Marathon Training – Weeks 7-9 Phase 3, Marathon Focus

Week 7

Monday, 9/21/15

  • 35-50 minute run followed by 15-20 minutes of yoga

I ran 4.45 miles in 45:12 (avg pace 10:09 min/mile). I did not accomplish my goal of fitting in some yoga. I figure if I keep putting out there to myself one day I will get back into the routine. It was easier when I could attend classes. I can’t do that anymore. There are a million resources online that I can access anytime I want to and they are mostly free yet I can’t seem to get into the habit.

Tuesday, 9/22/15

  • 30 minutes of yoga/stretching

I did some yoga and stretching on my own. I suck at it! I should have accessed an online class, but instead fumbled through some sun salutations, half pigeon, tree, etc. It really feels great to stretch out my body. I curse myself for not doing it because I always feel better afterwards.

Wednesday, 9/23/15

  • Hard run: 15 min warm up, Yass 800s, 10×800 meters, 15 min cool down.

I knew I would need time to do this workout so I had to put it off. Instead I ran 4.62 miles in 45:01 (avg pace 9:44min/mile). Later while the boys were in swimming, Kate and I ran 2.81 miles and at least another untimed mile.

Thursday, 9/24/15

  • 35-50 minute run followed by 15-20 minutes of yoga

I took the day off. I saw two patients in the morning. Then I picked Carlos up at school around 12:30. I told him he was getting out early for a dentist appointment. Really I was surprising him with an afternoon at the Big E with my friend and her two boys. Before I explain the Big E let me just say that I have never done anything like this with Carlos and Carlos has missed only a few days of school in 2 years of preschool and 3 years of elementary school.

The Big E, otherwise known as the Eastern States Exposition, is a fair held every September in West Springfield, MA dedicated to the New England states. It has all the typical fair activities like games, rides, popcorn, animals and every possible fried food you can imagine. The Big E also features a circus, parades, concerts and the state buildings where you can sample some of the foods and items native Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island.


IMG_0040-0 We had a fun afternoon and walked tons. Carlos had soccer practice in the evening and I had to finish my paperwork from my morning visits so I did not run or do yoga.

Friday, 9/25/15

  • 45-60 minute recovery run

I know I should not have saved this run to late in the week and close to my long run, but in retrospect I’m so glad I did because it was a really great run for me. I ended up doing the Yasso workout from Wednesday.

I looked up the Yasso 800 workout and wanted to make this more of a true Yasso workout. My plan was to warm up and then run 10x800meters with 800 meter recovery in between. I was hoping all 10 intervals would average out to just under 4 minutes 30 seconds thus predicting a sub 4:30 marathon. I went to my happy place, Ashley Reservoir, for this run. It was a positively gorgeous day out. I smiled and ran. My legs were feeling good. I was running those intervals with authority!!

Somewhere around the 7th or 8th interval I came across a woman I had run by earlier and she was now bent over trying to stretch out her calf. I stopped to make sure she was ok. She was hurt. We talked for a while and eventually she decided to rest a little more before heading back to her car. She encouraged me to continue on. I did, but lost track of how many Yasso’s I had done. I ended up doing 11 total. I ran 13.60 miles in 2:16:01 (avg pace 9:59 min/mile). I did a longer than planned cool down with Kate and Colleen.

Check out these Yasso’s!!

1- 4:10
2- 4:14
3- 4:07
4- 4:11
5- 4:11
6- 4:08
7- 4:14
8- 4:07
9- 4:13
10- 4:10
11- 4:09
What makes me so proud of this run and those times is how far I’ve come since Vermont and really since the Achilles injury. Prior to the injury any and all speed work I had done was on a treadmill. This training has taught me how to move my legs faster on solid ground. It’s motivating to see the progress I’ve made.

Saturday, 9/26/15

  • Cross training

I took the day off. I had a Parent’s Association meeting at Carlos’ school in the morning. Then I had to clean the house before my sister and her husband arrived for a visit. Carlos had a soccer game at 2:30. We went to have lunch at a local farm and then apple picking after. It was a long fun day. 

