50 Miler Training Week 15, 16, 17 – Boston Marathon Taper, Double Marathon & Rest Week

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Week 15, 16, 17 of my 50 miler training are a little funky.  To be fair, I don’t really have a plan.  There’s just time before the race and day of the race and then who knows what I’ll do with my life?  Maybe learn to swim? Get a puppy? Probably just keep running.

My emotions and thoughts from the last three weeks of running are faded and forgotten (for the most part) and are instantly replaced with more recent recaps of this week’s runs.  None the less, the mileage recap drumroll”

Week 15 – Boston Marathon Taper Crazies

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 10.43 Miles 1 hr 38 min
Ran over 7 road miles at about 7:30 pace, first mile was 8, so I guess the rest were sub 7:30. Bumped into some trail animal friends and of course couldn’t resist running the trails with them. Did a few hill repeats and about 2 miles of trails. I guess trail miles were around 11-12 pace?

Wednesday – 6.4
Ran outside along the Charles for about 50 minutes

Thursday – 6.3
47 minutes, 7:27 pace & legs felt bouncy

Friday – NONE because it’s taper week!

Saturday – 4 miles
4 outside on the flattest road I know to pace myself.  Finished in 30 minutes with goal pace of 7:30 and felt great!

Sunday – 2 mile 15 minutes
Treadmill miles at goal pace 7:30 minute miles

Week 15 Miles -29 Miles

Week 15 Feelings – Felt awesome, the shorter distance were totally going to my head and making me dream of PRs

Week 16 – Marathon to Marathon

Monday – Boston Marathon
I finished in 3:26 and I have a detailed report of an emotional race, but it’s hard to write that up without thinking about what happened afterwards.  And honestly? I’m still dealing with it.  It hard to walk by the trinity church area without bursting into tears or freaking out every time I hear a loud noise outside or the fire alarm goes of or if I see a plane fly by (I work on a high floor of one of the tallest buildings in Boston).  I’ll get to it, because the actually race went great and I was filled with so many loved ones along each mile and that’s what the Boston Marathon (my home race) is all about for me and will continue to be for me even if I hate waking up at 6AM for a race that starts at 10:20AM.

Tuesday – 5.15 46 minutes
Ran on a flat road for about 46 minutes, had hopes of doing 8 miles but the legs were SORE and had enough after 5 miles.

Wednesday – Rest
Rested, foam rolled, and hugged my loved ones

Thursday – 4 miles
Started at marathon goal pace but struggled and ended in 31 minutes.  7:45 pace and felt tired.  No dreams of PR were coming my way on Saturday

Friday – Travel Rest Day
I wish flying was considered a workout, but I checked all my luggage so I can’t even really count it as strength other than a workout of patience.

Saturday – 26.2 Miles 3:56:54
I have my full recap of the race posted but all I can say is that I have never felt more happier with a sub 4 hour race.

Sunday – 4 Mile Hike
Bryce Canyon from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point

Total Miles – 69 
Total Feelings – I’m pooped, really contemplating the whole 50 miler idea and whether I can do it.  Feelings switch second by second.

Week 17 – Vacation Getaway & Hiking up canyons

When I travel I almost never get to run because I try to see & eat everything I can, literally.  I’m also usually with family, Tony, or friends who don’t see 4 hours of running as a great away to enjoy a vacation.  So instead I relax and go with the flow.  This week’s flow happened to be hiking,  So Luckily, I got some miles in while resting up from my running overdose.

Monday – 8.2 Mile Hike – Fairyland Loop, Bryce Canyon – Blog post to come

Tuesday – 10.5 Miles of hike – Watchman Trail, Angel’s Landing & Emerald Pools all at Zion National Park – Blog post to come eventually!

Wednesday – 10 Miles – Observation Point, Hidden Canyon, Weeping Rocky, backtracking on Observation point to find tony – AH-mazing photos and post to come

Thursday – 8 Miles – Mileage might be off by it was hiking in waist deep water.  Yes recap to follow.

Friday – 5 Miles Walk along Grand Canyon – It was hot, it was cold, leisure pace for many views.

