Hartford Marathon Training: Week 6, 8/3-8/9

Last week, I was on vacation at beautiful Babcock Lake. It’s on the border of upstate NY/southern VT – near Bennington. My husband’s family has a house up there, and we visit for a week each year. While I do my fair share of eating and laying around, I also spend a lot of time training. Mostly running, but I also get in some miles swimming on the lake, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and doing yoga.imageBabcock Lake sits at the top of a mountain. I usually run the hilly road around the lake, but it’s only 1.8 miles. My other option is to venture out onto Babcock Lake Road. Making a left onto the road means a steep descent that I later need to climb to return back to our house. There’s only about 2 miles of road until you hit Route 7, which is also hilly and pretty busy so I stay away from it. Making a right features several steep climbs and some rolling hills – and about five miles of road towards Grafton, NY. Running the back roads off of Babcock Lake Road aren’t really an option for several reasons. They are unpaved and poorly marked, and a few years ago I got extremely lost trying to navigate the area. To the point where a 13 mile run ended up as a 17 mile run, and I was still 5 miles from the house. It ended with me pretty dehydrated and getting a ride home from a random stranger, and still too scared to go exploring up there.

Cell service is very limited, so even carrying a phone doesn’t help much. There are bears (I saw lots of bear scat this year!) and packs of wild dogs that roam the back roads. I have had several problems with dog attacks in past years. I was never bit, but I’ve had some really close calls and have been chased many times. I prefer the main roads, which means some nasty hills. I call it my week of hill training and do the best I can. I use my watch mainly for distance and don’t really get concerned about pace.

Monday, 8/3 – 17 Mile Long Run + Yin Yoga/Core + 1.8 Mile Walk

After a nice day off of running on Sunday, Monday was my long run day. I needed to front load my higher mileage in the beginning of the week since I was preparing for an upcoming triathlon on Sunday. I went into this run with no pace goals because I knew the hills I had ahead of me. I started with a few loops around the lake. When I got bored of the same scenery over and over (it’s only 1.8 miles around), I headed out to Babcock Lake Road and made a right to climb first, finish downhill. I managed to average 7:50s through mile 11, but once I hit the climbs I let myself relax and slow down. At that point, it was a net elevation gain for the next three miles. Once I got to my halfway point and turned around, I kicked it up a notch and felt decent. Finished the run with a fast finish mile – 6:57! I was excited. Overall pace for the run, 7:55. It’s the fastest long run I’ve ever done at the lake. I did MYRTLs and drills, core, and a yin yoga practice to stretch out after. The rest of the day was spent eating and enjoying the gorgeous lake! It was my day to cook for the family, so I made homemade macaroni and cheese, pulled pork sandwiches, a homemade caramelized onion dip, and a cucumber dill salad from my garden. Definitely the furthest thing from paleo, but it was the perfect recovery meal!


After dinner, I walked the loop around the lake with my mother in law. She is also scared of the dogs up there and won’t walk alone, so I made a point to walk with her every single day since she loves it so much.

Tuesday, 8/4 –  9 Mile General Aerobic Run + Core/Yin Yoga + 1.1 Mile Open Water Swim + 1.8 Mile Walk + Kayaking

Wasn’t sure how I would feel running but wanted to get the miles in regardless of pace. To try to keep things a little easier, I stuck to the loop around the lake. I actually felt decent and managed really even splits. Overall pace, 7:56. I made sure to do my MYTRLs and drills, and came back to the house and did core and yoga with my sister in law. In the afternoon, I swam the length of the lake and back to prepare for the upcoming triathlon and to get some practice in my wetsuit.

imageFinished off the night with a walk with my mother in law and kayaking with my husband and his brothers and sisters!

imageWednesday, 8/512 Mile Medium Long Run w/10 x 100 meter strides + Core/Yin Yoga + 1.8 Mile Walk + Stand Up Paddle Boarding

I made it my mission for this run to tackle all of the hills – and to run the majority of the downhill first. I decided it was going to be my preparation for the upcoming hilly half marathon I’m running next weekend. I decided to run a comfortable pace, but add my strides in over the last 5 miles (two per mile) and try for a fast finish mile. Here’s the elevation profile from the run:


Total elevation gain over the whole run was 1,300′. I didn’t hit lap for my strides – many of them were completely uphill. I just made a conscious effort to really push those parts of my run. My overall pace was an 8:03, and my final mile was a 6:57 again! It wasn’t as fast as my 17 miler but it was more elevation gain over a shorter period of time. I thought it was an awesome workout, and a successful training run for the upcoming half.

