Hartford Marathon Training, Week 13: 9/21-9/27

Week one of my three week taper! It came with a rough start – after my long run last Sunday, I came down with a cold. Or maybe it was allergies. Either way, it’s still lingering but I’m feeling a little better. I’m guessing it’s allergies by the way it comes and goes. I felt okay running this week – my legs liked the reduced mileage but the cold/allergy thing made it just okay. I had a great week on the pole, which has easily become my new favorite cross training. I know it sounds really weird, but I honestly think that pole class is really complimentary to running. My core has seriously never been stronger than it is right now, and many of the poses strengthen and stretch your hips. Some of them require you to stretch your hamstrings, but you aren’t overstretching. I love it.

Towards the end of the week and through the weekend, I spent more time sleeping and unplugged a bit from the blog world, so I have lots to catch up on today!

Monday, 9/21 – Core + Pole Fitness

I had the choice to either run 5 miles or rest. I had one rest day on the schedule for the week and I had it scheduled for Monday or Friday. I hate using my rest day at the beginning of the week, but this week it was necessary. I went to bed early on Sunday night and slept through the night, but I still woke up feeling gross. It felt like stuff was dripping down my throat, and I was congested. So, I kept my pole class on the schedule but decided that today was the day for rest. Plus, my quads were shot from my long run and could use a day to recover. I got on my yoga mat after work and did some core work. I was still pretty beat, but I headed to pole class. I was glad I went – I learned some variations off the split grip Ayesha – a pencil and a Jackknife:

Tuesday, 9/22 – Track Workout, 10 Miles w/6×800

I teach at a high school. One that has cross country and track. We just finished building a brand-spanking new, gorgeous track. Did I do my track workout there? Nope. The freaking thing is under lock and key. So I drove to the neighboring high school, Parkland (where I normally go) only to find that their track was all ripped up!!  It was so nice outside. My other options were Lehigh University or Muhlenberg College, but I’ve played that game in the fall before. The one where I start my workout and then the lacrosse team shows up to practice on the field and balls are whizzing by my head (Muhlenberg) or when the cross country team shows up for their own workout (Lehigh). I get halfway through my workout and ending up having to either go somewhere else or cut it short. So once again, I headed to the treadmill. This time, I had no desire to be stuck inside but it was that or no track workout.

Fortunately, I ended up having a great run – even though it was indoors. I warmed up for about three miles – starting just under a 9 minute pace and progressing over the three miles to pick up my turn over. My goal range for my 800s was 2:54-3:09. The first one always feels so fast on the treadmill, and also like I might completely fly off, so I began at the slower end. My repeats ended up being a perfect negative split (only because I was on Satan’s Sidewalk): 3:09, 3:05, 3:04, 3:01, 2:56. 2:54 (pace range 6:18-5:48!!) I walked a 400 in between each one, and jogged the cool down at the end for an overall pace of 9:03. I don’t think I ever broke the 3 minute mark for an 800 before! I realize it was 800s and on a treadmill but I remember when breaking into the sub 7 min barrier was a rare occurance. Two repeats in the sub 6 range! I was floored! I can’t wait to do these on a track again.

Wednesday, 9/23 – Recovery Run, 5 Miles + Pole Fitness + Core

Weather Kitty was happy in the morning, so I knew it was going to be a good day for a recovery run:imageI was feeling a lot better on Wednesday – no doubt due to the fact that I hadn’t been outside for an extended period of time over the two days before so my allergies/cold had calmed down. I had a decent afternoon run before pole class – it was the first recovery run that I was at the faster end of my recovery pace range and it felt good. Overall pace, 8:20. Finished up with some drills before heading to the pole studio. My recent favorite is the pose on the left – it’s called the Janiero! I can get into it pretty easily now, but I’m not so graceful when I try to get out of it – yet!

After pole, I went home and got on my yoga mat while dinner was in the oven and did a quick core workout.