IMG_0051 IMG_0047

Sunday, 9/27/15

  • Long run: 14 miler with miles 3-12 at marathon pace

I left at the crack of dawn. It was so dark out! I must say I am not going to miss these ridiculously early morning runs. I ran 14.06 miles in 2:20:01 (avg pace 9:57 min/mile). I could not have been happier with this run. I achieved my pace goal and felt really strong during the run.

Total running miles = 39.54

Week 8

Taper Time!!

The plan for this week:

  • Long run: 10-12 miles with last 3 fast finish
  • Hard run: 1 mile warmup, 3 miles at half pace, 1 mile cool down, 8 by 30 second striders during the run
  • Fillers: 2-3 runs of 30-45 minutes followed by 15-20 minutes of yoga (I keep trying to work it in!)

Monday, 9/28

I know I ran while Carlos was at swimming, but I can’t find it anywhere. I remember it clearly. I had picked up Carlos’ friend and took them to swimming. I ran around the pond at Mount Holyoke and then up past the horse farm. I ran through the neighborhood where my friend Michelle used to live and then back down through the college. I probably ran for about 40-45 minutes.  I also did a 10 minute hip opener online yoga class.

Tuesday, 9/29

I took the day off. I was really busy at work, spent the afternoon at the park with Kate and the kids, we had a quick dinner and then the boys had karate.

Orlando and I celebrated our 14 year wedding anniversary. I’ve mentioned before that we are not like most people when it comes to special days. Orlando is from a different culture and I have always been accepting of the differences. We both prefer experiences, trips or a really nice dinner over a gift. We have plans to go out to dinner the night of the marathon because Carlos will be at my sister’s. We also just booked our trip to Mozambique for the holidays! Orlando and I couldn’t be more different, but I would not want to be on this ride with anyone else.


Our Mozambican wedding!


Wednesday, 9/30

I ran 4.08 miles in 41:01 (avg pace 10:03 min/mile) and later while the boys were at swimming Kate and I ran 3.38 miles in 49:25. I did some yoga before bed.

Thursday, 10/1

Can you believe it’s October already!! I did this week’s hard run. I ran 5.01 miles in 45:05 (avg pace 9:00 min/mile) + a warm up mile that didn’t register time on map my run so I reset and started it over. Holy smokes!

Running through the beautiful fall colors certainly didn’t hurt. A few pics from my run near Carlos’ school and through Hampshire College.

IMG_0057 IMG_0064 IMG_0063 IMG_0058 Friday, 10/2
I did not run. Work is crazy right now. With Mozambique on the horizon, a trip to California this month, and a heavy case load at work I have to stay on top of things. I took the day off. I did some sun salutations and stretching.

Saturday, 10/3

I took another day off. I honestly can’t even remember why. It was cold and rainy. My friend came over with her three kids. We went for about a mile walk around the pond at the college.






Later Carlos and I went grocery shopping and then we went to my aunt’s for dinner to celebrate my uncle’s birthday.


A face full of cake!

Sunday, 10/4

Last long run!! I ran 12.36 miles in 2:00:12 (avg pace 9:43 min/mile). Last three mile splits were supposed to be a fast finish. I think I accomplished that!

Mile 10 – 9:50

Mile 11 – 9:14

Mile 12 – 9:20

I was so darn pleased with this effort. The entire run was great. I didn’t have to leave at the crack of dawn which was nice. It was actually starting to get light when I set out. I ran a rather boring route just to stay close to home, but I was filled with so much excitement thinking about the marathon that I didn’t care about seeing the same drab scenery I’ve seen so many times during this training.

I am incredibly proud of this marathon training. I worked it around my husband’s fluctuating work schedule and Carlos’ busy life. I was out the door by 4:30AM many mornings. I ran late at night if I needed. I surpassed my expectations beyond what I thought was possible at the beginning of this training. Coming off of my slowest marathon in Vermont, I was motivated, but I had no idea I could come this far and feel this great going into Hartford.

