Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 13

It’s Thursday and I’m trying to get this update started, and I’m realizing I have not one picture so far to share with you guys. Everything pole related is in video format, and I haven’t been bringing my phone out running so no pretty landscape shots to share. I suppose it’s a good time to tell you about a game on my phone that I’m obsessed with (yes, a game – I don’t play games on my phone but this is the exception to the rule) called Neko Astume. It’s a cat yard that you try to attract cats to come and visit your yard. Completely pointless and a total time suck, but (to a crazy cat lady) hilarious thing ever. I just saved up enough gold fish to get the yard expansion:

imageBecause cats. It’s the little things that amuse me in life.

Back to the miles and the workouts. Here’s the pace guide I’m using:

Marathon Goal –  3:05
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs –  7:03/mile
Recovery Runs – 9:11/mile
Aerobic A/Easy – 8:36
Aerobic B/Easy – 8:01
Long Run: 7:42

Monday, 3/8:  10 Mile Easy Run + Pole Fitness + Core/MYRTLs

I sprinkled in core, MYRTLs, and a NTC Workout (Alpha Abs) throughout the day, and headed to the D&L trail with Leigh after work. I set out on a 10 miler, and it wasn’t the prettiest run ever. I think the Saturday race and Sunday miles caught up with me. I got through it, but I was tired. The gorgeous weather (60s, breezy, sunny) got me through it. I caught Leigh on the final mile and we ran it in together, which was fun. Overall pace was something like 8:25, but I was ready to be done when it was over. They can’t all feel great, right?

At pole class, I had a great night. It was super choppy but I ran through my entire competition piece from start to finish. It was only the second time I’ve run the whole thing straight through and it was way better than my first try. I’m excited to have it polished up so I can post it for you guys!

Tuesday, 3/9: Track Workout: 3 mile warm up, 3×2 miles (@ MP-10 seconds/mile) w/800 meter recoveries, 2.5 mile cooldown (13 miles) + Core/Strength/MYRTLs


Second week of “track” workouts done outside. “Track” because now the distances are longer and I’m using marathon pace minus 10 seconds per mile, and I’m doing these runs outside, mostly on trails. This week, I headed to the Saucon Trail. It’s got a slight grade to it and it’s cinders, so I thought it would be both challenging and forgiving (because it’s soft) at the same time.

I wore a sports bra and shorts and I was sweating. Glorious. I knew this run might suck a lot little, because I was still fatigued from the 10 miler on Saturday. I sucked down an extra bottle of water with a Lemon Tea Nuun tablet because I figured the extra electrolytes might save my ass later in the run. I thought the heat might dehydrate me a bit so I wanted to be prepared.

I kept my warm-up nice and easy, in the 8:20 pace range. My goal for my repeats was 6:50 pace (ten seconds faster than marathon pace) and to finish each two mile repeat in 13:40.

  • 2 Mile Repeat #1 – 13:29 (6:44 pace)
  • 2 Mile Repeat #2 – 13:29 (6:44 pace)
  • 2 Mile Repeat #3 – 13:30 (6:45 pace)

I was happy with the consistency, especially since I was outside and trying my best to run by effort. I still had my watch, but I was trying not to look at it too often and just relax and run. I took my GU after the first interval. Partially to practice fueling, but also an effort to keep myself properly fueled and hydrated in the heat. I had an 800 recovery between each repeat, so I would walk for 400 meters and then start jogging. I ran 2.5 miles to cooldown to give me an even 13 miles. I didn’t want the workout to be longer than that since that was how long my workout was last week. Couple that with Saturday’s race, I didn’t think it was necessary to add more distance on this run. I felt good, but tired and went home and did MYRTLs, core and some foam rolling.

Wednesday, 3/10: NTC’s Barre Strength + Pole Fitness + Core 

I’ve been going to the gym on Wednesday mornings to use the elliptical and do my NTC Barre Strength workout. I packed all of my stuff and set my alarm, and when it went off at 4 am I turned it off and went back to bed for another hour. I was tired, and it’s my one workout that’s optional right now. Not like I can’t skip a run or a pole fitness class, but it’s harder to justify missing those with Boston and pole competition training. I got up and did my Barre workout at home. I really like how that works my lower body, and it’s just fun in general.

