Hartford Marathon Training, Week 12: 9/14-9/20

This was my final week of high volume before my taper! I made it right through my long run on Sunday (yesterday) and then came down with a cold, which I’m battling now. I always get sick at the beginning of the school year so I’m glad it waited until my high volume weeks were behind me. I’m not feeling terrible, just a little off. My throat felt sort of scratchy yesterday so I knew something wasn’t right. I slept a TON last night and already seem to be feeling better today, so hopefully extra sleep combined with my reduced intensity for my taper with keep this at bay.

This was my highest volume week I’ve ever run. I’ve sustained 70+ mile weeks for the past three weeks now. This was the final mileage jump that I worked towards all summer long. My legs were really tired after the second week of this volume, and I didn’t know how I’d make it through my highest volume week yet. I just took it one day at a time. I was surprised at how focusing on individual days made it all seem less overwhelming and before I knew it, Sunday was here and it was over. Another added twist to the week was that I had Meet the Teacher night and a wedding, so fitting everything in was a challenge. I don’t think I’ve ever been more ready to taper than I am now. I like the volume I’ve been doing and I’m looking forward to doing it again in the spring for Boston training…but for now, I’m ready to rest, recover and RACE!

Monday, 9/14 – 8 Mile Recovery Run + Core/Yin Yoga

Even though my legs were screaming at me from the half marathon the day before, this got me inspired to run…

imageI registered at 10am on the dot. I can’t help it. I geek out over Boston! This will be my 6th consecutive Boston. I should mention that my aunt has a house in Brookline, and I can drive to Boston. While this marathon can be really pricey for most people, it’s really just the cost of registration for me (okay, and the jacket). I’m fortunate to have family so willing to open their doors and welcome us each year for the race.

Although my preference for running weather is 50s and overcast, I also couldn’t help but get excited by Weather Kitty as I sat at work all day knowing I had to head out for a run:

imageYAS. I mean, still warm. But on a shaded trail – YASSSS. I almost forgot about my dead legs…almost. They reminded me when I started running. Once I warmed up, I felt decent until about mile 6. That probably would have been a good place to stop but I was still two miles from my car, so I just slowed down, relaxed, and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Overall pace, 8:32. Finished up with drills and MYRTLs, went home and did some core and some Yin Yoga to stretch out my sore legs. Honestly, it all felt okay considering the beating I gave my legs the day before.

Tuesday, 9/15 – 15 Mile Medium Long Run + Core

I’m drafting a post about this round of marathon training that I want to publish before the race – I just throw random thoughts in there about my workouts in general. One of the subjects is about this freaking mid-week “medium” long run. You see, good old Pfitzy refers to anything under 16 miles as “medium” long. On a Sunday morning, I may agree with him. I like 15 miles. It’s fun. But on a Tuesday (or any day during the week) afternoon in summer-ish weather, there is nothing “medium” about 15 miles. You might as well tell me I’m running a mid week 100 miler. Okay, I’m exaggerating.

This week wasn’t quite as hot, so it wasn’t QUITE as torturous. But it was Tuesday, and I just ran that half on Sunday so I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to handle 5 miles. The recovery run the day before wasn’t bad but I was ready to be done at the end. To follow suit with the last four weeks of these ugly runs, I forgot my GU. I had eaten quite a bit that day so I thought I would be okay – and for the most part, it was. My legs felt heavy for sure, but what did I expect two days out from the half? It wasn’t my worst one, but it wasn’t my best one. It wasn’t the most comfortable run ever, but it wasn’t the most uncomfortable run. I was glad when it was over, but I wasn’t so drained that I couldn’t function. I went home and did MYRTLs and core. Overall pace, 8:03. The promise of my Paleo Taco Pie for dinner was like the proverbial carrot to finishing the run!

