Tag Archives: doubts

Lincoln Marathon Training, Week 6: Is It Time to Give Up on my 3:10 Dream?

Am I the only person in the U.S. who doesn’t care about the Super Bowl? I have it on right now, but mostly just so I’ll have an idea of when J will be home. I don’t even care about the commercials anymore, since a bunch were released early and the rest will be on the interwebs, so I can watch them anytime if I want to. Instead, I’ll blog about my training week and the mental gymnastics I’ve been doing regarding this race. Aren’t you excited?


AM: 9 miles with 5 at tempo. I like doing tempo runs on the treadmill, because then I have to hold that pace, and I don’t go out too fast like I do in every outdoor tempo run. And race.

PM: 45 minutes of strength training at the gym. Apparently my strategy of avoiding the gym for the first couple of weeks of January worked; I heard some of the “regulars” talking about how all the resolutioners were gone.


14 miles. I left work a smidge earlier than usual and managed to get in 5 outside miles in the beautiful weather before the sun went down and forced me onto the treadmill. I’ve missed running into the sunset, and I’m SO GLAD the days are finally getting longer.

Stopping to wait for a train makes for a good sunset photo op.
Stopping to wait for a train makes for a good sunset photo op.

I hopped off the treadmill and did a 90-second wall sit for the #NoExcuses Sweat Pink challenge. Know what’s painful? Doing a 90-second wall sit after running 14 miles.
photo 1 (20)


I’ve found myself looking forward to Wednesdays during this training cycle, as they’re recovery days. Five slow, easy miles followed by core work and stretching. I took a picture to prove that I was stretching, since I hardly ever do it. But I’m really trying to make it a priority this cycle.
photo 2 (20)


AM: 45 minutes strength training. Getting to the gym in the mornings is tough, but it’s so much quieter. Plus, I didn’t think I’d have time to get in my whole run before work.

PM: 12 miles. I had planned a run like Tuesday’s — outside until it got dark, then inside — but some students borrowed my classroom Chromebooks and then weren’t where they said they’d be, so I lost a chunk of time searching for them and it was dark by the time i got home and changed. Darn kids.


Wednesday’s twin: 5 recovery miles, core, stretching


18 miles. I hated almost every step of this run. If I’m being perfectly honest, I should admit that I went into it with a bad attitude. The weather was cold and gloomy, and I was tired, and my throat was scratchy, and I was overall being a big baby. Things did not improve when I finished the first eight miles and was supposed to run the final 10 at goal pace. I could not hold my goal pace to save my life. Goal pace is 7:15; I was struggling to keep it sub-8. This went on for the entire run. My legs were tired, but that’s the point of these runs after several days of higher mileage: the fast part is supposed to feel like the last 10 miles of a marathon, not the first. But that almost makes it more frustrating that I couldn’t hold the pace.

Recycled picture from the Fall Classic, where I ran yet another 3:13.
Recycled picture from the Fall Classic, where I ran yet another 3:13.

If you’ve followed me for long, you know that goal pace runs are always hard for me. I almost always struggle to hold goal pace.  My goal for my last two marathons has been to run a 3:10 or better. Both times, I’ve run 3:13s, making a total of three 3:13 marathons. I’m wondering if it’s time to give up on the 3:10 dream. I don’t want to be a quitter, but at what point is it not quitting so much as admitting your goal is too lofty? I’m training as hard as I can — I can’t fit in anymore mileage and still, you know, have a job and friends and a happy husband.

So what do I do? Part of me thinks I have a 3:10 in me –I would’ve had it at the Fall Classic had my digestive system not rebelled. But Saturday’s run was hugely discouraging. If I can’t even hold 7:15 pace for 10 miles, how can I expect to hold it for 26.2?

Okay, rant over. But I’d appreciate any advice and your honest opinions on whether or not 3:10 is unrealistic.


45 minutes of yoga. I tried a new-to-me video on YouTube, which was a little more challenging than my go-to routines via the Yoga Studio app. It was tough but good for me, I think.

Totals: 63 miles, about 2:45 strength/stretch.

This coming week is a cutback week (all the way back to 55 miles…). I’m looking forward to it.

Do you think I can run a 3:10?

What seemingly impossible goals have you reached? Tell me some inspiring stories, please!