2017 Eugene Marathon Training – Week 18

2017 Eugene - Week 18 Infographic

I ran the Boston Marathon on Monday and started my taper for the Eugene Marathon the moment I crossed the finish line.  After three days of easy running, I did an interval workout on Friday.  I feel fantastic!  Time to lock down a race plan for Eugene!

Training Schedule
Week 18: April 16th – April 22nd

Sunday: Recovery run. 4 miles
Monday: Boston Marathon
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Recovery run. 6 miles + strides
Thursday: Easy run. 6 miles
Friday: Tempo run.  10 miles.  6 miles @ half marathon pace.
Saturday: Easy run. 6 miles

Mileage Total: ~58 Miles.  I planned on following the taper guidelines in Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning.   I’ll do a 3 week taper.  This week, I’ll reduce my mileage by 20-25% of my maximum, which was 74 miles/week.

Adaptations.  I didn’t change much.  I ran 5 miles instead of 4 before the Boston Marathon.  I ran a very easy 2 miles after the race on Tuesday.  only ran 4 miles on Saturday to get my mileage down.  Instead of doing a tempo run, I did an interval workout on Thursday instead.  I thought it might be good to do a little fast running this week since most of my mileage was slow.

Goal. Finish the Boston Marathon in 3:50.  Outcome: Success!  In fact, I ran a little faster than that.

Workout Details

The Boston Marathon 26 miles easy [Race Report].

2017 Boston Marathon - Mile 26

2017 Boston Marathon – Mile 26

I’m going to try to run the Boston Marathon every year that I qualify.  Since my goal race is the Eugene Marathon in three weeks, I treated it as a long run.

It was a hot day – about 70 degrees at the start.  I kept the pace very easy.  Running with no pressure, in some ways I felt like it was my first Boston Marathon.  I took in the scenery and interacted with the crowds more than usual.  By the time I reached Wellesley, I was overwhelmed by the support.  I ran the hills in Newton well and picked up the pace after Brookline.  I’ve felt like a runner reborn since the race.  Bring on Eugene!

Result=3:42:59 (8:31 pace).

 

 

Interval Run10 miles.  6 miles @ half marathon pace 4 x 1 mile @ 5K-10K pace [Log Details].

After a few easy days, I thought I was ready for a workout.  I thought it might be helpful to do this interval workout on the rolling Custis Trail instead of as an out-and-back on the flat Mount Vernon Trail.

I ran easy through Arlington to reach the Custis Trail near I-66, rested a bit, and then started the repetitions.  The first went well.  It ended on the brutal uphill near Glebe Road but surprisingly, the incline didn’t hurt my pace much.  During the recovery, I ran into a running friend.  He offered to pace me for the workout but I was a little afraid of setting a goal pace since I ran a marathon four days ago.  The next two repetitions went well.  I cut the recovery after the 3rd repetition short so I would finish the hard part of the workout on the trail instead of neighborhood streets.  The last repetition was downhill and my legs were turning over effortlessly!  It’s been a long while since I felt this much range of motion in my legs.

I was pretty impressed that I could hold these paces a few days after a marathon.  I felt sure that I didn’t go out too hard on Monday.

Splits=7:14, 7:08, 6:55, 6:46.  Average=7:01.

Health

Injuries.  After the marathon on Monday, my feet and ankles hurt and I had two dime-sized sores on my back from my sports bra.  But the best news…  My piriformis didn’t hurt at all!  I didn’t see my chiropractor this week but before bed on Sunday, I gave myself an EMS (electronic muscle stimulation) treatment.

Weight.  I thought I’d lose some weight this week but surprisingly, that did not happen.

Allergies. After a lot of sneezing and congestion last week, I finally took a Zyrtec before bed last Saturday night.  It definitely helped while I was in Boston.  But, I’ve been congested again since returning to D.C.

Sleep.  Since the Boston Marathon, my sleep has been pretty terrible.  I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep, but I kept waking up in the middle of the night.

Weather

It was another warm year for the Boston Marathon – about 70 degrees at the start.  Back in Washington, D.C, it rained during my easy run on Thursday and I got drenched!  It also rained today but it was light.

Green Returns to the W&OD - 04222017

Green Returns to the W&OD – 04222017

Racing Schedule

Future races.  I’m starting to focus on the Eugene Marathon.  Yesterday, I got an email about the finish line festival.  I can go the breakfast route with pancakes, chocolate milk, and coffee or the lunch route with grilled cheese sandwiches and beer.  Yes, please!

Runner rankings.  The Potomac River Runner Store’s Regional Runner Rankings for the winter came out this week.  I showed up in 22nd position.

Next race: 2017 Eugene Marathon on May 7th. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

How much do you cut back during the first week of your taper?

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2017 Boston Marathon

2017 Boston Marathon Banner

2017 Boston Marathon Banner

Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.

Prologue

This would be my fifth Boston Marathon.  My first was in 2012 – the most recent “hot year”.  I skipped 2013 – the year of the bombing – but have run it every year since.

My goal race for this spring is the Eugene Marathon on May 7th.  I started training for the race back in December and created my own training plan each week.  The Boston Marathon would be this week’s long run.  The week before the race, I ran a long run on Sunday, a tempo run on Wednesday, and then easy for the rest of the week.

Goals

Personal Records:

Achievable: Sub-3:35:00 (8:13 pace).  If this were my goal marathon, I think this would be in my range.

Goal: Sub-3:50:00 (8:47 pace).  This isn’t a goal race – it’s this week’s long run.  This is a little faster than my current long run pace.

Strategy:  Run by feel for most of the race and try to save some energy for the downhill after the Newton hills.

Course

The course is a point-to-point starting in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ending in Boston.  The first few miles are mostly downhill and then the course evens out until reaching the town of Newton where there are four moderate hills over the course of four miles.  Then, the course is mostly downhill into downtown.

There are water stops on both sides of the street at every mile starting at Mile 2.  The crowds are a little thin at certain points early in the race but robust in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley, Newton, Boston College, and the entire downtown Boston area.

Boston Marathon Course

 

Playlist

I arranged 58 songs comprising 3 hours and 48 minutes of music.

 

Pre-Race

Boston Jacket Selfie - 04152017

Boston Jacket Selfie – 04152017

Saturday

I flew into Boston late in the afternoon and took a cab to my hotel – The Fairmont.  The gentleman at the front desk informed me I had two pre-paid rooms under my reservation.  That’s over $5,000 of hotel charges!  I was surprisingly chill about it – thinking I’d reverse the charge somehow – but I think helped score me a nice room.  I shared an elevator with race director, Dave McGillivray on the way to my room!  I had just listened to an interview with him on a podcast, so it was pretty neat.

I had an early dinner, and then spent the rest of the evening resting.  I’d been sneezing all week and finally decided to take a Zyrtec before bed.

Sunday

Thanks to the allergy medication, I got over 8 hours of sleep on Saturday night!  But, I woke up very drowsy.  I ventured out for coffee and then went for a jog along the Charles River Esplanade, which is my traditional pre-Boston shake-out run.

Shake Out Run along the Esplanade

Shake Out Run along the Esplanade

I showered and walking through the hotel lobby on my way to the expo, I saw Peter Ciaccia, the race director for the New York City Marathon on my way out.  Other runners seek out elites, I’m drawn to race directors.

I got to the convention center at around 11am.  I timed it well because there wasn’t a line to get in and I got my bib in a few minutes.

2017 Boston Expo - Bib Pick Up

2017 Boston Expo – Bib Pick Up

2017 Boston Marathon - The Shirt

2017 Boston Marathon – The Shirt

 

Walking the expo floor, I purchased an official sweatshirt and some shoe charms.  I had lunch with a friend and then went to my hotel room to write my training supplement post.  Later, I had dinner with running friends in Brookline.  I was back in my hotel by 8pm and shared an elevator with two elites.  (Later, I realized one was the race winner, Geoffrey Kirui.)  In my room, I created my playlist for tomorrow and watch “Spirit of the Marathon“.  In the documentary, Dick Beardsley says, “When you cross that finish line – no matter how slow, no matter how fast.  It will change your life forever.”

