Nine Weeks and the Nineties

by Katie on August 11, 2014

Technically, I can’t say nine weeks, because we are 8 weeks and 4 days out from Hartford Marathon – one of the things that I do love about this marathon is that it is on a Saturday, not a Sunday – but for the sake of this title and the “nine” theme, we’re going with 9 weeks out.

I’ve also hit the 90 mile week mark for the second week in a row.  That hasn’t happened since before Boston.  You wouldn’t be privy to that information as I was a slacker and did not get the weekly recap up for the week before last.  This means there’s a whole lot of training to talk about.  Are you ready?!  Let’s see how far we make it…let me consult my training log, because I don’t remember the details of any running that happened before this morning.

Week OF 7/28 – 8/3

90 miles

8 runs

2 workouts, 1 long run

This week kind of has a lengthy list of disclaimers and excuses.  However, I am not an excuse person, so I really can’t refer to them as excuses.  They were choices made in the moment that upon further reflection, I can not honestly say why I chose to not finish the set of 12 x 600′s two weeks ago…aside from the hellfire, burning heat. I will refer to this incident as katie was an idiot and waited until it was high noon, 80 degrees and 90% humidity to attempt to run one evil set of 12 x 600′s.  It was a CHOICE.  One thing I know about myself and my training is that I don’t quit on a whim.  Some of the workouts are hard.  Sometimes I have to know my limits on any given day.  On that given monday, my limits were pretty low and the heat was pretty high. I also have a very hard time listening to the very sound advice from my coach who repeatedly says, “ADJUST YOUR PACE FOR HEAT”.  To me, that reads, “XKJKD DJFHDK FDJHF DJF DJFHE”.  I struggle with that.  Life is hard.  Those minor pace adjustments that deviate from what is actually prescribed for the workout don’t compute well in my brain.  I have fast and I have not fast when it comes to speed work.  I have yet to discover the “adjusted pace” mode.

Then, we went to Maine at the end of the week and my husband and I covered a lot of miles in the few days we were up there.  It’s always a juggling act running while traveling.  I really did not like how much mental energy the impending Sunday long run took.

Ok, here’s the lowdown on the training two weeks ago:

Workout #1 Monday:

Goal – 12 x 600′s @ 1:59 – 2:01

Actual – 12 miles @ 7:00, 2 mile w/u, 4 x 600′s, cool down just to get the miles in for the day.

12 was the goal.  4 were completed.  Simple math here, 4 does not equal 12.  Therefore, I did not complete the workout.  For all the above mentioned reasons, I chose to call it on the 600′s.  I lived to see another day and I lived to complete another workout.  I don’t make a habit of quitting workouts, but I knew what I needed to do on that day.  It happens.  As long as it is not habit forming.  I’m pretty sure I’m not in danger of that bad habit forming.

Workout #2 Thursday:

Goal – 2 mi warmup, 3 x 3 mile tempo @ 6:00 – 6:05, 2 mi cool down with an “ADJUST PACE FOR HEAT” caveat. ha.

Silly Katie did not learn the important lesson from just two days prior, which would have sounded like DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S 80 DEGREES AT 4PM TO DO A WORKOUT

I waited.  Until 4:30pm, 80 degrees and super sunshiny to do the monster workout.  Truth be told, the 600′s scare me more than the 3 x 3 mile tempo.  I like the tempo.

Actual – 13 miles @ 6:34 with 1.5 mile w/u, 3 x 3 miles @ 6:00, 2 mile c/d, 3 minute recovery jogs

Average Splits for each 3 mile segment:  6:00, 5:59, 6:00

Felt great for the first two, worked a bit more for the end of the third one.  Completely in a groove, which was surprising because I really was telling myself it was ok to run closer to 6:07 – 6:10 for survival purposes.  I want to live.  The heat was intense.  But, the 6:00 pace felt good, so I stuck with it.

Long Run Sunday

21 miles @ 7:10 pace 

NOTHING exciting about this long run, except that Maine is annoyingly hilly.  My husband found me in the last 2 miles and I made him park the car and get out and run with me.  It got me through the finish of a very long 21 miles.

I pounded a Fresca, homemade raspberry pancakes and enjoyed the rest of my Maine time.

Bear with me…one more week of workouts

Week OF 8/4 – 8/10

91 miles

9 runs

1 workout, 1 long run

Workout #1 Wednesday:

Goal – 6 x mile repeats @ 5:40 – 45 pace, 1/4 mile jog recovery 

Actual – 2 mile w/u, 6 x mile repeats @ 5:41/42 average, 2 mile c/d

Splits – 5:43, 5:43, 5:43, 5:41, 5:43, 5:37

Mile repeats nearly fall into the 600′s realm in terms of stress workouts that make me crazy.  They are hard.  They are short, but long enough to be very challenging.  They are fast enough to work the system of speed that I am really unfamiliar with.  So, this is the one workout where I see very little improvement over time, but I get a good workout, and I can do it.  I ran this one with my training partner, and it was incredibly helpful to have the pull of someone else.   It also saved me from doing it at 4:30 pm.  In the heat.  It was mid 60′s for this, but nearly 100% humidity, so that definitely takes your breath away.