Thursday, 9/24 – 10 Mile General Aerobic Run + Pole Fitness

It was pretty warm on Thursday afternoon, but I headed out for a 10 miler on one of the local trails. I wasn’t feeling so great again, but my run wasn’t terrible. I don’t run with my phone too often but I forgot to charge my shuffle so I brought it along for music…good, thing, because it was a nice day and I took a few pictures. Around the second mile, you emerge from a wooded area and come out to a more open space. For some reason, I always think it’s so pretty – power lines and all:


I found a little buddy on the trail that I picked up and moved out of the way so he wouldn’t get squished by anyone biking the trail:


Afterwards, I did some drills and my MYRTLs before heading over to pole class. I was excited to go because my friend, Ashley, was coming with me and my sister in law for her first class ever! She did great and even though I wasn’t feeling awesome, it was a fun class and a great workout. It’s a little blurry but I learned another variation off of my Ayesha called a Sneaky V (the names crack me up), which I LOVED…I got a few other better pictures of it but I feel like the other angles show entirely too much crotch – no one needs to see that!


Friday, 9/25Recovery Run, 5 Miles w/6×100 meter strides + Pole Fitness

I was tired in the morning but I headed out for an easy run with some strides. I kept the pace of the run easy and just picked up the pace moderately for my strides. Overall pace, 8:41. After work, I headed to the pole studio but my whole body was just beat up. I still had fun but the class was tough and I was struggling with things that I can normally do just fine. My allergies/cold seemed to be acting up a bit again, so I was a little concerned for the 10K I had on the schedule for the next morning.

Saturday, 9/26 –  Celtic Fest 10K + Pole Fitness

If you follow me on Instagram, you can find a spoiler as to how the 10K went – however, the whole thing was an ordeal and definitely needs a post of its own!! I was still feeling like crap but after the race, I headed to pole class because Ashley wanted to go again. Ended up feeling pretty good and finally got my Cupid (on the left- looks like it would be so easy, but I’ve been trying to do it since about July) and my elbow grip Ayesha. The elbow grip is technically easier than the split grip version that I can do, but for some reason it was always really hard for me. I was so excited to finally get both of these!

I went home and slept a lot, and switched my allergy medicine from Zyrtec to Allegra and hoped for the best.

Sunday, 9/27 – 17 Mile Long Run

Although I still felt a little off, either the rest of the Allegra helped a lot and I met Kathy for our long run. I was surprised that I wasn’t sore from the race (well, half surprised) and manage a consistent, strong long run. Overall pace was 7:31. After the run, I did core and MYRTLs at home…and lots of rest over the rest of the day!


Swim:  0 meters ♥ Bike: 0 miles ♥  Run: 53 miles

How was your week? Anyone else suffering from fall allergies? Am I getting annoying with the pole fitness stuff?? I definitely have an obsession.


55 Replies to “Hartford Marathon Training, Week 13: 9/21-9/27”

  1. Wow, that was quite a week! I’m sorry you are dealing with a cold/allergies. I tend to get both in the fall and it is so frustrating. I have a lingering sore throat and a feeling it is getting ready to blossom into something else. Ugh. You always do such a good job of listening to your body though, which is why you are such a rock star! And let me just say ewww to the snake. I have a thing about snakes, even little garden ones. They freak me out!

    1. Thank you!!! I think I also had a combo of both allergies and a cold. I am still feeling the allergies, but switching to Allegra and using Flonase (never tried it until yesterday, loved it) really seemed to help! I hope you feel better soon, too!!!

  2. Don’t ever stop with the pole pictures! I find them fascinating and inspiring. Your core def looks stronger and stronger each week. I wish I could do that! Maybe someday. That treadmill workout is incredible. I can’t for the life of me get into that kind of pace on the treadmill. I’m not sure why but I can’t even touch the paces on the treadmill that I can outside. I can’t even come close. I could probably do about 5 sets of sub-3 min 800s on the track whereas I’d only be able to do about 5 sets of 3:20 on the mill.

    1. You have got to try some pole someday. I bet you’d be really good at it! I wonder if I could break that 3:00 barrier on a track – sometimes I find doing it on a treadmill works for me because I can set the pace and grind it out. Though I do live in constant fear that I will fly off of it!!!

