Baystate Marathon: Training Week 8

Whoops, somehow the last 3 weeks came and went with no motivation for blogging. My excitement for training, running, and marathoning has melted somewhere in the never-ending days of 90 degree weather and 80%+ humidity and I’m left feeling just blah about the whole thing. 6d4105aa8c6f23d4b12d3ba8ce28138fa2b5e75cd7bbb6caa573f714fda27aa3

My paces are way off from where I hoped they’d be. In fact, in comparing them to my training from my first marathon they’re equal to or slightly slower. That summer was hot and humid too so it’s not the weather conditions making a difference. Pretty disappointing since, for me, improvement in pace is a huge motivating factor. After Chicago I didn’t think I wanted to run another marathon. I felt like I’d met my goals of running a marathon, running a sub-4 marathon, and running a marathon after baby #2.

Eventually I did get the itch to run another, but honestly, only if I had a chance at PR’ing.  It’s pretty much the only motivating factor for me in running another 26.2 miles – wondering, can I improve upon what I’ve run before? After hitting a big PR in the half marathon this spring I thought a marathon PR was a sure bet this year. I definitely don’t have that confidence now, but I haven’t given up on it either. So what can I do to help me hit that goal?

One of the biggest things I can do for myself it to set myself up with better nutrition. When I was training for my spring half I generally followed the 80/20 rule of eating – making sure 80% of my food had a lot of nutritional value. After my race I definitely started slacking and am probably more at only 50% of my food providing nutritional value. Getting back to an 80/20 split should help with my post-run recovery and fatigue. The other biggest thing I can do is stop making excuses. I’ve quit or slowed down on a lot of speed work, because I just don’t feel like it. I haven’t wanted to be uncomfortable or working hard so I haven’t. I give up and give in. Surprise, surprise, that’s just not going to cut it

Ok, so enough about what I need to start doing and let’s look at what I have done. It hasn’t been all doom and gloom here. We went on vacation, I’ve logged two 18 milers, and even managed 16 mind-numbing miles on the treadmill. Thank goodness for the women’s Olympic marathon and Scandal.

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My view for 2 hours, 41 minutes, 47 seconds. My daughter kept coming down to cheer me on, clapping and yelling “keep up the good work” 🙂

Week 8 Recap: August 15-21

Monday: Plan: 5M Recovery – Actual: 5M @9:33 – After running 16 miles on the treadmill the day before I really wanted to take the day off. Since we were heading on vacation the next day I knew I had to fit it in since me+vacation running never seems to work out.

Tuesday: Plan: 2x (6×400 @1:36) 90 sec RI, 2:30 RI in b/t sets – Actual: 1.25M w/u @9:05, 2x (6×400 @6:49) 90 sec RI, 2:30 b/t sets, .75 c/d @9:31 – These should have been in the 6:13-6:38 pace range, but at 6:38 pace on the treadmill I felt like I was going to trip over my own 2 feet. While I wouldn’t say these felt easy, they were more comfortable than they should be for a speed workout.

Wednesday: off – Instead of running I got to spend the day with this view!
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Thursday: Plan: 2M E, 3M @7:23, 1M E – Actual 5M @8:49 – Despite my best of intentions I never seem to get my planned run in on vacation. 5M at moderate pace was all I could convince myself to do.

Friday:  Plan: 5M Recovery – Actual: off – Our last day of vacation and after not sleeping well all week, we were all a bit tired and cranky. I had full intentions to run once we got home, but opted to unpack and nap instead. 

Saturday: Plan: 18M @8:40 – Actual: 18M @9:04 – For someone who is always tired and loves to sleep, I actually have a really hard time sleeping. (Maybe that’s why I’m always tired!) Thankfully I was meeting a group to run with Saturday morning or I probably would have turned my alarm off, slept in, and then been annoyed with myself for not getting my long run over with. Before heading out I had my morning coffee, sipped some water, and ate a few Honey Stinger Chews. I haven’t been able to stomach a bagel or any real food in the mornings of long runs, but these were easy to take and might be a new strategy for me. There was a big group of us and the miles were going bye fast. It was mile 7 before I remembered that I had meant to take a GU! We ran a few trails that I wouldn’t normally run and chatted away as we ran. Since there was such a big group our water/bathroom stops did take a bit long (my Garmin showed a 15 minute difference between total elapsed time and running time!), but I was introduced to a new water/bathroom stop that has an ice machine. ICE! Grabbing a scoop of cold ice 11 miles into another swampy run was ahhh-mazing! We ran another 3 miles as a group and I finished up my final 5 miles with the plan to run the last 4 as a fast finish. I started off way too aggressive and only managed to get 2 faster paced miles in. I ran my 5 as an out and back and once I stopped to turn around my legs did.not.want.to.go.anymore. It felt like the last few miles of a marathon where your legs feel like they are moving through cement. I questioned why on earth I had signed up for a marathon again. The kicker was when I got back to my car and still had .13 miles to run. I had to run past my glorious air-conditioned car where a full bottle of water and a place to sit were waiting for me and do a small loop around it to round out my 18 miles. Splits: 1) 8:34 2) 9:05 3) 9:12 4) 8:49 5) 9:02 6) 9:42 7) 9:40 8) 9:41 9) 8:58 10) 9:20 11) 9:33 12) 9:20 13) 8:55 14) 9:21 15) 8:24 16) 8:19 17) 8:38 18) 8:46