Saturday – 3 Mile Walk – I don’t usually count walking but I think walking along the Vegas strip at night should be counted as a workout even if I was drinking a yardstick margarita .

Sunday – 5 Mile RUN! – I was happy to run again but sad that the gym was 80 degrees and I almost threw up!  Not a great way to return back to running.

Total Mileage – 49 Miles, Yes I’m counting walking since I only had 5 miles of running

Total Feelings – I miss running! I love hiking, maybe 50 miler is a great idea!

50 Miler Training Week 13 – Last Long Runs Til Boston

Yes, I know, you desperately miss week 11 and week 12 recaps.  They’re in draft form and at some point will be posted.  Life has been punching me in the face lately as my career that pays the race fees and cost of compression socks takes priority over my second love (first love knows who they are) of running and blogging about running. However, although busy I’ve still been doing many fabulous things during week 11 and 12 such as this and that of which completely transformed my runs this week.

While my ultimate goal in this year’s training cycle is the TARC 50 miler in June, I’ve had mini goals in between.  For example, the swim that was Hyannis marathon and now the up coming infamous Boston Marathon   The past week was my last round of high mileage before I start lowering the intensity for the next two weeks in anticipation of doing something glorious on Marathon Monday.

Monday – Delicious Rest

Tuesday – 15 miles (7 miles in the morning & 8 in the evening)
On Tuesday I still felt sore from my 6 hours run, but surprisingly one day off was enough to bounce me back into my normal training.  My morning jug was 7 miles alternating between 7.3 & 7.5 MPH for an average pace of 8:15 on incline 2.  In the evening I desperately wanted to run outside but the weather started to get windy and cloudy so I ran on my homemill.  I expected to be dead but pounded out 8 miles at 7:52 pace while watching Hart of Dixie which by the way is a cute show! Love Rachel Bilson.

Wednesday – 6.2 miles
My usual 6.2 miles on evil workmill at incline 3 felt almost meditative   Okay just kidding, I don’t think running will ever feel meditative; however, I did feel transformed.  Usually after 15 miles on Tuesdays, my Wednesday runs feel drained & forced but instead I felt energetic and would have kept going had it not been for the shortage of time. 53 minutes 8:34 pace.

Thursday – 5 miles
Speedwork, speedwork.  Running mile repeats, or in my case 1/3 mile repeats is painful.  It hurts and I want to puke up a lung or maybe both.  However, I also want to get faster so for the second week in a row, Thursday AM run was busting out some speed repeats.  Every time I wanted to quit and settle into a more comfortable pace, a song like Eye of the Tiger would pop on my Pandora and remind me just what I needed to do.  5 miles in 37 minutes 7:28 pace and all before work.  I had intentions of running after work but that didn’t happen =/.

Friday – 9 miles
I didn’t intend Friday to be anything but an easy few miles for the day in prep of my double long run weekend.  However, I’ve been having a rough week and the sleep deprivation (from mix reasons) was getting to me and so I took all the frustration and exhaustion and misplaced anger and completely took it all out into the run.  I ran my usual path with a mile or 2 added on at the fast speed I’ve ever been able to outside that wasn’t during a race.  My average pace was 7:29 for all of the 9 miles for a total of 67 minutes.  It even started raining on me mid-run  for a short bit, and while I may have felt a little cold, I kept running and by the end of it, I felt more normal, stable, sane and happy self again.  I also am starting to feel that if I could stomach a little more speed-work  I can get a better PR faster than just staying in my comfort zone.

Saturday – 11 miles
Trails and roads, trails and roads, the constant battle in my mind of taking on a challenge or taking it easy and putting myself on autopilot.  I get the roads, the worse thing they can do is get steep; trails however, can hurt you and hurt you in a mix number of ways!  One of which I always picture is cracking my pretty face on a jagged rock!  None the less, part of what I love about trails is the challenge   It allows me to take my running to a new challenging level without increasing my level of risk for injury like I would with the road.  Anyways, I ran about 7.7 miles on a trail with Tony that took 1hr 45 minutes where I’m pretty sure I turtle could have outran us.   Afterwards he came home and I went and got in a few road miles 3.3 to built my confidence back up.  I couldn’t fully build it up but I got 3.3 miles does at about 8:35 pace which is better than the 13 minutes + that was happening on an easy trail.  And when I got home, Tony had this little present ready for me:

mozeralla sandwich

Sunday – 20 miles

Last Long Run

I wanted to head out early but instead the comfort of my bed kept me in and I avoided running until 10:30.  I felt ashamed and guilty but I know rest is the best medicine.  This also made me cancel plans with friends but I wanted to take my last long run seriously   I debated which path to run in.  I can take the flat easy way but there’s potential for interruptions with stop lights or I can pick a more hilly area with a nice mix of gradual rolling hills.  The hills aren’t super steep but more gradual half milers that keep me on my toes.

In the end I went with the hilly area with no stop lights.  I had trouble for the first miles as my pace stuck around 8:45 but by mile 3 or 4 I was down into the 8:15 and then down to 8:10. I expected that when I reached a gradual hill for my pace to slow down but I was able to sustain the 8:10 with a mild effort. Things were looking good.  There was one challenge and that was that weather was in the 50s, sunny, and I was running without water.  Had I bought my handheld, I think I could have dipped into a faster pace with a harder effort, but I hate carrying things so I only have a small amount of regret.  I stopped running as soon as I reached 20 miles because at that point all I could think about was hydration!  Luckily I had an ice cold Nuun Lemon Tea waiting for me!  I thought about going back on the road but this little fellow distracted me!

Jacked Up Marathon

Yup, Jack is ready for the marathon too!

Total Miles – 66.2 Miles

Total Feelings – AWESOME! Aside from the struggle on the trail Saturday, the rest of my runs were spot on!  I’m exciting for Boston and now all I got to do is behave as I taper and pray to the weather gods.

50 Miler Training Week 10 – Just another brick in the wall

I started the week looking forward to another race.  No matter the distance, time or date, races always give me butterflies in my stomach.  The weather for Sunday looked perfect, high 40s and sunny.  I wasn’t tapering but was looking forward to a fast MP race.

And then on Friday afternoon, I got an email saying that the race was canceled!  Yup, two days in advance thanks to the city of Quincy wanting an excuse to cancel.  The race organizers are desperately trying to reschedule but I feel like the city will find any reason to cancel.

Why did the race get canceled?  Well Thursday/Friday we got another snow storm!  I heard about 15 inches got once again dumped until Boston.  However, with very mild temps through Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday, but Sunday morning the snow was melted.  It was frustrated to wake up and see the perfect shining sun with no race, although with daylight savings time, I was more than a little happy to stay in bed a little longer.

Monday – Rest
My favorite day of the week! It was a tough tough day

Tuesday – 10.5 Miles
Started the morning fast with 4 miles around 30 minutes, 7:39 pace.  Ended the day with 6.5 miles on Incline 3, 56 minutes

Wednesday – 10 Miles
Ran 6.5 miles at incline 2 during lunch, 53 minutes.  I ran 3.5 after work while I waited to meet up with friends so some adult beverages.  It’s why I always have an extra pair of gym clothes 😉 However, I was starting to feel tired, and ran some “recovery miles” around incline 1 and 9 minute pace.

Thursday – 6.5 Miles
Thursday was when I really started to feel the slump.  The same 6.5 miles on incline 2 that felt easy yesterday took me 3 extra minutes or about 25 extra seconds per mile.  I kept running because I knew Friday was going to be a no run day.

Friday – Rest
I had to make an emergency visit to NY so no running.  Plus this is what the streets looked like:

NY Snow

Saturday – 21.2 Miles
I packed my Garmin, I packed my charger and completely forgot until I wanted to run.  Needless to say my Garmin was deader than dead.  Not even a low battery warning would keep it alive.  Luckily, my cell phone was charged I used RunKeeper. While I didn’t know my current pace, I had audio couch on to remind me, mock me every half mile.  I had it set for 8:15 pace, but even with a flat path ahead of me, I could barely keep below 8:40 pace from the beginning.  I guess family emergency, plus sleeping on a couch does that makes you weary.