Wednesday, 9/16 – Strength/PT/Core + 8 Mile General Aerobic Run + Pole Fitness

Headed to the gym for just about 45 minutes of strength training. When I only have a short amount of time, I split my workout up into circuits. With the higher mileage, I absolutely skip “leg day” since, well, everyday is leg day for me. I have a whole circuit that starts with arms, and I give myself 20 minutes for that. Next, I switch to PT – I have a few exercises I like to keep up with from my Achilles drama, so I spend 10 minutes doing those. I finish up with about 15 minutes of weighted ab exercises. I usually aim for closer to an hour of strength training, but if my ass is dragging it’s harder for me to get there earlier. Thought it was going to be a rough day all around, but then I got to work and saw THIS:

imageAHHHHHH! The BAA is on fire this year because that was pretty fast! I can’t wait! To follow suit with every other day for the past three weeks, my legs felt heavy on my afternoon run. I am so ready for this taper! I took it nice and easy on the beginning of the run, and then picked up the pace for the last 5K and was able to negative split the run. Overall pace, 7:55.

Thursday, 9/17 – A.M. 5 Mile Recovery Run  + P.M. 5 Mile Recovery Run

Oddly enough, I’m starting to like these doubles. I think it’s because it still allows me to get in a good amount of miles, and I run them as recovery miles so there’s no pressure. Also, it’s nice to not have to go out and run all 10 miles at one time. My morning run felt pretty good, which is weird. I love running in the morning, but I dislike running from my house. I’ve mentioned it before, but the road I live on is less than ideal. I didn’t mind it today. After work, we had Meet the Teacher night so I decided to stay around the area where I work. I ran with one of my friends on the Ironton Trail – I don’t love that trail, but it was a nice day to run. Overall pace for the am run, 8:47 and 8:49 for the afternoon run.

Friday, 9/18Track Workout: 6×1 Mile Repeats (11 miles total)  + Core/PT

The whole “Meet the Teacher” night messed up my week in that I had to do a track workout on Friday. That was the LAST thing I wanted to do as I walked out of work. The school I teach for built a new track so I was planning to use that, but they were painting the lines on it so it was closed. Being as it was Friday night, I knew I would run into the problem with football games going on at the other schools track’s that I normally use, so I went to the treadmill. It was actually a pretty warm day so I wasn’t totally disappointed with my choice. I ended up having a fabulous run, treadmill and all. My McMillian range for mile repeats is 6:08-6:34. If my pace ranges seem a bit broad for my track workouts, it’s because I run the calculator twice. I run it once for my more recent marathon time of 3:14, but I also run it for my 3:06 from 2014. I believe in training at a level that you’ve already accomplished, but the 3:06 was a whole year before the 3:14 and my year of injuries, so I’ve been blending the two together.

I warmed up easy, and I did my repeats as follows: 6:31, 6:22, 6:18, 6:15, 6:10, 6:07. I walked a 400 in between each one, and I ran easy for the cool down. I was really worried that six would be too many, but my legs felt good for the whole workout. Overall pace, 8:20 and had enough energy for an ab workout and MYRTLs after.

Saturday, 9/19 –  Pole Fitness

Slept in, went to an early pole class and did zero running! I hadn’t had a day off of running since Friday, September 4th. It felt GREAT. It’s not the most difficult move, but I finally got into my Superman pose:

imageIt really rips your legs apart so I’ve never gotten that one before. I usually try it a few times but then move on because I can’t deal with it anymore, but I got this one twice in a row and was able to hold it – finally! We had a wedding to head to in the afternoon so pole class was my workout for the day.

Sunday, 9/20 – 23 Mile Long Run

Well, that happened. Longest training run I’ve ever done, outside of a marathon. I was bummed about this run all weekend: I had a wedding on Saturday night, making the food/sleep situation a bit of a gamble. I couldn’t really do this run on Saturday with my friends and get any sort of benefit from it since I had to do my track workout on Friday, due to Meet the Teacher night. Both Mark and Kathy had social obligations, making it impossible for them to change their run to Sunday. I was originally planning to run 22 miles. But I saw my mileage total for the week was going to be 74 miles with my 22 miler, and I needed to make it a round 75 before I began my taper. I told myself I was going to run 20-23 miles, but I knew in my head I was already committed to 23.