Long Run Saturday

Goal – 22 miles @ 6:50 – 7:10 pace

Actual – 22 miles @ 6:50 pace

Little bit hilly, about 1000ft elevation gain

I 100% went into this thinking it was HIGHLY unlikely that I would even get under 7:10 average for the entire run.  My legs were tired.  It was an early run.  It was 22 miles.

Then, the pace started settling into sub 7 min average.  and dropping.  I also ran this with my training partner and we ran a pretty comfortable, successful long run of 22 miles @ 6:50 average.  For those that are interested, I don’t eat breakfast before any runs, including long runs…been this way for forever.  This is purely because I don’t want to get up 20 minutes earlier, when the alarm is already set for 4:30, to eat something.  I have been trying to fuel for these long runs that don’t include tempo miles.  I’ve been out of Generation UCAN, which I swear by, and have yet to go buy more.  I happened to have a packet of Vega pre-workout energizer that I mixed up, stashed on the route.  I had probably about 12 oz of fluid throughout the course of the run. Gu and gel do not sit well with me, ever, so that’s why the Generation UCAN is fantastic.  That is what I will use for the marathon.

I did 12 x 600′s today (Monday), but won’t go into the details on that one because that’s included in this week’s recap and you have to wait until next week for that

You made it.  Congrats.  I will try not to cram two weeks of training into one single post again.  I will also try to post on some of the requested topics from comments in previous posts.  I’ve got drafts, people.  That’s a step in the right direction.

I have a 10k coming up in less than two weeks and a half marathon next month…and that marathon right around the corner

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and don’t forget, you can still vote for me in the Runner’s World cover contest until 8/15.  The link is over to the left.

Thanks for reading!


HMF Run The Rent – 5k Race Recap

by Katie on July 29, 2014

You’re getting a two for one here.  A race recap AND a mini weekly recap.  Lucky ducks.

I don’t quite know where to begin with the weekly recap because it was a slight DEBACLE of a training week.

68 miles


slightly shameful for what was 12 weeks out from hartford marathon…now less than 11 weeks out, minus 10 days taper = 9ish weeks of training.  just some quick, psych myself out math that the marathon is steadily approaching.  I will say that it is nearly impossible to pull together good running when life stress is trying to kill you.  So, I worked with what I had last week.  I had 68 miles.  and I’ll be happy about every single mile.  Especially when 3.1 of them were a good 5k in the middle of marathon training.

I had no significant workout planned for last week.  I was planning on running a 10 mile race in Rhode Island on Friday night.  There was also a 5k on Thursday night.  I could not do both.  So, I chose the 10 miler.  Well, we know how plans sometimes go…they don’t “plan out”.  I knew by Wednesday that the 10 mile race was not going to happen.  However, on Tuesday, I did not know the 10 miler was not going to happen, so I offered my registration skills to help out at the 5k on Thursday night that I was not running because I was running the 10 miler.  If I can’t race, I could help.  When the 10 miler fell off the schedule, I thought, Oh Crap, now I’m volunteering at the 5k from 4:45 – 7:45, and not racing the 10 miler.  I went from having two possible races to no races (the 5k was 10 minutes away, the 10 miler was 2 hours away – slight difference).  I emailed the girl in charge of volunteers at the 5k and said, hey, I would love to run the race, however, I am committed to volunteering – so this is your call, but, can I volunteer from 4:45 -6:15, jump in and run the race at 6:30 and finish volunteering after?  She said, sure thing!  So, I registered people for an hour and a half, jumped in and ran the race and then they didn’t need me after.  I have to say, I had a blast registering people.  So fun to chat with people for half a second before a 5k.

It was probably about 83 degrees when I got to the volunteer tent and it was right at dinnertime.  I was starving and hot by 5:30.  I grabbed a bottle of water and had a gu at 6pm.  I had to get something in my stomach.  That was all I had.

It had cooled slightly, it was probably about 80 degrees, humid and sunny by the start at 6:30pm.  Not bad for a late July race in CT.  I started to get a migraine.  I found out two days later why.  Lovely hormones.  I’ve been getting migraines lately at that time of the month, you know…super fun.  I was standing at the start and was actually slightly concerned because if you’ve ever had a migraine, you know this feeling – you can’t see anything….but spots, everywhere, and it was sunny.  I was really annoyed.  I put my sunglasses on, hoping that it would at least not get worse.  seeing white spots is tough.  I think it was a combo of the heat/humidity, the good old monthly cycle and staring at a computer screen for an hour and a half registering people.

This 5k is PANCAKE FLAT.  no up.  no down.  This was the second year I ran it and only third year of the race.  It’s flat, but it’s on an old airstrip at Pratt and Whitney, and it is really windy because it is wide open space.  There was a tailwind for about the first 3/4 mile (hello 5:18 mile 1), then we turned and ran into some good headwind for the next 2ish miles and then kind of a sideways at the very end, last 1/4 mile or so.

