Rome Marathon Week 14 Training Recap

I find it absolutely crazy that the marathon is less than a week away. I’ve got a post coming up about that so I won’t say any more here. For the second week of a taper, the past week went pretty well.

Monday easy run
Running with Mom doesn’t always make for the easiest of easy runs. :) I like that. At a few points during this run my pace dropped and I have no idea why. It may be due to strong wind gusts or just not paying attention. Other than that this was a good run.

Tuesday tempo intervals
These intervals were difficult but not too much. I felt strong throughout and enjoyed the run.

Wednesday easy/recovery run
I felt surprisingly strong through this run, stronger than I usually feel. I purposefully didn’t look at my pace which ended up being a little slower than I expected but not too much.

Thursday stationary bike
This is a decent ride. I felt strong. Mom still got about half a mile farther than me. :-) Maybe after the marathon I can work on increasing my cycling speed.

Friday short, fast tempo
Thus tempo run was short but challenging. I really enjoyed it. I felt strong throughout.

Saturday long run with marathon pace finish
I didn’t feel quite as peppy that morning. Thanks to the rain I ran inside on the new treadmill which required a bit of adjustment. During the last 50 minutes at race pace I had to stop twice, once to refill my water bottle and once to catch my breath. The inside heat was getting to me. This wasn’t my favorite run but the last long run is done. Next stop? Rome!

Sunday rest
With plenty to get done before the trip, rest has not been a problem. Rest from exercise that is, of course.

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Rome Marathon Week 13 Training Recap

I can definitely tell that I’m at the end of a marathon training cycle. I’m still enjoying training but definitely thankful to be in the start of the taper.

Monday easy run
I felt a bit “creaky” when I first started this run but thankfully after about 10 minutes or so all the creaks were worked out. I got into a good rhythm and felt good for the rest of the run.

Tuesday race pace tempo run
This race pace tempo was definitely hard at the start. It took me about twenty minutes or so to get into it but once I did it didn’t feel quite as difficult. I’m glad it’s done. I hope that pace will feel a whole lot easier come March 22 since I’ll have to maintain it for 3 hours 35 minutes!

Wednesday easy/recovery run
This run was nice and easy as prescribed. It took a minute or two to warm up bit after that it was pretty easy.

Thursday stationary bike
This was a fairly unremarkable ride except for the fact that my left knee protests every time I sit up on the bike instead of leaning forward. (I have no idea what the actual names of the positions are.) Towards the end of the ride I like to alternate but I guess I’ll stop that now.

Friday intervals
This run went really well. The intervals were challenging but not too difficult.

Saturday long run
I had planned to try to get the long run done before work as is my preference. However three things worked against that. Our treadmill is still on the fritz My gym doesn’t open until 8. I didn’t feel comfortable or safe starting my run outside on my own in the dark before 5 in the morning. Instead I used the time to cross stuff off my to do list to make room for the run after work.
I am not a fan of afternoon runs. (Okay, that’s an understatement.) It was for the best though. What a temperature difference. It was almost too warm. With all the changes I wondered if I could get the long run in as prescribed. A difference between this wondering and wondering of the past is the fact that I did not give myself an out. Before this training cycle started I made it my goal to make the long runs a priority and not skimp on a single one. When it came time, 40 minutes in, to start picking up the pace, I did, no matter how difficult (mentally) it felt. Throughout the remaining 100 minutes I kept at it, 8 minutes at 8:10, 2 minutes easy. The hardest part of hitting that pace was the mental battle. Physically my legs were more than capable of executing this run and they cooperated quite brilliantly. Yet another successful long run in the books.

Sunday rest
When a lot of the day is take up with Italy trip planning (eek!) it is very to make sure to rest.

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The New York City Marathon Lottery

So, when I first wrote this post out longhand, the drawing for the NYCM lottery had just started. (Why it has to take all day is a question that will likely never be answered.) I entered, just like last year, not regretting the $11 it cost just to enter. (I also don’t regret the momentary panic that set in when I had to get a new credit card number due to fraud. Waiting for the new number was almost torture and yes, my NYRR account was the first thing I updated.)

I didn’t get in, as I figured.

New York is a bucket list marathon for me, a must do marathon, though not in the same way as Boston. (That goes almost without saying.) However, it is the largest marathon in the world. I have to be part of it some year.

