Marathon Training – Week 2 Phase 3, Marathon Focus

My training is broken up into blocks. Phase 3 is a 6 week block and the emphasis is now on the full marathon so I will be running longer and increasing mileage. I think this was the first week since I began training for Hartford that I was reminded of how mentally taxing distance running can be. I think learning to push myself out of my comfort zone and being uncomfortable at times is part of the allure of marathon training for me. The growth and reward that comes from achieving that which I once believed impossible is invaluable and applicable to many other areas of life.

  • Monday, 8/17 – 45 to 60 minute Easy Run

I took the day off. On Sunday I did my long run. My car broke down on the highway late in the afternoon. By the time my husband got home and we were able to bring my car to the mechanic it was after 7pm. My mom fortunately does not use her car very often so she offered to let me use it while my car was being worked on. We drove down to her house to pick it up. Then I went grocery shopping. What was supposed to be a relaxing evening turned into a busy late Sunday night. Monday started with a bang. I woke up too late to go for a run. Carlos had half day camp. The patient I was supposed to visit in the morning wasn’t home and I ended up seeing him at 5pm when I could have gone for a run. By the time I finished my paperwork it was time to get ready to go in for an overnight shift at the hospital.

  • Tuesday, 8/18 – Stamina Building Workout: 15 minute warm up + tempo interval workout: 2 times 2 mils with 4 minutes recover jog followed by 3 times 200 meters (50 sec-1 minute) with 200 meter recovery job + 15 minute cool down.

I did yesterday’s 45-60 minute easy run while Carlos was at soccer practice. Aside from the mile long gigantic hill at the beginning of the run it was a nice evening run. I ran 5.01 miles in 50:03 (avg pace 9:58 min/mile).

  • Wednesday, 8/19 – 75-90 minute medium run

I ran 10.18 miles in 1:35:26 (avg pace 9:22 min/mile). Awesome pace! Unfortunately I think Map My Run somehow miscalculated my first mile because it shows a 7:53 mile. Oh how I wish! The other splits look reasonable all in the 9 minute mile range. My legs felt amazing during this evening run as though I was running with a wind behind me. It was a really great run.

  • Thursday, 8/20 – Cross train or Yoga 

I took the day off. Feeling off and really busy at work.

  • Friday, 8/21 – 45-60 minute recovery run

I took another day off. I hated doing it, but I just wasn’t feeling great.

  • Saturday, 8/22 – 180 minute run 

Like the week before my husband found out at the last minute he had to work at his regular job on Saturday. He is repairing a chimney at Mt. Holyoke College and they are scrambling to finish the job before school starts. In order to run 3 hours before he leaves for work I would have to be out of the house by 3:45am. No thank you!

However, I did get up with enough time to do Tuesday’s Stamina Building Workout. I ran 9.52 miles in 1:32:01 (avg pace 9:40 min/mile). It was an excellent run, but I knew it was going to hurt my long run the following day. I stewed about how I mismanaged my schedule all week. I was frustrated by how run down I felt. Spending time reflecting on how I felt made me realize how badly I need to change some things in my life. I long for the way I felt a couple of years ago when I weighed less, ate better and had a more stable schedule.

  • Sunday, 8/23 – Cross train or Yoga

Just like last week I had to do my long run on Sunday. I left the house a little before 6 and ran straight out two towns away for 180 minutes. Orlando and Carlos picked me up shortly after 9. As predicted it was a challenging run. My legs were feeling the effects of Saturday’s run, but more than anything it was the mental challenge that I felt even more strongly.  I fought it and had some interesting one sided conversations going on. Ultimately I allowed myself to just run and not worry about the pace. I chugged along, took a few walk breaks and in the end I ran 16.30 miles in 3:00:20 (avg pace 11:03 min/mi). This is not how I hope to run the marathon. I will accept this run as a lesson in my training. I will approach the coming week much differently. I will use this experience as a reminder for how difficult it is to have a great run when I am not feeling 100%, eating poorly and not sleeping enough.

Total mileage = 41.01 miles


Setting marathon training aside and my feelings of disappointment about my long run I am reminded that I ran 16 miles and that is nothing to scoff at. I will get back to feeling better, living a more balanced life and caring for myself the way I should. Life is not a straight line and for the last nine months since starting a new job I’ve weathered the unknown and instability much better than I would have in the past. I’ve learned so much both professionally and personally. The changes I’ve experienced this year have also brought change to Carlos’ life. I’ve felt very vulnerable about this and I haven’t done a stellar job at hiding it all from my son. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. Carlos has learned that quality time together is much more important than quantity. My husband and I have had to adjust to a new schedule and routine as well. The roller coaster of my emotions, fluctuation of my schedule and frustrations I’ve felt about this new job along with Orlando’s long lay off this winter followed by an extremely busy summer has inevitably caused stress on our relationship. But there is truth in the saying that what doesn’t break you only makes you stronger. Our marriage continues to grow and strengthen.

As I take one last glance behind me I am truly able to see how far I’ve come since November. I will keep moving forward and striving to reach my goals no matter how unattainable they seem at times.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Norman Vincent Peale

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