My goal was to run 3 hours and I ran 3:30:27, or about 8:39 MPH.

brooklyn running path

Although my legs felt dead, the path and weather was just too good to pass-up a long run. I ran about 11 of my miles on this flat, laid out bike path that goes through Brooklyn. As you can see, all of the snow that was dumped less than 24 hours ago was fully melted with a beautiful sunny day.  I think the high hit 50s and I got thirsty half way through the run.  It was already 11AM but the streets still seemed sleeping.  I stopped by my parents house for some water and then ran more along the water front, where I usually run when I visit my parents.  I hit a few 8:10 paced miles at mile 9, 10, 11, 12 but I just couldn’t keep it.  There was an 8  minute mile around mile 19, no idea how.  Clearly, it was in me but mentally I just wasn’t there for this run.

Sunday – 17 Miles
We sprung an hour ahead and I felt my day was lost.  With no race to wake up for, I enjoyed the comfort of my bed that I missed for 2 nights.  After my 21.2 mile run on Saturday, I spent 5 hour on a bus from NY back to Boston.  The last thing you should ever do after a long run is spent 5 hours sitting in a cramped up space.  My legs felt awful when I woke up Sunday.  Although I ran a relatively comfortably long run, my legs were stiff as if I ran 8 minute mile race yesterday.

Anyways, stiff and lazy, I finally headed out the door around 5:30 pm (hey, in theory its old time 4:30 and a lazy Sunday).  I ran around 45 minutes before it got dark in about 43 minutes.  I then went on my treadmill and hoofed away 9 miles at about 8:15 min pace.  Afterwards, my legs didn’t want to run anymore but I wanted to end my weekly mileage on a 5 (I’m OCD, I like 50, 55, 60, 65). A friend mentioned that he trains for 100 milers with lots of inclined walks.  So I ramped up my treadmill to incline 10 and power hiked. I jumped around between 6-10 and sweated more in those 3 miles than I did in the other 12.   Total mileage 17!  Not sure for total time, but I think around 2 hrs 30 minutes.  I learned my treadmill resets after 100 minutes so I lost track of time.

Total Mileage – 65.2- I love ending on a .2 now.

Total Feelings – I felt exhausted Thursday-Saturday but somehow I ran through it and felt great Sunday.  I do miss the trails a bit and hoping some snow will leave me a dry trail to run on this weekend.

Jack Licking Good

Don’t you ever wish you had the life of a cat?

50 Miler Training Week 9 – Recovery Week

As week 9 started, I debated my approach.  I’m all about injury prevention and being miserable.  I’m also all I’m about goals and fulfilling them.  I must confess I was pretty sore.  Hyannis took a lot more out of me than I thought it would.  However, I knew I wanted to keep my streak of 50 miles for that week but  I wasn’t sure how and which day.  My plan was to go for slow, easy recovery miles.

Monday – Recovery
In regular ultra training tradition took Monday as a rest day.  The fact that I was barely walking down the stairs had nothing to do with it.

Tuesday – 5 Miles
41 minute, 5 mile run on probably incline 2 or less.  Things were shaky and I stopped at 5 miles.

Wednesday – 6.5 Miles
56 minutes, 6.5 miles, 8:33 Pace, a little slow for incline 2 but I was beginning to catch up on strength.

Thursday – 5 Miles
The 6.5 miles on Wednesday made me tired so I took it easy, 42 minutes and only 5 miles

Friday – 6.5 Miles
54 minutes for 6.5 miles and I was starting to feel back to normal!  No soreness left!

Saturday – 15 Miles
I originally wanted to do 26 miles.  The weather would have been perfect but I stayed up too late Friday and slept in too long Saturday and such was life.  On the bright side, this was the weekend of running with friends and Saturday started with me and my roommate running about 3 miles (11 min pace) around a pond in my house (once I got some energy).  Afterwards I stopped by home and continued on my way.  The weather was cloudy and my motivation was turning gray just like the sky.  Luckily, I’m an OCD type of girl where I usually do an in and out type of run so when I get tired, my only option of getting home is to run back.  Total running time was 2 hr 17 minutes and average pace in total was 9:07.  Not bad for a girl who barely wanted to leave her house.  P.S. running after eating Cuban food, not the best idea.