Since NYRR decided to do away with the 3 (or 4…can’t remember) times rejected guaranteed spot option, it is highly likely that i could enter the lottery every year until I die and not get in. That doesn’t sound too appealing or promising. That got me thinking.

I took a look at the time qualification standards. Before Hilton Head these standards seemed completely unatainable. (3:13 for a marathon still seems a bit far fetched.) Yesterday I looked at the 1:32 half-marathon standard and knew instantly what I would do if (ie…when) I didn’t get in.

Crossing that 1:40:xx barrier made a low 1:30s half seem doable, if extremely hard. I had already decided to aim for a sub 1:35 at HHI next year. What’s an extra 3 minutes?

I don’t know how easy (probably not at all) it will be to reach that goal but I’m definitely going to try. How cool woudl it be to snag a time qualification entry for the NYCM?

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Rome Marathon Week 12 Training Recap

Before I get into the break down of this past week’s training I did want to make a brief mention about the drop off of posting. I know that not that many people read this blog so I am obviously not posting for readership. However, at this point, my work schedule (and other life stuff) prevents me from crafting more than my weekly training post and the occasional race recap. I hope to soon get back to writing more but in the meantime, thanks for reading!

Monday easy run
I was not into this run when I first started. It felt really hard through most of the run, right up until I started the hard intervals at the end. Once I started those I got into the run and almost didn’t want to stop. I used my HRM for the first time on this run, finally. For a data nerd like me, this may or may not have been a good idea.

Tuesday tempo intervals
The first tempo interval was incredibly hard. I actually wondered if I would be able to make it through the rest of the work out. The crazy thing is that each successive interval seemed to get easier. By the end of the run I loved it.

Wednesday easy/recovery run
My legs were pretty tired when I started as expected on the third straight day of work. After a few minutes they warmed up and the rest of the time passed quickly.

Thursday stationary bike rest
The “snowpocalypse” kept me from getting to the gym in the morning for a bit of cross-training. It didn’t keep me from working a normal schedule but that’s another story. I’ve got to find some more stationary bike time somewhere.

Friday tempo run
This tempo pace was difficult at the start of the tempo portion but I was able to settle into it and get it done.

Saturday long run
I almost signed up for the GHS Half Marathon. It would have been easy to incorporate that into my long run…just tack a few miles on the front. As it was, I ran against the stream for the first couple miles listening to my new favorite running song, “Brave.” The first few miles were uneventful. I did start to feel a little sluggish around mile 6 but once we got over the slight hill I was able to settle back into a good rhythm. After splitting off from Mom I almost ran twenty minutes too much thanks to my inability to do any sort of mental computation while running. Thankfully I had enough time to figure it out. :) I really started to feel all the work I’ve put in around mile 17 when the countdown started for real. I wondered how I was going to do the mild pick ups near the end but was determined to get them in. Long runs have been my focus this training plan. Once I got to those pick ups they were hard like I suspected but I kept pushing. Just after the third I paused for a few seconds to skip ahead in my music to my new songs. I needed a little “Brave” to get me through. That seemed to do the trick. I was able to finish strong and run my longest ever marathon long run (by .2)! Three weeks until race day!

Sunday rest
There’s not much to be said about rest days so I’ll leave it there.

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Rome Marathon Week 11 Training Recap

All the weeks can’t be amazing. This past week wasn’t bad, it just lost a bit of the luster thanks to the weather and a lovely head cold that still persists.

Monday easy run
I felt okay through this run even though I did forget about the hill intervals near the end. Whoops. I’m beginning to get a bit concerned about my right hamstring. It was pretty tight throughout the run so I took it easy for the rest of the day, stretching and backing off from my daily hamstring exercises for a few days. Hopefully it’s just all the work I’ve put in lately.

Tuesday 30 min easy
I switched Wednesday and Tuesday’s workouts in the hopes that I’d be able to get something in with the ice preventing travel but woke up with a horrible sore throat. I ended up taking the entire day off.

Wednesday tempo run
I had to shorten the tempo by 5 minutes so I could get to work but I’m thankful the gym was open so I could get the workout in. I was a bit nervous (for nothing it seems) about my hamstring but everything went well and I loved pushing it.

