Hartford Marathon Training: Week 10, 8/31-9/6

If I could describe this week with one word: Meh.

I was incredibly whiny and cranky all week long, and it was wasn’t because I was going back to work. No one wants to work, most of us have to. I’m lucky to have the summer off so I keep my work whining to a minimum. But I was super cranky about the inferno that awaited me each day after work. I was also crazy busy because this past Sunday, we had our annual Labor Day party. About 65 peeps were in attendance, and it takes some crazy prep work. My goals were not quite as specific this week as they have been in the previous weeks:

  1. Survive – √
  2. Run all of the scheduled miles – √
  3. Fill in with some cross training if possible – √
  4. Sleep a lot – √ √

Monday, 8/31 – 10 Mile General Aerobic Run + Pole Fit

First day back to work with the kids, and if I told you I was exhausted by 2:30, that would be an understatement. Left work for my run and the struggle was REAL. It was so hot, so I headed to a shaded trail to give it my best shot. I started out feeling okay, but by the end of the run I was struggling to finish. My legs felt pretty awful – partially because the day before, I thought it was a good idea to lift legs at the gym, partially because it was just so effing HOT. Overall pace, 8:13. I headed to pole class almost immediately after and took one look at my sister in law and told her I might have to actually leave. I stuck it out and actually ended up feeling really good once the horrible post torturous run feeling wore off. I took a pretty cool video but I can’t figure out how to get videos on here. You know…I’m only a computer teacher. LOL.

Tuesday, 9/1 –  Track Workout: 4×1200 (Total Distance, 10 miles) + Core

I got up and did some core before work, which was good because all I could manage after work was to survive the track workout. I stepped outside after work and wanted to cry, but headed to the track anyway. I had a ROUGH time with the warm up, which scared me. But my intervals were okay. Not stellar – but not off pace, either. Definitely on the slower end of my McMillan prescribed range for 1200s (4:36-4:51), but in the zone. I felt like I could go faster – my legs and breathing felt decent at that pace for each one – but I held back because I was afraid I wouldn’t make the last one. I was struggling much more by the last one, and the cool down was a struggle so maybe I wasn’t really holding back. Either way, I did it, and I call that a success.

I walked a full 400 for each recovery, so my overall pace was a 9:09. My 1200s were 4:50, 4:45, 4:47, 4:47, which converts to about a 6:21-6:28. For how hot it was, I’ll take it! I did some drills and MYRTLs at the track to finish it up.

Wednesday, 9/2Double Recovery Run: 5 miles AM, 5 Miles PM + Pole Fitness

I wanted to run a total of 10 miles and do it as a double – 5-6 in the morning, 4-5 in the afternoon. I really wanted to get 6 miles in before work, but it wasn’t in the cards time-wise. I was so excited to get to do a morning run but OHMIGOSH. The humidity. I felt like no matter what I did, I just couldn’t win! The afternoon was less humid, but I felt like someone stuck me underneath a broiler for the whole run. The September heat wave really needs to knock it off. I wanted to keep these runs super easy since I had the track workout the day before and a tempo run on the agenda for Thursday. My pace for the morning 5 miles was 8:58, and the afternoon 5 miler was 8:43.

The running didn’t feel terrible even though I was a bit fatigued, but pole class was awesome:

On the left is the Ayesha, which I had a much easier time with again this week. On the right is something called a Brass Bridge. I also got this cool spin called an Eclipse, but I only have a video of it. At least in the awful heat and humidity, I have pole classes to look forward to!

 Thursday, 9/312 Mile Tempo Long Run w/6 miles at Half Marathon Pace

I woke up with guns blazing knowing I had this workout after school. As the day went on, I could see the sun was also out with guns blazing and it drove me to write all about how cranky the heat made me. Then I walked to my car after work, got in and after I started driving, the temperature registered this:

imageWhich I automatically read as this:

imageSo I did. I broke down and for the first time since our crazy icy winter, I used the treadmill. I just couldn’t. The good thing is I had a great run, but the bad news is that my stomach was pretty jacked up and I didn’t run all 6 miles straight. I tried, I really did – but I was on the treadmill and not outside so if I did shit in my pants, the person next to me would have to smell it for the rest of the run. So what ended up happening was I warmed up for three miles, did three at tempo, sprinted to the bathroom, came back and warmed up for a mile, did three more tempo miles, and then cooled down for two miles. My overall pace for the run was 7:35, and my tempo miles were: 6:49, 6:44, 6:39 (poop break/warm up mile), 6:44, 6:31, 6:22. It actually felt decent, so that was a win. Almost made it okay that I ran 12 miles on a treadmill. Almost.

