Marathon Training – Weeks 4 and 5 Phase 3, Marathon Focus

These posts are probably really boring. I am doing it more for myself to be able to look back on the training and also it’s been a nice way to gauge my progress. The last two weeks have been so full and I am just now able to sit down and carve out a little time to write.

Week 4

Critical Runs

  • Tuesday, 9/1/15 – 4 to 5 miles at half marathon goal pace
  • Thursday, 9/3/15 – 50 to 60 minute Easy Run with Stride Workout: 10 to 15 times 20 seconds with 1 minute recovery job between
  • Sunday 9/6 – Boothbay Harbor Half Marathon

Monday, 8/31/15 

  • 45-60 minutes easy

I decided to sleep in and get up at 6am. I needed a break after the long run on Sunday. Carlos only had a half day on his first day of school so I wasn’t able to run in the afternoon.

My baby is in 3rd grade! He had a wonderful first day and seems very excited about the year ahead.


First day of 3rd Grade


First day of Pre-4…Time Flies

I had posted the first photo on Facebook and then the second photo popped up as a memory. I was doing ok that day until I saw my little 4 year old in his uniform. Seriously?! When the heck did this happen, he’s wearing high tops and is almost as tall as I am? The Mom tears were flowing!

Tuesday, 9/1/15

  • 10 minute warm up 4-5 miles at 1/2 marathon goal pace (hilly course), 10 minute cool down.

I ran 7.50 miles in 1:10:33 (avg pace 9:23 min/mile). I was up at 4:25am and out the door by 5. I felt great, but worked hard to push it up the hills. Awesome run to start the day.

Wednesday, 9/2/15

  • Cross training or yoga

So it’s evident from my training logs that I have done a horrible job at cross training nor have I reignited any semblance of a yoga routine. Instead I ran for a short time with Kate as she finished up her own run. We ran 1.64 miles in 23:54. Then I continued on for 2.31 miles in 21:53 (avg pace 9:20 min/mile).  I was trying to fit in Monday’s 45-60 minute easy run, but I made the mistake of going out for a run midday and it was stifling hot. I couldn’t bear to run anymore.

Thursday, 9/3/15

  • 50 to 60 minute Easy Run with Stride Workout: 10 to 15 times 20 seconds with 1 minute recovery jog between

I ran 4.51 miles in 41:43 (avg pace 9:15 min/mile) – 10 minute warmup, 15×20 seconds/1 minute recovery, 10+ minute cool down. I woke up a bit later than I had hoped and it was too late to do the entire 50-60 minute run. I thought about scrapping the run, but then I figured I could still do the stride workout. I am so glad I went out anyway.

Later on I ran 2.80 miles with Kate.

Friday, 9/4/15

  • 45-60 minute recovery run or off

I ran 6.22 miles in 1:00:06 (avg pace 9:40 min/mile). Oh if only I could maintain this pace for the full marathon. It was simply a nice run.

Saturday, 9/5/15

  • Cross training and optional 15-20 minute jog

I had to take advantage of the change in scenery in the Boothbay Harbor area so I ran 3.12 miles in 29:40 (avg pace 9:30 min/mile).


Sunday, 9/6/15

  • Boothbay Harbor Half Marathon + 2-3 miles

The full recap of the half marathon is here. My finish time was 2:20:33 (avg pace 10:43 min/mile). So not my worst half marathon time ever, but it was by far the most effort I’ve ever put into a half marathon. Prior to the half marathon I ran 3.01 miles in 31:19 (avg pace 10:24). It was a beautiful morning and I was taking my time enjoying the scenery.


Total Mileage = 44.21 miles

Week 5

Critical Runs

  • Wednesday – 60 minute progression run
  • Thursday – 6 by Yasso 800
  • Sunday – 18 miles

Monday, 9/7/15

  • 45 to 60 minute Recovery Run

I did a run/walk with Carlos from our cabin to Fort Edgecomb. We did 4.46 miles in 1:00:32 (avg pace 13:36). We ran down a long dock on the water and checkout out the fort. It was nice to have some company even if he was a little crabby about the early run.

Tuesday, 9/8/15

  • OFF or 30-45 minute Easy Run

3.08 miles in 30:26 (avg pace 9:53 min/mile). It was so hot even at 6pm when I finally had time to run. My legs felt like bricks and the humidity was stifling. Not a bad run though.

Wednesday, 9/9/15

  • 60-80 minute Progrssion Run: Start slow, and increase to 10K pace by the last 10 minutes of the run.