I managed to get into bed at a reasonable time and got up around 6 am without an alarm. I woke up and kind of felt like I was coming down with a cold. I almost just slept on my couch. I told myself I was just tired from the wedding and from the week in general. I forced myself out the door to give it a shot. I parked at Saucon Park to do a similar route to what I did when I ran 22 miles before Boston. For a run this long, I like to run the trail but do super hilly loops on the roads off of  every trail head. The section of trail I really like gives you about 10 miles if you run out and back, so there is a significant amount of road running that happens when I do a run like this. It’s nice because the run ends up being really interesting and is over before you know it.

I was doing a warm up mile in the park and saw another runner coming towards me. It was Chris G., the super speedy local runner I ran 20 miles with a few weeks ago. I was half terrified and half excited when he saw me and said, “Oh, mind if I join you for a few miles? I’m doing about 12!” Of course I wouldn’t say no to that – and my plan of running negative splits went right out the window! We ran close to 12.5 miles together and they were FAST – way faster than I’d planned to run the second half of my run. There were a couple of sub-7 minute miles sprinkled in there, so when we got to the point in the run where we parted ways, I slowed down. I wasn’t completely beat up, but I still had over 10 miles to go and I didn’t have anyone pushing me, so I hung around the 7:50- 8:10  range for the rest of the run. My only real concern was that I really did feel like I was coming down with a cold. I grabbed some water when I was passing a water fountain and I could just tell by how my throat felt. At that point, it was around mile 19 and I just ignored it and finished strong. Overall pace, 7:38! I was happy, but my throat felt scratchy and I had a headache for the rest of the day. The run ended up with about 900 feet of elevation gain:

imageNow it’s time to hit my taper and keep this cold at bay! I’ll be in bed by 8pm every night, taking extra vitamin C and resting! Hartford is just a few short weeks away, and I’m starting to get EXCITED!

Swim:  0 meters ♥ Bike: 0 miles ♥  Run: 75 miles

How was your week? What’s the longest run you’ve ever done in preparation for a race? What are your favorite go-to cold remedies?


76 Replies to “Hartford Marathon Training, Week 12: 9/14-9/20”

  1. Wow, impressive!! You killed your long run with that pace. I always get a cold right around this time of year too.. I’ve been taking lots of vitamin c to try and keep it away. I can’t wait to see how you do at Hartford!!

  2. Way to go on your record high mileage week and juggling everything with work and the wedding. It’s really exciting that you got to register for Boston early and got in as well, and that you have a place to stay. It does seem REALLY pricey because of how expensive hotels there are that weekend- the entry fee isn’t even the priciest part.

    I think you are okay for skipping “leg day”- I think that’s mostly a bro thing anyway and those guys aren’t running marathons. Totally different goals. Plus you get a ton of cross training in normally with all your pole fitness classes, yoga, and circuits!

    1. Thank you!! It was a hectic week and I’m definitely feeling it all catching up with me today – totally have a cold now, yuck! It will be OK though. I have a few friends that do Boston every single year and have to pay for a hotel – it is so expensive that weekend!!

  3. Nice job hitting 75 even! Also, that running streak – impressive! If I can get my schedule in line I enjoy running more days a week with same total miles because I get more of the mental benefits of the run (read: less crazy!).
    Your Superman pose looks great, smiling even! I hope you feel better this week, get good rest, and take your vitamin C.

    1. Thank you! I was thinking of you yesterday because my pole studio had a student showcase and some of the people who performed did aerial stuff on the trapeze things. It was awesome! You would have loved it.

