Marathon Reflection Monday: 76 Days Until Boston

Well, hello!

Welcome to Week 2 of Marathon Training #2.

Why yes, I am typing this as I am sitting with ice packs attached to my calves.

“It’s all coming back to me nowwwwww.” – Celine  Dion.

But seriously, I went from half marathon training ish to covering 37.25 miles since last Monday. Overall though, marathon training is much less scary the second time around.  The self-doubt is gone.  I know I can run 14.5 miles and not die because I’ve done it many many times.  And against my will, I am really starting to believe that “ONLY 10 more miles” is a true statement. Although I did have my first marathon nightmare already, which I think is a few weeks earlier than last time.

I took yesterday’s long run really slow.  After racing a half PR last weekend and jumping up to 16 miles next weekend (NOT a mileage progression I would necessarily recommend, by the way), I purposefully ran at a very comfortable pace 1) because you’re supposed to, and 2) because I don’t want to injure myself.  Aaron, who is still hurtin’ for certain joined me for the first 8 miles and then we branched off as I finished off to hit 14.5.

I averaged 9:23 per mile and ran with a fuel belt (I’ve decided to use one for long runs to add a few pounds/make running without one feel easier…hopefully). I had several sub 9 miles and only one above 10, so overall I’m satisfied with my first long run of this training cycle.

Thanks to Sam and Hyedi, I’ve been reading a book called Advanced Marathoning.  This book really delves into the science of endurance running (i.e. there are lots of big words).  I already know lots of the content that’s covered thanks to Aaron’s ridiculous amount of knowledge, but I am picking up some little tidbits.  For example, tempo runs are the most useful workouts for improving lactic threshold.  The speed part should be 20 minutes or more, and the pace shouldn’t be too fast (about 15 seconds slower than 10-K pace).  I do a lot of tempo runs (mostly because they are my favorite type of speed work) but sometimes I run at 5-K pace or faster, which apparently isn’t as helpful in building endurance.  Great read if you’re interested in learning what goes on in your body while you’re running.

Also, special shout-out to Colby who pointed me in the direction of Trader Joe’s Chunky Cookie Butter! Pretty amazing stuff.  Aaron used it to make me a post long run recovery protein shake, and it was quite possibly the best tasting post run thing I’ve ever had.


Workout Recap:

This week was a little bit different than most will be.  For example, I used Monday as my rest day.  Also, Aaron’s gym is sponsoring one of those New Year’s weight loss/get fit challenges and we signed up.  I’m hoping this will help me make healthier choices this time around (read: not eating the equivalent of a cow after every long run).  On Friday night, the gym sponsored a group workout for all the participants that included 20 minutes each of Body Pump, treadmill intervals, weights, abs, and spin.  I took it as easy as I possibly could, but I entered into Saturday’s pace run (and subsequently Sunday’s long run) on tired legs.

Monday: 2 mile walk (day after half marathon)

Tuesday: Interval/Farklek/Hill Repeats thing: We ran 3:30 intervals, mostly uphill, in a neighborhood.  This was a fun workout that combined three different types of speed work into one.

Wednesday: Easy Threesy

Thursday: Tempo (20 minute)

Friday: “Crunch time” workout with Body Pump, Treadmill (2 miles), weights, abs, and spin

Saturday: 7 miles at marathon pace

Sunday: 14.55 mile long run


Marathon Training Goals:


I developed a little form for myself to keep track of my marathon goal progress.  I didn’t quite make it this week (big surprise…couldn’t manage to cross “eating clean” off the list), but having the ability to “x” off an accomplishment makes hitting goals more fun….for me anyways! I’m also positive that we wouldn’t have done the yoga video last night if it wasn’t written in the plan, so I think this system will benefit my marathon in the long run (hehe..long run).

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday!

28 thoughts on “Marathon Reflection Monday: 76 Days Until Boston

  1. I agree with Ali above — the checklist is a great idea! Definitely great for accountability and keeping track of stuff.
    I also got a good laugh out of “half-marathon-ish training” — I’ve been noticing that myself. I’m taking half-marathon training WAY easier/less-intense/less anal than marathon training. Even compared with last year’s Oakland half training… it’s like, just because I’ve run a marathon, a half will be so much easier. That might be true, but I still have to work at it!

    • I did the same thing with half training…but when you go from 20 mile long runs to 6 mile long runs, it is kind of hard to take things seriously.

  2. I just hear so much about trader joe’s – we don’t have one up here!
    I’m trying to train my brain and get to the point where I can say “it’s ONLY 1X more miles” etc. How does that happen!
    When I hit about 13 miles, I keep thinking – I have to run all that over again!!

    • We do about 98% of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, so I can’t even imagine! And I think it has literally just taken multiple long runs to change my perception on 10 miles. I’m not happy about it, but I do find myself saying it more and more!

    • I hate being inspiring. TOO MUCH PRESSURE! 🙂 But really, thanks. And I agree, I feel crazy right about now, but then I see people training for 2 goal marathons simultaneously, and I realize I’m not quite at that level of insanity yet.

  3. I like your checklist idea- I often have a “checklist” in my mind… but then I forget it by the end of the week. I need some accountability, so I am going to make one and leave it on my nightstand as a reminder.

    • I was doing the mental checklist thing too…quite unsuccessfully! Professionally, I make them for each project I do, so it makes sense to move that over to running! So far, so good! Glad you found that idea useful!

  4. I definitely need to do more tempo runs!
    I just bought a Hal Higdon book at the used book store and I can’t wait to dive in before October’s marathon. And for that cookie butter…OMG! I saw it at TJs and almost bought it but I knew I would devour the entire joy by myself (like I did the original). he he!

  5. Glad you’re finding some useful information in that book. I feel like I’ve accidentally turned my husband into some kind of monster by buying it for him. Now every sentence starts with…”well, according to the book…” 🙂

  6. Man, I haven’t read Advanced Marathoning in years. I might have to flip through that sucker again!! Sounds like you are finding what is working well for you and that is just awesome!!!

    • It does make for an interesting read! And I do a lot of what they suggest anyway, but it is fun to know why. And yeah, I think I’m finally getting the hang of the whole training thing…kind of!

    • I take a pretty organized approach to almost everything else in life, so it only makes sense to apply that to my training! Yay, Type A! And I was hoping I’d be less neurotic about running a marathon this time around, but I guess not! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Thank you so much for the shout out Amy! Can you freaking stand how good that is?!?! AND IN A PROTEIN RECOVERY SHAKE?!?! Pure. Bliss. (I’m drooling.) I hope you enjoy the Cookie Butter as much as I enjoy your blog. Love reading about your training-and awesome job with your long run! I think we are running parallel lives! 🙂

    • We actually shared the cookie butter with our friends, and they didn’t really like it. I don’t think we’ve ever been more disappointed in people. How is that even possible? Thanks for liking my blog!

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