Boston Training Update

I thought I’d post a little update on my training for the Boston Marathon. I’m running the race as part of Team Stonyfield.


Stonyfield got Megan Searfoss from Run Like a Mother on board to be our coach. She sent out a training plan that called for 3 runs a week. Each run is a real “quality” effort, meaning hills one day, tempo one day, and a long run. It seems kind of like the FIRST method. I know my body well enough to know that a) I’m going to burn out if I train that way and b) I feel better with 4 days of running, mentally and physically. So I’m using the plan as a kind of “guideline” combined with Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Marathon plan and my own knowledge as an RRCA-certified coach.

The last time I trained for a marathon, my life was very different. I did have a full-time job still, but I wasn’t the director of my department at the time. So now I have 4 employees who report to me. I didn’t have a dog then and I didn’t have a child. There are a lot more things competing for my time and energy these days!

Also, I am not training for this race with a goal time. My goal is completion. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a marathon and while my running experience is deeper these days than it was, I’m still approaching this like a beginner. I don’t need tons of speedwork, or Yasso 800’s (Still love you Bart!) and my focus is making sure my body is prepared for the ups and downs of the infamous course. Fortunately I can’t run from my house without encountering hills.

Boston Marathon elevation profile

This weekend I will do my first run that exceeds half marathon distance since running at the 2011 Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon as a coach. (I ran 17 miles that night on the course, not knowing I was pregnant. I figured it out two days after the race when I passed out for seemingly no reason at all. Good thing that didn’t happen during the event, huh?) I’m excited to do this milestone once more and keep advancing my training.

I keep thinking that I need to slow down my runs though, especially my long runs. I have been running at, “I’m comfortable” pace so far and it follows the 1-1:30 minute per mile slower than goal pace for half marathons. But I really don’t know that I will be able to do that for a full right now. If I was coaching someone, I would tell them that their estimated training pace should probably be slower… but it’s so difficult to take that hard/objective line with myself sometimes!

I recently ordered two new pairs of Saucony Virrata shoes via Amazon. I have 3 pairs of that shoe already, I really love them. But I have been bad at tracking shoe mileage lately and when I started digging back through my shoe pics and Garmin Connect data, I figured that all of them have over 300 miles run on them. And one pair is falling apart (there is a small hole in the left toe and the whole Saucony emblem on the sides is peeling off.) Since Saucony seems to be discontinuing the Virrata, I wanted to make sure I had some pairs to get me through this mileage.

Training runs have to take place early in the morning, before work, so I wake up during the 4am hour. And as I get further into my plan and my midweek runs get longer, I’m a little afraid I will have to be out running at 3am or something ludicrous like that! But from 7-4 each day I have to work, then I go pick up my kid from school and I have to read with her, make her dinner, bathe her and get her to bed. My husband the CPA works long hours and I never know if he’ll be home at 6pm or 10pm (or later) during this time of year. Plus he works every Saturday too, so my long runs have to take place on Sundays.  So far it’s working, except I feel my fatigue building. I should start going to bed earlier than 10-10:30 each night, but after my daughter goes to bed at 8pm, those 2 hours are the only time I get to make her lunch for the next day, to try to catch up on my blog and blog emails (it may never happen at the rate my life is going lately) and try to relax/foam roll/destress. It’s a lot on my plate. But it’s exciting and I am confident that I can do this. I’m EXCITED to do this and I WANT to do this. It’s just a bigger balancing act than I’ve ever tried to take on, and I overburden myself a lot!

I’m trying to be better at saying “No” in other areas of life to make this work!

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