Training Update

NYC Marathon Training weeks 1 and 2 are recapped here. 3 through part of week 8 are here.

Warning: very detailed weekly progress reports ahead. I like to look back on them after a marathon to see where I need to make adjustments.

Week 8:

Tuesday: 6 miles easy in Portland (11:38 pace, 154 bpm)

Thursday: 6x800m w/ 400m recovery (time: 5:05,4:59,4:57,4:55,4:54,4:52)

Saturday: 4.2 miles easy (11:41 pace, 148 bpm) + Iron Strength workout (no plyometrics, no burpees)

Sunday: 12.3 miles easy (11:35 pace, 149 bpm)

Total Mileage: 28.9

Total Elevation 725ft


I’m glad it was a cutback week because I spent several days helping The Dot move into her (first!) apartment. There wasn’t a lot of heavy lifting or anything but just a lot of moving around and not a lot of time to rest. My long run was only 12 miles but it felt much longer, possibly because I took a new isolated route along Fisherman’s Terminal (the Queen Anne/Magnolia side of the ship canal) and back through The Locks. I don’t recommend this route due the number of tourists at The Locks.

Looking at the Ballard side of The Locks from Commodore Park

Week 9: 

Tuesday: 6 easy commute home (11:06 pace, 160 bpm)

Thursday: 3×1 mile repeats w/ 800m recovery (pace: 9:10,8:48,9:09)

Saturday: 5.1 miles easy (11:47 pace, 147 bpm)

Sunday: 16.2 miles easy (11:58 pace, 148 bpm)

Total Mileage: 33.8

Total Elevation: 1,073ft

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


This was my most difficult week to date. I managed to do decent 3×1 mile repeats on speed workout Thursday but my supposedly easy Saturday run and my Sunday long run were just slow and painful. I yawned constantly and kept thinking about food and fluffy pillows (after eating breakfast and getting 9 hours of sleep). I finished the last mile of my 5 miler repeating “burrito, burrito, burrito, cheese!” and I had to run/walk the last few miles of my long run.

I didn’t get my bloodwork done but I really suspect I was suffering from anemia. I’ve been anemic before and that’s exactly what it felt like. I started back up on iron supplements right away and have been adding more red meat to my diet. Now, 2 weeks later, I feel 10x better.

Week 10:

Monday: 60 minute deep tissue massage

Tuesday: 6 miles easy commute (12:02 pace, 144 bpm)

Thursday: 12x400m repeats w/ 200m recovery (pace: 9:07,8:31,8:35,9:03,8:47,8:51,8:39,8:43,8:47,8:35,8:23,7:55) + Iron Strength Workout (sans burpees)

Saturday: 5 miles working on running form and cadence (11:16 pace, 152 bpm)

Sunday: Fast Finish Long Run (12 miles @ easy pace, followed by 10:30, 10:00, 10:04, 11:42 (big hill here), 10:25, 10:25 for a total of 18 miles)

Total Mileage: 36.2

Total Elevation: 1,312ft

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


I started off the week with another massage. My hamstring has been feeling better and better (it’s still niggly but there’s progress) but my left inner calf and the bottom of my foot have been tight (I suspect it has to do with the hammy since they’re all connected — sometimes when I foam roll my hamstring I get a tiny electrical shock in my calf, ankle or foot near the areas of tightness. I’m a mess. Anyway, the masseuse reported that my calf was tight but not was bad as on my previous visit and I’m booked for a few more massages before marathon day. I feel like I’m staying just one step ahead of being knocked out of the marathon game. The massages are really helping me. So are taking my easy days REALLY EASY (aiming for 140bpm effort).

I finally felt confident enough about my progress to actually buy my plane tickets to New York. I am superstitious enough to think that booking plane tickets will cause an instant injury but *knock on wood* so far, so good.

Despite not having access to a track* I had a decent 12x400m workout on Thursday along the Burke Gilman Trail which is mostly flat and a confidence boosting fast finish long run on Sunday.

*In order to get my speed workout done I’d have to head to the track around 5am and wear night gear. I’m not even sure if the track is opened that early (it’s been open at 5:30 so it probably is). The track is super dark and I feel pretty vulnerable there by myself that early (and it’s set up so I really only have one exit). Additionally, now that school is back in session, students use it starting around 6:30am and also use it all afternoon/evening until it gets dark. Ah, I miss those carefree summer days where I had that track to myself.

Week 11:

Tuesday: 5 miles easy commute home (12:40 pace, 140 bpm) + 30 minutes squats/lunges/mountain climbers (with some plyometrics)

Thursday: 8x800m repeats w/ 400m recovery (time: 4:28, 4:20, 4:27, 4:28, 4:25, 4:24, 4:21, 4:17) + Intermediate Yoga for Runners (one of my favorite yoga videos — it’s long and at times a little boring but it’s hard and it really opens up my hip flexors)

Saturday: 5 miles easy (12:15 pace, 137 bpm).

Sunday: 20 miles (11:15 pace, 149 bpm).

Total Mileage: 38

Total Elevation: 1218ft

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


This week’s long run was way harder* than last week’s 18 miler. I tried to create a route that somewhat mimics the NYC course. A hill at the very beginning, another just after the halfway point and one towards the end. I started having a lot of left hip flexor pain during the middle hill (the Sunset Hill 250′ climb is no joke!). At first it was just my usual hamstring stuff but then my upper quad and glute kept tightening up and I had to stop a few times to do quad and hammy stretches. Later, my feet started hurting. Nothing specific, they were just tired. I did manage to keep a pretty steady pace and my heart rate stayed pretty low, even at sub 11 pace (which is “FAST” for me, heh). The last mile was a mad rush home to use the bathroom. Bleh.

*To be fair, I had to stop and pee 4 TIMES on my 18 miler so I took a lot more rest breaks than I did on my 20 miler (just one stop).

I really, really love speed work day. My form gets better when I speed up and little pains and niggles that I’m having usually disappear when I up my pace. So why do I run so many slow runs? Endurance. Gotta build it! I’m marathon training!! Anyway, I loved this week’s 800s and am actually looking forward to my next set (10x800m in a few weeks).

I also really enjoyed getting in a good yoga session. I usually have to talk myself into doing the long 90 minute session but once I get through the initial tough hip work I really enjoy myself and feel so relaxed at the end. I hope to get at least 4 more sessions in before the marathon.

I got 2 mosquito/bug/spider bites (or got stung by a bee) during Thursday’s run. One of the bites (on my bicep) had a really strong reaction (a 4″ rash with a stripe shooting up to my shoulder). I had a similar reaction to a bite last month on my quad. Long story short, my doctor now wants me to carry an EpiPen just in case my body is starting to become allergic to bites. Those pens are huge. There is no way I’m carrying one during runs.

I’m having a shoe debate. I love my new Altra One 2.5s and have had zero neuroma issues with them but I haven’t run more than 6 miles in them. I would love to wear them for my marathon but I just can’t trust that they’ll work out for me in the long run (heh. punny.) I could try to do a long run in them but I’d have to either bring an extra pair of shoes with me to change into if I have issues or run near home which would be a total bore (plus once I aggravate my neuroma it usually stays aggravated even after a shoe change). I like my Altra Paradigms okay for their cushioning but I hate that they’re kind of ugly. Yes, I am debating between pain prevention and looking cute.

I got the new Run Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook last weekend. I’ve been taking (mostly unflattering) photographs of the stuff I’ve made so far (posted on my Instagram). Feeling strong. Feeling healthy.

Finally, my new running mantra is “tuck in the butt, squeeze the glutes!” It’s a form thing. And no, I don’t say it out loud.