      1. I have to find some more shows in my hood, I love watching other people perform. Watching youtubes doesn’t quite cut it sometimes 😉

  4. Incredible work getting it all in. My longest training run is 22 miles and I really like having that on my plans. I also love having double daily runs at times. They can be helpful for sure. I hope you are feeling better soon. I’m a big fan of the netipot.

  5. amazing week! You are so inspiring! I can’t wait for Boston – I feel like I just ran it, and it’s already time to register again! 🙂 Hope you are getting some good rest and enjoying the taper – I can’t wait to see you crush it in Hartford!

    1. Thank you!! I’m sooo excited for Boston too, it does feel like it was yesterday!! We should try to meet up (as crazy as it is there) this year!! Maybe try to coordinate a shakeout run or something 🙂

  6. Those darn kids and their germs! Lol Glad your taper came at a good time! Awesome job on your LR and congrats on Boston, so cool! I will be training for a spring full marathon too ! 😉

      1. I’ll be doing the New Jersey Marathon on May 1st! It’s very local to where I live (less than 30min drive) so I thought it’d be great for my 1st full!!

  7. As always, incredible week, Allison! I hope your cold passes quickly, be sure to rest if you need it. I had a bit of a sore throat scare last week, but some extra vitamin C seemed to nip it in the bud (I’m a big believer in Emergen-C, even if it just for the placebo effect).

    Those mid week “medium” runs that Pfitz prescribes are something else. I have gotten pretty used to regularly running 10-12 miles, but I had a couple 13-14 mile midweek runs and they were definitely a bit of a mental challenge. Like, oh sure, I’ll just go run a half marathon in 80 degree weather after a full day of work, no big deal.

    1. Thanks Heather!! I’m definitely resting today. I actually think it might be allergies – someone mentioned goldenrod is in bloom and that always does me in! Either way I’m all about the placebo affect of anything so in going to get some Emergen C today. A lot of people love that stuff!

  8. i swear you are a superhuman machine! 75 miles in one week and you’re not dying?! gahh girl you inspire me. i’m going to think of you when i’m struggling running from now on! amazing amazing job. love that we both did 23 this wknd!! my longest non-marathon run also.

  9. Your weekly recaps are always so insipring! I also have a tough time with the weekly “medium” run. I tend not to go about 11 or 12 miles though! I can’t imagine doing 15 after work one day. Oof. Congrats again on Boston!

    1. Thank you! That medium long-run always kicks my ass, even more so than my weekend long run. I don’t know why it’s just a mental struggle for me from the 1st mile! Congrats yourself on your awesome half marathon this weekend!

  10. Impressive week! Nice job hitting all those miles – it really is just one run at a time with high mileage weeks. I’m excited to read your thought on your training cycle has a whole, since reading your recaps and a few other bloggers have spiked my interest in Pfitz. And congrats on Boston! That’s so fortunate that you get to stay with family and live near by! Whenever I qualify (fingers crossed soon), it’s going to be a cross-country flight, hotels, and the race -but so worth the cost. I hope you feel better soon!

    1. Thank you so much! I have to get that post more organized. I just keep opening the draft and writing random sentences at this point! You will qualify soon – I’m excited for you to experience it!!!!

  11. Such an awesome week and congrats on Boston! I hope that you are feeling better. My daughter has a cold too and I’m trying really hard not to catch it. She doesn’t really understand the covering your mouth when you cough concept just yet. 🙂

  12. Ah I am very similar in that I am from Boston/the Boston area and went to school there, so I have plenty of places to stay… but for me it’s registration, AND a flight from LAX. and the jacket. always have to add in the jacket 😉

  13. I hope you feel better! And, I’m sorry, but 15 miles is not a “medium” long run, and I don’t care how many experts say otherwise. 😛 Schedule them to your heart’s content but let’s call it what it is, haha. It’s especially funny considering that 1 more mile makes it the longest run of a Hansons plan!

    I can’t wait to see how you do in Hartford.

    1. LOL – I agree – call it what it is – TORTURE! I’m mostly happy to go out running but man, those 15 milers were one thing I would absolutely dread! I’m getting pretty excited for Hartford!!

