Marathon Monday: Miles to Boston Pt. 2
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11 Mondays Until Boston!
Another week of training in the books! This past week of training was good and consistent, but did take a weird turn with the long run, which I will explain at the end.
It was a week marked by 50 miles, stroller runs, tempos that felt like I was running faster than my Garmin told me, graham cracker snacking in the middle of the night, and a strange 16-miler that was fueled by kid’s fruit snacks- but hey at least it was organic!
The main take-away from training this week, is the reminder that I want to take this training block as seriously as possible, but this is also not my main priority. I am a mom first, running quite honestly comes after quite a lot of things. And this is exactly the way I want it to be, but it means training will simply look quite different for me.
I will always make the mileage for that week happen. If Lance says I have 50 miles, I will run 50 miles, but it is more of a squeezing in, rather than a true incorporating. For example, I will make arrangements to get that 10-mile tempo in and I will do my best to recover by drinking coconut water and devouring a protein bar quickly, but then the day will progress and we will run around at the park and check-out stacks of library books. There will not be an elaborate stretch routine or an ice bath or rolling right after the fact. When my garmin beeps and I hit my daily mileage, my mom hat goes right back on. My days revolve around Hudson, not my runs.
Weekly mileage looked like this:
- 7 miles with the jogger
- 5 miles solo
- 10 miles with 4 miles in the middle at goal race race solo
- 7 miles with the jogger
- 5 miles with the jogger
- 16 miles solo with 2 X 2 mile pick-ups on 8 miles back
As a whole, all the runs felt pretty good and I definitely am continuing to feel more fit. The race pace work is still not feeling as comfortable as I would like. On Wednesday, it literally felt like I was flying, but then my Garmin told me numbers that were not as exciting. Like I wrote about last week, the fast and thrilling miles are coming. I am just not quite there yet.
What I am Listening to
This past week did my similar soundtrack of running podcasts for the easy miles + Taylor Swift for race pace miles. Side-note: I am in the midst of watching the Taylor Swift documentary, Miss Americana and I am so intrigued and moved by it. But that is another story, let’s get back to my soundtrack on the road. Here are a few of the podcast episodes that really stuck out to me this week:
This is a really great and motivating episode for a longer run. It is about an hour and 30 minutes long. There was a lot that I really loved in this episode. I loved how she ran a 2:42 and got that OTQ. The part that really resonated with me was within the last 7-minutes. She talks about running with joy and the motivation to keep training and chasing goals when running is not your job. She talks about the girls she trained with and did park loops with in the mornings and all the people that made her goal happen. Listen to this whole episode, but especially listen to those last few minutes. I was heading back from my tempo and her words struck such a cord. I want to run with greater joy as I train for Boston and appreciate running’s place in my life right now, and not run out of obligation or guilt.
I listened to this episode on parts of my long run and again was very much motivated by Sarah’s story. I love a good running story, but I especially love it from the perspective of a mom with a full-time job and a lot going on. As I was climbing a dirt trail from Malaga, she said something that I loved and felt very deeply as well. She talked about how postpartum, running was not an option for her, it was a necessity. It wasn’t something that she should try to make happen, it was a non-negotiable. The thing that made her more herself.
I love her grit and determination to make things happen, even with less than ideal schedules and a big family. I could go on and on. Sarah’s discipline and overall enthusiasm for getting better, will be yet another story I will certainly carry with me into Boston.
I loved this particular interview with Neely because not only did it focus on her getting the OTQ at Houston, it focused on the struggles that come with postpartum running. I really appreciated Neely’s perspective of openly sharing how difficult it was even as a professional runner to get back into running after baby. This particular episode was so good and raw and very much mother runner focused, which I always love.
If you haven’t noticed, I really only listen to two different podcasts on my runs. It felt like a special treat when I was going out for my Friday run and saw this new monthly series that my two favorite running podcasts hosts will be doing together. I really enjoyed listening to this conversation. It was a perfect collision of two worlds and the perfect way to spend my Friday park loops.
How I am Fueling
This week I hit 50 and my body just wants to eat and eat and eat. I have had an insatiable hunger all week. I even woke up in the middle of the night feeling so hungry that I literally had to make myself a midnight snack.
- Continuing to hydrate with coconut water, which is my new obsession.
- Trying to avoid coffee in the afternoon, so I have been mixing it up with an occasional Health Ade Kombucha in the afternoon for a pick-me up + probiotics. Currently loving the Tropical Punch flavor.