Friday, 8/28REST

YUP! You read that right. I did. And not just rest like go home and do a million things – I went home, curled up on my couch next to my husband who had that same idea, and slept for three hours. Then, we proceeded to order a pizza and eat the whole thing. No shame here. Best day ever. Best decision ever.

Saturday, 9/5 –  21 Mile Long Run

I knew going into this run that it was unreasonable to run to expect to run as fast as last week (7:22, whattt?) and I SHOULDN’T run that fast even if I could – last week, I was in a cut back week and only ran for four days. Reduced overall mileage to 50. So my legs were fresh. This week, I was getting closer to that 70 mile mark and had two speed workouts. I didn’t feel great when I met Kathy at 6:30 at Sand Island, but we began anyway. She stuck with me for 14 miles before calling it a day because it was her recovery week, and her marathon isn’t until November (and she already has two 20s under her belt). We averaged 7:38 until that point and honestly, I felt awesome. It took awhile for me to warm up but once I did, I was good to go.

When I left her, I ran hilly loop that brought me to 18.5 and was still averaging 7:40 at this point and feeling good. Mark, our other usual long run buddy was heading up the group run at our local running store (why he wasn’t running with us in the first place) and was finishing the run as I was passing the store. They did 12 miles. I know many of the runners, so as I approached I said, “Anyone have another 2.5 in them and want to join me?” to my surprise, some random guy named Rob jumped in. I didn’t care what pace we ran at this point since I had such a fantastic run. He was hurting at this point but wanted the miles because he’s training for a 1:45 at the Runner’s World Half (8 minute pace) so we ran, but we slowed down a lot. Overall pace for the run was 7:50 – I think if I would have run sans my new friend I might have ended up around 7:40. At the end of the run, I honestly felt like I could run another 10 miles if I had to – I was ready to be done running but I wasn’t hurting. When we returned to the running store, I knew running with Rob was way better than any solo miles I would have done. As I caught up with some friends, I overheard him telling his buddies, “Yeah, it was awesome – she even made me run up the Webster Street hill on Lehigh’s campus!” It was really cute!

At this point, it hit me that it was 10:30am and I had about 65 people coming over my house tomorrow so I went into panic mode and hit the grocery store:

image…and spent the entire afternoon cooking up a storm and cleaning my house to prepare. By the time I was ready for bed, my whole body ached from being so tired!

Sunday, 9/6 – 7 Mile Recovery Run

Even though our party wasn’t until the afternoon, I had lots of last minute things to do and my husband and I wanted to go to 7:15am mass at church. I was up and running before 6am to get my 7 miles in. I kept the pace very easy – this was the end of my first 70 mile week in two years! Overall pace, 8:55 and happy as can be to finally crest that 70 mile mark again. 

I came home after church and began grilling before 9am to make sure my pulled pork was ready to go for the party:

imageI make a dry rub for my pork and “marinate” it the day before I plan to make it. To cook it, I start my pulled pork it on the grill (it cooks on a low temp for about 3 hours) and finish it on the oven. It was a huge success. We set the food up in our “new” kitchen which is completely gutted and under construction, which made clean up really easy:

imageIt was such a great day. I passed out HARD that night! As for the whole week, I wasn’t as on top of my core work and didn’t get in a formal strength training session other than pole. I also slacked on my yoga practice. But for the first full week of school with the kiddos and planning a big bash, I was pretty stoked to get all of my miles in! I know what areas I need to be more consistent with, but I only have two more weeks of high miles before I begin to TAPER! WHAT?!?!?!

Swim:  0 meters ♥ Bike: 0 miles ♥  Run: 70 miles

How was your week? Ever throw a huge party? Do you use the treadmill in the extreme summer weather?


