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.

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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. 

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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.

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Our Mozambican wedding!

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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.

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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.

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Goof!
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Goofier!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Weekend Memories and a Half

Saturday morning Carlos made his First Communion. It was a beautiful mass. Carlos was a reader and he did a great job! The girls looked like mini brides and the boys looked so handsome in their white dress shirts and ties. After the mass we had a party for Carlos. My dad came up from Florida and my sister and her husband were here from the Boston area. It was a really nice afternoon with friends and family.

The handsome guys in my life.

 

Why must they grow so quickly?

 

My family

 

That evening we spent more time with my dad. We took him for a walk around the college in town and then we went to the town commons for frozen yogurt.

As I was getting ready for bed I reminded Orlando that the WMass Mother’s Day Half Marathon was the next day. I have been on the fence about running it and decided to play it by ear. Before I went to sleep I told Orlando I was going to run.

The next morning was a bit of a rush to get out the door. I couldn’t find my hat or my check book. My stomach was a little off. Off we went. We got to the registration area and I was told check or cash only. I never carry cash on me. Back at the car Orlando was talking to a woman who was telling him where to park. I thanked her and told her I wouldn’t be running after all. Turns out she was from the Cancer Connection, the local organization the run benefits. Well she insisted that I follow her and she would get me registered. It all worked out and I threw in a donation for the Cancer Connection as well.

I lined up at the start and the gun sounded a few minutes later. The sun was already blazing and it was only 8 o’clock. I ran the race once before two years ago so I was familiar with the course. It’s a beautiful course in rural Whately, MA; rolling hills, vast expanses of farmland and lots of colorful trees, flowers and people along the way. The water stops are plentiful, thankfully. There were a few fabulous spectators with hoses and sprinklers to cool us down. The finish line is full of energy and well stocked with food for the runners (and their sneaky 8 year olds who somehow always manage to find something other than a banana!).

It was an unseasonably hot day. I started slow and just tried keep an even pace. My thoughts were all over the place for the first few miles – “what is my goal today,” “I feel so slow, so heavy,” “I can’t believe I have a full marathon in two weeks,” “I feel like a new runner,” “I’m hot,” “I love running,” “This is my idea of fun on Mother’s Day now, remember when it used to be going to a buffet brunch?!”God I’m so happy to be running again,” “My Achilles feels good, wait what was that, oh nothing I think,” “I love half marathons.”

Then somewhere around mile 4 my mind began to focus on my ego. Over the course of the last few years I had developed a running ego. I got better at running. Then I got faster. I had an entire year of PR’s in 2013. I thought the injury to my Achilles shattered that ego, but it didn’t really. The ego is still very intact so much so that it has inhibited me from running races because I know I am not in a place to PR right now.

By mile 8 I came to the conclusion that I have to let go of the ego if I want to enjoy running races again. In a way I am starting over again. Not only am I a different runner, I have a different life and a different schedule. The ego needs to go. I’m fortunate to be running again. I’m so lucky to be healthy. I can set new challenges for myself and achieve new goals, but I cannot go backwards. No one can take away my running accomplishments and from here on out I will make new memories.

I ran the rest of the race with a new attitude. I let go of any expectations of myself other than to run a steady pace and finish the race. I did just that. As I neared the end I saw Orlando and Carlos. Carlos reached his hand out and joined me as I crossed the finish line. In that very moment I didn’t care what the time clock read. Carlos’ hand in mine was the best Mother’s Day gift! Oh and the medal of course.

Looking good sweaty! Must find hat before VT.

 

It’s all about the medal!!

 

I love him!

 

Now it’s on to Vermont without my running ego!