Sunday – 20 Miles 
Sunday was what I would call a perfect day.. it started with Dim Sum and ended with lots of miles and lots of friends.  Ran 5 miles with a group around 11 min pace.  I love seeing my friends get excited about running, especially around the part where you get to grow your distance.  After a short pee break (drinking 20 cups of tea does that.) I continued the run with one of the friends and we ran 8.4 miles in 1:08 for 8:05 pace which includes some stop lights.  After my slow 9 minute miles yesterday, I didn’t think I had it in me to run fast.  In fact, during training, I running relatively slow compared to my race times.  I guess I just don’t get competitive with myself.  In fact in the first 3 miles I was struggling to get to an 8:30 pace, so i was shocked that around mile 6, garmin said 8:02.   What shocked me more was that afterwards, I didn’t feel dead.  Running with friends is energizing!  I had a small goal of running 15 miles so I finished 1.6 miles on the treadmill.  As I thought about going for a shower, I felt so great that I decided this weekend deserves a 20-Miler!  Hoped and slowly 8:30-9:15 pace, ran 5 more miles on the treadmill at incline 1.

Total Miles – 58

Total Feelings – I ran 8 more miles than my goal, recovered and felt great!  Hoping to raise some mileage this week.

50 Miler Training Week 8 – Taper Week

My recaps are coming later and later in the week; and although my memories are fading  I think getting them down in a weekly format will eventually help me next year if I ever try again.  I say this is my one and only 50 miler, but who knows.  I thought the same of my marathon last year.  If I actually end finishing my 50 miler successfully, I hope it leads as an example for anyone that’s worried about running that long of a race.  I have mileage goals, but I’ve also had set backs and 20 mile weeks.

Last week was my taper week for the Hyannis Marathon; however, with my long term goal, I try to hit 50 miles a week.  Therefore, I had to work hard to hit 25 miles and still take Saturday off before my marathon Sunday.

Monday – 6.4 Miles + 90 Minutes Bikram
Was a holiday so I celebrated President’s day with a Bikram session at Burlington Bikram. I wasn’t going to run but I felt restless due to skipping my long run over the weekend due to snow.  Since I kind of wasted time until the evening, I decided a good speed session was in order!  6.4 miles in 49 minutes  on the vanity (home) mill at incline 3 for a 7:49 pace.  All signs were pointing to a great race on Saturday.

Tuesday – REST
I took Tuesday off, I think I had a lot of errands to run, or maybe I was lazy.

Wednesday – 4 miles (AM) + 7 miles (PM) = 11 Miles
11 miles was probably a lot of miles for a taper week day, but I kept my 4 miles at an 8 minutes pace and my 7 miles on work treadmill at incline 2.  I never wrote down my pace in my log so I assume it was something slow and I didn’t bother to track it.

Thursday – 4 Miles
Work treadmill, Incline 3 in 34 miles 8:26 pace.Wanted to run longer, but kept myself short.

Friday – 3.1 Miles
This run was on incline 2 in 26 minutes. Things were questionable about whether the marathon was happening due to weather and I debated ending my taper. I decided to still focus on getting 25 miles before Sunday and let the odds be in my favor.

Saturday – Bikram 90 minutes
I debated running a mile to get to 25 miles before the race,but decided I wanted my legs fully rested for Sunday.  Instead took a bikram class with Tony and focused on stretching.  I might have skimped on a lot of the balance poses but I still felt great afterwards.

Sunday – 26.2 Miles Hyannis Marathon
My recap is up, but if you want the summary, it was 3:34:25, average 8:11 pace.  I had a strong half with 13.1 miles at 7:11 pace and a rough final 10K where I was almost crawling while shaking. I have a lot of bruises everywhere including the folds of my neck from the rain and wind!

Total Miles – 50.6 Miles

Total Feeling – I would like to avoid running anything longer than a half marathon in the rain again!  The scabs, and destruction of my running shoes aint worth it!  Otherwise, I felt even with 24 miles before race day, because I kept them short and at an easy pace, I felt pretty strong by Sunday.