Race Day

I woke up at 5am.  I went outside for coffee and knew it was going to be a warm day.  I ate a bagel and a Kind Breakfast bar as I got dressed for the race.  I left my hotel and walked to Boston Common.  The bus boarding was a little different but still very efficient.  During the ride to Hopkinton, I talked to my seat-mate – a woman from California.  I also ate a banana and drank some water.

At the Athlete’s Village, I got in line for a port-a-potty even though I didn’t have to go.  I got in line twice at the port-a-potties next to the start to make sure.

I found my corral and after a few minutes, we were herded to the start.  I walked so slowly that the next corral caught up to me.  I took a few pictures and then decided to was time to run!

2017 Boston Marathon - Start

2017 Boston Marathon – Start

 

Weather

The Boston Marathon tweeted out that it was 71 degrees in Hopkinton when the men’s race started.  The observed weather in Boston was similar.

2017 Boston Marathon - Weather

2017 Boston Marathon – Weather

The Race

Miles 1 to 4 (Hopkinton and Ashland)

The course starts downhill and then rises uphill a little after a half mile.  The crowds are relatively sparse – mostly people who live in the neighborhood.  The road was crowded with runners but not overly so.  I was being passed by a lot of people but that made sense because my corral was for 8:00 pace marathoners.  Plus, a lot of runners start out too fast at Boston.

It was very hot and stayed that way for most of the race.  From the first water stop, I took Gatorade and put water on my head.  I repeated this practice at almost all of the stops

My first split was faster than planned but that also made sense due to the downhill start.  The second mile flattened out but my pace was still “fast”.  Now, I was concerned.  I thought about my last long run.  “Were you running this hard on Four Mile Run?”  I tried to channel that effort.

In Ashland, there were larger pockets of spectators.  Since I was taking these easy, I took the time to soak in the scenery – the people, the landscape, the businesses…  It all seemed new to me even though this was my fifth Boston Marathon!

I ran a pretty consistent pace over the next two miles.  There’s another small hill during Mile 3 but it didn’t slow me down.  I noticed a silver-haired woman with an age group bib on her back stop to walk it.  I thought she might be in for a long day if she’s walking already.  I also noticed a woman in a purple singlet who was running my pace.  We were a few steps away from one another through Wellesley.  Keeping an eye on her was a passive way for me to monitor my pace.

Splits: 8:36, 8:29, 8:28, 8:24.

Miles 4 to 11 (Ashland, Framingham and Natick)

I got into a little bit of a slump heading into Framingham.  I think the heat got to me a little.  I put on a clinic at the Mile 5 water stop.  I downed my first Crank Sport e-Gel minutes before going into it and then grabbed two cups of water at the station.

Framingham is where the crowds really start to thicken.  People were screaming and stretching their arms far into the road for a high-five for about a mile.  By the train station, there were banners celebrating the “Mile 6 Experience” but the crowds were more subdued there.  I was still running next to the woman in purple, but noticed she was running with someone now.

I was in such good spirits that I was high-fiving just about any little kid who had their hand out.  I must have slapped 50 tiny palms during this stretch.  At one point, I thought about possibly catching a cold from one of them and then thought, “You’re the carrier!  You’re passing germs from Hopkinton all the way into Boston!”  Besides, with three weeks until Eugene, I could afford to get sick.  I was enjoying interacting with the crowd.

My stomach felt full, so I ran through the next water station.  Despite this bad patch, I still felt pretty comfortable with my pace.  I even thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to run each split under 8:47.”

I was so busy enjoying the race that just past the 7 mile mark, I noticed I hadn’t hit a lap!  “Oops!  I missed the split!”  Rather than hit it late, I decided to just wait.  It didn’t matter.

By Mile 9, we were running by a lake.  In past years, this is where I started feeling a little fatigue but today, I felt pretty okay.  There was a short but steep hill here and I noticed a lot of runners were walking it.  I slowed down and logged my first split over goal pace.

In Natick, the crowds were out in full force cheering for the runners.  At Mile 10, I took my second gel before the water stop and downed it with water.  Shortly thereafter, I finally felt the tail wind that was in the forecast!  And, I thought there was a little more cloud cover.  It was still hot, though.

I think this is also where I saw a guy holding a sign with the 3rd quarter score of the Super Bowl on social media.  I’m not exactly sure, though.  At the time, I thought he was rubbing it in.  But, a few minutes later, I realized it was supposed to be a “never give up” sign.

Splits: 8:44, 8:26, 17:22 (2 miles), 8:23, 8:50, 8:23

Miles 11 to 16 (Wellesley)

In Wellesley, I turned off my music and listened for the sound of “Scream Tunnel”.  I could hear it and as expected, it gave me chills despite the 70 degree weather.  I started pushing the pace a little.  I passed Purple Singlet and her newest friend.

Running by the college, I read almost all of the signs and the excitement on the women’s faces.  I started to tear up!  I was finally overwhelmed by all of the support that I was experiencing.  How had I missed this all these years?!  What else have I been missing about running?  About life? …  “Hold up.”  I told myself, “You can’t have a mid-life crisis right now.  You’re running a marathon!”  Jolted back to reality, I narrowly adverted plowing into two other runners.

Downtown Wellesley is one of my favorite places on the course.  The crowds are thick and loud!  My Garmin read about 1:51:40 at the half.  I did the math and thought that would be a 3:45:00 finish.  I started thinking about how to space my last two gels.  I didn’t want to take the last one too early and run out of fuel for the last few miles.  I wanted to feel fresh coming out of Newton.  “Wouldn’t it be great to run those last 6 miles strong for a change?”, I thought.

Coming out of that area, I hit another rough patch.  I high-fived some people for motivation.  In one instance, the first guy gave a hearty slap but the next guy, in a Patriots jersey, slammed my hand.  I thought, “And, this is why people hate Patriots fans.”  I took my third gel a few minutes after the Mile 15 mark.

Splits: 8:25, 8:28, 8:19, 8:52, 8:11.  Half marathon: 1:51:48 (8:33 pace)

Miles 16 to 21 (Newton)

I saw the banners on the side of the road indicating we were in Newton.  I hadn’t had time to review the course beforehand and couldn’t remember where the Newton hills start and how many of them there were.  I seemed to recall there were four.

A half mile later, I came upon the point where I thought I was going to collapse in 2012.  I surveyed the surroundings instead of dwelling on that moment.  “Interesting,  It’s an exit for I-95.”  I charged up the hill.  There were a fair number of walkers and I had to look ahead for the best line through them.

The course took a right onto Commonwealth Avenue at Mile 17.5 at the Newton fire station.  I knew the hills were starting in earnest.  Trying to keep my effort honest, I tried to pretend I was on the Custis Trail back home.

Going into the serious hills in Newton, my overall pace was 8:30.  I challenged myself to maintain the same overall pace through them.  I was still feeling pretty good.  My feet hurt a little and my back was stinging from my sports bra chaffing, but that was it.  After a couple of the hills, there were so many walkers that I had to weave or make myself small to get through the masses.  After hitting Mile 20, I waited a little bit and then took my last gel.

Some of the best signs on the course were in Newton.  My favorite one said, ALTERNATIVE FACT: SMALL HILL AHEAD.  Shuffling up Heartbreak Hill didn’t feel terrible, which gave me confidence that I hadn’t been running too hard.  In the final stretch I realized the song, “This Too Shall Pass,” was playing.  It was the perfect song for the occasion.  This pain is temporary.  Coming out of Newton, I saw my overall pace hadn’t changed!

Splits: 8:36, 8:48, 8:36, 8:37, 8:52.

Miles 21 to 26.2 (Brookline and Boston)

2017 Boston Marathon - Mile 21.5

2017 Boston Marathon – Mile 21.5

My hips felt a little stiff coming out of Newton but nothing close to pain.  Normally, Boston College is my absolute favorite part of the course.  I checked out a little this time not wanting to let the crowd entice me into speeding up yet.

At Mile 22, I saw the woman with the 60 age group bib on her back, “How did she get ahead of me run-walking?”  I thought about playing Marathon Investigator and looking back and getting her bib, but decided to just make a mental note.  (I checked after the race and she didn’t place.)  I was running a little slower and Purple Singlet passed me, running on her own.  I was running on the left-hand side of the road and there wasn’t a water stop  (or maybe I missed it).  I really wished I had some fluids at that point.