After work, I did a quick ab workout, and headed to pole. Now that my competition piece is done, I need to get more fluent and clean it up. I could just run through it over and over again, but I feel like I’ll get sick of it and that it won’t be totally effective. I’ve decided to approach this the same way you approach training for running. Break it down into smaller pieces and work on each of the individual parts, and then put it all together. Like with running, you focus on easy days, track workouts, tempo runs, and then the long run. At the end of the class, I put it all together and did a run through. It went really well!

Thursday, 3/11: Abs/MYRTLs + Tempo Run, 15 miles – 3 mile warm up, 9 miles @ marathon pace, 3 mile cool down + Pole

Woke up and did MYRTLs and core before work because I knew that if I actually made it to pole class, I would be less likely to do it at night. It was a warm day for March – 80 degrees!!! It was overcast and dry, so I wasn’t overly concerned about the heat for my run. Just in case, I downed extra water and electrolytes throughout the day.

I headed out and felt just okay. I didn’t feel awful, but I just didn’t feel peppy like I have over the past 12 weeks of workouts and tempos. But my mileage has been increasing again this week, and I ran that race last weekend. I know it was on Saturday but I think it takes a few days to recover completely, and I did some big miles in the following days. On another note, I’ve been really watching my diet to try to get to what I believe would be my ideal racing weight. I need to keep an eye on my energy levels to make sure that what I think is a good racing weight is actually a reasonable weight.

I made it my goal to be as consistent as possible and to not run any of the miles too hard because shit is kind of getting real now. I need to know what marathon effort feels like. Right now, I feel like I’m running scared on my tempo runs. I tend to try to hammer out the miles before I run out of steam. And it’s been working – I get it done and have felt good doing it. But I need to know what a 7:03 feels like so I know what it feels like on April 18. Also, nine straight miles at marathon pace (even after doing a 10 mile road race and being under my goal pace) is hard, and very daunting on a Thursday afternoon after a full day of work.

I need to be cautious that I am staying honest to my pace goals and working at my ability level. I’m not re-evaluating any marathon goals at week 13, even with the recent 10 mile PR…or that Bart Yasso said he thinks I can go sub-3 in Boston. He’s also the guy who told me to “go run a 3:25” at the start of the Marshall Marathon in 2013, when I’d never broken 3:31 before that and was coming off of a significant injury. I ran a 3:24 that day – and I still say I owe it all to him.

Back to the run. It went well – 6:56, 6:59, 6:58, 6:54, 6:52, 6:55, 6:55, 6:57, 6:56. I noticed that even though my body felt tired and I wasn’t as enthusiastic about the run, I could call marathon pace “comfortably uncomfortable”. I would have preferred to back off and run an easier pace, but the pace was manageable. It’s mostly felt that way every week, but this was the first time I began a tempo run just feeling completely “meh”. So while it wasn’t my fastest workout, it was certainly a successful workout.

I ran in Easton so I was a few miles from the pole studio so I dropped into the 6:15 class, mostly to stretch out from the run but I was kind of productive in preparing for the upcoming competition. I was pretty beat by the time I got home, ate dinner, and went to bed!

Friday, 3/12: 10 Miles Easy + Core/MYRTLs + Pole Fitness

Enter the string of struggle bus runs. It was nice outside, and I did a nice 10 mile loop but I felt like crap. I averaged 8:29 pace and it felt harder than my 10 mile race. I did abs/MYRTLs, and  went to pole after work, and that was also tough. Not much to say except that I just wasn’t feeling it.

Saturday, 3/13: 10 Miles Easy + Pole + Core/MYRTLs

Another gorgeous day but yet another day of struggling running. I averaged 8:30 but just felt like it was so much effort. Pole and core/MYRTLs also felt rough. I went out for brunch and got a pretty substantial breakfast, and made a nice steak and couscous salad for dinner that night. I really think my energy levels had a lot to do with needing a few extra calories.

Sunday: 3/14:  Long Run, 18 Miles + Pole+ Core/MYRTLs

I got started a bit later than I’d liked and I had a piss poor attitude going into this run. I was supposed to run with Megan but her husband was out of town and she had no one to watch her daughter. So, solo long run for me. Not really an issue except that I’d been struggling in the latter part of the week and didn’t feel like struggling for another 18 miles. It took everything in me to start, and everything in me to finish.