      1. whaaaat thats amazing!! Out here, the closest studio is like 40 minutes away and it ends up being around 30 a class.

      2. Holy crap! Someone else posted that it costs about $230 for EIGHT CLASSES where they live. I am considering an unlimited pass for mine next month and it is only $70! If I do 4-5 classes/week, it would pay for itself. I hate when fitness places charge so much!! It makes me angry!!!

      3. I am dying with jealousy!! My aerial classes are stupid expensive, especially at the drop-in rate. Thankfully I sign up for the whole quarter, but it is still definitely not $6. I’m moving.

  3. I love how we tend to do similar speed workouts every week! 800s down here last week for me, too! You’ve totally got me wanting to try a pole class; I’ll have to look into after this marathon (my coach might kill me if I add something new in with 32 days to go). Even with the allergies/cold, you crushed this week…I’m curious as to what your mileage taper look like though? So, 53 down from 75…what’s the next step? I tend to get stale when I drop too much, so I’m forever interested in what works for others!

    1. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit concerned with the mileage drop but I’m following my plan to a T this time! I’m going to run 44 miles this week, eeek. Nervous about going so low, but I also realize I did a lot more than I’m used to this time around so I think the rest is necessary! For as good as my legs began to feel last week, they still felt heavy and fatigued. We’ll see, though. I did have a coach, but I’m now using Pfitzinger. Also, the guy I ran with twice recently for my long runs is a coach and has a marathon PR of something in the 2:40s. I ran a lot of my training past him when I was running with him, and he seemed to think it was on point. I hope he’s right!!! I just want to get somewhere near my PR again. Then, I have Indianapolis a few weeks later so depending how Hartford goes, I might just go all out and lay it all on the line. That’s what I did when I ran my PR in 2014 and luckily, the stars were aligned that day. Then recover, and try for sub-3 at Boston. But what’s that saying? The best laid plans often go awry? Yup, I think that was written about me 🙂 LOL! I love reading your training. Getting caught up now. Makes me wish we could do some training runs together, I think we’d have a blast!!!

      1. I still have to write up this week, but I’m in grading hell…I make my own syllabi, so why do I make everything due the same day?? ANYWAY, Pfitz training seems to be popular and pretty effective from what I know. My coach definitely uses a blend of stuff from people, plus I see him once or twice a week so I think that makes a difference because he can usually tell what my body is doing before I realize it. I’m sure you’ll be right at 3:05ish assuming the weather is in your favor; honestly that’s what we think I’ll be at and you and I are seriously like workout twins! Your next southern marathon I’m TOTALLY going to plan to do with you!

      2. I clicked on you and accidentally unfollowed you and then refollowed you to try to find out what state you live in! I am considering the Kentucky Derby Marathon for spring because it isn’t the weekend of Boston for once…I also need to do marathons in Georgia and Florida!!! Need races (or live) in/near any of those places?

      3. Haha! I never realized I don’t have much detail about where I am located…but I’m in Greenville, SC (the upper left corner of our little triangle) so if you find a GA race, I’m in! It’s ~2.5hr drive to Atlanta for me, barring traffic of course. I LOVE Louisville, so that’s a solid “maybe”…once I get this fall race out of the way I’ll make some plans!!!

  4. I think it’s fabulous that you use pole as cross training! I wish we had a studio around me I could try out! Like you said, I think core strength and increase in flexibility would totally benefit my running. Your runs are super impressive!! Hartfords so close 🙂

    1. Thank you! It’s less than 2 weeks away now, EEEK! Getting nervous! I bet you do have a studio somewhere near you. I highly recommend it after NYC!!! That’s right around the corner, too!!! Ahhhhhh!

  5. Great week! My seasonal allergies just started kicking in again too. I thought that it seemed like an odd time of year for it though. I love your pole fitness pics! They make me really want to try it out. It’s on my never ending mental to-do list. I hate snakes. That was so nice of you to save his life!