The road narrowed a bit as the course turned right onto Chestnut Hill Avenue.  I runner cut me off and I almost tripped in the trolley tracks in the road!  The course took a left onto Beacon Street.  I hit another bad patch but told myself I just had to hold on for a few more miles.

I passed Mile 23 and thought I missed my friends at Coolidge Corner.  Then, a half mile down the road, I saw them!  I high-fived them all.  One of them gave me a water bottle, which was great.  I drank some and doused my head.

For the final few miles, there was a fair amount of cloud cover and a lot of wind.  I saw the Citgo sign in the distance – almost one mile to go!  As it grew larger, I felt bolder.  I took a final swig of water and tossed the water bottle on the bridge near Fenway Park.

Mid-way through Mile 25, I scanned the crowd for a friend from my running club.  She said she’d be in this area but I hadn’t asked which side of the road.  Incredibly, I saw her!  I yelled and gave a Number 1 finger gesture in the air.  Next, I looked for a friend from college.  They kept spectators further from the course at this point on Commonwealth Avenue but I still saw her, too!  She took a good picture:

2017 Boston Marathon - Mile 25.7

2017 Boston Marathon – Mile 25.7

 

 

2017 Boston Marathon - Mile 26

2017 Boston Marathon – Mile 26

 

I was still running on the left side of the road but the next thing I knew, I was taking a right on Hereford.  I thought, “That was fast!”  I did some fist pumps and the crowd cheered louder.

Making the turn onto Boylston, the finish line didn’t seem as far as it did in years past.  I found myself surging.  The next thing I know, I was sprinting to the finish line!  I’ve never felt so strong this late in a marathon!

Splits: 8:35, 8:39, 8:06, 8:26, 8:03, 1:38 (7:02 pace!).

 

 

 

Post-Race

2017 Boston Marathon - Post Race

2017 Boston Marathon – Post Race

I felt fine after the race.  Even though my hotel was close to the finish, due to security I had to walked a few extra blocks.

I rested a bit and then met a college friend for champagne in South Boston and a beer on Boylston Street.  Leaving the bar, I saw Dave McGillivray finish the race.  I swear I wasn’t stalking him!

 

Result

My time was 3:42:59 (8:31 pace) [Log Details]!  I was the 10,577th finisher out of 26,411 (top 40%), 3,135th woman (top 27%), and 281th in my age group (top 16%).

The male winner was Geoffrey Kirui with (2:09:37) and female was Edna Kiplagat (2:21:52).  Of the American elites, I was happy to see fellow San Diegan Desiree Linden (2:25:06) finished 4th after going for the win and Jared Ward finished 10th (2:15:28) since I’ve been using a statement he made during a podcast about getting fit as a mantra this training cycle.

Epilogue

This year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Half Marathon rattled my confidence a lot.  The Cherry Blossom 10M restored it.  This race sent it through the roof!  I ran a little faster than I intended but it didn’t feel hard.  I feel like a runner reborn.  I’m beyond excited for the Eugene Marathon next month.

Next race: 2017 Eugene Marathon on Sunday, May 7th! (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Abridged Version

My goal race, the Eugene Marathon, was 3 weeks away so I treated this as a long run.  It was a hot day – about 70 degrees at the start.  I kept the pace very easy at the start of the race.  Running with no pressure, I felt like I was running the Boston Marathon for the first time.  I took in the scenery and interacted with the crowds more than usual through Wellesley.  I ran the hills in Newton well and picked up the pace in Brookline.  I felt like a runner reborn.  Bring on Eugene!

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Training Supplement – April 16, 2017

Training Supplement - 041617

I brought out my compression tights this week to help with recovery.  Tomorrow’s Boston Marathon will help me select a shoe for the Eugene Marathon.  The water fountains the Custis and W&OD Trails are on!  And, I was on the Pace the Nation podcast!

Clothing & Gear

Shoes.  Saucony Ride 9.  I’ve worn the Mizuno Wave Riders for my most recent marathons.  Tomorrow, I’m going to try the Saucony Rides.  I didn’t love these shoes when I bought them but they’ve grown.  If all goes well tomorrow, I’ll buy a new pair to wear for Eugene.

Recovery gear.  2XU Recovery Tights.  I bought these a couple of years ago to help me recover from the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon since I was running the New York City Marathon the next week. Wanting to do anything I could to recover, I wore them after my long run this past Sunday.  They didn’t seem to help me much this week, but maybe I would have felt even worse if I hadn’t worn them.

(My Complete Clothes & Gear Page.)

Nutrition & Hydration

Gels.  Crank Sport e-Gel.  I trained with these gels and plan to use them tomorrow for the Boston Marathon.  A lingering problem I have with them is that they’re so bulky!  I’m going to carry them in a SPI-belt tomorrow and will determine if that might work for the upcoming Eugene Marathon in three weeks.

Post-workout NutritionUcan Snack Bar.  I haven’t been a fan of the Ucan products but tried this bar as a post-workout snack since I was in a hurry.  I liked the flavor of the chocolate bar, but it was so chalky that I didn’t finish it.

Hydration.

Stridebox.  There are a few items that look interesting.  Given the rough training week I had, I probably should have tried the recovery accelerator.

Stridebox - April 2017

Stridebox – April 2017

Routes

Construction.  It’s been a while since I’ve run through Crystal City and checked on the construction project at 400 Army Navy Drive that I’ve been following since last year.

400 Army Navy Dr - 04122017

400 Army Navy Dr – 04122017

 

 

It looks like the underground supports are finished and the structures for the above-ground floors are taking shape.

Water Fountains.  The water fountains on the Custis Trail were turned on recently.  And, I saw a tweet that the all the fountains on the W&OD were operational as of Friday!  With some recent runs in the 60 degree range, this was welcomed news.

Media & Motivation

Music. Radioactive“, by Imagine Dragons.  I’ve had four days of easy running and felt quite tired on my shake out run until this song came on.

(My “Songs of the Week” playlist on Spotify.)

Podcasts.  “Our Hundredth Anniversary Show (Superfans),” Pace the Nation.  I have been a loyal listener to Pace the Nation since the early episodes.  So, I was delighted when I was asked to be on the 100th episode of the show which included some of their many “superfans”!  I have to admit, I was very nervous.  And, I thought I’d hate the sound of my voice.  But, I think it turned out well.  The entire show is great, but if you’re interested in my segment, it starts at the 1:01:52 mark.

Duel in the Sun,” The Runner’s World Show.  Although I read the book and listened to Dick Beardsley describe the race on the RunnersConnect Run to the Top Podcast, this story never gets old for me.  So, I found the video:

What am amazing race and finish!  (It is odd how many bicyclists were following them and how close the motorcycles and spectators were to them.)

Websites and Blogs.  “Time to Say Goodbye: When You Have Grown Apart From What You Love The Most,” from Running for Real with Tina Muir.  The RunnersConnect Run to the Top podcast has been one of my favorites, so I was sad when Tina Muir announced she was moving on.  But, the new host seems promising.  I’ve listened to a couple of her episodes – including one with Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray – and she a very good interviewer.

NewsNike’s Sub-2-Hour Marathon Attempt Will Be Run in Early May, Runner’s World.  I’m very excited about this race, which will happen in Italy the first weekend of May.  They haven’t named a specific day.  The idea is to pick the best weather day from the three.  I hope they don’t choose May 7th when I’m running the Eugene Marathon.

Motivation.  “”Dreams don’t work unless you do.” – Unknown

I’ve been having some doubts about the wisdom of running Boston when it’s so close to Eugene.  I’ve had it all along and have been pushing myself so hard in part because I want to be fit enough to do it.

What are some of your favorite podcasts?
How do you physically recovery from a tough workout or race?

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2017 Eugene Marathon Training – Week 17

2017 Eugene - Week 17 Infographic

After two tough workouts, I decided I should respect the marathon and take it easy for the rest of the week.  I’m looking forward to running the Boston Marathon on Monday and then focusing on the Eugene Marathon in three weeks!