I slept a bit later than I had planned because I had worked Monday night and was up for an ungodly amount of hours/days??? I drove and parked close to where Carlos goes to school and ran there. I’m getting really bored with running around my house. I didn’t start until 1:40pm. It was blazing hot again. I really wanted to go the full 80 minutes, but I had nothing left after an hour. I ran 6.12 miles in 1:00:17 (avg pace 9:51 min/mile), the last mile was 9:11min. I dream of holding that pace again for a half marathon! I walked another .70 miles after the run.

Thursday, 9/10/15

  • 15-30 minute Warm Up + 8 times Yasso 800 + 15-30 min Cool Down.

This was a new to me workout though I’ve heard about Yasso 800s. The idea is that your time in minutes and seconds for a workout of 10 times 800 meters with equal recovery time is the same as the hours and minutes of your marathon time. So if your marathon goal is 3 hours and 10 minutes then convert that to 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Well a 3:10 marathon would mean I was running with someone else’s legs. For me it’s more like a 4:29 right now (must beat Oprah’s time…again!). So this wasn’t exactly a standard Yasso 800 workout, but it was a fun way to change up the workout and get in a mid-long run in during the week.

I ran 12.54 miles in 2:10:33 (avg pace 10:24 min/mile). The full workout:

Warm up – 32:16, 3.20 miles (avg pace 10:05) – I ran from my house to the pond at Mt. Holyoke College
Yasso 800s – done around the pond at MHC
1 – 4:29
2 – 4:26
3 – 4:27
4 – 4:38
5 – 4:41
6 – 4:22
7 – 4:22
8 – 4:21
Cool down – 36:07, 3.26 miles (avg 11:05) – ran home from the college in the hot, humid, sticky rain. It wasn’t even refreshing.

I didn’t run 10×800, but if you average my 8×800 then I would be predicted to run a 4:28:50 marathon. I’ll take it! I really enjoyed this workout. It pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Friday, 9/11/15

  • 45 to 60 minute Recovery Run

I had a super busy day at work. I thought I wasn’t going to get a run in, but around 4pm my friend texted to ask if Carlos could sleep over. He went to his friend’s house after school and the boys were lobbying for a sleep over. Sure why not! So I packed up work around 5 and went to my happy place for an evening run. I ran 6.67 miles in 1:05:01 (avg pace 9:44 min/mile) at the reservoir. It was a gorgeous night and there were lots of people out at the res. I love seeing people out and moving in any way possible.


Ashley Reservoir

Saturday, 9/12/15

  • OFF, Cross train or 30-45 minute easy run

I worked Friday night at the hospital and then went straight up to my favorite Esselon Cafe to meet my BFF for my birthday breakfast. I knew I would get there early and my plan was to do half of a 40ish minute run before she arrived. Well I didn’t get there as early as planned. I ran 1.72 miles in 17 min (avg pace 9:51 min/mile). After breakfast I had a ton of errands before picking up Carlos. The morning flew by, then it was off to soccer, and both Carlos and I were wiped by the afternoon. I was done for the day.

Sunday, 9/13/15

  • Long, easy pace run 18-20 miles

I got up early, felt rested. It was a nice cool morning to run. I ran 20.02 miles in 3:40:10 (avg pace 11:00 min/mile). I was a little surprised and admittedly disappointed in my time. I felt like it was a consistent run both mentally and physically. This is not what I want to see on race day, but hey if it is I will still be proud of myself. Oddly my last two miles were my fastest, both 10:15min each.

I had received an email the week before announcing that the Hartford Marathon would be using a new gel called Boom. I ordered a sample pack to try out before the race. I’ve been using Vega gels for a couple of years now, but I really can’t stomach them anymore. The Boom was very “gel” like and the texture was a bit different than what I’m used to, but I liked that the flavor was light, not so strong and sugary like most gels. I tried Apple Cinnamon and the Grape Pomegranate. I liked them both. The gels are vegan, have no added sugars, artificial sweeteners or colors. I only use gels during my long runs and races. These seem like a nice change.

Total mileage – 55.29 miles

2 thoughts on “Marathon Training – Weeks 4 and 5 Phase 3, Marathon Focus

  1. I feel like when I’m at 55 miles in a week, it’s borderline taking over my life, but you’re just humming along! Of course I’m jealous reading this now since I’m not running, but I think even last week that reservoir picture would have gotten me — so pretty!

  2. I always love the comparisons of first day of school pics – Hannah and I were just going over some of her old school pictures, and we were laughing because three years in a row she wore the same shirt and we never even realized it! (it was her favorite).

    You are super speedy in my book!! Great job on the half!

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