Greetings Salty readers! It is my great pleasure to announced that I have made it to the half-way point of the 16 week Boston Marathon training cycle! Only 8 weeks to go, and nearly half of those weeks are tapering! Color me ecstatic, and excuse my while I pause to do a happy dance! For what is now officially the week before last (pardon my tardiness again!) I ran 56 miles over 6 runs, and you can read all the juicy details right here in my Salty Running training log!
Monday, 2/17, Recovery Run, 5.01 miles. Just some easy miles after yesterday’s long run. I tried to be extra deliberate in just staying super-comfortable, not looking at the watch, and letting the legs go at a pace that just came naturally. Although I wouldn’t necessarily describe this run as super-comfortable, it certainly didn’t feel terrible, and I ran a pretty organically consist 8:30ish pace throughout, which is probably just about right for a recovery run for me. Hooray for starting the week off right!
Tuesday, 2/18, 3x (800, 600, 400, 200), 8.62 miles. I thought today’s BAA Intermediate Marathon Training Workout sounded pretty un-intimidating, but it turned out be kind of tough-ish. At least I had the great company of my running pals Kara, Jen D., and Margaret to get me through. After a sluggish, yet chatty warm up I got down to work: 3x (800, 600, 400, 200).
I forget to hit the lap button at the beginning of the 1st 800, and the split I have is for .55 miles in 3:16. Ugh. That doesn’t sound great, but it’s also slightly off, so whateves. Here are the additional splits for round 1:
600: 2:12, 400: 1:26, 200: 00:41
Set 2 was fairly smooth and uneventful with these splits:
800: 3:02, 600: 2:12, 400: 1:25, 200: 00:40
And then Set 3 unraveled a little with these splits:
800: 2:59, Emergency Bathroom Break: ~2:00 min, Chat with Kara about plans for my upcoming birthday socialization extravaganza: ~10:00 min, 6:00: 2:14, 400: 1:27, 200: 00:43
I think the extended break derailed my momentum a bit, but not too badly. And anything beats pooping your pants. Thus, another speed workout on the road to Boston is in the books! Cheers to non-frigid temps and a completely ice-free track!
Wednesday, 2/19, Rest Day, and also Hump Day.
Thursday, 2/20, 2x 15 min. at LT to Half Marathon Goal Pace, 9.01 miles. Today I was seriously struggling to access my running mojo. This was unfortunate news since it was tempo day. Maybe it’s my sad lack of routine this week (and this month and this year so far) as I transition into a different job configuration, or maybe it was the heat. Hell, it could have been the deafening sound of what must have been 1 million frogs chirping their little frog faces off for the entirety of this run. I don’t know, but it just wasn’t there today.
Somehow, I managed to (mostly) hit the paces for the working efforts, but the warm-up and recovery miles were pretty unfortunate in terms of both pace and feel. I kicked things off with 20 minutes (just over 2 miles) at what averaged out to be roughly 9:30 pace. I felt super-lethargic and I had no earthly idea how I would be convincing the legs to go any faster, and yet when it was time for working effort number 1, I managed to convince them to grind out 2.19 miles in 15 minutes for an average pace of roughly 6:50. (The goal was something in the half marathon goal pace to LT range. Translation: 6:50 to 6:40) It felt most laborious and ugly, but I’ll take it. Oh, and how the hell I’m going to do that whole thing all over again?!
I was not encouraged by my 5 minute recovery between sets, in which I covered 0.45 miles at 11:13 pace. Yikes.
But round 2 actually went a teeny bit better, covering 2.22 miles in something that likely averages out to 6:45 pace.
I disliked pretty much every step of this run, and all of this solitary training is starting to bum me out a little, but what does not kill me makes me stronger, and I did accomplish what I set out to do in the end. #gitterdone #3:19orbust
Friday, 2/21, Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy, 7.01 miles. Big shout-out to my friend Kara for joining me for a run today! I was so super-grateful for some company and some easy miles on the schedule. It was just what the doctor ordered. Just wish I’d had the time to, grab a donut at Rise (my fave donut shop where most of my runs start and finish) afterwards. Ah well, it’s probably better this way. Happy Friday, y’all!
