Patience and Faith (Boston Marathon Training)

Marathon training is like putting together a 1000 piece puzzle. You know what you want the end result to look like but when you dump the pieces out of the box, its’s entirely overwhelming.  You keep working anyway and every once in awhile you look and realize you have a part of that picture made and it starts to make sense. Then you (hopefully) gather a nice momentum and flow until the end.  The end being race day then that day is a whole other puzzle in itself.

This past week was the first week I felt like I put a few of those marathon pieces together and saw a glimpse of the bigger picture and how I was going to get there. It wasn’t without a hiccup or two but it was a confidence booster.

Boston Marathon Training Week  1/26 -2/1

Monday-  3 mile warm up, 5 mile tempo averaging 6:17 pace, 3 mile cool down. This tempo pace is far from where I need it to be but after two years under Mark Hadleys program, I know how I roll. It’ll take a few weeks of stubborn tempos then all of a sudden I’ll bust one out and surprise myself. Hadley told me a PR at Boston will require patience and faith; I have both.  In training don’t worry about the pace, just keep the head up, & keep working! 

Tuesday- 8 watch-less miles.

Wednesday-  8 miles @ 7:38 pace.

Thursday- 17 miler averaging 7:19 pace. This was a solo run where I ran loops of the biggest hills near my house.  “Biggest” meaning a quarter the size of Heartbreak Hill. Virginia Beach is 95% flat.

Friday-  Easy 9 on the trails with friends. I rarely wear a watch on these days. Later that night a crazy stomach bug hit me out of the blue. It wiped me out! Just have to take these hiccups in stride.

Saturday-  An 8 miler was planned but after 3 miles I turned back for home. The stomach bug left me weak and it was pointless to trudge on. I did 30 minutes of Yoga and tons of stretching.

Sunday-  Track Day. Warm up, 10 by 600 (averaging 5:33 pace), Cool Down. My kids are in CCD for an hour on Sundays and, lucky for me, there is a  newly remodeled track 800 meters away. I scoffed when the Navy tore down the old track that was here and replace it with this gorgeous rubberized track with a turf infield, thinking of all the areas that money could have went towards, but admittedly I love running here!  I wore the racing flats I will wear on marathon day (Nike Streak 3’s), did not listen to music, and  also I switched directions half way through the workout to try to limit any possible irritation on any lingering troublesome spots.   This session went fantastic which may have been attributed to that rest day I took from the stomach bug.

63 total miles

*Core work, Stretching, Rolling are completed Daily.  3 days a week I complete drills that are strength & form based. I am also “that mom” always doing crunches, stretches, etc. randomly around the house/playground/etc. through out the day. Get whatever you can in, when you can!


Little Creek Naval Base Track

One of the biggest differences in this marathon cycle as opposed to a cycle I had run 1 or 2 years ago is that I am paying much more attention to my body.  It seems that weekly something is popping up here or there that never bothered me before or if it did, I ignored it. Maybe its age, maybe its the fact that I’ve been running at a high level for awhile, but I’m certainly listening to my ART therapist and hydrating constantly, rolling EVERY DAY, and stretching at any given moment. After the track yesterday I felt a huge knot in my calf and I spent a good 20 minutes working that thing out (talk about painful!).  In the past I would have ran with it for weeks.

Another thing I’m working on is getting back on track with my nutrition. I love food.  I’ll say that again; I love food.  The holidays were an excuse to eat tons of cookies and drink tons of wine.  Then January my mileage creeped up so that was an excuse to keep on eating and drinking.  Then I faced facts and realized I’m a full 5 pounds heavier than I was before the Philadelphia Marathon.  This is definitely a sensitive topic with female runners, so its normally one I avoid, but I also know that I love reading blogs that are honest and honestly its not a sensitive topic for me. I’m not even close to “racing weight”.  Do I think I’m fat or out of shape?  Absolutely not. But do I think I can PR at Boston with an extra 5 pounds around my stomach?  Probably not wise to risk it.  So I am cutting out wine (unless I’m out with friends) and watching my portion sizes.  More importantly, I am meeting with my nutritionist & friend, Crystal Witte, this Wednesday to try to figure out a wise plan of action. Last time I met with her she let me know how disproportionate my protein and carbs were.  I was carb starved! So I’ll try to write a blog post soon with some of her advice and how I go about using it.

Next Sunday is a day I’ve been looking forward to for awhile.  Months ago my friend Kellie and I did a course tour with the Director of a new race in Virginia Beach called the Virginia Beach Distance Races.  (Our pics are on the link)  and this Sunday, Kellie and another friend, Ben, and I will be running the 100K relay.  It’s a 2.3 mile loop, designed to be a fast Ultra course, so our team name is “WTF, Another Lap!?!”  🙂  I’m pretty excited about this. It may be the most boring course that I’ve run 20ish miles on but the friends will make it the most exciting. I’l be sure to give a good recap.  Wish us luck and have a great week everyone!! Thank you for reading!


