Boston Marathon Training Weeks #1 and 2

Considering I averaged approximately one post every four months last year, it’s a little ambitious to think that I’ll be able to keep up with these posts for the next 16 weeks. However, it’s worth trying, and personally I enjoy reading training recaps on other blogs, so might as well put some of it out there myself. I’m thinking doing 2 weeks at a time will be more manageable than individually, so that’s where I’ll start.

So…I’m running Boston! Again! If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember that Boston wasn’t exactly my best race. I had a lot of fun and it was an incredible experience, but generally it just wasn’t my day. Several factors went into the outcome, and I certainly don’t admonish my decision to run the race whatsoever. Regardless, I’m thrilled to have another shot at running this infamous course. The factors working against me last time could not be more different this time around, and I’m really excited at the prospect of what this training cycle could bring. I’m doing 16 full weeks of training, and I intend to truly put my all into them; I’m on a mission to make some magic happen on April 18.

2014 Boston Marathon. We were 3 blocks from our lodging and had to take a cab home. Ow.

2014 Boston Marathon. We were 3 blocks from our lodging and had to take a cab home. Ow.

I have perhaps the best base I’ve ever had going into a training cycle, and I’m intent on both refining and capitalizing on all the benefits I’ve been afforded coming off of my first 50k race in December. I rested well, I recovered hard (read: slept and ate a LOT), and I psyched myself up to turn up my training mojo. Training for a 50k was heaven; weekends required long, slow, relaxing jaunts up and around the Colorado mountains. It certainly wasn’t easy, but there was a vacation-like feel to it. Going to the track to run mile repeats in the pitch black in 20 degree weather lacks that same dreamy-running factor. Nevertheless, I’m prepared to take on the hard stuff, and I’m operating under the training mentality that if something scares me and sounds hard, I should probably be doing it.

Moving on, the first week of training was mostly in warm(ish) Southern California – which granted me both a weather edge and a sea level edge. It was a nice way to start things off. This past week (week #2) was a bit more back-to-reality and resembled the truth of training for a marathon in the dead of winter.

By the way, I’ve been regularly using Strava, so the details of all these miles is spelled out here.

Week #1

Monday: easy 8 miles – loops around Wash Park

Tuesday: 10 miles on Green Mountain with Julia – an absolute favorite and a great start to a weekday

Wednesday: easy 6 miles – first day in California, a welcome change from the frigid cold

Thursday: 8 miles with some faster splits – 7:37 avg. pace. I liked this because I started the run at exactly 7:37 am, too.

Friday: Rest! Happy New Year!

Saturday: easy 5 miles with Adam

Sunday: long run – 13 miles.

I split up my long run to end with some hill repeats. The downhill (and uphill too I suppose) killed me at Boston last time around, so I’m determined to mitigate that happening again with very specific hill training. For this long run, I started with 9 miles that were pretty flat – averaging 7:48s (again…sea level). Then, I headed for the big hill by my grandparents’ house and completed three up and down repeats for a total of 4 miles and nearly 800 feet of gain. Nothing extraordinary, but it served its purpose.

Total: 50.5 miles

Week #2

Monday: easy 7 miles

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: November Project workout + run to/from (7.5 miles) – hard workout! 100 leg throws, 100 push-ups, stairs, dips, squats, so sore…

Thursday: easy 7 miles – icy Wash Park loops. I really, really dislike running on/around the ice…

Friday: easy 8 miles

We woke up to a full-on snow day. I was reluctant to run (obviously), but it ended up being pretty decent. Also running on fresh snow >>> patches of ice

Saturday: long run – 14 miles on North Table Mountain in Golden!

happiness is a run in the sun with friends

happiness is a run in the sun with friends

This run was the best. Julia invited a few of us out to show us her and Dan’s stomping grounds on a 14 miler around North Table Mountain. It had it all: rolling single track, a steep climb, a fun descent, and a fresh mountain lion kill (we think it was a deer?). Okay, the last part wasn’t the best, but overall it was a wonderful run and I felt great. I cannot wait to do this run in the summer (and a bunch before then).

Sunday: 9 miles in the afternoon

I woke up really not feeling well Sunday morning, just kinda cloudy and tired. Adam and I went to a long brunch, we did some chores, watched some playoff football, and around 2 PM I knew there was a very small window of time for me to get off my butt and run or it wasn’t going to happen. I was feeling more energized and generally frustrated by football, so I headed out and it was surprisingly great. I started off a little quick and just kind of went with it, finishing with a 7:40/mile average without a ton of effort. It was really encouraging, but mostly it made me consider that I might need to run in the afternoon more often. I’m thinking having a full meal, which was then fully digested, was really helpful and it’s something to consider going forward.

Total: 52 miles

So that’s that, two weeks down! I’m really excited about this training cycle. I’m allowing myself to set big goals and imagine a lot of possibilities. I’m ready to buckle down and prepare to do the things that have always been scary to me in the past. At the same time, though, I’m going to integrate some of the invaluable lessons I’ve learned over the past year, primarily in the case of staying on the trails. I plan on running plenty of runs on trails and maintaining a looseness to my schedule, scheduling out only one week at a time. This works great for me and allows me to pay attention to how I’m feeling and not get overwhelmed with completing a 16-week-long checklist of runs.

I have no snappy way of ending this post. See you in 1.5 weeks!




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