Boston Training Weeks 16-22

The weeks leading up to Boston really flew by and while I kept a pretty good record of all my training in my spreadsheet, I definitely neglected this sweet little blog over here. I’ll try to recap to my best ability, mainly so I have a place to look back on my thoughts on this training cycle.

Week 16- Getting Back on Track

My first full week back after a wonderful Hawaii vacation and a true confidence boosting 8-mile race. The track workout (I like to refer to them as speed workouts since we rarely worked out on the track, but instead on the inner loop of Green Lake) was icy, but I went faster than the prescribed MP -10 pace, which ended up being quite the trend on Mondays.

The tempo this week was inconsistent and my pals dropped off one by one for various reasons, so this was both mentally and physically challenging. I stayed with it and felt accomplished especially after chasing Francis for part of this one.

A strength workout led to my quads being trashed for my 20 miler this week, kind of perfect practice now that I look back on this. The last five miles of this run were really tough, but I think I gave in more mentally then I should have, my body had more to give.

I ran a super fun and easy 10 miles for Sarah Smith’s 40th birthday celebration this week as well which added a decent amount to my weekly mileage, making it the highest week of my entire training cycle at 53.5.

Week 17- Lake Sammamish Half Marathon

I missed a lot of strength training this week and was the start of the end of consistency on that. This is potentially my only worry come race day. That I’m not as muscular as I should be. Regardless this week was very good, I did 3×2 mile at 7:02 pace and I think we dropped into the 6s at some point as well. It was a push but not terribly unreasonable.

The tempo this week was fine, as the woman who swore she WOULD NOT do 10 mile tempos, I lied. I’m actually really happy I did them too. This was a 2×5 with a 1/2 mile easy in between. The second 5 miler was tough and my ankle was bothering me a bit but I made it through faster than marathon GP.

Coming into the weekend with just those miles on my body and having raced sort of recently, I was feeling pretty excited and confident for the 1/2. I wanted to be cautious though and not go all out and peak too early in training. I knew I was going to PR, even if I had stuck to my plan of not going under 7 min/mile pace it would have been a PR. I didn’t feel uncomfortable until mile 8 and breathing got tougher towards the end. I averaged a 6:56 to hit a 3:30:33. It didn’t feel like it a 100% effort which is very encouraging. I felt like I ran smart and tough. It wasn’t totally easy though and I need to remember that, this was still a very good effort to get that time, I had to convince myself to get to mile markers in order to not slow down. It got tough and I got tougher.

I did a little running a little strength the following day.

Week 18- A Semi-Sweet Recovery

I was careful in week 18, taking a beautiful down week to prepare for the upcoming hell week after racing. Ran an easy recovery run with friends around the lake for 9.5 miles at 9:33 pace.

A headache stood in my way on Wednesday and I didn’t run again until Friday. I was able to get some strength and erged a bit. The rest of the week was solo. I ran 6 miles by myself on the old Fleet Feet route which has that killer uphill then on Sunday I went for a 16 miler solo on the Burke. While I do listen to music and podcasts on the solo runs, I think that they’re mental builders for running my own run and pushing myself by myself. My pace on that 16 was pretty good, only a couple miles over 8 and a mountain to climb at the end that I kept in the 9s. This is a run I can look back and be thankful for.

Week 19- Hell Week

This was extra hell-ish because John was traveling for work so I had to do some major adjusting to fit the workouts in and rely on my mother-in-law to help with childcare so I could do the really important work with my training partners. Monday was fast and actually on a track and on the roads in my neighborhood. I didn’t do the prescribed workout due to time constrictions. I did 3×1600 at 6:42, 6:46 and 6:55.  I was disappointed with that last interval and stressed out in general so I’m not surprised this went the way it did.

I was able to shake that off and hit a wonderful 2×5 mile tempo on Wednesday. It took me 3 miles to find the groove but then it clicked! The one mile in between the sets of 5 felt fine and it wasn’t too hard to get started again for the next 5. Eileen and I ran a very solid second half of this workout, I’m so happy that we had each other to stay put in our workout. This was the hardest tempo of this training cycle and we crushed it. I did a little bit extra with 2.6 miles at 10:06 pace with the CLers! The pace of the tempo wasn’t perfect, but with some climbs, a particularly hard one through Ravena that we accomplished in 7:22 in there I think it was another big confidence booster.

I ran a bit, rowed a bit and strength trained on Thursday, skipped Friday’s workout because it was too stressful to try to fit it in and it gave me a little extra rest for the last 20+ run of the cycle. That Log Boom run ended up being incredibly solid. Ran sub 8 for the average and felt really good, even in the last 3 miles where we picked it up a bit. I ran an easy 4 on Sunday to even out the week at 50 miles. As I finished out “hell week” on a very high note and came into week 20 with two recovery days and a mini chest-cold I was just so thankful.

Week 20- The Start of the Wind-Down

I took Monday and Tuesday off because I wanted to and it had always been in my plan to do so. I know how much the long runs can run me down and it wasn’t worth pushing my body harder than necessary.

Totally recovered, I had a very solid tempo on Wednesday. 2 mile warmup 10 miles at MP and 2 cool down. Ravena was slower on this go around, but we worked really hard and we’ll be ready for the Boston hills when they come, these workouts were tough.

The rest of the week was just fun. FLUR at 8 min pace, Long run of 16 at 7:56. And a 30 min erg session at home on Sunday It was all very enjoyable.  As the training cycle winds down I’m just loving the easy runs and the company.

Weeks 21 and 22- The last pieces to the puzzle

The focus was to stay happy, healthy and uninjured. This is some of the boring stuff. No more tempos for me, a little bit of speed work to stay tuned up. 12 miles for a long run and easy, easy, easy for the last week before the race. I’m not feeling any phatom pains or extra restlessness during this taper. A bit of anxiety sure. I’m trying to stay calm, I’m reading mental toughness books and posts to stay in the right mindset and I continue to be both at awe in what I’ve accomplished in training leading up to this week and thankful for the folks who have been supporting me all the way through.

Next post will be on the flipside of the Boston Marathon. I feel like I’m ready. Comparing this training cycle to my 3:25 cycle, I have close to 200 additional miles in the bank, less strength training but more targeted and specific race training. We’ll see how it goes, I’m hoping my brain will stay focused in the last six miles to push through the pain and finish with everything I have in me.