49 Replies to “Hartford Marathon Training: Week 10, 8/31-9/6”

  1. Congrats on hitting 70 miles this week! That’s awesome! And in spite of a gnarly week!!

    I am really proud of you for taking a REAL, legit rest day (as in, not one of your “all I did today was swim for an hour and then went to pole class and then cooled down with a 10 mile easy run” rest days :-P). I just read a section in my Believe training journal about rest and recovery, and I think Lauren Fleshman sums it up brilliantly: “anyone can work hard, but it takes real discipline to allow for recovery”. I hope it also helped with some of the stress you were feeling this week.

    I can’t believe you only have two weeks until taper. I’m really excited to see how all of your incredible work this summer pays off at your fall races!

    1. Thank you, lady! And LOL – trust me, I had on my plan for the day: AM Swim, PM Lift or Pole – but I slept in and napped after instead and it was GLORIOUS. Your girl Lauren might be onto something there 🙂 I’m definitely excited for fall, but I have to get through the next two weeks before I can finally enjoy the taper! Wooohooo!!!

  2. You are AMAZING!! You NEED to know that!!
    I struggle (I am finding I am using that word A LOT lately…) with the heat here in FL!! After work is usually when I can get something in, before other activities for the kiddos begin. I have a love-hate relationship with the DREADmill…it is a constant back and forth…”get on and get some mileage” vs. “I hate that thing and rather do NOTHING”.
    I am a work in progress….! Ugh….

    1. Awwww, thank you SO MUCH! Just the fact that you live in Florida and you run is amazing, my friend. A few years back I was visiting family in Ft. Lauderdale and I tried to keep up my run training – HA! Even at 5am in May, the humidity was out of control. You are the amazing one!!! And we are all a work in progress 🙂 Have a great week!

  3. AMAZING week!! You did great hitting all these miles. I struggle just getting to 50 miles so 70 sounds so badass! Btw, can I just say that I would absolutely DESPISE being the person near you on a treadmill while you bang out those tempo paces?!?! I bet people were seriously admiring your run there 😉
    I wish I could’ve gone to your party too! Sounds like it was a blast and a raging success. I felt even better than I thought I would after my run so I probably should’ve just driven out there to have fun…but I was just lazy after my long run 😀

    1. Thank you 🙂 🙂 And pretty sure you would despise being the person next to me on a treadmill for other reasons – the sweat flying everywhere, the god awful noises I am probably making, and the potential that I could poop my pants to name a few!!! I so wish you could have come this weekend, too!!! However, I also understand lazy after a long run. It’s the best!! Next year, I’ll give you a heads up earlier so you can plan and make it out here!! We’ll have to plan another get together soon, but I need to make it through the first few weeks of school before I make any plans! Things are crazy!

  4. Congrats on all of the miles this week! I’ll admit, I’m the biggest wimp when it comes to “not so desirable” weather. Too cold? Treadmill. Too hot? Treadmill. Dark outside? Treadmill. Rainy? Treadmill. Feeling lazy and want to watch TV? Treadmill. yep, that’s me!

    1. LOL!! Thank you! I mostly run outside because I really do enjoy it – even in some of the elements. I just said enough is enough to that god awful heat. I did my track workout on the treadmill yesterday. It just had to happen. It was 100 after work. EW. Have a great day!

  5. Way to go on pushing through despite the heat and humidity! It’s been pretty gross here–yesterday was actually the hottest day of the year for us so far. Ugh! It’s nasty humid today, so I’m thinking I may take my run inside for the first time since this winter.

  6. First of all, while I’m always so awe-inspired by your training, which you deserve serious credit for, did you just work sprinting to the bathroom into your training? 🙂 I had a total crap day and you actually cracked a smile on my face. AND, I’m so glad you actually took a rest day – a real one, where you stuff your face and sit on the sofa. Hopefully, Fall will be here soon and we will put these hot days behind us til next year. But, your party looks like a total success (not to mention delicious).

    1. Thank you so much! LOL – I had no choice in the sprinting to the bathroom part or things were about to get really ugly, really fast! I can laugh about it now that it’s over, ha! I can’t wait for my next rest day. It was so nice!!! Looking forward to those fall days for SURE! I hope you have a better day today!

