Zest’s Training Log — 12.11.16 – 1.14.17

Outside the Folger Shakespeare Library on a freezing cold day. “Lord what fools these runners be!”

Long time, no training log. But I have been training for the last month, so I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been up to. As I mentioned a while ago, I’m working on base building until 12 weeks out from Boston, when I plan to follow the 12/55 plan from Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzinger and Douglas. That’s scheduled to start on January 22, so I still have another week of easy mileage building before ramping up the intensity.

As you’ll see in my log, I’ve still been battling burnout and some serious motivation problems, and the winter weather and lack of daylight areย not helping. It’s been especially bad after a rest day — once my momentum is broken, I have a hard time getting back out there. This pattern is immensely frustrating because I used to never miss a scheduled run day, but lately it’s been way too easy to talk myself out of it (thanks, Bertha!). Nonetheless, I’m pushing through and hoping that once I have a set schedule in front of me, I’ll feel more motivated to do all of the workouts.

Week of 12/11/16:

Sunday, 12/11 — 9 miles @ 8:11 avg. pace. I think my last training log ended with this one, but I’m putting it here because my training week normally goes from Sunday to Saturday.

Monday, 12/12 — OFF.

Tuesday, 12/13 — 4 miles @ 8:31 avg. pace. Intentionally kept this super easy; had a hard time getting out the door.

Wednesday, 12/14 — OFF.

Thursday, 12/15 — OFF. I somehow talked myself out of this.

Friday, 12/16 — OFF. No excuse except total inertia.

Saturday, 12/17 — 8 miles @ 8:16 avg. pace. Woke up to a sheet of ice covering everything, so I had to skip my usual group run and do this one on the treadmill. Yuck


Week of 12/18/16:ย 

Sunday, 12/18 — OFF. Didn’t feel like it.

Monday, 12/19 — 7.62 miles @ 8:07 avg. pace. Very cold out, butย it felt great!

Tuesday, 12/20 — 5.1 miles @ 8:36 avg. pace. Nice and easy during my lunch break.

Wednesday, 12/21 — OFF.

Thursday, 12/22 — OFF. Traveled home to Louisville for Christmas!

Friday, 12/23 — 3.28 miles @ 8:13 avg. pace.

Saturday, 12/24 — 12.5 miles @ 8:10 avg. pace. I always forget how hilly Louisville is, especially the parks! This was a good confidence booster; made me think maybe I’m not quite as out of shape as I thought I was.

TOTAL: 28.5

Week of 12/25/16:

Christmas fun with my family!

Sunday, 12/25 — OFF. Hung out with the family all day on Christmas; took a nice walk in the park with my mom and dog in the afternoon. Ate a ton of good food and cookies!

Monday, 12/26 — 8.8 miles @ 7:55 avg. pace with Chicory and Pesto! It was so much fun to meet a couple of fellow Salties in person!

Tuesday, 12/27 — 3.2 miles @ 8:56 avg. pace. Went to the gym with my dad and did a super easy recovery run on the treadmill. Lifted afterwards.

Wednesday, 12/28 — OFF. PT exercises in the morning, then traveled back to D.C.

Thursday, 12/29 — OFF again. Lost the momentum.

Friday, 12/30 — 4 miles @ 8:32 avg. pace. Felt a little harder than I thought it should.

Saturday, 12/31 — 12.15 miles @ 8:10 avg. pace. Nice New Year’s Eve run in D.C., then took a train to New York to visit friends for the weekend!

TOTAL: 28.15

Week of 1/1/17:

Sunday, 1/1 — 4.5 miles @ 9:08 avg. pace in Central Park. Rode the struggle bus hard after a late night out drinking champagne, but still felt good to get out and run on the first day of 2017!

Monday, 1/2 — OFF.

Tuesday, 1/3 — OFF. Talked myself out of it because it was raining. Again with the momentum.

Wednesday, 1/4 — 8.5 miles @ 7:59 avg. pace. This was one of those runs that just surprises you with its awesomeness. I hit some hills during the first half of the run, and then I felt so good during the second half that I finished up with 4 x .5 miles at tempo pace. After not having done anything up tempo in a long time, it felt surprisingly good. I started seeing glimpses of the runner I used to be. . . .

Thursday, 1/5 — 6 miles @ 8:10 avg. pace. Ran to and from my PT appointment, which consisted mostly of very painful “massage.”

Friday, 1/6 — OFF. PT exercises in the morning.

Saturday, 1/7 — 14.16 miles @ 8:16 avg. pace. Chilly and hilly! This was the longest run I’ve done for several months, so I felt a sense of accomplishment once it was done.

TOTAL: 33.16

The pre-inaugural view from my hill repeats.

Week of 1/8/17:

Sunday, 1/8 — 4.15 miles @ 9:30ish avg. pace. I was a little sore from yesterday’s run, so I kept it nice and slow. Super cold outside.

Monday, 1/9 — OFF.

Tuesday, 1/10 — OFF. Partly the momentum thing, and partly chaos at work.

Wednesday, 1/11 — OFF. No excuse for this, although I’m sure I had a really good one at the time. . . .

Thursday, 1/12 — 8 miles @ 8:13 avg. pace. This was a hill workout, which went very well.

Friday, 1/13 — 7.1 miles @ 9:08 avg. pace. Recovery pace because yesterday was fairly intense. I know it’s bad to try to cram in all my miles at the end of the week to make up for the three rest days in a row, but I did it anyway.

Saturday, 1/14 — 14.4 miles @ 8:11 avg. pace. Cold and rainy.

TOTAL: 33.65

A former field hockey goalkeeper, I discovered a love for marathons in 2014. I'm a three-time Boston qualifier with a 3:18 marathon PR and a 1:30 PR in the half. When I'm not dodging tourists while running on the National Mall, I work as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. I write about training, competition, and everything in between.

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  1. Hopefully you’ll be all nice and rested and ready when the plan starts!

    I agree with the momentum thing. I was really skeptical when I started working with my coach and he wanted to axe rest days during the main training cycle. But he was right. I never question if I’m running, it’s just when. And because I’m running every day, there’s not much wiggle room to shift things around (which I used to do, a lot โ€” “Oh, I’ll do this workout tomorrow. Oh, it’s raining tomorrow. Well, the next day then.”) Two caveats: At least two of my days are really, really easy โ€” sometimes just 30 minutes and probably 60-90 seconds slower than marathon pace and about 60% max HR; and, if I need a rest day, it’s there. (Sundays are currently scheduled as 4-6 easy, cross train, or off.) But I have found that by keeping my easy runs easy, I don’t feel like I need a rest day, I feel more like the active recovery helps me be ready for the next day.

    Certainly this won’t work for everyone, but maybe if you made yourself run or walk for just 10-15 minutes, or did some sort of other cross-training on those days, you wouldn’t feel like you were losing the momentum?

    ANYWAY, that’s all of my unsolicited advice for the day! It was awesome running with you and Pesto!