Training Schedule
Week 17: April 9th – April 15th

Sunday: Long run.  24 miles easy
Monday: Recovery run. 6 miles
Tuesday: Medium run.  9 miles
Wednesday: Interval run.  10 miles.  4 x 1 mile @ 10K pace
Thursday: Easy run. 6 miles
Friday: Tempo run.  14 miles w/8 x (0.25 mi. @ half marathon pace, 1 mile @ marathon pace + 5%
Saturday: Easy run. 6 miles

Mileage Total: ~75 Miles

Adaptations. I moved the tempo run up to Wednesday.  I was so tired that I took a rest day on Thursday and then ran easy for the rest of the week…  I went back and looked at my log for the week before the 2015 New York City Marathon, when I was training for the 2015 California International Marathon.  I took three easy days before it and still had a rough race.  I need to respect the marathon distance and rest!

Goal.  Finish a 22 miler in 8:45 pace.  Outcome: Fail!  I knocked off a couple of miles and still struggled to finish.

Workout Details

Long Run 24 miles easy [Log Details].

Going into this long run, I thought it might help me answer a few lingering questions in advance of the Eugene Marathon.

  1. Would I feel better if I eat more before the race?
  2. Can I take in more calories during the race?
  3. Could I wear a lighter shoe like the Brooks Pure Flow?
  4. Can I manage my piriformis pain over the course of a marathon?

I felt great during the first few miles.  I started out listening to music but switched to podcasts.  The miles ticked off and I finally took a Crank Sport e-Gel at 1 hour mark.  Emboldened, I thought maybe I could turn this run into a progression.

Alexandria Boathouse - 04092017

Alexandria Boathouse – 04092017

I pushed the pace a little on the Mount Vernon Trail and ran some 8:30 pace miles.  At the “Intersection of Doom,” a little more than 2 hours, I took my second gel.  My feet and calves were sore but I asked myself, “What feels good?”  I took stock and realized my hips, quads, and hamstrings actually felt good.  By then, the temperature had climbed quite a bit and I really wanted water.  I wanted to linger at the water fountain at the junction with the W&OD but went another 100 yards or so and then rested.  I wanted to stop.  Then, I asked myself, “Do you want to walk 3 miles home?”  I made a bargain that I could walk 2 miles from home but I didn’t.

I finished the run covered in salt.  I was disappointed with the run but got a couple of answers for the questions above:

  1. No, eating more before the race isn’t going to make me feel better.  But, perhaps I could take more calories in as fluid.
  2. No, I shouldn’t wear the Brooks Pure Flow 6 for the marathon.  I need a little more cushion for my lower legs and room for my toes.
  3. Yes, I can probably manage the piriformis pain.

Overall paces=8:57.

Capitol - 04112017

Capitol – 04112017

Tempo Run. 14 miles w/8 x (0.25 mile @ marathon pace – 5%, 1 mile @ marathon pace + 5%) [Log Details].

This was essentially the same workout I ran on March 2nd.  I felt great during the warm-up and started the repetitions feeling like this would be a fantastic workout.  That idea was quashed early when I got side stitches while running on the Custis Trail.  I focused on running the quarters fast and taking the miles comfortably hard.  By the sixth set, I started to feel tired.  I was spent during the cool-down, so I took a long walk break before jogging home.

My plan was to “train through” the Boston Marathon but after this run, I decided to respect the marathon and cancel my other workout for the week.

Split paces=7:42/8:25 (set 1), 7:24/8:30 (set 2), 7:18/8:14 (set 3), 7:07/8:21 (set 4), 7:26/8:21 (set 5), 7:27/8:15 (set 6), 7:35/8:51 (set 7).  Mean=7:26/8:23.

Health

Injuries.  I had my weekly chiropractic appointment on Tuesday morning.  Mid-week, I felt cramps in my foot and left calf.  Figuring I was dehydrated, I took some salt pills and drank a lot of water.

Weight.  My weight dropped a little this week.  Initially, I think it was due to dehydration but with the rest day and easy running at the end of the week, I tried to eat a little less since I wasn’t running as much.

Allergies. I was sneezing all week.  I didn’t take anything but probably should have.

Sleep.  I went to bed early Sunday evening – around 6pm!  I got a decent amount of sleep for the rest of the week but clearly not enough.  On Thursday morning, I was so exhausted I took a rest day.

Weather

Sunday’s long run started in the 50s but the temperature rose to high 60s by the end.  The weather was also warm for my tempo run on Wednesday at 66 degrees.  The weather was cooler at the end of the week, though.

Boston Jacket Selfie - 04152017

Boston Jacket Selfie – 04152017

Racing Schedule

Next race: 2017 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17th!

I’m excited about the race on Monday but, I’ll also feel relieved when it’s over so I can focus on my goal marathon – Eugene.  (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the shortest taper you’ve done before a marathon?

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2017 Eugene Marathon Training – Week 16

2017 Eugene - Week 16 Infographic

Fantastic week!  I ran a great time at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and followed it up with some equally good training.  9 days until the Boston Marathon and 28 days until Eugene!

Training Schedule
Week 16: April 2nd – April 8th

Sunday: Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
Monday: Recovery run.  6 miles
Tuesday: Interval run.  7 miles.  Speed work with run club or ?
Wednesday: Recovery run.  8 miles
Thursday: Medium run. 14 miles w/10 miles @ marathon pace
Friday: Easy run. 10 miles
Saturday: Easy run. 6 miles

Mileage Total: ~60 Miles

Adaptations.  The week didn’t look anything like this schedule.  I felt pretty good after the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, so I did a medium run on Monday.  I didn’t plan on a specific interval run for the week, so I improvised.  I also cut the marathon pace workout down by a mile and did less easy running at the end of the week.

Goal.  Run the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in sub-1:16:30.  Outcome:  Success!

Workout Details

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 10 miles @ 10 mile pace [Race Report].

2017 CB10M - Mile 9.75

2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler – Mile 9.75

The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is one of the most popular and competitive races in Washington, D.C.  The weather was perfect, though, about 45 degrees.  I was seeded in the second corral this year since my race times have been slower.  In the early miles, I ran much faster than my goal pace.  I thought I was easing up on the pace but I ran even faster in the later miles.  I finished in 1:12:40 (7:16 pace)!  With a month to go until the Eugene Marathon, I couldn’t be happier with my performance.

 

 

 

Splits: 7:27, 7:20, 7:15, 7:22, 7:13, 7:21, 7:03, 7:03, 7:26, 7:14.

Medium Run. Recovery Run.  6 miles 15 miles easy [Log Details].

I felt great after the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.  In fact, I wanted to run more mileage that afternoon but held myself back.  So, the next morning, I decided to ride the good feeling and do a medium run.  During the first few miles, I thought it might have been a mistake.  All of my joints – not just my hips – hurt a lot.  After a good 4 miles, everything felt much better but I could still tell my body wasn’t liking this run.  I stopped to take pictures, which was also a time to rest and stretch.

Rowers on the Potomac at Dawn - 04032017

Rowers on the Potomac at Dawn – 04032017

The rest of the run was hard but not a struggle.  Afterwards, I thought it might have been better to have done a recovery day and then run longer.

Overall pace=8:44.

Interval Run.  10 miles w/10 x 200m @ 5K pace [Log Details].

I did this workout on my favorite 10 mile loop.  Instead of running the beginning of the run “easy”, I ran it “steady” to “hard”.  After running north through Arlington, I made it to the Custis Trail.  Usually, I take it easy on the hills between Lee Highway and Glebe Road but on this day, I ran them hard.  I stopped for water at the junction with the W&OD Trail for water.  Shortly thereafter, I started the 200m repeats.  It felt great running fast!  They were pretty uneventful.  I had a weird pain in my knee towards the end – not pain but more like a warm sensation – but it didn’t linger into the next day, so I assumed it was nothing.

200m splits=0:46, 0:47, 0:50, 0:47, 0:45, 0:49; 0:46, 0:47, 0:47, 0:48.  Mean=0:48 or ~6:40 pace.

Tempo Run.  13 miles w/9 miles @ marathon pace [Log Details]

I contemplated skipping this tempo run and doing my long run of 22 miles on Saturday since it would give me one more day of recovery before the Boston Marathon.  But, I decided I wanted more rest before tackling that distance.