  14. Another great week and YAY BOSTON!!!! So cool and convenient how you have family there. I think even if I didn’t, I’d be all up on going every year if I qualified for it. Who cares if it leaves me broke, it’s Boston, baby! 😀

    That pole pic is just amazing. Your form (and body) is wowzers.

    Woohooo taper time!! My longest runs are my 20 milers and I’m so happy I got two good ones this training cycle. Mid week medium long runs are sooooo tough to schedule in–you are so disciplined in getting them done; I LOVE IT.

    1. Thanks! You are right – Boston is worth every single penny! I’m telling you, if there is a pole studio in your area you have got to try it! You are right – medium long runs ARE tough to schedule. You have to have the time to do them, and then you need to have time to recover from them for the next workout! I’m so glad they are over (for now)!

  15. I had a teacher tell me senior year she used to take two shots of Jack before bed at the first sign of a cold. I tested it out during student teaching and I think it was the best advice I could have gotten!

    What a great final week before taper!!

  16. Congrats on Boston- that’s awesome!! 75 miles— in a week?! I am not even sure I am going to hit that this month. Holy crap! Your long run pace was awesome- particularly if you were feeling poorly. That Superman pose is awesome- my arm aches just looking at the picture. Enjoy taper!!

    1. Thank you! I’m realizing that what I thought was a cold may actually be allergies, and they were in full force on Sunday’s long run! Ugh, Superman! My nemesis. But it actually doesn’t hurt your arm – it kills your inner thighs!

  17. Congrats ending your training on such a strong run! You are more than ready for your race. I like to do one run over 20 miles for my training too. I wish I would see an “accepted” email from Boston, but sadly I don’t think it’s going to happen this year. The anticipation is killing me 😦 BUT, I did just download that Weather Kitty app, so that will cheer me up!!

    1. What was your qualifying time??? I did read where they are speculating where the cutoff would be – but I am going to keep my fingers CROSSED! The anticipation is killing me, too! Weather Kitty is my favorite ❤

  18. Fantastic week! You sure earned your taper, esp after a speedy 23 miler 🙂
    I had to do speedwork on a Friday last Spring & I remember dreading it all day. But you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.
    I’m totally with you on the medium long mid-week run! They feel more draining than any other workout in the heat of the summer. I was really dreading them for a while there when I wasn’t waking up early enough to knock them out before work & I had to run at 5 pm. Bring on Fall!

    1. Thanks, lady! I feel like such a little biatch whining about the medium long runs because in the height of the summer, I could get up at a reasonable hour and get out while it was still decent and get the miles. I didn’t seem to mind it so much then, because I had the rest of the day to recover. But once I went back to work and joined society, they were THE WORST. BRING ON FALL IS SO RIGHT!

  19. You should be excited, your training seems spot on!! I’m excited FOR YOU! And congrats on another Boston, it really is a special race. I worked at the expo in 2015 and it’s just so cool seeing so many different runners from so many diverse backgrounds come together. Get ready to enjoy your taper!

  20. Congrats on you Boston continuing streak. That is amazing! Hartford is my hometown marathon. This year will be my 9th time running it – 8 finishes, and my one and only DNF. Not sure how I will do, as I am also running Clarence De Mar this Sunday. I’m going to try to pace a guy to a 3:25. That should be interesting.
    If you have any questions about Hartford – let me know – I can probably answer them for you.

    1. Thank you!!! Oh man, I ran Clarence DeMar last year and it was NOT the day I wanted – but it is a great race. I went through a lot with injuries last year and I thought despite my summer of being sidelined, I could still go out at a sub-3 pace and survive. Dumb!!! I ran a 3:17 that day and felt every single minute of it. Have you run the course? It’s really beautiful.

      As for Hartford – YES! I have questions! I found elevation profiles and it seems like rolling hills but not a HUGE amount of elevation. I was planning to try for a negative split. What are your thoughts?