I ran just 6 easy miles that morning at 7:00 avg pace because I knew I would be running the 5k at night.

I don’t train for speed or 5k’s – very different from marathon training, but good mental racing to learn how to run when it hurts.  I do not like them.  They do hurt.  My speedwork just kind of started up again and it’s just about every other week.  Not lots of speed work going on in the middle of marathon training.  So, I wasn’t really sure I’d get under 18.  I’ve only run one sub 18 minute 5k.  Then again, I really don’t run 5k’s.

Mile 1: 5:18

omg.  why did I do that.  I just destroyed all chances of running a decent 5k

Mile 2: 5:33

I might be able to hold on to this…if this wind goes away

Mile 3: 5:37

Ok…I can finish this…

Mile .13: 5:22




2nd overall

1st female

New Course Record

Surprise new 5k PR by 36 seconds

It was a small race, just over 300 people

I really like this race.  I think it will be one that I do every year.  I think it’s very family friendly, but you’ll have to ask my husband – he managed the kiddos.  It’s at Cabelas, which is kind of a fun place to go, if you like that sort of thing.  They’ve got burgers for everyone after and donuts and ice cream.


What more could you want.  A beer truck?  Yes.  They have a beer truck.  No reason not to run.


So, it was a great race.  Migraine diverted.  I got to volunteer.  I got to run.  We had burgers and beer and ice cream and all happy things at the end.  Oh, and a $100 Cabelas gift card that went straight to the husband for his race support efforts.


I had no long run on the schedule when the 10 mile race was the Friday night plan.  When that changed, the schedule changed.  I got a 20 mile long run put on the schedule.  If you recall the aforementioned 5k “time of the month” migraine, last week was a precarious time and my energy is ALWAYS lacking in those few days.  Crazy fatigue in that part of the month and it made this “easy” 18 miler VERY challenging.  I just wanted to quit at about every mile beep from 13 on.  Misery.  My long runs all serve a different purpose – sometimes they are straight up long runs, sometimes they’ve got some tempo fun in the middle.  Thank goodness this was your standard long run, because I called it at 18 miles.  I also ran out of time because I just had to have my extra 15 minutes of sleep – I had to get back for the husband to do 18 trail miles, and he held off until 8am to go.  I got 18 miles in @ 7:00 average pace.  Not my most shining long run.  They can’t all be.

Back at it this week and hoping/planning on getting the miles back where they should be with some good runs and stress workouts.  Good times!

5k’s – Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?!

Best post race food you’ve had?  

PS – Please take a moment to vote for me in the Runner’s World Cover contest, if you feel inclined!  The link is over to the left!


Better Late Than Never – Weekly Recap

July 25, 2014

Best of intentions to get the week in review up last Sunday – did not happen.  Today will have to do. A number of you have even requested a “day in the life” type post.  I would be happy to oblige.  At some point I will get that written.  For now, just picture something like a […]

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Three for Three and a Voting Opportunity

July 13, 2014

If I actually get this post up in a timely manner, I will be three for three on these weekly updates that I started.  That’s good news.  I’m following through. It was a fairly mellow week, compared to the previous week – thank goodness – because I ended up having to push a workout back one […]

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Tempos Galore

July 6, 2014

There’s a lot of tempo running going on here lately.  More tempo than I think I’ve ever consistently run. All sorts of tempo Aerobic threshold tempo Lactate threshold tempo, aka, death by tempo Tempo interval Tempo Thursday Tempo in the middle of a long run It’s the lifeblood of marathon training It’s everywhere This week, I […]

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Recaps…All Sorts: Ironhorse 10k and Training

June 1, 2014

Well hello I’m back to give you what is a grossly overdue recap of a 10k race, that took place on June 1st.  yeah.  little bit delayed. I’m also here to give you what were my intentions of weekly Hartford Marathon training updates.  I’m 4 weeks behind on that one. Just like that, it’s back […]

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Recovering and Up Next

May 7, 2014

The marathon distance is hands down my favorite distance to run.  It’s a funny thing that happened because I disliked the distance very much after my first one.  I love all the work that goes into them.  The long runs are probably my favorite part of it all.  I look forward to them every week. […]

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Boston – The Details

April 30, 2014

You all can thank my husband for the posting of this Boston recap, as he is breathing heavily down my neck making sure I get it written and posted.  The kids are in bed and he’s ever so kindly put on a man flick so that I am not distracted by what is on TV. […]

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April 23, 2014

I don’t quite have the energy or the words to write at the moment to do justice to the Boston Marathon, not yet anyway. This was my first time running it and hopefully not my last It was a unbelievably fantastic experience.  Upon my return from the race, my fresh faced children didn’t skip a […]

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The Week in Miles

March 23, 2014

One week out from the half marathon and 4 weeks to go until Boston I am starting to get excited.  I think a good tune up race will do that – increase the marathon excitement.  No matter how the marathon goes, I’m thrilled with the race that told me I should be in good shape […]

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