I felt pretty good during the warm-up to the Mount Vernon Trail and part of me wanted to run the marathon pace miles in the 7:40 to 7:50 range to see if I might be in that kind of shape.  But, I decided against it since I did a lot of hard running this week.  I was motoring along pretty well and was quite impressed by how consistent my splits were – all around 8:00.  Then, shortly after I hooked up with the Four Mile Run Trail, I checked my pace and saw my Garmin had shut off!  I was frustrated but in the end it might have been a good thing.  By then, I was running into the wind and fading.  Still, it was a solid run.

Marathon pace segment=~8:05 pace.  Overall pace=~8:20.

 

Selfie in Concrete Tube - 04082017

Not just for kids! Selfie in Concrete Tube – 04082017

Health

Injuries.  My hips were sore for most of the week, but I was just thankful my left piriformis didn’t act up during the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler like it did during the Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon last month.  I saw my chiropractor on Tuesday.

Weight.  I stepped on the scale and weighed a little lighter than usual on Sunday.  I thought that was a bad thing since I wasn’t trying to lose any weight, but it’s only a pound or two here or there.

Sleep.  The week started off well – I got 9 hours of sleep before the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler!  I slept for at least 7 hours through Wednesday night and then, I didn’t sleeping as soundly for the rest of the week.  I slept in today and it felt amazing.

Weather

Temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s to start the week – even warmer on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then, it turned cold again and windy on Thursday but I got my run in before a rain storm.  It was still cold today, but the sun made it feel warmer.

Racing Schedule

Next race: 2017 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17th.  Around this time next week, I’ll be heading to Bean Town! (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

How do you adjust your training after a race?

Posted in Eugene Marathon, Training | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Banner

Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.

Prologue

The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is one of the premier racing events in Washington, D.C.  It features a competitive elite field and thousands of recreational runners.

I’ve been training for the Eugene Marathon, which is on Sunday, May 7th, since late December 2016.  I’ve been creating my own training schedule each week rather than following a specific plan.  The week before the race, I didn’t cut back my training very much.  I ran a 22 mile long run last Sunday, 12 miles close to marathon pace on Wednesday, and 12 x 400m at 5K pace on Friday.

Goals

Personal Records:

  • 10 Miler PR and Course PR: 1:08:26 (6:51 pace), 2014 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
  • Most Recent 10 Miler: 1:15:40 (7:34 pace), 2016 Army Ten Miler

Achievable: Sub-1:16:30 (7:40 pace).  Based on my 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon time, this is an equivalent performance according to McMillan.

Stretch:  Sub-1:15:00 (7:30 pace).  The weather for the RnR DC Half Marathon was miserable.  I could run faster with better conditions on this flat course.

Strategy:  Run hard but smart.  This race will help me determine a goal time for the 2017 Eugene Marathon.

Course

This course is fast.  It starts at the Washington Monument, then heads across Independence Avenue for a trip over the Memorial Bridge.  Then, it goes up to the Kennedy Center on Rock Creek Parkway.  From there, the course heads south to Ohio Drive for a short loop.  Next, it’s back to the National Mall before entering East Potomac Park (“Hains Point”) and finishing back at the Washington Monument.

There are four water stops and good crowd support along most of the course.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Course

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Course

 

Playlist

I edited my playlist from the 2017 Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon down to 1 hour and 20 minutes of music.

Pre-Race

Friday

I went to the expo at the National Building Museum after work on Friday.

2017 CB10M Expo - Friday Evening

2017 CB10M Expo – Friday Evening

When I picked up my bib, I noticed it was red…  Runners in the first corral for this race have yellow bibs.  For the first time in a while, I wasn’t in the first corral!

I didn’t spend much time at the expo since I was tired from the long week.  I visited a friend who was working and thought about taking a picture with Kathrine Switzer.  Before this week, I had no idea she won the first running of this race in 1973.

Saturday

I ran a 6 mile recovery run in the morning, completed a few errands, and then stayed off my feet for the rest of the day.  I had fish, rice, vegetables, and a couple of beers late in the afternoon.  I went to bed at around 9pm without eating dinner since I wasn’t hungry.

Race Day

I woke up at around 5am.  I drank some water and coffee with a slice of cinnamon toast while getting ready for the race.  It would be about 45 degrees during the race, so I put on a tank top and shorts.  I wore a sweatshirt and sweatpants over them to keep me warm before the race.  I left my house in Arlington at 6am and caught a bus to the Pentagon Metro station.

I got off the bus and just as I was about to step onto the escalator down to the Metro station, I noticed the entrance was gated!  Oh, no!  The Metro is closed!  I asked a bus driver how I could get downtown and she told me to take the 13Y.  Phew! 

2017 CB10M - Pentagon Transit Center

2017 CB10M – Pentagon Transit Center

 

 

I still had plenty of time since the race didn’t start until 7:30am.  I sat down and drank some juice.  The 13Y rolled up at around 6:30am and I saw a bunch of runners on the bus.  Okay, the bus driver wasn’t messing with me. 

It was a quick and scenic ride downtown as the sun rose in the east over the Potomac River and painted the sky various shades of pink and orange.

2017 CB10M - AA History Museum and Washington Monument

2017 CB10M – AA History Museum and Washington Monument

I got in line for the port-a-potties at 7am and then went over to check my bag.  Unlike previous years, the bag check drop-off wasn’t by bib number, so I randomly chose a line.  It wasn’t long but for some reason, it wasn’t moving much.  As the minutes ticked by, I realized I wouldn’t have time for a warm-up.  Shortly after the singing of the National Anthem, at about 7:15am, I handed my bag to a volunteer and jogged to the starting corrals.

Waiting in the Red Corral, I felt envious of the runners in the Yellow Corral ahead of me.  I noticed the sign for the 7:30 pacer and thought,  “So, that was the cut off.”  I knew my recent race times weren’t that fast so the seeding was deserved.  And just like that, my stretch goal became my real goal.  At 7:30am, the race started and about 3 minutes later, my wave moved up and out!

Weather

The weather was close to perfect – about 45 degrees at the start with just a little wind.

2017 CB10M - Weather

2017 CB10M – Weather

The Race

Miles 1 to 5 (The National Mall, Memorial Bridge, the Kennedy Center, and the Tidal Basin).

The start was tightly packed with runners.  There’s a sharp right turn just a few meters out but I didn’t have any trouble staying clear of fellow runners on Independence Avenue.  After the right turn heading towards the Memorial Bridge, I clicked off my first split – 7:27.  It was a little fast but that’s not unusual for me.  But, I reminded myself, You’re supposed to be running 7:40s.

On the Memorial Bridge running west, I felt the wind.  I saw the front runners on the opposite side of the bridge and that spurred me on.  Navigating the circle near Arlington Cemetery was tricky since the road was still pretty crowded.  At Mile 2, I was still well under my goal pace.

Next, the course headed north on the Rock Creek Parkway.  I ran through the first water stop since it was early in the race.  Maybe the next stop, I thought.  I hit Mile 3 and was shocked by how fast I was running.  You need to slow down, I told myself.  Passing the Watergate Steps between the Lincoln Memorial and the Potomac River, I tucked behind a woman with a her bib pinned on her back.  I told myself, Stay behind her!  But after a minute or so, I passed her.  She was slowing down. I assured myself.

Running towards Ohio Drive, I accidentally elbowed someone trying to run through a narrow gap.  I apologized and then surged ahead.  The pace still felt like something I could maintain for a while.  I stayed to the left and ran though this water stop, too.  I hit Mile 4 and I was still going well under goal pace.  At the turnaround on Ohio Drive, I started feeling a little tired.  I asked myself, How about running some of those 7:40s?

After a right onto Independence Ave, I forced myself to slow down and enjoy the view of the cherry blossom trees.  But, the crowds were great!  Going through the cheering section near the Tidal Basin, I knew I picked up the pace a little.

Splits: 7:27, 7:20, 7:15, 7:22, 7:13.

Miles 5 to 10 (The Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park, and the National Mall).

There’s a small bridge leading to East Basin Drive.  I didn’t slow down but my hips ached a little from the incline.  There was a huge cheering section on the median next to the Jefferson Memorial.  I couldn’t help smiling.  I felt very confident going into East Potomac Park (“Hains Point”).  I’d been running intervals with a run club there on Tuesdays.  I knew I could tap into the pain I felt during those workouts to get me through this section of the course.  On a mission to keep up the pace, I ran through the next water stop after Mile 6.