Thursday stationary bike
This ride felt good but somehow I took it too easy in the first half of the ride? I checked the RPMs halfway through, discovered it was too low and kicked it up a notch. I still had to sprint at the end (and add an extra minute) just to get to 15. Sometimes the mileage I get on the bike baffles me.

Friday tempo intervals
These intervals were really, really hard but I absolutely loved them and felt great the whole way through.

Saturday long run
I can’t say that I loved this run. I struggled mentally for the first 7 or 8 miles, mainly due to the end stages of a head cold that I’ve been battling this week (so much coughing and sniffing). At that point I wondered how on earth I would finish the run with 50 minutes at an 8:10-15 pace and wondered if this would be the first long run of this cycle that I would have to modify. Thankfully after mile 8 things started looking up. I finally got into a rhythm and started to feel strong, strong enough that a downed tree (completely blocking the path but there was enough room to step off on one side and duck under) and a stray dog that started to run with me (seriously, one of my worst nightmares) couldn’t bring me down. Granted, my heart rate did spike a little with the dog encounter but that didn’t last long. Then came the last 50 minutes. I stepped up the pace and settled right into it. I could not believe how strong I felt running that pace at the end of a long run. All this work is paying off. I kept reminding myself of my goal to focus on the long runs and not slack off.
This may not have been my favorite long run of the cycle but it was still good. I’ll take that.

Sunday rest
I really love my Sunday rest days. There aren’t that many more ways I can say that. :)

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Rome Marathon Week 10 Training Recap

I am absolutely loving this training cycle. If every marathon training cycle went this well I might just run marathons all the time. Oh wait, I already sort of do.

Monday easy run
My legs definitely were still recovering from Saturday’s effort. Once I got going I was surprised with how good I felt.

Tuesday tempo intervals
These tempo intervals were tough but doable, tougher on this run because my legs were still recovering from Saturday’s half. I loved getting in a double digit run on a weekday.

Wednesday recovery run
My legs definitely felt all the work I put in. Got it done.

Thursday stationary bike
I misread the training plan and managed to switch Thursday and Friday’s workouts. That didn’t seem to matter come Saturday.
I took the ride nice and easy as prescribed. It was also nice to see Running Times acknowledge the issue number decrease even if I’m not happy about it.

Friday short, hard intervals
The hard intervals were hard, as they should be. I loved this run! I did wonder how this would affect the long run but it seems like back to back efforts such as these aren’t as difficult as they used to be.

Saturday long run
I am so happy that I finished yet another long run strong and hungry for more. I felt great throughout this entire run, although my hamstrings felt a bit tight at points. (That’s likely due to all the work I’ve put them through lately.) I also could not believe how good I felt on the pick-up intervals at the end of the run. I kept having to tell myself to slow down even during the third (and last) interval when I was counting down the seconds. That one definitely felt hard. I loved this run!

Sunday rest
With three consecutive hard efforts on Saturday I took a deliberate step back Sunday and took the entire day off, as easy as I have in quite a while.

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Rome Marathon Week 9 Training Recap

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m going to start this post with the statement that training weeks that end on a high note (race or long run) are simply the best.

In the case of this week, all of the training through the week felt pretty good too.

Monday tempo run
I was a little concerned before starting this tempo since the pace I was supposed to run is the pace I’m aimed for in the half on Saturday. The tempo portion went great so I had great hopes. I even liked the short, hard intervals at the end.

Tuesday stationary bike + easy run
stationary bike: I decided to add a little bit of stationary bike to the workout but took it easy since it was supposed to be a recovery day. I enjoyed the ride.
easy run: nice and easy, just like it was supposed to be.

Wednesday tempo intervals
I had to drop one of the intervals to get to work on time. That made me sad. The intervals were on the easier side of tough but definitely still tough. I enjoyed them thoroughly.

Thursday easy run
Weird night sleep + 4th day of running in a row = sluggish, tired legs, Other than that, the run wasn’t too bad. Got it done.

Friday stationary bike
Took it nice and easy on this ride in advance of the half Saturday. Nothing extraordinarily good or bad, average.

Saturday Hilton Head Island Half Marathon
I have no words for how perfectly this went according to plan. This might just be my best executed race.

Sunday rest
With a 4 hour drive back to Greenville, rest was not hard to achieve.

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