Hartford Marathon Training, Week 14: 9/28-10/4

I can tell I’m tapering because I feel blah, my whole body feels tired, and I ache everywhere! Nothing in particular, just general fatigue. This was my lowest mileage week since July. As I approached this week, I was relieved for the lower mileage but worried that it was too low. I wasn’t sure how I felt about tapering down to 44 miles but I think I needed it. For the majority of the week, my whole body felt tired, sore and stiff. Now all that’s left to do is to focus on the week ahead, rest as much as I can, and take as many Epsom salt baths as possible to relieve any residual aches and pains.

Monday, 9/28 – Pole Fitness

I enjoyed last Monday’s rest day from running so much that I reorganized my week to make it happen again. Like last week, I had one rest day from running planned and it was initially scheduled for Friday. But I raced the 10K on Saturday, ran a moderately paced 17 on Sunday and knew that I would benefit more from the rest on Monday. I’d already spent the weekend running on tired legs. I also knew I had my final track workout planned for Tuesday. So I slept in and relaxed after work until pole class. My sister in law (on the right) and I have been working on this pose called a Side Saddle Superman, and we keep trying to get a picture of it together. She can do it really well (normally way better than me, she is awesome at pole) but kept slipping out of it for some reason! This was the closest one we got:


Tuesday, 9/29 – Track Workout, 8 Miles w/3 x 1600 + Core

It was overcast, but 80 degrees and SO FREAKING HUMID. Like 98% humidity. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go for this workout since the track I normally use was being ripped up and I just wasn’t into the treadmill. As I was leaving work, I decided to drive past the parking lot where our new track is located (the one that’s kept under lock and key). IT WAS UNLOCKED. The football team was practicing on the field. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Track workouts are sort of personal to me – there’s always the weird faces I make when I’m trying to bust out fast paces, plus the hissy fits I throw when the workout is either really hard or not going my way. There’s also a very good chance that I might shit my pants at any given point in time. Not exactly moments I want the kids I teach to witness. But I couldn’t bring myself to go to the treadmill and really wanted to see if I got kicked off of the track, so I got changed and got started.

First of all, the new track is AMAZING. I’ll take some pictures next time but I was already that creepy teacher doing mile repeats in booty shorts (it was all I had with me – had I known where I was going to end up I would have definitely packed something different) while the football team practiced. I didn’t need to add “creepy teacher in booty shorts taking pictures of the football team” to that. Anyway, I warmed up and ran three miles comfortably. I could already tell that my legs felt decent, but my lungs with the humidity was another story. I chugged some water and began the repeats. My goal range was 6:10-6:20/mile. I did 6:15, 6:14, 6:16! I walked 400m in between each one. Overall pace including warm up, cool down, and my recovery walks was 8:07. Very consistent, and my legs actually felt really good – but my lungs wouldn’t let me move any faster. I didn’t feel completely spent during the cool down, and that’s when the skies opened up and began to pour. I wrapped up my workout and the football team was still going strong. Luckily, there were no hissy fits or pooping of the pants that day. Winning. I managed to do some drills before I left, and MYTRLs and core at home.

Wednesday, 9/30 – Recovery Run, 5 Miles + Pole Fitness 

Pretty uneventful – it was a bit warm and humid, but a nice day to be out running. Nice, easy five mile recovery run. When I looked at my splits after, I realized I negative split the run and my last mile was my fastest, all by feel. I was excited. Overall pace, 8:25. Finished up with drills and MYRTLs. Headed to pole class and had some success learning a few new moves, but got a little better of a shot of is in our Side Saddle Supermans:


Still not perfect but I think that would be such a cute picture if we can both get into it perfectly at the same time!! Cassie (in the picture, on the right) is one of the sister-in-laws that roped me into going to these classes to begin with!

Thursday, 10/1 – 8 Mile General Aerobic Run + Pole Fitness

I can tell some of the life is starting to come back into my legs. I still don’t feel rested and ready just yet, but I finally went out and ran a nice 8 miler at a moderate pace and didn’t feel like I wanted to die by the end. Lately, I haven’t been able to pick up the pace on these general aerobic runs because I’m either saving my legs for the track, a tempo run, a medium long run or a long run. Or simply because they are just trashed. But this run felt good! Negative splits, managed two marathon paced miles sprinkled in there with my last mile as my fastest. Overall pace, 7:32. Finished up with drills and MYTRLs. Made progress in pole class on a pose called the Titanic, which I’d learned the previous night:


It’s such a pretty pose and it’s deceivingly difficult! It’s your inner thighs that hold you on the pole and that can be a little painful, but it’s easy to forget to keep gripping with your legs and all of a sudden you are sliding off the pole!

