Hartford Marathon Training: Week Seven

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Week Seven: Week of 8/14

I was fighting some negative thoughts this week about marathon training. I think anyone feels that way at the beginning of a training cycle, and particularly for longer races. It’s intimidating. You start to think and compare your current fitness to where you’ll need to be to reach your goal. How can I possibly run 26.2 miles at a faster pace if I can barely run 4 miles today?

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Week Seven:

M 10 miles easy

T 2 miles warm up, intervals at marathon race pace (6:30), 2 miles cool down (14 miles) 

W 10 miles easy

T 14 miles 

F 8 miles easy

Sat 18 mile long run with surges at half marathon race pace (6:00/mile) 

Sun REST

(74.1 miles)

How do you work through doubts and day-to-day negative thoughts? Sometimes I just have a bad day, so I try to remember that and not make it into a big catastrophe. Blogging, keeping a detailed training diary, writing in a journal, any of those things help me keep track of patterns. I know that it’s normal to have a bad week sometimes, but that I need a recovery week with less miles and lowered intensity. And if it becomes a few bad weeks in a row, then I know there’s a bigger problem. But a bad day here and there is nothing to freak out about.

Hartford Marathon Training: Week Six

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Week Six: Week of 8/7

(Previous weeks are here: Week 5, Week 4, Week 3, Week 2, Week 1)

I felt tired at the beginning of the week. Pete was out of town the previous weekend so I was solo with the girls and it caught up with me Monday. But I’m starting to understand this parenting thing and how it works, so I knew I just needed to spend the day giving my body some rest.

On another note, when did everyone start becoming so serious about this whole running thing? You guys, running is supposed to be fun. Some of my best times are when I’m just chatting with friends on a long run, laughing about stupid stuff. When I coached high school, my favorite memories are from the days when we had inclement weather and got creative playing games and coming up with workouts we would do indoors. We don’t have to be inspiring people all the time. Life is ridiculous. Look around you and laugh at things.

 beach scared running timid GIF

Week Six:

M 8 miles easy on the treadmill (7:35/mile)

T Fartlek (7.5 miles at 7:02/mile) 2 miles warm up, 1.5 cool down (11 miles) + Pilates mat class

W 10 miles easy (8:08/mile)

Th 4 mile warm up, 10 x 20 second strides, 4 mile cool down (9 miles)

F 8 miles easy (7:41/mile)

Sat 16 miles with Allie (7:15/mile)

Sun REST

(62.7 miles)


What’s something ridiculous that’s happened to you recently? 
I left my kids downstairs while I was cooking dinner and discovered this masterpiece on my nearly brand new NordicTrack. Luckily it was just chalk, so it cleaned up fine. I didn’t have the energy to be mad, but even if I did I think I would have just laughed anyway. At least they were being creative, right?

Treadmill Fail

Hartford Marathon Training: Week Five

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Week Five: Week of 7/31

I got the most well-timed and amazing email this week. You may know that I’m a podcast junkie, and I was listening to an episode of one that I don’t usually listen to. At the end of the episode, there was a prompt to enter the contest so I did. I’ve probably entered at least 100 contests on social media and have never won a damn thing. But I figured, what the hell?

You guys, I won.

Unfortunately I can’t give all the specifics yet, but once it’s announced I think you’ll realize why this was such a big deal to me. At the beginning of the week, before I got email, I was seriously doubting my ability to train for a marathon. But I realized that this was absolutely a sign. It really helped me re-focus and cut out distractions.

And now… something that made me laugh way too much:

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Week Five:

M 4 easy treadmill miles, (~34 minutes)

T 4 miles easy (ran most of this outside, last 11 mins on treadmill (~32 mins) + Pilates 

W 10 miles treadmill (7:42/mile)

Th 2 warm up, 5 mile fartlek workout, 3 cool down 10 miles (7:13 avg)

F 6.1 miles easy (7:54/mile)

Sat 14 miles on the treadmill (7:19/mile)

Sun REST

(48.1 miles)

Hartford Marathon Training: Week Four

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Week Four: Week of 7/24

This week I learned that if I try to do too many things, I feel like shit. Why do I keep having to learn this lesson over and over? I told Pete that from now on we need to take a complete day of rest on Sunday. Not just a day off from running, I mean a day to do absolutely nothing except whatever we want to do. If that means laying around watching movies and eating pizza, then fine. Or it might mean going to a concert, or a movie, or whatever. Actually have fun. It’s a tough thing when you have kids, you get into this mode of work, work, work, errands, and you end up passing out in front of the TV with your dinner half-eaten. Or sometimes not at all.

Base Week #4:

M 10 miles treadmill (7:15/mile)

T Pilates mat class + 6.5 miles hilly (7:28/mile)

W 7 miles easy treadmill (8:12/mile)

Th 4 miles easy (8:06/mile) + Pilates 

F 8 miles treadmill am (7:39/mile)/ 7.6 miles pm (8:24/mile) pushing double stroller

Sat 14 miles (7:18/mile)

Sunday REST

(57.1 miles) 

Fave pizza toppings? I’m into pizza piled with all kinds of veggies. I’m also a fan of the classic cheese.

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Hartford Marathon Training: Week Three

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Week Three: Week of 7/17

We’re on the road (in real time) this week. I’m writing this from somewhere in Delaware or Maryland, on the hunt for a Chick-fil-A, because that’s basically the best fast food you can get. Mmmm Chick-fil-A…

 

Base Week #3:

M 10 miles on the treadmill (7:24/mile, making up for missed weekend long run)

T Pilates mat class + 5 miles (1 mile “race” 5:11 on the track)

W 8 miles (7:49/mile)

Th Pilates mat class + 5 miles treadmill (8:20/mile)

F 8 miles treadmill (7:32/mile)

Sat 12.7 miles (7:16/mile)

Sun REST

(48.7 miles)

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This was the first week when I felt like things clicked. I went to Pilates twice this week and had a fun long run with friends. I got a ton of stuff checked off my personal to-do list as well, which I think helped me feel a lot better in general. Sometimes when I have a lot to do I get overwhelmed and my running suffers. So I’ve been making an effort to be more systematic and organized with my daily STUFF. Always working on ways to be better.