Sunday: off – For a small amount of time I entertained the idea of making up my 5 easy miles skipped and decided instead to take the extra day off and use this as a cutback week. 

Weekly Total: 33 miles

How is your summer running going?
How do you get yourself back on track with training?

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Baystate Marathon: Training Week 8

  1. We are so alike in many ways!! I too, am motivated by progress and a hope for a PR is what has me continuing to run marathons lol!

    Dude, 16 miles on the treadmill is amazing. I’ve done 12 before–a loooong time ago—but I draw the line now at 10, jaja!!!

    Great week and so motivating as I’m going on vacay this weekend and *need* to get in runs while I’m there.

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    • I agree – which is one of the reasons I love following your training! I can’t wait to see you get a huge PR at NYC!
      Enjoy your vacation and good luck getting your runs in! Share any tips you have for doing so 🙂

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  2. You may not be doing anything wrong, really – I think you just need to be patient with yourself. I think as runners we crave instant gratification and we want to see results quickly, and when that doesn’t happen we get frustrated and worried. But it is happening, it just takes time. Faith and mental toughness are huge parts of training and achieving our goals. In both of my last marathon training cycles, it wasn’t until the month leading up to race day that I started to go out for runs and see noticeable improvements in my pace at the same effort level. Also, this training cycle is different for you in that you are not essentially starting from the ground up or coming back from a layoff – you were in fantastic shape when you started and you have more experience than you did running your first marathon. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not seeing dramatic improvements on a week-to-week basis. Just keep going, and trust the process.

    For what it’s worth, Week 8 is always when I hit that “honeymoon’s over” phase and start to feel like training is a slog. The middle of the training cycle is always really tough mentally. Perhaps that might be some of what’s going on here as well.

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    • Thanks, Hanna! It’s nice to hear anecdotal evidence that their is still time to feel improvement, and that even if I’m not feeling it that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. It’s been hard to see others who have similar half-marathon times to me seemingly cruising through their marathon training at paces so much faster than mine. And while I’d be the first person to tell someone else it’s silly to compare, I haven’t been able to stop myself!
      Getting to the mid-cycle slog part of training is a good point. Hopefully the last of the crazy humidity is over and that some cooler weather can be a mental and physical boost at this stage of training!

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      • I have to say that I totally know how you feel. It’s sort of been an underlying frustration in my own training all year – so many times I’ve thought to myself, I work just as hard as all of them so how come their times are dropping like it’s hot and I’m not getting faster? So yeah, i totally get it. But everyone is just so different and we’re all at different points in our journeys – even the most detailed training blogs never tell the full story. So I try to take it with a grain of salt when I find myself feeling like so-and-so is improving so much faster than me. The tables will turn eventually – they’re having their moment now and soon it will be our turn to shine! And I think we ALL fall into the comparison trap!! Totally normal!

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  3. That’s still a decent week and considering the heat and the challenges of trying to maintain a training plan while on vacation, I think you did great. Your pace for 18 miles is spot on for your long run…if anything a little fast (depending on which book you read). And, 16 ion a mill, crikey, you should get a medal for mental endurance if nothing else!! Stick with it through the dog days and you’ll come out ready to crush it in the Fall. And, great to see you back in the blog world, that’s a challenge into itself sometimes!!

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    • Thanks, James! Oh my gosh, those 16 miles were really tough. I paused the treadmill at 13 to get water and had decided I was just going to stop there, but by the time I refilled my water I talked myself into getting back on. Lol, I felt like I deserved some kind of medal too 😉 !

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