Friday, 10/2Recovery Run, 4 Miles + Pole Fitness + Core

I thought my legs would be trash on Friday morning since I just ran and went to pole class less than 12 hours before, but I felt pretty decent and went out in the early morning hours for an easy recovery run. Overall pace, 8:36. Went to pole class directly after work and started working on some fun combinations. Besides the Titanic pose from earlier in the week, I’ve been taking poses I already learned and I’m working on linking them together. Ended the night with pizza, couch time, and Netflix with my husband.

Saturday, 10/3 –  13 Mile Run + Pole Fitness

I met Kathy for our long run this weekend, and she was doing 20-21 miles while I only needed 13. It was such a treat to get to sleep in a little, since she began running at 6am, and I met her at 7am. The downside was that it was rainy, super windy and chilly! It cleared up a bit as we ran but it was so windy. Overall pace, 7:35. I was able to grab a coffee, go home, and take a quick Epsom salt bath to warm up before heading to pole class. I worked on some really fun combinations again – I am so loving this workout! I don’t even feel like I’m working out, it’s just fun!

Sunday, 10/4 – 6 Mile Recovery Run + Core/PT

I felt tired as I headed out for this run, but once I got started it was great. The weather was awesome, and my legs didn’t feel too bad. Overall pace, 8:18. Headed to the gym for some drills, MYRTLs, abs and to catch up on some of the PT exercises I do for my Achilles. It was an enjoyable run and an uneventful Sunday.

Swim:  0 meters ♥ Bike: 0 miles ♥  Run: 44 miles

I’m really looking forward to my recovery period that I have planned for November. I had all the time in the world to cross train all summer long, but since school began I don’t have time to fit everything in that I enjoy. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to do all of the miles that I planned, and excited that I can get to the pole studio as often as I’ve been going. I haven’t been on my bike and I haven’t gotten in the pool, and I miss it. I’m excited for the recovery period from this marathon, but I do have another marathon in November so really, the recovery won’t begin until then. I’m excited for an honest to goodness recovery season this year.

How was your week? Are you planning on taking any kind of recovery period between fall and spring race training?


48 Replies to “Hartford Marathon Training, Week 14: 9/28-10/4”

  1. First of all, awesome job with the speed work with the football team. They probably think you are pretty badass, and way faster than them anyway. Your Supermans look amazing! I love that you are getting so many classes in and enjoying it during the taper.

  2. I’m kind of jealous that you are in taper and I’m not yet 😉 It looks like another solid week and I just know you are gonna crush it…the pep will get back in your legs midway through this week I’m sure and you’ll be ready to roll!

    1. I kept going back and forth after our conversation about the mileage dropping, but my legs were really tired – I needed it! Another blogger and coach I follow, Sarah (http://runningonhealthy.com/) posted about tapering and that helped me feel a little better! I’m getting nervous but EXCITED!!!!! Your taper will be here before you know it, sister!

      1. Ohhh, no! I didn’t mean to make you second guess yourself; I was just curious if your taper plan since so much of our running looks the same (though your cross training and strength work crushes mine which is mostly nonexistent). I’m certain this is the right move –I follow Sarah, too (I think that’s how I found you? I can’t remember, haha) and even though I’m not in taper mode yet it was definitely calming to read. Trust the fitness. That’s it!

      2. No, the second guessing is a good thing!!! I always like second guessing and learning everything I can, especially now. I don’t have a coach to bounce ideas off of, and one of the things I love this blog community for is just that! I think we did find each other through Sarah, now that you mention it 🙂

  3. Amazing! You run more in taper than I did for my peak week this cycle!! Haha. I can’t wait to hear about your marathon this weekend! There are a few people from my Fleet Feet group headed to Hartford too and overall it’s gonna be such an amazing marathon weekend 😀
    I’ve been talking about getting some good recovery and downtime after this weekend, but really I’ll be ramping right back into half marathon training. Although in all honesty, I feel like that’s so much less of a burden that it is almost like a recovery period. What spring marathons are you planning (besides Boston)?

