NYC Marathon training weeks 12-14

Week 12:

Monday: 60 minute deep tissue massage

Tuesday: 6 miles easy commute home (11:37 pace, 143 bpm) + Iron Strength workout

Thursday: 4×1 mile repeats w/ 800m recovery (pace: 9:04,9:14,8:53,9:05) + Intermediate Yoga for Runners

Saturday: 6 easy miles (11:57 pace, 143 bpm)

Sunday: 16 miles in Portland (11:16 pace, 158 bpm)

Total Mileage: 37

Total Elevation: 850ft

Daily: 60 second planks (forearm + assisted sides) and foam rolling


Running in Portland (while Robert ran the Portland Marathon*) was an adventure. It was a rainy morning and I got started before 7am. I ran back and forth along the river while the marathon was starting so I could hear the music and drums plus watch for the fast runners come onto Naito Parkway around mile 2. Once I spotted a few runners I headed into new territory and checked out the new Tilikum Crossing bridge. I love it! (And it was the only part of the course that really got me any elevation.) Unfortunately, just after I got onto the east side of the bridge, “Pee pee time” happened. I had to pee SO BAD and there was nowhere to stop. I considered stopping on the trailside once or twice but there are a lot of homeless tent dwellers along the trail and I didn’t feel like that would be a good decision. I also found a port-a-potty by the opera house but it had a padlock on it. Rude. Anyway, I ended up repeating — out loud — a new mantra over and over again for a few miles: “pee pee time!” as I tried as fast as I could to get back to our motel (fortunately, also on the east side of the river). A few runners ran past me as I was loudly chanting “pee pee time, pee pee time” which was fun. I finally made it to the motel only to discover that my key card no longer worked (probably because I had it in my spibelt with my phone). I had to go to the front desk and get it activated. Anyway, it was a pee pee time adventure and I only peed my pants a little bit (well, maybe a lot, because I ended up switching to running shorts). An unexpected mid-run rest stop.

*Robert not only got a new marathon PR of 3:16:25 in Portland, but he also ran a negative split and got a FREE pair of New Balance shoes via a Strava Promotion. Show off. He finished 9th in his age group (up from 10th last year).

This was the first week I started feeling confidently strong in my glutes and hips. I think the Iron Strength plyometric jump squats and jumping lunges are finally paying off. The extra iron I’ve been taking (Blood Builder and chewable iron, plus bison meatballs!) have also helped boost my energy levels.

Tilikum Crossing in Portland

Week 13:

Tuesday: 6.2 miles easy in Astoria (11:38 pace, 141 bpm) + Iron Strength workout

Thursday: 10x800m repeats with 400m recovery (time: 4:52,4:35,4:34,4:30,4:28,4:34,4:28,4:37,4:30,4:27) + Jasyoga* hip/hamstring reset

Saturday: 5 miles easy (12:01 pace, 144 bpm)

Sunday: 20 miles w/ 6 LT miles (10:50 pace, 155 bpm) + Jasyoga stride alignment and post-run reset

Total Mileage: 41.3 (my first ever >40 mile week!)

Total Elevation: 676ft.

Daily: 60 second planks (forearm + assisted sides), Jasyoga resets, and foam rolling

*Jasyoga has a series of video workouts for runners and I’ve found the hip/hamstring workouts really help my recovering hamstring and my stride/form in general. I don’t want to jinx it but I’ve gone several days in the last few weeks without feeling ANY hamstring tightness or pain. 


Wow. This week was full of surprises! I have a tiny dirt hill I have to climb up to get off the trail to get into work and in the past it’s been iffy but suddenly is was super easy. I think the Iron Strength workout is paying off big time. Glute power!

My run on Tuesday in Astoria was surprisingly fatiguing given that it was flat. I often feel that way on totally flat courses. I think I’m more of a rolling hills kind of girl… In any case, it was really refreshing to run out on the Columbia and the trail in Astoria is perfect. I got to peek in on warehouses, sea lions, breweries, and weird old shipwrecks. It was like I was a Goonie.

