Tag Archives: fall classic marathon

Fall Classic Marathon Training: Race Week

So, I ran a marathon yesterday. I’ll write a full race recap and race review (spoiler alert: it’s a great race) later this week, but in a nutshell … I ran yet another 3:13 (this makes three of them) and took second place. I was on track for my 3:10 goal and the win until my digestive system decided to be a jerk. Whomp whomp.

But that’s a story for a later day, and I should probably recap my final week of training. Here you go.


4.2 miles nice and easy, then a short core workout

Tempo intervals, 3x1000m, for a total of 6 miles

5 miles easy and some core

3.5 slow and easy miles. I planned to take a rest day, but I was at a conference all day (i.e. sitting), and my legs were stiff as boards. I had to move them.

Another 3.5 miles, this time on the hotel treadmill since it was 33 degrees out and, like a dummy, I didn’t pack long sleeves. Followed by some stretching to precede another day of conference-sitting.

26.2 miles down a canyon. I’m hoping the official race pics are good (and borrowable), since I didn’t take any while I ran. Here’s one from after the race.
photo 1 (4)

Total: 48..4 miles (22.2 pre-race)

This is a short and mostly pictureless blog post; sorry about that. I’m trying to summit Grading Mountain this week, and it’s leaving me short on blog time. But I promise that, unless the race pictures aren’t posted, I’ll get that recap written.

Anybody else race this weekend? How’d it go?

Fall Classic Marathon Training, Week 13

It’s September now. Did anyone else’s summer just fly away? This also means that my marathon is two weeks from yesterday. To say I’m feeling less than confident is an understatement, but all I can do now is trust the training. I like to think of this past week as the first week of taper, although my mileage was equal to what I ran two weeks ago. Calling it “taper” in my head seems like a nice little mental trick to make myself think I’m relaxing.

I’m rambling. Let’s just look at how the week went.

AM: 7 miles of fartleks

PM: Full-body strength. I did two circuits instead of my usual three, because tapering made a handy excuse.

AM: 9 miles easy. Both Monday and Tuesday were treadmill-only days, because this was happening:
photo 1Getting struck by lightning is my least favorite way to start the day, so I opted for the treadmill.

PM: 30 minutes of yoga.

Tuesday night, I looked at the forecast. It said 74% chance of morning thunderstorms, and only 30% at 5-7 P.M. I opted for the evening run. Although it wasn’t storming after all in the morning, I was happy for the extra sleep. So I ran after work: 10 miles with 8 at goal pace. Finally, goal pace felt good. I felt like I could keep going (my schedule allowed for up to 12 GP miles), but I opted not to, since these sinister fellows were building up:
photo 2 (3)Calling it quits when I did  was a great choice: I had just gotten home when it started hailing. Whew!

40 minutes of strength training. I knew I was moving my long run to Sunday and didn’t want to run seven days in a row, so I didn’t run Thursday.

8.1 easy miles — 5 on the tready and 3.1 outside once it was a little light. No PM workout because I was eating pizza with friends. Worth it.

8.2 easy miles and some abs. Then, we cruised up to Fort Collins, where we met my in-laws. My mother-in-law and I got pedicures and facials (my birthday present. I like dragging my birthday out for a month), and then we all headed up to Estes Park for a little Labor Day weekend escape.

15 miles in Estes Park. I had hoped to get in one more all-downhill run before the marathon, but the roads up there have no shoulder and lots of traffic. I like living, so I opted for the bike path and rolling hills instead.
photo 3 (1)There’s a rainbow up there. It was beautiful and my iPhone doesn’t do it justice.


It was a fast-finish long run, and although my “fast” pace bounced around due to the hills and a random 10-minute rainstorm that blew through, I still felt good about it and finished strong. That was a nice feeling after so many tough FFLRs. Plus, I had views like this, so how bad could it be?
photo 4Obviously, this was a great weekend. It rained off and on all day, so no mountain exploring could happen, but I love Estes and it was fun. We also drove the race course (it’s the only road from Ft. Collins to Estes). I’m curious to see just how they block it off for the race. I’m also even more pleased that the race benefits flood victims. I hadn’t been up there since before last fall’s flood, and I was amazed by just how much devastation there was.

Totals: 57.3 miles, under two hours of strength/yoga

This week, taper starts in earnest. I’m actually kind of looking forward to it, which is uncharacteristic. I hope that means taper madness won’t get me like it usually does!

Have a great week, friends!

What did you do for Labor Day weekend? 


Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 12

Well, that was a week. Whose idea was it to schedule a marathon so my last peak week would coincide with the first week of school? Some idiot, obviously. It’s still too hot for this sally to run in the evenings, and it’s getting too dark for comfort when I start running in the mornings, so all of this week’s runs started on the treadmill, and then I joyously headed outside as soon as a little light peeked out. It’s not ideal, but you gotta do what you gotta do. And here’s what I did:

AM: 12 miles at easy pace.. Our hot water heater crapped out on us Sunday night, which was a bummer, but it made getting in and out of the shower post-run extra speedy, and that was good since I still made it to work early. 