    1. Thanks lady! You are going to crush Steamtown. I reeeaaallllyyy want to drag my ass out of bed and come cheer for you and my other peeps running but Hartford will have been the day before – I just don’t know how reliable I will be! I’m so excited for the DL half, too – you are going to love that race. I might run part of the course today! I am planning to do the Kentucky Derby Marathon after Boston! Any interest?! They normally fall on the same weekend and this year they don’t – I have to do it! LOL! I have a few other ideas for spring but nothing concrete yet. Possibly going back to the Shires of VT. I found one in Iowa in June that I could knock off. All still tentative! You?!

      1. I’m psyched for Steamtown!! Don’t worry about coming; I know it’s hard. I will have others cheering for me at Steamtown anyway 🙂 I myself would love to go to Hartford for you but in terms of waking up and driving so much the day before my race, I know that’s not the best plan…another time for sure!! And I will at least see you for D&L – yay! It’ll come at a good time too because I think my mother-in-law will be visiting then…I could probably use an escape!! haha
        In terms of marathons, I’m planning on taking a little break next spring actually. I am visiting my sister, going to a friend’s wedding, buying a house lol so I think I will be sticking to the half distance. I still haven’t picked a marathon for next fall yet – though I might consider VIA if I’ve built the speed enough in the summer (though I’ve discovered training through the summer SUCKS!). We’ll see. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself with the plans yet. Sounds awesome that you’ll knock some more states off your list though!

      2. Haha! Perfect that you are getting away when your mother in law will be in town!! I was going to say if Oliver wanted to come cheer, he is more than welcome to come and stay too! I think sticking to halves for spring is going to be awesome. First of all, the weather SUCKS to train in the winter for a marathon. Second, one thing Bart said to me a few years ago that always stuck with me is that if you want to get faster at the marathon, you have to get faster at the shorter distances. So, by focusing on shorter races I think you are actually going to see a drop in your marathon time come next fall. I will probably do the VIA half again next year but regardless – you are welcome to camp out at my place! I LOVE that race!!!

      3. Thanks so much!! We’ll talk more logistics when it gets closer but I doubt Oliver will come. He has work till 11pm that night so I’m sure it’ll be just me! And yes I really need to get speedier in the shorter distances. I feel like I’ve stayed around the same time in the half marathon for the past year and a half and it’s been frustrating! I don’t know that I’ll even be able to shoot for that 1:45 with you on Nov. 1st but I’ll see where I’m at after the marathon. See you soon!!!

  4. How do you find pole fitness is having on your running? Do you feel stronger because of it? I’m in awe and feel like I couldn’t do even the basics 😉
    I had a good week of running and can’t even begin to think past the next two weeks! I’d like to run some small local 5k’s but I’m hoping to just get stronger and ready for a good 2016 (injury free).

    1. I feel SO much stronger from it – much stronger than I ever felt from going to the gym and lifting weights. My core has never been this strong and I used to make time to do abs every single day. If you can find a class, you definitely should try it!!! I keep telling my friends that it’s the reason I’ve seen any improvement in my pace. Plus, it’s considered “progressive calisthenics” and you really work out lots of strength imbalances! I’m with you for a good 2016 – I had a rough spring last year. It took all summer to build my base back up and now I am ready to race and recover, and try again next year! I completely get how you feel about injuries – my whole spring was basically me tiptoeing around my dumb Achilles tendinitis. Here’s to a badass 2016!

  5. I can’t believe your race is coming up so soon! Holy moly. Your training has been incredible and the classes you do are awesome. It must take so much strength to do those pole classes!

    1. I can’t believe it’s here either!!! It’s crazy how fast time flies! If you are ever in the mood to try a class you are more than welcome to come with me! We could go for a quick run and go to class 🙂

  6. Those pics are so cool. I love the feeling of a new track. The city of Chicago made a public track down by Lake Michigan right along the Lakefront Path. It opened up near the end of last summer and it is just so awesome to run near the water with the sklyline in the background. It would never fly in NYC and I just think it is so cool that it is a part of the park system.

    1. OMG I wish somewhere in my area they would open a public track! There are tons of schools here and I am lucky to work at a school, but since I’m not a coach or on a team of some sort it isn’t really for me, so I’m at the mercy of everyone else’s workouts/practices! Yet another reason for me to love Chicago. Such a great city!

      1. Funny enough, the public park across the street from our apartment has a mediocre track. It is just shy or regulation size but works perfectly when I just need to get outside.

      2. THAT is amazing! A few of the schools consider their track’s to be “public” – like Muhlenberg College and Lehigh University – but only when they aren’t in use! That is awesome to have something so close to your house!!

