dinner: Shredded BBQ chicken sandwich with steamed green beans and roasted sweet potatoes with another glass of water.

Dessert: I gave up sweets for Lent, as I do every year. While that would be an easy way to get carbs, it’s not an option. Dessert was a package of instant steel cut oats with cranberries and blueberries. I didn’t take a picture because they exploded all over the microwave and it was a mess. At least I got to eat 3/4 of it.

These meals put me at about 225-250g/carbs. Come Friday and Saturday, my carb intake goal is around 400-500g. That is a ton of carbs. I love carbs, but I just can’t eat that many. To get them, I’ll probably grab a few Vitamin Waters to drink as well. I also try to make sure I get some form of protein in most meals and a vegetable.

What’s your key to race success?

Boston Marathon Training {Weeks 15 & 16}

Taper, taper, taper. I was ready for taper this cycle. While I’ve typically struggled with the decrease in activity, I’ve really taken to it this time around. It could be because of burn out, but maybe it’s also because my mileage hasn’t decreased as drastically as it has in the past.

My first week was spent in Indiana with my mom and stepdad. The trip was originally going to be spent taking care of my mom, but since she is part of the fewest and luckiest group of patients to have a fungal infection rather than lung cancer, we got to do fun things. This included the children’s museum, seeing Beauty and the Beast and taking Josh to his first Orangetheory class. I felt so good at that class that I had to run at a 9.8-10 during each push to try to get into the orange zone. The rest of the week my schedule was totally off, as we’re my sleep and diet, which is never good.

Week 15:

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Orangetheory (2.02 miles)
Wednesday – 6 miles w/4 at tempo
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 7×800 @ 6:35 min/mile + 2 mile WU/CD
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 15 mile run

This second week of taper has been full of crazies. Is my big toe stiff? Does my knee really hurt? Am I really going to be able to manage the distance again? What’s the weather going to be like? Gah, I’ve gained weight, that will cost me four minutes. Can I lose it before the race? Probably not a good idea to cut that many calories right now. Shit.

Things like that. Also thrown in there have been dreams that we have a spring snow storm and all flights out of MSP are cancelled, thus preventing me from even making it to Boston. Hopefully the crazies will subside this week while I rest, relax and carb load. Eight days left! AHHHH.

Week 16:

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 10 miles w/8 at Tempo
Wednesday – Orangetheory (3.45 miles)
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 3×1600 @ 7:03 min/mile + 1 mile Warm-up/Cool down
Saturday – 9.61 miles (We underestimated our loop. Close enough to the 10 I needed.)
Sunday – Rest


Lake Wobegon Marathon Training Review

It’s race week! Eek. I’m feeling better than I was last week but still have a gross cough and phlegm stuck in my throat. I’m doing anything I can to get rid of it. Hopefully all will be well come Saturday morning.

This week is full of uneventful runs. I have only two scheduled, one was for 30 minutes last night and the other for 20 minutes which I’ll do on Thursday. Hopefully we will get a break in the rain tomorrow so I can also do that run outside. It’s much easier to let my body move at its natural pace outdoors. With little to report in actual training, I’m going to do a little training review. Over the past 15 weeks I’ve put in a lot of hard work.

Total Miles Run: 479.85
Average Weekly Mileage: 31.76 miles
Highest Weekly Mileage: 39 miles
Number of Tempo Runs: 15
Number of Interval Runs: 14
Fastest Interval Pace: 5:27 min/mile (Orangetheory), 6:18 min/mile (400m)
Number of Long Runs: 15
Average Long Run Distance: 15.4 miles
Average Long Run Pace: 8:27 min/mile
Number of Orangetheory Workouts: 13

Training through the winter in less than ideal conditions is no joke. While most of my runs were great, there were a few this round that were tough. Deep snow, extremely slippery ice and bitter cold kept training interesting. While those runs definitely slowed me down, I think they helped toughen me up a bit.

There are a few things I did a little differently this time around. First, I technically added a fourth day of running with the introduction of my weekly Orangetheory session. While this didn’t add much mileage, it was extra wear and tear on the body. I’d like to think that it’s helped with my speed and endurance. After all, I definitely had never run 5:27 min/mile interval before.

I upped my mileage ever so slightly as well. For the first time I hit nearly 40 miles in a single week. I’ve never done that before. I believe in my last training cycle my highest mileage was 37 miles. While that is pretty minimal weekly mileage for some marathoners, I think it’s pretty good for only running three days/week. My body handled both the increase in mileage and addition of Orangetheory well.

Hopefully all of this training will pay off on race day.

The weather is looking promising at the moment. The forecast is for upper 30s when we start and a high in the mid-50s for the day with 15-25 mph winds. If those are tail winds, I’ll be all for it. I’m struggling to decided on what to wear. I think I’ll bring multiple options with me.

For now, I’m off to celebrate National Foam Rolling Day. I know you’re jealous.

Lake Wobegon Marathon Training {Week 15}

What’s that pain? OMG my throat is sore. There is no way I’d get sick before a marathon again. Nope, not a chance…right?

The taper crazies have set in. I’ve had phantom pains and trouble sleeping. I’ve had bad dreams and guess what, I’m sick. Luckily it is not strep. Phew. As it turns out it is just a run of the mill upper respiratory infection.

I’m seeing a trend here with my immune system. I’m starting to wonder if I’m self sabotaging because I’m afraid of missing my lofty goals. I mean what are the chances that I get sick before Chicago and then again this time around? This is just nuts. Over the past week I’ve napped just about every day, been hydrating, doing the netti pot and taking zinc in hopes that I will kick before race day.

Needless to say, I have taken it easy this week. I slowed my paces on my tempo and intervals this week and I skipped Orangetheory which was really a bummer. I also ran my last long run inside. Amy and I called it quits after just over a half mile into our run. Smoke from the fires in Canadian was so heavy, the air quality was awful. It just wasn’t worth it to stress my lungs any more than necessary. I was definitely glad that it was only 10 miles.

Next week calls for only two easy runs for a total of 50 minutes. One week to go!

Monday – 8 mile tempo (8:01 min/mile avg.)
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 3 miles walk + strength
Thursday – 3×1600 @ 7:19 min/mile (7:51 min/mile avg.)
Friday – 2.25 mile walk
Saturday – 10.06 miles
Sunday – TBD but probably rest