I was passing runners as if they were standing still.  So, I was surprised when a guy ran up to say, “Hi,” to me.  He quickly dropped back before I could register who it was.  When I saw my split at Mile 7, I was floored – 7:03!  But, I felt great and kept up the pace until the end of Hains Point.  There was another water stop there and the course narrowed.  I could feel runners pressing in on me from behind.  I wondered if I was fading.

After the turnaround, I was already thrilled with how the race was going and then…  I passed the 7:30 pacer from the Yellow Corral!  I also felt the northwest wind.  I tried not to think about it and admired the cherry blossom trees instead.  Although peak bloom had passed, they were still beautiful.

2017 CB10M - Mile 9.75

2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler – Mile 9.75

By Mile 8, I eased up on the effort.  I was content with how the race had gone and didn’t want to fight the wind.  But then, a female runner I’d passed coming into Hains Point passed me back!  I quickened my pace and ran another 7:03 split for Mile 8.  I looked for a group to run with to block some of the wind but, since I’d caught up to the Yellow Corral, most of the runners around me were going slower.

Just before Mile 9 was the final water station but I didn’t even think about stopping.  I wanted to wrap this race up so I could enjoy this accomplishment.

Exiting Hains Point, I handled the little uphill towards Maine Avenue well.  The crowds were loud and animated, which certainly helped.  I struggled on the final incline on Raoul Wallenberg Place leading to the finish line, though.

I lengthened my stride for the final 200m knowing I’d crushed my goals for this race!

Splits: 7:21, 7:03, 7:03, 7:26, 7:14.

Post-Race

2017 CB10M T-Shirt and Key Chain

2017 CB10M T-Shirt and Key Chain

Wanting to avoid the post-race mob, I went directly to bag check.  Unlike before the race, it only took a minute to retrieve my bag.  I grabbed water, a banana, and a granola bar.  I walked to the Metro, stopping to put on my sweatshirt and sweatpants on the way and eating half of the banana.

By 10am, I was home but I didn’t get a chance to rest for long.  I showered, ate a late breakfast, and then drove to Clarendon.  I was going to be on Episode 100 of Pace the Nation, which featured some of their “super fans”!

 

 

 

 

Result

My time was 1:12:40 (7:15 pace) [Log Details].  I was the 1,117th finisher out of about 17,500 runners (top 7%), 279th woman (top 3%), and 8th in my age group (top 1%).

The winners were Stanley Kebenei (46:36) and Hiwot Gebrekidan (53:37).  Joan Benoit Samuelson and Kathrine Switzer both won their age groups.

Epilogue

With a month to go before the Eugene Marathon, this race was a huge confidence builder.  I beat my stretch goal pace by 15 seconds a mile!  The McMillan Calculator equates the performance with a 3:23:59 (7:47 pace) marathon, which is only 1 minute off my personal best of 3:22:56 (7:45 pace)!

The event itself was fantastic.  I’m already looking forward to running it again next year.  That would be my 10th running and enable me to join the One Hundred Mile Club so I can skip the lottery from now on.

Next race: 2017 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17th. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Abridged Version

The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is one of the most popular and competitive races in Washington, D.C.  The weather was perfect, though, about 45 degrees.  I was seeded in the second corral this year since my race times have been slower.  In the early miles, I ran much faster than my goal pace.  I thought I was easing up on the pace but I ran even faster in the later miles.  I finished in 1:12:40 (7:16 pace)!  With a month to go until the Eugene Marathon, I couldn’t be happier with my performance.

Posted in Race Reports, Races | Tagged , | 2 Comments

2017 Eugene Marathon Training – Week 15

2017 Eugene - Week 11 Infographic

I ran a strong 22 miler, a hard 12 miler that ended up being marathon pace, and a lot of 400m repetitions this week.  I’m running the 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler tomorrow!  With only 35 days until the Eugene Marathon, I’m hoping this tune-up race will give me a good sense for my marathon pace.

Training Schedule
Week 15: March 26th – April 1st

Sunday: Long Run. 22 miles easy
Monday: 6 miles recovery + strides
Tuesday: 7 miles recovery
Wednesday: Tempo Run. 15 miles w/10 miles @ marathon pace
Thursday: 4 miles recovery + hill sprints
Friday: Interval Run. 10 miles w/12 x 400m @ 5K pace w/1 minute recoveries
Saturday: 4 miles recovery

Mileage Total: ~68 Miles

Adaptations.  I didn’t have time to do 15 miles before work, so I did 12 miles hard as my tempo workout.

Goals.  Complete a 22 miler.  Outcome: Success!

Now that I’m in the race preparation phase of my training, I’m going to try to keep my long runs in the 20 mile range and do steady, maintenance style tempo runs and intervals.

Workout Details

Long Run 22 miles easy [Log Details].

From my house in Arlington, I ran south to Alexandria.  I started the run listening to podcasts since they help me keep my pace easy.  An hour in, I had my first Crank Sport E-Gel.  I joined the Mount Vernon Trail by Slater’s Lane.  I thought about speeding up but thought maybe I should wait until I was an hour out from the finish.  Around the Washington Marina, I ran into a Ragnar friend.  We didn’t stop to talk – she was running with someone else – but it lifted my spirits a little seeing her.  Almost half way though, I stopped at the port-a-potties at Gravelly Point.  Normally, they aren’t so bad but on this occasion, they were pretty foul.  I continued along, listening to podcasts and trying to keep the pace easy.

Washington Monument - 03262017

Washington Monument – 03262017

About two miles down the road, I ran into a friend from my Sunday running group.  We chatted for a moment.   I felt so popular seeing two friends on this run!  I had my second gel as I climbed the Lee Highway hill on the Custis Trail.  I felt fine with my endurance but my mobility seemed off.  At the water fountain at the junction between the Custis and W&OD Trail, I switched to music hoping it would inspire me to run faster.  In the end, it wasn’t a particularly fast run for me, but I was happy with it.  At the end of the run, I thought I could run another 6 miles.  That has to be a good sign.

Overall pace=8:56.

Tempo Run. 15 miles w/10 miles @ marathon pace + 5% 12 miles hard [Log Details].

Garmin - 03292017

Garmin – 03292017

I got a late start on the morning and didn’t have time for 15 miles before work.  I thought I had enough time for 12 miles “hard”, though.  I got off to a good start.  My legs felt up for putting in a strong effort.  The route I ran took me through Rosslyn during rush hour and it was a little hard navigating pedestrians and cars.  Once I was on the Custis Trail, I could just focus on running.  The hills were hard and I thought the pace was too hard.  I told myself, “How fast you can go is just in your head.”  Not terribly eloquent but it did the trick.  Once I was on the downhill section of the W&O Trail, I was running under 7:30 pace!  I felt fantastic after this run.  I didn’t hit my mileage goal for the day but I did 12 miles at marathon pace!

Overall pace=7:55.

Interval Run. 10 miles w/12 x 400m @ 5K pace w/1 minute recoveries [Log Details].

At the start of this run, it was 45 degrees with 12-13 mph winds, which made it feel much colder.  I started the first repetition on the Mount Vernon Trail just south of Gravelly Point.  Since this area is a bit exposed, I felt the full force of the wind.  Several times, I thought about quitting but I kept reminding myself that there’s no reason why it couldn’t rain on race day.  I missed 5K pace but given the weather, it wasn’t a bad workout.  I had two very slow splits but they were under the 14th Street Bridge so I may have lost the GPS signal.

400m splits=1:44, 1:48, 1:51 (under the 14th Street Bridge), 1:45, 1:45, 1:44; 1:46, 1:46, 1:55 (under the 14th Street Bridge), 1:42, 1:42, 1:44. Mean=1:46 or ~7:04 pace.

Health

Injuries.  I hurt my trapezoid muscles doing bounding drills on Monday.  Because my hips were so stiff, I had to use my arms to power through the movements.  As a former triple jumper, who elegantly did bounding drills all the time, it was humbling.  My piriformis hurt on both sides during Wednesday’s medium hard run.  I skipped my chiropractor appointment because I failed to realize Fridays are now hard days so I need to move them to Tuesdays.