  7. I think your 44 miles were QUALITY miles and you will be just fine! I know that “shit your pants” feeling! You would think we would take that as a sign to not push so hard, but obviously it means we’re just pushing hard enough. I think if we ever actually DO shit our pants, then it was too hard haha!

    1. Thank you! I definitely agree that I did have quality miles last week – some of the higher mileage weeks, I feel like the recovery miles were junk miles but they all got me running on tired legs so who knows. As for the pooping of the pants…well, I’d be lying if I said it never happened to me before, hahaha! Oh, running…why do we do this to ourselves 🙂

  8. Great week! I’m probably done racing for the season, unless I sneak a turkey trot in there or something along those lines. I think I’ve pushed my luck with my husband enough between a marathon and Ragnar. I don’t know how much he enjoys being a single parent in my absence. 🙂

  9. You are going to crush it in Hartford. Are you all set with the pre-race / packet pick-up? I’ll be running it on tired legs, but it still will be fun. I’ll probably pace a guy I know who is very close to BQ.

    Is the Iowa marathon you’re looking at the “Marathon to Marathon”? If so, I ran that one two years ago. As you would expect, it was pretty flat – it is Iowa, after all. The course does a zig zag – you run north, then west, then north etc. The wind was coming from the northwest, so it was tougher than expected. And there was a lightning storm / tornado watch, so they ended up pulling some of the 4 hour plus runners off the course. Smart to do – runners are taller than the corn stalks (an there’s just corn fields for miles at a time), so a lightning strike is very possible.

    Still, a really fun race, and the food afterwards was terrific.

    1. I hope I have a good day in Hartford, we’ll see! Eeeek! I am staying at the Marriott near the airport, so it shouldn’t be too far from everything. I am driving up on Friday, probably late morning and heading to packet pickup. I haven’t investigated dinner options too much – I did find (through another blogger) a place for sushi (I race well on sushi!) but I would also consider a pasta dinner if they offer one. I’ll do some research today.

      As for Iowa – yes! I saw that they have a late June one and that works for my schedule. Good to hear some information from someone who has done it. I’m still working things out with my schedule for spring and only have a few things set in stone so far so we’ll see! What’s next for you (after Hartford)?

  10. Yeah, your taper week was almost as much as my peak weeks were! But I was also training for a half, and you’re a totally different level of runner than I am, anyway.

    I love your pole fitness pictures- you look super in shape and it looks like a fun way to cross train. I’ve honestly never met any runners who did it as cross training, but it seems to be working for you. I still remember a few months ago when you just tried it out and now you love it!

    Good luck with the final race preparations.

  11. I’m finally starting to run again, so no recovery time for me!! Just getting back into shape. I am so pumped for the RW 5k in 2 weeks!!! And hopefully a couple more to finish out the year….good for you for running in your booty shorts by the football team. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to do that. Lol. Although I doubt many of my former students are football players, so I guess it wouldn’t be so bad….

  12. I just got my Tuesday back (one kiddos activity is down sizing to once a week…temporarily!) and there is a local run club that does speed work. I think I might try it!

    Great job this weekend!! You and hubs DESERVED that pizza!! 😉

  13. I feel THE SAME WAY about doing track workouts. I don’t mind if there’s other runners, because they usually end up motivating me (simply because I know I’m not the only one working hard, regardless of whatever workout they seem to be doing) – but if someone is on the infield, I am so self conscious. I’m excited to see the track when you do manage to get a picture though – I’m a sucker for nice tracks *insert emoji with hearts for eyes here* 🙂
    I can’t imagine holding myself up on a pole using my inner thighs – pole fitness is crazy! Crazy cool 😀
    I’m so excited for you to race Hartford this weekend! Good luck!

    1. Thank you!!! I’m nervous!! I think my next track workout is in about 2 weeks – definitely not next week but I think some 800s the week after – and I am hoping to snap a picture then! It’s so nice!!!

  14. Great week! I used to run the local track in the summer while football team practiced. I felt like I needed to wear more clothing! I am seriously envious of your pole pics, my new endeavor is to find some sort of affordable class nearby! It has to exist!

  15. “creepy teacher in booty shorts” LOL! Thanks, that was a good laugh for today 🙂 As always, awesomely strong looking pole pics. I just realized I have a pole in my basement. Perhaps I should try something. Look forward to a post on how I injured myself doing something stupid…

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