In the evening, we walked again and paddled the lake, and I used the stand up paddle board instead of the kayak since the lake looked like glass. It was so peaceful!

imageThursday, 8/68 Mile Recovery Run + 1.1 Mile Swim + Core/Yin Yoga + SUP

After my 12 miler yesterday and with the upcoming tri on Sunday, I told myself that I could run as slow as I wanted – even if it meant being out of my recovery zone – and to just get the miles in for the remainder of the week. I was starting to feel tired and really feel the effects of running on all hills and rocky roads (the loop around the lake is unpaved). I set out for my easy run and really did keep it easy, but around mile 3.5 I felt something really weird in my groin area. It felt like a tightening – very slight at first, but it got worse as I ran. I stopped, I stretched, I continued. It would loosen up and I’d think it was fine, but then it would return. I wasn’t happy. Everything else felt great, and my overall pace was an 8:54. I did drills and MYRTLs, and did abs and a yin yoga practice for groin, hips and adductors with my sister in law. I foam rolled the crap out of it, and swam the lake because swimming often loosens up my muscles.


We went out for dinner to one of the only restaurants nearby, the Man of Kent, so we skipped our walk but I did go for an evening paddle on the SUP. It was our last night so I spent some extra time paddling around the lake.

Friday, 8/77 Mile Recovery Run + SUP + Yin Yoga

I considered skipping the run since I had the upcoming tri and I thought my groin felt weird, but I had to see if the stretching and foam rolling helped. I ran cautiously and kept the pace easy, and actually felt fine. One time, around mile 5 I had to stop and stretch the area but it was a lot better than the previous day. I’m still worried about it, and keeping and eye on it, but that’s the name of the game – I’m now up to 60 mile weeks. Things will hurt and be sore, and I need to respect that. Overall pace, 8:57. Did a quick paddle on the SUP around the lake and an easy yoga practice with my sister in law on the dock before heading home.

imageIt was a wonderful week and I was sad that it was over!

Saturday, 8/8 – Pole Fitness + 13 Mile Bike + 1 Mile Run + Core/Yin Yoga

I missed my pole classes! Got an early morning text from one of my friends asking if I wanted to go to pole. I actually had zero intention of going because I didn’t want to chance being super sore for the tri on Sunday, but I missed it and jumped at the chance. I’m glad I did, learned how to do a “brass monkey”:

It was an early class, so since I had the triathlon and hadn’t ridden my bike all week long, I dusted off my bike and did an easy 13 mile loop followed by a one mile run as a shake out. I averaged 16 mph on the bike, which I was happy with considering I hadn’t been riding and wasn’t sure how it would feel. My mile off the bike was a 7:27 and felt really good – I wore my Newtons for it. Thought it might be good since I spent my whole week in the Brooks Pure Connect to switch it up.

Sunday, 8/9 – Steelman Olympic Triathlon – .9 Mile Swim, 24.6 Mile Bike, 10K Run

Race report coming soon! Here’s a little spoiler:


I won my age group! I can’t wait to recap the race – it was one of my most interesting race experiences for sure!

Swim:  3 miles ♥ Bike: 38 miles ♥  Run: 60 miles

I have so much to get caught up on in the blog world! I also want to do a post this week about Yin Yoga because I’ve been LOVING it – I didn’t post links to the videos I’ve been doing because I want to share them in a post for you guys. Hoping to have some time to sit around and get caught up this afternoon! I hope you had a wonderful week!!

How was your week? Do you work out on vacation?


45 Replies to “Hartford Marathon Training: Week 6, 8/3-8/9”

  1. What an awesome trip! I had just been reading about Babcock Lake and it sounds just like somewhere Rock and I would have sought out during our years of living in NYC. I love lake living just like you did. And I have definitely done the 13 miler on vacation that ended up lost and 17. My in-laws are on vacation right now and joking that the trails are missing me 😉

  2. I really have to try SUP one day. The lake looks beautiful!! I think I would prefer a lake vacation over a beach one any day! My week was fantastic- my little one came right on her due date and I was thrilled to find out she was a girl- I didn’t find out what I was having and was convinced I was having a boy 🙂 Cant wait to read the triathlon recap!!!