      Thanks for stopping by and reading! Good luck at CDM!!!!

      1. I wouldn’t even categorize Hartford as rolling hills – it’s basically flat and fast. There’s a few twists and turns when you are down by the CT river, but the biggest elevation changes are just a couple bridges.
        I’ve run Hartford in 3:44 (got sick in a porto potty), 2:59:38 (my one and only sub 3 marathon – 8 years ago) and anywhere in between. Support is really good, crowds are very encouraging (although there are stretches where there are few spectators), and the after party in Bushnell Park is terrific.
        I presume you get elite status? That’s a major benefit! Enjoy it! There is a risk that you go out too fast, as the half marathoners start with the full marathoners. Don’t get sucked in. You should be able to get a negative split if you conserve at the beginning. And enjoy the fall foliage – should be at its peak.

      2. Ahhh, I wish I would get elite status – I just registered last week, actually. I’ve had it on my list and I was training for it all summer but I had a rough spring with injuries so I held out! I think the deadline for elite status was 9/1 or something. I don’t even know if I would have qualified for it but it would be really cool. I really hope to run a negative split and try to get somewhere in the neighborhood of my PR (3:06) since I was so far from it during the spring. I am running Indianapolis Monumental a few weeks after Hartford!

  21. Oh my lord, Allison!! I don’t know HOW you do so much week after week! This was a fantastic peak week for you. Those medium long runs sound like a great way to train your body for a better marathon but I don’t know if I could ever get up the motivation to do 15 miles mid-week. You are on another level! But I really can’t wait to see where this takes you 🙂

    P.S. Hope you feel better!! BUT on the plus side, hopefully this means you’ll get any type of sickness out of your system now and feel great for the marathon 🙂

    1. LOL! Thanks! I was so ready for a break after last week. I’ve been fighting a cold/allergies all week this week and thankfully haven’t had to do the same sort of volume! I hate the mid week 15s. I remember when I used to hate midweek 10s, though. Maybe in a few years I will be more comfortable with the distance!!!

  22. I’m just FINALLY catching up with your blog. AND DAMN. You’re my Running Idol! A real goddamn super hero! So impressed. The thing I’m most impressed with? Pole. So. Dope. I would love to take a class. I need to do some research up in here…..

    BRAVO. Seriously. You are tearing this UP.

    1. Dude. You need to definitely take a pole class. It’s the most freaking fun thing I’ve ever done. I might like it more than running. I mean, I’m still in the honeymoon phase right now. Maybe I’ll change my tune in a few months. If you have a studio up there, GO!!!!

  23. Holy crap, that long run is impressive.

    Your training is just amazing. I’m working towards a coaching certification, and for my last part, I am training a volunteer client to her first marathon. But she’s frustrating the heck out me me with missed and truncated workouts (or she just plain does whatever she feels like), and I want to send her to your blog and scream, “Look at this woman and all she is doing! Don’t tell me you don’t have time to squeeze in a 40 minute run!” Why oh why do people sign up for marathons if hey aren’t going to commit to really training for the darn thing?

    I wish we had pole fitness where I live. I suspect I’d be terrible at it, but you sure make it look fun.

    1. Thank you so much!!! Oh my gosh, that would absolutely drive me insane. I understand that people want to run races but if you don’t have the time to commit to training, they should choose a shorter distance OR she should just wing it on her own! To me, I look at it as a priority and commitment. If I ever start to feel like I don’t want the commitment, I will stop training for races and take a little break! When I was working with a coach, I would feel upset or even embarrassed if I had to cut a workout short (that usually doesn’t happen but sometimes life gets in the way!) or couldn’t hit the prescribed paces. My thinking was that if he agreed to work with me and put the time and effort into making my training plan, I needed to put the effort into doing the workouts! I hope her attitude improves soon!!! And if you ever get the chance to try pole, I HIGHLY recommend it!! Super fun and challenging!

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