Hartford Marathon Training: Week 3, 7/13 – 7/19

Just to give you an idea of how this post is going to go, this was my mantra for the week:

imageThis week is not a story of fast paced or impressive workouts. This is a story about surviving my workouts through a summer cold! I didn’t skip run miles, but I’m down a bike ride and a swim. I’m not so concerned with the swim since I’ll get plenty of open water swim practice when we go up to visit our family lake house in a few weeks, but I am concerned about the bike. I have a tri on August 9th.

My cold started last Sunday afternoon (like the 12th), but I thought I was just exhausted from the weekend. We had a wedding that Friday, bridal shower on Saturday, open water swim and a 70th birthday that Sunday. I had to travel pretty far for the Friday and Saturday events so there was minimal sleep happening. I thought I just needed to catch up on some sleep, but unfortunately it turned into a full blown cold. I got up Monday, went to the gym anyway but was snoozing on the couch by lunch time. I STILL have a nasty cough that doesn’t seem to want to let up. There are no impressive splits here this week – I did what I had to do and didn’t push the pace. The final workout of my week was a trail race – I’ll review that soon. So this week, I bring you a tale of slower paced runs and cramming high mileage towards the end of the week in an attempt to not miss miles so early on in my training.

Monday, 7/13 – 2300 Meter Swim + Strength/PT/Core
I was at the very beginning of my summer cold but got in the pool anyway, thought I was imagining a cold since I actually felt decent swimming. I did a short sprint workout thinking I would do a longer workout later in the week. I could feel myself getting tired when strength training, and went home and crashed. Eeeeek. Sore throat, cough, stuffy nose. Ew.

Tuesday, 7/14 –  5 Mile Recovery Run
After lounging on the couch, I couldn’t tell if I was being lazy or still feeling crappy so I got my running clothes on and threw my bike on the car (just in case I felt good) and headed out with the intention of doing a track workout IF I felt okay. No dice. Got through my 2 mile warm up feeling dizzy, shaky, and unable to breathe. My legs felt like Jell-O. Finished it out as a recovery run and spent the rest of the day on the couch recovering. I did manage a fast finish mile. Overall pace, 8:26.

Wednesday, 7/15Specific Endurance Interval Workout (2 mile warmup and cool down, 4×6 minutes @ 10K pace w/ 3 minute active recoveries – 8.5 miles total) + Strength/Core/PT + Yin Yoga + Pole Fitness

I seemed to be feeling better so off to the track it was, even though it was pretty rainy. The workout wasn’t really meant to be a track workout, but I wanted to control my pace after what happened with last week’s specific endurance intervals. This workout comes from the base building phase of Run Faster From the 5K to the Marathon, my other tried and true training plan. While my training is heavily derived from Pfitzinger, I like the intervals and bursts in the base building phase of this book. I feel like it’s too much to ask my body to run super easy miles for 5 weeks and then BAM. Lactate threshold runs with 4-5 miles @ half marathon pace right out of the gates. That sounds scary.

After last week’s workout fail (it was a similar one to this), I was a little more in tune to what pace to use for 10K pace. I aimed for 6:25-6:40 as my 10K pace. 6:40 reflects both my current 10K PR pace and my McMillian predicted 10K pace based on my Boston time. The 6:25 was the 10K prediction based on my PR of 3:06, which is absolutely a reach right now. With speed workouts, I need parameters. I want to make sure that I’m challenging myself without training at a pace I have not yet achieved. I told myself to try to keep it under 6:40 but even if I was feeling exceptional, there should be no split faster than 6:25. Each interval was six minutes long, and it was a success:

Interval 1- 6:38
Interval 2 – 6:33
Interval 3 – 6:28
Interval 4 – 6:32

Other than the fact that my last split wasn’t my fastest, I was pleased with the workout. But I kept wondering why these intervals felt so hard – I mean, they were only six minutes…hey, wait a minute. I’m running 6:30s here. That means I was basically doing mile repeats. Oops! I looked at my splits after and the distance for each one? Just under a mile for each one, .92-.93. I thought back to the workout in my buildup for Grandma’s where I did 8×1 mile @ 6:45 (most were faster than 6:45, but mainly in the 6:40s). I did twice the intervals that day but I remembered that they felt MUCH harder. I remember nearly crapping my pants and walk-running the cool down at something like an 11 minute pace. This time, I did these intervals and cooled down in the 8:20s and felt really good. Usually, with my intervals, I begin with a burst of speed and I’m usually working pretty hard at the end of each interval. For the last one, I tried something different. I tried going out slower and then picking it up. I think I waited too long to pick it up because there was no getting close to that 6:28 – but I really wanted to try it and see how it felt. So no fast finish interval, but my last one wasn’t my slowest, either! I finished up with some drills and MYRTLs.