Thursday’s Yassos were a nice surprise (despite running them on a puddly Burke Gilman trail in a downpour). I have honed in my pace to give me an idea of where I’m at, marathon pace-wise (if you recall, my 6×800 put me at around a 5 hour marathon time). I’m confident enough in the results that I ordered a pace band for a 4:45 (10:52 pace) finish at NYC. That seems SO slow but in my previous 2 marathons I was overly optimistic and had glute issues so this time I’m going in slower than I think I’m capable of. We’ll see what happens.*

*I am kind of bummed and also happy that NYCRR put me in a really slow wave/corral based on my Brooklyn Half (2:30). When I signed up for NYC I put in a 4:20 predicted finish (this was just before my hamstring issue) and then I ran the NYCRR Brooklyn Half in May after months of basically walking so my finishing time is what they actually used to assign my wave. I’m hoping it will just help me start slow and stay slow and then I’ll have to weave around walkers later on. In any case, I’m happy with my starting location (Orange wave which is on top of the Verrazono Bridge, on the Manhattan side. My start time is 11:00am and I’ll be near the 5 hour pace group. Bleh!)

Sunday’s 20 miler was one of those long runs where you wish you were just running the full marathon. It went that well. I DID take 4 GUs (including a Roctane GU). Hey, if it works, use it! I will have 5 GUs (some Roctanes) stuffed in my race bra on November 6th.

Sea Lions in Astoria

Week 14:

Monday: 60 minute deep tissue massage

Tuesday: 6 miles easy commute home (11:46 pace, 145 bpm) + Iron Strength workout

Thursday: 3×1 mile repeats w/ 800m recovery (pace: 8:49,9:07,8:37) + Jasyoga flexible hamstrings workout

Friday: Intermediate Yoga for Runners

Saturday: 5 miles easy (11:50 pace, 145 bpm)

Sunday: 14 miles (11:23 pace, 146 bpm)

Total Mileage: 31.7

Total Elevation: 1079ft

Daily: 60 second planks (forearm + assisted sides), Jasyoga resets, and foam rolling


I hate the taper weeks. I feel like I’m doing absolutely nothing. During the mileage build-up weeks I take it easy when I’m not running and slack off on doing normal things like housework and gardening (my shower is so nasty right now). So, because I’m tapering, I made the mistake of getting out and gardening (including lawn mowing) and doing a cleanup/packing of The Dot’s room (she still has almost 50% of her stuff there) on Saturday and before I realized it, I’d been on my feet for 7 hours (after running an hour in the morning). Not ideal the day before my long run and I definitely felt tired on Sunday’s run but I got it done and I hit some decent hills so it wasn’t a disaster.

On Thursday I may have pushed it just a little too much on the 1 mile repeats but I wanted to see how I felt compared to my other 2 mile-repeat workouts. I pushed them about 10-15 sec/mi faster and my heart rate really shot up. I survived, though, and my hamstring was only a little angry the next day so no harm. One thing I find somewhat irritating about doing speedwork on the trail vs the track is that the trail appears to be flat but it’s not. I am learning to focus more and more on effort than pace, though, so that helps.

Speaking of HR, I have a plan for the marathon. As long of my resting heart rate is normal and I’m feeling good (and it’s not too hot — so far the weather looks like it’s going to be just fine) my goal is to settle in around 148-154bpm for the first 18 miles or so and then if I am feeling okay I’m going to push it up to the low 160s and let it rise up to 170 for the last few miles. Of course, if anything comes up (most likely with my left glute or hamstring) then I’ll just keep it easy and even walk.

With that said, I might as well post my goals:

A goal: < 4:45 (the cherry on top would be to run a negative split!)

B goal: 5 hours

C goal: finish

Not lofty but whatever. I’m not in this one to PR. I want to have fun and become a more experienced distance runner. Yippee!!

Now I need to figure out what I’m going to wear…

57th St. railroad crossing in Ballard (coming up from Shilshole)
57th St. railroad crossing in Ballard (coming up from Shilshole)