What’s your current favorite show to binge on?
We just finished The Night Of on HBO and I’m so sad it’s over.

Hartford Marathon Training: Week Two

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Week Two: Week of 7/10

Yesterday I mentioned that my last marathon training cycle didn’t go well. In all honesty, I set myself up for that. With a 2 year old and an infant at home, I was barely hanging on by a thread. Add in marathon training, work, home renovations, adjusting to northeast winters, and it all became too much.

In the last few weeks of training for Boston, I started to feel off. After the race, I realized something was actually really wrong. Although it took me awhile to figure this out, eventually I learned that I had form of post-partum depression (PPD) known as post-partum anxiety (PPA). Basically, I was having more frequent and unexplained panic attacks that would occur without warning, and it caused me to withdraw from my normal activities because I didn’t want to have a panic attack in public. And yes, it’s just as horrible as it sounds.

It took a few months to get better, and then I had a relapse this spring after weaning my second daughter from breastfeeding. You can hear more about my experience with PPA here on Lindsey Hein’s podcast, I’ll Have Another. When we recorded that episode I was coming back from that second bout with PPA.

A lot of people told me that things would get better with time, and I had a hard time believing that in the moment. I’m so used to being in control of everything. But it is absolutely true: you’re not alone, it’s not your fault, and it will get better. And I do think that it made me a much stronger, more empathetic person.

So, anyway, things are much better now. I’m happy to have running to channel my stress for sure. This week was another easy week, although I missed my long run due to travel and laziness and had to make it up the following week.

Base Week #2: 

M 6 miles treadmill (7:34/mile)

T Pilates + 4 treadmill miles (8:03/mile, supposed to be easy but wobbly legs after Pilates)

W 8 miles treadmill (7:25/mile)

Th 5 miles treadmill (7:41/mile) + Pilates mat class

F 7 hilly miles (7:43/mile)

Sat REST 

Sun REST

(30 miles)

(Week one is here in case you missed it…)

One of my goals is to continue to go to Pilates class twice a week. I started taking classes at the YMCA during my running break, and I fell in love with the joy and pain that is Pilates. It works all of the muscles that I’ve been neglecting for years and my butt is actually starting to take a normal shape again. So, even though we had planned to leave for a trip to our old college town on Thursday morning, I made sure to sneak in a class that day.

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I always struggle with sticking to my training when I’m traveling, so that’s something I have to work on. I did well the first day, and got up early enough to (somewhat) beat the heat. But I got lazy and slept in both weekend days.

Do you have any tips for getting in your workouts when you’re on vacation or traveling for work? 

Here are some resources that helped me when I was at my worst:

Postpartum Progress

A Cup of Jo: The Hardest Two Months of My Life

Kathy DiVincenzo’s experience with PPD

Shades of Light (*this is a local organization, but the website lists additional resources)

 

Hartford Marathon Training: Week One

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Week One: Week of 7/3

About 8 weeks ago, I made a [relatively] scary decision. It was something I had been avoiding for months. But, I sucked it up and ignored the 99% of my brain that was telling me “this is a bad idea”.

I emailed the elite coordinator and asked to be included in the field for the Hartford Marathon. Then I waited. Part of me was hoping I wouldn’t get in, but a few days later I got an email back that I was accepted!

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My last attempt at a marathon was a disaster, and it took me a long time to get over that.

But, here we are, and this is happening. I’m determined to make this one count. So let’s catch up on how training has been going.

I took May and June pretty easy so I knew I needed a few base mileage weeks before diving into marathon training. My first week of base training started with a local 4th of July race. Besides the race, the rest of the week was fairly easy. I felt pretty accomplished for getting over 35 miles.

Base Week #1:

M REST 

T 6.5 miles with 4 mile race (Firecracker 4 23:23)

W 6.1 miles “easy” (8:27/mile… double stroller runs are never actually easy)

Th 6 miles on the treadmill (7:55/mile) + Pilates mat class

F 10 miles (7:02/mile)

Sat REST 

Sun 8.2 miles easy (8:05/mile)

(36.7 miles) 

I’m going to end each of these posts with an inspirational quote. Just kidding.

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But, I will give you an insight into my thoughts each week. I felt pretty defeated after my long run. Or, more like out of shape. I have to constantly remind myself not to make comparisons to my past workouts and races.

I spent most of this weekend at a USATF coaching clinic, and there were a few moments that stuck with me. I was reminded to take easy days easy. Like actually EASY. Logically I know this, but it’s something you have to like, actually do.

The other was a sports psych tip, something that initially made me laugh: the circle of allowed thoughts. If you have negative thoughts, you just have to tell yourself that those thoughts aren’t allowed in your circle. It’s so simple that it just works. Supposedly. I haven’t put that into practice yet, but it sounds good in theory.

Do you have any tips or tricks to help turn negative thoughts around? I really like counting because it helps me disassociate from the pain that I’m feeling. Sometimes I close my eyes in races, and it usually works, but that’s probably not great advice for normal people.

I have a few weeks of posts to get caught up with the present, so look for those in the next few days. Hey, I know it’s just putting one foot in front of the other, but with everything going on right now in our country I welcome a healthy amount of distraction in the form of reading, looking at pictures on Instagram and listening to/watching things that make me laugh.