One thing I learned from my former coach that I agree with is that on speed workouts, the focus should be on the pace of the intervals and not the pace of the warm up, cool down, or recoveries. I walk/jogged (mostly walked) my recoveries, but ran my warm up and cool down. Overall pace for the run including warm up, cool down, and recoveries – 8:25.

I headed to the gym for a quick strength/core session to get that out of the way earlier in the week (I like to lift twice per week), and I felt pretty good. My right glute/hamstring/hip was still hating on me, so after a session of lifting and PT at the gym, I came home and did this Yin Yoga practice for hips and hamstrings:

It was an excellent practice, but if you’ve never done Yin Yoga, beware: these are deep stretches that are held for several minutes, so get ready to be uncomfortable. You will not sweat during this workout – it’s solely about stretching. Yin Yoga is all about holding specific postures for extended periods of time to release fascia on a deeper level. The video itself is boring so queue up a good playlist or a good show on Netflix to keep you occupied while you do it. You will only do about five different postures during the entire practice. It was exactly what I needed.

I headed to pole class with my sister in laws that night. I didn’t really feel like doing another workout but I’m really enjoying hanging with my sister-in-laws this summer. My husband is one of 10 – 7 boys, 3 girls. Most of his brothers are over hanging with him all of the time, so I get to see most of the brothers. His sisters and I used to be closer when we were younger, but as we got older and life got busier, we grew apart. It’s been fun hanging out this summer so I really didn’t want to cancel. Even though I was tired, class was still super fun. We worked on some new tricks, but it was a pretty tough class and I didn’t perfect anything new – so no fun pictures this week!

Thursday, 7/161 Mile Run
…and nothing else. I had good intentions of running one of my two longer runs this day. I woke up and couldn’t stop coughing. My chest felt really tight, and I just felt off. Not as bad as I felt on Monday, so I got my running clothes on and went to the park. It was about 70 degrees and sunny – almost no humidity, an absolutely perfect day. But when I got out of the car, I had goosebumps and was freezing, and I broke out in a cold sweat before I even began running. I got to .18 of a mile and wanted to quit. I told myself I needed to make it to one mile and reassess, because most times one mile is all I need and I can snap out of it. At one mile, I stopped and had a total coughing fit. I walked to my car. Overall pace, 8:56. I was SO cranky. Not a cloud in the sky and perfect temps (it’s been raining and SUPER humid here this summer), and I spent the rest of the day inside sulking.

Friday, 7/1714 Mile Run + 18 Mile Bike + Yin Yoga/Core
Needless to say, I felt better on Friday. I still felt groggy but I think it was from laying around all day on Thursday. I got my running clothes on, headed to Starbucks, and drove to the Plainfield Trail. It’s a 25-30 minute drive but I figured it would give me time to drink my coffee and get pumped up. I haven’t run the whole trail yet – I’ve heard it’s nearly seven miles long, so I figured it would also be good to have somewhere new to explore. I was aiming to keep the run on the easier side of my long run range (McMillian says 7:18-8:33) since I wasn’t feeling well, had speedy long runs the past two weeks, and had a 15K trail race on the schedule for Sunday. I managed very even splits, with the second half of the run slightly faster than the first, and a fast finish mile. Around mile 7, I turned around and realized I brought no fuel. I don’t normally carry water, but I usually bring GU for runs longer than 10-12 miles. This was the first run of that distance in this training block so it didn’t cross my mind until I didn’t have it. Overall pace, 7:48 and it felt pretty good. I didn’t feel totally drained after the run.

The biggest surprise of the day was the 18 mile ride. I didn’t feel like biking but with the upcoming tri, I didn’t want to skip bike rides. I resolved to do a loop that would be just over an hour. I’ve been struggling with my biking this year – I don’t feel as good as last year. Last year, I was really bike focused because I was training for two half-Ironman races and had a calf strain that ached when I ran. I’ve been way more run focused this year so I can’t get too hung up on it. But this ride felt effortless, and I averaged 16.5 mph – what? I often struggle to even hit 16mph this year. It was the first time I felt like I could power up hills while staying seated (other than the huge 255 foot climb during mile 12!) and felt like my old bike self.

I went home, did some easy core work/drills/MYRTLs, the Yin Yoga video from above, and threw myself into an ice bath. Figured I should try to minimize the damage since I still had a medium long run on the schedule for Saturday and a race on Sunday.