I actually felt decent running and was able to maintain the appropriate long run pace without feeling like it was too much effort, but I didn’t start to enjoy the run until about nine miles in. I averaged 7:39 for the run, and felt decent when I was done. As I was running my last mile in, I started tallying up how many miles I ran that week. I realized that this was my highest volume run week ever (only by one mile, but still!). So, maybe no wonder my legs felt crappy???

The pole studio owner opened for some open studio time, so my sister in law and I went and played on the poles. I was pretty tired and unproductive again, but I feel like that’s pretty normal for post 18 miles 🙂 I made a huge dinner full of cheese and carbs as a reward- you’ll read all about that on Wednesday!

How was your week? How many weeks until your goal race?

♥ Total ♥  76 miles ♥


58 Replies to “Boston Marathon Training: Hansons, Week 13”

  1. AMAZING! I think the crazy thing about your tempo run too is you could still do those paces even when the temperature spiked. You are killing it in your training and it’s no wonder your legs are feeling a bit tired. Just reading about all your running and workouts makes me feel exhausted for you. I’m just happy I’m up to almost 40 miles again 😀 Speaking of which, I had a fantastic run week too and will post about it later tonight since I’ll be on that weekly update thing again! And it’s less than three weeks till Kutztown!! That’s not my goal race but I’m excited for it anyway 🙂

    1. Yay!!! You are BACK! You better do a post so I can read all about it. I am so excited about Kutztown. I think my friend Kathy might join us, so you will get to meet her! Also, it is confirmed that I am pacing 1:45 at St. Lukes if you have any interest. I know you’ve broken 1:45, but could be good to start with me and then take off!

  2. Holy EFFF. Your week was INSANE. Here I thought *I* was busy, lol!! Your Thursday=amazing. You killed your run AND you went to pole after?? You’re my hero. So freaking excited for your race. I’m with Bart on this one ❤

    1. Thank you! Dude you week was crayyyyy too! I just read yours. I’m getting excited for Boston…but still so many miles…whats that Robert Frost verse…”and miles to go before I sleep” or something. I keep hearing that in my head!

      1. Only my fave Frost poem!!! The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. ❤

  3. Great job girly! I can’t believe you did pole after an 18 mile long run too! I think Boston will go really well for you, I love reading about your training and how you balance it all because you run a lot of miles and do pole and the “little things”. Good luck with the racing weight and fueling- you’re right that it’s a delicate balance. I guess better to be a little above what you want to weigh and well fueled for a good marathon, than even slightly under. BC on Boston day the number that will matter will be on the clock not the scale anyway…

    1. Agreed! I don’t care so much about the number but how my body responds. I think I figured out where I need to be! I really want to zone in on fueling and weight so I can have another variable under control. And, thanks so much 🙂 It was a hectic but fun week!!

      1. Yep, you definitely know what you’re doing bc you’ve improved a lot from marathon to marathon. It could just be the rigors of training getting to you, too. I know all of my Boston friends are really feeling it now because the marathon (and taper) are getting close.

  4. 76 miles! Good job! I never count up all your miles in my head as I read, but as you kept saying you didn’t have much energy on your runs, I was thinking… maybe it’s because you are really racking up the miles this week!!?? Do you plan to keep your mileage up here or is it going to cut down as Boston approaches?

    1. LOL! Thanks and yeah, those miles crept up on me! I didn’t realize it until I was like wtf is going on. I am going to have a few more crazy weeks as long as my body cooperates and then TAPER! Right now, I am not praying for the taper…yet. Maybe after a week or two more of this, ha!!!

  5. I just don’t understand how you have the energy to do everything you do. It’s amazing! If I ran 18 miles (which I suppose I will at some point during marathon training), I would come home and make the couch my roost for the rest of the day, not go straight to pole class! Damn!

    1. Thanks Rae 🙂 I went to pole class, it certainly was not very productive! That was definitely more about hanging with my friends then working out😂😂 you are going to rock your 18 milers! I am excited for you to run your marathon!