Weight.  My weight stayed within a pound all week.  I’m taking that as a sign that this is about where my body wants to be right now.

Sleep.  I slept okay this week.  I was able to fall sleep every night but towards the end of the week, woke up early.  The worst was Friday when I woke up at 3:30am.  Ugh!

Weather

Pretty good running weather this week.  Temperatures mostly in the mid-40s.  It drizzled a little on Monday.  The air was a little damp for the rest of the week but warmer.  On Friday morning, a rain storm rolled through and I ran in a steady downpour.

Washington Monument - 03282017

Washington Monument – 03282017

Racing Schedule

Future races.  I found a course video of the Eugene Marathon on the race website.  It’s going to be very helpful as I start thinking about my race day strategy and pacing.

Next race: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday, April 2nd. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

What type of training do you do in the weeks before your taper?

Posted in Eugene Marathon, Training | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Training Supplement – March 31, 2017

Training Supplement - 033117

I’m running two marathons in the next five weeks and thought it’s about time I got myself ready!  I’m fairly sure which shoes I want to wear and ordered some gels.  I’m working on my playlist but I’m not  finding a lot of up-tempo songs about Oregon.

Clothing & Gear

Shoes.  During a recent long run, I had pain on the top of my left foot wearing my Mizuno Wave Rider 20s.  I retired them and since I’m getting more comfortable with the lighter shoes.  So, what will I wear for the Eugene Marathon?  I’m pretty sure it’ll be the Saucony Ride 9 but I still have a few weeks to decide.  I like the Brooks Launch 4, but the heel rubs my ankle.

New iPod Shuffle - 03222017

New iPod Shuffle – 03222017

Music playersiPod Shuffle.  I run with a Shuffle since it’s small and I can clip it onto my waist band.  The one I had been using started acting up a couple of weeks ago and I finally decided to get a new one.  I was surprised by how much the price has come down on these devices.

Sports Bras.  Brooks Maia BraI bought a new bra, tooThe biggest downside of this one is that it isn’t racer back, which for me means I’m not going to wear it during the summer when all I wear are racer back tops.  But, it’s very comfortable for an underwire running bra.

(My Complete Clothes & Gear Page.)

 

Nutrition & Hydration

Gels.  Crank Sport e-Gel.  With the Boston and Eugene marathons around the corner, I bought more gels.  I ordered the variety pack thinking I might be tired of my favorite flavor – Juicy Watermelon – after two marathons.  I’m glad I ordered it when I did because I would have had to pay a lot more to guarantee delivery earlier than 10 days.

Pre-workout Nutrition.  Before last Sunday’s long run, I experimented with trying to eat more right before a long run.  I had coffee, a bagel, half a banana, and some apple juice before the run.  Although I had a pretty good run, I felt sluggish particularly in the beginning.

Routes

14th Street Icicles on MVT - 03162017

14th Street Icicles on the Mount Vernon Trail – 03162017

Hazards.  It snowed overnight March 13th.  It didn’t snow very much – maybe 3″ including sleet –  but it was so cold that the slush didn’t melt for quite a few days.

On the Mount Vernon Trail, there are drain pipes from the 14th Street Bridge that pour onto the road below.  It created some scary looking icicles after the snow storm.  It rained today and it was as if the drains were waterfalls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media & Motivation

Music. During my recovery run last Sunday, I listened to Liz Phair.  I added this song to my Eugene Marathon playlist, so I can recall how happy I felt during that run.

Polyester Bride,” by Liz Phair

I’m having trouble finding songs related to Oregon for the 2017 Eugene Marathon playlist.

(My “Songs of the Week” playlist on Spotify.)

Podcasts.  “Jeff Galloway – Go Slow to Go Fast,” from RunnersConnect.  For me, the most comforting part of this podcast was when he talked about doing the full marathon distance (or more) three weeks before a goal marathon.  I’ve worried about running the Boston Marathon so close to the Eugene Marathon, so this made me feel better about it.

Help From the Team,” The Runner’s World Show.  After the last update, I wondered how the editor was doing.  The advice about being neutral about how your training is going and thinking of negative thoughts as “mental training errors” was new to me.

News.  “Huddle Wins 3rd Straight NYC Half in Thriller,” Runner’s World.  This might be the first time I watched a running event that wasn’t a marathon through my computer.  Molly Huddle is so inspiring.  My friend ran the race (finishing pretty far behind Molly) and reported back that it was a great experience.  So…  I’m thinking of running it next year!

Runner Caught Using Bib Mule at 2016 New York City Marathon in Boston Marathon Qualifying Attempt,” by Marathon Investigation.  It’s interesting that runners have a specific name for this practice.  Is it an indication of how frequently this happens?  I took comfort that I moved up one spot in several categories in that race since she was disqualified.

Motivation.  “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last week, I fought hard to get close to marathon pace during a tempo run – in no small part because I ran on a hilly course.  I felt like a stronger, more confident runner after that effort.

What songs should I include in my Eugene Marathon playlist?

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2017 Eugene Marathon Training – Week 14

2017 Eugene - Week 14 Infographic

Nailed my interval workout on Tuesday and pushed hard to salvage my marathon pace workout on Thursday.  At the end of the week, I got two recovery days since I’m switching my long runs to Sundays to line up hard weekend-efforts with upcoming races.  Also, spring arrived!

Training Schedule
Week 14: March 19th – March 25th

Sunday: Recovery run. 8 miles + strides
Monday: Medium run.  12 miles w/6 miles @ MP+15 seconds
Tuesday: Interval Run.  7 miles.  Speed work with run club or 6 x 1 mile @ 10K pace
Wednesday: Recovery run. 4 miles + hill repeats
Thursday: Tempo Run. 15 miles w/10 miles @ marathon pace
Friday: Recovery run. 4 miles
Saturday: Recovery run. 6 miles

Mileage Total: ~56 Miles

Adaptations. I didn’t get in the planned mileage for Monday, but got close enough.  When I drew up my training plan back in December, my goal was to run 14 miles at goal marathon pace.  Somehow, I missed that and just did 10 miles.

Goal.  Hit goal marathon pace on Thursday’s workout.  Outcome: Fail!  I didn’t quite hit my pace but I fought hard for it, so it wasn’t disappointing at all.

Workout Details

Medium Run 12 miles w/6 miles @ MP+15 seconds 11 miles w/4 miles @ MP+15 seconds [Log Details].

This workout would be similar to those I ran during  Week 9 and Week 11.  I woke up late, though, and didn’t think I’d have time to run 12 miles before work.  But, since I was running an out-and-back on the W&OD Trail, I could turnaround anytime.  During the out, there was a maintenance truck on the Trail following me.  It passed me a couple of times, but then the driver would stop and I’d pass him back.  It was distracting trying to keep track of him, so I was glad when he finally turned off somewhere near the junction for the Custis Trail.  I turned around at Washington Street and quickened the pace for the MP+15 seconds segment.  I couldn’t help but notice the pace felt pretty hard.  I asked myself, “Could you maintain this for a marathon?”  And, I answered, “No.”  It worried me a bit because this pace was supposed to feel easier.

Marathon pace+15 seconds segment=8:10.  Overall pace=8:43.

Interval Run. Speed work with run club or 6 x 1 mile @ 10K pace [Log Details].

Most of the runners in the club I’ve been doing interval workouts with ran the Shamrock Marathon or Half Marathon this past weekend.  They weren’t doing a hard workout, so I decided to run the interval set I planned back in December.  I plugged in my time from the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon into the McMillan Calculator and set my Garmin for 7:05-7:25 with 5 minute recoveries.  I ran the workout on the Mount Vernon Trail between National Airport and the Memorial Bridge.  It felt remarkably comfortable despite the fact that I trained pretty hard last week.  I didn’t struggle at all to stay in the pace range I’d set.

Lincoln Memorial View - 03212017

Lincoln Memorial View – 03212017

Finishing the final repetition, I felt a little sick to my stomach but in a good way.  I ran hard and nailed this workout!

Splits=7:08, 7:19, 7:16, 7:17, 7:21, 7:06.  Average=7:15.

Tempo Run.  15 miles w/10 miles @ marathon pace [Log Details].