25 thoughts on “Patience and Faith (Boston Marathon Training)

  1. I love track workout and I’m so jealous of your workout and of that nice brand-new track. Your training is going well! There’s still so much time left before Boston, and you’ll gain fitness fast! No worries about that.

    I think I have the opposite problem- I get plenty of carbs, and not enough protein. Something I’m working on, too. I think everyone has weak areas nutritionally, so it’s good that you’re being proactive!


  2. So happy to hear about the strides you are making Kris! I’m sure when patriots day arrives you’ll puzzle with look like a picaso! Stay strong!!! I totally get you about the whole get it in when you can. That’s why I switched to a 24 hour gym recently


  3. So true about the more you run the more you think you can eAt. Had the same problem and now I’m 10lbs over racing weight! Didn’t even realize I burn like zero calories on my easy runs! 11 miles this morning and only burned 500!


  4. I always enjoy how open and honest you are Kris. Weight will always be a sensitive topic in the blogging world and in the life world. I think it’s important for you to be happy and confident and if you feel most confident at a lower weight…so be it.

    I am glad your marathon training is falling into place. I’m excited to see how Boston goes for you. I know well.


  5. Nothing better than a week where you feel like you really nailed a couple of workouts. I love to hear about how you are so flexible and able to react to a number of situations and challenges (just taking a day easy when you are sick, foam roll when you have a tight spot, getting strength in at the playground is awesome!). I love how you aren’t shook up by any of it, just address anything that comes up and move forward… I am also intrigued by your relay event! Can’t wait to hear how that goes! So, on another note… how are you so disciplined about the stretching/rollering? I hate it SO much!… but really want to work on being better at it. Any suggestions?


    • I hate it too Marci!! I’m much rather spend that 15-20 minutes running a few more miles. Basically I used to walk in the door from a run make a recovery drink, then shower. Now I make a recovery drink and stretch roll out immediately while I drink or eat. I know if I wait, it wont happen. Of course later in the day while I have some spare moments, I am stretching in the kitchen, on my living room floor, or anywhere. I am no expert by any means, just trying to stay proactive.


  6. I like the puzzle analogy. Fits perfectly! You are a speedy woman even with the stomach bug creeping up on you. We have a pretty, blue, new track here at our college and I love it! I feel l like I’m really flying when I run repeats. Have a beautiful week!


    • Thank you!! I appreciate that so much. I would like to post more often but honestly I don’t have much to say! 90% of training is just “I ran today”. I’m not the type to blog just for page view counts, but I will try to get back on track sharing now that training is getting more intense and I will have more pre- and post race recaps to share and weekly reviews.


  7. Wow, amazing mileage and workouts!! Your dedication is phenomenal!! You are such an inspiration to me! I look forward to following your journey!! By the way, love your entire post!! Also, really really loved the puzzle talk!! I totally get what you’re talking about! XOXO


  8. im always scared to go the opposite way around the track in case people think I don’t have a clue….but it makes so much sense!! Great post!


  9. Glad it’s all starting to come together for you! As for the racing weight stuff, I think weight is a fricken third rail in the blog world. If you don’t talk about it, you get accused of having a problem and if you do, you also get accused of having a problem. Most top level athletes have a weight at which they compete and a weight at which they live. Mo, Shalane, Kara etc have all discussed this. Good luck working back towards where you feel comfortable racing!!


    • Thank you so much and yes you are right. People think the subject is taboo but I’ve always respected when elites like Shalane and Lauren F. are honest about the subject. I figure I’ve never had food “issues” so I might as well be truthful about every aspect of my racing life/training. I’m an open book about everything already anyway.


  10. I definitely feel like the older I get 1. the more I have to pay attention to things that hurt and 2. the easier it is to gain weight! And I’m over racing weight, too, by a good 5 lb. But that’s surgery weight. It won’t go away until I can be active again. An interesting side note – when I’m not as active, I gradually gain 5 lbs, and settle there – even after my appetite slows down, etc. It’s like my “normal” sedentary weight is 5 lbs higher than my “normal” active weight, and in either state, it just doesn’t budge much.


  11. I’d like to see more pictures in your posts. Things like #sadface #selfies when things aren’t going well, a midriff shot showing us your weight gain, your wrist withOUT a watch for #PROOF…stuff like that. I love it that you made a post though. And that stomach bug!!!! I got that too!!!! So did my daughters. It was like the one-day wonder. Leveled for about 18 hours and then slowly returning to the land of the living.

    I’m so glad your training is going well now. It is always fun to read about what you’re up to.


  12. Great to hear things are coming together for you! I know the feeling of those first few tempos that seem to be a reminder of just HOW FAR you appear to be from race pace. BUT – as you said, stuff comes together and you’ll make your gains in fitness and be seeing the results sooner than you think. I’m always happy to hear others discuss weight/racing weight openly and honestly – so thank you for that. We can learn from each other if everyone could keep an open mind and stop hating on the people who are trying to talk about it. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more about your meeting with the nutritionist as well as how the relay went!


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