  6. Highest mileage week AND it was during the days following your incredible race, right? No wonder your legs are shot. But this is the shit right there, the stuff sub-3s (okay, whatever, I know you’ve got it) are made of. Isn’t it such a delicate balance between trashing our bodies just enough to build strength and endurance but not tipping over into the land of injury? It’s so important that we are in tune with our bodies. You’re doing a great job. Amazed, as always.

  7. Sometimes I wonder how people do all this 🙂 Though I have to remember, right now I’m not training for anything but just running. I love reading your posts and seeing what you do for training, thanks for sharing.
    Last week wasn’t great for me but it was such a busy week at work that I’m okay with how it went. Going to get more focus soon!

    1. Thanks Anna!! Every week has it’s ups and downs and sometimes a period of being unfocused is exactly what you need. I took 6 weeks doing almost nothing after my fall marathon, and I’m happy I did that now. I’m getting a little tired now, but I think without the unfocused weeks I would be completely burned out at this point. You are listening to your body, and that’s the most important thing!

  8. Okay, I’ve seen screenshots of that game but had NO idea what it was! That’s so funny! It’s amazing what people find entertaining…you’d think creating a silly game like that would be easy, and then you’d be rolling in dough. But I never have ideas like that!

    1. The funny thing is, I teach web design and could totally design a game. I have zero creativity, which is a problem. I could never think of something – even something as dumb as this game!! Ha!

  9. Yep, that’s a lot of miles! I always have these big plans to take pics on my runs. I even wear my run team gear so I can post pics in our group and every single time, I remember when I am in the shower. Seriously?! Tonight we had a bbq feast and I was going to take a pic and tag it with my marathon training. I remembered when we were in the car coming back home. BTW, I’ve seen some cat houses like that in the small town where I grew up 😉

    1. Ugh, I used to be better about bringing my phone with me but lately I haven’t been so good about it. I’m slacking in the photo department for sure! OMG real cat houses 🙂 🙂 That is hilarious!

  10. 76 miles! And and 18 mile “long run” after a 15 mile mid week run?! Damn!! How do you fit it all in in a day? I seriously need to get off my butt. Have you ever heard of the game Wake the Cat? You have to get a ball through obstacles and wake a sleeping kitten. That game kept me distracted for so long a while back. 🙂

  11. “Sprinkled in core”…perhaps like candy? Ha ha…

    I have been enjoying reading your recaps. I think you are going to do awesome for Boston and I can’t wait to see. It sounds like hansons is really working out well for you.

  12. That is an incredible week! Miles & super speed! How cool that Bart Yasso told you to break 3:25 and you DID! The real Bart Yasso might be an even better marathon time predictor than the Yasso 800s 🙂 From your training, and straight from the mouth of Bart Yasso, it looks like Boston will be a great race for you! Hopefully I will spot you as you speed by!

    1. Haha! Thank you! Bart is my neighbor. I live where they publish Runner’s World! Sometimes I meet him for coffee after a run because I always run by his house. He is a super nice, down to earth and approachable guy. Loves the local running community. We are fortunate! He drove us to the Marshall Marathon that year and pointed at the start and said “Go run a 3:25”. How do you let Bart Yasso down?!

  13. Training advice from Bart Yasso – how cool is that? Racking up the miles this week and once again your rocked it, even though you said it was a struggle. I ran a half this past Sunday and can’t even imagine being out on a run at least until this weekend. You’re one WONDER WOMAN!!

    1. Thank you 🙂 Yes, Bart is my neighbor! I live where Runner’s World is published. He is a great guy. I saw you posted about your half – I looking forward to reading it today!!!

  14. I had to laugh when I saw your game shot. My daughter plays that game all the time and shows me the pictures of the cats who have visited her space!! So cute. Sorry you had some sucky runs, but on the other hand, inspiring for me to hear that you have bad runs too! Woah, Bart is your neighbor and you’ve had coffee with him?? I missed that post. So cool!
    btw, you spiked my interest when you mentioned the NTC abs workout so I looked it up. I only made it one minute into the workout. Soooooo sad!

    1. Ha! Yes! Another Neko Astume lover 🙂 Yeah, Bart lives around the corner and is a huge part of our running community. When he’s in town, he’s always going to local races to cheer, or organizing group runs to the Bethlehem Star. He’s a really nice guy!

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