20, 43, 1003 – Baystate Marathon: Training Week 9

After last week’s pity party I hit some major running milestones and had a shift in mindset. Maybe it was just deciding to get serious or maybe it was the huge drop in humidity on Monday, but this felt like a solid week of training. My speed work paces were in target range, I completed all tempo miles at prescribed pace, and easy runs felt ridiculously easy. This week marked my first 20 miler of training, my highest weekly mileage ever at 43 miles, and hitting over 1000 miles for the year.

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First, let’s talk about the huge drop in humidity. It was about 40% less humid than it has been and it was glorious! We spent most of the day outside and it made me realize how little time we had been spending outside, because it has been too oppressive. It also made me realize how much easier it would be to run in this type of weather. I was downright giddy sitting outside under a crystal clear blue sky, with a fall like breeze blowing, while I drank a HOT coffee. And yes, I did document the occasion with a picture and a text to my husband! It didn’t last too long and it was hot and more humid again by Friday, but knowing nicer weather is around the corner was a huge mental boost.

The shift in weather coincided, not coincidentally, with a renewed excitement for my race. Which is handy since I only have 4 more weeks of training before I head into taper!  My long runs aren’t feeling as strong as I’d like them to be so I’m hoping to have at least one or two confidence building long runs before my race. The weather this weekend is supposed to be cooler and since my mom will be visiting I get to run with my husband on one of my favorite routes so I’m optimistic that this weekend’s run will be a good one.

Week 9 Recap: August 22 – 28

Monday: Plan: Easy 7M – Actual: 7M @8:59 – When I first laid out my training plan for Baystate I’d planned to incorporate easy 7-8 mile mid-week runs pretty early on. Due to fatigue or boredom those never happened and I couldn’t seem to get past a max of 6 miles. My husband recommended a Rich Roll podcast featuring Rebecca Soni, and Olympic swimmer, as they discuss the mental aspect of competing. It was a fantastic and engrossing. One thing she talked about that was really interesting was how her quest to set the world record and be the first woman to break 2:20 in the 200-meter breaststroke. She had the number 2:20, 2:20, 2:20 in her head and when she first broke the world record she broke it in a time of 2:20:22. She couldn’t believe it – she had focused on 2:20 for so long, that instead of breaking it she came in on the number. Four years later at the 2012 London Olympics she did meet her goal of becoming the first woman to break 2:20, swimming a 2:19:54 200-meter breaststroke. This wasn’t the first story like it that I’d heard. Two friends of ours had similar experiences in trying to BQ – coming in within seconds of their BQ time (for example running a 3:40:09 marathon and therefore not qualifying for Boston because they hadn’t come in under 3:40). I definitely think there is a mental aspect of your body achieving what is in your mind and when I picture my goal time on race day I will be thinking of a number under where I want to come in!

Tuesday: Plan: 2×1600 @6:51-7:15, 2×800 @6:34-6:56, 60 sec RI – Actual: 1.25M w/u @9:00, 2×1600 @7:13, 2×800 @6:49, 75-90 sec RI, 1M c/d @8:53 – Hurrah! A speed work session that went to plan and I felt good during! 

Wednesday: Plan: Recovery 5M – Actual 5M @9:36

Thursday: Plan: 1M E, 4M @7:38, 1M E – Actual: 1M @8:47, 4M @7:37, 1M @9:17 – I finished listening to the second part of the Rebecca Soni podcast time flew by on this run. 

Friday: off

Saturday: Plan: 20M @8:40 – Actual: 20M @9:06 (9:25 including water stops) – After a week of strong runs I was hoping I’d feel just as strong on my long run. It wasn’t a bad run by any stretch, it just wasn’t a great run either. We met at 5:30, which may as well be the middle of the night to me, to start and I definitely felt a bit sluggish at the start. The route was a new one to me and I was a little worried that I would be holding everyone back since there was no easy place for me to cut out if need be. A couple miles in I started to feel a little better and settled in chatting and enjoying the route. We had one missed connection – although we quickly realized it and I looped back to pick up the runner meeting us, one bad spill – luckily the only damage seemed to be some lost skin, and lots of good conversation. Most of the group I run with is running a later marathon, or not marathon training, so I added an additional 5 miles onto the run at the end. I passed another big group from our local running group which always lifts my spirits and the miles went surprisingly fast. With about a 1/3 of a mile to go I decided to see if I could speed up any and I was shocked to find I could . . . and glad I hadn’t started the speed-up any sooner 🙂 – Splits: 1) 9:45 2) 9:12 3) 9:03 4) 8:47 5) 10:25 6) 9:16 7) 8:43 8) 8:31 9) 9:41 10) 8:44 11) 9:16 12) 9:24 13) 9:32 14) 9:05 15) 8:28 16) 9:07 17) 8:40 18) 8:58 19) 8:42 20) 8:21

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Sunday: off

Weekly Total: 43.3 miles

How is the weather where you are? Has it impacted your training?

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7 thoughts on “20, 43, 1003 – Baystate Marathon: Training Week 9

  1. 43 miles is your highest ever??? I don’t know why I’m so floored by this – for some reason I thought for sure you had hit that mileage in your half training and your previous fulls.

    Anyway, I’m glad you had a good week, and congrats on your milestones! See, I told you you were doing just fine! Training is all about taking the good with the bad. My motto has always been: don’t get discouraged after a bad run, don’t get cocky after a good one. Just. Keep. GOING.

    We’ve had the kind of weather that’s noticeable when you’re not running but still feels pretty warm when you are, so I’m not holding my breath that cool fall days are right around the corner. I’m trying to brace myself for things to get bad again because September is usually pretty warm around here – heck, we still have warm days into October sometimes (remember the Chicago Marathon???). Maybe I’m just a pessimist 😉

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    • Yep, I maxed at just under 38 miles during my first marathon training cycle and never surpassed it until this cycle. Lol, I like your motto; especially the don’t get cocky part 🙂
      Our weather is supposed to be a high of in the 70’s this week with low humidity!!! I can’t even believe it. Hopefully it here to stay, but you’re right, there is likely to be at least one more heat wave.

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      • We are having GLORIOUS weather this week…buuuuut next week we have highs in the upper 80s again. Sigh. Here’s hoping that’s the last of it…

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  2. Yay for a great week!! And awesome 20 miler!!!

    I’ve never listened to podcasts but so many people rave about them. I need to figure out how they work, lol!! I can barely figure out my I-pod shuffle

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  3. sorry for the delayed comment…been a bit behind since we were out of town last weekend, but i did give you a shoutout to this article for the awesome toffee nut latte pic!! great week of training too and that is a solid 20 mile training run, you’re in great shape heading into the final 4 weeks…and it’s September now, so about time for that monthly review, right? have a great holiday weekend!

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