Saturday, 7/18 – 11 Mile Recovery Run + 10 x 8 second hill sprints (.5 miles) + Yin Yoga
My plan for the day was actually a run and a swim, but the run was a struggle. The run was scheduled as a general aerobic run so the pace should have been more like Friday’s 14 miler.  With being sick and unable to do harder workouts on Tuesday and Thursday, I chose to keep the miles slow because I had the upcoming trail race. At this point, I wasn’t really concerned about doing anything special at the trail race, but I didn’t want to skip miles during my base building phase. I figured at worst, I run the trail race for fun and get the miles in. I’m not training for a 15K or a trail run – I’m training for a marathon, so the mileage is my focus. I didn’t feel terrible running the 11 miles, but I didn’t feel awesome either. Since I was running recovery paced miles, I used my Newtons for five miles! I’ve only done 2.5 in them so far so it was risky, but they felt great.

Instead of swimming, I opted for a massage and that yin yoga video once again in hopes of salvaging my legs for Sunday’s race. I did end the run with a half mile of hill sprints, bringing my mileage to 11.5 for the day. Overall pace, 8:38.

Sunday, 7/19 – Quadzilla 15K Trail Race (10 miles total with warm up and cool down)
Race recap coming soon!!!! I’m not a trail runner and didn’t win overall, but let’s just say that it went MUCH better than anything I ever expected 😉 I’d planned to bike for about two hours after the race, and I actually felt really good – but it was the hottest day of the summer and I’ll be honest. I just didn’t want to. I spent the last three days cramming in long runs and I was just over it. My friends and family wanted to come hang out by my pool, so I said screw it. I don’t bail on workouts but I just didn’t want to and I think it’s good – I don’t want to burn out. If it was a run, I wouldn’t have skipped it since that’s my focus. Yes, I want to do well in my tri but it’s not what I’m really gearing up for right now. I signed up for it because it takes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to cross train.

Swim:  2300 meters ♥ Bike: 18 miles ♥  Run: 50 miles

Things that I didn’t get to do this week? A bike/transition ride, a swim, super speedy miles, and take pictures for this post. Sorry for that – how boring! To end on a positive note, I got on my yoga mat three times, hit that 50 mile mark and ran some long miles on tired legs, ending with a successful race. While it wasn’t my best week ever, it wasn’t a loss either. I think it was almost a good thing that I had to scale some things back a notch because it took me to the next level with my mileage.

How was your week? Do you train when you have a cold?

37 Replies to “Hartford Marathon Training: Week 3, 7/13 – 7/19”

  1. Even though you had a terrible cold you still pulled off an impressive week! Well done 🙂 Thanks for sharing the Yin Yoga for Runners – I’m trying to get back to doing more yoga now that my hamstring is feeling really good and this will be a great addition.
    I feel like I had an awesome week of training. I’ve trained when I’ve had a cold before but usually have to adapt as well. Summer cold are going around and I feel our house is about to get hit next.

    1. Thank you! It wasn’t the way I envisioned the week to go down, but I was glad to get some good miles in! Soooo excited to hear you had a great week of training – keep it UP!!! Fingers crossed the summer colds stay away from your house, this one was no fun. I’m still coughing!

  2. Summer colds are the worst! At least during the winter it makes sense to cozy up with a mess of blankets and hibernate. I hope you are feeling better soon! I’ll train through colds if they are head/sinus congestion. If it is chest congestion, I take the time off. I tried training through a chest cold once and ended up being sick for over a month. The second I would start to feel slightly better, I was out running. Then two days later I would be feeling even worse. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Finally my doctor told me absolutely no running for a full week.

    1. Usually my rule of thumb is if it’s from the neck up, keep running (like congestion/runny nose kind of thing). If it’s in my chest, stop. But this was weird – it was like the cough wasn’t deep in my chest – almost like my neck! Wtf? It’s still lingering, but I do feel better! I am hoping this week will go a little more smoothly!!

  3. You trained really well for having a cold. I think it’s okay to train if you have a cold if you adjust your workouts accordingly and listen to your body. I personally wouldn’t race sick and I don’t get sick much so I’d probably just take the days off to heal and look at it as a sign I need to rest… but as long as you don’t wind up feeling worse after workouts, I guess there’s really no HARM. Take care of yourself and hopefully a different kind of training week this week- but you still got a ton of miles in and a lot of yoga too.

    1. I agree, definitely adjust accordingly for illness! I did race, but I do agree with the no racing while sick. However, I wasn’t going into the race to kill it and it was a trail run, so I went anyway. If it were a road race (even a 5K) I would have passed on it!

  4. Wow that’s a pretty solid week of training!! Awesome job! Love that yoga video, thanks for the share! I def need to incorporate some of those moves into my stretching (which I TOTALLY dropped the ball on last week). Hope you have another good week!

