Barley’s Buffalo Marathon Training Log Weeks 10 & 11

This post is a two-fer. The last two weeks were the weeks that you know you are going to have in a marathon training cycle but that you dread at the same time. Without fail for me it’s almost always 6-7 weeks out from the race, and well here we are with these as weeks 6 and 7 away from Buffalo.

Week 10 (4/9)

This week started out pretty good. I was finally able to get a workout in outside, and it went pretty well considering wind and also adjusting to not being on the treadmill. I enjoy the wave tempos, and they really help me build my confidence making MP(6:50ish) feel like recovery and the overall average pace (6:35 for 70 minutes) feel much easier than it otherwise would. The problem is though, I had a lot going on this week and my stress level was bubbling. My postpartum anxiety and OCD has been relatively under control for a while now, mainly because I have kept my stress level in check. Work stress, stress about prepping for upcoming trip (travelling with an infant toddler is obviously new to us), and trying to fit in a lot of things in a busy week left me overdone. Most of my runs during the week were after 9PM, which meant a lot of them weren’t even finished until close to or after 10PM. Friday rolled around and I was excited for my second workout of the week, but then XYZ happened and I burst. Hey, I’m human and it happens. Pretty stellar meltdown, but finally got out around 9pm (again) and just ran a random workout instead of the planned one. I knew right then I needed to pull the plug on the weekend a bit, and just let things go for a few days so I could enjoy Boston and get my stress in check so my anxiety could slowly come back down. That is exactly what we did.


We drove to Boston with one of my best friends Brittany on Saturday, went to theย zoo, Hannah learned a swear word, relaxed in the hotel after a short shakeout run and then had dinner and wine with our other great friends at their hotel across the street. Sunday morning I did my long run (I knew I needed to do at least that- and I enjoy long runs so that helps me) nice and early to get it out of the way. We spent the rest of the day going to the expo (it was fun even if not running!), sight seeing a bit, meeting up with other Saltines (Mango, Avocado, and loyal reader Jesse!) before heading over to Lamplighter Brewing for Lindsey Hein’s meetup. Hannah was of course the star of the show, until she conked out in her stroller at the brewery so we then had our arms twisted into another beer while she slept and we chatted with our friends. Later on we went over to where our friends Heather and James were staying for a low key dinner and hanging out- it was the perfect end to a good day. I cannot tell you enough how much the weekend helped me- we were there to support the runners but as Desi showed sometimes supporting others is the best way to help yourself.

Barley, Reader Jesse, Mango & Avocado!

Monday: 3.6 Recovery Miles (9:00 avg) + Strides (5:28 avg) [9pm]
Tuesday: 13.1 mile wave tempo (6:52 avg) {10 x 3:30 @ MP/3:30 @ 10k-HMP}
Wednesday: 5 Recovery Miles (8:51 avg) [9:15pm]
Thursday: 6 Easy Miles (8:42 avg) + Strides (5:31 avg) [9:15pm]
Friday: 7 Mile random tempo run (7:12 avg) {3MP + 2HMP} [9:10pm]
Saturday: 3.1 Mile hotel treadmill shake out (8:35 avg)
Sunday: 17 Mile hotel treadmill Long run (7:54 avg)
Week Totals: 55.6 Miles
Beers Drank: Lamplighter Cuppa (Like 3 of them-so good)
Baby Milestones: Learned a new word (“shit”-#parentsoftheyear)

Week 11 (4/16)

Race week in more ways than one! We started the week in Boston cheering for the marathon, crying about Desi and doing what we could to support our friends. It’s funny we were at a race and running was the last thing on my mind, we took Hannah in the pool later at the hotel for the first time and it was time way better spent than even a short shakeout on the mill would have been.

Once we got home on Tuesday I was still thinking about all the amazing stuff from Boston- but also turned my attention to my half marathon in a few days. I opted to do my tuneup workout on Wednesday instead of Tuesday because I needed a short shakeout after long car ride. I was a little nervous it was too close to the race but it ended up working out. Thursday-Saturday were all easy stuff and just keeping my head and body in check, the weather was looking stunning for Sunday and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. As I said on Instagram before Boston- As runners we have had amazing races on crappy days but I’ve also had horrible races on perfect weather days. Friday and Saturday were so nice I was able to get outside but was still feeling a bit wonky/stiff-I drank extra, stretched and rolled extra, and kept my head where it needed to be though.