  7. Girlfriend. You are a beast. Anytime I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed, I’m going to come a read this post. Way to make time and dominate it! Even if you felt like it was a blah week, it’s inspirational to a lot of us! Keep up the stellar work lady!

    1. Awww thank you so much! I was excited about the miles, but the “blah” part was how they felt (mostly due to the heat). If I have to run that many miles, can’t the weather at least cooperate? 🙂 Hopefully it cools down soon so I can stop my whining! Have a great day!!!

  8. You are amazing – not only for getting 70 miles in, but for holding those great paces in that heat and during such a busy week! I’m over here in relatively cool Seattle bitching about the paltry 62 miles I have to run this week, and your post today totally inspired me just to put the work in and get it done.
    Those days of crashing and eating a whole pizza with the husband are the best. My husband and I did that recently after an 8 hour hike on day and I swear it was better than any gourmet meal I’ve ever had.

    1. Thank you 🙂 And YES! Get it done, sister – you can do it!!!! I can’t wait for my next pizza/rest day. Best day ever and definitely way better than any gourmet meal. I have a serious weakness for pizza!

  9. Great job getting back into the swing of things at work and managing to get in 70 miles! That is awesome! I’m sure you’ll be back to your regular strength training routine soon enough. And I echo Hannah’s sentiment about you deserving a real rest day. You have been killing it lately, but rest and recovery are important too.

    Also that is a crazy huge party; almost as big as my wedding! I’m having about 15 people over this weekend and that is stressful enough for me 🙂

    1. Thanks!!! I do hope I can find time for the strength and yoga, but the whole work thing is getting in the way 🙂 I hope your party goes well this weekend! I love entertaining, but it is exhausting for sure!

  10. You are a beast and congrats on the mileage and a rest day (I have no clue how you train as much as you do while holding down a job). I do agree with Hanna in that it is good you took one. If nothing else, it’s a mental break and a chance for me to catch up on non-running, non-fitness related things of life that sometimes go by the wayside.

    I don’t use the treadmill very often. I used to be a ‘mill junky, but now if I am destined to work out indoors, I do something I can only do inside, like cross train on the arc trainer or bodypump. I’m not against the treadmill though and if you have a lot of training and run high mileage, as you do, it’s sometimes essential. Treadmilling always beats not getting your training in! And speaking of stomach issues, heat and hot weather always make those worse for me and I totally LOLed about your comments about poo!

    1. Thank you! In all fairness, I didn’t have to worry about my job in the summer. The break was GREAT, both mentally and physically! I agree – treadmilling was a necessary evil this week for me to get the miles in and not kill myself! I still need to try an arc trainer though. I plan to check that out after my final fall marathon and during my recovery! I think we have them at my gym!!

  11. 70 miles?! 65 people?! Truthfully, I am not sure which one seems more daunting right now. I know there were lots of struggles but awesome week! I hear you on the heat. Last week we got a little teaser and the weather was pleasant and perfect for running. This week not so much, today was 103 and Thursday is predicted to be 109. Waah, is it fall yet?

  12. You’re awesome!! Heat and adjusting to your new schedule, and you handled it amazingly! Well done on the 70 mile week! I’m hoping we get some Fall temperatures soon, it’s gonna be feel great to run in!

  13. Holy crap that is some crazy mileage, girl! How long have you been doing two a days? I see so many GREAT runners doing them but I just can’t see them benefiting me. I of course worry about injury and also just having the mindset of focusing on one quality workout. Can you share the benefits you found from doing two runs a day and did you have to change your mindset at all to do them?

    1. Thank you!!! Funny you should ask about the two a days. This was my first time ever doing one! If I can make it through my November marathon unscathed, I plan on recovering and then building my base for Boston training once again. This time, I’m peaking at 70 miles. Next time, I’d like to aim for 80. To do that, I will definitely be adding more runs like this into the mix.