    1. Thanks! It’s really good – I mean, not the most interesting yoga video but post run those stretches feel amazing and it worked WONDERS on the hamstring thing I’ve been dealing with. It was pretty sore for a few days and I feel like it made a world of a difference! Enjoy!

  5. You are a beast!! Summer colds are the worst!! You already feel hot and sweaty from being sick, add in the summer weather, yuck!! You handled it like a champ!! I am going to check out that Yin Yoga for sure. It sounds like something I could definitely add in! Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a week, Allison!! The last couple of times I’ve gotten a cold I try to train through it, but I definitely take it easier on myself and slack a little on the miles. I don’t think you needed to do that much while sick so you’re like a total superhero for doing all that!! And in this heat and humidity too…I’ve been struggling with it and opting for the treadmill more often than I care to admit lol. I could use some fall weather right about now! Also, I’m amazed you had such a great race after going for some high mileage in the days right before it. I think that speaks volumes about how you sometimes surprise yourself when you don’t have that pressure on your mind. I’m trying to get into that mindset more and more because I think it makes such a huge difference in your performance!

    1. Thank you! The order of the runs was not what I wanted so it fit it all in I had to back off on pace but it ended up working out well. By Sunday, I was surprised to actually be feeling good and not all jacked up. The humidity stinks!!!! So ready for fall weather! The no pressure thing really is awesome. It’s why I signed up for a lot of these races. Mostly distances and events that take me out of my comfort zone so no expectations! It’s helped quite a bit with confidence!

  7. I can handle anything: stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, even throwing up but I HATE COUGHING. Especially in the summer when it’s hot. UGH. I am so sorry. I’m glad you’re feeling better and man, you had an impressive week despite being sick! Those are some fast almost-mile splits. I need to get back to the track soon. I keep convincing myself that I’m still recovering from the half. Ha! Can’t wait to hear about your trail race!

    1. Thanks! Recap is almost done 🙂 Seriously it’s the coughing that completely did me in. AWFUL!!! I do love the track. I probably could have done that workout on the roads but I wanted to be on the track so badly!

  8. Being sick sucks so much, especially when you have a lot of training to do. I love trail running and I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed your race! I can’t wait to hear about it.

  9. I convince myself that running fixes all problems – including medical so I usually run through everything. Unless I need antibiotics. Then I take a day off : ) I’m right there with you with a summer cold – I’ve been congested for the past two weeks and my co-workers are like who gets sick in the summer!? Haha.

  10. i’m a struggle bus with running lately, as i hate the humidity, my life has been so freaking busy that i’m just popping in the running when i can (and nothing longer than 6 miles, so that’s been a training fail), and my legs are just sore. FAIL. but life is good otherwise! nice job with the training and FEEL BETTER!

    1. It’s summer! It’s effing HOT!!! You are enjoying life and that’s what matters. Your legs will feel better once the fall hits. Hang in there! You are having an awesome summer, I’ve been living vicariously through you!

  11. Way to push through! When I have a cold I feel like staying active helps, even if it’s nice and easy. It’s better to keep moving! Hope you get over it soon! It’s no fun being sick in the summer!

  12. You still had a great week despite that summer cold. Those are the worst! I’ll train when I’m sick, though I probably won’t be too happy about it. I hope that you are feeling better. I’m excited to hear about your trail race.

  13. Can I have one of your sick weeks?? You did awesome despite being under the weather–way to push through! When I was reading your intervals, I thought–holy shit, she’s practically running a mile (just like you said!) That’s so fast–you did kinda get some speed in there somewhere 🙂

    1. Thank you!! I didn’t really think about the distance of the intervals until after it was over. I was like, why does six minutes feel like an eternity?! It was good to get in a speed workout though!

    1. Thank you!!!! Omg I know what you mean about the weird sweat. It’s like clammy. You’re not really hot but you’re still sweating. Ick!!! Yep, that’s what I felt on Thursday!

  14. Way to go keeping up your mileage while not feeling too well! In my eyes that makes you a BEAST! 🙂

    And, you picked a great time to share that yoga video; that’s just what I need right about now.

    Happy Monday!

  15. Amazing week! All that and you were sick?! You rock! Thanks for sharing the yoga link, I just saved it. I need all the stretching help I can get! Granted it’s probably more than I can handle but it’s worth checking out. 🙂 Hope you’re feeling better!

    1. Thank you! I felt pretty rough! But in all fairness, I didn’t have a fever – if I had that, all bets would have been off and I would have done nothing! It really isn’t a tough video – just intense stretching. Honestly, it’s pretty boring so I watch TV while I have it going but the stretches are effective!

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