The McMillan Calculator estimates my marathon pace is 8:12 based on my time from the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon.  But, that was a tough race and thought I should be able to run faster than that on race day.  I set my Garmin for 8:00-8:15 pace for that segment.  I felt pretty tired during the warmup.  I started the MP segment and my Garmin showed 8:40ish pace at the beginning.  I thought, “This is going to be a disaster.”  I quickened the pace, though, and managed to get the pace down to 8:18 before I hit a rolling hills of the Custis Trail.  I was still tired but thought, “You’re not going to let anyone see you struggling.”  It helped.  Every time a runner or cyclist approached, I straightened my back and lengthened my stride.  My pace was up to 8:25 pace before I finally arrived at the downhill segment.  I kept pushing and telling myself that I could get down to 8:20.  And then, 8:15.  I wondered, “Could I really end these 10 miles faster than I started?”  With one mile to go, my Garmin finally told me I was within my pace range!  I was overjoyed!  When the run was over, I felt so proud of this effort.

Marathon pace segment=8:12 pace.  Overall pace=8:31.

Jefferson Memorial and Cherry Blossoms - 03242017

Jefferson Memorial and Cherry Blossoms – 03242017

 

Health

Injuries. My feet are pretty chewed up these days with callouses and rough skin.  I was a little too aggressive with the scraper on my right foot and had a sore foot pad for most of the week.  My piriformis hurt all week.  I went to my chiropractor on Friday morning.

Weight.  My weight was slightly up this week from last, but around where it has been.  I think I weighed a little less last week since it was after the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon.

Sleep.  I slept well this week.  In fact, I woke up and started my runs earlier than usual on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Weather

The week started with temperatures in the low to mid 40s.  By Wednesday, the winds picked up to 20+ mph with 30+ mph gusts!  On Thursday, the temperature dropped below freezing.  I packed away my winter clothes after that run.  It was sunny and 60 degrees this morning!

Racing Schedule

Future races.  Boston Marathon runners received their participant guide this week.  I noticed the bus loading at Boston Common is changing this year.

Next race: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday, April 2nd.  (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Do you prefer running long on Saturday or Sunday?

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2017 Eugene Marathon Training – Week 13

2017 Eugene - Week 13 Infographic

I couldn’t train how I wanted this week.  Between post-RnR DC Half Marathon recovery and snow, I didn’t run a lot of quality miles until later in the week.  It’s 50 days until Eugene!  Oh, and one month until Boston!!!

Training Schedule
Week 13: March 12th – March 18th

Sunday: Recovery run. 8 miles + strides
Monday: Medium run.  12 miles w/5 miles @ MP+5-10%
Tuesday: Interval run.  7 miles. Speed work with run club
Wednesday: Recovery run. 4 miles + hill repeats
Thursday: Tempo Run. 14 miles w/5 x 0.25 mile @ marathon pace – 5%, 1 mile @ marathon pace + 5%.
Friday: Recovery run. 6 miles
Saturday: Long Run.  20 miles w/14 miles @ marathon pace

Mileage Total: ~70 Miles

Adaptations. There was about 3″ of snow and ice on the ground Tuesday morning, so I ran on the treadmill.  On Wednesday, driving to the gym for 4 miles seemed silly and it was still below freezing during lunch, so I took an off day.  On Thursday, I thought the trail conditions would still be sketchy so I decided to just run “steady”.  I tinkered with today’s workout, but it was a similar intensity.

Goal.  I didn’t set any goals so…  Outcome: Fail!

Workout Details

Medium Run. 12 miles w/5 miles @ MP+5-10% Steady [Log Details].

It was a beautiful, crisp morning and felt pretty spry out the door despite having run the RnR DC Half Marathon two days before.  But, my pace was inconsistent through the first 3 or 4 miles through neighborhood streets.   I had a close call with a car that left me a little rattled.  I was happy when I reached the Custis Trail.  I made a mental note of the detour leading to the Mount Vernon Trail.  I hit the long uphill and expected a lot of soreness in my legs.  Instead, I ran faster than usual until the hook-up with the W&OD Trail.  I took a break at the water stop and then ran “easy” for the rest of the run.

Not an impressive run but not bad two days after a half marathon.

Overall pace=8:47.

Interval Run. 5 miles @ MP + 10 sec. and faster Treadmill Run.  1 hour and 30 minutes [Log Details].

It snowed overnight and there was a good 3″ of snow and ice on the ground.  I didn’t think it was safe to run outside since most businesses and homeowners wouldn’t have had a chance to clear the sidewalks.  I checked online and my gym was opening at 8am.  I scraped the snow and ice off my car and drove the 2 miles to do a treadmill run.  (All wheel drive is fantastic!)

I didn’t try to make this run a workout.  I ran “easy” at first and then increased the speed every so often.  To my surprise, I found my stride opening up a bit.  It felt great!  Unsure of how far I was running, I ran an hour and a half.

The run felt amazing!  I wondered if I should run on the treadmill more often.

Overall pace=8:39?

Capitol View w Tree - 03142017

Capitol View w Tree – 03142017

Tempo Run. 14 miles w/5 x 0.25 mile @ marathon pace – 5%, 1 mile @ marathon pace + 5% Medium run w/8 miles “steady” [Log Details].

I waited until the sun came out so I could see icy spots.

I was averaging about 8:05 pace on the Custis Trail, which was nicely plowed to asphalt.  At the Mount Vernon Trail, I turned onto the detour I saw on Monday.  It was a short, though – maybe just a quarter mile.  Unfortunately, the terrain on the Mount Vernon Trail was inconsistent and I couldn’t run as hard as I wanted.

MVT near Roosevelt – 03162017

 

My pace dropped to around 8:10 until I started my cool-down.  Still, I ran a pretty quick cool-down until I slipped on two patches of ice in about a minute interval and decided to slow down considerably.

I felt good about the run itself but thought it wasn’t quite hard enough.

Overall pace=8:40.

Long Run.  20 miles w/14 miles @ marathon pace 20 miles w/10 x 0.25 mile @ marathon pace – 5%, 1 mile @ marathon pace + 5%. [Log Details].

I had a nice warm-up through my neighborhood and started the alternations on the Four Mile Run Trail near Shirlington.  The first few sets flew by effortlessly.  Half way though the workout, having double-backed after heading south on the MVT towards the Washington Marina, I was filled with doubt.  “I’m tired,” I thought.  But, immediately, my mind answered with, “You can absolutely do this workout.”  On Hains Point, I waivered again and repeated the mantra focusing on the word, “Absolutely”.  I ploughed through the next 3 sets by telling myself I could do this workout.  I did stop during the 9th set to take a photograph.

 

Marina View from Hains Point - 03182017

Marina View from Hains Point – 03182017

 

I started the cool-down near the Humpback Bridge on the Mount Vernon Trail.  I was tired and wanted to stop.  I waited until after the George Washington Memorial Parkway crossing, to catch my breath.  I stopped a few more time on the mostly uphill journey home.

This was a hard core workout!  It was exhausting but confidence building.

Split paces=7:34/8:21 (set 1), 7:25/8:19 (set 2), 7:27/8:26 (set 3), 7:35/8:20 (set 4), 7:36/8:24 (set 5), 7:29/8:26 (set 6), 7:33/8:22 (set 7), 7:33/8:21 (set 8), 7:31/8:20 (set 9), 7:38/8:22 (set 10).  Mean=7:33/8:26.  Overall pace=8:39.

Health

Injuries.  The biggest disappointment of the week was the return of my piriformis pain.  It flared up during Mile 10 of the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon.  But, Tuesday’s treadmill run seemed to relax it.  I went to my chiropractor on Friday, as usual.  I started thinking I could stop the appointments soon but I banished that thought from my head this week.

Weight.  My weight dropped last week and remained around 125 pounds for most of the week.

Weather

It was a very cold week.  It snowed Monday night and there was about 3″ of icy snow on the ground Tuesday morning, so I ran indoors on the treadmill.  There wasn’t any melt the next day, so I took the day off.  By Thursday, the trails were passable but with impacted snow and slick spots.  Friday and Saturday were warmer and with better running surfaces.

Racing Schedule

Next race: 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on April 2nd. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

How do you deal with snow?

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