PM: Full-body strength at home once the plumbers were done fixing our hot water heater. I started watching Bachelor in Paradise for my trashy-TV-while-exercising fix. It is truly terrible, but I can’t stop watching. 

AM: 9 miles easy. Here’s a picture of the river I run over almost every day. I don’t think I took this on Tuesday, but this seemed like a good place for a picture. I am so good at blogging. 
photo 1 (1)
PM: 30 minutes yoga. Actually, I can’t remember if I did yoga Tuesday or Wednesday, but it doesn’t really matter.

AM: 11 miles with 7 at tempo. This was the opposite of easy.

PM: Either the yoga I claimed I did Tuesday or 30 minutes of core and stretching/foam rolling.

AM: 9 miles easy

PM: 45 minutes of strength. I did mostly upper body because my legs were feeling extra tired. I was hoping that just doing a little bodyweight work on them would mean they’d be fresher for Saturday’s long run. Spoiler alert: They weren’t. 

AM: 8 easy miles

PM: I used all my strength to hold the coach down.  

Are you getting tired of hearing about terrible long runs? Because I’m getting really tired of having them. My schedule said 22 with 12 at goal pace. Once again, goal pace didn’t happen. My legs felt leaden and my mind was wimpy. I ended up with 21.2 miles with 11 at not goal pace. At least I had some cool clouds to look at for a while.
photo 2 (1)
I think it’s time to admit that a 3:10 marathon might not be in the cards for me. Whomp whomp. I can make a lot of excuses for this run: I got up at 4:20 every morning this week and ran 8-12 miles. It rained all night Friday so was extra humid Saturday morning. The first week of school is always extra stressful and exhausting, and I’m out of gels and the ones I ordered haven’t come, so I was running on empty. But excuses aside, I’ve had  a slew of shoddy race-pace runs, and I need to accept that I might be aiming too high. I’m not writing it off entirely yet, but I think that in order to hit it, I’m going to have to have a perfect taper and absolutely ideal race conditions.

Rest. I think I needed it mentally as much as physically.

Totals: 70.2 miles, some strength/yoga/etc.

And thus ends my final peak week. This coming week my mileage will be 50something, and then I’ll start tapering in earnest. This might be the first time ever that I’m actually looking forward to tapering. Remind me of that when taper madness sets in, okay?

Have a great week, friends!

How is your training going?

Ever had bad training sessions result in a good race? Give me some hope!

Have you watched Bachelor in Paradise? What do you think?

Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 11

Wow, it’s hard to believe I’m just four weeks out from race day! One more hard week, one more medium week, and two taper weeks…then the race! Here’s how this week looked:


AM: 8.3 miles of fartleks. I love that workout. 

PM: 45 minutes or so of strength training at home.

AM: 6 recovery miles

PM: 30ish minutes of core work and stretching

Downhill 800s. I warmed up and cooled down outside and did the workout on the incline trainer. There were only four other people in the gym, so I broke the 30-minute rule.
photo 2
As it turned out, one of those four people was waiting for this machine. She glared at me when I got off. Oops.

I only did the one workout today, because it was back-to-school night, and by the time I got home, I just wanted to eat and sleep. So that’s what I did.

AM: 8 miles easy

PM: 30 minutes of full-body strength. This was the first day of school, and I was exhausted, so  I was satisfied with 30. 

5 easy miles and some core work

Another fast-finish long run: 10 miles easy, then 8 gradually faster. It was hard and I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t as miserable and hopeless-feeling as my last fast-finish. On runs like this, I wish I had a coach or at least a running buddy to yell at me and tell me to quit being a baby. Sometimes I don’t have enough of my own mental strength. Need to work on that, I guess. At least the sunrise was pretty. 
photo 1

Rest, which included some time at the laundromat because our dryer decided it wanted to join the “Everybody Break!” party. 

And that’s that. This coming week is the first full week of school and my last week at peak mileage. That should be interesting — in a good way, because I like both these things. 

I hope you have a great week!

How was your weekend? 



Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 10

Well, the school year has definitely started, bringing the busyness that is the first few weeks of school. My blogging might get a little sporadic over the next few weeks, as evidenced by my not getting this post written last night. I also might slack on commenting on your blogs for a bit. I’ll still read them — but it will likely be on my phone while I’m making copies or brushing my teeth. Please still be my Internet friend.

Last week was probably my toughest week of this training cycle. I’m not tapering just yet, and I still have some high mileage and hard runs to get done, but no week looks as challenging as this one was. Here’s how it went:

AM: 3 x 3 miles at goal marathon pace, 13 miles total. This was an encouraging run, after the terrible fast-finish long run I talked about here. I ran the first set right at 3:10 pace (7:15), the second set just a little quicker, and the third set at just under 7:10/mile — exactly how I’d like to run the marathon. Let’s hope that’s a good sign!