- I love Maurten Gels for long runs, but I totally spaced and left my Maurten in the car this past Saturday, so I had to take Hudson’s organic fruit gummy pack at mile 10, which I would not recommend. At least I got some sugar to get me through the last 6 miles!
- Food wise, nothing new, but definitely have been trying to incorporate a bit more red meat as mileage in increasing. We did ground beef burgers one night + steak salad another.
When I am Running
Sticking with the normal routine. Trying to get out the door when I have my runs with Hudson as soon as possible. It has been really nice to get the run in before 10 am and then end with some time to play at the park. The quicker we get out the door and make it happen, the better.
Same as last week! This week, I was sore from Petra’s strength class, which makes me excited! I know this extra strength work will be the difference from a good and great result. It is not super exciting getting to the studio at 6 pm, especially as I am beginning to get more tired from the mileage, but I know this stuff is important. Also still very much enjoying restorative yoga Friday nights. This week, I did not fall asleep in class, so I am taking that as a good sign that my body is recovering quicker!
What I Keep Telling Myself
Run your pace, run your pace, run your pace.
It is easy to get caught up when a fast song comes on or you hear paces other people are running or that person passes you on the strand and you feel that urge to shift gears.
I take a lot of pride in knowing my body really well when it comes to running: I know my limits and I know the pace that makes sense. Right now in training, I am hyper-focused on that goal time of 2:48 and 6:24 pace. As I run workouts, I literally see these numbers in bright red lights. It is really motivating and pulling me through the miles.
I have never been number-goal oriented, but this goal time and the pace that goes with it is really keeping me focused. I know with almost certainty that there will be a great temptation to run way too fast at the start of Boston, so hoping this focus on my pace will keep me from blowing up.
High + Low
- Hitting 50 miles
- Knee has healed
- Hudson has been pretty good for our stroller runs
- Beautiful 16 mile long run
- Mid-week 10 miler with 4 miles at race pace. It felt good to get a 10-miler done during the week, even though the tempo part did not feel as easy as I would have liked.
- Post-long run. I will explain below.
The Long Run
When both you and your husband are training, long runs can be logistical challenges with kids. It is way too long for Hudson to be in the jogger, so we usually drop him off at my parents’ house. This past Saturday they were out of town, so we developed a plan.
Lance would leave early and run 8-10 miles solo and then meet me back at the park. I would give him Hudson and he would finish his run with the jogger, as I did my 16 mile route out and back.
The plan actually worked really well.
I started my run from Valley Park and ran 3 miles with Lance and Hudson. He flipped it and I continued to go out. We usually do our long runs in PV, but it was actually really fun to start in Hermosa and make it all the way out to the trail cliffs in Palos Verdes, since I had to go out 8 miles. It was also nice to get in some dirt. Not to mention, Saturday morning was absolutely gorgeous.
As I was heading back down, I stopped at mile 10, took those fruit gummy snacks and began a couple miles at goal race pace. Those two miles actually felt great and I was surprised that going back down to race pace felt pretty natural even at mile 10 (I literally hit exactly 6:24, which was encouraging).
Towards the end of that 2 mile segment, I was feeling fatigued, so I stopped and ran half a mile at normal long run pace. After this half mile of recovery, ran 2 more miles with the aim to be at race pace. I was slightly off, but it was a good two miles of staying mentally tough as my legs were really beginning to fatigue as it has been months since I have run this long and at that type of pace. This run really worked my legs, but it also was key in building a mental toughness, that I will absolutely carry with me to Boston.
Overall, great long run.
Then, it took a turn as within 5-minutes of coming home, Hudson tripped on a rug and his sippy cup split his head. With blood on my shirt, we rushed to the ER, only to wait hours before the stitches.
Normally, I would like to think I would handle this situation better, but a 16-mile workout does not set you up to be in the best state for waiting in an ER with your baby. I definitely did not fuel properly after this long run. I had grand plans of a big egg and bacon breakfast when I got home, but that quickly changed. So the long run started great, but then quickly went downhill and was fueled by stress and waiting and cookies. Hey, not every post-run will be ideal recovery. Things will be okay.
And Hudson now has 5 stitches and is totally fine and looks extra tough!
If you are still with me and curious, here is my long run in numbers:
2 hours and 4 minutes
8:07 first mile, 8:26 last mile
Fastest mile: 6:24 aka GOAL RACE PACE