Saturday, 2/22, The Usual Saturday 10. It was nice that today’s 10 miles mostly at marathon goal pace were not particularly frigid or rainy or slippery or icy. Just pleasant miles and decent weather. It’s about damn time. Liz and I ran the middle 6 miles of this lovely run at roughly marathon goal pace, with 2 miles of warm up/ cool down at both ends of the slightly faster effort. We only took one 10 ish minute break to chat with our friend Karen M. AND we saw Paul and Daisy (our favorite dog-owner running duo from Daily Mile, they’re kind of big deal!) and I got to hold Daisy’s leash!!!! Talk about celebrity status! We also delighted in legally crossing the bridge for the first time and high-fiving multiple fellow bridge enthusiasts! (In case you don’t live in the greater Durham area, they have been working on building this pedestrian bridge over the interstate to connect two separate sections of greenway trail for like the last 100 years and after much ado IT’S FINALLY DONE!!!) Cheers to the weekend and to 10 pleasant miles!
Sunday, 2/23, Long Run w/ 3x 3 miles at MGP, 16 miles. A group of my running buddies wanted to test out the course for the upcoming Merge Records 25K (a cool upcoming local race celebrating the 25th anniversary of Merge Records, and symbolizing the company’s move from Chapel Hill to Durham) for today’s long run. Although rumor had it that said course was hilly as balls (spoiler alert: the rumors are true!) it sounded like a fun opportunity to enjoy some good company and fresh scenery on the long run so I decided to tag along. My friend Sara, who has roughly the same Boston goal time as I do was doing a workout of 3x 3 miles at MGP (roughly 7:30 pace), so I agreed to tag along for that as well.
I was worried that this run might majorly suck for many reasons. First there was the whole aforementioned hilly-as-balls thing. Then there was last night’s amazing birthday celebration kick-off dinner, which consisted mostly of pulled pork, rich desserts, and fancy cocktails at The Pit (aka the yummiest upscale BBQ joint in town). Totally worth risking long run GI disaster, BTW. And to top it all off it was probably 30 degrees warmer than it was for last week’s long run, or any other run I have been on in the last 3 months or so, so the odds seem stacked against me.
But I loaded up and headed out to downtown Durham to catch the shuttle to Chapel Hill (aka our running buddy Nancy’s minivan), and we started our long, hilly run back to the car. Sara and I allowed ourselves a 3 mile warm up before settling into round 1 of MGP. The first 2 miles of our 1st working effort were particularly hilly but we managed to make it through them in 7:36 and 7:46, respectively. No too shabby considering the climbing. The 3rd and final mile of working effort #1 started to head down again, allowing us to clock a 7:24. The downhill continued into our recovery mile, which we ran in a not-so-recovery-like 7:46. Ok. One round of hilly MGP down, and I don’t hate this run yet! Optimism abounds!
Round 2 was less climb-y and our splits reflected as much. We clicked them off pretty easily at 7:22, 7:30, and 7:20. I was kind of consumed by the fear of GI track rebellion after my night of gluttonous meat, alcohol, and dessert consumption, probably at least partly because this run just seemed to be going entirely too well so far, so I opted for the cautionary bathroom stop at the end of round 2, just to play it safe. I think this was the right call.
Once we started back up we jogged (that’s with a soft “j”) out an 8:43 recovery mile and then pressed on to our final round of work. I was feeling only mildly fatigued and anxious for this run to be over, and that is when it dawned on me that I was actually having a damn good long run despite the hills, warm temps, bizarre eating the night before, and many, many MGP miles! Happy Birthday to me!
I got through the first 2 miles of the final round easy enough with splits of 7:17 and 7:26, but the final mile of working effort was a bit of a ride on the struggle bus, thanks to a nasty climb of roughly 800m. Despite a sneaky suspicion that I might have actually be moving faster had I been walking, I managed to eek out at 7:31 for the final split. Holy crap! I just did 9 miles at MPG mildly hungover on a hilly course in 60 degree heat, and I didn’t once wish for death! Self-fives all around!
I was VERY pleasantly surprised by how this run went and very pleased with both my pace and my comfort level. Plus, Sara was a delightful running buddy and our paces were very compatible! Hooray for great company and well executed long runs!
So there you have it, friends. The story of how I have survive 8 weeks of Boston Marathon training thus far. I am knocking on wood and crossing my fingers as I type this in hopes of having the good fortune to make it to Hopkinton injury-free, well-rested, and ready to kick some butt! Cheers to another successful week of training in the books, and until next time, happy trails and thanks for reading!