Sunday was a goal race but also a test for Buffalo. Based on my recent races, I knew that I was in shape for 1:24-27 depending on the day. I opted to go out at my projected pace based on my vDot from Johnny’s 5 miler (1:26-27 pace), keep control, go by effort on the hills and then drop down after 8-9 to whatever I could do. My execution was on point aside from letting myself get too comfortable on the hills and probably losing my PR right in those 2-3 miles. I closed from 15k-finish at a 6:14 avg with my last mile being 6:07. I ran for 3rd place and a 1:25:13 which is my second fastest half marathon ever and good enough for a $300 payday. I practiced my fueling, outfit, timing, pacing, everything- so I can dial in and just crank out these last few weeks until the marathon knowing exactly what to work on. It was a great day and I’m just really glad I didn’t blow it in that perfect weather (come on, we have ALL done it!).

Monday: Rest day/Boston Marathon Cheering
Tuesday: 4.1 recovery shake out (8:30 avg) + strides (5:42 avg)
Wednesday: 11 Mile tuneup workout (7:08 avg) {15 Min MP, 4 x 5 min HMP, 4 x 1 min 5k} + 20 min core/PT/Loop Bands
Thursday:ย  5 Mile recovery run (8:33 avg) + 15 min core/back/upper body strength
Friday:ย  6 mile easy run (8:12 avg) + strides (5:04 avg)
Saturday: 5 mile easy run (8:07 avg) + Strides (5:15 avg)
Sunday: 1.2 mile WU + Flower City Half Marathon (1:25:13) + 3.2 mile CD
Week Totals: 49.5 Miles
Beers Drank: Blue Mountain Blitzen, Revival Brewing Night Swim’ah
Baby Milestones: 1st time in the pool! Perfected her new word (*facepalm*)

So maybe it wasn’t my biggest two weeks of this training cycle and yeah it was really tough mentally for a few days but at the same time it was all just what I needed. Ebbs and flows of training (and life!). I’m feeling confident going into the final weeks of training, and looking forward to the peak and taper leading into my first postpartum marathon next month.

A new mom and Upstate, NY resident who loves the marathon, a good beer, and all of the numbers/nerdy things. I write about my journey to a sub-3:00 marathon, training tweaks for improvement, and finding that "running/life balance" unicorn. On tap Next: Maneuvering through motherhood and postpartum running!

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  1. congratulations on a great race. It’s hard trying to train hard ,be a parent, and work but you did awesome. If “shit” is the only word you have to worry about right now, it’s not so bad-lol, just wait!! looking forward to reading your race report for your marathon

    1. Thank you Margaret! We thought we have been good about our words, and I think we have been. At least about some of the more harsh ones (we’re really good about not dropping F bombs with her around), but yeah Shit is minor in comparison and we didn’t realize how much we say it even LOL.

  2. Way to go on a great race! Can’t wait to see you kick some marathon rearend! Also … “shit” is the curse word of choice that has been passed down to all the women in my family. It doesn’t sound as harsh when your sweet Southern grandma exclaims it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you! Haha yes, it also doesn’t sound as harsh coming out of Hannah’s voice quite yet. But I imagine just as sweet out of a Southern Grandma!

  3. Congrats on your race. Kids just instinctively know the words we DON’T want them to pick up, and say them at the most inopportune times! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Laurie! The funny thing is, she actually uses it in proper context at times! Other times I have no idea why she is saying it other than she has learned it makes us laugh (though we are getting better at hiding that/stfiling our laughs!)

  4. My first SaltyRunning appearance – so great to meet you last weekend!

    So happy for you on your solid race – you’re doing a good job of rolling with your training and life.

  5. Iโ€™ve enjoyed reading about your training! Iโ€™m sorry if I missed this somewhere, but is there a reason you decided not to work with a coach? And, have you ever considered coaching? Your workouts look so fun!

    1. Hi Ashley, thank you for reading (and commenting!)…I decided not to work with a coach for my first postpartum full marathon for a number of reasons. A lot of them centered around my ego and pride (hey, I’m honest). I wanted to know that I could do it, I wanted to know I could be accountable to myself again…but the most important reason was I needed to do it on my terms be able to adjust and pull the plug if need be. While running is a priority for me mentally and physically, it is not THE priority. I needed to do this first one on my terms while I maneuvered through my first year of being a working mom while also training. I have worked with two coaches in the past, so many of my workouts are ones from the past (I keep detailed training logs and data so that helps) but also ones that I make on my own (I truly enjoy coming up with workouts and laying out training plans!).