Hartford Marathon Training – Week 1 – Phase 2

My training is broken up into blocks. Phase 2 is a 5 week block. For Phase 2 of training, during which I am also preparing for the Bridge of Flowers 10K on August 8th, I’m following these pace recommendations:

Recovery runs: 10:00-11:00 pace
Easy runs: 9:45-10:30 pace
Steady state runs: 9:15-9:45 pace (or moderate effort up Skinner Mountain)
Stride workouts: 25 seconds at 8:30 pace building to 7:30 pace
Speed workouts: 7:00-7:30 pace (just go for hard effort)

  • Monday, 7/6 – 45 to 60 minute Recovery Run

I ran 4.72 miles in 53:28 (avg pace 11:19 min/mile). Oh this was a terrible run. My legs were so lethargic. I was up and out the door by 5:40 even though I wanted to stay in bed. I did a lot over the weekend including an 18 mile bike ride and a roughly 6 mile hike. I’m not making excuses. I felt really off on this run and it was a struggle every step of the way. 

  • Tuesday, 7/7 – 60 to 75 minute Pace Booster Run: Run 20 or 30 minutes at Steady State Pace in the middle of the run (Up skinner mountain for example)

This did not happen, but I did hike Talcott Mountain in Simsbury, CT. It was not exactly a strenuous hike, but the beginning was a little work. It was a steamy hot day. We drove to the mountain in torrential downpour, but when we arrived it stopped raining though it did feel as though we were in the rain forest. I went with a friend and our boys. It was a really nice afternoon and we were rewarded with gorgeous views of western Connecticut. My photos don’t do it justice.






  • IMG_2516Wednesday, 7/8 – Off or Yoga

I really wanted to and needed to run, but I didn’t. I woke up late around 6:30. My day was busy. I brought Carlos to kayak camp for 9. I had two scheduled patient visits at 9:30 and 10:30, but first I had to check in on a patient at 9am. That took much longer than I anticipated so the rest of my visits were pushed back a bit. This unscheduled visit resulted in a great deal of work that took up much of my day.  

I picked up Carlos at noon and continued to work at home until 2:30. Then we went to pick up Carlos’ friend at his camp. I took the boys for ice cream and to a playground. At 5 I took them for dinner where the friend’s dad met us to take him home. 

After dinner Carlos had his first cross country meet. It’s a fun running camp on Wednesday evenings. Low key, no pressure, the kids do some stretches and then run on trails near a pond for about a mile. It was the first night and Carlos loved it. I could have run with him, but I had to continue working on my paperwork from the other two patients I saw earlier in the day. Next week I will run with the group.

  • Thursday, 7/9 – 40 to 50 minute Easy Run with 8 by 100 meter (or 20 second) striders in the last mile

5.50 miles in 52:17 (avg pace 9:30 min/mile). Maybe my legs just needed a couple of days to revive. I felt great on this run and I really love those striders at the end. I found a free no frills interval timer app called Flexible Interval Timer. I set it for the 20 second intervals so I don’t forget how many I’ve done. I included a 25 second recovery in between the striders.

  • Friday, 7/10 – Speed workout: 10 minute warm up, 4 sets of 2:30 hard, 2:30 easy, 10-15 minutes cool down

I loved this workout. I ran 5.28 miles in 50:07 (avg pace 9:29 min/mile). I hate doing the speed intervals while I’m doing them, but I love the feeling I get when they are done.

  • Saturday, 7/11 – 115 minutes long run

I ran 10.48 miles in 1:48:04 (avg pace 10:18 min/mile). For all the astute mathematicians you may have noticed that my run time does not equal 115 minutes. In the midst of the run I couldn’t remember how far I was supposed to go, was it 105 or 115 minutes. At some point while I was planning my runs over the week I had it in my thick head that I my long run of 115 minutes was 1 hour 45 minutes. Don’t ask! I then became a mathematical idiot during this run trying to figure out how long I was supposed to run. In reality I probably did walk the rest of the remaining 7 minutes because I stopped my app about 1/3 of a mile before home because I was navigating my way around a busy rotary. Either way I ran for a long time.

If I confused anyone, good now I’m not alone! 

  • Sunday, 7/12 – Cross train or yoga

Orlando and I biked 6 miles round trip. We went up to the town commons for coffee in the morning since Carlos had slept at a friend’s. I spent the rest of the incredibly beautiful hot day lounging at my favorite little lake with friends and our kids. 

I know this was not a stellar week for mileage. I felt off at the beginning of the week. Actually I felt like an enormous jelly fish all week. Hormonal in part I’m sure, heat and humidity, waking up late, too much mindless snacking…I’m not going to overanalyze this.

For anyone who has struggled with their weight you know the struggle never really ends. I made a remarkable discovery this week though when I got really tired of feeling so heavy. I weighed myself for the first time in months. For the last 2 years or so I’ve been critically aware of the fact that I have gained some weight back after reaching the lowest weight I had ever seen on a scale in my adult life. That was in the spring of 2013. I stopped weighing myself last fall because I just kept bouncing up and down. Interestingly my last recorded weight on 11/23/14 and my weight last Wednesday, 7/8/15 were identical right to the 10th of a pound. Although it was not my ideal weight, seeing the number on the scale actually made me smile because it held a greater significance. After all these years of yoyo dieting, binge eating, trying every fad under the sun I am finally learning how to maintain my weight even if it’s not the exactly the most comfortable weight for my body.

From 2007 until the spring of 2013 I had successfully lost 80 pounds. I’ve gained back 15 pounds. The point is 8 years ago I would have let this weight gain spiral out of control. I would have gained back the 80 pounds and then some. I didn’t this time. There have been periods over the last two years where the gain was only a few pounds. It’s bounced around a bit, but I know based on how my clothing has fit that I haven’t gone above the 15 pounds.

I’m not going to lament about how horrible I feel because it won’t do any good. It’s simply time to get back to a more comfortable weight. I’m not jumping on some new fangled diet bandwagon. I’m not going to fast for days. I’m not even going to start weighing myself again.

The holy grail of weight loss is simple. Weight is lost in the kitchen not in the gym. Michael Pollan sums it up best, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

2 thoughts on “Hartford Marathon Training – Week 1 – Phase 2

  1. I loved reading this post Aimee! I am jealous of your speedy runs – I am actually signing up for a train to 5k with a co-worker. She gained a lot of weight with her son, and he’s eight months old already, so we are both going to be accountable on going. It starts next week and runs 10 weeks – still my goal to run a sub 30 minute 10k outside 😀 Hugs!

    • Awesome Biz! I think doing races with others is a huge motivation to train. A sub-30 minute 5K was a huge goal for me too. I am back at a speed where I’m just barely under 30 minutes. I promise you do get faster in time. My injury put a lot in perspective and now although I’m still aiming to get faster I am more patient with myself. Keep me posted on the training!! Good luck!

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