PM: About an hour of strength work. My body was pretty tired, so I decided to stay home and do more bodyweight/dumbbell stuff instead of going heavier in the gym.

8-mile recovery run. I’ve been watching these baby turkeys grow  up all summer, and they finally held still long enough for me to get a picture… but not long enough for a good picture.
photo (8)I didn’t get in an afternoon workout of any kind. I had a doctor’s appointment in Fort Collins, and then we went school shopping, so we didn’t get home until evening. By then, I was lazy.

AM: Tempo intervals for a total of 12.1 miles. I warmed up outside, ran the intervals on the incline trainer to practice downhilling, and cooled down outside, too.

PM: Core work, stretching, and foam rolling my ridiculously tight self.

AM: 9 miles easy, pausing for my usual sunrise picture.
photo 4 (3)PM: Another at-home strength workout for an hourish.

7 easy miles followed by some core work.

An early 22-miler. We stayed at my in-laws’ Friday night, as we were going to the county fair Saturday to see our nieces’ animals and projects, and we wanted to catch the parade Saturday morning. So I ran a little earlier than usual, but that’s okay because it was a beautiful morning.
photo (4)

Rest, with a little bit of yoga thrown in since my legs and hips were uber tight.

Totals: 71.1 miles, 2.5ish hours strength training, 20 minutes yoga

And that’s a wrap!

How was your week/weekend? Any adventures?

When was the last time you went to a county fair? What’s your favorite part of fairs?

Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 9

It’s hard to believe I’m just six weeks out from my seventh marathon. It’s time to get serious about my training, focus, and crack down. Of course, this “get serious” time coincides with the start of school (our first required day back is this Friday; kids come next Thursday), which might make it tough. I’ll make it work, though! Or at least give it my best shot.Good question, Philosoraptor. On that note, I’ll enjoy my last week of after-5:00 wake-ups.

Here’s how this week’s training looked:

AM: 8.2 miles with 30 minutes of fartleks in the middle. Fartleks are my favorite because they’re fun to do and to say.

PM: About an hour of strength training at the gym. I went to work Monday, which meant I was back at the gym at normal-people time… I didn’t like it. I miss the empty gym already.

AM: 9 miles easy.

PM: 30ish minutes of core work, stretching, and foam rolling

AM: 9 miles with 5 at tempo. Tempo runs are definitely my weakness, and I have a bunch of them coming up in these final weeks. That’s good for me, though, because tempos teach mental toughness, which I feel I’ve been lacking lately.It rained pretty much all night Tuesday and all day Wednesday, but stopped long enough for me to run. The rain made my usual park look pretty.

It rained pretty much all night Tuesday and all day Wednesday, but stopped long enough for me to run. The rain made my usual park look pretty.

PM: Ditto to Tuesday

AM: 8 easy miles with a nice little sunrise.
photo 2 (3)PM: An hour of strength with the gym crowd again.

AM: 7.2 easy miles

PM: 30ish minutes of core/stretching

16.5 miles. I did not like this run. I was supposed to run 10 miles easy, then gradually pick it up in the last six miles so the last couple of miles were very fast. I did the first ten out to my favorite hills, planning to use one of the long downhills to my advantage as I started to speed up.
photo (4)I. could. not. run. fast. I should’ve  been hitting somewhere around 6:30 pace for the last couple of miles. I couldn’t even get below 7, and soon even 7:30s were killing me. I even stopped running a couple of times to drink some water, take a few deep breaths, and give myself a pep talk. No dice. I just didn’t have the speed.
photo (3)These fast-finish long runs are a staple of McMillan plans, and Greg McMillan himself describes them as “grueling,” so they’re supposed to be hard. But I finished discouraged, because they should be hard, not impossible. I started seriously questioning my ability to PR in this race, blah blah blah.

A little later, though, I read this post of Tina’s, and it made me feel better. Maybe if this incredible elite athlete also has gutter days, I’m not completely abnormal. So thanks, Tina, for being willing to share your story!

Wow, sorry for the giant one-run pity party.

Rest. No formal workout, just  a bunch of yard work. But that makes me happy, because doing yard work means we’ll have a yard soon!

Totals: 57.9 miles run, 3.5ish hours strength and stretch. I hate it when I end weeks with a “.9.” Makes me want to go run a tenth of a mile.

This coming week will probably be my toughest of this training cycle. It has a tempo run, a marathon-pace run, and a 22-miler (though just a regular long run, not a fast-finish). Tempos and pace runs are the hardest for me mentally, so hopefully I’ll do some brain strengthening this week, too. And then I’ll be SO STRONG.

Have a good week, friends!

How’s your training going?

How do you deal with a crummy run/workout?