  3. Congrats on your age group win! I can’t wait to hear about it. The lake looks really beautiful. I would love to spend a week there. Frank and I were just in that area in June. The weather wasn’t too great, but the mountains were really beautiful.

  4. Congrats on your win this weekend! You’re doing such a great job this summer.

    Sounds like you had an amazing week! I love vacation, and nature 🙂

  5. Congratulations on your age group win!

    I started reading a book about hiking the Appalachian Trail this weekend and one of the first chapters was about bear attacks. Then the next day I set out for a run through the woods in an area that I have heard has bears (but I have never seen any). It definitely had me a tiny bit on edge. So apart from the bears and dogs, your week at the lake sounds just amazing!

  6. aaahhh that looks so peaceful and amazing! I want that, I want to be there haha. I think my friends did that tri too! they did it as a team/relay type thing, Kata swam and David did the bike and run. Looked like great weather and a fun time! Congrats on the age group win 🙂

  7. Oh, your hilly half is next weekend! That came up fast. I still can’t believe you ran the 10k portion in 40 min and change after the swim and bike. I can’t even do a 10k that fast on its own. You are such a phenomenal athlete.

    1. Thank you!! I’m still in shock. I don’t know where it came from! I think part of it was that I was angry about my swim. I have to finish writing the recap. It’s pretty funny! I honestly don’t know if I could do a 10k at that pace ever again. I would love to break 40 someday but man that just seems so hard!!!

  8. Congrats on winning your age group! That’s awesome! Looks like you had a great week. I wish that you could pace me on my long runs, but I don’t think that I could maintain that pace for very long.
    I absolutely workout on vacation. I loved running in Paris under the Eiffel Tower. It was amazing and something that I’ll never forget. Your vacation pics are beautiful! I’m glad that you had a nice time.

    1. Thank you so much! I wish I could come do long runs with you too – that would be so FUN! I remember your awesome vacation pictures – I can’t begin to imagine how amazing running through Paris would be!!

  9. New reader here – Found you through a link-up from the Millennial Next Door. This sounds like such a great vacation…it’s so fun that you go to a place where you can relax but have so many activities to do! I go up to my friend’s husband’s family’s lake house in Maine every year, and I’m known as the girl who always head out for the run in the morning, and the one who will swim across the lake with anyone!

    Congrats on the tri as well!

    1. Thank you so much for reading!!! I love Hanna’s blog! I got to meet her at Grandma’s Marathon this year. You sound like my long lost twin – your husband’s family has a lake house and you do the same things on vacation! What part of Maine do you go to? I LOVE it up there!!

  10. Your holiday was incredibly full of activities. Yoga, swimming, kayaking, running, I love your drive. My holidays are never this busy but your photos are pretty and i am looking forward to the posts about the race you won and the yoga. Congrats!

  11. I don’t know if I am more in awe of the gorgeous scenery you were in or that you ran 60 miles on vacation!! You rock! SUP at a lake sounds awesome- when I’m in the ocean, I tend to worry about sharks. However running near bears is less awesome- yikes! Congrats on the AG win!!

    1. Awww thank you, Fallon!! It’s easy to put in miles up there early in the week because it’s so pretty and somewhere different to run, but by the end of the week I am ready for flat roads again! I would LOVE to try SUP in an ocean!! That sounds AMAZING!

  12. I’m jealous of your vacation, it looks absolutely beautiful. I am more of a lake vacationer than a beach vacationer myself and it seems you did all the things I’d love to do with some time off!

  13. Your pole poses are amazing! You’re like a graceful flying monkey!! (And I know that sounds weird but it’s really a compliment because monkeys are good at swinging from vines and hanging around! –>
    https://i2.wp.com/seancrane.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/spider_monkey_1.jpg) 😀

    Also, yay for all your running! Those hills though – yikes!!
    And the lake looks like such a beautiful place. I’m so glad you make it a point to take walks with your mother-in-law. That’s so sweet!

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