Week 9

And here it is…last week of training before the Hartford Marathon.

The plan for this week:

  • Last hard effort: 2 mile warm up, 2 miles at marathon pace, 1 mile cool down
  • Fillers: 2-3 runs of 25-35 minutes with 15-20 minutes yoga after

Monday, 10/5

3.29 miles in 31:33 (avg pace 9:35 min/mile) + yoga

Tuesday, 10/6

I worked Monday night at the hospital. I had to see two patients in the morning for my other job. I had a mountain of computer work to finish up from the three patients I had seen the day before. I also had to go back to the hospital for a diabetes in-service. The rest of the day is a blur, but I know I was exhausted when I finally settled down in bed. Needless to say I did not run, though I am pretty sure I did some yoga before bed.

Wednesday, 10/7

Last hard effort run – I ran 5.06 miles in 49:08 (avg pace 9:42 min/mile). OK I definitely missed the point of this and all but one of my splits was more like half marathon pace. I think I was just feeling really excited. The weather was gorgeous too.

Thursday, 10/8

Lunch time run 3.04 miles in 30:09 (avg pac 9:54 min/mile). My legs felt a little heavy and my breathing was a bit labored which is really odd for me. It was much warmer than it seemed when I first when out. Unlike the day before I felt a little off kilter, but it’s going to be ok.

Friday, 10/9

I went for a short 30 minute 3.04 mile shake out run after dropping Carlos off at school. I ran along the bike trail in Hadley. The sky was gray, but the leaves popped out in all their autumn beauty.

IMG_0077 IMG_0076
I was pensive about the race, but I smiled the whole way. It am as ready as I’ll ever be and whatever will be will be tomorrow. The weather is looking perfect.


I’m getting ready for a mini road trip to Hartford with Kate. She’s running the half. We are spending the night there so we don’t have to worry about traffic and parking tomorrow morning. OK I’ll stop here before I get all mushy and sentimental. I’ll save that for after the race.

Have a wonderful long weekend!! If you are dying to know how I did find me on twitter (@amazinginmotion) or instagram (aimee828). I will most likely post something on both.

Hartford Marathon Training Week 4

This was a rough week for me and I was not quite on target with the plan. I had a really difficult time waking up early most days. I am striving to get back to my 4AM wake up time, but I have not been successful. Late summer nights combined with working even later hours to fit in afternoon activities with Carlos makes it a challenge to wake up early. I’m doing the best I can and I keep trying.

For the first 4 weeks of training 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 (just do moderate effort up Skinner Mountain)
Stride workouts: 25 seconds at 8:30 pace building to 7:30 pace

  • Monday, 6/29 – 45 to 60 minute Easy Run

I ran 5.11 miles in 53:26 (avg pace 10:27 min/mile).

  • Tuesday, 6/30 – 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)

I was up at 5:10, but honestly I would really have to leave my house by 4:30 to get to the mountain, do the workout and drive home. I’m not big on driving places to run these days. It was easier when I had to travel that way to pick up Carlos at school. I’m going to have to figure something out because I don’t think Tuesdays are going to work for my Skinner Mountain run anymore. I thought about going in the evening after Carlos finished karate, but in the back of my head I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

Carlos and I went on a quick 3 mile bike ride before I had to get ready for work. I walked with Kate for an hour while the boys were in karate. I also did a 30 minute yoga class taught by Erin Motz on Do You Yoga before bed. 

  • Wednesday, 7/1 – Off or Yoga

I got up ready to run, but it was pouring, thundering and lightening out. I’m just not that adventurous. Carlos spent the day at Kate’s and they all went to the movies in the early afternoon so I took advantage of the time to do the Fartlek Workout I missed from last week.