    1. Thanks! Ugh, I hope you get some allergy relief too! You’ve got to try pole fitness! I knew that little guy wasn’t poisonous so I didn’t mind him. If he was an unfamiliar looking one, I might not have been so brave!

  6. It sounds like a really all over the place type of week. I’m sorry to hear about the cold and allergies and I hope the tapering helps you out. For me I find I pick up some sickness during taper and it fades away before the race.

    1. Thanks! I always feel all over the place during taper because I never know what to do with myself. I hope it fades for my race – I have a little less than two weeks so lots of vitamin C and rest!

  7. Another great week of training! I’m sorry to hear about your allergies. I noticed a huge improvement when I switched from Zyrtec to Allegra a few years ago, and then even more so when I switched to Claritin. I hope the change in medicine helps you!

  8. Were you a gymnast in a former life? Because your toe point in all your pictures is crazy impressive. I mean, I’ve seen worse in some elite level gymnasts!

    Good week! I’m glad you’re starting to have better weather. And how do they not give the coach a key to the track?!

    1. LOL, OMG if my pole teacher could read that comment about the toe point she would die! She is always yelling at me to point my toes – when I get into a pose that I’m uncomfortable with and I panic, my feet are always flexed and ugly, haha! Also, I run with a lot of the XC runners but sadly, I am not the coach! I do go to the meets and cheer them on and run with them often, though!

  9. Awesome job, Allison! Those 800’s on the treadmill were KILLER!! It looks like your arms and core are getting so strong from pole fitness. You know what I’ve wondered though… how on earth do you get all those pictures?! Do you have like a personal photographer follow you there 😛 Or how do you set up your camera/phone to do that if there’s not a person behind the magic? Um, and can I also say that I love your toe point form! Did you do gymnastics or dance at some point in your life? Because you look so graceful!

    1. Thank you! It’s looking like another treadmill speed workout for me again today. I am having a tough time getting on a track right after school and I don’t want to wait to go running. About the pictures – I never go to pole class alone, usually with my sister in laws or my one good friend – and we are constantly snapping shots of each other because we want to see if we are doing it correctly! There are mirrors, but when you are focusing on getting in a pose it’s hard to look in them. Other times, I just set up my phone to video myself while doing a combo because I want to see the transitions and what I’m doing right/wrong. If I do that, I can take screenshots from the video 🙂 The toe point thing…HILARIOUS. Like I told Hanna – my teacher would die laughing if she read those comments. I have to show her tomorrow. She is constantly yelling at me to point my toes (in a really nice way)!!

  10. I don’t know those poses look hard to me! Weather kitty is beautiful. Can’t believe you picked up a snake! I don’t want them to get squished but oh they scare the crap out of me! What is a MYRTL? I hope your allergies are clearing up! I hate trying to train when I don’t feel well. You had a really strong week despite that!

      1. Nice! I do stuff like this- not all of those exercises but several. Very helpful. I never heard them called Myrtls! I thought maybe it was a crossfit term because you know they love their acronyms.

  11. Holy crap!!! I’m going to need you to put a disclaimer on your blog posts if you are going to include pictures of snakes (or giant spiders). What do you mean you picked him up?!?! Don’t do that! 😉

    Asides from that…great job with your training this week! 🙂

  12. Awesome track workout! Sub 3? Holy crap! That’s amazing! I love the pole pics. They are making me want to save money so I can afford the only class we have like that around here. It’s $230 for 8 classes and that just kills me. It’s ridiculous! That snake would have had me screaming like a little girl. No thank you.

      1. Right? Classes around here are stupid expensive and silly times. I wanted to take kick boxing a few years back and the intro class was only offered Wed/Fri from 1:30-2:30. Umm?? Don’t people work? Even when I did shift work at Taco Bell I couldn’t have made that time.

  13. Great training week for you! Especially considering you were feeling under the weather! I’m so impressed at how many pole fitness classes you can fit in – you’re hardcore girl! Also, nice work on the 800s… super speedy 🙂

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