      To tell you a little more about how it all went, I’ll start by saying that I actually REALLY liked it – this really shocked me. When I’m done running, I’m DONE. So to have to do it again sounds like a huge chore for me. But what was appealing to me was that in order to hit that 70 mile mark, it meant a bunch of longer runs back to back. The “two a day” option was great because I was pretty sore from two tough runs on Monday and Tuesday, but what’s five miles at a recovery pace? I knew I could handle that. After a day of work, where I had the chance to let my legs recover, five more was a no-brainer. The second run actually felt better than the first, so it also acted as a confidence booster. From what I can see, it was a safe and effective way for me to boost my mileage and avoid injury.

      Also, I take my recovery runs very seriously – my prescribed McMillan recovery range (based on a recent marathon time and my goal of a 3:05 marathon) is 8:20-9:01. As I increase my mileage, I stay towards the slower end of that range to keep the run all about recovery. I think a 10 mile run at a recovery pace sounds a little tedious (sometimes, going slow is just as hard as going fast for me) but breaking it into two runs makes it much more feasible. I follow Pfitzinger, and I’m using his 55-70 miles per week plan and he has two workouts like this in the plan over my entire training cycle. I’m considering breaking up my Friday run into two parts depending on how my legs feel. It’s not on the schedule, but it’s a recovery run and I really liked how the first one went.

      As far as the mindset goes, I just took them one run at a time and focused on running in my recovery range. It was just like going for any other recovery run, only I had to do it twice! I don’t have trouble making myself go slower on runs, but I know many people (including many of my training partners) do. So if you aren’t used to running recovery paced miles, that might be where you have to change your mindset a little. Let me know if you try it!!

      1. Thank you for all of that info! I am book marking this page. I know what you mean about it’s harder to run slow than fast. Sometimes I feel like I am changing my gait, etc. Something you said the resonated with me- breaking it up to REDUCE risk of injury rather than 2 back to back long runs. I guess when you are trying to hit the mileage you are, that is a viable option!

        The only time I was hitting 70 mile weeks was when I was training for ultras- but for that 2 looooong runs in a row was what it called for, so hitting most of the mileage on Sat and Sun was what happened. But I realize that is different than marathon training!

        Again thanks for all that insight. Saving this one. 🙂

      2. I’m so glad to help! I am actually writing a post that I will publish before my marathon about my thoughts on this training block. I just kind of add random things to it here and there and I did talk about “two a days” in it, but basically it was everything I put in this comment 🙂 Let me know if you incorporate them! I think they are beneficial!

  14. I use the treadmill due to kid/family scheduled. But ohmygosh your treadmill tempo run cracked me up because I’ve experienced the same thing lol sometimes my stomach just refuses to settle. Great week hitting 70! You’re amazing my dear. That rest day? Sounds ridiculously perfect. My rest days usually consist of working in the pharmacy and house work. Ew. Have a super rest of your week!!!

    1. LOL – the stomach thing – such a struggle with me! My rest days are usually like yours – I go to work and then try to do the million things I put off all every other day, like laundry and scrubbing bathrooms. I gave up last week! Was glorious!

  15. Holla to hitting a 70 mile week again!!
    Your week may have been meh to you, but I think you did an awesome job pushing through the miserable heat wave! Not to mention no one likes change, and adjusting back to teaching after a summer off is HARD. I can’t imagine how exhausting teaching is (hooray for my desk job! lol)!
    I’m totally a treadmill snob when it’s just too darn hot out! Hitting paces and boosting my confidence is far better than a heat stroke, right? 🙂

  16. Great week! And doubly impressive given that school has started! Also, I noticed you shop at Wegmans! I miss my Wegmans (there was one where I went to school in upstate NY, but now that I’m back home we don’t have any around.). Can’t believe that you’re almost at your taper! Time is flying by!

    1. Thank you! Ohhhhh I love Wegmans – we have three in my area, two are really close to my house! We don’t have Whole Foods or Trader Joes, though…but Wegmans is a decent substitute!! I think they originated in upstate NY!

  17. My first time to read your blog and I love how you describe your week as “meh”, yet I would be seriously chuffed with myself if this was MY week! Well done, what a successful long run and then you entertained the masses… with homecooking… I don’t know how you did it but you seem like a very impressive lady! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I probably should have specified that I felt “meh” 🙂 I was excited about the mileage, but I was so tired and it was so hot all week long, lol! It was certainly a productive week. Thank you for stopping by!

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