10 to 20 minute Warm-Up + Fartlek Workout: 8 to 10 times 1 minute at slightly faster than 5K effort with 1 minute recovery jog + 10 to 20 minute Cool-down 

For the above workout I ran 4.6 miles in 45:08 (avg pace 9:49 min/mile). It was hot as hell out. I ended up running to Kate’s for water. She was going to bring Carlos and me back home, but the boys wanted to play longer so I ran home a slightly shorter way to get my car to pick up Carlos. My run home was more of a sweaty walk/run. I covered 3.35 miles in 38:53 (avg pace 11:37 min/mile). 

  • Thursday, 7/2 – 60 to 75 minute Easy Run

I worked Wednesday night so there was no chance for a morning run. Carlos and I biked 8.88 miles in the afternoon. Orlando got home late and having been awake for oh about 30 hours at that point I was too exhausted to run. 

  • Friday, 7/3 – 50 to 70 minute Easy Run with Stride Workout: 15 to times 25 seconds starting at 5K and progressing down to Mile race effort with 1 minute recovery jog between

I had the day off from work. My son’s friend slept over. I honestly don’t remember what my deal was that morning, but I did not run. We spent the day at Lake Wyola, came home quickly to shower and change and then went to my mom’s for dinner to celebrate my aunt’s 4th of July birthday because they were all heading to Florida the next day. After dinner we hightailed it back home for my town’s fireworks. We didn’t get home until after 10pm.  

  • Saturday, 7/4 – 80 minutes long run, push the pace a little harder on this one

Happy 4th of July! After a long, fun-filled day on Friday we all slept in on Saturday. Actually I got up to go for my run, but wasn’t feeling it yet so I lounged for a while. I finally went out and I nailed this run. I completed 8.16 miles in 1:20:19 (avg pace 9:50 min/mile). I pushed myself and had a great run. 

We had no major plans for the 4th other than our first family bike ride. Our first attempt was halted by the pelting down pour so we chilled out at Barnes and Noble for a while. Then we grabbed a few groceries and went home since it seemed like the rain was here to stay. Later in the day the sky cleared and it was gorgeous out so we drove back to the bike trail and rode 18 miles. Carlos did an awesome job!

Later we went to my favorite little restaurant Haymarket Cafe in Northampton. We stopped in at Herrell’s for ice cream after which was a freaking disaster. The girl handed me my ice cream, credit card and receipt all at once. I had no hands free, there was a huge line, and no place to move to organize myself. Carlos and Orlando were already outside. I went out and Orlando was trying to hand off his ice cream to Carlos because he didn’t like it. Not surprisingly as I was fumbling with everything in my hands my tiny scoop of vegan ice cream landed splat on the ground. Carlos and Orlando were on their way across the street so Orlando could get an ice cream elsewhere. I settled on a coffee. At some point the following Monday I realized I had lost my Discover card. Imagine that?!!! It probably landed next to my ice cream blog! It’s all resolved thankfully and no one tried using the card.

  • Sunday, 7/5 – Off or yoga

I just cannot seem to commit to yoga unless I’m going to a class. I also really wanted to make up for that run I missed on Friday.

50 to 70 minute Easy Run with Stride Workout: 15 to times 25 seconds starting at 5K and progressing down to Mile race effort with 1 minute recovery jog between.

I got up early and ran 5.76 miles in 57:20 (avg pace 9:56 min/mile). I’ve always done speed work on a treadmill so I’m really pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning to do it on the road now. It’s a lot more challenging, but I love it (once it’s over!!).

Later in the morning Carlos and I met my college roommate for an awesome hike up Wachusett Mountain. It was a spectacularly sunny day. We got a little off track on the hike back so all in all I think we did almost 6 miles. Again I couldn’t be more proud of Carlos. He moaned and groaned a bit when we were trying to find our way back to the trail, but otherwise he was fine.

I just read back what I had written and I had to laugh about how I thought I had a rough week. All in all I ran a total of nearly 27 miles and moved my body for at least 62 miles if you count the bike riding and hiking. Damn I am active! Maybe I didn’t get up as early as I would like each day. Maybe I wasn’t on target with my training plan, but it designed to be flexible. I managed to get most of the runs in along with the fun cross training activities like bike riding and hiking.

Progress not perfection!